Janessa came to us in search of a personal trainer after having bariatric surgery and along with a complete lifestyle change has lost 150 lbs. We are so proud of her progress and have enjoyed watching and being a part of her transformation.
Check out a little interview we did with Janessa below!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I have three step-sons, two dogs and a husband that travels A LOT. I absolutely love watching the boys play sports, which is a good thing as that is all they seem to do. I am training to run my first 5K in April, which is impressive since a year ago I could barely walk a mile.
Tell us a brief description of what prompted you to get serious about your health, how far you’ve come in your fitness journey and how long you’ve been working at it?
I had two main things that prompted me to get healthy. The first was when I was a told my weight was impacting my ability to get pregnant. Those who know me, know that having my own child is something I want so badly. The second was when I was told that at the age of 35 my cholesterol was not good and I was on the verge of diabetes. While I have technically been working on weight loss since I was 18, a year ago I made the commitment to have bariatric surgery removing 80% of my stomach. Once I made that commitment my life has changed in the most amazing ways. For the past year I have devoted myself to exercising and eating foods that are good for my body.
What was the hardest obstacle in your journey and how did you overcome it?
The fact that my family can still eat any and everything they want. I have stopped drinking soda, eating sweets and drinking alcohol. While the kids don’t drink alcohol, my husband will. Getting the mental will power to make it through someone having a drink, or eating a cookie in front of me was tough. Now it doesn’t bother me anymore, which is awesome.
What does a typical week look like for you with regards to your exercise routine and how do you find the time!?
Every Monday I am at Wholisitics for my personal training. I love these trainings! They get my week off to a great start and mentally get me ready for the rest of the days. I then run/walk/workout 3-4 other days of the week. I will either get up an hour earlier or work out at night around 8 to fit this in. I have found that it would be very easy for me to say that I don’t have time, however I make the time. I fit it in when I can. If I am at a baseball tournament (which is every weekend from April to October) I will walk around the fields before the game starts. Or if I am traveling I will do squats or calf raises while standing in lines at the airport or on my rest room breaks if I am driving. I stopped caring that people were looking at me weird and just did it. I try to do cardio all 4 days and then will mix in resistance training 2 additional days besides my training at Wholisitcs.
How has your diet changed over the years?
Oh gosh so dramatically. As I mentioned I don’t drink soda. I read labels and try to avoid sugar that isn’t natural. I have also given up alcohol as to me that is empty calories. I went from living to eat, to eating to live. The food I am putting in my body is what I need to be healthy and for my body to function. I am very picky now where as before I would eat anything that was put in front of me.
What does your typical breakfast, lunch and dinner look like?
Breakfast I will have a Greek Yogurt with 1 serving of Almonds. Then I will drink a Protein shake made with Cashew Milk as a snack. Lunch varies….Sometimes I will have egg whites with spinach and low fat cheese, or a chicken salad that I make with hummus instead of Mayo. Or a veggie Burger and the bun is lettuce and fruit. Then for dinner I will have salmon, chicken or pork, with a small salad full of veggies. One thing I want to point out is that because I have a smaller stomach, I only consume 900-1,000 a day. A lot of people will read this and think I am not eating enough, but I assure you that I am. 🙂
How do you eat healthy at restaurants or when socializing?
I will split food with my husband. So he will get a chicken dish and I will get salad and we will combine them together. Or if I am at a party, I will fill up on veggies/fruit rather than dips and chips. I always just drink water, so that is what I get when I am out. My friends and family are all aware that I had this surgery and I usually volunteer to bring something to the party that I know I will eat. 🙂
What is your favorite indulgence and how often do you allow yourself to indulge?
OMG my kids make fun of me all the time, but I will have sugar free pudding or apple cinnamon rice cake as my indulgence maybe 3 times a month. I know I know, not a great indulgence, but I am so focused on succeeding that I won’t stray right now. I am sure at some point in my life I will have a bite of cake or a cookie…..but since I don’t crave it I haven’t let myself go that route yet. I don’t want to get back into the habits that I had prior to this journey.
Is the journey always hard or after you stick with it for it a while, does it get easier?
Since it has been a year I can say that it is easy. But as with anything, the beginning is almost always the hardest. I struggled with acid reflux after my surgery and thought I made a huge mistake. This isn’t glamorous, but the first 5 times that I worked out with my trainer I got very sick on the drives home. Not because of her…..but because my body was so out of shape and it was mad at everything I was doing to it. You just have to keep going, keep believing in yourself.
How has Wholistics played a role in your journey and what would you tell others about your experience here?
I started personal training immediately as I was allowed to my by surgeon. I am fully convinced that had I not done so I would not be in the position I am today. I was put on a great path exercise wise with my trainer, but she also helped me mentally. Having someone who you see on a weekly basis, supporting and encouraging you is amazing. She also pushed me to limits I didn’t think I was capable of. I am thankful everyday to have found Wholisitcs. The entire staff is warm and inviting. You can feel the energy the second you walk in the door. It is a positive place for women, which is super hard to find these days. That is what I would tell others about Wholisitcs. You can be yourself and find people who actually want you to succeed. They are in your corner.
What part of your accomplishments are you most proud of ?
I am in general proud of the many accomplishments that I have met in the past year. I have lost 150 pounds, I am stronger, can run for longer periods of time. I am now training to run a 5K which I never thought would happen. Most importantly I am proud of the confidence that I have found within myself. It has been missing for a while and I finally see the person I used to be when I look in the mirror. It is an amazing feeling.
What is your favorite physical activity?
I love boxing. I get to box at times with my personal trainer but I am planning to start taking the Kickboxing classes at Wholisitcs.
What’s your favorite healthy go-to snack?
Carrots and Hummas. Or any veggie with Hummas. This is a snack you can take almost anywhere or find almost anywhere. It is filling with the protein in the hummas and I love the crunch of the veggies. This took the place of Chips and dip for me when I first started, now I can’t get enough of this snack.
What advice would you give someone who might have a lot of work ahead of them to reach their fitness goals?
Break your goals into smaller parts. If you look at the whole road that you have to take it will become overwhelming. Looking at smaller pieces that will get you to the larger goal will help to keep your spirits up. Also enjoy the process and celebrate your small victories. 🙂