Thursday, November 29, 2012

The World’s Longest Weight Loss (at least it feels like it!) //Jessica S.

I finally hit the 30 pound lost mark HIP HIP HOORAYY!!!! So it took me 14 months to do so. So my initial goal was 50 pounds in a year. So I feel it’s the world’s longest weight loss. I FINALLY GOT RID OF … well, SOME OF IT!!! 60% of it!!! I suppose I am not the only one in this boat, so this goes out to my fellow boaters!!!

As a little kid, I was your loud mouth, spunky, middle child. The joke in our family is out of us three girls, I waited the longest to start talking and once I started, I never shut up. ☺ (I apologize for the world’s longest blog entry; I type too much like I talk too much!) My younger sister and I played outside every day and were constantly on the go. Things started to change when I hit my teen years.

I started packing on the pounds by grade 6. I was not athletic in the slightest. I am one of the least coordinated people you will ever meet. I would come in dead last in any race in phys-ed class, never picked to play on the school’s basketball or volleyball team, and I was the kid chosen DEAD LAST EVERY time in sports in gym class. (To the other kids defence, I was terrible at all sports.) I knew I wasn’t good at sports but to have it rubbed in my face every gym class made me shy away from them even more.

Thanks to some choice words from certain classmates, I viewed myself as a huge, fat cow when in actual fact I might have been about twenty pounds over weight. I was loud and outgoing throughout most of my elementary school career, and though I would hear people’s comments and pretend they didn’t matter, they hurt. I think my favourite comment over all, repeated to me through a friend, was from a guy in my class who said “She would be pretty if she wasn’t fat.” Why can’t people be pretty and fat? There is just more of me to love!

By grade 8, I was 165 pounds. (I WISH I was that weight now.) A rude family member nastily said to me “You don’t want to go into high school fat, do you?” Awesome. Thanks. Oh and did I mention BOTH of my sisters are tall and skinny?!?! (I am 5’3”) To add salt to the wound, my youngest sister loses weight and gains in her boobs. I would hate her if she wasn’t so awesome. My younger sister has always been incredibly supportive of me and encouraging. She never sees me as her “fat” sister.

High school was rough in that I couldn’t handle the change. I became the quiet, little wall flower, something so shockingly different from the big mouth kid in elementary school. Every day I would go home and eat the potato chips I bought with my own money. By the time I graduated high school, I was 190 pounds.

I eat my feelings. Flat out, I know I do. When things get stressful, my face hole opens and I proceed to shovel in, anything that is within my reach that is edible. Growing up, my Mom cooked healthy meals. I would never blame my parents for my weight, they truly supplied healthy foods, I just snacked and ate far more then I should and I NEVER exercised as a teen. (I have to add my parents are my best friends and two of my biggest supporters. My Mom herself had lost 80 pounds and managed to keep it off for 15 years. She stress eats too. She never lectures, but she is always there if I need to vent or discuss. She is amazing!)

After high school, I would spend the next 12 years of my life staying around the 190 mark. (I sit at a desk all day, sedentary was my middle name.)

August 2009 my husband/fiancĂ© at the time had our engagement photos done. I thought he looked great, the background looked awesome, but all I could see was my big, fat, dough boy face in the pictures. I weighed 195 pounds. For the first time in my life, I made a conscience effort to exercise. By the time we got married in February 2010, I was down to 182. I got the wedding photos back and all I could think was “OMG! Look at my sausage arms.” Seriously, I am my own worst critic. Married life was/is so easy and awesome for us. I married my best friend. He is always there for me. I love to cook/bake. He loves my cooking/baking. On the weight piled. He never made me feel bad for it, but I made myself feel bad for it.

I turned 30 in June 2011, I panicked; 30 seemed so old. I haven’t had children yet, which is something I thought I would have done by at least 27. I weighed 204 pounds on my 30th birthday. I had talked to my doctor about family planning and he kindly told me that I should think about loosing some weight as it will be easier to get pregnant and safer for me and a baby. I took what he said, and did nothing about it. I would have thought that would have been powerful motivation, and it should have been, but it just didn’t click for me. I created a formal bucket list; life is short, and what if I couldn’t have kids? I shouldn’t wait around to see if I was going to get pregnant.

In the mean time both my younger sister and my husband joined a co-ed ice hockey league for beginners. Every Saturday night I would go and watch them play. I love to watch hockey, what Canadian doesn’t? I couldn’t skate and am the least athletic person ever, so I just assumed I would be a spectator my whole life. The fun thing about the league my sister and husband belong to is that they have the moniker; “Hockey for Dummies”, people aren’t at a Gretzky level of play. In fact, the whole league is based around fun. If two opposing team members collide, they help each other up laughing; if you score a goal, the other team comes over to congratulate you. It looked fun! I decided I was stepping out of my comfort zone; I was going to play ice hockey. I added it to my bucket list.

I signed up for the 2011/2012 Winter season. I couldn’t skate so I had my husband take me to public skating so I could learn the basics. By my first game, I could skate (without too much wobbling) and sort of stop (without using the boards). I was terrible. I played defence and I was out skated by the other team the entire game. I went to the dressing room after the game wondering what the hell did I get myself in to? I was back to being that fat, little 12 year old who disappointed her team. For the record, my team never let me feel this way, they were incredibly supportive, it was me and my own personal demons.

The following Monday, September 19th, 2011, I stepped on the scale, it was 205. One pound more since my birthday but that’s when it clicked. I can’t do this. I can’t let this number get bigger. Most importantly, I am not going to go through this entire hockey season feeling like the fat, little 12 year old who was going to disappoint her team. In retrospect, as I always self analyse myself, I think it’s funny how I made not wanting to disappoint my team, essentially strangers, as my motivation versus my own health. I am too much of a people pleaser, but it worked in this case....

I decided I was going to lose 50 pounds in a year. That day I started counting calories. I created an MS Excel spreadsheet to track my calories. (I am a bookkeeper; I love numbers and am an Excel whore.) I read every article I could get a hold of and made sure I was reading articles from trustworthy sources, Health Canada, Registered Dieticians, etc. I was determined to be healthy, not just lose weight, and I wanted to lose weight safely and keep it off. I started out eating 1200 to 1400 calories a day.

I bought a Groupon for Curves, which is interval, circuit training. I would go to Curves three times a week and played hockey once a week. By December 2011, I had lost 18 pounds. Christmas came and while I was still counting calories I was up to about 1900 a day, I love food, I can’t help it. I was playing hockey still and working out at home. April 2012 I bought Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. This started my weird “Hey let’s stop losing pounds and just lose inches” stage. My doctor told me as long as I was losing something, I can’t count it as a plateau. My husband and I joined the local gym in May 2012; I spent most of the summer swimming at the gym, playing summer hockey (I signed up for my second season!) and doing the 30 Day Shred. I was/am getting toned! Something I have never been!

I found Mama Laughlin’s blog in Spring 2012 when I was at the pinnacle of my Pinterest addiction. I was immediately hooked. I spent four days reading back through every post. I swear I am not a stalker! I was just riveted and inspired. Then the Mama Laughlin Fit Club was created, I got to “meet” others just like me; real people working away at their goals. Real people who understood. More inspiration in others who had succeeded!

I finally hit the 25 pounds lost mark just before my one year anniversary of getting fit. September 19, 2012, I weighed 180 pounds. While this may be the slowest weight loss ever, I felt good. I didn’t achieve my initial goal of 50 pounds in a year, but I didn’t mind so much as I felt good. Now it’s November and I have finally hit the 30 pound mark.

3 bags of potatoes worth! 20 more to go, but they don't feel as daunting as the original goal of 50 did.

Here are the changes (so far):

September 19 2011

November 27 2012


Weight (lbs)





Upper Arm








Upper Thigh


Lower Thigh





I never measured my bust; I didn’t want to depress myself. The girls did shrink though, I can tell.
September 2011 // 205 pounds

November 2012 // 175 pounds ( I have my sassy pants on)
Things I have found that help that I have done or am currently doing:
  • I work in mini 5 pound goals, far less daunting then my ultimate goal.
  • I got an Iphone in the fall and gave up my Excel spreadsheet to count calories, now I am using My Fitness Pal where you can find me as bitemejessica, I always enjoy new friends!
  • I blog, I like to write. It helps me de-stress. (Rather then stuff my face with chips and cupcakes.) Unfortunately, I write a lot about food. I can’t help it. You can read about me here.
  • I play hockey once a week (I signed up for this winter season!)
  • I Aquafit three times a week at the gym. (Sometimes I do yoga or Zumba in place of one of the Aquafits.)
  • I am still Jillian’s bitch. I use her workouts on the days I don’t have Aquafit. I have moved from the 30 Day Shred to Ripped in 30, I love her DVDs.
  • I am now eating a NET of 1300 to 1400 calories a day. After talking with my doctor he recommended I increase my calories as he thought my body might be in starvation mode. I also try to aim for 150 grams of protein a day to keep me full. This increase seemed to finally get the pounds moving again.
  • I talk to my doctor a lot; he is a great resource and is very supportive.
  • I am (still) learning portion control and moderation. I don’t have to finish the entire pan in one sitting.
  • I indulge in treats, in moderation (well… still working on that). I know that if I don’t have a small amount of my craving I go bananas and break down and buy a huge serving of said craving and pile in the junk. Now I buy a small bag of chips instead of the large bag. I like to get the craving done in a moderate amount and move on. (And not beat myself up!)
  • I am learning not to be so hard on myself. I am learning to let go of my personal demons.
  • I like home cooked meals, I try to have one big meal a week. I no longer do a “cheat day”. I can’t be trusted with that kind of freedom; I limit the cheat to “one cheat meal.
  • And most importantly I get my morning fix of the Mama Laughlin Fit Club. It inspires me, it makes me laugh and helps get me through my day.
  • It’s been a slow journey thus far, but my Mom was right: it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. Perhaps I could have lost weight faster if I hadn’t indulged so much, but I was happy and I never felt hungry along the way. I am learning how to take care of my body better. I will hit the 50 pound mark, hopefully it won’t take me another year, but I am going to keep working at it!

//Jessica S.


  1. Dear Jessica, my new crush to the north. Thanks so much for sharing your story, congrats on your sack of potatoes, and try to stay upright! Jen J.

  2. Jen J,
    You are my new girl crush, I just watched your video, you are hilarious! Thanks for being awesome and supportive and thanks for posting my ridic long post.

    To anyone who reads this long word vomit, I apologize it was so darned long, the typing started and all this spewed out. Haha.

  3. congrats on your weight loss! I am your newest follower!


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