Monday, January 26, 2015

Why I Post.

When I stepped on the scale on Sunday to see that I had lost 100 lbs, I couldn't help but cry. I think I actually may have screamed. My hands shook as I whipped out my phone to tell everyone.

I've been pretty vocal about my weight loss journey. I've shared before and after pictures, status updates, and blog posts. I've talked about the emotional journey, I've shared recipes and workouts.


Because once upon a time, I was the girl who needed inspiration. I was the girl who was reading success stories, researching tips and tricks, jotting down notes, looking at before and after pictures. I needed a push. I needed to know that someone else had done it. I bought every issue of People that featured "real people" who had dropped 4-5 pants sizes.

When it was my turn, when I decided that I was finally going to do this and make a major change. I thought that maybe I could be that person for someone else. That if anyone who needed a push or inspiration felt encouraged and motivated by my posts, that I would feel fulfilled and accomplished...even more so than the weight loss itself.

So maybe I've done that and maybe I haven't. But that was my intent- that, and keeping myself in check. I don't think I would have been nearly as successful if I had kept things to myself.

For the last year and seven months, my health has been my focus and my priority. It will continue to be until I reach my goal weight. I spend a lot of time figuring out what I am going to eat and when I am going to workout. I plan my life around it. Which has, in turn, caused me to become a little less social. Not that I was this huge social butterfly before, but I for sure spend more time in the gym than I do with friends. But that's okay- this had to happen for me to become the best version of me. I made a lot of sacrifices, but I wouldn't trade anything. I would never go back. I've come too far.

I will continue to post and blog about my weight loss journey until I've reached the end. I'm not sure when that will be. I am setting up a doctor's appointment to check in and get her opinion on how many more lbs I have to lose. 100 wasn't the stopping point. It was simply a check point.

I feel very lucky to have such a strong support system. You guys kept me going when I didn't think I could take another step. You helped me to be brave and to find my wings. You challenged me, invited me to try new things, comforted me when I was frustrated with my plateaus. I am so proud to know each of you.

I will add just one more thing, and that is about Tom. How do I know that Tom loves me? We began dating at my highest weight. He was literally there from the start. He's heard me cry about plateaus, he's cheered me on while I run, he's come to some classes with me, he's put up with my picking apart meals at restaurants. He knows I can't keep snacks in the house and that I prefer water over anything.  He doesn't try to lecture me, though, or suggest that I'm not making a good choice. He gives me advice but does not demand. He's been there with each step and with each milestone. And he's still here. I think that says a lot. I give him major kudos for sticking by me.

I love you guys, thank you so much for celebrating my 100 lb milestone with me.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Weight Loss Wednesday

So last week, I cried tears of joy all morning because I had dropped some lbs and was only 1.6 away from losing 100 lbs. But then I remembered that because of my stress and schedule with trying to find a new place to live, I was not eating according to my normal meal plan. My tummy was in knots so I never felt hungry. I assumed I may gain back some weight once I started eating normally again.

I was right- when I stepped on the scale this morning for my weekly weigh in, I was 2 lbs up from last week. I don't know if I actually gained 2 lbs of "weight". I mean, I still stuck to healthy eating and was doing a lot of moving. I think my body is just fluctuating as my diet and activity level goes up and down.

I will get there. It may not be as soon as I want it to be, but I will get there. My total weight loss now is 96.6 lbs. Pretty darn close.

With moving will come developing- and getting used to- a new routine. Although I am not moving far away, it's enough of a move that I will need to make some adjustments. Like I may not be able to go home before going to the gym, so I should have dinner pretty much ready to go.

Another thing I am trying to plan for is my "to go" meals. When I have night meetings for work I tend to go out to eat- Panera or  Subway or something. And while I know it's okay to go out to eat once in a while. I am trying to really be conscious of where I am spending my dollars and how I can eat healthy on the road. So I am going to work on packing a "to go" dinner that I can eat in the car or before a meeting begins. If you have any suggestions for easy meals on the go, please share!

I have to give a big ole shout out to my coworkers. They are so incredibly supportive of my journey and I know that they genuinely care about my progress and updates, which is a comforting feeling. I am really lucky that I work for a company that encourages wellness AND that is full of such awesome people.

So, that's where I stand. Hopefully 100 will come soon. But in the meantime, I'll just keep on keeping on.

Monday, January 19, 2015

What If

I have a massive fear of the unknown. Every time a chapter closes and a new one is about to begin, I go into panic mode. I do not like not knowing what to expect. I prefer a plan. I don't like to "go with the flow". I need details.

It happens at ever major milestone- graduations, moving, new jobs, etc. I run through every possible "what if" scenario. But perhaps the biggest "what if" at all is the one that haunts me- and I think it haunts all of us.

"What if I fail?"

No one wants to fail. We don't want to disappoint anyone, we don't want to go backwards. But some of us are even more scared of the opposite...

"What if I succeed?"

The possibility that this next chapter we embark on, whatever it may be, could be extremely successful, is also terrifying. Because then we put pressure on yourselves. Then we feel like every single move we make has to be the right one.

In some ways, it's almost easier to fail. We can wipe our hands, shrug it off, and try something else. But if you succeed, you're expected- by whom I'm not so sure- to keep it up. And then, THEN, when we are at the top, should we slip, that's when the let down happens.

So if we don't want to fail, and we don't want to succeed, what do we do? Well, most of us ride a fine line in between. We get comfortable. We stay in the same lane at the same speed, coasting.

Here's the way I see it, though, success is where we should be aiming. It's a far greater feeling to stand back and say "I did that" than it is to say "I was too afraid to try". 

Do not let the fear of failure OR success to stand in your way of your journey. whatever that may be. You were given this one, precious life to live. Wouldn't it be a shame to let it pass you by?

On a similar note, may we all take comfort in the fact that everything that is happening right now is happening for a reason. I know that sounds cliche and somewhat obnoxious, especially if you are dealt a sucky hand right now. But just know that no matter how terrible your circumstances, the pieces are falling into place as they should. We may not ever understand why, and the pain we feel during these hard times could be great, but eventually, it will make sense, and you will reach peace. 

Note: I know that I have written about this before. But it was on my heart tonight, and I thought maybe someone needed to hear these words.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


I'm moving.

And it's happening very fast.

I wasn't necessarily planning on moving. My plan originally was that my current two roommates were going to move out and a friend of mine, Amy,  was going to move in. We pretty much had it settled that she would move in mid next month. But things changed and without going into the details of everything, I have to be out by the end of the month.

So, the first step was to find a place to live. Which wasn't terribly easy. I spent hours and hours looking for houses and apartments over the weekend, and I visited several. None of them seemed like a good fit. They were overpriced for their size or in a bad location. Until I visited a condo on Monday night.

The ad on Craigslist made the place seem magical- both Amy and I were texting each other about it saying we couldn't stop staring at it. I was instantly imagining all the dinner parties we would have- and I don't even have dinner parties. I set up an appointment to view the condo on Monday evening. The place is gorgeous and just as it appeared in the pictures. It's spacious, it's in good condition and it makes me feel fancy. I like feeling fancy.

I called my parents right after to tell them how great it was. One of the big perks for me (and there were several) was how big it was. More sq footage than the house I am in now, plus two full bathrooms. Two FULL baths? Sign me up!

Amy and I immediately sent in our application and necessary documents, and within a few days, everything was official.

So now, I have to pack up the house that I have lived in for three years and get ready to settle in to a new place. And with that comes all the extras- changing utilities over, finding a few new pieces of furniture, sharing weird quirks about each other with my new roommate, etc. Funny thing is, Amy and I have known each other since we were 5. We were best friends for most of my childhood. But as we went to different high schools and had different adult lives, that changed- she's still an awesome person, I just don't go to her house to play dolls anymore. BUT NOW I WILL BECAUSE SHE WILL BE IN MY HOUSE.

In a way, I am sad to be leaving my house. I've been here for three years and a whole lot has happened in those three years. I told Sam "this isn't technically the house I grew up in, but it's the house where I feel like I really grew up". I did. I became an adult in this house. I learned how to make some difficult decisions. I will also miss the location and the ability to walk to get a bagel or to the fancy grocery store or to my gym.

I'm also excited, though. This new place feels, so far, like the right move. It's closeby to my parents house and to some of the major roads around here. We will have access to a pool and a clubhouse. Traffic might be more of an issue but the community itself seems quiet. 

So, I'm excited.  A little overwhelmed when I look around and see all that I have to pack up, but still excited. I can begin 2015 with this new adventure. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Some of you may remember that three years ago, the St. Hugo Community lost a very dear friend, Susan, in a tragic event. It still haunts me, and on the anniversary of her death I always feel it deep in my gut.

As the anniversary date was approaching this year, I wanted to try to plan something for us to come together and remember our friend. Instead of trying to organize a big memorial service, I simply invited others to join me at Church on Saturday evening. It was very laid back, no pressure, just an invitation. The best part? People came.

There I was, sitting in between my mom and Tom, surrounded by other families who loved Susan as much as I did. There was no mention of her name at Church, there was no dedication- but we knew. And sitting there together, worshiping and reflecting, was pretty darn special.

When Mass was let out I felt very fulfilled. People were coming up to me and my mom and thanking us for organizing it. There was no need to thank-it was simply an invitation.

And that got me thinking how simple, yet important, an invitation can be. Making someone feel welcome, embracing them, can make all the difference. It doesn't have to be fancy or planned, just inviting someone to sit with us or to join us is special.

I'll admit: I don't get out much. My main social circle includes Tom, Sam, and my parents. But at the same time, I know that I am never alone. I know that I have support from my family, my church, old friends, old coworkers, and new coworkers. I know that if something tragic happened to me, people would jump in to help. That feeling is so wonderful and a very good one to have when you are a 27 year old young professional who has a lot of decisions to make in her daily life- everything from where am I going to live to what is the best yoga studio. I seek advice from my friends and family a lot, and there's always someone jumping in to help.

It's important to build and maintain those relationships. We never know when we will need someone-or when they will need us. Hold on to those people, even if it's just the occasional e-mail or message on Facebook. What I have learned in life is that while there are bad people out there, people who we connect with are special, and we connected with them for a reason. Know the power of that connection, and cherish it.

I should also mention that I certainly hope the people in my life feel supported by me. I know I'm busy and that weight loss has been my main focus the past year and a half, but I am always willing to listen and to help solve problems when I can.

Have a great week, friends.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Before and After

I often post pictures comparing my "before and after" weight loss progress. I'll admit it, I'm proud. And I like to share with my friends. Last night I sent one to a friend and she said "you must feel so much better". Oh, I do. And that got me thinking: I should use my words, emotions and feelings to describe how I have felt, before and after. And so that's what I've done here. No holding back.

Before: "you look tired"
After "you look amazing"

Before "if I eat this cake, I will feel better"
After "I hate putting crap into my body. I don't need that"

Before ::tears in the dressing room::
After: Smile..."it fits"

Before: I'm so scared
After: I've got this covered.

Before: I'll do anything to be liked. Even if it means pretending to be something I'm not
After: I'm me, take it or leave it. 

Before: Disgusted Looks.
After: smiles and hellos.

Before: out of breath after one flight of stairs
After: 65 flights.

Before: I feel so uncomfortable
After: I feel so light

Before: size 24
After: size 16

Before: Lonely, spending my nights alone in my room writing sad songs 
after: Smiles and laughter come easily. Life is fun. I don't want to miss it.

Before: Heating a frozen pizza is cooking, right?
After: new recipes every night 

Before: "have you tried losing weight?"
After "how the Hell did you lose all that weight?"

Before: I just want to sleep. All of the time. 
After: Nap after a workout.

Before: Did I just break that chair?
After: I can lean back without breaking a chair. 

Before: I'm disgusting 
After: I look good.

Before: "you have such a pretty face"
After: "you're beautiful"

Before: Can't run around the block without pain
After: 3 miles.

Before: Do I have to face the world today?
After: What's in store for me today?

Before: No one will ever love me.
After: I deserve all the love that Tom gives to me.

Before: I don't like who I am. I want to disapear.
After: I love who I have become. I want to shine. I do shine.

I hope that helped give a clear pictures of what this weight loss journey has done for me, emotionally. It's been quite a ride.  

Weight Loss Wednesday

Today, I don't want to talk about me or my weight loss journey.

I want to talk about you- anyone who is thinking about getting started, or who has made a resolution to get started. Maybe you feel lost, not sure what to do first, or maybe you feel overwhelmed.

I'm sure you've done some research and googled questions about weight loss. And I know there is a LOT of information out there about detoxes and juice cleanses and crazy diets like the military diet that basically require you to starve yourself. And those things scare me, because those things are kind of dangerous. And also, in my experience, don't always work.

Here's what you should do.

Join a gym. It doesn't have to be a super fancy one. Just make sure it's one where you feel comfortable. I am a big fan of group exercise classes because I believe they make you accountable, but not every gym offers them. And that's fine. Just join a gym, talk to a trainer and build your program. There are tons of websites that can help you build a workout. I sometimes use Pinterest- just search workouts. If joining a gym is totally out of your budget, that's fine. You can workout at home. Use DVD's, use the stairs in your house or apartment complex, use your body weight. Another great website is . Use it!

Eat healthy. Healthy= lots of lean meats and veggies. We know this. It's common sense. But we have to actually do it. Eat snacks like almonds, apples, cottage cheese, yogurt. Cut back on carbs, sugar, and sodium. A good trick? When you go to the grocery store, try to only buy food on the outside of the store- not through the aisles. Cut  back on processed, packaged foods. When I don't have leftovers for lunch. I try to make a salad- using lots of greens and veggies and adding in tuna, black beans, or chicken to get protein.

Friends, those are the two things you need to know to do this. And I KNOW you can do this. You have to take a leap and get right into it. And then take your time. Know that you will hit walls. And that's okay. You will learn how to climb over them and crush them to pieces.

And please, if you ever need encouragement, or ideas, or recipes, please reach out to me.