Aug 082013


When I used to think about August 10th, I thought “I made it another year” and felt like I could exhale for a moment. I’d successfully maintained my 100 pound weight loss for another 365 days! Those first few years were definitely challenging. I had some ups and downs with my weight and at the worst, gained about 15 pounds that took forever to lose again. But for the most part I always stayed around the same weight.

Check out previous year’s anniversary posts here:

My 100 Pound Anniversary

100 Pound Anniversary – 3 Years

100 Pound Anniversary – 4 Years

This year is my 5 year anniversary of that magical date that I stepped on the scale at GOAL WEIGHT. If you’ve ever made goal weight, you know what that feeling is like. It’s a sense of pride, of wonder, of accomplishment, of sadness, of happiness…all sorts of emotions wrapped into one number on that scale. The feeling that is missing from that parade of emotions? RELIEF.

I’ve never really felt a sense of relief with that number on the scale (or at least, it wasn’t a lasting feeling) because I always have to work hard for it. It’s not like I reached goal weight 5 years ago and then gave up exercising, or started eating foods that were bad for me. No, I kept the weight off through doing the things that WORKED to lose the weight in the first place. Those things are simple:

1. AWARENESS and ACCOUNTABILITY. I track my calories. Every day. I do take a break once in awhile; I tend to splurge a little more on vacations; I am always aware, though, what I am eating and if I’m going over board.

2. EXERCISE and PLANNING. I find ways to fit in exercise every day. On my rest days I might go for a walk during my lunch break at work. I plan my week’s worth of fitness ahead of time. I schedule my workouts on my Google calender and I stick to them. I can be flexible and move things around if something comes up but it’s very rare that I ever blow off a workout.

Those things are key to losing weight and keeping it off. It sounds simple and easy, but it takes dedication and hard work. It takes commitment to YOURSELF and to your health to stay on the plan. I know that sounds overwhelming at first, but doing the changes in little stepping stones makes it more palatable. Now I am at a point that I crave healthy foods and feel like crap if I go too long eating “bad” foods and not fresh fruits and veggies. I also crave exercise. It’s my stress reliever. It’s my “me” time and I always feel better after a workout!


What was most astounding with my journey was the fact that I changed as a person. I became very active and grew to love activities like hiking, snowshoeing, running and biking. In fact, when injury sidelined me from those activities, I fell into a depression because I missed doing them. I never would have guessed 10 years ago, that that would be me.

After 5 years of keeping off 100 pounds, I’m at a place now where I feel like that old me is dead and gone. It doesn’t feel real. It feels so alien and so far away. Now, most people who know me or meet me, never guess that I used to be 250 pounds. They are usually shocked if they find out. THIS is me. This present person.

I started this blog 3 1/2 years ago because I had a story to tell. I knew I could inspire some other people who were obese and depressed like I was and just looking for a little push, a little inspiration, to get started. My hope is that demonstrating a healthy lifestyle of moderation and fun fitness has made it seem attainable to you guys. YOU CAN DO THIS. I did it, you can too.

Sometimes I feel like this blog has run it’s course. I sometimes feel like I don’t have much else to say about weight loss and maintenance. I’ve said it all. Then I start thinking maybe it’s time to quit the blog and that’s when I get a very sweet, personal email from a reader telling me how much I inspired them to lose weight and get healthy! That always makes me happy and makes me think “This is why I do the blog.”

So on this 5 year anniversary, I say thank you to all my readers!

Mar 082013

When I first discovered the healthy living blog world I wanted to read ALL of them! I had never known before then that there was such a community. I’ve often wished that I had known it when I was trying to lose my 100 pounds. The support and camaraderie would have been nice.

Sometimes it’s hard to jump into a new blog when you haven’t been reading since the beginning. It’s like picking up Book 2 in a series without having read Book 1. I find myself struggling with this when I discover a new blog that I like and want to keep reading. There’s so much background, who are these people, what is the writer’s story and history? What are the things that made this person create a blog and share tidbits with anonymous readers every day?

A lot has changed from my very first blog post. My writing was rusty and brief and I sincerely hope it’s improved since that first post! A lot has happened since I started this blog and while I’ve tried to keep a list of the most popular posts I’ve written but there have been some that have fallen through the cracks in the 2.5 years I’ve been doing this.

This post is a brief background for new and newish readers, people who may feel lost at times.


As of this post, I am 33 years old and I live in Portland, Oregon. Oregon is a grew place to live if you like outdoorsy things like hiking, camping, biking and snowshoeing, you name it. I’m originally from Seattle. I live with my boyfriend of four years, Michael, and my two crazy cats.

At one point in my early twenties, I weighed over 250 pounds. I needed to make a change. I lost the weight by counting my calories and swimming. Since losing 100 pounds and keeping it off, I’ve discovered a love of running and biking and I’ve also learned how to cook–something I used to hate doing! Check out this post on FAQs.


It wasn’t always easy losing the weight and keeping it off. I definitely hit some bumps in the road:

Lose 100 Pounds, Lose Friends?

Dealing With Body Image Issues

Trying the Slow Carb Diet

I Struggled With Plateaus

I Felt Burned Out

I’ve Struggled With Injuries – too many to count!

How about some more personal things?

  • I wrote a book about how I gained and lost my weight and am trying to get it published. Stay tuned for news. :)
  • I read way too much, friend me on Goodreads to find out.
  • I’ve been a fan of Michael Phelps for years and loved every moment of the swimming parts of the 2012 Olympics! Swimming makes me happy. Swimming makes me healthy. It’s the first activity I always suggest when someone overweight wants to start exercising. It’s safe and virtually injury-proof.
  • My younger brother, Andy, lives in Philadelphia with his wife who is in medical school. He’s a total smarty-pants and I’m really proud of him as he’s finishing his master’s degree in history. I like having academic discussions with him and it makes me wish I could go back to school myself.
  • I’m definitely emotional and at times too sensitive. I wish that wasn’t the case. I just don’t have a thick skin about stuff I shouldn’t care about.
  • I sometimes feel self-conscious about my body, even though I lost all this weight. I have big shoulders and arms from swimming, which can make clothes shopping a challenge. And I have some loose skin on my stomach that makes me unhappy. There isn’t much I can do about that.
  • I suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) but then, I live in Oregon where it’s dark and rainy for 9 months of the year, so I’m not all that surprised. Exercise helps a lot. So do vacation somewhere sunny!
  • My boyfriend and I are huge fans of Vegas and try to go once a year (it doesn’t always work out that way). Michael is a great poker player and I’m pretty good at roulette (which is a fluke I’m sure!).

Thank you for taking the time to check out my blog. I hope you stick around and keep reading!

QUESTION: Are you a new reader? Introduce yourself!