Weight has a funny way of creeping up, up, up when we’re not paying attention.
Jasmine Parent of Nova Scotia, Canada understands this first hand. The 29-year-old mom of two says she was in great shape after college in 2012, but after he father died a year later, she turned to food for comfort. Already overweight, she then went on to have two babies over the next few years, winding up 100 pounds too heavy for her 5’10” frame.
“I started to emotionally eat,” Jasmine explained. “I didn’t realize how unhappy or how anxious I was because it was just my norm.” After giving birth to her second daughter, Jasmine was appalled to discover she weighed 300 pounds.
“I looked at myself in the mirror and I was in so much pain. My knees were shot. My back hurt and I was tired. My anxiety was so bad I didn’t want to leave the house.”
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Still, she didn’t pledge to do something about her weight until one photograph triggered something inside her. Each year since they were 12 years old, Jasmine and her childhood friends pose for a reunion photo. In 2017, the way she looked in that photo was a wake-up call. Jasmine was determined to change her lifestyle.
Jasmine and her partner, Jeremy Crawley, vowed to make 2018 the year they took their bodies back. At 6’5″ tall, Jeremy also weighed over 300 pounds and was eager to get fit. After some research, the pair decided to try the 21-Day Meal Plan; the diet helped them choose healthier foods, cut out sugar, junk, and processed foods, and added lots of fresh fruits, veggies, beans, lean proteins, and whole grains.
In just one week, Jasmine said she could feel the difference that better fuel was having on her body. A month later, she had already lost 17 pounds while Jeremy was down 20.
“I had more energy and was more focused,” she said. “Seeing the results is so motivating and such a driver. I think, ‘What can I do next month?’”
The couple also started exercising gradually at home, beginning with a 25-minute workout DVD. She says that keeping the workout short kept her from those self-defeating thoughts that all dieters sometimes hear.
“In my mind, it was only 25 minutes. It was something I could sustain,” she said. Even the short video was challenging at her weight, but she and Jeremy persevered. In just 10 months, Jeremy had lost all of the 95 pounds he’d set out to lose, and Jasmine was down a jaw-dropping 120 pounds.
The two have never felt so happy or healthy, and Jasmine is quick to point out what worked best for them in hopes of helping others drop the pounds, too. Here are four tips that helped Jasmine and Jeremy get fit:
1. Find a meal plan or diet that works for you.
“People should do research and find something that’s gonna work for you,” she said. “Find what is going to be sustainable.”
2. Don’t expect a “quick fix.”
“There are so many diets and fads and things people want you to put your money in but there is no quick fix. It is going to be hard and it is going to take work but it is worth it,” she said.
3. Get a Workout Buddy.
“It completely changed everything,” she explained. “We really fed off each other’s energy and it was a lot easier having someone eat the same meal as me.”
4. Have goals that evolve and change as you do.
When Jasmine started off, she hoped to lose 40 pounds and run a 5k in July. By March, she’d already lost 40 pounds so she decided to up the ante even more, pledging to lose 80 pounds before July instead.
“I knew that it had to be something short-term and realistic,” she said.
Clearly these tips worked for Jasmine and Jeremy, and it’s so encouraging to know that these two didn’t resort to any kind of medication or surgery to achieve these results. All it took was a strong desire to be healthier, plus lots of support from each other along the way. Great job, guys!
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