Who: Jackie Laing
Occupation: Creative writer
City: Dawson Creek, B.C.
By The Numbers: 297 pounds at my heaviest, currently at 129 pounds, for a total weight loss of 168 pounds.
The Weight Gain: I was always heavy growing up. I remember being overweight and getting teased in elementary school. I didn’t make the connection at the time, but I would use food as a coping mechanism — I would eat when I was sad or bored. I would even sneak food and this of course resulted in me gaining more weight.
I had tried a low-carb diet, a grapefruit diet, and many more. With some of the diets, sure, I would lose weight, but then I would gain the weight back.
"I knew nothing about fitness, so I started by looking at my diet first. I became a vegetarian and really started paying attention to food labels and what I was eating."
Final Straw: There was no big moment for me where I decided that I needed to lose weight and get healthy — it was just everyday moments. Shopping for clothes and being upset in the dressing room because the biggest size of jeans in the plus section are snug on you or getting winded from climbing a flight of stairs. Basically, I was tired of feeling sick and tired all of the time. I knew and I would tell myself that I needed to change how I was living.
I also posted this on Facebook:
Story continues below.
Check out more of our inspiring weight loss stories:
The Plan of Attack: It was a little bit overwhelming at first, having your goals in mind, but not knowing how to get there! I knew nothing about fitness, so I started by looking at my diet first. I became a vegetarian and really started paying attention to food labels and what I was eating.
As for exercise, I started by walking. I came across a kettlebell YouTube video, and I thought it looked like fun so I purchased a few kettlebells and started following the videos. I wasn’t looking for a quick fix, so I took my time and gradually upped my exercise.
The Exercise Factor: I started training with my friend who is a personal trainer and then I joined Motivators Gym, my local boxing and CrossFit gym.
I have never been a very active person until now.
These days I normally work out six days a week. Monday to Friday I am up between 4:30 a.m. to 5 a.m. and I get in a quick little cardio session for about 15 to 20 minutes. This is followed by abs or some dumbbell exercises. In the evenings, I head to Motivators Gym for the daily workout.
On Saturdays I like to do a bit of cardio and some dumbbell exercises or lately I have been just focusing on specific Olympic lifts. And there are times where I might take a longer rest period, all depending on how I am feeling.
"We want everything instantly, but quick fixes don’t work! Nourish your body with healthy foods and exercise, and then the results will come!"
The Food Element: Food played a big part in helping me reach my goal.
I started out by cutting out all pops and sugary drinks (I use to drink two to three pops a day) from my diet. I also use to eat a lot of fast food and prepackaged frozen meals... I cut all of that out.
I became a vegetarian and I started researching healthy food options. I now eat a lot of fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds, beans, grains, and I only drink water, with one small coffee every day. Every once in a while I might have a cheat meal or sweet treat.
Changing my relationship with food was by far the hardest. Yes, getting my butt off the couch when I was bigger to go exercise was very difficult for me too, but I found it hard to really look at what I was eating and stop overeating, or using food as a coping mechanism by eating when I was sad or bored.
The Current Day-to-Day: I love how much more energy I have to tackle every day! I enjoy getting up early and having a quick workout. And by meal-prepping and keeping a schedule, this allows me to find time for the two things that I love doing: working out and crocheting!
My advice? Be patient. We want everything instantly, but quick fixes don’t work! Nourish your body with healthy foods and exercise, and then the results will come!
Do you have a weight loss story to share? Send us an email at CanadaLiving@huffingtonpost.com to be featured on our Lost It series.
Note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.