1 year later


Hey everyone!  So I started my weight loss journey on May 1, 2016.  Yesterday was one year later.  It is by no means over, but it is important to celebrate the anniversary of my new life.  Unfortunately I did not lose the 100 lbs that I wanted to.  As of May 1 2017, I have lost 98.5 lbs.  This is not a setback.  Losing that much weight took hard work and dedication.  When I hit the 100 lb lost mark, I still plan on getting a tattoo to remind me of the hard work and pain so I will never gain any of the weight back.


I wanted to share the measurements I lost with you.  Normally I would just add all these together and give a total, but I am proud of each individual measurement:

I lost 12 inches around my chest

I lost 11.5 inches around my waist

I lost 13 inches around my hips

Normally I am not a person who likes to brag.  I am actually a shy person who will blush (but still enjoy) when receiving a compliment.   This weight loss is the probably the biggest thing I have achieved in my life.  I would venture to say that it is right up there with getting my two Bachelor of Science Degrees (in Information Technology and Web Development)  It is definitely the most personal thing I have achieved in my life.  So when I post my victories on Facebook or in this blog, I hope no one thinks I am bragging just to brag.


Many people have asked how I did it.  If you have read through my previous blogs, you know some of the steps I took.  But first I want to say, I do not believe in diets.  There are no fad diets that will help you lose weight and keep it off.    That being said, I started my weight loss journey last May by doing the 24 day Advocare Challenge.   It involved buying a bunch of supplements and eating very little for 24 days.  I ended up losing 24 lbs in 24 days.  After that, I added back in more foods but gave up pop entirely.  I actually thought that was going to be the hardest thing to do but oddly, I have had no cravings for Coca Cola which was my favorite drink and in fact usually the ONLY drink I had.  I think what helped me is I fell in love with sparkling and seltzer flavored waters.   I cut my calories down to 1200-1400 a day.   Some days I do go over that and that is because I do not limit myself.  If I am craving ice cream, I will go to Dairy Queen but I will pay attention to the calorie content and get the lowest on the menu  (usually a small Arctic cherry freeze(with the ice cream blended in.)  If I am craving chips, I have some.  I see my friends and relatives who are dieting, restrict themselves and then when they have a “cheat” day they go all out and it can be hard to come back from that.  I have had cheat days where I go to an all you can eat pizza place with family or where I have pasta.  But i find that even on my cheat days, I do not go crazy because I haven’t limited myself other days.  Other stuff I have done to lose weight is attend Water Aerobics every Monday and Aqua Zumba every Tuesday.  On the in between days, I try to work out at home by riding my stationary bike, lifting weights or doing crunches on my bosu ball.


I feel great!  I feel like me again.  I am able to do things I have not done in years.  I love going to concerts.  I used to limit myself on how many I could go to based on what my body allowed me to do without giving out.  Now I can go to any concert I want to and not worry about the seating situation or how far I have to walk.   I used to love to support my friends in local bands but I would worry about what kind of seats they would have (if any) and if I went, I definitely couldn’t do any kind of dancing.    Now I have just go with no worries and I have even had fun dancing a few times like I used to.  I know this is just going to get better.. Hey maybe in another  year I will be able to ice skate again…. that would be awesome!  Also, my new year’s resolution was to be more positive.  I think that is definitely helping.  I feel happier and more at peace.  I still have times where I over think things, but who doesn’t?

Life isn’t perfect but it is getting there.

The new year–the new everything?


I know it hasn’t been that long since my last blog but I wanted to post an update.  I have now lost 86.4 lbs since May 1, 2016.  What’s the phrase everyone uses?  “New Year New Me”  I can’t really say that because I was turning into a new me in 2016. However I am going to keep going and see a brand new me emerge at the end 🙂 Everyone talks about new year’s resolutions.  My weight loss journey is not a resolution.  It is a fact.  It is happening and I will not let anything get in the way of it.  My resolution is to be more positive about everything.  For example, I hurt my foot this past weekend.  It hurts to walk and that really sucks for exercising.  However, I am trying to be very positive about it and you know what.. after 3 days it is already feeling better.  I have also made a resolution to try to be less shy.  Those that know me probably wouldn’t believe I am shy but when it comes to certain situations, I definitely hold myself back a lot.  I need to work on that. I think as I gain confidence and believe that I deserve certain things in life, I will continue to become less shy.


Yesterday I did my measurements and compared them to the beginning of May when i started all this.  From my waist, chest, hips and upper thigh, I have lost a total of 34 inches.  11.5 of that was in my waist alone!

This is not easy though.  I am not glib about it, just proud.  Every day, I have to think about what I am going to eat vs. the activities I am going to do to achieve the proper balance of calories, etc.   The easiest part, which I thought was going to be the hardest part, was giving up Coke.  For those that do not know me, I am the Coca Cola girl.  My kitchen is decorated in Coca Cola paraphernalia.  I am very brand loyal.  I do not like Pepsi or Dr. Pepper or any other of the brown colas.  I have been drinking coke since I was probably 5 years old.  I have loved it almost my entire life.  I thought for sure that I would have cravings for it.  The sad thing, I do not even remember what it tastes like.  My last coke was at the end of April.  I have not had any cravings for it at all. I thought by now i would be ripping apart the old bottles of  Coke that I have in my collection in my kitchen but I rarely even think of coke.  I am definitely lucky to have found and liked sparkling water.


The scary thing for me is that I am less than 14 lbs away from getting a tattoo.  I said when I lose 100 lbs I am getting a tattoo.  I haven’t decided if I want one just on my wrist or down the outside of my arm.  I have an idea what I want to get but I want to wait and make it a surprise.  I am afraid of needles but I think this will be a final test of the strength I have been proving that I have all year.

Anyway this will probably be the last blog until I hit that 100 lb mark.  I will definitely post pics of the tattoo I will be getting.  Just don’t tell my dad 😉

My Christmas blog


Merry Christmas everyone! Joyeux Noel! Feliz Navidad!  I thought this was a good time to write another blog.  I do have good news.  I was stuck for a long time at the same weight.  I was patient and kept working out and counting my calories and it is starting to pay off.  As of this morning, I have now lost 82.1 lbs since May 1!  I don’t think I am going to make my original goal which was to lose 100 lbs by the end of the year.  With just a week left in 2016, that is probably impossible now, but I am still proud of my progress.


Holidays can be an especially hard time to maintain or lose weight.  It seems every corner you turn around, there is a plate of cookies or candy.  One thing that I have found is that is ok to “cheat” on your diet every now and then.  Don’t beat yourself up.  If you cannot enjoy the good things in life, what’s the point of living?  🙂  As long as you are not pigging out every single day, a treat every now and then is not going to sabotage any hard work you have done.  I think the important thing is just to be aware of what you are consuming and make good choices.

I think it is also important to set goals.  Keep in mind, however, that if you don’t meet your goal when you want to, it is very important not to give up. Not many people know this but I have decided when I do lose 100 lbs, I am going to get a wrist tattoo.  I am scared of needles and never thought I would do anything like that.  However, I never thought I could lose the weight like I did either.  I think it’s a fitting “reward” to myself.  I have an idea of the design I want but I will save that for a future blog when it actually happens 🙂


Anyway, this blog is just a short and sweet update.  I hope Santa brings you everything you want!  Merry Christmas!

It’s been a long time.


Hello to my loyal readers!  I realize that I haven’t posted a blog in about 3 months.  Now is as good a time as any to update you on my post Advocare challenge progress.  If you remember (or if you read the previous entries again), I started my journey on May 1, 2016 with a 24 day Advocare challenge.  I did really well and lost 24 lbs in those first 24 days and in fact since then have gone on to lose a total of 74 lbs.  However, I have been stuck for the last few months.  That is the real reason why I haven’t blogged.  It’s tough when you are doing all the same things you did that caused you to lose 74 lbs and your body just says “no.”  I still go to Water Aerobics and  Aqua Zumba every week.  I still try to eat between 1000-1200 calories a day.  I have not had Coca Cola (my favorite drink) since April. trip_hurdles_800_5680

One thing that has been constant in in my life is the obstacles that seem to jump in my way.  Sometimes I feel I can’t win for trying!  The first major obstacle that I have had is people.  Sounds weird right? Sometimes I get people telling me how good I look or noticing that I look different.  In fact yesterday, one of our older security guards at work asked me if I am “diminishing?”  As I blushed and looked at him confusedly, he explained that he meant I was getting smaller.  These compliments are great and don’t get me wrong, I love to hear them.  But they just keep me thinking of weight loss and then reminding myself that nothing is happening right now with it.  The flip side of that problem is also occurring.  Certain people in my life have taken it upon themselves to ask me daily and sometimes more than daily if I have lost any more weight.  When the answer is no, they get disappointed.  Of course this makes me disappointed and very disheartened about my weight loss when in actually I should be celebrating all that I have accomplished so far!

Another big obstacle that I have had is my medication. Recently I had to start taking medication that could possibly make me gain weight.  I asked the doctor if it makes weight gain or if it just makes you hungrier.  She said hungrier.  I said I am hungry all the time, I can deal with that. 🙂

Another obstacle that I have had is injuries.  In July, I had shots in my back that have taken away about 90% of my pain and made me able to walk and exercise more easily.  It has been wonderful.  Then on October 28, I decided to use my ‘under the desk’ bike peddler to get more exercise and ended up straining my hip flexor.  I was hoping it would heal on his own and when I it didn’t in 2 weeks, I finally went to the doctor.  She sent me to physical therapy.  So now when I walk, sit, exercise, sleep, whatever, I have pain in my hip/leg.

I haven’t slowed down though.  I can’t.  I don’t want to become complacent with the 74 lbs I have lost, great though that is.  I still have a goal of 100 lbs by the end of the year.  I am not sure I am going to make it but I remain highly optimistic.

I’ve had some good things happen as well.  I have been able to go out and enjoy concerts again.  At parties, people notice that I am moving around more.  I went to my 25th high school reunion and had so much fun reconnecting with former classmates and friends.  I was walking around and heck, even sitting on a high stool-things I could not have done 6 months ago. I also have gone down 2 sizes in clothes.  Everything I wore a year ago is too big.  I am ok with that!

I wanted to mention the different Advocare flavors I have tried.  In earlier posts, I mentioned that I have tried the Chocolate, Vanilla and Peanut Butter Chocolate Advocare Shakes.  They are all good.  The Peanut Butter Chocolate is probably my least favorite.  Since then I have tried the Berry and the Snickerdoodle shakes.  Both are amazing!  I know the Snickerdoodle is a temporary flavor so I need to stock up because it is so good. In the Advocare Spark, I have actually gone on Ebay and purchased multiple flavors so I could try them before buying the bigger cannister through Advocare.  The good flavors I have tried so far are:  Watermelon, Fruit Punch, Grape, Green Apple, Pink Lemonade, and Blue Raspberry.  I have also tried Mango Strawberry and Mandarin Orange and they are really gross.


I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving next week and try not to eat too much!

I will leave you with a final positive picture. The pic on the left was a year ago and the one on the right was a few days ago.  I should definitely be happy about my progress.  I am not giving up!


Rough Month


So this has been a rough month for me.  On August 20, my grandma passed away.  It was unexpected so I did not a chance to prepare myself for it.  At her funeral, the only thing that kept me going was holding the hand of my 4 yr old niece Ella. I didn’t think she would hold it for the entire time but she did.  She even switched hands with me at one point so she could reach for her doll with the other hand.


I can’t show Ella without showing my other niece-6 yr old Eva.  Here she is as a cat lady 🙂


To top it off,  my dad has been in the hospital.  He was in congestive heart failure and was retaining a lot of water. He ended up losing about 65 lbs in roughly 10 days and he came home yesterday.  He is weak but doing better.

On the good news side,  so far I have lost 70.5 lbs since May 1.  I realize that is only about 10 lbs in the last month, so it has definitely slowed down but I will take it! It’s been really hard this month to eat right.. I spent several days helping to clean out Grandma’s apartment and then helping my mom get things ready in her house for some of Grandma’s furniture.  Plus I had to visit my dad at the hospital.  On those days,  I would eat fast food. I tried to be good and get a subway salad or something.  But I did break down and have Chinese food with my mom.  At the funeral, we had a luncheon at the church afterwards.  Food was provided and it was everything I shouldn’t eat.  Yummy things like spaghetti, mac and cheese, pasta salad and the best snickerdoodle cookies!.  I did my best to eat very little of each thing I wanted!

I’ve settled back into a routine now and cooking at home more but next friday, my work is having the annual company picnic.  Lunch is provided along with fair food that includes elephant ears, french fries, corn on the cob and donuts.  I have been craving an elephant ear.  I didn’t get one last year at the picnic because the lines were too long and I couldn’t stand for a long time.  This year I will be able to walk around more and definitely stand in that line for an elephant ear.  So that is going to be my cheat day for the week.  I am already salivating for the elephant ear…..

mmmm.. elephant ear


I was thinking about a few years ago when I lost 50 lbs. No one commented on my weight loss.  It seemed like no one noticed.  However now, I have people who don’t even know my name approaching me in the hallway at work.  So I searched and I found an old pic from when I did a breast cancer walk at Ohio State University.  This was in September 2013 and I was only 9 lbs more than I am right now.  However I do not look it.  I think I look a lot bigger.  The only difference that I am doing now compared to then is the kind of exercise.  The water aerobics and  Aqua Zumba seem to be taking the weight off and shaping me.  I measured myself at the end of August and I have lost 8 inches from my chest, 8 inches from my waist and 8 inches from my hips.  So it is a very uniform loss. (pic below-on the left 3 years ago.  On the right 3 days ago)


Anyway. I am still working hard.  I would like to lose at least another 10 lbs by my 25 year high school reunion on Oct 1 and I would like to lose 100 lbs by the end of the year!  Let’s do this!


My ongoing journey

3 Days Journey-blank

Guess what everyone! I have now lost 60.6 lbs since May 1!  I would like to tell you that it gets easier the longer you do it, but trying to be healthy is hard! There are so many choices to make and if you make the wrong one, it can throw off your whole day!  For example, today at work, they provided us with a free “make your own salad” bar.  I decided since I only brought a chicken salad wrap for lunch, and I am going to Aqua Zumba after work, to go get some.  I got lettuce, carrots, a couple of croutons, some nuts and Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing.  The only other dressing they had was Ranch, so the one I chose was the better of the two.  I got back to my desk and looked up the calories of the dressing and it was 100 calories for 1 oz.  The ones I usually eat range from 35-60 for 1 oz!


Another decision I had to make occurred yesterday.  A friend is in town that I haven’t seen in a while so I was going to get together with her and some other friends and go to dinner.  They decided on Olive Garden.  Now on my birthday, I splurged and let myself have regular pasta without any bad consequences but I was trying to stay away from Italian restaurants in general.  So I looked up the menu and decided to get the Rosemary Garlic chicken and a side of pasta.  The salad was good and the side of pasta was good.. in fact it probably had too many calories for me!  But I will tell you now:  NEVER get the Rosemary Garlic chicken.  It is so gross!! Not only does it taste nothing like Rosemary or Garlic (it had more of a Balsamic flavor), but the texture was rubbery and had a bunch of chewy gristle pieces in it.  Nothing nauseates me more than biting into a chewy gristle-y piece of chicken.  That was the only thing on the menu that wasn’t 700+ calories (except for fish, which I do not eat).

I made a good decision last Friday.  My mom had to take my dad to the doctor and since they were out already decided to meet me for dinner at Los Jalapenos.  I brought my own low carb wraps that are only 50 calories each and only ate 2.  It was so good!

I have found that if I buy snacks for my house such as potato chips or even flavored almonds, I eat them until they are gone.  But if I don’t have them at home and just eat them at parties, etc, I only eat few.  I am going to have to make sure I do not buy anything that will tempt me. It feels like it took a lot longer to lose the last 10 lbs then it did the first 50.  Doctors, friends and relatives all tell me that I will slow down and not lose the weight as fast as I did at first.  But I WANT to!!  So I am going to keep pushing for it!


Another bad habit I need to break is weighing myself.  I have started weighing myself every day several times a day and obsessing over it.  I need to just weigh myself once a week!  that way I will give the water aerobics and Aqua Zumba time to work 🙂

Luckily the shots in my back seem to have worked.  I still have pain but it is nowhere near what it used to be and I am able to move around a little more.  I actually went to the grocery store the other day and walked around pushing a cart.  I haven’t done that in about a year! I was using the Giant Eagle delivery service where they bring it to your car.  I will still do that because it is convenient but it is nice knowing I CAN walk around if I need to.

I am still drinking the Advocare shakes for breakfast and Spark in the morning.  It is so expensive.  The shakes come in a box of 14 for $44.95.  I usually do not eat them on the weekends so that comes out to be  $180 a month (roughly) for breakfast.  So if anyone wants to donate to my cause, I won’t say no 🙂

Ok it’s time to keep on keepin’ on!


Don’t p in the ool ;)


The pool above looks pretty and inviting, right?  Well it is deceiving.  Yesterday I went to the Canal Winchester Pool and was swimming for about 20 minutes when they made everyone get out because some kid pooped in the pool! I couldn’t wait to get a shower when I got home, it was so gross!!  Also threw off all the plans I had for exercise.  At least today I get to do my water aerobics (different pool)!

Speaking of exercise, I have lost 57.3 lbs since May 1.  I have slowed down a little in July but I also had my birthday and a couple cheat days which I had not done before.  As long as I continue going down, I am happy.

mongolian bbq

I had a free dinner at Mongolian BBQ for my birthday and it expired Friday. I normally love that place but had a horrible experience at the Easton one Friday.  I was already in a bad mood because I had to wait in my car for 3 hours before I even went in.  Once I went in, I was getting my food and the noodles were mushy.   Then when I tried to get szechuan sauce, it was completely empty. So I stood there for about 10 minutes until finally one of the guys who refills things comes out. I asked him for szechuan sauce and stepped aside.  He said he refilled it. I went to get it and it was still empty! So then I asked another guy who happened to be a manager.  By this time I had been standing there for probably 15 minutes (which I could not have done pre-shot in my back!) holding my bowl of food.  That guy told me the sauce had to be made, so i should go have my food cooked and he would bring it to me.  He did and when they poured the sauce on my food, they left it on the grill too long and it came out completely burnt.. it was so gross. My mom said something to the waitress and the manager saw it and came over.  He was upset for me and offered to cook a whole new bowl for me.  So when I finally got my food, it was good but it was just a bad experience! I left work at 5:30 that day and was finally eating dinner at 9:30pm!


I bought a variety of Advocare Spark flavors and I wanted to let you know the best and worst.  I have now tried Fruit Punch which is really good.  Watermelon which is awesome (it tastes like a jolly rancher!)  Grape which is pretty good.(tastes like grape Kool-Aid)  Green Apple is ok.  Mango Strawberry tastes more like mango than strawberry and I am not a fan of that.  The worst flavor I have tasted is orange.  Of course orange is the one that I got as an extra box when I first signed up and I have not even gone through all 14 of those.  I am not an orange juice fan, so maybe that is why I do not like it.


I bought Golden Grahams to eat as a snack and I forgot how good they are! now I just have to remember to eat them in small quantities!


Wish me luck!