Weight Loss Success Stories: Jennifer Got Hooked On Group Fitness Classes And Lost 212 Pounds
Name: Jennifer Hodges
Before Weight: 369 pounds
How I Gained It: I was addicted to fast and processed food. And I led a very sedentary lifestyle. Food filled a void for me. A void left by working parents, a lack of friends. I ate because I was bored. I ate because I was lonely. I ate because I could. I just ate. The bigger I got, the more I ate and the worse I would eat. I think a lot of the eating habits stemmed from growing up in the restaurant business, having food available all the time. I would feel good when I was eating, but as soon as I was done, I would feel horrible. So I just didn’t stop.
I would eat a large bagel (or two) loaded with cream cheese for breakfast, a large take-out sub/fast food for lunch, then stop on the way home from school/work and get another fast-food meal and then stop at the gas station for a candy bar. Then go home for dinner, and then just eat for the rest of the night. Once I got home it was like an all-night buffet. I just didn’t stop eating: ice cream, chips, pizza. I always felt that people were judging me and talking about me when I would grocery shop, or be out with my kids and feeding them vegetables while I am munching away on a candy bar.
Breaking Point: When I fell in the backyard and couldn’t get up. My three young children had to run inside the house to get my husband. He had to roll me on a blanket and drag me inside. That was my “a-ha” moment. I knew I needed to change my lifestyle not only for myself, but for my entire family.
How I Lost It: I enrolled in a gym. I started out very slowly. I began at the gym on the recumbent bicycle, but I longed to get into the group fitness room. I could see the room from my bike and I just couldn’t wait to get in there, but I was so worried what other people might think about me. Finally after about three months I decided I didn’t care anymore what other people thought. This journey was for me and my family, not for other people. In January 2009, I took my first Les Mills group fitness class: Body Step. I was very nervous, and I was too big and too out of shape to use the step, so I just did the moves on the floor. I also spoke to my instructor, told her of my goals and my limitations and together we came up with a signal that I could give her so she could show me an easier option. After three months, I started using the step. I was feeling more confident in myself and in my body. I had people in my class noticing that I was losing weight, and I started to make some friends in the group fitness class. I also started adding BODYPUMP to my routine right around this three-month mark. Soon after I was able to do two hours of consecutive exercise; cardio and strength. And I loved it! I loved the person I was becoming.
The athlete in me started to emerge. So I started trying other Les Mills classes, like BODYCOMBAT and RPM. My body started to change shape; I was becoming leaner, fitter, a better person on the outside and the inside. Group fitness has forever changed my life. Now, nearly four years later, I am a BODYPUMP and RPM addict! I also love the core training program CXWORX. CXWORX has made me a more efficient runner and overall athlete. And I have made great friends with my group fitness buddies! We cheer each other on and motivate each other.
I also totally changed my diet and started paying close attention to what I was putting in my body. I gave up all processed and fast food — all of it! Now, I try to be somewhat creative with my meals, but I never learned how to cook when I was younger, so this is all new to me! I have several cookbooks and my husband gives me lessons, too. He is a very good cook and makes wonderfully healthy meals. I’ll have an egg-white omelete with spinach, mushrooms, bell peppers and tomatoes for breakfast with a slice of Ezekial bread. Lunch is generally my largest meal of the day, lean protein like fish, chicken or shrimp on a bed of greens, or a salad with a lot of beans. For dinner, I usually have whole wheat pasta, brown rice, quinoa or couscous with lean protein. And during the day I snack on all sorts of fruit. Apples, bananas and mangoes are my favorite. At night, I occasionally have some air-popped popcorn or a frozen yogurt bar.
My life is completely different. I run marathons, triathlons, and participate in endurance challenges and mud runs. And more importantly, I can play with my kids. We go on family bike rides and run 5Ks together. It’s a great life, and I enjoy every moment of it.
After Weight: 157 pounds
Source: Huffington Post
I also totally changed my diet and started paying close attention to what I was putting in my body. I gave up all processed and fast food — all of it! See my before and after weight loss pictures, and read amazing weight loss success stories from real women and their best weight loss diet plans and programs. Motivation to lose weight with walking and inspiration from before and after weightloss pics and photos.