Yesterday I introduced my friend Charlotte to you, today I want you to meet my friend Justine. Justine and I also met during our taping of “The Doctors” TV show last November. Like Charlotte I also gave Justine a set of interview style questions to answer about her weight loss journey, below are Justine’s inspiring answers.
What was the most difficult part for you when it came to losing the weight?
The most difficult part for me was getting into a routine of exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. I never really exercised and didn’t care what I ate so it was hard for me to adjust. I also had to find what worked for me, what I liked and what I didn’t like. I knew if I didn’t find something I liked, I wouldn’t stick with it.
How did you overcome that?
I have an amazing support system; my husband, my family and my close group of friends that helped keep me going. I also knew that I needed to get healthy for our son, Ryder, and our family. My husband needed a wife that could physically and mentally take care of things on her own with the job he is in and I needed to be healthy so I could model healthy habits for our growing toddler. It became something I HAD to do for my health and for my future, not something I wanted to do or was trying to do. Because of that, I completely changed my lifestyle and overcame my difficulties by finding new foods I liked and exercises I liked to do or that made me feel good about myself.
What was your inspiration to lose the weight?
My inspiration to lose weight was my family and myself. I wanted my son to grow up knowing what healthy eating habits are as well as what exercise can do for his body. I wanted him to have a mom that could do things with him and a mom he could be proud of. I also wanted my husband to have a wife he could show off (even though he already loved me for who I was) and I wanted to be able to take part in family activities. I could not believe I let myself get that out of control and, at times, didn’t even see myself in the mirror anymore. I wanted to find out who I was, prove that I could do it and get healthy for myself.
How did you lose the weight?
Losing weight was a long, hard process; the most difficult thing I have ever done. It took dedication and a lot of accountability. In February of 2012, I started walking 6 miles a day every day with our son, Ryder, in his stroller. I also cut out fast food, junk food, soda, and many other unhealthy choices in food. I replaced them with lean protein, dairy, a lot of fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. After about six months, I added running to my walk and could eventually run a mile without stopping! I couldn’t even do that in high school! We ran a 5K, my first, as a family in April of 2013 and finished in 32 minutes. I was so proud of myself because I would never have thought to do this beforehand! After that, I ran a lot and added a mommy and me stroller fitness class in May 2013. It was perfect because I could take Ryder with me and he could play with the other kids while the moms worked out in the same area. At that point, I had lost 75 lbs but still hadn’t hit my final goal weight. From May 2013 to October 2013 I worked my butt off and by October 2013, I ran the Breast Cancer 5k in 25:52 and hit my goal weight! I had lost a total of 115 lbs by exercising and completely changing my diet!
Who were your biggest supporters/who do you want to acknowledge or thank?
My biggest supporters were and still are my husband, my family and the moms in my stroller class as well as a tight-knit group of ladies struggling through the same thing. My husband pushed me to keep going and has been proud of me for setting out to make this lifestyle change. He suffered through a diet change with me (and by suffered I mean it was more suffering to him haha) and exercised right along with me. My family supported me from far away by encouraging me when they could and trying new recipes with us. They also let me talk about all the things I was learning and doing without getting annoyed or tuning me out like some people did. The moms in my stroller class and the group of ladies that I am close with are an amazing support group because we are all struggling for the same goal; to become healthy, lose weight and love ourselves. We pushed each other and helped each other with tips and recipes. Unless you’ve been there, you don’t know what it’s like and these ladies all know. I can’t thank all of these people enough and I will never stop thanking them for what they have done and continue to do for me!
I can’t forget to also thank my instructor, Jasmine. She got me started in the stroller fitness class and has pushed me through sore muscles and an aching body. She introduced me to cycling class as well as Kickboxing and even gave me a few personal training sessions when I wanted a little extra push! She is a great motivator, a great friend, and an even better instructor!
What are your plans, goals, dreams etc for the future?
I have hit my final goal, a weight loss of 115 lbs but my plans for the future are to maintain my weight loss and continue my healthy lifestyle. We will hopefully have another child in the future and I will have to adapt to what pregnancy brings, but I am looking forward to starting healthy and staying healthy. I would love to write a book, a blog or go on other television shows to talk to people about weight loss and healthy living. I would also like to start a mommy and me fitness class or other fitness class, but we will see what the future brings! Right now, it’s all about me and my family.
Thank you Justine for sharing more of your awesome story with us! I hope everyone is encouraged to know that with the right mind set, nutritious foods and support any weight loss goal is possible! Be sure to check back tomorrow for my personal weight loss story and follow this blog for continued recipes, encouragement and healthy living how to!