Jodi Canapp describes herself as “one of those people who just gradually put on 5 to 10 pounds every year.” Over the years she tried a number of diets, but would gain 30 to 35 pounds for every 10 to 15 she lost. (Search: Worst diets) Eventually she hit 250 pounds.
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The Turning Point
While watching a Biggest Loser marathon on TV a few years ago, it dawned on Jodi that she was the same size as some of the contestants. “It made me go ‘oh no!’” she says.
Jodi had a few friends who were trying to lose weight at the same time she was. Together, they joined Weight Watchers, where Jodi learned how to control her portions and eat less junk food. With Weight Watchers’ help, she figured out how to continue to occasionally indulge in the foods she loves without destroying her diet. “If I want ice cream, I don’t buy a half gallon, I buy a small single-serving container,” she says. (Video: Smart Snacks for 200 Calories) She also began to increase her fruit and vegetable intake. After about six months, Jodi stopped going to Weight Watchers meetings, but kept up with her healthy habits by tracking her food intake on the My Fitness Pal app.
Around the same time Jodi began to run, at first putting in as little as a half mile two days a week. “Then I realized I could see the inches fall off my waist the more consistent I was with my cardio,” she says. This gave Jodi the motivation she needed to register for her first 5-K. “I wanted to finish under 35 minutes,” she says. “It was having a specific goal that kept me jogging three to four times a week.” She met her goal, and went on to do several other shorter races, as well as the Baltimore Marathon. Reluctantly, Jodi recently had to hang up her running shoes when a back surgery put her out of commission, but continues to stay active by swimming, biking, playing volleyball, and doing Jiu-Jitsu.
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As a hospital employee, Jodi’s health continues to be at the forefront of her mind. “I see that patients who are active stay sharp and look 20 years younger than they are,” she says. “I don’t want to be like one of the patients who comes in with a list of medications a page long.”
“I love having the energy and confidence to try new things,” she says. “Before I lost the weight, it held me back—I didn’t have any confidence, I was very shy and withdrawn, and I always worried what other people would think of me.” To boot, Jodi loves her physical transformation. “Being able to shop in the regular-size section instead of plus-size is huge,” she says.
Don’t expect instant results. “If you spent your lifetime gaining weight, you can’t expect to lose it all in three months,” Jodi says. “There’s no secret; it’s just hard work.”
Don’t get discouraged. “In Weight Watchers I had friends who would lose two pounds in a week, when I would lose only two-tenths of a pound,” she says. “You have to stick it out. All of the weight loss eventually adds up.”