Transformation of the Day: Jenice lost 77 pounds. She didn’t recognize the person staring back at her in the mirror, and she felt like she was on an unhealthy path of destruction. By committing to a new, healthier way of life and connecting to the women in her Zumba class, she has transformed. Check out her story.
What was your motivation? What inspired you to keep going when you wanted to give up?
Initially, my motivation came from looking in the mirror and not recognizing the person who stood there before me. I knew that I could not continue to stay on that unhealthy path of destruction. For myself and my family, I needed to make a change immediately. Over time, when my body started to change, looking in the mirror and loving the person who I saw staring back at me both mentally and physically became my motivation to keep going.
When did you start your journey? How long did your transformation take?
Three years ago, when I relocated to Charlotte, NC, the stressors of life, including all of the changes, added to my weight loss struggles. After being here for a little over a year, I decided to start going to the gym. I looked for a Zumba class because that is what I was familiar with, and I knew it would get me active again. I joined the local gym and started attending different classes until I found the one for me.
I noticed a long line one day for a Zumba class, but I did not go into the class on that particular day. I looked through the window again and decided I wanted to be a part of that high energy class. That one step changed my life. I was the new person in a large class of all new people. Imagine my nervousness! However, my nervousness did not outweigh the unhappiness I saw when I looked in the mirror. It has taken a little over a year to achieve and exceed my weight loss goals. I had pushed my body, but more than that, I was mentally stronger. Over time I trusted my body. I could do the more intense workouts. From October 2018- until today, I have lost a total of 77 lbs. I buckled down and made a lifestyle change, did the hard work, and persevered.
What did your workout routine consist of?
I accepted a 100-day workout challenge. My instructor, Janean of J9ine Fitness, started a small workout group where we did exercise outside of the regular classes daily. This challenge pushed me to get on the scale and see the truth. With this challenge, I saw the most significant change. I was dedicated and serious about my mental and physical health from this point forward. Yes, my workout schedule is intense to some, but it became my place of peace and solace. I worked out every single day of the week for 287 days. Yes, I did not miss one day, even on Sundays. My accountability partner, who is my friend, and I worked out, pushed each other, and achieved our personal goals.
I work out daily. My schedule consists of:
- Mondays – Zumba Fitness with Janean of J9ine Fitness – 1 hour
- Tuesdays – Walk/ elliptical for a minimum of 45 minutes or more
- Wednesdays – Walk/ elliptical/squats- 45 minutes or more
- Thursdays – Zumba Fitness with Janean of J9ine Fitness -1 hour
- Friday – Walk- 45 mins or more
- Saturdays- 1-hour STRONG by Zumba and 1-hour of Zumba Fitness with Janean of J9ine Fitness
- Sunday- 3-5-mile walk
How did you change your eating habits?
My workouts are what propelled me to start eating better. I started looking at food differently. I began to look for food that provided fuel and nutrients for my body and not comfort my body. I started slowly cutting out things that were not healthy for me. One week, I was challenged not to eat chocolate, then I cut fried foods, and then sodas. These foods had to be eliminated for a healthier me. I did not follow any specific meal plans or programs. I chose healthier food options.
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
Starting weight: 233 pounds
Current weight: 156 pounds
What is your height?
I am 5’3”.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
My biggest lesson learned is there are no quick weight loss schemes. You must put in the hard work, and what you put into your body is what fuels you to be your best self. I learned I could not eat potatoes and fried foods and do a workout. My body would not respond. I needed to eat clean to fuel my body. Now my body craves green foods. I only drink water (no drink mixes in the water, just water). I love smoothies, but I also love a good salad with mixed greens. Your mind will transform as your body does.
What advice do you have for women who want to lose weight?
Stay consistent. Don’t stop if you don’t see movement on the scale as fast as you want. Better yet, throw the scale out the window and let your clothes be the judge.
Have a great circle of people who supports you and who don’t give up on you. Those ladies who I once peeked at in the classroom and saw working out became my friends. I became that person in the front row of the class who is going hard and having fun. Take that first step to be the best you and the people who are destined to be on your path will show up for you and encourage you along the journey.
Be patient with yourself. If you fall off the clean eating wagon, get back on it as soon as possible. Don’t beat yourself up if you fall off, just get back on. I will not tell you that the journey will be comfortable or easy because it was not. But I will tell you that it will all be worth it!