Saturday, January 30, 2010

#6 and #7

It is easy to get excited as the pounds start coming off. When you can see the rewards for you time at the gym and your healthy food choices. Nothing feels better than getting on the scale and seeing the numbers get smaller. Equally, nothing is more devastating than working just as hard and seeing no change or worse, a slight increase. My advice??? Don't weigh yourself everyday! I wouldn't even recommend weekly weigh in's. I would recommend you weigh in on a monthly basis. Even my trainer only weighs and measures me once a month. Not only are you more likely to see results that make you happy, but a daily or weekly weigh in really isn't an accurate measurement. The change in your size is a much more accurate way to gage what is happening with your body. It's important to feel proud of what you have accomplished. The change your body is making won't always match with what the scale says. Rejoice in your smaller size!!! Eventually the scale will catch up.
PS. I am still working on this...
I highly recommend having gum on hand at all times. So many of us eat out of boredom. Those calories are such a waste! If you want to splurge, save those calories for something you really LOVE eating - for me that's chocolate. Don't use up your calories because you are bored. Chew gum instead. It keeps your mouth busy, and if you pick the right kind, it can make you feel like you are having a little piece of candy. My current favorite is Orbit Mist - Watermelon Spring. It reminds me of a watermelon Jolly Rancher. It's perfect when I am craving something sweet.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Yesterday I got in a fight with one of my favorite people. I won't go into details, they know who they are. For obvious reasons, the fight put a pretty big damper on my day. That evening I got to have some time to think - and the events of the day lead to some pretty significant processing. Here's what I came up with.

I have an amazing husband, and I have amazing friends. My family is of course amazing as well, but they didn't get to pick me. My husband and my friends chose me. They met me,learned me and saw enough in me to choose me. Since I think my people are the best ever, I realized that it must be a little insulting for them to have to put up with the extreme nature of my negative self image. My friends know that I am worth it, and they have chosen to stick it out. The ones who couldn't see my value, left a long time ago, and that's okay. The one's that are left are real.

Here's the other thing about the friends I have now - they all attend my pity parties. I have hosted MANY pity parties over the last few years, and they have all showed up. The difference I can see in these people, is that after my pity party, they all called me on my crap. We will all have these parties, and we do need guests to attend - but let's be honest, pity parties should be short and sweet. They are not a good place to hang out. My favorite people are willing to attend, but they do not let me hang out there.

Since I believe my friends are some of the wisest, funnest, coolest people on earth, it's time that I believe that they chose me for a reason. I do know that God has given me a heart to love my people. I love to serve my friends. God made me capable of being a great friend to others. He gave me characteristics that make me lovable and valuable. I haven't seen them for a long time - but my husband and friends have.

Thank you for loving me. Thank you for seeing something worth loving. Moving forward I promise to make a conscious effort to find value in myself. I will work at biting my tongue when I want to criticize or make fun of myself. I can't promise all of this today - but I will work on it. And since I know you so well, if I don't do these things, I know you will call me on it. I LOVE YOU!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

One Tough Cookie.

Monday I had a horrible day and now that the wedding is over, I can feel myself slipping just a little bit. That freaks me out so much because I know that "just a little" is the beginning of the complacency that will eventually take me down a road I am not interested in traveling again.

I am not a super model. I am not naturally skinny. The weight I have lost and the body I hope to end this journey with is a product of sheer determination. I have worked SO hard to get where I am now. I have logged hundreds of hours at the gym. I have done thousands of crunches and lunges and squats. The work I have done up until now - would be lost if I quit.

A friend of mine told me once, that she works out so that she can eat the crappy food every once in a while. This friend is not overweight. Maybe when I am done, I will have that luxury, but as someone who has weight to lose and who is a food addict, exercise is not a pass that allows me to eat a cupcake. Because I am an addict, I would eat many cupcakes! Exercise is a necessity. Smart food choices and portion control challenge me daily, but they are not optional.

Now that the wedding is over, it is time to set my eyes on my next goal. It's time to get focused and finish what I have started. It's time to run more miles, and do more crunches.

It's time to be a tough cookie...not eat cookies.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Condition of the Heart

I am a planner. Anyone who knows me - knows that I am most comfortable when everything is planned out and goes as planned. I am not necessarily thrilled about this characteristic of myself, but I am who I am.
Today, something happened to me that totally through all my plans out the window. I wish I could share in more detail - but I can't yet. All you need to know for now is that instead of going with the flow, instead of trusting God and staying calm, I freaked! I need to be candid (that is my purpose here anyway right??) when I freak out, my first reaction is to eat. I wish I could say that today was as victorious as the day at Starbucks when I stared the pumpkin loaf down and won. Today wasn't that day. Today, the fat girl won. After consuming many handfuls of chocolates, I of course felt awful. Chad and Dan were disappointed in me. I was disappointed in myself. I cried when Chad tried to hug me. When Chad asked me why I was eating, I said "because I am still a fat girl. I am a fat girl hiding in a size 10 body."
Here is the truth. For me, being overweight is more than the physical condition of my body. It is the condition of my heart. I can't explain it. I don't understand. I clearly have a lot of healing left to do. Everyday is different for me. I wish I was stronger. I wish I could understand. I wish I didn't have those moments when I felt absolutely defeated. I wish I could write every single post - and have it be happy and inspirational. I suppose, I actually could - but that wouldn't be real. That wouldn't be me and it wouldn't be fair.
This isn't a quick, short term battle. My food addiction is my battle for life. Every day I will have to chose to be victorious. Sometimes, even that won't work. Sometimes, I don't feel capable of the victory.
The thing is - I can look back and see the days that I was victorious and I know I can get there again. I can look back and see that the healing has begun, and every day I get a little closer...

It's been quite a journey.... (a note from Alyssa)

My Dearest Jetta,

Since I met you almost two years ago, I’ve gone through a wide range of emotions as our relationship has blossomed and we’ve become the closest of friends. Initially I was very intimidated by such a smart, beautiful woman (yes, you always have been beautiful to me) who seemed so confident and sure of herself and very “black and white” – all things that I do not feel define me. If I had only known how much you were hurting … Additionally, I feared that my insecurities, lack of organization and spontaneity were sure to ruin things for us (and they almost did), that your amazing ability to be disciplined and productive were ways for me to see how I continue to fail … But God was actually showing me things that I never imagined I needed to see. He’s been opening my eyes to how He’s been using you – the beautiful, incredible you – to heal my heart from so many wounds. Despite some very difficult circumstances and choices we both had to make, we chose to remain friends and grow closer than ever. I needed you, I have been challenged, and I’ve found a forever friend. For this and so much more, I am eternally grateful.

When you started this journey into yourself, into the deepest parts of your hurts and fears, I was excited for you but I had no idea what a big deal it was. To learn how much you’ve had to grow and set your flesh aside (literally while it melts off, I might add!) has truly been amazing. I remember when you won the first “Biggest Loser” contest with your family – winning that money was just the beginning. Your fighting and competitive spirit was not to be reckoned with, and strengths which I’ve never really had – and I truly admire. You have been determined to eat better, exercise hard and lose that damn weight. You’ve been focused, driven, humbled, challenged, fearful, joyful, sad, brave and most of all VICTORIOUS. I am not kidding when I say how proud and in awe I am when I look at the Jetta I see now, the woman who no longer needs to feel fat, but can hopefully look in the mirror and just smile knowing she is FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY MADE!!

I loved that blog post about recognizing that you are fearfully and wonderfully made because it shows so much of who you are NOW versus who you started out as. Many people will comment on the gorgeous girl you are – because you’ve always been that girl, you just never saw her before now, she’s just finally showing herself to you!! Some will know your whole story, others will get to know you as they follow along on your blog. But regardless of how or when we’ve come to know you, the inspiration you are sharing is infectious and will sow seeds into many lives to aid in healing and restoration that you cannot even fathom. Watching you throughout this year, I can say that it’s been quite a process. But I think many would agree that it’s been worth it; you are better than ever, becoming the girl God has created you to be, getting better every day.

Sometimes words aren’t enough and so here are some of my favorite pics from Saturday – the joy I see in your beautiful face is priceless. This joy is a product of your hard work and determination to get better and rediscover Jetta. I treasure you and our precious friendship, knowing that God has brought us together at the perfect time, knowing how much we need each other and to hang on for life.

I love you.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Suggestions please...

When I started this blog, I did it in response to many many emails that I just couldn't answer fast enough. As I continued to write, I realized just how healing it can be to journal what you are feeling.
So many people have expressed their support and encouragement, and many of you have indicated your struggle with weight and other similar situations. I am not a doctor, not a trainer, just a person who has struggled with my weight my entire life and has spent the last 16 months fighting a battle that I intend to win. I have asked a lot of questions of my trainer and my doctor. I have read a lot of books - and I am happy and willing to help.

If there is something specific you would like to ask - please comment on this post, or contact me with the topic or question and I will be happy to do my best.

Thanks for reading!!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

I am...

I have had an image in my head for a few days now. The image is of a child, standing at a chalkboard, writing sentences over and over and over again. In the image, the sentence is "I am fearfully and wonderfully made..." I am fearfully and wonderfully made..."

In the image, the child is me.

While I was doing my run on Tuesday night, that image stayed with me. It pierces my heart because I imagine my Father God shaking his head in bewilderment at my disbelief. If I believe He is perfect, and I believe that He has made everything perfectly, then who am I to look in the mirror and not see His perfection.

I am so thankful for His grace. I am so thankful that He is patient with me and is willing to love me through this. That His ultimate plan for me includes perfect healing. I am thankful that He never saw a fat girl, He only ever saw His daughter.

While I was running, I realized that my purpose is determined and it will be finished. I AM fearfully and wonderfully made. I AM NOT a mistake and God does NOT need a do-over on me. He has brought me to this exact place, at this exact time, and He has every intention of seeing His work to completion. I am not strong enough to stop Him. I am not fast enough to out run Him. My story is a story about His strength and His grace given to me.

"I am fearfully and wonderfully made..." "I am fearfully and wonderfully made..."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Wedding

3 days away! Time went so fast. We have prayed for a man for my sister in law for a long time. This is such an exciting time. I realize that this day is all about Shannon. I love that for her. She is going to be gorgeous. Stunning really. The wedding will be phenomenal. My sister in law has such amazing taste, and my mother in law is so classy and really knows how to throw a party.

Privately, in my heart, this day is big for me too. Shannon wasn't engaged yet when I originally started my weight loss mission. The wedding wasn't my motivation. I am thankful for that. I am thankful because since my mission started several months earlier, I was able to make more progress. Also, I am thankful because I learned so much about myself, about diet and exercise. I learned that along the way, I need a bunch of mini goals to help motivate me. This wedding was perfect. The timing was absolutely perfect!

This day is big for me because it represents so many things I just don't do.

I don't wear anything that shows my arms. My arms are my least favorite part of my body. Even in the summer, I will chose a shirt with sleeves, no matter how hot it is. This is different. I had a choice and I purposefully picked a dress that shows my arms. In fact, I even ordered my dress in a size smaller than they recommended because I was determined to get to that size.

I don't wear high heels. I have never been able to walk in those dang things. I think they are gorgeous, and I wish I could wear them, but I just can't.

Here is the doozie though - the real reason the wedding is such a big day to me. I am nearing my goal. My original goal was to lose 110 pounds. I have lost 93. I feel a little excited and anxious at the thought of putting on a fancy dress, getting my hair, nails and make-up done and wearing high heels. I know that really the attention will be on Shannon, but to go through everything I have in the last 15months, and be this close to finishing feels amazing!
I have never finished anything I started, so this matters to me. To know that what I have accomplished will make it so Shannon and Ben, and the rest of our family, can look at the wedding photos and not see a fat girl, matters to me. THIS MATTERS TO ME!

There aren't really many people who will be there on Saturday who understand, or even know how nervous I am. This isn't something I have shared until now. I am not sure that even Chad realizes what a big deal this is to me. They are all there for Shannon. I am there for Shannon. The attention should remain on Shannon.

This victory is my own. Only I really know how hard I worked to get to this place.

Monday, January 18, 2010

My Sister ROCKS!

I am so incredibly lucky! For many reasons, but today, right this second, I am so lucky because I have a sister. For anyone who is blessed with a sister - you know what I mean.

My sister is so many things that I am not. Maybe some things she doesn't even realize yet. More than that, she makes my world complete. I can't imagine my life without her. I can't imagine this journey without her.

My earlier post reflected how much I was struggling. Here is an email my sister sent me this morning in response:

"I want you to know that I saw your face yesterday while trying on the bridesmaid dress. I saw disappointment. I know I probably will never completely understand, but I want you to know what I saw when I looked at you in that dress. I saw a beautiful woman who's body has been ever changing because of your heart and your will. And your arms ARE smaller! :-) You have the wonderful pleasure of padding your bra like I've had to my entire life. You may never see what other people see when you look at yourself in the mirror. I hope that's not the case, but it may be. I think it's important to remember that it's not all about looks, it's about how you feel as well. I think you are discovering how great it is to feel strong and empowered by accomplishing a physical goal. Don't lose that feeling when you look in the mirror. I love you and am so happy I have been able to be a part of your journey. And I am so very proud of you."

I love this email because she knew exactly what to say. I never could respond to her because every time I tried, I cried a little harder.

I love you Kara...


Today is one of those days that I warned you about in my very first post.

Today, I am fighting myself and my demons more than I am fighting the food.

Today, I can't help but wonder if I will ever see the person that others see. I feel like I am fighting a battle I have no chance of winning. I can't understand what Chad sees, because I have never looked in mirror and seen someone beautiful. Today, in fact - while trying on my bridesmaid dress, I don't see how my arms have gotten smaller, I just see how big they still are.
The mental aspect of losing a large amount of weight takes so much longer than the physical part. For instance, when I go shopping for clothes, I still pick out the largest size available, assuming that is what I will need. My perception of myself is lagging behind. I wish it would catch up. While I can completely acknowledge that - it really makes this harder than it need to be.
I wish there was an easy fix for this part. It would be so much easier that way. To trim the fat from my body and the crap from my heart all at the same time. I really do think, that maybe I am worth liking. Maybe I am actually pretty. And even though all that matters is what is on the inside, I guess I just want to know what it's like to feel pretty on the outside too. I wonder if I ever felt that way. I don't remember. I know I felt pretty at my wedding. Was that really the last time? Oh jeez...
I can make my body do anything I want, but my mind is whole different story. Exercise makes me physically tired. This battle makes me emotionally tired. Exercise makes my body hurt, the emotions make my heart hurt. Today, I do not feel brave or strong. I feel lonely and scared, but tomorrow is a new day - so I will try again.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Good Man.

Where do I even start. This post has taken longer to compose than any other. It is so hard to articulate. Hopefully I will do okay.

My husband Chad and I met at church when we were 15 years old. We have been together ever since. In 2011 we will celebrate 20 years together. More than half of our lives. This year (2009) has been hard for us. My weight loss journey has taken its toll on us. Even though we have definitely had our moments, I know with all of my heart - that Chad is my man. Here is how I know...
I remember asking him years ago when he first fell in love with me. His answer?? Not one us romantics would swoon over... he told me that he didn't fall in love with me, he loves me more each day, but in the beginning he decided to love me.
Now in all fairness, I was pissed. But as the years go on, I understand why in reality, that is actually the most romantic thing a he could have said. You see, he decided to love me - which means he loved me when I was mean, when I was cranky. He loved me when no matter what we did I could not give him a baby. He loved me when the impossible happened and I was pregnant with our son, but psychotic from hormones. He loved me through years of horrible migraines, and years of financial success and failures. Most importantly he loved me even at my largest. Not only did he love me, he still thought that I was beautiful.
This year, he has loved me through a lot of crap. He has given me time to be gone every night at the gym. He has listened to me cry, and criticize and hate myself. He has said and truly meant, that all he wants is for me to be happy. All of this, because years ago, he decided to love me.

That my friends, is a good man.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


The other night at my training session, I had one of the most frustrating workouts I have had in a long time. We were working out legs, and there were so many things I just couldn't do! My inability to do the exercises had nothing to do with my energy or strength, and everything to do with my inability to be flexible. Dan made variations of the exercises so that I could work on stretching, but that was even frustrating because it just hurt so bad.

As we were talking through some of the exercises, I realized that flexibility isn't just something I need to work on physically, but rather something I need to apply to my everyday life. In my life everything happens on time, in a particular way (predetermined by me of course) and if there is any variance to that, I basically panic. I am not spontaneous. I do not like surprises. I am not relaxed or laid back. I do think that my kids, my husband, and everyone else around me (myself included) would benefit from me learning to be a little more flexible. I think there is a lot of life I miss out on when I get too caught up in all of my plans.

So...this is officially one of my New Year's Resolutions. Become more flexible. I will try a Yoga class. I will work on being more flexible, especially where my family is concerned. I will NOT be afraid of bending....

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Keep Singing

Keep Singing.
By Mercy Me

Another rainy day
I can't recall having sunshine on my face
All I feel is pain
All I wanna do is walk out of this place
But when I am stuck and I can't move
When I don't know what I should do
When I wonder if I'll ever make it through

I gotta keep singing
I gotta keep praising Your name
Your the one that's keeping my heart beating
I gotta keep singing
I gotta keep praising Your name
That's the only way that I'll find healing

Can I climb up in Your lap
I don't wanna leave
Jesus sing over me
I gotta keep singing

Can I climb up in Your lap
I don't wanna leave
Jesus sing over me
I gotta keep singing

Oh You're everything I need
And I gotta keep singing

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


One of the things that I did that I feel had the biggest impact on my life in a permanent way, was to participate in a cleanse. This is a really hard thing to do, but the impact of it, and the results it has can be tremendous. I feel that it is important to do a cleanse because it gives your body a chance to start over. It's kind of like pushing the reset button on your whole system. So many of us are living our lives at less than optimal. We are performing below what we are capable of, and we are forcing our bodies to work harder than they need to.

The cleanse that I chose to participate in is called "CLEAN." I loved it, and I really didn't find it that hard to do. I still got to eat plenty of food, but I cut out all of the foods that are known allergens. This meant no dairy, wheat, strawberries...I also had to cut out coffee and sugar. There is a specific list of foods that are okay to eat as well as a list of what not to eat. This book also contains many recipes that are easy to follow. The idea behind this particular cleanse is that by removing the allergens from your diet for a period of time, and then slowly adding them back in at the end of the 3 week period, you will be able to tell which foods your body really doesn't like. You may not be officially allergic to a particular food, but you will be able to tell if it makes you feel sluggish, gives you a headache, stomach ache etc. I for instance confirmed what I was already suspicious of - that I really can't handle dairy.

Now, I would NOT recommend doing this early in your journey. I think it would be too discouraging. I would attempt a cleanse when you feel you have reached the point that your desire to be healthy outweighs your desire to over indulge. That point will be different for everyone. Also, while cleanses do typically result in some dramatic weight loss, I would NOT go into the cleanse with that as your objective. Every persons results will be different - your goal with a cleanse it to get healthy, and if weight loss comes with that, then that's a bonus! I do recommend doing any cleanse in conjunction with a visit to your doctor. Your doctor knows your history, and will definitely have some input on what cleanse (if any) is right for you.

The CLEAN diet really opened my eyes to the long term abuse our bodies have suffered, even when we thought we were being "healthy." There are concepts that I have taken from the book that I continue to apply to my daily life. If you choose the CLEAN diet - please make sure you read the entire book before starting. The author does a great job of great job of explaining the need, and he will definitely invoke a passion in you for needing to get CLEAN!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My new favorite picture.

This is a picture of me and my sister-in-law taken at her bachelorette party this last weekend. I consider myself an extremely modest person, but I have to say I LOVE THIS PICTURE!!! I love this picture because it is one of the first times I have actually been able to see the extreme difference in how I look. As long as I can remember, every time someone would take a picture, I would position my self behind someone, or better yet, stretch my neck out as far as it could go to avoid having 14 chins. I love this picture, because it was a relaxed, totally fun day, and for the first time in a LONG time, I didn't have to position myself, or injur my neck trying to make sure the picture wasn't hideous.

I also like this picture, because I think I look genuinely happy. Anyone can smile for a picture. I have always noticed the people I meet who have that sparkle in their eye. My dad is one of those people. I have always told him that I think his eyes smile. I can see a little of that in my eyes in this picture.

Even though this is extremely embarrassing, I am going to post a before picture so that those of you who don't know me, or see me everyday, can see why this picture has such an extreme affect on me. WARNING: The picture posted below may scare you, and is not appropriate for young children! (Just kidding... but it is scary!)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Baby Weight

Mommies.... I think this is one of our biggest excuses. Don't get me wrong - it is definitely legit immediately following the birth of our children. I will even consider it legit until your youngest child is 2 or so. After's just another excuse. I know because I have used it for 7 years!
Now bless my husbands heart... he heard, accepted and even acknowledged that excuse until a few months ago. Even while I was actively losing weight, I kept referring back to my "baby weight" excuse. There are two problems with this excuse. My husband gently pointed them out to me the last time I tried to play that card. Here they are:

#1. I didn't gain any weight when I was pregnant with my son. (Don't hate me... my body was never the same again!) and...

#2. My daughter is adopted.

Dang it!!!! You mean the fact that I didn't experience pregnancy, mid-night cravings, swollen ankles (and every other crazy thing that comes with being pregnant) means I don't get to use the "baby weight" excuse either?? What is this world coming to???

Here's what it comes down to: Moms... if you grew a person and gave birth - you are definitely strong enough to lose that baby weight for good. Let the excuse go, and show your kiddos what mommy is really made of!

So much love!!!

Ever since I started blogging, my mind has been full of ideas and topics that I would love to eventually write about. So many ideas, but the post doesn't come alive for me until I experience an event or emotion that I can link to the idea. Since everyday is different, I really never know what I am going to write about.

Today for instance, I woke up thinking that I was going to write about my family. About my amazing husband and kids. As the morning progressed, I realized that I am not ready to write about them. Not because I don't love them, or think they are the best things ever - but because to truly do them justice, I need to wait longer. My mind then moved onto a new topic which I felt more than ready to discuss. I had it all worked out in my little head and had some specific people in mind that I knew it would touch. I guess I will save that topic for another day because everything changed when I logged into my blog today.

I am completely overwhelmed by the all of the new "followers" my blog has! Not only that, but that people would actually care enough to leave comments completely blows me away! I realize that I am new to the world of blogging, and that this is fairly customary. I have to say - I LOVE IT and THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! The support and kind words are exactly what my heart needs as I try to repair it. Please, continue to share it with others. I want to help. I want people to know that they aren't alone.

Lissa: I love you. That's all.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Little Victories

This morning was tough for me. Today was my sister in laws bachelorette party and personal shower. It was an all day event. Normally, pretty exciting - except today when I was getting ready, the person in the mirror weighed 265 pounds again. Such a devastating feeling! Here's the deal - I was getting ready for a party with women who I have always believed were prettier, thinner, happier, richer than me. I noticed that my attitude sucked this morning. I only had a few hours with my kids and I was impatient, short and irritated. I got in the car to leave and I felt so crappy that all I wanted to do was eat. I drove to Starbucks and ordered my new favorite drink (tall soy pumpkin spice latte) and the darn pumpkin loaf that has 390 calories. That would make me feel better....I was sure of it.
The line was kind of long, so I had a few minutes to sit and process what was happening. I was wanting to eat because I felt so crappy about myself, but the reality was if I ate that pumpkin loaf I would not only feel crappy about myself, but I would also be pissed off and disappointed in myself. I realized that getting that pumpkin loaf was actually NOT going to fix anything. When I finally got to the window - I told the employee that I had changed my mind about the pumpkin loaf. She tried to persuade me - but I stayed strong and refused.
Driving away from Starbucks, I actually felt victorious. Like I had accomplished something kind of big. I realized and acknowledged the insignificance that dumb pumpkin loaf had in my life and I refused it. I felt SO proud of myself!!!
I am happy to say, that victory had such a tremendous impact on my attitude. I spent the hour long drive thinking, singing, crying....when it was all said and done - I had a fabulous day - one that began with one of life's little victories.

Friday, January 8, 2010

#3 and #4

#3. Make use of a food journal - and be honest when you document your food! There are so many free resources available out there. I personally use I find it simple to use and it tracks everything I would want to know about my diet.
Food journals are a great way to hold yourself accountable. I often found that the idea of having to include something in my journal, was just enough to help me decide not to eat it. That is why it's so important to be honest. If you can't journal your food without cheating, then it's probably not worth your time.

#4. Allow yourself a treat. For everyone, this will mean something different. You may need a small treat everyday, or you may decide that you get a splurge day every week or month. Whatever you decide, pick what works for you. If you feel like your being tortured, you probably won't stick with it. This is a LONG journey - and you have to find the balance between your extreme life change and living your life. It might take a while for you to find some middle ground, but once you do I believe you can really enjoy this ride.

Looking in the mirror.

At my biggest point, looking in the mirror was absolute torture. When I looked, like actually looked and examined myself - the amount of disgust that I felt made me truly want to vomit. It made me angry, embarrassed, ashamed. It made me feel worthless, stupid not to mention ugly. In fact, looking in the mirror was so horrible, that I don't actually own one. Sure, I have the one above my sink in the bathroom, which obviously, I must use to put my make-up on, but there are no full length mirrors in my house, and there hasn't been for many years. In fact, the last time I remember purposefully owning a mirror was when we lived in our first condo in Edmonds which we moved out of in 2002. The mirror did not make the move with us.
My issues with mirrors was a source of frustration for my trainer. Turns out, all those mirrors at the gym aren't there to torment people like me, they actually have a purpose. Dan would want me to look in the mirror when I was doing certain exercises so that I could check my form and see what the muscles should look like when they are working. I just couldn't do it. One day, we had to do some of my weight training in the group exercise room which has floor to ceiling mirrors around the entire room. Since I had to keep my head up for the lifts, I was basically forced to just stare at myself in a million mirrors. I cried through the entire exercise. When it was finally over, Dan just hugged me.
A few weeks ago, while I was training, I realized that this time I was purposefully watching my form in the mirror. I noticed that Dan was smiling, and I knew that he got it too. It's still hard, even down 90 pounds to look in the mirror. I still see so many flaws, so much left to fix. It still might be a while before I look in the mirror and see someone amazing, but for now, I am happy with looking in the mirror and not seeing someone that disgusts me. Maybe one day I will even own one.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Someone once asked me...

"What did you give up to have such great results?"

Now, I know she meant what foods... did I give up chocolate, wine, pizza? I thought about it before I replied. My answer??? "My social life."

You see, a mission like this doesn't leave much free time. We found a gym with a kids room that my kids loved because they are there almost every night. Working out almost HAD to happen everyday, because if I took a day off I was afraid I would get out of the habit.

Bigger then the time commitment is that fact that food was (is) my addiction. I didn't trust myself to go to a party, or Bunco, or whatever because I did not have the ability to refrain from stuffing my face. Because of this, especially in the beginning, I pulled back from just about everything social. It was hard, I am a social person and boy did I miss my friends. Fortunately, I am blessed, and while they didn't love it, they did love me.

As time goes on, I am slowly adding back in the things I have missed. All of my friends know what I have accomplished, and they are supportive. In most cases, the fact that I couldn't eat the junk food prevented it from even being served - which really is best for everyone.

Ultimately, what it comes down to, is you have to set yourself up to succeed. This doesn't have to be torture and torment - the reduced calories will be hard enough! Eliminate the things that cause you to struggle. They really have no business being there.


#2. Hire a trainer. Even if it is for just a few sessions. I know it's expensive, but it is important to learn how to do the weights and exercises correctly. If you get a good trainer, they should also sit with you and help you set goals and work with you on a basic meal plan. Most gyms have package deals you can buy (especially in the new year) and I would recommend taking advantage of their knowledge. Who knows - you may find you stick with your trainer through your entire journey.
So far, I have been lucky enough to have my trainer Dan with me for the larger part of my journey. My experience with a trainer is the reason it is so high on my list of recommendations. Having a trainer gave me the accountability I needed to remain focused. It gave me a person who was invested in my progress, which in turn made me not want to blow it. Dan quickly became one of my cheerleaders that I talked about in an earlier post. He ALWAYS believed I could do things, I never dreamed I was capable of.
If you are able to hire a trainer - I would do it sooner rather than later. If you are in my neck of the woods, I would hire Dan. If hiring a trainer is totally out of the the question - that's okay. Plenty of people have succeeded without a trainer, but in my opinion there is always room for one more in your personal cheer squad!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My first recommendation.

When I started on my mission to lose weight, I knew nothing. I wasn't sure how I was going to accomplish this gigantic goal. I didn't really know anyone who had accomplished something similar, so I was basically winging it. There are a few things I know now, that I wish I had known from the beginning. I have made my "top 10" list which I will share over a series of posts.

#1. Invest in a bodybugg. This are such a valuable tool. In case you don't know, a bodybugg is a devise that you place around the upper part of your arm. It monitors the number calories you burn in a day. You can find the bodybugg at any 24 Hour Fitness location, at or I have heard that they are currently available at Costco. You can also buy the bodybugg used - probably check out Craigslist.

The bodybugg is about $200.00 and there is a month fee of $6.95 (I think...) so that you can download your calories at the end of the day. In conjunction with the food journal available on - you will be able to see EXACTLY how you did for the day. The bodybugg takes the mystery out of your entire diet. You either burned enough calories or you didn't. Plain and simple.

This journey is going to be HARD. The bodybugg is one way to make it easier on yourself.

Where it all began...

I have never been a particularly thin person. I was always into sports, so I was healthy - but not small. It bothered me my whole life. My arms were muscular from swimming. I remember being teased in 7th grade for that. My boobs were always big. Don't even get me started on that!
I remember relying on food for comfort for as far back as I can go. I suppose I could blame specific events for that dependency, but at this point in my life, there really is no value in placing the blame. That ownership, ultimately has to come back to me regardless of which boy I blame, which fight with my mom I recall, which loss I suffered. The truth of the matter is that I ALLOWED food to have a place of authority in my life. I allowed it to comfort and control me, and that my friends is what ultimately lead me to this place.
In January of 2008, Chad and I started a "Biggest Loser" contest in anticipation of Spring Break in Arizona that April. The final weigh in would take place once we all arrived in Arizona, and the prize was $100.00 ( one winner per gender...) Chad and I are both extremely competitive, so we were very determined to win. We went out and bought a scale for the first time in 12 years. Chad weighed in first at 285 pounds - which at 6'5" isn't great - but not that bad. Now it was my turn. Now, I knew I was overweight, but I was not prepared for this! When I stepped on the scale, I weighed in at 270 pounds! At 5'6", I was only 15 pounds less than my husband. Now, Chad and I have been together a long time. We have seen each other through many embarrassing, challenging, vulnerable situations. But this??? This was mortifying.... but as it turns out, it was also motivating.
From that moment on, I was determined. Not only was I going to win the biggest loser contest, but I was going to change my body, my life. I was going to work until my body was something it had never been before.
So, here I am. Down 90 pounds... but I can't see the finish line yet. There is so much emotional healing yet to do. I can condition my body all day long, but if I don't heal my heart, it will have all been in vain. This is the hardest part. This requires vulnerability. It requires stepping out and sharing my hurts. It means I have to take ownership instead of placing blame. More importantly though, I have to let my friends love ME - and I need to learn from them, so that one day, I can love myself that same way...and then cross the finish line.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Surround yourself with Cheerleaders.

This is a good rule anytime in your life. Surround yourself with the people who love you the most, but more than that, surround yourself with cheerleaders. There is a difference. A cheerleaders primary function is to cheer a team on in victory and defeat. Just because the Seahawks are losing doesn't mean the Sea Gals get to go home!
I have experienced this first hand over the last 15 months of my weight loss journey. The thing is, it is important to realize - that not everyone around you is meant to be your cheerleader. Every person you encounter has a place in your world. The sooner you realize that, and accept what they have to offer you, the better.

You will have special ones. Who they are might surprise you. Maybe you don't even know them yet, maybe they have been there every day since the beginning...

As with anything, there were plenty of times that I wanted to quit. To give up, to eat the ice cream, to skip the gym. That's where my cheerleaders came in. The people who supported me, sometimes even more than I supported myself. They believed in me... so much so, that I am convinced they actually carried me.

Today, I am going to wear high heels...

This might not sound like a big deal, but it is! For anyone who knows me well, I have NEVER been able to wear heels! So the deal is that my sister in law is getting married in 18 days (OMG!!!). This wedding is clearly a big deal for our family, but coincidentally, it comes near the end of my weight loss journey, so it's a big deal to me for personal reasons as well. I was already losing weight long before Shannon got engaged - so her wedding wasn't what got me started, but it is sort of cool that 91 pounds later, I get to wear a fancy dress and HEELS!

Anyway, way back in August, Shannon and I went to the bridal shop, and she showed me the dress that she was thinking of for the bridesmaids. Since I was the "biggest" girl, I had veto power - and boy did I veto!!! The dress was beautiful - Shannon has phenomenal taste, but it was strapless which of course would show off my arms - which you will learn is my least favorite part of my body. Anyway, at that point we all got to pick the dress we wanted to wear. Everyone's dress is different - all gorgeous. I ordered a size smaller to motivate me. I worked my butt off for the next 2 months, knowing perfectly well that if I didn't fit in that dress, it would cost me a small fortune to get the correct size. My hard work did pay off - and the dress fit! I was SO happy!! Seriously, what a relief.

Fast forward to now...

One of the bridesmaids is pregnant. SO EXCITING!!! The topic of switching dresses comes up. Ironic part?? She has the dress that I originally vetoed! My initial thought was "No way" - I worked hard for my dress. The more I thought about it though...maybe I did work hard enough for the strapless dress. I don't know the answer yet - I am trying the vetoed dress on today to see if it's a possibility. The end result will be a surprise, since many of you will be at the wedding, and I don't want to leak any info about Shannon's big day.

All of this to say...

I am wearing heels today!

Monday, January 4, 2010

I am more than surprised...

that I am even doing this. The idea of starting a blog of my own - clearly isn't original. My cousin Lissa has an amazing blog that I look forward to reading daily. I have been inspired by her. More recently though, the number of emails I recieve on a daily basis regarding my weight loss has grown by leaps and bounds. Over 100 emails in the last 3 days... apparently a normal, overweight girl with a facebook page can "inspire" many. Who knew??? I certainly would never consider myself inspirational.
There is no way I can possibly respond to all of the emails personally - not the way each of you deserve, so this blog will hopefully give you an inside look at my journey. I can't promise that the entires will always be peppy and upbeat. I do my best every day. But to be honest, the demons that contribute to emotional over-eating are painful, and I have hard days. I have days that I would rather stay in bed and consume an entire gallon of Tillamook Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream, than do anything else. I have days when the actual sight of myself in the mirror is enough to make my stomach hurt. The thing is, that I also have days when I can look at that SAME person, in that SAME mirror and see that there is someone beautiful and strong staring back. That there is someone who adds value to the people who are in her life. I am starting to see the beautiful and strong person more often. I like that.

To be perfectly honest... I am overwhelmed that anyone even cares... so my first blog entires may be a little rough. I am going to have to have Lissa help me make this a "cute" blog...but that will take time. Also, I am completely FREAKED OUT! This scares me! I hope you will be patient with me - and I hope I can help....

Good night for now....