Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I'm Really on this Journey

This has been one long journey for me. Only now do I feel safe enough to share.  I feel fairly confident in myself that this is not just a phase in my life, but a lifestyle change.  Here goes.
Over the last five years I have slowly packed on the weight.  I watched myself go from a size eight up to a very snug size twelve.  Out of desperation, I kept squeezing into my size twelve clothing denying that I was getting bigger despite the numbers on the scale constantly going up. 
The kids would hug me and say how soft and squishy I was.  I believe they were being sweet and sincere, but who appreciates their muffin top being admired?
I tried a few different diets over the years, each only lasting a week or two only to gain the weight back and then some.  I'm sure some of you have been there.  All gung ho the first few days but inside feeling deprived, and unmotivated.  I truly blamed my full hysterectomy for my weight problem and my having to cook for all the kids.   Admittedly, I cringed whenever I heard of anyone else's success.  I even wished a twinkie truck would crash in front of their house and spill out all over their front yard to sabotage their progress. 
Yes, I was in a secret dark place.
And it did nothing for my overall self esteem.
Honestly, I had resolved myself to being an overweight, squishy lady who had to buy bigger pants each year. 
Then I began to see others post about their weight loss using an expensive program.  I was curious and for the first time, motivated to learn more about getting healthy.  When I inquired, I knew I wanted what they were doing, but I also knew that I could not justify to myself spending that much money on something that if I truly wanted enough, I could work on the good ol' fashioned way.
Yet, I was convinced that I needed some sort of weight loss shake so I began researching.  I compromised and bought one container of meal replacement shake for $45.
I almost peed in my pants when it came-- I was so excited.
All my hope was in that stupid shake mix.
And then I made my first shake.
And one word came to mind.
Gag me.  Oh, that's two words.
Over the days I tried to make the stuff tolerable with banana, mint, or coffee.  Every morning I entertained my girls with my near gagging when I tried to stomach the stuff.
No wonder people lose weight with this stuff, I thought.  They just don't drink it!
And yet during this time, I was beginning to lose weight.  Not because of the shake mix, but because of one amazing person's testimony who has lost over seventy pounds in the last year, the good ol' fashioned way of diet and exercise.  I was beginning to eat differently, and exercise.
Thank you Joanie from the bottom of my heart.
On August 25, 2013 I decided to start eating less and drink a ton of water.  On August 30 I did something out of character for me and stopped by the gym and did the fastest mile I could.  Eighteen minutes it took me.  That's right.  Eighteen minutes.
But I did it!  I had went to the gym.
Joanie told me that if I went enough times, I would become addicted.  I secretly laughed at her, but was still truly inspired by her no gimmicks approach to weight loss. 
If she could do it, so could I.
A few days later, I went to the gym again.  And then again. 
I had lost about 4 pounds by this time.
I was down to about 800 calories a day and began drinking Sweet Greens and Lemon juice a few times a week.  And I made sure to take all my vitamins.
Today marks one full month of eating healthy, and going to the gym at least five times a week if not more.  I can walk/jog/run a mile in just under fourteen minutes.  Officially I have lost 13.6 pounds and just under 170 pounds.  I am wearing a skirt today that I haven't worn in a very long time.  I feel awesome!  I am motivated.  I have energy.  I sleep so much better.  And I don't deprive myself of everything like I had done with other diets.
John is very supportive too.  He goes to the gym with me when he can and he eats the healthy stuff with me too.  Gosh, I love him.  The kids are great too with their encouraging words.
So, how do I keep it down to about 800 calories a day?  Well, let me tell you about the day we went to In and Out for Dennis' birthday.  I knew I wanted a cheeseburger-- no fries and a diet coke.  (Normally I don't drink soda at all, but it had been awhile and a carbonated drink sounded really good.)  That was about 500 calories so I had to figure out how to only eat 300 calories for the rest of the day.  I drank a Sweet Greens and Lemon for breakfast which is 100 calories.  And I had a bowl of salad with a vinaigrette dressing with a few flaxseed crackers and a bite of jello for lunch.  It wasn't even hard to do as I imagined being able to eat the whole burger for dinner.  And oh my-- was it the best burger I have ever eaten-- I enjoyed it so much!  And I was totally full after just my burger because of my stomach shrinking. 
I also bought some Special K meal replacement bars as a treat for when the kids eat dessert like a brownie or piece of cake.  They taste pretty good and are fairly low in calories at just 170 calories per bar.  I started out eating about 1/2 of a bar but now that's even too sweet for me so I eat just a few bites and my sugar craving is fixed.

Here I am a month ago.                                                            Here I am this morning.
This morning I really want to encourage you.  If you are wanting to get healthy and start losing weight-- I know you can do it!  You really can. Whether it be the ol' fashioned way like me, or a program like Weight Watchers, or meal replacement shake of some kind-- find what works for you.  Don't give up.  Talk to someone who will encourage you and keep in touch with that person.  Drink lots and lots of water too.  That will make a difference!


  1. Good for you sister!! You can and are doing it. You really should try clif bars. They are around 250 calories but packed with 9-10 grams of protein keeping you feeling fuller longer. And they come in about 8 flavors including blueberry crisp and white chocolate macadamia. Yum!! Provides lots of energy.

    1. I was going to suggest z bars. They r for kids and made by Cliff bars. They only have 120 calories. They have them on amazon subscribe and save. Also target and trader joes. Super cheap. Flavors like choc brownie. Graham cracker. Oatmeal cookie. Cliff bars are huge and would take up a third of your calories. Oh and 800 calories is way to low. U need at least 1200. Your hair may start falling out. Nails brittle. U need healthy oils. That is hard with800 cal.

      U look good!! I bought a fit bit and do WW. It converts to about 1400 to 16oo calories and I am losing. I weigh 165.

  2. Great job Christine! I can attest to how even just drinking more water and running helps with weight loss! For thr last 18 months I was living in Taiwan, and slowly was gaining weight because the food was so good! We had time set aside everyday for exercise, but I never used it well. One day I decided I needed to start running, and when I did, the weight started coming off. I was able to loose 10+ lbs in 6 weeks. Now that im back in the US I am so busy with school and work, im not running any more, but you reminded me how doing that will get me back in shape!

    Good luck!!

  3. Good for you sister!! You can and are doing it. You really should try clif bars. They are around 250 calories but packed with 9-10 grams of protein keeping you feeling fuller longer. And they come in about 8 flavors including blueberry crisp and white chocolate macadamia. Yum!! Provides lots of energy.

  4. You look great! I am so proud of you for going to the gym and for investing in your health. Some people see exercise time as selfish time away from the kids, but it truly is an investment in the family. They need you for many years to come.

  5. Good for you in trying to get healthy!

    I don't want to be negative at all, but I have heard that you need at least 1200 calories in a day or else your body goes into "starvation mode" and you don't even lose weight, anyway. To be healthy, I would set up a plan - free and easy and helps you decide how much you want to lose and how fast you want to lose it.

    Good luck!

  6. You look fabulous!! Congratulations on all your hard work! It sure is paying off!

  7. Christine, that is awesome!!!! Alan and I made the same change two and a half years ago and it has been wonderful. I was with you on watching my weight go up and up and then finally decided to do something about it for good. Keep up the good work!!!

  8. Fantastic! You look wonderful in your skirt!

  9. Christine, make sure you are eating enough, otherwise your body will go in starvation mode. You need to start a little higher on the calories so as you keep losing weight you can bump down your calorie intake, otherwise if you start to low, you can't eat any less than you already are.
    Cousin Jenn

  10. I'm so happy for you!!! Going to the gym helps so much. After a while, you become addicted to going! You feel better, look better, and you're healthier. Go for it!!!!

  11. Hooray for you! I've been fighting my weight for a longtime - lose than gain it back. I've started walking and watching what I eat again. Thanks for the encouragement.

  12. Such a huge, huge difference! I want to echo what the others are saying, anything under about 1200 and your body will go into starvation. You'll loose a lot at first, but pretty soon your body will just hang on to the fat!

    Are you on myfitnesspal? It is amazing and such a HUGE community of support!

    1. I already commented but " starvation mode" is a myth. Have u seen third world countries? They lose weight. Not stay the same. Google it. Even WW teaches that starvation mode is a myth. U just won't be able to get enough carbs fiber and protein and good fat for 80o cal

  13. Congratulations! I was finding the same thing happening the last few years, my weight slowly creeping up. For medical reasons I had to remove most starches from my diet as well as dairy (for my dairy intolerant nursing babe). I lost ALL of the weight in just a few months and was down to my pre-pregnancy weight (after 7 kids!) This year I read the book "Trim Healthy Mama" that helped me understand the changes that had happened in my metabolism as I entered my 30's and why those changes in my diet let me lose my weight. You may find the book interesting, and helpful as you continue on this journey.
    Keep up the good work!

  14. Great job! So happy for you!

    I have lost 65 pounds in the past year . . . the old fashioned way (except with adding a protein shake).

    At 800 calories per day, don't worry about eating too little. Just pay attention to how your body is responding. I go through phases where 800 calories per day is what I need to lose weight. Then, when my body goes into starvation mode, I need to up it to 900-1000. After awhile, I go back down to 800. You will get to know what YOUR body needs, and that's what's important. The more you exercise, the more calories you need to be taking in. I need to eat more than 800 calories per day if I am exercising.

    Let me know if you want the name of a good tasting protein shake. I really do love mine. It's a bit more expensive, but it is a high quality whey protein with very few calories. (Some shakes are actually pretty high in calories.)

    Sadly, even after losing 65 pounds, I still weigh more than you do. :( I can hardly wait to get into a size 12. :) But . . . I am hoping to lose another 60 pounds this year. Slow and steady. I know that we can do it.



  15. Congratulations. You look good and I bet you feel even better.

    I just started a VLC diet (very low calorie)and my daily caloric intake is between 600-800. There are 3 "free anytimes" that I use.... sugar-free popsicles, sugar free Jell-O and dill pickles. That has helped me quite a bit... I keep them on hand.

    Good luck.

  16. Thanks for all the encouraging words!

  17. Gabe, thank you for your own testimony. I will check out that book.

  18. Laurel-- I wish I could give you a big hug. Just so you know, your success has also been an encouragement to me-- however at the time that you shared about your weight loss I was quite jealous and not in the right frame of mind to start this journey. Then when I saw how good you looked this last time I was more ready to make the change. I am so happy to hear that you listened to your body and ate the amount of calories that felt right for you. The thing about what I am doing right now is that I feel great and am drinking healthy juice, eating lots of fruits and veggies, balancing it out with protein, and have cut out most white bread and sugars. :) Thanks again!

  19. I'm doing a similar calorie counting diet and must say 800 is close to too low. If you want to stay in that range of for it maybe just make sure your supplementing for any vitamins and protein your lacking?

  20. This is so awesome! I'm a week into a last ditch attempt to lose 20lbs... this was just what I needed to see. Thank you for posting this, and congrats and good luck on your weight loss journey!

  21. This is awesome! You look fantastic already. I went through a similar thing nearly 4 years ago when I joined a gym. It was one of the best things I did. I started out by doing Zumba and was hooked right away. Eventually, I added cross fitness classes and running. Unfortunately, I developed plantar fasciitis and a I still have a painful bursa on my left heel so I haven't been able to run. Have you tried a Zumba class, yet? With your beautiful crew, you could have your very own class. :-)

  22. Christine, You look gorgeous, and I admire your dedication! How proud you must feel about yourself, and rightly so! You go, girl!

    SAMANTHA- sorry about your plantar fasciitis: try Aqua Zumba instead! It is super fun, and does not put the same physical stresses on your body, yet still gets those muscles moving! I've done aqua Zumba for 3 years and it's the best thing!!


  23. Sounds like your "diet" or "healthy eating plan" is very similar to mine. :) I'm not a juicer, but I love my protein shakes with frozen fruit in them.

    If you want to read more about my year long weight loss process, you can pop over to my blog and go to the link in the archives called "Takin' Care of Mama". I have written quite a lot of details about what has and has not worked.

    Right now, we are going through a lot of tough stuff, and I am having a HARD time getting back on track with the diet after our month long road trip. (the emotional eating is what kills me . . . I am a late night eater when I'm stressed)

    Glad I have been an inspiration to you. :) Now, you are an inspiration to me.

    Let's Do This!!!

    Laurel :)

  24. This is awesome Christine!! Great about the exercise and the healthy life style....BUT I do think 800 calroies is too little...As you know I am a stauch supporter of Weight watchers lost 33 pounds on it, my Mom 49 pounds...YOu can eat more and lsoe weight...and WW will help you maintain....

    But you look GREAT!

  25. Dear Christine I was a fat FAT teenager. I was fed up with mean comments and to be tired just climbing the stairs. I started diet at 19 to go to Uni in shape. It took me 5 years to go to an XL to a medium size, but never gained weight anymore. In the last years because of Italy economic crisis (groceries cost a fortune) I started eating almost everything home made, and I go to work with my bike because gas is to expensive. In one year I lost two sizes and now everybody keep asking why I'm loosing weight and how I do it. I've lost my taste for prepackaged food, I like raw veg and fruit and I cannot stand any kind of fried food or chocolate. They just taste YUK to me. My metabolism has changed for the better and for good. Hang in there you will be rewarded! By the way I'm ha very happy, very proud, very healthy size 8! I wasn't I size 8 since I was 14 yrs old!

  26. Excellent work! Wow!!! A+ for your commitment and decision to go to the gym! I use myfitnesspal, a phone app to track my calories, water, and exercise, and I couldn't recommend it more (60 lbs so far, where are the pounds going?)

    I will say, though, that you may soon want to consider upping your caloric intake, probably between 1200 and 1500. "Starvation mode" isn't really a problem until you are severely underweight, but it does put extra strain on your body, trying to recover and burn properly. Take it into consideration! Hoorayyyy!

  27. Wonderful job !!......I am doing "Trim Healthy Mama" written by two Christian dieting, no meal replacements....sensible....combining the right foods together and it works ! and easy to also feed your kids the same as's hard and we all have to find the right fit.

  28. Wow! You look great and I'm inspired! I could have written your exact words (except my weight is a little higher than yours!) and have been wanting to make a change for so long. I refuse to buy bigger clothes but am so unhappy with how I look in my current pants. SO... I'm going for it tomorrow! I am just going to jump in and do it! I've seen so many people lose weight the "old fashioned" way and since its the only way I can afford I'm just going to do it. I've never tried to lose weight before, I was always happy with my weight until after my last child and now it just seems like I am just getting bigger and bigger. I get tired just going up the stairs at home, how pathetic!!! So, thanks for inspiring me to just do it. I'm done with excuses and my old standby, "I'll start tomorrow". Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  29. Dear Christine,
    I agree that you probably want to slow your rate of loss down, for all the reasons listed above. But, I find that I can hit it for awhile and then my body fights back big time and I feel starved. I have found 400 mg of raspberry ketones 2x/day (800 total) are cheap and don't give jitters. They are subtle but take the edge off when that "gotta eat" feeling hits. I do think your body gets inured to them, though. So, keep up what is working, but think about RK as a backup plan if your willpower flags. It is a lifetime fight!

  30. I think it's great that you're eating a healthy diet and exercising. Just a word of warning. The biggest predictor for eating disorders in girls is mum's who diet. Make sure it's not about weight loss, but healthy lifestyle, and get rid of the scales if you can bring yourself to. You'll know you've lost weight when you fit into smaller clothes, and you'll take the pressure off yourself at the same time. Better still, you'll be doing your daughters a massive favour.
    When we diet we send our kids the message that we aren't good enough as we are. Up until then they had no idea you weren't perfect. If you're not perfect, they mustn't be either - and onto the eating disorder bandwagon they go. That's the short, ridiculously simplistic explanation.
    Definitely not intending to discourage - go the healthy lifestyle option. But make sure you're in control of the message you're sending them.

  31. Wow so great to hear you are taking control of your health, I just wanted to encourage you on your choice of low calorie eating, I helped out my dad the same way. He tried many diets over the years when he turned 50 but it would never last longer than 10 pounds and the weight would creep back, it seemed like the diet itself was just not enough of a change... so one day we decided to cut his calories down to 1000 a day, no cheating, lots of healthy veg and low calorie bread since he loves peanut butter sandwiches. I am happy to report that he lost 45 pounds in four months only cheating on Christmas and has kept it off by adding in exercise and "cheating" on the weekends. Praying for you, please share your sweet greens drink, it sounds interesting!

  32. So happy for you Christine!! I am so happy you shared your success here as I know you'll be an inspiration for others!!!

  33. You should search for a 5 k for you and your homeschoolers to aim for this winter!

  34. wow you look really different and way more beautiful..congrates!! keep it up and lose more weight :)

  35. You look truly amazing! And think of the message you are sending your children: You are in control of your own body. I'm so happy for you!

  36. Yes, I agree that you might try or the paid site (just use the free trial period) to get your "official" weight loss calorie target. 800 is a bit low and might boomerang on you after a while ... meaning weight plateau or feeling starved suddenly. But hey! you are doing GREAT especially with the gym! going on most days is AWESOME and what will see you through to your goal weight, AND will be the thing that keeps you there to maintain it!
    Thanks for sharing your experience and for motivating me to hit the gym! :)

  37. You look beautiful!
    Fitness pal is a great way to help you track your calories. You can use your computer or on an app for you phone.

  38. Great job. Would you consider checking out the book trim healthy mama? It is a Biblical approach, and not so restricting. I lost 40 pounds and was never hungry once. They have a Facebook fan page. It has been a blessing to my friends and me!

  39. Congratulations! You are such an inspiration.

  40. Christine you look fantastic! Whatever u did to get in shape has really worked lol if only i could get my clients to follow instructions they would look as good!


I find your comments so inspiring! Thanks for visiting our family blog, and sharing your thoughts.