Jalena lost 33 pounds. She weighed in at her highest weight and found out that she had pre-diabetes during a routine physical. Not only did she want to avoid a family history of diabetes and other illnesses, but she also wanted to live a long, healthy life. With the help of an online training program, she got the nutrition and exercise guidance she needed. Check out her story.
Starting weight: 253 pounds
Current Weight: 219.8 pounds
Weight Lost: 33.2 lbs
Starting Dress Size: 18W
Current Dress Size: 16 Regular
Representing: Hobart, IN
What was your motivation?
My motivation to lose weight was my health and just the way I saw myself. Two months before getting serious about losing weight, I went to my doctor for a routine physical. I have always dreaded going to the doctor because I always have to get on the scale. This doctor appointment was a little different, however. When I had gotten on the scale, I was bigger than I had ever been. It was embarrassing knowing that the nurse and doctor are looking at my weight. When I had my blood work taken, everything came back very well, but I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic. I was not too afraid at the time because I was thinking, “Well, at least it’s not full blown diabetes. However, my doctor seemed very concerned. She wanted me to come back within two weeks to speak with a dietician and get on some type of program. She also recommended Weight Watchers.
I went back to the follow-up appointment two weeks later to speak with the dietician, but I was still not convinced that I needed help. Therefore, I decided to do my own research about pre-diabetes and what I got was a wake-up call. I already have family who suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol. I realized I was not doing this for someone else, but for me. Living the rest of my life is my motivation. If I have the opportunity to make a change; why not do it?
My inspiration for starting my weight loss journey was thinking about the rest of my life and my family. I wanted to feel good in my body. I wanted to like the person I saw in the mirror. I wanted to feel good in clothes, and have a wide variety of clothing choices. At the time, I could only shop in certain stores or certain sections of the store. It became embarrassing, having to look at the plus size clothing when my friends were shopping in the regular sizes. Another inspiration was never wanting to say that I am a diabetic because of my weight. I also wanted to be an inspiration to my mother because I truly wanted her to lose weight too. If she saw that I’d become dedicated to nutrition and exercise, she would eventually want the same for herself.
How did you change your eating habits?
I have changed my eating habits dramatically. Fast food was my go-to for lunch and after work. If I did cook at home, it was something deep fried and I’d want something sweet afterwards. I was also a big snacker; even if I was not hungry. I needed some kind of junk food in my mouth.
Now, I have given up pork, beef and egg yolks. For protein, I just mainly eat chicken. I cook a majority of my food. If I am unable to cook, I will pick up a Subway sandwich on whole wheat bread. I no longer snack throughout the day, but I have a snack every two to three hours between every major meal. I make sure that I have a healthy snack with me when I am out. After I eat lunch and dinner, if I need something sweet to eat, I’ll grab a piece of fruit and/or a 90 calorie brownie bite that I purchase from Aldi. I am still trying to get better with eating enough vegetables, because vegetables have never been one of my favorite food groups. For my snacks, I will eat baby carrots so I can get my vegetables in throughout the day. I look at the nutritional facts on everything I eat to make sure I am making wise choices for my body. I also do not eat after 9p.m.
My nutritionist has taught me that for everything that I use to eat, there is a healthier substitution. Just because I have changed my eating habits, does not mean that I have to have food that does not taste good. My go-to drink used to be Pepsi or sweet tea (and I mean sweet), but I mainly drink water now. If I do have a craving for something else, I’ll do zero calorie flavored water. I have also substituted white sugar for brown sugar and substituted regular potato chips for backed chips. I have substituted regular bread for 100% whole wheat bread (and I loved bread). I do not eat any butter. I use cooking spray or extra virgin olive oil instead. My biggest weakness was Haribogummy bears, and now when I need something to chew on, I’ll get some sugar-free gum. I have learned how to make my own salad dressing and no longer drench my lettuce in fattening salad dressing.
What did you do in terms of exercise?
My workouts consist of Resistance Training and High Intensity Interval Training for an hour and thirty minutes. I was instructed by my personal trainer, Fire. I try to go to the gym between five and six days a week. Sometimes, I may go seven.
How long has your transformation taken so far?
My transformation has taken nine months. I began seeing results in the second month, when my clothes began fitting differently.
What advice would you give to other people who want to lose weight?
The advice I have for others who want to lose weight is that no one is stopping you but you. This is a process that is going to take lots of time and effort. If you dedicate yourself and put in the work, you will definitely reap the rewards. I have learned that we will face setbacks, but you can’t look at that as a failure. Instead, you have to see it as an opportunity to work even harder. Losing weight, becoming a better me and reaping every health benefit possible is a personal investment. I have learned that I never want to look at my body as a liability, but an asset.
Why did the Fitness on Fire Online Training Program work for you vs other programs you’ve tried before?
Fitness on Fire is truly a blessing from God. Before joining, I really felt that I would never be able to lose my weight and I would do nothing but get bigger. With this program you get a personal nutritionist and trainer who are with you every step of the way on your weight loss journey. Nutritionist Guru held me accountable for everything that I put in my mouth, so I am always thinking, “Is that craving really necessary?” Fire personalizes your gym trips, which makes going to the gym fool proof. This program was designed specifically for me because I would have not been able to this by myself. Just thinking about losing weight was frustrating and intimidating before. Now, I have the support of Nutritionist Guru and Fire, which makes this journey all worthwhile.