Jesse’s 95-Pound Weight-Loss Journey Started with Prom

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Jesse’s 95-Pound Weight-Loss Journey Started with Prom

If you ask anyone about their prom, they probably remember it vividly — it’s one of the most pivotal moments in our young lives. There’s so much pressure to go with the right person, to look amazing and, simply, to have the best night ever.

For Jesse Alloy, a 19-year-old sophomore at University of Virginia, prom was also life-changing. He attributes prom as his aha moment, when he decided it was time to tackle his weight.

Though prom stands out, it was a combination of things that prompted him to attempt to lose weight. “Senior year prom was coming up, and I wanted to ask someone,” he says. “But more specifically, I had seen some unflattering photos of myself. I realized it wasn’t exactly the photos that were unflattering. It was me. It was a classic wake-up call. Reality smacked me in the face, and I decided enough was enough.”

LET’S REWIND A LITTLE AND GET TO KNOW JESSE

Jesse was overweight from elementary school. His mom is in shape and works in the fitness industry but his dad is overweight. He thought it was simply in his genetics to be bigger, so he didn’t question his size. He played sports — soccer (as a goalkeeper), football and wrestling — but was never the star. Since he wasn’t super-athletic, he focused his energy on academics and excelled in science and especially computers.

As a wrestler, he began to see that people manipulate their weight all the time. He started to wonder if he could do that, too. “For me, wrestling was actually a mentally healthy sport, as it turns body weight into an extremely malleable fact of our bodies,” he recalls. “Your weight simply decides who you wrestle, and that’s all. It stopped me from valuing myself through a number on the scale. With wrestling, I was able to become more comfortable admitting to myself where I was physically. I started to realize that my weight was in my control — so the possibility of losing weight and keeping it off started to sink in.”

AND THEN CAME THE TURNING POINT

“After my fourth wrestling season, I hit my all-time high weight of about 250 pounds,” he says. “I never actually saw that number, but I was in the mid 240s at the end of the season, and know I gained a bit of weight after that. So 250 is the number I go with as my start weight.”

Prom turned out to be just the beginning of his 95-pound weight-loss journey. His new suit — which had fit perfectly the previous winter for a cousin’s wedding — was too loose come spring, much to his parents’ surprise. Jesse had lost 20 pounds.

FIRST CAME CHANGING HIS DIET

To lose those first 20 pounds, he started with intermittent fasting to gain a sense of control and to kick things off. “I knew I wasn’t in shape, so I decided straight off the bat that working out wasn’t going to do it,” he says. “I’m actually not sure I would have succeeded if I started with diet and exercise at the same time. It would’ve been too much.” With hindsight being 20/20, he says, “I know now that small, sustainable change is the approach to any attempt at a new lifestyle.”

When summer came around, things got serious (cue the “Rocky” theme song). That was when Jesse decided to integrate exercise into his routine. He started with running. “My first run, was not even a mile, and it went terribly,” he remembers. “But the next day I did the same thing. And the next day I did it again as well. And eventually it got easier, and I could run longer.” It’s exactly this day-by-day attitude that had carried him this far — and got him 50 pounds lighter.

IT WAS THE OPPOSITE OF THE FRESHMAN 15, AND THEN SOME

Heading off to college meant he had to double down. “With MyFitnessPal, I could count what I was eating,” he says. It was a challenge in the dining hall, but MyFitnessPal’s database had all the nutritional info for the food-service provider his college used, “so it was never so bad,” he recalls. “And I was able to eat unlimited veggies with the huge salad bars available all day, every day. From here, it was autopilot. Running got better — I even started to enjoy it — and the weight was coming off.”

His mindset around food also was shifting. “Basically, to combat hunger, I learned how to eat to feel good,” he says. “That is, I started eating all sorts of veggies and lean meats. I stayed away from sugar when I could, tried not to drink my calories and processed foods became more of a treat since I knew they usually weren’t super satisfying.”

Jesse didn’t do this alone. He had a robust online weight-loss community and the encouragement of friends and family, in addition to his own steely determination and the help of food scales and apps like MyFitnessPal. “I love MyFitnessPal because it gives me freedom to eat what I want, when I want, without guilt,” he says. “It keeps me accountable and conscious of my progress. I have nights and days when I don’t track, but they are few and far between. The app gives me knowledge, and knowledge gives me power. I’m not scared to gain back the weight because I know how to take it off again.”


READ MORE

> Daniel’s Weight-Loss Secret? 2 Pounds Per Week
> 20 More Non-Scale Victories by MyFitnessPal Users
> The Sandwich Walker: One Man’s 100-Pound “Active Helping” Quest


With his diet and nutrition under control, Jesse’s now focusing more on his training. “Though I don’t run many races aside from the occasional 5K, I run every day. These days I run 4–8 miles a day, hitting 30–50 miles a week. I love it. It’s meditative, it’s relaxing, it’s destressing — and it gives me room to eat a bit more when I want.”

In addition to the cardio, he’s adding strength workouts into his regimen. “I love to work legs because it helps with my running, but it’s also getting me into all-around physique work.” In fact, with the lifting comes the willingness to actually gain weight in the form of muscle.

After hitting his low of 155 pounds, Jesse’s finding himself confident and comfortable at a more muscular 165. And he’s definitely OK with that.


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  • Tab

    Excellent job, keep the focus. I think from personal experience people tend to think “I have this beat” if you ever hear yourself saying this.. seriously, get back on track and do what you can to maintain. Like anything, once we take our focus off of it the weight creeps back on..I am on day two of the road back day wn.lhopefully I will make it snd maintain there this time. 130 pounds t get? .Slow and steady, thanks for the motivation. WELL DONE!!

  • Jimmy NoChit

    Great story! I was at 205 a year ago, and am now at 165. I lift, run and coach softball. During the softball season I actually have trouble keeping my weight up. I tend to lose 10 to 15 pounds each spring and fall from running around the field with a bunch of 8-10 year olds.

  • Ggina

    Good for him. He looks exactly the fucking same.

  • Tina K

    What a great story, unsure what we would do without MyFitnessPal, back in June of last year I lost my sister to Cancer (age 50) it was heart breaking as you can imagine, but for some reason it was a wake up call for me, yes I knew I was overweight but never did anything about it I started at 218 I knew I had to get over my loss so had to be strong so did it through cycling virtually every day, I had not ridden a bike for approx 35 years but was always out on my bike with my sister when we were young, well 8 months on I now weigh in at 161, it has totally turn my life around, my diet is completely different thanks to this app, you just don’t realise what crap is in some foods until someone puts that information in front of you, yes it’s hard work like anything, MyFitnessApp goes everywhere with me including food shopping…..great job guys please don’t ever get rid of this app…

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  • Karl McKinnon

    Way to go. The key is now consciousness and consistency. You can maintain this lifestyle if you want. Take it from someone who knows how your metabolism and bounce back gets slower as you get older. If you keep it up your body and mind will appreciate it. You are a role model.

  • Edna & Preston Roque- Robertso

    This is so motivating for me, we moved and had to live through a kitchen remodeling which meant take once a day and sedentary life since it was a new area and due to my illness I can’t drive besides I had to be available here so I sat for over 6weeks. We all gained at least 15 pounds. And I then had to put things in order, which gave me an excuse to not do my in home DVD walking work out. So now I’m 30 pounds over my previous weight lost and hate looking at myself. I’m totally unmotivated since my illness has taken everything from me,I can no longer go anywhere unexcorted. I can’t take a walk or ride a bike by myself, yet I know this and needed a wake up call so thank you for sharing your story, or better said your journey. I don’t overeat I don’t even want to chew, food hasn’t been the thing I turn to it was shopping for work clothes but I can’t work and feel I just exist. Yet even with that it’s my health and I need to set up DVD player and work out! I just can’t thank you enough. Wish me luck as I get back to my old self or drop even more which is totally needed. One day at a time right.

  • Lynne Duncan

    Way to go Jesse! Since I discovered MyFitnessPal in January, I’ve lost 25 pounds. I have 20 pounds to go, but I’m confident I can do it with this program. I’ll never diet again, as I just make better choices now. It was an eye opener seeing the number of calories, fat, and sodium I was consuming before. I sure feel better, and the best is yet to come!