Real life weight loss: How this Florida woman lost 170lbs and conquered cancer

Jessica Beniquez from Spring Hill, Florida, began her weight loss journey at 320lbs. She's since battled cancer and won

Real life weight loss
(Image credit: Future)

At 320lbs, Jessica Beniquez from Spring Hill, Florida, started her weight loss journey in 2016. Growing up, Jessica was always overweight and it was not until after graduation she finally put her foot down. 

Jessica told her story to Youtube channel Truly, which is documenting radical body transformations. She said: “I was just sitting in bed watching Netflix and I would binge watch for a good two months. After that, I was like I am done with this." 

Jessica was stuck in a dangerous routine of watching four to five hours of TV and eating which was causing her weight to increase. She wanted to feel and look better and decided to make the journey to a brand new self. 

Jessica said: “I was just lazy. I just didn’t want to do anything or talk to anybody. I was drawn into the show and just didn’t want to get off the couch." 

Follow Jessica's inspiring story in the video below:

As well as binge watching TV, Jessica would fry a lot of her food in oil. “I would cook deep fried foods like corn dogs, French fries, chicken strips, chicken nuggets, mozzarella sticks. All of it. I would fry it. It's crazy like thinking back on my old eating habits because now, forget it. So gross." If you hanker after fried foods without the calories, you can always try our best air fryer list.

Jessica’s weight loss journey has inspired her to become a personal trainer, because after living through the experience, she knows what works. Jessica told Truly: “I never thought that I would be a personal trainer, that would never even cross my mind. I never even expected loving working out or eating clean. If you knew me four years ago, forget it. I was not the one to seek any advice about weight loss, about food, exercises - I was clueless."

Jessica was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in 2018. however, even though it affected her strength and exercise routine during chemo, Jessica was determined not to let her weight loss backslide. Staying strong, Jessica's stronger than ever and been declared cancer-fee.  

Real life weight loss: Jessica became a personal trainer after she lost 170lbs

(Image credit: Future)

Our takeaway? Jessica said: "when losing weight, I feel like the workouts that helped me most were high-intensity. A lot of cardio mixed with weight training, it's really effective for me."

High intensity exercises such as burpees are some of the best exercises for weight loss, alongside exercises such as boxing and battling ropes. HIIT is an extremely efficient way to lose weight: to get started, you can check out our four-week HIIT workout plan. 

In addition, Jessica managed to wrest her weight under control by breaking her habit of watching TV four hours a day. It's not an understatement that the sheer amount of content available on streaming services can be addictive today, but don't fall into the trap of a sedentary lifestyle: studies have found physical inactivity is a predicator of slow, long-lasting chronic diseases, as muscle wastes away through lack of use and our weight balloons, as we get used to having home comforts so close to hand.

We recommend setting timers or reminders on your devices to prevent you from being sucked into the vortex of content online. If you're finding it difficult to tear yourself away from the screen, you can always watch TV while doing a form of exercise, such as setting up a rowing machine or exercise bike in the living room. Our guide to the best exercise bikes are a good place to start.

Matt Evans

Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.