Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

March 4, 2010

Jennie Rhees













Jennie Rhees

Age: 28

Married to: Greg

Kids: Ava, 2, Krissy, 4 months

Occupation: Teacher


When most people say they want to get fit to get healthy, it’s usually a load of baloney.

Let’s be honest. Everyone knows they should be more healthy.

But Jennie Rhees isn’t most people.

Jennie and her husband, Greg, had a fairly run-of-the-mill pregnancy with Ava, now 2, so they never expected anything out of the ordinary when Jennie became pregnant with Krissy.

About 37 weeks into the pregnancy, Jennie’s blood pressure shot through the roof and the doctors made the decision to take the baby out early.

“They decided they would rather take her out early and have both of us come out healthy.”

When the Rhees family walked out of the hospital, Jennie’s blood pressure was lowering to a normal level, and they thought the ordeal was over — but over the next few weeks, several trips in and out of the hospital proved they were wrong.

Jennie’s blood pressure once spiked so high, the doctors feared she might have a stroke, she said.

“I was a mess because I had a newborn and a toddler at home,” she said. “I think my husband was more concerned than anything that I was going to have a stroke and have me be a vegetable and have these two girls to have care of.”

Once the doctors stabilized her blood pressure, Jennie was put on lots of medicines and eventually weaned off.

“One thing that really stuck with me was when I went back for one of my checkups, the doctor said a lot of times when you have problems like that during pregnancy, it can be a precursor to future problems,” she said.

Jennie realized exercise and nutrition would have to be a part of her life indefinitely.

“That’s when I decided to kick it in to gear so that I can be around and healthy for my little girls,” she said.

She and Greg plan to run the Old Ben 5K on March 13 and have already pulled out the Wii Fit.

“We motivate each other,” she said. “Once I started getting motivated, he started getting motivated, and that’s how it has always been. We slack together and we work together.”

She said Greg is completely ready to support her, come what may, for the next eight weeks.

“Exercise and eating healthy have been an on-and-off thing for me for my whole life, and I just want it to become solidly part of my life,” she said.