Jess Finds Balance

My journey to finding a healthy balance with eating, exercise, and life in general

Q & A August 17, 2010

1. What do you eat?

I am not a vegetarian, but am close to it! I tend to eat at least two of my three meals a day without any meat products (I do eat dairy and eggs). I haven’t eaten red meat in almost ten years. I don’t think I would ever go vegetarian, though, because I love fish and chicken dishes. Even still, I pride myself on finding a variety of delicious vegetarian meals that are seasonal, produce-filled and satisfying. In the lunchroom, my coworkers are always jealous of my meals, even though they all eat meat!

I try to eat as many real, wholesome foods as I can. Real food makes up about 85% of what I eat most days, and splurges make up 15%. I’ve been trying to move away from chemicals and additives and know that the change is one that will take time.

I’ve recently stopped counting Weight Watchers points, even though the program helped me lose the weight. Since then, I’ve stopped journaling my food and started listening to what my body tells me. I stopped eating empty calories, like 100 calorie packs, and started eating real food. Funny enough, I actually feel more satisfied than I ever have! I eat 4-5 small meals per day and eat as many fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fat as I desire. I am a big believer that my body will tell me when it’s hungry, when it’s full, and what food it wants and needs, and that if I listen closely, I will be able to maintain a healthy weight.

2. Do you take a multivitamin?

I take a generic women’s multivitamin after breakfast and a calcium with vitamin d supplement after dinner.

3. Are you trying to lose or maintain weight?

I am trying to learn to maintain my weight, but I think I will lose a few pounds as my eating normalizes and I overeat less frequently.

4. How did you lose weight?

I lost my weight through Weight Watchers. The program really taught me what balanced eating looks like by focusing on good healthy guidelines, including eating fruits and veggies, whole grains, protein, dairy, and healthy fat, while limiting sugar and alcohol. It also helped me understand portion control. Weight Watchers set me on the path to learning to really listen to and respect my hunger and satiety cues, which I think is essential to really learning how to get rid of the diet mentality and become a “normal” eater.

5. How often do you exercise? What kind of exercise do you do?

I exercise about 6 days a week. I do about an hour of cardio most days and strength training 2-3 times per week. For cardio, I alternate between spinning classes, running (both on the treadmill and outdoors), and the Cybex Arc Trainer elliptical. I do body pump for strength training, and throw in the occasional abs video once or twice a week.

6.What books have you read that inspired your philosophy on food and your body?

I highly recommend Tribole and Resch’s Intuitive Eating, which talks about listening to your body and ending the war with food and ourselves. Geneen Roth’s Women Food and God really helped me see my relationship with my body and food in a different way. Judith Beck’s Beck Diet Solution also provided me with some useful tips.

7. How tall are you?

I am 5′ 4 1/2″. I actually grew 1 1/2″ my freshman year of college, strangely enough!

Any other questions you want me to answer, please leave me a contact or e-mail me at


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