FFFC: Please introduce yourself to our readers (i.e. your name, occupation, hobbies, etc.).
JO: My name is Jessica, I am 34 years old and just recently was able to become a stay at home mom and wife. We have a 7 year old girl who I now get to do lots of activities with because I stay home. A lot of my hobbies are things my daughter participates in as I am active in her activities. Girl Scouts, I volunteer with her troop the girls just bridged to Brownies at the beginning of summer, I am a soccer mom now, and my daughter just started martial arts. This is something I may try myself! I also am starting up a blog of my own to go along with my Facebook page.
FFFC: What sparked your weight-loss transformation journey?
JO: Well I had two separate weight loss journeys. The first one was a lot different from this one now. When I was 21 years old I weighed 506 lbs. and had horrible health. I had high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and severe edema (swelling). So I had gastric bypass surgery, but gained it all back after losing 250 lbs. in two years. I was not taught how to use that surgery as a tool.
Now my second journey started around 2012, and I was mom to an active 3 year old and I feared taking her to the park alone because if she ran off I would not be able to catch her. I also wanted to set a good example for her.
FFFC: What was your beginning and current weight or measurements?
JO: My beginning weight in 2012 was 471 lbs.
FFFC: How long did it take for your weight-loss transformation from beginning to end?
So far we are at 3 years, this was with a lot of starting and stopping and even regaining 30 lbs. in between.
FFFC: What physical activities did you participate in during your journey?
JO: I have tried out a few different things, I did a boot camp with 24 hour fitness a few times, and that was fun! I tried my hand at Zumba, I enjoy it if it is the right instructor but not something I do often. I even did my first and maybe my last 5K. I got a huge blister on my foot that put me out of commission for like 2 weeks after! I don’t love walking that much. Haha I love going to the gym, never in a million years would I have ever thought I would say that. At the gym though I do cardio with the elliptical and then hit the weights. Lastly this summer I got a lot of swimming in with my Best Friend and my daughter.
FFFC: How did your eating habits change?
JO: They have changed a lot! Fast food is a rare occasion, as well as pizza. We rarely have pastas for side dishes, and we eat off smaller plates. It was something I liked doing when I first started off to trick my mind into thinking I had a lot more food than I really did. All in all though my portion sizes have come back to normal and I recognize when I want to eat emotionally.
FFFC: What do you typically eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
JO: Eggs! Oh if I could have eggs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner…I would. Haha! Really though I tend to have a banana and almonds before I go to the gym, then eggs for post workout, it could be eggs on toast, or hard boiled eggs, or eggs scramble with fire roasted onions and peppers, etc. I usually call this my lunch because it’s around 11 that I eat it, so then in between I have snack, usually a fruit or veggie, sometimes popcorn or cheese stick, then dinner; this varies but dinner is something that is harder for me because I have to make 3 people happy, myself, hubby, and daughter. Hubby is easy, he eats whatever I make, and daughter is a lot harder! LOL It can be chicken tenderloins and veggies or a chicken teriyaki over rice, tacos, spaghetti, we tend to cook with chicken tenderloins and ground turkey for meats. So really it varies.
FFFC: What is your favorite fitness activity?
JO: I love the elliptical, and I would normally say swimming is my favorite, but I don’t sweat when I swim or I cannot tell I am, so the elliptical gives me that major sweat that makes me feel fan-freaking-tastic!
FFFC: What do you do now to maintain your physique?
JO: Currently I am not trying to maintain it I am trying to change it, but I just try to work out 5 days a week doing both cardio and strength training and eating healthier. You cannot out exercise a bad diet.
FFFC: How did you develop and sustain the willpower to avoid the bad stuff (i.e. junk food, bad drinks, lack of activity, etc.)?
JO: I don’t deprive myself. If I want it I have it, but I have to count it into my fat/carbs/calories. I have to stay honest with myself. In regards to the bad drinks (diet coke was mine) I replaced it with water and found out that the aspartame in the soda was giving me headaches.
FFFC: What advice do you have for someone starting out on their weight-loss journey but unsure of how to begin?
JO: Start out slow! Do not think you have to do it all at once, pick either food or exercise to start with and once you feel you have a handle on that start introducing the other. Also do not expect results right away, and take photos and measurements! The number on the scale does not always tell the whole truth! Don’t compare yourself to others, we are all different. Lastly, ENJOY your journey, if you’re not enjoying it you won’t be able to maintain it.
FFFC: What do you think is the biggest misconception about this journey?
JO: I think that biggest misconception about this journey is that it will take no time at all. You see people on television lose 200 lbs. in a year, while that can happen most people do not have 6-8 hours a day working out and a lot of people cannot afford personal training. Rome wasn’t built in a day it takes time and everyone is different.
FFFC: Do you have any fitness inspirations? Who are they?
JO: Yes I do. I follow a lot of pages on Facebook and one of the people I admire is Ronnie Brower, he has lost over 400 lbs. with just diet and exercise.
I also admire the trainers at my 24 hour fitness. They are all so kind and nice, while I cannot afford training they have offered help and advice while I am there. One person in particular has rooted me on and that is Jackie, I was able to do a couple training sessions with her and she helps anyone and everyone that wants the help. I want to help people like she does.
FFFC: How can readers learn more about your transformation and journey online (i.e. Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, etc.)?
JO: Yes, I have my journey on Facebook and the page is called Fat Girls Journey to Healthy Divahood and I am just starting a blog that I will post about on my Facebook page once it is up and running.
Instagram is a new thing for me, but it is @healthydivahood for those who prefer Instagram!