My Weight Loss Journey - Sweet Humble Phone

My Weight Loss Journey

I have been overweight for my entire adult life.

There.  I said it.  In public, on my blog.  Now, this isn’t a shocker for anyone who knows and loves me.  It’s not news.  It’s a fact. But you know what? I’m done. Right now.  Today is the first day of what I am sure will be many, many hard days to come.  I’m taking my body back. Today is the official start of my weight loss journey.  In the words of Ruth Soukup, someone whom I admire immensely, I am “Doing It Scared “.  I’m putting my weight loss journey out there for you. Regardless of the fact that I’m shaking in my boots.  Seriously, shaking.  

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I am updating this story which was originally published a year ago.  I lost my way.  I’m now starting again.  Today.

My story:

I didn’t have an issue with weight as a child.  I was active, I played sports, and I ate well.  Our parents filled our house with homemade food, we had a huge garden, we ate organic meats (even though it wasn’t trendy at the time), and there was always an abundance of fruits and vegetables. We played outside.  Every.  Single.  Day.

My Weight Loss Journey - Sweet Humble Home


My Weight Loss Journey - Sweet Humble Home
In High School I had all of the confidence in the world! (Nice sneakers, right?)


There is nothing about my upbringing that led me to a point where I gained the weight. I own that.

When I went to college I did more than gain the freshman fifteen.  It was more like the freshman thirty. I went from being active to being sedentary.  I went from whole foods and a mom who made sure we had well rounded meals to having fries and gravy at 11:00 pm after sorority meetings ended.  The most exercise I got was dancing with my friends at a bar on a Thursday night. Why was it always Thursday night? Does anyone know? 

These habits continued and over time I kept gaining.

I always had a good social life.  I was surrounded by wonderful friends, and amazing people.  People who never judged me for how I looked, but completely embraced me for who I was.  I really did seem like I had it all together.  It seemed like I was confident. I knew what I wanted out of life, I was a leader.

Inside my head, however; was a different story.  My confidence, which had never been an issue for me, had plummeted.  I woke up each day thinking about what people thought of me, how I must look to other people, and with thoughts that my weight was the reason I hadn’t found love.  Inside, I was a bit of a mess.

My family moved out of state, and even though that was a difficult transition for me, I made it through.  Surrounded by friends, employed, and doing well.  In fact, career-wise I was successful.  Shortly after college I had made it to Director status in the nonprofit sector pretty quickly after college.  I developed and ran programs for teens that were nationally recognized by the organization I worked for, and I was making a difference.

My Weight Loss Journey - Sweet Humble Home

I was still gaining weight.

Happy on the outside doesn’t mean happy on the inside. Something needed to be done about my weight.  I joined programs and attended meetings, and even joined a gym.  I talked to my friends about my efforts, I was trying.  Except when I wasn’t. At one point I lost almost 60 pounds.  How? No carbs whatsoever, and diligent exercise.  The day I had a glass of orange juice it was over.  I was on my way back up – and over.  Not long after that I tried something else new – planning my meals ahead of time and lots and lots of prep work.  I stopped gaining, but I didn’t lose.

I fell in love.

My weight steady (although still much higher than it should have been), I reconnected with a college friend, who turned into the love of my life.  My husband is honestly the kindest man I’ve ever known.  We fell fast, and hard.  It’s the kind of story you hear about where someone says: “We went on our first date and have been together ever since”.  That sums it up for us.  I often thank God for the paths that led to us being together.  Had I taken a different route I never would have known this kind of love.  It’s worth every moment before it.  I’m beyond blessed.  From the start he has loved me for me.  Exactly as I am.  All of me.

My Weight Loss Journey - Sweet Humble Home
(As I share photos along the way you’ll notice how I strategically place myself behind people or things).

I got pregnant.

Soon after we were married, I became pregnant.  I was ecstatic and overwhelmed with worry at the same time.  How much MORE weight would I gain? I only gained 24 pounds during pregnancy, and 22 of them were gone by the time I left the hospital.  I felt beautiful during pregnancy.  I’m one of those women who loved being pregnant. I can’t blame my weight gain on my pregnancy.

My Weight Loss Journey - Sweet Humble Home
As precious as this photo is in terms of showing the relationship with my son, I’ve always hated the way I looked in it.

The official start of my weight loss journey.

The official start of my journey began 23 pounds ago.  It began on a day that I was volunteering at my son’s school.  It was always hot there.  I was always out of breath.  I dreaded going in. That day, a woman, who has become a dear friend was also volunteering.  She wasn’t even supposed to be in that day, she just came in to help. Coincidence? I think not. We started talking, and I found out that she had her Masters Degree in nutrition, and she offered, ever so tactfully, and with so much kindness to help me. We started to meet weekly, and she has helped me to learn about proper nutrition, and the importance of supplements. Eating healthier has helped me have some success, and I even went down a couple of sizes.  I have come up with nutritious recipes, and I am enjoying cooking again.  I no longer sweat and I’m not out of breath. Compliments starting coming in, and I have felt great. I have been able to enjoy my insanely active little boy more.

The weight, however; has stopped coming off.  Why? Because I haven’t been moving.  I’ve been eating well, and I’ve been motivated, but I haven’t been moving.

The next step of my weight loss journey.

For over a week I have been struggling with what to do for exercise.  I have a bad knee, and I’ve just finished physical therapy for a car accident we were in last June.  There are days I just ache.  So, for over the past week I have looked into different programs that might motivate me to move without hurting too much.  My friend and I even toured a local gym.  Bottom line? I’m back to being a beginner.  I’m older, there are aches, and injuries, and I’m still not 100% back from the accident.  I just couldn’t figure out what I was going to do to help me on my weight loss journey.

UPDATE:  I will be using the Body Groove program.  I’m going to dance my butt off.  Literally.

Today, I just kept walking.

After I walked my son into school, instead of going back to the car and driving away – I kept walking.  I walked and I walked.  Around a parking lot.  By no means was it a taxing workout, and I’m quite sure I didn’t burn as many calories as I maybe could have – but I did it.  It felt great. I felt better than I have in so long.  My weight loss journey had begun with the simple choice to just keep walking.

Today I committed fully to taking my body back.  I need to lose 100 pounds.  That’s my goal.  I would LOVE to have you join my journey.  It can be because you too want to take your body back.  Perhaps it’s because you just want to cheer me on or offer advice.  Doing it alone doesn’t work.  I will check in here and using my Instagram account several times a week.  I’ll share my progress and the obstacles I face along the way on my weight loss journey. I’ll also share recipes that I develop through my journey.

It’s time.  And I’m committed.  Will you please join me? I’d love your company along the way!

UPDATE: It has been a year since I first published this article.  In that year I moved across the country and lost my way.  I’m starting again today with republishing this article.  Today is the day I start over.  Today is the day I re-commit and pray that I stay committed.  Please join me.  Obviously, I could use the support!

xoxo – JJ

My Weight Loss Journey - Sweet Humble Home

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  1. WOW!!!!!!!! Heartwarming and sooooo incredibly real…I too started my journey when I made that simple step, pun INTENDED, to just keep walking. I can remember that day, I stopped what seemed like a dozen times. I was in such bad shape. I kept praying to God to just keep me walking! My feet hurt more than I had ever imagined in my life, even though I had barely moved a half mile. I remember walking on tip toes, on the sides of my feet, ran in small spurts and again, stopped….A LOT! But I kept on going. Now, I run competitively again, hike A LOT…like literally can climb mountains now…all because I kept on walking. You’re an INSPIRATION!!!!! I’m buckled in, and so excited to come along for the ride!!!

    1. Annie – your story is incredibly inspirational! I’m so happy you’re here. I’m so happy you’re part of this journey with me! I’m starting with the small spurts – maybe one day I’ll meet you for a hike! xoxo

  2. I’m sitting here reading this, with tears falling down my face. I know exactly how you feel to this day despite my massive weight loss. You know I always think you’re beautiful but I’m so proud of you. Just for taking action, but for talking about it so publicly. Often times over weight people are ashamed. And we shouldn’t be. Everyone struggles with something in life and this happens to be our struggle.

    1. If there was ever an inspiration – Rachel you are it! It’s rough when the feelings of being ashamed take over. Those are the days you want to push your hardest, and at the same time, want to hide. I’m so happy you’re here with me! xoxo

    1. Thank you, Betsy! I’ll keep you posted! I’m planning on weekly updates (if not more often), and also recipe posts, sharing inspiration along the way, and perhaps even sharing about people who inspire me!

  3. You are beautiful inside and out and truly an inspiration!!! Keep up the good work and thank you for sharing your story. You are AMAZING!!

  4. What an inspiring story. When I started walking when I first lost weight, I could only walk 10 minutes at a time because I would start losing my breath and the only shoes comfortable enough to walk in were a pair of Crocks. I kept at it every morning and my walks got longer and longer and more enjoyable each day. Soon I graduated to real walking sneakers and I began walking miles instead of just a short distance. I learned to love being outside and enjoying the change of seasons and listening to the birds and smelling the fresh cut grass. When I was frustrated instead of eating I would walk and if I was really frustrated I just kept on walking. Before that I would have just headed to the fridge. At my age I didn’t want to lose weight to look good . I just wanted to stay healthy. You’re amazing. Keep it up. Can’t wait to read more about your journey every week . It will inspire me to keep going on my journey. Just what I needed. Thank you

  5. I am joining you – I made that decision yesterday before I even knew you had! I’m hoping we BOTH get it together! I had a very encouraging discussion with a friend yesterday afternoon (who just so happens to be a doctor) who is also struggling with weight and is finding some success with seeing a behavioral therapist for weight loss (along with nutrition/fitness). It’s not all about calories and eating healthy and exercise – and yes, that is all VERY important – but understanding the psychology of the behavior that defeats us is also important to recognize how we sabotage ourselves. I’ve been staring at this therapists biography today. New insurance kicks in Monday, so I’m going to call and make an appointment! Love you, my friend. You got this!

  6. I’m in!!!!! Never have I even thought of you as being a big person – but maybe because I too have been overweight since puberty, and I don’t see people for what they look like, but what they offer on the inside, and you Jeannine are a beautiful person inside and out. I am ready to take this journey with you. May we inspire each other and I look forward to sharing your celebrations when you reach a goal and be there to cheer you on when you have a set back – as I am sure you will with me.

  7. Maybe we can motivate each other I have gained back 15 pounds that I lost so technically I’ve only lost 115 pounds and I would like to lose another 115 so maybe we can do this together but I do want to comment on you. I wish I had your attitude about things you are so positive and one of the sweetest people I know along with your husband and maybe he can motivate Paul. So here’s to 2018 being our year!

    1. It was important that I read this today, thank you for sharing. We went out because it’s a commuter college and Thursday was a busier night!

  8. How incredibly brave and vulnerable of you my beautiful friend! We just started setting up a mini gym in our garage, so I am right there with you, every pound and kilo. I cant wait to see your progress and success. Oh, and Thursday’s because drinks were super cheap!

    1. That’s right! They were! It will be a long journey – and I’m so happy to have you by my side! Perhaps you have some recommendations for essential oils that could help me to relax and unwind after all of this working out and eating healthy? Jen’s website is . She’s a fantastic resource for any reader that is looking for advice on oils – or just wants a fantastic blog to follow!

  9. Thank you for posting it. I enjoyed reading it. I can definitely relate to your story. I have been struggling with it since i was 12. I actually lost a lot of weight in college, 55 lbs thanks marching band. Wouldnt it have been nice if i could have kept it off. The yo-yo effect is awful. Since college, i would lose weight and then gain back more than what I lost. I always say I’ll start the next day or the next day or on Monday. I make excuse after excuse. I eat well when I’m at work. It’s when I’m home that I make poor food choices. I need to start walking. I need to start making changes and stop making excuses. You are very brave for putting this out there! I would love to follow your story!

    1. Abby – we’ll do it together! I know how hard it is to lose a bunch only to gain it back. I just want to be DONE with the cycle! I think I will always have an issue with my old habits – and no doubt I’ll falter, but I am determined! I found every excuse in the book to stick to my program (regardless of what it was at the time – there were many) up until last week even! Doing it together with people like you will help me to keep motivated and on track! Let’s keep in touch!! xoxo

  10. I’m very proud of you… you’ve taken on challenge most people would “walk” away from. It looks like a lot of people are there to support you, cheer you on, and keep an eye on your progress. I’m one of them. We know you will succeed!

  11. I will join you! You are an inspiration! We can meet to walk while I’m on maternity leave, if you’d like. ?

  12. Way to go Jeannine I’m with you all the way! You are a sweet considerate women and a great mom who I know can do it.
    My Fitbit gets me up and walking and now I’ve started Pilates
    Seems that you have some good friends near that will encourage and share the journey I’ll be doing so only some 3,000 miles away

  13. Hi JJ .To start off, you are a Beautiful and Amazing woman who can do anything she sets her mind to. Your story is so honest and beautifully written. Thanks for sharing this. You Will keep reaching your goals. I also love “She kept on walking”. ???

    1. Thank you! I really thought it was time to be honest. To myself, mostly. I could come up with any excuse in the book as to why things didn’t work. Fact of the matter – I need to stick with it! xoxo Thank you for your support!

  14. This is incredible. I was very athletic, a competitive figure skater, for all of my young life. So I didn’t have to work to stay thin. I was all muscle and ate whatever I wanted always. But now, almost 8 years after high school and 2 kids later, I am heavier than I should be. Since I had my daughter the week before thanksgiving I’ve lost 41lbs. I weigh less than I did when I got pregnant with her. I am only 9lbs away from my weight before being pregnant with my, now 18mo, son. But even that was the heaviest I’d ever been. I want to be 160-165, I’m trying to be realistic, I’m not an athlete or a teenager anymore! So I’ve still got about 20lbs to go. Reading your story is inspiring. And I will absolutely do it with you. Good luck! And I can’t wait to see you at the finish line ?

    1. Jamie your words are so incredibly encouraging! Thank you! It sounds to me like you are doing really well on your journey! Everything gets harder with age, right? I remember how easy it was for me in high school as well. Being in shape never crossed my mind. I just “was”. Good luck on your last 20 – I can’t wait to celebrate at the finish line!

  15. I feel like I just read a story about myself. That is literally a reflection of my life. My husband and I just recently decided to focus on healthier living together. I am lucky to have him! I have always been active and loved sports but after high school I just stopped moving! I am began my weight loss journey (my final journey) on Monday. Looking forward to your updates!

  16. I am reading your post and crying. Today, before reading your post was my 1st day again. I lost 23 lbs on a KetoDiet as of 8/18 and put all but 3 back on since then! I feel physically ill. Why do we do this to ourselves????? I am here with you. We will do this together and I will visit in March feeling good again. ?

  17. My friend, your bravery is giving me goosebumps. Your vulnerability is what so many women need to help them begin their own health journey. Love you and here to be your cheerleader!

  18. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that you will succeed. I will travel down that road with you and we can support each other.we’re way more important than a plate full of comfort food!

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