Today’s Shed & Share Story is special! I am real life friends with the “sharer”, Jinka! I met her about 3 years ago and we became fast friends! We both share a love of fitness, good food, encouraging women and our love for the Lord! (She even attends my fitness classes!) We have a great time when we are together. I did the Warrior Dash with her this past June! She has a FABULOUS story and I can’t wait for you to hear it!
Name: Jinka B.
Age: 40 (in April!)
Profession: First and foremost wife to Daniel and mother to my 16 yr old son and girls, 9 and 8
How long have you been on this weight loss journey?
Weight Loss/Inches Lost:
I went from a high of 212 pounds size 12/14. to 140 to 145 pounds size 4/6
(Jinka before and after!)
What was your “low point”?
I struggled with eating disorders as a teen, even ending up in the hospital. When Christ came into my life, He changed my body image. It was a new perspective taking the focus off of trying to achieve perfection and onto becoming a good steward of this body He created for me to live in. I never imagined the highs and lows to come. 9 months after getting married I was in a horrible car accident. I had to be extracted from the car. I was in physical therapy for months and ended up with nerve damage, neck and back pain that I deal with to this day. After that, I was pregnant 3 times in a row. We lost our first baby, then I had my precious daughters less than a year apart. After the injuries, being pregnant for 2 years and on bed rest for months- I weighed in at 212 pounds. When I “lost the baby weight” I still weighed between 175 and 180 for 2 years. I thought that was my new normal weight after having children. I sometimes didn’t recognize the person in the mirror anymore. Something snapped one day. I had to do something. I was tired of feeling sick and lethargic.
How did you get started?
I dusted off and hopped on my elliptical with high hopes. I was shocked when I could only do 3 minutes. I thought I was gonna die from my heart bursting and inability to catch my breath! Instead of feeling defeated, I gave myself a pat on the back and decided that the next day I would do at least 3 more minutes. It was my first baby step. Eventually I could go longer until I started doing 30 minutes a day consistently. Over the course of the next 11 months I lost 40 pounds. It was only 1 or 2 pounds a week- nice and slow- but I focused on each small gain forward and chose not to get discouraged on weeks I didn’t lose anything. I REFUSED to starve myself or restrict foods. I knew I had to live in a way I could sustain for the rest of my life or it wouldn’t last. I started making healthier choices and learning about proper portion sizes. My tastes actually started to change. I think for the first time in my life I was finally drinking enough water to stay truly hydrated and I only weighed myself once a week because I didn’t want to hyper-focus on a number. I never kept a weight goal in mind. I decided that my body knew what it needed to weigh as long as I kept it moving and eating healthy. I eventually plateaued around 140 pounds. I started weight training and didn’t lose any more weight but still dropped another clothing size. (Ladies! Strength training is a key!)
Tell me how you got started with running.
When I turned 35 I decided I was going to run a 5K. It was a big deal for someone who couldn’t even jog to the stop sign around the corner. The first time I ever ran one mile I cried tears of joy remembering how it used to hurt to walk after my car accident. I eventually finished that 5K and haven’t stopped since. I went on to run a few half marathons and then decided to run a full by the time I turned 40. I ran The Columbus marathon last fall and just did the Chicago marathon this past October. Every time I cross a finish line I weep tears of joy. I am not fast and I don’t race for time. I am there to finish and I savor every victory. I believe God has great things for each of us to accomplish. We just have to stop focusing on what we can’t do and focus on what we can do. I now know, no matter how long it may take, or how hard it may be~ I can do all things through Him who strengthens me~ one step, minute or mile at a time.
What are your top 3 favorite resources that helped you along the way?
My elliptical, workouts you can look up on cable at any time and You Tube. Yep- you can find workouts on there!
What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is sitting on the sidelines and waiting?
Love and being positive is such a better motivator than self loathing and criticism. Stop beating yourself up because of what you can’t do right now or yet or should be doing. Honor your accomplishments no matter how small. I started with THREE MINUTES. Every journey has to start somewhere. There is a Chinese proverb that says “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” You can take one step today.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is in the process but is feeling discouraged?
Don’t sabotage yourself with “what if’s” and “I should be further along by now.” Focus on what is. If you are on this journey look at the truth of how far you’ve come. Be kind and encouraging to yourself. What would you tell a precious child who is trying? Now take those words and picture God saying those things to you!
If you are a parent, how have you balanced everything?
Sometimes I don’t! Just being honest. I do try. I try to make it to a cardio class on Mondays and Wednesdays. I weight train or just do pilates at home on off days. Just think- In the time some people waste watching a show you can do a full body workout!
(Jinka and her husband, Dan, before and after!)
Anything else you would like to share?
I could not have done this alone! Special thanks goes out to Denise Scarbrough for lighting the fire and first believing in me when I thought running was impossible. Thanks to the Green Y Running club, Trinity Trotters and each precious friend there that has encouraged me along the way! Thanks to Beth Borda for talking me into our fun/difficult/crazy/wonderful adventures and thanks to Clare Smith for keeping me laughing and in shape off season. And for my wonderful husband who has been a rock for me through all of this!
I’m not perfect and don’t keep a strict routine all the time. I tend to be more disciplined during training seasons when I’m preparing for a race and then I slack off in the winter a bit. I make sure I sign up for a Spring race so that I have a new goal to look forward to. I think it is important to always have a next goal in mind. It keeps life fresh!
Can you see why I love this girl so much?! I pray there is something in here to encourage you to press on! Thank you, Jinka!!
Do you have a Shed Story that you want to share? We want to hear it! Please contact me below or firstname.lastname@example.org to be a part of the series! Stay tuned because I have many more women with more inspiring stories to come!
What an inspiring story, for mothers and for accident victims. Exercise is a vital key in healing our bodies. I’m going to go do my pilates/yoga workout that I keep putting off thanks to you! 🙂
Yay! Thank you! I for sure notice a difference in pain management when I am keeping a strong core and staying flexible. It really helps my back and neck. Gentle yoga stretching was a starting point for me at first along with the elliptical. It really helped me start moving with a better range of motion again after the accident.
Holy Moly!! You are one hot mama! 🙂 I am so encouraged by your story. I, too, am a mother and am “older” and it is so awesome to see that it is possible to make a difference in your body shape. I get soooo impatient with my slow progress that I always struggle with perseverence. I like how you started with 3 minutes and slowly built on that. I also like how you set goals, like your races, so you have something to work toward. Thank you so much for sharing! Your story really means a lot to me!
You’re so welcome! Fitness makes all the difference when it comes to aging gracefully and well. I’m going to be turning 40 and I feel better now than I did when I was 30. There are several 50+ and a 60 year old lady in my running club(s). I’m hard pressed to keep up with them! They are so strong, beautiful and such inspirations. Because of their example I don’t fear aging. I say let’s own it, rock it and be the best we can be no matter what! ;o)
…what an awesome life journey! GOD is so good to all of us!
Beautiful – that’s what you are – inside and out! I love you girl and I really loved when you said this:
“Just think- In the time some people waste watching a show you can do a full body workout!” lol1 So true!!!
Thanks for sharing – you are always inspiring!!!
Jinka, I am so proud of you! You are an inspiration to all! We’ve been friends a long time and it was you who led me back to the Lord. You are my sister in Him and I love you. 🙂 I remember clearly the day you decided you had “come to terms” with your weight. 🙁 Just as I remember being so excited for you that first 3 minutes on the elliptical…and then soon after… 10 and 20 and your first 5k! 😀 and so on…
To me you are a shining example. A pillar of strength and beauty and a picture of Christ and His eternal love. :*)
Jinka to hear your story is one thing, but to read your story along with the pictures all I can say is WOW! You do know how I feel about myself, because you were there once. What I love about you is you are a problen solver. So am I…….I just need to quit winning and do something about it! I’m encouraged by this to get myself into gear, and get back to Clares classes.
Amazing Jinka ~ what an encouragment to me today. The pictues really spoke to me – te make it more real and that it is doable – that I don’t have to be stuck at this weight. I’m still in the 3 minutes could kill me stage – so its good to know that if you just keep pressing on eventually I could do 30 minutes!
Thanks for posting this.
What a great way to share your testimony for so many women. You’ll never know just how many women you have encouraged. I want to say that is all you girl but we both know that all the glory goes to God. I am so thankful He put you into my life. You are still an inspiration to me. I miss you making me laugh and cry, then laugh again. Always.
what a beautiful story and person you are!! WOW! This is an amazing testimony and encouragement… You are as beautiful inside as you are out! And that phot of you, muscles flexed? How awesome is that?!?! THANK YOU for this!!
I also want to thank you for sharing your story. You look beautiful, fit, and strong! You have encouraged, inspired,and blessed me!
Jinka truly inspires me. When I am struggling I know I can always show up on her doorstep, and there is truth, encouragement, and yummy, healthy food and someone willing to both laugh and cry with you. What an amazing sister in Christ! I knew Jinka when her journey began and frankly thought she was crazy to think she could lose weight without depriving herself. It was an amazing thing to watch someone love themselves, feed themselves, and take care of themselves and watch the weight come off.
wow! im so glad i read this story. ur story is very inspiring! u look so fabulous! like a different person! wow! xoxo
Thank you for sharing your inspiring story! This is yet another encouragement in my goals…thank you! Good job, and to God the glory!