You probably heard plenty of stories like this one before – an incredible journey to a healthier life. But Jacqueline Adan’s story is not like any other, and it’s not yet over. Jacqueline has been struggling with her weight ever since she can remember, and it was always a central issue in her life. She had a happy childhood despite that, but it had taken its toll on her social life; she was bullied at school and didn’t have many friends. Luckily for Jacqueline, she had a safe haven she could always turn to, in dreams and in reality: Disneyland. Jacqueline was a fan of Disney movies since childhood, and as she grew up and faced different challenges, it became her happy place. Finally, Disneyland also played a big role in her resolution to battle her weight and change her life. Jacqueline’s journey to weight loss is a true inspiration for anyone going through the same journey, or just someone looking to hear some good news.
Jacqueline was born and raised in California, she’s currently going through a massive journey to change her lifestyle, and if you ask her what her dream vacation is, the answer will probably be a visit to Disneyland. Ever since she can remember, Jacqueline has been struggling with her weight. She was a chubby girl, and as kids often are, she was bullied at school because of it.
Her weight damaged Jacqueline’s confidence greatly, which somewhat eclipsed her personality. We all know that getting into shape and changing your diet is never an easy task, and like anything in life, the longer you postpone it – the harder it becomes. But as the experts say – it’s better late than never.
After trying countless of diets and weight loss-programs and failing every one of them, Jacqueline was ready to give up. Over the years, whenever it seemed like she was starting to lose some weight, she eventually gained it back again. It seemed like a worthless fight.
We’ve all been there; it’s no secret that the beginning is always the hardest, and giving up seems like the easiest, most realistic option. They call it a comfort zone for a reason.
Her happy place
Luckily for Jacqueline, she had another comfort zone to turn to other than food – Disneyland. Disney holds a special place in Jacqueline’s heart; her family are all Disney fans, and so she was visiting the place yearly since she was a baby. Something about this magical place made Jacqueline feel safe. I’m sure many can relate with that – a place that is nothing but colorful and cheerful, with happy characters and a positive message – everyone belongs.
Visiting Disneyland was therapeutic for Jacqueline. Whenever she visited the magical place, she felt like she could take a break from everyday struggles, even momentarily, and be happy and free from worries. It was only during those visits she could take her mind off her weight and enjoy herself.
Every now and then, reality would hit Jacqueline in the face, and she’d feel all the weight of being over-weight on her shoulders. She reached a certain point where she could not shake off these feelings anymore, and instead it kept consuming her. Jacqueline was horrified by the realization that her favorite place in the world was no longer in arm’s reach for her, since her weight made it challenging to go on flights, travel or fit in the airplane sits.
Jacqueline felt like she’d reached the lowest point in her life. Her weight has been holding her back her entire life, but as it was getting worse with the years, she now felt like even her happy place could no longer make her happy. Naturally, her sister and boyfriend did the only thing they could think whenever Jacqueline was upset – take her to Disneyland.
Pick me up
Little did they know that what had put her in this mood was the thought of visiting Disneyland (or not being able to) in her current weight. Feeling as low as she did, however, she decided to give it a try. Perhaps the magic of this place, and being with her loved ones, will somehow put a smile on her face after all.
However, when they arrived there, her nightmare became a reality; all her worst fears and concerns became a reality. As they were just arriving, Jacqueline was out of breath, and she quickly realized she wouldn’t be able to walk around in the huge park. Thus, they rented a wheelchair for her, and that was only the beginning of her humiliation.
Out of control
Jacqueline was already mortified, but she played it cool, she didn’t want to let anyone know how humiliated she was. She tried to soak the magic of the place and enjoy herself, but for the first time in her life, Disneyland no longer soothed her. That’s when her sister offered she would go on one of the rides. Jaqueline knew she was too big to fit in the rides, but there was one without a seat belt where she might be able to fit.
With her sister’s insistent encouraging, Jacqueline decided to try this ride – except, there was something she didn’t consider – the turnstile in the queue for the ride. As she attempted to pass it, to her great dismay and disappointment, she got stuck.
Hitting rock bottom
As Jacqueline stood there stuck in the turnstile, unable to move, with everyone’s eyes on her, she felt like she had truly hit rock bottom. Jacqueline wasn’t sure how she got to this situation, how did she neglect her body so much and let it get this bad. She reached her highest weight yet – over 500 pounds.
This was truly the lowest moment of Jacqueline’s life. She felt humiliated and ashamed, but mostly mad at herself. Several minutes later she was able to release herself from the turnstile, and while she laughed it off with her sister and boyfriend, saying everything was okay, she ran to the bathroom and cried her eyes out. This was the wake up call she needed to embark on the journey that would change her life.
A blessing in disguise
But perhaps this moment was a blessing in disguise for Jacqueline, as it allowed her to finally embark on this journey, the journey she always wanted to take but never had the right motivation. People have their own pace, and while it took a heavy toll for Jacqueline to reach this moment of realization, she finally did, and she couldn’t be happier about it.
It dawned on her that her comfort zone, her happy place, now also constituted her motivation. Disneyland was the place where Jacqueline had her change of mind and change of heart, and while it always held a special place in her heart, now this place meant so much more to her.
Deciding to make a change is good, but putting it to practice is the real challenge. Jacqueline was now facing her true test – would this time be any different than her previous attempts? Could she really make a change this time? She had tried and failed so many times before, and there’s no shame in admitting you need help. So Jacqueline turned to the weight loss company Jenny Craig.
When she started the program with Jenny Craig, Jacqueline was forced to face one of her biggest fears – stepping on the scale for the first time in years. Knowing something and seeing it with your own eyes is different, and when she saw the number on the scale she almost couldn’t believe her eyes – she realized that her weight had gotten out of control.
Slowly but surely
If you had told Jacqueline a few years ago that some day she would be a personal trainer, she would have never believed it. Jacqueline started small, by consulting a nutrition expert and making changes in her diet. It’s easy to forget that getting into shape is not only about exercise, but also healthy eating.
Due to her excessive weight, Jacqueline’s movement was limited. Thus, the first year of Jacqueline’s journey was mostly about healthy eating, and included mostly changes in her eating habits. Though it might seem negligent, these changes allowed her to lose an incredible 100 pounds in a year.
Back to where it all started
Two years into her journey, Jacqueline was already half way through her goal. She knew what was the perfect place to celebrate this crucial milestone – you guessed it – Disneyland, the happiest place in the world. Jacqueline went on a family trip this time, accompanying her cousins during their first visit to her magical realm.
Jacqueline’s weight required that she’d be in a wheelchair again this time, as she was having a hard time walking around, but it no longer stopped her from enjoying the rides! She had lost enough weight to fit in all the chairs. It definitely made up for her last trip to Disneyland, but she knew she still has a long way ahead of her.
Her happy moment
A few months of hard work have passed and the holidays were around the corner, and it was time for another lift-me-up trip to the magical world of Disneyland. It wasn’t only Jacqueline, but her entire family were fans of the place. Little did she know how much this trip would change her life.
It almost seems like every other visit to Disneyland, Jacqueline is faced with another life changing moment. This time was quite different, though. The moment she was dreaming of since childhood (and a dream she probably shared with many little girls around the world) had finally come true, and her boyfriend, Kevin, popped the question.
A thousand times yes
Jacqueline and Kevin have been dating for seven years when he finally proposed in the most magical place imaginable – the Disneyland castle. They were together through thick and thin, and he was her number one fan and greatest supporter when she embarked on her weight loss journey.
With a wedding to plan and a wedding dress to find, she now had renewed motivation to reach her goal, and she had another one set out: Jacqueline was determined not to get married in a plus-sized dress. She wanted to have a fairy tale wedding. Knowing Jacqueline, you can guess what theme she wanted for her wedding, and she wanted to look like a princess.
This kind of weight loss journey is not only physically hard, but very mentally challenging as well. Although Jacqueline had all the motivation she needed to succeed, it’s a journey that take time and requires patience and confidence. Instead of acknowledging her impressive progress, as the wedding date was approaching, Jacqueline started to focus on the long way she still had to go.
Jacqueline spent weeks in despair, and it started to take a toll on her health; she suffered from migraines and lost her appetite. This kind of thing can happen to anyone going through a massive change like Jacqueline – sometimes it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
After spending a few weeks depressed, Jacqueline realized she needed a new form of motivation – and what’s better than using a personal trainer or a group training to help you with lack of motivation? She joined a bootcamp exercise class; strict discipline was out to get her motivated.
The bootcamp class also provides a schedule and a routine, something Jacqueline was missing. The bootcamp class proved itself, and Jacqueline was seeing results in no time – this was the motivation she needed so badly. Since attending the class, Jacqueline had lost 350 pounds.
A painful reminder
But losing weight comes with a new set of troubles, as Jacqueline quickly learned. Losing a big amount of weight involves excess skin, which causes back pain, rashes and irritation. Anyone losing a significant amount of weight suffers from excess skin, which is a serious yet unavoidable problem.
Aside from the physical problems caused by excess skin, it involves mental challenges as well, as it constitutes a constant reminder of how you used to look, and it means still not looking your best even after all the hard work.
Back at it
While excess skin is inevitable for someone losing 100 pounds and more, its result can be somewhat alleviated if your weight loss is a slow process. Losing only one or two pounds per week doesn’t mean you won’t have excess skin, but it won’t be as bad.
Jacqueline is currently going through a series of surgeries to remove the excess skin, a common solution for this situation. In the meantime, she’s also performing cardio training to maintain her strength and build muscle. This is another important factor in determining how your body will look after losing a significant amount of weight.
exercising has become a regular part of Jacqueline’s lifestyle. After integrating her workouts into her daily routine, she no longer considers it a chore, as it used to seem, but to her surprise – she enjoys it! Jacqueline trains 5-6 times a week, and if for some reason she skips a workout, she finds that she misses it.
One of her biggest tips is to find the right gym and the right workout for you. Finding the right gym or workout is always a challenge, but it gets a lot harder when you’re self-conscious about your weight like Jacqueline was. Finding a gym you feel comfortable at, and a trainer that makes you feel comfortable and confident is key for making it part of your routine.
Stick to it
Of course, sticking to a healthy diet is also a big part of the game. As a rule, starving yourself is never healthy; the key is to eat smaller portions and healthier foods. You can enjoy a cheat meal every once in a while, as the key word here is balance. Over the course of her journey, Jacqueline learned to master this aspect of her new lifestyle as well.
Losing weight and getting into shape is a long process – we can’t stress that enough. Though Jacqueline and her close environment know how much progress she’d made in the last few years, people around still see her for what she used to be before she started this change. Thus, she still has to endure body shaming.
For her, coping with with body shaming was a daily struggle. Losing all the weight was not in vain, but it turned out it was not good enough, as her excess body still made people stare. This was especially bad when Kevin and her took a trip to Mexico after Jacqueline’s second skin removal surgery. Jacqueline felt most comfortable covered up, so that her excess skin was buried.
But due to Mexico’s heat, she decided it was time to take off a layer. It wasn’t easy for her, but as she finally did so, she felt free – physically and mentally. Body shaming is a common phenomenon, getting worse with the years, which too many people suffer from, both men and women, young and adult. People like Jacqueline who embrace their bodies and take pride in their process are necessary to inspire others to feel the same.
The perfect body doesn’t exist
In today’s world, social media, ads and the film industry tells us how we should look, what’s considered beautiful and what’s considered normal, and more often than not, these are impossible standards. There’s not one “right” way to look, we all have different bodies, and we’re all beautiful in our particular way. This is one of the most crucial messages to take from Jacqueline’s story.
Jacqueline is a happy person in her nature, and she wasn’t going to let people’s stares change that. Jacqueline realized that she’d been hiding behind her weight her entire life, and now she was finally emerging and showing the world the true Jacqueline. She wasn’t about to let her weight stop her from doing anything ever again. Her true challenge was finally opening up to the world and let them see her for who she was.
Her safe haven
Somewhere along the way, Jacqueline decided to start a blog where she could share she thoughts on the journey she had gone (and the one she still has ahead of her), document her progress, and also help others going through a similar journey, by sharing some of her best tips on fitness, food and believing in yourself.
It has been a dream of hers to write her blog where she can share her other passions in life – fashion and baking. She never imagined that one day fitness would be a passion for her. Naturally, her blog quickly accumulated popularity, and she hand many fans who were incredibly inspired by her story.
Yes we can
Her journey wasn’t only about losing weight and living a healthier life, but also about proving to herself and to the world that she can do it. After all her failures, she needed to know that she can do it, that she has control over her body and not the other way around. Jacqueline truly believes that if she could do it, anyone can.
Her journey wasn’t just about losing weight, but changing her relationship with food. It involves a change of mind and heart, otherwise, there’s no point in it. If you don’t change the way you feel about food, and about yourself, your effort is in vain. Jacqueline realized that was the reason she failed all those times in the past when she tried to lose weight.
Jacqueline also maintains a successful Instagram account and a YouTube channel. She has thousands of followers waiting for her next progress report and encouraging her to keep going. Knowing that she’s an inspiration to others is yet another motivation for Jacqueline to keep going.
Her biggest tip to her followers is to never compare yourself to others, as hard as it is. There’s nothing more poisonous than comparing your body or your progress to other people, as every one has their own pace. It’s hard to shut out people’s opinions, but that’s the best way to love yourself.