Most of us think of a hula hoop as a retro children’s toy, rather than a tool for serious weight loss, but Jen Moore’s weight loss journey will make you change your mind.
Jen and her husband Keith both used food to cope with a range of emotions, and reached obesity following their marriage in 2001. At her heaviest, Jen weighted 288 pounds, and described her relationship to food as an addiction. “We had tried dieting in the past,” she says. “I was the queen of yo-yo dieting. It just didn’t work.”
Then in September of 2009, Jen began teaching herself hula hooping from Hoopnotica DVDs. The hoop used in this workout is built for adult use, and weights about two pounds. She would take her hoop to open gym at the local Y and practice. “I’d go to the corner of the floor to hoop while the basketball players stared, pointed and laughed,” Jen says, but that didn’t deter her. “It took me ALMOST three weeks (yes I was there every day) just to keep the hoop spinning around my waist, but from day one, I felt a tremendous difference in my core strength, confidence and energy just from the workout involved in dropping, bending over and picking up the hoop.”
Her first workouts lasted only 15 minutes per day, but soon she was able to double her time, and lost the first 40 pounds in three months. Hoopnotica is low-impact, something which made it easier for her to do despite her excess weight. “It’s really hard for an obese person to just start running like a fit person can,” Jen says.
Jen’s husband noticed the difference also. “Keith was impressed with my preliminary weight loss results and he was jealous of all of the fun I was having!” she says. It wasn’t long before her “skeptical” husband was doing the Hoopnotica workouts too. “Keith didn’t initially see his weight as much of an issue. He bragged that he only needed to lose 20 lbs to look fit again, however when he soon reached his goal of 280, he didn’t notice a difference in the mirror.”
Jen and Keith decided to lose weight together, something that leads to lasting success for many couples. “From this moment on, Keith and I committed to helping each other lose major poundage by practicing Hoopnotica and making simple, yet healthy lifestyle changes.”
Rather than focusing on a specific diet plan, Jen focused on improving her diet by adding plenty of fruit and vegetables and cutting back on unhealthy snacks. Jen is now down to a healthy 145 pounds, and Keith lost nearly 200 pounds. “I used to mindlessly eat and watch television or eat and read a book,” explains Jen. “Instead of eating chips now, I eat grapes and know that I am going to stay healthy.”
The couple could also feel good about the example they’re setting for their children. “We are cultivating our kids’ taste buds to like healthy foods,” says Jen “We don’t want our kids to become obese and suffer like we did for so long. We are empowering our kids to make the right food choices.”
Losing weight not only dramatically improved Jen’s and Keith’s health, it also gave them a new direction for their lives. After discovering Hoopnotica, Jen felt the desire to “pay it forward,” and together they became certified instructors in the Hoopnotica curriculum. Together, they started their own company, Roc City Hoop Dance, and enjoy helping others lose weight.
“As a hoop instructor, I am proud to share the delight of hooping with my students,” says Jen. “I hope that by equipping them with a hoop I play a role in their personal empowerment as well.”