Wal­dorf woman loses over 100 pounds

Wal­dorf woman loses over 120 pounds through diet and ex­er­cise

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By SARA NEW­MAN snew­man@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @in­dy_­com­mu­nity

Frances “Franki” James has strug­gled with her weight since she was in sec­ond grade.

The 25-year-old tried mul­ti­ple meth­ods to shed pounds, in­clud­ing diet pills, B12 shots, weight loss pro­grams and even a brief en­counter with bu­limia.

Noth­ing seemed to stick un­til a friend asked her to ac­com­pany her to a gym as a free guest. She couldn’t af­ford a mem­ber­ship, so she used as many guest passes as she could at var­i­ous gyms un­til Planet Fit­ness opened in Wal­dorf which boasted an af­ford­able $10 monthly rate.

Though she started off slow at first, she no­ticed the pounds fall­ing off be­cause of the car­dio she was do­ing and that gave her the mo­ti­va­tion to keep go­ing.

“I kept go­ing but ev­ery­one else stopped,” James said of other friends who she’s worked out with in the past.

Through a cleaner diet and ded­i­cated work­outs, the Wal­dorf res­i­dent has lost over 120 pounds, go­ing from 310 at her heav­i­est to 186 cur­rently. She still wants to lose 16 pounds to be at the ap­pro­pri­ate 170 weight for her height.

“Most peo­ple think I got weight loss surgery, but it’s re­ally just car­dio and eat­ing right,” James said.

James first lost 50 pounds be­fore her son, Cai, 2, was born and then gained it back dur­ing preg­nancy. Though she al­ways wanted to be smaller, James said she was gen­er­ally com­fort­able with her­self but knew when she be­came a mother that she had more of a rea­son to take care of her­self.

“Af­ter I had my son I started eat­ing bet­ter,” James said. “I knew I had to do bet­ter for him.”

In ad­di­tion to her son, James re­ceived a lot of pos­i­tive feed­back from her be­fore and af­ter pho­tos on Face­book and In­sta­gram — her sig­na­ture hash­tag is #just­wait­onit meant to in­spire those on the weight loss jour­ney to keep go­ing.

“It’s hard to lose weight. Every time you go to the doc­tor and they tell you you have to lose weight. I no­ticed I gained a lot when I was in a re­la­tion­ship and work­ing at Burger King eat­ing free food that was bad for me,” James said.

She got a new job at Sam’s Club – away from the fast food temp­ta­tions – and started go­ing to the gym six days a week and work­ing with her trainer, San­dra Davis of Shy­timba Ex­treme Fit­ness.

Though she’s happy with her weight loss, she is now deal­ing with the ex­tra sag­ging skin left be­hind. She re­cently had a tummy tuck to lose the ex­cess skin around her stom­ach and is al­ready itch­ing to get back into the gym – al­though her doc­tor said she won’t be able to re­sume her six-day work­outs for a few more weeks.

“Right now I’m pretty happy, but even af­ter the weight loss there are still stages. You still have to worry about the ex­tra skin that’s left be­hind,” James said.

With her phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity lim­ited, James is re­ly­ing on her diet to keep her on track un­til she can get back in the gym.

She cut out beef and pork, soda and juice and now eats for the pur­pose of fuel not fun, which is not al­ways easy.

“I don’t eat right 100 per­cent of the time but I have ev­ery­thing in mod­er­a­tion,” James said.

She’s also passed on her health­ier life­style to her younger sis­ters who will now only drink wa­ter and are in­ter­ested in ex­er­cis­ing more.

“My younger chil­dren now em­u­late what Frances does,” Joy Young, Frances’ mother said.

Young was amazed to see how many peo­ple were in­spired by her daugh­ter’s weight loss jour­ney. Peo­ple she knows at work, in her per­sonal life and even on so­cial me­dia have asked if Frances can help their chil­dren stay mo­ti­vated.

“Even if she helps one per­son not give up it would be so mean­ing­ful,” Young said of her daugh­ter. “She even had a baby in be­tween her weight loss. She gained it back and lost it again. So many peo­ple say, ‘I can’t do it,’ but she can in­spire them.”

For now while she re­cov­ers from her tummy tuck surgery, James is stick­ing to walk­ing on the tread­mill for 20 min­utes a day and has dreams of one day be­com­ing a per­sonal trainer.

“I miss it now,” she said of the gym. “I can’t wait to get back in.”


Frances “Frankie” James of Wal­dorf lost over 120 pounds through healthy eat­ing and ex­er­cis­ing con­sis­tently since she gave birth to her son, Cai, two years ago.

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