Training For a Half Marathon. Improving her eating habits and activity level helped this former athlete run her first half marathon.
Home South Range, Wisconsin
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High school athletics couldn’t compete with Jennifer Kloss’s crappy diet. “I loved junk food and never ate fruits or vegetables,” she says. By her junior year, Kloss weighed 160 pounds. In college, she quit sports to focus on class work and spend time with her future husband. “It became a cycle of overeating and not exercising,” she says. In 2005, her weight peaked at 220.
The Breaking Point
That November, physical revealed elevated levels of an enzyme in Kloss’s liver that, if left unchecked, could lead to serious health problems, including heart disease. She resolved to take her doctor’s advice to lose weight before she got sick.
“I took a hard look at what I was eating–boxed pasta and rice mixes–and what was lacking–fruits, vegetables, and whole grains,” she says. She tried to balance her meals, pairing veggies she liked with low-cal frozen entrées. She baked foods she used to fry and cut portions by half or more. She began walking for 30 minutes a night on her treadmill and doing half-hour weight training sessions with one of the Biggest Loser workout DVDs. At Kloss’s three-month checkup, she’d lost 20 pounds and her liver enzyme levels were in the healthy range. By May 2006, she was jogging regularly. “I used to spend my entire lunch hour eating,” she recalls. After she helped out at a water station for a half-marathon, she was game: “With a year to train, I could definitely run 13.1 miles.”
By race day, in June 2007, Kloss was 86 pounds lighter than when she started getting back in shape (she lost the last four pounds by January). “I was crying as I crossed the finish line,” she says. “It made me realize how far I’d come. I’m an athlete again!”
Shake up a routine. “I started dance lessons to vary my workouts. It’s not only lots of fun but also has toned my abs.”
Outsource snacks. “I love to bake, but now I make smaller batches. Then I have a few cookies and give the rest away.”
Put it in writing. “My husband made a spreadsheet to help me track my progress. Each week we’d update it with photos of my new and improved body. It reminded me to never give up.”