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.
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.
After her divorce, Samantha Hillis was suddenly thrown into the role of single mother. After taking control of her lifestyle, she lost an amazing 80 pounds. Samantha is proud to lead by example and she’s now enjoying activities with her young son that she never thought would be possible.
More from Samantha in her own words –
Tell me when your weight struggles began. I have always been overweight. Growing up I was the only overweight person in my family. I had tried to lose weight many times with pills and meal replacements, but I didn’t change my diet so nothing seemed to work.
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? When I got pregnant I gained 80 pounds! I went from staying between 200 and 210 to 280. After having my son I lost about 50 pounds, but my diet still wasn’t on point. I ate fast food every day, and when I did cook at home we would eat fried foods or a ton of pasta. I would rather sit on the couch and watch the Food Network than go for a walk.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? Nothing ever fit right, and I was never able to share clothes with friends or my sisters. I hated going shopping because I didn’t want to believe that I was in a size 18/20. When I got divorced last year I went to the doctor. I almost cried when I saw the number 248 flashing on the scale in front of me. I had gained 15 pounds in ONE month. That’s when I knew I needed to get healthy for my son.