Hey guys! I hope you are all enjoying your weekend! I am very excited to introduce our spotlight for today. She is an AWESOME lady. Jodi has worked very hard to get where she is today. She has overcome many obstacles and has made many lifestyle changes so that she can live a happy and healthy life. Jodi is an inspiration to me and all those who she comes in contact with. She is positive and hardworking, and beautiful inside and out. Thank you Jodi!!

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My name is Jodi. I’m 43 years old and I have been overweight most of my life. I have tried several times to lose weight and have been unsuccessful. Once I stop a diet or a program, I always tend to gain it all back and then some because I had never really made any changes.

When did you decide to make a change? I started getting health problems. It was sort of my wake-up call. Besides the fact that I just got tired of looking and feeling the way I did. I wanted to feel good inside and out, and at the time I didn’t feel good physically or about myself at all. I also wanted to reach some goals and I couldn’t reach those goals in the physical state I was in.

What motivated you to make a lifestyle change? Mainly my health and how I felt. But I didn’t feel great about myself either. I needed to make a change. The biggest thing for me, however, was a good friend asked me to do something I have NEVER EVER considered. She asked me to do a Triathlon Sprint with her. This was in October of 2013. She said she had always wanted to do one, but didn’t want to do it alone. She knew I was trying to make changes and wanted me to do it with her. I told her when she asked that I’d have to think about it because of 2 main reasons: 1) I still had a lot of weight to lose and 2) I didn’t know how to swim. I have always thought you had to be extremely fit and thin to do these. But, after a lot of consideration and some research, I really felt like I needed to make the triathlon my goal and work like a maniac toward the goal. I felt like it was the right thing to do, so I went back to my friend and agreed to do the race and asked her if she’d teach me how to swim and overcome my fear of water (she a very accomplished swimmer). She agreed. The Triathlon is this May 17th.

What motivates you to continue on your journey? Still my biggest motivator is the triathlon. But I love how I feel and I’m not looking too bad either. My Type II Diabetes is under control and I will hopefully be getting off most of my medication soon! That’s huge! I hate taking medicine, particularly shots!

Another motivator for me is all the support I have. There are so many people out there cheering for me. It really does keep you going especially when the going gets tough.

What are your accomplishments thus far? I have lost over 70 pounds and still counting. I am down 4 dress sizes and hopefully, by triathlon time, I’ll be down one more. My Diabetes is under control and, hopefully, the doctor will start taking me off some of my medications. My blood pressure is normal, my mood is better and I’m an all around happier person! Oh, and I might add, I am swimming!

What are some of the challenges you have overcome? Eating healthy has been huge. I have had to change a lifetime of bad habits. Luckily I have realized that I didn’t need to do that all at once and get overwhelmed. I found I could take baby steps and change one thing at a time and it has worked! I eat more vegetables and fruit. I try to stay away from treats, but I don’t deny myself of them either. I found you have to reward yourself.

Another huge hurdle for me was finding the time to exercise. For me, it has to be morning and I’m not a “morning” person. It was hard at first, but now I actually really enjoy getting up and getting my day started with a good workout. I also have a friend that I go to the gym with, and that really helps. We keep each other motivated.

What is your ultimate goal? My ultimate goal is to reach my healthy weight and maintain that. I’d also like to reverse the diabetes. The doctor says it’s possible and that I’m well on my way to doing that. I have to remind myself to be patient with myself and to keep trying. So far I’m happy with what I have accomplished, but I have to admit, I’m not completely satisfied, but that is only because I haven’t reached that ultimate goal yet, but I will!

What advice do you have for others who are dealing with some of the same challenges? Keep working at it. Don’t give up! When you have a hard day, that’s when you really need it the most. Pick yourself up and do something, just move! Keep a positive attitude and be patient. Changes will happen you just have to be consistent and patient with yourself!

Thank you so much Jodi! Good luck on your upcoming Triathlon! You are going to do great!