The Sound of Music
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Jessica says she has a bucket list of activities she can't participate in just because she is overweight. "I want to cross things off my list because I have done them," she says, "not because I can't physically do them." Jessica was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the oldest of three children. She earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Westminster College and received her bachelor's degree in nursing from DeSales University. She didn't have a weight problem until she left for college, when she gained 80 pounds during her freshman year. Now 26 years old and 254 pounds, Jessica works as a traveling registered nurse and moves every three months. On her feet for 12 to 16 hours a day, her stressful work schedule of day and night shifts has resulted in poor eating habits. Her "aha moment" came in 2010 when she was on a medical mission in Ecuador and felt like she stood out because she was the only one who was obese. She came home from that trip determined to create a better life for herself, which included ending a six-year relationship that she felt wasn't healthy. Without her weight holding her back, Jessica looks forward to shopping with her mom and sister in the same store, flying comfortably in an airplane, skydiving, going to amusement parks, running a marathon and crossing everything off her bucket list.