two hundred and fifty four

Nov 3, 2010


254 point 8 to be exact.


that is what the scale told me that I weigh when I stepped on it today.


this is me in all my glory.

rob took photos of me in my unders as well, but as far as I’m concerned this is as exposed I feel I can be right now.

I feel COMPLETELY NAKED in front of the internet.  (Believe me when I tell you that it is not easy for me to write those numbers and post these photos.)

254.8 pounds.  Holy Cuss.  That more than 2.5 times the weight of one of my dearest friends!  I cringe when I hear about professional athletes who weigh less than I do.

This is it.  It is time for me to make a change.  I am putting myself out there in this huge way in hopes that I will find support, accountability, motivation, and did I mention support? ;o)  Who knows?  Maybe I’ll even inspire someone along the way!  That would be so rad!

Honestly, I don’t have a number goal in mind.  Maybe I’ll lose 60 pounds.  Maybe it’ll be 80 or even 100!  Honestly, if I lost 10 or 20 pounds I would feel damn proud!!!

What I do know is this:  I want to look good in clothes that I like again and have boots fit my calves and wear tank tops in the summer without shame.  I want to be able to be active without worrying that I will tire too quickly or be embarrassingly winded at the slightest exertion.  I want to be able to hop up from kneeling at photo sessions without feeling like i look ridiculous & clumsy.  I want to lessen my chances of cancer & heart disease that are so prevalent in my family.  I want my feet to stop hurting and to not feel panic that I’m having a stroke or a heart attack at every weird twinge or sensation in my body.  I want MORE ENERGY!  And more than anything else, I want to feel proud of myself for accomplishing something I have wanted & needed for a very long time, and show my children how amazing working hard for something you want badly can be.

Rob & I went to the gym today for the first time (we bought our membership in April and have been collecting more credit card debt in gym membership dues for a membership that we have not been using.  An extremely foolish thing for a family that is struggling to make ends meet!).  We got oriented with the gym, set up with 3 sessions with a personal trainer, and spent some time on the cardio equipment.  And you know what???  It was GREAT!  Taking that step.  Making a new commitment together.  DOING SOMETHING about our HEALTH!  TOGETHER!

So here I go!  Embarking on this journey, and intend to share it all with you along the way!  And I would value any and all input, advice, encouragement, empathy or whatever you’ve got… so please chime in!


  1. Bearto says:

    – proud of you
    – cheering for you
    – inspired by you
    – loving you

  2. Vivienne says:

    you’ve got a supporter and cheerleader over here!

  3. carie says:

    I love you, jen!

  4. Sarah Kohn says:

    I am amazed by your courage! It was not that long ago that I embarked on this journey. I can say that it is hard and it takes such determination. I can also say that it is worth it every day. I am by means done, or in a place where I can say I won’t slip, or gain weight again, or anything, but what I am learning is that at every moment we make choices. Do I put that in my body, or not? Do I park a little farther away, or not? Do I drink a glass of water, or something else? Am I really hungry, or… (bored, sad, mad, frustrated etc.) Does my body feel good in the moment? How will it feel after I eat that?
    Some tips… Stop eating carbs and sugar; expect for naturally occurring in veggies. Stay away from corn and high starch veggies, too. Once you get them out of your system, your cravings will be reduced a lot! (I still haven’t eaten even one piece of Halloween candy, as I know I couldn’t stop with one!) Drink a lot of water before each meal. I drink nearly a gallon a day, if I am doing what’s good for me. I use stevia to satisfy my sweet craving. I put it in ice tea and cottage cheese and plain yogurt and I am good to go.
    That was a lot, and I hope it helps.
    Oh wait, I have more… Start moving your body. I know you have issues and I can’t remember what they are, but moving your body is a good thing. Walk for 5 minutes. That is it. Once you have done that successfully, add a minute, or a block and keep adding as you feel comfortable. Moving your body will help your metabolism and your mood. You feel proud of yourself and strong when you move.
    Next, set a goal of 1 lb. only. When you lose 1 lb. celebrate and set a goal for 1lb. Those are attainable goals and you can celebrate more often!

    Please feel free to reach out. I would be happy to move with you, if you ever need a buddy to walk with , or be active with, I need to move my body, too.

    Hugs and well wishes,


  5. Tshombe says:

    You’re my hero! You Go, Girl!

    I’m proud of you and Rob. xoxo

  6. Amy Stoner says:

    Hey Jen! You are brave and fabulous no matter what the number on the scale this. I have been there (and heavier) and you are on the right road! Lemme tell you, I’ve recently loss about 25lbs and it;s AMAZING how much more energy and joy and get up and go I have…and going to the gym regularly (but not killing myself) has helped. Make goals for yourself….like 10lbs and you get to buy a cute new (and smaller) outfit…25lbs and some fabulous new shoes…that so works for me! Good luck and I’m always here for a workout buddy!

  7. amy says:

    mygawd, when i thought i couldn’t respect or love you more….
    you’re extraordinary, mrs. downer. and can do this. and the thought of you caring for yourself in this way makes me glad. you are SO beautiful, inside and out, without numbers. you are also so brave, so fully authentic, it makes my heart brim with admiration.

  8. Hi Jen!

    I’m in the same boat as you! Only I have about 50 more pounds to lose than you do 🙁 Yeah, 50 MORE. Yikes. Maybe that will make you feel a little better. I know it’s easier to compare yourself to the skinnier ones. But it could be worse. A few weeks ago I started using a website to count calories and that helps. And we moved my elliptical machine to the living room so that I can use it instead of letting it collect dust in the garage. I’ve lost 6 pounds so far. Not much, but something. It’s such a slow process. It takes a LOT of patience! I’m cheering you on!

  9. Jerry Bates says:

    You can do it Jen! I made the same decision about 5 years ago and committed to changing my lifestyle and eating habits. I worked out for 45 minutes every day. Nothing crazy, just a little cardio every day. And I started eating healthier and cut out all snacks after dark, which I think was KEY to my success. It didn’t happen overnight, but slowly my energy increased and so did my well being. I lost 50lbs in 12 months.

    On that day I went to the gym (my home away from home for a year) and grabbed two 25lb dumb bells and just walked around for a half hour. Nothing else, just walked around. I was so tired it almost hurt. Then I set them down. Ahhhhh…..

    On that day I lost 50lbs just by setting it down; it was the best feeling in the world!

    Best of luck! 🙂

  10. Jen, I am with you on the reasons to lose weight. I have started trying to get fit again. When my neurosurgeon told me I had gained weight from the last time I saw him, that kind of hit me hard. It was a wake up call for me. I started going to PiYo twice a week and my goal is to do more cardio. I was doing very good on the eating thing until I went to my parent’s for Halloween. Grrrrrr I had not bought any Halloween candy until then.
    So, I hope we both reach our goals, whatever they may be. I am not weighing myself as I know what I look like and how I feel. Mine is more of a visual and body feel goal.

  11. tonya says:

    I am so proud of you (and Rob!) I’m positive if I were to get on a scale I would be within 5 lbs of you, and I can’t honestly say if it would be on the lower end or higher one. I have turned down more than a dozen wedding inquiries this year because I am afraid, no, I know, I can’t perform as a wedding photographer SHOULD be able to. I just can’t seem to start to pull myself out. of. this. hole…

    I am cheering for you and know you can do it! You and Rob are like superhero supporters of each other.

  12. Jen Hecht says:

    OMG Jen, I just wrote you a BOOK of an email. Let me summarize here:

    I am so proud of you!!! You can do anything you set your mind to, and I know you’re going to knock your own socks off.

    Also, I changed my life and lost 25 pounds last year after a similar revelation, so I can relate (lots more about that in the email I sent you).

    Here are the essential things I have learned about getting fit and losing weight:

    Move more, eat less. That’s the essence of the thing. But as for how do you get there, and how to keep going even when your enthusiasm is flagging and you have sick kids and a million other things to do?


    1. Prioritize fun exercise. Find physical things you LOVE doing and make plans to do them consistently. With other people, ideally. You’re much more likely to find time for a zumba class or a hike (if that’s what you love) than 30 minutes on the treadmill (if that’s what you hate). And you’re MUCH more likely to put on your workout pants and go if you know someone’s waiting for you there.
    2. Find workout buddies and make plans with them. Plan weekly walks or jogs or dates at the gym or whatever. Don’t just have one buddy; have several, so if one gets sick or loses motivation, you don’t find yourself slinking back to the couch. And be sure to find buddies who are truly committed; people you’d be reluctant to flake out on.
    3. Sign up for It’s like Facebook for weightloss. Sparkpeople is an AMAZING resource. You can track your nutrition and exercise, get recipes, set goals, read inspiring stories, participate in the forum, find a local workout group, and find a TON of useful information.
    4. Read this book: I gave my copy to a friend or I would loan you mine right now. Trust me on this – look beyond the cheesy cover and you will find it to be priceless. It helped me with mindset stuff so much – and it made me giggle.
    5. Try to give up perfectionism. Nothing is black and white. (The book will help with this.) Many “fat girls” (as they’re called in the book) are fat because they’re perfectionists. If we can’t be more compassionate and forgiving of ourselves, we can never break the cycle.
    6. Set a goal. Then, make a plan to achieve it. Then, start following that plan.
    7. Get support. In a perfect world, we’d all have a personal trainer, but it’s just not possible for all of us. So connect with like-minded friends who want the same things you do. Talk to them. Work out with them. Ask them to hold you accountable.
    8. Eat whole, fresh, natural foods and ditch all the processed carbs. Brown rice, barley, quinoa – bueno! But sugar, bread, tortillas, chips, potatoes, pasta, white rice, crackers, and cookies are all essentially sugar, so proceed with extreme caution. Also, beware sauces. And remember: restaurant chefs don’t care if their food is fattening – they only care that you love the food and want to come back. And the 3 things that make a food “hedonic” are sugar, fat, and salt. Make your own food 90% of the time and educate yourself about how things are prepared when you do eat out. Ideally, keep track of everything you eat in a food journal when you feel ready for that step.
    9. Drink water!!! Water flushes out toxins, helps every part of your body function better, and increases weight loss. 8-10 glasses a day, baby.
    10. Finally, lean on me!!! Just call my naaaaaaaaame and I’ll be there. Yeah, that was two song references in one line. How many points do I get for that?

    Jen, you are awesome and I’m so excited for you that you’re starting down this inspiring road. I can’t wait to celebrate your success with you!!

    Big big hugs!!!

  13. Calvina says:

    So proud of you Jen! You can do it!!!!

  14. Bradi says:

    Wow, Jen! What an empowering first step!
    I hope you continue to feel better for yourself and your family. And let me know if I can help.
    Good luck on this fantastic journey!!

  15. Bettie says:

    Jen, this is absolutely wonderful. I fully support you. I think making a commitment to blog about this will keep you accountable. We are our own best and worst motivators.

    Good luck on your journey! You are sure to be incredibly successful. xoxo

  16. Shannon says:

    Friends of mine and I realized the same thing over the summer and decided to start a little bit of a competition. We have 4 couples who weigh in every week, and at the end of 4 weeks, the couple who has lost the least amount of weight has to host a dinner party for the group. It’s been working really well, so far we’ve lost an average of 20 lbs per couple over a period of 12 weeks. The best part? We’re all very supportive of each other.

    Personally, I’ve lost the least amount of weight in the group (12), which is really hard considering my husband has lost a total of almost 40 pounds but you know what? I’m slowly but surely losing. I find that the SouthBeach plan is working the best for me because I’m really not a carb person and it’s really helped me lose my cravings for all things sweet. It took me a really long time to discover a plan that worked for me, I’ve tried pretty much everything.

    Just be patient, you didn’t gain all of the weight in a day, it’s gonna take a while to come off, too.

    *hugs* and good luck! 🙂

  17. I feel you! I’ve been on “the journey” for about two years now, and still have a long way to go :). You can do it!

  18. lisa says:

    i am so inspired by your courage!

  19. Amy Nieto says:

    You are Awezomezzzzzzzz! You can totally do it. Although I guess that rules our giving you loads and loads of my mami’s food. Hmm. 😛 Believe it or not, I need to find the motivation as well to exercise. I want to be able to ride my bikey all the way to mt Tabor without getting tired after 3 blocks. AND this little girl here needs to put on some more pounds!! I have sweet Puerto Rican ass somewhere in there and it needs to look fabulous lol

  20. malia says:

    jen, are you still going with this?!?!? any progress? I have been struggling with my weight as well. after having my second child, it has been so much harder to get back down. of course i dont try as hard as i could!
    i recently gained 10 pounds ( YIKES) but thankfully, i have lost 12! I intend to keep going, for REALS this time! haha
    hope you are still working towards your health!
    ps, you have my full support!

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