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

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

If you build it...

...they will come!


I must admit, cardio bores me to tears in it's more "common" forms.  Walking on a treadmill, gliding on an eliptical, pedaling on a recumbant bike...*SNORE*  I can tolerate the stair master but it's moreso because I'm concentrating on keeping my clumsiness suppressed than the actual exercise.  You put me on a cardio machine and it's like I develop A.D.D., EVERYTHING seems more appealing at the time than the task at hand.  I try to mix it up with a bike ride or walking on the street where at least the scenery is changing.

Another venue I actually enjoy is group exerciseResearch has shown that people who participate in group exercise are more likely to stick with an exercise routine than those who workout alone. The accountability and fellowship that comes from group activity keeps peoples interest levels high. You are less likely to miss a workout when you feel others are counting on you or expecting your company. I know for me, when I know I'm working out alone it's easy to say "I'll do it after work," or "I'll do it tomorrow," because I'm simply cancelling on myself - not those anticipating my arrival.

LOVE classes like Zumba or step aerobics; boot camps or water aerobics; but the problem is those can become costly and let's face it - funds aren't endless in my account.  One day I'm going to have a floodgate break and $$money$$ come rolling in...then I'll have state-of-the-art cardio equipment in the movie theatre of my custom built house rather than lounge chairs.  I can see it now, I'll have all my friends over for ACTION movie night.  Who knows, that just may increase my interest in those fat burning cardio machines (Wha? I can dream...).

ANYWAY...back to the basis of my post.

WEEK 3:  I was looking for a way to motivate myself in cardio workouts.  My gym offers group classes but most are during my work hours or times I'm already busy.  Last August I initiated a 100 mile challenge that really pushed me in the cardio arena but I wasn't really ready to rush into that challenge again (although it may be coming).  This year I was looking for something to change it up and get me going.  I love taking advantage of our beautiful walk/bike trails in Olathe and the Johnson County area so utilizing them was a priority...but WHAT could I do that I'd faithfully stick with?

walking clubYep, PERFECT!  Three weeks ago I started a walking club that meets every Thursday at different locations to exercise at your own pace but in a social environment.  This club mainly consists of co-workers although everyone is welcome to invite friends or family members to join us.  The turnout for our walks has been great!  Week one we had 4 walkers and a stroller, week two there were 5 walkers and last week we had SIX walkers and one who showed up late.  The numbers are rising and it brings to mind the famous line from Field of Dreams, "If you build it, they will come."
Last week we set GOALS for ourselves to work towards until our next group walk.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am certainly goal oriented on this journey and understand the purpose of marking them out.  Every person was to set a healthy goal to strive towards, one that challenged them in a realistic way.  There was a wide-range of goals such as cutting down pop, increasing water intake, walking 1 mile or more daily and getting proper sleep.  There is so much MORE to healthy living than just exercising although cardio is highly important for your heart - a muscle you do not want to overlook.  I want us to be a group that doesn't just walk a few miles once a week - I want us to be a group who is actively learning more about healthy living every day!

If you're struggling to get motivated or stick to your heart-pumping cardio routine, try starting a group exercise club with family, colleagues and/or friends.  Walking, jogging, biking or even hiking.  Try to change the scenery with different locations and consider ways to keep them coming (incentives, challenges, recognition, t-shirts, benefit events, gifts, etc).  Some times the greatest way to encourage yourself is by encouraging others.

I look forward to the weeks ahead - what is YOUR goal towards better health for this week?

Verse(s) of the Day:

1 Thessalonians 5:10-11 (NIV)

"He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."

Friday, June 25, 2010




Good Afternoon!

I am pleased to announce that I lost my first 9 lbs for this challenge and landed a spot in 3rd place this week.  EVERYONE has done amazing and I was so excited to see the results.  Seeing the pounds drop is exciting but hearing about the healthy changes being made in each contestants life is far more rewarding.  I log on to facebook to see statuses posted from each one of these individuals who are giving their all in the gym and with their food choices.  I'm reading about people eating raw veggies, grilled fish, egg whites, drinking water (and LOTS of it) and then taking a good hard beating in the gym by their personal trainers.  Chris Wilson took first this week losing an outstanding 11.2 pounds.  INCREDIBLE!  This young man has a wedding he's working towards at the end of August - I'd say he's off to a great start.

This week most contestants got plugged in to their local gym and/or fitness center and met with personal trainers.  I am excited to be running this race with personal trainer Brandon Hersh from Gold's Gym.  We sat down to make a game plan on Tuesday and Wednesday this week and on Thursday had our first "interview" session.  I say interview session because it was more of an evaluation session to determine where I am in my workouts.  He's a down to earth, easy to talk to, FUN guy.  He poked at the idea of doing a 5k together in week 6  - that's a challenge within the challenge that I'd like to start working towards.

The 5k is exciting, but first things first - NEXT SUNDAY I will be participating in the Mass Street Mile in Lawrence, KS.  This will be my first registered fitness event and I am incredibly excited to share it with my best friend and roommate, Ali Trier.  I might not be ready to tackle the 5k just yet, but with my first FULLY jogged mile completed last week, I took that energy and sense of accomplishment that came along with it and found myself registering for this event.  It's a race on 4th of July that calls for everyone, whether you're a 4 or 15 minute miler, to lace up running shoes and come out for it's DEBUT event.

I'm excited to see the weeks ahead unfold for this challenge...stay tuned!

Follow @ and fan them on facebook: Kansas City Fitness Magazine

Verse of the Day:

Isaiah 40:30-31 (NIV)

"Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint."

Former Fat Girl


SUHWEET!  I was honored when Michelle from Secrets of a Former Fat Girl emailed me to ask if I'd be interested in completing the interview questions for her Former Fat Girl of the Week spot.

I remember not long after I started blogging I stumbled across Michelle's weekly feature and read the success story of an amazing woman who had lost an incredible amount of weight and was being recognized for her achievement.  I remember following the link to her blog and reading about how excited she was to receive that blog award and how at first it was hard for her to accept the title "former fat girl," when in her mind she was still on a journey and not to a place of feeling she was "formerally fat," rather than still overweight and getting smaller.  I read that with about 50 lbs lost at the time thinking, WOW, I would love to be able to be at the place she my mind she WAS a former fat girl.

Now, here I am one year later receiving the same spotlight of weight loss recognition with a similar story..."Former Fat Girl of the Week," but I still have 80 lbs to lose.  I'm realizing that "Former Fat Girl of the Week," isn't so much about being skinny or being in "normal range," Former Fat Girl of the Week is a proclamation.  A statement shouting loudly, "HEY, I'm not where I was...I'm not my 'former' self."  Former Fat Girl of the Week is more about who you've become rather than your weight on the scale.  Former Fat Girl of the Week is about everyday, ordinary woman who have decided to take their lives back by healthy living and are succeeding on their journey to do just that!

TODAY, today I'm PROUD to add my "Former Fat Girl" blog button and share with you the joy I have in receiving it!  Former Fat Girl is a mentality for me...changing the way I think each and every day!

Verse of the Day:

Psalm 37:4

"Our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we trust in His holy name."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010




I'm TOTALLY pumped for today's 1st weigh in with KC Fit Magazine.  From what I hear, everyone has pulled some really impressive numbers this first week and the competition is going to be REALLY tough!  Ya know what, I'm game!  What I love about THIS challenge is that it's not about a money prize or winning anything other than your own health and well being.  We aren't paid to be a part of the challenge nor are we promised anything in return by participating other than a GREAT challenge, awesome accountability and a great group of people which creates some FUN!  I love this challenge because it shows Kansas City that with hard work, discipline and dedication -- you can accomplish AMAZING things!  It shows what really is possible when you put forth 110%.  This morning I got up to get in my LAST CHANCE WORKOUT and chose to do speed intervals as my weapon of choice.  10 treadmill/10 stairmaster/10 arc trainer = 30 minutes of heart pumping cardi-OUCH action!

I must say that I am truly BLESSED to have the opportunity to be a part of this challenge and THANKFUL to have such a great group of people to be challenged by the next 8 weeks!

Don't forget to check out the results this Friday at!

Verse of the Day:

Psalm 37:4

"Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Visualize the Prize

GOALS!  A word that isn't foreign in the world of weight loss by any means.  A goal is something you strive for, something you'd like to attain.  Setting goals is important in life because it motivates you to get active in reaching them.  Whether it's a financial goal, family goal, work goal or weight loss goal...most goals are set to better yourself or those around you in some way.  They are meant to give you a vision-something to look at and aim towards.

I can tell you a few goals that I have:

  1. Love others more like Christ
  2. Be debt free
  3. Run the Disney Princess Half Marathon in 2011
  4. Reach goal weight of 140-145 lbs for 200 lbs total lost
  5. STAY healthy & active for life
Each of those goals I set are beneficial for my life because they promote well-being: mentally, physically or spiritually. Not only that, but each of these goals are ATTAINABLE. I always say, "Our goals should always ENCOURAGE us, not discourage us..." I think a big part of goal setting is that you set them high enough to where you challenge yourself in them but not so drastic that they are unattainable and leave you feeling worthless or as a failure.

A few weeks ago I read my email newsletter from and the title was Visualize the Prize.  It encouraged us to create an image in our minds of what we'd like our body to look like, one thats realistic.  Read the following snippets below:

"It's simple: Picture in your mind the object of your desire (whether it's a situation, an event, or an image of yourself) as vividly as possible. Spend time concentrating on the image, truly believing in it as if it were already real. Be detailed and comprehensive in creating the image, and be sure to include your emotional well-being in this vision as well."

"You can now create an image of your body that fits your genetic type and potential. It must be an attainable vision, not one that will be out of reach. For example, I'm never gonna be able to slam-dunk like LeBron James — I'm five feet two! But it doesn't mean that I can't play one *heck*(edit) of a mean basketball game. I will be the best player that I can be, and at the end of the day that's what counts. Your imagination can be the source of your fear, but it can also provide the remedy."

When I close my eyes and dream about the healthy, active, FIT & lean "me," I get emotional.  At 220+/- pounds, I see a faint vision that I couldn't dream up at 342+ lbs.  I see a new person who loves every aspect of her life: GOD, her family, friends, job and BODY.  I see a girl who has a semi-toned physique, slender face and petite features.  By no means is she your next "cover girl" or "body builder" but she can give you a run for you money in the gym or the court.  She's modest and she's STRONG both inside and out.  She is always smiling and embracing others.  One who hasn't forgot where she came from but is thankful for where she is NOW.  I see a girl who shops with her friends without fear of sizing or shame of weight.  One who creates fun, active activities to do with others and doesn't have to forfeit prematurely due to lack of breath or joint pain.  This "me" jumps, runs, climbs, SWIMS and even hikes with friends.  She's not afraid of more active sports such as soccer, basketball, tennis or biking...she keeps up and at times even leads the pack.  Emotionally she's thankful, not for the weight but for the journey losing the weight took her on.  The ups, downs and everything in between that she learned about herself and even others due to the process.  WOW...this "new" girl - I L-O-V-E her and I can't wait to meet her and for her to be revealed to the world.

NOW, I'm not the best artist in the world, but I am fortunate to have a BFF who snaps pictures on her Blackberry while we are in stores. Better yet, one who captures photos that end up have a much deeper meaning than just a funny pose to be tagged in via facebook. (Not to mention, it gives all of YOU a better visual of the picture painted in my mind :)

Anyways, we were at Gary Gribbles Running Shoes a few weeks ago because it was time for some new workout shoes.  If you've never been...GO...they fit you for what shoe is right for YOU!  The girl I had the privilege of dealing with was around my age and height - she was fit, active and fun.  Turns out she's ran a couple marathons and running is something she LOVES to do.  I was super impressed with her marathon accomplishments and she was equally commenting on my weight loss.  We talked about my new adventures with jogging and my goal to run some 5k's this summer and next year complete the Disney Princess Half.  Somewhere in this time frame, Ali happened to snap a camera phone shot of us talking.  When I got in the car and took a peek at this "candid" picture, I couldn't help but notice we were both wearing black exercise shorts, red T-Shirt, hair pulled back and well the obvious...we're both black.  lol.  This girl was a "picture" of what is only a "vision" or dream for me right now but she gave me an image of what body I'd like to strive towards (only add a few pounds :).

Verse of the Day:

Philippians 3:14

"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010



Voting closed at 5p yesterday and out of 24 potential contestants, I came in 4th with 270 votes in 1 1/2 days.  I am now officially a contestant for Kansas City Fitness Magazine's 3rd Kansas City Weight Loss Challenge.  I'm excited to see what the next 9 weeks will bring along and how successful I'll be at shedding MORE of this weight!

Stay tuned...

Verse of the Day:

Luke 1:37

"For nothing is impossible with God."

Monday, June 14, 2010


I am in the final stages of being a contestant of Kansas City Fitness Magazine's 3rd Weight Loss Challenge.

They are asking us to GET YOUR VOTES!

IF YOU ARE ON FACEBOOK, TODAY, June 14th until 5pm tomorrow, June 15th, the voting will be open.  You can vote simply by clicking the "like" button on my posted picture.  They will be posting all photos for those running on Monday morning.

The photos can be found at Kansas City Fitness Magazine's facebook fan page.  Feel free to become a fan of KC Fit Magazine as well.  :)


Verse of the Day:

Hebrews 11:1

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see..."

Thursday, June 10, 2010



I am in the final stages of being a contestant of Kansas City Fitness Magazine's 3rd Weight Loss Challenge.

They are asking us to GET YOUR VOTES!

I need your help, IF YOU ARE ON FACEBOOK, on Monday, June 14th at 8am until 5pm on Tuesday, June 15th, the voting will be open.  You can vote simply by clicking the "like" button on my posted picture.  They will be posting all photos for those running on Monday morning.

The photos can be found at Kansas City Fitness Magazine's facebook fan page.  Feel free to become a fan of KC Fit Magazine as well.  :)


Verse of the Day:

Hebrews 11:1

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see..."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I got this in an email from a friend a couple weeks ago and thought it was fitting and appropriate to share here on my blog!  It's spurring me on to re-prioritize my exercise for fitness versus my exercising FAITH.  Hope you enjoy!


By Dr. Michael A. Halleen
"I pray that . . . (God) may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being." (Ephesians 3:16)

The fitness center in which I work out several times a week has pictures on the wall of club members who have won prizes in regional bodybuilding contests. One of them is of a fierce looking man who often has his workout at the same time of day - early morning - as I do. He has a shaved head, long mustache and eyes that bore holes through the air. His time in the gym is alone time - Mr. Bodybuilder never speaks to anyone or even acknowledges that others of us are in the gym. The picture on the wall of his finely chiseled body in full flex pose, wearing the championship belt of the Masters Division (age 50 and above), is a reminder of who the alpha male is in this neck of the woods.

One holiday morning the club attendant was late arriving. Several of us sat in our cars, listening to radios, waiting for the doors to open. Mr. Bodybuilder drove up in a canary-yellow convertible and started pacing up and down on the strip mall sidewalk. After a five-minute wait, he strode back to his car and said the only words I've ever heard him speak: "I can't wait! I've got supplements to take!"

The only supplements I take are jam on toast and cream in coffee. But apparently there are additives available that do more than stimulate the palate. Some seem to help one look like a Michelangelo statue. What if there were also supplements available to help improve one's attitude? A friendship pill, a good-cheer capsule, or a relax-and-smile tablet might help some I know. Some need persistence supplements, others could use a self-worth additive. Many would benefit from salting their breakfast with determination and a positive spirit.

What was impressive about Mr. Bodybuilder's commitment was his discipline. His supplements were taken at a certain time, with determined regularity. Nothing was going to prevent that from happening. The benefit of similar discipline in prayer . . . in study . . . in serving those in need . . . in worship . . . in building relationships within one's family-who can tell what kind of championship awaits the one who faithfully develops the inner being?

So when I saw another man on an exercise bike in the gym reading a Bible the other morning, I strode back to my car thinking, "I've got supplements to take!"

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Busy Vacation

Am I the only one who finds that they end up MORE exhausted from vacation than they do just going in to work?  I do!  Doesn't matter whether my vacation is going some place fun or staying home...exhausting nonetheless.

I will say that I've had A LOT of F-U-N though.  Riding dune buggies, VOLLEYBALL, basketball, food-fighting (lol), swimming, eating, movie watching, walking and picture taking.  (Did any of you catch the eating?)

I'd like to say that I burned off just as many calories as I've eaten with my 7+ games of volleyball this weekend, 1-on-1 basketball and splashing around in a pool but I'm thinking it's unlikely.

The past 4 out of 5 weeks of phase one of the Biggest Weight Loss Challenge have proven quite hard.  When I wrote "Bad Habits Die Hard," apparently that was an understatement.  Feeling like you are starting all over again from day one is HARD.  Not being able to jump on the scale and weigh myself, it's HARD. When you are running around as much as I have been, YOU HAVE TO PLAN because YOU WILL FAIL if you haven't.

In the past 7 days I've found myself at a birthday party, TWO bar-b-ques, church, campout, chuck-e-cheeses, doctor's office, crown center, park, hotel pool, steak-n-shake, chinese buffet, walk to the redbox, lake and today I'm heading to Science City.  OH YEA  - and tomorrow morning I wake up early to drive to St. Louis to visit the zoo and maybe *crosses fingers* the arch! Am I allowed to take a post-vacation?

I'm proud of how active I've been but I over-compesated the burnt calories in yummy group eating sessions. Hamburger's, brats, macaroni & cheese, chips, cupcakes, cake, ice-cream and more. Egg casserole, biscuits & gravy, sausage and other items that made their way to my plate without hesitation. WOW! It was good, not so much worth it though.

Next Sunday is our group weigh in, the first weigh in I've had in 5 weeks and I can't say that I'm exactly anxious for it!  I'm going to go hardcore next week and try to turn it around but we'll see.  I have no "barometer" of the damage or success without the scale which makes it tough because I'd like to just say it's a mind battle but my food choices support the results of damange.  EEK.  During my doctor's visit for labs and weight loss discussion, she did offer me some encouragement in the fact that all my numbers look AMAZING and that regardless of what this last 5 weeks show, I've proven that I know how to do it on my own in a healthy manner and I shouldn't be discouraged by the setback.  I'm embracing that comfort to get me through this weigh in.  :)  The mental hurdles you have to jump on a weight loss journey are insanely emotional.  I have to keep perspective of what I've done and not let the struggle of what I've been doing keep me from my weight loss goals & dreams!

One of my best friends said it best on one of her facebook statuses a couple days ago.  I am so proud of her for all she's done and ALL my weight loss girls!!

Valerie wrote:
"well, I missed my one year weight loss anniversary cause I was bemoaning the fact that I am struggling so much right now. But today, when I realized it's been a year, I got to thinking: it's been a struggle all along...and it's the fact that I'm still "battling with the struggle" a year after the fact that counts. So... there. STRUGGLE ON! :)"


Verse of the Day:

Ecclesiastes 3:10-12 (NIV)

"I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live."