I Lost 212 Pounds!

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By: , – Abigail Cuffey, Woman's Day
2/4/2013 12:00 PM   :  87 comments   :  37,360 Views

Jennifer Hodges, 41
Before: 369 lb
Now: 157 lb
 
Start
 
I began gaining weight in sixth grade soon after my parents opened a pizza place. I wasn't active and ate poorly. To deal with being heavy, I was the "funny fat girl" in high school and made jokes about my weight. At 23, I was 250 pounds. People always said, "You have such a pretty face, if you'd just lose weight, you'd be a knockout."
 
Reality Check

In October of 2008, I fell in the yard and twisted my ankle while playing with my three kids (who were all under the age of 4). At 350 pounds, I was too big for my husband to lift, so he had to get a blanket, roll me onto it and drag me inside. I was humiliated and terrified. What if I had been home alone? I knew I had to make big changes. 
 
Exercise Made Easy

A few weeks after my fall, I joined a gym near my house. The location was important because I didn't want to have any excuse to skip a workout. I started slowly, just walking for a few minutes on the treadmill. Gradually I increased the time and distance.
 
Ramp It Up!

My body really transformed once I started taking a gym class called BodyPump, which combines cardio and weights.
 
Food Changes

After a year of exercise—and losing 100 pounds—I tackled my eating habits. (It was too overwhelming to do both at once.) I cut portions down and cooked at home more often.
 
Finish

By 2011, I finally reached my goal weight. The best part? Now I'm setting a positive example for my family. We swim, run and ride bikes together. We are an active family, which I never would have dreamed of three years ago.

Click here to read more about Jennifer from Woman's Day.

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