The journey...

Life is in the journey, not the destination, so do what you can and take it one day at a time. Go slow, do it right, and make your changes permanent — then help out others who are where you were.

~Jillian Michaels

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Face the facts...

Let's go back to the basics of math for a moment. If you have 1 + 1 we all know it equals 2. It's a simple equation that can't have any other possible result. When it comes to weight loss we know the variables are calories in, calories out. The scale can give a false reading because of various factors such as water retention, but for true weight loss/gain the basic equation is (calories in - calories out). We are always working towards a deficit if you are trying to LOSE weight.

These past 2 1/2 weeks I've had FAR more on my calories IN side than my calories OUT side. I say all the time to those who ask for advice that the hardest part of weight loss is the MENTAL/EMOTIONAL side of it and I'm gonna be honest, I feel like I've been on an emotional roller coaster lately and there is no ride-operator available to stop it...BUT WAIT...I'm the ride op! Weight loss is like a teeter-totter and you are daily striving for that balance emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. I've let circumstances not caused by me wear on my heart and my mind to the point of almost torment.

So here's the deal...I've made HORRIBLE food choices for two weeks straight now and to no surprise, I'm paying with HORRIBLE weigh in results. I avoided the scale for 1 1/2 weeks because I didn't want to FACE THE FACTS. I've told myself that I didn't want to EVER see myself under that 100 pounds lost mark once I reached it and I felt like my worst fear has been coming true. I'm a firm believer in you REAP what you SOW. The reaping isn't always an immediate reaction...but the reaping happens. I'm paying on the scale for the poor sowing in my body. Poor food choices, lack of exercise, neglecting my vitamins and thyroid medicine. AY!

...NOW it's time for some accountability folks. I've been 8 months into this journey now and I've managed concealing my weight on this blog. For all of my faithful blog readers I have nothing to be secretive about any longer though, you've all served as a great source of encouragement, love and support.

TODAY is the day of revealing, a day of transparency and brutal honesty with all of YOU. If I KNOW that I'm determined to see this through the long haul why should I hesitate in laying myself bare?

I started February 2nd at 342.2 pounds and hit my lowest weight 2 weeks ago at 235.9 pounds. Since then I've gained 5 pounds over the past 2 weeks and am now at 240.9 pounds. My ultimate goal is 140-145 pounds. The only reason I am "airing my dirty laundry" on my blog is for accountability. My friends, family, blog readers, FB've known where I've been and where I am know where I want to be. It's easy to see the ones you love everyday and in the back of your minds "know" they could afford to lose a little weight without knowing the true state of their being. You look at your loved ones in a different light and do not see the state they may be in physically, mentally or emotionally. You mark my last dollar, if you were to ask my closest friends, they would've had NO CLUE I was nearly 350 pounds (and probably heavier at some points). In their minds they loved me the same and my weight didn't matter...which PRAISE GOD for people who don't judge you for your weight...BUT...I was in a seriously BAD state of health that was daily getting worse and let's face it, I STILL am at a bad state of health, I'm just choosing to make it better.

I'm obese.

I'm unhealthy.

I'm out to make a lifestyle change.

I'm ready to start SOWING in a way that REAPS beautifully.

Galatians 6:7-8

"...for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Double-take all know when you have those moments where you see something that you have to turn to glance at twice. Whether it caught you by surprise, it was worth seeing again or you second guessed REALLY seeing what you just saw...we typically call these moments "Double-takes."

When you see yourself EVERY day in the mirror, it's often hard to see the progress from now versus "then." We are our worst critics and I know I often walk away from the mirror more discouraged than encouraged by the reflection staring back at me. It's because of this twisted image I paint of myself that drowns out the memories of what I USED to look like.

Well today, I posed a challenge on Facebook to take 5 minutes out of your day to go through old photo albums and create a "split photo" displaying your progress. The response was amazing! It generated a positive atmosphere of encouragement and initiated the realization of accomplishment for several ladies I know who are pursuing their own roads to better health.

Coming home and seeing those pictures and the edifying comments that followed was one of the highlights of my day! many messages of tears shed over the visual display of how GREAT each one of them truly is doing and having a moment to see that progress that is often overlooked or neglected from the one who deserves to celebrate it most...YOU!

June 2008 @ Juneteeth/October 2009 before "scenic photo walk."July 2008 as Maid of Honor/October 2009 Wisconsin Dells "Ladies Night Out."
October 2009 @ Sisterhood Retreat/February 2009 for friends birthday
February 2009 @ KFL benefit banquet/October 2009 in Wisconsin Dells, WI

Verse of the Day:

James 1:22-24 (NIV)
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Whether "Sisterhood" or "friends"...

oh YES - we went to The Dells...when it was FREEZING!!!

Ali, Me & Lexi

"Ladies Night Out"

This pic was for Connor (my new God-son) I love you buddy!

Crazy idea I had...haha...oh so fun! (Ali and I)



Valerie "my little ray of sunshine" and I

My roomie for the weekend, an amazingly strong woman - Ali!

Before seperating our personalized bracelet charms! Bittersweet!

"The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Pants"

The Dells, WI - Retreat 2009

It's been awhile since I was able to share with you all as the past month has been incredibly busy and chaotic to say the least. In the meantime, I just returned from an incredibly memorable retreat with a group of ladies formerly known as "The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Pants."

In July, a group of 6 ladies and I formed a weight loss support group after crossing each other's paths via Kristin Steede's blog and facebook page (Season 7 of The Biggest Loser) We created a private group on facebook to submit daily challenges M-F, record our weekly weigh-in results and document our milestone dates. It feels as though the group was birthed overnight and it turned into an indescribable power house of encouragement.

With over 600 pounds lost as a group, the atmosphere that we had created was tight-knit and motivating. Travelling from Georgia, Indiana, Hawaii, Missouri, Kansas and Wisconsin - we all met for the first time in person for our "Sisterhood Retreat," in Wisconsin Dells, WI. We stayed in the beautiful "bear claw" lodge at Spring Brook Vacation Home Rental development for 4 days and 3 nights.


  • Thursday night I had the privilege of meeting BOTH Kristin Steede and Cathy Skell from Season 7 of NBC's hit TV show The Biggest Loser. If you've followed my blog for any time at all, you already know that the "fire" under my saddle that initially got me off the couch was watching Kristin through tears on my best friends couch as she overcame obstacles that seemed impossible. Needless to say, dinner at Chili's that night with them was the PERFECT way to start off my vacation. The two of these woman are not only inspiring, beautiful and strong...but they are the most down-to-earth women! Conversation wasn't hard for a moment with them as we laughed, shared and listened for 3 solid hours. They have compassionate hearts that are undeniable. If you ever have the opportunity to meet someone who has encouraged you in any area of your life - you'll understand that you cherish that moment!

  • Friday we arrived at the lodge and after settling in our rooms, we exchanged gifts that no one had "pre-planned," with each other but apparently we all had the same idea. It was great seeing how each of these ladies who I've grown to love so much all had the same thought in mind to get something "special" for each sister. Each gift was incredibly heart-felt and well thought out. The gift I made for each of them was a framed and matted collage including each of our pictures including Kristin's (being as we all found each other through her) and also included a picture of "Inspiration Point," which is at a tree that you often see on The Biggest Loser on the hilltop. Under each girls frame I hand-wrote a quote (using a calligraphy pen) that they either personally said themselves that I found profound and encouraging or a quote that I know they use as motivation on their own weight loss journey. When I made those gifts, I never expected the reaction I received once they all flipped over their personalized frames and read their own words written for themselves to always reflect on - everyone was quiet and then I looked at the faces of each of these 5 women who I've grown to love so dearly over the past few months and tears were flowing from their eyes (ay! now I wanna cry). WOW! These girls have went from merely "facebook friends" and blog followers to ladies I am so thankful to have in my life.

  • Friday night was our pre-scheduled "Ladies Night Out." After sharing our gifts, tears, laughs and what seemed like a MILLION beautiful pictures, we all washed up and changed to go out for dinner at Marley's. The way we all connected in person, a stranger would have thought we'd all known each other for YEARS! Never would you have guessed we had all met each other for the first time in person less than 8 hours prior. Not once did I feel an awkward moment of silence or uneasiness not knowing what to say or how to act. Friday Night at dinner TWO of my lovely sisters surprised me with the BEST and most memorable NON-Birthday, BIRTHDAY celebration ever! OMGOODNESS!!! Words cannot describe the highlight of this night other than my shocked response of speechlessness and best ab workout ever as a result of LAUGHTER! The employees came out with a HUGE sundae (this wasn't sugar free, low calorie ice cream friends), put a CHICKEN hat on my head and sang a song that quite frankly I didn't even hear because I was still in shock trying to piece together exactly what was happening to me!!! I have to laugh at Val saying, "Is it Mesha's birthday? I feel horrible, I didn't know it was her birthday!?!" Oh boy, "Ed," was our chicken's name and the laughs that came from that night I don't believe will ever end!

  • Saturday morning five of us ventured to the fitness center in the club house and had our group work-out. One of the things I was looking forward to more than ANYTHING on this trip was the opportunity to work out side-by-side with these strong, successful women who have pushed themselves every day on their own and NOW we were getting the opportunity to push ourselves as a group. For me, working out with these girls was like playing a power mix on you iPod while pushing through an extra mile - I was determined to challenge myself! Lexi and I did interval training on the treadmill and for the first time ever I RAN (not jogged) but RAN at a 8.0! WOW! (I think they secretly wanted to KILL me over the weekend). I am so thankful for that memory of working out with the girls!

  • Sunday morning Mouse (Courtney) and I had a one-on-one water aerobics workout at the club house pool! Our workout lasted around an hour and I appreciated that quality time getting to talk, laugh and joke together. I am thankful we got this opportunity to break away for awhile and I'm not gonna lie - my workout routine kicked MY butt! Ms. Courtney somehow had bruises after all was said and done. haha...I told her she should have let me know she was allergic to water in advance (j/k).

  • Sunday afternoon we did some tourist shopping and returned to the lodge. Four of us ventured out on our own little leisurely walk and "photo shoot" along the trail. I had so much fun with these girls on our walk and so many funny jokes will always remain. Numerous moments were captured by camera and the photos speak a story of themselves. That "get-away" was one of the most carefree, relaxed moments of my vacation. I wish ALL of these girls lived closer because I could do walks like that EVERY day with them and never get bored.


Everything that was prepared for lunches and dinner this weekend I LOVED (Thanks Valerie, Ali & Alexis).

  • Quinoa Salad (delicious) w/ FRESH pineapple from Hawaii (OH so good)
  • Vegetable Lasagne (I had a second helping AND brought left overs home...AY! YUM!)

  • Tofu Peanut Vegetable Stir Fry (MOUTH WATERING!!! Tofu is not bad at all!)
  • White Chili topped with fat free sour cream and 2% shredded cheese (I want some NOW)

When the weekend at The Dells was done and over, goodbyes were hard to receive! No one wanted the fun we had shared to end and no one wanted to give that final hug saying "goodbye" as we saw one another off! As it is, we created memories that will last a life-time, but the vacation had to end...

...which brings us back to the "goodbye hugs." I now see that they were more than just a "see you next time," but rather the foreshadowing of a great group that had served it's purpose disbanding and leaving with some important life lessons learned. Due to a series of events, "The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Pants" is no more...but I feel strongly that some, if not all, of the friendships formed will stand!

I don't believe every relationship is meant to last forever, some come in a season for a reason and then they slowly fade away. That's kinda how I feel about the concept of "The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Pants," I don't regret one moment of our "Sisterhood" because I feel it was introduced in the perfect season of my life and so much good DID come out of it. As fast as it came, it went...but the ride was most defnitely worth it.


Verse of the Day:

Colossians 3:12–14

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Friday, October 2, 2009


down 10 jean sizes!!!

OFFICIAL AS OF: Sunday, September 27th, 2009
(100.8 pounds lost in 8 months)

April 2009

October 2009

AH HA....alas! That GIANT has been slain friends! As of Sunday, September 27th, 2009 - I am PROUD to announce that I have OFFICIALLY lost over 100 pounds in 8 months!!!

The reality of it all hit me the following morning as I was driving to water aerobics class and listening to worship music! GOD IS SO GOOD AND HE IS ALWAYS FAITHFUL!!! I look back over the past 8 months and when I give it thought - the eating right and working out really was NOT that's the mental part of it that's a mountain to climb.

Weight loss is like a gold mine, you dig and dig and get all dirty but after time you begin finding jewels along the way. I've learned so much spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically and each learning experience, whether good or bad - they've all served a purpose in teaching me how to succeed!

A year ago I NEVER would have thought I'd be in the place I am today! Full of joy, faith being renewed and daily finding "me." Not to mention...100 POUNDS LIGHTER!!! I have a LONG journey to still travel, but you know what friends...this is a lifestyle that never ends and I'm enjoying the ride.

NOW...onto a side note! I keep hearing people say, "I've fallen off the wagon" in reference to their weight loss journeys... My response: "Let's leave the wagon behind!" It's almost 2010, it's time to start driving fuel efficient vehicles that will last. To me the wagon is a "diet," hard to maintain, easily damaged when the road is tough and not guaranteed to last. The road I am on is a lifestyle change and although the road is surely rough, chances are less likely for me to be thrown out if I'm in a reliable CAR and not a wagon (Preferably one with seat

Go check out my girl Stacey's blog - God brings new friends into our lives at different times for different reasons and she has been a great added blessing! She featured my 100 lb milestone and her encouragement to me has been great! It's amazing having people in your life who can encourage you mentally, physically AND spiritually - she's one of them!

Miley Cyrus (better known as Hannah Montana)
The Climb

I can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head saying
"You'll never reach it"

Every step I'm taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking

But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I'm not breaking
I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going
And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on


Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby
It's all about, it's all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa

Verse of the Day:

Philippians 2:12-13 (NIV)

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.