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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The 411

From size 28 to 12...and still going!


I started this blog in 2009 as a means of documenting my journey to losing 200 lbs.  I wanted something to reflect back on as I strive to succeed in a healthy, sustainable and realistic way.  I've always loved creative writing and blogging opens a whole new world to express your thoughts, emotions and experiences. This blog is not only a way for me to keep record but I hope it encourages and inspires others too.

"Sometimes the best way to encourage yourself is by encouraging others."

"If you would have asked me then, I NEVER thought I'd be where I am today..."


On a Tuesday night in January 2009, I incidentally locked myself out of my house causing me to pay a surprise visit to one of my best friends' house. With an open door she welcomed me with her usual disclaimer, "Make yourself at home, help yourself to anything in the fridge..." followed by "I usually watch Biggest Loser every Tuesday night, so I hope you don't mind." This was the first time I really sat and watched an episode of NBC's The Biggest Loser. Mid-way through this DVR'd program, I remember holding back tears as I watched Kristin Steede, Season 7 contestant, as she worked her way through a mud pit with a determination and desire to gain her life back. I remember them flashing her starting weight on the screen and being shocked that this extreme weight loss reality TV show was following the progress of individuals barely over my weight. At that time, the majority of prior contestants actually started UNDER my weight in fact! WOW! It was at that moment that I realized the state I had reached. My friends watched in amazement, making comments like, "Mesh, you wouldn't BELIEVE how far this girl's come! She's done amazing, she started at like over 300 lbs." Not once did they connect that the reality of her situation was sitting next to them on their living room couch. That day I set it in my heart that I can do this too, I NEED to do this too. I joined Gold's Gym and started Weight Watchers within two weeks.


I started my journey in February 2009 at 342.2 lbs following the Weight Watchers program.  I proudly shed my first 25 lbs on plan before growing wings of my own.  I'm thankful for the jump start in confidence that Weight Watchers gave me because I don't know if I would've started as successfully without the structure they offered me.


1 in 5%

I've always been an "All or Nothing" type of girl and I try not to jump into things if I don't feel I can succeed.  When I started my journey on Weight Watchers, I heard a discouraging statistic within the first couple months.  I read somewhere that only 5% of women who lose weight on program actually keep the weight off over time.  I remember thinking then, "What's the point?"  I quickly turned that failing statistic into my encouragement though and proclaimed that I WILL BE "1 in 5%."  That is something that has stuck with me from that point. Even though I no longer follow the weight watchers plan, the failing statistic overall in weight loss is very much so still present and I continue to remind myself that I WILL be "1 in 5%." Losing 200 pounds and keeping it off is a TOUGH challenge, but if I am going to put in the work to make it happen, I refuse to work in vain.  I don't have that story of tried and failed, up until the point I started I hadn't tried diet plans or really given much action to losing weight. I decided this is going to be a change that's ONCE for all and by God's grace I hope it's a testimony I can celebrate years from now!


IT'S WORTH IT!  The only thing standing between where you are today and where you could be is one pivotal choice. Will you choose to turn from the life that has caused you so much pain, insecurity and poor health to fight for the one you deserve?  One that is healthy, happy and full of joy?  That's where I am today, I chose to stop watching everyone else go after their dreams while I sat back and tolerating my own life.  I'm done living through the lives of my friends, I'm ready to take on my own.  I am so thankful for every success and setback I've experienced on this journey and even those I have yet to experience down the road. I don't know what's more rewarding, setbacks or successes because I learn and grow the MOST from the setbacks.

This hasn't been easy, but every single day that I choose to live for Christ in a healthy manner (body, mind and spirit), IT'S WORTH IT!

I'm LOSING weight and I'm GAINING life!

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." - Heb. 12:1

"I can do ALL things through CHRIST who strengthens me." - Phil. 4:13


I want to thank God first and foremost for being my #1 strength on this road.  ALL THINGS are possible through CHRIST who strengthens me and I praise God that even through my struggles in weight loss and life in general, God has made me stronger.  The days I'm not finding my life complete in Him are the times I find myself sinking fast.  Through Him I have the ability to walk in discipline and obedience and confidence of receiving what I've longed for...a healthy, happy life that glorifies Him!

Thank you to my amazing Mom & Dad who have supported me from the first step.  I'm thankful to have parents who have loved me AND each other with a love that doesn't change day by day.  They've went on many walks, trips to the gym and challenges with me.  They've cooked healthier meals and sought out ways to promote my new healthy lifestyle.  I sometimes take for granted what each one of them selflessly do for me, but I never forget how much each one of them loves and cares for me.

I'm so thankful for my F.I.T. (Finding Inspiration Together) ladies (who are also best friends).  Our paths crossed through blog, facebook and the inspiration of a former BL contestant in July of 2009 and we are still continuing on this long, hard, trying road today!  Ali Trier, Valerie Fambrough, Anna McCormick and Courtney Ribarchek have been a group of encouraging ladies who full-well know and understand the struggles of obesity and the joys and discoveries of weight loss.  They are my friends, my support group, my inspirations, my encouragers and the type of friends who you know are never far away at heart.  Each one of these ladies whom I deeply love has lost a tremendous amount of weight on their own and is continuing to prove statistics wrong - showing that we CAN and WILL lose this weight and God-willing keep it off.  I'm so proud of my F.I.T. girls.

Thank you to Kristin Steede, Season 7 contestant of NBC's The Biggest Loser for opening your life and story up to America on national television to inspire others while gaining your own life back.  During her season, Kristin was one of the heaviest female contestants who had been on Biggest Loser and was the first female contestant to lose over 100 lbs on ranch, setting the stage for those to come.  Starting only 20 lbs heavier than my starting weight, this reality TV star shined a bright light on my reality and opened my eyes to see that with hard work and determination I could lose weight and gain my life back also.  Furthermore, Kristin has continued to be a support and inspiration in my life off screen and I'm thankful for her compassion, love and faith in me and the girls of F.I.T.

HUGE THANKS to my amazing friends, family, co-workers and customers who have rallied behind me and daily supported me along the way of my journey.  Huge thanks to Shauna Utz who believed in me before I believed in myself and spoke LIFE into my heart before I knew this was all possible.  She had a vision of me happy and healthy, standing in front of our water aerobics class celebrating my 100 pounds lost before I had even taken my first step and needless to say, within a year later that became my reality.  Thank you to Jennifer Allwood and Laretha Hulse who have followed my blog since the beginning and continue to support me via facebook.  Thank you to April Figgins Garcia who has encouraged me simply by being encouraged BY me.  Jillian Michaels considers three key relationships as crucial to our success: A partner in crime, a role model and a fan.  By no means do I consider myself worthy of any "fan base" by doing what ANYONE can do if they set their minds to it, but needless to say, April is one of my biggest fans and that blesses my heart. She knew me before I lost weight and has continuously loved and supported me throughout my journey.  She's done an amazing job at losing weight herself and she's someone I know I can count on to be there.  Thank you to LeAnn Schumacher and Jenn Bailey from our mortgage department at work who have went out of their way to encourage me in faith and fitness.  Thank you to Audrey Katzer-Sniff and Ashley Heyse-Hankins for being two of my amazing best friends looooong before weight loss and loving me the same through thick and "getting thin."  Thank you to Church of the R.O.C.K., my former church home, which laid a firm foundation in the word for my life and where I never found myself lacking spiritual food for the 9 years that I was an active member.  I am also so thankful for the greater body in Christ that has built me up and covered me in love and prayer in my times of trial and weakness.  Thank you to Lifepointe Church of Olathe, my new Church family, that I have been fortunate to call home in the midst of a very challenging and pivotal point in my life.  In all things we are told to give THANKS and I'm thankful for this life I've been given and those I've been blessed to have as an active part of it.

Thanks for visiting my blog!  Come back soon...
"Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” - 1 Tim. 4:8