Winners / Jessica S

Jessica S.

Jessica S Front

I am a 42-year-old mother of two sons that keep me very busy – Eddie (21) and Colt (18).  I have always been overweight my whole life. When I was in high school I would always hear that I am just big boned or if I would just lose 20lbs I would be pretty. I was very active with softball, volleyball and cheerleading. I was also active in jazzercise and I considered myself in shape but still heavy.

After having my two boys I never lost the baby weight. I accepted the fact that I was going to weigh over 200lbs. At that time I never concentrated on nutrition but on portion size. I would lose a few pounds and then gain a few more back. As a working mother, I was tired and cooked dinners that were easy to prepare. Lots of boxed and processed dinners.

I didn’t really realize that nutrition played into anything until my youngest son was having stomach aches for a long time. Recommended by a friend, we had him tested for food allergies by a kinesiologist in 2010. He told us that Colt had an intolerance to gluten, along many other food intolerances. “What the heck is gluten,” I thought to myself? I had to learn to cook in a different way. Yet my weight was still up and down.

In 2013 I accepted a job at Life Time. At that time I thought this could be real good for me since I weighted over 260lbs. I imagined myself slimming right down, but the reality of it was that I went from a job that I was always moving to now sitting and I continued to gain more weight.

I finally got the nerve to start working out at the Chanhassen club on occasion and start learning more about nutrition. I never realized how important nutrition is. I have participated in a few of the 90-Day Challenges with some successes and some failures throughout those. As I got more comfortable and got to know people I would ask for nutrition tips from many different employees in both the corporate office and the club. Mitra Callaghan has taught me the importance to logging your food while Paul Kriegler explained to me the importance of women having protein in the morning vs. eating carbs. Every time I have participated in 90/60-Day Challenges I learn something new that made me a little more successful in achieving health and reaching goals.

In June 2016 I was feeling very crappy. I was having stomach aches and was having bad heartburn every night. I was feeling tired and run down. I knew it was my diet. I was drinking too much pop and eating very poorly. I knew that if I wanted to change that I needed to make life style changes and make me and my health priority. That is when I decided to participate in the D.TOX. I did not want to base it off my weight loss but how I felt. I didn’t weigh myself before the D.TOC. After the two weeks of the D.TOX, My stomach was feeling a lot better with less stomach aches and my heartburn disappeared. After adding foods back into my diet I knew that there were a few foods that my body reacted to.

My friends Travis and Jerry and I decided to start working out before work. We committed to going to the club 5 days a week in the morning. We started the first week in July. It was when I was at the club that Ben Harding approached me and asked if I would like to have a complimentary PT session with him. I agreed and meet him in the morning for our session. While talking to him I told him reasons why I think I have not been completely successful. The big reason I thought was because I am not making life style changes but only changing for a short period. He asked me if I would like to join the 60-Day Challenge so I joined. At that time we weighed me and I was at the highest I have ever weighed. I could hardly believe what I saw and felt horrible about myself.

I had the support of my friends and others in the club. I also had the support from Hanna Grinaker. She offered to look at my food journal every week. We looked at what I was taking for supplements and added Life Time supplements as recommended. She gave me encouragement and helped me refine my diet in a very reasonable manner. She went above and beyond to help me with my nutrition and she made me feel great about the small successes that I had. When talking with her I felt like a rock star but in reality I feel she was the rock star for taking me under her wing.

One day when talking to Jim Starr, I had asked him for some wisdom for me going into the 60-Day. This is exactly what he wrote me: ‘Being proactive mentally, setting your mind to be vigilant each day with focusing not on the long term (60 days), rather focus on one day at a time. Each day is one day closer to success. Placing emphasis with each facet of daily eating, working out etc., will place you in a state of further success rather than looking at the long road ahead.  Don’t get overly overwhelmed….one day at a time.” I printed off his words and I put them in a book where I can go back and read them as needed. I have read this often when I feel that maybe things are not moving along as I feel they should.