No Excuses Anymore

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


jaclyn-before
Jaclyn 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.

PORTIONS, HALVED

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-after
After: 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 (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.

SHARE YOUR TRANSFORMATION

Have an amazing body makeover of your own? Tell us about it at health.com/i-did-it and let us know what diet and fitness strategies worked for you.
As told to Rozalynn S. Frazier
Last Updated: December 17, 2014

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