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:
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!