Heidi Powell was given the incredible story of Jacqueline, who lost 170 kg on her own and at home. In an effort to spread the important message that “EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE,” as we at Styleoga constantly proclaim since we really believe it is true, Heidi, who was amazed by this beautiful account, shared it on her blog. Jacqueline’s report is everything but simple, and here is what she wrote:
“I’ve battled with weight my entire life. My name is Jacqueline Adan, and I’m a native Californian who is 29 years old. I struggled with my body image and hated how I looked from a young age; the more unhappy I got over it, the more I ate. I was also upset with myself for allowing food to control my actions and for being a part of my dramatic weight gain. No matter what I did, it always felt like I was unable to stick to any form of “diet” and would either gain back the weight I had lost plus more, quit up when it got too hard, or turn to food once more. Because I was constantly “dieting” or fretting about food and my body, I was always different from everyone around me, and I was sick of it! What my buddies were eating, I could never eat! By the time I attended college in 2005, I had completely given up and just wanted to have a “regular” college experience. As a result, I started eating like everyone else and stopped caring.
The end of 2011, only a few months before my 25th birthday, my boyfriend Kevin and my sister Jenny decided that we needed to go to Disneyland, a place I have loved ever since I was born. I was instantaneously transformed into a princess the moment I stepped through those gates; it was a land of magic and imagination, a place where anything was possible and where dreams truly did come true. I figured maybe going to the “happiest place on earth” would cheer me up, but when we arrived there, I was so frail that I could hardly get to the front gate without needing to rent a wheelchair. I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t walk and had put on so much weight that I needed a wheelchair to get around. I remember feeling as though everyone was staring, criticizing, and admiring the obese girl on wheels who couldn’t even stand when I was in a wheelchair in Disneyland. I felt ashamed! Even though I told my sister and Kevin I didn’t want to ride the rides, I knew I wouldn’t fit on them, which devastated me. I gave my permission to board a few rides that I thought I might fit on, but I forgot to take into account a small element. As we neared the front of the line, I became aware of the turnstile. I got stuck while Kevin and my sister both passed through. I was miserable! Once I was out of there, I laughed it off, but at the time, I was overcome with guilt, shame, and embarrassment. I couldn’t believe I’d allowed myself to become that big. I cried in the bathroom after leaving.
I remember waking up one morning in February 2012, a few days after turning 25, and knew I needed to change—I wanted to change. I picked up the phone and called Jenny Craig, not realizing how much that one call would transform my life. As I prepared to step back onto the scale, my mind was racing, but nothing could have prepared me for what I would see there. I broke down and started crying right there in Jenny Craig. After gathering my composure, I wiped my eyes and said, “Ok, I can do this,” and we set a goal for me to lose more than 300 pounds. My goal was to at least get to 100. I remember feeling prepared, determined, overwhelmed, and afraid as I left the center that day. I’m the kind of person that, if I sincerely believe in something, will see it through to completion. Nothing was going to stop me this time. Thanks to Jenny Craig, my consultant, my family, my friends, and Kevin’s unwavering love, I lost 100 pounds in the first year.
In May 2013, I accomplished my first “major” milestone.
I had gotten down to half of my goal weight. In August of that year, I made my first return trip to Disneyland with Kevin, Jenny, and my cousins, which was another occasion. I was a little nervous about coming back, but I couldn’t miss my little cousins’ first vacation for the world! I still required a wheelchair to help with mobility, but I was eager to go on the rides. My cousins grabbed my hand and led the way as we waited in line, despite my self-doubt and conviction that I would not fit. I was able to fit on every ride and I didn’t get stuck in any turnstiles, even though that was the mentally toughest thing for me. I decided to stop letting my weight keep me from living a full life.
At the end of 2013, we visited Disneyland once more, and this time, my life was significantly changed. Kevin got down on one knee in front of the castle at Disneyland on Christmas Eve! I have never felt happier in my entire life! I was heavily influenced by my conviction that Disneyland is the place where “dreams really do come true” when I made the decision to travel there. I had lost roughly 200 pounds, was halfway to my goal, and was engaged to the man who had always supported me despite my size. I made a promise to myself that no matter how long it took, I would wed the man who had supported me though everything with the body I had worked so hard to get! I was adamant about wearing a non-plus size dress to my wedding! It truly was the best way to cap off a fantastic year! I had a real princess-like feeling!
I ran into some issues at the beginning of 2014. The fact that the weight wasn’t dropping off as quickly made me feel quite depressed. I started to think on how far I still had to go instead of how far I had already come. We decided that since I was having problems swallowing anything, it would be better for me to try making my own meals to see if I could start eating again. My migraine headaches were growing worse since I wasn’t eating enough calories and I was still having difficulties eating. I was also still having trouble losing weight. I started experimenting with different foods, and I had to actively tell myself that eating wouldn’t make me fat or gain weight. I was eventually able to alter things around and continue my transformation after some time.
I’ve been attending “boot camp” classes at “Fit For Life Solutions” since January 2015, and I adore them! All of my trainers have been really supportive, really work with me, and help me adjust so I can do all the exercises. Four to five days a week, I put in a lot of intense aerobic and weightlifting workouts. The inches are getting smaller at the same time as the weight on the scale. For the first time in years, I was ecstatic to see my collarbones because I can finally make out some muscle definition! I’m overjoyed to have added more amazing people to my support network. The people I work out with are a fantastic support system, and I have the best trainers. They are steadfast in their support and encouragement of me.
I continue to eat Jenny Craig meals, go to boot camp four to five times a week, and weigh about 350 pounds right now. My weight has been fairly steady for the past six months, but my body is still going through some major changes.
I’ve lost weight, but right now the extra skin is the only problem I have. I’m trying to accept it, but it still causes me a lot of mental stress. As a result, I’m getting headaches, terrible neck and back pain, and rashes. I continue to fight with my insurance provider to get them to pay for the surgery because they are classifying it as cosmetic in addition to all the medical issues the excess skin is causing me. I’m trying not to let this stress me out too much and to keep my mind and body positive and tranquil because I’m still recovering from my first skin removal operation on July 28th.
I’m still on a journey, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me next. I still have a lot of life left to live, and I’m living it in a way that no longer makes me feel ashamed but instead makes me proud. Now when I go to Disneyland I don’t have to worry about renting a wheelchair or trying to fit on the rides. It’s a running joke in my family that when it’s all said and done, I’ll be married somewhere exotic, forgo the wedding gown entirely, and say my vows in a white designer bikini. According to a quote by Walt Disney, “Anything is possible; all you need is a little bit of confidence, trust, and fairy dust.” We must all just wait and see.
What else is there to say? Jacqueline is a live example of how anything is possible with help, commitment, and effort. Her tale is intriguing and tremendously motivating.
Jacqueline We wish you all the best in the future!