AYLESFORD, N.S. – A woman who lost more than 100 pounds in one year has just made sharing her story and helping others reach their own goals her full-time job.
Jasmine Parent, 29, says her life “hit a low point” when she saw her scale tip to just under 300 pounds just over one year ago after two back-to-back pregnancies.
“I found myself realizing I’d gained over 100 pounds from leaving Acadia until then, so physically I was feeling horrible, emotionally and physically,” she says.
After making a goal on January 1, 2018, to drop the weight through a regular exercise regimen and healthy eating alongside her husband, Jeremy, Parent watched as her extra weight melted off, pound by pound. She’s now lost a total 120 pounds.
She says she then began documenting it all on her social media blog Jasmine Losing It, and noticed that as she lost weight, she was rapidly gaining a following.
Her Instagram page now counts 136,000 followers.
“Sharing on social media made me feel accountable, but I eventually realized I was helping other people. That’s something that, as a social worker, has always been extremely important to me,” she says.
Parent, who lives in Lower Sackville and grew up Aylesford, has left her job as a social worker and will now pursue her social media platform full-time. She’s also taking a course through the National Academy of Sports Medicine in Behavioural Change, which focuses specifically on weight loss and an overall healthy lifestyle.
She says she wants to continue helping others find what healthy living and weight loss approach works for them – something she says is crucial to long-term sustainability, and success.
For Parent, it was the 21-day meal plan – a basic list of whole foods people eat from freely – along with regular home workouts, six days per week – something she says was crucial to her success because it allowed her to continue looking after her two daughters.
“It’s important for me to tell people I worked out from home because people often say I can’t afford the gym. I started with 20-minute workouts in my living room – for me that’s what worked because it seemed realistic, something that I could do as a busy mom,” she says.
“You’ve got to map out what exactly do you want to do, and search for a method that will work best for you.”
Once she’s completed her course, Parent says she’ll begin working with clients and working with them on their health and wellness – something she says will pair nicely with her social work experience – to focus on forming new habits and “getting their heads around the change.”
“That’s the biggest part about weight loss, and that’s where I am at now too. Losing it is one thing, but maintaining it is another,” she says.
She says her year-long journey has been transformative in more ways than one – it’s given her a new lifestyle and a new job. But Parent says the biggest gain of all is the renewed energy to be a present parent and role model for her girls, ages two years and two months.
“My dad had recently passed away, and I had injuries from playing basketball. My whole quality of life was low, and I wanted to have more energy for my kids, and my family. Now, there’s a clarity – emotionally, physically, my head is feeling clear, and I’m more present,” she says.
Parent, who is now working at maintaining her current weight of 174 pounds, also says her followers may not see how seeing their progress and hearing testimonials about how her story has helped them also, in turn, helps her.
“People often say I’ve helped them, but I don’t think they realize how much it’s helped me too. There are days when I don’t want to go to the gym, but then I think no, because people are looking to me to set an example,” she says.
“It’s been an amazing journey, this whole past year.”