Finalists / Jasmine M.

Jasmine M.

Centreville, VA

Ever heard the saying ‘kids say the darnedest things’? “I can’t wait until you lose your belly fat!” my 5-year old blurted out one evening. While I probably could’ve laughed it off, her baby brother is almost one, which means I’ve had nearly a year to put myself back together, and while some women are able to snap back right away, I wasn’t one of them. “Me too.” I responded, with my head hung low not only in shame, but pure embarrassment and defeat. I realized she only confirmed what I already felt about myself. I didn’t like what I saw when I look at my body either. I was working out daily, breaking a sweat, finding workouts on Pinterest, and even started a fitness page to try and inspire other moms, but I wasn’t producing any results. My habits and motivation were all wrong. I wanted to look like the Instagram workout models I stared at all evening wishing my body looked like that, and my motivation to work out was driven by two problems – alcohol and terrible food choices. I rewarded myself for working out with tequila shots, late night runs to Wendy’s for a frosty and fries, even 2 extra slices of pizza after I’ve already had 2 or 3 (the hugest pieces in the box at that). After while, my husband admitted, that my habits and bodily results from those habits were affecting his physical attraction to me and concerned him. “Its turning me off,” and “We need you here,” he desperately said. With that, I signed up for the 60Day.

When I met with Gary for my initial weigh-in, I said my goal was to lose weight but, more so, lower my body fat percentage to 20 percent, but then he asked me why. Vulnerability hit, and I found myself fighting back tears knowing I had to be honest, but not with him, with myself. I was losing my family, and myself, and I knew if I didn’t change I’d eventually lose both. I needed to believe in myself again and get my health under control, for the right reasons this time. I didn’t want to look like a model anymore; I just wanted to be a better version of me with my confidence in tact and be, let alone feel, attractive to not just my husband but to myself. I wanted to look in the mirror and not see defeat looking back at me. I took the first step, and next thing I knew I was running, figuratively and literally!

I studied the recipe book that was sent out among the 60Day Challenge resources, and began making certain recipes starting with the Mocha Chip Overnight Oats and the Honey Glazed Salmon with Asparagus. Every day, I found positive motivation in my family and my daughter’s consistent “Are we going to the gym today?!” to get to the gym, even when the desire wasn’t there. On top of the weekly workouts, also an excellent resource provided, I started regularly attending classes like “Shred”, “TCX”, “Latin XD” and “Strictly Strength”, pushing myself to the limit, thanks to Instructors Tammy and Roberta. I attended almost every ‘Try It Tuesday’ and ‘Sampler Saturday’ workout workshop and it wasn’t long before the trainers were calling me by name and applauding my progress and perseverance. Before I knew it, my awful habits were replaced with healthy, life saving, and life changing ones.

Since starting this challenge, I haven’t touched alcohol nor had a cheat day to fall back into old habits. While I wanted to quit quite a few times, family and friends began to point out the changes they were seeing in me, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally also. The progress shown in my weekly weigh-ins constantly amazed and inspired me to keep pressing forward because the proof was there, I COULD do this. The energy I now have to run behind my kids, the look on my husband’s face when he looks at me, the look on my own face when I’m looking in the mirror, able to say “I like what I see”, has made every drip of sweat, every exhausted tear, every “no” to a drink or double chocolate milkshake, all worth it. I proved to myself that I could do what I once thought was impossible, and I’ve come too far to turn back. So I’ve taken the steps to start teaching dance fitness at my church so that I can be the motivator and encourager my trainers were to me and to continue this amazing journey I’ve started. When I didn’t think I could, God sent trainers like Gary, Maxine, Augustus, and Solomon to tell me I could. And I did. I looked defeat in the face and said, “NOT TODAY.”