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LOTUSFLOWER's Recent Blog Entries

Bonfield Express 5k Race Report - a PR and a lot of Blessings

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

This year I ran my first "Turkey Trot" as they call them, people that get up early on Thanksgiving morning and brave whatever the elements may bring, and just run. I was excited to run near my hometown, and this race was HUGE for a suburban race - over 5,100 people ran it! (And my town's day after Thanksgiving 5k was cancelled due to low participation).

The Bonfield Express started 8 yrs. ago when a local High School Dean, Coach and Teacher passed away due to complications of Hodgkin's Disease. The Bonfield Express Foundation is a fast-growing local charity working to build character and community commitment in high school students. They host programs and provide scholarship assistance to high school seniors, building future community leaders.

The excitement was in the air and I was looking forward to running this route. It goes through the main streets of the town, which was all decked out for Christmas, but also goes through a nice woodsy area that you would never know was there unless you were looking. I had trained on this route with my Saturday morning running group and met up with several of them before the race. Unfortunately there was no gear check, so I had no camera to capture the group. But a local photographer was on hand and got some overall shots.

Here's the beginning of the race. It started with an actual train whistle vs. a blow horn or regular whistle, it was pretty cool. Also a High School senior sang the Star Spangled Banner before takeoff. It was beautiful.

AND in another shot I caught a glimpse of myself! I knew the pink Bondi band would come in useful some day! Here I am!

As we started off I quickly lost track of my running gals. The autumn colors were wonderful! The community really comes out for the event, too. One family gives out "Power Donuts"!

(No, I did not stop).

This race felt hard to me because it was so hilly! And while I'd run the course before, we usually take a different route - this went through the woods the opposite direction and I felt winded pretty quickly. But it was amazing to see the streets of the town next to mine filled up with so many people! At the Shamrock Shuffle in Chicago there are so many people the streets are filled, you can see almost a mile ahead at the crowd running - this was very similar to me. It was surreal.

As I approached the finish line I was surprised there was such a crowd! It was very cool.

I had forgotten to start my Garmin as I started the race, so I had no clue how I did. I felt like I did pretty good though. However, it wasn't until I got home and checked results after watching the Thanksgiving parade with my girls that I realized I hit a NEW PR!!! My time was 34:05! That's more than a minute and a half better than my Hot Chocolate race (which was also a PR for me then) earlier in the month! That is an average of a 10:59 mile!!! ME!

I was so excited.

Then it was off to my parents house for Thanksgiving dinner and I realized how amazing my life is, and how blessed I am. There are so many new lives...

The Twins, Rachel and Paige

My sister Missy holding Rachel (I think, they are identical hard to tell them apart)

My God son Owen being the proud older brother!

And there's the newest baby, Stella

My sister Kris and Stella, and Ben (yes he is watching the football game, lol!)

...And also new beginnings, my sister and her boyfriend Jan just got engaged.

The happy couple!

And I have my parents who are still healthy and awesome grandparents

And an amazing husband...

Wonderful girls....

Lucy with her cousin and my nephew, Tony

Lucy and Marlo fawning over baby Stella

Lucy and Marlo playing around on turkey day

Me with the girls at the local parade

Yes, life is GOOD.

And I have an amazing support group of Spark friends who have become my family.

Thank you God for it all.

I feel healthy, strong, and just unstoppable.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMBER281 12/1/2011 11:17AM

    Congrats on the PR!!
Thanks for sharing pictures of your wonderful family!

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TABIKATZZ 11/30/2011 4:06PM

    Congrats on the PR! And you have such a lovely happy family! It really is a blessing!

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CHICAT63 11/30/2011 8:56AM

    Woohoo on your new PR !!!! Thanksgiving was truly a celebration for you and your family, your girls remind me of mine at their ages. Today there are 18 & 20, it goes by way too fast cherish these moments.

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    This made me so happy just reading it! Love hte pictures and love you! You are so amazing and I am so proud of you! And I tell you....Marlo is mini you!

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UNICORN212 11/29/2011 11:08PM

    Great blog, great memories!

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FREDANN 11/29/2011 9:00PM

    You have a beautiful family! Great job on your 5k and on a beautiful attitude!

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BABY_GIRL69 11/29/2011 8:30PM

    Congrats! God bless & enjoy everyday! Dee

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MOTIVATED@LAST 11/29/2011 8:30PM

    Well done on the 5K!

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LOOZINITNOW 11/29/2011 6:16PM

    emoticon on your PR! Those are some beautiful memories!

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 11/29/2011 6:08PM

    Way to go on the PR, that's fantastic! You have a beautiful family : )

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KITHKINCAID 11/29/2011 5:56PM

    Awww - LOVE. Look at you and the 5K PRs girl! You're amazing!

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Plan for Motivate!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Here's my plan for the new season of the Done Girls Seasonal Challenge, Motivate!

Fitness (260 minutes):

Monday- Boxing (60 min.)/ST (all over)
Tuesday- Run (60 min.)
Wednesday- Walking or Dancing DVD (30 min)/ST (arms)
Thursday- Run
Friday- Walking or Dancing DVD (30 min)/ST (core)
Saturday- Morning run (60 min.)
Sunday- Yoga (20 min.)
Friday- Catch up day if I missed any previous days.

Fitness goals:
ST 3 times per week
Burn 1500 calories per week
Reach 1,000 fitness minutes per month


1200-1550 calories
8 – 10 glasses of water per day.
Only 2 cups of coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon.
NO dairy – going cold turkey.
Get all of my freggies in.
Popcorn – break out the air popper and make it truly healthy. Then I can have 2 bowls.
Wine – only 1 – 2 glasses on special occasions (Thanksgiving, Xmas). No more casual drinking.
Track all of my food into the fitness tracker and check my stats nightly to see where I need to tweak anything.


I have a few things that are motivating me:

1. I WANT to reach goal weight. I have 18 more lbs. to go. I had hoped to reach that by the end of this year, but that is not looking likely.
2. I want to be fitter so that I can train for the half marathon in 2013.
3. I want to have lower life insurance. When I reach 185 lbs. (11 lbs. away) – my premium will be cut in half. (and that money can go to save toward Disney in 2013!)

To motivate me I’m bringing back my monthly progress reports. I usually track NSVs on that report, and it helps me to see how far I’ve come, even if the scale isn’t moving. I stopped doing these in the summer and I miss them. So I’m bringing them back to help motivate me.


Nights and weekends are difficult for me. Some days I am so busy at work (don’t have time to take a lunch) and I come home and just want to veg out. Some nights I turn to a glass of wine to relax me, and then that leads to eating something I don’t necessarily need and that leads to the scale not moving. Weekends same thing, except usually popcorn is added into the mix.

Also TIME. Being a full-time working mom to two young children is a challenge to find the time for ME to workout. I’ve been getting up early in the morning to run, but boxing is right after work and I have to fight the guilt to attend that class. Also the times I do workout at night after they go to sleep I have to fight against my exhaustion. Try to work out a plan where I still have time for me, for my writing, for my family, and not get overwhelmed.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ISIS10884 11/23/2011 11:44AM

    Awesome planning! What are these progress reports???

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NUOVAELLE 11/22/2011 1:35AM

    That's a really great plan! Nutrition and fitness in order, you have your motivations written down and ready to work and you have pinpointed the areas that you know might trouble you. Just perfect! I'm sure you'll get over all your difficulties and succeed.
Good luck!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TEDDYBEARGIRL 11/22/2011 1:30AM


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ROEANDGO 11/21/2011 11:46PM

    You CAN overcome your challenges and do this! Great plan! I have confidence you'll get that 11 pounds off then on to the 18 pounds to goal!!

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CARILOUIE 11/21/2011 8:22PM

    I love your nutrition plan. Popcorn is SOOOO super easy to make!

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THEADMIRAL 11/21/2011 4:28PM

    Good plan and excellent reasons for your motivation! It IS challenging for young moms to find time for themselves - include permitting yourself to be flexible so that you can enjoy your journey to good health instead of enduring it or feeling guilty. emoticon

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    emoticonGo get 'em! emoticon

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SAC-6582 11/21/2011 3:00PM

    Awesome plan!!! emoticon

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STARLIGHT615 11/21/2011 1:53PM

    Sounds like a GREAT plan!!! You can do it!!

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KITHKINCAID 11/21/2011 1:46PM

    Girl. You got this. I need to get on this challenge too. I'm all weepy and emotional lately and my eating has tanked because of it. Gotta suck it up and push forward. Your challenges are clearly harder than anything I have to deal with, so if you can do this, so can I.

HUGS! Love you.

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POSITIVE-FORCE 11/21/2011 1:45PM

    Sounds like you have a really solid plan! You can do it!

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TEMPEST272002 11/21/2011 11:25AM

    Excellent plan. There's a reason you've done so well despite so many other demands in your life. Like Travelgrrl said, don't forget to give yourself credit where it's due. You are a ROCK STAR!!! You and I are still neck & neck on the weight loss: I'm 22lbs to goal. Race ya! emoticon

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JAMIEU86 11/21/2011 11:23AM

    wow, great plan! It is nice to see it all laid out, easier to remember why and what it is your doing!!! keep up the great work, i know you can do it!

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AMBER281 11/21/2011 11:10AM

    That is a great plan!
You can do it!!!

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INSPIREBYNATURE 11/21/2011 11:04AM

    This is an amazing plan and I have NO DOUBT that you can do this! You are AMAZING!!!! I love you and I'm so proud of you!

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TRAVELGRRL 11/21/2011 11:04AM

    You have a tough schedule! You really DO need to give yourself credit for doing so well so far. I don't know what the answers are for YOU, but I know you'll find them.

Personally I had to cut out popcorn for awhile -- it's ADDICTING and just fuels that habit of nighttime mindless munching.

Good luck, I'll be rooting for you!!

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SEWINGMAMACDS 11/21/2011 11:03AM

    Great goals! emoticon

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KKINNEA 11/21/2011 11:00AM

    Good luck, you can do it!

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Hot Chocolate Race Report - Nov. 5, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Last year, after waking up at an ungodly hour to get on two different el trains to make it to the 7:40 a.m. start time of the Hot Chocolate race, I decided that the following year I would stay at the Congress Plaza Hotel, located directly across from Grant Park. My cousin stayed with me, but I found out that DAY that this is one of the most haunted hotels in Illinois. I am not a haunted hotel kind of gal, so I got virtually no sleep the night before, coupled with the fact that I couldn't reach my husband and our daughter has been having some health issues, so I got ZERO sleep.

So I was up anyway and ready to go the morning of the race. My sister, Kara and her fiancee' Jan met us at the hotel. (Doesn't it look a bit like the hallway in the Shining? LOL).

Then we stashed our stuff at gear check and got ready to run.

One of the photographers for the event caught us as we were walking to the starting corral and took quite possibly the best race picture I've ever seen! Had to purchase this one.

We ran into some friends in the starting corral and she snapped a picture of us with her iPhone.

My sister and her fiancee' and my cousin thought they might need to walk some of it, so I was going to run it on my own. We were off! The first mile was very crowded, I felt like I was running faster than my pace since I was doing a lot of weaving in and out of people. I also felt GREAT. I felt the best I've ever felt during a race! I felt strong, fast and like a runner!

It was a cold morning, but I run hot so I had my thermal sleeves on and a new Hot Chocolate T I picked up as a reward to myself. Have you heard that advice about running in a new piece of clothing before an actual race? I usually abide by that, but this shirt was TOO cute. However, it kept floating up on me during the race, so I had to tuck it into my pants, lol. Also toward the end I needed to pull down the thermal sleeves, the sun started to come out and it was hot for me.

This race marked my fastest 5k race time ever! I especially love seeing the results against last year's Hot Chocolate:

Last year: 41 min., 38 seconds.
13 min., 24 sec. pace.


This year: 35 min., 25 seconds.
11 min., 26 sec pace.

That's is a full SIX minutes (and 13 seconds) shaved off of my time from last year! (Disregard the 37 min. 08 second time, the race got off to a delayed start due to a semi truck stuck under a bridge and the race was re-routed and we ran further than 5k, so RAM Racing adjusted the time afterward, thus my 35 min., 25 second time.)

I was so excited and happy. I felt FIT! Not only did I reach a PR, but I could really FEEL that I was now healthy. I recently got a full physical exam and my numbers are just amazing. I am so healthy, I am so blessed. I have really changed my life around, and this race to me marked a milestone of that new lifestyle. Also I used to be afraid to run races alone. Now it is my norm and even my preference. I am no longer scared, and I am embracing the runner I have become.

Then it was time for the chocolate!

AND the HOT Chocolate, of course.

I love the jacket that came in the goodie bag. It's called a "warmup jacket" and it is very light, but as I run hot, I loved it and will use it in upcoming runs when the weather gets colder.

I missed seeing my good friend Jenn (KITHKINCAID), due to having to catch an early train back home. She ran her first 15k and I am so proud of her!

Who knows, maybe next year I will join her in that distance....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHICAT63 11/16/2011 4:43PM

    Amazing time, congratulations ! I am sure you Jen have a date for next year's 15K. Way to go, awesome.

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SGTSUNNY 11/15/2011 10:51PM

    What a great number for you PR! I love the jacket. And always love your blogs. emoticon

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TENACITY918 11/15/2011 8:45PM

    Congratulations!!! You are an inspiration indeed!! Love how your blog compares last year to this year!!

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ASMITH3B 11/15/2011 4:37PM

    Great job! That's an amazing time!

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CHELLES_BELLS 11/15/2011 9:34AM

    Wow! What a great time! I had a several first 5K time (around 40 minutes) so I'm hoping when I run that race next year I'll also be in the 35 minute zone! WOOT.

Anyways, I'm glad you enjoyed the 5K. The 15K was a little less than to be desired. I dont know if I'll do it again unless I have some friends with me.

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TAZIAH 11/14/2011 9:39PM

    You're emoticon Super proud of you!!

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AMBER281 11/14/2011 3:12PM

    Great job and it looks like you had lots of fun!!!

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SKFEREBEE 11/14/2011 2:43PM

    Love your race report! Great pics and you really have come into your own as a runner! And the health part is a great payoff for all the hard work. You go girl! emoticon

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PJH2028 11/14/2011 2:11PM

    Wow! That must feel so great, to see your stats improve like that. Fan freaking tastic!

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KITHKINCAID 11/14/2011 1:56PM

    I MISSED YOU TOO!!! But I'm so proud of you and your PR. Even despite the creepy closet the night before...

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GOGOMAMA 11/14/2011 1:42PM

    Wow!!! So inspiring!! Congrats on your PR and great new fit mentality!!! You look gorgeous!

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KKINNEA 11/14/2011 1:36PM

    I love Congress Plaza - what a great hotel! I would love to do one of these races with chocolate, seems like my milieu...

Great job on your time improvement!

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    You are SO amazing! I am so proud of you!

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KATD13 11/14/2011 12:57PM

    What an awesome job! In spite of a rough start...no sleep, worried about your daughter. Love the pics.
I hope to run the Hot Chocolate in 2012. My major goal is to do the RAM Racing SheBang Tri in August.

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TEDDYBEARGIRL 11/14/2011 12:41PM

    Great job!

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THEABSURDEXTENT 11/14/2011 12:38PM

    Congrats!!! That's so awesome and you looked great doing it :)

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Saying Goodbye to the Inner Fat Girl

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not" ~Anonymous

In my Sunny Gals team we are doing a mini challenge to try to lose 20 lbs. by the New Year. This is especially exciting for me because I have 20 lbs. to lose until I reach my ultimate goal weight.

In entering my starting and goal weight in the template, a fellow Sunny Gal, Amber, posted on my spark page that she noticed I put my starting and goal numbers in the 200's -- not the 100's. I actually, without realizing it, put my "starting weight" for the challenge as my actual starting weight - 298. I put my "goal weight" as 278. I was still thinking like the fat girl I used to be.

In fact, I've found it difficult to give up that fat girl. This was one of the reasons for my recent 2 month plateau until I finally broke that, losing a total of 100 lbs. My stomach is getting so flat, I find myself puffing out until it's bigger. I'm used to resting my elbow on something while I type. I find myself slouching more, I find it's scary being up so high and so thin (for me). I feel...exposed.

I don't know what to do with my hands anymore. I used to use them to mainly eat. Now at family parties I fidget, no longer needing the filling up of the food, but uncertain what my new role is. Typically introverted, I've found myself being a social butterfly and I wait on people, seeing who needs what to drink, etc.

Who is this new creature that has emerged?

I can tell you who she's NOT...

She's not the unhappy, depressed girl...unable to even smile.

She's not the girl standing on the sidelines, wanting to dance but letting her body hold her back.

She's not the girl that would only see her best of friends because she was so...big...

She's not the girl who hides her body....

...and face...with her own child.

She's not the girl whose laughter is forced...

She's not the girl who has no energy to play with her kids...

She's not the girl who thinks hats and glasses can hide her...

Or that she can't really eat at dinner because people will think that's why she's fat...

She is the fit, healthy girl, who loves eating clean and running.

She's the girl that shows everyone that ANYTHING is possible. Anything.

It was very difficult to find ANY pictures of myself at my higher weights. I have whole albums with everyone but me in it. It's really sad to me. Pictures when Lucy was born, big milestone moments, I'm the invisible woman. Now I will be in the picture - literally, and a better mom, sister, daughter and wife for it.

So goodbye, fat girl. I'm moving on. I honor who you were, but I no longer need your protection or coverings. I am navigating my way in this new world. Thank you for waking up, dear girl.

2 Corinthians 5:17 ~ "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ISIS10884 11/23/2011 10:30AM

    Thank you for that! I applaud you and hope to be able to have that outlook as I lose more, too. Perhaps my plateau is some of my fat girl holding me back.... Time to rethink!

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SUNSHINE20113 10/31/2011 3:16AM

    You've touched on some really honest feelings here. Thank you. Well done on your amazing achievement!

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CHANGE4THEBEST 10/30/2011 6:50PM



Great blog, I know I relate to your blog - just been shopping and bought clothes to try on at home. Nothing fits, and those that did, made me look a frump, I just didn't feel comfortable wearing them emoticon

But, I cannot wallow in self pity - although I didn't exercise much this week, the needle moved in the right direction. With that said, don't be negative, remind myself what you have achieved and great things are possible.

I have a new week ahead of me 'TO DO BETTER FOR MYSELF'

OK, shopping was hopeless - accept, acknowledge move on.

emoticon for sharing your photos and being a true inspiration when others are feeling a bit low with themselves.. emoticon

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DWILCZKO 10/29/2011 12:23AM

  good job!

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STARFIRE125 10/28/2011 11:46PM

    What an incredible transformation! I can sooooo identify with you. You have done such an incredible job. Thanks for sharing your feelings that so many of us keep buried. Keep up the fantastic work! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ROEANDGO 10/28/2011 11:37PM

    You are soooo inspirational!! Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

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ELMO1967 10/28/2011 2:37PM

  What a well written inspiring story! Thank you for sharing!

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IGSBETH 10/28/2011 11:07AM


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4AMAZINGME 10/27/2011 5:29PM

    I love this blog.. I too remember occasions where no one took my picture b/c they were embarrassed by the elephant in the room. I looked through pictures @ my parents house from over the years and I am in none of them! My sisters and brothers are there but I am nowhere to be found.

You have done such an amazing job. Enjoy your skinny self. emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/27/2011 5:30:16 PM

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MSILVER94 10/27/2011 4:59PM

    You have made such an awesome change! Congrats!! And the last 20lbs don't stand a chance! You deserve to celebrate...so yes, the fat girl clinging on has got to go! BTW your baby is too pretty! :)

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JENNLRC 10/27/2011 4:33PM

    I love this. I have found myself in everyone of those situations and the ones that break my heart are the ones of my children when they were born. I think I have maybe 5 of them, and I have taken thousands.
You are amazing and fantastic. Way to go, it is very inspirational.

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VERONICAVW_140 10/27/2011 3:54PM

    You tell that inner fat girl emoticon Congrats on your weightloss success! Good job! :)

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OFFDREA 10/27/2011 3:41PM

    You have me in tears again Kathy lol
There are not enough words to describe how incredibly happy I am for your. You are an inspiration to everyone here and your girls!!!

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MR54BLD54 10/27/2011 2:27PM

    Your transformation is inspirational-you are a gorgeous lady.

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RUNNERGURL61 10/27/2011 2:07PM

    I LOVED your blog! You are amazing - what an incredible transformation! Keep up the good work!!!

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CARYNW 10/27/2011 2:00PM

    Wow, thanks for being so open about your journey, and sharing not just the physical, but mental transformation. You are inspiring! Way to go!

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ELSAG83 10/27/2011 1:21PM

    beautiful blog and so empowering! Thank you and congrats you're doing fantastic!!

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 10/27/2011 1:15PM


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HHB4181 10/27/2011 12:28PM

    Congrats to you lotus flower on all of your hard work.
You kick that inner fat girl to the curb!!

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ILUVTHE80S 10/27/2011 7:52AM

    I am guilty of hiding behind my daughter in pics too! LOL. It's actually kind of silly, because it's not like you can hide very much behind a toddler.

Great job on your accomplishments! emoticon

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    You are beautiful and I am very proud of you!


Voting you up girl!

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NORAB52GOOD 10/25/2011 10:10AM

    This blog made me cry! I don't want to be The Invisible Girl anymore!

Congratulations on your amazing journey and transformation. You are beautiful and strong. emoticon

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TEDDYBEARGIRL 10/19/2011 4:42PM

    It is amazing how our minds dont change along with our bodies.......I lost 100 pounds 3 or 4 years ago and because i could never see any of the 100 pounds gone when i looked in the mirror, because my mind was still thinking and feeling like it was at 100 pounds heavier.......i put all of that 100 pounds back on and another 50 on top of that........so SAD!!!!!!

This time I am working more on my mental state/outlook/health knowing that my body will follow.....not the other way around.

You are doing awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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GOGOMAMA 10/19/2011 2:39PM

    I love your transformation story and the amazing changes inside and out!! You look amazing!

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BOOMAC1961 10/19/2011 2:14PM

    Congrats on your success! What an amazing transformation! Your blog really touched me and is just what I needed to hear!

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REALLYGOTTALOSE 10/19/2011 12:43PM

    Thank you for this blog.. it was amazing.. and i saw myself in ur pics... and what u said... u read my mind .. heard my thoughts .. thoughts i didnt even admit to myself till i saw u say them... ty :)

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INSPIREBYNATURE 10/19/2011 10:46AM

    You have always been beautiful and amazing but you GLOW now sweetie. You are AMAZING!

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TABIKATZZ 10/19/2011 10:35AM

    You are AMAZING!!! I am honored to be on the Sunnygals team with you, you inspire me! emoticon

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AMBER281 10/19/2011 10:32AM

    Another wonderful blog!!
You are truly inspiring!!
This blog is a reminder that this journey that we are on is not just about the physical but the mental as well. I think sometimes we are so focused on the physical transformation that we often forget that we need to work on or change the mental issues as well.
The girl you were before will always be part of your story but its time to embrace this new person that you have become and let her shine.

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GEMINIGEM6 10/19/2011 10:30AM

    Wow. What a beautiful blog. Congrats on all of your success. I can't wait to be there myself. :)

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RED_WRITINGHOOD 10/19/2011 10:11AM

    Such a wonderful blog and you look marvelous my dear!!

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HSMOM2FOUR 10/19/2011 9:56AM

    I love this blog!! I see so much of myself in this post... Thank you so much for blogging about it!

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TOPAZROSE 10/19/2011 8:14AM

    Thank you for your courage in showing who your vulnerable fat girl was. You have come a long way...congratulations an making a positive future for yourself and being an inspiration to us on the same journey.


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CYCLINGSANDY 10/19/2011 3:55AM

    emoticonto your accomplishments! God has graced you abundantly and you have worked hard to get to this new creature on the outside. I am trying to love running and I will not give up.

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BTINTERNET 10/18/2011 11:35PM

    What a great accomplishment and realization both! Good luck on the last 20! You're amazing and inspiring!

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FITMOMMY2GIRLS 10/18/2011 10:42PM

    Kathy I love reading your blogs, they bring tears to my eyes! You have come so far keep up the great work, girl your looking great. You are truly an inspiration to me and many others!

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LIVIN_THE_LIFE 10/18/2011 10:37PM

    Wow these pictures are amazing and really tell the story. Great job!!

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TAZIAH 10/18/2011 9:51PM

    I'm very much still struggling with the inner fat girl. You give me hope for a better future! emoticon

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SYN-CA 10/18/2011 9:38PM

    What a fabulous accomplishment, Kathy! I see a fabulous woman in all your pictures! Your last one shows a much healthier one. I know you will integrate the old you with the new one for sure! Hey, you've got that 20!


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LOOZINITNOW 10/18/2011 9:25PM

    Goodbye fat girl! Good luck on the challenge! I know you will do amazing!

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FATHINSN 10/18/2011 8:28PM

    Wow, oh, Wow! Goodbye to your past but she will always in memory.

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JESSIELOVE78 10/18/2011 6:44PM

    Congrats!! (((hugs)))

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KITHKINCAID 10/18/2011 6:30PM

    Look at your skinny legs! I want 'em!

You are just so dang fabulous. Love you!!!

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PJH2028 10/18/2011 6:30PM

    Beautiful and True. It resonates. As you do. Steadily and bright.
I celebrate you. paula

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SWEETBEETL 10/18/2011 5:49PM

    You are totally awesome and you can do the 20 easy!!!

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KKINNEA 10/18/2011 5:44PM

    Love it!

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CRYSTAL8488 10/18/2011 5:31PM

    Wow, you are amazing!! You look like totally new fit woman, you have come so far. No thinking like that inner fat girl again! Congrats on your success so far!! You look great. emoticon

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MADE-FOR-MORE 10/18/2011 5:25PM

    You are truly an inspiration! You can beat those last 20 pounds!

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JONICACALDWELL 10/18/2011 5:14PM

    Holy goodness! I almost dropped my tea when I scrolled down thru your pics!!! You are amazing.

Please watch the posture. It happened to me too when I lost 100 pounds, I didn't stand properly and I did tend to push our my stomach too. So suck it in & be proud! You deserve it. emoticon

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Saving the Best for Last (100 lbs. lost)

Monday, October 17, 2011

And the last pound goes to...

After losing 99 lbs. on my birthday I was inspired to write a blog about 99 things I’ve learned, or are blessed with.


One very important thing was left out of that list. Something I was saving for the last pound that would bring me into the club of those who have lost 100 lbs.

At the time I had no idea that to lose this last pound would take 2 months. A 2 month plateau!

On the verge of greatness, on the edge of passing through and being able to say I’ve lost 100 lbs. So many people these past couple of months have asked me how much weight I’ve lost. To have to say ALMOST 100 lbs (seems less crazy than to say 99 lbs. exactly) was so frustrating to me. What was holding me back? I was doing everything “right”…working out, tracking my food…well I believe I was holding myself back. Afraid to go into that unknown territory. When I would find myself touching my stomach that gets flatter each day…I seemed foreign to myself. An alien. Better eat some more.

But through working with these feelings, and through prayer, and trying to remain grounded in who I AM, not what I look like, I was able to hopefully, finally break through this fear of being thin. I’m through with my fat cushioning me from the world. I don’t need that anymore. I’m ready to live now.

But back to what this blog is really about. Out of 100 things that have blessed me on this journey, the #1 most important thing, other than God, is my FAMILY. My family is – in a word – amazing. Yes, I might be biased. Heck, I AM biased. But I do believe that I have one of the best families there is. A family who never – ever – made me feel like I was “fat”. Like I was not right. On the contrary, they made me feel loved, accepted. Funny and smart. Like the belle of the ball. I can be introverted at first around people I don’t know. But my family – that was always my comfort zone. I always love being around my family. Close friends, too.

Now you may say that my family not telling me “Hey, you need to lose weight” was a disservice. I disagree. I see your point, yes, but I ask you – in how many situations in life do you have COMPLETE, utter UNCONDITIONAL LOVE other than from God up high? How often do you get that? How rare that is! But I’ve been blessed with that. With a place I could go to when I was 300 lbs….a place that was separate from the world and all of its conditions it puts on people. A place where I was LOVED – despite all of my faults. When I was at my heaviest, I didn’t go out much. I blew off friends. I hibernated in my cozy world with my husband and the only times I DID want to go out was to see – MY FAMILY.

Now if this family told me “Hey, you’re overweight, you are hurting yourself with this overeating. Possibly even killing yourself.” That wouldn’t have made one lick of difference. I knew I had a problem. Had they done that I would possibly have stayed in that dark place and just never come out. See, they loved me and took me for what I was. (Now I do feel my dr. should have said something, and she never mentioned it).

And really, the decision to want to lose weight has to come from within.

Once I had Lucy, I knew things had to change.

Then once Marlo was born, I decided TO change.



So this blog is dedicated to that last pound to reach 100, and to my family. Who is amazing in and of themselves. See for yourself. (In no particular order and I am sure I’m missing some people and I apologize for that).

My husband, Jim. Has always been there for me. We will be married 13 yrs. Next year. He never EVER made me feel less than or fat. He IS the man. He is an amazing husband, too.

My wonderful princesses, Lucy and Marlo. They show me each and every day that we should take the time to laugh, to listen, to have fun, to be patient, and that there is always something new to learn.

My Dad. He is always there for me, and it’s on his bucket list to run a race with me someday. Isn’t that cool? He cheers me on and is there for me during races. We trudged through the 2010 Shamrock Shuffle together and he just inspires me every day. He is the best dad ever. And he makes amazing award-winning chili.

My Mom. She raised 4 (that’s right, 4) girls and always puts herself last. She is the sort of person to cut out newspaper articles she thinks one of her daughter’s (or their husbands/boyfriends) may find interesting and she is always encouraging.

My sister Kris. She inspired me to run my first 5k and has always cheered me on. She is there for me in the drop of a hat, even once when I called her at 10 p.m. and begged her to run a race with me the following morning at 7 a.m. because I was afraid to do it alone. She didn’t even ask a question. She is now the proud Mama to a baby girl, Stella.

Her boyfriend Ben ran in my first 5k with me and has always encouraged me with my running.

My sister Kara. Being my fellow middle sister, Kara and I have always been close. She is a big encourager and always wants to read the blogs I write, and any creative writing I do also. She ran the Hot Chocolate last year with me, with her boyfriend Jan, and plans to run it again this year. She also goes running with me in Michigan when I’m sure she’d rather be playing Scrabble or drinking wine.

Her boyfriend, Jan, is also like one of the family.

My sister Missy. She is my baby sister and some days (ok, most) she shows me more about how to be a good parent than I ever thought possible. I call her for advice, and being a mom of 4 – two boys and TWIN girls, she continues to amaze me every day. It’s her dream to run the Hot Chocolate and I’m holding her to it for next year – 2012 baby!

Missy doing Leslie Sansone with me and our kids - WHILE pregnant with twins!

My brother-in-law Tony

He is an amazing dad to 4 kids and is a computer genius and always knows more about literature than I do. I've never seen him lose his cool, and that is a trait I highly admire, especially with 4 kids age 4 and under! He always helps w/ computer issues too.

My best friend Cheri. To say she has always been there for me is an understatement. Ever since we were in freshman year IPS class and she stood up to Cassandra Scott for me (who would whisper in my ear things I will not repeat) we have been stuck together like glue. She has always accepted me for who I am, quirks and all. In fact, I think she prefers the quirks! One of the best years of my life was when we were both single and lived together in an amazing apartment in Chicago with a sun room and all. When I asked her if she wanted to run the Elvis run with me, she surprised me by not even hesitating. She was on board!

Me and Cheri crossing the finishing line

My brother-in-law Mike. He is one of the funniest guys I know and always knows how to make me laugh. Last year he decided – a few DAYS before the Susan Komen Race for the Cure – that he would RUN it. He is not a runner. I run it in honor of his mother who lost her life to breast cancer and he wanted to honor her, and others, who have lost their lives to cancer. He finished the race just a few short minutes after me – and I had been training for 12 weeks! He had 0 training and he worked it out. He amazes me! He has the biggest heart, too. On the outside he’s a Harley guy, but on the inside he’s all marshmallows. Love you Mike!

My niece, Sydney. I was lucky enough to have experience Syd from being a baby and beyond. She was my first niece and always will hold a special place in my heart. It was through her first that I realized what it was to be an Aunt, and also realized I needed to lose weight – I had no kids of my own yet, but loved to have her sleepover and we would have dance parties and just have fun. But I didn’t have as much energy as I would have liked. She is a teenager now, and I still can’t quite believe it. She’s a talented photographer and has a big future ahead of her.

My Aunt Barb – she has lost almost 100 lbs. on WW and has had some health issues, but doesn’t let that hold her back from scrapping amazing cookbooks for the entire family and also scrapbooks of the cousins/kids.

(Kim is on the left)
My cousin Kim – she recently ran a 5k and said that I inspired her to! She has run 5ks and 8ks but since her second son, Nick, was born she hadn’t ran and wanted to get back into it. I’m so proud of her!

My cousin's son, Ryan is an amazing photographer and artist.

My nephews!

Tony makes me realize we shouldn’t be afraid to jump into anything and

Owen just plain makes me smile.

My nieces!

Rachel and Paige


I have an uncle who is winning the fight against addiction (on the right)

And a cousin who has been sober for years (and has lost a ton of weight in the process). He was also my rock when I was younger, and protected me from Bozo the clown when I was (and still am) so fearful of clowns! (I’m the one in the picture crying).

(I'm on the top right)

My step-mother-in-law Jane served as a nurse and then moved back home to care for her parents. She is a woman of faith and always encourages me and inspires me.

My cousin John is building a business from rehabbing houses and is an amazing dad to Nick.

My cousin, Sheryl encouraged me to see a naturalist dr. and start eating clean.

Her husband, John has lost 55 lbs. so far and they have an amazing daughter.

My cousin, George, and his wife Erika are both doctors, and are raising two kids. My Aunt Sheryl has been successful in her own Ebay business and my Uncle George is a successful banker.

My Uncle Danny and his wife Marte are amazing people and it's always good to see them. They are so supportive.

My sister-in-law Kim went to school later in life, after raising 3 kids, and is going to be a nurse.

My sister-in-law's son, Danny serves in the Army and protects our country. (left)

My cousin Kim's mother-in-law, Mary, treats me and my sisters like we were family. She is a big advocate for finding a cure for breast cancer. She is always cheering me on.

My husband's cousin, Cheryl is always so kind and supportive and is going back to school. I'm so proud of her. She is an amazing mother and has a wonderful family.

My husband's cousin, Tina, who is a strong woman of faith and is a wonderful mother. Her daughter, Emily, suffers from Pulmonary Atresia and is an open-heart surgery survivor. They are always in my prayers.

My friend LaTannya who has always been there for me and makes me laugh so hard I sometimes cry. She also is a role model for me as a mother. She has an amazing daughter, Taria, and she is a single mom and is going back to school. In a word, she rocks.

My friend Karoline! I used to work with her and miss it so much.
My friend Tom (Dotes) who always makes me laugh.
Danielle who is a mom to two girls as well and I love talking to her as it makes me feel like I'm not the only one going through whatever I'm going through.
(In this picture Danielle on the far right, then Dotes, then Karoline, or "KC" as I call her)

My friend Kimmah, who is a certified trainer (aka the "Fitness Mistress") and also owns her own business, Get Tight Get Right, with her friend Akilah (also an amazing woman). She is a woman of faith who is always cheering me on. She always says she's on "Team Kate"!

My friend Oyster who is also an amazing mother. She is a good friend to our family and helps us out with hand-me-down clothes from her daughter.

And the list goes on. My brother-in-law Kirk follows his dream and is working on painting race cars and has his own business. He doesn’t let anything stand in his way. My Uncle Charlie followed his dream and moved to New Zealand. I have so many other friends and family not named here who support me and I am so blessed for that. I am also in a group of writers that I love, too, the Sweethearts.

Also I had two grandmothers who I miss very much. They helped shape and mold the woman I became today.

My Gram Keller with my mom and her sisters.

I never met either of my grandfathers, unfortunately...

And my husband's mom, Carm, and Dad, James, whose passing all too soon from cancer have driven me to support causes such as Susan Komen foundation to help find a cure.

Jim's mom is the top right.

And many Sparkers have become my family, too.

Blaize (DANCINGEARTHMOM) is a woman of deep spiritual roots and is always exploring herself to go even further into her journey. She is a single mother to an amazing daughter, Azali, and is getting her Doctorate while supporting her daughter and losing weight. She has run a half marathon and she continues to amaze me every day!

Jenn (KITHKINCAID) is my wonderful amazing Chicago spark friend who has lost 120 lbs. and has run several races with me, she has run 5ks, an 8k, a 10k and will be running the Hot Chocolate 15k next month!! She is a Zumba lover, a runner, an athlete and a creative woman who produces plays too!

Shelly (GLITTERGIRL69) is my rock, she keeps me rooted in faith and I can tell her anything! She keeps me accountable to my faith.

And my Sunny Gals are more like a family than a team!! I love you all!!!

I also have an amazing church family that is always accepting of everyone, including me.

Yes, family is the thing dreams are created through. Family is our soil that supports our roots as we grow. And family is the people who are there when we succeed – and when we fall.

Family makes us wish…and dream.

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.
~ Jane Howard ~

Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible -- the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.
~ Virginia Satir ~

I'm on the very right - much heavier here, maybe 278

Me on the far left, then my cousin Kim, then my sister Kris

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRYSALLIS1 12/26/2011 5:43PM

    Very nice blog. So much success realized with some great people to support and share your work and dreams. emoticon

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STARFIRE125 10/29/2011 12:05AM

    How touching! Thank you for sharing so much of your life and family with us!

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ROEANDGO 10/28/2011 11:34PM

    Wonderful blog Kathy!! Amazing!!

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KROLES55 10/20/2011 9:32AM

    What a beautiful journey.. Thank you for sharing with us. You are doing an awesome job.

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TULIPAN2 10/20/2011 9:08AM

    emoticon You are so lucky to have amazingly loving and huge support of your family, relatives and friends... emoticon

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KATHSDEV 10/19/2011 11:24AM

    You and your family are AMAZING! Thank you so much for sharing them! You just inspired me to get out there and start running again emoticon

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TAZIAH 10/18/2011 9:48PM

    Kathy - to love and be loved like that is truly a gift from above! Congratulations on your amazing success. I'm so proud of you!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IGSBETH 10/18/2011 5:51PM


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THEADMIRAL 10/18/2011 5:06PM

    Love it! emoticon pictures and family and friends! emoticon

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KESHA1975 10/18/2011 11:55AM

    Awesome Inspiration! What a support system you have! You are truly a blessed woman! You are amazing!! emoticon

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PAANDRUS 10/18/2011 11:12AM

    What an amazing family & such support! I wish I could meet them. Maybe they could adopt me? LOL I am an only child sooo support??? Not a whole lot there! I envy your family ties. Congratulations on your 100 lbs!

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SMALLERMELORIE 10/18/2011 7:52AM

    Kathy, what a wonderful journey. Thank you for sharing this with us. You are so lucky to have such a wonderful support system.

Your right the Sunny Gals are so special.

Thank you for being such an inspiration.

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HSMOM2FOUR 10/18/2011 7:37AM

    Congrats on your 100lb loss! An amazing blog to celebrate!!

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UNIBLONDER 10/18/2011 7:22AM

    You are an inspiration!!!!!!

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MOMFAN 10/18/2011 3:09AM

    You are an amazing inspiration!

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NUOVAELLE 10/18/2011 1:59AM

    You brought tears to my eyes! People who have such strong bonds with their families are blessed! And you have a really nice family. Congratulations on your weight loss and on being such a thoughtful and thankful person who took the time to thank the people who helped her through this blog. You forgot one person, though. Yourself! None of this would have happened if you weren't strong enough to leave your dark but safe corner and embark on this journey. You deserve lots of praise.
As you said, you're done with fat cushioning you from the world! (I liked that.) Now LIVE!

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TEDDYBEARGIRL 10/18/2011 1:27AM

    Thanks for shareing your family and support system with all of us!!!!!!

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INSPIREBYNATURE 10/17/2011 11:28PM

    This is so beautiful and remarkable! You are such an amazing woman Kathy and I am so incredibly blessed to know you. I am SO proud of you!!!!!

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UNICORN212 10/17/2011 11:07PM

    You have come so far, and you are so richly blessed.

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GRACEISENUF 10/17/2011 10:44PM

    What a beautiful family you have. I could almost feel the love "jumping" off the page as I looked at the pictures of you and your family.

You are such an inspiration to me, so proud of all you have accomplishment spark friend.

Lucy and Marlo are adorable and what an awesome gift you are giving them by taking care of yourself and kicking booty on your spark journey!

Glad to call you friend!

Love in Christ,

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MAGGIE805 10/17/2011 9:36PM

    Just an amazing blog and an amazing journey. I had some tears while reading it. Very moving. Congratulations on your 100 lbs loss!

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SAC-6582 10/17/2011 8:45PM

    emoticon on the 100lbs. Great blog and great pictures.

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SGTSUNNY 10/17/2011 8:34PM

    What a remarkable story and family you have! So proud of you,

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MARTHAWILL 10/17/2011 8:11PM

    Nice blog. A big congrats on your success so far.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 10/17/2011 8:02PM

    Congratulations on the 100lbs lost. Well done pushing through that long plateau. You really are the most fortunate person to have so many loving & encouraging people in your life. I love how you can see the role each has played in your success & also how your successes push them towards their goals too. Thanks for sharing your beautiful tribute.

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JENJESS48 10/17/2011 7:34PM

    What a gorgeous and amazing family! Just like you! emoticon

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LETTINGGO85 10/17/2011 7:09PM

    What a beautiful dedication to your family and friends. Congrats on your loss! You are an amazing lady!

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KITHKINCAID 10/17/2011 6:41PM

    I feel so blessed that you would consider me like family. I am just awed and so thankful to be a part of this incredible group of people that you have in your life.

I cannot tell you how proud I am of you for the 100 pounds lost. And I know you've got more in you too. Fit and fabulous females we are. All the way to the end with you babe!

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MOMONTHERUN1 10/17/2011 6:17PM

    Amazing, inspiring and motivating. You are truly blessed and congrats on losing 100 pounds.


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GETFIT2LIVE 10/17/2011 6:00PM

    You have been truly blessed, and you have come so very far. Congratulations on all you have accomplished. I know how hard that last bit of weight can be to get off as I'm in the 'almost 100 pounds lost' place right now (97 pounds gone). It is not the physical weight that is hard to lose; it's the mental weight that holds us back the most. WOO HOO for you on getting past that!

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CHELAGETSFIT 10/17/2011 5:51PM

    Wow!! You have an AMAZING support system! Great job on your 100lb weight loss! You ROCK!!! Keep on your healthy lifestyle journey and pay it forward to others that need such amazing support as you are blessed with.

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SARAHJG33 10/17/2011 5:47PM

    You are inspiring emoticon emoticon

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 10/17/2011 5:46PM

    Congratulations on losing 100 pounds, that's amazing! You have a phenomenal support system and that makes all the difference. Beautiful blog : )

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14JESUSGIRL 10/17/2011 5:32PM

    Beautiful family and wonderful blog. Congratulations on your amazing journey and for never giving up.
Love in Christ,
Lee emoticon emoticon

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LOOZINITNOW 10/17/2011 5:11PM

    Beautiful blog and what an amazing journey!

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RONIREDD 10/17/2011 4:51PM


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HEATHIELAUREN 10/17/2011 4:45PM

    Super Sweet!!!

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CHICAT63 10/17/2011 4:32PM

    Oh, my what a beautiful, beautiful blog. Your family, your friends their strengths & weakness, and their pride. This blog is an ode to them all in being your support as well as contributing to who you are today ! Congratulations on your 100 pounds and all of your accomplishments !

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BELLALUCIA 10/17/2011 4:25PM

    Great blog! Congrats!

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ROCKINMOM77 10/17/2011 4:25PM

    Simply Amazing!!! You are very blessed with lots of great family and friends!! emoticon

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AMBER281 10/17/2011 4:18PM

    What a wonderful blog!!!
Thanks for sharing.
You are an amazing person and I am glad you have so many amazing people in your life!!
I am so proud of you.

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KKINNEA 10/17/2011 4:17PM

    Huge support system - that's awesome!!

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