The “keep going” attitude is her number one piece of advice
Goal: Lose weight, reduce risk for diabetes
Success: Has lost more than 100 pounds since 2009 with help of a fitness center, Weight Watchers and lots of support; cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose all normal now
Late in 2010, the Heart of New Ulm Project encouraged members of the community to apply to be the next “Face of New Ulm.” In 2011, we will follow the winners who are publicly setting out to improve their lifestyles, root for them to overcome barriers they are sure to face along the way, and celebrate their successes on the road to improved heart health. Jessica is one of the four winners of the casting call.
The buddy system is the right prescription for Jessica Schiemann. In 2009, she met a friend who recently lost weight and adopted new behaviors in order to live a healthy lifestyle. Inspired to leave fad diets and weight behind, Jessica joined a fitness center and Weight Watchers and is now on the road to healthy living. Her friend has already progressed to the maintenance phase and is a strong source of support for Jessica. Her next goal? To ride a bike again! It’s been at least six years since she rode a bike.
April 2012 Update
Most people have to search for motivation to keep them going on the road to a healthier lifestyle. Jessica Schiemann’s motivation is coming to her in a very special way. After starting her wellness journey about two years ago, the Heart of New Ulm Project casting call winner has lost almost 150 pounds — and has a goal to lose 42 more.
“I’m going to be an aunt soon,” explained Jessica. “My goal is that my nephew will never know me as big and unhealthy. I want to be the fun aunt who can do cool things with him.”
Her tips and tricks include using portion control, finding more ways to sneak vegetables into each meal, using vegetables as a substitute for bread (like a leaf of lettuce), and substituting cauliflower for potatoes or rice.
About once a month, Jessica says she finds a way to fit in her favorite foods — like pizza — without feeling guilty. She’s found healthier ways to prepare foods, such as making her own pizza with a low-fat recipe.
“I feel like you have to find ways to eat stuff you like or it’s not sustainable,” she said. She drinks a lot of water and does not drink soda anymore, she said.
She works out five days a week and sometimes throws in a bonus day with one of the fitness classes at the fitness facility where she has a membership.
“I do 45 minutes of cardio and I lift weights every other day,” she said.
“The biggest help is the support I get,” she said, from friends, co-workers, staff at her fitness facility and HONU staff. “Without all the support, I probably would’ve given up when it stopped working.”
She’s hit plateaus on her weight-loss journey, but explained, “Then I just have to work at finding out what will work and adjusting some things. Recently, I found out I actually wasn’t eating enough calories.”
The “keep going” attitude is her number one piece of advice for those who would want to follow in her footsteps.
“The minute you stop and gain a pound back, it’s so much harder to get going again,” Jessica said. “Ask for help. That was the hardest thing for me to do. But people are much more receptive than we give them credit for.”