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?