Jennifer Knecht’s weight loss is truly amazing! She is an inspiration, and her story is a testament to what you can accomplish with diet, exercise, and hard work. Read on to find out how she did it!
Lucille Roberts: Tell us a little about yourself first.
Jennifer Knecht: I am 39 years old, happily married, and a stay-at-home mom with four wonderful kids aged 15, 14, 11, and 7. I have been a member of Lucille Roberts Bay Shore since September 2011.
LR: How much weight have you lost, and how long did it take you?
JK: To date, I have lost 115 lb. My starting weight was 257 lb., and I am now 143 lb. I started my weight loss journey in November 2010. My goal was to lose 100 lb., and I have now surpassed that goal. It took me about 14 months. Along with the losing weight, since joining Lucille Roberts I have lost so many inches and am toned and have definition. I always get so many compliments on my arms now. I love it! That was one part of my body that I hated, and now they are my most favorite part, and I love to show them off.
LR: What made you decide to start working out to lose weight?
JK: In late 2010, I faced a number of different health problems. I was overweight, suffered from herniated and slipped disks, and had high blood pressure and cholesterol as well as ovarian cysts and nodules on my thyroid (cancer scare). With a family history of Type 2 diabetes, I was at risk of developing the disease. To top things off, I was diagnosed with Lyme disease in September 2010. I felt like my world was falling apart. But the wake-up call that snapped me into action happened on a vacation to Aruba when I could hardly fit into my airplane seat and wasn’t able to buckle the seat belt. I thought to myself, “I can’t be that fat, can I?” But I was. That day, I made the commitment to quit my bad habits and adopt a healthier way of life through diet and exercise.
I knew I had a lot of weight to lose and that diet alone just wasn’t going to do it for me. I wanted to try and incorporate working out in my routine to help me lose the weight faster but also to help tone so I would not have sagging skin since I had over 100 lb. to lose. I wanted to get healthier and stronger since I had so many health problems, and the one thing the doctor said would help me with a lot of my issues was working out. I started off slow: 15 minutes at a time at home with workout DVDs. But the BEST thing I did for myself during my weight loss journey was rewarding myself with a Lucille Roberts gym membership! I have not been the same since.
LR: Which classes are your favorites?
JK: Where do I begin? I take and LOVE ALL the classes. My favorites are Turbo Kick with Kara, Intensity and Tabata with Pat and Sue, and the fun Zumba classes with Kristen and Juliette on the weekends. I love Remix and Kick Some Abs and all the toning classes like Butt & Gut, Tonoga, and Bar & Ball. Like I said, I love them all and am totally hooked on taking classes.
LR: What’s your typical weekly workout routine?
JK: I am at the gym every day except for Fridays. I take two morning classes a day. I do a cardio class and then a toning class right afterwards. Some days I will also run on the treadmill and come back for another class in the evening.
At the beginning when I joined, I started off using the machines like the treadmill and elliptical and watched the classes. After about a week of watching the classes, I decided to give the them a try, and ever since then I am HOOKED. I LOVE them all! I am amazed at the things I can do and how far I have come and how far I can push myself. I never in my wildest dreams thought I could be toned and defined.
LR: How have you changed your diet to help you lose weight?
JK: I have been following a diet of no white carbs and no added sugar, only natural sugars from fruits. I eat a lot of protein and a lot of vegetables along with whole wheat carbs every now and then. Eating this way along with working out has lowered my cholesterol and blood pressure and is a lifestyle change that I can follow for the rest of my life to continue to stay healthy and to keep the weight off.
LR: How do you feel now compared to when you first started working out?
JK: Since joining Lucille Roberts, I feel so much stronger. I feel like a completely different person. I have so much more energy now. I used to get out of breath just walking up a flight of stairs, but now I am running 5k and 10k races. On March 24, I will be running my very first half-marathon. A year ago, if someone had told me this, I would have laughed in her face. Who would ever have thought that I would LOVE and WANT to work out?! It is the BEST thing for you!!! This is coming from a person who hated exercising. Now I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t get to the gym.
LR: How has losing weight affected your life outside the gym?
JK: Losing weight has changed my life completely. I am a brand-new me. I am more self-confident and outgoing (many people point that out to me now). At one of the Zumba classes, I go up and join the instructor onstage and shake it in front of the whole class. I would never, ever have done that before. I would always have been the one to hide in the back and keep to myself.
The same was true of my home life. I never wanted to go anywhere or do anything because I felt embarrassed of the way I looked. At the movie theatre, I was hardly able to fit in the seat; at an amusement park with my kids, I wasn’t able to fit on the rides due to my being overweight. It was a horrible feeling. Losing weight has changed all that. I can run around with my children now, fit in the movie seat with no problem, and ride all the rides with my kids. I am having so much more fun now! I feel like I got a new lease on life. I sleep very well each night, too—working out has helped with that. I just have so much more energy to do things when before I didn’t want to move or go anywhere.
Today, I am a much happier and healthier person, who will be around for a long time for my family. I no longer have high cholesterol or high blood pressure. The doctor said I am in excellent health, and I am teaching my kids the same healthy eating principles and workout habits that I have learned. In October 2011, when my husband and I went on a vacation to Florida, I experienced instant gratification when I was able to fit into the airplane seat (with some extra room!) and buckle my seat belt just fine!
Along with getting healthier, I have made many new friendships since joining the gym—another plus!
LR: What words of wisdom or advice would you offer to other women who are trying to lose weight?
I have my favorite quote that I always think of and that I have up on my refrigerator: “Nothing is impossible: the word itself says I’m Possible”. Keep at it for a healthier, happier you because it IS possible! Everyone can lose weight; just keep at it and don’t give up even if the results are not happening as fast as you would like. After 14 months, I am 115 lb. lighter because I DID NOT GIVE UP!! Make small changes and set mini-goals throughout instead of looking at the big picture—this helped me so much. And remember, slow and steady wins the race. It is a lifetime journey. I am living proof that you can change your body. 115 lb. later, I am feeling strong, sexy, and confident!!!
Are you ready to lose the weight and get in shape? Come visit us at Lucille Roberts! Click here for a free week-long guest pass to any Lucille Roberts gym.