How Beauty Queen Jill Knapp Lost 100 Pounds And You Can Too

Today we have a wonderful guest interview with Jill Knapp, who traded an extra 100 pounds in for beauty pageants.

I think you will find her dream story inspirational –

Whether following her personal blog, Get Up And Get Moving; her guest appearances; or simply viewing the photos she shares of her personal journey — Jill Knapp is proof that we can change our lives.

She is a wife and mother of 3 children.

She is a tireless diabetes advocate for the American Diabetes Association.

She also is a motivational speaker helping others get and stay motivated on their weight loss journey.

Jill has appeared on the Dr. OZ show and is a mentor to 3 former beauty queens who have gained weight.

Jill Knapp loves sharing her personal journey . . .

Q.  What keeps you from getting discouraged?

A.  Knowing I never want to feel as I did when I was overweight. Life was so depressing and I know I never want to live like that again.

Q.  Do you still follow a diabetic diet?

A.  Yes, I watch my carbohydrates, but I don’t do a total diabetic diet. I believe in the principle of eating 6 small meals a day. I did that through my whole journey and still do.I don’t like the word diet. Lifestyle change is what I did.

Q.  Being an emotional eater made it hard for you to change, what helped you to control that?

A.  Getting to the bottom of what was causing me to eat over emotions. I dug deep and realized that pain from life and childhood was part of the whole picture. I did a lot of soul searching and used my journal to write down my feelings.

I still journal my feelings instead of eating them.

Q.  The doctor told you that you had to do some type of aerobic program, walking — either on a treadmill or outdoors and needed to do it faithfully 5 days a week; do you recommend this for others?

A.  Yes! It’s not only good for weight control but good for depression. It’s also good to get some time to yourself. Exercise is a great way to get some time away from the daily grind of life.

Q.  Do you recommend joining a gym and working out with an instructor from the start?

A.  You can join a gym or work out at home. Brisk walks are great. Trainers are nice but not a must. It’s up to you and what your goals are. Workout DVD’s can be useful if you can’t afford a gym and they work well as long as you do them. I do believe in weight training.

Q.  After losing the first 20 pounds you were thrilled, did the diet and lifestyle change get easier from that point?

A.  I did feel better. Losing weight is hard work. The pay off is once you are on a program and stick to it. It does get easier with time. YOU must be consistent. You really start feeling great when the results from hard work start to show.

Q.  Being diabetic motivated you, what suggestion do you have for those that cannot seem to stay with a diet plan?

A.  My hope is by sharing my story I can help others not have to get a wake up call like a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. If you are really ready to lose weight. Be consistent. Set and keep goals.

If it’s emotional eating that is keeping you from moving forward find out the root of the cause and walk though what ever pain you need to so you can move on and start living life.

Make a life style change don’t call it a diet!

Q.  You said “that a good work out should feel a lot like work, and a little like recess.” How do you accomplish that?

A.  It would be hard but rewarding… When you are done I feel it should be something you want to go back to and do again. You have to find out what you like. Walking, jogging, running, rock climbing? Biking?

Exercise should be something you enjoy. It takes time to find out what is best for you.

For me, it’s the elliptical or fast walking along with weight training.

Here are a few reasons why:

1. Weight training tones your muscles which looks great and raises your basal metabolism…which causes you to burn more calories 24 hours a day. You’ll even burn more calories while you’re sleeping.
2. Weight training can reverse the natural decline in your metabolism which begins around age 30.
3. Weight training strengthens your bones reducing your risk of developing osteoporosis.
4. Weight training energizes you.
5. Weight training can make you strong. strength gives you the confidence and makes daily activities much easier.
6. Weight training improves your posture
7. Weight training lowers your resting heart rate, a sign of a more efficient heart.
8. Weight training elevates your mood.

Q.  What suggestions do you have for those of us that are so down on ourselves that it is hard to get motivated?

A.  Stop pounding away at your short-comings. We all have them. Look at the good in your life and start living. Dig deep to pull forward and become a better you. You have to believe in you!

YOU are not your weight.

You are wonderful and need to feel that way. Getting healthy is an amazing thing and living that way for the rest of your life can do wonders for the soul.

Don’t Forget to “Get Up and Get Moving”!

Here’s Jill on the Dr Oz show –

Thank you Jill for being such an inspiration for us all – and thank you for being a guest interview on 8 Women Dream.

You can read more about Jill on her blog, Get Up And Get Moving!


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  • Joann Miller

    I just had a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Fell upon your site and am glad i did. I really needed this. Today I was so low and am glad to see someone else got their diabetes under control though losing weight and eating right. Gives me hope that I can do it too.

  • CC

    Building up your core muscles is very important for strength, posture, and overall health. I have back issues and I began weightlifting to focus a lot on core exercises to help take care of my back . . . and proper stretching through Yoga classes. This helped me lose 68 pounds.

  • Gwen

    I’ve been trying to lose weight for years. Actually, I have tried over and over again. It gets old. Your story is inspiring.

  • Bridgette

    Amazing story. I also understand that shedding fat too rapidly can cause your body to cannibalize its own muscles to make up for the energy deficit. So taking two years was definitely the right way to do it.

  • I am a huge believer in small meals throughout the day as a LIFE STYLE change. Plus weight training… I was totally confident in my physical strength and abilities when I was weight training.

    Thanks to Jill for guest posting and for Cath making the connection!

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Thank you again Jill for allowing me a day off with your wonderful story – we wish you great success!

  • Thank you so much for the sweet comments. It doesn’t matter where you are at in life you can do what I did!! :-) Have a wonderful week!

  • Mariska Smith

    Jill, your story is amazing and so inspirational! How great that you were featured on Dr Oz. And Happy birthday Catherine. -Mariska

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Why thank you Miss Remy!

    I know – she is so inspirational. 100 pounds is not easy! She makes me think of the possibilities for my 50s . . .


  • Remy G

    Wow what a woman…and I want to get to a healthy point in my life where I feel strong every day! thanks and Happy Birthday beautiful lady! Rem

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  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Thanks Terry – need to do it again. I miss the strength and as I waltz into my 50s health should be at the forefront of my dream life.

  • TC

    Amazing story. You’ve done the same thing in the past when you were doing all those boot camps for years on end after to had your son Brian.

    Happy Birthday.