From Caretaker Of Paralyzed Grandmother To Inked Magazine: Point Pleasant, New Jersey Girl Needs Your Vote
We’ve been following Shaylynn Jones’ journey over the last two weeks because there’s a ton on the line for our local Point Pleasant girl. She entered a national contest to be the next cover girl of Inked Magazine and if she wins, she also gets awarded 25 thousand dollars. In Jersey, we rally around our own. It’s who we are but there’s more reason than just loyalty to get her back right now. After spending time getting to know Shaylynn, her personal story moved me deeply. So instead of “interviewing” her I asked if she would be vulnerable enough to share her story with you and she agreed. Meet Shaylynn, the girl behind the contest.
Shaylynn’s exclusive story:
Hi, I’m Shaylynn Jones. I’m proudly from Point Pleasant and I’m finally ready to share my story. I battled with my weight practically my whole life. I was relentlessly bullied all throughout elementary school for being the chubby tomboy. It took it’s toll. In middle school it wasn’t any better, I became isolated and if was pretty dark. I was looking for love and acceptance as a teen, like we all do, and I ended up getting pregnant with my son at the young age of 16.
As you can imagine, this pregnancy came with feelings of being ostracized all over again. I found comfort in food, it was a trusted friend that was always available. As a result, I ended up gaining 100lbs through my pregnancy. Yes, 100 pounds.
By the time I hit 21 years old, I weighed in at around 265lbs and I’m five foot three. I was in such a dark place, now I was battling my weight, going through a divorce from my sons father, and not knowing who I was anymore. I didn’t know how to be alone since I was in a relationship at such a young age. I hated what I saw in the mirror every single day. I hated myself every single day because I couldn’t keep my family together for my son’s sake. I know now that these things made me who I am today, but let me tell you, it still wasn’t easy.
After my divorce (around 2010), I ended up having to quit my job because my grandmother who I call nanny, became paralyzed. My mom and I could never put her in a nursing home so we made the decision to be her full time caretakers. I should also share that later on I suffered with miscarriages and often coped with food. Today, I’m finally a mom of three and happily remarried, but during those pregnancies there was also weight again. I knew for myself and for my family that I had to fight through the darkness that was cloaking me and I had to make changes.
Through the help of an app called Lose It! and sheer will, I lost over 85 pounds. I have a muscular frame so that actually was enough weight loss for me and I never felt more empowered. I wanted others to feel this good so I was happy to donate my time to help other lose weight too. I was still taking care of my Nanny and my three children so I found very little time for myself until I saw an ad for the Inked Cover contest. I decided to give this gift to myself and with sweaty palms, I entered. I thought it was a long shot and frankly, I still kind of do. But if there is one thing I learned in life so far, it’s not to listen to that little doubtful voice in your head. That voice only gets louder when you’re on to something really good. Fast forward to right now, I’m a SEMI-FINALIST! I can’t believe it! Since I entered this contest, my nanny said her final wish was to see me on the cover of a magazine! She’s my biggest fan and I’m hers.
There’s days I still pick myself apart, I’m not perfect and I’m still human. Then there are days when I walk past a mirror and do a double take because I just cannot believe I did this. I want you to know that you can do it too.
It is my greatest hope to inspire anyone suffering from depression, who struggles with self-love, or his or her weight. I just want you to know that you can absolutely come out of the hole you were in shinning bright like a diamond. I wanted to share my before and after photos with you and photos of my beloved Nanny and Mom. Please keep scrolling to see my before and after photos below:
To help our girl win (it’s neck and neck right now) it’s come down to more local votes AND she gets extra votes if you make a donation to the charity in this link. If anyone would like to sponsor her that would be enough no doubt to put her over the top and bring it home for Point Pleasant. Please share this post on social media and vote/contribute here:
We’re pulling for you Shaylynn!
Listen to Lou & Shannon mornings on 94.3 The Point and download our free 94.3 The Point app.
Here is our talk with Shaylynn on air this morning: