Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Summer Lovin' Challenge: getting to know you.

If you haven't been following, I'm hosting Summer Lovin', an eight week weight-loss challenge, and every week I will interview one of the participants. This is the first installment.


My creation 
She has beautiful hair. 
Lovely hips the boys say. 
The loudest laugh in our Linguistics class.
She knits in class!! [multitasking because she's still listening to professor]
I've seen her around campus with a sweet faced, kitten-eyed boy, who she tells me is not as innocent as I say he looks. Huh.

And I got to interview her (finally putting my Journalism degree to some use!


Jessica, describe yourself in ten words, please:

Caring. Love to laugh. Knitter. Spontaneous. Vivacious. Boisterous. Honest. Loyal. Music lover. Love to walk.

Please tell us a little about your health journey. Anything you've discovered about yourself?
I started my journey in 2006 after high school, it all started after I went to the doctor and was weighed in at 243. I told myself enough is enough I'm not about to let myself get to 250 I just cannot let that happen. I did alot of research looking into different weight loss programs that would help me along my journey. I didn't want a program that was crazy restrictive or didn't allow me to enjoy the foods that I like to eat. I stumbled across Weight Watchers, and although I was apprehensive, I walked into my first meeting and I was so nervous. I felt so insecure and vulnerable, but stepping into that meeting was the best thing I ever did in my life. Weight Watchers taught me how to eat healthy while still enjoying the things I love. It also taught me about portion control and it helped me to realize that I'm not so alone on this journey, it gave me a sense of community. I became really close to my Weight Watchers leader and the regulars in my meeting, we shared our struggles together and helped each other along the way. My meeting along with Weight Watchers was key to my success that I've had so far and I know it will be for the successes that I have to come. My reasons for losing weight at first was for my vanity, but as I kept going on my journey I realized that this isn't only about the way I look but the way I feel about myself. From there I've been working on myself and it hasn't always been stellar all the time as there were definitely rough times but I told myself to never give up. Giving up on myself would only cause me to be unhappy. One thing I've discovered about myself is that I'm one tough cookie and also that I love who I am and have become.

What simple advice would you give someone trying to get healthier and/or lose weight?

My advice is to never ever give up on yourself even if your eating like crap and eating junk food upon junk food just keep trying. Giving up will only make you gain more weight and be unhappy but keep trying and you will know to yourself that even if you aren't doing the best that you want to do, you are still trying and making the effort .

Can you tell us anything about your short-term health goals?

I try to keep my goals short and sweet since my health journey is something that will take a looonnng time. Right now my main short-term goal is to get back to 193--I felt amazing there and so confident. Another short/long term goal I have is to be able to run a 5K and I'm well on my way towards that.

Can you tell us anything about your long-term health goals?

I don't really have a set number of weight that I want to lose because I've never really been below 189.8 (my lowest weight ever). So I don't know how I would feel or look, in my head I decided that I'll take it 10 or even 5 pounds at a time and see how I feel at that weight. If I like it I'll stick to it but if not I'll go 5 more pounds. Another long-term health goal is to one day be a hardcore runner maybe do a half-marathon or even a full one! Just thinking about that now as I write this sounds really daunting and I have a long way to get to that goal but I know one day I will get there even if I'm 90! :D

Thank you so much, Jessica!

Jessica and I actually went to the same highschool and now we're at the same college graduating this semester. We were never close as we moved in different circles, didn't see much of each other in previous years of college, but I love that this semester we have two classes together!

Since high school, Jessica has lost 53.2 pounds. She inspires me because she understands that learning healthy habits and weight-loss takes time. In fact she says it's a pet peeve of hers when people ask how long it took for her to lose the weight.

before  + after:

(wearing purple in both photos)
My creation
(compare necks in both headshots!)
My creation
Jessica is especially proud of her collar bones!

It made me so happy to read and share Jessica's story! Here's her blog. I hope you're inspired, too :)



safire said...

She looks phenomenal! Thanks for sharing :)

Gretchen @ Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen! said...

She looks awesome! I love hearing others' success stories - it keeps you pumped to keep going! :)

Ro said...

She looks beautiful...her smile is infectious :-)
I too like success stories ....

Candy kankles said...

gorgeous smile! HI Jessica!*waves*

acissejlates said...

hah! Hi everyone! Thanks so much for the compliments and I'm glad if I have inspired you guys like you have for me! :D. I'm excited to see the other participants mini-bios!

Thirteenlbs said...

Wow, she is so vivacious! The before and afters are incredible.

Love this feature!


Roz @ weightingfor50 said...

How fun. Thanks for the inspiration Jessica, and for posting this Alexia. Look forward to lots more success stories!!!

Gen said...

I am definitely inspired! I love that she doesn't have a goal weight in mind. Such a healthy way to do it!

Alexia @ Dimple Snatcher said...

thanks, everyone!! :)

Glam,Glitz&Gut said...

This is such a great idea Alexia!

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