Family Status: Divorced with an amazing little girl!
Occupation: Dental Claims Analyst
Location: Prior Lake, Minneapolis
Starting Weight: 205 pounds
Current Weight: 135 pounds
Pounds or Inches Lost: I lost 70 pounds and went from a size 20 to a size 8 to 6!
Janelle’s Weight Loss Story!
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
About a year and a half ago when I had to go to something at the University of Minnesota. Even though I have my four-year degree, I have wanted to go back to school for a long time and was attending a fair on the programs that I was interested in. When I was there I had to park in a parking garage and walk up several flights of stairs. I was so embarrassed and very scared when I could barely get up the stairs. It terrified me that just 10 years earlier when I attended the school I was able to run up those same stairs.
What made you decide to lose weight?
I was at my yearly appointment with my OB/GYN (I have the most amazing doctor). I have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and basically, I can’t eat carbs so when I got pregnant I was so scared I would lose the baby which was a fear among several others in my support group. My doctor promised me that the baby would survive if I did everything I was told to do, and I did. I now have a beautiful four-year old. So, when he told me I would die in a few years of a heart attack if I didn’t lose the weight, I believed him. It should be noted that he was the first person who told me without a doubt I would have children if I lost weight. I got pregnant after being off my birth control for only four days. I didn’t believe my doctor at the time that it would be so easy to get pregnant and was actually trying to lose weight when I got pregnant. I was in a biggest loser type of class at my local gym when I got pregnant. I was about to run a 5K and was constantly sick. I found out on my lunch break at my job that it wasn’t stomach flu or a weird virus that I had, but rather that I was five and a half weeks pregnant.
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
Besides the food and the exercise changes, I also had to look at things in my personal life that were holding me back. I realized that when I got sad or frustrated, I ate. On the day my ex-husband and I separated, I made a list of things that I needed to do for myself to make me a better person and I promised myself this list was not to get a man but to truly serve the purpose of being a better person. When I went out on a date recently and the person didn’t call me back (and trust me in the circumstance he should have), for a change instead of blaming myself I realized that some people are just not nice and I have to move on and I did say something to get closure. Before, I would have let it bother me and would have eaten my heart out. I realized that I needed to deal with my pains from past hurts in healthy ways instead of using food as a cure.
What was most challenging about losing weight?
I had lost weight in the past very quickly so making sure I lost it this time in a healthy way (not so fast) so I could maintain was very helpful. I constantly have to remember that this is not a diet, this is a lifestyle.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
The first 50 pounds came off in about 6 months.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
I started running just a few blocks in September of 2012. Then I rejoined my local gym in January of 2013, so it took a total of about 9 months.
How long have you maintained your weight loss and how do you do it?
For about 6 months and I remember what my doctor told me. He is an honest guy and I know he would have said anything for the shock value. Also, I never take a vacation from my lifestyle. I still have days where I may have a piece of pie but I have to remember that one piece of pie doesn’t mean I have to follow it with a week of eating junk food. I also make exercising a priority. When I was on vacation recently, the first thing I did was go on the elliptical machine.
What keeps you motivated to continue your weight loss success?
My daughter and my energy level. I feel so fantastic and just feel like a whole new person! I recently went on a Vegas vacation and was so happy to be walking and exercising. I really enjoy being outside and being active!
How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
For me it’s more than just weight loss. I often get complimented about not just weight loss, but also about the positive energy I bring to the room. One of the biggest compliments I got this year was from my sister after we had gotten into a fight. I had told her how I truly felt about something she said instead of holding it in and she was amazed when I was able to let it go and move on. In the past, I ate my problems away. I just feel like I am truly enjoying life now.
Do you have any advice for others who are trying to lose weight?
Surround yourself with those that encourage you. I went to six different appointments with my OB/GYN and was really heavy. Instead of yelling at me for my weight, he constantly encouraged me and my two closest friends were no different.
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
I love the encouraging weight loss stories.
Janelle’s Weight Loss Tips!
Weight loss tip #1:
Surround yourself with the kindest, coolest people in the world. Even when I was 205 pounds, my two best friends told me how beautiful I was and constantly encouraged me when I complained about my weight. They were always my cheerleaders. My OB/GYN has also encouraged me through the years. After coming to six different appointments being really heavy, he kept encouraging me instead of giving up on me.
Weight loss tip #2:
Remember that everyone has something different that works for them. Find what works for you and do it! For example, I have PCOS and can gain a lot of weight in a very short amount of time, so I give myself a 5 pound limit, meaning I never go up more than 5 pounds in weight. To do this, I have to weigh myself everyday which may be harmful to some people, but it works for me.
Weight loss tip #3:
Love your flaws and realize no matter how thin you get, there are still things you can’t change. I nursed a daughter at 34 years old, so I have mom boobs and I love them.
Weight loss tip #4:
Find what is keeping you heavy. For me it was not letting go of things I couldn’t change and not saying things if I got hurt.
Weight loss tip #5:
I gave up diet soda after 10 years of saying it did not affect my diet. Be willing to listen and try new things. It may just surprise you when something works.
Janelle’s Weight Loss Eating Plan!
Cheerios and milk.
Low fat chili.
Tuna spread with veggies.
Snacks or Mini Meals:
Handful of almonds.
I’m not taking any supplements.
Janelle’s Weight Loss Workouts!
I workout with a trainer and made an effort to do weight training.
Anything and everything. I dance in the elevator and always take advantage of my time. I usually do the elliptical machine and/or running.