We recently caught up with Erin Whitehead and Jennipher Walters, co-authors of A Girlâs Guide to Fitting in Fitness. These fitness experts have already inspired us to be more active and eat healthier, and we couldn’t wait to hear what they had to say about dangerous diets, group workouts, and fitting fitness into a busy schedule!
Zest Books: Hi ladies! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me. So, tell me about yourselves. How did you both get involved in fitness and writing?
Jennipher Walters: Iâve been writing for just about as long as I can remember. I always loved putting words on paper and really got interested in writing when I joined the yearbook staff in high school. In college, while studying journalism, I also got really into fitness and started teaching group exercise classes. I loved that so much that I got certified as a personal trainer, went to graduate school in health journalism, and then married my two loves intoâwriting about fitness!
Erin Whitehead: Similarly to Jennipher, I also got started writing when I took a newspaper class in high school, and then ended up majoring in journalism in college. My early writing career was spent writing for construction equipment magazines, so when Jenn got the idea to start a fitness blog, it seemed like it would be a really fun little project. I’ve always been fairly active, so writing about my workout adventures seemed like it would be a lot more fun than writing about cranes! Little did I know how much our project would grow.
Zest Books: You two live in different states, right? How did you meet and how does your collaboration work?
Jennipher Walters and Erin Whitehead
Jennipher Walters: We do! I live in Kansas City, Missouri, and Erin lives in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. Erin and I met when we were both working for a magazine publishing company in the Kansas City area. We quickly noticed the big similarities in our lives: We were both living in Lawrence, Kansas, while our boyfriends were attending graduate school, and we were both enduring a lengthy and boring 50-minute commute. We soon became carpooling buddies, and then realized that not only were we making the commute more fun and saving the planet one tank of gas at time, we were also forming a friendship. While we’d usually talk about reality TV and work, we’d also discuss workouts. I’m more of the “health nut” than Erin is, so I’d convince Erin to walk with me over lunch or try Zumba. Funny enough, it wasnât until Erin moved states away that we came up with the idea of starting our fitness blog, Fit Bottomed Girls. From there we found out that we just worked super well together. Sometimes it’s like we share a brain! So for us, writing together as a team is easy.
Zest Books: Why was it important to you to write A Girlâs Guide to Fitting in Fitness?
Erin Whitehead: The teen years can be hard, and thereâs a lot of pressure to fit in. Embracing healthy habits can give girls confidence and set them up for a lifetime of fun fitness! We hope this book gives girls a strong foundation for making healthy decisions and getting away from the notion that being a certain size or weight is what makes you beautiful. We want them to know that strong is beautiful.
Jennipher Walters: Being healthy is a key part of living your best life. Womenâand especially teen girlsâget so many media messages saying that you have to diet or look a certain way to be found attractive, be loved or even be happy. But that’s just not true. Being healthy isn’t about fitting into a certain size or society’s unrealistic beauty stereotypes. It’s about making a healthy lifestyle really fun andÂ livable. Erin and I both did silly, unhealthy stuff in our younger years because we just didn’t know better. We’ve pretty much written the guide that we wish we had had in our teen years!
Zest Books: How can teen girls fit fitness into their everyday lives?
Jennipher Walters: My number one tip though is to try a bunch of stuff, figure out what you find fun, and then do that most days of the week. Or, grab some of your girlfriend and try to turn a few of your hangouts a week into something active, like doing a workout DVD, checking out a group exercise class, going for a walk/run, dancing to your favorite music, or even doing some lunges and push-ups during commercials breaks of your favorite TV show.
Erin Whitehead: There are so many ways to fit in fitness! Whether it’s participating in sports, taking PE class each year of high school, having a part-time job that keeps you moving, or simply getting friends together for a walk, the possibilities really are endless. We share tons of ideas on little ways to get more activity out of your everyday routines in the book.
Zest Books: Whatâs the biggest mistake a girl can make when it comes to her health?
Jennipher Walters: Crash dieting. It doesn’t work and can be harmful on your body, your metabolism, and your psyche. Be active, eatÂ nutritiousÂ whole foods, listen to your hunger, and always put your health, not your size, first.
Erin Whitehead: Going to extremes is a huge mistake, whether it’s crash dieting, over exercising, or something else. Thereâs a really happy medium that can be found with good nutritious foods and the right amount of exercise that makes you feel great.
Zest Books: Whatâs the most important lesson for teen girls to take away from A Girlâs Guide to Fitting in Fitness?
Erin Whitehead and Jennipher Walters: You can fit fitness into your life, and getting fit can be totally fun!
Zest Books: What do you do for fun when you aren’t writing or working out?
Jennipher Walters: When not writing or working out (I really do love to walk, run, lift weights, do yoga, etc.), I love listening to music, hanging out with friends and reading. I’m also a bit of a healthy foodieâI’m always coming up with new fun ways to eat kale!
Erin Whitehead: I’ve got two young kids who keep me super busy! I’m currently obsessed with Downton Abbey, so in any free time I have I’m trying to catch up on the show!
Zest Books: What’s next for you after A Girlâs Guide to Fitting in Fitness? Any plans to write more? Develop more online resources?
Jennipher Walters: We are always writing tons on our three sites:Â FitBottomedGirls, FitBottomedMamas, and FitBottomedEats. And, we’re happy to announce that we are writing a Fit Bottomed Girls book for women on how to create a healthy life they love! Look for it in stores January 2014.
Zest Books: Can’t wait! Thank you ladies so much for talking with us!
Spring is the perfect time to start getting active and eating right, so grab your copy of A Girlâs Guide to Fitting in Fitness today!