Life

By Sarah Francis


A singer who wrote her weight on her hand EVERY DAY after discovering she weighed 256lbs has shocked herself into slimming down.

Jennifer Edwards, 26, from New York, who piled on the pounds as a student, was in denial until she was kicked off a roller-coaster for being too wide to ride.

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After stepping on the scales, Jennifer was forced to face the truth and hired a personal trainer who helped her lose 80lbs (5.7st).

To complete her terrific transformation, the trained Jazz singer had 17lbs (1.2lbs) of excess skin removed six months ago.

And after wearing a bikini for the first time in March, she began prep to show off her new bod on stage at a bikini contest.

Jennifer said: “Being kicked off the ride in Busch Gardens was absolutely humiliating.

“I had to walk off and leave in front of everyone while my siblings and my father were able to stay on.

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“When I arrived home from this trip, I weighed myself. When I saw that it said 256 pounds, I wrote “256” on my hand everyday to remind myself I needed to change.

“I never really got on a scale before, I struggled with my weight but didn’t think I was that big.

“I had no idea that I had let myself get to that point and I was in shock.

“For awhile, I allowed myself to be depressed. But when I hired a personal trainer the weight began to fly off. It was amazing.

“Five months ago I had my excess skin removed and now I am the most confident I’ve ever been.

“Never in my life did I think I would be on stage in a bikini. I’d never even worn a bikini before March when I went to Miami – it was the most amazing feeling.”

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Jennifer’s struggle with her weight escalated while at college where she ate junk food.

She said: “At college we never cooked, I ate out for nearly every meal in college.

“I would order pizza at least twice a week. For breakfast, it would be a large breakfast sandwich.

“If I was making my own food it was usually a bunch of pasta. I ate a lot of carbs.

“I would guess that I was consuming at least 3,000 calories a day on average.”

Her larger frame made her a target for bullies while talent agents told her she needed to lose weight for her career.

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Jennifer said: “When I was younger, I dealt with a lot of bullying.

“And as jazz singer in New York, I had a lot of agents come up to me and say I needed to get my weight under control – that was hard to hear.”

However, it was a visit to theme park, Busch Gardens in Virginia, that finally pushed her into action.

She said: “I was definitely at my lowest point. I was really depressed, I tried all these fad diets but they don’t work.

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“That was when I reached out to a personal trainer, I started work with him, I was with him for two years and lost 50lbs (3.5stone) in just seven months.

“It was really quick. It was unbelievable, I was the smallest I had been since I was a child. I continued to push myself.”

Jennifer ditched carbs, stuck to a high protein diet and started strength training.

She said: “I feel awesome, it’s the best feeling taking care of yourself, just knowing how to take the steps.

“I am the most confidence I’ve been.”

After the dramatic drop in pounds, Jennifer was left with excess skin around her midriff which she had removed in November 2016.

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She said: “It was very painful and I felt like I finally got rid of the thing that held me back.”

Now the wonder woman has vowed to wow the judges at her first bikini contest.

She said: “My whole attitude to life has changed.

“I would not to do anything crazy. I went skydiving, and went back to the theme park so I could ride the rollercoaster – things I couldn’t do when I was out my heaviest.”

DIET BEFORE:

Breakfast: large breakfast sandwich on a bagel (eggs, bacon, cheese)

Lunch: chipotle burrito with chips and guacamole

Dinner: pizza, pasta, bread

Snacks: Potato chips, sour patch candies, cookies

Drinks: soda, sweet tea, coffee with cream and sugar

DIET AFTER:

Breakfast: egg whites with spinach

Lunch: chicken, veggies, sweet potato

Dinner: chicken stir fry (onions, peppers, broccoli)

Snacks: rice cakes with almond butter, apple slices

Drinks: water, black coffee sweetened with stevia