November 11, 2013 by Sara Ellis Leave a Comment Jessica is an elementary teacher in Pennsylvania, who has lost over 80 pounds and transformed her health through exercise and clean eating. I lost my first 40 pounds by exercising regularly and cutting out processed, fast, and sugary foods – no calorie counting! I haven’t had anyone doing this “with” me – but through my gym I ended up meeting many wonderful friends, some of whom are now my best friends.  We sign up for races together, plan workouts together, and text each other almost every day to help each other stay on track! My weight loss has progressed along for over 2 years now.  I’m taking the “slow and steady” approach and seeking to make permanent life changes, not fast fixes! I run 2-3 days a week (more if I’m training for a race) and strength train 2-3 days.  Right now I just finished training for 2 big races, so I’m spending November shaking things up!
Jessica, can I just say thankful I am for you, your willingness to share about your journey, and your outward expression of your faith? Friends, if you need some motivation, check out Jessica’s blog, where she shares a lot more before and after pictures.

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After experiencing devastating tragedy, this girl grabbed life by the bullhorns and began an incredible transformation. It was like I woke up one day skinny and the next day I was fat!  At first, we attributed it to hormones – but when I continued to remain overweight, it became clear that wasn’t the cause. The gym I belong to started with a measurements that included my weight, body fat, and measurements of various areas of my body. I got stuck at a plateau then and started to use the MyFitnessPal app to track my calories, and that helped me lose the next 40 pounds! I settled myself around 170 pounds for a few months, and just allowed my focus to shift from calorie counting to properly fueling myself as I was training for my 2nd half marathon and a 10-mile obstacle race.  Now that those races are behind me, I’m getting back to calorie counting and trying to get rid of these last 20 pounds!

I’m working with a personal trainer at my gym, attending a friend’s outdoor boot camp, and taking some Bikram yoga classes. They are enjoying an active retirement touring the country in an RV and it’s so fun to be able to go places and do things like hike and kayak with them.  I also would be lost without the help of “The Fab 5” – 4 girlfriends I met through my gym.  The 5 of us text each other constantly for support, advice, and encouragement! Even if it’s to walk around your block, or start cleaning the crummy food out of the pantry – just make one change and then get up and do it. I started this blog as a way to connect with and encourage women like me who want to make health part of their happily ever after. Don’t assume that your struggles with eating and exercising are outside the realm of God – He cares about these things!

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