- Name: Jennifer Robinson
- Age: 35
- Height: 5'11"
- Before: 334 lb.
- After: 180 lb.
- Pounds Lost: 154
- Transformation Time: 1.5 years
It took a weigh-in two summers ago to reveal the truth about me: I'd gained 100 pounds since my wedding day in 2003. I was an incredibly busy working mom, and I was tremendously unhappy.
What I did next was the last thing you'd expect from someone who weighed 334 pounds: I cooked up a crazy plan with two coworkers to do a Mud Run — a fitness event where you scramble through obstacle courses in pits of mud. Sounds shocking, right? None of us were in good shape, so we chugged and struggled along. It took us triple the average time to complete the event, but here's the miracle: We finished.
The day after the Mud Run, I called a guy named Shane Frank, who operates a workout facility out of his garage and had trained one of my colleagues before the event. I said, "I want to pay for 10 weeks' worth of your help." The next Monday I was in his garage at 5 A.M., ready to work out.
No matter how much you weigh today, you deserve to give yourself the time it takes to get healthy.
In the beginning it was a victory just to show up. I started out training with Shane twice a week. (I'd go to the gym to do light cardio on two other days.) There were occasions when I had to quit after 10 minutes. I'd sit on the floor of his garage sobbing because I was so out of shape. I kept thinking, I can't believe I've done this to myself. But I used my anger as motivation. Almost two years later, I'm still training with Shane, and I'm amazed at how far I've come. I'm a healthy, happy 180 pounds, and my favorite label: I'm an athlete!
Yes, You Can Reteach Yourself to Eat
1. The first thing I looked at was liquids. I stopped putting sugar in my tea, I gave up diet soda, and I upped my water intake.
2. I got real with myself about portion sizes. I had to weigh my food to stay honest: I learned I should eat 4 ounces of chicken, not 8. And that a hamburger should weigh 3 ounces, not a pound.
Train Your Mind While You Train Your Body
Here's a mental trick I learned: Performing as many repetitions as possible in a specified amount of time can keep you from quitting when you want to give up. A recent circuit I did was 10 push-ups, 10 burpees, and 10 crunches. I set the clock and recorded how many rounds I got through. The next time I do the workout, I can compete with myself.
"I decided 5 A.M. would be my time to work out. I knew that if I picked an hour later in the day, I could find excuses to skip it. People ask me how I got used to getting up. I don't know that I've ever gotten used to it. I set several alarms: the first one at 4:30, then 4:35, and then 4:40. Every day I look at the clock and say, 'I can't,' yet somehow I get out of bed and go."
Eat Like Jennifer: A Typical Day
BREAKFAST: 2 egg "muffins" made with spinach and turkey sausage
"I start my day with filling protein."
MIDMORNING SNACK: 6 unsalted dry-roasted almonds and an apple
LUNCH: 3 ounces of grilled chicken seasoned with crushed rosemary, ½ cup of brown rice, and 1 cup of broccoli
"Spices add flavor, not fat, so I use them liberally."
AFTERNOON SNACK: 1 low-fat cheese stick and 8 pepperoni pieces
"My brain thinks 'pizza' when I have pepperoni and cheese. Not feeling deprived is the key to sticking to a diet."
DINNER: turkey meatloaf with a side of quinoa
"I love taking comfort foods and making them healthier."
EVENING TREAT: low-cal frozen dessert
"My go-to treat is Arctic Zero. It's 35 cals for 1/2 cup and a yummy way to get extra protein."
A Thank-You Letter to...
"…my husband, Andy, who never put me down as the weight crept on. He always said, "I love you no matter what." Instead of focusing on my size, he was always telling me to put value in who I am."
This story originally appeared in the April 2017 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.
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