Sutherland learns to love herself through healthy transformation
- NC Raine | March 22, 2020
When Jenn Sutherland began committing herself to the gym, it was about seeking change to improve her well-being. But the transformation she went through, and continues to go through, certainly goes far beyond just the physical.
“Weight-loss wasn’t the goal. It was about feeling better about myself, being comfortable in my own skin,” said Sutherland. “I started to commit to daily workouts – one hour a day. It came from a place of needing to love myself and treat myself better.”
A year and a half after committing to a better way of life, Sutherland has lost approximately 100 pounds, through, as she calls it, ‘good old-fashioned hard work.’ Originally from the Beardy’s and Okemasis Cree Nation but now living in Saskatoon, Sutherland said she needed to change her life to something sustainable.
Sustainability, for Sutherland, means consistency. She now eats five small, high-protein meals a day, and frequents Ryde YXE Cycle Studio four to seven times a week – sometimes going twice a day.
“It’s such a supportive place, maybe my favourite place to be. It’s my home away from home,” laughs Sutherland.
She also exercises with a trainer, Marie Robertson, twice a week, who she credits providing her with constant encouragement and motivation.
But throughout this process, it’s not about what Sutherland has lost. It’s about what she’s gained.
“About a year ago, I was honestly in a depression. I had a lot of negative talk about myself, how I looked, where my life was going,” she said.
“But exercise has helped me so much. Now I’m more satisfied with the quality of life. I’m happier and healthier, and it’s actually having a big impact on my relationships with people. I’m a better friend and a better family member.”
Robertson, Sutherland’s trainer, has closely observed just how much her client has changed from the first time she walked into one of Robertson’s bootcamps.
“I could tell from the beginning; she was really committed. But since then she’s just blossomed,” said Robertson. “In my experience with training women, yes, they get strong in the gym but that’s not the only place they get strong. They blossom into who they’ve always been. The best version of themselves. That’s what happened with Jenn.”
Robertson, who has shared Sutherland’s success story on social media, said in a short amount of time Sutherland has already become somewhat of a legend at the studio. She’s always working hard, smiling, and encouraging those around her. Even pushing herself and others to do more than Robertson herself prescribes, she said.
“It’s so inspiring for me and for everyone. It makes me want to work harder, and be better at my job. She inspires me to be a better version of who I am,” said Robertson.
Sutherland said she has no intention of slowing down any time soon. And she’s the first to acknowledge that it’s not through beating yourself up, but through loving yourself, that one is able to achieve great things.
“Consistency is key, not perfection. We’re all human, we all have slip ups. It’s important not to be too hard on ourselves because that's what causes setbacks,” said Sutherland. “If you love yourself, it all falls into place.”