My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life


on March 12, 2014

I haven’t talked much about numbers in my posts.  When I started this blog, it was mainly for a way to keep myself accountable and to get stuff out on my head.  I didn’t talk about my weight in numbers for a couple of reasons.  To be honest, it was mainly because I was ashamed of the number.  And it was also because I didn’t want to be judged because of it.  I didn’t want someone to read my blog and not connect with what I was saying simply because I weighed a lot more than they did.  I don’t know if that makes any sense to you, but at the time, it did to me.  After I’d been writing for a while, it just sort of slipped my mind that I’d never really talked about it here.  When I talk to people face to face, I talk about numbers.  I tell them the whole story of my journey.  So I’m not sure why I’ve been reluctant to talk about it here.  Well I’m now ready to change that.

I have been overweight almost my entire life.  I had really bad asthma as a kid and that limited my activities.  I was also a very shy kid and, consequently, had few friends.  Food became my comfort.  I really starting gaining weight when I was about 5 years old.  And each year, I gained more and more.  When I was about 12, my parents took me to the doctor, who put me on a very restrictive diet.  It didn’t last long.  As a teen, I tried to eat better and exercise more, but again, it didn’t last long.  In my 20s, I joined a gym with my roommate.  I had some pretty good success.  Until I hit my first plateau.  And then money got tight and we had to stop going to the gym.  When I got married, my husband and I tried to eat better.  But he’s a vegetarian and I’m not, and eating out and tv dinners became easier.  By 2009, when I was diagnosed with cancer, I weighed approximately 430 pounds.

You read that right — approximately 430 pounds.  I say “approximately” because I avoided the scale as much as I could.  And a lot of scales didn’t even go that high.  That’s why I don’t have an exact number there.

It was the year I turned 39 years old.

It was the year I knew that enough was enough.  If I planned on sticking around for a while, I knew that I had to make changes.

And I did.

Changing how I ate had an immediate impact.  So did having the surgery to get rid of the cancer.  And after I recovered from that and started moving more, I saw even more of an impact.

I quickly lost about 50 pounds.  I was so excited about that!  Never before had I had such success.

I went up and down for the next couple of years.  Losing some, gaining some back.  But never again was I over 400 pounds though.  That was a triumph in my books!  It was the most success I had ever had losing weight ever!

In January 2012, at a follow up with my oncologist, I weighed in at 373 pounds.  This was also right around the time of the first season of Quinte’s Biggest Loser.

In March 2012, at the end of Quinte’s Biggest Loser, and around the time I started working with Tyler, I had lost about another 15 pounds.

In June 2012, when I saw my regular doctor, I was down to 328 pounds.

By October 2012, when I saw my doctor again, and after having worked with Tyler for about 6 months, I was down to 296 pounds.  It was the first time I’d been under 300 pounds in a very very long time.

By January 2013, when the second season of Quinte’s Biggest Loser began, I was down to 282 pounds.

At the end of Quinte’s Biggest Loser in March 2012, and after working with Tyler for almost a year, I was down to 251 pounds.  I can’t even remember the last time I weighed that.

In June 2012 when I saw my oncologist again, I was down to 240 pounds.  To say he was very happy with me would be an understatement LOL.

Now this is where things got rough for me.  I hit a plateau.  A big one.  And I haven’t been able to break away from it.

Tyler went off to finish his degree at university.  He left me with instructions to follow, and he sent me videos for a while.  But I’ve basically been on my own.

I haven’t not made much progress with the scale.  My cardio is getting better.  My strength has gone up.  But the scale isn’t really moving.

Plus, I let myself get a little out of control over the holidays.  Bad idea.

I’m struggling to find the balance, but I’m working on it.

I’m currently sitting at about 250 pounds.

I’m trying hard not to focus on the number.  It tends to stress me out.

I’m trying to focus on eating as clean as I can.

I’m trying to focus on how I feel and how my clothes fit.

And I’m trying to remember that eventually I will bust off this plateau and the scale will start moving again in the right direction.

In the meantime, I’m just doing the best I can do.

And this year I’ll turn 44 years old.

And I feel better than I ever have.


6 responses to “Numbers

  1. Liz McLennan says:

    You are a freaking rock star, Jen. I mean, I knew this story, having been told in pieces, over the years, but seeing it like this really brings it all home.

    You have done amazing things. AMAZING things. And I am so very proud to call you my friend. And awed….awed to call you friend.

    • jenncoleman says:

      Thank you, Liz. That really means a lot. I was a little leery about putting the whole story out like that, but somehow knew it was the right moment. And I am proud to call you my friend as well.

  2. Jennifer says:

    you have done what the vast majority of people could never do, and that’s amazing. You should be sooooo proud of yourself. A plateau is always difficult to manage, but you are still so much in the WINNING column.

  3. leannenalani says:

    What you’ve done is amazing. I love that you said you feel the best you ever have. 🙂

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