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 poundsnot 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 eateverything was laid out in right-size portions, helping me do away with double dinners. Within 2Â½ 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.
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 (pinterest.com/goodhealth) for more real-world-tested tips on staying in shape.
MY GO-TO MEAL: GRILLED CHICKEN AND ARUGULA SALAD
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.
FAVE SNACK- ATTACK BUSTER: VEGGIES
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.
CALORIE SIZZLER: SPIN CLASS
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.
FITNESS ROLE MODEL: JAMIE EASON
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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