Julie Jacobsen’s journey to lose 100 pounds drew her to nature.

In 2022 the 54-year-old Naperville woman weighed 245 pounds due to inactivity and a medical condition. 

“I found myself in a very unhealthy state,” she said. “I had ended my 12-year marriage three years earlier. I had moved out of the city after 20 years and had to start my life over in the suburbs.”

Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, further isolating Jacobsen, which only worsened her health issues. 

“At 245 pounds, I was in the worst shape of my life,” she said. 

In February 2022, Jacobsen sought help from a doctor, who prescribed 30-minute walks four times a week in addition to a diet plan and supplements that help with a genetic condition she suffers from. On some of the many walks she took with new friends and her dog in her neighborhood and at local forest preserves, the beauty she saw around her kept Jacobsen going and inspired her.

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