Jennie's 56-Pound Weight Loss Finally Stuck

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JENNIE HENDERSON
Jennie Henderson

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Name: Jennie Henderson
Age: 38
Before Weight: 206
After Weight: 150
Height: 5’0"

How I gained it: They say "write what you know." Well I know fat. My entire life I have been at war with my weight. I've won a few battles, but mostly my evil enemy has beaten me time and time again. I have been overweight for as long as I can remember. Although I recently saw a picture of me when I was about five years old and I was as skinny as can be. That made me cry. In grade school and high school I was just overweight. When I went off to college I started to get fat. I apparently liked the freshman fifteen so much that I repeated it every year. Since college it's been a roller coaster, and it's been mostly uphill. I did have a few years when I dropped down. I spent one year working in N.Y.C. and walked everywhere. I looked pretty good then, but still couldn't lose the belly. As soon as I left I ballooned up again.

Breaking Point: Six years ago things changed for me. I had just suffered serious heartbreak and my office-mate was preparing to get married. So to support her I joined the gym with her through work.

How I Lost It: I became addicted. We initially started going together and then I was going every day on my own. I couldn't get enough. I loved the treadmill and the group power-lifting classes. The weight was coming off and I was feeling good. What I didn't know then was that I was still a moron when it came to nutrition. I could have lost so much more if only I had eaten right. I wasn't eating horribly, I just wasn't eating what I should.

Fast forward a couple of years, and there was a follow-up heartbreak. This one was even worse. I couldn't breathe anymore and I had to move back home. That meant leaving my gym. So here I was heartbroken and without a gym. I walked as much as I could for the first couple months and seemed to be doing well. And then not so much. The weight started to come back. Great! Now I was heartbroken and fat again!

I made the decision in November to start the South Beach Diet. (Because it's always best to start a new diet routine right before Thanksgiving.) But I was seeing results. I couldn't believe it. Sure, I thought I was going to die going into sugar-withdrawal, but it was making a difference.

So I had seen results with the gym and I had seen results with nutrition, but not together. I'm still working on that. It's been almost four years since then and I've been up and down so many times. My emotions take over and I can't help it.

I love to write and have been wanting to start a blog for a few years. I finally sat down during Hurricane Irene and got started. The blog is called Confessions of a Former Fat Girl. I quickly posted the link to my Facebook page and to my Twitter account. I was amazed at how many hits I got within a day. That just fueled me to write some more. So I started marketing my blog any way I could. Within a month, I had more than 2,700 hits in 16 different countries. I am completely in awe of everyone I am touching. It's a pretty awesome responsibility.

When I originally thought of starting this blog, my plan was for one post a week. Who knew it would be so addicting? I'm averaging two posts a day. But this is a good thing. This is how I am keeping myself accountable for my actions. You hear all of the time that you should journal your food and workouts. I've tried that, but unless someone is reading mine it won't matter and I will stop writing in the journal. I have six journals with a few pages each to prove it. When someone else is watching you, you definitely behave differently. In my case, I don't want to let anyone down.

I have promised to be as honest as I possibly can be. I have shared embarrassing stories and even my numbers. That's originally what I had intended to the blog to be. But, then strangers were telling me how much I inspire them and started asking me for advice. Now the blog has three purposes: The first is to share my daily struggles and how I fight the temptations. The second is to bare my soul on embarrassing moments from when I was fat. And the third is to provide tips that can help those who are also on the journey.

Last weekend I finally admitted my dream of competing in a half-marathon. The former fat girl in me was afraid to tell anyone. She thought for sure they would laugh, but that is so not the case. I am receiving unbelievable support. These friends and strangers who are cheering me on have no idea how much they mean to me. I don't want to let them down so I am making even better choices and decisions. I am now in training and hope to compete in one in December. I will be walking, but I will also be finishing. I am in this for the long haul.

In addition to the blog I have started a Facebook page to support it. I wanted an interactive page for people to discuss topics I bring up and to share stories of their own. I can't sit still with knowledge I have gained. I want to help everyone out there that feels like they are alone and that they are going to be stuck in their fat body forever. It is never too late.

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