HuffPost Canada's Lost It series chronicles the stories of everyday Canadians who have struggled with their weight — and won. We talk to people about what they eat, how they exercise and generally, what their healthy lifestyle is to maintain their weight now that they've lost it.
You can read more stories from Lost It here.
Full name: Jovana Borojevic
Occupation: Digital Marketing Strategist
By The Numbers: 304 pounds at my heaviest, currently 165 pounds for a total weight loss of 139 pounds. And I'm still losing!
The Weight Gain: I was a slim child but at the age of eight, I developed a problem with binge and emotional eating. By the time I was 12 I weighed 150 pounds.
MISSING⚠️ Jovana's boobs😭 if anyone sees them roaming around, or if you've stolen then while I was sleeping, please return them to their rightful owner😂 ******************************************************* Have you joined my DietBet yet?! Starts August 14th! I want to help keep you motivated to reach your goals and help you win money and prizes, too! Link to join is in my bio 🎉💸💕
The Final Straw: I saw a picture of myself and noticed I gained a lot of weight so I decided it was time to weigh myself for the first time in two years. I expected to see around 250 pounds but the number ended up having a '3' in front of it. I never thought I would be over 300 pounds.
Something inside me went off and I needed to do it all at once.
The Plan of Attack: I changed my life cold turkey. In the first month, I changed my diet and then started working out 4-5 days a week. I also increased my water intake and focused on my portions.
I started my Instagram account as a personal diary that I could look back on and see my progress. I never imagined that it would inspire so many people and turn into what it did today, but I am blessed and happy that it did.
The Food Element: I ate lots of fruits, veggies and protein and cut out starchy carbs sugars, processed junk and packaged food. I haven't counted a single calorie or macro on this journey. I also never followed a diet or style of eating.
Restrictions cause me to fail. As soon as I obsess over numbers, I fail. I knew if I wanted to keep this up forever I needed to do it intuitively because I knew I couldn't focus on counting calories forever. Instead, I focused on portion control.
Story continues below.
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The Exercise Factor: Before I started my journey I led a sedentary lifestyle. I decided to get a trainer to make sure I was doing everything properly. It's like learning a new sport. I also got a gym membership. Within the first year, I lost about 120lbs.
The hardest adjustment was making the commitment as a whole! Going from eating whatever I wanted and never moving from my house to watching what I eat and getting active 4-5 days a week. People usually do this in stages, but something inside me went off and I needed to do it all at once.
A little bit of my back/bicep workout from a few nights ago! 👊🏼 My form may not be perfect on some of these, but I've really been focusing on activating my back muscles, and this requires some training and slower movements! But it's not a race, so that's ok 😌 Take your time with your movements. As with anything, the more you practice, the better you will get💯 (and stronger 😉) Much love 💕
The Current Day-To-Day: These days I focus on weight training before cardio. I will usually do 30 minutes to one hour of weights (alternating body parts) and 30 minutes of HIIT (high-intensity interval training). I go to the gym 4-5 days a week and I still see my trainer.
Whenever I hit a plateau, I try to change something up. Whether it's a new workout or incorporating some different foods, I find that it usually helps to "trick" your body. Sometimes a cheat day helps boost my system and get over a plateau!
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I am still doing what I always have: I focus on starting fresh every day and staying on track as much as I can. I have good days and bad days, but I always try to focus on my goals and why I started (to be healthy, not to reach a certain weight).
Change takes time! It can be difficult to stay focused on the end goal and stay INSPIRED✨. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but the truth is that there are no shortcuts. You are going to have to make certain sacrifices and put in work to reach your goals💪🏼! It is a tough, beautiful, amazing and fulfilling journey. Motivation will get you started, but accountability and CONSISTENCY help you create habits that will keep you going🤗. 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻 This is the hardest part for most of us! Which is why I love hosting DietBet's! I want to help keep you motivated to succeed. My next DietBet status August 14th😎! Play along with us and become part of an uplifting community, meet new fit friends, and make some money💰💰💰!! (Bet $30 that you can lose 4% of your body weight in 4 week) If you have questions about DietBet, please let me know! Link to join is in my bio or DietBet.com/jovanafit Love you ALL ❤️
What Motivates You? I was diagnosed with fatty liver before I started my journey. Diabetes and high blood pressure run in my family. I was able to reverse fatty liver but, still, fear of these health issues motivates me.
Also, the amount of happiness I feel and the amount of energy I have now, along with my new adventurous outlook on life, really helps me stay motivated.
Start fresh, forget about the past and do the best you can.
My Advice: Re-commit to yourself each and every morning. We can't dwell on the past. Life isn't perfect so you can't expect your weight loss journey to be. You will slip up, but if you get upset at every slip-up you won't be able to move forward! Start fresh, forget about the past and do the best you can. Stay consistent and do it in a way that is manageable for your life. It's not necessary to go cold turkey! But the No. 1 thing is, don't become obsessed with numbers and scales. Focus on non-scale victories! Focus on how your clothes fit, how happy you are, how much better you feel, how many health conditions you are preventing and how strong and resilient your body and mind really can be.
Same girl, new fight 👊🏼 Same heart, new passion ❤️ Same mind, new perspective 🙃 New body, same skin 💁🏼 Same smile, new found happiness 😊 Same excuses, new reasons 🌷Same capabilities, new confidence 💃🏼 Don't let your obsession with this journey change who you are completely. You need to stay true to yourself and focus on loving who you are at every moment. Yes, I've changed a lot (both physically and mentally) but at the end of the day, I am JOVANA and no number on the scale is ever going to change that 💖 LOVE YOURSELF.
Final Thoughts: Enjoy what you love in moderation, but stay focused on why you started and keep striving for health.
I am proud of the girl I used to be, who thought she had lost all hope, but knew that she had it inside her to change her life. I am so proud that I was strong and brave enough to take control of my life and health and prove to myself that I could do it. Hey, I'm also proud of all the muscles I've built!
Everything comes with time, and I think everything happened in perfect timing for me.
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.