Waldorf woman loses over 100 pounds
Waldorf woman loses over 120 pounds through diet and exercise
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.