My Very Personal Transformation – What Motivated ME to Finally Lose the Weight

Jenny Grothe – March 2010 (contest ready – not “typical” of off-season)

My name is Jenny Grothe, and I have a story.

September 2007 I was 170 pounds – my heaviest ever.

Jenny Grothe – BEFORE – highest weight reached 170 and a size 14

I’d always been slim. I ate what I wanted, as much as I wanted, when I wanted. I was active throughout my teens and 20’s, but after we adopted our first child, that all slowly began to change.

Murder Mystery Hostess with the Mostest

My activity level decreased, but my eating habits didn’t. It caught up to me. Long gone were the days of being able to drink as much Dr. Pepper and Coke as I wanted, put away a dozen delicious glazed Krisy Kremes with my hubby, devour a bag of chips with a huge tub of Guacamole, and not see the “consequences” on my body. Over the years I put more and more weight on and by summer of 2007 I no longer liked the person I saw when I looked in the mirror.

Happy and Unhappy at the Same Time

I don’t think there was any one “a-ha” moment. There were several. At the time I was 37. 40 wasn’t that far off. I wanted to be a “FAB 40”, not a “FAT 40”. I thought back to my mom during her 40’s and how incredible she looked. She was a lightweight bodybuilder in her 40’s. She rocked the stage. Her bodyfat was in the low 6’s. “A-ha” moment #1.

“A-ha” moment #2. My girlfriends and I were spending a week down in St. George by the pool with the kids. We decided to hit up Old Navy for some new swimsuits. I was a size 14 – trying to squeeze into a size 12. I gave up. I ended up settling for a mens’ pair of size medium board shorts and a tankini top while all my size 0, 4, and size 6 friends bought their cute little “girlie” swimsuits.

“A-ha” moment #3. I was tired of all the concessions being made because of me. Would JENNY be able to fit through the narrows canyon in St. George? Would JENNY be able to handle the hike up the mountain? Would JENNY be the first to tire out while playing tag with the kiddos in the back yard? There were many.

I was happy with my life, but I wasn’t happy with ME – the most important person of all.

Me Then

Something snapped.

Without my husband’s permission, I signed up (once again) at Gold’s Gym. I’d signed up before only to watch my money drain out of my account. Same with training sessions. Greg, my husband, had no reason to think that this time would be any different. But, I knew. This time it would be. I dropped my little guy off on his first day of school and headed straight to the gym.

I waffled around on the machines.

I mostly focused on cardio. I didn’t have a clue. I just stuck with what I felt comfortable with. Comfortable meaning – not looking too dumb on the equipment.

I biked, I walked, I kind-of jogged, and I stepped. Two months later I’d shed 20 pounds, and I felt like I was on top of the world. I was finally a size 10 – a size I hadn’t seen in so long, and I felt invigorated! I rocked my new body, and I stopped shying away from the camera.

In February I decided to try and “sculpt” my now leaner but completely jello-like body. I didn’t want just any trainer though. I didn’t want to get “stuck” with who Gold’s assigned to me. There was one trainer, a girl with incredibly built arms. I wanted HER to train me. I approached her, and told her she needed to train me because I wanted her arms. She sized me up and agreed. She worked me hard, but that’s exactly what I wanted. She told me too many times she’d agreed to help people but they wouldn’t follow-through. I was eager. I was like a sponge. I wanted to do it all. You didn’t have to ask me twice.

Lu – the one who helped me take it off – FRIEND and first PT

By the end of March I started to see a big change. So did she. At that point she asked me if I’d considered competing in Figure. I didn’t even know what “Figure” was. She explained that it was a softer form of bodybuilding – still amazing healthy muscle but with more femininity. She’d already done several shows, and the way my body was responding to the weight training, she thought I might be a good candidate. By this time I was 38 – one year closer to 40. I told her “yes”. Why not? What did I have to lose? I figured I could give it my best shot and the worst thing that could happen was I’d be in better shape than when I’d begun—a win-win in my opinion. However, at the time, I was totally going out on faith. My body was still NOWHERE near where it needed to be.

So, I set my eyes on the NGA show in September and the NPC show in October 2008. I paid my dues; I registered for my first NPC and NGA cards. I kind-of felt like a poser. Really? Me?

I started working with my posing Coach. She put me in touch with a GREAT suit designer. I ordered my suits (when they still required you to wear both a one-piece AND a two-piece) – still half believing that my body would be ready.

I worked my butt off day after day – on my own. I didn’t have a workout partner. There was no one at the gym waiting for me. I’d started out with a workout partner in the very beginning, but her plans changed only two weeks into it. At that point I was at a crossroad to either continue on or give up. There was no giving up this time.

By September I’d put on a small amount of muscle, and I leaned out to a size 2-4. I was thinner than I’d ever been. I wasn’t even that thin in high-school. As a matter of fact, I distinctively remember my doctor telling me I had great CHILD BEARING HIPS as a teenager – not something you want to hear when you are 17.

NGA 2008 – My FIRST Show – placed 2nd

I placed at both shows. This old lady who was once 170 pounds and a size 14 less than a year beforehand placed 2nd in the Short Class in the NGA 2008 Northern States show and 4th in the Medium Class in the NPC Utah Gold’s Classic.

I was hooked.

Next spring I competed again, this time taking 3rd in the Medium Class in the NPC Utah Open and 7th in the Masters at the Emerald Cup in Washington.

And most recently I competed in the 2010 Topform Classic where I placed 4th in the Medium Class and 5th in the Masters.

Figure isn’t my only accomplishment though.

My first year as Captain leading my team in the Wasatch Back 2009

Since that first day when I decided to hit the gym and change my body, my focus, and my direction, I’ve:

• Completed 2 Sprint Triathlons
• Ran 4 Half Marathons
• Lead a team of 12 in last year’s Wasatch Back
• Ran the Vegas Ragnar Relay (with the flu)
• And most recently ran the 2009 St. George Marathon (within 5 minutes of qualifying for Boston)

Women of Steel – My FIRST Sprint Tri – competed with 37 neighbor friends

Snow Canyon Half 2008 – My First Half Marathon

St. George Marathon 2009 – My first FULL Marathon – 3:49:58

I recognize I may not have the “best” body, the “widest” lats, the “fullest” glutes, or the “tiniest” waist, but every day I know that I am a better “me” than I was the day before. I am full of energy, excitement, and commitment to this sport. I fully embrace every aspect of it, from training, to supplementation, to cardio, to dieting. It’s a part of ME now.

I am happy. I am strong. I am confident. I feel energized. I am meeting amazing women from all over the world who are as committed to this process as I am – who share the same goals, dreams, and aspirations.

I am meeting women who WANT to be healthy, who want to be strong, who want to change their lives for the better.

That’s the main reason I started this little FB page. Women love to eat. I love to eat. But so many foods and recipes so readily available are full of fat and unhealthy. Food should always be yummy, and we women need our options.

If I can in any way help, motivate, or inspire another woman even if it’s just by sharing a recipe, then I am one happy Gal.

Hope you all enjoy your journey as much as I have mine.

Height: 5’5”
Weight: 113-117 lbs. competition; 120-123 lbs. off-season
Bodyfat: 9-10% competition; 13-16% off-season
Dress Size: 4



I wrote this April of 2010 and so much has happened since then!!

I share this with you to tell you EVERYTHING is possible!

Emerald Cup 2010

Since April of 2010 I’ve gone on to compete again in  the Emerald Cup (the largest amateur NPC show nationwide) where I didn’t place, but WHO CARES? It was for me! **smile**

Top of Utah Marathon 2010 – Was severely fatigued – Had Hypothyroidism Without Knowing It – was a REALLY hard marathon for me

I ran the Top of Utah Marathon where I qualified for the Boston marathon (3:42:41)!! YES!

I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, which to date I am now dealing with on a day to day basis. It’s a part of me, and I feel strongly that by being healthy I am better able to manage and conquer this new disease.

75 Ways to Love Your Oatmeal

I published my first cookbook, “75 Ways to Love Your Oatmeal” which is for sale on both and on Sold out of the first printing.

My 40th Birthday – Jan 19, 2011

It finally happened! I turned 40 – the age I was scared to death of. The age I wanted to be “ready” for. I welcomed 40 proudly. With thinning hair and more wrinkles, I still felt beautiful – probably more beautiful than ever before. Why? I was finally healthy. Happy. Secure. and GRATEFUL.

Boston Marathon 2011 – 3:47:27 and re-qualified for Boston 2012

Ran the Boston Marathon earlier this year and re-qualified again for Boston while on the course (3:47:27)!! Again, YES!

M&F Feature July August 2011

Have been published in Muscle & Fitness HERS as well as soon to be released national publications.

The point here is?

To NEVER SAY NEVER. Never give up. Never sell yourself short. Never say you CAN NOT DO or WON’T TRY TO DO. That is unnecessary. Say you WILL, you CAN, and you’ll FIND A WAY HOW.

Me and my 2 Biggest Fans

What are you dreams, your goals, your aspirations? Do it. Make up your mind today and push forward. Regardless of how old you are, where you live, and how much weight you have to lose. Your journey ahead may be a long one, but that is OKAY! It is your journey; you should be enjoying every single day of it!

My life now is full. I have more things I “want to do” than ever before. I strive to live EVERY day to the fullest. I try to enjoy every moment. I participate in my life. I no longer let it just “happen”.

I can’t wait to see what my future holds. I already know many of the things that up and coming, and I am thrilled.

There will be trials. There always are. I have my heartaches just like anyone. I have my own personal battles and demons. I’m not unlike you. But, I will get through them.

This past month in particular has been extremely hard. Very trying. Though now that I am on Armour to help treat my Hypothyroidism, I have still been struggling with fatigue, some depression, and a myriad of other mysterious symptoms. After much consideration I finally went to see a REAL Hormone Specialist. I wanted to get to the bottom of what was going on within my body.

I’ll save the details for another blog, but I will tell you this. I am struggling with Adrenal Fatigue and as of this week when I found out ALL my results, I also discovered I have Hashimotos Disease.  From what my specialist said, it sounds like I’ve probably had it for years without knowing it. Here is a link:

What I am learning is that every day is a gift. We have to take each day as it comes – the good with the bad. We don’t know what lies ahead of us, but we can certainly plan and live it the best we know how. We will learn along the way and will have to overcome the challenges and obstacles that pop up – just as I am now.

It won’t slow me down though. I have no plans of giving up. It might take me a little longer, but the one thing I have learned in my journey is that all things are possible.


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53 Responses to My Very Personal Transformation – What Motivated ME to Finally Lose the Weight

  1. lassiemeister April 12, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

    Wow. I've been keeping up with your recipe page on Facebook but never read your whole story. Its amazing to me! My mom struggles still with her weight and in the last year or 2 i gained 30 pounds so at 5 5 and 153 i am feeling huge. I went to a trainer for the last 2/3 months and learned so much about eating healthy, cardio, and strength training but lately i have been needing an inspiration and you just gave me one. I'm going on a missions trip in July and i want to be 130 and have a healthy body-fat percentage. You are an amazign inspiration Jen! Thank you from a 19 year old who people said was fat but didn't encourage to lose weight! You encouraged me by a simple story. 🙂

  2. Lani April 13, 2010 at 1:32 am #

    You and I have very similar stories. If you're interested. I have my weight loss stories posted here and here and most recently here. You're doing great, Momma! Keep up the good work.

  3. Lani April 13, 2010 at 1:37 am #

    Oh… and I guess my whole long sad sordid story is posted here. This is the one I think you'll be able to identify with. 😉 I've been doing figure competition training with a friend from the gym since last summer.

  4. Anonymous November 4, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    Hi Jen, I want to do exactly what you do! Please post daily food log and workout so we can follow along! This would be so great to learn from the best!
    thank you

    • Jennifer Feller May 5, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

      Do you have a cookbook that shows the food you eat? That would be awesome.Thank you for sharing you’re story.I am 5’8″and 250.The highest I have ever been.I have lost many pound over the. years and gained out back plus some.I was 130 and 18% body gay in my early 20s and want happy with how I looked then.I have never had the muscle tone that I have wanted and so I just give up . need someone like you who knows how to build muscle and eat right.

      • Jennifer Feller May 5, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

        Body fat, not body gay.Ha. Writing on a cell phone.

  5. Richelle November 4, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    I love it! This is where I am right now. I decided I was tired of being fat and tired. I wanted to be someone my boys could look up to and strive to keep up with! I'm 5'9" and started at 173lbs 5 weeks ago, I got a trainer and we're working toward my first figure show in May '11! I'm down almost 10lbs and feeling stronger everyday! Thank you for sharing this, it's wonderful to have other's who've "been there" to count on 😀

    I've also started a blog about my journey to share with those interested, here's the link.

  6. Anonymous January 27, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    You are truly an amazing person, I am slowly but working my way to the top with the daily struggles, but not letting them get in the way. With motivation like this we will all reach the top! That was an amazing story. :0)

  7. Katie P July 14, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

    Jenny you are AWESOME.. you & your story just inspires me to be a Better Woman, Mom, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Friend and Katie! Thank you for all you do for GALS everywhere! I am working out and building muscle.. my goal is to be the BEST 40yr old I can be too! I have 1 year and 3 months to accomplish this goal and I am super excited to do it knowing I have people in my life like you and the other GALS for inspiration and motivation. GALS ROCK!

  8. Regan July 14, 2011 at 10:20 pm #

    Hello there Jenny,
    What an outstanding inspiration you are!!!! Last year I was at a fantastic stage of being super fit and considered competing … I then got very sick with glandular fever 🙁 so it all stopped . Various illness’s have followed- your blogs and GALS are starting to help me get it together. U rock Jen x

    • Jen July 14, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

      I am so glad you are finding your way back Regan!

  9. Leslie July 15, 2011 at 1:19 am #

    Thanks Jen…..I pray things get better but I know that your strength and Faith will get you thru….

    You really are an inspiration!!


  10. Nunya July 15, 2011 at 1:47 am #

    You ARE awesome Jen, awesome to be you and what you have accomplished! 🙂 Thankyou for everything, with your site, ur blog and the recipes, info, I am finally succeeding again. After finding weights in 2000 I was settled on 125lbs after always fighting with my weight, growing up chubby and 6 years have been trying to get back to that time when I was happy, my mind has been playing it`s own game. A little piece of you has rubbed off FINALLY and 5 days I haven`t eaten one bad thing, THIS IS A RECORD LOL, last time I weighed myself I was 138lbs, could I be anymore miserable that day, I managed to not break down and cry. I KNOW I have already lost weight-my work pants are loose after only 4 days, exercise has never been my problem since I found running too 6 years back.

    My Mum has a combination of Graves disease & Hashimotos, how screwy is that, she`s always been a tiny 5ft, small little half Chinese lady & even had a massive heart attack 9 years back, she still goes on, zipping around-she got me started on weight training, just took me 10 years to get into it.

    We all have our struggles, I`m just glad I can dig my way out of mine now, I`m feeling so positive, those chocolate bars and bakery goods still call me, I just can smile now and keep walking. Thankyou xo

  11. Michelle W July 15, 2011 at 3:56 am #

    Jen — Thank you so much for always inspiring me. I am working hard on my goals to become a ‘fitter’ mommy, just like you, also in conjunction with my birthday milestone this year! I appreciate your uplifting comments and encouragements every day.

    Thank you for this blog today. I’m so sorry to hear you have Hashimoto’s Disease. This will be a challenge, but from what I know of you — you will persevere and conquer!

    I was startled to see that I experience almost every one of the symptoms for Hashimoto’s. But without the ‘goiter’ or the elevated TSH, it has probably been undiagnosed for years. Thank you so much for making us all aware of this disease.

    Take care,

  12. Annamarie July 15, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

    Your story was great and boy could I relate. At 40 I was diagionosed with Hysimotos hypothyroidism and it did a number on my body and my mind.I went from being fit and fabulous to fat and fugly! My moment was when my sons football team was going to Florida and I wanted to wear shorts. I lost 12lbs before we left realized that I could lose weight without excuses and 5 months later I had lost 50 lbs. Good eating and doing my fitness dance program I designed got me there. Keep up the great blog!

  13. Denise July 15, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

    Wow. I’ve never read your full story. This is exactly what I needed today. Thank you for sharing. I am going to post this quote on my mirror: “every day I know that I am a better “me” than I was the day before” because it is such a long journey and some days the scale isn’t cooperating and I feel like a failure but I will remind myself I am better then I was yesterday.

  14. Melinda pharis July 15, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    I have read you story a few times and cry every time. I have struggled with my weight since having 3 kids and 3 yrs ago I decided to do something about it. Of course I had gone to the gym tried to do the spot reducing on my lower half(love being a pear shape), but i just couldn’t do it. So I started running, a year later and only down 10lbs I ran my 1st 10k race, loved it and was addicted. I ran my 1st Half last September with my 12yr old daughter doing her 1st 10k and I was hooked. I have now lost a total of 35lbs. I still struggle to this day at the excess of skin I have on my legs and am in no way financially available to get it removed. I am just wondering if you have any advice for me on how to conquer this next giant. I want my whole body to look like I feel on the inside. Thank you for all your positive and very real stories that help the rest of use feel normal.

    • Jen July 15, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

      Melinda…thank you. I am so proud of you. 35 lbs? That is such an incredible drop. It’s a daily struggle. You are 110% correct. The best advice? Don’t give up. It takes time. There are still places in my body I am hoping to “tighten”. Just taking it one day at a time.

  15. mick July 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    Jenny, I also have hypothyroidism. I was diagnosed about 13 years ago after multiple misdiagnoses (2 years to get it right). Now, I manage it very well with Synthroid once a day. I pay attention to how my body is feeling and at the first sign of any symptoms (persistently cold, tired, achy – almost flu like) I go in for blood work. Now that I know what to look for, it is very easy to live with and does not interfere with my life in the least. Take heart it’s pretty easy to manage! Love what you’re doing – you really are an inspiration! xo

  16. Rachelle July 20, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    wow! Thanks Jen for sharing!! I have been following you on fb for a long time and love it, but I don’t think I have ever read your whole story! amazing!!

  17. Jen August 8, 2011 at 2:18 am #

    So inspiring!! I’ve followed your FB page for quite some time and just today read your story!! Truly amazing and your doing an amazing job!! Thank you for doing what you do <3

  18. Natalie September 8, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your story Jenny, I’m there with you even right down to the Hashimoto’s. It’s a struggle some days, but knowing that other women have it and don’t let it stop them is inspiring.

  19. Michelle October 13, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    Hi Jenny,

    Have you ever heard of a woman not being able to build muscle? I have been working out for over 12yrs and every trainer I have worked with cannot get me to build muscle. I am 5’7 and 120lbs, my lowest weight since highschool. I have found a bit of a difference with doing pushups but still not enough. People look at me and think I am skinny, I want definition.. can you help me out?

    • Jen October 13, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

      Since I don’t work with you directly and know your diet, training, history, any medical issues, etc., it’s hard to even say. What is your protein intake like? When are you training? For what duration? And how heavy? Those are the immediate questions and concerns that come to mind. xoxo

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    It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

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  23. Liz March 1, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

    Hi Jenny, I just found you on FB yesterday, I have been pouring over the photos you have posted and read your story today. I could just cry! I am a mother of 4 boys 13 yrs-12months. I have struggled with my weight my entire life. I haven’t been back to pre-prego weight in all the 14 years. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease during my last pregnancy, but was told I have had it for years. I worked out and ate super clean for months a few years ago and didn’t lose one lousy pound! That’s how bad My thyroid disease has effected me. I weight train and do cardio. I have read so many books about diet, exercise and health. Trying to help myself. I also want to be the best “me” I can be for my children and myself. I have wondered if it can actually be done, and then here YOU are! I am most definetly inspired and moved by your transformation! I will never give up, I just thought that I could only ever be a healthy, but rather large gal, the rest of my life. I currently Crossfit and eat clean. But with little hope ever being a hot mama at a size 5-7.
    I am 5’6″ and weigh 200 pounds, being a size 12 currently.I am definitley a big boned gal, broad shoulders, hips and very strong. I have lost 35 pounds since having my baby, and I am taking synthroid for the past 1 1/2 years. I have suffered with the most agonizing Post Partum Depression for the last year and I’m searching for the answers to health and wellness. I need to stay on track and have my own transformation story to tell. It’s been brutal, and a constant roller coaster wtih hormones, depression, metabolism, etc. I am going to be following your blog and FB page closely to help keep me motivated, Thank you for your dedication and for sharing with the rest of us!

    • Jen March 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

      Thank you so much for such a touching message. I am so glad you found me. We women have to deal with so much and on top of it hormones. They are the basis for nearly everything. Please let me know what I can do to help you. The most important advice I can give you is to never look back. Stay strong, focus on the you NOW, and the you you want to be in the future. It can be done. Little by little. xoxoxoxo

    • Susan MacK April 11, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

      wow Liz! Good for you and your efforts! Even if the number is not moving on the scale I bet you feel better! You have found a great place to get wonderful information and motivation with Jen that’s for sure! Keep up the good work!

  24. Sandy C April 11, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    Jen …

    Find you so inspirational and motivating – thank you for that! As you struggle with your diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis – I wanted to share with you a medication that might help you truly conquer this health issue.

    I was diagnosed in the fall of 2007 with Multiple Sclerosis. This rocked my world as I have always been very health conscious and took care of myself. How could this happen? I listened to my neurologist and went on a daily injection for over 1-1/2 years that basically made me feel worse than the MS itself! I asked him for other options and when I was told there weren’t any .. well … thus began my research. (Ask my husband, I don’t handle anyone telling me what I can’t do … (=)

    After 6 months of research I landed upon Low Dose Naltrexone – subscribed to email lists, watched all of the YouTube videos, read all of the books and took my health into my own hands. Man, am I glad that I did that … because, I have never felt better! Not only do I not have a single MS symptom, my neurologist (being ever curious even though he did NOT agree with my switch to LDN) had a 3 hour MRI taken of my brain and spine — not only do I not have any active lesions but the old ones are fading! UNHEARD OF!

    The reason I am sharing this is because the LDN has been known to help with so many autoimmune issues including Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Here is the webpage where I begun my research … do with this information what you want but I hope you might consider giving this a try – what do you have to lose. Side effects are minimal at best — why not?

    I am now a walking spokesperson for LDN and talk with so many who have MS trying to educate them on the many options that perhaps Big Pharma will not share with them.

    Many blessings, Jen! Any questions, give me a jingle! (=


  25. Samantha April 11, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    So glad to read you’re now on Armour, I too have hashi’s. Armour helped me so much. I’m on strictly T3 now and doing really good on it. I hope that you find your health with your thyroid and your adrenals. It’s a tough road. Stop the thyroid madness helped me a lot.

  26. Susan MacK April 11, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your struggles and successes! I didn’t realize where you started and what you have been through. We have so much in common! I am still on my journey and making progress, some days seem like such a fight while others seem easy. Reading your story has given me a real boost today, so thank you for that! Now I’ve got to head out for a 5k and them off to the gym for a tough leg workout!

  27. Teresa Murray April 13, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    What an amazing story- you truly inspire me woman!!!!

  28. Jill McCoy June 6, 2012 at 2:50 am #

    I am amazed by your story – it gives me hope. My weight has been up and down over the years due to medications I have been on and a thyroid disorder I had that was finally resolved by surgery back in 2007. My weight has gone up in the last year living with my boyfriend who eats heavier than I am used to, and with a recent motorcycle accident, I am waiting for surgery on two torn meniscuses (sp?) in my right knee, due to work time constraints, so I have gained more and lost muscle tone, so I am looking forward to getting myself back in shape, but have just started monitoring my food intake. Seeing someone like you who was a bit older with weight issues push past and be where you are today is inspiring…thanks!

  29. Vickie June 11, 2012 at 3:30 am #

    U for sharing. That is my exact life right now. I turned 38 in April, I’ve spent the past 6 years adding to the scale. I’ve tried every fad diet. The last one took a little and I’ve kept it off but I still have 30 to go and it’s hard for me. The struggle I mean. I’ve wondered if trying is worth it cuz with the stretch marks left from my kids are so bad that I’m scared to be thin in some respects.

    ANyway, thank you for sharing your story. Seeing your pictures etc makes me believe that I too can look that good at almost 40. Inspired for sure

  30. Kerstin Frierdich July 8, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    If price isnt an issue go to jessica mcclintock. If you are staying on a budget I would recommend Dillards or Macy’s.

  31. Shani bellm December 8, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    You are a true inspiration!!! Thank you!!!

  32. Michelle January 11, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

    I love this story! I love reading how people finally had an Aha moment when they decided to change their lives. I’m also very happy to see you’re friends with your first trainer. 🙂 I try to stay in touch with many of my clients from the past but now that I live in a different state than I did when I first started training, I have lost touch with many that I started out with. I often wonder how they’re doing so reading this has prompted me to start Facebook stalking them ha!

    Just started following you on FB not too long ago and I look forward to reading your posts. Great stuff, keep up the hard work and continue to inspire!

  33. Jessica March 14, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    I just found your blog today through someone’s link of Holy crap, you are phenomenal! Off to read your whole blog, because you have an awesome and motivating story.

    • Jen March 14, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

      I am so glad Jessica! 🙂 It’s my journal – online. lol. You’ll find just about everything here. It’s not all easy. It’s been a rewarding journey, but parts of it have been extremely difficult. I am glad you found it, and I hope you stick around! xoxoxo

  34. Wendy Orcutt May 3, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    Hi Jen,

    I have followed your website for awhile now and I am really loving it. The one area I am having trouble with is how much emphasis you put on body image ie: weight and clothing size.

    I realize everyone`s goal is to Look the best you can be but what is wrong with Being the best you can be?

    I am a 165 pd, 5`7″ woman who is 54. I have been working out with a trainer for 5 years now and competing in triathlons which is something I never thought I would be able to do. My goal was to remain healthy, which definately has to do with your BMI but it also has alot to do with your mental health. Many, many people struggle with health issues as I have, I am now in remission from cancer and feel the best I have ever felt but it has nothing to do with numbers on the scale because as we both know it doesn`t refect accurately once the fat deminishes and muscle mass begins.

    You truly are an inspiration but so am I as are many other women who struggle with all kinds of body image issues that cannot relate to the size 0-4 women in the world. Although I do applaude you for the fantastic work you are doing, you have a wonderful website with alot of great info.

    • Jen May 3, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

      I completely agree with be the best person you can be. That is the goal of everything. I think a strong healthy body image is key, and that can be at whatever body size, age, or demographic you fall in. 🙂 Please don’t get me wrong. We are all walking our own paths, and we need to make the best of each moment/time. The body I have not is not the body I had two years ago, definitely not the body I had 5 years ago, and will mostly like not be the same as the body I will have 5 years from now. My emphasis is to make the best of our bodies and live as healthy as we can be, despite the trials that come our way (ie Hypo, Hashimotos, and AF in my case) right now. 🙂 I’ve been a size 14 and a size 0. Neither were healthy. I’ve learning and sharing as I go. My blog is my journal. Nothing more. xo

      • Wendy Orcutt May 4, 2013 at 12:19 am #

        Thanks for sharing your learning Jen, it helps us all.

  35. Anna May 4, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    Keep sharing Jen! This website and FB page is great – I check in almost daily to keep me on track – when I feel like eating crap or not going to the gym. And that will always put me back to the right mentality – YES I can Do it and YES I can make the right choices!!! Thank you so much x

  36. Ammie May 4, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    Hi Jen,

    I am turning 39 in 2 weeks and I think I feel like you did at the beginning of this story. I have been working toward losing weight for the past six months, but I have let work, kids, and fatigue get in the way. (I also suffer from hypothyroidism.) However, you have inspired me to a form a new determined spirit.

    We are moving from Tennessee to Alaska in 2 months and I want to be able to enjoy the outdoor life my family loves without always being the one people have to make concessions for!

    Thanks again!

  37. Pamela May 6, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    Thank you SO much for the inspiration! Love the story – love you ! congratulations on all your successes!

  38. Cyndi August 31, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

    Completely inspiring and motivating! Thanks so much for sharing!

  39. Kryna September 5, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    I was diagnosed with hashimoto’s 2 days ago i was so down because my doctor told me i’ll never lose weight but with pills and prob not even that i been doing exercise and eating clean for just 7 mo and i only lose 7 lbs not more than that .. he changed my meds from Amour to T3 & T4 i’m new on this i really don’t know what to expect but i was horrified because whatever i do my body can’t be changed it does not matter how much exercise i do or how clean i eat ** ..=( Until one lady on my challenge group which is your follower told me to read your blog i’m so happy now, it does not matter how difficult it seems is possible and that’s hope to me ..thanks for sharing your success to others

  40. myfitfocusedlife September 25, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    What an amazing transformation! You look healthy and happy. Thank you for sharing such a personal story with us.

  41. jennifer December 24, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

    wow what an amazing achievement you look great. I am struggling with the same isssue. I really feel like I am not pushing myself enough I defitanely need to change my mindset thanks for your inspiration

  42. Tina February 16, 2015 at 4:29 am #

    Jen, I’ve followed your Facebook page for awhile and decided to finally check out your website today. Thanks for sharing your story. I am also a fitness and nutrition lover and avid runner but have struggled with making the time to get back into lifting and running since I just had my first baby 10 months ago. Trying to balance life with my baby, work, and my husband I’ve starting letting things go that matter to me like running, etc. Reading your story gave me the motivation to get back into my passion of fitness. Thanks for all you do, you are inspiring!

    • Jen February 16, 2015 at 5:50 pm #

      Tina! Thank you so much for letting me know. We all go through those low points where it’s really hard to find the passion again. You were probably meant to take some time off, you know? Just enjoy being a mommy, letting your body recuperate, and focus more on what’s at home rather than your running shoes and the gym. Best of luck as you pick it back up. Please keep in touch!!!

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