Jennifer Espinosa-Goswami is a weight loss cheerleader who admits that vegetables still aren’t her favorite menu item. After losing 100 pounds in one year, Jennifer is motivating others on her website, Weightless Chronicles.
My goal is to coach other working moms like myself who are tired of yo-yo dieting. Weight loss is not a one-time event. It is a marathon that takes training and a certain strategy. ~Jennifer
More from Jennifer in her own words –
Tell me when your weight struggles began. I don’t remember ever being thin. I never felt like I struggled with my weight, but I was embarrassed by it.
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I ate so much, and almost always to please my taste buds. I loved everything about food, from shopping for groceries with my mom, to cooking, to enjoying it with my family. I also hated vegetables with a passion. Once I turned 18, I vowed never to eat anything green (except ice cream). Two years later, I reached my highest weight.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? My grandmother passed away. She was the last of my grandparents, all of whom played a big role in my early childhood. Grandma Espinosa was an active and passionate woman who was there for every major event in our family. I realized that I might never see my own grandchildren.
Just when I thought my life was over, I found a whole new beginning, maybe your ending is really a brand new start. ~ Justin
Recently Justin Wiseman joined the ladies on The View where he finally got to hug Rosie O’Donnell. After exchanging messages on Twitter about their mutual weight loss struggles, the two bonded. Justin credits Rosie with inspiring him to lose weight. Now he’s paying it forward by tackling the childhood obesity epidemic.
More from Justin and his amazing 420 pound weight story in his own words –
Tell me when your weight struggles began. My struggles began well before I was consciously aware of what I was doing. By the age of five I weighed 100 pounds.
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I was a food addict pure and simple. Food was my whole world. Every time I ate, I ate to the point of being Thanksgiving-stuffed. That feeling was my high, my pure bliss.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? I had a gut feeling I was going to die soon, which was confirmed by a doctor. I had uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, my sugar was running in the 500s every day. It was so high that sugar was crystallizing on my skin. I had non-obstructive sleep apnea, the weight on my chest was causing me to stop breathing over 200 times a night and my oxygen was dropping below 60. I had high blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol, and was even suffering from cirrhosis of the liver. The cirrhosis was causing me to retain massive amounts of fluid.
How did you lose the weight? I looked into weight loss surgery, but at first I was too unhealthy to qualify. I started slowly by making healthier choices and following a lower carb diet. I ate a KFC grilled chicken almost every day. Over 6 months I lost 130 pounds. Following that initial weight loss, I had gastric sleeve surgery to reduce the size of my football-sized stomach. After that I followed the Atkins Diet.
What diet and exercise methods did you employ? At first I couldn’t do much. I could barely get up and down. The very first exercise I did was to dance in my living while Ellen was dancing on her talk show. Slowly I was able to do more.
Did you have any “ah ha” moments along the way? Yes, the first of many was when I started planning my own funeral because I didn’t think I could do lose the weight. The are so many people around the world who are given a death sentence and would do anything to live, but here I was willing dying. How selfish. I also realized how much life I had missed out on and how much I wanted one day of complete freedom before I died.
On her award-winning blog, No Thanks to Cake, Kelly Guy shares tasty, easy-to-make recipes, offers advice on how to eat healthy while traveling and professes her love for the Gilmore Girls. After a 66-pound weight loss, Kelly has firsthand experience with the struggle to find a healthy balance with food. I’m her newest fan.
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? Emotional eating habits. I can remember coming home after school and eating cheese and crackers, chips, cookies, and anything else that was available. I consumed way too much fast food , ate larger than necessary portions and had no physical activity.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? I was overwhelmed by the idea of losing almost 100 lbs. A good friend had just scheduled gastric-bypass surgery. It terrified me that weight loss surgery was also becoming an option for me. A few days later I took pictures with a friend who was 6 months pregnant and I looked bigger than she did.
How did you lose the weight? I followed the Jenny Craig program for about 12 months, finding great success with the simplicity of the program. I told friends that I “took it like a prescription.” My meals were planned and I didn’t have a ton of decisions to make on a daily basis. The weight started rolling off.
Julie Wilson lost and gained the same pounds for years. Finally, she decided to take a new approach. One night she made a quiet vow to her young daughter, asked for strength from God and then took baby steps toward her goal. After losing 100 pounds, now Julie is helping others.
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I always ate very fast and my portions were out of control. I didn’t know how to eat “one” of anything. While I have always loved vegetables, they were few and far between. I remember coming home after middle school and eating a box of macaroni and cheese for a snack along with two hot dogs. Then, I would eat dinner.
I was an athlete in middle school and high school, playing basketball, soccer, and throwing shot put – so I justified my eating. In high school, I got a job at McDonald’s where I worked for 5 years and gained 80 lbs.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? On December 12, 2010, I looked at my newborn daughter and promised her I would be an example for her. I had to do this for good.
How did you lose the weight? I started by tracking my food on My Fitness Pal. As time went on, I realized I needed to change the types of food I was eating. I ate smaller portions, drank more water, and started exercising.
What diet and exercise methods did you employ? I started my journey differently than my previous attempts. I vowed to keep my faith in God and trust him for strength. I tracked my food, pushed the baby in the stroller, did Taebo videos at home, and found a love for running. After losing 80 pounds, I joined a gym.
TaVona Boggs spent most of her adult life on a diet. When she wasn’t on one, she was thinking she probably should be. Finally, she learned how to make peace with food and gave up on what she calls the, “all or nothing” mentality. After an 82-pound weight loss, TaVona is competing in duathlons and inspiring other women to break out of their comfort zones.
When did your weight struggles begin. As early as age 10, I remember begging my mom to buy me a thigh master. Throughout high school I kept my weight in check with physical activity, like cheer leading, volleyball and more, but once I entered an intensive physical therapy program in college, the weight crept back on.
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I did not know how to eat properly. My solution was to eat what college kids ate and when the weight escalated, I would diet down to what I thought was an appropriate weight only to gain it back once I stopped dieting.
What prompted the change? I stepped on the scale one day and it said 224 pounds. At that point I had become so sick of dieting I couldn’t do it one more time so I said to myself, “I have to learn how to eat real food, and still enjoy myself.”
How did you lose the weight? With my mother’s encouragement, I decided to join a commercial weight loss program. With the support of the ladies in my group and my mentor, I was able to get to my goal of 155 pounds. After a while, counting points and managing my weight through exercise only got me so far. I oscillated, then got stuck and eventually saw the weight starting to come back on.