My Story

Writing about myself… not the easiest thing for me to do. I mean, I’m not famous – so no one knows who I am. I don’t intend on ever being famous and therefore, will probably never be… and surprisingly enough, I am okay with that.

But, I did start this blog…and my readers have a right to know who I am and where I come from…so here we go.

My name is Jane. I live in Southern California and have been a resident of this state since 1999. I’m a small town farm girl originally from the beautiful state of Hawaii. I know you’re thinkin’… why in the world did you leave Hawaii for California? Well, while everyone around me had dreams and aspirations of becoming future teachers, scientists, and doctors… I had dreams of being in the entertainment industry. More specifically, screenwriting. Yeah, I know I said I don’t have any intentions of being famous… and trust me, I still don’t. It just so happens I got my BA in something that has the potential to make me famous.  And even though I have my degree in Film, I have decided to pursue a career in the Retail Fashion Industry. So that’s where I’m at.

I started this blog for 2 reasons. The first: although I made a career change, I still love to write. And this allows me to do just that. The second: to share stories and experiences of my life with those who find it interesting…as explained in my first ever blog entry (click here).

So let me touch on Reason #2 just a little bit. Growing up, I’ve always been that “skinny girl.” I literally could eat whatever I wanted and not gain a single pound. But then again, I grew up on a farm so Mom’s home cooked meals were always packed with fresh veggies. And back then, fast food was always a treat. McDonald’s was a favorite. Didn’t have it a lot, but when I did, it was the best thing in the world. I loved food. I never ate like a bird. I never watched what I ate. I mean, why did I have to? I didn’t have any issues with weight gain. Until I went off to college.

College took me far away from mom’s home cooked meals. To the land of cafeteria food. Which wasn’t always the greatest. So when my roommates and I didn’t want to eat the crappy foods that the university provided us, we would drive off to the nearest fast food restaurant we could find. Cheap and convenient. I mean, we were broke college kids without parental guidance… we didn’t know any better. Jack In The Box, Del Taco, In n Out, El Pollo Loco, Pizza Hut… you name it, we had it. Before I knew it, the Freshman Fifteen turned into maybe twenty…or twenty-five. I didn’t have to step on the scale to know that I had gained weight. But, of course, I was in denial. When I went home for Christmas Break that first year of college, my family noticed my weight gain and didn’t hesitate to call me out on it. And this is when my battle with weight gain/weight loss began.

I wasn’t educated at all on the whole weight loss subject. I just thought that maybe if I worked out more, I could shed the weight. I was never an athlete. Hated playing sports, but LOVED watching it. I had zero endurance when it came to any cardio activity. Yes, pathetic, I know. So imagine my surprise when I found it difficult to be consistent with working out.

In 2001, I met my husband. He was heavily into sports, always involved in some type of athletic activity. His passion for leading an active lifestyle was highly contagious. And it wasn’t long before I jumped on the bandwagon and became a gym rat. I worked out maybe an average of 4 times a week. Before I knew it, I was back down to 120lbs. Was in the best shape of my life. Everything was great. Self-confidence was at an all-time high… I even looked better than I did when I was in high school. But here’s the thing. I lost all the weight because I worked out. Not because I was eating healthy. My eating habits hadn’t changed at all. I was still eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I was just lucky that my body was able to shed the extra pounds. Don’t ask me how I was able to… I just did.

Then the inevitable happened. Life hit and I was forced to finally grow up. My part time job turned into a full time job when I was promoted to manager. My busy schedule became the excuse as to why I decided not to go to the gym on some occasion. But because I was on my feet all day, running around at work… I was able to maintain that 120-125lb weight. In 2007, I left retail and went into the Auto Insurance Industry. Biggest mistake ever. Working in an office setting was something I thought I wanted. Because of the set schedule and having weekends off. But it literally made me lazy. It was a stressful job, so when I went home after a long work day, I did nothing but relax. I hardly went to the gym. And then slowly, but surely…I started to gain back the weight I had lost. And then some.

Over the course of about 4 years, I gained at least 30lbs. You couldn’t really tell because I’m a pretty tall person. But all the excess weight had gone to my lower body: butt, thighs, legs… My waist has always been pretty small so people thought I was “skinny.” I became pretty self-conscious about the way I looked. Shopping, one of my favorite things to do, became the least favorite thing I wanted to do because I got depressed when I couldn’t fit into the sizes I was used to buying. The weight gain affected every aspect of my life. I became the most pessimistic and negative person in the world – so bad, you would have hated to be around me.

I realized something had to change. I was fed up with the way I was feeling. I knew if I didn’t do something, my life would crumble. I started working out again. I thought, hey I’ve done it once before…I can do it again. So I got a gym membership. After about a month, when I realized my weight was not budging…depression set in. I just could not understand why I wasn’t seeing any results. And then economic hardship happened. It forced me to cancel my gym membership – which I didn’t mind, since I wasn’t using it all that much anyway at that point.

Thank goodness for the Internet. Did some research. Realized I needed to change my eating habits. Realized I needed to do workouts that were intense enough to burn fat calories. In August 2011, I found Tone It Up. The TIU online community provided me with valuable information about losing weight and toning up. Through this community I’ve met numerous women with inspiring stories of their weight loss journey and I became hooked. These women became my inspiration. Their success stories served as my motivation…that I, too, can lose the weight and feel good about myself once again. Before I knew it, I was eating clean and working out like a fiend.

Within the first 6 weeks, I was down 12lbs. By Thanksgiving 2011, I went from a size 11 jeans to a size 6. I became addicted to this new lifestyle. Who knew that leading a lifestyle of healthy eating and physical activity could do that? When people ask me what diet I’m on, I simply reply that it’s not a diet. Because it really isn’t. It’s a lifestyle change. Diets are temporary. I don’t plan on ever eating the way I ate before. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in balance. I still indulge on some of my favorite foods on occasion. But I do these things in moderation.

my transformation

The response I’ve been getting from family and friends about my weight loss has been overwhelming… but their support and words of encouragement have indeed helped me to stay on track. I’ve been told by many that I’ve inspired and motivated them. I’ve been asked for tips on recipes and workouts. Who would’ve thought that I, Plain Jane, could do that?

And this is what led me to create this blog. It gives me the freedom to talk about whatever it is I want. About my passion for life. My passion of living a healthy lifestyle. My passion for fashion. AND I get to utilize my passion for writing in the process. What more can a girl want? Well, at least this girl anyway :-).

So you see, I am nobody special. I’m just the average Plain Jane, if you will. I am not famous and I don’t want to be. I’m just a girl who loves life and all good things. And I want to share my life with you. So I invite you to experience the joys of my life, the struggles of my life, the accomplishments of my life…the passions of my life.

To those who I’ve inspired and motivated already…thank you for your love and support. It means the world to me…

Love and Aloha to all,

JP

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