When you look at Jessie's before-and-after photos, it's hard not to let your jaw drop to the ground. She has lost a total of 130 pounds, and she did it all naturally by changing what she ate (but not following a fad diet) and investing her time in strength training. She's now a fitness coach who helps many other women achieve their weight-loss goals. POPSUGAR caught up with Jessie to get the inside scoop on her inspiring transformation.
"In total I have lost 130 pounds," she told us. "I generally follow Poliquin theory nutrition, which is more whole nutrition." Charles Poliquin is a renowned strength coach and author from Canada who creates nutrition plans and tips for people who are lifting weights and trying to build muscle while shedding fat. She followed his advice on eating whole foods that are full of nutrients, while keeping an eye on macros to ensure she got a comprehensive diet.
Every day, Jessie makes sure she eats a combination of "lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs," which is about as well-rounded of a diet as you can get. "A typical meal is four ounces of lean protein, usually chicken, and two or three cups of veggies cooked in a healthy fat," Jessie told POPSUGAR. "I love stir-fry."
While she eats super healthy most of the time, Jessie doesn't shy away from cheat meals. "I have one refeed/cheat meal day," she said. Her favorite meal to indulge in? "Burgers."
While you might see a lot of weight-loss stories that happen within a few months or a year, it took Jessie five years to lose the 130 pounds. "Slow and steady wins the race and was my saving grace with my skin being in the condition it is," she explained. By taking her time and losing her weight over a longer period of time, she was able to establish sustainable habits that helped her keep the weight off for good.
But her diet wasn't the only thing Jessie switched up. She took up weightlifting and has "been working on building my body and gaining muscle mass." She follows a bodybuilding weightlifting program. At the gym each week, she does a back day, a leg day, and a biceps, triceps, and shoulders day. When she's trying to cut down and lose a bit more fat, she'll add in just 20 minutes of cardio after her strength-training session.
When training this much, Jessie makes sure she gets plenty of good food in her body — both protein and complex carbs. Things get busy, though, so she does her best to plan ahead. "I try and have my gym [bag] packed, my food cooked, or I have ordered meals from a meal prep company," she explained.
Jessie says her biggest challenge is keeping everything balanced. With long work days, a partner who lives two hours away, and a puppy to take care of, she has to be on top of her schedule and make sure she has everything planned out. But it's a challenge she doesn't shy away from.
"I like setting new goals all the time so I keep moving forward with change," she said. We're sure Jessie has many more exciting things happening in her future, and we can't wait to see what she accomplishes!