Friday, December 11, 2009

What a difference a YEAR makes!

December 11, 2008... the day I decided that I didn't want to be fat any longer. I had heard about the Living Healthy Living Well group at our YMCA and how guests could attend during the month of December. I went and that's where I met the woman I now refer to as my "Weight Loss Guru" Ms. Phyllis. She explained her program of healthy eating, more movement, and her goal of her clients losing one pound a week and I was hooked.

For those of you who haven't heard her story before, Ms. Phyllis is an RN and a Dietitian, she lost 104 pounds herself and has kept it off for 10 years. She inspired me and told me that I too could change my life. I told my story at that meeting, how I had lost my mom almost exactly a year before and how that had contributed to my weight gain but that I had always been a yo-yo dieter and had also tried EVERY program out there. As soon as Phyllis told me her program was the "forever factor" and was not a diet, something in my brain switched and I knew it was the day I was going to commit to a healthier lifestyle. I started eating healthier, writing down all my foods and the following week, I took it in for Phyllis to review and give me a calorie range. I was thrilled when she told me I could eat between 1800 and 2100 calories per day! (This is clearly not the calorie range for everyone but because I was over 250 pounds, I could have this much. Hooray!) I lost 7 pounds that first week and three the next, I was thrilled. Christmas came, my 39th birthday came and New Year's came. Over the holiday break, I received a Christmas card from Phyllis and in it was the following poem:

If I Lost 1 lb. Each Week of 2009

By Valentine's Day
I'd be 7 pounds lighter! I'm loving it!

By St. Patrick's Day
I'd be 11 pounds lighter! With the
luck-o-the Irish, I'll make my goal.

By Easter
I'd be 16 pounds lighter!
I'd be a cuter bunny.

By Memorial Day
I'd be 23 pounds lighter!
Won't let it rain on my parade.

By Independence Day
I'd be 27 pounds lighter!
That's a neat declaration of independence.

By Labor Day
I'd be 36 pounds lighter!
What a wonderful reward for all my hard work.

By Halloween
I'd be 44 pounds lighter!
I didn't think I had a ghost of a chance.

By Thanksgiving
I'd be 47 pounds lighter!
I'd have so much to be thankful for.

By Christmas Eve
I'd be 51 pounds lighter!
Talk about being merry.

By New Year's Eve
I'd be 52 pounds lighter!
It's not just a new year, it's a new me!

It really struck a chord with me and I read it a lot. Sure, it was a silly little poem but it made sense, I could follow Phyllis' tips and tricks and change my life week by week, pound by pound. So I did. It was actually kind of easy, I steadily lost weight, well over a pound a week but still nothing so fast that it wasn't healthy or won't stay off. My body isn't flabby (well most of it isn't) and best of all, I can now call myself a runner, an athlete, FIT! I've taken a course, tested and received my certificate in nutrition and I now work as a nutritionist for Phyllis, running some groups of my own, and helping others realize that they too can get healthy and fit and I love it!

I got weighed yesterday and I am down 82.8 pounds, three more pounds this week. I want to lose at least 100 so I've got a few more to go but that's OK, what I do works and will keep working week by week, pound by pound. After I weighed in and went to my meeting, I went to work out and ran five miles on the treadmill in 56 minutes! It was one of the best runs I've had. I sometimes get really emotional when I'm finished running because at times I cannot believe I've done this, on my own, no pills, no surgery, no starving. I recently had a friend tell me that I am the only person she knows who runs on the treadmill with a smile on her face. (Sometimes that's because I'm loving what I'm doing so much and at other times, it's just because I am watching "Ellen" ;) )I haven't told many people but I did look into gastric bypass before I met Ms. Phyllis and thankfully, I decided it wasn't something I wanted to do. It was the last straw however, and just looking into it and realizing how serious it was, made me change.

So today I want to wish myself a happy anniversary! I have had a great year which is going to help me have a much greater life. I want to thank Phyllis and my family and friends, especially The Husband, The Son, The Sister and my Dad who have loved and supported me through this journey and who I know, will continue to support me as I continue to lose. Thank you everyone! I love you all!


Running Jen said...

Amazing Caren!!! You have done such a great job! I am so happy for you, and glad to hear that you're enjoying the running! Keep up the great work! Oh and, happy anniversary!

Anonymous said...


You are truly an inspiration! God Bless you and all your hard work! Happy Holidays to you and your family :))

Susan (akm)

Nina said...

GOOD JOB CAREN. i've been cleaning up my house and decided i need to go back to my healthy way of eating...just packed up 6 bags of cute clothes that are too small :( and walking up the stairs at the stadium carrying a toddler winded me...didn't like that one bit.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful job and can't wait to see how great you must look. BEV GUS. My account name isn't working for some reason

skinnysweetpea said...

Woohoo! Congratulations and Happy Anniversary! You're such an inspiration to me!

Cathy said...

I love you too Sister. :) I have to say I am SO proud of you and I was tearing up as I read your post. I know Mommy is super proud of you too.

Happy Anniversary!!

I love running on the treadmill as I watch "Ellen" too! ;)

Stephanie Klecko said...

Way to go Caren!!! You've worked so hard and look fantastic. Keep it up girl!!!

Sabrina said...

Wow! That's amazing! Great job! I also struggled to lose weight after my second son was born. I gained 70 pounds during my pregnancy and needless to say, he wasn't a 70lb baby! It took two years, but with diet and exercise, I'm back to a healthy weight. AND I've gained a new outlook on proper eating and exercise is fun, not a chore. Again, truly inspiring. Happy Holidays!

Chrissy Cuz said...

Love the poem. :o)
Happy 1 year Healthy Living Anniversary!!!!!!!

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I somehow missed this post and it literally just brought tears to my eyes. Happy tears, though!!