10 Most Inspiring Success Stories
1. Jenna Dunham Dropped 70 Pounds Post-Pregnancy for her success story
Weight before: 203 lbs
Weight now: 133 lbs
Location: Florence, KY
Occupation: Stay-at-home mom
Most embarrassing song she works out to: Copacabana by Barry Manilow – “A great cardio song!”
After her third pregnancy, Jenna found motivation in an unlikely place: the “F” word. “I was 203 pounds and ‘frumpy,’” she says. Jenna felt discouraged, but relied on a personal mantra to get back into the gym. “I can do anything for one minute,” she told herself before stepping on the treadmill or walking over to the weights area. Soon, she was up to sprints and advanced strength-training circuits.
A desire to become a fit mom – not just a skinny one – was Jenna’s driving force. Within six months, she lost 70 pounds, reduced her body fat from 31 to 17 percent and increased her strength. As for those abs, she stuck with a clean diet, returned to Pilates and fell in love with circuit training.
Between her three pregnancies, Jenna has now lost a combined 180 pounds, which is more than she currently weighs! In her closet, she keeps the XL maternity pants (“the largest pair of pants I’ve ever worn!”) to remind her of how far she’s come. With a stronger body and mind, she’s become a happier mom and has an awesome success story.
Bounce Back Like Jenna
“Some women make it look so easy to get back into shape after having a baby, but it takes a ton of hard work!” Jenna’s top three tips to bounce back:
- Rely on a good support network of friends and family
- Try new workout classes and routines.
- Write down your goals for the day/week/month.
– Kasia Kurek | Photo by Rick Lohre
2. Mylene Biddle Visualized Her Way to a Better Body
Weight before: 165 lb
Weight now: 130 lb
Location: Crestview, FL
Occupation: Software engineer
Tip for newbies: “Set your mind to it and go!”
Mylene dropped 35 pounds in under two years and picturing success played a big part in her transformation. “If I literally feel like I can’t do one more rep of a difficult exercise, I think of pro bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman’s saying, ‘Ain’t nothing but a peanut!’ and envision the weight as a tiny peanut,” she laughs. “And then I lift it.”
When she wasn’t envisioning healthy fats on the ends of her barbell, she visualized the buff body parts she was working towards. “I’d see a nice biceps bulge, some well-defined lats and rock-hard glutes during my workouts,” she says. With her goals in front of her, Mylene was able to push harder and tune in to her individual muscles.
“Knowing I am a strong woman keeps me motivated,” she says. If she can envision it, she says, it ain’t nothing but a peanut.
Move Like Mylene
Mylene trains six days a week, beginning every workout with cardio. She then splits her strength training into the following routines:
Wednesday: Back & biceps
Thursday: Legs & glutes
Friday: Chest, triceps & abs
Saturday: Shoulders & calves
– Kasia Kurek
3. Wendy Mills Became Fit by 50 and has an awesome success story
Weight before: 225 lbs
Weight now: 124 lbs
Height: 5′ 5″
Location: Aurora, Ontario
Occupation: Chartered Accountant
Proudest moment: “When I started to see muscle definition!”
When she was 46 years old, Wendy Mills set a goal: to be her absolute fittest by her 50th birthday. “I knew I would have to lose about 100 pounds!” she says. “So I started setting smaller goals, like giving up fast food or going for a walk.” Taking it slowly, she lost the first 55 pounds.
At 170 pounds, the scale became stuck. She signed up with a personal trainer and started weigh training. “I was terrified,” she admits. But once she
started, Wendy found that her mission changed. No longer focusing on losing weight by the time she turned 50, she transformed her mindset: “My goals became strength-related,” explains Wendy, who now includes home training sessions in her routine. Equipped with weights, a bench, resistance bands and medicine balls, Wendy replicates gym exercises. And when it comes to getting results, home reps count as much as gym reps.
Weighing in at 124 pounds, Wendy reached her goal two years early. She turned 50 this year and happily reported that she has maintained her fit lifestyle. “I am now aiming for fit at 60!” she says. “I have not lost my motivation.” What a success story!
Get Wendy’s Willpower
What advice does Wendy have for fitness newbies? She says it all comes down to three little rules:
- Find someone you can be accountable to, such as a workout partner.
- Track your progress.
- Set a monthly fat loss goal. Do not weight yourself every day.