We want to thank the FAME agency for providing information on Liz Jones for this month’s Natural Champion.
Liz Jones, who makes her home in Woodville, Wisconsin is a stunning, talented, athletic mother of a 16 year old son who holds down a full time job, is studying for her masters degree – and still finds time to train. So much for the old ‘I just don’t have time to exercise’ excuse.
The profile information Liz sent us was so interesting and inspirational that we’ve decided to print a large section just as she sent it. So, here’s Liz Jones’ story in her own words:
“What a Difference a Year Can Make”
Two thousand and four was a very difficult year for me. I began the year having arthroscopic knee surgery, which took longer to heal from than I expected. After the surgery, due to my inability to go to the gym and not feeling well for quite a while following the procedure, I proceeded to gain almost twenty pounds. I was the heaviest I have ever been (I weighed more than I did when I was nine months pregnant).
In April I cut off almost a foot of hair and donated it to Locks of Love, which was not a bad thing, however it was a huge adjustment for me after having long hair for most of my life. In May of 2004, I ended a long time relationship in which I was not happy. Again, not a bad thing, but a major adjustment. Then in June of 2004, the company I had worked at for four years was downsized and I lost my once-secure job. In August, my beloved seven-year-old cat, Mat, suddenly suffered from kidney failure and died. I thought that was more than I could handle.
Then the unthinkable happened. On September 5, 2004, I was leaving the gym on my way to meet some of my girlfriends for a night out, since my son Jordan was visiting with his father for the Labor Day weekend. As I left the gym, I received a message on my cell phone. It was Jordan’s aunt telling me that my fourteen-year-old son was in a terrible motorcycle accident and was being flown to Gillette Children's Hospital in a coma. Jordan had been riding on the back of his dad’s motorcycle, when they slowed down to turn into a driveway to go to a family cookout, they were run over by an SUV. Jordan was dragged 205 feet under the truck before the driver stopped. The vehicle caught on fire, but Jordan was pulled from beneath before the flames reached him. He was in a coma for eleven days and in the rehab department until October 8. I stayed with him twenty-four hours a day while he was at the hospital because he needed me there and I did not want to leave his side.
The good news is that he has recovered wonderfully and went back to school October 6, 2004. He just finished his sophomore year of high school, and recently got his driver’s permit.
During our stay at the hospital, I needed to try to keep myself healthy so I could be there for Jordan. While I was by his side, holding his hand and talking to him while he was in a coma, I needed to keep myself focused on something positive throughout the most difficult time in our lives. There wasn't a gym to use at the hospital, but I modified my exercise program to things I could do while I was there (including using hand weights in the physical therapy room while Jordan was doing his PT, running in the parking ramp, yoga and tai chi) and I had a friend bring me my protein shakes and bars so I had some healthy food with me to avoid eating all of the junk food our well-meaning visitors brought to the hospital.
When we were finally able to go home, I was determined to make a greater commitment to health and fitness in my life. Because I have always loved to dance, and wanted to start dancing again, I had planned on competing in a fitness competition once I got in shape. Once I was able, I began to focus on that goal. I spent two and a half months working very hard, keeping focused more and more on my training and nutrition, and learning everything I could about what I needed to accomplish to be successful at a fitness competition. I made great strides that year and became a stronger person both physically and spiritually.
I competed in the Gopher State Classic in Plymouth, Minnesota on April 2, 2005 as my first competition of my life. It was not only my first fitness competition; it was Jordan's 15th birthday as well. I dedicated my performance to him, in gratitude for his amazing recovery, and to all the people who got us through the most difficult time in our lives. I could not think of a better reason to celebrate health and fitness!
Since that time, I took home a first place fitness trophy and a fourth place figure trophy from the Gopher State Classic. I have continued training, taking time off on occasion when I feel like it. I began to teach yoga, which is one of my favorite fitness activities. I’m off from teaching for the summer and I went on a trip to New Mexico to see my older brother and took a variety of yoga classes while I was there. My favorite exercises, besides yoga, are push ups, dead lifts, and dancing.
I currently work as a Quality Assurance Administrator at an electric motor company in Woodville, WI where I live and I’m working on my master’s degree in Organizational Leadership at the College of St. Catherine on the weekends (similar to an MBA, but with more focus on ethics and leadership). I spend my free time on motorcycles as much as possible and enjoy garage sales and shopping at second hand stores. I’m currently working on a writing project about mentoring teen parents and how mentors are so important to young women, especially young women in tough situations. As I approach my 35th birthday, as I take stock of my life, I keep a positive outlook, yet keep striving to improve certain areas of myself. I will always be a work in progress, but I enjoy the journey. Life is good.
The training schedule that Liz Jones generally follows is 5 days of cardio (40 minutes on the cross trainer), 3 days of weight training (one day upper body, 2 days later lower body, 2 days later upper again, and then the next week it's reversed). As with most experienced trainees she sometimes changes things up and does heavy upper body one day, heavy lower body another day, and on what she calls he third “lifting” day, does light weight circuit training for the whole body. During the summer she likes to run outside some, but at times finds it hard on her knees, so keeps it light. She also tries to incorporate yoga as much as possible.
As far as eating goes, when in training Liz says she eats 6 times a day, about every 3 hours. She notes that she eats A LOT of chicken and broccoli, egg whites and oatmeal and that 3 of her meals are protein shakes.
Whatever Liz Jones has been doing, we at Natural Champion think the results are impressive! We hope to bring you more about Liz in future articles.