Posted by: Shashank Jha

Jaclyn Helling: The journey of transformation from Size 14 to Size 4!

Poor diet practice and munching in front of the TV had pushed Jaclyn to weigh 186 pounds at her twenties. She had this habit of snacking on like a couch potato from her childhood which continued even when she turned into an adult. Jaclyn lived in Kansas, and by November 2012 she was 186 pounds with a height of 5’7”. When a sudden doctor visit highlighted about her high blood pressure level, she started taking up weight loss as a challenge to organize her life in a better way.

Jaclyn helling weight loss

Image Source: womenshealthmag.com

“I was completely embarrassed that I had let myself get to that point, and I knew that I had to do something to change it,” said Jaclyn (to Noom blog).

At the age of 28, she found it really difficult to manage her everyday chores due to overweight. Fun filled physical activities like walking on a trail, climbing hills and more seemed a punishment to her. Though she never posed any health threat due to her weight, one of her routine medical check-ups to the doctor notified about her elevated blood pressure level.

The Turning Point

High blood pressure was no more a joke for Jaclyn,  who has a family history of heart related problems and sudden death due to blood pressure shooting high. She realized that she must get into action and check her weight. Jaclyn struggled with heavy weight right from her school days. Once, when she was in her high school, she lost around 15 lbs, which was temporary weight loss as she regained the weight due to watching TV for long hours and snacking habit. Ever since, high school Jaclyn used to shed weight and then regain the lost weight quickly. This process continued till she decided to lose weight when her doctor advised her about the same.

She also says wearing any dress would make her feel uncomfortable as her thighs used to rub with each other while walking. This will become a serious concern during the summer and sweaty days with increased skin irritation. Today, Jaclyn could hardly feel her thighs rubbing while walking or running after losing 61 pounds in a year!

How did she achieve it?

In November 2012, Jaclyn set her goal to reach 130 pounds in a year. By the next Halloween, she wanted to shed around 56 pounds naturally, without causing any harm to her health. She initiated her weight loss program by taking smaller steps at a time that would help achieve her goal in the long run.

From November 2012, Jaclyn started working towards weight loss. She slowly eliminated sugar, alcohol, beverages, soda, fried snacks and more from her diet. By January 1, 2013, she managed to avoid junk food and processed unhealthy food completely. She considers January 1, 2013, as a big day in her life when she took an oath to get rid of junk and sugars entirely.

Workout DVD and Noom App

While eliminating sugar and alcohol from her every day diet was her first step towards weight reduction, Jaclyn then got a fitness DVD to initiate her workout process. She used to work out for shorter session that spanned between 30 to 60 minutes in a day and then she gradually increased the duration and also the intensity of the workout. She was sure about indulging in sweat fest at home with a good workout DVD every day before setting out to work. This helped her reduce more than 30 pounds by summer.

Jaclyn then got an app, called Noom, on her smartphone. This smartphone fitness tracker application helped her keep a closer track of her weight. She also signed up for fitness newsletters that she received every day on email. The fitness newsletters helped her stay tuned to weight loss news and newer diet programs available for women.

Diet Changes

“At first, it was hard for me to balance my love of cooking with my new healthy lifestyle,” Jaclyn told Noom blog. “But now I look at it as a challenge to be met head-on.”

She also told, “I’m so excited to try new recipes and come up with different ways to satisfy my cravings without going overboard.”

Jaclyn started including fresh green vegetables and new ingredients in her food that contributed to weight loss and balance in nutrition. She got introduced to parsnips which she had never tried before while cooking. She also included a lot of green beans in her food. Along with workout and Noom app, Super Bowl Sunday helped in reducing 12 pounds faster.

Hence, altering her cooking habits enabled her to stay healthy and slim.

The Reward

By November 2013, Jaclyn managed to achieve her fitness goal of reaching 130 pounds. Her successful weight loss of 61 pounds in a year swept her boyfriend off his feet. He went down on his knees to become his fiancé on November 2013. Jac loved to participate in running race which she could enjoy a lot now. She also tried designer dresses and planned for a beautiful photo shoot too, to celebrate her weight loss.

In December 2013, when she moved to Kansas from Washington DC, she found it really exciting and fun to move carton boxes and arrange her new home.

Here are some useful tips from Jaclyn to all weight loss fanatics:

  • Eat fewer cookies and lesser other favorite foodstuffs of yours, instead of totally avoiding them. You can gradually control your temptation towards sweets and sugary food items, and there will be a day you may just not like them.
  • Explore healthy cooking with fresh vegetables and enjoy eating the healthy meal you cook.
  • Schedule your fitness regimen and make your own fitness calendar in which, you should not miss even a single day’s workout.
  • Read the ingredients list before buying any eatable from market.