Is it possible to break the yo-yo dieting cycle? And get real and lasting results — minus the deprivation? Even if you’ve fallen off track?
It totally is.
And Jenn E. is proof.
After giving up the dieting drama, this inspiring and, frankly, adorable-as-hell 52-year-old doesn’t feel (or look!) a bit her age — and was able to hit her goal weight. And she’s here to tell you that you can do it, too!
Her secret? Read on for our one-on-one interview with Jenn about her experience in our weight-loss with self love program, the 10 in 4 Challenge …
What is your history with dieting?
OMG, girl, we don’t have all day! My mom put me on my first diet when I was in fifth grade and through the years I’m pretty sure I tried just about every diet on the planet (sometimes more than once): 3 Day Wonder Diet, Scarsdale, Rotation Diet, Miami Heart Institute Diet, The Diet Center, South Beach, Atkins, Hollywood Diet, the Cabbage Diet, Nutri System, Jenny Craig, Eat More Weigh Less, Carb Cycling, Paleo, Mediterranean, Weight Watchers … the list is endless.
To my credit, I never tried that HCG thing where you had to give yourself shots. Or the Keto thing — but that’s likely because I’d lost most of my weight before it was a thing — I mean, come on. I pretty much embraced ANY diet that promised endless bacon …
What were your challenges before doing the 10 in 4 Challenge?
Well. Four years ago I finally lost all my [excess] weight (85 pounds). And I’ve successfully (if not always completely effortlessly) kept it off. My normal pattern is 5 pounds of summer weight gain (vacation!), then back to normal eating and it comes off.
Until this year.
Exhibit A: We made a huge long distance move and I miss my friends. Plus had to find new fitness routines. And I had a bad attitude so it was hard. Exhibit B: I had some physical issues that seriously set me back — I couldn’t do the things I normally do. Exhibit C: Huge pity party ensued throughout my Summer of Food (and wine!). Result: A 15-pound gain from March through September, and a constant feeling of spiraling out of control.
How did the 10 in 4 Challenge help?
When I stepped on the scale around the end of August, I saw a number I hoped never to see again. I thought to myself in that instant that I was NEVER going back down that doom loop of gaining and regretting. Fortunately, I knew from a lot of experience that my personal keys to success are accountability, consistency and community. I had no problem with the food plan I’d always used, but a couple other things were missing from the equation. 10 in 4 offered everything I knew I’d need to succeed.
What was your biggest ah-ha from the 10 in 4 Challenge?
Two things. First, I don’t REALLY know everything about nutrition and weight-loss already! I learned if I can just keep an open mind, there are a ton of things still to learn and practice in pursuit of my best self. And second, PLANNING and STRUCTURE are the elusive keys to my kingdom.
What was the best part of the 10 in 4 Challenge?
Hmmm. I’m going to go with community here, although the focus on planning is a close second. I’m a talker, and kind of an over-sharer, and very, very focused when I take on a challenge. So it helps me tremendously to be able to blurt things out in the Facebook group, both giving and receiving support along the way. The planning and check-ins are also pretty huge — if I know someone is EXPECTING me to do something, I generally do it — where I might not if “no one is looking.”
What’s your life like outside of the 10 in 4 Challenge? How do your healthier habits help you to live your life?
Outside 10 in 4 I’m incredibly active, and still exploring ways to connect and be involved in my new community. I love to travel, to be outside, to ride my bike and crush a fuzzy yellow tennis ball. I’m ultra-competitive (mostly with myself so please don’t send me a step challenge!) and love setting new goals to work toward! The habit I constantly work on in the 10 in 4 Challenge is planning — this is critical for me, as I’m on the go, and not always sitting at home where I can have a well-thought-out meal or snack. Thinking about my week holistically (fitness + food + self time) has been a game-changer for me.
What awesomeness is next for you?
My next goals are getting a personal training/coaching certification and biking a century ride next year! I started 10 in 4 at the beginning of September, and have lost 16.5 pounds as of this week. I’m right at my goal weight, and plan to continue with the 10 in 4 Challenge, adding a couple of things in to maintain vs. lose at this point. I couldn’t be happier to have finally found myself again, along with a new community of friends!
Isn’t Jenn the best?! (I’m not just saying that because we have the first same name either.) Learn how you can get results like Jenn here! —Jenn