All she wanted for her 40th birthday was a healthy body mass index (BMI). And three days before the big day, her dream came true: After 14 months on the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic plan, Jean had lost 50 pounds and was declared healthy with a BMI of 25!
She'd kept her eye on her target, with a BMI chart posted above the scale she used for her weekly weigh-ins. But a lower BMI wasn't her only goal -- she was also determined to become eligible for an ice hockey team. Ice hockey had been her passion in college, and she longed to get back onto the ice.
In fact, Jean had always been active until her two children came along, and she found herself too busy to exercise. A self-described "jock," she'd never been overweight. But after the second baby, the Pittsburgh, resident found herself packing on the pounds.
"I was snacking all the time because I was around the house, and each year, I gained a few more pounds," says Jean.
When her youngest child started kindergarten, she decided the time was right to start getting healthier. She got out her bike and started exercising regularly.
"But I knew exercise was not enough," Jean says. "My diet definitely needed work."
A New Way of Eating
The WebMD Weight Loss Clinic gave her the answers she was searching for. She says she enjoys the recipes, articles, using the journal, and, most important, her eating plan.
"My healthy eating plan made me realize where I was going wrong and taught me that I was eating way too many carbohydrates and not enough fruits and vegetables," she says. Now she includes a little protein and some low-fat dairy in her meals, along with a bounty of fruits and vegetables.
That's not to say the changes were always easy.
"It was hard and frustrating at times, especially when I would hit a plateau, but I kept my focus on the BMI chart," Jean says. "I knew that the eating plan provided enough food for me, so I would drink water or snack on a piece of fruit instead of reaching for more food if I felt hungry."
These days, Jean says she no longer stresses out or obsesses about food. If she wants a piece of chocolate, she has it, enjoys it -- and keeps the portion small.
Before children entered her life, she simply kept junk food out of the house to minimize temptation. But "with the kids, I need to let them have a few treats," she says. "Now I just exercise a little more to make up for extras that I enjoy."
Her fitness routine includes a variety of exercises: bike riding, running, lifting weights, working out on the elliptical machine -- and, as she'd dreamed of, playing ice hockey twice a week on a competitive team.
To Her Goal and Beyond
Jean not only met her goal weight of 150 pounds, but surpassed it; she's now a fit 140 pounds.
"I was dreaming of getting into a size 10 but, I am a proud size 8," she says. "I feel great, have tons of energy, am stronger, more content, and bolstered by the lovely compliments when people tell me I look terrific."
While it took her more than a year to lose the weight, she is quick to point out how long it took her to gain it. She now understands that her body had to adjust to losing weight, and that it requires time and perseverance.
Her advice to fellow members? "Hang in there, stick with the program, and remember your goals when the going gets tough."
Lost: 50 pounds in 15 months on the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic Plan