After hitting rock bottom in a dressing room, Jaclyn Fehringer retooled her diet, joined the gym and erased 73 pounds.

As told to Rozalynn S. Frazier
December 23, 2013

jaclyn-beforeJaclyn Fehringer, 34, 5'10"Before: 220 lbs. (size 18)My weight problem started with motherhood: I had four kids in six years, and the back-to-back pregnancies made it difficult to shed the baby pounds—not to mention that taking care of my children (at one point, I had three in diapers!) left me drained. Still, it wasn't until I was buying shorts in the summer of 2010 that I realized how heavy I was. I started my try-ons with a size 12 and didn't find a pair that fit until I got up to size 18! That was it: I had to take back control of my body.


My first step? Signing up for Nutrisystem. The program gave me structure, something that had been missing from my life. I no longer had to plan what to eat—everything was laid out in right-size portions, helping me do away with double dinners. Within 2½ months, I was down 25 pounds. Slipping into clothes that I had given up hope of ever wearing again was just the motivation I needed to stick with it.

jaclyn-afterAfter: 147 lbs. (size 4) Total weight lose: 73 lbs. (sizes lost: 14)Laura Barisonzi GYM FEAR, CONQUERED

After five months of healthy eating, I hit the treadmill and walked for 30 minutes three times a week, eventually building up to an hour five days a week. In less than a month I dropped another 10 pounds. I kicked up my exercise and added in twice-weekly workouts with a trainer. She introduced me to circuit training, indoor cycling and running. In May 2011 I hit my 147-pound goal. Looking back, I see that it was easy to pass the blame to the kids, as if they were why I let myself go. Honestly, it was just poor decision-making. Now I've learned the importance of healthy choices. The most crucial: making time for myself.

HOW INSPIRING Check out the secrets to Jaclyn's body reinvention. And follow Health on Pinterest ( for more real-world-tested tips on staying in shape.


It's easy and it tastes good. Plus, it's a sentimental meal. It had a lot to do with getting me to where I am now, which is why I still eat it several times a week.


I always have tons on hand. For a quick treat, I roast kale with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil. Sometimes I'll even down a bag of raw broccoli to keep me from going to the pantry for something unhealthy.


I wasn't always gung-ho about it. My gym buddies used to call me "Jackie in the Backy" because I'd sit in the back, next to the door, for an easy escape.


She's an NFL cheerleader turned trainer. I was inspired by her great body and seemingly genuine personality, so I incorporated her workouts into my regimen. I even make a few of her recipes, like Turkey Meatloaf Muffins.


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