MORE ABOUT JENNIFER MACIAS
What's motivated me to help you get fit, to be the best you that you can be? It's that I'm probably not all that different from you. And if I can do it, you can, too! Let me tell you a little bit about myself:
My name is Jennifer, and I'm a 38-year-old wife and mom of two beautiful teenage daughters. I strive to be the best woman I can be, in all aspects of life, so I can be a good example to my daughters: to teach them to impact others in a positive way; to always have faith and a firm foundation in Christ; to dream big, stay determined and driven, and never give up; to believe that they can achieve anything they set their hearts on. My husband, Mario, is my rock. He is a Stage 5 Metastatic cancer survivor, and he is truly my miracle, my warrior and hero! By God's grace and healing, my husband is now over 10 years cancer-free. We've faced the true mean of our wedding vows. For better or for worse, in sickness and in health, family is everything to me and my family is my world! I wouldn't be who I am today without them.
I've always been pretty active throughout my life. I've danced, played soccer and basketball, and even ran track in high school. I often visited the gym and even remember stepping it up a notch to prepare for my wedding in 2002. In 2003, my husband was diagnosed with cancer and was told that the extensive chemotherapy treatment needed to save his life would prevent us from having any more children (beyond our first daughter). After a long battle with cancer and with Mario in remission, we tried in vitro fertilization (IVF) in hopes of extending our family. IVF brings hormone-filled shots, drastic weight gain, and emotional ups and downs; but we wanted to have another baby regardless of what I had to put my body through. A precious life was worth it. By the time my pregnancy with our second child was confirmed on February 14, 2005, I had already put on a good 10 – 15 pounds, and the pregnancy brought still more weight. I was the happiest I had even been, though, and our second daughter was born that fall. Our joy was short-lived, as the next day we were told that Mario's cancer had returned and was in his lungs. The battle we thought we had won wasn't over, but he fought hard and our prayers were answer when he entered remission on Father's Day of 2006.
Once life seemed to normalize again, Mario and I began working out occasionally and started watching our diets (with a mix of about 50% good food and 50% junk food). We both got healthier, and lost some weight. I peaked at 168 pounds and lost about 18 post-pregnancy. But by 2010, I was still at around 150 pounds and couldn't seem to lose the weight no matter what I tried. I also felt drastically fatigued and the insides of my body just hurt, as if I was tired to my core. I went to a doctor for bloodwork and was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis (Hashimoto's disease). This explained my fatigue, and weight gain. It was then I decided that I wasn't going to let hypothyroidism control me. I decided that I would be in control of my body and my health.
I began working out very consistently and eating much cleaner. It took time for the medication to begin working, but I began feeling better fairly quickly. Exercising helped me a lot mentally, and eating cleaner helped me physically feel better! From 2010 – 2015 I was active in the gym 6 days a week doing a small group functional training class. We did everything from burpees to lifting, wall balls to TRX straps, bands, and more. I really saw my body change and my strength grow, and I felt so good. I got down to 125 pounds and drastically increased my muscle mass. Even so, I continued to struggle with my body image and self-confidence. I battled fear and insecurity to the point where I would feel depressed and be unable to sleep at night. I had really good days and I had really bad days. I think all women battle this to some extent, but it's so difficult to deal with and I hated it. It impacted me too much, affecting my family and my marriage. I would cry myself to sleep, praying and asking God to help me get past it. I just couldn't continue to feel that way. I never gave up on myself and I kept my faith, and God answered my prayers in His time.
In May of 2015, my husband bought me a one-on-one training session with Ingrid Romero, one of the coaches from the TeamEdge bodybuilding competition team. It was like a dream come true! I had followed TeamEdge for years, and always dreamt of competing. I would see the way the girls were so united, supportive, and kind; I saw how their physiques transformed. It excited me and I longed to be a part of that. When I met Ingrid for my one-on-one training session, I immediately knew TeamEdge was for me. Her presence was so welcoming, kind, sweet, and motivating. Just being around her was instant positivity, and I admire her so much as a woman, wife, mommy, and athlete. I had a blast training with her, and left the session feeling like it was time to be a part of TeamEdge.
I joined TeamEdge in June 2015 and competed in my first show in October 2015. After a 19-week prep, I graced the Muscle Contest stage for the first time. My body had transformed into something I never imagined possible. I still look at pictures and think, "Oh, my gosh, that's me!!!" But the best part was that it wasn't just a physical transformation; God truly used TeamEdge, competition prep, and competing to transform my mind as well. I gained more self-confidence during prep than I ever thought was possible. I gained strength both physically and mentally. I achieved something that I never thought I could ever achieve! I had never felt so good about myself, physically and emotionally. It's hard to put into words, but it was life changing. I was happier and more secure and wasn't so full of fear. I believed in myself and my abilities. TeamEdge was all just an answer to prayer.
It's now 2016, and I've competed in three Muscle Contest NPC Bikini Competitions. I plan on doing many more, as I am completely in love with the sport and the team I am a part of. Off-season, I weigh 125 – 130 pounds, with the most lean muscle I've ever had in my life. My stage weight is around 115 pounds, but it's not realistic to maintain that year-round. It's important to eat according to your goals. When you're building, you eat; and when you are cutting, you eat. It's all about what you eat and the timing of those foods.
After such an amazing personal journey, through so many ups and downs, I desire nothing more than to use my own experiences to reach others. I want every person to feel that self-confidence, to believe in themselves and to achieve all the things they think are impossible. I want to encourage, support, motivate, and help people to reach their personal goals. To become stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally. My passion is strong, and I feel I was given this enthusiasm to not only fulfill my own desires but to help others. As of October 2016 I am a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, and couldn't be happier to finally be living my passions beyond myself. So, join me and…
Be Fearless. Get Fit!