Guest Post by Steve Goodman
At 30 years old and 355 pounds West Palm Beach Florida woman, Jacqui McCoy was the definition of morbidly obese.
Despite the other obvious health risks that being so overweight presented to Jacqui, she desperately wanted to be a mom. Convinced that her inability to conceive was linked to her obesity, was finally the catalyst that brought Jacqui to lose half of her body weight. She is now a slim and healthy 149 pounds as the result of this season’s Extreme Makeover – Weight Loss addition, which concluded on Wednesday June 13th.
One year ago at the start of the show, Jacqui depressed, embarrassed and very insecure weighed in at 355 pounds. She told producers of the show that she wanted to have a baby, but was to embarrassed for her husband to even see her naked. Now one year later, Jacqui has lost 53% of her body weight – a record for any television weightloss show – and stands as a trim and slim inspiration, and testament to healthy weightloss.
If you are a fan of the show, then you know that Jacqui achieved her remarkable results the “old fashioned way” with diet, exercise – and a lot of hard work!
A Painful Past
Like a lot of people that struggle with weight, Jacqui turned to food to deal with trauma and depression.
At 14 years of age, Jacqui was a bright and attractive teenager with a remarkable voice and talent for singing. She had hoped to be a professional entertainer, when her life took a twisted turn for the worse. One night at a party, she was sexually attacked.
Driven by guilt and blaming herself for the assault, she kept it secret, and turned to food as her solace, putting her on a path towards obesity and a downward spiral into deep depression.
Jacqui’s path to becoming half of what she was — but all that she could be — began with the conversion of her living room into an exercise room to rival any gym by Makeover’s trainer Chris Powell.
Powell set very high expectations for Jacqui. He insisted that right off the bat she drop an astounding 90lbs within the first 90 days of the program. The carrot he held out? –a lifelong dream trip for her and her husband to Ireland if she made the goal. She did, and she and her husband, Shawn, were rewarded with their long-overdue honeymoon trip by the Network.
How she did It
Jacqui was introduced to a new lifestyle regimen of 1500-calories a day in healthy
meals and 2-4 hour workouts six times a week. Now not everybody can or needs to do that kind of a diet and work out regimen. But then again not every reader of the Health Hound needs to lose HALF of his or her total body weight. The point is we can all take inspiration from Jacqui’s story and see the value of reduced caloric intake coupled with fat burning and muscle building exercise – for fast, safe and effective weight loss.
With the help of Chris Powell and the California Health & Longevity Institute, it took Jacqui some getting used to the idea that a cup of pasta could be a meal, and that what is a “serving” in most restaurants is usually 3 to 4 cups, which alone could pack on an extra 40 -50lbs a year! Gaining a clue as to what real serving portions should be was just one of the many eye-opening experiences for Jacqui on her path to her new self.
In the end, Jacqui not only lost an amazing amount of weight, she found her voice! She recently sang at her cousin’s wedding and is considering a career in music once again. And most importantly, while still having infertility issues, her doctors tell her she is at a healthy weight to become pregnant, and a prime candidate for an IVF procedure.
Jacqui is now healthy mind body and sprit. Says she, “I found the biggest hurdle to weight loss is not your body but your brain. It was only when I changed my mind about who I am, what I am worth, and what I am capable of doing that I finally found my strength to fight and lose the weight.”