SUCCESS STORY/Jennifer Mehling, 42, of Marietta: ‘Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed and health shouldn’t be put on the back burner’

The photo of Jennifer Mehling on the left was taken in 2018. She changed her exercise routine in August 2020 and then changed her eating habits a few months later, based on what she learned from the book "Bright Line Eating." The photo on the right was taken this August. (All photos contributed by Jennifer Mehling).
Caption
The photo of Jennifer Mehling on the left was taken in 2018. She changed her exercise routine in August 2020 and then changed her eating habits a few months later, based on what she learned from the book "Bright Line Eating." The photo on the right was taken this August. (All photos contributed by Jennifer Mehling).

SEO:Jennifer Mehling, 42, of Marietta: ‘Health shouldn’t be put on the back burner’

When she started: She revamped her exercise in August 2020 and changed her nutrition that November.

Personal life: “I’m a believer in Jesus, a wife and a mom to an almost 6-year-old little girl. My daughter is the reason I’ve made this lifestyle change,” Mehling said. “I’m a business branding, lifestyle, maternity, newborn and family photographer. I also now am a wellness advocate helping people sleep better. My website is www.jennifermehling.com and Instagram @jennifermehlingphotography and @bewellbefearless.”

The lifestyle change: “When I got pregnant, I was working, stressed and overeating. I was not making my health a priority. After I had my daughter, I became a stay-at-home mom until I started my photography business,” Mehling said. “I put my daughter and business ahead of taking care of myself, so I gained more weight. I felt miserable and would constantly complain about my weight and health. ... Something finally clicked about six months into COVID — tomorrow isn’t guaranteed and health shouldn’t be put on the back burner.

“I began working out at Orangetheory Fitness in August of 2020. I felt good about moving my body, but I knew my nutrition needed to change if I wanted to see progress in my weight. I had listened to an audiobook in March of 2020 called ‘Bright Line Eating.’ It explained so much about why I had food addictions and weight issues.”

Change in eating habits: “The key principles of BLE are no sugar, no flour, portion control and three meals a day. It’s crazy how sugar and flour act as a drug inside our brains,” Mehling said. “Once I was off both substances for about three to four months, I didn’t want the sugary foods I once craved.”

Jennifer’s how-tos:

1. ’Bright Line Eating’: She began thinking about food differently.

2. Focus on the journey: “It’s giving yourself grace when you have a treat on vacation but resuming immediately at your next meal.”

3. Encouraging thoughts: “It’s changing your mind about how you view yourself — learning to listen and change your internal dialogue.”

3. Support: “There’s a free group on Facebook called Bright Line Eating. It has a ton of testimonials and free support.”

Exercise routine: “I chose to work out, but the BLE program recommends none during weight loss. The book teaches it can tap into your willpower. So the program is actually perfect for those choosing or not able to work out. I work out four to five days a week at Orangetheory Fitness and do movement therapy online on Zoom at AgeDEFY Studios.”

Biggest challenge: “My biggest challenge was starting the BLE eating program. We too often allow our minds to talk us out of starting something before we have even given it a try.”

Jennifer’s top tips:

1. Tip One: “In the beginning, one meal at a time, one day at a time.”

2. Tip Two: “Stay consistent and don’t quit, no matter how long it takes.”

3. Tip Three: “If you slip at one meal or miss one workout, it doesn’t mean you’re a failure.”

How has your life changed?: “I have energy and feel like I’m in my 20s again. I can play with my daughter. I’m joyful from the inside out, and I truly want others to be successful. I’m a cheerleader and want to shout to the world of people struggling with weight to buy the book,” Mehling said. “I’ve realized that getting to where I am now wasn’t the finish line. A healthy lifestyle is a journey, not a destination.”

Seeking readers’ stories of lifestyle changes: We’re looking for stories about changing health habits. While The Atlanta Journal-Constitution does not endorse any specific programs, we include names and links for the benefit of readers who want further information. If you would like to share your story of a lifestyle change, please contact reporter Michelle C. Brooks and include your email address, phone number, and before and after photos (by mail or JPEG), and contact us at: Success Stories, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 223 Perimeter Center Parkway, Atlanta, GA, 30346-1301; or email Michelle C. Brooks directly at: ajcsuccessstories@gmail.com.