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Changing Habits Helped Jo

AKA "justagirl" lost weight with Weight Loss Resources*

Jo's Details
Age 31
Height 5ft 7"
Start Weight 14st 2lb
Current Weight 10st 7lb
Goal Weight 11st
Weight Lost 3st 9lb
Working to Rate of Loss 0.5lb

Now: 10st 7lbs


About Jo

I've always been very active.  I fell in love with exercise when I was 14 and started exercising to Cindy Crawford and Cher videos in my bedroom.  I qualified as a fitness instructor in 1998 and taught aerobics for 8 years until I stopped due to boredom, as I wasn't able to afford to keep my training updated.  I joined the gym 3 years ago and have always exercised but my diet has always let me down so I've never really lost much weight or managed to keep it off.

I am married with one son aged 12.  It gets tricky at times having to cook different meals as they don't always want to eat what I want to eat.  My husband is a junk food lover so the house is always filled with crisps, chocolates, biscuits, and sweets, all of which used to be regular features in my daily diet.  My husband also eats pizza, chips, kebabs, etc so it has been a struggle at times to resist.  However, I decided when starting my plan that I didn't want him to change his eating habits for me. I have to go through the rest of my life surrounded by these types of food so I figured it was good for me to get used to it early on and it's worked.

I'm lucky in that I can sit and eat at my desk as I work as a medical secretary.  I make sure I eat breakfast before work, take snacks such as nuts, yoghurt and fruit to snack on whilst I work and we have a fridge and microwave so I can take leftover chilli or a chicken salad for lunch if I want to.  My colleagues have been very supportive and my healthy eating habits seem to have rubbed off on everyone as the biscuit tin hasn't been out of the cupboard for over a month!

Dieting History

I tried Weight Watchers some years ago after borrowing someone's books and lost a bit of weight but soon the novelty of counting points wore off and I got bored.

Apart from that, I have tended to stick to calorie counting.  I did lose some weight with WLR a few years ago but suffered with a knee injury that stopped me from exercising.  This caused me to feel depressed and I started to comfort eat.  Eventually, I re-gained all the weight I had lost and more.

How being overweight has affected you…

I hated how I looked in clothes.  I've always been a big chested lady and when I was overweight they seemed to take over my entire body making me look huge.  I started to cover myself up in baggy clothes as I didn't want to show off my thick waistline and large belly.  At Christmas, an elderly patient at the surgery I work in asked when I was due to have my baby.  At the time, my colleague was off on maternity leave so I assumed he had got us mixed up and told him so but he looked me up and down and said "I think you've been eating too many chips young lady".  I laugh at it now (LOL) but at the time I was mortified.  Another elderly patient recently told me I "look much better thin than I do fat" - I have to admire their honesty!

Motivation to Diet

Wanting to beat my food demons once and for all.  I starved myself in my teens and binge-ate throughout my whole 20's and I want to finally have a healthy relationship with food.  I also admire figure athletes and have finally decided that maybe I could do it after all.  I want to be the fittest, healthiest me that I can be.

The Best of Weight Loss Resources

It has to be the forums.  I love the support on the boards from everyone and I find chatting to people and offering advice helps to keep me focussed on my own goals.  I love helping other people when I can. I hope in turn, with what they learn, they stick around and pass on that help to other people starting out on their journey.

Why do you think WLR has helped you lose weight where other diets have failed?

Because it is all so straightforward and easy to use.

The food diary is invaluable and like many people, I got a hell of a shock when I first started logging food to find I was eating way over my calorie allowance whilst thinking I was making healthy choices.  Having it all there in black and white means you can't cheat yourself.  I log every bit of food and drink that passes my lips.

Have you hit any plateaus, and what has kept you motivated?

Quite honestly, I haven't had any problems with plateaus. My loss has always been consistent each week.  The main struggle has been with temptation at times but I'm a very strong-minded person with good willpower so I've managed to overcome those temptations.  

My goal of a healthy, strong, lean body is what keeps me motivated.  I'm entering into Maximuscle's Body of 2009 competition that will help to keep me focussed once I get to my goal.  I have also kept a blog detailing my weight loss journey and knowing people are reading it and becoming inspired motivates me even more.

Lifestyle Changes

I have so much more energy now and I sleep a lot more soundly.  I felt down and slightly depressed when I was eating so much junk food and I am walking on air every day now.  I truly believe the rubbish foods I was eating contributed to those feelings of despair.  I cut out all junk foods, processed foods, foods containing added sugar and follow a more wholesome diet now.  Cravings have all but disappeared and I believe it is because I am actually giving my body what it needs rather than what I want for the first time in my life.

I am planning to take a sports nutrition course later this year after my holiday and I want to qualify as a personal trainer next year at some point.  I hope to enter my first amateur figure competition next year run by NABBA.

Exercise Changes

Strength training 3 times per week, along with a body attack class once weekly.  Occasionally, I will do a HIIT session either on the cycle at the gym or doing sprints outdoors.

What do you love about your body now?

I love that I have a strong yet feminine shape.  I have managed to retain my curves thanks to lifting weights and for the first time since I had my son 12 years ago, I have a stomach that would pass as flat!  My bum has lifted a good 2" and my previously heavy, saddlebag thighs have finally slimmed down and are really shaping up.  I'm also very happy that my chest has stopped taking over my body!

Jo's Calorie Counting Tips

I have found cutting out processed, junk foods has helped me in more ways than one.  Although I have only been set to lose 0.5lb per week I have always lost more, despite eating my entire calorie allowance and my exercise calories.  I believe it is because I am eating nutritious foods rather than just anything that fits into my calorie allowance.

I would advise everyone to try to build some form of exercise into your everyday life; it doesn't have to be something you hate and it doesn't have to be a chore. It definitely helps weight loss. 

I always recommend some strength training, especially when in calorie deficit to preserve lean muscle mass, which will help keep the metabolism firing.  It also gives you a lovely firm shape when the fat is gone.

Be sure to eat your exercise calories - the body needs to be fuelled correctly to work effectively.  Respect your body and it will thank you for it.

The main thing to remember is that you, and only you are in control of what goes into your mouth.  Don't ever give up on your goals - the time will still pass, you may as well spend that time doing something about it.

Jo's Vital Statistics

  Start Current
Weight 14st 2lb 10st 7lbs
BMI 30.4 24.4
Body Fat 31.7% 21%
Chest 43.5" 37"
Waist 34" 28"
Hips 43" 35.5"

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* Note: The success stories published on Weight Loss Resources are written by WLR members, past and present, telling their own stories in their own words. As you will see if you read more than one or two of them, everyone's story is different and they have reached their success from a variety of starting points and lost weight at varying rates. Individual results may vary.


Start a Free Trial Today

Find out what calories are in your favourite junk food with the WLR Food Database and use the Food Diary for logging the food you eat. Try them free for 24 hours.

Take our FREE trial »

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