Real Lives. Real Change.
People just like you have found real weight loss success on Jenny Craig. If they can do it, you can too! Read their inspiring stories.
My job as a paramedic is physically demanding and tough, even when you’re in the best of shape. At 385 lbs., my weight was impacting my ability to perform some aspects of my job. On more than one occasion, after climbing to the second floor of a home, I would be more winded than the patient complaining of shortness of breath. I’ve also had calls where patients would comment that they thought I needed the ambulance more than they did. It was these comments and the following incident in particular that made me face the brutal fact that I needed to do something about my weight.
My partner and I answered a call from a person who lived on the basement floor of a three story complex. The patient, who was also obese, was having back pain and was unable to walk or get himself up off the floor into a seated position. We had to place him on a special stretcher so he could lay flat. My partner, two firefighters and I each took a corner of the stretcher to carry him out of his apartment and up the stairs. When we reached another flight of stairs to exit the building, I was already breathing heavily, feeling weak and felt close to dropping my corner of the stretcher from pure exhaustion. In that moment, I realized how devastating it would be to go from helping a patient to potentially hurting one. Fortunately, I was able to continue with the call, but struggled to recover from the exertion. From that day on, I knew that I had to do something about my weight and my health.
My weight was also impacting other aspects of my life. I would go out of my way to avoid leaving the house, except for work, because I did not want people looking down on me or judging me. I had a very sedentary lifestyle, spending 42 hours a week in the virtual world of online gaming. Shopping for clothes was a chore with a 50" waist and a shirt size of 4XL. I would get discouraged seeing a variety of fashionable clothes that I wanted so badly, but knew I could never wear. The disappointment would send me to a coffee shop for donuts or out for a cheeseburger to make me feel better.
I was sitting in the kitchen at work one day when a coworker started heating something up that smelled really good. It was a Jenny Craig meal so we struck up a conversation about the program. She loved it and was having great success. It got me thinking about all the ways my weight was getting in the way of having a better life and good health. I thought about my niece and nephews who are a large part of my life and if I did not do something to change the direction of my life I would not be around for them. It was at that moment that I decided I try Jenny Craig. The thing that I like most about Jenny Craig is the one-on-one consulting. My personal consultant was great throughout the whole process because she was never judgmental and offered me encouragement unconditionally. She helped me see that I don’t need to be perfect all the time. It was ok if I fell off track, as long as I picked myself up and kept “walking.” Weight loss was a very personal thing for me and having the security and individual support that my consultant provided lessened my anxiety about the process. When I first started, I was helpless and needed tools and structure to get the weight off safely. Weekly, my Jenny consultant worked with me to make losing weight as simple as possible, while helping me to learn lifestyle changes that I would always have in my pocket. Before Jenny Craig, I never ate vegetables and fruit, but I learned about how to use the Volumetrics® Approach which means I added in fruits, lots of vegetables and low fat dairy into my diet to fill up on fewer calories. I actually learned that broccoli tastes good, even without cheese.
My consultant also encouraged me to add activity into my daily life, as I was so sedentary before I lost the weight. Little tricks really helped me, like park as far away in the parking lot as I could to get in extra steps and take the stairs instead of the elevator. I also started walking on the treadmill at a very slow pace for 10 minutes. I slowly worked my way up to more speed and for a longer time. Within a year, I was running my first 5k. I am now so much more active and try to spend as much time away from my computer as possible. I now work out 3-5 times a week. I have also become a runner and love to cycle as well. I recently completed my first marathon after lots of training and shorter races. I cannot believe that I crave running and going to the gym. If I don’t work out for a couple of days in a row, I don’t feel like myself. I now have plenty of energy and stamina to play with my niece and nephews and even out-run them!
I lost 186 lbs.* on Jenny Craig which is just about half of my original start weight. I can now perform the physical demands of my job and fulfill my purpose of helping people, because I got the help I needed for myself. I am the person I knew I always could be.
† Rock CL, Flatt SW, Karanja N, et al. Effect of a Free Prepared Meal and Incentivized Weight Loss Program on Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance in Obese and Overweight Women—A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA. 2010;304(16): 1803-1811.