Eat More – Lose Weight

A healthy approach to eating equals weight-loss success for Jenn Hottinga.

Jenn Hottinga wanted to lose weight. Imagine her surprise when she was told to eat more.

For Hottinga, the Six-Week Weight Loss program with Heidi Shoemaker helped kick start her journey.  “She was actually under-eating,” explains Shoemaker, a dietician with Renown for the past 17 years.  Shoemaker administers a test that measures the metabolic resting rate in order to determine the number of calories a person should consume each day. Her test revealed that Hottinga needed 2,100 calories a day for optimum health; at the time she was consuming only 1,000.

It took Shoemaker a few months to convince Hottinga that she needed to eat every four hours and keep snacks with her. So Hottinga, a coding coordinator with Renown, relunctantly increased her calorie intake and joined Weight Watchers to help manage her calorie-counting and nutrition. She added exercise to her regime including Zumba and Pilates, and she timed her meals to ensure she had the fuel she needed throughout the day.

The result? Hottinga dropped from 239 pounds to 174 pounds for a total weight loss of 65 pounds.

Hottinga’s determination and success rubbed off on those around her, and now she’s not the only one in the family working to lose weight and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. Hottinga’s daughter, Ashley, lost 17 pounds during that two-year period, while her husband Joe lost 7 pounds.

You probably think of Peter Pan when you hear Wonderland. But Hottinga and Ashley appropriated the word for their weight-loss goals — entering “Wonderland” meant they’d dropped below 200 pounds. Hottinga recalls when both she and Ashley went to Wonderland. “That was huge when [Ashley] did that and she said, ‘Mommy, I’m in Wonderland like you.’ It was really a huge deal for both of us.”

At left, Jenn Hottinga shows Heidi Shoemaker what she has packed for snacks for the day. Keeping a balance of eating times, usually every 3-4 hours, led to great progress for Hottinga, who has lost 65 pounds in two years.

At left, Jenn Hottinga shows Heidi Shoemaker what she has packed for snacks for the day. Keeping a balance of eating times, usually every 3-4 hours, led to great progress for Hottinga, who has lost 65 pounds in two years.

Hottinga’s target weight is 168 pounds, which Shoemaker says is a healthy and realistic weight for her. She is committed, and her determination has influenced more than her family — it also inspired Shoemaker. And after working together to reach Hottinga’s goals, the two developed a relationship beyond clinician/patient. During the interview for this story, they often laughed and finished each other’s sentences like old friends. Which, in a way, they are now.

She couldn’t be more proud of her new friend. “Even with the normal life stressors that everyone has, Hottinga hasn’t given up,” Shoemaker beams. “She feels better and has more energy and she’s just thriving. I love how successful she is and how happy she is. To see that change in her own attitude for herself — that really makes me happy.”

3 Responses to “Eat More – Lose Weight”

  1. Stephanie says:

    Good job Jennie! Keep up the good work!!! :)

  2. Marie McCormack, MD says:

    I work with Jenn and have watched her transformation as she has gotten to Wonderland and beyond. She is doing great and is a healthy role model for so many employees that come in contact with her. I’m so thankful that she has shared her story which will help so many of our employees and patients to know that the resources are available to help them achieve their goals as they move toward a healthier lifestyle which will positively impact their jobs and their home life! Keep up the good work Jenn and thank you for sharing!!

  3. Maryhelen Hottinga says:

    I am Jenn’s Mom. I am so very proud of her. We have a lot of health issues in our family & I am thrilled that she is being pro-active for her health. I am excited to see not just the physical change, but the self confidence & joy she exudes. she just beams with it.

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