My 3+ year journey to become stronger and healthier . 70 lb loss Primal, weight lifting and running!


Never open texts with the "Hand Sewn Button" attac
Feb 25, 2008
First of all - I am very excited to find this board, I didn't even know it existed. I've been documenting my journey in my PTRs/TRs for 3+ years now. Had I realized this area was here, I would have documented it here too. ::yes::

Let's start off with a little intro.... Taken directly from my current PTR, and edited for length, since it's easier. ;)

Welcome! For those of you that don’t know me – I am Dorine - but I go by "D~" on The Dis... I subsidize all of our trips to Disney with my sewing of custom bags, I love what I do, and I love that I am able to add magic to many trips to WDW - including our own.

Most of my days are spent here - in my sewing room... Everything I make and do is done by vintage machine - the newest sewing machine I own is from 1963. However, recently - I've managed to save up enough $$ for a used embroidery machine - which allows me to add fonts to my items... I am very adamant about keeping all of my items One Of A Kind (OOAK) - so I only use this machine for adding fonts or making zipper pulls.

I have 2 teen-daughters & we are well known for our “girls trips” to Disney. I am very proud of both of my girls for the wonderful young adults that they are becoming. I enjoy spending my time with them, and I believe it shows in every post I write and every photo we take. They are my entire world, their smiles and laughter brighten every single day, I am so very lucky!

My DH is Josh… He normally doesn’t play a role in our trips, other than me finding ways to get his blessing for another girls trip… He knows about the girls’ graduation trips, and he now knows about the November trip with Suzi and Mo… It’s VERY important that we reveal these trips at the proper place and time. Josh is not a Disney loving guy… He does not like the crowds or the lines – he would much rather stay home. Some day – I hope to take him back to Disney with me – and hopefully he will see the Pixie Dust that makes all of us love it so much.

So, this is my crazy family!



Never open texts with the "Hand Sewn Button" attac
Feb 25, 2008
2012, 2013 & 2014

I could title this "weight loss progress", but since my goal is not "losing weight" - it's more like losing inches and transforming those inches into muscle - I could technically "lose inches" but "gain weight"...

I have always struggled with my weight... This is a very personal battle for me - and one that pains me to "make public"... I have gained and lost the same 50+ lbs several times over the years - starting well before I ever had the girls... I love food - what can I say?

I have been the most successful with Weight Watchers - but, quite honestly, it annoys the crap out of me that I have to transform and calculate every thing I eat into points. You cannot be completely successful on WW if you don't journal. I am usually very good at journaling, but after a few months - it starts to annoy me, and eventually leads to my demise.

So, this time, I joined It's free (WW is not) and it has a very nice database, so every time I eat something - I don't have to recalculate it, it's usually there for me already. Well, after a few months of actively journaling on MFP - I gave that up too.

So, I don't journal anymore either.

Because I am trying to, overall, make my body more efficient... Make it stronger... Make it leaner... and hopefully lose inches and not necessarily "weight" - I've switched my focus and eating habits to be a little more like this:

My primary focus is protein... I really try to eat as much of it as I can - by focusing on protein, I find that my snacking and my meals fall into place. Do not, for a moment, think that I am follwing "Atkins" at all - I am not. My primary focus is protein - but I eat EVERYTHING... I would say, my diet is best described as "clean eating with a focus on protein"... I've cut out most processed foods... That does not mean that we don't have the occasional box of mac n' cheese... It just means, we try not to.

I loosely follow a program called "Eat More 2 Weigh Less" - you can Google it if you are interested. I basically follow this to maintain my calorie intake needs with the above mentioned focus.

I work out 5 days/week... 3 days of lifting heavy, 2 days of Walk Away the Pounds (1 mile) and an Ab floor routine. Weekends are mostly off.

I could tell you what my starting weight was, back in March... But it wouldn't do you any good - I haven't weighed myself since. I have NO idea what I weigh. I measure my progress by my increasing strength and my smaller size... Nothing else matters or is relevant to me. After all - I could be a size 4 and weigh 115lbs, or I could be a size 4 and weigh 150lbs - depending on my muscle mass... So, my weight is totally arbitrary.

What does this have to do with Disney, you ask? Well, for me - this journey really started in March of 2012... It was our first "girls trip" and I was miserable... I came home from that trip - looked at pictures of myself, and asked "what happened?" This is not me, this is not the me I see when I look in the mirror every day... So, I started working out - excessively and way more than was necessary... by the time August rolled around - I had completely burned out. I stopped working out all together and by the time October of 2012 came, I had nearly gained back all the inches I had lost between March and August... It took me until March of 2013 to get my head back into the game... and by then - I had gained back even more inches - honestly - my starting weight was higher than it had ever been... I was sick all of the time - I had to have gall bladder surgery - I was up all night every night with acid reflux... constant headaches... Something HAD to change! Again - it was my desire to take our August 2013 Disney trip, and not be "uncomfortable"... So, I started working out again... Cut out all soda... Eating clean... My progress was so sloooooow (it still is). I admit - I did ramp up my working out for the last 5 weeks before our trip... but rather than all of my goals stopping there - I was SURE to make goals that were attainable for after our trip... Sometimes I work so hard and the "event" is my final goal - I wanted to have something to work towards after we came home, so I could continue my focus. Which is where my heavy lifting comes into play... Once we came home, it was my desire to start making my body stronger... At the beginning of October - I started my current regime of heavy lifting... Let me tell you - my "heavy lifting" is not really heavy lifting at all... but maybe someday it will be?

I hope to update this post with progress pictures as I go along...

As I said above... Our March 2012 Disney trip was an eye opening experience for me... Specifically once our Photopass CD came... What greeted me - was high resolution photos of me at nearly my biggest... Shorts that didn't fit... Shirts that were too tight... Any muscle definition I may have had was no where to be found... Many tears shed over these photos...

March 2012

Look at those knees - I didn't have any!

August 2012... After I'd been working out since March... There is some improvement... but still a lot of work left to be done...

By January 2013 - I was well on my way to being right back where I started the previous March - if not beyond that...

And - at the end of Feb 2013... avoiding the camera as much as possible... Starting out in a TIGHT size 18.

So, I started working out AGAIN... Story of my life - always starting over...

June 2013... By the time Suzi and Mo had came, I had gone down a bit in size... (I am on the left)

August 2013... And by the time the girls and I went on our trip in Aug, I had gone down in size a bit more... I was much more comfortable on this trip, than I was in March the previous year... I still was not thrilled with my slow progress... But there was progress, and I was thankful for that. I was approx a size 16 here.

September 2013... Continuing my journey after our trip was not an easy task, but some how I managed to keep my focus after returning home.

October 2013... Again - more visible changes... I had started my heavy lifting program - which was a serious mental challenge for me - to give up a lot of the cardio I had been doing...

A nice public bathroom picture for you all... LOL

And then my BFF photoshoot at the end of Oct... Wearing a TIGHT size 14 jrs.

You will probably be seeing a lot of these "public restroom progress photos" - because it seems to be the only place I am in front of a full sized mirror NOT in my pajamas. LOL

Nov 2013

December 2013

As you can see from the above photo - there hasn't been any progress in the last few months. Yesterday, I discovered an error in my calculations... Since the beginning of October, I have been eating +400 - +600 above my recommended intake for a loss... I am not sure what happened? Clearly it was a miscalculation on my part. I should have known, but I didn't. The program I've been following (somewhat) is called Eat More 2 Weigh Less (you can google if you are interested)... So, it would be very easy for someone to not end up with the right numbers if they weren't careful - like me. So... Now that I have my calculations correct - I am hoping to see some nicer progress in the future. As a bonus... I did learn a few things during this time - so all is not lost. First, I learned how much food I can eat to perfectly maintain. WHOOT! And secondly, I perfectly maintained through the holidays! BONUS! Onward and downward...

January 2014:

As you can see from above, at the end of December, I discovered some large miscalculations - which caused me to seek out and find more information. I am convinced that conventional dieting is not for me - I am convinced that everything I have been taught about "eating right" is wrong, and there must be a different way of doing this. I've read so many conflicting articles, and in the end - the old addage... "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten..." seems to fit just perfectly here. While following my "Eat more 2 weight less" program, I was starting to wonder if there wasn't more to that. Calories in/calories out just didn't seem like it was right for me... I knew I had to clean up my intake even further. Through out the year, I've progressed from eating everything, to really trying to eliminate processed foods... and now even further - the ultimate in processed food, I have eliminated ALL wheat/grains and all sugar from my diet. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be initially, as I was gravitating towards that naturally anyways. The only "sugar" I eat now is 1 Tbsp of Agave nectar in my coffee every morning. So, think about this "no wheat/grains" for a second... No bread (of any sort), no noodles, no cakes, no corn... Then, the no sugar portion... No desserts, no High Fructose Corn Syrup, No Stevia, No Truvia, NO (NO, NO, NO) Aspartame or Sucrolose! - nothing with sugar or chemical sugars in it at all. Why in the world would someone do this? Well, in the last month - I have gained soooo much... I sleep through the night on a consistant basis (remember those nights where I would wake from 2-4am consistantly - mostly GONE), by eliminating the wheat/sugar - I've completely turned my body from using insulin for fuel and now it is burning fat - which is a more sustaining and less high/low way to fuel your body. Crazy concept - huh? Now, I rarely get hungry and my whole world is much more even toned... I eat when I am hungry... Meals filled with MEAT (lots of it) and veggies/fruits... Eggs... I do still eat sweet potatoes... Rather than the conventional "eating until I am full" - I "eat until I am no longer hungry"... Novel concept. I no longer feel like I am constantly deprived and starving. I've found things that I absolutely LOVE which fit into this way of eating - and I am not sure I could ever go back to eating the way I previously did... I just love this too much! My nighly ice cream fix, has been replaced by fresh berries and home-made roasted almonds covered with heavy whipping cream - NUM! Breakfast... 2 Eggs over easy and some sort of meat (bacon... Left over meat from the night before) - keeps me satisfied all day and some days, I am not even hungry for lunch! Essentially - I've gone totally to "Primal eating" this last month. Primal eating is very similar to Paleo, but dairy is allowed. If you would like more info on this, is a wealth of info, and completely changed my life.

So, for the month of January - while eating Primal, I've lost 10.5 lbs! For a total of -33.2lbs since March 2013 I was a bit shocked at that number. I KNEW I had lost a lot of size, but I was not expecting to see a lb loss, as I am building muscle too - I really expected my weight to stay the same. It was nice to see a smaller number on the scale, but not something I expect to see in the future.

I also lost several inches in the month of January... Most places stayed the same, however my waist went down 1.5" this month, my abs (at belly button) went down 1.5", my hips went down 1.5" and my calves went down .25"... My average daily calorie intake was 1672. So, I am very happy with this.

I hope to have an updated photo posted in the next few days.

February 7 & 14, 2014

Finally - I have progress pictures for you all...

These are a little disappointing to me... It seems, no matter how many inches I lose, I still have the same shape. It makes it almost impossible for me to see a difference in size, when my over all shape stays the same... Even though my inches and size are going down. My profile picture is decent - but I think it's exagerated because the mirror is slightly slanted - so it makes me look smaller than I am. Sigh... Again - I'll just keep chuggin' along... There are so many other changes within me that are significant, just not visible. I need to focus on those, and be proud of those changes, as well.

End of Feb update: It's the last day of the month, so it's progress day... Here's my stats for the month of Feb... Lbs lost = 4.6 for a total loss of 37.8 lbs in 11 months. I lost .25" on my forearm, .25" on my neck, 1" on my stomach, & 1" on my thigh. Also, I was +.5" on my abs and +1" on my hips. My wrist and calf remained the same. My average daily calorie intake for the month was 1685. I did not see or feel the loss like I did in January... I was hoping I would, but I just didn't. I plan to try and cut out a little bit more of my snacking every day. I snack more out of habit than anything, not that I am hungry (most of the time) - so, if I can eliminate one of my snacks a few days out of the week, I think that will be helpful for me. It seems like I am VERY good at maintaining my weight, but not very good at losing it. So, if I can lose it and get it gone - that's the biggest part of the battle for me.

I have many things that are keeping me focused right now... I have a few items of smaller clothing that I am dying to get into for spring/summer... Many of these items are very close to fitting, so, I am really going to try hard in March to get closer to that goal. I am also looking forward to spring - sunshine - vitamin D... I really want to get outside and WALK... We have lots of trails nearby - I have to drive to them, but I'd like to carve some time out of my schedule once or twice we week to go explore them - if only to feel the sunshine on my face... I am looking more forward to the promise of spring this year than I have any other year. I feel like I have more of a connection with myself and the world around me than I ever have in the past, and I really want to "feel" it. If that makes any sense?

March 2014

Here I am, well into April - and I haven't updated. Mid-March, Josh and I took a road trip from MN to TN - which I faced many food challenges. I am happy to report - I stocked a cooler full of good for me foods, but I was able to eat and find things that fit what I eat now at most every restaurant we went to. I really enjoyed spending the one on one time with him - we haven't had that since our girls were born 16 & 15 years ago. While we were on our trip, we did a lot of hiking and sight seeing - and it was wonderful to be able to navigate some of that terrain, and not be worried if my body could handle it. We've been home for a few weeks now, and I resumed my lifting/eating routines with out any effort at all.

My stats for March were -4.8lbs for a total of -42.6 in exactly 1 year. I'll take it. I am still in a size jr. 13/14, however - I purchased a pair of capris that fit me for our trip (which I am wearing in the above photo), and now - 3 weeks later - I can take them on and off with out unbuttoning... So, I've definately gone down in size. This frustrates me a little bit, as I was hoping to wear them for a good portion of the summer. I am at a place in my wardrobe where I am digging out my smallest adult clothing I own from my bins, and it's just now starting to fit me. I've always gotten to this point and considered it "good enough" then quit. But this time, I have so many more goals I want to achieve - most of them size/self image related. But more importantly - I'd like to see my body composition change more... I'd like to see more muscle definition and see my shape be more healthy. I have a visual of myself, of where I want to be and how I want to feel, and I know that I am not there yet. When I look in the mirror - I am seeing a lot of great changes though (things I never thought I could change) - I am really starting to see my calves/thighs/rear change shape... There is more muscle definition there. And I have KNEES!!! If you remember my above picture - sitting on the AK float - I was so sad that I didn't have knees... Well, I do now!

I am nearing 40 y/o, and I just didn't think it was possible to get more healthy as I aged. Sure I've lost weight before - and I thought I was healthy - I am realizing now, more than ever - just because I've lost weight before, doesn't mean I did it in a healthy way, nor did I gain health in the process. I just lost weight. There is so much more to it than that... Losing weight is NOT an automatic ticket to good health. I truly feel more healthy and more vibrant than I ever have in my life - even in my teens & 20's... There is something wonderful to be said about that!

April 2014: April was a great month for me... Sometime in March, I stopped journaling on MFP again... I seem to go in spurts with that... I hate doing it, but sometimes it's necessary. Because of what happened last time when I didn't journal, I am really nervous that I will accidentally eat too much... so I am very cautious about what I eat. It's is possible/likely that I am not eating as much as I should/could. But I feel satisfied and I don't feel like I am starving at any point in the day. I also notice that I am getting lazy about cooking... There have been times where I've walked into my kitchen to eat because I was hungry, but just shrugged it off and left the kitchen because I didn't feel like making anything. This is something that is totally new to me, and I am not sure what to make of it?

Anyways... My stats for April were down exactly 6lbs, for a grand total of 48.6lbs in 13 months (and down 25.9 lbs since I started eating Primally at the end of December... WOW!). I am not going to post all of my measurments, but my biggest losses were my abs with -1.5" this month and my hips with -.75 this month. I am still lifting 2-3 days per week, and I do my WATP/ab routine 2 days per week.

Josh and I on Easter Sunday:

May 2014

I feel like the month of May went very well for me... I have yet to weigh or measure and I am a few days into June... I still feel like I could eat more, but I am a little afraid to, since I am not journaling my intake and have no desire to. But overall, I feel like I am doing well, I am losing and I am getting smaller. I feel like I have good energy and I feel like my skin looks great. Suzi, Mo and I (Tess joined us this time) just finished up our yearly Epic Dismeet, and I am shocked at my progress from just one year! So, I thought I would post a comparison picture... Last year's Dismeet vs. this year's Dismeet...

June 2014 - my stats for May/June were OK... I lost a total of 8.2lbs over the course of the 2 months (remember, I didn't weigh or measure at the end of May) for a total loss of 56.8. I did not lose any inches anywhere, but looking at my progress photos, it is visible that I lost some body fat. And my clothes continue to get smaller. I am in a solid size 12, I continue to wear a lot of my 14s, but they are much too big on me, and most of them I can take on and off with out unbuttoning. It's a great feeling knowing that I am still making progress, especially considering that I hurt by back at the beginning of June - so I had to completely back off of my weght lifting for the remainder of them month - I am still trying to work back up to the weight I was at on my squats and I haven't resumed my dead lifts at all, and it's half way through July now. My eating has been OK - I still think I could be eating more - but I have no desire to journal at all, so I would rather play it safe. Eating at the lake for our annual long trip over the 4th of July was a bit hard, but I set myself up for success, and did the best I could in awkward situations - overall, I feel like I could have done so much worse - so I am happy with it. I am coming into the final weeks before our trip, and I am anxious to be down another size before we leave... I have 2 pairs of Hollister shorts in a size 9... I was able to wear one of them at the lake, and the other is still too tight - I would be THRILLED beyond belief to be able to wear those comfortably on our trip... I am pretty confident I will be able to wear the one pair - not too sure about the other? Which leads to the problem - if I don't get into that 2nd pair, I will have nothing to wear, because all of my others are too big. We'll see how it goes. As far as how I see myself these days, I am definitely noticing changes... Those big hips that continue to drive me crazy are finally slimming down... Now if the shape of my behind would change - that would be wonderful. LOL I am working hard at it and have been for months. I am also really starting to like the shape of my neck - I am noticing in most pictures, my double chin is gone and all of my tendons are visible... I am hoping my collar bones are next. I am also liking the changes in my arms... However - one is smaller and more defined than the other... I've been working hard to balance these out over the last several weeks - but it's odd and they are not balancing out yet. I'll just keep working it. Overall, I am happy with my progress, and I feel healthier - and younger than I have ever felt - even when I was young. LOL

July 2014 July was a really difficult month for me, with many out of the norm challenges. We started off the month with a 10 day trip to the lake, where I couldn't bring my weights... But after injuring my back in June - it was probably beneficial for me to be forced to put down my weights. So, I walked... Every morning I did 2.5 miles - it was wonderful. I love walking at the lake. Food was another challenge... I was as diligent as I could be considering the circumstances and I tried as hard as I could to eat with in what I nomally eat. Over all - when I came home, I was happy with how things went. Once home, I resumed my weight lifting, and for these last few weeks before our trip, I've added the 30 Day Shred... Normally - I really look down on losing "x" amount in a certain amount of time... But I have 2 pairs of shorts I need to wear for our trip, and they still look a little tight on me... So, I guess that means I need to be a little hard on myself for a little while... Being VERY careful not to burn out.

Final thoughts...

I keep telling myself - it's all about the progress... I want to be stronger and I want to be healthier, and that is my focus. Everything I eat and everything I do - I try to make it relate to that in some form. I continue to tell myself that this is an endless journey, there is no end date and there is no "final goal".

You can find Part II of my journey here!



Never open texts with the "Hand Sewn Button" attac
Feb 25, 2008
2014 & 2015

If you've read the above post, you know that this journey has been a long one for me... A life long battle with myself and the food I love to eat.

I've made my progress - or in some cases - lack thereof, public in the effort to inspire anyone and everyone to make choices to better their health and find what works for them. What I do may or may not work for everyone - but I encourage everyone to "think outside the box" and do their own research. Some of the things I've discovered on this journey truly makes me sick... Conventional Wisdom, including our own Doctors and Government, are not always right... Do what is best for you and your body - I promise you - your body will thank you in more ways than one.

Anyways... Back to my journey...

August 2014... Such a challenging month for me - this promises to be a long update for sure... The month started off with a few challenges... My biggest one - I left for WDW on the 20th, and as of the beginning of the month - my shorts didin't fit me the way I wanted them to. :worship: I decided to change up my work out routine a little bit, and swap out my Walk Away Pounds videos for the 30 Day Shred... If any of you have ever done either of these - well, I guarantee you, 30DS is MUCH harder! I did 30DS a few times last year, leading up to our August 2013 trip, but I hadn't done it since then... To my surprise - I was in much better shape this time around, and miraculously - I had moved up to some of the more difficult moves. Don't get me wrong - it's still hard, but I was so excited to see progress.

Another thing I struggle with a lot - is I am petrified of "burn out"... I've done it before - many times... So, I am very careful to not over work myself - I am also very careful to take days off - sometimes forcing myself. Well, I was very afraid that those Hollister shorts would send me into a full-fledged burn out... Or at the very least - kill my groove if I couldn't fit into them by the time our trip came around. I eliminated that possibility by donating them to dd, and removing them from my mind completely. :thumbsup2 Instead, I ordered 2 different pairs of shorts - still smaller, but more doable, IMO... So those shorts became my goal.

I did not change my diet at all during this time. I didn't eat more, and I didn't eat less... However - I did add a few grain products here and there, just to get my body used to eating it again.

So, that's all I did to prep for our trip.

Then Disney came... WHOA!!! Mentally - I've been prepping for this vacation for months... Maybe even for the last year. I knew I would be eating things that I didn't normally eat... So, I made a list... Sweet Cream Cheese stuffed pretzels, Napoleons, Banana bread pudding, stuffed french toast, Mickey waffles, beignets... The list goes on... I knew I'd be eating these things... I knew it. But, what I didn't prepare for... The desserts... Key lime pie... Chocolate cake... Frozen cupcakes... Yah - I had them all. At first I tried to be good, but as my week progressed, I left less and less behind. :crazy2: I left Disney a little disappointed in myself... But to be quite honest - I could have done waaaay worse. So, in the end... I came home feeling like crap... I was bloated... My thighs rubbed together more than they did when I left... I could see it in pictures of myself... But, I was also proud of myself... Not one drop of soda the entire time we were there... No pasta at all... And the best part... I never stuffed myself... And I could keep up with my girls - at times, we were RUNNING through the park - and I could do it! What a magnificant feeling!

So, rather than be down on myself for all I did "wrong"... I wasn't... I concentrated on what I did right... I picked myself up and I moved on.

As soon as we got home, the very next morning - even though there was a time crunch - I worked out... Sadly, I worked out too hard, and had to take the following 3 days off... but I still continued on. Even though I couldn't work out... I made the best possible eating choices I could make - and very slowly and deliberately, I am back to my new normal way of eating. My bloat is mostly gone, and my energy levels are up again. It feels so great to have that type of control over my life now... And even though I don't have a trip in the near future to keep me motivated, it seems that my overall heath and building strength is enough for me now. :woohoo:

I did want to take a moment to share a couple of pictures from our trip... Pictures that are not part of Photopass, and somewhat candid - they really made me do a double take and realize how far I've come.

This first photo... I am not even sure it looks like me? I don't even know what I like about it? Maybe it's my arms? Maybe it's my posture? I am just not sure... but I like that I am just sitting there relaxed, and I look good.

Now this one... I can tell you all - with out a doubt - what I like about it. I like that I am sitting there - totally relaxed - doing NOTHING... yet you can see the muscles and tendons in my legs running the length of them... Yah - you can also see the cellulite on my rear, but for once, I am sitting on it - and it actually looks narrow... :confused3 I also like my arms in this picture... I love that I am totally caught off guard, and my posture is horrible - yet, I think I look good. It makes me think to myself - "Wow, I've come a long way, even if I don't always see it..."

October 2014...

It was a tough month for me... After being stalled out and trying to figure out what I needed to change to make progress again, I decided I needed to lock in on my diet a little better. I journaled on MFP for a few weeks, just to make sure I was eating properly - and that seemed to help. I really should be better about it, as I seem to have my best progress when I am journaling - eventhough I hate it.

Mid-October, I came down with a nasty bug - which put me in my recliner for a week. But believe it or not - I still managed to lose some during this time, even though I didn't change my eating habits at all. We are coming into the holiday season - but I am not too nervous... I made it through last year easily enough, and I am certain I can do the same this year. It's hard to believe it's been almost a year since I've started eating Primally!

Anyways... Here's this month's progress photo for you all... I see the biggest change in my face/neck/shoulders/arms... I really love the look of my arms in this picture... You can see the tendons in my one arm... They look really small - my wrists especially and the crook of my elbow. And I love that I look so much younger! It baffles me that a change in diet can do this much for a person - I still look at pictures of myself and I cannot believe it's me. The person I see when I look in the mirror is more like the one in the before picture, than the current picture.

December 2014 Wow! I can't believe I skipped right over November and here we are already a few days into January! We've been busy though, but I am still here and still chugging along!

I did great through Thanksgiving, enjoying the meal - everything we made was Primal approved, with very few exceptions. It was wonderful to be able to eat and truly ENJOY a meal that I knew was good for me. I've never left a holiday plate before feeling like I did something good for myself. It was really cool. The leftovers hung around for a few days, we all enjoyed them, and we all knew they were good for us - so no guilt there either.

At the beginning of December, I decided I wanted to do a Whole30 immediately following Christmas. So, I ordered the book It Starts With Food, and dug in as soon as it got here. I was very excited to get started, so once I finished the book, I made a huge effort to be as compliant to the program as I could possibly be before Christmas, if only to help me get through the holidays a little bit easier. So, that's what I did. There were a few meals (or more like, items) I ate during the course of the holiday - at family functions - that were not Whole30 compliant. But quite honestly, I feel like I did really well, and I am proud of myself for that.

Little by little, I am learning that it's fun and easy to enjoy life, yet still have control over the foods you feed your body. I have never felt such contentment before, and it's flowed into every other area of my life. Seriously.

Currently - I am on Day 6 of my Whole30, and I am feeling great! I am not suffering from any of the typical symptoms that most people get (yet). I am not sure if that's because of the way I've been eating for the last year? Or if it was because of my due diligence to be mostly compliant in the weeks leading up to my official start? Either way, I really feel peaceful and at ease about this Whole30... Like it's just another piece of my journey.

For most of my clothing items, I am wearing a size medium in tops... They are a hair too tight, but the larges are definitely too big, so I am just dealing with it. My wool coat (shown below) is a size large, and if it wasn't for my shoulders being broad (from my weight lifting), I could easily wear a medium in that coat, as I have a good 3-5" of gap everywhere else in it. Jeans... Well, that varies by brand. I have a pair of size 8 Levis I wear, I also have size 10 Levis, yet I have a pair of size 12 American Eagle... So who knows? I think I can safely go with a saying I am a size 10, since it's right in the middle. Also, my shoe size has gone down... I used to wear a size 9, but my size 9 boots feel really clunky on me now, even with thick boot socks under them. I am NOT replacing any of my shoes with smaller sizes, but when I do need to buy new ones, I am going to try 8.5s... I'd love to have smaller feet. Before I had the girls, I was always a 7.5-8... It's true that your feet grow when you are pregnant, at least for me.

I want to share a few pictures with you all, just some recent ones, ones that make me feel good about myself and how far I have come.

Probably one of my favorite pictures ever... There is NO way this photo would have happened last year, or any other year... and there I was, sitting on Josh's shoulders on Christmas Eve.

And this one... Trust me when I say, it is not very flattering - I detest my gut hanging down... I almost cried when I saw that... but then I thought to myself, I am strong - STRONG! How many (almost) 40 year olds can do this? It's taken me 3 years of HARD and consistant work to be able to do an honest full push-up! So, this picture really makes me proud of myself.

Finally, the last one... This was right after Allison had dressed me all up for my Anniversary out with Josh... I felt so pretty and I felt so good about myself.

January/February 2015

Well, I successfully completed my first Whole30 at the end of January. It was a huge accomplishment for me, and something I had to be super dedicated to. I was very proud of myself! Over the course of the 30 days, I lost a total of 7 lbs, which for me right now is a large amount. The closer I get to my goal size - the slower it seems to go. Since ending my Whole30, I've managed to gravitate more towards Paleo eating, rather than Primal... I do allow a bit of dairy, but I am trying very hard to limit it when I can. I've also really been watching my labels again - and things I previously allowed before my Whole30 have really come into question... I've been doing my best to avoid those items too. At some point, in the near future - I may decide to do another Whole30. But for right now, I am happy eating like this.

I am still lifting weights 2 days per week and doing light aerobics 3 days per week. This is a good mix for me, and has been for quite some time. Fridays are still my "optional" days - but 80% of the time, I do them.

I am really wanting to be at my goal size for summer... Which means, I really need to buckle down hard and get it done. I am very, very close. I could probably coast along at my current size and be comfortable here... but I really want to push and see how far I can go. I have some great outfits for spring and summer... I've been finding good deals on some used/NWT clothes on Ebay... Then, of course, there's the Target clearance rack... As I've been finding stuff - I've been putting it away in a bin. A few weeks ago, I took everything out and organized it and discovered that I should have stopped shopping LONG ago. I have way too much! And this isn't even my goal size! I haven't started shopping for that yet. Although, much of what I have here could be worn at my goal size.

It's super fun to look at all of it though, and know how hard I have worked to get here. I am really looking forward to this summer and enjoying life.

  • DMGeurts

    Never open texts with the "Hand Sewn Button" attac
    Feb 25, 2008
    It's been while since I've done a healthy living update... First off... If you want to read more about my journey - I have a blog, which is in my siggy - I haven't updated it in so long, but you are welcome to read. :)

    March 2015

    It's been a rough several weeks for me... I finished my Whole30 at the end of January, and even though I finished strong, it's been hard trying to reintigrate my "new normal" foods back into my life... Let me explain. Previous to doing my Whole30, I ate at approx 80-90% compliancy to the Primal lifestyle... This left me room for error, and let me live a comfortable eating life - with treats every now and then. But the Whole30 - while awesome - it is super strict... 100% compliancy for 30 days - NO errors, no slips, no treats - you mess up - you start over. I didn't want to start over, so I was very diligent. Once my 30 days were over, I started to allow a few items back into my life - the first being coffee with agave and real 1/2 n 1/2... Well, other things came into my house - all natural peanut butter (have I told you the pb is a weakness for me?)... I kept telling myself - that at least it was "all natural" with no weird stuff in it - true, but... Well - according to the Primal lifestyle, peanuts are a no go. Then, we went out of town for a weekend - I had to eat what was offered to me... Then Gus had his birthday and I made home-made orange rolls... The follownig day, I had to make monkey bread to use up the dough... And I couldn't resist any of it. It was bad. After all these years - I still have the cravings, I still can't resist. It was a really hard realization. I had to take a real hard look at myself, and refocus - which isn't easy. I am only 3 days back "into it"... but already I am feeling better - my belly bloat is totally gone, which is a huge boost to my morale. During this time - I must add - I continued to excercise and do my heavy lifting - so all was not lost. I did not gain any size... but I just felt awful.

    It was a hard realization to come to... To know that I've been doing this and making changes for years - and to stumble into my old ways so easily... It brings me back to when I first read Primal Blueprint, and realizing that grains and sugar do have addicting chemicals in them... I get down on myself, but in the end, I remembered that it isn't all ME... The food manufacturers do add chemicals to our food, which trigger pleasure sensors in our brains - that's how they make their $$, and that's how we can't stop.

    So, it's back to work for me... Continuing on this journey. I am so close... Really - one more size until my Ultimate Goal Size... I really want to concentrate on that over the next several weeks. I know I can do it - and I know I can do it before summer. :lovestruc

    One progress photo for you all from this month... Gus and Allison tease me because I don't know how to take selfies... Sheesh!

    May 2015

    Soooo... It's reality check time... I really need to get serious about this again... It seems, I get serious, then I get not so serious, then I am serious again. I just need a swift kick - that's what I really need. So, yesterday, I decided that it was time to weigh myself again... Yah - *reality check*... I haven't weighed since the end of January and the end of my Whole30... The verdict is that I am up 8 lbs. I am really not happy with myself. I know exactly what caused it... Starbucks and too much snacking on things I shouldn't be snacking on. It's time to be serious, really it is.

    For the first time in eons, I logged into MFP yesterday... I've vowed to journal religiously for the remainder of May... I know - it's only 2+ weeks, but for me, this is a big deal. I DETEST journaling, almost more than anything else. But journaling keeps me honest - so I must do it. I journaled my first full day yesterday, and I must say - yesterday was an average day for me (minus the snacking) and I really don't eat badly at meals... It's the darn snacking and Starbucks. Starbucks is evil - just in case you were wondering... ::yes:: If you don't go there, don't start. Trust me on this. Slippery slope folks.

    I am still working out though - and as usual, I think this helps me 2 fold. One, excercise is good for you - good for your muscles/bones/brain... Pretty much everything. Not only is excercise good for you - but doing it each morning (for me) helps me refocus on ME before I do anything else for the day. It really is part of my daily routine... Sometimes I really have to force myself to do it (Ok - most of the time), but when I am done, I know I've done something good for myself. And you really can't go wrong there. :thumbsup2 Last week was doubly hard on me (excuses, excuses), but DH was working from home all week, so I didn't have access to our computer - which is where I have all of my workouts stored... Not only that, but he had to be in the office by 7am every morning - so I just couldn't do my normal routine... I am VERY routine driven - if my routine is off, my whole life balance is off. Not sure if anyone else is like this out there, but it's hard for me to function... So, long story short - last week sucked. ::yes:: And I am very happy to be back to my work out routine this week, my life is so much better aligned.

    So, this week - I am uber concentrating on my intake... NO junk - NONE... Seriously! NO, NO, NO Starbucks... Must be strong here. And I will journal everything I eat in my journal on MFP - even on the weekend. ::yes:: Hopefully my body will cooperate - and my brain too... And I'll be back to losing and finishing the last leg of this portion of my journey... For the record... I've been working on this for 3+ years! If you would have told me when I first started that this would take me 3+ years - I probably wouldn't have started. I am being honest. So, I really need to buckle down and get to work on the rest of my life. ::yes::

    A few photos from the month of April/May (and my new glasses - which I love)... Wow... No real full-body shots of me this month... That was not purprosely done, I promise.

    August 2015

    Wow - again, it's been several months since I've updated. Shame on me!

    I am still here and still plugging along on my health and well being journey.

    Not much has changed... I am still the same size... I am wearing all of the same clothes I wore on my August 2014 trip, and they fit me exactly the same. It's a little frustrating, because I do work hard daily... but at the same time, I am sort of at peace with it. I feel good, and I don't hate how I look. But at the same time - I tend to get down on myself because I DO work hard, and I feel like there should be progress. Oh well... It doesn't deter me from treating my body with respect and feeding it with good foods.

    Oh - I did add one thing to my life... A BIG thing! Back story: When I was in high school, I always wanted to be a runner. There was this girl in my class, and she would run the school track every single day... She was always fit, and I just really admired her. So, one day, I decided to join her, but there was NO way I could keep up with her. Something she made look incredibly easy, and I couldn't even make it once around the track. I never tried again - not then. Fast forward a few years... Another trial... Another failure. Back in 2007, I tried again, in earnest... again - I did not have the lung capacity (hello... X-smoker here) or the endurance... Aside from the fact that I have bad knees... Chalk up another failure and the final assumption that I am not a runner, I never will be a runner and I won't even try to be.

    So... While at the lake, over the 4th of July, I walked every single day. While I was walking - I noticed that walking really wasn't much of a work out for me... It was enjoyable, yes, but it was really easy for me. When I came home, I decided I enjoyed my lake walks so much - that I would continue to walk here at home - just a few times per week. One day, while I was out walking - I thought, hey - why not? So, I picked up my pace and started to run... Slowly - but faster than I probably should have been. To my complete and utter surprise... I did it! It was (guessing) about a half mile. More than I have ever in my life done successfully. I was in shock! And I loved it! A few days later, I went for another "walk" - adding more running... To my surprise - I was able to run about half of my normal 2 mile walk - not consecutively, but still - I was very proud. Well, as per my normal routine, now I started researching running and beginner running... I learned that I was probably still going too fast, and belly breathing is very important. So, my next walk/run - I slowed WAAAAY down and really concentrated on my breathing. This time - I only walked twice - for a very short time. Me... Really? I am still in shock. Then, I decided - my feet were killing me - even though I had just purchased new shoes, I needed to go get fitted... Yup - I was wearing one full size too small... Lesson learned. Trust me - my feet are still in slight pain a week + later. But now I am running the full 2 miles - would you believe that???

    I firmly believe, the stars aligned perfectly for this to be possible for me... I've been smoke-free for 7.5 years... I lift heavy weights - so my muscles are strong and can take the endurance of running... I just never thought I would ever be in this place in my life - really. I am taking it super slow (quite possibly the slowest runner ever here), and being super careful. But I am very excited to be at this chapter! :woohoo: I don't have dreams of anything, at the moment - other than running a 5k... Not walking, but running... Then maybe I'll move on to bigger things. Some day - I would LOVE to particpate in a Disney race - that would be my ultimate dream goal. :lovestruc

    A few pictures from the last month...

    Thanks for letting me share here. :lovestruc Now that I know this is here, I will update here when I do my healthy living updates in my PTR/TRs. And also, please feel free to take a look at my blog (which hasn't been updated for months, until yesterday)... and also, please feel free to follow along in my PTRs/TRs... All linked in my siggy! :thumbsup2 Comments here are also welcome, if you prefer. :lovestruc

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    DIS Veteran
    Jun 24, 2015
    Thanks for sharing your story with us! You have made great progress over the years, and I know it has taken a lot of work. I'm glad you have taken a liking to running! It will take some time, but down the road running will be a activity you look forward to. Not because of the calories you burn, the new distance/time PR, but because the miles come easy and the time on the road gives you something else. I can't explain it really, but you'll know when it happens. For now though, celebrate each new accomplishment and go ahead and sign up for the first 5k to keep you motivated! Good luck and I look forward to reading about your journey.


    DIS Veteran
    May 26, 2015
    You look awesome and your story is so motivating!! I'm going to go back and read it all more slowly. Your family is adorable. And the bags! Love them!!


    Never open texts with the "Hand Sewn Button" attac
    Feb 25, 2008
    Thanks for sharing your story with us! You have made great progress over the years, and I know it has taken a lot of work. I'm glad you have taken a liking to running! It will take some time, but down the road running will be a activity you look forward to. Not because of the calories you burn, the new distance/time PR, but because the miles come easy and the time on the road gives you something else. I can't explain it really, but you'll know when it happens. For now though, celebrate each new accomplishment and go ahead and sign up for the first 5k to keep you motivated! Good luck and I look forward to reading about your journey.
    Thank you! :) I am glad you enjoyed reading about my journey. For now, I am very excited about running, it's one of those huge impossible dreams that I never imagined would be a reality for me. I really hate working out, and I don't necessarily love my heavy lifting (I love the results though) - but running, at the moment, I really love. I never thought I would love an activity. LOL I am planning to sign up for that first 5k either tonight yet or tomorrow... I am a little nervous about it - but I know my body can do it. One day - I truly hope to work towards training for a RunDisney half-marathon... I am not sure I have any dreams of doing a full, but I think a half would be just right. :)

    You look awesome and your story is so motivating!! I'm going to go back and read it all more slowly. Your family is adorable. And the bags! Love them!!
    Thank you very much! It's been a long road and a long journey - the end result is that there is no end. LOL And I kind of enjoy that... Knowing that there is still enjoyment in the journey itself, and happiness to be found along the way. It was kind of profound for me to come to that conclusion. I hope you enjoy the updates that are yet to come... :lovestruc


    Since I am here, I thought I would post a couple of this week's run photos... I am not sure what I love most about the running. I kind of explained it the other day in my PTR, something like this... While I am out there, I really don't like it all that much - it's hard. But any other time, I am in love with it - borderline obsessed with it. I love the clothes, I love Pinteresting everything about running, especially RunDisney stuff... I am constantly on the look out for trails or where I could possibly run... It's quite crazy actually. ::yes::

    This first photo - my oldest dd's boyfriend actually went "running " with me... I use the term loosely - as he was walking and I was running along side of him... Buuuut... It was fun to have someone out there with me - I didn't even realize I was running... However, my pace was more embarassing than usual. :scratchin

    Still not the best pace on the second run photo... Everyone tells me that my pace will improve with time. But I really have no desire to begin working on my pace until probably next spring... Right now - I just want to enjoy the journey and enjoy the fact that I am running. :thumbsup2

    Anways... Thanks for following along and reading along. :)

  • abish19

    Aug 5, 2007
    Thanks for sharing your story! I appreciate your honesty and courage in talking about something that is so personal - but many of us share the same struggles! I have had some success in the past with weight loss but it has come back, and I feel ready to make some changes. Now that I'm in my middle 30s it's less about looks and more about strength, energy, and feeling good...of course, I would be thrilled to look better, too. Your story really does give me hope, even if that is a little corny. Thanks again!


    Never open texts with the "Hand Sewn Button" attac
    Feb 25, 2008
    Thanks for sharing your story! I appreciate your honesty and courage in talking about something that is so personal - but many of us share the same struggles! I have had some success in the past with weight loss but it has come back, and I feel ready to make some changes. Now that I'm in my middle 30s it's less about looks and more about strength, energy, and feeling good...of course, I would be thrilled to look better, too. Your story really does give me hope, even if that is a little corny. Thanks again!
    I am glad my story has inspired you. :) I am a firm believer that just because I am getting older, doesn't mean I can't become better. I think, no matter a person's age - they can always aspire to be as healthy as possible. And I agree - I just hit that point where it wasn't all about my looks any more (yes, that is always going to be the end goal), but there is so much more to it than that. It's really about living my life to the absolute fullest - enjoying every moment and the people in it... And trying to do that as healthy as possible. This doesn't mean I am perfect - it just means I try to be the best I can be. :)


    I've had a decent week - eating wise. It's not always easy for me, because I really try hard to enjoy the foods I am eating... I don't eat things I don't like, but it I really love something - well, I am going to have it. ::yes:: But this week has been good, not a lot of bad temptations for me... I am lucky, because I work from home most of the time - so any temptations are what's in my kitchen and not something someone else made/brought to work. And since I am very habit driven... Well, I eat many of the same things day after day for breakfast and lunch - and I am happy with that. Some aren't, but I am.

    As far as excercise. I took last week off from heavy lifting - it seemed like a good "rest week" for me, since things just weren't working out right for me to lift, it had been 6 weeks since my last break, and it will be break time in approx another 7 weeks. But this week, I am back at it. I always try to dial my lifting weight back a teensy tiny bit on my first week back after a break.... It's probably not necessary, but it's what I do.

    My running has been feeling really good... What can I say? I think I love it! I had a great run on Sunday.... I struggled a little with my Tues run, but Thursday felt really good. I am always happy when I can come in under a 16 min/mile pace... Which isn't often. But at this point, I am just beginning with my running, and I am told that speed will come llater, so I am really just hanging on to that. :thumbsup2

    On my "rest days" you'll find me doing Walk Away the Pounds - the 1 mile version, with 8lb weights. I also do an ab routine on this day... I really enjoy my rest day work outs... If only because they allow me to be "lazy" 3 days per week. :scratchin

    Food today hasn't been stellar... Sometimes life just kind of throws a curve-ball, and you really have to roll with it. I wound up having a quick banana on-the-go for breakfast (which is not a typical breakfast for me) and then I ate out for lunch and dinner. Both meals were at Mexican restaurants... To be honest - I feel that Mexican food is really the best food out there... I used to think it was so bad for a person, but choosing the right items (which I only did at 1 meal today....) - well, it's better than McDonalds. One meal was at a sit down restaurant... and the other meal was at Chipotle - really the only "fast food" I eat... Oh and - let's just not talk about the Starbucks I had to stop to get to keep me awake on the drive home. :guilty: But I am going to bed tonight with out any guilt from today, and I will start fresh tomorrow - as I always do.

    Continuing on, is just all about starting over every single day... every single meal... every single snack. Choosing to do the best you can at every opportunity. It's not about being perfect - it's just about trying. ::yes::

    A couple of pics from this week's work outs and other...

    I also had a Dismeet at the MOA...

    Overall, it was a good week. I am really looking forward to my Sunday run. :thumbsup2



    Never open texts with the "Hand Sewn Button" attac
    Feb 25, 2008
    Well, I did it! I ran my first official 5K... My time was almost embarrassingly slow, but... I ran the entire 3.1 miles - never walked any of it - and I kept my pace the entire time. I am pretty sure I was the last actual runner to come in - everyone behind me was a walker. But I am proud of myself, just the same - as 3 months ago, I'd never run a step in my life. The race was an amazing experience, and I look forward to my next one - which happens to be on Saturday. ::yes::

    A few pictures for you all...

    My next step is an 8k in November. :thumbsup2



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