I am SO excited to announce that I am taking the next step in my journey by starting a GoFundMe/241Journey campaign. This comes at a perfect time after the post on creating your own group of support. This, however, is a little different. It is my motivation.

I am highly motivated by helping others be successful. It causes a “practice what you preach” response in me, which really helps me dig deep in pursuit of my goals. I also feel that as I experience success in reaching my goals, my success will in turn motivate those who I am assisting. It’s an awesome cycle!

I have been faced with opportunities to help people who are obese/morbidly obese. I don’t charge anyone to help them, and in cases when I buy something that will help them reach a goal, I don’t request repayment. I am by no means rich. I just believe in paying it forward when I am able to. Limited funds, however, prevent me from being to cast a wider net. I can help one person here and one person there, but I would like to really be able to reach out and begin building a much larger network.

GoFundMe/241Journey will offer that opportunity. There are a lot of people out there who say, “Oh, I’d love to help but I don’t have the skill or the time,” and helping to fund this campaign will allow them to do just that without needing skill or time. They help others through making it financially possible for me to assist participants in eliminating as many obstacles to good health/nutrition/fitness as possible.

Notice the new menu at the top of this blog. I will be providing regular feedback also to allow donors to know just how effective their support was. NOTE: 100% of the funds received will be used to assist participants.

Please take time to share this post with your friends across all social media avenues. You’ll notice there is a list of share buttons at the end of this post. Thank you for sharing, and if you choose to support my campaign, thank you, thank you, thank you for paying it forward. May it return to you 100 fold!


Judge My Buggy NOT My Body

Lately, I have been thinking about how society views people who are overweight (obese, morbidly obese). For the largest segment of the population, the view is very superficial. We are measured by what we look like. Not just measured but judged. There are clicks where we won’t fit, stereotypically. There are jobs we won’t be offered, which is legal because being overweight isn’t a protected class. People judge based on the package–not the entire package but basically just the outside.

I want to send the message that just as we shouldn’t judge people based on their past because they could have changed over the years, a person’s body, thin or overweight, shouldn’t be judged. A thin person shouldn’t be assumed to have an eating disorder, and by the same token, it shouldn’t be assumed they eat healthy. The same applies to overweight people. Don’t assume that their current body accurately reflects the level of their discipline. The only way to properly determine the overall nutritional health of a person would be to judge their grocery buggy.

I have been overweight since puberty. I have gained approximately 5 lbs a year over the course of my life. When you do the basic math of junk food calories, it doesn’t take a lot to equal a gain of 5 lbs a year. Given the terrible food choices I’ve made over the years, I think my body has been pretty forgiving to only add 5 lbs a year, but I digress. This fat suit that I have been wearing all these years is much more difficult to remove than it was to put on. The worst part is that although I have maintained a healthy eating lifestyle since July 2014 (excluding Christmas season–I went awol), my body still reflects the bad decisions I have made over the years.

Unless I wear a sign that says, “Don’t Judge My Body Based On My Past Choices”, people will still make assumptions about me that aren’t true. Now, the list of people that I really care what they think is very short, but it is still a societal prejudice that should be broken. I am trying to do my part by writing about it to educate others that a person’s buggy will tell far more about them than their body will. My buggy will tell you that there is ZERO junk in my house, and my family eats very healthy–despite our out of shape bodies.

Everything that goes in my buggy is whole (in their most natural state available in a grocery store without anything added to them and a very short ingredients list of only natural items and no sugar added). Meat, vegetables (and a lot of them), and fruit. I would be happy to be judged by my buggy now. I actually love grocery shopping. It is very empowering to know that I am making healthy decisions. What is unfortunate is that it takes a years of healthy grocery shopping/eating to undo the past as reflected by my body. This is why we shouldn’t judge others based on their body because it is not the most reliable source (even chronic illnesses make the body an unreliable source).

The same is true for people who are thin. It cannot be assumed that someone who is not overweight eats well. Genetics and heredity play far too much into that equation for it to be fair. We tend to use the body as a measurement here and assume that someone who isn’t overweight is healthy. Not necessarily so. Their buggy would tell you a lot, too. It’s just for whatever reason, their body doesn’t show their poor decisions on the outside of their body–yet.

When I visited my doctor after changing my eating, she was extremely pleased with the result of my blood work–all numbers were within normal limits! I had asked her to do a “before” blood panel, so I could chart my progress, and progress it was. The outside of me hasn’t caught up with the healthy changes that I have made in my life, but it will–eventually. Until then, I will accept myself for the healthy woman that I am. I encourage you to look at your buggy and make necessary changes. If you already have or when you do, accept yourself for the healthy person that you are, and help me spread this message by sharing this post with your friends. It will take a while to make a change, but the power of social media can spread the word quickly.

Check out Judge My Buggy on FB and join us in sending the message that the body doesn’t tell the whole story about a person!! Share your buggy with us.

How to Accept Need for Change : Recognizing the Link between Lifestyle and Health Condition

How to accept the need for change includes being able to recognize that there IS a link between our chosen lifestyle and our current health condition. While lifestyle can include a vast number of things, for the purpose of this post it is defined as the way we eat and move.

For years (and I still do), I have asked the question, how does my body know how many calories I am eating? It’s not like a gas pump that knows how much gas has gone into the tank. There isn’t a dohickie thing that you can wear that counts the calories as they go in like a Pac-man game (if there was I would buy it). I felt like if I didn’t know how many calories were going in my body, then my body could be tricked into believing I hadn’t eaten as much as I had. I know better of course, but it’s just the way I FELT. My head understood the process, but my behavior didn’t.

As the years crept on, I would start hurting here and there. Oh, it’s just a sign of aging, I would think (except my mother doesn’t complain of it and she’s 20 years older than I…my grandmother may not even complain about the same things and she’s 40 years older that I am). Oh, well I slept wrong would explain the back woes, and I stayed up too late would explain my chronic fatigue (and I do stay up too long). I snap, crackle and pop more than Rice Crispies on a world tour, and why would I EVER think that it had anything to do with the way I eat. After all, my body doesn’t really know what I eat.

After LOTS of reading and research on how the body operates, and how it is able to determine the value of what we eat, even if it doesn’t know exactly what it is, I finally decided to be honest with myself. After all, kidding myself only hurts me. It doesn’t make the scale reflect any less. I don’t look any thinner to those around me. (I may be able to mind meld them to believe I am thinner. 😉 ) I can now say it, my body hurts me because I have hurt it CONTINUOUSLY over and over again. If someone continuously hurt you, wouldn’t you be in pain regularly? Even if you attempted to hide the abuse, your body would show signs of that abuse over the course of time.

Mine is.

I have treated my body so badly that I am hoping we haven’t reached the point of no return. Just as in human relationships, there is a point where pain will cause a split that can’t be repaired. Fortunately, our bodies are more resilient than our relationships. We can’t let the fear that we’ve gone to far stop us from trying. Just like human relationships that we beg and plead for forgiveness committed to never giving up, we have to be that way with our body.

A very wise friend of mine tells me over and over, “Give your body what it needs, and it will give you what you want.” I would just be like “yadee yadaa, yadee yadaa,” but she is so right! I have experienced a huge victory after only losing 5-7% of my body weight once (that’s not a lot of weight, but the victory was awesome!). I know that it is possible for the body to forgive.

So, can you make the connection between your lifestyle and your health condition? Can you go to your mirror (literally not figuratively) and say to yourself, I accept that I have hurt you…I accept that I have abused you…I want to change and do better for you…I realize that my eating and movement habits have caused you to hurt, and I don’t want to hurt you anymore. I want to care for you, protect you, and give you a chance to add many years of playing with the kids, sharing time with grandchildren, beating the guys at football, being comfortable in front of the mirror and those you love, and enjoying every day of your life.

If you can humble yourself enough to be honest with yourself (and eventually those around you as well), you will have a better chance at accepting the need for change enough to truly make a difference in your decisions.

You have your assignment. Should you choose to accept it, come back tomorrow and read the next step toward fulfilling the acceptance needed to move on.

Hope to see you here.

Week One Results of Weight Loss Group

As I promised, I am posting our results from this week. Now, keep in mind that this week wasn’t focused on making major changes. The biggest change (which is big enough all on it’s own) was getting our mind set and ready for this journey. We all had slips and falls along the way (and we will still have those from time to time), but everyone is onboard and feeling ready to take on another week one decision at a time.

This morning was weigh in, and our Week 1 weight loss (as a group) is


Critical Fat Facts! What the Fat MUST Know About FAT!

Not staying on your eating plan can be detrimental to your weight loss and health, too. Notice I called it an eating plan not a diet. The ladies (yes, plural because we’ve picked up another lady and we’re happy to accept more) that are joining me want to lose a significant amount of weight also. There’s something I want to share with them, AND YOU as we get started.

If you have less than about 10 lbs to lose, completely erase the word DIET from your vocabulary, at least as it pertains to a short duration of behavior change that will result in the desired amount of weight loss you need to be at your ideal weight. Now, I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade, and this doesn’t mean that there isn’t a cheat day in our future–there will be 1 trigger free cheat day per week once we get this train going; however, the short diet I just defined will should NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER be a part of a person’s life after they have gained approx. 10 lbs over their ideal weight. For some, that’s high school. For me, that was junior high. Worst yet for the generation coming up now, that’s even elementary school.

Once your body has created fat cells, they never go away unless you have liposuction done (the consequences of lipo will have to be covered in a new post). You can lose weight, yes, and they call that “losing fat,” but in reality, you’re not losing fat. They should call it, “shrinking fat.” The fat cells are emptied of the energy substance that is inside taking up less space and making you appear smaller. You are smaller. This takes nothing away from the weight loss you have achieved. It does, however, mean that you absolutely can NOT have the attitude that you can just diet for 30 days and go off of your diet (like people do who only have small amounts of weight to lose–YOU AREN’T ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE, SO STOP EVEN CONSIDERING THOSE PLANS).

It will be more critical for someone with larger amounts of weight to lose to always stay on their eating plan. Those empty fat cells can quickly be refilled (and once full the creation of new fat cells occur) defeating the entire purpose of a weight loss program, increasing your frustration, increasing your sense of hopelessness, and increasing the chance that you will stay sick, tired, and die sooner than you should.

I’m sorry to be the messenger of bad news. I have almost 200 lbs to lose, so I can tell you that the journey seems very long for me, too. I completely understand how you feel after reading this, but we CAN be successful if we stick to our plan. Once I learned more about fat and have a better understanding about how it works, I can now see that I can’t compare myself to the skinny mini who gained 10 lbs over the course of the year and needs to lose it. The way to go about losing that 10 lbs will be totally different for her than it will be for me! REALITY CHECK!!!

Once we reach our goal, we will be able to develop a maintenance plan that includes foods we love while still ensuring we are eating healthy and not filling any of those emptied fat cells by weighing every single week–addressing ANY weight gained IMMEDIATELY!

SO…don’t feel all blue! I know. It stinks! I wish I had addressed the weight gain immediately once I gained it, or at the very least, at the end of the year when I had a checkup and the doctor said, oh…you’ve gained 5 lbs this year. I should have been like, BAM–LOST IT in a couple of months! We didn’t, so we have to do it now. Join us. We’re on this journey. We’re going to make it by sticking together, sharing ideas, recipes, exercise plan, etc. Having a support group is critical to the success of your weight loss plan, so be sure if you don’t join us, that you will join someone.

The Starting Point…

Body mass index chart
Body mass index chart (Photo credit: IITA Image Library)

I was thinking maybe my starting point wasn’t all that clear, so I want to be sure to make it clear. I’ll just be simple in my explanation. Although, I REALLY hate seeing this in print.

I currently weigh 317 pounds; 58.0 BMI.

When I was trying to find out how much I need to lose, I just divided that number in 1/2. 158.50 pounds is what I was left with. Well, I was curious to see what body mass index (BMI) that would be. The BMI is what health professionals use to determine if you are in a healthy weight range. This is the graphic I posted on my first post. If I lost 1/2 of my weight, my BMI would be 28.9 which is just 1.5 points away from being “obese.” Do you read this the way I do? Even losing 1/2 the weight, I would STILL be considered nearly obese.

According to the National Institute on Health, I need to weigh no more than 136 pounds to be considered “Normal” weight. The BMI for this weight is 24.9. I am sharing all of those numbers with you because as I lose, I will not only be keeping up with weight loss, but also BMI. So I need to lose 181 pounds in order to get there.

Wow. For some reason, after typing those numbers and sitting here looking over them, I don’t feel panic. I actually feel at peace. I don’t know if that’s the calm before the storm, or if I am truly ready for battle. I will own this and say, I AM READY FOR BATTLE! If I had a shot gun in hand right now, this is where it would go CLICK, CLICK!!!!! Bring it on!

What Does Two for One Mean?

So you may have run across this site because you are looking for a good deal. Generally, that is what 2 for 1 indicates, but not here. Here it refers to my weight, divided by 2. I literally weigh more than two people of healthy BMI. As a matter of fact, I am on the border of being 2 “obese” people in one body. I am actually 2 “overweight” people, and I want to change that.

THIS IS MY JOURNEY. It is going to be a very honest and transparent journey. Maybe you’re on a similar journey, hey, let’s travel this lonely road together then. I encourage your comments. If you have a similar blog, include your address, and I will share it with my readers as well.