Occupation: Professional bridal consultant
Twenty-seven-year-old Jessica has no memory of ever being the same size as her friends. She says food was the center of everything in her life, good or bad, and she didn't know how to make healthy food choices. While Jessica was in high school, a rocky relationship with her mother contributed to her weight gain, and she continued to gain weight in college while pursuing her degree in social and behavioral sciences at the University of Arizona. She tried lap-band surgery in 2006, but it didn't solve the problem, and a "culmination of several low self-esteem moments" convinced her she needed to get healthy and change her life. Professionally, Jessica has had great success, starting her own wedding planning firm at the age of 23 called Top Shelf Bridal and Special Events. She hopes losing the weight will lead to a happier personal life, and give her the confidence to get out and meet new people and create a fun new life. Now at 282 pounds, Jessica says Season 5 winner and fellow Arizonian Ali Vincent has been an inspiration to her, and she looks forward to traveling and enjoying a more active social life once she loses weight.