Meet Jennifer Schmidt (username OAKBORN), a SparkPeople member who lost 60 pounds--and got fit enough to join the Army! Read on for more about her inspiring journey.
What is your age? I am currently 47 years old.
How long have you been a SparkPeople member? How did you find SparkPeople? I have been a SparkPeople member since January of 2008, but didn't really start using the site until April of 2008. I was using a couple of other sites, but they didn't fit my needs as well as SparkPeople does.
I think I found SparkPeople through a web search, and it was also recommended to me by a friend. I kept coming back to it, and the more I saw, the more I found that the site really fulfilled my needs.
What is your favorite feature on SparkPeople? I love the SparkTeams, the Nutrition and Fitness Trackers, the blogging, etc. I use them all. I made a great friend in one of the groups, and we hit goal together and have remained friends. I plan to meet face-to-face with her someday. (I hope sooner than later!!)
I guess if I had to choose one thing, it would be the support of people just like me, going through the same ups and downs... and the wisdom that we share. I also love the solid science behind everything SparkPeople has to offer, rather than the sensational ''eat 42 grapefruit a day and lose 30 pounds this week'' diets.
How much weight have you lost? I lost a total of 60 pounds. My joining weight was about 205, and I got down to 145. I hang around 150 now, give or take 2-3 pounds.
How long did it take to lose the weight? It took me eight months and two days to lose the weight.
What was your light bulb moment that made you decide to lose weight? I had already tried making healthier eating choices and exercising, but I didn't get serious about it until 2007. My blood pressure, which had always been good, started creeping up more and more. I woke up on December 30, 2007 and knew that I was going to lose the weight in 2008 because I wanted to be healthy, and I wanted to be around for my great-great-great-great-great grandchildren (if possible!). I also had a plan. I knew that I had to build the habits gradually, so I made a calendar to make sure I ate just three servings of fruits and vegetables per day, while moving at least three times per week--even if it was just 10 minutes of marching in place in front of the TV.
What was your biggest obstacle while trying to lose weight? Keeping up the momentum of exercise and eating right. And the infamous evening snacking and emotional eating.
What does your weekly exercise schedule look like? It varies these days, and with the season. I try to run 3-5 times per week and do a workout video 1-2 times per week. That is my optimal schedule. Lately, however, it's been a challenge--especially with it getting dark so early in Missouri (and cold!), not having a lot of time or space to do anything besides the treadmill, and having to work around sleep schedules of family living in the basement.
What is your favorite way to exercise? I think my favorite exercise is running. It is always hard, but always worth it. I always come away energized and feeling a sense of accomplishment. And right now, my treadmill is my best exercise buddy.
Do you have any personal fitness goals coming up? I am running a 5K soon, and I would like a new best time (under 30 minutes). I also would like to up my Army Physical Fitness Test Score (APFT). My current score is 232, which adds up to a 2-mile run in 19:15, 14 push-ups in 2 minutes, and 44 sit-ups in 2 minutes. (My next APFT is in March.)
What does a typical day of food look like for you? On a good day, my breakfast is fruit, a carb and a protein... and coffee with sugar and skim milk. I love a banana, yogurt and either oatmeal, toast or an English muffin. Lunch can be almost anything-- usually leftovers, or a Lean Cuisine meal, or sometimes Subway. I just try to keep it to 400-500 calories. I carry low-fat string cheese, fruit, and fiber bars for work snacks. Dinner is usually a lean protein with plenty of veggies or salad and a small carb. I also try to keep a water bottle going all day. Evening snacks are my downfall. I need to knit more and eat less!
What is your favorite healthy food? I don't have just one--I am a huge fan of so many healthy things... vegetables, salads, hummus, sushi, pho, lean meats. I like such a wide variety of foods!
What is your favorite treat food? Another hard question. It's a toss-up between cheese, frozen custard and chocolate.
Who is your biggest inspiration? The first name that pops into my head is Jillian Michaels, and the second is my buddy here on SparkPeople, ANNIEONLI. She can always make me laugh, cry and reflect. Her insights are amazing and usually mirror how I feel almost 100%... and she manages to do this while working full time and raising a family. If I could tell you how much her friendship keeps me going, I would be talking for days!
Do you have a personal mantra/saying/quote that you live by that you’d like to share?
''I can do this!!''
''I'm in training for the rest of my life!''
''I can't help aging, but I can control HOW I age!''
''Energy begets energy!''
Because SparkPeople helped me to lose the weight, I was able to re-enter the military as a nurse. I just completed a year of mobilized stateside service. I love the Army, and I love SparkPeople—they've both gotten me to where I am today!
*Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.
Does Jennifer inspire you? What tips of hers can you use in your own journey to health?
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