Tag Archives: happy


My individual clients, as well as my Happy Body Project members, have given me so much wonderful feedback. Here are some of their thoughts, and experiences, in their own words. I find it so empowering that none of them mention their actual pounds lost when my Happy Bodies have collectively lost hundreds of pounds. It really does prove when you love yourself, care for yourself, and choose to be a Healthy Person the transformation you experience is so much greater than the pounds lost! Those pounds end up being a really nice added bonus as the new “healthy” you takes shape!


“Before I even knew the Universe had my back I stumbled upon Jennifer and the Happy Body Project at just the right time. I was living a lie, projecting happiness but feeling miserable. I thankfully started reading Holly’s blog just when my tolerance for my own BS was was at an all time low. I just needed to be free from decades of self abuse and self loathing. I wanted out but I had no idea how to get there. Then I read Holly’s blog What A Girl Wants.

I read Holly’s words like they were my own. Her honesty and bravery inspired me to be honest and brave. I tracked down Jennifer’s website and wrote her an email. After I sent it I cried, because maybe this would finally be my way out. I wanted Jennifer to fix me.

I very quickly learned that that wasn’t going to happen. Jennifer could not fix me, I must fix myself. Jennifer provided the framework for me to “get real” and tackle life long issues, while promoting self love and empowerment. I got myself into this mess and I would get myself out. Once that really sunk in, I was free! I am strong; I am loved; I am a healthy person!!!

Every week we build ourselves anew. Even when I had setbacks; hard days; days I felt so sorry for myself I could only cry, Jennifer would remind me that only I have the power to turn things around, make myself stronger, prove I have resilience and drive and unabashed amazingness! Which I do!

I started the Happy Body Project weighing 271.8 pounds on my 5’3” frame my BMI was over 46 and I was racing towards a life of disease and an early death.

It has been just over 6 months now and I am 198 pounds, over 70 pounds lost and I am now racing towards a new future. I have started a new business and I have ZERO doubt I will lose over 100 pounds because of Jennifer’s guidance.

The one thing I want to tell everyone who reads this, and sees themselves in this is…YOU are strong. You are loved. You can do this! Don’t waste another day in your beautiful precious life. Be a healthy person! 💚”

~Chrissy McIntyre

“Not only has Jennifer changed my life, but she has also likely saved my life. She has given me the roadmap and tools to find the health and vitality that I have been seeking for, after so many years of trying and failing. Never again. This is not a diet. It is a trans-formative and full circle approach into the depth of your being. It is an awakening, a journey – and it is easily the most powerful and life-changing decision I have ever made.

I am a healthy person. How do you thank a person for that?”

~Holly VonDemfange

Read More of Holly’s Journey to Health here:


“I quite honestly can’t recommend the HBP enough. Jennifer is THE person that you want to take this journey of emotional and physical transformation with. She demonstrates the perfect balance between nourishing your soul, educating your mind, and keeping it real with her no-nonsense attitude. This program is the best thing I could have done for myself, after years of trying to figure my own stuff out without success. I’m now lighter in spirit, love myself more, and know what to do to take care of myself properly. I can’t thank you enough, Jennifer!!” 

~Vicky B.

“There is no easy way to describe Jennifer as a coach except as “life changing”. I have done every “diet”, plan, formula… you name it. I subscribed to the Diet Monday mentality… she has truly opened me up, jumbled my whole process and made me look at it through a microscope. This isn’t just a health program, its a game changer. She is tough but loving, she’s the captain everyone should have on their ship. I adore this woman and am thankful for her everyday. My health is on a trajectory that its never had!”

~Annelise H.

“Jennifer has changed my life in every way. Her energy and her passion for helping people achieve their health goals know no bounds. She is extremely knowledgeable and compassionate, and not afraid to tell it like it is. I am a healthy person because of Jennifer. I highly recommend her.”

~Caryn W.

“Happy Body Food was life changing for me. I had a hard time rationalizing money to something I already knew I needed to do, and believed I knew how to do. Eat healthy, exercise… and lose weight…I knew the drill. I had a gym membership, therapy and knowledge.. all the tools I thought I needed. Boy was I wrong. The coaching I received from Jennifer 1:1, and within the Happy Body Project class, changed the relationship I have with myself and my health. Jennifer has an incredible way of listening and supporting, but most importantly guiding and teaching in the areas where you need it most. Jennifer doesn’t let you off the hook, and she forces you to dig deep, especially in the areas you want to skip over. I made huge leaps in my understanding of what was holding me back and in my willingness to do the work. It all comes together and you become a healthy person, living the Happy Body Food life. If you are thinking about working with Jennifer I STRONGLY encourage you to take the first step and sign up! You are worth investing in your health and this is not like anything you have tried before. That first step is all it takes, Jennifer will help you identify the rest of the path that lies ahead of you…and she will support you while YOU do the work! I wish you a happy, healthy life!”

                                                                                                        ~Cori D.,

43 single mother of a 3 year old, working full time and any other excuse for a busy life….

“I lost a lot of things by joining the Happy Body Project–including weight, old insecurities and nasty self talk. What I found instead was support, accountability and life changing new habits. I am grateful to Jennifer for helping me find a healthier, happier way to live. An amazing journey, one I will continue to stay on for the rest of my life!”

                                                                                                            ~Stephanie P.

“When I thought about the Happy Body Project I immediately thought to myself, “I just had weight loss surgery I’m going to do this on my own.” But the more I thought about it I figured It could only help. I have known Jennifer for years and watched her journey so I knew she had overcome something I had not been able to get a handle on.

I didn’t jump in though, I tip-toed into the process and was hesitant, which I regret. It wasn’t until about week 3 when I was feeling better from eating real food that it began to click. I could see that this was actually something I could do, and wanted to do! I wanted to be healthy! I had never really tried because I didn’t know how to love myself. That is the hardest part, learning and working to love myself. Deciding I am worth fighting for.

The weekly calls are motivating, they connect the dots and it really helped me to know that others shared many of the same struggles. All the feedback, and support, helped tremendously. The homework made me slow down and think about what I want from this life, and my body. When week 12 rolled around I was feeling unstoppable and ready to tackle anything.

My advice to anyone considering the Happy Body Project is just jump in! It is the greatest gift you can give yourself! Once you start making the changes, the brain fog lifts, you can clear away your critical thoughts and get busy caring for yourself. Slowly everything takes a new shape. I am still using the tools Jennifer gave me, and will for the rest of my life. I also know she is a resource anytime I need to check-in, or get a dose of motivation, or help with an issue. Enjoy!”

~ Ashley B.

“The Happy Body Project gave me the opportunity to identify and explore what food is to me-how it fits in, how I use it, and how I can make it work to create and maintain a better, stronger me. Jennifer has provided coaching with compassion, empathy and true life realities. This has been so eye-opening, and life changing!”

~ Stacie W.

“Jennifer really helped me jumpstart my weight loss program and helped motivate me to get moving! She had great ideas, was accessible, and a good sounding board. I still love looking at her Instagram account for motivational photos that keep me going! 8 months later and I am still taking great care of myself!”

~ Holly P.

“What I love most about Jennifer is that she walks the walk in her own life and she brings an understanding only someone who has traveled her journey can bring. Her zest for life and LIVING- it was a huge motivation for me to learn what she knows. While working with Jennifer, I was impressed with the input and help that was available, while at the same time an encouragement to trust myself, listen to myself, and take my own steps. I felt more empowered than ever as well as armed with valuable tools. I’ve seen emotional and mental progress in my relationship with food and body image, and continue to see physical progress. I realized just tonight I need to size down in jeans!”

~ Sami E.

“First of all, this is not a diet! There are no meal plans, exercise programs, magic pills, weekly weigh-ins. The Happy Body Project is a community built on self-care, self-love, and trust.

I joined the Happy Body Project with the idea that I was joining a “Holiday Accountability” group to get through the holiday season without falling off the wagon, because I know I need accountability. But to my surprise, I entered a journey that exposed those things in my soul which held me back. I had to take a serious look at the imbalances in my life.

My weight for me has been about control. I had this “number” in my head. If it goes up, reduce calories, increase cardio. Easy. Controlled! But this way of living has come with a price. This year, thinking I tore my meniscus in my right knee, I went to the doctor. The discovery was not a torn meniscus, but 90% cartilage loss. No more cardio! This was devastating. How was I going to “control” those extra pounds? But now I understand “I am more than a number on the scale”. Through Happy Body Project I started to change my focus from the outside and look inward. Worry less about the scale and open my mind to areas that I forgot to grow, to love and care for myself…in ways that I never had.

The best part of Happy Body Project was the community. To walk through this journey with a group of women, different ages, and stories. To know that we all experience the same voice that says we are not enough, that we don’t have it all together. To breakdown of the walls of protection, and collectively witness the journey of healing together. To affirming one another. Loving our selves. Caring for our selves. Sometimes, crying and empathizing with the pain and growth. Witnessing the empowerment of our lives.

The truth is, it’s not about weight, size, etc. Happy Body Project is a guided journey to expose the story you tell yourself that holds you back from your truest self, your healthiest self! When you start to forgive, love and care for yourself, your body will love and care for you back. You will see changes that are sustainable and LIFE-changing.”

~Amber R.

Hacking Into Your Happy Chemicals: Dopamine, Serotonin, Endorphins and Oxytocin

From The Huffington Post

Thai Nguyen 

We might not have a money tree, but we can have a happiness tree. Dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins are the quartet responsible for our happiness. Many events can trigger these neurotransmitters, but rather than being in the passenger seat, there are ways we can intentionally cause them to flow.

Being in a positive state has significant impact on our motivation, productivity, and wellbeing. No sane person would be opposed to having higher levels in those areas.

Here are some simple ways to hack into our positive neurochemicals:


Dopamine motivates us to take action toward goals, desires, and needs, and gives a surge of reinforcing pleasure when achieving them. Procrastination, self-doubt, and lack of enthusiasm are linked with low levels of dopamine. Studies on rats showed those with low levels of dopamine always opted for an easy option and less food; those with higher levels exerted the effort needed to receive twice the amount of food.

Break big goals down into little pieces — rather than only allowing our brains to celebrate when we’ve hit the finish line, we can create a series of little finish lines which releases dopamine. And it’s crucial to actually celebrate — buy a bottle of wine, or head to your favorite restaurant whenever you meet a small goal.

Instead of being left with a dopamine hangover, create new goals before achieving your current one. That ensures a continual flow for experiencing dopamine. As an employer and leader, recognizing the accomplishments of your team, e.g. sending them an email, or giving a bonus, will allow them to have a dopamine hit and increase future motivation and productivity.


Serotonin flows when you feel significant or important. Loneliness and depression appears when serotonin is absent. It’s perhaps one reason why people fall into gang and criminal activity — the culture brings experiences that facilitate serotonin release. Unhealthy attention-seeking behavior can also be a cry for what serotonin brings. Princeton neuroscientist Barry Jacobs explains that most antidepressants focus on the production of serotonin.

Reflecting on past significant achievements allows the brain to re-live the experience. Our brain has trouble telling the difference between what’s real and imagined, so it produces serotonin in both cases. It’s another reason why gratitude practices are popular. They remind us that we are valued and have much to value in life. If you need a serotonin boost during a stressful day, take a few moments to reflect on a past achievements and victories.

Have lunch or coffee outside and expose yourself to the sun for 20 minutes; our skin absorbs UV rays, which promotes vitamin D and serotonin production. Although too much ultraviolet light isn’t good, some daily exposure is healthy to boost serotonin levels.


Oxytocin creates intimacy, trust, and builds healthy relationships. It’s released by men and women during orgasm, and by mothers during childbirth and breastfeeding. Animals will reject their offspring when the release of oxytocin is blocked. Oxytocin increases fidelity; men in monogamous relationships who were given a boost of oxytocin interacted with single women at a greater physical distance then men who weren’t given any oxytocin. The cultivation of oxytocin is essential for creating strong bonds and improved social interactions.

Often referred to as the cuddle hormone, a simple way to keep oxytocin flowing is to give someone a hug. Dr. Paul Zak explains that inter-personal touch not only only raises oxytocin, but reduces cardiovascular stress and improves the immune system; rather than just a hand shake, go in for the hug. Dr. Zak recommends eight hugs each day.

When someone receives a gift, their oxytocin levels can rise. You can strengthen work and personal relationships through a simple birthday or anniversary gift.


Endorphins are released in response to pain and stress and help to alleviate anxiety and depression. The surging “second wind” and euphoric “runners high” during and after a vigorous run are a result of endorphins. Similar to morphine, it acts as an analgesic and sedative, diminishing our perception of pain.

Along with regular exercise, laughter is one of the easiest ways to induce endorphin release. Even the anticipation and expectation of laugher, e.g., attending a comedy show, increases levels of endorphins. Taking your sense of humor to work, forwarding that funny email, and finding several things to laugh at during the day is a great way to keep the doctor away.

Aromatherapies: The smell of vanilla and lavender has been linked with the production of endorphins. Studies have shown that dark chocolate and spicy foods can lead the brain to release endorphins. Keep some scented oils and some dark chocolate at your desk for a quick endorphin boost.