Mini-Interview: Jill R.

Posted: February 4, 2012 by sneakerporndiaries in Uncategorized

There are 14 years between my friend Jill and I. She’s 27 headed for 28, I’m 41 headed for 42. From time to time I tell her technically I’m  old enough to be her mother. Hey – it could have happened (my mother would have been sooo p—-d!). We were introduced to each other in a bar in North San Diego County several years ago. Jill liked car bombs. I liked whiskey (as some of you know, a little too much). Jill was confident in her ability to do just about anything (don’t let her tell you any different. She’s freaking brilliant.). I was the local smart-ass (yeah, not much has changed). We liked beer, hated our bosses, dug tattoos (on different levels), we fantasized about tripping skinny people (sorry), we loved to eat, we both were fat…

We became instant friends.

We know each other’s stories fairly well. Jill loves Kiss and The Reverend Horton Heat (two completely different sounds on a music spectrum). She used to only wear flip flops. Her husband owns a tattoo shop in Escondido (shameless plug, click here). She owns a bookkeeping and tax preparation business (second shameless plug, click here), as well as two dogs, a bird and a hedgehog.

Over the past eight and a half months, Jill and I have spent a tremendous amount of time on the phone. We both made a decision to change our lives, and we discuss it practically daily because we’re not in the same state anymore. I thought Jill’s weight loss story would make for a great blog and she obliged me. I should make it clear: we both started our weight loss journeys in May, different things propelled us to make our decisions (i.e. I opted to do weight loss surgery – which doesn’t make one magically thin). However, we both have literally worked our asses off. Here’s Jill’s words:

What led you to decide to lose weight?

I got on the scale and it said 375. I got on the scale 5 freaking times and it still said 375. That number scared the (blank) out of me. I was 27 and 375 lbs. My husband is 6’6″ and weighed 400 lbs, how the hell did I only weigh 25 lbs less than him? That is soooo not the way this is supposed to work! And more than that… I knew that if I kept going that way I’d be dead before I hit 40, I didn’t want to die. I mean I know we all got to, but didn’t want to die because I let myself get to damn fat.

What did you do when you started going to the gym?

When I started going to the gym, I could barely walk without being out of breath and miserable. I would walk maybe 10 minutes on the treadmill at a speed of 2.0 and then do maybe 15 minutes on the exercise bike. After that, if I felt up to it I would lift weights. I usually did seated dips (20 lbs, 3 sets of 10), tricep extensions (15 lbs, 3 sets of 10), seated rows (10 lbs, 3 sets of 10), lat pulldowns (20 lbs, 3 sets of 10), chest press (25 lbs, 3 sets of 10), and leg press (50 lbs, 3 sets of 25).

What do you do at the gym now?

I do the elliptical for an hour (burning between 1500 and 2000 calories), then I will either do the stair machine for 30 minutes, or run on the treadmill for 30 minutes. I usually rotate the stair machine and the treadmill. After I’m done with cardio I do situps. I use one of the bosu balls, and I’ll do at least 250 situps a day (sometimes as much as 500). When I’m done with my situps, I move on to weights. I do both leg and arm weights every day, my trainer HATES me for it, but it works for me so thats what I do. I do Bicep curls (20 lb free weights, 3 sets of 15), seated dips (100 lbs, 3 sets of 15), tricep extensions (75 lbs, 3 sets of 15), seated rows (50 lbs, 3 sets of 15), lat pulldowns (90 lbs, 3 sets of 15), chest press (105 lbs, 3 sets of 15), shoulder press (50 lbs, 3 sets of 15), pull ups (using the machine that helps you, I put the counter weight at 100 and do 3 sets of 15), leg press (250 lbs, 4 sets of 25), squats on a bosu ball (I usually do this with 15 lb weights in each hand and do bicep curls while I am doing squats. I do 4 sets of 25), and push ups on the bosu ball (flat side up, 4 sets of 10). There are other exercises I do, but for the life of me I dont know what they are called. I’ll try and explain them as best as I can… One of them I will sit on a bench, put my hands right next to my butt, then slide my butt off the bench, keep my legs straight and dip down until my elbows make an L and go back up. I think its pretty close to the seated dip, but man it burns those triceps. I’ll do 4 sets of 25. On another one of them I stand up, back straight, bring my elbows to my sides and using one of their free motion weight machines I pull down until my arms are straight, then go back to them being at a 90 degree angle. I’ll do 3 sets of 15 of those. There is more… but I could sit here all day going on and on. That is the bulk of it.

What’s a typical day of eating look like? 

Breakfast 8 a.m.= 1 cup of Honey Bunches of Oats cereal or 1 packet of instant oatmeal or a Nutri-Grain bar AND protein.

Snack 10 a.m. = if I get hungry between breakfast and lunch I’ll grab and handful (like 10) plain almonds, or a piece of fruit

Lunch Noonish = 3 days a week I do just fruit. So maybe 1/2 a bananna, 1/2 an orange, a kiwi, couple strawberries and some lemon (i LOVE lemons). The other days, I’ll do either 1/2 of a boneless skinless chicken breast and veggies, sometimes 1/2 of a turkey sandwich on wheat bread, and sometimes Healthy Choice soup.

Snack 3 p.m. = cheezits with cream cheese and sliced jalapenos (12 cheezits no more, no less), or a handful of almonds, or a piece of fruit AND protein.

Dinner between 6 & 7 = Grilled boneless skineless chicken and veggies, just veggies, turkey burgers (no bread!!!), turkey tacos (no fried shells), or really any one of a million other things. I just try to keep to Chicken, Turkey and Veggies. 

If I get hungry after dinner I’ll usually grab a sugar free popsicle, or 1/2 an apple.

I do the Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein – Vanilla Ice Cream Flavor. I do 1 1/2 scoops in the morning and 1 1/2 scoops in the afternoon. 

(We have a disagreement over Cheezits. I think they’re gross now.)

I don’t spend nearly as much time in the gym as Jill does (she reminds me she doesn’t have bad knees). We each had a different approach, each with the same results: rapid weight loss. Jill started her journey at 375. Today she’s at 193.5. That’s a total weight loss of 181 pounds in eight and a half months (I’m seriously jealous and tell her so. Her response is always the same: “Dude…you’re taller than me.”).

Making a lifestyle change is always difficult and requires an incredible commitment. Those who have never struggled with obesity (which is different than carrying around an extra 30 pounds) do not understand the things we as fat persons have dealt with throughout our lives. Jill and I talk about that very topic often, and recently we’ve talked about looking in the mirror. Generally speaking, large weight loss is experienced over a span of years. The individual has time to adjust to the changes. With rapid weight loss, the changes are so quick the brain doesn’t have time to catch up. This is what Jill says about the mirror:

Most of the time I feel like I am looking at someone else. I think I see me as the fat girl in those pictures. It’s like my brain hasn’t caught on yet. Maybe disbelief is a better word.

Here are Jill’s before and after pictures. She looks amazing.






  1. I found Mini-Interview: Jill R. | Journey With Me via another article while searching for a connected topic. Thanks for your input on the subject matter. I will link to in my upcoming write-up as some of these details you talk about here are on a similiar principle. Cheers. Weldon Lofguist

  2. Debbie says:

    Tracy, you really should be a writer, i know ive told you that several times but i really mean it. I enjoy reading your blogs. What you wrote about you and jill was so real it actually brought tears to my eyes, sad tears and happy tears. “Someone” needs to write a book about this. I know there are alot of books on weight loss, but they just dont seem real and they dont seem like ordinary people. You and Jill are real. Think about it… Great story. all your stories are great. Is it possible to email me when you have new blogs, i dont get on facebook that often and dont want to miss out. Again great story!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s