Saturday, November 23, 2013

Starting over again....


Before & Now


 I am being brave in sharing these pictures and I am sure many of you will be disgusted at my morbid obesity but I want to be honest with myself of where I started and where I am now.  I am a person who needs to see things visually.
I am experiencing a minor set back right now but I have come a long way and I need to remind myself of where I don't want to be again. 

This journey "off the sidelines and into my life" is like a roller coaster.  You don't know if you are going up or coming down or what's around the next turn.  I am just holding on for dear life and trying to learn something new from each twist and turn.

I made progress yesterday.  I had a day filled with shame, which is a major food trigger for me, and I didn't stuff my feelings with the candy in the candy jar.  I felt the feelings, expressed them and found a different way to cope.  So today I start over again and try to repeat the positive things I learned yesterday.

Thanks for letting me share my journey.  It's not always pretty but it's real, honest and it's mine.

Thanks for stopping by...



Thursday, November 21, 2013

The great chocolate macadamia nut hangover of 2013....

OK..It's time for a bit more honesty.  This is the hardest part of my weight loss journey admitting when I have fallen off the path to a healthier me and I am stuck under a boulder that's made of chocolate covered macadamia nuts, coconut ice cream, and every other sweet or salty treat I can find.

It's been this way for a few months but it got really bad once I had my first chocolate covered macadamia nut in Hawaii.  I couldn't get enough.  I ate them like I was stranded on a desert island and that was all the food that was left.  I ate a whole bag (over two lbs I think) by myself.  I would sneak eat at night (I missed a couple and they melted all over my sheets) in bed or in the office.

I keep trying to get to the bottom of why I feel the need to stuff my feelings and become numb.  I have had some experiences in the past month or so where I was brought back to my youth when I felt awkward, unloved, unaccepted by friends and family and I haven't wanted to feel those feelings.  Some of the days I just ate until I felt sick trying to push those feelings away.   Other days I felt those crappy feelings but wanted to mask the pain so I ate.

I remember one Friday night I was alone in my home office watching a movie on television and I was back to an old habit of eating the ice cream right out of the carton.  I had a big spoon and I was shoveling it in.  When I finally stopped I had eaten the remaining ice cream in the carton.  It was almost half full.

So I have been committing myself everyday to try better and some day's I exercises, eat my fruits and veggies and do really well.  But other days are like this morning.  I started off great..I ate my peanut butter sandwich and carrots on my drive home from taking Brett to work.  But the binging cycle began again when I had to stop at the grocery store for hairspray.  I bought 3 Lindor truffles (they were gone before i left the parking lot) and then finished off the Doritos's and corn chips from this weekend.  I feel physically sick now.  It's going to be a long day. It's like the chocolate macadamia nut hangover all over again....

I have decided that changing your life is hard.  I am reading a book about loving your body right now.  The author has worked with anorexics, bulimics and others with food addictions overcome the problems and retrain your brain.  I think that's the hardest part of this journey for me.  It's so easy to slip back into old habits of unhealthy eating, making excuses on why you can't fit exercise into your life and on and on.

So this is where I am at.  I am stuck under my boulder.  I haven't written much because it's painful to admit that you are failing and using your old coping mechanisms to shove these feelings back down.  Each day or even hour is a time to start again.  So I am going to eat my apple for lunch and go for a walk on this cool winter day to do something positive for my health.  I may be stuck in a rut but I am not defeated.  I will learn to love this body and take care of it.  That includes my brain and retraining it to think a better thought.

Thanks for stopping by...


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The turkey flap....

The turkey flap...

A couple of months ago I was sitting with my nephew Sam who is three.
We were talking about muscles and weight lifting.
 He used to watch his brother Tyler lift weights.
  He asked to see my muscles so I flexed like in the picture.
  He thought it was all muscles (ha ha ha).
  I moved my arms and the bottoms flapped like a turkeys wings.
He wanted to touch them so I said it was ok.
 He touched them and said, "They are not like Tyler's".
  I told him,"I know I need to start lifting weights like Tyler did".  

So this is the stuff the weight loss shows don't talk about..
All the excess skin you have leftover after having a  big weight loss.
   I have some work to do to tone up the arms.
  I know I will probably always have some of the excess skin because
 I stretched it to the limit as I gained weight over the years.

   So does anybody have any helpful hints to tone this part of the arms? or a good trainer that could help me?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Don't quit

Don't Quit
When you've eaten too much and you can't write it down,
And you feel like the biggest failure in town.
When you want to give up just because you gave in,
and forget all about being healthy and thin.
So What! You went over your points a bit,
It's your next move that counts...So don't you quit!
It's a moment of truth, it's an attitude change.
It's learning the skills to get back in your range.
It's telling yourself, "You've done great up till now.
You can take on this challenge and beat it somehow."
It's part of your journey toward reaching your goal.
You're still gonna make it, just stay in control.
To stumble and fall is not a disgrace,
If you summon the will to get back in the race.
But, often the struggler's, when loosing their grip,
Just throw in the towel and continue to slip.
And learn too late when the damage is done,
that the race wasn't over...they still could have won.
Lifestyle change can be awkward and slow,
but facing each challenge will help you grow.
Success is failure turned inside out,
the silver tint in a cloud of doubt.
When you're pushing to the brink, just refuse to submit,
If you bite it, you write it....But don't you quit!
- Author Unknown


Climb the Mountain & Imagine

Climb The Mountain

I tried to climb the mountain today. As I inched my way up the path, I felt out of breath and had to turn back.
I tried to climb the mountain today. But, It was so hot outside, I thought I had better stay in my nice air-conditioned house and rest up for tomorrow's attempt.
I tried to climb the mountain today. On my journey, darkness started to fall and I was full of fear, so I had to return to a safe place.
I was ready to climb the mountain today. But I had so may other things to do, so instead of climbing the mountain I took care of the much more important tasks; I washed my car, mowed the grass and watched the big game. Today the mountain will have to wait.
I was going to climb the mountain today. But as I stared at the mountain in all it's majestic beauty, I knew I had no chance of making it to the top, so I figured why even begin trying.
I had forgotten about climbing the mountain today, until an old friend came by and asked what I was up to lately. I told him about all my plans to climb that mountain someday. I went on and on about how I was going to accomplish the task.
He stopped me and said, "I just got back from climbing that mountain. for the longest time I told myself I was going to try to climb it but never made any progress."
"I almost let the dream of making it to the top die. I came up with every excuse of why I could not make it up the mountain, but never once did I give myself a reason why I could. One day as I stared at the mountain and pondered, I realized that if I didn't make an attempt at this dream all my dreams would eventually die."
" The next morning, I started my climb. It was not easy, and at times I wanted to quit. But no matter what I faced, I placed one foot in front of the other, keeping a steady pace. When the wind tried to blow me over the edge, I kept walking. When the voices inside my head screamed, stop! I focused on my goal, never letting it out of sight. I kept moving forward. I could not quit because I knew I had come too far to stop now. Time and time again, I reassured myself that I was going to finish this journey. I struggled mightily to make it to the top, but I CLIMBED THE MOUNTAIN."
"I have to be going," my friend said. "Tomorrow is a new day to accomplish more dreams. By the way what are you going to do tomorrow?"
I looked at him, with intensity and confidence in my eyes, and said, "I HAVE A MOUNTAIN TO CLIMB."Author Unkown

Recall the things that have held you back. And imagine how you now
can get beyond them.
Think of the problems that have frustrated you so. And imagine how
you can now rise above them.
Look at how far you've come. And imagine how far you can now go.
Think of all that you've learned. And imagine what you can now do
with that knowledge.
Consider all you've done in the past year. And imagine what you'll
now be able to do.
You're now in a better position than ever to imagine the very best.
And what you can imagine will lead to what you can be.
-- Ralph Marston


  "If you've invested enough effort and energy to get discouraged, you're well on your way to success. Discouragement is a certain weigh station on the road to any worthwhile achievement.
   If you know and care enough to be discouraged, you've made considerable progress. Learn what the discouragement has to teach you and then continue moving forward. It may seem as though you'll never make it, but in reality you're already there. Discouragement tempers and hardens you; it does not stop you.
   Reflect on your discouragement and you'll discover that it is a result of your commitment. You've already invested your time, your effort, your life. Soon, you'll reap the full reward of that investment. Let discouragement spur you on.
   Motivation is born of desire. The stronger the desire for something, the stronger the motivation.
   Endeaver to keep the promises we make to ourselves... We deserve to be treated with the same love and respect that we would give to others....." (By CW on bootcamp buddies)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

NAMI Walk October 5, 2013

Hangin' Loose before our walk.

It was a lot of fun to walk with 500 people
in honor of all those who suffer from a mental illness.

I walked in memory of my angel mother Karen.
She would be proud of me for making so many changes in my life
and learning to be happy no matter the circumstances.

Thank you to all those who donated to such a wonderful cause in our behalf to honor
my mom, myself, Brett's brother and all others who suffer.

My dear sweet husband Brett who has two bad knees and bulging disks in his back,
proved to me that if you put your mind to something you can accomplish it.
He walked the 3K in 49 minutes.  I am so proud of you Brett. 
You inspire me to keep going on my journey to a healthier life.

NAMI stands for National Alliance on Mental Illness

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Before & After Pics

Here's the pictures I promised. 
I still have some work to do on my mental picture
 in my brain but pictures really help to remind
me that the change is real. 
Have a happy and healthy day.

Friday, September 27, 2013




I started on January 23, 2013 and today is September 27, 2013.

Tomorrow afternoon I will post pictures of before and after so check back if you want to see.

Thanks to everyone who has supported me, walked with me, encouraged me, picked me up when I fell down and said "I understand."

Hard work, healthier eating, and determination works for me.  

How are you changing your life today?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Final Weigh-in Before October 1

So tomorrow is my final weigh-in to determine if I have reached my goal of losing 100 lbs by October 1.
I am not sure I have made it but whatever happens, I am still on this journey and I will keep at it.

My other non-scale victories include:

Today the sales lady at a store measured me
 and was able to use a regular 60" tape measure. 

My face is looking different in a good way.

I can walk and not be weary.

I did my first plank push up this month.

I am strong.

I can fit into my red dress.  In fact, it's TOO big.

No matter what happens on the scale, I am succeeding at making a permanent change in my life.
I'll report back tomorrow with my final number of the first stage of my journey.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Keeping It Real

A little more honesty coming your way.

I remember as a child sneaking food.  I thought I was fooling my parents by taking the slices of bread in the middle of the loaf and not the ends.  I would take 4 or 5 slices of bread, spread margarine on them and then sprinkle them with sugar.  I would do this in the middle of the night when I thought I was alone.  How did I possibly believe no one would notice?

As I got older I would take the change from my dad's work pants and go to the Polar King and buy as much penny candy as I could afford.  I loved the little red fishes and I would hardly make it home before I had eaten the large bag of candy.  When I started babysitting I would hurry to get the kids to bed at night so I could rummage through the house and eat.  I would just take one of whatever I found so the family might not notice what I had taken. 

This behavior continued well into my adult years.  I would stop at a fast food place, sometimes two different places so I could get all my favorites then I would go to a park or somewhere I could be alone to eat everything I bought. 

When I started this journey back in January I thought I had mastered this behavior after a few months of success.  I had taken away the power of food.  I had learned some self mastery, or so I thought.  The last few weeks I have started sneak eating again.  This time it's at the office.  As most of you know there are a ton of treats around me.  I am often alone in the office and I began sneak eating some of the food.  I was so embarrassed that I hid the wrappers in my purse or desk and after everyone left I would put the wrappers in the garbage and take the trash out to the dumpster. 

I have used food as a coping mechanism for so long that these habits are so hard to break.  Sharing this with all of you is a way to be honest with myself and try to figure out what I am not feeling or dealing with.  I don't know if anyone can relate or if you will be disgusted with me but this what I am dealing with and trying to change so that I can be healthy on the inside and the outside.  I have to leave now to go to work.  It's a new day.  I will be honest with myself and conscientious of what I am doing.

So, here I go to face my dragon....

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Three R's...

So I told you I would share with you "The three R's" from Bob Harper's book the next time I wrote a blog post. He shares these with his clients after they have "looked at themselves in the mirror, inside & out, and created an objective distance from their baggage, and have reached the place of really being ready."

The three R's are: RELAX, RESPECT and REINFORCE. Bob says, "When you relax your body and mind, when you develop respect for your body, and when you begin to reinforce positive behaviors, you truly are ready to take responsibility and change your life."

So for me learning to relax was very hard and still is. I haven't learned to be comfortable in quieting my mind and body. It's something I am still working on. I read another book about 3 or 4 months before I started my weight loss journey called "Daring Greatly" by Brene Brown. (It's another I highly recommend.) In the book I learned about shame, forgiving and daring greatly. It was part of the preparation for me being able to go on this journey. I worked through a lot of issues of shame. I was able to forgive my father and ask forgiveness from him. We now have a honest and loving relationship with one another. I also learned to dare greatly and start dreaming again. When this happened I learned to relax a little more. I learned how to let go of the things that don't matter and not take things so personally. It's a daily process of doing a little bit better today than yesterday.

Bob says, "A relaxed state of mind is one that helps you stay balanced in your life. What helps you maintain balance? The answer lies in two things managing your time efficiently and creating "me" time each day in which to relax, so that you stay grounded and in touch with your inner self." I believe this wholeheartedly. My workout every morning helps to keep me grounded. It's the time when I just take care of me.

The second R is Respect. Respect means we have to come to accept ourselves and our bodies at our starting point. This is hard for me and many others. I had to learn to find something about my body that I loved and accepted. I have always loved my eyes. So I use them to see all of me and accept myself for who and how I am at each stage of my journey. Bob said, "If I don't love me, how is anyone else going to love me? With acceptance comes respect." He continues, "When you begin to see your body as a vessel to treasure and take care of, then you actively show respect for your body, mind and soul. Respect becomes a tangible thing, a concrete action." Once I could love myself and accept myself at 402.6 lbs then it helped me to stay motivated and find the strength to take care of myself each day.

The last R is Reinforce. "When you renew your commitment each and every day, you reinforce your forward momentum, remind yourself of your goals, and refresh your confidence that you can and will achieve your goals. Reinforcing your commitment is a constant, lifelong responsibility. Each day, you need to positively affirm all that you are doing for yourself." Bob shares this under Reinforce. My journey has had many ups and downs. I have to reinforce my commitment to myself everyday. When I write down my accomplishments, failures and goals then I can look back and see that I am making changes and it does give me confidence to keep going.

The writing process has been one of the most beneficial parts of my journey so far. It keeps me honest about my feelings and desires. It helps me when I go back and read to see what works for me and what doesn't. I also track my food intake and exercise on I put everything in that I eat whether it's a healthy day or not so healthy day. It keeps me accountable to myself and it reinforces my commitment to myself and my weight loss goals. My user name is Kara2 on myfitnesspal if you decide this might be a good tool for you. There is a lot of support and motivation from my friends there that help to keep me on track. I would love to encourage you and be your friend on this website.

So the three R's are: Relax, Respect and Reinforce. Remember it is a "constant lifelong responsibility" we have to ourselves. Take the time necessary to relax, show yourself respect and reinforce the positive changes you are making. I love myself enough to stay committed to my dreams and goals. It's a constant battle but one that I intend to win.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Are You Ready? Really Ready To Change Your Life?

I read this question in Bob Harper's book, "Are you Ready?" in February 2013. My answer in my head was "Of course Bob, I was just diagnosed with diabetes. Why are you asking such a crazy question?"

Then I read in his book: "This question may seem simple, but take a moment to consider what it takes for you to stand on the precipice of change and truly take responsibility to make that change."

And I thought "What? Take responsibility for myself? I blame my mother, my father and everyone else for where I am today with my health. If my parents had just made me exercise more, and if my family wasn't such terrific cooks, and if my doctor had just given me diet pills...." My turning point to start this change came when I was diagnosed with diabetes but was it enough to keep me motivated and take responsibility for my health.

Bob said this:
So how do we get ourselves to take responsibility for our lives, our health and our destiny? First, we have to get our baggage under control, get past our fear of the great unknown, and stop blaming everyone else for our problems. But if you don't stop and take in who you are -- your history, your weight, your strengths and your weaknesses-- then you inevitably will find yourself back where you started.

I wanted to skip this step so bad. I knew that I had been using food for the majority of my life to stuff down feelings I didn't want to feel, to soothe my hurts, disappointments, celebrate the joys, and also as a way to block the boredom with my life. As I read the stories of others' experiences with letting go of the baggage I realized that I too had used my weight or "fat suit" as a protective barrier to stay on the sidelines of my life. As Bob says: "Until we are able to look ourselves fully in the mirror, whatever we've been through will remain heavy baggage, acting like a terrible anchor, weighing us down in unhealthy, deep waters. We need to separate ourselves from our baggage, to see it instead of be it."

Well, I was ready and I started to take charge of my life. I started eating better and exercising and I even lost some weight. But getting rid of the baggage takes a lifetime of letting go. Many people start off doing great and then something happens and they start to slip back into their old habits. It happened for me when the class ended with Justin. A lot of things changed around that time and I had to ask myself "Are you really ready to take responsibility for your life?" Bob says that,
"most people get caught in one of two things: Fear of moving forward, which usually stems from a fear of leaving what's familiar and a fear of what lies ahead (the unknown,) or tendency to blame others for their situation."

Both of these things almost stopped my journey. I kept reading Bob's book (which I highly recommend - no I am not getting paid for this - I just believe there is power in his words) and each day I keep trying to move beyond fear and blame.

Bob said:
So be gentle and kind with yourself, and remind yourself that every time you resist the urge to eat out of fear or resentment or a sense of injury and consciously make a different, more positive choice to improve your health, you are taking responsibility for yourself.

So for today I try to make sure I am eating because I am hungry not as way to soothe or comfort myself. I am not always successful but each new day I begin again taking responsibility for my health. I get up at 5:15 a.m. so I can get my exercise in after taking my husband to work. I have been walking/jogging up hills lately to get a better workout. It makes a difference in my life. I make better food choices and drink lots of water. It's working for me. I am still working on letting go of the baggage but with each pound I lose I let go of another piece of baggage.

So ask yourself, "Are you ready? Really ready to change your life and take responsibility for your health and move beyond fear and blame?" I hope the answer is Yes for you. In my next post I will share Bob's three R's and how they are changing my life.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Taunting Candy Jar

I learned some powerful tools when I began this journey reading the book "Are you READY?" by Bob Harper. This book changed my life. He helped me to change the way I think about myself and my relationship with food.

In chapter two, pages 30 & 31, Bob writes about forgiving ourselves. He says:
"Once you accept yourself, you need to forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for all the diets you've tried and failed; forgive yourself for all the bags of potato chips you've eaten; forgive yourself for all those days you watched television instead of exercising. No matter how much you have to lose or where you want to be or go after this point, you need to give yourself a pass for all the times in your past that didn't work for you. No matter how bad a situation you are in, you have chance to change it for good. So instead of dwelling on the past and putting on that coat of pain, hatred, and betrayal that has been keeping you warm, you can discard it. You have to forgive yourself for letting yourself get this far and give yourself permission to move ahead..... Many of my clients eased their pain with food. They have used food as medicine. When they accept who they are and where they are, and begin to forgive those who have hurt them, including themselves, they then allow self-worth to come back in and take care of them. And when they realize that playing the victim doesn't help anyone--especially themselves--they can finally sleep well at night. Forgiveness is not only the key to weight loss it's the key to living your best life.

These powerful words help me to remember that forgiveness is a process I need to use everyday in my life. When I started my journey I had to quit blaming others for my food choices or exercise habits. I had to forgive myself for what I had done to my health and body. I had to take responsibility for what goes in my mouth and for how much I exercise.

So I have four weeks to meet one of my goals. I want to lose 100 lbs by October 1st. I have currently lost 90.8 lbs. So I have 9.2 lbs to go. I have to take responsibility for what I do. This candy jar sits on top of my desk at my new job and some days I feel like it's taunting me, saying: "Eat my candy, Come on you know you want it. It will make you feel better, just have one. EAT ME NOW!"
I have given the candy too much power. Today I forgive myself and move forward.

Bob gives this last piece of advice in chapter two, page 34: "Accept yourself. Forgive yourself. By accepting and forgiving yourself, you give yourself permission to move on from that old self, those old behaviors, those old crutches that have created obstacles in your path to freedom."

Today I recommit myself to these lifestyle changes. I love myself enough to continue on this journey of success. Are you with me?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Back to the Beginning... My Story and How Operation 2013 Began

When I started this journey in January 2013 to shed the fat suit forever, I began with the help of my husband Brett, my sister Laralynn and my brother-in-law Justin. Justin was taking a class at Utah Valley University for exercise science. We became his project for the class. At our first meeting to discuss the project he had us set some goals and write down our primary motivation for starting a fitness plan.

Here's what I wrote....
My primary motivation for beginning this journey is...
1. I want to be able to enjoy my life instead of sitting on the sidelines.
2. I want to be able to play with my nieces and nephews.
3. I want to be able to walk on my vacations and not have to sit down every few minutes.
4. I want to be able to shop at regular stores and have stylish clothes.
5. I do not want to have diabetes.

My physical goals were: Stand to do the dishes without my back and hips aching, fit into my red dress, get up and shower and do my hair every day, exercise 5 to 6 days a week so I can walk on the beach with Brett in Hawaii.

In February, Justin had us define success in regards to the fitness plan we were working on that would end in April when his class was over. I want to share what I wrote. It's a little long but it tells my story and I think it will help you to see what continues to motivate and help me on this journey I am on. Here's what I thought on February 21st, 2013.

"I have thought long and hard about this since Saturday when Justin gave us this assignment. I have discussed it with Brett, Laralynn, my Dad, in prayer and in my head. I have tried to keep an open mind and not try to please others.

If I were to please Justin, (at least the one in my head) I would say "Be able to run a 5K in April/May." To please my sister Jan, "I wouldn't limit my thinking but I would see myself completing the 5K." And the list to please others could go on. So how do I define success? Let me start with a little back story.

For most of 2012 I have lived a completely sedentary life. I couldn't walk around a store to do my grocery shopping. I had to use a motorized scooter. I couldn't walk from my bedroom to my bathroom (which is only 5 steps away) without being winded. I had gradually gained weight until I topped out at 402.6 lbs on January 22, 2013. That day I went to the doctor and just walking from the waiting room to the chair where they could take my vitals (blood pressure, heart rate, weight, etc) my heart was beating incredibly fast. I could hardly catch my breath. At that appointment I kidded the doctor about putting me on phen/fen or some other diet pill so I could lose weight. She told me about a new drug but she didn't know if my insurance would cover it. She did a bunch of blood work and sent me home. I received a letter in the mail from her on January 26th. The blood work showed that my A1C was a 6.9 and that I had diabetes. She told me to up my Metformin (which had been previously prescribed to treat PCOS) and to come back for more blood work at the end of February and then make an appointment to see her in April.

Needless to say I was scared. I couldn't speak as I was reading the letter. I had always thought I was going to be the only morbidly obese person that didn't get diabetes. WRONG! The next day my sister Laralynn went to see our sister Jan and Justin. He told her about this exercise class he was taking and how he needed to develop an exercise program for someone. Laralynn told him about my diabetes diagnosis. Justin decided if he could get his teachers approval then Laralynn, Brett and I would be his subjects for a paper and presentation he would present at the end of the class.

The very next day January 28th we started doing exercises while sitting in a chair. I could only do ten minutes. We sat in the chair and lifted our legs and used soup cans as weights. We also changed our eating habits. We cut the portion sizes down and ate half a plate of vegetables. After just a few days I started feeling better. On Saturday February 2nd Justin met with us. He had us walk outside. I could barely make it around our cul-de-sac and down three houses on our street. My hips & legs hurt and I was out of breath.

We continued with our chair exercises and changes in our food intake and on February 6th we went for our first weigh in. I had lost 10.4 lbs. I was gaining endurance. I could walk further. I could run up and down our stairs (winded of course) but I was moving.

So I would first define my success as making the decision to start. All I believed I could do was sit on a chair and do arm and leg exercises. My heart was pumping and I felt alive again. That first step of doing something to get my heart rate going was a success. Choosing to eat more vegetables that first week was a success. Those two things along with drinking a lot more water is cause for celebration. I am up to about 120 ounces of water each day now. The weight loss proved to me that even couch potatoes can have success if they just move their muscles a little bit and change their portions sizes and eat more vegetables.

The week of February 10-16, 2013 brought more success. We started walking around the hallway of our church (we have an oval hallway like a track in our church building.) I did 15 minutes on the Wii Biggest Loser Full Body Workout and walked 30 minutes one day. Remember earlier I said that I hadn't been able to walk around a grocery store? Well, February 9th, 2013 I walked around Sam's Club, Macey's grocery store & the library. Success again! I could now do my own grocery shopping. That success was just from starting with chair exercises and adding a little cardio. Amazing! Maybe not to the average athlete or fitness guru but to me that meant independence, freedom and knowing that I wasn't standing on the sideline of my life anymore. I was actually living it.

This week also brought more firsts for me. On February 14, 2013 I took the garbage cans to the middle of the cul-de-sac without gasping for air. Before I started exercising I couldn't do this without having to stop halfway, gasping for air. I decided that I wanted to see if I could walk to the end of the street. I put my head up, looked down the street and focused my attention on the house at the end. I started to move. My heart rate was up. I stayed focused on that house and made it to the end. I was so excited and so I turned around and focused on the house next to mine and I made it back. I had done what I thought was impossible. I had will power and determination. I got up early again the next day and decided to do it again. This time when I reached the end of the street I decided to turn left and walk the distance of two more houses and then back to my house. Another roadblock pushed out of the way. I did it the second time.

Then the day of our second weigh-in came. It was Saturday morning, February 16th. I had lost another 6.4 lbs, a total of 17.4 lbs in 3 1/2 weeks. But the weight loss isn't my only measure of success. Justin had us define our primary motivation on our first meeting. I defined it as this: 'I want to be able to enjoy my life instead of sitting on the sidelines. I want to be able to play with my nieces and nephews. I want to be able to walk on my vacations and not have to sit down every few minutes to rest. I want to be able to shop at regular stores for clothes. I want to be able to wear stylish clothes. I do NOT want to have diabetes. So what will success look like for me at the end of this process in April? I want to be able to play volleyball with my nieces and nephews. I want my A1C to be under 6.0. I want to complete the "Color Me Pink 5K Run/Walk on March 23, 2013 in Lehi, Utah. I have signed myself up for it. I want to start training to run a 5K in 2014.'

Justin had told me that if I wanted to commit to my fitness goals then sign up for something. So I did. My amazing sister Laralynn walked this 5K with me even though it wasn't her goal. In the weeks that followed this email on February 22, she got up every morning at 5:30 am before going to work to help me prepare for this race. We completed the race in the snow and freezing cold in 1 hour and 35 minutes. We had amazing supporters Stephen Tefteller, Brett Mackay, Jan Tranchell and her girls. They cheered us on, brought us water, walked with us and encouraged us. The organizers of the race kept up the balloon arch at the finish line and stayed until we finished to hand us our medals. It was the most amazing thing I had done up to this point in my journey. I had set a goal and finished it. I overcame the mental hangups and completed the race. This event changed my life. It has helped me to keep going on this journey to shed my fat suit because I know I can do hard things. How do I know this? Because I have done hard things before and lived.

I hope that by starting this blog I can share my success, failures, stumbling blocks and provide you with a place to share your story, too. This is a lifestyle change for me that has it's ups and downs. Sometimes I am afraid of success. I am afraid that no one will like the new me. I think "What if my cheerleaders drop out, move or become the nay-sayers saying "Give up. Quit, you can't do this. Why are you even trying. You will never reach the top, you're a loser." I want to yell, "NO, this time is different! I will succeed. I can make it up this mountain. I can move the boulders or crush them if I need to. I have my sledgehammer firmly in my hands. I have earned my sledgehammer through hard work. I am learning to love myself. I love myself enough to continue on this journey to a new and improved me. It's not just about the weight, it's peeling back the layers and layers of protective armor that have been part of me for so long. This is my time to shed the fat suit FOREVER. Get off the sidelines and join me on this journey we call life. See you on the trail to the top of our mountain. I will be the one cheering you on and pulling you up when you stumble. Love, Karalee

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Grateful for Boulders

Boulders. OK. You might ask why I would be grateful for boulders so I will tell you. As I journey through life there always seem to be big giant boulders in my way. Many of them I can easily roll out of my way because I have seen that particular boulder before. I have learned how to break it into smaller pieces because I have had success in moving that boulder out of my life. There is this one boulder that keeps appearing in my path. This boulder I just can't move out of the way. I have to climb over it. Sometimes I fall off the boulder and I slide back down scraping my hands, knees and face. The scratches bleed a little, they sting and hurt. Sometimes I just decide to turn around and find an easier path. The problem with the easier path is it circles around until I am back standing in front of this boulder again. This boulder comes in many shapes and sizes and it usually is disguised as another kind of rock. So when I start to break into smaller pieces It just keeps getting bigger. This boulder is called FEAR. This week the boulder has been disguised as anger, resentment, stress and negative thoughts.

So at 4:30 am when I couldn't sleep I opened my daring greatly book and I read this quote Dad told me months ago. "PEACE is the absence of fear and a movement into LOVE." So today I want to conquer this boulder. I asked myself what am I afraid of? Success, accomplishing my goal, not having anyone to blame for my success or failure. Being enough, reaching my dreams, letting go of the familiar and becoming a new me.

I know this side of the boulder very well. I have climbed it for 30 plus years. This side of the boulder is safe. I know that if I stumble and fall I will get hurt but I know how to bandage those wounds. I have used food as a way to stuff down the feelings of anger, resentment, stress and negative thoughts. Only this time I have changed my relationship with food. I don't use it as a way to push the feelings away. It won't calm my fears anymore and bring me temporary peace. I know that to conquer this boulder of fear I need to take love in my backpack so I can get to the top. Love is hard thing to keep a hold of. Especially love for myself but it is the only way to get to the top.

Today I literally climbed this boulder. It is made of concrete. I have come to the top of the boulder many times in the past few weeks. I have stepped onto the bridge and walked part way and then turned around and went back to what was familiar. The other side of the bridge held peace and progress but I was to afraid to keep my eye on the goal and put one foot in front of the other.

Many of you know I have an extreme fear of heights. The concrete boulder I am referring to is the sky-bridge that goes across Bangerter Highway @ 7800 South, in West Jordan, Utah. I have wanted to conquer this fear of heights but I stopped every time but not today. I walked across the bridge and went down the other side. Then to prove to myself that it wasn't just a fluke, I walked back up the concrete hill and crossed the bridge again. I kept my eye on the goal and did it. This is a metaphor for the boulder of FEAR that keeps showing up in my path. I walked up one side of the boulder, crossed the bridge, found peace and held onto love.

I love myself too much to quit this journey. There will be many more mountains to climb, boulders of FEAR disguised as anger, resentment or stress to move out of my path. Today I put extra love into my backpack for next time I come across this boulder. I know that if I fall I can get back up and dust myself off and try again. I am learning to love myself enough to continue on this journey. Peace is the absence of fear and a movement into love. I chose Love for today. I am worth it. I choose success. I choose to keep walking.

Friday, August 16, 2013

My Journey Begins

What got me started was a diabetes diagnosis. I have struggled with my weight since I was a toddler. I can't remember ever being thin. I used food as a way to cope with my feelings whether they were happy or sad. I read a book in January of this year by Bob Harper called "Are you ready?" The writing exercises in this book changed me forever. I changed they way I looked at food. When I changed my relationship with food it no longer soothed or brought comfort when I was feeling sad, angry, depressed or happy. Food finally lost it's power over me. I am trying to make this a permanent lifestyle change. I have finally learned what a portion size is. That has made a ton of difference. I eat my favorite foods not just celery and salad. I just eat the correct portion for the food. I don't feel deprived and I have had success. I have been at this journey for 133 days and I have lost 73.8 lbs. I started at 402.6 lbs so this might not be typical for everyone. I have reversed the diabetes diagnosis. I have completed three 5K's(walking for now.) a one mile race and I am planning to do three more 5K's before the end of the year. I feel after trying and failing so many times to get this weight off this time is different because I have changed my way of thinking. I am not on diet. I am trying to add back years onto my life so I can stop living on the sidelines for the second half of my life. I have stumbled and had to pick myself up and begin again. It's not easy to change yourself from the inside out but I believe and have read others stories on here that no matter how many times they have stumbled. They pick themselves up, dust themselves up and keep going. In my second 5K I had to literally do this. I was at about mile 2 and I started believing all the people who think I cannot do this. I hit a mental wall and I sat down and cried for 15 minutes. These two sweet ladies sat by me and let me cry. When I knew the only way I was going to get off the trail was either by my own feet or in an ambulance, I dug deep into my reserves and got up and finished the race. I was last but that wasn't the important thing. I didn't quit. I picked myself up and finished. Our lifestyle change is like this. No one else can do this for us. No magic pill exists. We choose what goes in our mouths each day, we choose whether we are going to be active and exercise. If we love ourselves enough then we get up each day and make the best choice for us. My little successes keep me motivated but each person has to motivate themselves. 'My Fitness Pal' is a great tool and I love the support from people all over the world. But I know that I am the only one that's going to get myself out of bed to exercise, eat the food that helps my body to work properly and continue to make this lifestyle change permanent.