Jasmine Parent had always struggled with her weight. But during her senior year of college in 2012, she thought she was finally getting it under control. She was lighter than she had been in years, and she loved how she felt. But the next year her dad passed away, and eating quickly became an outlet to ease her grief.
"I began emotionally eating without even really realizing it," Parent, who is from Canada, tells Health. "For the three years after my dad passed away, I was just gaining, gaining, gaining." In 2016, she gave birth to her first daughter, causing her weight to go up to 250 pounds. A second pregnancy resulted in more weight gain, and the number on the scale passed 300.
In January of last year I was almost 300 lbs .. and couldn’t walk up the 10 steps in my house without taking a break due to severe pain in my knees and lower back. Today, just over a year later I did a HIIT workout on the beach in Montego Bay, Jamaica. SO what I’m saying is, your current situation is NOT your final destination 💕💪🏾 #happysaturday
A post shared by Jasmine🇨🇦120lbs Down⬇️ (@jasminelosingit) on Jan 19, 2019 at 11:23am PST
It wasn't until December 2017 that she had her ah-ha moment. She was at an annual Christmas get-together with her closest friends, and as they do every year, they took a group photo. "I had this moment where I saw myself in the photo, and I just hadn't realized how different I looked and how much weight I had gained," she says. "That photo was the end of me not coming to terms with it."
Not long after, she was on Instagram searching for inspiration when she came across something called the 21-Day Meal Plan. It was only $20. "That's probably how much I spent on McDonald's last week," Parent recalled thinking at the time, and signed up. She asked her partner, Jeremy Crawley, to do it with her, and they "dove in head first."
HAPPY MONDAY ! I hope everyone is feeling ready to conquer another week. Maybe ready to flush out some super bowl snacks ? 😂🤷🏽♀️ One of the main reasons I have been so successful one my journey is because of the ACCOUNTABILITY. I stepped outside of my comfort zone, and told the world “IM GOING TO LOSE THE WEIGHT.” Accountability is a great way to stay on track... Which is why I am so excited to invite you all to join my FIRST EVER DIETBET open to ANYONE and EVERYONE🤗 You all know that I love to interact with my followers .. share tips, ask and answer questions and just provide overall support when I can; this platform will allow me to easily interact with you all daily🎉 I will also have some fun prizes to give out! What is a DietBet? In a nutshell - you pledge $35.00, commit to losing 4% of your body weight in 4 weeks and if you do so successfully you WIN and split the pot with the other players 🎉 I will be supporting you, cheering you on and engaging with you the entire time. Visit DietBet.com/jasmine to sign up! Game Starts February 18th ! (2 days after #stayontrackmpb ) #jasmineswinterweightloss #noexcuses Who’s in?! 💪🏾
A post shared by Jasmine🇨🇦120lbs Down⬇️ (@jasminelosingit) on Feb 4, 2019 at 9:10am PST
Parent says she knew she wanted a plan that gave her some structure but wasn't crazy restrictive, which is what made her effort ultimately successful. The diet she tried simply provides a list of foods users are allowed to eat. There's no strict timing or portion sizes; it's all about eating whole foods.
It's called the 21-Day Meal Plan because experts believe if you can do something for 21 days, you can likely stick to it. That's what's happened for Parent. "I'm on month 13 of the plan," she says. "We've been able to make it just our regular way of eating."
At age 29, she's now down to 174 pounds, lighter than she was in 2012, when she weighed about 198.
Parent says the biggest difference she notices now that she's lost so much weight is her "overall patience as a partner, as a mother, as a friend, as everything." She also says she's dealt with anxiety her whole life, but losing weight has helped her take control of those emotions. "I always say I no longer sweat the small stuff... Now, things just kind of roll right off of my back. I'm so much more relaxed. Life itself feels less stressful because my overall mood has improved."
One year and my life has transformed forever 🦋 Twelve months ago when I started the @21daymealplan with my partner @kingkane_vb I had no idea I would be here. A total of 120 pounds gone, and a brand new family gained #weightlossfamily #mealplanbabes I was going to write a caption much more detailed but all I can do is sit here and cry tears of joy .. I am so overwhelmed with emotion and disbelief looking at these pictures. I am so damn proud of myself. Thank you so much for supporting me and following along .. 2018 has been absolutely amazing .. and what’s so exciting is that I truly believe the best really is yet to come 💫 ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• ▪️SW:294 CW: 174 . I am 5’10 ▪️I have followed the @21daymealplan since January 2018. It is the only mealplan I have ever followed. It is a list of allowed foods that you eat off of freely. The direct link to purchase is in my bio. It is a one time price of $19.95 U.S and 10% off with discount code “Jasmine”. ▪️I have worked out since day 1, 90% at home. There is a detailed break down of what I have done each week in my “workout” highlight. ▪️I have not had any surgeries or medical procedures. I am having a tummy tuck in March at the @torontocosmeticclinic to get rid of my loose skin 😊 💞
A post shared by Jasmine🇨🇦120lbs Down⬇️ (@jasminelosingit) on Dec 23, 2018 at 9:15am PST
Basically, everything just feels better, she says. Plus, she loves what she sees when she looks in the mirror.
What advice would she give to others looking to lose weight and get healthy? Parent says it's all about finding a weight-loss plan that fits your lifestyle. Everyone is different; some people will succeed with a plan that allows flexibility, while others do better having every meal mapped out for them. If you're looking to drop pounds, take some time and really think about what will work for you.
"You want to start something you're going to be able to finish," she says. "You want it to be something you can do for life, not something that sounds like a quick fix. It has to be something sustainable, for you, for your life, for your everyday."