Height: 5' 0"
In 2007, Jodi Adkisson quit her job as an event coordinator to become a caretaker for her husband, Mike, who’d been injured in a work-related accident. Along with her career, she put her own health on the backburner. "I fell into the trap of not taking any time for me," Jodi remembers. "I just didn't eat. My metabolism just stopped." Less than three years later, Mike passed away, and Jodi faced financial setbacks and the challenge of providing for her two daughters. Lost in the needs of others, Jodi knew she was heavy, but wasn’t in tune to how the excess pounds made her look or feel.
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The Turning Point
A year after her husband’s passing, in May 2012, Jodi's father was diagnosed with leukemia. By this point, she had ballooned to 245 pounds from 150. "When my dad got sick, I knew I didn’t want to be in that place anymore," Jodi says. "It sparked something inside my head."
A couple of Jodi’s friends invited her to try Skyrobics—a trampoline-based group exercise class that incorporates cardio, circuit training, core exercises, strength training, and calisthenics. Soon, she was hooked. Six times a week, she’d drive 40 minutes to Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park in Plymouth, MN. "Skyrobics would kick my butt, but it was more than just a workout for me—it was a mental escape," Jodi says.
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She didn’t just change her exercise habits. Jodi also stopped drinking soda, reduced her coffee consumption, traded high-fat dressings for lemon juice and salsa, substituted grilled chicken for breaded chicken and red meats, and cut out deep-fried foods in favor of healthier, baked ones. (9 Essentials of a Diet Detox) The secret to sticking to her diet was altering what she ate in ways she knew she could commit to long-term. "I don't believe in a diet; I believe in learning a new lifestyle," Jodi says.
By June 2012, she had slimmed down to 132 pounds, a weight she has maintained by attending Skyrobics classes three times a week and continuing to eat healthily. (Try these effortless slimming tricks: Two Small Ways to Whittle Your Waist.)
Today Jodi makes her well-being a priority, because it allows her to truly enjoy life. "That's what keeps me motivated,” she says. “If I don't take time for me, I will be unhappy, and I will be unhealthy.”
"I'm definitely happier. It's put life into perspective for me," she says. Today, Jodi’s in a new relationship. "I never thought I'd have that again," she says. She also finds fulfillment in being able to model a healthy lifestyle for her children and inspiring others who want to make the same changes.
Focus on yourself. "Taking care of yourself is probably the most important thing you can do. Take 15 minutes a day. Just say, 'You know what? I got this.' Even if you don't think you do," Jodi says.
Have a treat. "Don't tell yourself you can't have a doughnut. Have a doughnut! Then work it off,” she says. “I don't believe in diets. A diet is not forever. You have to live with what you're doing."