There’s no better way to start off the “Living and Active” challenge, than to hear a new “Shed & Share” story! These are real-life women with real-life obstacles, finding real-life solutions for their real-life weight struggles! (Take some time and view the 13 Shed stories I have on the blog already!) I have had so many of you email me (or tell me in person!) that your goal is to be one of my Shed & Share stories. I LOVE THIS and as soon as you hit that goal, I want your first email to be me!! I am your biggest cheerleader!
Let’s get to Jennifer’s story. It’s awesome!
Profession: Physical Education Teacher
How long have you been on this weight loss journey?
8 months, although I’ve been “trying” for the last 9 years to lose the baby weight!!!
Weight Loss/Inches Lost: 45 pounds
Other medical stats:
Before becoming healthier in the way that I live, I had frequent heartburn and high blood pressure (self diagnosed.) I ignored the symptoms, and didn’t realize how bad they had been until I decided to get healthy and the symptoms slowly went away. I was probably closer to being on blood pressure medicine than I cared to admit.
Blog/Facebook Page :
What was your “low point”?
We bought our oldest two boys iPods for Christmas. My low point came on Christmas Day, when I looked through the camera roll of their brand new gadgets and saw that they had been taking pictures when I didn’t know it. They were appalling. I didn’t recognize myself.
(One of the pictures taken by her son)
How did you get started?
I started by cutting back on carbs. My mom lost a lot of weight prior to my wedding. I talked to her about how she did it, and she said she had cut out sweets and white breads. She also said she just decided to not give up. So, I made the choice to finally stick with something. After about two weeks of counting carbs, I knew I needed more. I slowly introduced workout videos, and before I knew it, I was working out 5-6 days a week and in love with the emotional health benefits as well as the weight loss and other physical benefits I had.
(Jennifer’s 32nd birthday: the day she started her weight loss journey, weighing 199.5 pounds)
What is your workout routine and eating plan?
To be honest, my routine changes A LOT! I think that is the main reason why I don’t burn out on it. I currently am working my way through the 30 day shred, and I have been doing it 3-4 days a week. I run at least 3 days a week, but running is my favorite and so I tend to do it more like 5 days a week. My stationary bike is my back up cardio and I usually ride it once or twice a week. I don’t follow a strict eating plan. My diet is about balance and portion control. I don’t tell myself that there is any food that is “off limits” and that prevents me from feeling like I’ve given up if I have a splurge day once a week or so.
Jennifer’s after and before!!
What are your top 3 favorite resources that helped you along the way?
In the beginning I used an app on my iPhone called Calorie Counter by fatsecret. I would input what I ate and it counted my carbs and calories for me. I LOVED it! Then, when I took up running, I bought an app called Nike+. It has a GPS and it tracks how far I’ve run and my pace, etc. I love this app too, and each time I see my miles roll up I feel great pride in my accomplishments! But, my favorite resource has been my Facebook friends and the blogs that I follow, especially Peak313! Through the advice and tips from Clare, the encouraging stories in her Shed and Share and the support of all of my friends who have kind of watched my changes happen, I have found motivation to keep going! I’m so thankful for supportive people in my life, some of whom I’ve never even met face to face!
What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is sitting on the sidelines and waiting?
Take the first step! Momentum will build if you will just get yourself started. Then…don’t give up on yourself. Measure success in how far you have come instead of how far you have left to go.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is in the process but is feeling discouraged?
Remember why you started. Plateaus will happen both physically and emotionally. Don’t allow the stall to keep you from continuing. Never look back to a lifestyle that left you unhealthy.
If you are a parent, how have you balanced everything?
My husband!!! Most of the time, I work out when he is home to help. He is always willing to give me time, and he’s always so supportive. Most of the time, my workouts happen late in the evening, after my daily obligations have been met. It isn’t an ideal time to work out, but in this phase of life (four children ages 9, 7, 4, &3) it is what is necessary if I am going to model for them a healthy lifestyle.
Jennifer and her beautiful family, her “motivation to get fit and stay healthy”!
Anything else you would like to share?
If you want to be healthy, YOU can! I made excuses for myself for a long time… I like food too much, I don’t have time, I’m not built to be thin, I’m a stress eater… It finally clicked to me that I CAN! I am in control of how I deal with those weaknesses. And if you can pinpoint your weaknesses then you can also conquer them. I believe in you!
The kids you teach and your very own children are so lucky to have you, Jennifer! What a great role model for us all! Thank you for sharing!
If you have a SHED story that you would like to SHARE, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to get you up here!