How I'm Stopping Anxiety From Ruining My Weight Loss Journey

I’ve struggled with depression for years—I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety in 2012—but in 2016, it took a turn for the worse after a relationship ended.

I began using food as a coping mechanism. I’d start each day with a 20-ounce soda, eat way too much junk food, and continue to snack at all hours of the night. Oh, and you couldn’t pay me enough to step foot into a gym.

At one point I’d gotten so fed up with my weight gain—I was 190 pounds, and I’m only 5’2”—I tried the “Lemonade Diet,” where all I consumed for 15 days was a mixture of Grade B maple syrup, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and water. Did it work? At first, yes; but once I stopped the diet, I quickly gained the weight back because I didn’t learn healthy eating habits.

'I knew I had to do something to get my weight under control.'

In September of 2016, I realized I couldn’t make any significant changes on my own, so I started training regularly with a personal trainer who also specialized in nutrition. At first, she suggested I cut out soda, chips, candy, and fast food, but I still found myself falling for trendy “diet” foods with empty calories. I clearly had a lot to learn.

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I started eating five times a day—three meals and two snacks—following a high-protein diet laid out for me by my trainer. Here’s what a typical day looked like:

> Jaz Jackson
  • Breakfast: Two egg whites, chicken breast, and spinach
  • Lunch: A small salad with tuna
  • Dinner: Ground turkey, brown rice, and tons of veggies
  • Snacks: Hard-boiled eggs or sugar snap peas (a great alternative to chips!)

    But, because I also learned balance is key, I’d splurge a little every Saturday and treat myself to one cheat meal. I ate this way for two months and lost 10 pounds.

    'I totally revamped my fitness routine, too.'

    > Jaz Jackson

    I began working out six times a week for an hour, focusing on an equal mix of weight training and cardio. My trainer always had something new for me to do during our sessions, so my body was constantly challenged. Throughout my training, I also learned to focus on form and consistency instead of rushing through my workouts.

    Once summer 2016 rolled around, I had lost about 40 pounds (I went from a size 18 in jeans to a size 9). From that point on I began to focus less on fat loss and more on building muscle.

    'I never want to be where I was when I started this journey.'

    Now, it’s all about maintenance for me: I meal prep all of my meals to ensure I won’t choose quick foods when I’m short on time so I can just pop one in the microwave and go. I also continue to exercise regularly and I try to journal often—both have helped with my mental health, as well.

    'But the best part of losing weight, for me, has nothing to do with the scale.'

    > Jaz Jackson

    While I set out to lose weight, I also made it a goal to get my mental health back on track—and I've succeeded.

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    After achieving my fitness goals, I stepped away from my beauty YouTube channel and started blogging about the importance of living a healthy life and the benefits of doing so on Instagram.

    It has been so rewarding to connect with others who are on a similar journey to lose weight, and my number one tip for anyone on the same journey is to take your time and learn what it means to live a healthy lifestyle.

    Source :

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