Jessie's Weight Loss Success Story

Jessie, Age 27, Height 5ft 5in
Start Weight 13st 3lbs
Current Weight 9st 13lbs
Goal Weight 9st 13lbs
Weight Lost 3st 4lbs
Working to Rate of Loss 1½lbs a week and then 2lbs a week

About Jessie

I lived with my other half of 6 years. Embarrassingly, we used to weigh exactly the same as each other, not surprising since I ate exactly the same food and portions as he did. 

"Logging what I’d normally eat using the diary was a revelation.  I realised my portions were too big."

I work in an office, mainly desk bound, so my activity was and is minimal.  Luckily I work next to a large park, so I take an hour at lunch and walk. 

What diets have you tried in the past?

The question should be ‘what diets haven’t you tried in the past’!

In 2011 alone I tried:

I usually give up after a couple of weeks.  The longest I’ve ever stuck to a diet before was WLR, and that was 4 weeks.

Tell us how your weight has affected your lifestyle and other people’s reactions

This time last year I was 13 stone and felt absolutely disgusting. 

I couldn’t leave the house without trying on at least 4 different outfits.  I’d avoid social situations because I felt like everyone was staring at me. 

"I was unhappy, I didn’t want to do things and I was tired all the time."

I had been overweight/obese my whole adult life, so I literally had no point of reference when I was large.

I didn’t realise how much my weight was hampering my life, my mood or my self esteem, until it started falling away.

 "I feel like a different person.  I’m much happier now I have control over my weight and my life, for once."

What has been your main motivation to lose weight?

Glastonbury 2010 was particularly hideous because it was so hot.

I couldn’t walk anywhere without my thighs rubbing together and sweat pouring down my face.

"I remember looking longingly at all the girls my age, with their slim bodies, looking amazing in their clothes and wanting to cry."

I felt like the biggest person there, I probably wasn’t, but that’s how it felt.

  • I wanted to be able to leave the house without having first tried on about 5 different outfits because I looked fat and lumpy.
  • I wanted to experience being young and slim.
  • I used to go into a shop and look at all the clothes, crop tops, hot-pants, leggings, and my heart would drop because I could never wear those things. I hated how I looked naked.
  • I wanted to be able to enjoy summer, instead of the dread I’d feel because I’d have to bare my arms or legs.  I’d just booked a holiday to Croatia with 20 of my friends (male and female) and the thought of being in a hot country, in a bikini, in front of my friends, terrified me.

Which tools and resources do you use regularly on WLR?  Which tools do you find invaluable?

I love the food diary, I love the message boards (such great support), I love the exercise diary and the articles on the main page. 

When I first started here, I remember pouring over the success stories feeling so inspired.  Pretty crazy that I’m now one myself!  I love WLR!

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Have you purchased or used any products or fitness equipment that has helped you with your goals?

Actually, no I haven’t.  All the other times I used to try and lose weight I’d always buy diet food, stuff I wouldn’t normally eat (cottage cheese etc) because I’m “on a diet”. 

This time I was too poor to do all that, so I just ate the kind of things I would normally, weighing and logging and adjusting my choices. 

I actually think this has been the key to my success this time, for two reasons. 

"I haven’t deviated too far from my comfort zone and I haven’t craved anything forbidden."

I realised that I like junk and instead of banning it, falling off the wagon and going back to eating junk; I’ve been a bit clever with it.

How can I fit this pizza into my diet, what do I have to sacrifice? This is how I’ve succeeded.  

In terms of exercise equipment, again, this time I didn’t buy anything.  For the first few months I did no exercise at all, I decided I wouldn’t push myself; it’s a marathon not a sprint. 

"After about 5% loss, something miraculous happened; I started feeling like going for a walk, which soon became an hour every day, on my own accord."

Walking has been my godsend! Free, clears my head, earns calories and doesn’t make me feel like I’m dying, win!

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

It’s actually the mindset I’ve adopted this time which has been key to my success, however I couldn’t have done this without WLR. 

Why? Because the tools encourage you to develop a healthy mindset.

Nothing is forbidden here, so you learn through logging on here, what foods aren’t worth it and what foods are, and how you can incorporate these into your life. 

"Because this is under your control, you learn to gain control, and saying no becomes a lot easier because you made that decision."

On other diets which tell you exactly what to eat (or what not to) it’s not you making those choices – you don’t learn from experience, so when you stop the diet you’ve learnt nothing, going back to old habits and gaining the weight again.

Have you struggled at points in your weight loss journey?  Experienced a weight loss plateau? What has kept you motivated?

The first few days were horrendous; I was hungry all the time, so I decided to up my calories and lose 1.5lbs a week instead of 2. 

I made a list of all the reasons why I wanted to lose weight, and constantly read them

Another thing I did at first, when tempted to snack, was wait an hour before eating, even if I was starving. 

This I believe got me used to being a bit deprived, which is essential when dieting.

Then it got easier.  The weight started to fall off and I lost 2 stone before hitting the dreaded plateau.

"I stayed the same for 7 weeks, hovering about 3lbs above healthy weight.  I stuck with it and eventually it fell off, I’ve been losing ever since."

Once 10% came off, I found my new body was motivation in itself.  You just need to stick at it until that point, and then it gets easy.  Honestly, it really does.

Since losing weight can you give some examples of how your life has changed?

I started a new job at the end of August and I have a reputation for having ‘iron willpower’, which is really odd.

"I got the “Gosh, that’s the most I’ve seen you eat” comment, again, hilarious as I know I could put away plates and plates of food before."

Another thing, I can wear whatever I want.  Those crop tops and hotpants I used to long to wear, I can wear them!  I’ve gone from a size 16 to a 10-12.

I have a new job, I’m single and I have new hair, new everything really.

"I honestly think that gaining control over something that I felt powerless about has been a bit of a life changer for me."

I realise that I can do anything, literally anything, if I put my mind to it.  I wouldn’t have had that confidence before.

What exercise routines have you adopted?

Walking, it clears my head. Love it.

What do you love about your body now?

What don’t I like about my body, seriously!

  Before After
BMI 30.8 23
Hips 44in 39in
Waist 34in 28.5in

Jessie’s Tips

It’s a long one, but here are my top tips.

  • The first 5% of your body weight will be absolute hell.  It takes a good few weeks (sometimes months if you’ve got a lot to lose) for your body to get used to being in calorie deficit.  You really do need a herculean amount of willpower. This part won’t be easy, but here are my tips for getting through it:
  • Don’t try to be an angel.  If you didn’t enjoy salads before, please don’t start eating salads or ‘diet food’ when you go into this, because you will fail.
  • I realise that I eat a lot of junk, but instead of cutting it out, I just ate less of it.  If you eliminate this stuff you will crave it and will inevitably fail. The healthiest thing you will do is to simply lose weight.  Just focus on that for now, the rest will follow once your emotional attachment to food starts to disappear. Do not force it.
  • Do not attempt to lose 2lb a week at first if it’s too difficult.  I went with 1.5 lbs a week loss and at first I still lost on average 2 lbs a week anyway.  If you find that 1.5 lbs is too restrictive, go for 1lb loss.  A slower loss is not failure; a high loss followed by blowout and putting it back on (and more) is failure.
  • Steady is better.  I personally think that you should try and eat roughly the same amount of calories each day, and if I overeat, I don’t try and make up for it by eating less over the week.  I think getting used to drawing a line under a bad day prepares you for when you fall off the wagon, you learn to drop the ‘all or nothing’ mentality.
  • Also, if you eat roughly the same amount of calories, your body gets into the swing of things better.  You get used to eating x amount of calories each day.  My cravings are always higher when I save calories for a weekend.  This time, I didn’t save calories at all.  I craved less and I stuck at it.
  • Fall of the wagon & get straight back on.  I fell off many times. I still lost the weight despite falling off, it’s your mentality when you do fall off that makes the difference. Firstly, don’t feel bad, everyone slips up.  Secondly, DO NOT think you’re a failure and give up. I fell off the wagon lots, sometimes for days and days at a time. I didn’t beat myself up about it (thin people have pig out days after all); I just drew a line under it and went on as normal the next day.

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Want to know how to lose weight like Jessie? Weight Loss is easy with the tools in WLR. We give you everything you need to count calories plus advice on ways to lose weight healthily. 

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