Success Stories

Jason and Jill Jacobs

2016 Champion Jason and Jill Jacobs

Stats

 Results: Lost 83 pounds of fat.*   Goal: Manage Weight

Jason and Jill Jacobs

Getting out of shape took some time, especially for two people who had stayed in shape their entire lives. Both of us have always been athletic, outdoor, and active people and it has been part of our jobs as teachers/coaches. It was a process that over a few years we didn’t even realize what was happening because we were so happy as we finally got married. After 15 years of going our separate ways, our paths crossed again...this time for good. And we could not have been more excited to finally get to share our lives together. It was our love story with a perfect happy ending, and a few more pounds over the last four years. We started to realize that little things we enjoy doing became more difficult, and we began doing less and less of them because it was harder. We enjoyed going on long hikes, paddleboarding, kayaking, and even camping--all of these activities became an undertaking when before they were just fun! The biggest area where we knew we needed to make a change came with our kids. We want them to grow up knowing the importance of being active and taking advantage of the outdoors which they love. They would want us to play sports with them in the yard, from foursquare to basketball to football to riding bikes to kickball, you name it – they love for us to play with them on teams. We would make it about an inning or five minutes into a game, and then we would have to let them finish the game with each other. We are both educators (teacher/counselor) and realized that we spend all day long working with other people’s children at school, and then we got home and are in such poor shape we can’t even play with our kids and do the activities that they love. We knew we needed to make a change as all of these activities that the boys loved had become a chore because of our lack of physical fitness. We supplemented these outdoor and active activities with social gatherings that involved more food and less activity – total opposite of what needed to happen. It was hard to even to notice because we were just so happy to finally be together with our family that we stopped taking the time to take care of our physical health.

Slowly we started to notice more things that happened to affect our overall health. Our backs would hurt if we slept for any length of time. Putting on socks became an arduous everyday task. Flexibility had gone by the wayside. When we would get home from work, unbuttoning my pants so that I could breathe became a highlight of my day. Our clothes became difficult to wear, and we refused to buy larger sizes because we were always about to make a change after the next weekend. Or after the next holiday. Or after the next vacation. Or after the next birthday. Or after any other excuse we could come up with to prolong getting started with taking control of our health again. We had plenty of reasons to make a change but needed something concrete to hold us accountable for following through with this task of getting back in shape. I recalled watching the Body-for-LIFE VHS tapes years ago – yup, that is right, I said VHS. So we looked up the Challenge to see if EAS offered it.  Both of us do better if we have something that we can commit to and are accountable for. We're both very competitive, and we knew if we could just get started, we would want to win! We felt like this Challenge could help jumpstart us to getting our healthy fit life back so that we could get back to doing all the active things we enjoy doing with our kids! Twelve weeks was going to be quite a commitment since we were used to eating out at least four to five nights a week– our bodies might go into shock!!

And so the journey began! We committed to eating better. One of the biggest adjustments we both were making was cutting out sodas that we consumed daily. The first week was extremely challenging because we were so used to eating out every meal. We realized that we were going to have to cook and have healthy food readily available to keep us from just giving in when we got hungry. We started smoking meat and vegetables weekly. We also realized we were, in turn, improving our children’s nutrition as well. Win, win for everyone! The first week of diligent exercise was also extremely difficult. We were on an exercise program where we lifted 6 days a week and did cardio as well. We did not join a fancy gym or do anything that cost us any additional expense because we knew we might not be able to sustain that. We decided which EAS products we were going to use and picked something that was low-calorie and high-protein because our goal was to get lean and fit--not necessarily bulk up.

As the weeks went on, it started to get easier and easier as our bodies and minds adjusted to the healthy changes that we were making. We also had to learn that we could still do things with other people and that everything didn’t have to revolve around food. We had to learn to make better food choices in those situations. We crossed over the six-week mark and could see noticeable changes in our bodies and minds, along with drastic changes in our energy levels. We had started to become very productive. Our nightly routines did not end with takeout on the couch watching TV - instead they involved playing with the kids outside, exercising, cleaning out areas of our house that had needed attention for years! We both became more productive and better at our jobs, too. We were not always tired and never had that feeling you get after you eat a really heavy meal. We were so used to that feeling that we forgot how great it felt to be lighter even after eating. We continued with our weight and cardio home workout gym for the 12 weeks. It felt so good to be committed and even more so to know that we can accomplish the task of taking care of ourselves to improve our minds, our bodies, and our everyday life with our family.

My wife suffered from a saddle pulmonary embolism and DVT right before we got married, and she was hospitalized for some time in ICU. She had always been a runner and enjoyed doing that; but since her medical scare, she never really felt like she could ever get in shape even when she was working out. By completing this Challenge, she saw drastic changes in her body, and every week she got stronger and stronger. She is in the best shape she has ever been in despite any medical problems in the past and is healthier today, not to mention the boost to her psyche of just knowing she can regain a healthy, fit life after having such a medical scare.

During this twelve-week period, there were a lot of stressful events that came our way and, honestly, I feel as if our commitment to this Challenge and our health helped us deal with the stress in a productive way. Getting back in shape just made us better, and more productive parents, educators, friends, and every other area in our life improved. For the first time in my life I had started feeling my age, and now I feel like I felt 15 years ago when I was in the best shape of my life. It is amazing to us when we think back to just 12 weeks ago and how drastically different our lives are now than they were back then. I feel like this could serve as a real testament to others that if you put your mind to it and are willing to put in some hard work, changing your life can happen very quickly. We feel so good now not only about our bodies, but about the fact that we can once again do the things we have always loved to do. We can play with our kids for as long as they want us to, and we have basically started living the lives that we didn’t even realize we had slipped out of!

 

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