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Faces of Fitness: Constance Penney

Constance Penney’s journey was about more than getting into shape; it was to learn about her capabilities.

“I think it started with becoming unhappy with myself,” Penney said. “I didn’t have the energy or the stamina, the endurance. I had gained weight so I couldn’t do the things I was used to doing.”

It used to be easy for her to stay active during high school, but with more responsibility after graduation, it became increasingly difficult to find the time.

“I was unhappy, but I didn’t necessarily think I could change or, I don’t know, maybe not wanting to put forth the effort,” she continued. 

Penney started following fitness blogs and quickly realized that she was not alone.

“I think that really encouraged me,” she said. “Realizing that there were other people that had lost weight and it wasn’t just someone that was just ripped since high school.”

Penney’s split-shift work schedule gave her a chance to make exercise a convenient part of her day. She worked from around 6:20 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. and then worked out until she returned to work at 1:00 p.m.

“So having that work schedule was very helpful too … to be honest with you, if I wouldn’t have had that schedule, I don’t know that I would’ve necessarily been able to do it.”

For the past year, Penney hasn’t had a gym membership but has been using that as an opportunity to run the hilly Pennsylvania terrain, where she recently moved after growing up in Grove City.

“Just running here, I can run shorter distances and get way more out of it, because I’m running hills constantly.”

She said one of the best results is the ability to keep doing what she enjoys for longer periods of time.

“I just went kayaking two weeks ago with a bunch of my guy friends and I destroyed them in a kayak race. So stuff like that is really fun, too.”

What blogs did you follow?
Shine or Set (www.shineorset.com)
Sky fitness (www.sky-fit.com)
mshellfitness.com (or @Mshelllll on Twitter)

How did your journey change how you view yourself?
I was just really excited because it was something I completely did on my own. I felt proud of myself because it was something I had put forth the effort to do. There wasn’t anyone that could help me do it – I had to make that choice.

How did you change your diet?
The biggest thing for me was learning portion control … even now I still eat the things I love. When I was trying to deprive myself and just eat completely clean, I would just binge. I had to learn how much was an acceptable amount to eat. I did a lot of athletic things all through high school, so I could put away some food.

What’s your next fitness goal?
I think I maybe kind of got talked into CrossFit. So I’m looking forward to trying that.