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LOTUSFLOWER's Recent Blog Entries

Reflections on SASS and my Rock It! Plan

Friday, June 29, 2012

I started off the SASS Seasonal Done Girl challenge at 196 lbs. I had recently reached 100 lbs. down and I felt like I was going to reach my goal weight during this challenge. That was not to be. I ended the challenge weighing 197.5. Well, weigh in isn't until tomorrow...and I have a funny feeling I will end the challenge at the exact same weight that I started.

I want to say it's a plateau. I've been here for a long time, and I know that in a weight loss journey such as mine, where I have so much weight to lose, I will hit a few of these potholes along the way.


I've slacked off, too.

I read an article about plateaus that asked an important question: "Is it a Real Plateau or Not?"

Well, yes, this feels real enough. But I read on further.

"Just because your weight loss has stalled does not mean you have hit a “true” plateau. A true plateau is one that results from you “tapping out” the weight loss capacity of your current efforts. So, for example, if you stuck to your 1700 calorie diet and worked out 4 times a week consistently, eventually you would stop losing weight from that specific effort. That plan will only get you so far, and you will know how far when the weight loss stops. Often people hit their first plateau at about a 7-10% weight loss, and then more plateaus will follow at various increments. The most important thing to figure out though is if the plateau is real or instead being caused by your calorie intake having increased or your exercise having decreased. So, back to our example, if your 1700 calorie diet has drifted up to a 1900 calorie diet and your 4 day exercise plan turned into 2, then you are drifting not plateau’ing."

I think I am drifting. (see link below for tips on stopping a "drift")


(Who else had the lyrics "Like a drifter I was born to walk alone" go through their heads? Ok, onto it).

I haven't burned my goal of 2200 calories per week in a while. I've been eating out, I've been indulging a bit too much.

I've been lazy.

I might have had a few weeks where I did give it my all and the scale didn't budge...that frustrated me so I slacked off. Why not, right? Where was all this doing things by the books going?

I looked back and the last monthly progress report blog I posted was back in March. At that time I was at my lowest weight: 193.5. Now I've drifted back up to 197.5.

I know I have mental work to do, too...Am I mentally ready to be in the 180s? I don't know.

But I'm not going to give up without trying.

So, what I am going to do is analyze my food. Log everything and stop indulging in too much popcorn or wine, my vices.

I am going to blog monthly about my progress.

I am going to workout every day.

I will not be too strict or hard on myself, as that leads to more drifting, especially for me, but I am going to be honest with myself.


Challenge Starting Weight (Your weight on 07.01.2012): 197.5
Long-Term Goal Weight (in pounds): 178
Challenge Goal Weight (in pounds): 181

Weight goal: To lose 16.5 lbs. during this 16 week challenge.

Notice that my ultimate goal weight is 178, but my challenge goal is 181. I always set goals that are too high for myself, and I don't attain them. Over time, I've remained the same. So my thinking is to set an attainable goal for me. We are all different and when I am losing, I am a slow loser. So this weight loss goal calculates to a weight loss of about 1 lb. per week. That is completely do-able.


To start making running a habit. I have only been running on average 1x per week. I want to bring that up to 3x per week so that I am ready for half marathon training come September.

To incorporate yoga back into my routine.

To start boxing with my husband.

GOAL: Burn at least 2200 cals. per week:

Monday 3 Mile Walk Live Class (515)
Tuesday Run (525)
Wednesday Boxing with Jim mixed with cardio and ST (300)
Thursday: Run in the morning and 3 Mile Walk Live Class at night (1100)
Friday Walk & kickboxing (150)
Saturday Long Run (630 - 700)
Sunday walking and yoga: (125)

Total: 3415


1400 - 1750 calories
10 glasses of water per day.
Only 2 cups of coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon.
NO dairy – going cold turkey. (working on this!)
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. 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.
Start using SP meal plans again.
Start cookies recipes from the Spark Cookbook again.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAKAY228 7/2/2012 11:48AM

    Great blog with lots of honesty and great plan to get you going again. I know you can do this! We're gonna Rock It!!

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JENNIFER_67 7/2/2012 7:59AM

    I hadn't heard the term "drift" used in this context before. But it really fits what I end up doing too. I can feel it starting the last week or so, and I'm working hard to get back on track. Starting now.

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SLIMLEAF 7/1/2012 11:02AM

    Sounds like an excellent, structured and carefully thought out strategy. I wish you well.

I too had been 'drifting' for far too long and am now one week into the Summer 5% Challenge which is just what I needed to get myself back on track.


and so can I.

So we WILL!

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TAZIAH 6/30/2012 3:47PM

    I love that drifting theory. I think you're right. We both have been plateaued during this challenge, and while initially it may have been a real plateau, it quickly became a drifting phase due to frustration, etc. Let's kick it into gear and see if we can't get it to start moving in the right direction again! emoticon emoticon

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THEEASYKILL30 6/30/2012 2:44PM

    I like the term "drift." I had read the thing about plateaus not being real plateaus either and I think being honest with yourself is the most important thing. If we lie to ourselves, how can we achieve our goals? I'm glad that you've re-evaluated and are changing up your routine. Best of luck! I know you can do it!

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HSMOM2FOUR 6/30/2012 8:01AM

    You've got this girl!! The key is to realize you are drifting!

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MUSOLF6 6/30/2012 7:35AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 6/30/2012 2:06AM

    You WILL reach your goals, I have no doubt! "Drifting" is a good description; being honest with the food logging and following through with those fitness and nutrition goals should help move you in the right direction. You can do this!

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VICKY31MOM 6/29/2012 11:54PM

    Love this blog. I love your plan! I feel like I have been faltering, or drifting too, for way too long! Gonna read up on plateaus and check out the link in the blog!

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AMBER281 6/29/2012 9:57PM

    You have a great plan and a great attitude.
I know you can do this!

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TEMPEST272002 6/29/2012 9:22PM

    I'm also drifting in the wrong direction. Good news we already know what it takes & we've already proven to ourselves that we have it inside ourselves to do it. I've got my clean eating plan to go grocery shopping with tomorrow. I think you have a great plan too. We''ve come this far together. We just need to keep pushing through.

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TRAVELGRRL 6/29/2012 7:25PM

    Hey LF,

This is a lifetime journey; you'll be tweaking from today until the day you take the Dirt Nap! But staying true to yourself, honest with yourself, is the first step to meeting your goals. You've set out some lofty ones. I'd like to suggest that you print out your blog and post it somewhere prominent (bathroom mirror?) so you can reflect on your goals while you brush your teeth or comb your hair.

You are so worth the effort, and you WILL make it happen!

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TRACY31502 6/29/2012 7:07PM

    GREAT blog and goals!!!! thanks for sharing!!! YOU GOT THIS!!!!

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    I think you are too hard on yourself. YOu have had A LOT going on. And as I've said before I am very proud of everything you have done in the SASS challenge. You are amazing and I know that ROck It! will have you break through this plateau of yours!!!! Great big hugs to my inspiration!

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KBRADFORD88 6/29/2012 6:28PM

    I wish you the very best, It is hard to see things for how they are, but you are looking it in the face and moving forward. emoticon

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JEANNETTE59 6/29/2012 6:04PM

  emoticon You set out a great plan

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ROBYNROSE26 6/29/2012 6:04PM

    Love your blog Kathy, I am with you, I would like to say I am doing everything right, but I don't think I am? I love your goals for Rock It and you will be at that goal weight before you know it!

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    Glad to see you have a plan. I have been "adrift" too and letting my calories float high.

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A Dream Fulfilled: Walk Leader Certification

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Three years ago when they introduced the Walk Leader certification program from Leslie Sansone, I saved the postcard that my Aunt Barb gave me announcing it, and put it up on my desk. I wondered if I would be a good leader. However, at that time, I was still at the beginning of my journey. I still needed to lose 100 lbs. And I wondered, how could I lead, when I needed to be led? So I put that postcard away and shelved that dream. But as anyone knows with a dream deferred, as the poem by Langston Hughes states, it “explodes”, meaning this dream kept building in my head and it was something I would think about, then disregard. This certification is only offered once a year, so every year come certification time, as I grew closer to my weight loss goal, I would think about it, but then think of a million reasons why not. It cost too much money. Who would come to my class? Who did I think I WAS, really.

Well, no more. This past year when the class was offered I went through the usual hemming and hawing, and then I decided I was going to DO this. I got so many signs that it was the right step to move forward with this. They say you should do what would make you happy even if you didn’t make any money at it. For me, that is simple. Writing and walking. I lead walks for my family in Michigan all the time; I led my sister when she was pregnant with twins, my parents, my other sisters, my own kids and family. This was something I loved to do, and the core of my workout program during this weight loss journey. A walk always makes me feel better. Wouldn’t that transfer to other people and help them? I had to try. I wasn’t afraid of failure anymore.

Now I am just so excited to be a certified Walk Leader for Leslie Sansone so that I can teach others how to start working out and becoming stronger. I am thrilled to be able to say I am now a certified "Fitness Instructor". I lead 3 classes a week. I am still pinching myself, I can hardly believe it. And to hear my students say "I love your class!" as they are leaving? Just amazing.

And to think at the start of this journey I couldn't walk even a half mile with Leslie. The journey of 1,000 miles does indeed start with that one, first, single step.

I can't wait to inspire others to take the first step, if they haven't already.

Is there a dream out there that is deferred to you? What steps can you take to reach out and grab it?

Graduation Class of 2012 in Chicago

Picture of my class. There's my daughter Lucy in the front row!

What happens to a dream deferred?
~ By Langston Hughes

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

3G1RLS4ME 7/10/2012 1:23PM

    Wonder if I can do it too I inspired my mother in law who is 100 lbs overweight to start walking now and my nephews want to go on walks with me when I visit them too :) but I live in Tijuana Mexico.

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NASFKAB 6/27/2012 3:17AM

  congrats proud of you

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AMBER281 6/26/2012 1:48PM

I am so happy for you!

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GLITTERGIRL69 6/24/2012 12:30PM

    Another wonderful inspiring blog! God puts dreams into our hearts and then waits for us to realize we can do whatever we want to do! When He made me a leader of our team,Can't do this on my own, I was like ME a leader! In my life prior to becoming a leader I followed not ever leading any one. I followed my morals, and was not led astray, but lead a group, no not even one person had I led. But God put this burning desire to lead the team, Can't do this on my own. I was only a member of Sparkpeople for a few weeks. Barley knew how to do everything. Yet, "somehow" the leader got my email address and asked me if I wanted to leader the team I just joined. There were 4 other members who wanted to lead this team. I surely thought she had mistaken me for another team ember, or made some kind of mistake! however, when she asked me to lead the team, I told her I would love to, but was honest and told her I just joined sparkpeople. She wrote me back and told me that she had no idea how she even received my email address, and assured me that God gave her my email address! God pouts us in placed we do not know, asks us to do things we feel unequipped for, then He gives us the wings to fly. If we fly too high and do not use Him to help balance us we will floor to the floor. If we feel we are steady enough to do it on our own, we lose balance and we start to falter. It is when we take God's gifts, treasure them and seek hIm always that we not only float effortlessly, but we soar!

Well, God put this message in my heart, it was not really me at all! I was just going to tell

Comment edited on: 6/24/2012 1:54:44 PM

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    I love this, and I'm so proud of you! You're incredible!!

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WOLFKITTY 6/13/2012 11:05AM

    Aww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's fabulous!

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KROLES55 6/12/2012 3:57PM

    emoticon Kathi! You are inspiring!

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CHICAT63 6/12/2012 4:52AM

    So awesome, congrats on your certification !

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KITHKINCAID 6/11/2012 9:32PM

    I cannot even tell you how PROUD I am of you. Go get em girl - you're amazing!

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LOOZINITNOW 6/11/2012 4:50PM

    So happy for you!!! emoticon

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LOTUSFLOWER 6/11/2012 10:40AM

    I teach in the Western Suburbs of IL for those interested, send me a spark message for details!

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    You are so amazing sweetie! You inspire everyone you meet!

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ELLIEFUNT 6/11/2012 8:22AM

    Awesome! Are you teaching in the Chicagoland area?

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GOOZLEBEAR 6/10/2012 8:17PM

    Congratulations on becoming a Walk Leader and fulfilling your dream! That is awesome and I know you are going to make a great leader!!! I love the Walk Away The Pounds dvds and have been doing them for years!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SLIMLEAF 6/10/2012 6:39PM

    emoticon emoticon

Well done - and thanks for the encouragment to the rest of us.

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LINDAKAY228 6/10/2012 5:50PM

    Congratulations on making one of your dreams come true! I know you are doing an awesome job with the classes and if I lived near you I'd come to them! I'm so excited and proud for you. Glad the classes are going well. Your daughter looks so cute!

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THEEASYKILL30 6/10/2012 12:25PM

    You're a walk leader for Leslie Sansone? Do you know how much I LOVE those workouts? That is so fricking cool! emoticon

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FABN50S 6/10/2012 10:49AM

    That is so cool. I too love to walk and have always dreamed of teaching a LS walking class. I have been working out to her DVDs for years. Maybe I should work towards getting my Walking Certification here in Missouri

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FABN50S 6/10/2012 10:49AM

    That is so cool. I too love to walk and have always dreamed of teaching a LS walking class. I have been working out to her DVDs for years. Maybe I should work towards getting my Walking Certification here in Missouri

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CHIPLEY_FL 6/10/2012 7:49AM

    That is so cool. I can just imagine how many people would be more willing to start getting fit with you because you have been there. Congratulations.

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_AIYANNA_ 6/10/2012 3:32AM

    Congratulations!!! I am so happy for you and proud. It takes true guts to follow your dream and achieve it too. If I didn't live half-way round the world, I'd love to join on of your classes :)

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KBRADFORD88 6/9/2012 9:59PM

    emoticon emoticon I know you are on top of the world

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TEMPEST272002 6/9/2012 9:20PM

    I'm so proud of you! I think you'll be an amazing leader & I'm sure your students will be just as inspired by you as I am.

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    I am so happy for you!!!!!!!!! You will be an awesome leader!

I use to enjoy walking but walking for me is soooooo painful physically that it has ceased to be anything but enjoyable......it is something I have to do to get from point A to point B in everyday life but I have not walked for exercise in several months due to the lower back pain and pain in the bones in my feet now.

My dreams?????? wow I pretty much stopped dreaming when just getting through every day tasks became a challenge. But I am slowly beginning to learn to dream again. My passion is outdoors and sports......I am a true tomboy at heart. My body just does not match my heart and mind LOL.

I am the odd one who watches a pro soccer game and thinks about how much fun it would be to be able to run like they do for 45 mins non-stop, or watch a mountain bike event and wish i could do that too etc.

I dream of a day that I have to work SUPER hard to get out of breath, not getting out of breath walking across the street to the mail box.

So i am glad you did not give up on your dream!!!!!!!!! I had never heard of that poem but I like it.

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VICKY31MOM 6/9/2012 7:35PM

    Congrats!!!! That is amazing!!!

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BRIGHTSUN4 6/9/2012 7:29PM

    Be proud. How exciting!!! Keep up your inspiration---it sure helps me. emoticon

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BABY_GIRL69 6/9/2012 6:44PM


God bless & congrats!


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DUXGRL1 6/9/2012 5:03PM

    Good for you!

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    Congratulations! How awesome for you! Have FUN!

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JEANNETTE59 6/9/2012 4:04PM

  emoticonaccomplishment. I love that you chose this Langston Hughs poem; you rock!

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LYNNA7499 6/9/2012 3:51PM

  emoticon emoticon

emoticon on making your dream come true! You are an inspiration! Good luck with your classes.

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PRESBESS 6/9/2012 3:35PM

I am so happy for you! Thanks for the inspiration.

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LASKIE2 6/9/2012 3:13PM

    emoticon on your new endeavor! You have a great drive and determination. Good luck with your classes.

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IGSBETH 6/9/2012 2:48PM

    Congrats! That's super!

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NADINEL 6/9/2012 2:31PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon That's just so great!!!

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    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ROBYNROSE26 6/9/2012 12:45PM

    Kathy, you are so Amazing emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 6/9/2012 12:33PM

    emoticon on pursuing your dream, you look confident and happy.

Good luck with your classes emoticon

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GAMEON123 6/9/2012 12:16PM

    Very inspiring! Thanks for writing about it.

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_JODI404 6/9/2012 12:16PM

    emoticon Way to go on pursuing your dream!!!

You are looking just beautiful, HAPPY, healthy and fit in every photo!!

Best wishes for much fitness fun in your classes!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KT-NICHOLS-13 6/9/2012 12:12PM

    This FANTASTIC news! Love your drive and determination.

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MAGGIE805 6/9/2012 12:08PM

    Amazing!!! Congratulations on such a wonderful acheivement. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BIRDLSLAURIE 6/9/2012 11:54AM

    Fantastic! Congratulations!

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UNICORN212 6/9/2012 11:43AM

    You are just awesome!

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NFSISTER 6/9/2012 11:31AM

    Amazing! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Made me start thinking.

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JOYCRN 6/9/2012 11:27AM

    Well done! Congratulations! emoticon

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TRAVELGRRL 6/9/2012 11:07AM

    I am so proud of you! Your blog brought tears to my eyes. The power of a dream...the power and confidence you are demonstrating and teaching to your daughter...you are really an inspiration, LF!

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MUSOLF6 6/9/2012 10:58AM

    emoticon emoticon

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Run For the Kids 5K Race Report - May 5, 2012

Friday, June 08, 2012

This race report is a little late in getting posted, but that doesn't make it any less important. This was my baby sister Missy's FIRST 5k. Missy is a mother to 4, having had twins a year ago. After she had the twins (2 beautiful baby girls to balance off her two toddler boys) she made a commitment to run a 5k. I told her about the Couch to 5K program and she trained with that program on her treadmill at home, along with her husband, my BIL, Tony.

One weekend in Michigan we went for our first run together:

Before our run.

After :)

A week before the race her and I took a test run outside, she hadn't run outside often during her training and it can be intimidating. It's different than running on the treadmill. She did awesome, she is faster than me, which I knew she would be, and I was so proud of her!

This race benefits the mission of Easter Seals, to enable infants, children, and adults with disabilities to achieve maximum independence and to provide support for the families who love and care for them.

On race day I met my sister and Tony at their house and we walked to the race.

Me (left) with Missy (right) - See the twin walkers behind her? She's a rock star!

Missy with Tony at the house

Me with my workout partner, Jackie!

Missy with Tony before the race

And we're off!

See us in the front? You can't miss my pink skirt/leggings :)

(See my pink leggings? LOL.)

The start of the race had an actual gun (shooting blanks of course). But it threw me off, and I think a live gun makes people run faster. So while my plan was to stay with my sister, once that gun went off I ran as if I was running for my life! I honestly thought she was in front of me anyway, since she's faster. I saw her husband book ahead, too.

About 5 minutes into it my sister comes running up to me and wasn't very happy with me. She said something like "Nice job waiting for me." I felt about as big as a tack. I felt terrible, her first 5k and my plan was to stay with her! So from that point on we were together. Both of us started too quickly due to the nature of the start (did I mention we were in the front of the pack? Not a good idea it turns out). Both of us were feeling a pain in our side. I told her to go ahead, I felt like I was slowing her down. She did for a bit, but then around the 2 mile mark was waiting for me, turns out her side was hurting her as well. We started to do a bit of walking and running. I reassured her that this was completely fine for her first 5k, and I didn't want her to feel bad about it.

We ran/walked the rest of the race, but truly we only walked for a few minutes over all. Then the finish line was in sight!

Coming toward the finish line!

After the race! Victory!

Final time: 34:21. I actually got 7th place in my age group! It was a smaller race, but still, what a victory! I almost PR'd, this was my second fastest 5k. And for Missy's first 5k this is a great time! I am so proud of her!

And just for fun, here's a picture of me (left) with Missy (right) at my sister's recent wedding all dolled up. I just love this girl!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RESTORED_ME 6/10/2012 9:05AM

    Fantastic!!!! How amazing!

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Super job - BOTH Of you!!! Rock on!!! and WOOHOOOOOOO!!!!!


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RUNNINGOMA 6/9/2012 8:11AM

    Great job!
So I'm interested in your skirt - it is attached to the leggings? Where did you get it? I have looked and looked - but would like something not attached that I can put over my running pants.
Awesome time!

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MOMFAN 6/9/2012 5:56AM


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BRIGHTSUN4 6/8/2012 7:45PM

    Great job. Be proud of yourselves.

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SUE_2U 6/8/2012 6:41PM

    That's awesome! You both rocked it. You guys are beautiful!

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TRAVELGRRL 6/8/2012 5:32PM

    What georgous, beautiful, strong, loving women! You two look amazing and I'm so proud of both of you for doing this together. Thank you, LF, for sharing this amazing race with us!

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KITHKINCAID 6/8/2012 5:16PM

    Yey - I love race reports! And this is a great one for sure!!! Congrats you guys!

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ROBYNROSE26 6/8/2012 1:32PM

    Awesome! Looks like you had fun.

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JENJESS48 6/8/2012 1:19PM

    Kathy, it's so great that you run with various family members! What an inspiration! And Easter Seals is such an appropriate charity to run for for you two supermoms!

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NEW-CAZ 6/8/2012 1:03PM

    emoticon emoticon I love the leggings.

Loved the pics!

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JEANNETTE59 6/8/2012 12:21PM

  emoticon emoticon love the photos.

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THEEASYKILL30 6/8/2012 12:08PM

    emoticon job to both of you! I LOVE the pink leggings. That's a very smart idea - it makes you easy to spot. I can never seem to remember to take pictures before and after the race so I'm impressed that you have so many!

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LIVIN2LOVE1 6/8/2012 11:39AM

    Nice job! Great pics too! You two (and BIL) look great!

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LINDAKAY228 6/8/2012 11:37AM

    Awesome job by both of you!!! Congratulations to her on her first race and for you for placing 7th and also for running your second fastest race! You both look so awesome!

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GETFIT2LIVE 6/8/2012 11:07AM

    Way to go--you BOTH are rock stars! It can be hard to stay together in a race, especially if you aren't expecting an actual GUN to go off to start things out. Well done; you both look great.!

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BIRDLSLAURIE 6/8/2012 10:56AM

    Way to Go! What an outstanding result and what a treasure to be able to share that with your sister. By the way, you both look beautiful.

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    I love all the pictures!!!!!!! Amazing!! And I'm so proud of you! You look amazing sweetie...so FIT!

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A Brief Photo Inspiration Intermission

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

So I am way behind. On reading my favorite blogs, on posting my own blogs. I have yet to write one about my latest 5k and my Walk Leader Certification. But those can wait...at least a little bit longer.

I'm determined to reach goal weight in 2012, and I've been in a plateau for the past 6 months. SO, it's inspiration time. This is what helps me to see how far I've come, and to keep going.

I wore a favorite dress over the weekend and my sister snapped a picture of me. I realized that I had used this dress in a comparison photo 40 lbs. previously, so I thought I would update it:

Left to right: Me at 300 lbs., at 234 lbs, and 196 lbs. now.

Then I also realized I took a cute picture of me and my beautiful daughters, and wanted to compare it to a picture of me right after Marlo was born, which is about the start of my journey to lose over 100 lbs:

And I realized that I have come a long way, and I have a little bit longer to go, but I'm in the home stretch and I'm in this to win it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VBA2009 2/11/2013 1:08PM


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SUTERSPACE 1/22/2013 12:44PM

    Wonderful progress and delightful pictures to show it. Way to go!!

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BRADIA 1/3/2013 11:37AM

    Amazing. Someone up there called it motivation, to me it is much more. I have hated letting my picture be taken, so I might start having some pictures taken to be able to compare. But I very much believe, as far as I am concerned, it takes courage.
Thanks for sharing and congratulations.

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SOUTH_FORK 7/19/2012 9:39AM

    Great comparison shots and statement of mission!

That green dress made me think of all the times I've put off buying new clothes until I've lost that nagging 5 pounds (or 10 or 15 or.. ). Isn't it great when you find a piece that will accommodate a changing body and still makes you feel great? I've got a few of those in my closet and have found a few more recently- hope they'll stick with me for a while!

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HUNGRYWOMAN2 7/14/2012 1:35PM

    What an awesome way to keep the motivation! You truly have come a long way. You are looking fantastic.! emoticon

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BLACK741 7/6/2012 10:38AM

    Wow oh Wow, fantastic progress you must be so very happy!

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ELLENSANGEL 7/1/2012 8:22AM

    awesome progress.

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ROXYHON 6/28/2012 2:27PM

    Incredible!!! You looking amazing and simply glow with happiness...be proud of yourself and know that you inspire so many with your success.

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NASFKAB 6/27/2012 2:53AM


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SOLOMUA 6/26/2012 1:58AM

    I really like your blog, but especially the differences in the pictures you've shared with us. Thank you for sharing with us, it definitely makes me feel good to know that I can do this too. Blessings!!

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DEBK0923 6/25/2012 1:57AM

    way to go, great blog

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HONORINGGOD 6/17/2012 8:04PM


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INGMARIE 6/16/2012 10:24AM

    emoticonway to go.

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PMFISH 6/11/2012 11:49AM

    Wow!! Congratulations on a great job. You look fantastic, keep up the good work.

You not only look beautiful, but happy and healthy! emoticon

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    You look at least 20 years younger. Wow what a transformation.

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WIDARLING 6/9/2012 5:58PM

    Wow, you look fantastic. God bless. emoticon

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JIBBIE49 6/9/2012 6:29AM

    emoticonWOW, how grand to have your BLOG FEATURED in the SPARK MAIL. What an honor. You are certainly an inspiration to thousands of people. emoticon WOW, you look so much younger. It sure is amazing how being fat makes a person look old.

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DORISJJ1 6/8/2012 11:50PM

  Great job! I'm proud of you. Keep it up.

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MCJULIEO 6/8/2012 1:21PM

    Oh, how wonderful! What fantastically inspiring shots!

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CHERYLSBUTT 6/8/2012 12:47PM

    You look amazing!
Congratulations and I too am in it to win it
Stopped losing in Nov but haven't gained so I am staying steady with my plan.
I may make an adjustment nutrition wise to see if it gets me going!

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RBUCKLEY2 6/7/2012 9:52AM


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BANDMOM2012 6/7/2012 9:49AM

    Amazing! you look so happy and healthy emoticon

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JESSIG5 6/7/2012 8:32AM

    emoticon Girl! You look great.

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SRHALLIN 6/7/2012 12:03AM

    Congratulations on your success thus far, and best wishes to you on your journey to good health and personal happiness.

Your pictures reveal that the transformation is truly more than skin deep. And the light in your children's eyes say that you're not the only one enjoying your newfound good health. :D

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CPATRICK9 6/6/2012 10:46PM

    You look fantastic! Looks like you are well on your road to your goal weight. Keep up the great work! emoticon

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SHAWNY2 6/6/2012 10:25PM

    It is amazing how much younger you look! Beautiful pictures! You look fantastic! Congrats

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BONNIEBEANZ 6/6/2012 10:22PM

    Congratulations! You are beautiful before and after!! emoticon

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RUTGERSM0M 6/6/2012 8:16PM


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AMALYDAVIU 6/6/2012 8:02PM

    Thank you emoticon

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LUVTOBOWL 6/6/2012 8:01PM

    Congrats! You look amazing! Thanks for sharing the inspiration pictures. I can't wait to hit onederland....see at least you've done that. Keep up the good work-you'll reach your goal. emoticon

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WRITINGDIVA1 6/6/2012 7:49PM


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SLIMTHICK2 6/6/2012 6:35PM

    Congratulations! emoticon

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PATASSA 6/6/2012 5:55PM

    What an inspiration you are! I will come back to this page again when I need encouragement. Merci beaucoup!

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PURPLEPEONY 6/6/2012 4:35PM

    Amazing! You look 10 years younger now. emoticon

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PJDARCAX2 6/6/2012 3:43PM

    Amazing! Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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MAYBER 6/6/2012 2:40PM

    Thanks for sharing your story and best wishes as you continue to strive toward your goal one day at a time
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SWAYDE 6/6/2012 1:41PM


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LYNETTEMOM 6/6/2012 1:04PM

    wow, this is really compelling. My first thought was the cliche "a pic is worth a thousand words" but it is so true here, I gotta say it!

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DATMAMA4 6/6/2012 1:02PM

    How wonderful for you! The weight loss also makes you look younger.

Congratulations of a successful journey so far!

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COUTURELADY 6/6/2012 12:07PM

    Awesome work lady, you're a rock star and you look really lovely as a bonus!

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VALERIEBARBER 6/6/2012 12:01PM


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TMOORE073 6/6/2012 11:53AM

    Way to go😃! Congrats & keep up the good work!

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LIVERIGHTNOW 6/6/2012 11:47AM

    Before and Afters are SO motivating! You look great and I bet you feel wonderful!
Have patience with your plateau, do some experimenting with your exercise and your eating. Something will click but in the meantime be kind to yourself, no negative self talk! Been there, done that!!!!

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DEBBY4576 6/6/2012 11:46AM

    You can see that on the outside you always presented a happy person. The final picture shows that happiness from the inside to the out tho. Good work. You look younger too, which ALL women love don't they?

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MEADSBAY 6/6/2012 11:33AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
for sharing, Gorgeous!

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1SUNSHINEGIRL 6/6/2012 11:06AM

    You look great...keep the Momentum going!

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TERRRI 6/6/2012 10:35AM

    In your trio of photos the first and third photo could be mistaken for mother and daughter. You look so much younger!

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DONNA_VT 6/6/2012 9:47AM

    A picture really is worth a 1000 words . . . you are doing great! Thanks for sharing

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BERI03 6/6/2012 9:30AM

    How inspiring! emoticon emoticon

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MASHALAZ 6/6/2012 8:56AM

  "Now" is WOW!!! Way to go. You are adorable!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Pictures on the Shelf

Friday, April 13, 2012

I was talking with a friend over the weekend who has also lost a lot of weight. She said that when she visited her in-laws house she went into the study and saw framed photos of her and her husband on the mantle. These frames held pictures of a woman she no longer knew. She said she was going to go in when they were out of town and take all the pictures out and replace them with new photos. She wondered how she had let herself “go” and get so big. I've wondered that too, it's like when it's happening you don't *see* yourself clearly.

I get it. I do understand that feeling of wanting to destroy pictures. And what she said got me thinking, and prompted me to look at my own shelf.

I saw a larger me, yes. But I also saw a life that was being lived DESPITE those extra layers of fat that surrounded me. Despite the pain that I was in. I think it takes a certain spirit to not only live through this, but to go out, set goals and accomplish them despite the “largeness” and the world being as critical as it is and un-accepting of that.

Here's what I found on my shelf:

This first photo is me when I was maybe in 5th grade, giving my sister Kara a piggy back ride. Holding her felt important to me.

A picture of me with my best friend Cheri, who has accepted me at every size - we've been friends for 25 years now, she always knows how to make me laugh.

A picture from my wedding day. Even though I had to get my dress made by a dressmaker as the style I wanted wasn’t in my size, I was beautiful and happy.

A picture of me in England. I went with a group of 11 strangers. This was out of my comfort zone. I got a scholarship to attend, and I knew that this trip would change me and it did. This was where I discovered my faith that I thought was long gone.

Me graduating with my Bachelor of Arts degree from DePaul University. I earned that degree working full-time and going to school full-time. I left my home when I was younger and only 18 yrs. Old. I had to work hard for everything I’ve gotten and this was no different.

My new role as a mother. Looking into her eyes was endless and holding her I felt I was holding the world.

My sister Missy’s wedding day (I’m on the far right). I was so happy for her and her new life ahead.

My nephew Tony’s first birthday party. Playing with the kids makes me feel like a kid again.

These pictures show a story. It isn’t a sad story, but a story of a life lived.

I think about my husband and what his experience with me has been, looking at myself through the picture frames has made me try to see myself through his eyes. Although I had always struggled with my weight, at the time I met him I was coming off of my anorexic phase and I was a size 8. Through our dating I grew, and when we got married I was a curvy size 16 and weighed over 200 lbs. He still loved me.

After we got married is when I really packed the pounds on. I went from a curvy 16 to a very unflattering size 26. All in a year’s time.

Why do I tell you this? Because I used to think that my husband was a saint for staying with me through this journey but looking back at my pictures on the shelf, I see a woman who despite the odds has soared. Had I not lost the 100+ lbs. that I have so far, would it make me a different person? Not in the ways that count. See, my husband stayed with me for who I am, for that spirit inside, that is who he fell in love with, not the outside wrapper. And my friend I told you earlier about is an amazing person too, and her weight, even when she was bigger, did not define her.

And so this blog isn’t about “Yaay me, I am so great.”. It’s just my observations of what I found on that shelf. But really, this blog is about YOU. How many times have you felt “less than” because of your size, or any restrictions it may give you? How many times have people maybe pointed at you, or laughed behind your back? And you know what? You are living despite that. You are making goals, working toward goals and becoming new people – not destroying that old part of you, but enhancing it and embellishing it. Letting that spirit SHOW . Because you are all great spirits as well. We all have the power inside of us to reach outside of our comfort zones, to sign up for that 5k, to train for that marathon, to go to a new country. Being on this journey helps us see ourselves through new eyes.

I would have never thought at the beginning of this journey that the very classes I was taking to start incorporating working out into my life that I would one day teach. But I am studying to be certified at the end of the month to teach Walk Live classes through Leslie Sansone’s Walk at Home program.

This morning my 5 yr. old daughter looked at me as I’m practicing for the movement exam, and asked me why am I going to teach classes? She went on to say “You’re just a mom.”

That gave me a laugh, "JUST a mom" (is that all? LOL.) (It's funny how we are viewed by our children). But I told her that I want to help other people change their lives like I have. I've been given a huge second chance. And I'm not wasting one minute of it. I want to just ooze inspiration everywhere I go! And maybe this will plant a bit of inspiration in my two daughters to go for their dreams, too.

I just wanted to simply say that wherever you are, right NOW, it is enough. You are amazing, just as you are. Will you be even greater someday? I have no doubt about it. Whatever you wish for and dream for, it can happen.

We all have those old pictures on the shelf we'd rather never see again. But I ask you to perhaps embrace the person you are, once were, and who you will be.

And remember, just like Dorothy – you have had the power all along.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIANNEMT 12/18/2012 3:19PM

    I was motivated to change by a photo of me--I was happy, surrounded by friends--but I was NOT happy when i looked at me in the photo. I looked HUGE to me--and that helped me change. You have written a great blog--we all find whatever will motivate us wherever! Hope all is still well with you!!

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SPSPSP1 9/15/2012 7:16PM

    Well said!

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__AMY__ 8/30/2012 2:08PM

  You haven't posted !!! I am curious on how you are doing so far.

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SNATFURN23 8/20/2012 7:54AM

  Lotus flower! Your blog never disappoints! It has been a while since I logged onto spark and you were the first place I visited and I am so glad that I did. You are getting such great insight which I believe is such a key to real change. Loving yourself and respecting yourself as a beautiful child of God. Your blog gave me goosebumps and I am smiling from ear to ear reaffirming this truth for myself. We are not lacking...our life does not start once we reach a certain size, certain weight, certain look. Our life is a gift to be treasure now!

Thanks for the great inspiration...just what I needed! Keep up the great writing!

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ESCHLETZ 7/31/2012 10:49PM

    I loved reading this! Thanks for sharing. Although it all struck a chord in my heart as I read it, I liked the part where you mentioned how gaining the weight just sneaks up on you. I've been thinking about that, and how my gain happened, a bit lately and realized that now my weight is sneaking back down too. ;o)

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SBNORMAL 7/28/2012 6:04PM


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SOLOMUA 6/26/2012 2:04AM

    Just inspirational - thank you!

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KELLYTHEFIT0710 6/14/2012 2:06PM

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and inspiration with us...you are a beautiful, blessed woman and I love that you appreciate the journey as well as your accomplishments! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DARKLADY25 6/11/2012 2:16AM

    Great blog! I really need to appreciate who I am and what I am, despite the weight, and your blog made me think twice about my life and my family.
Thank you!

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CLOSETOFORTY 6/7/2012 4:32PM

  Thank you for sharing those great thoughts and inspiration. I am the person behind the camera alot of the time because I never like any pictures of me. I have to get in front of the camera more and let my two sons know that their mom is living! I hope they can look back at pictures later in life and see me and them having fun... even if I am almost 300lbs, I am still their mom and I love them. They will be my motivation as I start my journey again... this time I know I can and I have the power inside me to do it! Thanks again this blog. oh and I have just started Leslie's Walk at Home Videos... I cried like a baby when I finished my first full mile without stopping. now on with the rest of the DVDs.

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JACKAAT 6/6/2012 7:05PM

  Many years ago I decided to be the person behind the camera instead of in front of it because I did not want to see myself in pictures. Your story has really inspired me to get out there in front of the camera and let everyone see that I am not avoiding life.
Thanks for sharing your story.
What a great way to see how far you have come.

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MISSLISA1973 6/4/2012 12:22PM

    What a great blog. emoticon

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MSVEEN 6/1/2012 10:37AM

  With tears in my eyes, I just want to thank you for blessing my soul and inspiring me today. This blog has just shifted my thinking. I am enough right now and working toward being even better.

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MAGGIEROSEBOWL 5/26/2012 12:53PM

    You used a quote at the end that I often think about.."I had the power all long," just like Dorothy was told by Glinda the good witch. I wish I had realized it sooner. But I also realize those years I spent morbidly obese were not wasted, I had a great marriage, raised three wonderful sons and held a full-time job while holding down the home front. Now...I am pursuing other avenues...doing some substitute teaching after I had given up my dream to teach 35 long years ago when I couldn't find a teaching job after graduating from college. This might have been because of my weight, and I know my lack of ambition pursuing it as the years passed was due to my weight, how embarrassing would it be to stand in front of a classroom of young people, many of whom would be making rude comments about my appearance? I just didn't think I could endure that.

So even though we like to tell ourselves the weight didn't affect our lifestyles, it did and does. And I was lucky like you--I had a hubby who loved me through everything, because he always saw what was inside! And inside I like to think I have been a good person, empathetic and kind, hopeful and loving, always trying to do the right thing.

Great blog--I will come back and read this again...you give me inspiration!

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  I am struggling today. It was like I was supposed to read this. Thank you. I have been working very hard at being healthier and reaching a healthier weight. For my self and for my kids and husband. I am working hard but not seeing results on the scale. We are in full "beach trip" mode and I was beating myself up for not looking better in a bathing suit this year. But it will be better, because I AM healthier, I DO work out more and I am so much more than the numbers on the scale. This trip with my family will be an amazing blessing to enjoy. No time to waste with self doubt. Thanks for the reminder!

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STOPPLAYING2011 5/24/2012 11:21PM

    This Blog is wonderful it speaks to my inner beings thanks for sharing emoticon

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AWOOD1973 5/24/2012 12:15PM

    I've this blog... Even though I am JUST NOW reading it! LOL
What a wonderful reflection of yourself! Great blog!!! How truly inspiring you are!!

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7WORSHIPS 5/20/2012 3:42AM

  Awesome blog. Kudos to you!

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CLSYLADY 5/5/2012 7:25AM

    Thank you for sharing this blog. I totally needed it. I just got home from vacation and was looking at the picture seeing nothing but a beached whale. I told myself that I have to kick things into high gear, and I do and will but this blog helped me to see that I at least was out living life and having new and exciting experiences. THANK YOU for helping me see that part of my life!


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1STICKBLUES 5/4/2012 1:40PM

    Thank you for the share! Wonderful!

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CINDYHN 5/2/2012 11:23AM

    What a joy to read....thank you :) emoticon

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KNITTYKITTY01 5/1/2012 2:03PM

    Well said! It's so easy to say "when i get to my goal weight i'l......" even though theres no reason to wait until then. Very inspirational.

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JENNRUHE 4/30/2012 4:53PM

    Very well said. It definitely makes a person think. I painted my walls last year yes last year and didn't put pictures back up because I was not happy with how I looked. I think I am now ready to put them back up. Thank You

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FIT2BETHIN 4/25/2012 4:53AM

    Your blog spoke volumes to me...at a time I needed it the most. I need to read it again and again. Thanks for sharing your insightfulness.

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LINDA! 4/21/2012 11:42PM

    Wonderful blog!

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ZUZMAJKA 4/20/2012 12:06PM

    This is an excellent blog. I think way too often we try to put out lives on hold before we reach whatever weight. You sound like a lovely, fun person. Best of luck!

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THINNER321 4/20/2012 6:54AM

  Well done blog ...in every way! emoticon

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ALIDOSHA 4/19/2012 4:53PM

    Great blog. Congrats.

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JNPRGR8T 4/19/2012 12:49PM

  great blog!

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DENIMARC6 4/19/2012 10:29AM


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POSITIVE-FORCE 4/19/2012 10:18AM

    This was a wondeful blog! You have a way of getting to the heart of things! Love Ya!

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    I love this blog. I think it is so important to accept yourself at every point - thanks for expressing that so well. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IGSBETH 4/18/2012 8:40PM

    That is wonderful!

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SERENAJL 4/18/2012 3:50PM

    So inspiring. It made me cry.

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SEATOWN_GAL 4/18/2012 12:08PM

    Very moving, thank you for sharing.

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SUPERSYLPH 4/18/2012 10:45AM

    This was a great blog! What a more accurate way to look at pictures of us heavier. People always think of how they "could've" looked at certain events, and how it would've made the picture look better, but they're overlooking what's really important: experiences and memories.

Comment edited on: 4/18/2012 10:45:36 AM

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MISSYMOOSE71 4/18/2012 7:07AM


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SERASARA 4/17/2012 9:07PM


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DKTURNER3 4/17/2012 8:13PM

  I love your perspective! You are a very good writer. We are all made up of where we came from, the paths we took and the obstacles along the way. You are celebrating the journey and encouraging all the rest of us to do the same, instead of "waiting" until we are thinner and then living our life. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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RETURNTOTHIN 4/17/2012 11:30AM

    You are a great writer, and have a great perspective. so glad to read this today. Amazing.... emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUST4ME71 4/17/2012 10:40AM

    Terrific blog! Thanks for sharing. What a neat perspective into the "big picture." It's so easy to discount our blessings because of one (or a few) flaws. If what we "see" is self-defeating, we have to remember that the power is within and take control. I am guilty of perceiving myself as a little less lovable/human when I don't see what I like smiling back at me. This blog helps me to remember the good times and what makes us tick. It also gives me a little kick to find the strength to know what was truly important and heart felt.

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WENDIGAYLE 4/17/2012 10:33AM

  Beautiful. Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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DANSMOMTPM2 4/17/2012 9:38AM

    What a wonderful uplifting blog. I think you are very thought provoking and so sincere. I love that you understand that life is worth living, and to love yourself for who you are. Your weight doesn't define you, the people in your life do. What a great husband you have, he obviously expresses his love for you and he too is sincere. As far as your daughter saying your just a mom - always remember - that is the most important role in the world. Don't ever be offended by that, I wish all these years I could have been just a mom, now my baby is graduating and I have missed out on so much. You are probably the Greatest mom, you have a great heart, I can tell that much from your writings. Thank you for a lovely blog to help lift my spirit today.

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ANDYLIN90 4/16/2012 9:38PM

    A great blog...good for you and aren't you glad you have those pictures that celebrate your life regardless of what your weight was?

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MSCRISPIN 4/16/2012 5:12PM

    Thanks for ur story, happen to me few weeks ago and I asked my husband why u let me look like that. I have lost 65 pounds and feel great. Thanks to SP and the encouragement of people like u. emoticon emoticon

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BMCKEOW1 4/16/2012 4:43PM

    Wow that was awesome and brought a tear to my eyes. Thank you for sharing and your right, just because I'm changing me doesn't mean who I was, wasn't awesome. Thanks for reminding me.

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EUNIQ3 4/16/2012 4:19PM

    That was beautiful. Thanks for sharing!!

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ATROTTIER 4/16/2012 3:01PM

    I love this!! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

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RAMONAFLOWERZ 4/16/2012 1:49PM

    This was a FANTASTIC blog. THANK YOU. It was good to read right now.


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MARGARITTM 4/16/2012 12:43PM

    Nice blog and great pics thanks

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