Hello again, world. That's right, it's me, and I'm back.  Funny how that works.

Let me start from the beginning. My name is Jessica Groff (formerly known as Hammerstein formerly known as Mueller). I am from all up and down the Bergen County line, but was originally born and raised in upstate NY (yes, near Albany). I'm of predominantly Mexican and Italian heritage on my mother's side, and I take after my mother's side (I mean, we look like a bunch of crazy clones), and so I was predestined to have either BIG BOOBS or a BIG BUTT. I was blessed with both. Lucky me.

In high school, I used to eat anything I wanted and ducked gym class as often as possible. No seriously, I used to melt blocks of mozzarella cheese in the microwave and eat it and I had to beg for a D my senior year in gym class because I was never there and I needed a D to graduate high school. It was like that.

For those of you who already know me well, you know that there are two things that I LOVE to do more than anything else: eat delicious food and indulge in good wine. And it's ALWAYS been that way. Forever. If you ask me to meet up, I will always say, "YEAH! LET'S GO GET A COCKTAIL AND DINNER AT THAT NEW RESTAURANT!!!" As far back as I can remember I was dipping bread in Mom's spaghetti sauce on a Sunday and licking the beaters whenever my mother catered for weddings and christenings. And let's not even TALK about the stuffed pizza at the Rendezvous in Stamford. Oh MARONE.

I guess I thought that it would never catch up. Don't we all?

Man, was I delusional. 

In college, I ordered Pizza Hut like it was going out of business the next day and hopped from frat party to frat party drinking the calorie-loaded cheapest-beer-you-can-get-in-a-keg every single night. I think I visited the campus gym ONCE, and saw more of my bed than I did of any classroom.  I subsequently gained the freshman 47 and have been battling the bulge ever since.

It's been a long and bumpy ride.

In 2011 I married the love of my life, and was at the smallest and most confident I had been in YEARS. Whatever I didn't get off chasing my dream wedding dress on the elliptical melted off from the stress of planning a wedding. I was down to 135 pounds and feeling FABULOUS. After the wedding, I went back to eating what I wanted. And by after, I mean at the reception, where I sat my wedding dress-clad butt in my chair while everyone else danced and wolfed down my entire plate of food and TWO desserts.

Fast forward to 2012, when my husband and I found out that I was carrying twin girls. You know what they say about being pregnant with girls -- they take all of the mother's beauty. Now double that.  Yikes.

Not only was the fact that we were having twins a swift kick in the you know what, but my hormones started raging out of control, and the ONLY thing that I could eat during my pregnancy was Stoffer's frozen macaroni and cheese and pepperoni bagel bites.  I was chugging Ensure like I was 21 in Hoboken but with protein shakes and a double-baby bump, and spending most of my time with my feet UP. Let's just say that after I gave birth to those two round heads I was not at my most svelte.

Now, I know what everyone is going to say.  "You were pregnant with twins! You had just given birth! Be a little bit easy on yourself!" But here's the deal: I WAS easy on myself. I ordered in every night and ate at the school cafeteria and slammed Coca-Colas all day long to keep me awake like it was my J-O-B.  It was all so easy. So easy that when I looked at myself in the mirror last spring and saw a 160 lb version of myself staring back at me, I couldn't even blame it on anyone but myself.

Enter my Beachbody coach. She was someone I met in a group in town, and I trusted her. She had given me a miracle-working essential oil through a desperate plea to help my kids with another upper respiratory infection, so I thought she was a goddess. And I talked to her about my struggles and she genuinely wanted to help me.

I had been coming home and falling asleep at 4:30 in the afternoon while my kids watched TV. I was ordering in 3-4 times a week because I didn't know what to make and I was too exhausted to think of something or too busy to remember to take something out of the freezer. I was throwing away food by the BAG FULLS because I would buy all of this good stuff with good intentions, but when it came right down to it, I just didn't have the energy to stand in the kitchen for an hour after a full day of work to cook a meal. I was FLUSHING MONEY DOWN THE TOILET.

And as I watched our credit card balances and my waistline grow, I finally threw my hands up and said, "THAT IS IT! SOMETHING HAS GOT TO GIVE!!!"

When my husband looked at me in May and said "Honey, you work so hard for our kids and our family, what do you want for Mother's Day this year?" I turned to him and said, "I WANT TO BE SKINNY!"

He thought it was a trap.

He thought I was trying to get him to say that I AM skinny.

He thought that if he agreed to buy me Shakeology for Mother's Day that it would mean that he was AGREEING that I was fat.

He looked terrified.

I calmly explained that I felt like garbage, that I was at LEAST 20 lbs over weight and it was literally weighing me down. I wanted to try this clean eating and Shakeology thing and see what it was all about.

Now I can bore you with the details of how I became a coach and how much I LOVE it in another post, but for now, I'll leave you with this.

It hasn't been easy.
It hasn't been perfect.
I've restarted like 17 times.
I've lost the weight.
I've kept it off.
I have more energy.
I feel fulfilled.
I love what I'm doing.
I want you to feel this way, too.

Rant over.

It's been great meeting you! Leave your story in the comments below, or click here to submit an application to JOIN MY TRIBE!!! 

Jess Groff

Me at 160 lbs.

Me at 160 lbs.

Me today  (with my hubby and my selfie light)

Me today
(with my hubby and my selfie light)