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My new hero

12 Jul

Here is a story about my new hero, Kim Guarino.

Last weekend she organized a special boot camp class at Fit Code as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Even though it was an hour away and “in the city” I decided to go because it was for a great cause. Kim recommended I park on the residential side street and as I turned the corner, I saw this woman walking by in a bright orange t-shirt. At first I thought nothing of it, but then I did a double take and thought to myself “holy crap, that’s Kim!” She looked AMAZING.

Kim used to be a big girl like me. Sometime in the last year she started working out at Fit Code with her husband and they are both turning in to super fit rock stars.

I had a blast that Saturday morning and it was a really great workout. There are 10 stations around the room (squats, push ups, high knees, box jumps, chest press, etc.). You move through the stations with 45 seconds of work, 15 seconds of break for 3 rounds all finished by some core work. It is a challenging workout for people of all fitness levels. This is where they started. I am in total awe of what they have accomplished.

For those of you that have been fit your whole life, the importance of this is probably lost on you. It is like putting on a football uniform and your first game is the super bowl. Sure I can hang with them now. But a year ago, there is NO WAY you would have found me in a class like that. Way too hard, with way too many people to watch the fat kid struggle. Kim and Chris showed up time and again. Amazing. Something to be so proud of. The work pays off….here is the evidence. It was just the inspiration I needed to refocus on my own fitness goals.

Kim and I post-workout

Kim and I post-workout



My all time favorite dress

15 Apr

There are certain milestones we go through in life. This week I hit one that is 18 years in the making (holy cow 18 years…)

When I was a little girl my Aunt Virginia used to buy me dresses. I would get one for Easter, Christmas, sometimes a birthday. There are a few I can still remember…my top favorites being the blue one with the white flowers and the gray and white Easter dress/suit that I wore the following Halloween to be a “business woman”. It wasn’t just about the dress. It was the whole shopping experience with my mom and aunt. I was in the chubby girl section, but they still made me feel pretty when I tried on the dresses.

Fast forward to my senior year in high school. It was time for prom and I went shopping with my friend Chrissie. (turn by the Fannie May…lol)  and found a dress at Marshall Fields. It was stunning. For the first time in my awkward high school years I felt pretty.

Then it was time for college and on came the freshman 15. Then I had my first job and first apartment and on came another 20. Few years more, few pounds more. More life, more pounds again. Then you hit a certain point and who cares…how much bigger can I go…and I did.

Then one morning I woke up and wanted something different and I decided I would do what it took to get that new, better something. The damn broke and the good flooded in. Fast forward 10 months… and A LOT of hard work. And here I am:

033013 Prom dress fits

The dress fits! Even more important,  I feel beautiful… like I did when I was a little girl trying on dresses with my mom and Aunt Virgie..and not just when I put on the dress (note: I just put it on to take the picture, I do not wear it around the house). I went from shopping in the chubby girl section to the running gear section. The feeling of accomplishment that comes with this change in my life is like none I have experienced. To get something different, you have to do something different. This marks another “I wish/yeah right moment” accomplished. What is possible in the next year? Who knows…but I’m excited for the ride and the many dresses ahead.

In a million years

24 Feb

Some time back in October 2011 a group of girls from work and I signed up for LoseIt. The first thing you have to do is pick a goal…how much you want to lose and how fast (2 pounds a week or 1 pound a week). I put in a number that I thought was totally unrealistic. In a million years I never thought I would make it. It was a “I wish…/yeah, right” than a “I will”.

This week I crossed that number. Not in a million years….on Wednesday, February 20. HOLY CRAP. Never in a million years did I think it was possible and here I stand, 85 pounds down. A part of me is mortified that I weighed that much, but a much bigger part is super proud of earning every pound lost.  Did I mention that in a million years I never thought it would happen?

I spent the last few days celebrating. The BEST thing was giving my trainer a workout. We had a deal for weeks that once I hit the goal, he would do whatever I said.  It was great to tell him what to do….but it wasn’t as fun as I thought it would be because the man is a machine. Powered through 85 pushups like no big deal. Situps too. Only 10 pull ups (I was being nice there) and 8 heavy bag pushes.  Totally forgot to make him do burpies….maybe next time.

Celebrations continued last night with a night out and some well deserved drinks. Woke up this morning feeling great…drank a lot of water…and headed to the gym. For the first time ever I ran 25 minutes straight. Heck yeah!! Finished the workout with situps and stretching and came home to enjoy an egg white omelet with mushroom and cheddar.

So in the spirit of this celebration, I feel like it is time to take a minute and thank some people for their help over the last 9 months.  In no particular order (and not an exhaustive list by far), I will start with Amber.

Miss Amber, you are my person that showed me it was possible. Without you leading the way I would have never thought it was possible for me. You are my shopping buddy and I LOVE IT that we both don’t shop at LB anymore!

Tony, Tony, Tony. You are the man. I cannot thank you enough for pushing me beyond what I thought was possible. I love that you believe I can do the crazy shit you throw my way way before I believe it. You watched me face my demons and never judged me. Thank you for your patience and for letting me complain. Every time I say “I hate you” I am lying. You are a big part of why I am able to celebrate.

Me and Tony

Carolyn….you unselfishly let me run my first 5k and taught me the secrets of a gluten free lifestyle. Thank you for being such a good friend to me, when I am at my best and worst.

Nicole, Mike, Anthony and Nicholas…from the summer walking back in the day to the Disney vacation to anything and everything in between. You guys are my family and I forever grateful for your friendship.

The girls at work…from signing up to LoseIt, afternoon walk breaks, bringing in better treats, telling me to throw away the cookies, you guys keep me going.

My dad and brother…for letting me choose the restaurant because of my weird eating and your support and encouragement. We are the three amigos!!

My poo poo dog Denver…he gets the good and bad of me and loves me anyway.

Anyone who shared your story with me….it is inspiring to hear of your progress. It is comforting to know I am not alone in this struggle. And it is a joy to be able to celebrate your success with you.

To get something different, you need to do something different. Push yourself. Believe. Work. Fight. You are worth it. You can do it!


Oh, the plateau

31 Aug

I am hitting a serious plateau in weight loss. Going on three weeks and lost almost nothing.  So…do I care? Is it upsetting? Am I discouraged? Do I want to quit? Am I ready to eat cake?

Quite the contrary.  I feel INCREDIBLE. I just got home from a 3.5 mile walk where I was able to throw in a little jogging. I am currently battling shin splints, so I ran as much as I could tolerate, walked, then stretched, then ran again. Compared to my time and miles lately, I was moving super slow.  So what!  I got out there and had a great time. Yesterday I was boxing and totally kicking butt for my workout.  Hell yeah!

As I walked up my driveway, a neighbor of mine drove by and stopped to say hello. She said she had to stop to tell me how great I look…ask what I was doing…said I really look good.  (go ahead, roll your eyes. I did.) She is the second person today to tell me how good I look.

Compliments make me feel good, but also make me feel self conscious. I am not good with accepting compliments and always seem to have a “yeah, but I’m also…” to discount it. Now, I am owning them so I started just saying thank you. These compliments remind me that this current plateau is only one piece of data at one point in time. My neighbor can see the big picture, she sees the progress I’m making. I feel the progress I am making and am super pleased.  Tomorrow is weigh in day and I am not expecting to see much change on the scale. So what! This girl is having way to much fun this week to let a little number ruin my fun.

Watch out world…here I come!

Worth more than a million

22 Aug

This morning started like any other morning. Denver was sitting at the foot of my bed making his presence known. God forbid I don’t get up right away and take him out…instead I rolled over and slept until 6:30. I’m a mean mommy, especially in the morning. Finally I got up, took him out, gave him food, and jumped in the shower.


I was rummaging through my laundry basket deciding what to wear (because if you know me, you know how I avoid putting away clothes until someone comes over). Inside the basket are the “what fits” options. The clothes are from three locations: the dryer, recent clearance purchases, and clothes I found in a box in my closet, saved in the hopes that “one day” I would be able to fit into them again. I put on a purple t-shirt from the “one day” pile and a pair of gray pants that I bought on clearance at the beginning of the summer. When I tried them on back in June, they were too small. This morning they fit just fine. I left my bedroom with a big smile on my face. Suddenly, today feels a little magical.


As I went to the kitchen to grab my snacks for the day, I caught a glimpse of myself in the living room mirror. I couldn’t believe it. I had to take a second look. It’s a frumpy outfit, definitely more on the casual side of business casual, and nothing to write home about. I looked at myself again in the mirror. I feel – and look – like a million bucks today.



Hours later, I still can’t believe I am wearing these pants…I can’t believe how far I have come since June…In the grueling-est of moments, I toughed it out…I didn’t give up after my usual 5 weeks…I fought through the temptations and frustrations.


This, my friends, is evidence of success. This is evidence of doing something different. This feeling, these pants, this accomplishment, I would not trade for anything, not even a million bucks.


Oops…I just ran my first 5k

12 Aug

My friend Carolyn invited me to walk with her family at their church’s 5k.  I fully intended on walking and I have email evidence to prove it.  As we all lined up, my feet started to twitch.  Carolyn looked at me and said “Go run. I know you can do it. I don’t want to hold you back”. At first I didn’t want to because I really was there just to hang out with her and the family.  But then I really wanted to….why not? I had my hot shoes on, my running watch, and a bottle of water.  So I asked if she was sure because I didn’t want to be a jerk.  She said to go, and so I did.


Luckily it was a nice and flat run, mile and a half out and back.  I didn’t do intervals, instead I just ran for as long as I could and then walked until my heart rate was back down.  God bless Garmin sports watches.  Here is a picture of me a little more than half way through the race.


Two lessons were learned today.  1-when a chance at success presents itself, go for it. I didn’t over think it, I didn’t worry about it, I just got in there and did the best that I could do.


2-surround yourself with people that believe in you and are happy to see you succeed.  Carolyn could have said that she was really looking forward to talking while walking and made me feel guilty for wanting to run.  She didn’t. Without hesitation she said “go”. It wasn’t about my new physical abilities reminding her of where she is with hers. It wasn’t about who finished the race first. It wasn’t about missing an hour of gossip. It was about me trying to be a better me and Carolyn’s unconditional support of that goal.  Friends like this are priceless…keep them close!