The 3 Changes That Were Crucial in Helping This Woman Lose 65 Pounds



Before: 205 lbs
After: 140 lbs

Once college hit, JaLisa Maxwell ditched all physical activity and started drinking both nights every weekend. “I also stopped thinking about my habits,” she says. “I ended up gaining around 30 pounds.”

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In January 2014, JaLisa noticed that simple things like climbing stairs and even walking had become painful, and it prompted her to step on a scale for the first time in two years. She was shocked when the arrow settled at 205 pounds. JaLisa was “ready to make a positive change.”

To overhaul her diet and mindset, she began her days with a green smoothie and veggie omelet and emphasized lean proteins like fish at lunch and dinner. She also crafted a three-mile interval cardio circuit, which she did three days a week. After each run, she tacked on lunges, jumping jacks, and pushups.

By her birthday in August 2014, JaLisa had shed 50 pounds but wanted to build more muscle. “I started weight training with my husband,” she says. She kept it up for seven months and dropped another 10. By January 2015, she’d whittled away a total of 65 pounds, and her size-16 body had become a 4.

Here’s what JaLisa says helped her get fit for good:

Start with light runs. “Not on the treadmill, but outside, to get a good flow of oxygen. Doing jogging intervals helps if you’re a beginner.”

Speak up. “At restaurants, keep an eye out for what’s put in your food. Don’t be scared to be picky; tell them how you want it.”

Prep your snacks. “I package mine in plastic bags or containers and take them to work with me. I eat one before lunch, the other in the afternoon.”

To read more about JaLisa Maxwell’s​ amazing weight-loss journey, pick up the December 2015 issue of Women’s Health, on newsstands now.

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