Local 'Biggest Loser' contestant has advice for people at home

Local 'Biggest Loser' contestant

BRISTOL, Va. - An Abingdon mother of two has undergone a total lifestyle change, after spending four-months on NBC's 'The Biggest Loser' and dropping more than 100 pounds.

Going to the gym hasn't always been a top priority for Jennifer Messer of Abingdon. "That was the moment that changed my life, when they said, 'you have made it you're one of 15 that has made it,'" she said about her time on the show.

Messer says after being picked as a contestant on NBC's 'The Biggest Loser,' her life changed for the better. "I was so ready and willing to change my life. I knew I needed help. It wasn't about the money, it wasn't about the show, and it wasn't about the title. I just wanted to change my life and change my family's life," she told us. Click here to watch our interview with Jennifer Messer on News 5 At Noon.

And that's what she did. We learned when the show started she weighed 266 pounds; in four months she lost 106 pounds. Messer says one thing she learned to do is set her mind to her goal and put away all negative thoughts. "They are not real, these are negative thoughts that are just trying to throw me off track," she said. "I won't allow that anymore."

We talked to fitness coordinator Felicia Ruiz at the YMCA in Bristol, Tennessee. She tells us for anyone who wants to lose weight there are a few simple things to keep in mind. "Watch your portions, drink plenty of water, exercise and just burn more calories than you take in," she said.

Messer agrees. She says to gradually take steps with exercise and diet, and don't push yourself too hard. "Just be better today than you were yesterday. It doesn't mean you weren't good enough yesterday, it just means try to strive to be a little bit better," she said.

Messer says when it comes to dieting, cut back on fast food and choose more vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains. "Eat the foods that are natural for us to eat. The more natural, the less processed, that's the healthiest way," she said.

Messer says everyone is capable of making a change in their life with strong determination and a support system.

YMCA Fitness Coordinator Felicia Ruiz says start your weight loss program slowly by going to the gym two to three times a week, and then work up to four or five times a week. She says to find something you enjoy doing so you don't get burned out. Finally, don't go on a "crash" diet, because when you start eating normally again you will gain weight back quickly.

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