I had the great pleasure of first speaking with Jennifer Eidahl after I launched the Paleo Lifestyle Magazine Facebook fan page. Shortly after getting the page up, Jen contacted me, shared her amazing story, and offered to help in any way that she could.
(She’s awesome, as as a means of returning a favor, please check out her Facebook page)
Because her story is so inspirational, I thought the best way she could help would be to share her journey with others. So, her success story was published in the second issue of Paleo Lifestyle Magazine!
But, because her story is so incredible, I wanted to make sure everyone was able to see her success and draw inspiration from it, so, thankfully, Jen has allowed me to share her story on our site! Here’s Jen’s story in her own words:
My name is Jennifer Eidahl and I live in Portland, Oregon. Eighteen months ago I weighed 298 pounds; at 35 years old I was super-morbidly obese. I never looked in the mirror or thought of myself as valuable. I remember dressing up for my sister’s wedding and wearing make-up for the first time in a long time. All I could think was, “This is like putting lipstick on a pig.” I knew I should not feel this way about myself, but it was hard to have a positive self-image at almost 300 pounds. I also knew I needed to lose a significant amount of weight or face future health problems: type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease all run in my family. I never imagined I would come this far but I am certainly happy to be here.
Initially, my motivation for weight loss was not a very good one. One of my sons was going to Japan on a school trip and I was chose as a chaperone. Still stuck in negative thinking I kept telling myself, “I’m going to be the biggest person in Japan.” Scared out of my mind about the trip (and fitting on an airplane) I joined a gym with a friend. Those trips to the gym started as long walks on a treadmill, but I knew it would take more. I was going to have to make drastic changes and they were going to be uncomfortable.
At my gym, cardio equipment is downstairs but weight lifting equipment is upstairs… and I had a soul crushing fear of the upstairs. After belonging to the gym for a few months I worked up the courage to buy personal training and, finally, ventured upstairs. The first meeting with my personal trainer was April 20, 2011 and I remember him saying, “I can get you to lose weight but you’re going to have to listen to me and do what I tell you.” That was fifteen months ago and he was right, I have lost 100 pounds (and counting.)
My personal trainer, Nick Koller, has been instrumental in my weight loss because he not only introduced me to Paleo, but is a huge part of my support system. A strong support system is what got me past my goal of feeling comfortable in Japan and onto a more meaningful goal of being healthy. I still have more weight to lose but my attitude is completely different; I no longer verbally abuse myself. The truth is, I have earned every scar, stretch mark, and ounce of muscle on my body. I no longer regret my story, because it’s what allows me to share my personal experience with you.
To continue losing weight and gaining confidence, here is what I do:
- Be conscious of my stress level.
- Do everything I can to ensure (at least) eight hours of sleep.
- Take vitamins and supplements, (especially magnesium, fish oil, vitamin D, and zinc).
- Workout four times a week, (two strength training days and two interval training days).
- Eat right. My diet includes mostly protein and low carb veggies but I started eating more carbs and tapered down, now I eat between 20-30 grams a day.