Becoming Jai

Victorious Jai Definition of Jai: (Indian) Victory. Used as an expression of praise or support.

Origin: Hindi, literally ‘long live!’

Alternate meaning: Me…I am Jai! My name is Jasmin, better known as Jai.

I am a 35 year-old morbidly obese mother of two amazing children. I have concluded that if I don’t make some serious changes I might not be here to see them become adults.

I haven’t always been this overweight and I have never been so inactive in my life. A childhood illness, two high risk pregnancies, and a life time of bad habits led me to a life and body that I don’t even recognize. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t lay in the bed day and night waiting for my family to serve me hand and foot. I am very involved in my children’s activities, which are many. I also care almost exclusively for my children on my own. But outside of my children’s day to day activities I don’t do much for myself. I have gotten so use to not working out and I am very limited in what I can do around town due to being unable to stand for a long duration of time without extreme pain.

My issues with weight started when I was a young child. I was not always overweight but around age 7, I began to noticeably pick up more weight than was necessary. At the suggestion of people in our lives, my mother put me on my first diet and sent me to a program called Shape Down when I was 8. This was the first time I became aware of the fact that there was something wrong with my weight. My mother herself was overweight and our family often used every emotion in the book as a reason to eat. As an adult I now know that my family was attempting to look out for my best interest, hoping that I would not develop the same weight issues those before me had. However, the constant attention to my weight made me hypersensitive to the role food played in my life. I was very aware of the fact that my mother hid food from me, so I would often binge while I was at school. This led to me closet eating at a very young age. I often felt that if I didn’t sneak and eat what I could, I wouldn’t get any of the “good stuff” that kids so often crave. So often I would be left feeling deprived of those tasty treats. No, I really didn’t need to eat a Twinkie, but when the adults around me were eating it in secret, it didn’t make sense to me why I couldn’t have one as well. I would question myself, why am I so flawed…whats wrong with me?

When I was a pre-teen, I was diagnosed with a condition called Osgood Schlatter disease. This is a common condition that mostly effects highly active adolescents. The cause is inflammation of the area just below the knee where the tendon at the kneecap attaches to the shinbone. At that time, when I was diagnosed with this condition there was not a lot of information out there about it. The recommendation that was given to my mother was to have me stop all high impact activities and be as careful as possible with my knees. This meant no dance class , no sports, no stairs when possible. I was very limited in doing any activity. I was given permission to take the elevator instead of the stairs and I was exempt from P.E. class from the 6th grade on. This is when I really started to pack on the pounds. During this time I was sent to Over Eaters Anonymous meetings where I was expected to divulge my deep dark food issues to prefect strangers. This didn’t go over so well with my adolescent attitude and the fact that I couldn’t even articulate why I had these issues.

At the age of 16 I left home and started living on my own. I stayed at a somewhat steady weight until my early 20’s. At age 24 I became pregnant with my son. I was a smoker at the time and worked a desk job. As soon as I found out I was pregnant I stopped smoking and started eating like I literally had to eat for two. Eating starburst candy during my pregnancy with my son helped me control my urge to smoke but did nothing to help me maintain a healthy weight. I ended up on bed rest by the fifth month of my pregnancy due to excessive swelling and by the time I delivered I had gained over 100 lbs. A year and a half after I had my son I began to get serious about getting the weight off and I lost 87lb’s. A year and a half later in the month of August, I became pregnant with my daughter. I only gained 30lb’s with that pregnancy. However, during this time my family and I were caught in the downfall of the economy. As a result my husband was laid off, I had a very demanding infant, and a pretty nasty case of Postpartum Depression. During the next two years I gained an additional 125lb’s. This was the most I had ever weighed in my life and I was mortified. But at the same time I felt stuck.

In April of 2012 I met a trainer named Chad Brown. He helped change my life. He showed me my strength and made me realize that the only reason I couldn’t physically push past the pain and work hard to drop the weight, is because I convinced myself that I couldn’t do it. By the summer of 2013 I was working out two hours a day, 6 days a week with Chad and an instructor at my children’s martial art’s facility (dojo) by the name Sifu T. It took me 5 months to lose over 60lb’s exercising with Chad and Sifu T. Then once again I let life and an injury get it in the way of my progress and completely stopped working out and eating properly. For the last 2 years I have been starting and stopping, and starting and stopping my weight loss journey. Then something happened…I decided I was ready.

So here we are today. I have an appointment to start training with Sifu T on the 11th of this month. I am terrified because I know the physical pain that is going to greet me after being inactive for so long. Yet, at the same time I am so excited about the possibilities that I know are out there for me. There is no turning back. This is about the journey not the destination and the only place left to go from here is up!

That’s my story in a nutshell. What about you? I am constantly looking for people who are currently on the same journey as myself and those that have succeeded. Would you like to share your story? Email me at jai@becomingjai.com. On the subject line write “My Story” for the opportunity to be featured on my blog and newsletter. If you are interested in hearing inspiring stories and getting great tips on weight loss, health, and wellness then sign up for our newsletter. I promise we will never spam you or trade your information.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story and coming by to show your support. I cannot wait to share my journey with you while becoming Jai.