When Bobbi asked me to write a guest blog post about my weight loss transformation… I instantly said YES, not because I wanted to boast about myself & my journey but in hopes that my story can help others at some point in their journey as well! Hi, I am Heather, I am 29 years old, and I love food, well let’s be real, I love French fries and everything salty!
Let’s go back…. to the days after my senior year of high school (2003) and the beginning days of my freshman year of college. I tried Weight Watchers meetings with my mom, and it worked for a short time, but I wasn’t serious about it and I wasn’t following the plan correctly. I would save all my daily points for dinner and basically starve myself throughout the day! Not a good idea, and really not a healthy way to live. I suffered from headaches and a multitude of health issues because of it. So needless to say I stopped the meetings and lived my life, and of course gained more than the freshman 15!
Now go with me, to the pre baby days in 2006, I weighed about 195 pounds, unhealthy for my age and height and then in April of 2007 I got pregnant and on delivery day in December 2007 I weighed 239 pounds. Of course I had the baby, my sweet little Jaiden Dakota born on New Year’s Eve 2007, and I didn’t lose much weight from that of course just the baby/water weight! After Jaiden was born I enjoyed every bite of food I put into my mouth, not ever thinking twice about the calories I was consuming or the exercise it would take to burn that food off. Between 2007 & 2009 I never changed anything about my diet or exercise. It was not until I went for my yearly checkup in February 2009 when my doctor told me that in the past two years I had gained weight every time I had seen him and that if I did not change something I was headed for a very unhealthy life and that if I did not want to change anything for myself that I should consider changing it for Jaiden! That one statement hit my heart… Yet I did nothing about it.
Okay now let’s fast forward to July 2009, I had a one and a half year old and a friend of mine asked if I wanted to join Fitness 19 with her to workout. So I joined but I never changed my diet. I figured as long as I was working out, I could eat whatever I wanted and it still wouldn’t matter. Boy, was I wrong! It was not until a different friend of mine in April 2010 asked if I wanted I join Weight Watchers online and workout together when we could at the gym! I jumped at the chance, I already had the workouts down somewhat and I knew I needed to do something (Doctor Appointment in February ringing any bells here?) – So May 14, 2010 I joined Weight Watchers (WW) online and I started my weight loss journey at 229 pounds (only 10 pounds less than baby delivery day a few years prior)! I did have a goal weight in mind, which is great for WW also! In high school I can remember being 155 pounds and I wanted to get back to that weight. I did everything online, never attended a meeting, but I did have the support of family and friends and a personal trainer at the gym holding me accountable! When I started WW I wore a size 24 jeans and a size XXL shirt. Once I started focusing on my food intake and also making better choices alongside my workouts, the weight started to fall off. I made sure that I knew every ingredient in all the foods that I ate, and almost every meal I ate was planned out the day before. If we were going to be eating out, I planned what meal I could enjoy along with fully understanding the nutritional facts prior to sitting down in the restaurant! The food scale became my best friend at home and still to this very day I use it! I don’t know about you, but I don’t really know for sure what four ounces of chicken or beef is.
It took me 16 months to hit my goal weight and well I passed that up and hit 152 pounds in September 2011! It was a HUGE day for me! 480 days of five to six days a week workouts and better portion control – my biggest issue – (I was eating lean cuisines then, which is NOT clean eats or healthy – I didn’t know about clean eats then), I had finally done it! I had lost 77 pounds since I first started Weight Watchers online! I was finally able to wear a size 10 jeans and a size medium shirt! I was able to maintain my goal weight, fluctuating between 152 & 156 pounds for the remainder of 2011 and most of 2012! For most of 2012 I did not use WW Online, I used a similar app in the App Store from iTunes called iTrackBites, which is a similar app to WW Online. I did it to save money, it was a onetime pay app and it seemed to have everything the same. In October 2012 I turned 27 years old and I kind of just stopped tracking all together and watching what I was eating and then the pounds slowly started to creep back on.
January 1st of 2013 I weighed 173.5 pounds, which meant I had gained back 21.5 pounds and I knew I had to do something. While it was still a huge deal that I had kept off 55.5 pounds I knew that I needed help and I knew that my options were to head back to Fitness 19 full time, since I had kind of slacked off there as well, or I could find a personal trainer outside of the gym who could help me with food and diet! I went for option B and on January 10, 2013 I met Bobbi McCormick at Starbucks to discuss a plan to get healthy and kick these 20+ pounds to the curb! I got linked with Bobbi through a mutual friend from church and social media. I had emailed her and we started chatting options and that all lead to our meeting in January. We decided that her virtual personal training was going to be the best option for me. Bobbi’s virtual personal training means I would get weekly workouts to do at the gym, a meal plan for the month, accountability with her via text and email, tracking my food in my current similar WW app, as well as two workouts a month with HER!!! I virtually personal trained with Bobbi from January 2013 until the start of her Summer Shred in May 2013. I continued her plan for the Shreds from May, June and on into July 2013. At the end of the shreds and personal training with Bobbi I weighed in at 159 pounds. I had lost 14.5 of the 21.5 pounds I had gained back! I was thrilled and never felt better! Before Bobbi I was strictly a cardio and minimal free weights girl, Bobbi changed that for me. She taught me the benefits to free weights as well as burpees… yes I just said there are benefits to those darn things! Weighing 159 meant that I was only 7 pounds away from my lowest weight ever! I was so proud of myself and so was Bobbi! During that time we became way more than just trainer/trainee friends. We became real life friends and it was the best! Nothing like having uplifting, Godly, driven and health/fitness conscious friends in your life. That right there was something I had prayed about for a long time & finally through Bobbi I gained much more then weight loss; I gained friendship!
During personal training and the shreds I decided to visit a plastic surgeon in April of 2013, about a mommy makeover to remove the excess skin I had in my mid-section which for the longest time I considered to be FAT! The doctor told me that I could work out two times a day for two hours each time and nothing more was going to happen to that skin, I had done all I could and the only option to remove the skin was surgical. So in July 2013 I had a mommy makeover to remove the extra skin and tighten everything up! I had a health scare and it took longer to heal then originally planned but overall I am 110% happy with my results and I would do it again in a heartbeat! Part of a mommy makeover is to have your abs tightened after child birth; the doctor informed me after surgery that because I had done such a great job losing the weight, he couldn’t even get a stitch in my abs and nicknamed me “ladder abs”! Having that skin removed and the feeling of losing that final bit of “fat” for me was a HUGE step in my journey that started over 3 years ago!
Back to my weight loss journey… through the summer and the fall months of healing and light walks and workouts I maintained my weight loss of the 14 pounds, going back and forth between a few pounds here and there! In October & November 2013 I had gotten far more serious and back into my workouts and watching my food even more and I got down to 154.5! Only 2.5 pounds away from my lowest ever!
Then the holidays hit and my mindset changed, I thought that since I had surgery and since I had maintained for the most part that I could stop such constant workouts and I could stop watching every point of food that I enjoyed and what do you know I gained back 17 pounds! All of a sudden it was March 2014, and I was staring at myself in the mirror yet again weighing 171 pounds! I couldn’t believe it. I knew what it cost me time and money wise to change these habits and I yet again allowed myself to slack off and gain weight! I was at 58 pounds lost since I first started WW which is a great deal of weight to have kept off, but I knew better and I knew that I needed to get back to being more serious about my health. After all lets me honest, I didn’t even start this for me, I started it for Jaiden, after the doctor has suggested it; but I do love feeling better about myself and having the energy to chase my now 6 year old around!
Between March 2014 and September 2014 I have gone back and forth between being up and down around six pounds. I was still tracking, just not strictly, in iTrackBites, the similar WW app. If I look at my weight loss that means at my lowest in the past couple of months of 2014 I have weighed in at 165 pounds. That is 64 pounds gone since the start! It is a great deal of weight to have lost but I know I can be healthier and make better choices. So on October 8, 2014 I rejoined WW Online! One of the many reason I chose to go back to WW Online was I think, you get what you pay for to be honest with ya. With the other app, it wasn’t bad, it just did not have everything that WW has and I feel like if I want to be serious about my weight loss again, I need the real deal! Alongside my sister in law and support of my family and friends I am back at it! My plan now is to workout 4 to 5 days a week and stick to clean eats and portion control with the help of WW online.
Weight has always been an issue for me, I have always seen myself as the bigger girl of the bunch. I know for me I need accountability and that means Weight Watchers, the scale (weekly and nothing more) and a great support system. What works for me is Weight Watchers for portion control and now with the knowledge I have learned from training with Bobbi, I know the best way to eat is CLEAN! Of course I still enjoy a drink every now and then and I eat the sweets I want also once in a while… As for fries, well those are few and far between but I do allow myself them every now and again! I don’t think WW or clean eating is about starving or deriving yourself. Some of my favorite meals now are 100% clean eats and that is a huge statement coming from this girl, who used to enjoy Farmer Boys once, sometimes twice a day in 2006 & 2007! Food is meant to be enjoyed and not to be seen as a negative thing!
I have learned through my journey that not everything works for everyone. Sometimes people can count calories and that works for them, but it might not work for others. I have also learned that each and every person’s body is different and just because I can run an 11 minute mile outside and someone else can run faster it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with my mile time. I have really had to work hard and pray through the comparison traps in the fitness and health world! I know that when I am working out at the gym or even on a run it is just me vs. me and that is OKAY! I don’t need to lift the same weight as her or run as fast as she can because we are all at different stages in life and in our journey! I have kept my size 24 jeans; just one pair! They are might “FAT” jeans and when I am down or having a hard comparison day, I just look back and remember those jeans and realize how far I have come. I won’t lie to you, I have walked into my closet and put them on… of course I can practically fit in one side of them now, but none the less that are a constant and helpful reminder of the distance I have come. I have to keep in mind to think like this “look at how far you have come, not how far you still have to go.” I never thought in 2006-2007 I would as healthy or as fit as I am know. I was never a runner before and now I am running between 3-5 miles every time I run. I just finished a 5k with some dear friends of mine and I am registered for a 10k in November 2014 and a HALF-Marathon in May 2015!
A little bit about me… I am a coffee addicted, rain loving, flip flop wearing girl with a born again passion for my faith, which is nothing short of being on fire for GOD each and every day! We currently live in Yucaipa, CA. I am now 29 years old and Jaiden is now almost 7 years old. I am happily engaged to the most patient and loving man I know, Keith; and we are getting married May 23, 2015! I am also a host of Bobbi’s dream come true, which is Refresh Summit and I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for the ladies involved & myself through this door He has opened for me! You can follow me on Instagram @ HeatherJean85
Here are a few before Weight Watcher pictures as well as through-out the process of Weight Watchers and then some current pictures also!