“I’ve Never Felt This Confident!”
Jennifer Martin used to feel self-conscious and hide indoors. Now that she’s lost 85 pounds, she thrives on outdoor activities and feels better than ever
Before: 211 pounds
After: 126 pounds
For most of her adult life, Jennifer Martin hovered around 200 pounds, and it weighed on more than just the scale. Her difficulty finding clothes that fit made her feel uncomfortable and self-conscious, and the stay-at-home mom fromCollegeville,Pennsylvania, hated that she never had energy to play with her two kids. In 2009, the scale hit a high of 211 pounds, and Jennifer, who is 5’2″, realized she weighed as much as her foot-taller husband. Curbing her sweet tooth and lacing up her running shoes helped the 31-year-old shed 85 pounds and get into the best shape of her life.
In early November 2009, while bingeing on her kids’ leftover Halloween candy, Jennifer was suddenly flooded with guilt. “I saw my out-of-control habits through their eyes and knew I needed to change,” she says. She put down a handful of chocolate and vowed to stop her chaotic eating.
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Logging calories in a food journal and weighing in every week kept Jennifer accountable for what she ate and helped her see when she’d overindulged. “Before, if I wanted it, I ate it. I had no limits,” she says. By April 2010, she was 25 pounds lighter, and she started walking every day to get into shape. She gradually upped her distance and speed until she was running three miles a day. When she hit a plateau of 175 pounds in May, she broke it by adding weight-training DVDs to her routine. “I used to be super self-conscious about my arms, but now they’re toned and my favorite body part!” she says. In August, Jennifer ran her first 5-K, and two months later she hit her goal weight.
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When she was overweight, Jennifer avoided going out, but now she thrives on outdoor activities such as running and hiking. Her new confidence has improved her outlook too. “Exercise makes me feel strong and good about myself,” she says. “My thirties are going to be my best years yet!”
Rearrange your pantry. “I keep healthy snacks at eye level, and I have a bowl of fresh fruit on the table for my family to munch on.” (Search: Find the healthiest snacks for weight loss)
Do your research. “Before going to a restaurant, I look at their menu online so I can order a healthy choice when I get there.”
Mark your progress. “I celebrated every 10 pounds I lost by buying new workout gear or jewelry to remind me of how far I’d come.”
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