Weight Loss Journey: How One Mom Changed Her Eating and Exercise Habits to Lose 120 Pounds
Jasmine Parent didn't want her daughters to think that obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle were how they should live their lives. So when she and her partner decided to get serious about losing weight, they stuck to it and lost more than 200 pounds between them—no gimmicks or fad diets needed. See how they did it.
Jasmine Parent, 29, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, decided to commit to getting healthier in order to be a good role model for her two daughters and be the “best version of herself” for her family.
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What made you decide to finally commit to losing the weight for good?
I was now a mother to two girls, who were going to be looking to me for guidance and examples of living a happy, healthy life. I didn’t want them to see the way I was treating my body and think that was the only way. I was also motivated to find a way to be happier and healthier in my own skin, so I could be the best version of myself for my family.
What was your starting weight before you began this journey? How much weight have you lost and how did you do it?
My starting weight on January 1, 2018, was 294 pounds. I have lost 120 pounds in nine-and-a-half months by completely changing my eating habits and exercising regularly. I have been following the 21-day meal plan created by Tiffany of @myadventuretofit, which is a basic list of “allowed foods” that you can eat from freely. It has a little bit of everything to ensure some variety and a balanced diet.
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What is your goal weight? If you've already reached your goal weight, how long have you been maintaining it?
My initial goal weight was 174. I hit this goal in October 2018, so I have been maintaining since then.
What other diets/routines you've tried in the past?
I gave intermittent fasting a try, but it didn't work for my schedule. Sometimes its 8:30 p.m. before I get to sit down for dinner. That isn't ideal, but with two young children sometimes that’s the reality!
In 2016, I was doing a smoothie diet where you only ate one meal a day, and the rest was smoothies. I lost weight, but it wasn't sustainable, and I had zero energy.
Who/what inspires you to keep going?
My children, my partner and the support I receive from the online weight-loss community is amazing. How I feel now also keeps me going. I am happy, energized and my head is clear.
Did your partner start this journey with you from the very beginning, or did he join later?
My partner started this journey with me on Day 1. He has been my biggest support and motivator, I am so grateful for him.
What has been the hardest part of your journey?
I’ve been so insanely fortunate to have such a smooth journey. My weight has continued to come off, my mind has been strong (some might say stubborn), and I’ve remained focused (having my partner on this journey with me has a lot to do with that). If I had to say anything, it would be giving up chocolate. I was addicted!
What does your typical day look like?
I’m currently finishing my final month of maternity leave. I’m fortunate enough to be able to get up each morning around 6 a.m. with my two girls, get them their breakfast, get mine and put my youngest back to bed for her nap. After this, I’ll usually do a home workout, get my kids their lunch, put them both back down for a nap, then get my lunch. By the time I’m finished eating, they’re usually up, and it’s often time to start dinner. My partner gets home, we eat, bathe the girls, put them to bed and relax for an hour or so before we head off to bed ourselves. In between these things, I try to find time to respond to hundreds of messages via social media each day and interact with the online community I love dearly.
Could you give us an example of each meal?
For breakfast, I have a Dr. Praeger’s veggie burger, two fried eggs and 1/2 cup of cottage cheese almost every morning. This is by choice and something I really love! Lunch and dinner are always a lean protein, a grain or legume like brown rice or black beans, and a vegetable. I think it's important to have a well-balanced and colorful plate.
What is your go-to food or app that keeps you on track?
My go-to food item is Dr. Praeger’s veggie burgers. They’re healthy, filling, low in sodium and so good. My go-to app is Happy Scale for tracking my loss and Lose It! for tracking my foods. Both are really user-friendly and have a great look, which is important for something you’re using every single day.
What do you eat for snacks?
I snack on veggie sticks, almonds, rice cakes, yogurt, and berries.
Do you have cheat meals/cheat snacks? If so, what are they?
When I was actively trying to drop weight, I would have one or two cheat meals a month. It would usually be pizza or nachos (my favorite treat), and I would often get a doughnut in there as well. Now that I am maintaining my weight, I incorporate those things when I want and in moderation. I have spent the year training not only my body, but also my mind, and I genuinely enjoy the healthy foods that I eat 90% of the time. So it's not a chore eating them; it’s what I enjoy.
What is your favorite way to work out? What are some of your favorite exercises?
I love working out with my partner when we get an opportunity (usually on the weekends). I also love to do programs at home. For me, it’s just more realistic. I can watch my kids and sweat at the same time. So it’s a win-win. I absolutely love HIIT workouts—anything that incorporates cardio and strength training together. I also really enjoy running, which I never thought I would say. But after teaching myself to run a 5K earlier this year, I actually find it relaxing
What made you decide to share your journey online?
I spent weeks debating whether or not I would share my journey online. I thought maybe no one would care, or that maybe it was a bit “too much.” Tiffany shared one of my before-and-after photos on her page and it blew up. My personal Instagram was getting so much attention and I really wanted to keep that separate—so I decided to go for it in that moment!
How did you find out about Tiffany at myadventuretofit?
I was searching "weight loss" hashtags late one night, searching for inspiration to kickstart my own weight-loss journey. I stumbled across Tiffany's page by pure luck. Her page had an authentic, raw vibe that I immediately felt drawn to. From there I found her meal plan.
Are you glad you’ve shared so much online?
I am so glad I made my weight loss account! The online weight-loss community is so supportive. I have made true friendships and connections with people who keep me motivated and inspire me, and my page keeps me accountable.
Are there days you wish you weren’t so public with your weight-loss journey?
I haven’t had a day where I’ve regretted sharing my journey. It keeps me connected to others with similar goals and provides so much support. I was shocked to see how complete strangers are genuinely invested in your success and helping you through the not-so-successful times. I know these connections are true, because I share the same sentiments for so many people within the online weight-loss community. A lot of people speak negatively about social media and how it can consume us, but it also opens up so many doors to inspire, motivate and form very real relationships.
How has your weight-loss journey affected your family?
We’re all better because of it. My partner and I have a happier, healthier relationship because we’re both happier, healthier people. I struggled with anxiety quite intensely when I was overweight, so that took a toll on the family dynamic. My mental health is so strong these days; it’s one of my favorite non-scale victories.
What advice do you have for others, especially moms, who are struggling with weight loss?
To remember that to be the best moms we can be, we have to put ourselves first on some level. As mothers, we often put everyone else first and neglect our own needs/self-care, etc. Remember: You can’t pour from an empty cup.