SFM: When did your weight loss journey begin?
Jessica: I have always struggled with my weight since childhood. I’ve tried everything including weight watchers (more than once), HCG, deprivation, 1200 cal, juicing, etc. In college I became a jazzercise instructor and found a love for fitness. In order to get into top shape for our wedding in 2014, my husband and I did boot camp style workouts. The instructor there convinced us to try CrossFit. This is truly where my mind shifted in what I thought a healthy body looked like. I no longer wanted to be “skinny.” I wanted to be muscular and toned. I didn’t mind being a bit thicker, and it was when I started working with a coach there and counting macros that my body drastically changed. I can see that now, but at the time I was still very self-conscious and refused to wear shorts. I wish I would have been able to enjoy and take pride in my body.
I had my son 11/08/2018 and joined SFM at 4 months PP. The weight was not just “falling off” like everyone likes to tell you it will, and I knew I needed the accountability. My body had drastically changed, and while I gained the normal 35 lbs, it wasn’t coming off, and it seemed to be 35 lbs of straight up body fat. It has been over a year of counting macros after having my son and being with SFM.
SFM: You have been so consistent and steady throughout this process. What keeps you going?
Jessica: This journey has not been easy for me. I watched everyone around me make amazing progress hitting 4-6/7days, so I thought I was good if I hit 5-6/7 on most weeks. I have struggled in the past with doing everything I am supposed to and seeing minimal progress. I have thyroid issues, hypothyroidism and endometriosis, which causes several issues for me including our fertility issues. I hit 7/7 here and there, but I would let life get in the way at times and make excuses. We went through IVF for our son, and we have been going through the process again since January 2020. I breastfed my son until he was around 13 months, and then I had to stop in order to start IVF again. We had a failed transfer in January, and I had a hard time with that. We got ready for another transfer, and COVID-19 struck. We decided to postpone, and that is when I decided to really get serious about hitting my macros 100%. I had said that I was going to get serious and tighten things up several times before, but this time something clicked. I started working out at home 6/7 days a week when my son would nap, and I started adding in yin yoga to help fight any stress and counterbalance all the Crossfit. I joined the Bikini Body challenge for extra motivation, and I have been very successful in the past few months. I now understand that my body needs to be hitting 7/7 and getting a good balance of intensity (CrossFit) and yin/restorative yoga. I truly believe that the yin yoga has created a much better mental state for me and the balance I needed, and I know hitting 7/7 has been great for body composition. I am currently at 38 green days in a row as of 5/20/20. I plan to continue this streak.
SFM: How has your macro journey impacted other areas of your life besides just needing a new wardrobe?
Jessica: I am getting closer to being at a weight where I am more comfortable getting pregnant at. We are currently on medication for an embryo transfer in late June or early July. In the past few months, I feel better overall and feel more calm and at peace. I am finally starting to notice that my clothes are fitting differently and that I can wear some clothes that I couldn’t after I had my son. In the past few months, I have had more energy to do all the housework and take care of my son. I am a stay at home mom, and there were many times where I didn’t have enough energy to do laundry, clean, do dishes etc. around the house after taking care of and playing with my son all day. Now I can do both, and it is nice to be able to do more.
SFM: Have the habits you’ve picked up since counting macros rubbed off on your family? What do they think about it?
Jessica: I cook for my family most of the time. It is just myself, my husband, and my 18 month old son. I basically make 3 meals for at each meal, but that is okay. My husband and I eat a little differently, and that is fine with me. My son eats very clean and healthy, and that is just what he’s known from the start. My husband and I went Vegan about 5 years ago. We added eggs and fish back in due to Doctor’s recommendations when trying to conceive. I have had a lot of food intolerances, and have had to remove a list of foods including eggs, pea, chickpeas, etc. from my current diet. I am trying to do my best to reduce inflammation as much as I possibly can. It has definitely been challenging to get my protein in and find foods that I can eat. I have gotten into a grove lately and am doing well with increasing protein and making clean choices.
SFM: What are the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome when it comes to sticking to the plan?
Jessica: I have had to let go of what everyone else is doing or can do to see results. I am different and have a different body. I have learned that I need to stick with my macros pretty consistently in order to see progress. I have had to learn how to deal with a new norm of being a mom. Prior to becoming a mom, I would go to the gym and workout for 2-3 hours. I would do an hour and a half of strength training and then do a normal hour CrossFit class. Once I became pregnant, my training did change and the way I ate changed too. I had a terrible aversion to vegetables my entire pregnancy. I did not get the love for veggies back magically once I had my son, so I’ve had to slowly get that back. With this pandemic, I have had to learn a totally new way of life (as everyone has). I am now consistently working out at home and hitting 7/7 week after week with my macros. I have never been able to workout at home, so the fact that want to is huge for me! I have always needed a class and other people to motivate me. I am finally seeing good results and feeling great on top of everything.
SFM: What keeps you signing up for coaching over and over again?
I have done macros for the past 5 years, but I know that I need the accountability and tweaks here and there. It is also nice to have a supportive community. I will continue counting when I get pregnant and throughout my next pregnancy. I said that with my first, but my first trimester was rough and we moved halfway through my pregnancy to another state. I will stick to macros as much as I can, and get back into them as soon as I can during this next pregnancy. I know it will be very important for me to stick to after as well. This is a lifestyle for me, and I plan to make it and myself a priority.
SFM: Tell us about your love of yoga. Is yoga something you recently started?
Jessica: I have done yoga in the past, and didn’t stick with it. I have been told for years by doctors that I need to learn how to relax and bring more calm into my life. I am naturally more high-strung, and CrossFit is my go to workout. I love these types of workouts, but I have recently gotten into adding yin yoga or restorative yoga into my daily routine to give my life and body some balance. I have been learning about the healing that the body can do when these poses are held for 3-5 minutes. I love how I feel when I finish a session, and the practice helps get the body out of fight or flight mode. I have been told that with my thyroid issues, I should take in to account the types of workouts I’m doing because the body cannot differentiate stress whether it’s a workout or stress from life. I have had high cortisol in the past, which has hindered and slowed weight loss attempts. I believe that my recent success has something to do with this new practice that has brought more balance to my body, mind, and life. I feel an overall sense of calm and peace. I feel like I am more patient and don’t get as snippy. All of this helps me to be a better mother, wife, and person in general. I feel more happy and have more energy to do the day to day basics around the house.
SFM: Any advice for anyone considering trying to count their macros?
Jessica: I would highly recommend it to anyone! It has been a lifestyle change that I have been able to easily stick with for years. It allows me to adjust to what I want to eat, and I don’t ever feel deprived. It also adjusts to all stages of life, and can even be done during a pandemic.