Fitting in: Former Lawrence residents start popular fitness site

Jennipher Walters and Erin Whitehead, formerly of Lawrence, are the girls behind, a former blog and now full-service website for women of all fitness levels and goals.

Fit for 2011

Tips from Jennipher Walters:

  1. Be realistic and start small. Even if you want to lose 100 pounds or run a marathon, be honest with yourself about what you can really accomplish in a year. If you’ve never run a 5K before, setting a goal to run a marathon is probably too much of a stretch and will only set yourself up for failure because mentally the goal seems unsurmountable. Instead, set smaller weekly and monthly goals that build, eventually resulting in your resolution.
  2. Reward yourself. In order to keep you moving to your goal, it’s essential to celebrate your success and reward yourself when you hit those smaller weekly and monthly goals! Whether it’s a new pair of workout shorts, a massage, some new music or a long hot bath — make it something that you’ll want to work to get and enjoy once you do!
  3. Focus on the benefits. So many of us make New Year’s resolutions that are about things we “don’t” want to do, like smoking or overeating. Instead, flip your resolution to the positive. Focus on being able to breathe more fully when you don’t smoke or on how much more energy you have when you eat just enough to be satiated and not stuffed.
  4. Recommit every day. To stay on track, think about your resolution every day. Whether it’s playing a song that pumps you up, reading a quote that inspires you or even looking at a photo that motivates you, reconnect to your resolution every day and recommit to it.

It started out as a little fitness blog. One of those “wouldn’t it be fun” kind of ideas that two friends come up with for a good time.

But in just two years, that little blog about getting in shape has become a national success complete with virtual weight-loss challenges, seminars and a following so voracious that keeping up with the demand has become a full-time job.

Jennipher Walters and Erin Whitehead are the girls behind, a former blog and now full-service website for women of all fitness levels and goals.

Walters and Whitehead cooked up the idea of the blog while commuting from Lawrence to Kansas City, and now, though they live a thousand miles from each other, work hard each day to improve the health of women in the United States and beyond.

“Little did I know what I was getting myself into,” jokes Whitehead, who now lives in Scotch Plains, N.J. “We bounced ideas off of each other and the whole FBG philosophy just fell into place. We knew we had a point of view that was refreshing and different from other blogs and websites out there, and we really thought we could spread the message that fitness can be a lot of fun and that it doesn’t have to be a chore.”

With a fun attitude — the site’s tagline is “Keeping a lid on the junk in the trunk” — and oodles of help, provided in exercise DVD reviews, articles, recipes and educational tools, the women are doing just that. The site has more than 9,000 friends on Facebook, and Walters is now working full-time to maintain the site. In addition, the site has been hosting popular weight-loss challenges in which winners receive prizes worth more than $1,000, like a year membership to Jazzerise, goodies from vegetarian supplement company Vega, fitness equipment and DVDs.

The success of the site has only proven to Walters what she says she’d always thought — that there’s a place in the fitness world for people who don’t just want to be fit and/or thin — they want to have a good time, too.

“I loved fitness and was working in the industry, but just really felt that a sane and realistic approach to fitness that was approachable and fun was lacking for women,” says Walters, who now lives in Kansas City, Mo. “I wanted women to understand that their worth is not tied to the number on a scale and that being active and feeding your body nutritious foods is really a gateway to having a better life all around. It’s not about sweating it out at the gym or being perfect. It’s about truly living your best life.”

As for the future of Fit Bottomed Girls, Walters and Whitehead are working to grow the brand, creating a companion website,, for moms (like Whitehead), and have fitness challenges set up for January and April of 2011. But really, the sky is the sweaty, sweaty limit.

“We plan to continue doing the virtual weight-loss challenges and focusing on bringing new readers to the site,” Walters says. “Eventually, we’d like to have Fit Bottomed Girls books, workout DVDs, events — and who knows what else!”