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.

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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. 

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Very inspiring story. Congrats, Jennifer!!! Report
Wow! Great job of will power and determination inspired by that bundle of joy you're holding I'm sure. Report
Way to go!! Congrats on your sucess!! Report
You are so beautiful! What an amazing transformation. I"m proud of you and happy for your new found healthier life with your family together. : )

¸.•´¸.•*• ƸӜƷ
(¸.•´ Love and God's Blessings
♥-:¦:ƸӜƷ ♥ Kathy ♥ Report
Way to go! You are such an inspiration to so many. That is a lot of weight to lose and you've proven it can be done by making gradual changes and getting serious about changing old habits. Woo-Hoo!!! Report
I think the lesson about her doing exercise and then tackling diet is that just because we can't do everything right doesn't mean we shouldn't take some steps to improve. Momentum works both ways. A few weeks of improvement with a treadmill makes you more comfortable picking up a dumbbell or taking a class. Making a couple meals at home each week makes you more willing to dump between meal snacks. Report
your story made laugh and reflect Report
You are quite the inspiration - I have about the same amount that I am in the process of losing - thank you for sharing your journey! Report
Great job with your weightloss. I wish I controlled my weight when I was younger. I tried alot of diets but always gained more later. You are an inspiration. Report
Wonderful that you have been so successful. I know your children appreciate it and I'm sure your husband does as well. I can't imagine working out for a year at a gym and not working on changing eating habits, but whatever worked for you is right for you. Richard Bernstein M.D. says all obese people are Insulin Resistant and so it is difficult for us to lose weight until we cut the sugar/starches we eat. I have gotten so much out of reading his book "The Diabetes Diet" and listening to his lectures on YouTube. I don't have Type 2 Diabetes yet and I don't want it. Report
I love this story - not because she lost a ton of weight but because she found her "spark" and was able to build and keep the momentum going. That is something to be truly proud of! Report
Great work I am glad that you are now able to get the whole family involved in exercises. Report
Congratulations to you and your family! This is such an inspiring story for everyone! Report
What I find so inspiring about this article is that she first got the exercise down, THEN she worked on eating habits because it was too much to do at once. We all need to be encouraged by that. Report
Fabulous job!!! What an inspiration! Report
Awesome. You are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing. Report
!! W O W !!
Congrats !
Very Inspiring
Jennifer, what a wonderful example you are. Thank you for inspiring us. Report
You are a hero, leading the way and setting an excellent example! Report
Amazing Job! You look great and I'm sure you feel even better Report
Awesome. You are such an inspiration. You look terrific. Report
Wow a fantastic job you are an encouragement to us all. Keep up the good work. Report
Wow! :) Report
Great job! You should be very proud of your strength & determination. Report
So very inspiring. Great job Report
WOW...GREAT JOB...it is so hard to lose weight. You look great. keep up the good work.. Thank you so much for sharing. You prove it can be done and great inspiration to many others ..and stories like yours keep me...and so, so many others to keep going and NOT give up the fight... Report
Congratulations Jennifer! Your accomplishment is amazing and inspiring and I'm so happy for your family too! Report
Wow! Great and your family now has a new member, one with confidence, who is not afraid of a camera, and not afraid to do anything, cause she knows she can do it! Report
Congratulations - your hard work and effort truly paid off - you are an inspiration! Report
Inspiring! Wonderful job- congrats! Report
I love reading posts like this one. You are truly an inspiration! Thank you!!! Keep up the good work. You look phenomenal. :) Report
Outstanding accomplishment! You look beautiful! Report
Way to go! I'm so happy for you that you are healthy and able to share fun activities with your family, setting such a great example for them!
Congrats!!! Report
Well done
good luck with sticking to it.

Incredible job:) Report
INSPIRATIONAL to say the least. Great job. Report
Thank you for sharing your story! I am inspired and motivated to continue on my journey after reading yours. Congratulations on the new healthy lifestyle! Report
Congratulations on your inspiring achievements! Report
What a great story. I love hearing about how people live life to the fullest. Report
A very inspiring and encouraging story. GBU. (Smile) Report
You are amazing and such a terrific inspiration! Report
Thank you so much for sharing your story! I am standing a month into my journey, down 18 pounds from 381. I am so happy to see that you have made it to where I aspire to be! What an inspiration! Report
Thank you for sharing your story! I'm at 289 pounds (down from 300) and although I've been exercising consistently, I've been having trouble tackling my emotional eating. Knowing that you were successful without having your diet all together right from the get-go is really encouraging. Report
Your story is so inspiring! Congratulations on your hard work and success!
Great work on your part! Congratulations on shedding the pounds AND being a wonderful role model for your family and the rest of us!! Report
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