Success Story: 'I'm in Training for the Rest of My Life!'

3SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
1/8/2013 6:00 PM   :  69 comments   :  24,711 Views

Meet Jennifer Schmidt (username OAKBORN), a SparkPeople member who lost 60 pounds--and got fit enough to join the Army! Read on for more about her inspiring journey.

What is your age? I am currently 47 years old.

How long have you been a SparkPeople member? How did you find SparkPeople? I have been a SparkPeople member since January of 2008, but didn't really start using the site until April of 2008. I was using a couple of other sites, but they didn't fit my needs as well as SparkPeople does.

I think I found SparkPeople through a web search, and it was also recommended to me by a friend. I kept coming back to it, and the more I saw, the more I found that the site really fulfilled my needs.

What is your favorite feature on SparkPeople? I love the SparkTeams, the Nutrition and Fitness Trackers, the blogging, etc. I use them all. I made a great friend in one of the groups, and we hit goal together and have remained friends. I plan to meet face-to-face with her someday. (I hope sooner than later!!)

I guess if I had to choose one thing, it would be the support of people just like me, going through the same ups and downs... and the wisdom that we share. I also love the solid science behind everything SparkPeople has to offer, rather than the sensational ''eat 42 grapefruit a day and lose 30 pounds this week'' diets.

How much weight have you lost? I lost a total of 60 pounds. My joining weight was about 205, and I got down to 145. I hang around 150 now, give or take 2-3 pounds.

How long did it take to lose the weight?  It took me eight months and two days to lose the weight.

What was your light bulb moment that made you decide to lose weight? I had already tried making healthier eating choices and exercising, but I didn't get serious about it until 2007. My blood pressure, which had always been good, started creeping up more and more. I woke up on December 30, 2007 and knew that I was going to lose the weight in 2008 because I wanted to be healthy, and I wanted to be around for my great-great-great-great-great grandchildren (if possible!). I also had a plan. I knew that I had to build the habits gradually, so I made a calendar to make sure I ate just three servings of fruits and vegetables per day, while moving at least three times per week--even if it was just 10 minutes of marching in place in front of the TV.

What was your biggest obstacle while trying to lose weight? Keeping up the momentum of exercise and eating right. And the infamous evening snacking and emotional eating.

What does your weekly exercise schedule look like? It varies these days, and with the season. I try to run 3-5 times per week and do a workout video 1-2 times per week. That is my optimal schedule. Lately, however, it's been a challenge--especially with it getting dark so early in Missouri (and cold!), not having a lot of time or space to do anything besides the treadmill, and having to work around sleep schedules of family living in the basement.

What is your favorite way to exercise? I think my favorite exercise is running. It is always hard, but always worth it. I always come away energized and feeling a sense of accomplishment. And right now, my treadmill is my best exercise buddy.

Do you have any personal fitness goals coming up? I am running a 5K soon, and I would like a new best time (under 30 minutes). I also would like to up my Army Physical Fitness Test Score (APFT). My current score is 232, which adds up to a 2-mile run in 19:15, 14 push-ups in 2 minutes, and 44 sit-ups in 2 minutes. (My next APFT is in March.)

What does a typical day of food look like for you? On a good day, my breakfast is fruit, a carb and a protein... and coffee with sugar and skim milk. I love a banana, yogurt and either oatmeal, toast or an English muffin. Lunch can be almost anything-- usually leftovers, or a Lean Cuisine meal, or sometimes Subway. I just try to keep it to 400-500 calories. I carry low-fat string cheese, fruit, and fiber bars for work snacks. Dinner is usually a lean protein with plenty of veggies or salad and a small carb. I also try to keep a water bottle going all day. Evening snacks are my downfall. I need to knit more and eat less!

What is your favorite healthy food? I don't have just one--I am a huge fan of so many healthy things... vegetables, salads, hummus, sushi, pho, lean meats. I like such a wide variety of foods!

What is your favorite treat food? Another hard question. It's a toss-up between cheese, frozen custard and chocolate.

Who is your biggest inspiration? The first name that pops into my head is Jillian Michaels, and the second is my buddy here on SparkPeople, ANNIEONLI. She can always make me laugh, cry and reflect. Her insights are amazing and usually mirror how I feel almost 100%... and she manages to do this while working full time and raising a family. If I could tell you how much her friendship keeps me going, I would be talking for days!

Do you have a personal mantra/saying/quote that you live by that you’d like to share?

Several, actually:

''I can do this!!''

''I'm in training for the rest of my life!''

''I can't help aging, but I can control HOW I age!''

''Energy begets energy!''

Because SparkPeople helped me to lose the weight, I was able to re-enter the military as a nurse. I just completed a year of mobilized stateside service. I love the Army, and I love SparkPeople—they've both gotten me to where I am today!


Does Jennifer inspire you? What tips of hers can you use in your own journey to health?


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Comments

  • 69
    She has done great! Love " I'm in training for the rest of my life!" - 7/24/2014   9:28:52 PM
  • 68
    I love this quote....''I can't help aging, but I can control HOW I age!''
    I am 46 and you are truly an inspiration to me. I sometimes get down on myself because I am aging and the weight is sneaking up on me in spite of my attempt to keep it at bay. Your blog reminds me to not focus on the number and focus on the healthy lifestyle. Thank you for sharing. - 6/2/2014   12:58:49 PM
  • FABULOUS555
    67
    Thank you for sharing your story Jennifer. Your journey helped to remind me what success looks like. A year ago I lost 20 lbs, and gained it back. I am back on track to return to better health. - 6/2/2014   10:22:18 AM
  • 66
    Amazing! You look decades younger. Keep up the great work! - 6/2/2014   7:40:49 AM
  • 65
    I hardly read stories but this one was worth it! - 6/2/2014   6:39:14 AM
  • 64
    WOW, good for you !
    Did you find that your age (over 40) made it any harder ? You know the over 40 metabolism slows down that they talk about.

    I related with your story. I've been trying seriously since March to lose weight. i love Spark People & have made some good changes & mental connections, but can't seem to get past this 5lbs. lost #. My nemesis is carb snacking(chips). I do well & falter at least once a week. It's becoming discouraging. i see all these people losing weight . I should be down much more than I am. If I could push the scale under 200 i think that would be motivating to me to see I accomplished that, Do you have any advice ?

    I am very impressed about your Army piece. - 5/16/2013   6:34:38 AM
  • LOVELYREDX
    63
    Awesome success! Well done, I have been faltering on my journey but I now feel ready to start making the better choices again. Thank you. - 5/6/2013   12:59:38 AM
  • SIDMEGU
    62
    Cool....inspiring and honest! Love you.....hope you keep inspiring new comers like me :) - 5/1/2013   1:45:20 PM
  • CINDYDIANE63
    61
    Congrats!! You have inspired me to keep going. It's day # 2, but I know that I will need to read more stories like yours to help me stay motivated. - 4/8/2013   8:44:20 PM
  • CHERYLHURT
    60
    Amazing - 2/28/2013   8:49:58 AM
  • BREIT67
    59
    Thank you so much. This was very encouraging. - 2/27/2013   11:13:55 AM
  • THE_MBA_CHICK
    58
    very inspiring! keep it up! - 2/26/2013   5:53:42 AM
  • 57
    Thank you... So inspiring! Anni - 2/1/2013   10:20:31 AM
  • PINKEE0127
    56
    You are my motivation...hope I can fill your shoes one day. - 1/28/2013   6:07:46 PM
  • MARYB20155
    55
    You look amazing! Thanks for the inspiration - 1/26/2013   8:41:35 PM
  • TERRYANNJ
    54
    Thank you for the share, what a wonderful, encouraging story. Yes, energy begets energy. Great mantra.... - 1/24/2013   5:16:42 PM
  • 53
    Awesome story! Thank you for sharing and helping to motivate others - 1/21/2013   9:28:16 AM
  • MRSMALTZ
    52
    Your story is very inspiring! Real people real stories are my motivation. - 1/20/2013   6:25:49 PM
  • SEAWORLD4
    51
    I also loved your story..I was glad to see your after picture and your skin looked tight. HAVE BEEN WATCHING DR.PHILL THIS MORNING AND A YOUNG LADY WAS ON THE SHOW THAT LOST WEIGHT AND SHE HAD A LOT OF LOOSE SKIN THAT SHE WAS UNHAPPY ABOUT AFTER HER WEIGHT LOSS. MAYBE SHE LOST MORE WEIGHT THAN YOU NEEDED OR SHE DID NOT EXERCISE, I HAVE ABOUT 50 LBS TO TAKE OFF AND HOPE MY SKIN STAYS TIGHT. HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS TO PREVENT YHIS FROM HAPPENING TO ME? you look grear! - 1/20/2013   10:50:55 AM
  • 50
    What a great story, OMG I truly so happy I found Spark. I what a inspiration thanks for sharing You look wonderful

    Teri - 1/19/2013   2:46:23 PM
  • 49
    So amazing, and inspirational for those of us who are in their middle aged years! - 1/16/2013   12:22:02 PM
  • 48
    What a wonderful success story... Loved it! Keep up the great work! A veteran too! Yay! - 1/16/2013   11:16:01 AM
  • 47
    A wonderful story!!! Thanks for sharing!!! - 1/14/2013   9:48:13 PM
  • ORG1599
    46
    Congrats Jennifer! I have only just started Sparkpeople and am seeing results it truly is an amazing tool when people are ready to use it! I have about 60 pounds to lose and seeing your success story is yet another reminder that I too can do this when I set my mind to it.
    Thanks for sharing Jennifer
    - 1/14/2013   6:42:32 AM
  • 45
    Great job! Congratulations and keep up the good work! You look so much younger and healthier:) - 1/12/2013   1:09:56 PM
  • KATHYV1220
    44
    Thanks for sharing your incredible weight loss story. I just joined and I hope to lose 50lbs by end of the year or sooner! You are an inspiration to all! - 1/12/2013   1:09:43 PM
  • 43
    I feel inspired by just reading about your success. - 1/12/2013   9:43:20 AM
  • ALTKJC116
    42
    AHA! Knit more and eat less ... love it! Thank you for that thought; it'll be my new evening mantra ;). Thanks for sharing your story! - 1/10/2013   6:22:41 PM
  • TANSLEIGH
    41
    Thank you for sharing! - 1/10/2013   4:47:21 PM
  • 40
    Great job! Thanks for sharing your success with others. It's a good motivator for sure. - 1/10/2013   1:49:04 PM
  • 39
    ''I can't help aging, but I can control HOW I age!''
    This is me too!
    - 1/10/2013   12:12:55 PM
  • 38
    I really enjoyed reading this! - 1/10/2013   11:59:38 AM
  • HPSANDDOLLAR
    37
    Thanks for the blog. - 1/10/2013   11:33:54 AM
  • GWILL61
    36
    Great job! I appreciate your sharing and inspiration. - 1/10/2013   9:23:09 AM
  • 35
    Thank you for your service and your inspiration! - 1/10/2013   8:22:57 AM
  • 34
    Thank you for your testimony. I have been struggling with exercise. I like to walk but need to do more brisk walking. You are truly an inspiration to keep going. - 1/9/2013   10:23:23 PM
  • 33
    Thank you for your testimony. I have been struggling with exercise. I like to walk but need to do more brisk walking. You are truly an inspiration to keep going. - 1/9/2013   10:23:15 PM
  • 32
    Thank you for sharing such a motivational, doable blog! I can feel your enthusiasm and your smile. - 1/9/2013   5:32:29 PM
  • 31
    Congratulations on your achievements! - 1/9/2013   5:26:22 PM
  • MARSHALLMA
    30
    Awesome, keep up the good work:-) - 1/9/2013   4:34:22 PM
  • 29
    Awesome! Thank you for sharing! - 1/9/2013   4:18:02 PM
  • NJHEART2HEART
    28
    So glad to read you blog. Very inspiring. - 1/9/2013   3:45:21 PM
  • 27
    Thanks for your blog. Very inspiring! I love the Army. I worked as a DA Civiilian for 30 years. I'm now retired, have gotten out of shape, and your article really inspires me to "train for the rest of my life." - 1/9/2013   12:48:39 PM
  • 26
    Hello and congratulations on your success! - 1/9/2013   10:54:01 AM
  • 25
    That;s amazing
    - 1/9/2013   10:49:09 AM
  • 24
    You look great and I thank you for your story. - 1/9/2013   10:16:28 AM
  • 23
    Thank you for your service. So many great ideas here. I have been knitting more myself. :) - 1/9/2013   9:21:23 AM
  • 22
    Love your story! Thanks for being such an inspiration to all those who are coming up behind you on maintenance. - 1/9/2013   8:25:36 AM
  • MSKRIS7
    21
    WoW you are truly an inspiration - 1/9/2013   7:31:16 AM
  • 20
    yes, she sounds real and that inspires me - 1/9/2013   7:08:41 AM

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