Recently we spoke with Jessica Beniquez, or as most know her, @getfitwjessica, who inspired millions with her 170-pound weight loss journey and warmed the hearts of the world by beating cancer with a positive mindset and a smile on her face.
Jessica had been overweight her whole life and on her 20th birthday, weighing 320 pounds and battling high blood pressure, she wanted to make a change. She started by implementing whole, healthy foods but quickly learned that eating a salad smothered in ranch dressing wasn't really the answer, so Jessica started portioning her meals. Jessica even indulged in the occasional ice cream or cookie when she really craved it, but only in moderation. This helped create balance and make the goal more attainable and sustainable. Soon Jessica began working out once or twice a week with a trainer and found that consistency along with food in moderation was the key to her success.
In just 17 months Jessica had lost 170 pounds. Everything seemed to be falling into place. Skin removal surgery was scheduled and doctors were set to remove over five pounds of excess skin, but then she noticed a lump in her armpit...
Just two weeks after skin removal surgery, in July of 2018, Jessica was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma and her battle began.
It has now been two years since the diagnosis. Jessica is cancer free and she had some time to catch up with us to answer some questions about her mindset during the bout with cancer.
OA: Prior to the diagnosis, what made you want to make a lifestyle change?
JB: I was sick of feeling miserable every day and never wanting to do anything. I was sick of being overweight and I wanted to be more noticed.
OA: After your diagnosis, how did you find the inspiration to keep going on your diet and weight loss journey?
JB: I found the inspiration and motivation by realizing I didn’t come that far to only get that far, I loved showing that even through difficult times and obstacles, you can still do anything you put your mind to. Of course my Instagram fam motivated me every day!
OA: What advice would you give to someone going through what you did?
JB: I would say to always think about your “Why.” Why you want to make the change and really focus on how much you want it.
OA: What is your favorite thing about your lifestyle change? What is the hardest?
JB: My favorite would be the confidence I have gained and how much better I feel. The hardest would definitely be food and nutrition.
OA: What are some of your favorite meals to make?
JB: Chicken, asparagus, and rice. Chicken, broccoli, and potatoes. Healthier pizza or avocado toast.
OA: Your IG meals look delicious, what makes you want to share them most?
JB: I find it fun sharing the different recipes that I try, I know finding healthy tasty clean foods to make can be the hardest part of a weightless journey so I try my best to share every new recipe!
OA: What do you do about cravings?
JB: I will either think about how if I indulge in that craving, Will it do me any good? Will it make me feel better? Or I will try and find an alternative to the craving. If it gets too bad I will have a taste of whatever it is I am craving.
OA: What’s your current life philosophy?
JB: Don’t focus on the past, focus on the now and how to make your future great!
OA: What do you do for fun?
JB: Theme parks, go to the beach, hang out with friends, try new foods, workout, and go for runs.
OA: What’s your favorite thing about the online community you’ve built?
JB: The support and encouragement on a daily basis has to be the best feeling, also it’s a great feeling that me posting can help others.
OA: What were some things you learned that you wish you would’ve known before you started?JB: Something I learned during the journey that I wish I knew before I started is maintaining is harder that the weight loss itself! After reaching a goal it’s hard to find motivation sometimes but I always remember the feeling of being over 320 lbs and that’s enough motivation to never want to stop!
Jessica, thank you for sharing your story with us. You inspire us every day.
You can find Jessica here.