Even if you've never been to New Jersey, names such as Snooki, the Situation and JWoww have become part of our cultural lexicon, thanks to TV's "Jersey Shore," embodying how to rock your summer at the beach with lots of partying.
But now that the show has finished filming its final season, 26-year-old JWoww, whose real name is Jenni Farley, is moving on to a cleaner lifestyle to prepare for the next chapter of her life, which includes getting married.
A fan of "Jersey Shore" told me you're big into martial arts. Tell me about that.
I started taekwondo at 5 or 6 years old and did a bunch of kick-boxing later too. Eventually I became a black belt and coached as well. I did some basketball and softball growing up, but most of my activity was martial arts. I entered a few competitions, broke some boards and bricks, and won a few silver medals, but what I remember most as a kid was competing against this one girl who was more advanced and much bigger than me. She really did a number on me, and I hated that, but my girlfriend got her back later that day. That was the only competition I lost. I won all the other fights.
Taking the "gym, tan, laundry" motto into consideration, is the motivation to work out only about looking good, or is there more to it?
It is definitely about looking good but also feeling good about yourself. You get your endorphins up, the blood is flowing and you feel energized. There is a lot of focus on building up muscles, though. Tanning is also part of the summer lifestyle down at the shore, and there are those vitamins you get from the sun.
Tell me how being on "Jersey Shore" and all the partying affected your weight.
It started back when I went to college when I was 17 and gained the freshman 15 or 20. Then I started running a few miles a day and burned some off. For Season 1 of "Jersey Shore," all the partying led to lots of late-night snacking. Because of the alcohol, I'd be eating pizza, Philly cheese steaks and cheese balls. Oh, God, I love cheese balls. There were also days of being too hung over to go to the gym. After the first two seasons, I hit a wall. I couldn't fit into my pants anymore, and I decided to clean up my diet a little and become more health-conscious.
So what types of things did you do to lose weight?
I started doing 30 minutes of cardio each day, usually on a treadmill or a tread-climber, plus doing weight machines and free weights. I'm making better food choices with lots of vegetables and protein, and not doing all that late-night snacking.
Has your fiancé been good for motivation to exercise?
My fiancé is a bodybuilder who has a crazy routine at the gym, so it's hard for us to work out together. Normally I do cardio and I just watch him. I like watching him work out. I would say he has helped influence me. We bounce off each other and make each other go. When he doesn't want to go, I convince him to just do it anyway, and vice versa.