Enfield Trainer Earns a Unique Award

Thursday, May 15, 2014
Lebanon — Fitness trainer Jamie Crowe has transformed herself from overweight and unmotivated into a nationally recognized “hottie.”

Crowe, 35, was recently named one of Shape Magazine’s “Top 50 Hottest Female Trainers in America,” an annual list featuring what the magazine calls “the finest exemplars of fitness.”

Crowe, of Enfield, was one of more than 2,500 finalists for the list after being nominated by her business partner and boyfriend, Ben Dearman. The couple co-own KDR Fitness in Lebanon.

While Crowe doesn’t view herself as a “hottie,” she agreed to pursue the honor as a way to help convey her personal renaissance story. While pregnant with her only child, Logan, 10 years ago, Crowe gained 80 pounds — more than 50 percent of her previous body weight. She struggled to take it off after Logan was born and became depressed, she said.

“Even awhile after Logan was born, I was still 60 pounds heavier,” Crowe said. “I would step on the scale and it was depressing. There was no reason I should have gained that much weight. I did it to myself. I was lazy and unmotivated.”

An office assistant at the time at Lebanon’s River Valley Club, Crowe said her self-image was made even worse by the daily exposure to motivated clients.

“I was surrounded by healthy people, but my job was still (sedentary) at a desk,” she said. “I was basically looking at these self-empowered people without doing anything about it myself.”

When Logan became a toddler, Crowe began studying diet and nutrition to help her provide him with healthy food. She realized that her dietary and exercise habits would start to have an influence on her son.

“When he was a baby, he’d had a couple ear infections, and I started looking into ways that (diet) can affect a child’s health,” Crowe said. “After I decided to start feeding him healthier food, I realized that I’m a role model for him. So I changed my own diet and starting taking fitness classes (at River Valley Club).”

Now a certified kettlebell instructor and fitness coach, Crowe has fully reshaped her physique. More importantly, she has increased her strength tenfold. At a recent deadlifting competition in Winooski, Vt., Crowe lifted 242 pounds — more than twice her body weight.

“The best thing about the transformation is just being able to do so many things that I couldn’t do before,” she said. “That’s my message, especially to the women that come here. That with the right tools and education, you can get healthier.”

Crowe’s philosophy is to place less emphasis on weight loss overall and more on strength building.

“The number on the scale doesn’t mean much,” she said. “It’s just a number. It’s really how you feel that’s going to make you happy. And I believe you feel better when you’re stronger.”

Crowe also believes that poor self image among women is a national concern. She was happy to see the photo that Shape chose to use to accompany her “Hottest Female Trainers” profile shows her preparing to deadlift a heavy set of weights, rather than posing model-style.

“Sometimes in fitness magazines, it’s more about the fashion than the fitness, where all the women are in fancy shoes and makeup,” said Crowe, who was recently featured on WMUR-TV’s New Hampshire Chronicle. “If you look at the photos Shape chose for this, a lot of them aren’t like that, which I think is definitely a good thing.”

Dearman, who’s been with Crowe for seven years, adhere’s to the relatively recent industry mantra, “strong is the new thin.”

“Just because you have low body fat doesn’t mean you’re in shape,” Dearman said. “Being healthy isn’t about being rail thin. It’s really about eating healthy and building strength.”

Crowe says she reaches out to clients who are experiencing a similar situation to the one she endured.

“I can relate to the people who are single moms who work a lot and are out of shape,” she said. “I’m open about my story with them, and I think they appreciate that.”

Under “fitness philosophy” in Crowe’s profile for Shape, she wrote: “Balance is very important to me and to my clients. I love making women feel good inside and out.”

By “balance,” Crowe meant more than remaining steady on single-leg stretches and exercises.

“It’s about life, family, exercise, nutrition and mental health,” she said. “Strength training is important, but so are things like meditation and yoga.

“Stress management is very important for a healthy lifestyle.”

Jared Pendak can be reached at jpendak@vnews.com or 603-727-3306.