In The Beginning…
Born and raised as Jen Emmert, I grew up overweight. I have always been on diets. In fact, I can remember my mom buying me those Richard Simmons dancing movies to help workout. For the most part, in high school, I was only moderately overweight. After I moved out and on my own, I realized I could eat anything I wanted and no one would stop me. So I did. Within a few short years, I had eaten myself to my all time highest weight of 240lbs. I was morbidly overweight and although I smiled often on the outside, I was miserable.
For the year prior to my healthiness re-birth, I knew something had to change. I remember calling a good friend every couple of weeks saying “I just have to do something, I can’t be like this for the rest of my life.”
No More Excuses…
I had to begin my journey somewhere, right? So I went to one of those weight loss surgery seminars! I sat there, listening to my options. I looked around and that was it. That was the dose of reality I needed!I left the seminar and decided that there was no way I was going to have a surgery that would force me to chew my food until it was liquid before I swallowed it. So in August, I signed up at a local gym and began to work out. I realized that its not about being on a diet. Its not about a quick fix surgery, its not about someone else holding me accountable. This was about me. I did this to myself, I was the only one who could fix it. It took years to get me to the morbidly obese body, it was going to take just as long to get rid of it. For years, I used every excuse that I’m sure some of you have used.
- “I don’t have time to work-out”
- “I can’t afford it”
- “Dieting is unrealistic”
- “I tried a diet once, it didn’t work”
- “It’s just genetics that I’m like this”
- “I’m single and live alone, if I buy all that healthy food, it will just go to waste”
Guess what? These are all excuses. They make you feel better so that way you don’t have to do the hard work. They give you a reason not to do something. Its called “rationalizing.”
What followed was me going putting one foot in front of the other. I didn’t start my journey saying I wanted to lose XXX amount of weight. I just did it. I knew that it was going to be a complete life overhaul. That every aspect of my life would have to change in order for my environment to support a healthiness lifestyle.
It wasn’t until I got close to being at a healthy weight that I realized I had done it that I had lost a large amount of weight. It was at that point I decided to set a goal for myself. A goal to lose 100lbs.
There were no goodbyes
In August 2009, on my two year healthiness anniversary and the day I planned on celebrating my 100lbs lost, I faced a very traumatic emotional event. I received a phone call no one wishes to get. My mom had been hit by a car and was on her way to the hospital. By the time I got to the hospital, it was too late.
That month following her death, I ate. I ate to numb the pain. I ate to fill a void. I ate because it was the only thing I could do. In four weeks I gained 10lbs. By the time September rolled around, my pants were fitting a little tighter and physically I was not well (although most of the physical part was the depression from losing my mom.) I got on the scale in September and realized the effects of eating my pain away.
I decided to fight…again
That September, I woke up 10lbs heavier. I knew my mom would be devastated if I allowed her death to be the reason I gained my weight back. September passed and along came it with additional emotional stresses. Life events – a new job and additional changing family dynamics. By the end of September, I made it through and managed to maintain my weight. But forever I realized that I would have to deal with my emotional being. I had become completely and painfully aware of how real emotional eating was for me.
Life is funny – just when you think you get it, when you’re ready to celebrate accomplishing something, you realize it was only the end of a chapter. Another chapter comes next, with it’s own trails and struggles.
This next chapter, is without my mom to guide me. I now must trust what she taught me and reevaluate priorities to figure out what really matters to me.
I dedicate my life to my mom, my best friend, my confident. I love you & miss you mom!
How I Did It
Okay, you’ve read my story . You’ve seen the pictures, and now you want to know what I did right? Well, if you mail me a self addressed stamped envelope and $10, I will send you my secret.
Still reading? Okay, you really don’t have to send me money. I will tell you for free – but if you already put the money in the mail, don’t worry…I will buy something good. Okay – so my secret?
Everything you hear those nutty nutritionist’s say – DO IT…they actually know what they are talking about! It hard – it is a pain in the ass. But guess what? It works! I work out about 5-6 days a week. Yep, it sounds like a lot – but if you want to be healthy (“skinny”) then you have to do the work. If you want something bad enough, you will do the work.
If you are right now reading this and saying to yourself “okay – whatever, I don’t have time to work out that much” then you know what? stop reading. Just stop right now. If you do not want to work out and you do not want to eat healthy then FINE! Stop complaining and wasting everyone’s time, save yourself the frustration and embarressment of failing and stay the way you are. I know, that was kind of harsh – huh? Reality. Welcome to the real world. Life is hard If you want something, you will have to do the work to get it. I am a real person. I did this by myself. I am real, what I did was real, and you can do this too!
Here are two of my favorite quotes from a book called “Skinny Bitch“:
“Stop being a moron and start getting skinny! If you can’t take one more day of self-loathing, your ready to hear the truth: You cannot keep shoveling the same crap into your mouth every day and expect to loose weight.”
“Junk food will never go away. It becomes more alluring by the minute with laboratory-developed aromas, artificial flavors, chemical food colors, toxic preservatives, and heart-stopping hydrogenated oils. We know these are impossible to resit, but no one ever got skinny on junk food. Use your head. Candy bars, potato chips and ice cream taste like heaven, of course. But they will pitch a tent on your hips and camp out all year long.”
I have worked my ass off. This is no joke. I have spent hours at the gym, given up things that I used to think were important to me, been subject of many jokes, and lost friendships. But look at me now. You can do this too. You have the determination in you, just stop trying to use it on quick fix surgeries and diets. You can do this. You just have to make a few changes. You can do this too. Take it one day at a time, set small goals, focus on being healthy. You can do this!
Basics about me
Physically: I am 5 feet 5 inches tall and was born in 1981 (don’t do the math – I’m 24 and will be for years to come). My total weight loss fluctuates between 89-94lbs depending on the day. It took about 2 years to lose the weight (August 2007 to August 2009). Although I’m no tin weight loss mode anymore, I find myself fighting just as hard to stay here. I used to think I just needed to lose the weight and then I would be okay but I’m realizing now that losing the weight was only half the battle – maintaining is a life long battle!
Working Out: I incorporated cardio, weights and yoga into my journey. Sometimes I worked with a trainer but the majority of the time, I was on my own. I work out 4-6 days a week (there are always exceptions). Sometimes half the battle is just getting to the gym.
Eating: My own eating journey has evolved. When I started, I relied A LOT on pre-packaged “diet” foods like 100 calorie packs, frozen meals and low cal/low fat products. It worked for me at the time because I was not comfortable in the kitchen making my own meals (I burn toast and have grown to like it that way). Eventually, as my relationship with Carlos developed, I found myself more and more in the kitchen trying to impress Carlos create my own healthy meals. I’m somewhere in the middle right now – there are times when I rely on something because it may be easy but I’d say about 75% of what I eat is whole foods that are NOT sugar free or low calorie.
I believe that, especially for those just starting out, keeping a food journal is imperative. I’m not saying you HAVE to count calories or track points or record fat/carbs. The process of recording is so much more than that. Keeping a journal helps so that you can begin to correlate times of days you are hungrier than others, trigger foods/beverages (ie: diet soda makes me crave chocolate!) and other things that might not be obvious day to day.
My Philosphy: So many people want to know what I do at the gym, what I eat and what my routine is. I get this question – I remember asking people the same thing. But the bottom line is that we all have to figure out our own journey. And that is what my hope is for this site. I make no promise that you will find the answer here – but I do hope you find strength & courage to find YOUR answer.
Before & After Photos
What an experience! If you’ve made it to this page, then hopefully you’ve read some of my post’s (although you just MUST read all of them). Hopefully you know that I did this myself, with the love and support of my friends, fiance & family. You can too – read how I did it for more information. In the meantime, here are some pictures of me as a fatgirl and now, as a priorfatgirl!