A Story to Motivate: Jenny Hodges

I’m a big fan of finding inspiring stories to keep me motivated. I came across the story of a mom who lost 212lbs, amazing right?!  Her story begins something like this: her name is Jenny, she is wife and mommy. At her heaviest she weighed 369lbs and on a seemingly innocuous day playing with her little kids she tripped and fell. Because of her weight she was unable to pick herself up and surrounded by her scared kids her husband had to drag her back inside her home using a comforter. I can see how that might be an embarrassing story to tell but Jenny saw it from a different point. Recognizing circumstances could have been much worse (she could have seriously hurt herself, or her husband might not have been there) was her ‘breaking point’, her moment of realization when she knew there had to be a change.

What I like about her weight loss journey is she identifies key elements that helped her succeed. That’s what I want to make sure I remember.

1)    She has people in her life that love her- Support, that’s a big one. From her husband, her kids, her friends and gym buddies. They showed her encouragement and found ways to motivate her. She did the work they just cheered her on to keep going. Goes to show you it doesn’t take much.

2)    She kept a positive attitude- I didn’t register any shame or negativity in her story. It was all about making a change for the better and being a good role model.

3)    She made goals- Finding ways to squeeze in time on a bike, modifying her workouts just to keep her moving, races, 5ks, even being able to run from her house  to the closest tree. Her goals started out small and when she achieved them she made another one to keep her going.

4)    She focuses on her health- she didn’t do it for aesthetics, she wanted to be healthy and to be there for her family.

There was something that she said that stood out to me in her story.

“I never fed the kids fast food, but I’d drive through after dropping the girls off at day care and get something off the dollar menu. It’s hard to say why I treated my own body so badly, when I was so careful with the kids.”

I think this brings home an important point about the attitude people have towards themselves. Selflessness is a wonderful virtue but like anything else ‘too much of a good thing’ exists. She understood that fast food was bad and not something she wanted for her kids but after taking such care with them her selflessness translated into an almost carelessness for her own well-being. I’ve seen this behavior in myself and in people in my life. It’s tough to argue with the ‘put others in front of me’ logic until you see how this lack of care for one’s self translates into potential pain and burden on the people you care for. Jenny got a glimpse of this before it actually became a real problem. It was her breaking point and she used it to better herself and in turn she saw the benefits ‘leading by example’ brought her family.

There are lots of other factors that contribute to weight loss success and work for other people. I noticed these were hers; they ring true to me so I want to keep a record of it to look back on when I need it.

Jenny is a fellow blogger and her website is pretty cool. She’s a real family-focused woman and her site has a lot of ideas on how to stay active and healthy with the family, I love that.

Here’s the link to the Marlo Thomas page where I first read her story, and this is her blog Metamorfit.org. Isn’t that a cool name for a blog?

On Metamorphosis: “Nothing ever really goes away–it just changes into something else. Something beautiful.” -Sarah Ockler

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