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Fitness | HOW I DID IT

Working Out Took Top Priority in Her Life

March 23, 1998|JENNIFER DeJOYA

I am an aerobics instructor, personal trainer and fitness model. I love my job because it gives me the chance to share with others how fitness has changed my life. People find it hard to believe that I once weighed 152 pounds.

I know what it feels like to be overweight because I was once there, and I know that there is hope when it feels like there is none. I am living proof that it can be done. Since I have made fitness my life, the changes have not only occurred in my body, but in my confidence and outlook on living.

I started teaching aerobics about four years ago, which gave me the discipline to get to the gym and the desire to look better. I believe in group exercise because others give you motivation to do better.

Before that, my workouts had been inconsistent and revolved around my college and full-time career, and I continued to battle with my weight. Since I have changed my perspective, everything revolves around my workouts, and the results are phenomenal.

I teach aerobics three to five times a week for one hour, and I run twice a week for cross training. I also do weight training three to four times a week.

It took me more than a year to lose 20 pounds. Then I hit a plateau. I started dieting by watching my calories and taking health-food supplements and lost an additional 20 pounds. The combination of diet and exercise is the key, and I have kept the weight off for more than a year.

I have problem areas just like a lot of other women. When it comes to body shaping, there is no such thing as spot reducing, and when you burn fat, you lose it all over the body, not just in one area.

But weight training helped develop my upper body so that it looked more proportioned to my lower body. I then wasn't so obsessed with losing inches on my stomach and thighs.

A personal trainer helped me shape my body and increase my strength. I never imagined that I could look and feel the way I do now.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Vital Statistics

Name: Jennifer De Joya

Age: 29

Occupation: Aerobics instructor, personal trainer, fitness model

Height: 5 feet, 3 inches

Former Weight: 152

New Weight: 112

Time to Get There: 2 1/2 years

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