Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dear 17 Year Old Me

Dear Brianna,

It’s me, me from 10 years in the future. I know you are thinking I’m some loony – how could I be writing to you from your future? But just go with me here and listen.

I know you hate who you are, I know that you feel lost and alone but trust me it gets better. I know ten years seems like a long time away but I’m here and I’m telling you that it does get better. Cherish your friendships and stay close to those who care about you. Don’t be afraid to be open and honest, jump into new opportunities with open arms. I promise it’s not as scary as you think it is. I promise not everyone is staring at you. I promise, those people who laugh at you behind your back mean nothing, 10 years from now you will look back and know that what they think does not matter.

Be confident; know that you are beautiful no matter what and that you can do anything you set your mind to. Don’t sell yourself short, don’t allow anyone to take advantage of you or your body just for the sake of feeling loved. You will find love, you will marry and you will be happy I promise.

One day you will make the choice to become healthy and you will go through an amazing transformation. All I can tell you is to please trust that you can do it. Please do it NOW, do not wait. You will find happiness in being healthy. You will meet amazing friends you will help others meet goals just like you. You will feel beautiful and sexy and get those looks you’ve always wanted.

Be kind to your body, be gentle with yourself. Tell yourself every day “I am beautiful, I am worth it and I will be successful”. In 10 years when you catch up to me you will be a brand new person. You will run distances you never thought were possible, you will climb mountains, you will feel normal. Above all remember it gets better you just have to stick it out.

Love your 27 year old self.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Milestones and Motivators

Today marked the conclusion of another 12 week Biggest Winners session. I can't believe it's now three fully completed sessions with amazing results not just from me but from everyone in the group. My official total was 19.2 lbs lost and 10 inches in 12 weeks, not too shabby! I reached some pretty big milestones this session which I never thought were possible.

#1 - I got to ONEDERLAND!! And I will never go back, I will never see that 2 on the scale again that is a commitment to myself
#2 - I ran 10K without stopping, not even for 10 seconds, WITHOUT STOPPING! Bonus, I ran 10K and liked it and did it again and again and again.
#3 - I graduated from plus size stores and can now officially buy everything in "regular" stores
#4 - I made a TV appearance, link here in case you missed ;)

I think these milestones are more important that the weight loss itself, though #1 wouldn't happen without the weight loss LOL. What I mean is just seeing these successes reminds me why I do this, it reminds me why I have to stay focused and driven. The fact that this is important to me is why I keep doing this and why I will never ever give up, if I do please grab me and shake me and tell me to read what I've written because this is HARD work.

This is a picture of some of our beautiful Biggest Winner participants from our wrap up yesterday which included make up and hair. Looking at this picture reminds me of how much hard work each of these ladies puts in every day. They are the reason that I love this group.

And here is my after shot...

Tonia convinced me that I should not be wearing leggings/tights with that dress and it was a HUGE step out of my comfort zone to wear a dress that I consider to be pretty short and bare my legs, but love the photo!

And another photo of Tonia, Nicki and I

My two little running motivators, they both push me to go faster each and every workout as im huffing and puffing to keep up with them!

One week off and we start another session. I am excited for some more amazing results and transformations. I am excited to reach some more milestones, the 180s, the 170s and dare I say it maybe even the 160s. FOCUSED DETERMINED and DEDICATED!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Staying Focused

I'm on the ferry headed back to Victoria now. After dropping Maddi & Anna off at their Mom's Craig and I headed for the ferry anticipating the 3 but there was a 2 and we drove right on - wish it could always be like that at the ferry. It's smooth sailing at least unlike the last few times.

I'm back at bootcamp tonight though, am going to try to make the Burnout class at 5PM but we'll see how traffic goes. It'll be nice to be back in my rhythm. We're coming into the last week of this Biggest Winners session with our wrap up being on Sunday and after photos on Saturday. I will have to be more focused than ever this week and diligent with my food and water. Weekends away are definitely not the best when everyone you are with are not following the same eating patterns as you. I did manage to fit in a workout though while everyone else relaxed. 35 mins of running on the treadmill at 5.5/hr - pretty impressed with that speed. I'll be working overtime this week so won't be able to make my double workouts but will ensure that I make an extra workout on Friday i'm thinking. At least i'll be walking to and from work though so i'll have to be much more organized. John is in Connecticut now and I will see him again on April 10th when we meet in Vegas!! WooHoo very excited about that.

So coming into this busy week i'm setting my intentions in writing so that I stick to them. I WILL work out Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday. I WILL eat clean meals all week and drink at least two liters of water at work every day. I WILL cut out coffee for this week. I WILL take my multi vitamins each and every day. I don't think it'll be an issue for me to stick to these given this is what I do normally, but these last two weeks have kind of been out of wack and I've definitely slipped in a couple of "cheat" foods that are not on the plan. I absolutely don't want my final number to have a two in front of it so I am going to do everything I can to stay focused for an awesome weigh in on Sunday.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I have given up

I HAVE GIVEN UP...No I don't mean that I am stopping or that I am not going to continue to my goal of losing 200 lbs because I will get there. What i'm talking about is the things that I realize I have given up since starting this journey. I often get asked if it's hard to be deprived of things but honestly I don't feel deprived at all, I feel like I have a full life. I have wonderful friends and family who support me and am present in my life now. I am in control of me and look forward to what each day brings.

But what have I given up?

*I have given up letting food control my life. I eat to live instead of live to eat
*I have given up being intimidated of going to the doctor because i'm scared of negative news
*I have given up 8 dress sizes
*I have given up 164 pounds of excess fat
*I have given up being afraid that I can't fit into the seat on the airplane or the ride at the fair
*I have given up processed foods, white sugar and white flour and found a way of eating that is satisfying and enables me to not count calories
*I have given up feeling like exercise is a punishment
*I have given up feeling like I am the only one going through this, I have a support network
*I have given up making excuses about why I can't do this

So what have I really given up? NOTHING! I have really just exchanged those negative things for a hundred times that in positive experiences, people and beliefs in my life. I am so blessed to have supportive people in my life. I am grateful that I have the perseverance and dedication to continue because it has just proved to me that I can do this, even if it takes longer than I had hoped. This didn't happen overnight, this realization took years of persistence, and it is an ongoing struggle. Small changes and small steps got me here along with a commitment to me to change my life.

The biggest lesson is as long as I keep going and stay motivated to reach my goal I will get there. Even when I reach my weight loss goal, that is not the end, I must continue to revise and refine my goals to become stronger and stronger.

Greatness is not where we stand, but in what direction we are moving. We must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it but sail we must, and not drift, nor lie at anchor
Oliver Wendall Holmes

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A reward weekend

I'm home now after an incredible weekend away in Birch Bay with my friends Kristine and Gina. We stayed at Kristine's parents townhouse and it was absolutely perfect. The weather wasn't all that wonderful, it rained alot, but the shopping made up for it! I came in just under my $400 personal exemption allowance for duty free - i'm that good LOL. I have to say I made some good scores for that amount. I was able to come home today and throw out all my bras and underwear and replace them with ones that actually fit me. I also now have 3 bags of clothes ready for someone else to enjoy. It feels so good to go through your closet and just be able to say "that doesn't fit me and that doesn't fit me oh and that doesn't fit me".

I had some pretty amazing breakthroughs this weekend though. I bough a dress for our final Biggest Winner photos and it was a size 12!!! Probably grade 6 or 7 was the last time I fit into a size 12 anything. Here it is...

I need to find something colorful to wear with it though since i'll be wearing it with black leggings and black boots. Also, I went shopping at ALL the "normal" stores. I didn't even step food into Layne Bryant. I felt so NORMAL. I also didn't even fit into the biggest size in alot of the stores. It used to be a "put up with you can get" sort of shopping experience for me, now it's "whatever I want".

When it came to the food, vacationing used to be an excuse to eat bad. I was good all weekend, well as good as I could be based on the circumstances. I didn't get in all my 5-6 meals and could feel myself being hungry but I brought almonds and protein bars along with me and munched on those. I made due with my surroundings. I definitely didn't drink enough water though and could feel it. We ate out quite a bit but I ordered "clean", mostly chicken & veggies. Apparently they have never heard of whole wheat anything but I know how to make substitutions. The whole "food experience" this weekend made me realize just how strong I've become. I didn't even question myself when it came to turning down the hot fresh bread sticks at the table at nearly every meal. I knew that I was making a choice that was good for my body. I don't need bread to make me happy, good friends and shopping is good enough for me :). I did have wine and I admit I had some cheesies, but apart from that which was a pretty big splurge for me, I was completely on track and it feels great to know that I can do that without even second guessing myself. It was my conscious choice to eat the cheesies and drink the wine, but I CHOSE it and I don't feel guilty about it at all. The difference between this and the old me is that I would have ate the whole bag, this time it was only a few cheesies.

Now it's back to work and back to reality - well at least for another five days and then it's off to Harrison Hot Springs with my beautiful nieces.

Monday, March 7, 2011


I DID IT - yes me, all by myself, all this work, I DID IT. I am officially 199! No more two, i'm one something. This number was unimaginable when I started. I seriously doubted I would ever get here - but i'm here. I made that number with some amazingly supportive people around me and encouraging me. I can't even explain how happy I felt to see that number, it's like all this hard work I've doing is finally being reflected in the number. This is a goal I've been working towards for a LONG time and i finally did it. So what does that mean for me now? We'll i'm not finished, i'm just revising my goal. My next goal, in terms of numbers, is to get to 180. Why 180? Well 180 will mean I have lost 50% of my body weight since the beginning of my weight loss journey. These next 20 lbs will be just as hard as the last 50, it's down to the last little bit for me so I have to stay focused and determined. I have to keep pushing myself because there's no turning back now.

Apart from this exciting news I feel like I had such an amazing week last week...

#1 - i'm joining a work softball team. This is another thing that I thought I would never do again. I was too embarrassed to do it and felt that I was "different". I thought that I would hold other people back. Now I know i'm strong and that It doesn't matter if i'm last or first, it's about just participating. I played softball as a kid and it was my favorite thing to do and something I actually looked forward to in gym class.

AND #2 - I was on TV! I was at first pretty nervous about everyone being able to see me on film but it all worked out okay. Shaw TV did a spot on the Biggest Winners program and interviewed Sherry and I on our success.

So here's to reaching that next milestone - 50% here I come!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Reflection

One of my favorite things about the Biggest Winners Program is the support system that we have with the other participants. Yes the trainers are all there for us, but knowing that we have others going through the same journey is so encouraging. We have a private group on facebook where we post positive comments to each other, keep track of how we're doing and overall just bond. One of the other participants posted a journaling exercise that she had done and I followed suite. Here it goes...

1. What is my primary weight loss/fitness/body change goal?
My primary weight loss goal is to lose 200 lbs in total. My fitness goal is to run a 1/2 marathon. My body change goal is to be able to confidently walk into a "regular" store and be able to buy anything I want and know that they will have a size that fits me.

2. What are my top motivations for pursuing this goal?
To have children, to be able to teach healthy habits to them and lead by example.

3. What are my biggest areas of resistance to pursing this goal?
Feeling like I don't have enough time to do the things I want sometimes. Other times I realize that I have lots of time and that I love working out because of how great it makes me feel after. Sometimes I feel resistance in continuing from people who don't know my journey because I have to say no to alot of things and some people will get offended to that. I just have to remember that I am not responsible for how they feel, I have to do what is best for me and saying no to those donuts is what is best for me. One is not just one when it comes to donuts.

4. What do I feel when I think about taking the steps required to achieve this goal?
At this stage I know I can achieve it. Sometimes I feel frustrated that I am putting in so much work but the results are slowing down. I know that this is just the way it goes, but I also know that I will get there. I just try and overcome the feeling of frustration by rewarding myself.

5. What do I feel when I think about the possibility of actually obtaining this goal?
I feel excited that I will actually just fit in with all my friends, I won't feel like i'm different anymore. I'm excited to be able to still have a health focused life, but be able to focus on other things as well.

6. What do I feel when I imagine my body after obtaining my goal?
I feel happy that I am "normal" - but then I think really who is defining "normal" - maybe I just feel happy that I actually succeeded at something, I followed through. I feel happy that I am not embarrassed about how I look.

7. How do I think 'me on they inside' will feel when I've achieved my goal?
I think I will feel the same as I feel right now, fit and healthy. I feel like i'm a fit and healthy person in a body with excess weight.

8. How would I feel if I were to abandon this goal all together and go on with previous

I would feel horrible, look at how much blood sweat and tears I put into this journey. It has been my whole life for the last three years. I would ask myself "Why am I going backwards?"

9. If someone sat me down and told me that there its no way I'll ever achieve my goal, how much or little would I agree with them right now?
I would 100% disagree. I am fully confident in my ability to achieve this goal, it may take me longer than I want it to take but IT WILL HAPPEN!

10. What now?
Now I just keep going, doing what i've been doing, adding new things, trying new things and being consistent.