SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – A local graduate student will appear on the July cover of Good Housekeeping Magazine to share her success story for overcoming obesity.
Jessica Odegaard, 25, said she had struggled with maintaining a healthy weight her entire life. Her on-again, off-again dieting routine didn't work until her sister asked her to be in her wedding in July 2011.
"I was thrilled and excited, yet a little anxious," Odegaard said. "I thought, ‘I am so overweight I am going to wreck her photos'."
At that point, Odegaard weighed 213 pounds. She said she knew she needed to make changes to her eating habits, but didn't think she could commit on her own. Odegaard immediately went to the Weight Watchers store in Rotterdam for help.
In June 2012, Odegaard dropped the weight she had originally intended to lose. She said she lost 82 pounds during her 20-month commitment to the program. She said her weight loss achievements not only boosted her self-confidence, but it has also inspired family and friends around her to abide by more healthy lifestyles.
Odegaard said she was excited about the positive results in both her personal and professional life.
"As a future middle school counselor, where students are constantly struggling with body image and fitting in, I know that coming out on this side of the weight battle empowers me to affect positive changes in my students' lives," Odegaard said.
Odegaard will now share her story with a national readership of women when the magazine hits the newsstand. Though she said the journey was not easy, she is excited to inspire women to reach their goals.
"It will be hard, but it doesn't matter how long it takes, just keep trying," Odegaard said. "Don't give up."
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