Name: Jennie Marie Delfs
Before Weight: 190
How I Gained It: I had always been raised in a home where family gatherings were closely associated with good food — and lots of it. As a result, almost everyone in my family and extended family is overweight, except for my parents. Nonetheless, I still picked up horrible eating habits at a very young age, and carried those into young adulthood. I didn’t put any thought into how much I was eating or how bad the food was for me.
I’ve always been quite physically active. I’ve played sports my whole life, and I played varsity volleyball since freshman year of high school. Still, it wasn’t enough to balance out my bad eating.
I’m also a victim of emotional eating. I would often use food to cope when I was stressed out. The same happened when I was bored, lonely or sad — I would eat things that were bad for my body, and I would constantly feel miserable about how fat I was. But I didn’t care about myself enough to have the self-control to turn it around earlier.
Breaking Point: Seeing a picture of myself on my senior trip after graduating from high school was a big wake-up call for me. I also starting thinking about marriage, and I was horrified at the thought of how I would look in my wedding photos.
As well, because of my weight, the things I loved to do were becoming more difficult, such as hiking, fishing and scuba diving. I realized that being overweight shouldn’t stop me from living and I was sick of being unhealthy. It was May 25, 2008, when I decided that my life was going to change.
How I Lost It: In the summer of 2008 my fiance went to work inAlaska. My initial motivation was thinking about the look he would have on his face when we saw each other three months later. I worked really hard all summer to fit in regular workouts — I divided my time between the elliptical trainer and lifting weights, which were crucial to my success.
As for my diet, I ate a high-protein, high-fiber, low-carbohydrate diet with no sugar and only moderate amounts of healthy fats. I also allowed myself one very small, portioned “junk food” cheat meal a week to boost my metabolism.
I lost weight amazingly quickly, and I continued to increase the intensity of my workouts. Eventually, I fell in love with exercise, the gym and the new fitness community I was a part of. In August 2010, I walked on the stage of a fitness competition as a 117-pound fitness model, and I won third place!
It was difficult, but the key is never giving up — I kept exercising and made this change into a fun new lifestyle. It is so important to love what you do — you don’t have to join a gym to lose weight or to be in shape, just find an activity that you truly like doing.
After Weight: 120 pounds
Jennie has maintained her weight loss for two years.