113 Pounds Lost: Lost 113lbs, but the Journey Has Just Begun!
NAME : Jessica
BEFORE WEIGHT : 277
AFTER WEIGHT : 164
POUNDS LOST : 113
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
My weight problem started when I was around the age of eight. I was born and raised outside of Chicago, IL. When I was eight, my dad’s job relocated the whole family to the Dallas, TX area. The transition was pretty difficult on me. In the move, I was separated from my childhood best friend. We grew up doing everything together. We both played soccer, were always outside and never sat still. I was always an average healthy sized child. When we moved to Texas I eventually stopped playing soccer and started gaining weight from there.
The separation from my best friend and someone people often thought was my twin really took its toll on me mentally, emotionally and definitely physically. The weight gain was a steady increase for a while. When I entered into the 9th grade I weighed about 200lbs. By the time I started college I weighed about 225lbs, and by college graduation I was at my heaviest of 277lbs.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
If you had asked me before my weight loss if my weight was holding me back in certain aspects of my life, I would have said “Heck no!” and I would have really believed that to be true. However, looking back now, my weight held me back in many ways. In high school, I stuck with a small group of really good friends. I shied away from parties and outings. I HATED anything that had to do with the pool.
The biggest thing my weight affected was my ability to engage in romantic relationships. My first kiss wasn’t until the age of 24, over a year AFTER my weight loss surgery. I still find dating very difficult. Trusting that someone is genuinely interesting in me for me is something I struggle with even more so now that I have lost weight. Although, I struggled with the same idea when I was at my heaviest.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
My whole family has always been “big”. Big personalities, big opinions and big bodies. I have a family history of heart problems, sleep apnea and diabetes. I knew that I wanted to have kids and a family of my own one day, and I very well couldn’t do that continuing down the road I was headed. I knew I needed to get healthy and active in order to avoid those family ailments. My goal was to lead a healthier life not jut for me, but for my future family.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I always tell people that I come from a family of “sleever’s”. My oldest brother had the gastric sleeve weight loss surgery in 2012 and my father had the sleeve in 2014 (about six weeks before I had mine). In 2011, my brother asked my mom and I to attend his weight loss surgery consultation with him. Little did he or anyone in my family know, that is when my “turning point” happened.
A few weeks after his consultation, I went in for my own. At that time I was 19 years old and still in college. After meeting with the doctor, I decided I needed to try some other things before getting weight loss surgery, so the very first thing I did was go back to college and joined weight watchers with a friend. We tried to stay active, attend meetings together and just use one another as accountability partners.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
The biggest challenge I had to overcome when deciding to have weight loss surgery was the support of some of my family members. Some of them thought surgery was an easy way out. They hadn’t seen all of the work I had already put into trying to get healthy. Once they saw how happy, healthy and successful I was after the surgery they came around.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
Giving up after weight loss surgery isn’t really an option, but there are days that I wish I could sit down and eat an entire large pizza. Thankfully my body wont allow it, but its mind of matter. I look to my amazing friends and family for support. I try to find other things to occupy my mind and body besides food, so I go workout or take my dog on a walk.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
I had my surgery in October 2014 and I lost about 85lbs in the first year. Weight loss surgery allows for pretty rapid weight loss, but I did hit plateaus along the way. My goal was to lose 110lbs from my highest weight of 277lbs and that took me a year and a half.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
My eating habits pre-weight loss surgery were carb and sugar filled and veggie-free! I loved pasta! I remember studying abroad in Australia and eating buttered noodles for dinner for probably four nights a week for at least three months.
I also drank soda like it was going out of style. I could put away a pint of ice cream like no ones business. However, I was not an emotional eater. I just ate portions that were way too large and didn’t exercise.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
Pre-weight loss surgery I worked out maybe once every two weeks. Even after having my surgery, I didn’t work out at all. I had my surgery in October of 2014 and the weight just melted off, so I didn’t see the need. However, I noticed I was weak and my weight loss plateaued, so in February of 2016 I joined Orangetheory Fitness and got HOOKED immediately. I went from not working out at all, to working out 4-5 times a week. I saw some more weight loss and started getting toned. Working out has become my way of releasing stress. Even when I am sick I find a way to go workout because it is my safe place. I love it!
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- I put a calendar notification in my phone to go off every day reminding me to make good eating choices!
- I sign up for a one-hour workout class EVERY SINGLE DAY. I have to go and cancel it if I can’t make it (and if I don’t show up I get charged $10)