Sunday, March 16, 2014

Guest Post: An Inspiring Transformation Story

Editor's Note: This guest post is written by one of my closest friends, Jenna, whose story I hope inspires you to make any changes in your life in which you are unhappy with, whether they are about weight or whatever else. All it takes is the courage to take the first step and the motivation to keep going, even when the road gets tough.

Jenna, a 22 year old post-grad working full time in Kansas City

I hadn't noticed, but once I did, I hated myself for letting it happen. Finally, I started to see it. I saw it in the mirror, in photographs, in the look on people's faces, in the size of the fabric stretched tight around me. It took a year, but I finally saw the extra 50 pounds I had packed onto my already overweight body. It seemed the problem was that my confidence was so high and I was so comfortable in my own skin that I didn’t notice the tearing and the stretching around my waistline.


The time came in my life where I moved to a new town. I graduated college and got a full time job with a large moving stipend—every recently graduated college student’s dream. I had it. I packed my small bedroom in my mother’s house in New Jersey and let the moving company take everything I owned to Kansas City, Missouri. It was a huge change. Yes, I was scared. Yes, I was nervous. I cried the whole four hour plane ride. I was forced to leave behind my friends, my family, and those I love the absolute most in the world. In my mind I thought I had made a mistake.

I started my job and met another drama nerd who seemed to understand me a little more than the others. We got together one night for drinks and I started to vent about my feelings of leaving home and how fat I had let myself get. He got quiet, raised an eyebrow, and said, “so fucking do something about it." He was probably one of the first people who didn’t cover it up with something like “but you’re so pretty” or “everyone loves you."
That was the moment I decided to take the plunge.


I started by myself. I cut my calorie intake to 1200 calories a day and would do small 25 minute workouts in the hotel gym I was staying at. A few days in, I knew I was going to be taking this seriously so I gave in and I stepped onto the scale. Tears welled up in my eyes as I read the number. 214.8 pounds. Why did I let this happen to me? I wanted to beat myself up. I wanted to just give up, but I didn’t. I was in a new city: I had left the old behind, it was time to start a new life and build a new me.


I moved into my apartment. I joined a gym. I hired a personal trainer. I started buying all healthy alternatives to foods I had previously indulged. My cabinets and my refrigerator only had healthy options. It was easier to pack my own healthy food and feel good about myself rather than go out to eat with groups of people, only to beat myself up for the 2000 calories I had just consumed.


I took Zumba, MMA classes, yoga classes, weight lifting classes; basically anything the gym had to offer. It didn’t take long and I soon became that girl. That girl everyone in the gym knew. The one everyone was so proud of for losing so much weight and for being so motivated. I knew almost everyone by name by the third month. I lived at the gym. I started to love it. I loved the lifestyle. I loved the results I was getting. I loved putting on my old clothes and watching them fall to the floor.


I quit smoking cigarettes, drinking became a treat, stairs were my friend for the first time in my entire life. Losing the weight has been the best decision I have ever made. I feel comfortable in my own skin. My relationship with the outdoors has grown so greatly. I can outrun, out climb, and out hike my boyfriend, who I had previously held back. I feel good every single day. I’m healthy. I’m happy. I’m ready to live the rest of my life in this mindset. My spunky personality now matches the body that comes along with it.

I’m proud of myself.

I’m still in the process of changing. I now weigh 162 pounds. I started at a size 16 pants and now fit into size 6 jeans. I plan on losing more, but I understand the process will slow as my body becomes used to the amount of exercise I give it. I’m not giving up, though. I’m excited for the future.


Note from the Editor:

I've known Jenna for over ten years now and I've never been more proud of her. She was never a girl who let her weight be an issue and her personality was enough to outshine anyone else in the room. She's loyal, hard working, super friendly and most importantly—one tough bitch. I've watched her change these past few months and although she's always had that "spunky" personality as she says, I now see an extra something in her. I can tell she is happier and that makes me happy for her. She's an inspiration to anyone else who is currently on the path to losing weight, or even changing something about themselves that they are not satisfied with. What I'm most proud of, though, is that she did it the old-fashion way. She worked her ass off at the gym, ate healthy but didn't starve herself and most importantly, she realized this is a lifestyle change, not just a temporary fix.

I've seen many girls become obsessed with their bodies and their self-image, to the point that it becomes unhealthy and they make bad choices. Your weight should never be a factor for why someone likes or doesn't like you. We unfortunately live in a society that makes it so, but you should not let yourself fall into this mindset. If you want to lose weight, do it for health reasons. Do it for you. Not for anybody else. Do it to make yourself happier, but for the right reasons. And don't beat yourself up if you don't get the results you want right away. It's a long and difficult process, but it's one that is worth it. It will make you stronger, not only physically, but mentally, too.

Jenna was a beautiful woman even before the weight loss. You know what made her so special? The type of person she was on the inside. That's what truly counts. Don't ever forget that.



  1. very inspiring! thanks for sharing :)

  2. Amazing girl!! I am so glad to call you both a friend and an inspiration!!

  3. thank you for sharing your friends!

  4. Yup! Love that girl. She was my house-mate in NJ. (One of several) I gotta tell ya: I'm sooooo proud of her! Much love, Kiddo. Uncle Reid. :)