“I am 43 years old, and I am living proof that it is never too late to start again and be the person you saw only in your dreams,” says Jenna Leveille, an UP wearer since August 31, 2013.
For Jenna, her fitness journey started at her workplace. Like most people interested in losing weight, she experimented with a number of crash diets over the years, but it wasn’t until she asked her manager and friend Fred Churbuck at Livingsocial who gave her a lead on a professional trainer, Eric Bach of Bach Performance, that her journey toward long-term weight loss officially began.
When Jenna arrived at the gym for the first time, she recalls feeling like a fish out of water. “Pro-athletes went to this gym. I’m thinking, ‘I’m in the wrong place,’ but it turns out it’s exactly where I supposed to be. That was August 13, 2013 and two weeks later, to help stay motivated outside the gym, I decided to buy my first UP band to measure my results.”
“The UP band was a central key to my success. It kept me accountable and active. For the next year, about 5 days a week, I would walk or run on my own, and sometimes with a friend, and always with my sweet dog Dakota. Some of those days were double workout days with my trainer. And I loved using our local recreation centers in my neighborhood.”
“After I lost my first 50 pounds, people started reaching out to me for advice,” Jenna says, “So many of my friends, family, and even strangers seemed to need help reaching their goals that we eventually created a Facebook page (Getting Closer Everyday) where everyone could follow along and participate in posting motivational quotes, stories, and fitness advice. As the weight kept coming off, I wanted to pay my success forward in some way, so, my “dream team” all started buying UP bands so others could enjoy the same level of motivation and success as me. We purchased several UP bands over the past 2 years for friends and family.”
Jenna attributes as much of her success to the social features within the UP App, as she does the personalized insights from Smart Coach. “If you’re trying to lose weight, having a support system is essential for success. It was a great motivator for me to have all my UP friends commenting on my activity within the UP App. They’d cheer me on good days, and Smart Coach kept me accountable.”
Today, Jenna is 135 pounds lighter, and though she says she never saw herself as the fat girl in the mirror, she’s soaring with confidence from setting a goal, and working day-to-day to achieve it. As Jenna reflects on her health journey, and how she lost over 100 pounds, she has a bit of advice for those who want to follow in her steps:
Believe in yourself
“Even at my heaviest, I was never one to lack confidence or self-esteem, but I lacked strength in believing in my ability to lose weight. I hired a trainer who helped my ability through nutritional coaching, training, and constant motivation from my UP TEAM. My strength started to increase and the weight started to come off. It’s really made an impact on my daughter. She knows what it takes to lose weight, how to set a goal and achieve it over time.”
“I travel a lot for work and did a variety of fun classes in each city. One of my favorite classes is a high intensity cycling class. A lot of people think you can’t travel without gaining weight and the trick is to hit your local grocery store and stock up on foods that are healthy, just like you would do at home. When you eat out order lean proteins, good carbs, and ask for sauces on the side. And if your budget doesn’t allow for a class then it’s easy go for a walk or run. There are also lots of great apps that offer free exercise programs you can bring with you anywhere.”
Tell your friends
“Tell people about what you’re doing, invite them to hold you accountable, and use technology to keep track of your progress and help stay motivated. I am forever grateful for this journey and all of my supporters. My amazing family, friends, coworkers, trainer, and a surprising Facebook following has been such an influence on my life that helped keep me accountable. And to my husband and my daughter who lived with my new ever changing ways. I love you guys! Big changes are not easy and I am forever grateful to everyone who pushed me day in and day out!”
Don’t give up
“We all have the power to crush our goals. My experience has been immeasurable, and I’m excited for the next chapter in my life!”