Welcome to the second installment of my series of profiling people who inspire me! These people have lost weight and kept it off. No miracles, no pills, no surgery.
I “met” Jen through her blog, and even though she’s had a recent tragedy of losing her Mom unexpectedly, she’s still fighting the fight and is trying to keep going.
Jen, thanks so much for being so honest in your answers, I think everyone will enjoy this interview!
1). What was your “Aha” moment when you decided you needed to do something about your weight?
I had attended a weight loss surgery seminar with my dad and remember sitting there, looking around thinking “HOLY SH*T, I am fat enough to be considering this and am 25 years old!” As I continued to listen to how my life would change, should I get the surgery, I told myself there is no way I want to go through that and that I would so much rather fight for my life then go through all the pain & suffering of the surgery and still fight just as hard. That was it – I joined a gym and have cried, sweat, kicked, screamed and fought my way through this.
2). Had you tried to lose weight in the past – were you successful when you tried?
What HAVEN’T I tried?! I tried Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, South Beach, Low carb this, low cal that, no sugar here, no fat there. I tried to stop eating once, that lasted 5 hours.
3). How do you find time for yourself to concentrate on losing weight?
I realized that its now or never. My life is never going to uncomplicated itself and in fact, I’m pretty sure it will just continue to get busier & more complex. I continue to tell myself, I have to figure it out right now, no matter how busy I think I am. Because in the end, there is always someone busier then I am who makes it work.
4). What kept you going? Were there times where you wanted to give up?
I want to give up every day. But I don’t. The only thought that keeps me going is remembering those deep down feelings of shame, embarrassment & sadness that I could barely admit to myself let alone anyone else. Those feelings of longing to be like everyone else, of feeling like I’m the only one and no one else struggles as much as me. I’ve come to realize, we all share those feelings, we are all struggling just as much as the next person. The trick is, is to push through those feelings and do something about it.
5). How has maintenance been, is maintaining harder than losing weight?
I fight just as much now as I did when I was losing weight. Sorry to burst your bubble friends, but I have a saying around my blog – “sugar coating not included.” I’m not “there” and I didn’t “make it to the other side.” Nope, I still have to wake up and fight to make the same healthy decisions that got me here.
6). Did you exercise while losing weight, if so, what do you like to do for exercise.
I started slow on the treadmill. At first, all I could do was walk. But I push myself. Every day I would try to go just a little faster, a little longer or a little harder. At first, it was mostly cardio. Once I lost a little bit of weight, I started to look outside of cardio at the weights. The weights still scare me but I try to get into the weight section more often then not.
7). What are some tips that helped you a long the way?
The biggest tip that helped me was just sucking it up, accepting that my body was never going to be naturally thin or healthy and moving on. It’s a mental mind game more than anything. It’s not about losing weight, its about not allowing my mind to play games with me, to pull the sheet over my eyes, to lie to myself. There was not and is not one day where I wake up and wanted to go to the gym. I hate doing laundry. I hate going to the grocery store. But I do those too. They take the same amount of time – so I just have to suck it up.
8). What was a typical eating day like before you lost weight?
No limits. Anything and everything I wanted. Sure, I would ask for the dressing on the side but then I proceed to dump the whole thing on the salad anyways! I would eat until I was stuffed. Not full but stuffed. I longed for that feeling, maybe because if gave me something else to feel instead of the emotions.
9). What is a typical eating day like now that you are at your goal weight?
BLECK. This is a never ending struggle for me. I hit my goal on my 2 year healthiness anniversary but within hours of my anniversary, I experienced the most traumatic emotional event of my entire life, one that I no one should ever have to go through. (See blog for details.) I am now fighting to not spiral out of control and lose all the habits I worked so hard to get. My journey of fighting for a healthy life continues – it’s not about the weight, its about the habits now. My world was turned upside down in August and now, I’m fighting, kicking & screaming at all these horrible habits that have come flooding back to me. (see blog for more info)
Life is a continuous circle of ups and downs. Eating for me, flows with the ups and downs. My story is one of a priorfatgirl. I used to be fat, but don’t let my physical appearance fool you – I still struggle just as much now as I did then. For the rest of my life, I will have to continue to push & fight for what I want & have gotten in life. Life is never easy but at some point, we just have to suck it up and fight for what we want. You can do this too – you just have to stand up and fight for it. It’s NOT easy. But it’s worth it.
You look amazing!!
Thanks again Jen for sharing your story with my readers!
Come back tomorrow for another product review and a coupon for a free sample of that product for one lucky winner!
Also, if you missed my first success story interview, meet Diane for her inspiring story!