By Christina Stiehl
Hint: It didn't require surgery or any 'magic' pills.
It seems like a daunting task to lose any amount of weight, let alone hundreds of pounds. Add to that getting older, when your metabolism slows down and you don’t have the same energy for workouts, and you have a recipe for a continued cycle of weight gain, self-loathing, more weight gain, and repeat. But one Pennsylvania woman decided enough was enough; she broke the cycle and didn’t let any of those excuses get in the way of transforming her life.
Jennifer Butters, 53, lost a jaw-dropping 275 pounds in three and a half years. After her weight piled on after three pregnancies, and her emotional eating spiraled out of control, the 5-foot-5 woman knew it was time to make a change. And she didn’t rely on surgery or quick fixes — rather, she overhauled her eating habits, focused on self-love, and worked pretty damn hard. Here’s how she did it.
Butters had made many attempts to lose weight before, she told the Today show, and couldn’t seem to make it stick. People even started discouraging her from losing weight, saying she’d never accomplish her goals. Nevertheless, she persisted. "Don’t let any excuses get in your way," she told Today. "Choose a healthy, balanced weight-loss plan and surround yourself with as much support, encouragement and inspiration."
She kept a food journal
Butters told Pennsylvania news station WGAL that logging her food during her weight-loss journey was essential. "Keeping track of your calories will really help you figure out what you’re eating, why you’re eating and how you can improve the next day," she said. To get started, check out our 10 Tips for Keeping a Food Journal for Weight Loss.
She went back to basics
She kept her diet pretty lean and clean, sticking to vegetables, fruit, lean meat, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. To keep the weight off, she steers clear of processed food. "You can build the healthiest most satisfying meals and snacks if you simply eliminate processed foods from your diet," she told WGAL.
She gave herself 'cheat' days
Although Butters eats healthy most of the time, she allows herself some indulgences, including birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. Even when she ventures off her normal eating path, she can easily get back on track when the celebration is over.
"It feels so much better to be at a healthy weight and to be free of all the emotional baggage I carried around that I don’t completely enjoy eating 'off plan' for very long," she told Today. "After a day or so off, I am ready to get back on."
Main photo courtesy of the Today show
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