Healthy Living Week: Jen's Story

>> Thursday, August 12, 2010

Jen writes:

In the summer of 2008 I finally got tired of being unhappy and overweight. I was a chubby kid all throughout middle school and high school and entered college at a size 14. I never considered myself "fat," but just a bigger girl. During college, I tried sporadic diets but nothing ever really stuck. Instead of gaining the freshman 15, I gained the freshman 50.

I rarely exercised and ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. By the the time I graduated college, I was the heaviest I've ever been at 220 pounds, which is considered obese for my 5'4" frame. I hated looking at pictures of myself and often felt disgusted looking in the mirror. I knew I had to do something, or I would remain unhappy.

One day, I randomly picked up the book Skinny Bitch to see what it was all about. For some reason, the harsh words the book actually stuck with me, and I wanted to make a big change in my lifestyle. This wasn't a fad -- it was for real. I was going to do something about my weight once and for all.

I started going on daily walks, and incorporating small amounts of exercise every into my daily routine, along with completely changing my diet. I began with eating 1200-1400 calories day, mostly of which consisted of veggie burgers, and special K cereal. This worked for me! I gave up red meat and pork as well. I would eat lean chicken breast and turkey sandwiches, and big fresh salads. I finally found a "diet" I could stick with: Portion control and removing high fat foods from my diet. I started losing weight: about 2 pounds a week.

One day, while going for a walk at my high school track, I had a desire to run. I had flashbacks of coming in last place during "the mile" in gym class, but I ran one lap anyway. I was so proud myself! I kept going back to the track and increasing my running distance and eventually ran one mile without stopping. Running would soon become my exercise of choice, and it helped me lose the rest of my weight.

As of today, I've lost over 80 pounds. I've completed five 5Ks, a 3.5 mile race, a four mile race, and a 15K. I've discovered a passion in life and I feel better than I ever have. I started my own blog, where I've found a community of people who have the same passion as I do. I'm currently training for my first half marathon. Through healthy eating and fitness I've truly found myself and I know I'm capable of anything, and can do anything I set my mind to.

Thanks for reading!

Jen (from Jen is Green)

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