For years, Jennifer Riveira made excuses for her weight gain, even as she struggled to keep up with her young son and often had to say no when he wanted to play.
“I was overweight and I was tired,” Jennifer told People. “My son said I yelled from the time I got up in the morning until the time I went to bed at night.”
At her heaviest weight of almost 200 pounds, the mom of two was exhausted and miserable.
Jennifer felt her relationships with her husband and son break down
“My marriage was at an all-time low,” she remembered. “My husband and I weren’t getting along because frankly, I made it really hard to love me because I stopped loving myself.”
In March 2017, Jennifer made a doctor’s appointment, thinking there must be a medical reason she was getting heavier. Instead, she got a rude awakening.
“My doctor said, ‘Your tests all came back fine. But what we really need to look at is what are you eating,’” she said.
Rather than address the root cause of her weight gain, Jennifer continued to insist she couldn’t prioritize healthy eating because of her hectic schedule as a busy mom.
“In reality, I had just given up on myself,” said the California native. “Everybody became more important than I did and fast-food became my way of life. It was fast. It was easy.”
Then, something clicked when she stumbled across a friend’s weight loss post one day on social media.
After successfully losing weight, she decided to help others on the same journey
“She had posted that she was able to be on the floor and play with her son,” Jennifer said. “I remember thinking, ‘Gosh, I just want that.’ I reached out to her and asked her what she was doing.”
Her friend told her about how she’d been able to lose weight with Isagenix, a popular meal replacement program.
“I remember thinking, ‘I’m going all in. What do I have to lose?’”
She signed up for the Isabody challenge, a 16-week transformation contest and it turns out, it was the exact support she needed.
Not only did Jennifer successfully drop 76 pounds, but she was also named the 2019 Isabody grand prize winner and awarded $25,000 for her achievement.
“The challenge itself is to feel better about yourself, to be the best version of you, whoever you are.”
These days, she is more active and healthier than ever and has made it her mission to help others feel good about themselves too.
One of her favourite moments throughout her weight loss journey was when she asked her son to describe her using three words as part of a personal development assignment.
“He said: dedicated, loving, and inspiring,” Jennifer said at the time. “It’s about so much more than just the weight loss — I have a happy healthy 13-year-old who now sees what good nutrition can do for you. That means the world to me.”