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Who I Am

Who I Am

Hi, I’m Jennifer! Thanks for checking out my blog.

dog

Age 5 or 6

I’m 28 years old, and have been battling obesity my entire life.

Ever since elementary school, I tried diet after diet in a desperate attempt to gain control over my weight issue. I was referred to an endless string of doctors, nutritionists, and psychologists. I tried wacky pills, fat-burning teas, and good old-fashioned starvation.

Nothing ever worked. I’d manage to lose 20 pounds, then gain it right back. Then I’d go back on a “diet,” drop 60 pounds, and then (you guessed it!) gain it right back. I’d go on crash diets to fit into a dress for the prom or to get “beach ready” for an upcoming vacation, but the moment the event was over, so were my weight loss efforts. Any progress I made was lost the moment I gave up on my current “diet” and returned to my old ways.

JenniferNelson_8thGrade

8th grade, about 220 pounds

It wasn’t until tipping the scales at nearly 270 pounds at the age of 22 that I had finally had enough. I couldn’t take it any more. I decided that it was time to change my life, and I finally began to make some headway in my lifelong battle of the bulge.

As a result of drastically transforming my eating habits (thanks Weight Watchers!) and joining a gym, I shed more than 80 pounds in one year.

But then I got stuck, and at the end of 2008, found myself struggling to reach my goal of losing 120 pounds. No matter what I did, the scale just didn’t want to cooperate. Dropping those final 40 pounds would bring me to a healthy BMI (body mass index) for the very first time in my life.

Before (260+ pounds)

Age 22, about 260 pounds

I did manage to lose another 10 pounds over the course of 2009, and today, at 5’4 and 170 pounds, and a size 8/10, I am still, technically, “obese.”

That’s when I decided to ditch the scale and focus on something more important than a standardized BMI chart. I needed to learn how to be happy with my body and love the new person I had become.

And that’s when I discovered running.

DSCF0111

Age 27, 175 pounds

I originally started this blog as a place to divulge my daily weight loss triumphs and failures, along with updates about my various fitness pursuits. I wanted to share my tips and tricks, my frustrations, and my realizations, all in the hope that those of you who are also struggling to lose weight and change your life can take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone…and, most importantly, that it CAN be done! It’s the hardest thing you’ll probably ever have to do, but I can tell you from firsthand experience that your health and happiness are well worth the effort.

I still do talk weight loss from time to time, but these days, I’m much more concerned with setting a new PR or conquering a new race distance than I am with what the scale has to say. In fact, I rarely weight myself anymore. My love of running has given my entire journey a purpose, and I am so incredibly grateful to have found something that fulfills me so much — and that my new, stronger, fitter body allows me to accomplish.

Questions, comments, suggestions?  Shoot me an e-mail at thefinalforty at gmail dot com. I’d love to hear from you!

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For more of my story, be sure to check out my first post: http://thefinalforty.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/meet-the-former-fattie/