Many people set out to lose weight and adopt healthier lifestyles every year. Some never see their goals achieved, while others like Jennifer Downard, manage to tackle their goals, and then some with incredible feats of extreme weight loss! Meet this inspiring mom who, with the support of her family and determination, kicked her unhealthy lifestyle to the curb losing an astonishing and impressive 175 pounds! Here’s how she did it.
Before Jennifer began her extreme weight loss journey, she took a good hard look at her lifestyle choices. All through her childhood and young adult life, proper nutrition never entered the picture. She would spend some days as a child eating an entire box of pop tarts. As she continued to grow up and mature, her weight climbed higher. Because she was also a funny person, she never felt the need to lose weight because her humor gave her enough confidence to not let the weight get in the way. As she entered college, her unhealthy habits continued, and her weight escalated.
So when did the change occur? What motivated Jennifer to lose the weight and get healthier? It wasn’t until she met her husband and wanted to adopt a newborn that she faced her problem. She would watch other parents at the park and noticed two different types of parents: those interacting and playing with their children, and others sitting on the sidelines. She decided then and there that she wanted to be an active part of her child’s life. To do so, she needed to embrace a healthier lifestyle and lose weight.
She started small trying not to look at her new eating habits as a diet, but as a lifestyle change. She gradually began incorporating more water in her day, even if she had to use flavor packets to make it more appealing. Eventually, she went without the flavor packets. She found drinking water before a meal, she felt full faster. She also cut out processed and fast foods, and instead opted for more fruits and something she never ate much of before — vegetables. She embraced this new way of eating and found, if cooked the right way, vegetables like brussel sprouts were actually pretty good!
In addition to the healthier eating habits, she began incorporating exercise into her routine. Again, starting small. Ten minutes every couple days dancing to a Zumba video in her home was her beginning point. Gradually adding more minutes to the workouts. She also tried walking, which turned into jogging. To help her stay on track, she joined DietBet.com, a website where you place bets on your weight loss goals. Jennifer’s first bet was $25 that she would lose four percent of her body weight. She ended up achieving that goal and won back that $25, and then some. Today, she works Zumba for more than an hour at a time, she loves to run, and she’s won a pretty substantial chunk of change from DietBet.com — $1,500!
But even with the new healthy eating habits, Jennifer attributes much of her success to calorie counting. Counting calories helps her stay on track, and it’s how she decides if she’s allowed to indulge a bit at the end of the day with a frozen greek yogurt or another sweet snack. For her, counting calories helped keep her accountable, so much so she plans on counting calories for the rest of her life, and that’s not a bad thing — especially when the reward has been so great!
Now that she’s managed to lose over 175 pounds, Jennifer enjoys shopping in department stores. She also feels more comfortable and confident going out in public with her husband, who has always been on the more slender side. The extra energy she gets from working out and just being genuinely healthier is an amazing benefit to her and makes it easier to keep up with her child.
For anyone looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle and drop some weight, Jennifer advises you don’t look at it as a diet. Long-term, meaningful weight loss comes with changes to your lifestyle. She also recommends drinking a lot of water and counting calories. Those are the things that helped Jennifer stay on track. Give them a try! With the right mindset and motivation, you can achieve anything!