Fitness Model Interview: Jen Kersten

Interview Questions:

1. What is your background? How did you get started in the fitness industry?

I got started in fitness as a new challenge after retiring (yes, sounds funny but gymnasts retire at the ripe old age of 17!) from gymnastics. I’d battled eating disorders, and a lot of family struggles. There was a lot going on in my life at the time, my parents were divorcing, I was watching the self destructive patterns of a loved one… my Mom thinks it was to focus my energy elsewhere, but I loved it from day one. Plus what better way to turn that negative self image into a positive one? My whole ideal of the perfect body changed when I started fitness, and I learnt that my body wouldn’t change unless I ate!

2. What do you feel is your biggest fitness-related accomplishment?

Getting up on stage! haha, no seriously, somedays I have to refresh myself with how much I have accomplished because I can get quite down on myself with the “should’ve, could’ve, would’ve” stuff. I still don’t feel that I’ve reached my potential yet, or been my best. But… I placed 2nd in a Model Search in Toronto back in 2000, out of 20 some odd girls, and I was one of the shortest, stockiest, flat chested of the bunch. I remember being back stage with all these bomb shells with long legs, large chests, thinking “what have I gotten myself into?” so I just went out there and acted without a care, when they called my name for the top 3 I looked at my mom in the audience with a “What the heck?” look and laughed… that was cool. We still laugh about it today, all the girls were back stage primping and I was eating chocolate bars! haha

3. Is fitness modeling/competition your full-time job? If not, what else do you do?

No, it’s like a full time job on top of my full time job. I am a department manager for a major Grocery Chain on Vancouver Island where I’m full time on my feet all day. The department is vitamins and sports nutrition. So it’s right in my element! I’m also a Bio-X sponsored athlete

4. What are your immediate and long-term goals?

To win a national title. Bottom line, I want that trophy. Over the past couple years I had not put the idea too far into my brain, I was still working my way up the ladder, but this year I’m going for broke.

5. Please describe a typical day for you. What is your daily routine like?

7am wake up, eat, shower, WORK, all day. Get off work, eat, train, catch up on emails, pass out. haha.. literally I pass out every night.

6. Please describe your normal diet. How do you eat to stay in shape?

During the past year I’ve learnt that I’m insulin resistant so I have to keep my carbs in check at all times. I have never gotten lean enough for the judges liking and it was a frustrating battle! I was following my diet, not cheating, everything! to no avail, I’d be in shape but not Pro level. So now I have the tools with my health to get me in shape and that means 7-8 small meals a day with low carbs, mod essential fats, and protein. I drink tons of water, and one of my major learning lessons was aspartame! it actually mimics insulin in my body which is a big ‘no no’ so I’ve cut that out too!

7. What is your training routine like?

I train three days a week with weights. High intensity and low reps for my upper body. I sprint, do plyos, gymnastics, and cardio on alternate days to bring my lower body down.

8. What supplements, if any, do you use?

I use all Bio-X supplements for Isolate protein, l-Glutamine, and Creatine.

For vitamins I take in a B complex, multi, cal/mag, Glucosamine, Vit C, Salmon Oil… lots of vities, and chromium picolinate.

9. How do you motivate yourself to get/stay in shape?

it’s strange because I don’t think that until I reach my goal of a national title will I be able to hang up my suits! that keeps me motivated, and also that the competition just keeps getting better! the girls now are way beyond what they were 6 years ago, so I have to keep improving.

10. What are a few of your favorite fitness and health-related web sites?

to name a few ๐Ÿ™‚

11. What tips would you give to someone who wanted to get into the fitness modeling (or fitness competition) industry?

Just go for it! but don’t expect overnight success. There are a lot of beautiful girls doing the same thing and the only way to get ahead is with persistence and confidence!

12. If someone you knew asked you how to lose weight and get into shape quickly, what would you tell them?

Watch your carbs and fats. Not the good fats, but the bad hydrogenated oils… yuck!

13. What do you feel differentiates you from other people in your field?

That’s a tough question! lol.. most of the competitors are great that I’ve met, they are usually great looking girls with a lot of determination. I guess what people don’t know about me is that I’m a very shy, quiet person and that I’m not a ‘girly girl’ as much as I look in pics. What you see is what you get with me. I’m not out to pretend I’m something I’m not!

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