Wednesday, April 10, 2013

NEVER too late!

I love being part of the FitFluential family as an Ambassador.  It's a huge part of my life and means so much because it has connected me to thousands of like-minded people who LOVE health and fitness.  We all have a story to tell and it sounds silly but we truly are like a family!  Some of us struggled with weight most of our lives, some are former athletes trying to find that balance, others are just wanting to make a difference and influence people to live healthy and BE HEALTHY! We share recipes, inspiration, workouts, frustrations and so much more!

I love the transformation stories because they are all so powerful and inspirational.  It's like if you've never struggled with weight, you may not fully understand the toll it takes on your body, your self-esteem, happiness...everything.  It consumes you.  So when people lose the weight, get healthy and find a new way of life, there is something SO inspirational about it!

Jenny's story really touched me...she was the "funny, fat girl" just like ME :(

"My name is Jenny Hodges and at 369 pounds I was always the biggest person in the room.
Life in the early 1970s was pretty good. I stayed active by riding my bike, playing with my friends and I relaxed by reading and watching TV. A lot of reading. And a lot of TV. When I was 8 years old my mother began working out of the home and our diet suddenly changed to more processed meals, and a lot of fast food. But my real downfall came in the early 1980’s when my parents opened up a pizza restaurant. Suddenly I had ready access to high calorie foods anytime I wanted. I quickly began to put on the weight and I was only 11 years old.
I tried to make jokes about my weight, and I was always thought of as the funny fat girl with the pretty face and I always felt that people were talking about me behind my back. I never had a boyfriend in high school, and though I always dreamed of being a runner like my sister and my cousins, my weight always held me back. As I got bigger and bigger I surrounded myself with other overweight women. They made me feel that I wasn’t alone, they never teased me. Food meant everything to me. I ate because I was bored. I ate because I was lonely. I ate because I could. The bigger I got, the more I ate, and the worse I would eat. I would feel good when I was eating, but as soon as I was done, I would feel horrible. So I just didn’t stop. It didn’t take long until I was close to 400 pounds.When I became a mother for the third time in three years my weight really began to take a toll on me. It was very difficult to take care of my children’s most basic needs; I couldn’t bathe them in the bathtub because I couldn’t get up off the floor from a kneeling position, so they took their nightly bath in the kitchen sink. While their basic needs were a challenge, so was having fun with them! I couldn’t get down on the floor and play with them, and it was a struggle to take them to the park. My obesity was impacting more than just me.
I knew I had to lose weight in the summer of 2008. My kids had just turned 2, 3, and 4 and I fell in the backyard while I was attempting to play kickball with them. I hurt my right knee and ankle very badly. I couldn’t get up off the ground and the kids had to run for daddy. Thankfully my husband was home, but he couldn’t pick me up and carry me inside. He had to get a blanket, roll me on the blanket, and then drag me inside the house. I was humiliated. And scared. What if I had been home alone with the children and suffered a heart attack brought on by my obesity? I had high blood pressure, my triglycerides and cholesterol levels were through the roof and I was pre-diabetic. I knew that if I didn’t do something that I was going to leave my children without a mother and no way was I going to let that happen.
I knew that to be successful I was going to need support. I immediately turned to my husband who agreed that something had to be done. Knowing that actions speak louder than words, he came home from work one night with a gym membership complete with childcare. I began working out right way. I started off slowly with low impact exercises, but after a few months I took the biggest step of my life. I joined in group fitness classes. I was still over 300 pounds, and still the biggest person in the room, but I went in, and I asked for help. The instructors were more than willing to show me modifications for even the most basic of low impact aerobics and weight training exercises. And people were talking about me…in a positive way. I had so many encouraging words from the other women in my classes. The support was, and still is, phenomenal. My fitness has evolved over the past 4 ½ years. I am a runner, a triathlete, an endurance athlete, and now I do CrossFit. I never let myself stagnate. I always push myself out of my comfort zone.But I had to change my diet too. And change it I did. I cut out all refined sugars, white breads, high fructose corn syrup, MSG, and the biggest one of all…fast food. And my diet continues to evolve and change. I’m currently focusing on the Whole30 plan and am feeling amazing!!
In order to be successful I had to learn how to put myself first and leave the guilt of the previous 37 years behind. I was a woman on a mission. And I am still on that mission.
I’ve been fortunate to be able to motivate other people by having my story featured on International, National, and Local Press outlets. I’ve been in a major commercial campaign for Weight Watchers, and Mad Dogg Athletics (Spinning), and have been featured in Woman’s Day Magazine (December, 2012). In addition, I was a Project Athena Grant Recipient in November, 2012 I am the 2013 winner of the Athleta Power to the She Award Iron Girl Clearwater.
My weight loss has given me confidence. Confidence that I can do anything. The best part about being healthier and slimmer is being able to keep up with my kids and being a positive role model for my family and my community. I am proud of me.
’m a former marine biologist, librarian, and fat girl, turned amateur athlete, motivational speaker, and writer. I lost 212 pounds by changing my mindset, clean eating and adding in daily exercise. I am a certified Spinning instructor, and CrossFit addict. I also enjoy adventure/endurance challenges and running races with my children. I am married to James, and we have 3 kids (The Trio), and one autism service dog; a giant yellow Labrador named Matthew. I have a pay it forward Facebook page at and I blog at You can also follow me on Twitter @JennyMetamorfitInstagram, and Pinterest.

Hope she doesn't mind that I shared her story, maybe you'll be inspired by her story the way that I am!  The reason I wanted to share it with all of you is to again point out that it's NEVER TOO LATE!  Never too late to start your new, healthy life.  It can be SO much better.  You can push yourself further.  If we keep reaching, then our journey is never over.  
We can always improve, be healthier, do better!

Today's Workout:  boot camp via Pinterest!  You'd be surprised how much you sweat during an interval workout that's simply you and nothing else!  I did six rounds and each lasted about 10 minutes...I was DRENCHED and it felt good!

some eats from today: Although I love the Trader Joes high protein/high fiber cereal, we haven't been lately so Kelloggs Special K protein plus will have to do!  Still packs 10g protein and 3g fiber but could be better.  I sprinkle flaxseed meal and serve with almond milk!  Mmmm!
  *A great breakfast alternative when we're not in the mood for oatmeal or eggs!  

Lunch was delicious!  a salad which consists of lettuce, flaxseed meal, sunflower seeds, and sliced strawberries.  I served it with a low carb/high fiber tortilla that I toasted on 400 for 15 minutes in the oven...topped with my avocado hummus!  The tortilla gets crispy, so I spread the hummus and ate it like a pizza!  Mmmm!  
*Tip: if you're on the go and need to pack a lunch, pack your salad and hummus the evening before, toast your tortilla and wrap it in foil and it'll stay hard and crispy for lunch!  

Dinner was definitely comfort food!  I made my cauliflower mashed "potatoes" which are super delicious! and my NOT-fried chicken!  I served this with string beans but I ate them before the rest of the meal was prepared...can ya tell I was hungry?!
 4-5 chicken breasts cutlets-sliced into strips
Preheat over to 400.
In a bowl, combine panko bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and garlic powder.
In a separate bowl, combine 2 egg whites, 1/2 c whole wheat flour, 2 tbs flaxseed meal and splash of water, until it is like thick liquid.
Dip chicken strips in flour mixture, allow excess to drip off and then dip into panko mix to coat.
Place chicken in pyrex and bake at 400 for 30 minutes.  Then once it's cooked, squeeze lemon juice on each strip.  I baked a little longer to allow the edges to get really crispy, my favorite part :)  This meal was a huge hit with the entire family!!!  I love when that happens! See, healthy can be delicious and fun and crowd-pleasing!  High fat and high calorie meals are not necessary when you are pressed for time.  This meal literally took me 15 minutes!  That's it!  Once the chicken is prepared, pop it in the oven and get some things done around the house!  

FIND THAT BALANCE that works for you and your family!

TA-DA!!!!!  My new Reebok SUBLITE's that I won via Jess @ Blonde Ponytail!  
I love these shoes!!!
     Honestly, I've never been a Reebok girl!  When I taught PE I only wore Nike, now I wear my Mizuno running shoes all of the time!  
     When Jess was giving away a pair of these babies, I had to enter!  She had been showing off the styles/colors on IG for weeks and I kept telling my husband, I WANT THOSE SHOES!  So when she emailed and tweeted me saying I won, I couldn't believe it!  I was SO happy!!  As soon as they had me choose the color, I knew I wanted the yellow and cute are they?!?  

And the best part?
They don't make my feet look as HUGE as they really are, right?!
Ok, don't be honest on that question because I do have HUGE, size 11 feet!

I wore them during my workout today and FELL.IN.LOVE!!!!!  
They are light, comfortable, have cushion in all the right places (which is usually so hard to find) and will be perfect for strength training/cross training workouts!  I am beyond excited to keep wearing these babies, so thanks Jess!!!  And if you've never checked out her site, you better go there right now!  She's such an inspiration to me and I find motivation from her each and every day!  She shares great workouts, recipes and so much more.  Plus, she's expecting her first child and sharing how she stays fit through pregnancy :)  She's a fellow Fit Fluential Ambassador too!  


fancy nancy said...

I love reading the transformations too! Jenny's story is so inspiring! Congrats on winning Jess' contest!!!

Hollie said...

Love that story you shared. The chicken looks yummy and something I could totally make and they may not figure out its a healthier. Love the shoes too!

Jenny Hodges said...

I just happened across my story on your blog :) Thanks for sharing!!

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