I Lost Weight: Jennifer Andersen Took Up Tennis And Lost Nearly 160 Pounds

Jennifer Lost More Than 150 Pounds: 'I Thought I Would Be Heavy For The Rest Of My Life'

Got a success story of your own? Send it to us at success.stories@huffingtonpost.com and you could be featured on the site!

Name: Jennifer Andersen
Age: 30
Height: 5'6"
Before Weight: 324 pounds

How I Gained It: I was not a heavy child or teen, but when I had my first child at the age of 20, it all went downhill from there. I gained 100 pounds while pregnant, and, at the time, losing that kind of weight seemed impossible. I just assumed I would be heavy for the rest of my life. I ate whatever I wanted and did no exercise. I was eating probably close to 4,000 or 5,000 calories a day. When I got married, on November 19, 2009, I was at my heaviest, weighing 324 pounds.

Breaking Point: After being terribly embarrassed over the wedding photos, and realizing how obese I really was, a change was in order.

How I Lost It: I was -- and still am -- a stay at home mother, with a fixed income and not a lot of extra spending money for a gym membership, pre-packaged diet foods or diet programs. With the support of my family, I came up with a diet and exercise plan that actually works.

I started out by eating 1,000 calories a day. I had a journal where I wrote down everything I ate and drank. I now use the Myfitnesspal app on my phone. I did aerobics and took up tennis. My whole family plays, and my father got me out on that court and working hard. I became an avid tennis player, working out two to three hours a day, five days a week.

I lost 100 pounds before I found out I was pregnant with my second child. I took up walking and yoga and changed my calorie intake to 1,500. After I had the baby I decided to try running. I have never been a runner, so I started out small, running for 40 seconds and walking for 20 seconds until I could jog a mile within two weeks' time. Now, I can easily finish a 10K without even breaking for water.

Now that I am a runner, my diet consists of foods high in protein, low in sugar and still low in calories. I currently eat 1,200 calories a day and run six days a week. I don't eat out much. All of my food is homemade, for the most part. And I try not to eat after 5 p.m. I have lost an additional almost-60 pounds since giving birth in December 2011.

I absolutely love who I am today. Thirty is the new 20! I will be 31 years old later this summer, and I feel better then I ever did in my 20s. It is still strange to have pictures taken of me because I used to shy away from them, thinking I would look heavy and be embarrassed, but now when I see them I realize how much my hard work has paid off, and it is actually enjoyable. I actually love looking in the mirror and shopping for clothes now, where as before it was embarrassing and more of a chore. My family members tell me that my personality has come back, they love how happy I am and are all so proud. It's a wonderful feeling to have accomplished something so huge. To lose more than 150 pounds was something I did not think was ever going to happen. I thought I would be heavy for the rest of my life.

Current Weight: 165 pounds. My goal weight is 145 pounds, and I would like to reach that by the end of October.
The Huffington Post publishes photographs as they are submitted to us by our readers.

Check out more of our inspiring weight loss stories below:


Weight Loss Success Stories

For more on weight loss, click here.

Go To Homepage