Here are the 3 stories that won us over. They are 2 weeks into their new workout program and have been giving 150% so far. We couldn't have picked better winners! Check back monthly for updates from all three.
Jacquelin Green, 45:
When I was a younger woman, I was very active and healthy. After having 4 kids in 6 years, I never really lost the baby weight, and my life was consumed, in a good way, by my kids. Having two boys with autism can be challenging and there was not a lot of ‘me’ time available. I morphed into the fat, funny girl (or maybe better described as stout and sarcastic!) but I really miss the feeling of having a strong and healthy body. I’m tired of providing shade for 3 people when I stand in the sun! A few years ago, I trained and ran the TC 10k and the Royal Vic 8km. I felt amazing and promised myself that I would someday run a half marathon. That is still a goal. Since then however, I didn`t just fall off the exercise wagon, I jumped off to follow the ice cream truck! It is always easier to put other people`s needs before my own (and that ice cream is so good!). I work with very vulnerable pregnant and parenting young women. It’s a stressful job, which I love, and I spend a lot of time encouraging these amazing young moms to care for themselves and to take risks to reach their goals. I think perhaps it is time that I did the same. I am definitely ready and committed to making the changes and working hard to get healthy and fit. I really want to be around for a long time to enjoy my kids, and I want to be a positive role model for the girls I coach and the moms I support. Most importantly, I want to do this for myself - to reclaim the fit person hiding under the size 22 pants.
Jessica Grant, 27:
Saying that growing up and being overweight for 27 years has been difficult would be an understatement. I grew up in Northern BC surrounded by activity and the outdoors. However, at a young age I learned that over eating, hiding food, feeling bad about my choices was ‘normal.’ My family, teachers and coaches used to tell me that I would ‘always be big’ which played a damaging roll on the inside, though I rarely showed it on the outside. I played sports growing up but was always the biggest one on the team. At home, I learned about negative eating habits and body image, which I mimicked and still do to this day. At the time, I didn’t realize how unhealthy and detrimental it would be to me. Once I moved out and went to university, I saw what other people did. They ate healthy and exercised, among other things. I had not been to a gym to work out until I was 21. It was completely foreign to me and I didn't know where to start. I went and did the same exercise routine but rather inconsistently, and then went home and ate whatever I wanted. So all in all, I didn't get far in changing my overall health. After doing that for a while, I saw a TC10 running group near my place. I thought, why not?! I may have been one of the slowest in the group, but still managed to complete the training while going to school. At this time, I also participated in Weight Watchers online and was able to lose 20 lbs. I felt on top of the world. I felt so accomplished, healthy and just ‘better’ about myself. Then I went traveling and gained almost every single pound back because I guess I thought traveling was a free for all. I felt terrible about myself and my choices and reverted back to unhealthy coping mechanisms. Part of me is now fearful about losing the weight again, because people notice when you lose or gain weight and I felt like an absolute failure when I gained it back. After I finished up my nursing degree at University of Victoria and I set out on my career. Each day I help others heal and learn about their health issues. I hardly feel adequate telling them what they should do for optimal health, when I have a long road ahead myself. I love my job and all the people I get to meet and feel blessed at the rare opportunity nurses get with patients and their families. I give wholeheartedly to my patients each day and I wish I gave that energy and commitment to myself. I am learning more and more that taking care of me is the first step in being able to be fully present and care for each person that I encounter at work. I realize I have to change as I have dreams of having a family, a long life and career in caring for others. My feelings of self worth have wavered over the years, which make it difficult to get to the heart of my weight issue and to stick with healthy living. I need the help of others, like you at BDHQ, to create a space for me to grow and learn about living a healthy life. I know I have a lot of internal and external work to do over the next year throughout this process, but I am ready with open arms. You ask why I deserve this BDHQ-over and my answer is simple; I deserve someone to take a chance on me and believe that I can do it. I promise that if I am chosen, I will come with an open mind, open heart and do everything asked of me…oh yeah, and I will work my ass off!
Chef John Waller, 43:
They say 'never trust a skinny chef' so guess I am pretty trust worthy. I am currently tipping the scale at 230 lbs and have been at that weight for over 6 years. I’m 43 years old and looking to be a lean mean cooking machine. I think most people think us Chefs eat a healthy well balanced diet. This is not true in my case. With all the hours and stress, I tend to survive on caffeine and adrenaline. The funny part is I should know better. I’m no stranger to pushing myself to the limit, having done numerous competitions in Toronto as an apprentice under some of Canada’s top chefs. I am great at making other people happy through giving people what they want, is it now time to do the same for myself and have someone else push me to be fitter, stronger and more active. I find inspiration in all kinds of places and look forward to creating new dishes with a healthier spin to them. I certainly appreciate the good things in life. Working with a talented team in my kitchen, I’m the leader and mentor to their careers. I have no problem pushing them to see things as I do and showing them how to look at things in a new way. I imagine you all will kick my ass in the same way. I strive to be the best in what I do and feel so does the team at BDHQ. It’s the year of the Dragon and this FAT dragon needs to get fit. I am currently the Chef at the newish Oak Bay Bistro and was the Executive Chef at the world renowned Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino so am not afraid of seeking perfection and being pushed.