Losing It : Jenni “Jennikins” Gomila

I don’t even know how to introduce this girl. She is the best friend I have ever had. She judges me constantly (in a good way), and never walks when I am a crazy loon, which is pretty regularly. She and I only recently learned that we have something in common, a love of Harvey Spector/Lawson Pines. I have fallen in friend love with her to the moon and back. This is us:


It’s a long time ago, but it is still one of my favorite pictures of us. Needless to say, this is before a before picture. This is too:

before 2

This is her and her husband, Billy Gomila (one of my favorite husbands and LSU fans)  a month ago:


This is Jenni’s Story:

What is your goal?

My goal was to lose 102 lbs to go from 252 lbs (heaviest I’ve ever been) to 150 lbs.  I would like to maintain between 150-160 lbs for the rest of my life.

Why is it important to you?

I started this journey because my husband and I were trying to conceive and I was told that I was so unhealthy, in addition to other health problems that I more than likely wouldn’t conceive naturally and if I were able to actually get pregnant, I was at a high risk of miscarriage.  Obviously not something you want to hear when people all around you are getting pregnant, either easily or unexpectedly and it was very frustrating for us as a young couple to be doing everything seemingly right, so I looked into this weight loss plan.

Is this the first time you set this goal?

Yes.  I’ve always joked that I would like to be a size 10 and weigh 150, like my drivers license says, but I don’t know that I’ve actually had the heart to do what it takes to get it done.

What have your struggles been in the past?

I love food.  I love to socialize. I love to drink.  We live in an area where the culture is to have food around all the time.  Our society is not supportive of a healthy lifestyle so it’s very hard to maintain a dream when you don’t set yourself up for success.

What changed for you to overcome those struggles?

Well, like I said, it all started because I want to have children, healthy pregnancies, and be healthy for the longevity of their lives, so when I decided to do this, I did.

What kind of support system have you set yourself up with?

All junk is out of my house.  My husband is supportive.  My family is supportive (or they are very much trying to be and getting better every day), and my friends totally have my back.  I do have one friend in particular who goes above and beyond to make sure that if I cheat, it’s not going to be because of her, so she’s literally changed menus and cooking styles just to keep me going.

How do you celebrate the victories, big and small? 

The only way I can…I send texts to family and friends.  I may buy a new article of clothing or do a little something to reward myself.  What I really want to do is grab a glass of wine or a piece of red velvet cake with cream cheese icing, but you can’t do that, or the victories will be lost.

Let’s talk details, How are you losing it?

Counting calories and working out.  I know exactly what goes in and I know exactly how hard I have to work to get it off.  Simple math.  In fact, said friend from earlier and I call it our bank.  We have cheap meals and expensive meals.  The more “expensive” the meal, the harder you have to work to get a calorie deficite.

What’s been your favorite discovery in this journey?

Finally feeling good about myself.  I still have a long way to go and although I’ve changed in appearance and I know I look different, I’m still my own worst critic.  I’m still the one that sees the naked girl in the mirror, but I don’t let that discourage me because although it’s not pretty, it is changing everyday and I’m looking forward to the end result that I know is in there.

What keeps you going when you have a bad week?

I think the worst I’ve been was at a celebratory dinner with family and friends.  I allowed myself to have a few drinks and dessert.  I don’t kill myself b/c I know these times are coming so I prepare earlier in the week with a bunch of “below maintenance calorie days” so that I can indulge.  I can’t say I’ve had a “bad” week since Feb. 12, 2013 because I’ve consistently lost weight every week except 1 (where I gained ½ a lb and that was also the week of my 30th bday).  There are weeks that I lose less than I thought I should but I go back to my food entry.  I ask “have I been honest with myself on how much/what I’ve eaten?”  Overall I just try to keep momentum.  I might get bummed but to me, this is a lifestyle change so it’s something I just accept and keep going.

If you could give a piece of advice to someone else trying to lose it what would it be?

You can do it!  And Don’t give up!  The most asked question is how I’ve done it.  My answer is simple…I decided I was going to change and I’ve let NOTHING falter that decision.  People will try to pump you up by tearing themselves down.  First of all, this is the MOST ANNOYING thing that they can do.  They’ll say “Oh…you didn’t eat even a single bite of cake.  I’m so proud of you.  I gave in and had a small piece and some ice cream and now I feel terrible.”  My response is ALWAYS…when you decide you’re not going to do it, you won’t.  It’s that simple.  I’ve done fad diets here and there and realized that when I was doing them, it was always for someone else and not because I wanted to do it.  This makes it so much harder than it already is.  But, I decided to do it for me, and that’s what I hang my hat on all the time.

What three words would you use to describe this journey?

Difficult / Challenging / Rewarding

What is your favorite healthy meal/treat/substitute/etc?

Favorite thing to date is Stuffed bell peppers.  I altered a recipe to work with low calorie foods I can eat and when I make them, I get to eat a bunch!!!  I still love to eat…I just eat better, low calorie foods.

What question do you think I should have asked? 

What are some of the small things you want to do that you couldn’t do before you lost the weight?

What would the answer be?

One of my first goals was to be able to walk into a standard, generic clothing store..one where they don’t sell plus sizes, pick up something off the rack and go into a dressing room and have it fit.  This one was incredibly scary for me because I couldn’t do this for over 15 years.  I shopped mainly at old navy or target in the plus section.  Recently macy’s, where you can get plus sizes.  I’ve now been able to wear stuff form JCPenney’s from the Jr. Section and Macy’s from the regular sizes and Jr. Section.

I also would like to be able to buy tall boots and have them zip up around my calves without having to have stretch in them.

I would like to be able to wear/feel comfortable in a bikini.  I’ve never been able to do this.  I’m a long way from this goal, but it will happen.

Only YOU can decide to change your life.  Every day will be a struggle.  You will have to re-learn how to do everything you’ve always known how to do.  Once you make that change for yourself, your whole life will change.  I still hate to work out.  There are days I’d rather do ANYTHING else…more often than not.  It’s hard learning how to cook again.  It’s hard to learn how to shop again.  I’ve had to do more prep work in the last 6 months than I’ve ever had to do, BUT it’s worth it.  I don’t have that bite of cake.  I don’t choose to eat the bad over the good.  I’ve learned to really enjoy the things I can have.  I prep my food.  I surround myself with support and I allow myself the occasional cheat.  Not cheat day or cheat meal or cheat week.  I allow an occasional cheat like a glass or wine, or a beer or even chicken wings.  But in the midst of these cheats, I’m still juggling how I can have what I crave/love while staying on track.  Instead of eating 10-12 chicken wings with fries and ranch, or worse, macaroni and cheese, I eat 6 wings, little ranch and I have a side salad and steamed veggies.  I get full on the good stuff instead of leaving room for all the bad.

I’m officially down 66.5 lbs in my journey.  I’m not gonna lie, I know this last 37 are going to be the hardest but I’ll stick with it or die trying

Happy Quarter Bouncing!


Losing It : Justin Pilcher

This is a guest post from the trainer, Justin Pilcher of CrossFit South Acadiana. I asked him why he wants to get healthy. I should have known I would not get a great big long post. I got simple. Heck I already told you the man keeps it simple in his nutrition and in his work-outs.

When I was first introduced to Justin this is the picture I was shown:

168192_495906091316_1773756_nI know…it is kinda scary. However, this is the Justin I became besties for life with:

156202_10151181199821317_1656093706_nMuch better. These are his words, not mine…and what can I say, the man got to the point.

Why I want to lose it? I’ll tell you why. II want to do anything and everything without hesitation or worry that I can’t or that it will be too hard. I like having my same jeans from high school. If I lose it I can have my favorite foods without guilt. I get extra smiles and compliments on how I look when I lose it. I get paid to lose it. Losing it is an addiction you can be proud of. I lose it to look better naked than clothed. I lose it so my sexual partner can enjoy me therefore creating the best win win ever! Move it and lose it!

Why I want to Lose It : Ben Blanchard

This is not my story. This is Ben’s. I had the pleasure of working out with Ben when I was in Lafayette. Not only is he a beast in the gym, the man is the salt of the earth. He is the kind of man you hope your son grows up to be. This is story. These are his words.

The challenge to loose weight began about 1 year ago. Being recently divorced, there had to be several things in my life that needed to change. I was single again and had the chance to enjoy my life again. There was no way that I could enjoy or experience some of the things on my “Singles Bucket List” in the physical condition I was in. I concluded that there were three main aspects of my life that I constantly needed to improve on- mind, body and spirit. It just made sense to me that one would support the other but at the same time, one could not be sustained without the other. The spirit part came fairly easy as I am a very devout Catholic and try and put God in all things. The next two seemed to work hand in hand with each other. Sometimes for each other, sometimes against.

For as long as I can remember, I was in the gym. I put on the proverbial “Freshman 15” in college and it just escalated from there. Quickly i got back into “shape” and dropped a lot of weight. That was back in my early twenties. Now that I am in my mid thirties, I’m tired of being the big bulky/stocky guy. I want to be lean and in real shape. Having this new mind-set allowed me to develop a new philosophy when it came to exercise and dieting. My desire to be fit was not from a need to find another wife or impress some girl, it was from a desire to be healthy and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

There are many times when I fail on a diet or just don’t go to the gym. There are many times when I am mentally spent and feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. But such is life. This is just yet another obstacle that I will turn into an opportunity. An opportunity to educate myself. An opportunity to experience different workouts and push my body to limits that I didn’t even believe possible. But most of all, It’s an opportunity to meet some courageous and awesome folks, whether they be trainers or average Joe’s like me. My journey is a slow one. Sometimes I refer to it like a profit curve you may see from a certain company you’ve invested in. There are ups and then downs but if you look at the big picture over the years, those ups and downs we’ve experienced accumulate and there are usually more ups than downs. In the long run, the trend line is constantly increasing.
Its been 4 months since I’ve been hard at it. Really watching what I eat. Getting to the gym at least 3 times a week, even though I don’t feel like going. It has become a lifestyle. It is a part of my life. I still struggle. I still feel like giving up sometimes but then I reflect on the progress that I have made. In 4 months, i have lost a total of 20 lbs. I am pretty confident that a lot of that was fat because I have put on a lot of muscle at the same. I have cut out all blood pressure and high cholesterol medications. The results aren’t staring me in the face. I rely on my trifecta of mind, body and spirit to help me realize that I am awesome an I am making progress.