104 Pounds Lost: Jennifer Leans on Lean Meat and Portion Control
Name: Jennifer Swafford
Location: Marietta, Georgia
Before weight: 275 lbs.
After weight: 171 lbs.
What was the “turning point” that prompted you to lose weight?
It was really as simple as someone offering to help. I was morbidly obese and my parents knew that something needed to change. They offered to pay for my Weight Watchers membership (money is a big motivator for me!) as long as I lost weight each week. I joined with my dad and we started together. The turning point of when I knew I would be successful this time is when I hit 25 pounds loss. I felt like maybe, just maybe I would do it this time (I had joined Weight Watchers SEVERAL times in the past!).
When did you start trying to lose weight?
I started in January of 2009. We were “January Joiners” as they call them.
How did you get started?
I started by following the Weight Watchers guidelines. I tracked all of my food very diligently. I also made a commitment to myself that no matter what, gain or lose, I would not give up! I didn’t start exercising for the first 75 pounds or so. After I lost my first 75 pounds, my body started to actually crave exercise. That is when I began walking. For the first 75 pounds, I mainly focused on the food I put into my mouth!
What was your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge was NOT giving up. There were so many times when I would gain weight and I would want to throw in the towel. I had to remember that I made the commitment to get to goal and I would not, under any circumstances, quit.
Were there any times when you wanted to quit or give up? How did you stay motivated?
When I wanted to give up, I remembered the promise I made to myself to NOT give up. I made myself get back on track and start over. I also would write down all of the reasons WHY I wanted to lose weight. Seeing that visual reminded me that there were more benefits to losing weight other than just seeing a lower number on the scale.
If you reached a weight loss plateau, how did you break out of the rut?
When I hit a weight loss plateau, I made sure to be VERY careful with my measuring and counting of portions. I found that many plateaus were caused by a lack of detail on my part when measuring or counting. I found that when I was diligent in what I ate and how much I exercised, the scale would begin moving again.
What’s your current exercise routine?
I went from walking occasionally to running half marathons. Now, I have started cross training and I am currently doing Crossfit three times a week. I have found that I love the varied workouts and my body is changing due to that. Currently, I go to Crossfit three times a week and do cardio three to four times a week.
What’s your daily diet look like?
I have gone mostly to clean eating so I start my day with two eggs, peppers and onions, and turkey sausage. For a snack, I will have some almonds or a piece of fruit. Lunch is always a salad with lots of veggies and light turkey. Snack in the afternoon is a hard boiled egg, almond butter and some veggies. Dinner is a lean protein with lots of vegetables.
What’s your favorite healthy snack/meal?
My favorite healthy snack is almond butter and an apple or celery sticks. My favorite healthy meal is bunless turkey burgers with avocado and Jennie-O Extra Lean Turkey Burgers.
Do you have specific suggestions for avoiding temptations?
Avoiding temptations is hard. We are faced with temptation everywhere and in all situations. I would suggest asking yourself, “Is it worth it?” before you indulge in something. Most of the time, the answer is NO! If the answer is yes (like your mom’s famous dessert!), indulge and don’t feel guilty about it afterwards!
What’s your life like after weight loss?
My life is completely different because of my weight loss. I now live an active lifestyle. Before, when I was overweight, I would come home from work and take a nap. Now, I work a full time job, a part time job, blog (It Sux To Be Fat), and workout at a Crossfit gym. I have lots of energy and enjoy staying active. I also have a lot more self confidence. I feel good about myself and I think my personality shows that!
If you have any suggestions to others what would they be?
Never give up. Weight loss is hard. There are going to be bumps in the road. You are going to want to quit. Don’t quit! Take the journey one day at a time and persevere through the tough times. You can do this!
Source: Everyday Health
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