Transformation of the Day: Jennifer lost 78 pounds. She is an Air Force Veteran, Author, Wife, and mother of five children. In 2019 and 2020, she experienced several injuries, including broken ankles after a bad fall. As she recovered, she decided it was time to get in shape. Leaning on her faith, intermittent fasting, journaling, walking, and kettlebell training worked for her.
I am an Air Force Veteran, Author, Wife, and mother of 5 children. I weighed well over 320 pounds, and now I weigh 242 pounds. I am 5’2″. My transformation took about eight months.
Morbid obesity runs on both sides of my family. Growing up, I saw the effects it had on my family. Nonetheless, I continued to eat fast food and sugar without any regard for my future. Living for the now and 35 years of bad eating habits caught up with me.
In April 2019, I fell down the stairs in my home while carrying my two-year-old daughter. Thankfully she was ok, but I sustained broken bones in my ankles. At that point, I tipped the scales at over 320 pounds. After months of healing and lots of physical therapy, I was back on my feet and ready to get back in shape. Then, on April 9, 2020, I sprained my right knee and was down again. On April 22, I went to a doctor’s appt for my knee, and he was very blunt, saying I was extremely heavy and had arthritic knees.
I was embarrassed and ashamed that I got to that point. I immediately went home and started to journal. I specifically wrote that obesity is dead to me. At that moment, I decided that because of God’s love for me, I was going to fight for my life. I wanted to prosper. I was allowing feelings of low self-esteem to drive me to food and sugar to cope. After years of yoyo dieting and vicious cycles of losing and gaining, I was fed up. I wanted my life back!
Exercise: As I laid down, healing from my knee sprain and my stiff ankle, I started using a kettlebell. (Just lifting it in the air and trying to get some form of exercise.) Eventually, I started walking again, and I would walk to my front door.
I noticed I was getting stronger and could walk around the block. Eventually, I was walking for miles, riding bikes, and doing kettlebell training. I started to feel stronger and more flexible.
I worked out about five days a week. I started walking 2 miles a day, and I did kettlebell training every day for 15 min to 25 min. Overtime, I increased the miles I walked and the weight of the kettlebell.
Eating Habits: For spiritual reasons, at the beginning of my journey, I fasted for 23/24 hours. I drank only lemon water and green tea. At 6 pm, I ate my first meal. Then, nothing again until 6 pm the next day. I did that for about six months. Now I’ve switched to fasting from 8 pm to 12 pm (first meal around 12/1 pm and eat again after 6 pm and stop eating after 8 pm)
Gradually, I changed my eating habits. I would make substitutions. Instead of sweets (I was heavily addicted), I ate watermelon to satisfy my sweet tooth. Once I mastered that, I stopped eating fried chicken. Because of the fasting, I started craving healthier options. I monitored my carb intake. My one meal included lots of big salads, fish, chicken, eggs, peanut butter, pistachios, and cheese. I used about a tablespoon of salad dressing, lemon juice, or fish sauce to flavor my salads. I also used fresh herbs and spices. I do not count calories. I eat until I am satisfied.
I started meditating more on God’s love and made small steps. I knew I had over 100 pounds to lose, and it seemed so daunting. I took it one meal at a time and one day at a time. God calls me a conqueror, so I went into the journey knowing health belongs to me.
I changed my mind. In the past, I was so scared of failing. I imposed self-discipline on myself. I stayed consistent with fasting, walking, kettlebell training, and eating good 80% and allowed myself a cheat meal from time to time.
To date, I am 2 pounds away from losing 80 pounds. This is a lifelong journey. Every day I have to wake up and be accountable for the decisions I make. I take the mindset of “Me vs. Me”, and I don’t compare myself to others. I compete against my old pictures as motivation.
I realized how all those years of bad eating habits and low self-worth got me to where I was. I had to turn it around and stop making excuses. I understand now that motivation will get me started, but it’s my daily habits that will keep me going. I have five children, and I want to be there for them. It’s a matter of life and death, and I chose life!!!
I want to share this advice with women who want to lose weight: It first starts in your mind. Countless times I tried so hard to lose weight, but I went into it with a defeated mindset. This time, I was just angry and fed up with my life that I was desperate for a change. I meditated on God’s word, that he wants me healthy, and ran with it.
You must keep your vision before you at all times because it will cause you to stay disciplined. It will get tough. There will be temptation but don’t give up on yourself. I realized no one was going to do this for me. I had to stop making excuses and go for what I wanted: To be healthy and leave a legacy for my children. If you can change your mind, the weight will follow. Once I conquered my mind, my life changed. The weight started to fall off.