Before: 270 pounds
After: 113 pounds
Fran Jacquez, 60, had a history of gaining weight—but she could always take it off. That is, until she was flying between her home in Illinois and New York City to take care of her hospitalized father. “I didn’t care about working out and wasn’t watching what I was eating,” says Fran, who put on close to 40 pounds in four months. She could chow down a full meal, a half a box of cookies, and a pint of ice cream in one sitting. By 2007, Fran weighed a whopping 270 pounds.
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The Turning Point
Even though Fran wanted to lose some weight, she was never truly bothered by her size. It wasn’t until her daughter asked if they wanted join Weight Watchers together that Fran decided to shape up. (Search: The best way to start losing weight) “We went to weigh-in together,” says Fran. “Weight Watchers didn’t work for my daughter’s schedule as a nurse, but she was the catalyst for my own journey.”
On the program, Fran overhauled the type of food that she ate, as well as her portion sizes. Even though Weight Watchers allows you to eat whatever you want in moderation, Fran went cold turkey on pasta. “I eliminated pasta from my diet because I knew that I wasn’t going to stop with just a three ounce portion of it,” she says.
Once Fran lost about 75 percent of the weight she wanted to shed, she started adding cardio to her routine. She gets her heart pumping five days a week on the treadmill, bicycle, or Stairmaster. “I try to mix it up,” says Fran. “You really have to in order to not get bored.” She’s also incorporated weight training and loves doing Bikram yoga. (Video: Would you try blindfold yoga?)
Fran carries before and after photos wherever she goes, both for herself and to share with other people. “It’s nice to know that I’ve motivated other people,” she says. “My mom lost 25 pounds and my sister battled her 10 pounds.”
Sometimes it’s the little moments that make the biggest impact—like realizing that you fit into a plane seat. When Fran flew out to Vegas in 2007, she spilled over into the next chair. A year later and 80 pounds lighter, she fit comfortably. “My butt didn’t take up the whole seat,” Fran says. “Even though I wanted to lose a considerable amount more, that was such an amazing moment for me.” (Check out 10 more amazing side effects of weight loss!)
Break it down. “I never thought about losing 160 pounds. That was way too overwhelming and would set me up for failure. Instead, I took it at 20 pound increments, which was attainable for me.”
Do it for yourself. “It’s great to have people around you who are supportive, but you have to be the supportive person for yourself. Your head and heart have to be in it.”
Healthy Weight Loss Success Story
She’s Half Her Former Size
Image: Courtesy of Fran Jacquez
Before: 270 pounds