My name is Jackie Sanchez (@itsjackie_), and I am 26 years old. I live in Ventura, California, and I am a health coach and personal trainer. I lost 30 pounds by going more plant-based, incorporating fasting into my diet, and channeling self-love.
I have struggled with my weight since the age of 12. I was the girl that was always on a diet but could never successfully lose weight. When I finally managed to lose some weight, it never lasted for the long term. I spent years losing and gaining the same 15 to 20 pounds over and over again.
At the end of 2015, I knew I was ready to move forward with my weight-loss journey. I wanted to feel comfortable in my skin. I joined a local gym that offered group fitness classes—and I was hooked! I loved the environment, the trainers, the classes, and the workouts. I was also introduced to counting macros and successfully lost 30 pounds in the course of that year. But I ended up regaining the weight.
I was devastated, but a deeper part of me knew that I wasn’t learning the real lesson: self-love had to come first.
I finally understood that this journey couldn’t solely be about the weight loss—it had to be about self-love. So in 2017 I moved to Playa del Carmen, Mexico, in an effort to change up my life and heal mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
In 2018, I allowed myself to apply everything that I had learned from my previous experiences to make lasting change. Around the time I moved to Mexico I was also diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). I knew that I was too young to live with this much pain for the rest of my life, and I was determined to heal my body and not only live in it, but thrive in it.
That’s when I came up with the concept of living consciously in my body. For the first time in my life, I was ready to listen to what my body had to say to me. I was gentle with myself, spend time thinking really hard about my goals and desires and past weight-loss mistakes, and then started applying the eating and exercise disciplines necessary to live a healthy life (more on those coming up!). I couldn’t start until I had my emotional outlook right.
The weight came off in what felt like the blink of an eye. No resistance, no pain, no suffering—simply because I took the time to be more self-aware first.
After trying what felt like *every* single weight-loss diet or product out there, I finally gave myself the chance to learn from all those experiences. I took all my dieting experiences and pulled from each one the things that I liked and felt good to me. For example, I knew that I loved eating mostly plants and that eating a ton of meat didn’t make me feel great.
From there I began to create my own meal plan. I try to make conscious food choices and eat whole foods. Now I primarily eat plant-based. I don’t cook meat at all anymore. The only time I do eat it is if someone else preps it or if I get takeout. I personally feel way better eating that way—although it was a huge adjustment coming from a world of only being conditioned to eat chicken, turkey, and eggs!
I am also currently intermittent fasting. I don’t have a strict eating window. I tend to eat my first meal anywhere between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. and I stop eating at around 10 p.m.
Here’s what I eat in a day now:
- Breakfast: Zucchini protein oats
- Lunch: Black bean patties with a salad
- Snacks: Popcorn or a protein bar
- Dinner: Lentil soup
- Dessert: Halo Top ice cream
When it comes to my workouts, I love mixing it up.
I’m currently doing a 45-minute walk five to six times a week in the mornings, as well as some kind of strength or weight training four to five times a week in the evening.
My preference in workouts has changed throughout the years. It really has been a process of trial and error and seeing what my body wants and needs at any given time.
These three changes helped me see the most noticeable results in my weight loss.
- Change one: I worked on healing my emotional health. Undoing years of limiting my own beliefs about myself and becoming aware of subconscious patterns has been a game changer. I don’t think that many people realize that when you release the emotional stuff of the past, the physical weight goes with it.
- Change two: I stopped setting deadlines on my body. I would always tell myself things like, “Just give it your all for 16 weeks and then you can learn a lifestyle after that.” The problem with that was that I was being extremely restrictive. I hated the process and I could never make it more than two to three weeks without binging, self-sabotaging, and going back to square one. I had to take my journey one day at a time instead, and then it happened faster than I ever would’ve expected.
- Change three: I drink a ton of water. I drink three liters of water daily. The main reason I drink a lot of water is because I know how great water is for my health. In addition to that, my body has gotten used to being hydrated. I can feel the difference in mood and skin, and I can get through my workouts much better. All other drinks just taste too sugary now.
For the last two years I have kept 30 pounds off.
It took me six years to finally learn how to keep the weight off, but now I’ve figured out what works for me physically and emotionally. And I’m more proud of the person I’ve become than the weight loss itself.
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