My name is Jennifer Jewett, and I am 41 years old. I live in Gilbert, Arizona, and I’m the director of operations for Chick-Fil-A. After focusing on eating nutritious, whole foods and cutting out less healthy items and doing AKT dance workouts, I was able to lose 100 pounds in about a year.
From an early age, my mom taught me that I had to eat everything on my plate until it was clean. I was always heavy, and it became my normal. I didn’t really feel bad physically, but I never felt great.
In adulthood, however, I have five kids. I wanted to be able to do things with my kids and feel good and energized. But I also always put everyone else’s needs before mine.
At 40, my weight hit its highest at 275 pounds.
I had this realization at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, which inspired my turning point in July 2020.
After watching the news early on, I saw plenty of information and headlines about obesity and COVID risk or complications. So, that definitely gave me a big push. The pandemic also made me realize that you have to just *go for it* in life and take time for yourself because life is too short. I told myself, “I need to do something for Jennifer.”
I started by changing up my diet.
I knew I needed to start eating “clean” and healthy (meaning whole, unprocessed foods), and it quickly became a new way of life for me. I started really listening to my body and hunger cues and not overeating. I also cut out late-night snacking.
Here’s what I ate in a day during my journey.
- Breakfast: Protein shake
- Lunch: Berry and chicken salad with apple cider vinegar dressing
- Snacks: Almonds or peanut butter with an apple or pickles
- Dinner: Fish and veggies
- Dessert: I very rarely ate dessert, but if I did it was frozen yogurt with fresh fruit.
I always felt uncomfortable at gyms, but I had always loved music and dancing, specifically to hip-hop. So I was thrilled when I found the dance workout program AKT.
I loved the feeling I had after the first class. I was immediately motivated and felt focused. The studio is dimly lit, and so I was comfortable there. They play fun, energizing music and everyone is different shapes and sizes.
The class works your whole body, so as a busy mom with a full-time job, one hour to get the whole workout done was ideal for me. Plus, I have so much fun doing it.
These three changes have led to my weight loss success.
- I made time for myself. I made conscious decisions to put myself first. I had never done that my entire life, so it was weird at first. But it felt good to finally take care of myself both physically and mentally.
- I chose exercise I loved. Find something that’s active that you enjoy doing and motivates you. It doesn’t have to be running or weightlifting or going to the gym. I found AKT’s dance-based workouts that worked out my entire body. The positive energy and new choreography kept me motivated.
- I added in no-calorie drinks. I always thought you could only drink water when you are trying to lose weight. But cold brews with no added sugar, unsweetened tea, and water with lemon, cucumber, or mint really helped curb my appetite.
In a little over a year, I lost 100 pounds.
Don’t give up. Little victories make for big changes in the end. I would set mini goals for myself and buy an outfit that I would want to fit into and reward myself when I hit it. This journey has changed my life. Not only am I a healthier version of myself, but I’m also more resilient mentally for all of life’s struggles.
Each day is a new day. If you slip up one day, get right back out the next day. Don’t give up on yourself. You deserve it.
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