Featured Fit Friends Friday: Jill from The Year of the Phoenix

Fridays are no less exciting even when you’ve only worked a 4 day week, am I right?!? So TGIF, my friends! With that comes another installment of Featured Fit Friends Friday! After spotting a mention (on Twitter, of course!) of a recent post about her amazing transformation over the last two years, I just had to feature her! There’s no way you won’t be inspired by her. And I so relate to her story about her favorite race below… I couldn’t run that damn mile in high school either! You go, girl!… Wait, is that even still a cool thing to say? It has been 20 years since high school! LOL Either way, getting to know Jill will make you say something like “You go girl!” too!

Jill of The Year of the Phoenix

Name: Jill, but blog entries are signed Lady Lazarus
Blog: The Year of the Phoenix
From: Cleveland, Ohio

Why did you start blogging? What is the goal/purpose of your blog?
Originally my blog was started as a way to chronicle my thirties, so many of the earlier posts deal with random life topics. What I found, though, was that the posts about my weight loss journey were the ones that really caught the imagination and attention of my readers, so back in May I made the switch to writing just about my journey.

How did you come up with your blog name?
I am a Scorpio, and we are the only Zodiac sign to be represented by three animals: first there is the Scorpion, which is our angry and destructive side, but with a bit of maturity and time we can rise above that to be the graceful Eagle. The most coveted position, however, and the most difficult to reach, is that of the Phoenix. A mythical creature that is born of ash and fire, that’s how I view this journey and transformation.

When not blogging, what do you do?
I’m a librarian by trade and also a published poet. I do volunteer work for the Cleveland International Film Festival.

Are you attending (or have you attended) any blogger conferences?
Not yet!

Have you met up in person with anyone you’ve met through your blog or other social media?
No, but I have a list of people I can’t wait to meet when I finally make it to a conference.

What things have learned from blogging that you would like to share with other bloggers?
For me, picking and keeping a schedule has been key. Some bloggers write every day, some only once or twice a week. Truth is, it doesn’t really matter, just find a routine that you can keep up with and won’t burn you out or leave you at a loss for what to write. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s reading posts that have clearly been phoned in for no other reason than the blogger feeling like they had to post something. Me, I only post M-W-F and I keep a planner that lets me figure out posts sometimes weeks in advance. When in doubt, go for Quality over Quantity.

What is your favorite fitness activity?
My Saturday morning Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga class. It helps me on so many levels, not just the physical aspect.

Have you always been an active person, or is health/fitness something you found later in life?
Definitely a late bloomer on this one.

What’s your favorite fitness gear?
My SPIBelt is crucial for my outdoor runs and I am having a love affair with my new Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor.

When did you start running?
February 2011

How many races, if any, have you run?
I ran in 5 5Ks last year

What was your favorite race?
My third race took place at my old high-school in honor of the new football stadium. When I was a student I would walk the mile every single year so it was incredibly powerful to return over ten years later and complete a 5K there.

Do you struggle with your weight?
I’ve always had a struggle with my weight and size and starting when I was 18 and lasting for the next decade I always wore my age. So it was that at 29 years old I wore a size 28 and weighed 311 pounds. That’s when I joined Weight Watchers for the third time and in the past two years I’ve lost over 130 pounds!

What is your eating philosophy?
Weight Watchers and I’ve been a vegetarian for five years.

Favorite snack: Fruit with some kind of protein: egg, string cheese, peanut butter, etc.
Favorite breakfast: I loooooooooove overnight oats in a jar
Favorite lunch: Usually a sandwich or wrap with carrot fries on the side
Favorite dinner: This time of year, definitely soup. I’ll make big batches and freeze some for down the road.

Favorite sites/blogs you like to get recipes from on the internet?
www.skinnytaste.com & www.happyherbivore.com are two of my favorites. I also find a ton of recipes on Pinterest.

Favorite blogs in general?
www.skinnyemmie.com
www.fitandfreeemily.com
www.mamamarchand.com
www.curvyyoga.com
www.reducedfatgirl.com
www.clevelandsaplum.com

Do you use any smart phone apps that you find helpful?
I’d be lost without my WW app. I also track calories with MyFitnessPal and use MapMyRun as well.

Are you a product or fitness ambassador?
Ambassador for both FitFluential and Sweat Pink (Fit Approach)

Are there any other tips/advice/achievements you would like to share?
I have an Etsy shop where I sell jewelry and figurines made from polymer clay. :) www.etsy.com/shop/tudorrosedesigns

Besides her blog, you can also find Jill here:
Twitter: @Jill_Grun
Facebook: TheYearOfThePhoenix
Instagram: Jill_Grun
Pinterest: JillGrun

I hope you enjoyed getting to know the fantastically inspirational Jill! You can also check out other Featured Fit Friends Friday bloggers here. If you would like to be featured on Fit Friends Friday or know someone who would, contact me!

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