Jennifer Fite, 47, is a single mom and publicist living in Chicago, Illinois who kept good on her 2012 New Year’s resolution. This time last year Jen knew it was time for a change. At her heaviest weight of 283 pounds, she was unhealthy, unhappy and determined to take control of her health once and for all.
We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jen about her amazing weight loss journey, which left her 95 pounds lighter in just under one year. It all started when she joined a local gym called Downsize Fitness.
When did your struggle with weight begin, as a child or later in life?
My struggle began later, I was not heavy my whole life. After high school and going into college is when I began feeling overweight.
What changed for you, and what specifically made 2012 the year of change?
I got sick of my own inner voice, finally. What really changed is after joining Downsize Fitness, I found a community of people that I could finally be real with about my struggles and my weight. That was the major difference.
What have been some of your greatest struggles and triumphs in your weight loss journey?
Learning the crappy stuff about myself. Weight loss is emotional. Everyone has a story. You have to go through the junky stuff about why you are the way you are to figure out who you want to be, and how to stay that way. It took me 47 years to be able to talk about some of the stuff that you go through – binge eating, out of control feelings, giving up, etc.
What diet changes and fitness programs did you implement to lose the weight?
I work out six days a week and I keep a food journal. I will keep a food journal the rest of my life. It helps me stay on track. My workouts are a combination of cardio and strength training.
How would you encourage people who are struggling with their weight but want to make a serious change in 2013?
I would say to them that for once you need to take care of yourself without excuses. I am a single mother with a big job and a big life. It’s easy to push yourself aside and time is a funny thing. A day of missing exercise and eating poorly turns into three days and then a month.
I always say: A year from now you will wish you started today, and it is the truth. Time goes by fast, look in the mirror and go beyond your neck! It can be shocking, hard, painful and hard. (Yes, I said hard twice.) But I know this for sure: Time and the scale can be your friend – the same way you went up you will go down.
I also believe in the power of community. Join a gym where you can talk to people about your situation. Face the fear about saying what you weigh out loud, about what you ate, and about how you feel. I know it may sound daunting, but you will feel lighter just by doing that. Be grateful that your body moves and practice gratefulness, even if it is as small as finding a great parking space. I say practice because you have to do that to get better at feeling lucky and how good your life is already. Good Luck in 2013!
Jen is currently at a weight of 190 pounds and is very close to reaching her goal weight of 175 pounds. We’re cheering her on all the way.