What made you decide to lose weight?

What made you decide to lose weight?
I had a moment when I became ready for change. I was unhealthy and unhappy but had no success at losing and keeping the weight off. I had avoided looking at myself in the mirror except when I had to. I had the opportunity to act in a short film and the night it premiered in the film festival, I saw myself on the big screen and couldn't believe what I had done to myself. That moment I became ready to make a lifestyle change. With the help of a health and fitness expert at a local community college, my husband and I started a new way of living including the way we eat, think about food and exercise.

janie wallace weight loss before after photos
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
I quit eating a daily diet of fast food, comfort food and junk food. We started eating healthy foods, cooking with olive oil, baking, grilling, or broiling, added more chicken, fish, and vegetables to our diets, too. We try to eat very little red meat and when we do, it's very lean. I also changed the plate I ate on. I was eating on a Fiestaware platter each night. I switched to a salad plate, bought a food scale and with the help of measuring cups, started measuring out a single portion of food. That's when I discovered I had been eating enough food for 2-3 people every day.
What was most challenging about losing weight?
I have been the most challenging thing. It became clear from the beginning the biggest obstacle to building and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the person in the mirror. Until I overcame my desire to eat bad food and make unhealthy decisions, change would not come. But the moment I became "ready for change", I was committed to living a new life. This is a daily commitment, not a diet. Diets have beginnings and endings, I am not on a diet. I changed my diet and the way we live.

janie wallace weight loss before after photos
How long did it take you to start to see results?
I started seeing results within a couple of weeks.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
It has been a slow journey to reach this point, and I'm not finished. It took 2.5 years to lose 65 pounds.
How long have you maintained your weight loss and how do you do it?
I have been at this weight for about three months now. It requires monitoring by weighing myself periodically and paying attention to the types of foods I eat. All calories are not created equal. So when I have a "cheat" day on the weekend, I let myself enjoy a smaller portion of a favorite food. But Monday through Friday it's like I'm in training for this machine I am building.
janie wallace weight loss before after photos
What keeps you motivated to continue your weight loss success?
My support system has been incredible from day one. I have a wonderful group of people who have walked with me through this entire journey. My husband, my health and fitness mentor, dear friends, and family make up my team and they are constantly encouraging me.
How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
I feel 25 years younger. Because my weight was so hard on my frame, I was having back pain to the point sometimes my students had to push my chair around the room to get me to meetings! It was so sad that I had done this to myself. But now I have tremendous energy, no back pain, my skin and even my hair have changed textures because of the types of food that I'm putting in my body. Dr. John Whyte says "food is medicine for the body" and I believe it is true.
janie wallace weight loss before after photos  

Do you have any advice for others who are trying to lose weight?
First, if I can lose one pound, I believe you can, too. It may seem impossible to reach the goal you are setting for yourself, but it can be done a little at a time. But to reach any goal you may have whether it is to lose weight, get an education, learn a trade, or anything else one important thing must be in place: you must be ready for change and be dedicated to do whatever it takes to reach that goal. Without this in place, success will not happen. You can try to eat different, occasionally exercise, learn about nutrition, do all the right things. But unless you are committed to change, it won't last.

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