Kris Jensen finds balance in training and nutrition

There are a total of twelve siblings in Chad Powell’s family — eight of them are actively involved with Ascent Life Fitness. Two of the sisters are trainers while some workout online using Fitlife Stream and others attend classes locally. Start counting spouses and children, and the branches of the Powell family tree spread even further.  

“I think about my family’s support often, and it means a lot to me,” said Chad, co-owner of Ascent. 

One of those many supportive siblings is his sister, Kris Jensen. She is the second oldest in the Powell clan and trains at the State Street location. Kris has been married to Tom for 25 years, and they have three children; Celia, 20, Bella, 18, and Jens, 14.

Before beginning her journey with Ascent in May 2014, Kris ran in half-marathons and marathons and also worked out with a friend at another gym. But once her workout partner got married and wasn’t exercising as frequently, Kris decided it was time for a change. It was her sister and trainer, Wendy, that convinced her to try out a class.

“I remember feeling so nauseous and sore after the first few classes. But then, after that, I was in the groove,” Kris said. “I love the social side of going to a class with other people. FitMania (now Ascent) is like a family. I love to chat with everyone before and after class. I’ve met so many amazing people, and we can share experiences and thoughts and support each other.

That summer, Kris participated in a Summer Blast mini-challenge. Chad encouraged Kris to participate in a 90-day Challenge in the fall. 

“I thought, ‘okay, not a big deal. That will be easy! I just did one over the summer,’” she said. “Then, I learned all about food and setting goals, it was much more in depth. I realized what I had gotten myself into. Now I have to meal plan and balance macros.” 

Kris said she committed to her plan. In addition to working out, she went to the FitMania food classes and made meals out of the FitMania cookbook. She also ate six meals a day and prepared snacks in advance, such as hard-boiled eggs and fresh vegetables. 

“Everything clicked for me,” she said. “I was working out and eating the right things. I saw really impressive results. I didn’t realize I could look like this. I was in my early 40s, and I looked better than I had ever looked in my life! I looked strong, lean and felt confident in my progress and the results.

After several years since her first challenge, Kris said the key to accomplishing nutritional success is taking baby steps. 

“That’s what is going to bring lasting change. It’s focusing on those small changes over time. Now I look back over the last six years and see that I’ve improved big time. I’ve had ups and downs, I’ve backtracked. Then, I rise above and make more progress. I think that’s pretty common for most people.”