The (Re)Introduction of Jessica Gets Fit + My Health & Weight Loss Journey

Welcome to Jessica Gets Fit!

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Hi! My name is Jessica (obviously), and for the last year, I’ve been blogging over at Anchored in CLE – where I wrote about my life and adventures in Cleveland, fashion, food, and about my health and fitness journey. It’s been so much fun and I started realizing how much I loved all things health and fitness. I had a fitness blog on Tumblr for a couple of years that I used off-and-on (called Jessica Gets Fit, hence this blog) and recently I decided I wanted to start using it again. My original idea turned into so much more, though. Typical me, I let my brain run with the idea and it snowballed into what you are looking at right now! I’ve decided to separate all my health and fitness posts into an entire new blog. Anchored in CLE is not going anywhere though – I just want to focus that more on personal posts about me & my life, as well as Northeast Ohio and Cleveland!

I’ve already reblogged most of the relevant posts from Anchored in CLE onto here so feel free to take a look back on those if you are new around here! ๐Ÿ™‚ You can also visit the health & fitness section of Anchored in CLE for the rest of the posts I’ve written so far.

Recently (as I started writing more about health and fitness), I got accepted into a few ambassador programs:

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I also got selected as an official guest blogger for the 2014 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon! I’m doing the 10K (so you’ll continue hearing about my training) – check out my guest post here!

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So what’s my story?

I grew up never paying attention to what I was eating and not being very active (due in part to my heart condition). I was a twig as a kid but started putting on weight in high school and throughout college. I was very self conscious in high school and always felt chubby (though looking back I’d love to be back at that weight now!). My eating habits were terrible – I ate whatever I felt like without realizing the consequences. I didn’t particularly like to work out and led a fairly sedentary lifestyle. This was not a good thing for someone with a heart disease.

Me as a kid.
Me as a kid.
Senior year of high school - circa 2007
Me in high school.
Me during my senior year of high school.
Me during my senior year of high school.

During college, I “tried” to lose weight – and I say it that way because even though I wanted it, I didn’t try hard enough. I would always fall back into my old habits (they’re hard to change when you’ve spent 18-20 years creating them!). I spent most of my early twenties dabbling in exercise and healthy eating but never really sticking to anything. Food was comfort. Food was what I turned to when I was feeling bad or emotional.
I was perpetuating the cycle.

I ended up meeting the love of my life (Mike) during my 2nd-to-last year of college, but our schedules were terribly different and we were living in different areas. We’d often meet up at Steak ‘n Shake very late at night because it was halfway between us and the only thing open that late. Once I finally ended up moving in with him, his job had crazy hours so he’d get home very late and we’d either go out to eat, get fast food, or make a heavily-processed bagged dinner on the stove. We also ate a lot of junk food, snacks, and candy.
Basically we just had terrible eating habits!

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Yes, Mike let me embarrass him on the internet in an effort to effectively tell my story… poor guy.

Eventually, something FINALLY clicked. It was the summer of 2012. I remember the day clearly.
It wasn’t an extraordinary day by any means, but we went to our local beach on Lake Erie which happens to be on a bit of a cliff so there are a ton of stairs to climb to get back up to the parking area. Those stairs were always hard for me because of my heart, but the added weight just made it that much worse. I remember us talking in the car on the way home and me finally realizing: I had to change. I was at my heaviest weight I’d ever been and just did not feel good about myself at all. Mike was terrified that something bad was going to happen to me because of my heart and didn’t want to lose me. I think it was the realization that my health didn’t just affect me. It affects him, my family, and my friends if something bad were to happen to me.

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Some photos of me when I was at my heaviest weight.
Some photos of me when I was at my heaviest weight.

Where am I at now?

Since that day, I’ve lost about 13 pounds (give or take). Nothing drastic, and I still have a LONG way to go to reach my goals… but I started making healthier choices and realized that this wasn’t just a diet, it had to be a lifestyle change. It didn’t happen overnight, and it’s something I still have to work on (and let’s face it, it’s probably going to be an ongoing process/struggle for the rest of my life), but I’m so happy to be on this journey and making progress. I still have an incredibly huge sweet tooth, so that’s probably one of the harder aspects for me. Some positive changes I’ve made include: cutting out soda completely, cutting out pretty much all junk food & never going near fast food EVER again, as well as actually paying attention to what I’m putting in my body and eating more fresh/whole foods & produce. Now, if I even think about fast food or junk food, I get nauseous. I love how eating healthy makes me feel.

Working out has been a struggle at times, I have had a hard time motivating myself but I continue to get better as time goes on. Fitness has always been harder for me than normal because of my heart disease. Unfortunately, I can’t go as “hard” or push the limits because I get out of breath and tired a lot easier. I have made quite a bit of progress the last couple of years, though: I’ve done two 5Ks and am currently training for my first 10K. I used to barely be able to walk/jog a mile, now I can easily do 2+ miles (and am continuing to work on building my endurance!). I’ve tried spinning, yoga, and am continuing to try new types of workouts. I also love riding my bike in the spring & summer, and am genuinely learning to love having an active lifestyle.

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I am excited for this new blog that allows me to share my journey with all of you. Thank you so much for all of your support and for following along! It means so much. I hope you will find motivation & inspiration here.

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