If you ever met Jaz Jackson in real life, you would never believe that a strong, fit, and healthy woman like her was once extremely overweight due to her unhealthy relationship with food and lack of physical activity. Today, Page has come a long way from when she first started her weight-loss journey in September 2016.
She is 40 pounds lighter than she was back then and has learned invaluable lessons during the difficult process. Here is what she can teach you about reaching your fitness goals and becoming the best and the healthiest version of yourself.
Dealing with Depression and Heartbreak
For years, Jackson has struggled with something that affects several women today: Depression and anxiety. In 2012, she was diagnosed with clinical depression and started putting on weight due to her stress eating habit. Her situation gradually became worse after a rough breakup in 2016, which made her turn to food in order to cope with her sadness.
Page had hit rock bottom after her relationship ended. She started her mornings with sugary sodas and drinks instead of water and continued to eat unhealthy foods throughout the day. The 34-year-old admits that she was addicted to food during that period of her life; she would either spend the day eating junk food or thinking about it. On top of her unhealthy eating habit, she was extremely inactive and hated the gym.
After a few months, Page’s weight had crept up to 190 pounds, which, at the height of 5’2, classified her as borderline obese. To lose the weight, she tried a number of shortcuts including the lemonade diet and the green tea diet, but even though she was able to shed some pounds within two weeks, the weight would return as soon as she stopped the diet. The lemon juice and cayenne pepper concoctions were not working because they weren’t teaching Page the most crucial lesson for losing weight: developing healthy eating habits.
Finding Health and Balance Again
In September, Page hired a personal trainer to help her make the lifestyle changes she needed to shed the excess weight. Because her trainer was specialized in nutrition, he was able to create a high-protein meal plan that allowed her to eat five meals a day to lose weight. Page cut out most of the junk food from her life and started going to the gym and training hard every day.
On a typical day, she would have three high protein meals: two egg whites, spinach, and chicken breast for breakfast; a tuna salad for lunch and brown rice with vegetables and ground turkey for dinner. She was allowed to snack on sugar snap peas and hard-boiled eggs whenever she felt peckish between her meals.
With time, Page learned that balance was the key to living a healthy lifestyle, so, while she would have strict meal plan for 6 days of the week, she also allowed herself a cheat meal on the seventh day to eat whatever she wanted to eat without worrying about the calories. This way, she was able to stick to her diet without feeling deprived.
50 Pounds Down
Within two months of consistently going to the gym and eating healthily, the 34-year-old had lost 10 pounds. She was slowly starting to fall in love with the gym and started incorporating weight training with cardio to build muscle and tone up her body. Her trainer always challenged her with new exercises so she never grew tired of doing the same thing every day.
At the beginning of summer 2017, Page had lost 50 pounds and was able to fit in size 9 clothes (she was a size 18 before she started her weight-loss journey). Now, she is focusing more on strength training and maintaining a healthy diet instead of shedding more fat.
To maintain her weight loss, Page prepares all her meals in advance so that she always has healthy options on hand when she is on the go or feeling hungry. Moreover, she is consistent in her exercise routine and keeps a fitness journal to keep a record of everything she eats in a day.
Probably the best part of her weight-loss journey was being able to get her mental health back on track. Today, she has a YouTube and Instagram channel where she advocates about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and motivates others with her inspiring weight-loss journey.