How a former high school cheerleader took off 45 lbs. and got back into her ‘skinny jeans’ 20 years later
(JEN JONES DONATELLI) As a high school cheerleader, I loved to eat everything from hero subs to Cap’n Crunch.
My size two body was simply the product of a suddenly sky-high metabolism and cheering at practices and games.
But after college, the realities of a desk job and lack of exercise caught up with me. I’d gotten out of school and onto a rollercoaster that would take me on a 15-year ride of gaining and losing the same 20 pounds again and again. (At one point, I was 45 pounds heavier than I’d been in college.)
I tried every means possible to reclaim my former form, from the Curves diet to Weight Watchers to Nutrisystem to juice cleanses.
My attempts almost always succeeded temporarily, but like a stubborn rubber band, my weight always snapped back to its new, higher “anchor” number.
Though I’d lost my fit cheerleader physique, I hadn’t lost the desire to cheer. After college, I spent a few years dancing for a semi-pro team in Chicago, but I secretly yearned to take the floor with the Luvabulls, the Chicago Bulls dance team.
This desire followed me when I moved to Los Angeles, where I longingly eyed annual audition calls for the Clipper Girls and Laker Girls.
Next year, when I have a better body, I promised myself.
Not surprisingly, I found myself making that same promise every year—and never hitting that magic number on the scale.
So naturally, when the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team reality show debuted on CMT, I was hooked.
I couldn’t get enough of watching these women endure the rigorous training camp and—if they were lucky—receive their reward of those coveted white boots at its conclusion …
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