Jenna Winchester always weighed more than her peers while she was growing up. But when her father's weight-related insults started piling on in her teen years, so did more pounds on her already overweight frame.
“I got extremely depressed and wouldn’t leave the house or do anything but eat and sleep,” Winchester said. “That is when the weight all truly piled on.”
At just 5'6", Winchester weighed in at a whopping 370 pounds. And whenever she tried to lose weight, she struggled tremendously. But by the time she turned 17, she knew what she had to do.
“I just woke up one day and thought ‘It is time to change,’” she said.
Immediately, she began swapping her favorite sugary drinks for water, which she added flavor to with cucumber and mint. She also started eating more salads and vegetables. Then, her family got a dog, which motivated her to move around more and exercise. Not that these changes came to her easy, though.
“I struggled a lot,” she said. “My whole body hurt and I was out of breath constantly. It was probably a month before I started to feel better and it got easier.”
But walking her pup, joining the gym, and eating less processed foods paid off in the long run. Slowly but surely, one good decision led to another, and she shed 200 pounds in two years.
Now, at age 19, the college student has lost so much weight that she actually will need surgery soon to get rid of all the sagging skin left behind. She started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the expense.
In the meantime, though, the exercise physiology major (!) is appreciating how far she's come.
“I have changed so much. I feel like I am a completely different person,” she said. “I realized I can do anything.”
We couldn't agree more. You go, girl!