My name is Jess.
I’m 20 years old and I live in New Zealand.
I am half Danish and half Samoan.
Samoans are genetically predisposed to heart disease and diabetes among other things.
This is the main reason I am trying to get healthy.
I’ve spent my whole life overweight.
Many people probably just thought I was on the chubby side since I’m so tall. But I have always weighed far too much.
Through high school I felt out of place since I went to school where there weren’t many white faces.
It wasn’t until I was in my last year of high school that I was starting feel okay with my body. I was going to the gym, losing my belly and to top it all off, I got in to my first serious relationship.
Then I started at tertiary education. I stopped going to the gym so I could spend all my time with my boyfriend since we didn’t go to the same school any more. I’d have dinner at home after school and then I’d go to my boyfriends place where I’d have a second dinner.
To make it worse I started getting the contraceptive jab and my appetite sky rocketed and I was constantly hungry. I would be the last person at the dinner table every night, stuffing myself.
In 9 months I managed to put on around 37 kilos (81lbs).
I don’t fit any of my favourite clothes any more. I get my grandmother to make me clothes now so I don’t have to go shopping because it’s too depressing.
So in December 2011 I decided to do something about it.
This is me getting healthy.