Jamie Scobbie recently lost more than 100 pounds.
The 5-foot-5 social worker went from 271 to 165, give or take a few pounds. In clothing terms, she downsized from 2X tops and tight, size 20 pants to medium tops and size 10 jeans. The slide began in 2013.
“I got married in October 2012 at my heaviest,” said Jamie, 28, of Collinsville. “We had gotten gift cards. After the wedding, we bought a new scale. It was one of the big factors in making up my mind. I was used to the 250 range. When I weighed myself, I was 271. I realized I was getting a lot closer to the 300 mark. We got our wedding pictures back. They were good pictures. We had a good photographer. I wasn’t happy with how I looked.”
Jamie began thinking about the best way to lose weight, something she could stick with for a long period of time.
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“I’ve been overweight all my life,” she said. “It was one of those things where you try here and there. Nothing ever stuck ... I came across My Fitness Pal. It was an app for a phone. I focused on setting up a daily calorie goal.”
A database of food listings gave calorie counts. Jamie also could input her exercise and updates.
She made losing weight her 2013 New Year’s resolution, and she continues to use the app diligently. Jamie, who has a big sweet tooth, saves room in her daily calorie count for things she enjoys, such as an occasional cupcake from The Cup in Edwardsville.
She also introduced herself to exercise.
“I started by using my Wii Fit,” she said. “You can buy different games for it, exercise games ... They were low impact, not very strenuous. It was a good start for me. I did it a few times a week and just walked the rest of the time, exercising 30 minutes a day.”
She eventually completed a couple 5K runs, something she wouldn’t have tried before.
Jamie’s plan worked.
“I lost 10 the first month, and 10 each month thereafter,” she said. “By August, I had lost at least 60 pounds. I was on that fast track. I was surprised how easy it was. Probably my planning ahead helped. The (MyFitnessPal) website has a lot of information. You get information from other people’s forums.”
Her progress kept her going.
“I lost 90 pounds in the first year, then really strived for 100,” she said. “It took me a long time to get there. The numbers on the scale were not moving. I knew when you have less to lose it comes off slower. I finally hit 100.”
Jamie has been at the same weight, within five pounds, for the last six months.
“I still want to lose a little bit, but I’ve plateaued and focused on maintaining, especially through the holidays,” she said. “I still do track my food. My goal is 1600 calories a day. I would like to lose another 10 to 15 pounds, but I could stay where I am at and feel OK with that.”
Jamie and husband Ben live near the Troy-Collinsville border with their three dogs, a Corgi and two Great Danes. Jamie, a 1994 Triad graduate, has a master’s degree in social work from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She works for a Wood River non-profit as a case manager for adults with mental illness. She likes to read and draw, and sometimes work on cars with Ben.
“He was supportive of what I wanted to do,” she said. “He never pestered me about losing weight. I told him, ‘We are going to be shopping different. We aren’t going to have all the junk food in the house.’”
Jamie didn’t notice her change in appearance as much as others did.
“Looking back at the posts on (MyFitPal) site, I had posted: ‘I am at work. It’s before noon. and three people have already said I am looking skinny today.’ That helps solidify it’s working.”
Friends from high school didn’t recognize her. She even surprises those closest to her.
“A friend got married in October,” she said. “I was a bridesmaid. My husband was waiting for me at the reception. He said, ‘Where’s Jamie?’ Someone said, ‘Right there.’ He said, ‘Oh my gosh, I didn’t know it was you.’”
Early last fall, Jamie entered a Sara Lee online contest promoting its Delightful 45-calorie-a-slice bread. They wanted to hear from folks who had gone through a transformation. Jamie figured she fit the bill so she sent her story.
“I got a free T-shirt (that read), ‘I am a delightful person,’” she said. “It was a cute shirt. Later, I got the email that I was one of 45 finalists. I didn’t expect to be picked.”
Jamie made it through the semifinals, receiving free bread for a year, an iPod shuffle and a camcorder.
“I had to beat out eight other people,” she said. “Everyone had good stories. I am from a small area. I didn’t expect to win. I was surprised and excited.”
Now, Jamie and four others are up for a $4,500 grand prize. She could use your help. Anyone with a Facebook account can vote for her between Tuesday, Feb. 17, and Monday, Feb. 23.
How to vote: Go to the Sara Lee Bread Facebook page under the 45 Delightful People tab (https://www.facebook.com/SaraLeeBread). You may vote once a day. The winner will be crowned Sara Lee’s Delightful person and win the $4,500.