At 25, Jen Wagner was on blood pressure medication and miserable because of her weight.

“I felt like a stranger in my own body,” she told POPSUGAR.

But after looking at photos of herself, something clicked and she realized it was time to take charge.

Photos that sparked change

“In January of 2018, I saw photos of myself from a New Year’s Eve party we had attended, and something about those particular photos finally lit a fire inside of me that has since changed my entire life.”

At her heaviest, Wagner weighed 240 pounds. An athlete her entire life, she’d never struggled with her weight up until she got married. In the six years since, she gained over 100 pounds.

“I stopped all forms of exercise, and I honestly couldn’t tell you why that is. I began to eat bigger and bigger portions and started using food for comfort,” she said.

The weight gain caused her to develop a rapid heartbeat and high blood pressure. Wagner was heartbroken. She tried every weight loss program and diet in the book over the course of six years, and nothing worked.

The right motivation

But something was different this time and it was because she found the right motivation to create lasting change: her husband and daughter.

“They deserve the best version of me, and for a while they were getting the worst version of me. They were the ones who loved me through every stage, and I want to make sure I’m around for them for a long, long time,” she said.

On February 12, 2018, she embarked on her transformation journey.

“For the first time ever, I didn’t give up after a few weeks of trying to lose weight.”

Wagner decided she was taking no shortcuts to implementing change. She completely overhauled her diet, experimented with intermittent fasting and returned to her active lifestyle. She plays tennis four days a week and has even taken over doing yard work.

“There were times I burned more calories doing yard work than I did running for 30 minutes,” she said.

Now 29 years-old, Wagner has lost 85 pounds in nine months and is celebrating more than just the weight loss. Her high blood pressure and rapid heartbeat have been almost completely reversed, she gets to wear regular boots again and she’s gained her confidence back.

“The best of all: I love myself again!”

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