Before and after photo of Jenny's transformation

Down over 132 pounds, Jenny’s story is inspiring everyone!

When Jenny Rothman found the Plant City YMCA six years ago – she found herself too. And, last August when she decided to lose weight, she turned to the Y for help. Today, she has lost over 130 lbs. and has gone from size 24 to 8!

Well-known across town as “Jenny from the City,” she started this healthy lifestyle while juggling a full-time business as a realtor and being a busy volunteer/community leader. She wears so many more hats including being an amazing YMCA ambassador.

“The YMCA has been the biggest part of my success! I had just gone through a divorce, used to do everything for others, was a people pleaser, and I lost myself. My Mom was thinking about joining the Y and told me about it. We joined together. Unlike gyms, which are male-dominated and intimidating, I found the women’s classes here extremely motivational. They made me feel welcome. I have made life-long friends,” recalls Jenny, 38.

Then COVID hit.  

“I had just lost 30 pounds when COVID started. I put it all back on and then some by eating the wrong things. I was at my heaviest – 300 lbs., after COVID! Then I got tired of shopping at the big girl stores.”

She refused to give up and once again, the YMCA was there for her. She began doing Body Pump, added another four classes and trained with Brandie Trimble, our Plant City Y group ex trainer. She guided her to lose 74 lbs. Jenny educated herself about food and began eating smaller portions of six small meals a day, a regime she still follows.

“When Jenny came to me for nutrition, she said one word: ready. Ready for change, ready for health and ready to do the work it would take to get there,” explains Brandie, who is not only her trainer, but a dear friend now.

“As I taught Jenny about her health and what her specific body needed, she did the work. She ate well, and often. She came to class, and we worked out together. She set aside time for herself when she had every valid reason to make an excuse. The Y community created a safe place for her to grow. This journey has her glowing with confidence and inspiration, and I hope when people look at her, they say, ‘If she can, I can’ and then take the first step forward,” continues Brandie.

“We have built a family, thanks to the Y,” beams Jenny.

Fun Fact: Jenny’s first job was at the Plant City Y at 16. She taught gymnastics and swim lessons to toddlers and preschoolers, and a weekly Hip Hop class.

Generous and quick to share her tips for success, Jenny’s inspiring story has already been highlighted by ABC Action News’ Sean Daly and Plant City FOCUS, a lifestyle magazine.  

“You should eat within 30 minutes of waking up and add protein to your breakfast. It jumpstarts your metabolism. I eat a lot of lean meats – chicken, turkey and fish. Workout in the morning, especially weightlifting. It continues to burn calories throughout the day. I weigh all my food out.”

Paul Conley, District Executive Director at the Plant City YMCA, first shared her story with the Y community. He has known Jenny for five years and has seen her transformation.

“One of the first things I remember about Jenny when I met her is that each day she came to the Y she took a photo of our daily quote board and sent it to friends to provide accountability for herself. I thought it was such a great way to engage others and hold herself accountable. She’s a busy realtor, and I remember her telling me that she would put the group exercise classes in her calendar and if a client asked her to meet during class, she would say she had an appointment, prioritizing her health,” notes Paul.

“Jenny is an invested member of the Plant City community and speaks very highly of our YMCA, which is always a joy to hear. She has completely transformed herself physically while being able to keep herself accountable and inspirational to others. Jenny is what the YMCA is all about, making yourself better in spirit, mind and body,” he adds.

“Putting myself first has led to an overall successful lifestyle. It’s a mindset. I’ve always been a confident person, but now I feel it inside and outside. Thank you to the Plant City YMCA for changing my life!” enthuses Jenny.

Way to go, Jenny! You are inspiration personified.

Published Monday, Feb. 12, 2024.