Real Lives. Real Change.

People just like you have found real weight loss success on Jenny Craig. If they can do it, you can too! Read their inspiring stories.

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Dear Jenny,

I wanted to take a moment to share my story with you and tell you how thankful I am for your program. Growing up in Massachusetts, I was an active child and participated in sports through high school. Once I entered college, the heavy demand for studies and my need to work to support myself left any sports or exercise off the schedule. Once a young adult, I was involved in the aerobics craze and went to the gym about three times per week. I was now a registered nurse and knew the health benefits of exercise. I was physically fit and enjoyed a very active, healthy lifestyle. In time, I met my husband and married, became a mom, and never learned to balance my children, family duties and work, so the one thing I let go was exercise. After the birth of my second and third children (twins), I settled into this new weight and accepted my fate. I knew I was heavier than I should be, but because I didn't suffer from any health issues, I didn't let it bother me.

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My career brought a life-changing move, and we moved our family 6,000 miles to the island of O'ahu, Hawai'i. I thought once we lived in paradise I would want to exercise always; instead I found myself gaining more weight every year that we lived here. In this period of my life I was now a mother, wife, nurse practitioner and professor. I worked two jobs making work and family my priority, leaving myself last. At a doctor's appointment, I had to get on the scale, and it was the first I had seen my weight for quite some time. I weighed in at an even 200 lbs and I couldn't believe it. I couldn't imagine how I had let myself get this far from where I should be. I stand five feet, one inch (on a good day). So that day at the doctor's office I promised my practitioner I would make a conscious effort to lose weight. I had noticed a coworker was looking a little thinner, and he mentioned he had joined Jenny Craig with his wife to help her lose weight and in the meantime he too had lost. In the morning, I called and signed on. I lost 42 lbs* on Jenny. I haven't felt this good since I was that young adult going to the gym three times a week. I did it all with my Jenny Craig food, my consultant and easing myself into exercise by brisk walking on the beach and around my neighborhood.

As a nurse practitioner I knew the benefits of a healthy diet but I still needed the help of my consultant to remind me of the healthy choices that I should be making. My consultant was and still is a great support and at times even doubled as the Dalai Lama, as her guidance is sometimes so simple but evokes an "aha" moment if I get lost on my weight loss path. My biggest "aha" moment came when she and I discussed why I was struggling to fit in exercise for several weeks. I realized then that I had been working extra at my second job and this had left me with little time for family duties and no time for exercise. Then it occurred to me that my new healthy life needs to come with a healthy lifestyle and working 80 hours a week is not conducive with that. I realize that I am blessed to be in a profession that is in great need but just because I have the opportunity to work overtime every week doesn't mean I should. Learning to say no and working one full-time job with an occasional extra shift here and there is really where I needed to be. This will leave me the time to enjoy the healthy life I have and to participate in my love of outrigger canoe paddling, which is one of my biggest sources of exercise.

I began outrigger paddling when I encouraged my identical twin daughters to join their brother in outrigger canoe paddling. I told them how beneficial it would be for them to have daily exercise that would be fun. Quickly one of the twins reminded me that I didn't exercise so why should they. I realized then that my husband and I needed to be role models of physical activity and so we all joined paddling. Unfortunately because I was still at my heaviest I was limited in my paddling. I actually did not fit well in the front of the canoe due to its narrowing front. I also was so winded that my coach would pull me out in order to rest. When paddling season started and I had lost the 42 lbs,* my coach didn't recognize me. I'm thrilled to say I love paddling and now my coach sits me in the first seat (which is the narrowest seat) known as the stroker. The stroker sets the pace for the canoe and the other paddlers. It has been an honor and a thrill, and I have to thank Jenny Craig for me helping obtain a goal I didn't think was in reach. My new exercise goal is to attempt long-distance paddling. I have already started a training program. If I succeed in this endeavor and make it into the crew, it will mean that I will race cross the Kaiwi channel, from the island of Molokai to the island of O'ahu. This race is one of the most prestigious among outrigger paddlers and holds the equivalent pride to a marathon. I am thrilled to even be able to try it out, and I would like to thank Jenny Craig for getting me here and my awesome consultant, Jessica, for her support.

Mahalo nui loa (very big thank you) from a very satisfied customer,

Meli A.