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Losing weight after 50: Jenna Leveille's Lumen Experience

by Lumen Editorial & Reviewed by: Mia Dige, Metabolic Coach · August 28, 2023 · 5 minute read
losing weight over 50

Jenna Leveille shares her Lumen journey and achieving midlife weight loss

Meet Jenna

Jenna has been sharing her weight loss story in the hopes of helping others who were struggling and founded the free community Getting Closer Every Day. She wanted to offer support where people felt safe and encouraged during their journey. After being pregnant with her daughter, she had trouble losing weight and started crash dieting.

We sat with Jenna to learn more about her journey and success in losing her midlife weight. Read on to see how she achieved her goals. 

“That yo-yo dieting led to being stuck for over 13 years. When I finally decided to dedicate more time to myself and made myself accountable, that’s when I lost 140 lbs.”

Describe your health journey before Lumen

I was on yoyo diets for years, losing weight, but often gaining it back. Then I started to exercise more and really improve my nutrition in a way that I could sustain. I managed to lose a lot of weight, but then I hit a plateau. I just couldn't lose the extra bit of weight I was still carrying. So that's when I found Lumen. With a lot of consistency and dedication, I managed to lose all the remaining weight with this device!

In the journey to heal my gut, nurturing a well-functioning metabolism becomes paramount, and my Lumen helped me dial down the good and the bad. That knowledge gave me the power to learn and make impactful changes.

I also started the online community during my weight loss journey back in 2013 and 14 after I had lost 140 pounds. I wanted to offer others the kind of support I received. You know how it's sometimes challenging to ask your friends or family repeatedly for support during a weight loss journey. That’s why I created a safe space for people to connect, share, and gain encouragement.

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That sounds incredible. Can you give us more insight into this community?

Our community is beautiful and truly embodies what support, kindness, and wellness are all about. It's a kind group where people share not just weight loss journeys, but also other life challenges, like dealing with cancer or grieving the loss of a loved one. You can join our group for free at gettingclosereveryday.com.

How did you come across Lumen in your journey?

After a significant weight gain post-surgery, I was stuck in a cycle of gaining and losing the same 10 pounds. That's when I came across Lumen. The first month I used it, I lost 12 pounds! The technology and advice kept improving over time, and it made me feel more in control without being on a restrictive diet. Now I could finally see what was going on in my body and what fuel I was burning at a given time. This helped me improve my metabolic flexibility

During your journey, did you face any challenges related to body composition or hormonal changes?

Absolutely. It took me a year to lose 100 pounds and another six months for the next 40. As I aged, especially after turning 50, I began to notice changes. I recently learned I'm post-menopause, and it has been a challenging period, both in terms of weight management and overall well-being.

Aging and hormonal changes are unavoidable challenges, and with menopause and post-menopause, there's a lot dictated by our hormones. Men too face a decline in hormones like testosterone. We might find it harder to lose weight as we age. But it's essential to be kind to ourselves and focus on what we can control.

Watch the full interview here: 

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Nutrition and exercise have been major factors in your journey. Can you share more about how you tweaked these aspects during your weight loss?

Yes! What we consume and how we move our bodies are things we can control. During my time at LivingSocial, I observed my colleagues crushing their day-to-day tasks.

They'd get up early, work out, and yet no one was observing them. This motivated me to not revert to my old weight. So, I decided to engage with my team, my boss, my family, and friends.

There's this saying, "Fake it till you make it," and honestly, I felt like that was my approach until I began to believe in myself.

Every minor achievement was a triumph. I couldn't think of losing 150 pounds at once, so I broke it down into 10-pound goals. This approach was less overwhelming and more achievable for me.

Discussing menopause and other challenges women face. How has that affected your journey?

Accountability is crucial. Just like anyone else, I have my ups and downs. Right now, I'm navigating the challenges of menopause. Instead of using it as an excuse, I remember what I've achieved in the past and push forward. This isn't just about appearances; it's about holistic health and feeling good from the inside out. When you're healthy, you radiate happiness and positivity.

Would you say that a positive mindset was a foundational element for you?

Yes, it all starts with a mindset. I had champions in my corner. They would check in, asking about my work or what I ate that day. That's how community became essential to me. They rallied around my mission, and I'm not sure where I'd be without their support. Their continuous encouragement was invaluable.

Considering the struggles and challenges you faced, what's your primary message for others?

The journey might be tough, but the cycle of yo-yo dieting is even harder. It's mentally taxing to constantly feel like you need to diet or lose weight. Instead, buckle down, set smaller goals, and achieve them. This way, you can transition to a balanced lifestyle faster.

Many Lumen users transitioned from yo-yo dieting to understanding their macronutrients better. How do you feel about diet changes, especially during midlife?

It's crucial to understand our bodies. Under-eating, especially during phases like menopause, can be detrimental. Our bodies need adequate fuel to sustain muscle mass, which naturally declines as we age. Hence, we should do everything in our capacity to nurture and maintain our health.

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When discussing the importance of maintaining a balanced diet, you mentioned the idea of "intuitively carb cycling." Can you explain what you mean by that?

Intuitively carb cycling means understanding the types of carbs our body needs and when it needs them. It's been an eye-opener to realize I can eat carbs, but what's crucial is the type of carbs I consume.

The Lumen device was instrumental in teaching me this. So, while on my weight loss journey, I did not cut out carbs completely, I followed a personalized carb cycling meal plan. I went with a high protein, slightly lower carb diet. However, I never deprived myself of carbs.

For some reason, every Sunday, I just had to have my toast with grape jam. Some people were surprised I lost weight with such choices, but it's about the overall balance and understanding my body.

What about the pace of your weight loss? How did it fluctuate?

Great question. My weight loss varied: in one month I'd lose six pounds, another month four, and sometimes just two. The scale didn't always drop significantly, but I noticed my body shrinking. Rapid weight loss can be stressful for the body, so losing at a steadier, more manageable pace is beneficial.

Lastly, with all the challenges and vulnerabilities you've faced, what's your take on enjoying life while on a weight loss journey?

Life is meant to be enjoyed. Yes, we should have discipline, but there will be moments of indulgence. The key is to know how to pull yourself back and keep your goals in mind.

We all have our off days, but it's essential to create a balance and prioritize health most of the time. Allow yourselves to be happy, because true health makes you glow from the inside out.

I want everyone to know that when you work hard and dig deep you have the power to change your life! Whether you are trying to lose weight, get a better job, be more confident, or just try to live the happiest life you can, you can get closer every day with community support, wellness tools, and human kindness.

You don’t have to journey alone!

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Here are some key points and takeaways from this section:

Balanced Diet: The importance of a balanced diet, including all macronutrients like carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, is emphasized. Restricting any of these can lead to adverse health effects.

Mindful Carb Consumption: While carbs are essential, it's crucial to be mindful of the type of carbs consumed.

Pace of Weight Loss: The pace at which one loses weight matters. Slow, consistent weight loss can be healthier and more sustainable than rapid weight loss.

Allowing Occasional Indulgences: The discussion touches upon the topic of "cheat days" or allowing oneself the occasional indulgence. While some people can rebound from a cheat day easily, others might find it hard to get back on track. Recognizing one's individual response to such days is vital.

Mental and Emotional Aspects: The psychological aspects of diet and weight loss play a pivotal role. It's important to be self-aware and gauge one's emotional and mental readiness before making significant changes or allowing deviations in the diet.

Enjoying Life: Ultimately, the goal is to enjoy life while making healthier choices. Balance is the key, and occasional indulgences should not lead to guilt but rather an understanding of one's journey and goals.

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Lumen Editorial & Reviewed by: Mia Dige, Metabolic Coach

Mia is a Women’s Health Specialist and a Personal Trainer. She has a genuine passion for supporting and empowering people on their journeys to better health and happiness. Mia is currently a Metabolic Coach and Events Host at Lumen, regularly hosting talks with field experts on various health topics. Mia has a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology with Evolutionary Psychology & a Master’s degree in International Health.