Hi guys! I’m busy enjoying my family vacation in California. My friend Jasmine is here to share the amazing journey she is on to discover her former athletic self and becoming her best. We are old middle and high school friends. She is inspiring others everyday!
I was always active and an athlete as a young girl. Once I got to college, my studies and hitting the books came first. The majority of my day consisted of reading, writing and studying behind a computer; sedentary. I gained the “college 25.”
In nursing school, pens, paper and books take over your life. I stacked on an additional 60 pounds.
At 26, I was a married, night nurse and the weight gain was taking a toll on my body. My 5’3″ body was now carrying 300 pounds. I couldn’t breathe; I was moody, miserable, tired, and frustrated. I didn’t want to leave the house or do anything fun.
Something had to change. I had no business feeling and looking the way I did at my age. How could I tell my patients to live a healthy lifestyle if I didn’t? Hypocrite I was. The research began.
I looked to surgical options in the past, but I thought I could do it on my own. I was a past athlete for goodness sake! But this time, I felt defeated. I knew that the only way I could get the weight off was with a surgical alternative. I didn’t have time to work out and eat healthy. It took too much time and effort I didn’t possess. I went through all the necessary steps to become a candidate for the surgery. I attended all the doctor appointments, evaluations, seminars I needed to in order to get cleared. Then I was told that my insurance required me to lose 25 percent of my current body weight and have documentation stating that I tried to lose weight and was unsuccessful in order to have the surgery.
I thought to myself, “If I could lose 25 percent on my own, I wouldn’t be where I am! I can’t do this.” I called my previous trainer and fraternity brother, Dimitris Kollaros of MaximumResults. I asked him if he would give me my old documents from my last workout effort from college. After speaking with him, I took him up on his offer to train again. He only asked me for a month.
October 1, 2012 was the start of my journey. After two months of training and strict dieting, nothing happened. My numbers didn’t change. My body didn’t change. I was discouraged. His words, dedication, and motivation, kept me training. In order to track my progress, know my measurements and keep myself accountable, I entered a weight loss challenge. I’m competitive by nature and thought that this would be the catalyst I needed to progress.
After speaking with people I trusted, watching documentaries, reading and researching, I knew I had to change my diet if I was going to see real changes. I learned weight loss and control is 70 percent diet and 30 percent gym. I started cooking more at home and paid more attention to what was being put in my food. I looked for healthy alternatives to the things I loved and easy recipes. I taught myself how to read labels and paid attention to the fuel my body was receiving. I knew it would be a journey, but it was all or nothing. I found an amazing app called My Fitness Pal. It made my life so much easier. I could scan bar codes at the grocery store, type in where, when, what, and how much I was eating, how much water I was consuming and it calculated everything for me. From how many carbohydrates and the grams of sodium I was consuming to how many calories I burned exercising, it did it for me. Now I could concentrate on getting the most out of my diet.
Then things started to change.
My clothes started getting looser; I could breathe better and move faster. I had more energy and was happier. I started to notice. Other people started to notice. Best of all, the numbers were moving. I didn’t want this feeling to go away. I continued my journey. Read and researched more. I began to test myself, entering races, walks and marathons. I pushed myself to the limit and didn’t quit. I’m not saying I didn’t have ups and downs. I fell, but I knew exactly what I had to do to get back up. It’s not easy but it’s worth it. I’m not at the end of my journey, but I’m not stopping until I get there.
I have great support from my close friends, my co-workers, my family near and far and my Facebook friends. My biggest supporters have been my trainers and my mother. No one pushes me like they do. The motivational talks, the random phone calls to see how I’m doing, or the reprimands via text when I don’t make it to my workout keep me going. The other great supporters are my girlfriends. My girlfriends and their husbands all knew the journey I was embarking on, and they offered to help at events or BBQs so I could have something to eat. If it wasn’t available, I brought it so there were always healthy alternatives. People at work brought less junk food, opting for fruit and nuts to snack on. It was nice to see people changing their relationship with food and how they ate, without me saying a word. Some have even changed their habits, food choices and started exercising.
It’s great! You never know who you’re affecting around you on your journey.
Strong, motivated and dedicated.