**This post is not meant to offend anyone that represents any of the products mentioned below, this is just my personal opinion**

In the days of social media, I am sure that we have all been inundated with advertisements for products that promise to “get skinny quick” or “take this pill and drink this shake and you will look like this”… those products offend and make me angry.

I would be lying if I said that I hadn’t been intrigued by some of them prior to starting my weight loss journey.  The thought of taking a pill or wrapping myself in plastic wrap to get skinny quick instead of putting in the work with my diet and exercise is appealing.  How could it not be appealing?  What I am doing is hard and it isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, sometimes I just want the “get skinny quick” magic pill because I am tired of watching every calorie that I put in my mouth and making sure that I am staying active enough.

But, the elephant in the room is….do these products really work? or are they just ploys by companies to capitalize on our obese nation and the push to get healthier? It seems like weekly, there is another new product that promises the impossible.

Okay, okay, okay…promising the impossible might be an exaggeration, I should have said, promises the impossible WITHOUT changing your diet and exercise.  If you have to change your diet and activity to get the products to work, then what’s the point? You can lose weight WITHOUT a “magic” option…so wouldn’t that make the “magic” option void?

Ding, Ding, Ding….

A lot of these products don’t mention anything about having to change your diet and the need to exercise until they DON’T work, then it becomes the number one excuse….”Well, the products do work best when combined with a change in diet and exercise…” DUH! You mean wrapping my body in saran wrap isn’t going to make me look like all the “before and after” pictures I see all over the internet??? Common sense would say, no.  Those people wrapped their body in saran wrap, AND, changed their diet drastically, as well as worked out.

Another product that that I simply do not understand is one that claims to make you “happy all the time!” Enticing, right? I want to be “happy all the time!”  But, you have to take a pill, drink a shake and put a patch on to get the results, and if you do not do them all in the EXACT order the company says at EXACTLY the right times, it may not work.  Convenient excuse for the company when their claims don’t pan out, put it back on the customer, they simply didn’t do the process right, sorry! Another thing that concerns me is that it is no wonder the product makes you “happy all the time!,” it has 6 different kinds of stimulants in it.  They say that up to 400mg of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most adults.  Since the ingredients are listed as proprietary, the manufacturer does not have to list the amount (mg) used, so it is therefore unknown how much caffeine/stimulants each product contains.  What no one has addressed, and I have asked several promoters of this product, is how does the body handle the inevitable “crash” when the product isn’t being taken anymore?  With that many stimulants, it seems like a crash and a feeling of “not happy all the time!” is looming.

Well, I have a way that you can save lots of $$$$ and get the same results!  Wait for it…’s called HARD WORK.  Whoa, there is a concept that isn’t easily accepted in this society.  I have lost over 50 pounds and in turn have a higher self esteem by good old fashioned working out and changing my eating habits.  Yes, I have used different methods of those things along the way (examples:  Weight Watchers and 21 Day Fix), but I would consider neither of those “gimmicks” because they still involve YOU making the ultimate change, there are no impossible promises.

Dieting and losing weight is no joke.  The weight didn’t come on the body overnight and it will not come off overnight either.  There are no two ways or gimmicks around that, it is simply a fact.  I have worked very hard over the last 6 months to get closer to my end goal and frankly I am offended by the messages that I get that say,

“Emily, you look fantastic! I have this amazing product that will help stimulate your activity level and will make your weight loss easier! contact me for details!”

“WOW, girl, you must be feeling amazing! I am just wondering if you might be interested in this wrap that will tighten your extra skin from your weight loss”

I am not interested in those products, I am interested in working hard and achieving my goals.  I put this weight on my body and it seems as though it is fitting that I have to work hard to take it off, so I KNOW the reality of my old habits.  Quick fixes fix nothing and the odds are that you will need to try another one in a couple months because you are right back where you started, just several hundred $$$ poorer.

I am proud of this “gimmick” free weight loss!

MY hard work is paying off!




but my booty jiggles

As you can imagine, at 227lbs, there were parts (or all) of my body that jiggled, bounced, shook, ect when I worked out.

It made me very self-conscious and honestly, made me not want to workout.  I had convinced myself that everyone. was. looking. at. me.

I tried to incorporate working out into my weight loss plan from the beginning of my journey because I knew that it would help me lose the weight faster, and make me stronger.  Physically, I could handle the workouts, but mentally, it was tough.

I had a membership at our local Planet Fitness.  The gym with no gymtimidation, no lunks, no judgement….except from myself.  I only used equipment that I knew how to use and very rarely branched out of anything by cardio exercise.

Here is a typical conversations that I would have with myself on the treadmill / elliptical / arc / ect:

damnit, my shirt is sliding up from covering my butt”

“ugh, my boobs are bouncing

“my butt hurts because it is jiggling up and down so much”

“that fit girl over there keeps looking at me”

“I could never do that because I am too fat

“These 2 sports bras that I am wearing so my boobs stay put are not allowing me to breathe

If you have been reading my other blog posts, you will know by now that the negative thoughts in my head have deterred and hindered me from being positive about my progress.  The negative thoughts in my head discouraged me from going to the gym because I honestly thought that everyone was making fun of me in their heads.

“Oh, look at the fat girl

“She has a really red face, is she going to pass out?”

“Her butt is huge

“Her boobs need to be tied down

When I stopped going to the gym, I told myself that I would workout outside, but then I let myself believe that everyone driving down the road, passing me, was making fun of me too.  Then, I told myself that I would workout to DVD’s in my apartment, but, once again, the negative thoughts came back.  This time I thought that the young guy that lives downstairs would think that there was an elephant upstairs or that he would be scared I would come through the ceiling.  NO. JOKE.  I was horrible to myself.

I knew that I needed to workout, but, excuses were easier than actually doing the work.  The negative thoughts that I had been hiding behind, were just that, excuses.

I discovered that Old Navy has some compression workout pants that really suck the fat in and they didn’t allow my booty to jiggle so much.  I found some sports bras that allowed me to breathe, but still held the girls in place.

I. had. no. more. excuses.

When I let the excuses go, I also let the hold that the negative thoughts had over me, go.  Once I stopped telling myself lies and letting myself believe that everyone was making fun of me, the weight left too.

I started going back to the gym and simply not caring what others were thinking, because, I was there and I was doing it.

Everyone needs to start somewhere.

IMG_5836[this photo was taken a couple months ago, back to back 5k’s on the treadmill! practice makes progress]

q & a (part 1)

why did you decide that this was the time?

have you stuck with it?

what has worked best? least?

do you feel different inside? outside?

have you had slipups?

are you scared for what happens when you are done actively losing weight?

are you as happy as you look?

transparency is something I have promised during this journey, so I am going to do my best to answer some of the questions that have been voiced over the last couple months.

how did I decide that THIS was the time?

Quite simply, I was tired; physically, mentally and emotionally.  I was embarrassed.

I was brushing my teeth in the dark in the morning because I couldn’t stand to look at myself in the mirror.  I did all of my laundry on my own because I didn’t want my family or boyfriend to see the size tag in my clothes.  I never took the hangers in clothing stores when they offered because I didn’t want to look at them in my closet, or God forbid anyone else see them either.

It was exhausting being so secretive in my struggles.  I was eating in private, lying about it and consuming way. too. much.

At the time the photo on the left was taken, I was completely aware of my size, I knew I was overweight, but that day, I thought I looked cute.  I thought I managed to “hide” my size with what I thought was an “over-sized” tee-shirt and a cute cardigan.  But, there was no escaping reality when I looked at my phone and gave my standard, “we all look good” response.  Something needed to change.


The photos above were taken 1. the day before I drove to Weight Watchers and signed up, and 2. this past weekend at a fundraiser that I attended.

have you stuck with it?

I think the obvious answer is, yes.  I have shaken up the method a couple times, but overall, yes, I have and am sticking with it.

what has worked best? worst?

Honestly, everything I have done has worked, for a certain amount of time.  I have shaken the method of weight loss up a couple times to hurdle various plateaus.  I have viewed this journey like this:

Weight Watchers:  That is what I am calling the “high school” of my journey.  It was convenient and made the transition from my old lifestyle to a new one relatively easy.  Going to the meetings was like homework to me.

21 Day Fix:  This part of the journey is what I am calling “college.”  This was harder than Weight Watchers and more intense.  It was a bigger commitment both financially and in the daily execution.  I had to meal plan and prep, workout daily and use self control to cut quite a few foods out of my diet that Weight Watchers allowed.

Health/Wellness/Fitness Coach:  This is the most recent development in my journey.  I have hired a health & wellness coach to help me through the last few months of my journey.  I am trying to set myself up for the best success AFTER I am done actively losing weight.  My biggest fear is to go through all of this and then go right back to where I was.

do you feel different inside? outside?

Yes.  I feel exponentially better on the outside.  My blood pressure is back in “normal” range, I have dropped several pants/dress sizes, and I no longer have a double chin in almost every photo.  The outside transformation in obvious.

As far as how I feel on the inside, that is a bit more loaded response.  Overall, yes, I feel better on the inside, but, it is a daily struggle.  Some days, I feel great about myself, and others, I feel like nothing has changed.  I emotionally beat myself up for so long that sometimes I just don’t think I really know what it feels like to be happy anymore.  I still occasionally let myself believe the lies like; you are still fat, not good enough and that I don’t deserve to be completely happy. I know those lies are not true and I know that I AM good enough.  The faces below tell the true story, a story that involves a sad girl that was masking the un-happiness with food and another girl that is well on her way to a “happier & healthier” self.IMG_6393

bathing suit shopping

bathing suits.  ugh.

my opinion about them is the same as it was when I was 40lbs heavier: they. stress. me. out.

Let me rewind a bit.  As I have said before, I wasn’t always 227lbs.  There were times several years ago that I could wear a two-piece bathing suit and I felt very confident/comfortable doing so.  But, as the weight started increasing, I grew more and more terrified at the mere idea of going somewhere that included having to wear one.

I avoided going to the pool with friends

Made excuses that I “forgot” to bring my bathing suit

Tried to cover up as quick as possible after exiting the pool/lake if for some reason I actually swan

I am my own worst critic, my biggest judge and worst enemy.  I convinced myself that everyone at the pool/lake is staring right at me, analyzing, and making fun of me.

“Look at that girl with the cottage cheese thighs..”

“Whoa, she’s the biggest one here”

“Is that a ‘grandma’ one piece bathing suit?”

I would stand in my bathroom wearing my bathing suit and critique myself.  All the things I hated.  Wanted to change. Analyze every imperfection.  Count the stretch marks.

I know what I was doing to myself and how I was making myself feel, wasn’t healthy.   But, just about everything in my life wasn’t healthy…my relationship with food, my attitude, my self-esteem, my self worth, my weight, ect.

Fast forward to present time.  I am 40lbs lighter and my fear of bathing suits is still in the front of my mind.  I recently had to take my “Michigan Winter White” skin and ever changing body shopping to find a new bathing suit for an upcoming trip to Florida.

I was able to shop in the normal section of the store, no more plus size section, and I didn’t even have to get the biggest size on the rack.  I should have viewed those things as “non-scalevictories, because it was one of my goals to not immediately have to reach to the back/bottom of a rack to find the biggest size to buy.

Instead, I stood in front of the mirror, in a size large for the first time in years, and I the body I saw looking back at me was as though nothing had changed.  I still saw the size 18, plus size girl in the mirror.  I began critiquing my smaller and ever changing body harshly.  I internally put myself down and made myself feel like I still wasn’t small enough, or had made enough change to feel comfortable wearing a bathing suit.

you still have cottage cheese thighs…your thighs still rub together….your arms are flabby….

I had checked one of the items off of my “lose list” but yet, I immediately lost sight of the end goal because I allowed my head to derail the victory.  I still may be changing and yes, I still have a ways to go, but what I did that day in the Target dressing room, needs. to. stop.  I need to see myself for who I am, not constantly critique or put myself down.  The weight didn’t come on my body overnight, and it will not come off overnight.  I have to learn to celebrate all victories.

I will be in a bathing suit for 4 days in Florida next week and I. am. not. terrified.

That my friends is not a small victory, it is a monumental one.


they say it takes 21 days to create a habit.  I politely disagree.

it has taken me months to create some semblance of a habit, but what scares me the most? it only takes hours/days for me to give those months of work away or at least that is what my head has been trying to convince me to believe.

I promised transparency throughout this journey. Here it is.

I haven’t been hitting my workouts nearly as hard the last couple weeks.  I haven’t been strict with my food choices.  I haven’t been weighing in at Weight Watchers.  I rebelled from my routine.  I was exhausted, wanted “treat” foods, and good Lordy, I wanted a glass of wine.

I have said several times that this journey needs to be something that can be conducive to a lifestyle or I wouldn’t stick with it, but, if I am being honest, I have been all in or all out. If I am on my game, I am making consistent good choices and working out everyday.  If I am off my game, I am indulging in red meat burgers, ice cream treats and justifying skipping workouts.  There hasn’t really been a “happy medium”.

I made a very conscious decision (of which I thought was a good one) to take a couple weeks away from Weight Watchers because I needed to appreciate the changes in my body vs. the number on the scale.  I had been beating myself up every Wednesday morning at Weight Watchers if the number wasn’t what my head deemed “good enough.”  Even though the changes in my body are obvious, if the scale didn’t match, I didn’t feel like I was enough.

I would then start skipping meals.

Push my body to work out more than one time a day.

Obsess about every calorie.

A pattern started that was just as bad, if not worse than the pattern of not caring about ANYTHING I put in my face.

I go back to the statement that I am “all in or all out.”  No WW meant that I had no accountability, therefore, no scale to monitor my progress and no reason to not cheat.

*Don’t let me lead you to believe that I ‘fell off of the wagon‘ or anything.  I cheated; I had some wine, red meat, ice cream with friends, and even some sweet potato fries, but, my view of the end goal was NEVER out of my sights.*

I had deprived myself of just about everything I had normally ate for so long,

I caved.

I indulged.

I cheated.

I had preached as much as possible about “lifestyle” but, I didn’t live it.  I was so strict with myself that when I stepped away from WW, I fell back into a couple of my old, bad, choices.

Cue the pitty party and mental battle I had with myself this past weekend.

I beat myself up and am not joking when I say, my head actually convinced my body that those “cheats” had ruined my E.N.T.I.R.E journey thus far.  I know that it isn’t true, but it was the first time I got scared how easy it was for me to cheat, how easy it was for me to get out of my workout routine and it. scares. me.

I have obviously not conquered the demons in my head, yet.

I looked at simple indulgences (that in the grand scheme of life, are normal) as though I was reverting back to my old lifestyle, when that couldn’t have been farther from the truth.  I indulged, but my goal was never out of my mind.  Yes, it was easy to eat and drink, but, I knew when to stop.

The demon I have is really my head.  My head convinces my body that I haven’t overcome my food addiction and that I am still an extremely overweight and unhealthy girl.

Yesterday, I got back on my plan and have my goals in the forefront of my mind, but now, I know I need to find some balance.  I need to allow myself some indulgences.  I need to not feel guilty and crappy about myself when I do.

This journey is so much more mental than physical and I am tackling the demons as they come.


I needed to take a new photo yesterday to prove the demons in my head wrong.  I think I sufficiently shut the demon up and even surprised myself with the change in the last month, because I allowed myself to believe my old demons.

21 day fix

As all (or most of you) know already, I decided to start the 21 Day Fix program through Beachbody early March.  My reasoning? I had hit a major plateau in my weight loss.  When I started actively losing weight in late November, the weight came off quickly, but after the first 20lbs came off, the routine that I was in wasn’t working as effectively as it was in the beginning.  I was frustrated and I felt myself getting discouraged.  I needed to try something new, change up my routine, so I would start seeing results again.  I couldn’t quit.  My future health depended on it.

This brings me to 21 Day Fix.  I will start out by saying that I was the. biggest. skeptic.  Here were my opinions:

1. before and after pictures were FOR SURE photo shopped, results couldn’t possibly be that drastic 

2.  was it worth that much money? (challenge pack including Shakeology was about $150)

3.  how effective could a daily 30 minute DVD workout be?

4. will I get tired of portioning out my food into small containers everyday?

When I was feeling the negativity of the plateau I was on, I had a momentary lapse of all the opinions I had formed about this program and contacted my friend Katelyn who is a Coach through Beachbody.  In the past she had talked to me about it, but I was never at a point to commit, until then. Within moments, I had pressed order on my computer and I actually felt a huge sense of relief, that maybe, just maybe, this would help me start seeing a few less pounds on the scale again.


The program comes with everything listed above.  The workouts, meal planning guide, portioning containers, blender bottle and Shakeology.

Shakeology is so incredibly healthy, there’s no other single food item out there that can supply you with all the nutrients, vitamins, proteins, and minerals in the amounts you need the way one delicious shake can.

The video below talks about all the food you would have to consume daily to have all the nutrients in one shake!

This is where I got skeptical, was this just some gimmick by another Direst Sales company?? But, I thought, what’s the worst that could happen…..It could help??

When the pack arrived, I immediately dove into everything with anticipation!  On one of the first pages is a calculation to help figure out how many calories your body needs per day so you can figure out how many of the containers you should be consuming per day.

Calculation is:

current weight in pounds x 11 = baseline

your baseline + 400 (fix calorie burn) = caloric need

caloric need – 750 (calorie deficit) = target calories



I fell into the 1500-1799 calorie category and you can see above how many of the various containers I was supposed to consume daily.  This is where the meal planning that the program emphasizes comes into play, in order to manage these containers, you NEED a plan!  I created a spreadsheet that I used for my weekly meal plan, and once everything was written out, I went shopping!  I had already been eating healthy, so the cost of the food was already worked into my food budget.

Here are some ideas of what could be used for each of the containers:


Meal planning and sticking to it wasn’t hard at all for me.  If I have a plan and I have all the food in the house, I will follow what I am supposed to.  The key thing for me was that I prepped all my fresh veggies on Sunday so I had portions for each day when I was at work.  Following the plan strictly obviously makes the program work as it should.

I never felt hungry at the end of an evening while doing 21 Day Fix.  In fact, I felt like I was eating all. the. time.  The plan suggests: breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner.  Definitely brings a whole new view to how I fed my body.  When I gave my body enough of what it needed, in the correct portions, I could really feel a difference.

The meal planning / portion control is not the only aspect of 21 Day Fix, there are also daily DVD workouts.  The pack came with 2 DVD’s consisting of the following workouts.

Total Body Cardio Fix, Upper Fix, Lower Fix, Pilates Fix, Cardio Fix, Dirty 30, Yoga Fix, and 10 Minutes Abs

I had absolutely NO idea that a 30 minute DVD workout could be so intense.  When I ordered it, the first thing that went through my head was, “If the workout isn’t intense enough, I will just go to the gym after to get a little extra workout.”  Keep in mind that I had already been working out almost daily for a couple months for about an hour each time and I could run a couple miles without stopping.

Here is my review of the first 4 days of workouts:

Day 1: The workout was hard, I could barely complete the 30 minutes before I felt like I needed or wanted to quit.

Day 2: After completing Upper Fix, I could barely wash my hair in the shower without my arms shaking.

Day 3: Lower Fix made me almost cry on my living room floor because my legs were still aching from Day 1 and I had never been so thankful for handicap bars in the work bathrooms because I needed them.

Day 4: To concentrate on not quitting, I counted the beads of sweat that dripped onto my yoga mat.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t let these comments about the workouts discourage you.  The review isn’t meant to be taken completely serious, YES, the workouts are hard, but IT DOES GET EASIER! I promise!

I was pleasantly surprised with how my body felt after the workouts.  I had been working out consistent before starting this, and I NEVER once felt like I got near the workout that these DVD’s gave me.

By week 2 of the 3 weeks, my body had started to adjust to the workouts and I had to do less and less of the modified versions

My Results:



I lost 12lbs and 15.5 inches (upper arms, chest, waist, hips and thighs combined)

More than any amount of weight that I lost, I noticed (as you can see in the pictures) the overall change in my body.  I was tighter, gained muscle, and was stronger.

My Review:

Obviously results will vary from person to person.  My body was already active and I had already been eating healthy, so I do not know if results would be this drastic if someone was inactive before starting.  The meal planning takes a little time, but is VERY important.  You really have to be strict with eating, no cheats.  I didn’t consume any alcohol or drink anything but Shakeology or water (not saying that you cannot, I just don’t drink coffee/pop/milk/ect).  Focus on trying to complete as much of the workouts as possible and if they start getting easier, do 2 of them a day or increase the pound of hand weights you use.  If you follow it, the results will show, there is no question in my mind.  This program WORKS.  My results turned this skeptic into a believer.

If you have any questions about my results, the program or anything to do with 21 Day Fix, please comment below and I will do my best to answer them.

my reasons for being a big loser

When I started this journey, I was encouraged to start a lose list.  Something I could refer back to when the going got tough (because it would, I knew it), something that would keep me motivated, something to work towards.

If I didn’t have reasons why I wanted to lose weight, what was the point?

I am type A, I need goals, I need reasons. I needed to put everything that I was feeling down on paper; everything I hated, could’t stand, wanted to do, and wished that I could be.  I needed reasons to love myself again.

I had nothing to lose (well, not literally) but figuratively, I had no where to go but up, or lighter.

Here is my “lose list” (or start of it) that I created on November 21, 2014.  Some of the things on this list seemed un-reachable or un-attainable, some are funny and some are necessary for my health.  When I wrote the list, I was able to come up with 20 reasons, QUICK.  I thought to myself;

I just came up with 20 reasons why I want to lose weight, why did I let it get this far if I had so many reasons to change?”

1. my health

2. body image

3. my future

4. LOVE myself again

5. not to get tired walking up stairs anymore (I work on the 3rd floor)

**I should have been happy that my desk job was moved from the 1st floor to the 3rd to give me at least a little daily exercise, but no, I immediately thought about using the elevator instead! Seriously, Emily?!?!**

6. be able to participate in activities and not always be a bystander

7. when going shopping, I didn’t want to immediately flip to the bottom of the pile of clothes to find my size (if they even had it)

8. I want to be able to cross my legs when sitting

9. I want to enjoy the image I see in the mirror

10. I don’t always want to fee like the fat girl

11.  I need my high blood pressure to be lower

**I knew it was high, I could FEEL my heart want to explode when doing normal activity, let alone working out.**

12. I want to be able to wear skinny jeans

13. I don’t want to have a ‘muffin top’ anymore

14. feel comfortable in a bathing suit

15. I want to be able to walk into a clothing store and be able to buy/wear the “cute” or “trendy” clothes

16. I want to be able to donate blood

**My Iron and Hemoglobin were always too low to donate (some driving factors to low numbers….diet**

17. no more double chin

18. I would like to buy boots that are not “wide calf”

19. I want to be able to run again

20. I owe it to myself

21. my relationships deserve it

I have a million other reasons why I wanted/needed to lose weight, but those are the ones on my “lose list.”  Those are the things I am striving towards.  If you don’t have reasons and goals, you have nothing to keep you accountable.