I Lost 212 Pounds!*

By , Abigail Cuffey, Woman's Day
Jennifer Hodges, 41
Before: 369 lb
Now: 157 lb
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.

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.

More from Woman's Day:
What is your weight-loss story? What is the secret to your success?

*Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program. 

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


JOANDAVISS 9/30/2020
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What a wonderful journey! Thank you for sharing it with us. Report
Thank you for the inspiration. Report
EMGERBER 11/10/2019
Wow, fantastic, I celebrate your success! Report
KOALA_BEAR 10/28/2019
Nice article. Shows that exercise is important to build muscle. I want to check out Body Pump tho not sure it's right for a senior w/ previous injuries & muscle imbalances, going to physical therapy again now.
I do think that some eating changes should start sooner than a year. And next time a Sparker wants to eat out of boredom, I'll suggest they home cook a meal instead of snacking on junk food. Meal prep is important & one followup article mentioned a 100 cal portion of soup as a morning snack to help aid weight loss. Report
Great article. Thanks for the inspiration!!! Report
Just goes to show you, slow and steady wins the race! Report
Awesome Report
Awesome! Way to go! Report
Way to go. I managed to lose from 284 to 180. Report
Awesome Report
Awesome! Report
Great job, Jennifer! Report
Thanks for the inspiring article! :) Report
I believe this is this lady's website: https://fitfluential.com
where you can find out more info. Report
Very motivating. Report
Wish we could see how she is faring now..............it’s been awhile since this story was new......... Report
Congratulations! Glad you have an active family now. Report
Wonderful! Inspiring! Report
Love this! Thanks for sharing! Report
great job. Mind over matter Report
CONGRATs !!! Great going !! It's been a few years since this was first posted how are things now? Love watching others have success !!! Report
You are a great inspiration. I still need to lose about 65 pounds and your story makes me believe it is possible. Report
That is so inspirational! Great job! You do look beautiful! :D Report
I plan to join a health club tomorrow. Thanks for the insentive!! Report
:) *HUGS* This is fantastic in every sense of the word. :) Report
Outrageously Great job! Report
Congrats on your achievement! You are truly an inspiration. I have been making excuses as to why I can't get started again on my weight loss....it is always next Monday, my knees hurt or too tired.....but after reading your story I know that I can start out slow ( I usually go all in all at once but now that I am getting older not so easy to do). Thanks you so much for sharing :) Report
Story sounds so much like mine just wish I could find that one thing down so I could lose the weight. Report
She is living proof that if you start small, you'll yield big results. All about determination and perseverance! :) this seriously inspires and motivates me. Report
WOW!!! I am inspired by your story!! Awesome job....keep up the great work!!

You are a wonderful encouragement to all of us.
Congrats on your achievement! Report
Congratulations on all your accomplishments!!! You are an inspiration!!! Report
What an encouraging testimony! I am near the beginning stage and have started going to the gym and have only done small food changes and your story makes me know that I am doing what is right for me. Report
Thanks for sharing! Your story is SUPER inspiring! :-) Report
What a wonderful example you have set for your family and all others! Thank you for the inspiration! Report
Congrats! Report
Congratulations! You're an inspiration! Report
Wow this is fantastic. I sure hope that I can have the success that you have had. Report
woooo.. soo inspiring .. i dont even loose 1 kg :( shame on me :( Report
good job, very inspiring Report
Such an inspiration. :) Congrats Report
Thank you for sharing your story and congratulations on your success.

Congratulations!!! You look AMAZING!!!
Thank you.. I can do it too.. I'm just at the begining Report
Well done! Report
awesome Report