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How Eden Overcame a Stroke and Lost 107 lbs. * on Jenny Craig

By Jenny Craig


*Results not typical. Members following our program, on average, lose 1-2 lbs. per week.


Eden lost 107* lbs. on the Jenny Craig program and is featured in PEOPLE Magazine’s Half Their Size Issue, on newsstands now!


Eden's Jenny Craig story in her own words: 


I had been a ballet dancer since I was 3 years old, dancing up to about 5 days a week in my youth. I hadn’t struggled with my weight until I was 11 years old when I broke my ankle after my first performance as ‘Clara’ in the Nutcracker, the lead role. I was so upset that I had to give up dancing until it was healed. My parents also started going through a divorce around that time, so I spent a lot of time being a teenager and hanging out with my friends, eating junk food. My favorite go-to snacks were chips and cookies. I had no portion control, which was my downfall. If I opened a box of these snacks, I’d finish the whole package in one sitting.


My parents were always healthy eaters; my dad is a nutritionist and my mom is in the medical field, so I grew up learning healthy eating habits. But when I became a teenager and gave up dance, coupled with my parents’ divorce, I just gave into my cravings and junk food eating habits. However, I missed dance, so I decided to go back and lost some of the weight I had put on when I quit dance.


When I went to college, I was a typical stressed student short on time and gave up ballet again. I picked up a job as an assistant at a gym and worked my way up to become a personal trainer. Even though I was in such a healthy environment and telling my clients how to eat healthy and increase their activity, I was gaining weight, and a lot of it. I was stressed by the workload of going to college full-time, working part-time and was just not living a healthy lifestyle. I was making poor choices with food, friendships, relationships and was drinking and eating more than I should to help cope with the stress.

My Moment:

When I was 26, I had a pulmonary embolism. My doctor told me that I needed to take medication and change my eating and lifestyle habits. I was supposed to give up drinking alcohol and smoking was off-limits, but I didn’t listen to the doctor’s orders. I was also a big fan of BBQ and loved to barbecue meat. During this point, for lunch, I’d be able to eat two, foot-long sandwiches, with all of fixings and a large regular soda, with alcohol mixed in. All against doctor’s orders. At that time, I was around 255 lbs.


After 3 years of not taking my medication and continuing to make poor eating choices, I had a massive stroke. I tried to get dressed one day and had forgotten how to do it. I was 29.  When my family brought me to the hospital, I couldn’t write my name, remember my colors or remember how to touch my nose. I couldn’t talk. When I checked into the hospital, I weighed 275 lbs.


My doctor told me that my life was going to be different than it was before and it would be a long road back. I had to learn how to speak again. Being young helped my recovery, but I knew that I needed to take my health back into my own hands. I had been given another chance to get it right. I went home and while I was working on my recovery, my mom recommended I try Jenny Craig to help get my eating and portions on track.

My Transformation:

eden after.jpg

In May 2015, I joined Jenny Craig and had my first consultation. Being in ballet and constantly in pursuit of losing weight, I had been on various diets and had tried almost everything. Nothing worked for me because it didn’t help me with how I should be eating healthy portions, the right foods to eat and the support to help make those decisions. Jenny Craig finally taught me how to do that. And I really clicked with my consultant, Nicole. She and I are like the same person and I cannot thank her enough for all that she helped me get through.


I had no idea what a proper portion was before Jenny Craig. I would eat 3-4 times beyond the recommended amount and was drinking so many calories. I thought that the only way to lose weight was to not eat. I slowly learned how to eat 6 times a day, throughout the day. I would have a Jenny Craig meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner and then would add in 3 snacks with fruit, vegetables and dairy throughout the day. I started going to the gym with my dad as well. I started slowly on the elliptical bike because I couldn’t run. Now, I can run up to 10 miles! I followed the Jenny Craig plan and lost 107 lbs.*! I still eat all the time without being hungry, I’m just eating the right things in the right amounts.


At my last doctor’s visit, he was thrilled with my results. My cardiologist reduced my medications and took me off one of them completely because my heart is doing so well and my numbers are looking so good. I still can’t believe I had a stroke in my 20’s. I felt like I lost some of my youth. But I am so blessed and thankful for everything that I have in my life and the progress that I’ve made. I’ve been lucky to have such good speech pathologists and of course my Jenny Craig consultant, Nicole, to help me regain my health. I feel like a new person with a second chance at life. My new goals are to get my master’s degree and pursue a career in rehabilitative therapy.


If I could give one piece of advice to anyone embarking on their journey, it would be to not take your youth and health for granted. Do what you can to protect it now.


*Results not typical. Members following our program, on average, lose 1-2 lbs. per week.


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Congratulations! What a story! So glad you got as second chance! You look healthy and beautiful and I'm sure you'll stay that way. So glad you heard about Jenny Craig - it's the perfect program for anyone who wants to learn healthy eating habits, portions and how to have a balanced diet! Your consultant Nicole sounds like she was the perfect match! Love your plans for your future as well - you are perfect for it! 

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Eden, I can't tell you how much your story has encouraged me.  I am 78 yrs old and am using Jenny Craig to lose a lot of weight.  I have lost 44# since Sept. 2017 and I am so encouraged. I have bad knees and exercise is hard for me. The same as you my consultant is so great. She cheers me on each week. By the way I lost 5# over the holidays. Nothing was going to stop me. I too had PEs twice before I got the message. Thank you for your experience today. I'm encouraged. And I want to tell seniors that is never to late!

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Congrats on your journey and living life. Reading your story had just given me that push I needed to make my  mind up. I have been wanting to join and I just keep putting it off. I need to get heathly and learn how to eat right. Thank you for your story it gave me the motivation I need.  Im going to make that call.

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What an amazing story.  Health is your wealth.   Congrats to you and as I go thru my own journey after a major surgery, I'm ready to lose weight like you!   You're beautiful.

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