Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Weight Loss Story: Just Keep Going

I told you had another weight loss story to share with you--and today, I have the lovely Sam from The Ruby Turtle Hippie Times here to tell you about her journey. I'm really excited, and so darn proud of how far this chick has come. I asked her a few questions, so she kind of answered them in that style. I dig it. I think you will, too.


What kicked your rear in gear?

The biggest thing I think you need to understand about losing weight is that it is a process. That's why it should be called a lifestyle change. You're basically going against everything you've ever done. It's like a Republican decides she wants to be a Democrat. The process doesn't happen over night and it's something that should be thought about seriously. It is a decision for your life.

My process has been going on since summer of 2011. I had been reading Katie and Susan's blogs about their weight loss and I decided that I needed to start running. I lost a bunch of weight in college running and I knew this was what I should do. I ran through the summer and then it fell to the wayside during the fall. The reason it didn't continue is because I wasn't serious yet. I hadn't had my low. 

(Sam is in the white sweater-vest, gray tee!)
Mine was this family Christmas photo. Last year my family was able to come to Michigan for the holidays. And we took a holiday photo and I immediately wanted to take the photo over again because I hated the way I looked. I also hated the fact that I was in a size XL in a regular t-shirt and that my size 16 jeans my mom had just bought me did not fit. I was too embarrassed to say that I needed a size possibly even two bigger. My sister was already in the process of losing weight and I realized that I needed to get on the weight loss train and fast.

What method did you use to lose weight?

Short version: Counting Calories, then Weight Watchers, and I'm a runner. 

But you came here for the LONG version. Right?

I started out using the MyFitnessPal app. I saw someone mention it on The Twitter and thought it's a free app. Why not? I lost five pounds in the first week and then struggle for the next two months to lose another 15 pounds. I didn't like that there was no option for bad days at all. I get that with a big weight loss like I needed to make that tough love is the best process. But sometimes, having a bad day doesn't hurt now and then.

(Side note: That is one of the hardest things about The Biggest Loser show. It's not realistic and it's why it's much harder for the contestants once they go have. All these options are suddenly in front of them and it is REALLY hard to say no. I think this tangent is worth mentioning because I know so many of us love that show and would love to be on that show, but keep in mind some of the costs, they have to take with the benefits.)

In March, I really got tired of counting calories. I had a weekend binge of basically eating everything in site and then I saw Jennifer Hudson on tv. I remembered that Katie and Susan had lost a ton of weight doing WW. I also knew that my momma lost a ton of weight after she had me doing WW. So I joined Weight Watchers that very day and I've since lost another 40 pounds. 

I also started running. I lost my first 20 pounds on the elliptical and when I made the transition to Weight Watchers I also started running outside again.

I did the Couch to 5K and then the Couch to 10K.

And then I trained for a half-marathon.


No joke.

I literally went from the Couch to running a half-marathon this year.

I could sing the praises of Couch to 5K for days on end, take a breath and then start all over again.

I started running a 16 minute mile and my current Mile PR is 10:45. I could NOT have done it without the Couch to 5K program.

Seriously, it has revolutionized my life. I still run three times a week like I did when I first started Couch to 5K. I also could talk about running and all things associated with it for days. I LOVE IT. It's such a great stress reliever and I also am earning activity points to keep those pounds coming off at the same time.

If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?


Find someone who you trust, respect, admire, and that will keep you in check.

For me, that is my sister Jessi. She has kicked serious ass this year and is down 80 pounds and is a constant source of encouragement to me. When I'm struggling, I send her a text and I immediately get 5 to 10 texts in response with a plan of attack, a small lecture, and a verse from the Bible or an inspirational quote that gets me right back on track.

Okay fine, I have two pieces of advice. Find a quote, bible verse, or mantra that just resonates with you. I have two:
  • Just keep going.
  • " Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." -Hebrews 12:1

How has the weight loss made you feel?

Unstoppable. I used to weigh 239 pounds. As of today I weight 178.2 and counting. I can do so many things that I could not do 60.8 pounds ago.

I have done things that I never thought I would consider to be part of my "Bucket List" like training for and running a half-marathon! I also enjoy the small things like needing to get my rings re-sized because I've lost so much weight. And I fully admit being able to shop from places I never would have stepped foot in before is a nice perk too. 

How did the blogging community help you with your goals?

The blogging community helped a ton with my goals. At first, I read Katie and Susan's weight loss posts over and over again. I learned something different each time I did it. They motivated me to get started and then continued to motivate me as my journey progressed.

It also was another source of accountability/encouragement. I have always posted my runs to The Twitter. It kept me honest and it is a way to get my butt out there when I was dreading a run. Also, posting side by side pictures on Insta' or Facebook to show progress pushed me as well. And the blogs I read are also on my Insta' and The Twitter. So they would read my posts and then see me being active, they would encourage me along. And knowing that I had people out there who would say, "Great job!" "Keep it up!" or press the 'like' button to give me a cheer. I also started doing a weekly post about what I was doing and if I was struggling with a certain area, someone else was struggling too. They usually had advice for how they overcame that hump.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me at ! 


Continue to follow along Sams journey at her blog-home, right here. Thanks, Sam!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Time to be quiet.

I had a whole post that I hashed out & flew off my fingertips earlier this week. It was one of those where I knew I needed to leave it in my drafts to simmer. For me to go back to and tweak and then read to my sister and husband and see their thoughts. To process it more because I just wasn't sure. Wasn't sure if I was making the right decision. Not sure if I worded things right. Not sure if it was something I'd be proud of or regret later.

For now, it still sits, and that's okay. The basic gist is that I've been feeling really, really contemplative of this blog, of writing here, especially the last few weeks. I'm having an internal debate about it, and I'm still not at any clear resolution.

In my marriage, when Declan and I can't make a unanimous decision about something--we sit on it for a while, and let it simmer some more. Pray about it. If it's something that's not pressing and we just can't agree? We do nothing. We're all about equality. No strong-arming here. It works for us.

So for now, I'm gonna do just that--I'm doing nothing.

I really want to take the next few weeks to be fully present with my family, and to focus myself more on "advent", the arrival of Jesus and his birth--and all things that Christmas mean. Rather than fly right through this month without taking a hot-second to slow the heck down.

I have another great weight loss story I want to post next week, and maybe I'll pop in here and there--but mostly I'm just not going to let myself feel any pressure. At all.

Maybe in the new year I'll have some more clarity on the direction I'm being led.

until then...

leaving you with the photo that graced the front of our Christmas cards this year....


Thursday, December 6, 2012

An awesome weight loss story: Begin Today

Remember when I said I wanted to share a few weight loss stories of friends who have inspired me? I think it's awesome and will really help keep us in check over the holidays. Below is a story of my blog friend, Emily. Check it out and give her a round of applause for being so awesome and dedicated? It takes so much work, and she's done it.
October 2011 vs October 2012
Hello all!!  I’m Emily.  AKA Mrs EyeCanSee from The Juice is Worth the Squeeze.  That’s me up there.  October 2011 vs October 2012.  Amazing the difference a year makes isn’t it!?  I want to thank Katie for letting me high jack her blog today so I can share with all of you my weight loss journey.  She was such a huge inspiration to me and so many others, I hope I can pay it forward and inspire some of you!

Struggling with weight is nothing new to me.  My chubby days started at the ripe old age of 9.  I’ve been up and down more times than I can count.  I’ve tried pretty much every single fad diet out there and they all worked great, but the weight never stayed off and I would end up right back where I started.  Most times even heavier.  I started 2012 at the heaviest weight I’d ever been wondering how I got there.

Katie and I go WAY back.  Like before we had kids WAY back.  In 2010 we went through pregnancies together through the blogosphere and like a lot of women, struggled with the extra baby weight that followed.  Last year I watched Katie throughout her whole journey.  From the day she joined Weight Watchers to the day she reached goal I admired her every step along the way.  I clearly remember sitting in my office the day she posted her final comparison pictures and being so proud she had done it.  I cheered her on through the ups and downs and prayed that I would one day find the spark, the motivation to do it too.  I wanted nothing more than to take that first step to being healthier.  I had even made one half assed attempt only to be back to my old ways no more than a month later.  I wasn’t ready.  My heart wasn’t in it.  It took me almost one more year to find the passion and dedication that Katie already had.

When I saw pictures of myself after the holidays last year I couldn’t believe what I saw.  How did I let it get so out of control?  I was tired of how sluggish and exhausted I felt all the time.  I was way too young to feel so old and tired.  I deserved so much better.  I went back and forth on how I wanted to tackle the journey that lay ahead of me.  Which crazy diet was I going to do this time?  But in the back of my head I kept thinking of Katie (And her sister too!!) and how they both rocked at Weight Watchers.  How it had changed their lives.  That’s what I needed.  I didn’t need another fad diet.  I needed something that was going to change me.  Change the way I eat.  Fix the unhealthy relationship I had with food.  I was going to do this.  2012 was going to be my year. 

It feels like just yesterday I was sitting on my couch that fateful Saturday morning in January.  Coat on.  Keys in hand.  Still nervous to walk through those WW doors.  So afraid of failing again, I didn’t even want to start.  There’s always tomorrow right?  For me, that first step was by far the hardest, but it’s been one of the best things I have ever done.  I now sit here, just 11 short months later, 85 pounds lighter!  85!  So close to my ultimate goal I can actually taste it!  Some days even I can’t believe it.  I do a double take when I see myself in the mirror.  Who is that SKINNY person staring back at me?  For the first time EVER I feel healthy.  I feel like I’ve got this.  I’ve finally learned how to eat right.  It’s been a long, hard road to get here, but worth every single mile. I am so proud of what I’ve accomplished.  So glad I finally realized that tomorrow needed to be today.


I have been so inspired by this lady and her dedication. Doesn't she look amazing? Thanks so much, Emily for sharing your story.

Follow along with the rest of her story over at her blog

Monday, December 3, 2012

Things worth noting.

Run. Ran?
Ran another 5K yesterday. This time, for our "finale" to our Girl on the Run season. It was a little different than our Turkey Trot race last week, because this time we ran with a 3rd grade girl from our team. She needed a lot of motivating, there were a few times we had to stop, double-knot shoes, encourage-encourage-encourage nonstop. I completely tapped out my motivation-mojo--but the good news is, we finished. And a whole lot sooner than we figured we would.

Sister & I before the race:

Avent time, yo! Now that I have a very-interested-2-year-old I knew I needed to do something. Wandered around Walmart and picked up so much random stuff on Friday to help make an advent calendar of sorts, and ended up just going with a simple envelope-style one. I sealed them, then chopped the tops off with fancy scissors, decorated with ribbon and paper doilies, and voila. Oh, and mini clothes pins, because, obviously.
What's inside? Well, I'm kind of filling it as I go, and according to the calendar. I decided to make this year more about Christmas experiences. Togetherness. Things to get us out there, or talking or just enjoying the holiday season more. For instance, Go christmas caroling at the nursing home, donate toys, make a special treat for our neighbors, make a gingerbread house, etc, etc. Some days have a little treat, or a craft idea. You get it. Not fancy. And I hope I remember to do it everyday if I'm being honest. (My toddler will remind me, don't worry.)

Never Shared.
A few outtakes from the little Christmas photo session (aka: it sucked) I had with the girls a few weeks ago in attempts for a card-photo. Emeline kills me in this picture--mischievous like whoa. 

Shutterfly's Facebook Fanpage has 920k+, yea, whoa. And they asked little 'ole me to use the Winter Bucket List for their Holiday Countdown. Why of course you can. Share the love. 


Other random things worth noting:

My cold is finally getting better. But Declan is now coming down with it. When a man gets a cold, why is it always a huge-huge deal? The man cold may be the death of me.

This weekend was so insanely busy that I want a whole 'nother weekend to recover from my weekend. 

Saturday, Declan took Em to a parade & lunch and I went with Lucy to check out my sisters wedding reception venue. I'm a little bummed I missed doing the parade with them, but I love that she had a long morning/afternoon out on a daddy date. She's been talking about it nonstop.

Every year I say I'm going to slow down in December and really try to take it all in, relax, and enjoy. But it's barely a few days into December and looking at my calendar makes my hyperventilate. I guess it's just inevitable. The holidays are crazy.

Lucy weighs 15lbs 10oz at 4 months old. Hold the chunky-loving-baby-phone. How did this happen? Okay okay, I feed her well.

ok. Done now.

Go enjoy your Monday...if that's even possible ;)