“Free Your Mind”: My Weight Loss Journey

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Weight Loss

I have received a couple of emails asking me about my weight loss. I struggled with doing a post about it, because I really do think that every woman is beautiful. I do not want someone heavier or skinnier than I am thinking I am trying to tell them how to look. That is not the way I view the world.

I recognize that sounds completely ridiculous coming from a girl with her giant head splashed across the page. I know, I know… I had not allowed myself to be photographed for five years. I was miserable. That photo is a personal dare to myself. It represents what I have overcome and accomplished. I went on a journey. The picture is my souvenir.

With that said, if you are trying to lose weight for yourself, I will share my story:

I lost 76 pounds in a little less than a year. I started off weighing 207 pounds. I now weigh 130.8. It was not easy. I took it one day at a time. I have been collecting clothes to fit into for the last five years. Food is something I struggle with. It is a daily battle. I am a food addict. I will have to take it one day at a time for the rest of my life.

I was getting frequent urinary tract infections. They told me I could have diabetes. It was a huge eye opener for me. That day I began my weight loss journey…

I started Weight Watchers Online. The meetings do not work for me. I am not a crowd person. I hate someone else weighing me and then having to sit with a group. Half of the group’s energy is excitement from the good news they heard at the scales. The other half’s energy feels nervous, sad, self loathing as they realized they had failed that week. The mixture of the energies was too much for me. I found it very draining. I would dread going to the meetings. I would fail. At home, I can deal with just myself. I weigh myself once a week. I log my weight into my tablet and move on. If you need the support of a group, then I do recommend the meetings.

I hate exercising. I should do it more… I won’t. I also am not the healthiest person. If I want dessert, I will eat it for lunch. Not with, but for. I am not saying do what I do/did. I just want to share what worked for me:

1.) Track it. Track whatever you are putting in your mouth. Whether it is calories, carbs, fat or points. One of my downfalls used to be thinking I had failed for the day. I would then go and eat even more, because I thought I had all ready ruined my diet. By tracking, it has made me more self aware. You will probably find that you did not blow your diet as badly as you thought you did. If you did blow it: do better the rest of the day. Do not tell yourself you will start over tomorrow. Start that very second.

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2.) I do not eat dessert at night. This was a hard one for me. But if I am hungry at night, I drink a glass of ice water. And, yes, I usually am hungry when I go to bed. If I cannot stop thinking about what I am craving… I set it aside and work that craving into the next day’s points. I found this interesting article about calories burned while drinking ice water. Every little bit helps! I usually drink three glasses of ice water at night. My skin looks better for it.

3.) With that said: Do not starve! I use all of my points. I use all of my flex points. The system works. You just have to trust it.

4.) Set little goals. I did not set out to lose 76 pounds. I just wanted to lose 30. When I saw I could accomplish that, I continued with the weight loss.

5.) Plan ahead. I usually plan my meals the day before. If I am going to a restaurant, I research their menu ahead of time to find what works best with my plan.

6.) Reward yourself. But not with food. I bought a lot of clothes. A lot…Seeing these clothes in my closet motivates me to stay on track. Being able to shop in the stores I love is a huge motivator. I love dressing for the day now. We all have to find what we will splurge on.

7.) Do not give up. There were weeks I would gain a pound and feel the self doubt begin to spiral downward. I made myself shake off those feelings and keep on trying. Eventually, it worked.

8.) People are going to hurt your feelings. It will happen. Most won’t mean to. It hurts when someone says, “You look great! I haven’t seen you in awhile.” You immediately jump to thoughts of not looking great before. It is meant as encouragement. Take it as that.

My “favorite” line was to my husband (in front of me) from another man, “Well, I guess you’re going to keep her now.” It was very hurtful to both my husband and myself. Just move on. People’s perception of beauty in this country is of smaller people. It is a reality. Let it be their foundation and not yours.

Now I sometimes hear, “You’re too skinny.” I just smile. I remember the oreos I had for lunch and I grin. My goal is to stay between 127 and 133. This is where I am comfortable. This is my peace. This is my life. Find your comfort zone and smile, because…

Some people are just not going to be happy for you. That just boils down to their own distraught soul. Send kind thoughts through the air and into their being, and hope one day they will find their own contentment. And then you move your own happy self along. That is an order.

9.) Love yourself. It does not matter if you are heavier or thinner. Life is short. Life is a gift that we will never fully open. Be happy. Be healthy. Be content with who you are.

10.) This is a big one for me: I eat what my family eats, but in moderation. I love food. I will not live a happy life eating just salads. I must have butter. I must have chocolate.

I love to cook. I am not going to make a beautiful meal and not eat it. You will see me post a very fattening recipe. And you may think to yourself, “really, this girl lost 76 pounds?” The pictures I take of the meals are my husband’s serving. Not mine. My serving is usually much smaller, which does not make for great pictures. If the meal is high in calories: I am either using my flex points for the extravagant splurge or I probably had a very light lunch.

And yes, this means at three o’clock in the afternoon, I may be cranky…

Dessert posts are the same way. I probably had a salad for dinner or I will eat the dessert the next day for lunch. I told you… I might not be the healthiest, but I am happy.

I hardly ever eat breakfast. I just drink coffee. I do not like breakfast. This allows me to have more calories for the rest of the day.

11.) Weight Watchers allows you to eat as many fruits and vegetables as you desire. I do not desire, but this helps a lot of my friends.

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12.) Find low calorie treats that will satisfy you. For me these are:

1 Quaker chewy chocolate chip granola bar
20 White Cheddar baked Puffs (I like Gaytan’s) for 2 points
1 Refrigerated snack size Snickers bar
Pretzels
Wine: okay, not so low calorie. It is 4 points for a glass, but this snack makes me the happiest : )
Salsa with 11 chips
Prepackaged refrigerated pudding cup

The above is what I have experienced and have gone through. I am not perfect. There are so many areas on my body that I struggle with loving. I jiggle. I roll. But I am content. I have a husband who thinks like I do: all shapes and sizes are beautiful. He agrees with me that Ina Garten and Adele are some of the prettiest ladies out there. It really helps me knowing I have someone supporting and loving me regardless of my weight. We all have struggles. We all have imperfections. We all are human.

I am going to leave you with the wisdom of En Vogue :

“Why oh why must it be this way?
Before you can read me you gotta
learn how to see me, I said
Free your mind and the rest will follow
Be color blind don’t be so shallow.”

What does that have to do with weight loss? Well, in my head I hear,

“Be yourself and the rest will follow.”

And it will…

22 thoughts on ““Free Your Mind”: My Weight Loss Journey

  1. Thank you for sharing. I also joined WW and couldn’t figure out why I started disliking/resenting the meetings…your feelings clarified mine.

    • Thank you, Nancy. I’m glad I could help. I was worried about that comment. I did not want to disparage the meetings, but wanted people to know there are other options. The online version works, too. I really appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment. Thank you!

      Have a great day!

      Jenni

  2. Sweet Jenni!!! 🙂 I love your suggestions and wonderful words of advice and encouragement!!! I especially LOVE your amazing outlook on life!! Thank you for sharing your personal journey!!! And by the way, I think that you have ALWAYS looked beautiful because you have a warm, beautiful spirit!! XO

  3. I love your perspective Jenni. Your take on beauty is so right on. You were beautiful before your weight loss and you’re beautiful now my friend. What I admire is that you set a personal goal and with determination and hard work you achieved it. That is an amazing thing. It is inspiring, truly. I love that you shared your story. Thank you!

    • Thanks Kerri. That is a lovely compliment. I really appreciate it. It was a hard post to write. So, I definitely needed your boost of confidence today.

      Thank you so much! Have a great evening!

      Jenni

  4. Appreciate how forthcoming and straightforward you are. I was wondering how you could fix and eat all that yummy food you keep posting, but I get it now. Congratulations on your weight loss. Maybe online WW would work for me? I can’t even imagine going to weekly meetings. You’ve inspired me to get started! I’m going to try some of your hints – track everything I eat, drink water instead of snacking at night. Many thanks.

    • Thank you so much! I want to always be able to tell it exactly how it is. I did not want people to think I was some freak of nature with a lightning metabolism… Of course, wouldn’t that be wonderful?!

      I think Weight Watcher’s Online is wonderful. Just take it one day at a time. And remember, tomorrow is always another day… So if you want that treat, see if you still want it the next day instead. I wish you all the luck in the world. But mostly I hope for happiness.

      Please feel free to email me if you want more info or to talk…

      Have a great day!

      Jenni

  5. First of all let me just say THANK YOU!! I honestly saw how you had the determintion to take your weight off and thought to myself “look at what she accomplished” You looked stunning, you had a renewed confidence, and a beautiful glow surrounded you! I wanted the GLOW, so I too joined WW. I appreciate your words and honesty regarding the WW meetings. For me though I am a different breed, but that is why we are friends right, opposites attract. I need that accountability. For some reason I can not be accountable to myself…weird I know. I have been succesfull going to the meetings. I need the praise they give me weekly, or for hitting my milestones. I am like a little kid….I live for the charms they give you and I collect them like you collected those smaller sizes in your closet:) I look forward to my Staurday mornings at 7 AM, I love my leader, she is amazing! I agree not for everyone but someone who needs the accountability and the praise from someone the meetings could be a good fit. I comend you Jenny you look amazing and you are inspiring to other people. You have to know and feel good about the fact that a change you made have changed the lives of the people around you. I am an example of that…LOVE YOU!!

    • Thank you Kellie. I very much take your words and close them into my heart. They are what uplifts me when I am down. You look beautiful. I have always thought you are beautiful.

      I appreciate so much your words on Weight Watchers meetings. I think it is so fantastic there are so many options. And you are completely right, the meetings are great for people who need the accountability and encouragement. I am so happy for you!

      And girl, you glow. You always have.

      Jenni

  6. YOU ARE AWESOME! You are always gorgeous (inside and outside), no matter the clothing size you wear. What a major accomplishment, and all in just one year! So proud of you! I like that you’re okay with having your picture taken now – that’s great! Love you!! xoxoxo

  7. You are so inspirational! I am behind reading your blogs on purpose. I enjoy them so much, that reading them is like when you read a book you love, and by the end the characters have become your family. I don’t want to come to the end…so I always make sure there are a few blogs waiting for me to read.:)

    • Thanks mom.

      The characters are my family. ; )

      I love you, please do not read the mothers day post I accidentally posted yesterday. I am posting it Sunday. It has a picture of a surprise. Ignore it!

      Have a great day!

      Jenni

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  11. I especially love this post. It speaks to so many of us, but for those of us who could never quite put it into words.

    I got SO excited when I saw the Nery photo of you in the pink maxi dress. I have that same FP belt, but could never figure out what to wear it with. What is the name of that dress? It goes so perfectly with the belt?

    • Thank you so much! It is the Free People Miles of Henley Dress. I own it in three colors. I took a medium. The length is very long with a raw hem. I have trimmed the bottom of two of mine. I love that belt! : )

      Have a great day!

      Jenni

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