Husband and wife Todd and Wendy Jamison struggled with yo-yo dieting and wavering motivation up to a peak of almost 300 pounds each. In this interview, they share what they learned about motivation, daily routines, and how balancing life in one area helps improves other areas.
“There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.”
“Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way. Don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.”
Weight Gain Background and Contributing Factors
Wendy describes yo-yo dieting in the past as the result of poor short-term motivation. For example, she would work hard to lose weight when she was going to be in a wedding, but once the motivation of the event had passed, she would be tempted by seeing “this whole other life” that others in the home enjoyed, and would revert to her old habits.
Todd also describes his past attempts as half-hearted. He dropped weight in 2003 and educated himself extensively on nutrition, but the knowledge alone didn’t lead to healthy habits. He describes his past attempts as extreme, in the form of “only tuna, potatoes, and broccoli.”
“Not happy with where you’re at, but not feeling empowered enough to change it.”
Todd highest recorded weight was 296 pounds (134.5 kg), and he estimates 320 was the true highest. Wendy’s highest recorded weight was around 280 pounds (127.3 kg), measured after the first few months of changes were implemented.
Starting The Weight Loss Journey
In 2012, Todd and Wendy found themselves in a lot of debt and had a serious talk to devise a plan of action. Once they began shrinking the debt, they found that their momentum in that area of life began to carry over into others.
Wendy was the first to begin making changes, and Todd describes his involvement at that point as one of “a reluctant spouse.” He engaged in mostly passive exercise at first, such as walking the dog.
However, one day soon after, James experienced chest pain and went to the hospital. While it was nothing serious at the time, his doctor remarked that a heart attack wasn’t far away if he didn’t make some changes.
“You’ve got to make some changes here, or the next time you come in, it probably will be a heart attack.”
This was the beginning for Todd.
“I can’t live like this anymore. I don’t want to live like this anymore.”
Wendy shared that having Todd on board helped make the change stick, and helped accelerate her own momentum.
“The change as more of a permanent move has been having him on board so we’re both doing this together.”
Todd and Wendy discuss:
- Why short-term motivation failed, and what to focus on for the long-term.
- How they help their children develop balanced eating habits.
- How routine has been important in staying consistent and making progress.
- How progress in increased confidence that spilled out into other parts of their lives.
What Todd and Wendy Learned About Food, Exercise, and Themselves
Planning ahead was an important part of the Jamison’s ability to stay on track. They examined where in their lives they were most likely to encounter obstacles.
“Where are the excuses?”
Then, armed with that honest information, they were able to plan and avoid temptations ahead of time. For Todd, he knew that he could not have “cheat days” of over-doing the less healthy options all at once. Instead, he looked for healthier options everywhere he went, avoided buffets, and recognized how going to certain restaurants with friends was actually just an excuse.
For Wendy, it was making trade offs for the things she really wanted. She treated her daily food intake as a budget. She couldn’t “spend” all her budget on less healthy options, or there wouldn’t be room left in the budget for other things.
Todd has learned that consistency in getting daily activity has led to better moods and even a surprising sense of missing a workout when he skips a day.
“Even a walk around the block and I feel better.”
Resources Discussed In This Podcast
- ChocolateCoveredKatie.com – recipes for healthier treats
- MyFitnessPal – weight loss community and food tracking
- Beachbody Workouts
- National Institute of Health
- Mayo Clinic
On the Jamison’s Workout Playlist
- Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars [ Amazon / iTunes ]
- Eye of The Tiger by Survivor [ Amazon / iTunes ]
Contacting Todd and Wendy
Todd and Wendy have shared a free resource for TipsOfTheScale listeners. Download this Healthy Eating Challenge – with five recipes for five days – complete with shopping list.
Click here to download: FitLiving101 5 Day Healthy Eating Challenge