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This belly has always been a love💜 hate😡 relationship. I tried many things[don’t judge me for my mix-match socks] but the 1 thing I can be honest about is I have started and stopped working on it so many times. Some weeks I go hard other weeks I HATE working out….some days i can do 200 leg raise other days I just sit on the couch and eat kettle popcorn [my coworkers know I luv popcorn] here is the 1 thing that you should know.. inconsistency is apart of the journey…. just don’t stay there…⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Start your journey today…even if you start and stop it is still your journey towards change… ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #facetofacefriday ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #prettyceo #bossbabes #blackfitnessnow #tranformationtuesday #losangelestrainer #weightlosscoach #culvercitystairs #vsg #sleeves #selfie #selflove #feelthefearanddoitanyway #Happy #weightlossjourney #fitfam #strong #blackwomendoworkout #weightloss #obesetobeast #selfesteem #love #girlswholift #runnerlife #gymlife #dietbet #biggestloser #saturdaythings #wlscommunity #gojenbefit
Transformation of the Day: Jen lost 95 pounds. A holiday photo served as her weight gain wake up call. It also led to a doctor’s visit where she learned that she had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. An at-work group exercise program and a dedicated co-worker helped her to begin a transformation that led her to develop a passion for fitness and helping others. Check out her story.
I’m Jen. I loss 95 pounds and I’m still going. I went from 242 pounds to 147 pounds (height: 5’4″). I took it one day at a time. By learning to eat better and get active, I was able to make a lifestyle change. I took my new found passion of being active to another level. I went from obese to AFAA/NASM certified group fitness instructor. I created gojenbefit.com to document my journey and help others on their journey. That is where I post free weight loss downloads and resources for anyone to use for their weight loss journey.
What was your big WHY?
I was tired of feeling bad about where I was and how I looked. I never thought about how much I weighed until I saw a Christmas picture of me and some friends. That was when I noticed that I had changed. I was no longer the size 8 I remembered from high school, but I thought I was still that size in my mind. It really hit me when I went looking for a size 18 work pants. I still have those pants as a reminder of where I started.
I went to the doctor for a regular checkup and she told me I was obese, had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The doctor asked me if I wanted a weight loss consultation. I agreed, sat and listened to her tell me to eat well and exercise. It was the usual talk that doctors are supposed to give to patients. Little did she know, I was not listening to her. It went in one ear and right out the other. Actually, after her so-called consultation, I gained 20 more pounds. I guess her pep talk didn’t work and I wasn’t ready to receive what she was saying anyway.
Then, I went to a party and someone felt the need to point out how much weight I had gained. Her comment bothered me because I already felt different and bigger. I just tried to hide it behind the new hairstyles, shoes, nails and clothing. At that moment, I decided to change. I wrote in the notepad in my phone that night (in December, around midnight), “It stops here”. It seems like such small quote, but I knew what that meant to me. From that moment on I decided to take control of my weight and I haven’t looked back since. I got tired of being sick and tired.
What inspired you to keep going when you wanted to give up?
My previous co-workers inspired me. However, one co-worker in particular is a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. She shared with me that a medical diagnosis was the reason why she is passionate about health and fitness.
I was brand new to the section and she made her way to my office to tell me that we workout as a “team” 3 days out the week. I paid her no mind, because like previous places I worked I thought we would start but it would eventually fade out. But it didn’t. Every Tues, Weds and Thurs she would send out emails about meeting her in a conference room to workout. She would also send emails about a weight loss challenge or some juice cleanse she would want us to do. Little did she know that I needed that extra push more than ever. Sometimes, I hated when I saw her emails because there were days I didn’t want to work out and eat well, but she kept me on track and I thank her every day for it.
How did you change your eating habits?
I slowed down on sugar and sodium. I started counting calories. Now, I’m the calorie counting queen. I tried eating specific portions and using containers, but staying under my calorie intake it what seems to work the best for me. In the beginning, I logged my food one day and I was eating about 2800 calories for the day. I slowly decreased my calories, starting with 2,000, then 1700, then 1500, then 1200. Today, I am comfortable at 1350 calories per day.
I didn’t give up anything, but I slowed down on creamer and sugar in my coffee. I slowed down on soda, trading it in for the zero calorie waters, every once in a while. I slowed down on fast food and the benefit was a 2 for 1, because it helped me lose weight and save money (eating out is expensive). I did become more open to fruits and vegetables that I didn’t use before. I love Dragonfruit and if it wasn’t for weight loss I wouldn’t even look at it. Spinach is my go-to green, I know people like kale, but I’ll take spinach over kale any day.
I learned to create meal plans for myself. I believe in the 80/20 concept for weight loss; 80% clean 20% dirty. If I eat 1350 calories. 1150 is clean and 200 is of whatever I want (usually two cookies or fruit snack dummies). Then, I go on a 30 min run and burn 350 calories. Wa-la you can still have goodies and lose weight, but you must learn portion and self-control.
What did your workout routines look like?
Group fitness was 3 times a week. Les Mills Body Combat, Turbo Kick, Circuit and Interval training. Group fitness is dear to my heart because it wasn’t for group fitness I never would have gotten into working out. All the other stuff can go, but I can’t give up group fitness. Hence why I sought to become a group fitness instructor. I want to encourage others to get fit just the way “my co-worker” supported and encouraged me. I also do cardio 2 times a week on the elliptical and stair master. I’m weight training once a week, doing lateral pull downs and row machine.
I worked out 5 days a week on my journey. Some days I would work out twice a day but I stopped doing that because I figured it was starting to become unattainable.
How long did your transformation take?
My transformation took 11 months. I’m hoping to make it to my original weight loss goal of a 137 pounds. Weight loss surgery was not a part of my journey. I lost it naturally, but whether natural or surgery we all still have to learn what works for us best.
I encourage anyone out there who needs to make a change to start where you are and with what you have. Just start now and go as slow as you need too. Get support online or in person. “There’s no competition. Only you versus you, boo.”