Name: Jennifer Collins from Flower Mound, Texas
Weight Lost: 104 lbs
How She Did It: The Atkins Weight Loss Program
Follow Jennifer on Facebook and Instagram at Jai-Nicole Collins
Ive never been a “skinny girl." I'm from New Orleans and my family loves to cook and I love to eat. But, my weight gain began to reach new heights after I moved to Texas in 2007 due to Hurricane Katrina. I had just gotten a divorce and I was in a new state with my three kids and no other family. I became depressed due to not having a job and very little money left for extra activities. But I did have a food stamp card that was given to the hurricane survivors, so I began doing what I associated with being happy — eating.
Eventually I did find a job, which I loved and the people there loved to eat just as much as I did. We would have snacks, desserts and even margaritas at happy hour after work. I was in heaven. I saw my weight began to climb, but I could still fit into my clothes, they were just a little snug. So, I was fine with it. I began dating and of course, the guys I was dating were always taking me out to eat and drink.
Later that year, I landed a new job with more pay. I was loving it but the job was a very long commute. I ate on the road going and coming from work. I used to go through fast food places and order two separate meals but pretend it was for someone else. I knew it was getting out of hand at this point. My clothes sizes were climbing up but I didn’t know how to stop it. It was like I couldn’t control it, so I did like others and ignored it. Then I started getting dizzy a lot at work but I just contributed it to looking at the computer screen for long periods of time. Then the headaches began. I mentioned it to the nurse in the office and she advised me that it was probably my blood pressure. Sure enough, she took it every day that week and it was extremely high. Everyone in my office tried to get me to go to the doctor but I wouldn’t go, so I did the next best thing. I called my mama in Louisiana and she came to Texas. She even tried to get me to go but I wouldn’t. I knew the doctor would put me on medicine and in my head, a 30-something-year-old does not belong on high blood pressure meds.
After my blood pressure scare, deep down inside, I knew I had to lose the weight so I started trying to get out the house more with the kids. The kids and I would go to the park and walk, shoot basketball, etc. There is one particular day, I will never forget. My daughter, Jaelyn loves animals, from bugs on the ground to the birds in the sky. She noticed a dog in the park and began running towards it. I called her but she kept running. I began trying to run after her but I couldn’t catch her. I even yelled for my son, Chris-Sean to help me, but it was no use. Then all of a sudden, she stopped and looked at me. I freaked out so bad, we immediately left the park. I began having nightmares about her getting kidnapped and me watching it happen and not being able to do anything about it. I would force my oldest son, Brandon to go to the park with me (which he hated) , in case it happened again. I knew it wasn’t fair, but I didn’t know what to do. I felt like such a horrible mom for forcing him and I knew something had to be done.
I was sitting at home watching TV and saw the Atkins commercial. I heard about Atkins from my aunt years ago and I decided to join. After getting my starter kit, I felt like it was something I could do. I got up next morning and knew it was time to weigh-in. The scale read 289.4lbs. This couldn’t be right. I was almost 300lbs? I told myself something is wrong with this scale, let me move it into another area of the bathroom and try it again. Sure enough, the scale was correct.
That day was a turning point for me. I started the Atkins Weight Loss Program and have since turned in my size 22 dress for a size 12... and decreasing! My cheeseburgers have been traded in for tilapia. I treat myself by having my favorite Atkins bar, which is Cranberry Almond bar. For me, this isnt a quick fix, but a way of life. I am so thankful for everything I have been through because without my daughter giving me that scare in the park, I would have never gotten serious about changing my weight. I feel like I have been given a second chance at life.
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