Our Story + 51 Bridges

We are Mike & Jen Pendleton, the team behind 51 Bridges Nutrition.

We lost a collective 230 pounds after decades of struggling with obesity, high blood pressure, pre-diabetes and disordered eating.  We know the frustration first hand and are ready to guide you in finding your way to health and happiness.

We reside in Parke County, Indiana where it and its seven surrounding counties have the highest concentration of covered bridges in the world – 51 in total. In the mid-1800’s bridges were constructed with covers to protect the wooden structures from the weather.

51 Bridges represents our commitment to helping people build a new bridge to health and wellness.  It represents connectivity, community, shelter from the storm, support and crossing over to a new way of thinking, living, feeling, moving, and eating.


Meet Coach Jen

Jen Pendleton is a Precision Nutrition Level 1 Coach (Pn1) in Sports & Exercise Nutrition and has a bachelor’s degree from Ball State University in Communication and a minor in Counseling Psychology. She is a CrossFit Level 2 Trainer and a USA Weightlifting Level 1 Coach and coaches at Elavus CrossFit in Indiana.

Jen has lost a total 115 pounds and documented the last half of her weight loss via her JenX Journey blog and Instagram feed.

Before that, she lost and gained more pounds than she cares to count. In 2014, she reached an all-time high of 265 pounds. She has battled disordered eating (binge eating disorder) and now seeks to help others after decades of feeling hopeless.

I longed for so many years to find someone who understood to help me. Other people seemed to have a control over food that I didn’t. I really felt something was wrong with me. So I said a prayer to the universe and started this journey. I was going on a quest. I had to figure this out somehow. Not just for me but for everyone else out there stuck like me. I knew I couldn’t be alone. I knew there had to be others struggling like me who longed to connect with someone who understood the struggle.”

“I want to help others build their own journeys. There is a way to renegotiate our storied relationship with food, achieve a healthy weight and find peace in eating again.”

Coach Jen

Jen’s Personal Story

Coach Jen was featured on CrossFit.com and social media feeds as she takes her Level 2 CrossFit Trainer
certificate class and shares her story with the community!

On January 1, 2018 Coach Jen started blogging about her personal story when she set two goals. 1) to hit a 100 pound weight loss milestone and, 2) do a pull up for the first time in her life. Since then she has lost a total of 115 pounds, coaches CrossFit and has now launched 51 Bridges Nutrition.

You might think Jen’s story ends there, but her personal story and blog continue as she continues to “fight the good fight and get right with food” every day. Her blog hilariously describes events like how she went from a love affair with pizza and the couch to her new found CrossFit obsession (after 20-years of loathing exercise).

Her blog is her way of exploring and breaking down and understanding how these monumental shifts happened after so many years of trying everything. The majority of her weight loss attempts over the years only had her weighing more and more, falling deeper into depression with increased anxiety about disordered eating behaviors that seemed to be spiraling out of control.

Today, she now realizes her whole life has been leading to this venture – taking what she’s been through and using it as a force for good to help others.

Her blog today still focuses on her journey and Jen continues to evolve, push herself and now, help others build their own journey.

JenX Journey on Social Media

Speaking Engagements

Jen gives of her time freely to speak at events of all sizes, sharing her journey about what it took to lose 115 pounds after 20-years of struggle. Through heartfelt humor she shares her lessons learned which included working up the courage to try CrossFit, a lot of falling down and the fact that she’s still trying to figure everything out.

From intimate small group discussions to large keynote addresses, Jen’s objective is to inspire people who feel stuck in their lives. “We are never alone in the universal struggle to find ourselves, to rediscover our own voice, speak up for what we want and learn to love the person looking back at us in the mirror,” says Jen. Contact her directly via WhatsApp for topics, schedule and availability. You can also email her directly at jen@51bridges.com.