Before: 320 pounds
After: 203 pounds
A runner growing up, Promise Jones, 48, was in military shape when she joined the Navy at 19. However, she soon found herself in an abusive marriage and looked to food for comfort. “I started turning to food to soothe myself,” says Promise. “[My husband] was happy when I was just cooking and eating. The fatter I got, the happier he got.” Soon 158 pounds crept up to 320 pounds. But even after she divorced, Promise had two kids to raise and never put herself first.
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The Turning Point
Year after year, Promise would sign up for the gym and vow to drop the pounds, but more often than not, she ended up shelling out for a membership she never used. She was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, high blood pressure, and borderline diabetes. Then, in winter 2011, the mother of one of her coworkers passed away due to complications from obesity. She was only in her mid-50s. Promise didn’t want to end up the same way.
The daily 2-liter Mountain Dew was out. Water with lemon was in. Promise cut her 5,000 to 7,000 calorie a day intake to a more reasonable 2,000 to 2,500 calories by eating 5 or 6 400-calorie meals a day. White rice is a staple of the cuisine in Hawaii—where Promise currently lives—but she’s cut it out in favor of brown rice. Thanks to shows such as The Biggest Loser and searching the Internet, she educated herself about portion size. She would even cut out weight loss success stories she read in magazines and try to incorporate their tips and tricks into her eating habits. (Search: Fitness inspiration)
Determined to lose the weight for good, Promise took her tax return and immediately hired a trainer so that someone would hold her accountable to exercise at least twice a week. In the beginning, she would wake up at 3:30 am to hit the gym, to avoid being embarrassed, but it’s become a habit that stuck. “Now I do 70 minutes of cardio 7 days a week,” says Promise. “I love the feel of my body being active and sweating.” (Video: Run with proper form)
Having a trainer kept Promise accountable, and even now, though the training sessions are over, Promise still meets up with her for weigh-ins. To get other people involved and to continue to motivate herself, Promise started a Biggest Loser competition among her coworkers. (She’s won every weigh-in, except for two!) Her body is healthier and stronger, and the compliments keep rolling in.
Many of the aches and pains that were complications of her former obesity are now gone. No longer does she have to carry inhalers in case of an asthma attack.
Plus, these days, Promise exudes real happiness. “Before I seemed fat and jolly, but I was miserable,” she says. “I was a big fat happy person hiding behind a mask.” Now she feels more confident, is finishing up grad school, and is looking to apply to law school.
Keep a food journal. “I write down everything I eat. Sometimes I lose track, but the books never lie.”
Shake off slip-ups. “If you mess up, don’t say, ‘Oh, I ate a huge slab of cheesecake, so I’ll just give up.’ You can’t just give up because in your mind you failed a little bit.”
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