'After Losing 100 Pounds, I View the Entire World Differently'


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  60 comments   :  83,037 Views

Seeing her 275-pound self on TV at a football game motivated Jan-Marie to get serious about her health. Read on to learn about her journey to an amazing 100-pound loss!
Name: Jan-Marie Ruminski
Username: BOBCATGIRL76              
Amount of weight lost: 100 lbs
Hometown: Beavercreek, Ohio
Occupation: Academic Advisor
Age: 24
What was life like before your weight loss?
Looking back, I was never really an unhappy person. I loved life and had a ton of friends. But I was always aware that I was bigger than the majority of people in my life. I was involved in a ton of things in high school and college, like sports and theater, but I now realize how much my weight held me back in those areas.

What was your ‘light bulb moment’ that made you get serious about losing the weight?
My boyfriend J.D. started in the MAC Championship Football Game on December 2, 2011. I made sure to record the game on my DVR so that I could watch it over and see if I got on television. Boy, did I ever. I had been in the front row of the stadium, standing directly above an ESPN banner that the camera guy was all too willing to zoom in on. And as I watched and saw all 275 pounds of me, filling out a 3XL football jersey, I became incredibly sad. I felt sad for portraying myself that way, as though I didn’t care about myself or my health. I don’t know why that sparked something in me, but I immediately searched the web for free weight-loss plans, and thankfully found SparkPeople.

Tell us a bit about your weight-loss journey:
When I started on SparkPeople, I honestly thought it would be just another diet that I would ultimately end up failing. I had done Weight Watchers a few times before, but never seemed to stick with it. But the first time I wrote a blog and came back the next day to responses to it, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe strangers cared enough about what I was going through to read my story and respond. It was the first time in my life that I didn’t feel alone in my weight-loss efforts. I felt as though there were hundreds, and now I realize millions, of other people going through the same thing as me. I began blogging more and more often, reading more articles, tracking my food, and introducing exercise into my life. I was hooked and lost 90 pounds within my first year.

Did you encounter any obstacles during your journey and, if so, how did you deal with them?
My grandmother died in January of 2013, and for a brief time, I put tracking and exercise on the back burner. There are always going to be times in life where your priorities change and you focus on different things. I gained a bit of weight back and then lost some. Then in April 2013, J.D. proposed the weekend of my first half-marathon. I’d always told him that I didn't want him to propose until I was under 200 pounds, and he kept that promise. However, happiness also has a way of taking the focus off of my health, and I gained a few pounds again, reaching 198.8 before realizing I needed to refocus my efforts. Each time I realized that old habits were creeping back up, I looked at old pictures of myself and vowed to never let that happen again. I’d go back and re-read old blogs and find motivation there. After almost a year and a half bouncing around in the 180s, last month I joined Weight Watchers with my friend and accountability partner and started attending meetings and have already lost over 10 pounds to get down to 175!

What tools, routines, habits, and motivators did you find most helpful to help you stay motivated?
I love the Nutrition Tracker because I can find basically anything I eat already tracked with nutritional information. My new job has great walking paths and I like taking short breaks to get in a few thousand steps throughout the day. This Christmas, I received a heart rate monitor, and it has made me up the intensity of my workouts so that I can burn those last few calories. And my upcoming wedding in November is also a huge source of motivation.

Did you ever slip up or hit a plateau? If so, how did you overcome it?
The way I look at it, I was in a plateau from December of 2012-March 2014. I lost my first 90 pounds very quickly and was so excited with my weight loss. But I think I’ve become so much happier and healthier that now being in the 180s wasn’t a huge deal to me. However, with my wedding only 8 months away, having an accountability partner that I check in with daily has really kept me honest and more focused and helped me lose over 10 pounds in the last month. I’m not at my ultimate goal of 155 yet, but I know that if I continue to focus and keep my eye on the prize (my wedding dress) I will reach it. I’m also going to start strength training with J.D. at my work’s gym.

What is your typical exercise routine like?
Currently, I do cardio 4x a week and try to burn at least 500 calories per workout. I rotate between elliptical, crossramp, and treadmill mostly. But as I said, I’ve been reading how strength training is also very essential for weight loss, so I’m hoping to start lifting weights 3-4x per week as well.

How would you describe your typical diet now as compared to before your weight loss?
I would say I’ve increased my quality and greatly decreased my quantity. One of the things I was most embarrassed by when I first started on SparkPeople was how terrible my previous eating habits were. I used to eat an Applebee’s Sampler as my dinner, after already having two large meals. After researching nutritional info, I discovered that the Sampler ran between 2200-2300 calories. So in one day, I was consuming enough greasy fried foods and dining hall meals to actually last me about three days (when considering my breakfast and lunch). Now, I have three meals a day and usually pack some extra snacks. I eat so many more fruits and vegetables and lean proteins. And I drink at least 10 glasses of water a day. I’m fuller faster and for a longer period of time, and I don’t crave a lot of the unhealthy food that I used to.

What advice would you give to someone just beginning a weight-loss program? 
Don’t let your past attempts or failures discourage you. If you want it to be, this time WILL be the time you achieve your goals. Set small reachable goals in the beginning, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or upping your water intake. Every small goal you reach will build your confidence and help you realize just how capable you are of reaching your goals.

Did you experience any other benefits (improved relationships, reach other goals, improved self-image/confidence, improved lab work/medical condition etc.) in addition to losing weight?
I definitely think I’m a happier person. I didn’t realize how negatively my weight had affected my self-esteem and self-image. I’m a much more confident person now, and I feel more comfortable when being given more responsibilities at work. I know that if I can accomplish this goal of weight loss, I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. 

How has your life changed since losing weight and improving your health?
To be honest, I view the entire world differently, as cheesy as that sounds. When I’m at the gym and I see a girl working out who looks close to my starting weight, I feel so proud of her and inspired by her effort. I also think I’ve become more aware and understanding that everyone is facing personal battles, whether they are health issues, family problems, or difficulties at work. Losing weight helped me realize how important it is to be supportive of other people, because that support can truly go a long way.

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NEXT ENTRY >   How a Roller Coaster Led Erin to Lose 117 Pounds*


    Thank you for this inspiring piece - 2/7/2018   1:01:15 AM
  • 59
    way to go - 11/22/2017   12:23:21 AM
  • 58
    I had lost 120 pounds, but then gained back 80. I hope you are able to maintain your weight loss. Congratulations! - 8/23/2017   8:10:15 AM
    Awesome story...I just had a knee replacement. I can't wait to be able to ride my bike again. - 7/25/2017   12:15:47 PM
    What an awesome and on time message! I beat myself up because I don't do the things that I know I need to do where diet and exercise are concerned. Need to key on small sustainable changes instead! Thanks! - 7/25/2017   11:27:53 AM
  • 55
    Thanks for writing. - 7/25/2017   9:00:16 AM
  • 54
    Great article!! Just the motivation I needed today. - 7/25/2017   8:49:41 AM
  • 53
    Amazing story!! - 7/17/2017   8:32:25 AM
  • 52
    Awesome story, so positive and motivational! - 7/15/2017   8:58:17 PM
  • 51
    You look so pretty ---so good! - 6/20/2017   7:18:39 AM
  • 50
    You are an inspiration. I especially appreciate your statement - "If you want it to be, this WILL be the time you achieve your goals." Thanks for the encouragement! - 1/29/2017   8:28:53 AM
  • 49
    Congratulations and thanks for telling your story! Very inspiring! - 12/5/2016   3:38:15 PM
  • 48
    outstanding! Thanks for the motivation! - 9/11/2016   12:52:15 AM
  • 47
    Great advice. It doesn't all come off in a year or a little over a year. We all hit the gain, plateau thing,, but we learn from it (It may take several lessons) , readjust our thinking. Learn to remove old habits to replace with healthier habits.

    Indeed we live in a time where if your not what others "think you should be" we know it. CONGRATS on gaining self esteem.

    To date I've lost 81 with more to come. - 9/2/2016   11:20:27 PM
  • 46
    great read this is so amazing - 6/7/2016   9:50:26 AM
    Airplane seat belts give me trouble! Congrats on beating that roller coaster! Of course, you have to be crazy to ride it in the first place, lol! - 5/30/2016   10:21:50 AM
  • 44
    I have followed your Spark page from time to time. You Rock! Your hard work has paid off & you are an inspiration to others. - 2/6/2016   11:27:44 PM
  • 43
    Congratulations on your weight loss. That is AWESOME! Thank you for sharing your story; it's inspirational to hear. - 2/6/2016   9:16:42 AM
  • 42
    I am so happy for you Jan-Marie and wish you and J.D. a long and wonderful life together! You are looking great! God Bless. - 6/28/2015   6:02:20 PM
  • 41
    Thanks for sharing your journal and congratulations on your weight loss! - 2/8/2015   2:13:41 PM
  • 40
    They say Angels come in all forms. Tonight you were mine. Was feeling a little uncertain and read your interview here and felt uplifted. My experience was much the same when I blogged and got some responses back I was moved. It sure is about ebb and flow but consistency always pays off. Thank you for sharing your journey! - 2/2/2015   1:30:06 AM
  • 39
    Congratulations ;o) - 2/1/2015   3:14:58 PM
  • 38
    Thanks for sharing! I lost my motivation and for the past 6 months stuck trying to get it back. Every morning, I have been waking up feeling disgusted with myself. This morning, I woke up and decided to check back in with Sparkpeople. I read your blog and now I'm going to get up and finish what I started. It's time. - 1/17/2015   10:11:20 AM
  • LADYE5
    Congratulations on your achievement, thanks for sharing. Very inspiring it's has encouraged for new journey. - 1/4/2015   7:34:03 PM
  • 36
    I like to read your blog because it is so inspiring. Please continue blogging. - 9/7/2014   12:35:50 PM
  • MICKEY29C03
    Great story, I'm thinking I'm going to try to get back at losing my weight, and after reading your story, I think I can. - 7/28/2014   11:43:38 AM
  • TIGER_LILY_613
    Fantastic job, Jan-Marie !!! - 7/27/2014   1:23:40 PM
  • JOSEY39
    congrats! amazing & inspirational story. - 7/26/2014   10:22:28 PM
  • 32
    I am sooooooooooo proud of you and inspired by your story. Are you and JD still in Athens? Your before and after pictures don't look like the same person! I can't wait to see you in your wedding dress! - 6/8/2014   9:48:22 PM
  • 31
    Great job ! You look fantastic. - 6/7/2014   10:59:28 PM
  • 30
    Wow, congrats!
    I love reading stories from here on Spark where others have lost 100 pounds or more. It gives me hope that I can do it too, and I have 170 to lose. I am from Ohio as well, you have inspired me! - 6/1/2014   4:39:19 PM
  • 29
    Love your story. I finally decided to lose weight after I saw a picture of myself. The picture was taken on Mother's Day and when I looked at the photo I hardly recognized myself. I will succeed. - 5/28/2014   12:12:16 AM
    Have loved following your journey! - 5/21/2014   3:54:22 PM
  • HILLSLUG98239
    That's a great story. Thanks for the inspiration. - 5/20/2014   5:46:16 PM
    Good for you Jan-Marie! You make me want to get back into the healthy way of living. Thanks for sharing your story and congratulations:) - 5/20/2014   9:39:44 AM
    ICongratulation on your achievement.I am struggling with my weight for many years and Jojo diet just wore me out , so I quit , until I was diagnosed with diabetes 2 at 260 lb of my weight. I know how wonderful is to feel lightness and steps when you loose. I've been there, and now trying again with sugar from 140+ to now 99-110. A1C 7.8 to 6.7 month ago, but I am so afraid of giving up as in the pass. My weight is slowly coming down , but I hope it will continue.I am 68 and you're young so I wander if age makes a difference. Good luck to you - you're strong person - 5/20/2014   9:33:05 AM
  • 24
    You ROCK! Keep up the good work. Little by little, you will arrive at your goal! - 5/19/2014   2:55:59 PM
  • 23
    Thank you for sharing your success. Congratulations! - 5/19/2014   9:55:37 AM
  • 22
    Congratulations on all your accomplishments!!! You are an inspiration!!! - 5/19/2014   9:45:24 AM
  • 21
    Brava! - 5/18/2014   7:23:45 PM
  • 20
    Woo Hoo Jan-Marie!!! - 5/18/2014   5:26:45 PM
  • 19
    Great job and thanks for sharing your story :) - 5/18/2014   3:30:00 PM
  • 18
    Congrats on your weight loss and keep up the great work :) - 5/18/2014   2:30:51 PM
  • 17
    Congratulations!!! You're going to find that strength training will get you to 155 so fast! Muscles make for happy metabolisms!! I can't wait to watch your progress from here, because you've already achieved such an amazing goal!!! We're all so proud of you!! - 5/18/2014   1:04:20 PM
  • 16
    So awesome to see your success story here. This is a great write up and I'm sure it will inspire so many to follow in your footsteps. Keep up the great work, girl! - 5/18/2014   12:01:56 PM
  • 15
    Great job! It's amazing how losing so much weight can positively change your life forever. I was in the same boat as you. Keep up the hard work! Congrats on your engagement! :) - 5/18/2014   11:39:15 AM
  • 14
    Super job, a very inspiring journey! - 5/18/2014   10:39:58 AM
  • 13
    Great write up! This gal is a complete inspiration to all of us. You can't help but just cheer for her and we do! - 5/18/2014   10:33:56 AM
  • 12
    Congratulations on all your accomplishments!
    I enjoy reading your blogs because your bubbly personality and positive attitude are so inspiring.
    Keep up the great work and best wishes for your upcoming wedding.

    - 5/18/2014   9:58:02 AM
  • 11
    You are so awesome! Thanks for sharing your journey with us! You inspire me :) - 5/18/2014   9:50:14 AM

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