A Florida woman in her 20s named Jessica Beniquez had struggled with her weight her whole life. By the end of her teen years, she tipped the scales at 320 pounds. Eating fast food nearly every day and regularly binge-watching shows on Netflix certainly didn't help. Before long, her weight had become a literal physical burden.
"Getting out of bed was hard," the now 22-year-old said in an interview with People. "I knew I needed to lose weight because I had high blood pressure, but it took me over a year to realize how dangerous that is — and to do something about it."
But during the first couple months of 2016, Beniquez decided it was finally time to change her life and take control of her health. One big step she took was changing the types of food that she ate. She replaced chicken nuggets and fries with healthier choices like grilled chicken salads and carrots with hummus.
Then, she started taking regular walks at night and trying out exercises she saw on YouTube before joining a gym. Now, she's able to do two-hour sessions of workouts.
When you work hard you'll see results Thinking about doing it, isn't going to get you anywhere. The second you start to think about losing weight, get up in that moment and do something about it! You won't regret it😊 (March 2016-now) #throwbackthursday #throwback #weightloss #weightlossjourney #weightlossmotivation #weightlosstransformation
Beniquez now weighs in at a much healthier 145 pounds. After more than two years of taking control of her health, she's documented her ongoing progress on Instagram, which she says has been a big help in keeping her focused on reaching her goals.
"People would come up to me at the gym and say, 'Wow, congratulations — you’ve come such a long way,'" Beniquez said.
She hopes to become a certified trainer someday. But in the meantime, she continues to inspire countless people by sharing her story and her tips on her page.
"I wanted to show them that I could do it, and that they can, too," Beniquez said. "I never expected to be where I am today. I was shy, but now I have so much more confidence, I have so much more energy."
My name is Jessica and I’m 21. I’m 5’4 and I have lost over 170 lbs with diet and exercise. Starting at over 320 lbs and currently between 145-148. It wasn’t easy to get where I am today. There were and still are obstacles that get in the way, but that’s just the way it is and I have to deal with it. Did I let me give up? NEVER. One thing I will NEVER do is go back to my old ways. Everything that I did to get where I am today was BEYOND worth it, the sweat, the soreness, the pain of not being able to breath after a good cardio sesh. ALL WORTH IT. You will never know your limits until you push yourself to them. If you want it bad enough, you’ll do something about it and that’s all the motivation you’ll need. Not I or anyone else can make you want it. YOU have to make the decision and YOU have to be the one to work for it! #motivationmonday #motivationalmonday #iammotiv8 #motiv8monday #weightloss #weightlossjourney #weightlosstransformation #beforeandafter #beforeandduring
Enjoy your weight-loss success, Jessica! You've certainly earned it.
Next, learn about six tasty superfoods that can help you live longer in the video below: