Jessica lost 74 pounds. She was embarrassed by her weight, and she developed high blood pressure and high cholesterol. In 2017, she adopted a low carb, high protein eating style, and committed to making fitness a top priority.
I’ve been on my fitness journey for some time now. It’s my greatest passion because it’s one of my biggest accomplishments. I’d never been overweight, and I always enjoyed working out. After getting pregnant with my son and developing poor eating and exercising habits, I found myself at 5’2″ and 220 pounds.
I was totally embarrassed by my weight. I developed high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and I knew I had to get back on track. I incorporated lots of cardio into my routine and quickly dropped weight, which brought back my confidence. However, I had a long way to go because my eating habits didn’t change much.
I started my journey in March 2017. I took the first step by committing to a 30-day meal change that included low carb, high protein meals, lots of water, and one cheat day a week.
I took before and after pictures (my recommendation to all women and men when you are not a fan of the scale), and my motivation was my health. I want to maintain optimal health and be better in shape for myself and my son.
I committed to at least 4-5 days of exercise and doubled up (working out two times a day) when I had the extra energy and time. I did mostly cardio in the beginning. (I always felt if I wasn’t sweating, I wasn’t working hard enough. It took about 2-3 months of consistency before I saw drastic changes and before other people noticed, lol.
Tell us more about how you changed your eating habits.
My diet is low carb, so I ate oatmeal, whole wheat foods, brown rice, and lots of protein. I eliminated sugar but gave myself one cheat day a week so that I wouldn’t overdo it. For example, if I had a cheat meal, I would still drink water. I wouldn’t add a high-calorie drink to my meal. If I had a cheat meal, my go-to would be something like a burrito, but I would still get it on a whole wheat wrap. I would indulge but not overindulge.
Tell us about your workout routine.
My go-to was always cardio, mostly on the treadmill and elliptical. After about two years, I started incorporating weights along with HIIT. I switched my cardio to mostly using the stairs and treadmill.
What is your current weight?
My current weight is 146 pounds. (the pandemic put me back a little) My lowest weight pre-pandemic was 136 pounds. I’ll be back there soon.
Is weight loss surgery part of your journey?
I did not have any surgeries.
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned?
- You only look as good as you feel, so do what you need to do to feel better. Exercise did that for me.
- Always take before and after pictures to really see your progress.
- Burning more calories than you consume is key.
- Create realistic goals and stay committed.
What advice would you like to share with women who want to lose weight?
- In order to succeed and meet all your goals, I encourage women to make realistic plans for themselves. Don’t eliminate everything at once. Start with one thing that you know for a fact is hindering your weight loss goals and allow yourself to have it once or twice a week. After some time, you’ll find you can live without it.
- Drink lots of water. Most people recommend a gallon, which is amazing but start drinking half your body weight in ounces.
- Create little goals each week/month and build on that.
- Always remember that the days you don’t want to workout are probably your BEST workout days.
- Decide to get healthier not just for a special occasion but for a lifetime of having more energy, feeling more confident, improving your mental health, and breaking generational curses of poor health.
There are so many more reasons to stay healthy other than a desire to have a flat stomach, lol. Remember, what you put in is what you get out. Push yourself for optimal results.
My Instagram: @sweet_jshawnta