Pearls of Wisdom?

I don't really know that I have any insights, but people are always asking me how I am doing it and why.

I'll start with the why. I never really felt good about myself, but I thought I'd lived fat for so long that's just the way it was going to be. In 2000 I decided to make it a goal to love and accept myself the way I am. I worked on self acceptance and got there. For the most part I was pretty happy with who I was.

So why change? Well, I had spent years working on my brain. I had always told myself that if I couldn't be pretty then I would be smart. I've pursued a number of professional certifications. I finished my MaEd in the Summer of 2001. I had worked my way into teaching the highest level classes in my department. All in all, I was pretty darn happy with myself!

So what made a difference? Well, I realized that if I truly did love myself I wasn't showing it by continuing to eat like a teenager. I decided that I would work on my body...just be a little vain and a little selfish for awhile. I looked at a lot of programs (after trying to do it on my own...a feat for which I didn't have the willpower) and decided that I would try this only once, I would do it sensibly, and it would be a life changing experience!

So here I am about nine months later truly amazed with how far I've come. I am actually feeling good about the way I look! My goal is to get to 130 pounds. I hit that on December 14, 2002. Now I'm on maintenance and am learning where my body wants to stop.

Update: Here I am now on the anniversary of my goal! I've been at goal for four years, but my focus hasn't changed. Oh it's not always "easy", but it's always worth it. I'm so thankful for the good health I have now that I can't imagine going back to abusing my body with food and lack of exercise!

Future Goals

There are a few things I'd like to do related to my physical self.
  • I'm going to walk in the Relay for Life in June 2002 with my kids in FBLA.  I did it! I walked for well over six hours. Oh man was I sore the next day, but it felt awesome.
  • Run the 1 mile Berry Run. I am not a "runner" but I can probably jog! I did this too! I came in dead last, but that's okay. I was late starting and we let these three little kids run with us who were also late. They wanted to walk more than run, hence the stunning "20 minute mile." I'm down to a 10 minute mile now as I've been running three days a week.
  • Body for Life challenge.
  • Join a Tae Kwon Do class.
  • Work out every single day. I do this now! I work out mornings and evenings. In the mornings I do Curves. In the evenings I go to the YMCA.
  • Stay with the Weight Watchers program for at least two years, formally. I've been on it two years and I have decided to stick with it. While I do journal on Fitday (available at I also journal every day on Weight Watchers Online. 
  • Continue working until I am a size 8 and weigh under 140 pounds. Wow, I'm a size 2/4 now at 115 pounds. I think I'm going to stop here because I'm feeling really good. We'll see!
  • Participate in the Danskin Triathlon in August 2004. I did it! I also did Danskin in 2005 and 2006! I am currently seriously training for a half ironman, although I haven't the guts to sign up yet.

Weight Goals

  • 175: Roller Coaster weight and Driver's License weight. At this point I will match my DL and will feel comfortable going on a roller coaster.
  • 150: Cruise husband and I want to go on a cruise.
  • 135: Goal! I may get another tattoo!
  • Okay, 130 is now my new goal because at 145 I don't feel like I have only 10 pounds to lose. So at 130, who knows what I'll do to celebrate!
  • Final goal was 130 but am now at less than 120 and I like it here!
  • Update: I've maintained between 117-120 for four years now and I like that. We never did go on a cruise, but instead I did the second best thing I've ever done for myself (with weight loss being first) and got Lasik surgery. It's like a miracle!


Secrets of My Success

I journal every day using the online program at Weight Watchers. If I am out of town, I journal on my PDA.


My husband eats healthy with me. Even if he wasn't on program, I would never consider making another meal for him nor for children if I had them. If I am eating healthy I value my family enough to give them the same foods.


I make food choices based on what I like to eat, not what I think I should eat, within reason. I try to think of my diet as a "training table". Food fuels my body, it does not feed my soul.


I tailor my eating to when it works best for me. For me that means light breakfast and snacks in the evenings. I still get in my veggies, though! I promise!


I exercise every day, if possible. I now consider myself as an active person. I have recently started thinking of myself as an athlete. I like that definition!


I take on challenges on the WW boards.  I find that setting goals really helps me to focus. I still do this even though I've hit goal.


I don't take a day off...okay, I didn't journal on my birthday my first year and enjoyed a healthy but non-point meal on my anniversary my first year...but other than that I have been 100% on program. Since July 20, 2002, I have been on program every day except when I was in the hospital (who can journal that stuff they feed you through a tube?)


I do not believe in going off program. If I choose to indulge I do it within the program. That includes vacations. I used to use a modified vacation plan where I eat all of my activity points. I earn a LOT of APs on vacation. So far I've had only a one pound gain from a vacation (I've taken at least two a year). I lost three the week after the pound gain. That has been my only gain on program. The last vacation (Summer 2006) I stayed on program without going into the AP thing and ended up losing two pounds. I just ate 30 points a day.


I eat at the low end and work out every day so I can bank 5-9 points a day. On the weekends I feel free to dip into my bank. I always have one high day on the weekend to keep my metabolism guessing. Now with the new flex plan, I eat a target of 27, use APs on Friday, and use some flex points on the weekend. Essentially I'm doing things the same way I always have.


I participate in mailing lists and the online bulletin boards.


I treat myself, but only within points. I try to eat as "normally" as possible. I know me. If I feel deprived, forget about it.


I set up milestones for myself. For example, I treated myself to a pedicure after my 30 pound loss. After the first of the year I treated myself to Laser Surgery on my eyes. Imagine being able to wake up and SEE!


My life gets too crazy and too busy and when I get stressed I don't want to have to worry about food! I try to make sure I have plenty of low point meals around so meals are simple to put together.


I don't jump on the excuse wagon. Stress, someone's birthday, the cookies called my name, being really hungry, eating out, etc. are not excuses to stop eating in a healthy manner. I simply do not bow to those temptations. That doesn't mean I won't have a piece of cake on my husband's birthday. It means I'll eat a light lunch, journal the small piece of cake, and eat it within my program.


I don't think of this as a diet, but as a sensible way of eating.

New Goals

  • Maintain my weight loss...forever.
  • Become a personal trainer.
  • Learn to ski. Learn to kayak. Not die doing either.
  • Run an ultra marathon.
  • Run 100 miles.
  • Half Ironman Triathlon
  • 100 mile (century) bike ride
  • Compete in something other than running
  • Do the "Goofy" at Disneyworld--run the half marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday. Not die doing either.
  • Hike the Grand Canyon
  • Bike through part of Europe
  • Never stop thanking the Lord that I can set goals like this because I am healthy!

Cool Things

  • Even though I've always been an energetic person, I have WAY more energy than I've ever had before.
  • I feel active! I love that!
  • I'm wearing a size 2. I haven't worn a size 2 EVER. I can even get into some size 1s and 0s!! I remember wearing a size 9 in high school. I know sizes are different now, but I truly don't think I've looked this good since right around high school.
  • I am exercising seven days a week without excuse. I started slow and worked up to Curves six days a week and the YMCA seven days a week. I do the elliptical or run on the treadmill, then I do weights (alternating arms one day, legs the next), I do 15 minutes of abs and 10 minutes of stretches.Update: In 2006 I now run about five miles a day five days a week, with a long run of at least ten miles on the weekend (more if I'm training for a marathon). I swim twice a week and lift weights twice a week. Fridays are rest days, very important. I do back exercises (700 crunches and other things for my bad back) every night that I'm able.
  • There are muscles in my arms. I  don't know how they got there...but they are there! Update: They're still there!
  • I am able to take off all of my rings! In fact, I had to get one resized. My beautiful energy ring. The man who made it, who is an awesome guy, actually replaced my size 10 ring with a size 7. Check out the ring at his website. I have the sterling silver one. Update: My rings never did get resized and now I have smaller rings to hold on the ones that are too big. I really should do something about that. Oh, I did get the energy ring resized, though.
  • I coached my first time ever in the summer of 2006. I was a coach for Seattlefit the red marathon team. Most of my people were first time marathoners. It was SO much fun!
  • I no longer feel like my fat tells people who I am before I have a chance to open my mouth. I always felt like judgements were passed in the first moments of seeing me that I had to "undo"...and sometimes couldn't undo. It is so freeing to be able to walk down the street and NOT feel like anyone is looking at me. Okay, maybe every now and again I'm running in the rain and someone might think "What a nut!" but that's okay! I'd rather be thought of as a running nut than as lazy or unfit simply because of my size. (And no matter WHAT size, I have never EVER been lazy!)
  • I can tuck things in! I can wear belts! Someone told me I have "skinny legs." Me! Skinny!
  • I had surgery (Jan 21, 2003) to remove a pancreatic tumor. I have bounced back so fast and the doctor says it's because I was so healthy to begin with! Wahoo! I had to have two more surgeries, pretty darn major ones too, in April of 2003 and even though I had a few setbacks, I rallied very quickly again. By June I was back in the gym seven days a week!
  • Six days after the first major abdominal surgery I was back in the gym working out very carefully and within doctor's orders...but I was there! After the second and third surgeries I was back in the gym within a week of being released from the hospital.
  • A year after my surgeries I was as healthy as a horse! I'm exercising 90 minutes a day, training for a Triathlon and half marathon. I feel just absolutely incredible. 
  • Three years later, still healthy, still horsey! I do suffer from bouts of pancreatitis every 6-8 weeks, though. That can be a major bummer. However it's better than pancreatic cancer, so I count myself blessed!
  • I've been in two magazines (National Enquirer and Women's Own from the UK), and will soon be in Family Circle. I was a Weight Watchers Success Story in early 2006. I was on online ads for MONTHS in 2006 (which was kind of funky).

Last updated December 14, 2006--my Goalaversary!