My name is Jen Ballinger. I moved to the Mansfield, Ohio area the first week of August, 2010. My first objective was to find a gym that I enjoyed. When I found Mansfield Super Fitness, I was impressed. The staff greeted me with enthusiasm and I spoke with Angie about the gym. She told me about the lifestyle change diet and I said let's do it. I started my weight loss journey in August of 2010 and I reached my goal weight of 150 pounds in January of 2011. I lost a total of 23 pounds and was very excited. I went from a size 12/14 to a size 6/8.
I work out around 4-5 days a week. If! am unable to make it to the gym, I have some DVD's at home that are great. It is a great way to relieve stress after work. When I do not work out, I feel a bit guilty. Therefore, I work out most week days. Since I have lost my weight, my family and friends ask what diet I was on and what I did. I reply that it was not a diet, but rather, a lifestyle change. I explain how I choose my meals now and control my portion sizes. I live by the 85/15 rule. I eat what I should 85% of the time and eat what I want 15% of the time. Using this rule, I have maintained my weight for 6 months. I even had a coworker that was so impressed that she also signed up at the gym and began her weight loss journey.
Sine I have lost the weight, I have a lot more energy. After I work out each day, I go home and take my dog for a nice walk, even in the winter. I also have more energy at work. I type a lot at my job and I get fidgety occasionally. I take a 5 minute break every 30-60 minutes and walk around my building. I also may do calf or leg raises when I need a break. I babysit in the summer when school is out and even the 2 children I babysit for commented on how much longer I am able to play kickball or basketball with them without getting tired.
Since I started my journey, I have also added a lot of muscle tone. My clothes fit a lot better. I also enjoy wearing shorts now. I have not worn shorts in about 4 or 5 years because I disliked how my legs looked. However, I love how they look now, so shorts are great.
I have also learned how to cook (sort of). I try to cook different things, even though they may not turn out so well. When I go home to family and/or friends, they ask me what they should cook. I tell them and they cook it much better than I am able. I also save money due to not eating out as much. Instead of going out to eat with friends, I cook a nice dinner for them and we go somewhere after we eat. I also eat more often than I used to. I eat about every 3 hours, whether it is a meal or a snack. Everyone at work calls me the snack queen because I eat often and always have a snack in my office or purse. They do not make fun of me when they are starving and they have a snack that I had on hand.
Overall, I am very pleased with my weight loss journey and am very happy with everything. I love the way I look now and feel so much better. I am very grateful that I entered the gym and signed up for this wonderful experience.