Makeover Madness

About a month or two ago, a friend approached me at the gym. Angela Way, who is a local cosmetologist and gym buddy, wanted to treat me to a makeover at her salon, Apparenza Salon.  She was so inspired by my story and journey that she wanted me to have the Hollywood experience of getting a head to toe new look.  I put it off for a while, not expecting her generousity to come to fruition, and it seemed to good to be true.

Well a few days ago she had a cancellation and wanted to do my makeover before the New Year. I had NO idea what I was in store for.  I agreed to let her make all the decisions and just go with it.  I tend to over control my life and I knew this would be difficult for me but an awesome experience.  So I decided to let go and sit in the chair!


551487_10102365103934859_533706922661626621_nI have been growing my hair for a long time and had gotten to the point where I didn’t really care about it anymore.  If I can put it in a pony tail, I’m good.  I’ve never been a girly girl and find it easy to not care about things like hair and makeup.  She told me the colors she was thinking any why.  I said, “Sounds great!” and then she made the first cut.

10897770_10102365104099529_7654995001928513278_nI’m panicking a little at this point because my hair has been so long for so long but I go with it!  Now it’s time for color.  Wow.  I have only had my hair colored at the salon once or twice.  Some of you ladies put a lot of work into this!  I had no idea how much time was necessary!  I got two colors of highlights:


And then dye all over.  Not a speck of my old hair left!


At this point I’m excited for it to be done!  The whole process took four hours!  I couldn’t believe that Angela took four hours of her own time when she could have been doing other clients, to spend with me.  We talked about my journey and I was able to share a little with a few other clients in the salon.

The results! Before I post the picture, I first wanted to express my gratitude!  The work that Angela did was TOP NOTCH and to have ‘earned it’ with my incredible story is unbelievable.  I still can’t believe that this happened to me!  I now feel like a movie star and everyone should know who I am. I’m SUPER excited to go out for New Year’s Eve tonight in my tiny little dress and new super hot hair.

Thank you Angela for your work, dedication and generosity.  I promise to pay it forward ten-fold!  Also, thank you to Apparenza Salon here in Denver for the incredible afternoon.

IMG_0649.JPG ***Of course I’m in my gym clothes because that’s how I feel the most Sexy!

I feel like I haven’t known what I look like for the last year.  Now I keep passing mirrors and have NO idea who that person is.  Again, no matter what I look like on the outside, I hope you can see how much I’ve changed on the inside because that is what really counts.

To the gym for a New Year’s Eve workout!

Tomorrow: New Year’s resolutions and pics of the tiny dress!

Clothes For Christmas

One of the biggest differences I saw in my presents from previous years to this year was that lots of people gave me clothes! As an overweight person, people tend not to give you clothes as gifts.  I think this is for a few reasons.  Most people probably don’t want to guess your size and accidentally offend you by it being too small or too large.  Which in my case, they were usually too small.  Mystery-Gift

Another reason is that not all stores carry plus sizes.  So to get a pair of yoga pants for everyone you know, would require a separate trip to a separate store to get something for someone who is plus size.  Most 2X’s in the store would not fit me at my heaviest weight.  I needed a 2X from a plus size store.  To someone who has been shopping regular sizes their whole life, this is a totally foreign concept.  They might not even realize that there’s a difference.

Another reason is because overweight people don’t really request clothes which would require having to give their size. My mom would often give me and my sister similar gifts for Christmas, a like a nice pair of pajamas.  She would have to ask my husband what my size was, who would guess, and they would never fit.  I remember a particular Christmas she wanted to get us luxurious jammies from Victoria Secret.  Nothing from the entire store would fit me so she went to a plus size store.  My sister ended up with a cute, silky and sexy PJ set.  I ended up with a rhinestone sleep shirt/dress.  Now this was not my mom’s intent.  She just wanted to get us something we would never get for ourselves.  But this is a perfect example of how shopping for plus size people is super difficult, especially if you’ve never been plus size.  I ended up returning the jammies that year for something else.


So most people just play it safe and give you a scarf or a book.  I have more scarves and books than I could ever use! (Good thing I love both!)

But this year I got all kinds of cute new things!  Almost everything fit and a few things were actually too big!  I had requested a few shirts for the gym and a nice sweatshirt.  There is a brand, let’s call them…….The South Face, that always has super cute sweatshirts.  You see them all the time around Denver.  They are a great brand but their sizes run small.  If I’m a Medium in everything else, I’m a large with them.  Large is their largest size as well.  So it was kind of a weird goal of mine to be able to own and wear one of these sweatshirts!  Santa left it under the tree!


I feel like the gifts you receive for Christmas is the image of yourself you’ve put out into the world.  My husband is pretty reserved with his coworkers and friends in life.  He ended up with coffee from almost everyone he knew because that’s the image he’s created for himself.  I got all sorts of fitness and health orientated things!  So that tells me that’s what people see in me now.  That’s what they know I enjoy and want to be a part of.

If you forgot to send a gift……….I need new running shoes! Size 10.  Must be cute.

I’m 30.

Well it’s finally here.  A day that I hoped would never come but I always knew it would; today I turn 30.  While there is a giant list of things I was hoping/wishing to do before I hit 30, I’m choosing to focus on all the things I DID accomplish before 30.


Of course I did all the things you’re supposed to do: married the man of my dreams, moved away, went to college, started a career…… but of course what I’m most proud of is that I got healthy and fit.

I was expecting to wake up and feel older than I did yesterday.  I know it’s silly but you expect to FEEL different.  Well this morning I woke up with all kinds of pops and aches.  For a brief second I thought I was ‘feeling my age’ and 30 had arrived to schmack me in the face! Then I remembered yesterday’s workout which was brutal and definitely the reason I’m sore today.

While there are thousands of things I wish I could have done before hitting 30, I’m SO glad I decided to take care of my health.  How many people, women especially, can wake up on their 30th birthday the happiest and healthiest they have ever been?  I can do things now that I never thought I could do.


I have run two 5K’s.  10670059_10102134237128789_6890645192360412873_n



I attend the gym 4 times away without question and have melted my body fat down to 19%!


I lost 130 pounds for crying out loud.


Most women are hoping to get back into their wedding dress someday.

I’m hoping mine never fits again.


Most women lie on their driver’s license.

Mine is 30 pounds over my actual weight.


Some women are still looking for the love of their life and I already have mine.


So although I’m sad to be in a new decade and say goodbye to the last year, at least I’m the best I’ve ever been! 29 was the best year of my life and I still have many milestones to go. So to repeat what I have said before, (I feel like a broken record lately but apparently someone out there needs to hear it, because I keep needing to say it!) DO IT NOW.  Do it for yourself and DO IT NOW.  The time is going to pass anyway.  I had to turn 30 regardless of how I looked, felt or thought about it.  30 came quicker than I thought it would and I’m so glad I made the commitment a year and half ago to do something about my health.  Your next milestone is coming, don’t you want to be the best you’ve ever been?

Here’s to another amazing year!

Post Christmas Yuck!

Hey All! I hope you made it through the holidays with healthy choices and lots of laughter!  I managed to make it through another holiday with no weight gain!  I definitely loosened the straps this holiday.  Over Thanksgiving, I was so worried that I probably focused on it more than necessary.  So for Christmas,  I wanted to let loose and just see what happened.

Granted, my stomach can NEVER eat the kinds of portions that I used to.  So even if I wanted to stuff myself, I really can’t anymore!  On Christmas Eve I ate two very luscious and rich meals.  I kept my portions in control but I could still feel the ‘food hangover’ the next day.  So what did I do? I ate more! On Christmas Day I made all sorts of bad choices: candy, Christmas Dinner, movie popcorn, alcohol and even POP.  I was very nervous about getting on the scale this morning but my metabolism has been keeping up better than I thought it would.


The weigh in went fine but when I woke up I felt GROSS.  All morning I kept feeling the sugar, carbs and yuck floating around in my body.  (TMI WARNING!) And I kept having to make trips to the bathroom over and over.  I knew I had to get to the gym.

So I went and did The Christmas Eve Workout again this morning and now I feel SOOO much better.  I keep forgetting that just because I CAN eat things like candy now and then, my body still doesn’t want them.  I’ve re-calibrated what my body craves and needs so much that now when I have a crappy eating day, it’s not worth it.  The feeling I had this morning was NOT WORTH eating everything I did!  Needless to say I had a giant salad for lunch and will be cooking a healthy meal tonight as well and already feel much better.

I think it’s fine to gorge for the holidays as long as you keep it reasonable.  What I have to remember next year, is the morning after Christmas YUCK.  For me it was not worth it!

Christmas Eve Workout

Today I wanted to workout even though it’s a ‘holiday’ just to put my mind at ease about all the junk I’ll be eating!  Also, I feel much better taking tomorrow off since I went today.  I usually attend classes where I just do what I’m told.  Today was a rare occasion where I worked out all alone.  Here’s what I did


Cardio: 15 minutes of running.

Weights:  12 Machines, 12 reps, Twice

Agility:  500 jump ropes

Abs:  50 reps between each 100 jumps

Time: 50 – 55 mins



Cardio: I always start with cardio to get it out of the way.  Also, it raises your heart rate for all the other exercises you are about to do.

Weights: When you’re looking to a full workout, it’s important that you do multiple muscle groups and not concentrate on one area. If you are a consist weight lifter, it’s ok to focus on 1-2 muscle groups at a time, but I’m used to full body workouts.  I did the following machines, some of these names I might have made up:

Leg Press, Box Jumps, Fly, Leg Curl, Leg Extension, Pull Ups, Tricep Dips, Biceps, Triceps, Shoulder Raise, Chest Press, Lateral Pull Down

Again, 12 reps each and 2 rounds on each machine.  I like to do my rounds one at a time and then go through again.  Most gyms have a ‘circuit’ of machines already set up.  Be sure to adjust machines so you don’t injure yourself.  I was lucky enough to be the only person using them so the second round took way less time because each machine was already set up for me.

Agility and Abs: It’s easy to just skip these two things but they make a huge difference.  Remember the Ali quote “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee?”  Well agility is essential to get the ‘athlete float’.  I love jumping rope because it’s also cardio.  Here’s the ab exercises I did, again, I think I made some of the names up:

50 Pike leg raise (arms and legs straight, raise to touch at the top), 100 Cross body air bike (alternate elbow to knee), 100 Medicine Ball bounce side to side, 50 per side oblique crunch, 3 minute plank.  I did these in between each set of 100 jump ropes.

Fitness christmas woman training


Here’s a modified version of my workout.  I work out a lot at a high intensity.  If you are at the beginning of your fitness, the above workout might be too much for you.  Here’s what you could do instead:

Cardio: 20 minutes of walk/run.  Try to alternate intervals at 2, 3 or 5 minutes.

Weights: 10 machines, (cut out pull up and box jumps) 10 reps, twice

Agility: As many jump ropes as you can, if you can’t jump rope yet, standing jumps, as many as you can. Or find something (a can of soup, a shoe, anything) and jump over it side to side for one minute intervals.

Abs:  Plank for as long as you can, 50 crunches, 50 per side oblique crunches

The point is to do what you can and then do it again! Hope this inspires some of you to get a Christmas workout in before the Roast Beast!

The Best Christmas Present Ever

This year I have been shocked by the generosity of family and friends for Christmastime. I keep finding myself wishing I was able to give more or do more for those around me.  It hit me just yesterday that I’ve already given all those I love the best present I could have: my life.

My biggest reason for losing weight was to extend my life expectancy.  I know I say this all the time, but I want more time on this earth with all the people I love. So this year for Christmas, I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been.  While you can’t wrap it with a bow or put it in a stocking, I know my family recognizes my weight loss as not only for me but for them too.

hands giving a christmas gift

Losing weight can often feel selfish. I hear this all the time, especially from women who have children.  Losing weight takes time and energy away from other areas of life.  I won’t pretend that it doesn’t.  However, learning to be selfish for your own health is a great lesson to learn.  Everyone in your life deserves the best version of you possible.  This goes for all areas of life, including health.  So this year, if you’re short on cash or just want to give the best present EVER, make a commitment to those around you to get healthy, whatever this may mean for you.

Remember, if you are already on your own journey, you can’t force those around you.  This year I sent out business cards in my Christmas cards for this very blog. I realized later that this may have been offensive to some.  I was trying to boost the views and get more support for those that are looking for advice.  But, I realized later that maybe some people thought I was sending them a backhanded clue.  But, then I realized I didn’t care.  Maybe if it offended someone, they will think twice about getting on this site.  You can’t force someone else down the path to health.  They have to decide for themselves.  But if you’re ready to start reaching out to others, just let them know you are there for support if they are ever needing it.

So for all of those that thought maybe their gift from me was a little light, that’s because it’s filled with years of extra life and time to spend with you! Merry Christmas Everyone!


The Ghost of Christmas Past

For the last 6 years, the hubby and I always try to take a holiday photo.  We have them arranged by year in matching frames on our bookcase.  This year I couldn’t wait to get our photo and put it in line next to the others. Here’s the last three years:




2014Messages Image(1653683775)

Obviously, there are huge differences in my weight.  I’m just guessing here but I think,

2012: 290 pounds.

2013:  215 pounds.

2014: 160 pounds.

But there are other differences too.  In all the photos from 2012 and before, they never show my body.  The photos are always ‘selfie style’ before it was cool.  One year I’m not even in the photo and it’s just Dan and the dog.

I could not wait to take this year’s photo.  Ever since we moved to Colorado we’ve been sending a photo inside our card just to check in with non-Facebook family.  When I look back at these three photos especially, I have mixed feelings.

I still believe I’m beautiful in all three of these photos.  I remember feeling beautiful, sexy and confident in all of them. They all have wonderful memories attached and I still feel that joy in my heart when I see them.  But as I stood and watched the progression after framing this year’s photo, I felt very sad too.  I feel like I don’t even recognize that person anymore.  Does that mean she’s gone?

I hope I have kept all the parts of that person that I loved and just changed what I didn’t.  There’s so much I hated about that body but loved about the person inside. So in some ways I LOVE our holiday photo this year.  I think I look hot, sexy and fit!  But I hope you can still see my spirit underneath.  Merry Christmas everyone!

The Ugly Sweater Run

*****I’ll be writing most of this week and next as I am on VACATION!  Check back for holiday related stories, tips and issues!


This weekend I ran my second 5K! I had signed me and the hubby up about a month ago purely based on the awesome swag they were giving away.  Instead of a t shirt or water bottle, they did vintage knit hats.  I have been looking forward to this silly hat, and planning my winter attire around it, so far this winter.  So I was quite excited.  Also, a few friends were running this time too, along with 5,000 other runners.  This was considered a ‘fun run’ where everyone dresses silly and there’s blow up figures everywhere. It was a much different atmosphere than my first 5K.  10805566_10102340261329639_8465037971576834130_n

Here were my goals for this 5K:

1. Run the whole thing and finish faster than last time.

2.  Have fun running with friends and my husband

3.  Kick my husband’s butt.

To be clear, I did not specifically train for this 5K either.  I have not upped my running outside of the gym.  My classes at the gym have become a little more cardio focused which has upped my endurance.  However, I’m still not running on my own.  My husband didn’t train……….at all and probably hasn’t run more than a mile since high school.  We do hike and he’s fairly active but I thought he would struggle for sure.

Mile 1:  Again, Mile 1 is always the easiest for me.  My body felt great that day and I wasn’t nervous at all about keeping up with everyone.  There were so many people that I knew no one was sizing me up.  Also, we were encouraged not take it too seriously since it was a fun run. I set my own timer as this race did not track the runners.  At 13 minutes I finally checked the time because we hadn’t seen a mile marker yet.  I was thinking, we HAVE to be done with the first mile.  The first mile was all within the stadium, so it was hard to me to track the distance.

10858505_10102344327500999_571868809184004207_nMile 2: (I’m guessing…..) Mile 2 is always hard for me.  It’s just longer than I usually run and my body starts to get mad.  I had a stomach cramp from (again…..guessing)  2.2 – 3.0 miles.  I told Dan, who was still running strong too, that I might have to stop soon.  Of course he didn’t care and was only keeping up with me at that point.  So three or four different times I almost stopped.  But I knew as soon as I walked, I would have wished that I didn’t.  The track got so thin sometimes I was even just running in place so that I didn’t walk.  I got through the cramp and then felt fine but psychologically it was really difficult to keep going when you’re body is pretending it can’t. Still no mile markers.

Mile 3: The end is always pretty easy.  By now you’re running on a high and know you are almost done.  Also, if you’ve gone this far you can just keep going right? My body tends to go in machine mode and just run.  I find myself wanting to sprint just to have the race over with!  I had checked the time in the last stretch and knew I had about 5 minutes to get across the finish line to finish faster than my last race.  At this point Dan had walked a few times but always caught back up with me.  He was starting to have weird pains so I ran ahead to keep my time.

Last 5K Time: 36:22.  Ugly Sweater Run: 32:54

Three and a half minutes faster!  I knew I would finish under my last time but I didn’t expect that it would be that fast!  I was also the first finisher in my group.

Two years ago I would have laughed at the thought of running a 5K with my husband.  Even a year ago, when my friend Nikki started the Zombie 5K ap, I was still saying “I’ll never be able to run a 5K.”  Well on Saturday we ran one together, and I beat her!  (Granted she was sick…….but still! Love you girl!)1377398_10102340261828639_176991947511397508_n

I feel like I’m wrapping around to something I continue to repeat over and over on this site: The time will pass anyway!  Two years, one year, 6 months ago I didn’t think I could ever run an entire 5K without stopping but I did.  The time that you spend overweight, unhappy, out of shape will continue to pass whether or not you do something about it.  OR you can take your own life and health into control and GET. IT. DONE.


PS.  I’ve been wearing the hat ever since!

High Heel Hell

Last night, I went to my husband’s company party at the Denver Art Museum.  We were using it as an excuse to get out of the house, dress up nice and play in the museum for free!  Since I had bought a super cute new cocktail dress, I figured I needed new shoes to go with it!

I have dropped a shoe size during my journey leaving me with not many shoe options.  I hadn’t purchased any new heels and finally found an excuse to buy some.  As a morbidly obese person, I owned heels but rarely wore them. If I did, it would have to be in nice weather to somewhere I knew I would be sitting. It seemed to defy the laws of physics that my nearly 300 pound body would even stay upright on heels.

Heels always caused all kinds of problems.  They would always be severely uncomfortable and would often break before they had gotten all of their wear.  I mean let’s be serious, is any 300 pound woman truly comfortable in heels? Most average weight women aren’t!  So as a general rule in life, I tend to avoid heels.  I can’t wear them to teach and we don’t go many places that would require them.  I honestly didn’t even think about not having any heels until two days before the event.

Needless to say I went out and bought heels.  ($19.99, thanks payless!) I wanted to look hot at this party.  I wanted every man to be jealous of my man for having me on his arm.  I wore the heels.


You would not believe how big of a difference losing 130 pounds makes when wearing heels.  I feel like they fit and felt the way they were supposed to for the first time.  Since it has been so long since I’ve wore any, I still sound like a Clydesdale in them, but I’m much much more comfortable.  I wore them for the two block walk from the car, all through the museum and then back to the car with an extra block detour.  Granted, they still hurt.


Hey All!  I know it’s been a while since I last posted.  My excuses for this are: Thanksgiving, work stress, laziness and a general feeling of blah.  Not good excuses, but excuses none the less.

How did everyone do over the holidays? I am proud to say, even with all my worrying, I did not gain any weight over Thanksgiving!  I was probably more careful than necessary but I was proud to get through the holiday without the ‘overstuffed for three days’ feeling this year!

But, emotionally I’m really struggling.  I am still trying to figure out this transition from LOSING WEIGHT to having LOST THE WEIGHT.  I have now been maintaining for three months.  I thought it would be a breeze and that emotionally, I was ‘done’ trying to figure things out.  But I’m not.

The high of getting healthy and the constant compliments are starting to wear off.  People still tell me pretty often how good I look but it doesn’t have the same effect on me anymore.  I don’t feel like I need to hear it to keep going or store it in my compliment bank for when I’m feeling down.  Now it just feels like………well yeah, I did lose the weight.



I am also struggling with not seeing the scale go down.  EVERYONE, including my doctor, have told me I look great, I’m healthy and I shouldn’t lose more weight.  I too believe this.  I feel like physically I can do everything I’ve always wanted to do and now I’m just picking new goals for my body for fun.  I’m happy with my new pants size and love buying new clothes again.  BUT I still feel disappointed when I get on the scale.  I should want to cheer everyday when I see the same number.  But in the back of my mind, I’m secretly hoping to see it go down.  But why? Am I just addicted to the numbers? I’m not sure but I still feel it.  I’ve been under my goal weight of 165 since the day I hit it.  I try to stay around 160 because that’s where I’m mentally comfortable.  But, when I see the scale at 162, I feel like I have to do everything I can to get back down.  WHY?

I am a highly anxious person. I obsess and worry about anything and everything to the point where it isn’t healthy sometimes. (Thanks Dad!)  My weight and health were always a huge worry in the back of my mind.  Now that worry is gone and I find myself searching for other things to worry about instead.  Will I ever figure out how to just be happy, confident and enjoy life? Has anyone? I feel like there have always been huge pieces of my life to worry about: health, finances and location.  Now I’m healthy, our finances are stable and we love where we live.  What do I do now?

So today I’m writing with no profound wisdom, no suggestions or tips, only to say, I still don’t have it figured out and maybe I never will.