When you hear about a weight-loss story that involves losing more than 100 pounds, you may automatically think there was some kind of surgery involved. But Jade managed to lose 145 pounds all on her own — no trainers, no crazy diet fads, no quick fixes. She put in the hard work, started lifting weights, and changed her relationship with food. Keep reading for her full story.
POPSUGAR: When did you start your weight loss journey? What made you decide to do it?
Jade Socoby: I was 320 pounds and just had a random urge to try this whole working out thing, with no expectations of succeeding or sticking to it. Since I had done this before I figured, "What would be different?" Yet I still randomly asked my brother on March 22, 2013 to help me with it. He put me through a very simple, easy, bodyweight-based routine, and it made me run outside and get sick. That was about as close to an "ah-ha" moment I've ever had. I knew that this wasn't OK and I'd never be able to have a career in law enforcement or live a healthy life if I didn't make some changes. Ever since that day, I stuck to it by myself, for myself.
PS: What was your starting weight?
JS: 320 pounds is the last recorded weight by a physician.
PS: How much weight have you lost so far?
Renaissance Periodization unknowingly saved me by rebuilding a healthy relationship with food.
JS: 145 pounds, naturally. No trainers, nutritionists, help, or surgeries.
PS: How did you do it? Did you follow a specific diet?
JS: I started out just by cutting little things out one by one, so I wouldn't burn myself out mentally and give up. I'd cut out soda first, then sweets, unnecessary snacks, etc. I then discovered counting calories on [the app] MyFitnessPal, which was huge for me in my weight loss. As the weight began to shed off, I was working out a little more, not much, maybe 2-3 times a week at most, and I was becoming so intrigued by health and fitness that I just kept researching, learning on my own, and I found macros. When I started tracking macros, not just calories, my body started changing even more for the better. A few years in, I lost my way a little bit after a rough go-about in life, and I found Renaissance Periodization (RP). RP unknowingly saved me by rebuilding a healthy relationship with food.
PS: Did you do a specific workout type or schedule?
JS: I found powerlifting and strength very early, thankfully. Because if I hadn't, I don't think I'd have stuck with it. Powerlifting absolutely saved my life in FAR more ways than one. As for schedules, not really, since I work shift work. I basically do what I can, when I can. Now that my powerlifting days are far behind me, I'm focusing on becoming an all-around better athlete and being the best, healthiest, and strongest I can be. Although my competition days are gone, my journey in strength is never going to be over.
PS: What are some non-scale victories you've experienced?
"I see discipline as second nature — it's doing something you may hate at that time or just not want to do, but doing it like you love it."
JS: There's been SO many, it's hard to choose! Running my first mile non-stop was so exciting! Also, I was told after herniating three discs and tearing my hip flexor in a meet that I'd never deadlift or squat again. I took the time to heal and came back at an all-time low body weight and pulled the all-time PR deadlift I'd been chasing for what seemed to be forever — 400 pounds in a Toys for Tots charity meet.
PS: How do you stay motivated?
JS: If I'm being completely honest, I really dislike that word and question. I personally see motivation as something that's short lived and dies, and when it does, that's when discipline kicks in and takes over. I think everybody needs to have goals, and if those goals don't keep you going, then you probably need better goals that excite you and sit a little deeper in your soul. I see discipline as second nature to me — it's doing something you may hate at that time or just not want to do, but doing it like you love it.
PS: What does a typical day of eating look like for you?
JS: I follow RP, so it's VERY easy and basic. I have my serving of protein with each meal, usually egg whites in the morning on an English muffin or mixed with shredded potatoes. I'll add cheese if I'm allowed fats at the time. Midday meals are usually chicken or fish with a carb source. Oats are my favorite pre-workout carb source. I then end my day with casein in water with whatever fats (nuts or PB) or carbs (fruit) I'm allowed. I also drink an intra-workout shake of carbs and protein on training days.
"Mental health is a huge part of this journey, if not the biggest part."
PS: Any advice for people on their own journey?
JS: Start with the mental and emotional transformation. I had tried and failed a million times over because I just WASN'T ready or was pressured by other people to lose the weight. I didn't start on January 1 or a Monday, I just knew when it was my time to make the changes I needed to make on my own terms and time. Mental health is a huge part of this journey, if not the biggest part.
PS: Anything else you want to share?
JS: Ladies, please do NOT be afraid of weight training. It will do glorious, beautiful things for your physique. You won't look like Shrek or Arnold from touching a weight — trust me, it's not that easy to get jacked! Not to mention that weightlifting and strength training truly saved my life.