Motivation Mondays: Jill's Slimdown

Today’s "Motivation Mondays" features Jill and showcases her incredible weight loss and fitness story!  I know Jill because back in the day, we both used to work at the same tanning salon chain.  We had kept in touch via Facebook and when I saw the incredible before and after pictures she posted on her wall last week (talk about bravery!) I emailed her immediately to ask her if she would share with my readers what she did to lose weight and get fit.   

As with all of my Motivation Monday posts---this is just how one person did it---there are so many ways to get fit and reach your goals---with that said, here is Jill’s story!

Jill is 27 years old, lives in Canada and works as a Group Benefits Customer Care Representative.

Jill's Incredible BEFORE & AFTER
she was170lbs on the left and 145lbs on the right
Congratulations on your incredible weight loss and fitness results!  First, tell us what made you decide to finally start eating well and working out---what made you hit rock bottom?
Hi V!  Thanks for the congratulations.  It's rewarding!  I'll tell you first of all that I've never been a big gym person.  Last summer my doctor prescribed me a medication that made me gain 30lbs instantly.  I got really puffy, bloated, uncomfortable and self conscious.  I joined the gym back in September and saw no results in 6 months...In fact, I gained.  I was starting to believe that either I was doing something wrong or I was just going to continue to grow, no matter what I did to prevent it.  One night I was at the gym and I saw (or I thought I saw!) my friend Dr. Heather Voisin (disclaimer: Voisin is affiliated with the brand ISAGENIX).  It turns out it wasn't her, but I was so excited that I came home and emailed her how I thought I saw her and how excited I was!  Needless to say, she was telling me about this amazing cleanse she was doing to help release some of the unwanted waste from our bodies and that weight loss was one of the perks.  Awesome!  I needed to know more so we set up a date.


How did you decide on what kind of eating and workout plan you were going to commit to?
Dr. Voisin was telling me about the importance of cleansing and there is a reason that traditional diets never work.  Toxins are stored in our fat cells. If we can remove the toxins, we can remove the fat as well. So, I decided to do a 30 day nutritional cleanse with ISAGENIX.  Along with my new cleanse, I was already going to the gym.  I picked up a 4-day-a-week schedule while on the cleanse to kick-start my weight loss.  I was losing approx 4lbs / week in toxic waste from my cells.

Did you gradually start eating better and working out or did you go full force from the start? I went full force into the 30 day cleanse. It is a combination of nutritionally dense meal replacements with healthy snacks and a healthy meal every day.

Tell us about what your weekly workouts look like I do a lot of the stepper and the bicycle.  Alternate days (or lazy days) I do weights.  Sometimes I do a combo of both.  Depends on how I feel.  The odd time I go swimming and I always go for a steam after!!  Usually I go approx 3 times a week and I am usually doing my cardio/cool down for approx 45 - 60 min.

Tell us about what a typical day of eating looks like for you
Breakfast:
I have a shot of this awesome drink called "Ionix Supreme".  This helps start my day off properly and helps with the stress. Next I have a Vanilla shake with a sprinkle of cinnamon for extra flavour.
Snack: Hardboiled egg, 2 x sliced turkey meat, 2 x non-processed cheddar cheese
Lunch: Another shake for my lunch.
Dinner: I honestly eat whatever I want for dinner.  Mind you, it's not fried or fast food.  I eat normal things like skinless chicken, pasta, veggies etc. but the quantities are small and just enough to make me feel full.
Beverages: I mainly drink water. Coffee with milk.  Sometimes I cheat and drink ginger ale every now and again because I love the carbonation.


What are some of your favorite healthy snacks?
I enjoy eating fruit. I've taken a recent liking to blueberries.  I usually have them in my fridge along with raspberries.  I catch myself eating them when I watch tv instead of chips or cookies. I find cutting the fortified sugars makes me not even crave them.  Instead when I have a sweet tooth, I go for those blueberries!


Were friends and family members supportive of your new healthier lifestyle? My family and friends were very supportive. Some were skeptical because sadly North Americans do not know very much about cleansing. Most if not all other countries do some form of cleansing and we are one of the unhealthiest nations in the world so there has to be a link. Some of my close family members joined the cleanse with me and have been just as successful with their results as mine.  Rewarding!

What advice do you have for a woman who would like to be healthier but lacks the motivation?  What caused you to finally have the drive to succeed?
I think the best advice I could give for someone else would be to make the drastic change right then and there.  Don't make gradual changes because it's easy to fall back into old habits.  You know you need to do something for your health.  Don't start tomorrow.  Start today.  Get the ball going.  It becomes habit.  As much as I didn't want to join the gym, I knew I had to.  Once I started noticing the results, I became driven.  During my cleanse, people were starting to notice the weight come off on a weekly basis.  That's amazing!!!


What can you do now that you weren't able to do before you lost the weight and got fit?
I have never told anyone this, so this is a little uncomfortable for me, but I got to the point where my thighs were so big that I couldn't even cross my legs when sitting down.  I didn't even know that was possible.  Believe it or not, I found that very upsetting.  I can clearly say after I released 25lbs (and still losing!) I can fit into some of my size 4 jeans again (from a size 8-10) and cross my legs :)  The other things I have noticed is that I am not in pain while sitting at my desk job from my stomach hanging over my pants.  I didn't even realize being overweight for my height caused physical discomfort.  What a horrible feeling.  On the benefit, my stamina is higher and my energy levels are greater as opposed to when I wasn't being active.


What are your goals as you continue to pursue a healthier lifestyle? My goals to continue to pursue a healthier lifestyle is to continue to use these ISAGENIX products.  They really are the reason for my success in the weight loss, energy level increase and stamina.  I now help other people reach their goals. I am so thrilled with my results that I want others to feel and look as great as I do!



Jill's weight loss progression:






Other than this incredible accomplishment---what are you most proud of in your life?
Honestly, losing this weight.  I never ever thought I could have gained weight, let alone take it off. I'm still in the process of releasing some more toxins and waste from my system, but I know what it is that I need to do and I have the tools to succeed. Anybody can do this.


What are some of your best "stay on track" tips?
This is something I'm trying to figure out myself right now.  I just told my dad the other day that I think I'm going to try running (which I hate running), but I need to change up my routine and give it a fair shot at trying to melt those pesky pounds that don't come off!  Who knows, maybe I'll turn into a runner?!


If you'd like to learn more about the products Jill used in addition to exercise, please see this linkThank you so much for sharing your story, Jill!  If you have any questions for Jill, please leave them below and I will ask her to come and answer them.


Disclaimer: I am adding this due to the response I've gotten about this post. I want to make it clear that I am not affiliated with Isagenix nor do I advocate for cleanses of any kind, by any brand.  I am sharing one person's experience in using this product as part of a 30-day challenge to get on a better path to health and fitness.  I do not have anything against using a cleanse for a short period of time in combination with eating real, whole foods and working out ---with the ultimate goal of learning to eat healthy and exercise and have a healthier lifestyle overall, for the long run. I do not promote or advocate the long-term use of cleansing products and have never used, and do not plan to use cleansing products of any kind.

22 comments :

  1. Fantastic! I love seeing and hearing motivational stories from people who work hard! Losing weight is NOT easy and being healthy is most important. Good for her!

    I've used Isagenix's cleanses before and really liked them as well.

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  2. What a fantastic story! It sounds like the cleanse was helpful, but that eating healthfully and exercising often contributed to her weight loss. I'm SO curious to know more about the cleanse.

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  3. Such a great motivational story! Thanks for sharing :)

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  4. I've done Isagenix! I can say it really does work! I did gain some weight back after I was done with the cleanse, but I love the shakes and still have them for breakfast. Its roughly $400 for the 30 day cleanse.

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  5. I'm disappointed you would feature someone touting a 'cleanse' as a way to lose weight. Particularly since you constantly talk about working on your body in a healthy manner.

    You let down your readers with this one. Hopefully the majority are smart enough to know the difference between the proper way to lose weight vs a fast and dangerous method.

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    1. Courtney- I believe a cleanse is not something you do forever but something that can kick- start a lifestyle change. I think a 30 day cleanse that leads to someone eating healthier and working out consistently to meet their goals is not an issue. As you can see, Jill is eating real food in addition to her supplements. I have not personally tried a cleanse, but I think that as long as someone learns to eat well and work out to meet their long-term goals then that is a positive thing. If someone was using a cleanse program for an entire year, yes that is a concern. That is not the case here.

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  6. I've done the 30 Day Isagenix cleanse, probably the only one I would do. I had fantastic results and I still love the shakes for breakfast. I would suggest reading up on it Courtney. I have never felt and slept better ever. I had more energy and just felt great all around. I do agree, alot are unhealthy and dangerous, not this one though!

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  7. While I do find it inspirational that Courtney lost 25+ pounds, I am a bit disappointed in the way her path was presented. It read a bit like an ad (was it really necessary to mention the dr's full name twice?)

    Probably fine for those who would want more info--I understand some will. But to tie America's weight issues with lack of cleansing is just not true...it has much more to do with what we DO eat and how much, versus what we don't eat.

    I'm not opposed to short-term diets/cleanses (my husband and I will be starting the Whole30 soon http://whole9life.com/2011/06/whole-30-v4/), but something about this MM just seemed a bit off.

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  8. @laura--- I do not write this content and I don't edit motivation mondays unless there are blatant spelling errors.

    I wrote a disclaimer that Dr. Voisin is affiliated with this product.

    I agree that the issue is what we eat---not that we don't cleanse---but I like to share a variety of experiences. Jill gained weight from a medication she was on and I am sure at the time she felt helpless. If this product helped her and it's a 30-day thing, then I think that's great because now she eats healthy and works out. As she continues to reach her goals, she will be eating clean and working out, which IMO is the only way to do it.

    Sorry it seemed a bit off to you. That is how she wrote the answers to her questions.

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  9. Come on, Veronika. This isn't just a 30 day thing. Look at her typical daily meal. She isn't eating a healthy, well-balanced breakfast OR lunch.

    Is this really what you want to be seen as endorsing?

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  10. @courtney--- A lot of people don't even eat anything for breakfast or lunch---I think that a shake packed with nutrients is better than junk food or nothing at all---FOR THE SHORT TERM. Her snacks and dinners and are all just clean, healthy foods.

    My understanding is that this is a temporary cleanse to jump-start a healthier eating and workout routine. Not a lifestyle where you just drink shakes for the rest of your life for 2 meals a day---that is not manageable or desireable to anyone.

    I don't use this product and I don't plan to. I am not trying to sell this product either. I am simply sharing one person's story of how they started eating healthier and working out. The shakes are a part of that equation for her, yes, but if it leads to someone eating cleaner and working out in the long run, and that's the boost they need, then I'm okay with that FOR THE SHORT TERM.

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  11. I commend Jill for the weight loss! It really is quite a transformation and it's great that she's happy with the process and her results.

    However, Isagenix is not something that I would recommend to anyone. Period. Not because it is a cleanse (which is a whole debate in of itself), but because the Isagenix company sells you it's wares with pseudoscience "facts" and language that borders on fear-mongering.

    The Isagenix sales machine is trying to scare you into purchasing their product so that you can rid yourself of the "millions of toxins" that you ingest and that exist in your environment. Toxins that they can't really quantify or explain. (Or, if I'm being completely honest, actually exist.)

    Not to mention Isagenix employs the direct sales method (read: pyramid scheme), which raises a whole other group of red flags in my book.

    I'm not trying to throw shade at the blog, and Jill's experiences are her experiences. I just hope this comment might get readers to critically analyze what and how Isagenix is trying to sell to you before considering this as a valid weight loss system.

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  12. @gillian--- thank you for offering this perspective. I think anyone trying any product should do research prior to doing so.

    I actually agree that is it not a good idea to instill fear in people about weightloss. I also don't believe in pyramid operations either, though I do not know how this company structures their sales.

    I featured Jill because she is someone I know who is working towards her goals. I don't think doing one cleanse for 30 days is horrible for anyone---especially if the result is that the person eats healthier and works out regularly after that period is over.

    However, I will say that I very much respect what you are saying--I personally would not use this product because I am not interested in cleanses, but I will not judge someone for using a product like this in combination with eating better and exercise for a 30 day period.

    Thank you for sharing your comments, Gillian.

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  13. How tall is Jill? Thanks for the inspiring story!

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  14. Awesome!!! You worked out and ate right which is huge...A lot of people use shakes/cleanses and other far worse things to lose weight. Amazing work. It is never easy to lose weight and keep it off. Too manny people are way too critical and claim to know way too much about weight loss and what is good and what isn't so as long as you are healthy and happy, keep at it girl :)

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  15. She looks great! I've always wanted to give a cleanse a try. I think it takes a lot of discipline.

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  16. Those are great results & congrats to Jill!! A couple of co-workers sell Isagenix & I do see a few drinking the shakes at work but never tried any of it. On a side note: would love to do juicing at home just with fruits & vegetables although don't want to loose weight more so for a healthier benefits.

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  17. I am very proud of Jill. She has worked hard. As for those concerned with a business model of direct sales, it is a means to getting a product available without compromising the product. Some of the best products in the world are sold by direct sales ie Avon, Mary Kay, pampered chef. Does this mean you would never buy anything from these companies because self employed people are selling it versus big corporations like GNC, Walmart etc?
    If someone hasn't tried a product, they should not knock it. It appears many people on this blog have tried the products and all seemed to love their experiences Go Jill, I am so proud of you transforming your entire life.

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  18. I totally agree with HFV! I always said that I would never buy anything from an MLM again and the idea of having shakes for meals did not appeal to me. However I have been using Isagenix products since Feb 8, 2012 and have never felt better! Before Isagenix I was feeling defeated having tried every diet out there. I have lost 54 pounds! More important is how I feel and how well I sleep! After about 6 weeks, my body just wanted to move. So I started walking with my trekking poles. I love my shakes! I do not feel deprived - quite the opposite actually.
    I do not understand how people can believe that the toxic substances that are put on our foods while they are growing and in the foods during processing are not trapped in our bodies! I quit smoking in 2000 and I my lungs are pretty healthy now.However, if I start smoking again, it would be crazy to think that they wouldn't get gunked up with contamination again. When people lose weight by whatever means including Isagenix, and then stop doing what caused their body to lose weight and return to their old eating habits, of course they will regain fat cells. When I lost weight before, the toxins became more concentrated in a smaller body, and my body's natural response was to produce more fat cells in which to store the toxins. It does require a lifestyle change, not just a short term diet or cleanse. I'm guessing that some of you who criticize cleansing do not realize that there are different types of cleansing - it's a very broad term. Because there has been such a huge improvement in my energy level, stress management and emotional control, and body, people notice and ask me what I am doing. I feel too good not to share it! And for that I get rewarded very well by Isagenix. When I started, I very clearly stated that I was not interested in the business part of it. But I'm a walking billboard. If I designed and produced an actual billboard would anyone criticize me for receiving a commission for sales resulting from the billboard? I don't have to seek people out or twist arms. I have a lot of fun helping those who ask to improve their health. Congratulations Jill on your success thus far!

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