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 :
I’m not a real committed blogger, but I do keep them. One is about my family and the other is personal. You can find them at www.sixfryes.blogspot.com and www.just-call-me-momma.blogspot.com
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!
Wow, what an amazing story! This gives me so much hope that I can do it too!! Thank you for sharing, Jennifer!!
What a beautiful family and a great inspiration! Jennifer, you’re beautiful! I’m so proud of you and your success! Keep up the GREAT work! WORD!
Inspiring! Thanks for sharing your story and great job!!
I was privileged enough to know Jen & her husband in HS. So proud of you Jen! You look like you have the same body you had when we were enduring those grueling basketball practices (suicide runs & all!)
It’s obvious that you are making time for yourself – good for you!!! You are inspiring me to get back to that again!
You look fantastic! Great job!
Wow that was an inspiring story! Keep it up!
Thank you for lettinh us know that Moms can do it too. My kids are in the same age range as yours (9-3)!and finding time to workout is hard. I appreciate your encouragement!! You look great.
Hey Jen! your cousin, Michelle, told me to check out your story and I am so glad I did! This article was perfect for me and where I am at right now. For the past 2 mos, I have been in that phase of “taking the first step” and I can totally relate with what you are saying about the persistance and not letting one bad day keep you down. I too have been not really trying to loose baby weight for 6 years,but I have a feeling this is my year. I’ve lost about 5 pounds already and feel the momentum. Thanks for your story it was very encouraging.
What an inspiration! I too had a turning point Christmas 2004 when I was putting pictures in the album from the holidays. I did not recognize myself and realized I had not taken any pictures with my kids for a year. Funny how the camera lens gives us a whole new perspective.
Thanks for sharing! It was exactly what I needed today!
The camera lens IS an eye opener. Thanks for the inspiration! God bless you!
Congratulations Jennifer, I feel like you are telling my story. I am still in the processes and have a ways to go but your story is so encouraging. I am waiting for the day it can be my story up here. Hopefully encouraging others!
Your body looks strong and healthy and your face looks JOYFUL!
Thanks for sharing your encouraging story!
Love it! I’m with Nikki- you look great- strong and healthy! I love that you are practical with moderation in food choices. It truly does help in knowing that new eating habits are a way of life rather than a restrictive diet. Thanks for sharing! :o)
Wow! I have been feeling down today but thanks for your sharing because it made me realize I’m doing okay! Thanks so much for shari.g!!!! I neefed to rrad this 🙂
Sorry about misspelled words
Thank you so much for your story, Jennifer. I can totally relate to what you mentioned. You look wonderful and keep it up.
Thank you sooo much for sharing your story. I’m at the point in my life where something has to change. I LOVE to exercise but hate to watch what I eat. Don’t know how to have the right diet especially with foods that I like (I’m picky). Recently find out that I have arthritis in BOTH knees due to excessive weight combined with excessive exercising. I’m refusing to give up tennis but everything else is out until I can get the right diet and shed the weight. Then I’m hoping I can get back into running, etc. Love your advice about logging what you eat and carb counting. Congrats on your success!!!
I loved reading your story. Congrats on your success. I am on my journey now and your story has motivated me to keep the faith. Many blessings to you and your family.
This was so inspirational to me! Thank you both for sharing it. I love the idea that you can start small and make lifestyle changes, rather than a diet – which seems like a temporary thing. Great job and cudos to Jennifer!!!
Just what I needed to hear in my quest to live a healthier active lifestyle. It’s tough at times to get past my own mind.
Congrats Jennifer! What an inspiration you are (I have four children as well 3 boys and a girl) and I am on my weight loss journey. I had a set back with an ankle injury but recently completed training to run my 1st 10K. I agree with you that watching those miles rack up on Nike+ is an awesome feeling! 🙂