My name is Jacqueline Tufino (@jacislosingit) and I’m 31 years old. I live in central Florida, and I’m a stay-at-home mom. I was sick of living with health issues exacerbated by my weight, and I wanted to be a better mother to my son, so I committed to my weight-loss journey and have lost over 100 pounds.
I had been overweight for most of my life.I started becoming overweight after puberty. I always wanted to lose weight, and I would start a diet and start working out, but I’d eventually just get tired and impatient and give up. A few years back, I did actually lose about 60 pounds at one point, but then I randomly stopped everything I was doing and went right back to all my old habits, thinking that the weight would just magically stay off. I gained it all back and more. I’d never stick to anything long enough to see any real results.
I also have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and struggled with extremely heavy, irregular periods. I also wasn’t ovulating on a regular basis. My husband and I wanted to have another child after our son, but it never happened. However, my gynecologist suggested losing weight might help.
My weight was also affecting my health in other ways.
I started getting frequent heart palpitations and becoming short of breath for no reason at all. It would happen a few times a day, even at rest. I went to a cardiologist, and they ran some tests. For years, too, I experienced extremely sharp back pain on the lower left side next to my spine. I went and got that looked at and started getting massages and going to physical therapy multiple times a week. Doctors weren’t 100 percent clear what was going on with any of my health issues, but the medical advice was the same: I might feel better if I lost some weight.
I hated how I felt. And I realized that all the health problems I was having were most likely due to, or at the very least being made worse by, my weight. I had no confidence, and I had a son to look after that I need to be healthy and happy for. He’s my world, and I wanted to be the best mom I could be for him. At my heaviest, I weighed 259 pounds.
At the beginning of 2019, I decided to prioritize my health and lose weight for good.
I started following weight loss-related accounts on Instagram to keep myself inspired and motivated. I also used to work at a gym, so I had a lot of friends in the fitness and health industry and had an understanding that, to lose weight, you need to have a calorie deficit—a.k.a. the CICO rule, meaning calories in, calories out. At the most basic level, all that means is you want to eat fewer calories than your body burns to lose weight.
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So, I started counting my calories and planning my meals in advance. Every night I would think about what I wanted to eat the next day. I calculated how many calories were in everything to ensure it all fit into my day and that I remained in a calorie deficit.
I also weighed out the portions of everything using a food scale to ensure I was getting the amount of food and calories in an accurate portion size. It might sound like a lot of work, but it’s actually a lot easier than it sounds. I still practice these habits, as I’m still losing weight today. I try to eat healthy most of the time, but not every single thing I eat *needs* to be healthy for me to lose weight. It’s all about balance and moderation.
Drinking water has been a huge calorie saver for me. I started drinking around 100 ounces of water a day. I used to consume about 700-plus calories each day in beverages alone.
Here’s what I typically eat in a day now:
- Breakfast: A 100-calorie English muffin with a sunny side up egg, turkey, and low-fat yellow American cheese.
- Lunch: Morning Star Chik Patties or their Meatless Grillers, with a serving or two of broccoli or asparagus.
- Snacks: I am obsessed with Clio bars, which are dark chocolate-covered Greek yogurt bars.
- Dinner: Chicken wraps. I include a 4-ounce chicken breast with lettuce, tomatoes, and a low-calorie mayo.
- Dessert: A chocolate Fiber One brownie, heated up for 15 seconds in the microwave, and then topped with strawberries and some Reddi Whip.
I started working out on a regular basis.
You don’t have to workout to lose weight, but it will speed things up a little bit and improve your overall health. It makes me feel really energized and good about myself. I used to hate it, but now I really enjoy exercising.
I like to work out at home. I started with just walking around my neighborhood every day, and then I started incorporating some HIIT workouts I found online. Overtime I’ve collected a good amount of equipment in my house. I’ve found some great stuff at yard sales and even some cheap stores, like Five Below.
I have lost 106 pounds in 11 months.
I want other people to just know that losing weight is possible. Improving your health and quality of life is possible, and if it’s something you want to do, you can do it! It’s hard, but it’s definitely worth it.
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