After tracking her weight on MyFitnessPal since 2013, Long Island-based Jenny Hutt has finally found the sweet spot.
Hutt is the talkative, charismatic host of “Just Jenny” on SiriusXM Stars 109 (you can catch her weekdays 12–2 p.m. ET), but she’d be the first to tell you, “losing weight is a b****.”
“To have the same pair of jeans in my closet for 10 years … that’s a miracle,” she says.
Now 51, Hutt was a self-described average-to-chubby kid who always had issues with her weight and body image. After gaining the “college 20,” she spent the summer after graduation over-exercising and under-eating. She lost 23 pounds but gained it back (and more) during law school. In 1997, Hutt married her husband, Keith, then had two children in the next three years, and found her weight was out of control.
“I was working, I was a mom, then my mother got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2007 and passed away in 2008,” she says. “That was almost 13 years ago. We were very close, and I took care of her. It’s very hard to diet while encouraging a loved one with cancer to eat. Plus, I used food to comfort me during this incredibly stressful and sad time.”
Following her mother’s death, Hutt was diagnosed with high blood pressure at age 39. She remembers her doctor telling her “we’re not going to let heart disease be the thing that kills you,” and something clicked.
For the first time in her life, she saw diet as a choice and an opportunity to live a healthier lifestyle. For Hutt, it was all about setting expectations; she changed her mindset from thinking she had to be thin to simply not wanting to be obese. She began to truly love her body for what it could do instead of what it looked like.
While Hutt had tried to lose weight in years prior without success, this time was different. She used what she had learned from her failed diets to structure a plan that worked for her. With support from a nutritionist and an eating approach that put her in a slight calorie deficit, she reached her goal weight in late 2010.
Once Hutt reached that weight, she quickly realized she needed a way to maintain it. She started tracking her food and weight daily on MyFitnessPal, paying attention to every calorie. This new lifestyle had become such a large part of her life, she started a weekly themed day on her radio show to talk about her success and help others on similar journeys.
Every Wednesday show became “Weight Wednesday,” and this weight-and wellness-themed show still helps Hutt stay accountable to herself to this day. She features weight-loss, wellness and nutrition experts who share their insights and tips, but ultimately, she says, it’s all about finding what works best for you and your personal journey.
“My whole thing has always been to capture bits and pieces of successful dieters and people’s mindsets and plans that’ll help me stay consistent. But I have to make my plan specifically tailored to me,” she emphasizes. “I could never succeed on a keto plan or a Paleo plan, but I certainly watch my carb intake the best I can. Occasionally, I may have pizza or a brownie for breakfast, and this needs to be worked into my plan. Find what works for you.“
Hutt believes it’s all about calorie deficit. She would give herself the freedom to eat what she wanted, but she’d use the scale and MyFitnessPal to rein things in and get back on track when needed. She aims for 1,200–1,400 calories a day, and she sets the app at a lower number so it alerts her when she’s near her daily cap so she knows what she’s still able to eat for the rest of the day.
“The moment I say I can’t have something, that’s the moment I want all of it,” she says. “But I put my food in (MyFitnessPal) and my weight in every day — I love looking at all the numbers; it’s fun. You can see trends, and I’ll go back month-to-month and see my progress.”
Like her approach to dieting, exercise also required a major mindset shift. Hutt went from crying on the treadmill, and afraid of gaining weight back, to seeing exercise as a way to stay mentally healthy. The physical benefits were secondary, and after 30 minutes of activity for 30 days straight, she saw a dramatic improvement in her mood.
“It really changed my overall well-being, and it had nothing to do with my weight,” she says. “When I looked at exercise as something to do with my weight maintenance, it was a chore. But when I took that chore mentality away and made it about my brain feeling good, it made movement fun. I started to choose movement as a way to feel good rather than as a way to punish myself for something I ate or how much I weigh.”
In January 2020, she committed herself to 10,000 steps a day and hasn’t missed a day in 16 months. She watches TV while using her elliptical or goes for long walks around Long Island with her husband. Her hashtag #movementmovement first started as a joke and a way to hold herself accountable on social media, and it has since caught on through the pandemic with her fans and followers posting their own daily exercise routines.
This mindset and holistic approach is one she echoes on her radio show and social media. It’s not about reaching a finish line — it’s about making smart decisions and keeping your head on straight.
“All of this is a choice to take care of ourselves, and none of the struggle in doing so is an indictment on our character,” she says. “It doesn’t take away from who you are just because you’re a little overweight. When you are less emotionally impacted by your weight and look at it for what it is, it becomes clinical and much easier to deal with.”
Despite losing a total of 70 pounds, Hutt continues to weigh herself daily and aims to keep herself within a 5-pound range through diet and exercise. Through her interactions on her radio show and social media, she’s discovered most people — especially women — have issues with food and their bodies. But from her own experiences, she believes anyone can find their way to lose weight and learn to love and crave movement.
“You can find your way if you choose to. I’m not great, I’m totally regular — I’m just a woman doing the best I can,” she says. “I’m also a big believer in good enough. I know I’m never going to be a size zero, I don’t mourn a bikini body I never had. I don’t care, I just need to be healthy. Life is hard enough. I just want to know my jeans are going to fit.”
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