Inspiration: How Jennifer Chapman Overcame Challenges and Lost 95 Pounds

She wouldn't let physical limitations keep her from better health.

Jennifer Chapman at 230 pounds

Jennifer Chapman at 230 pounds

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Name: Jennifer Champman

Age: 44

Home: West Deptford Township

Starting weight: In October 2001, I weighed 230 pounds — my heaviest. Even though I had weight-loss success during this time I don’t think it was as successful as it could have been because my focus at this time was mainly the numbers on the scale. Fast forward to August 2013, when I weighed 165 pounds. This is when I would mark the real start of my weight-loss journey. It has turned out to be my most meaningful and successful journey.

Current weight: 135 pounds 

Total time it took to lose the weight: This started as a fitness journey for me in August 2013, and with the success of the fitness side it turned into a weight-loss journey as well.

My weight-loss wakeup call: Already having an extensive orthopedic history, which causes me to walk with a limp, and going through many surgeries in my past, I had another surgery in late 2011 and had to start using a cane for every day use, limiting my physical activities even more. My wakeup call came in 2013 when I realized I was having more difficulty with my mobility and that I had also gained back almost 20 pounds from a previous 80-pound weight loss in 2001. I realized I needed to find a fitness program that could work with my limitations.

Jennifer Chapman today, at 135 pounds

Jennifer Chapman today, at 135 pounds

How I did it: After seeing an FYI Philly episode that featured a rowing workout, I scheduled a private session with trainer Laura Frigeri from RowZone to see if this might be a workout I could handle with my limitations. After my first session, I knew I wanted to continue with it, but I had concerns about being able to keep up in a group session. After discussing this with Laura, we decided to continue with private sessions and I’m so glad I did. If it wasn’t for meeting Laura, I don’t think I’d be where I am today with my health and fitness.

The moment I realized I was succeeding: As I mentioned earlier, this started for me as a fitness journey, but soon I saw my weight starting to drop. I realized if I also started focusing on my nutrition along with the fitness, I could finally reach all my goals with my health, fitness and weight loss.

The biggest obstacles I had to overcome: Learning to work with my physical limitations and at my own pace to reach my health and fitness goals.

My three best tips for anyone trying to lose weight:

  1. Schedule your workouts like any other important appointment. My datebook has everything I plan to do that week.
  2. Continue to challenge yourself by setting new goals and striving to reach them.
  3. Find that someone to challenge and encourage you every step of the way. (Thank you, Laura!)

The one thing I would say to my old self: Realize how much you have accomplished and continue working towards the best you.

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