Tuesday, July 23, 2013

This is Jennifer's Story part 1: You don't have to be a blogger to have story!

I wanted to do something special to start off blog #100!!! I can't believe I've done that many post so far. So instead of these next few blogs being about me I want y'all to meet some beautiful ladies I have the pleasure of calling FRIENDS. I want to introduce my amazing friend Jennifer. She and I met at the gym about 2 years ago and we've been the best of friends every since! She is the BEST person ever, or as I like to call her 'My voice of reason'. Wait until you see the amazing journey Jen has taken thru her weight loss, you are going to be blown away!


Hi! I’m Jennifer….Let me first of all say that I feel so special to be posting the 100th blog for Cynthia’s blog “MissyDallas”!!! She is an AMAZING person and such an inspiration and one of my best girlfriends!!! Now on to the good stuff right???

She had to talk me into this blog because I am not good at sharing my weight loss journey with others.  Let’s just say I’m a little embarrassed that I allowed myself to gain so much weight. I don’t have kids so that’s definitely not an excuse I can use….I just have always worked a lot and for years I never made time to work out. Fast food was also my friend along with Pepsi and Dr. Pepper.

I have always struggled with my weight. I take after my Dad’s side of the family where all of the women are big. I was chunky in my early teens but smaller during high school.  I was always athletic and was on the drill team/dance team and played basketball and baseball so that helped keep my weight down.  After high school, I went to college and shared an apartment with 3 others girls that I knew. That’s when the weight started piling on. Again it was hard to find time to work out with the course load that I was taking and my part time job took up what was left of my time.  By the time I realized it I had gained probably 30 or 40 pounds (way more than the freshman 15)!!! A few years passed and I moved to Dallas and started at a different college. I actually started losing some weight but it didn’t last long. When I graduated I went to work for a hospital where I began working long days. I still work there and even though I am scheduled a 10 hr shift those can turn into 12 hr shifts sometimes depending on the patient load. Once again my weight headed upwards. By the time I got off work I was exhausted and didn’t even want to think about working out. I even took on a part time weekend job. I knew I was big but didn’t know where to start to fix the problem.

The best thing that ever happened was when my brother told me he was getting married. My soon to be sis-in-law was tiny (I think a size 0) and she asked me to be a bridesmaid.  All of the other 9 bridesmaids were little too. I didn’t want to be the only “big girl” in the wedding party and embarrass my brother so I had 9 months til wedding time to lose weight. I joined a gym because even though I had a treadmill and elliptical at home I never used it except to hang clothes on!!! I’m the type person that if I’m paying money for something I’m more likely to do it so I needed to pay for a gym membership. I also started a “biggest loser contest” at work and we all pitched in $20. After 4 months I had lost 40 pounds. I won the contest by far. I lost the 40 pounds strictly by doing the treadmill and elliptical and weights on my own at the gym. I also started counting calories and tried to eat no more than 1500/day. I eventually reached a plateau and was getting extremely bored with workouts. I had always watched the classes at the gym while doing cardio and thought I would try them.  My first class was turbo kick and OMG I didn’t think I was going to make it through but I did….and I went back the next week. Eventually I was having so much fun I tried other classes such as Zumba, Cardioblaster, Body Pump, Step, and even Spin classes. The weight started pouring off me. By wedding day in 2009 I had lost 60 pounds. I still wasn’t where I wanted to be but I was a smaller bridesmaid and my dress was a size 10. I was so happy with myself. Now it’s been almost 4 years and I am still working hard to maintain my weight. I keep a weight between 160-168 lbs or so and wear size mostly size 6 and some size 8. I am a much healthier person and have so much more energy. 

SO….NO MORE EXCUSES!!! Take it from me….you can do this no matter what your goals are!!!

My Rules….Suggestions….And what works for me (and I’m certainly no expert!!!)
  • Count Calories!!! I typically eat 2000 calories a day if I do some moderate exercise (meaning 1 class at the gym or running for 30 min)…If I do 2 or 3 classes then I up the calorie intake or if I don’t work out I drastically lower it. There are many places that give you calories on a menu or listed on your food container but there are also websites such as calorieking.com that tell you how many calories your favorite fast food meal has.
  • My philosophy is you have to work out enough to make up for what you eat. You can have the Mexican food that you love but you have to earn it and burn it first!!!
  • Treat yourself!!! Go ahead and get that new outfit when you lose that 10 pounds that you’ve been working hard to lose….you’ll probably need it anyway because you’ll need smaller clothes!
  • Workout with friends!!! Working out is hard enough but if you do it with friends it becomes fun and they can help keep you motivated!
  • Use a heart rate monitor/calorie counter watch to see what you are burning with each workout. When you can see what your hard work is giving you in return it is motivating!
  • Do the classes!!! I spent months on a treadmill and elliptical and got seriously burned out to the point where I almost wanted to quit!! I WAS BORED!! When you do classes you have more variety in your workouts so you don’t get bored and in many of the classes you’ll find that you burn way more calories than the treadmill! If you don’t have access to a gym then vary your workout at home with different workout videos. Doing the same routine over and over also causes your weight to plateau.
  • Don’t just do cardio….weight training burns some serious calories too and tones that fat to give you those awesome muscles…..Cause we don’t want to wear chicken wings on our arms right???
  • Don’t get ridiculous with the scale. Weighing yourself everyday is not necessary. I probably weigh myself every other week. It’s really more about how your clothes fit and how you feel than what the scale says.
  • THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE….ALWAYS MAKE TIME TO WORKOUT!!! I don’t have kids but I do have a very time consuming/exhausting job and many days I don’t want to work out when I leave work. TRUST ME…just do it!!! You’ll feel so much better once you get in a good sweat and you’ll get that extra energy that helps you make it through the week.