Like many pregnant women, when Jennie Nickel was pregnant, she managed to stack on the baby weight and more — nearly 70 pounds, due to larger portions and more frequent snacking. After her baby was born, the baby weight was showing little signs of leaving. So Jennie, an aesthetician from Huntsville, Alabama, decided to take matters into her own hands and started her extreme weight loss journey to getting back in shape. She’s come a long way. Today, she’s managed to successfully complete three triathlons!
So what caused her to ramp up her fitness regime. For Jennie, it was because she had only lost fifteen pounds nine weeks after delivering her baby. She was so uncomfortable and self-conscious she didn’t want to return to work because she still looked pregnant. She was worried about what people would say and think.
Her lifestyle was to blame for her weight issues. While pregnant, she would do what many pregnant women do — mindless grazing. After her baby was born, and she became committed to losing weight, she started logging what she ate throughout the day. This helped make her more aware of just how much she was eating. Driven to lose weight after having a baby, she turned to fitness DVDs, because getting to the gym consistently with a newborn at home is an almost impossible feat. By working out and making adjustments to her diet, she began incorporating the lifestyle change necessary for extreme weight loss that has gotten her to where she is today.
Consistently working out also gave her a boost of energy — so much so that she dropped 20 pounds quickly in the first nine months. A few months more and she lost another 15 pounds, and then she hit the dreaded wall in her extreme weight loss journey. For almost an entire year, her weight loss plateaued. But she didn’t let that defeat her. She stayed motivated and began running. She started with 5Ks and gradually added swimming and biking to her routine. She completed her first triathlon in May of 2009, and by 2010, she was down from 211 lbs to 143 lbs.
Today, Jennie is a completely different person. She has confidence and feels great about herself. She is ecstatic her waist is smaller than one of her thighs used to be. But what really gets her happy is the journey she endured, and the progress she made over the years. She says setting goals, training for them, and accomplishing them are incredibly fulfilling.
If you’re in a similar situation that Jennie was in before she embarked on her fitness journey, her best advice is to plan ahead. Set realistic goals and don’t be afraid to splurge every once in awhile. Eat right 80% of the time, and have fun the other 20%. Also, when it comes to running, keep it fun. Plan fun routes you’ll enjoy and try running with friends. Having the support of others helps keep you motivated to accomplish your goals.