Today is the first blank page of a 265 page book.

Happy New Year! I hope you had an amazing holiday weekend and perhaps are enjoying some much-needed downtime today. I don’t know about you but I hardly know what day it is. It seems like the holidays have stretched a bit and we are all aimlessly wandering around desperately wanting to get back to a normal schedule. Tomorrow, things should straighten themselves out a bit (but I will spend all day thinking its Monday).

January is a month of new beginnings. New month, new year and a new you! Admit it, each year you set resolutions, goals and usually one of them is to lose weight and be healthy. Me too. I kept mine fairly simply this year and when I posted them on Facebook, they seemed to resonate with everyone so I am listing them here for reinforcement.

Smile more. Do new things. Be excited. Throw away what you’ve been cluttering. Unfollow negative people on social media (and in life). Be fierce. Show more gratitude. Be brave. Love deeply. Give back.
It’s that simple.
Bring it 2017!

I draw my inspiration from my readers. It might seem like this blog is an endless array of fashion posts and sales but really those are intermixed with lifestyle stories, beauty product reviews and aesthetics news as well as travel posts. Sometimes, I feel like I’m posting a huge amount of pictures of myself, detailing the outfit for you and hoping you like it. Occasionally, I do a movie advance screening post and hope that you will join me. And sometimes I hit the jackpot and find a little nugget of story that inspires me so much, I have to share it with all my readers. Today’s blog post is such a story. I want you to meet JJ Wynne Jackson.

JJ Wynne dramatic weight loss on

JJ Wynne dramatic weight loss on

JJ Wynne dramatic weight loss on

I watched JJ Wynne Jackson post unbelievable pictures of herself on Facebook (like the ones above) and it seemed that the pounds were simply melting off of her in front of my eyes.When she joined me for one of my movie advance screenings, I got to see her in person. She was a new woman! I noticed that she didn’t eat the normal fare at the movies. She was disciplined, consciously attending a film screening event but sticking to her plan. I wanted to know more and thankfully she is allowing me to share her story and pictures with you on the blog today. I think you will be as inspired as I am.

TF: I believe we first met when we were members of Cattle Baron’s Ball. I would say I remember you much differently. Would you say that is true?   JJ: Absolutely! It’s funny how many people do not even recognize me now. Even my brother walked right past me in a restaurant the other night because he is not used to seeing the smaller me! 

TF: If you don’t mind me asking, how much weight have you lost?   JJ: I went from 231.5 pounds to 121 pounds for a total loss of 110 pounds. 

TF: What was the turning point for you? At what point did you decide to take action?  JJ: I think I knew for a long time that I needed to lose weight. I had been overweight my entire life, but that last year I really began to feel how heavy I had gotten. My ankles were always swollen. I would get out of breath walking up a flight of stairs. It was a struggle to bend down to pick something up from off of the ground. But the point where I decided to take action was when I knocked over a piece of equipment at work. It was an expensive mistake that would not of happened if I hadn’t been so overweight.  

TF: How long did it take you to lose the weight and get to your goal? JJ: It took me 9 months to lose 100 pounds. I lost an additional 10 pounds during my 8 weeks of transition of going from a calorie restrictive diet to one of maintenance. 

TF: I watched the pounds melt off of you on Facebook through your inspirational posts. What kept you going? JJ: I started seeing success straight away. My first week I lost 9 pounds. I then averaged 3 pounds a week after that. Once I started seeing the scale move, I became determined. Within 3 weeks my ankles were no longer swollen. I had more energy. I felt better. The true breakthrough was when I went shopping with a friend for a new pair of jeans and I was no longer a plus size. All of those “non-scale victories” really kept me going. 

TF: I have always thought that “you are what you eat”. Is that true? What’s more important, diet or exercise? Why?  JJ: Diet – hands down! Truth be told most people think they have burned a lot more calories than they really have during exercise. If I run 3 miles at a brisk pace, I have only burned 300 calories. That’s really not a lot when you think about it. There are about 120 calories in a glass of wine. So if I drank 2 glasses of wine and ate a couple of hor d’oeuvres at a party, I would of eaten and drank more than I burned during that 3 mile run. I use exercise to help me maintain my weight loss. It also is an amazing stress reliever and I enjoy doing it. But if you want to lose weight, you have to cut calories. The quickest way to do that is to eliminate sugar and white flour. 

TF: Tell me exactly how you did it. What did Day #1 of your diet look like? What program did you chose and why? JJ: A college friend of mine was posting pictures of her weight loss. It was unbelievable! She said that she was a health coach and to reach out if you wanted to get healthy…so I did! The program I did is called Optavia (formerly Take Shaper for Life). It combines a health coach, pre-packaged meals and tools on how to maintain a healthy body. I basically ate 5 pre-packaged meals a day and one meal that was a lean protein and a vegetable. There were a lot of foods to choose from, so I never really got bored. I was also eating six times a day, so it was rare when I was hungry. I think the hardest thing for me to give up was wine. I liked to have a glass or two after work and it was a tough habit to break. I think the best thing about Optavia is they teach you how to maintain your weight loss. I had tried many diets and lost the typical 25 pounds only to regain it after I stopped doing their program. With this program, I am back to eating “real” foods and maintaining my weight loss. I am now a health coach myself!

TF: Tell me a little bit about why you read the blog. JJ: I read the blog for the fashion advice. As someone who shopped in plus size departments for 20+ years, I am always looking for help in finding pieces that will look good on me. I have had to buy an entire new wardrobe this year. Everything from a winter coat to a swimsuit to shoes (even my feet got smaller!). You always show classic pieces that I know I will like!

TF: Anything else? JJ: One of the greatest gifts I received was a friend who was willing to support and guide me through my weight loss journey. I am also paying it forward by helping others fulfill their health goals. If any of your readers would like additional information on how I reached my health goals, they can email me at 

I think her story is so inspiring and the perfect first post for 2017. Don’t be deterred by the cold weather. I am linking you to some workout clothes and accessories that will be great in today’s weather and our upcoming cold weeks. Get outside and get your body moving! I know I am.

Today is the final day to enter Giveaway #1. You have until 11:59 PM CT tonight. The winner will be selected tomorrow and announced on the blog on Wednesday. Go to the bottom of this post to enter. Good Luck!  xoxo – Tanya

P.S. You can enter all 5 giveaways by clicking here.

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Giveaway #1

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Photo: via JJ Wynne

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