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Only 3 more days until the end! I cannot wait. I am committed to the process, however, and plan to keep working out long after the contest ends. My lifestyle had completely changed over the past couple of months and I could not have done it without the help of so many people. I want to thank God for this opportunity that I have been given.
I just never thought that it would be me here in the final 4. I cannot say how thankful I am to be here. I have used this opportunity to better my life and I hope to inspire others to better theirs.
I want to also thank Dynamic Dimensions, WCCH, KPLC and Henrietta's for sponsoring this event. I feel in that I have already won with everything that I have been given! I would also like to thank the entire staff of Dynamic Dimensions. Suzie, has taken on the job of being our nutritionist. She has been great about helping me think of alternative foods to go with my lifestyle. I would especially like to thank Robert Kingham. He has gone the extra mile----more than once----to take care of the four of us. And he always has such a great attitude. He has been an organizer, planner and motivator. Thank you Robert and your staff for everything!
I would be remiss if I did not thank my supersonically awesome trainer, Chase. He has seen me at my worst and at my best. He has taken someone who has little to no athletic ability and transformed that person into someone who can go 45 minutes on the elliptical and then some. He has a true gift. He has made me believe in myself. And that is no small feat. If you ever need a trainer, he is a great motivator and will work you to your limits. He is the bomb! I am also so grateful for my family and friends. My sisters, brother and their families have been very encouraging. There have been many phone calls of love and encouragement.
Thanks should also go out to my workout buds----a.k.a. "The Fab Four". You guys rock! You have given me many doses of motivation when I needed it the most. Thanks also to my coworkers and friends from afar. The emails and phone calls have really helped. For everything, I am so very grateful.
I cannot go without thanking my dear husband. He has had to go through this entire journey with me. When he wanted to eat something "bad", he did not because he knew that I couldn't. He has had to endure me not being home a lot because of working out. He has also had to endure me after my workouts when all I wanted to do was flop! I am so thankful for all of his love and support.
I am thankful to have worked with such strong women. Heather has now become the guru of the group fitness classes. She has even been asked to teach. Kellie, who only recently dropped out due to personal reasons, made great progress as well. She has been on a life plan to getting fit and healthy. She used this contest to make even more progress. Tricia has taken working out at home to a new level. She has done things like jumping rope at 10:00 at night. She is very diligent about working out at home-----something I cannot say for myself.
I hate writing big thank you's like this b/c without a doubt, I will miss someone. If I did, please do not think I do not care about you!
I guess that is all. We go Monday for our spa treatment at Henrietta's-----I can't wait! I am looking forward to a day off from work and being able to chill out. I wish everyone the best and hope that we can all keep this up well after the contest. For those of you that are thinking about changing your lifestyle-----DO IT. You will have no regrets.
Love ya! Lee
I cannot believe that we have only one week left. It has all seemed to go really fast and really slow. Really fast in the grand scheme of things and really slow when I am on the stair stepper. : )
We had some stress this weekend as my hubby had a small surgery Friday, but he made it out o.k.-----thank GOD! I made it out without eating anything "bad" and I stuck to working out. I have to say though-----there was no selection of healthy food in the hospital cafeteria (this was not at WCCH-----another local hospital). Anyway, for breakfast there was nothing but Otis Spunkmeyer muffins. Yikes! As much as I would have loved to have had one, especially while I was stressing, I got a carton of skim milk and some cheerios instead. I hope that someone reads this that can do something about what they offer in the cafeterias. Hospitals are supposed to be places of healing and health-----not the places that clog your arteries!
With my husband being ill, I had lots of time to think this weekend. I thought about how incredibly thankful I am for everything that has occurred in my life these past couple of months. I thought when I entered this contest that I had little chance of anything happening. Look at all that has happened! If you had told me at the beginning of November that I would have lost 41 pounds by February 25, I would have laughed and told you to stop joking. When I found out that I was in the final 4, I entered a totally new phase in my life. There have been no wonder diets or magic potions. I have just been eating right, working really hard and I have had so MANY people helping me.
I am writing all of this to tell anyone that is my size and is reading this YOU CAN DO IT. If I can, you can too! It is a long hard road, but it is one that you should definitely try going down. The rewards are more than you could ever imagine! As far as the contest, I am working really hard. But I am not necessarily working for the contest. I am working for other rewards.
In his Heisman trophy speech, Tim Tebo said that he ranked things in his life as follows: 1) God 2) Family and Friends 3) Education 4) Football. That is kinda the way I feel about the contest and what I try to remind myself-----especially after this weekend or worrying about my husband.
My priorities are 1) God 2) Friends and Family 3) Work 4) the contest------not even in the top two. But If my relationship with God is all that it should be, then I will be taking care of myself-----funny how that works out, eh? Sorry to get so philosophical, but that just needed to be said.
Anyway, I guess that is it for now. I will be praying for all of us this week. I will be especially praying for all of you out there that think that you can't do it. I am living proof that you can! It takes a lot of dedication, willpower and prayer, but you can do it. I pray for everyone to be healthy and to take care of themselves. And I pray for all of those who have helped me along the way. There is no way I could have done it without you.
I cannot believe that it is already the middle of February. It seems like yesterday that we were getting the phone call that we would be interviewed for this competition. I have been thinking alot tonite about the "competition". As I was working out, I went to lift the barbell-----yes, Chase has me working my booty off even though he is not "training" me anymore-----it is part of my weekly routine to work my arms. Anyway, I went to lift the barbell and I noticed something. When the competition started, I could barely lift the bar over my belly and other body parts. Tonite, I was able to come up with a clean lift and the more exciting thing was that I saw something that I have never seen before. A neckline. Like the kind that you see on commercials for jewelry. I have a neckline! Of course, it still has a long way to go, but holy cow, I have never ever been able to see anything defined in my neck. Wow! The whole experience really got me to thinking about the competition. I cannot say how thankful I am that I was chosen to be in the final 4. The impact has been truly life altering. Now, I actually like to work out, I watch what and when I eat and I make a conscience effort to me more active in general. Then to add icing to the cake, I have lost weight. Totally life altering----and in a good way. I am so thankful to be more healthy and know that I am taking steps to continue on this path. I have to say thank you to anyone and everyone that has been involved in this as you have truly changed my life ----and my neckline. : )
Adding even more icing to the cake----yes, I am using the food reference as I would love some cake right about now-----we get makeovers the day of the final weigh in. Henrietta and Co. will be giving us pedicures, manicures, doing our hair, and my personal favorite-----massages! So when you see us the night of the weigh in and we look all relaxed and like we do not have a care in the world, you will know why!
I have a busy week. I have to drive to Lafayette tomorrow and Thursday for ------you guessed it-----more training. I am going to be more prepared this time and am planning to take some protein bars and other healthy snacks to combat the cake and cookies they are likely to have. I am planning to work out tomorrow morning and tomorrow nite. That might change if the drive is too crazy. I hear Lafayette in the 5:00 traffic is not fun.
I have to comment on how good everyone looks. Heather told me yesterday that she had not lost the pounds but the inches----you can tell. She looks wonderful. Kelly and Tricia look great too. I am so proud of all of us!
O.K., so now I better get to bed if I am really going to work out tomorrow. Thanks again to everyone for all of their support. Special thanks to Abby for doing the stairmaster with me tonite-----I would have gotten off at 5 minutes if you had not been there!
This morning I decided to attempt another spin class. I have been trying to vary my workouts some this week so I will not get bored with any one thing. I would love to say that I am bored with the stairstepper, but it is more of a nemesis than anything else. It is all mental too. I know that I can work hard on it, but there are times that my feet just sink all the way to the bottom and I just stand there. I have gotten better, however, about not leaning on the rails. Man, I can get off the subject, can't I? Anyway, I went to spin and let me tell you-----even though my rear still hurts, it was awesome! I went the entire 45 minutes and kept pace with the class. I had so much energy the rest of the day. And I had a better attitude about things too. Whenever hurdles were thrown my way today, I did not let them get me down. Everyone kept telling me that you have to go a few times to spin before you know if it is for you. Although I am not the best at it, I am definitely hooked!
This has been the second week without our trainers. It has been hard, but I cannot say enough about the encouragement from others at DD. Everyone has been wonderful about keeping me going. I am so thankful for you all.
There has not been as much temptation this week as far as food. My biggest hurdle was tonight and I made it thru by drinking a DD smoothie.
That, in a nutshell, is my life this week. I have been working hard, but I still have a really long way to go. We weigh in Monday----be sure to watch!
This past week has flown by! We started out with our weigh in Monday and I have been running ever since. This week was the first week without our trainers. Tuesday, I felt like a total dingbat working my way around the weights-----but I did it ----with guidance here and there. : )
Wednesday, I went to Alexandria for training. Why is it that there is NEVER healthy food at trainings/in-services? Chocolate chip cookies to York Peppermint patties------total torture! At lunch, I came up with a new game plan and went to the store. That helped a ton as it really allowed me to feel more in control of the situation. That night, my hubby came in town and we were going to go to the workout room. Ha,ha, ha! The room was more of a closet with a 1972 bike and a treadmill (which I cannot walk on due to my knee). The clincher was that the room had no blinds and it looked out over the area where the hotel was having happy hour. Needless to say, we walked around the hotel instead. Displaying my cycling abilities to people during happy hour is not something I want to be known for. : )
Today was much better. I was prepared for the "junk" food at the training. The biggest thing that I noticed was that I did not feel all sluggish after training. Not partaking in the "grazing" really made a difference in my drive home too. I even drove straight to DD and worked out this evening!
The workout tonite was good. I did not meet my goal on the stair-stepper-----that machine drives me up a brick wall. One day I will tackle it it! I know that I will. Anyway, I was so thankful to my fellow comrades who were working out. We motivated each other to keep going. It made a big difference!
More later-----gotta catch some zzzzzzzzz's so I can workout tomorrow morning!
Today has been much better than yesterday. Going the right way on the Interstate really helped! I met Chase this morning and we worked on my plan of action for the next few weeks. And yes, we got to box. I love to box. I cannot relate how much I love to box. It really keeps you thinking and working at the same time-----you have to breathe, focus on your target, guard your face, and yes, punch really, really hard! We moved offices at work. I was going to say that was my workout for the afternoon, but thought better of it and went back to DD for my time on the elliptical and the dreaded stairmaster. It is taking me alot longer to get adjusted on it than the elliptical. But I will keep trying.
Tomorrow is my last day with Chase. I am going to miss him! He provides lots of entertainment as well as motivation and knowledge. I am so thankful to have had him as my trainer.
I am in this thing for the long haul, though. This is a lifestyle change that will have to follow me whereever I may go. So, I will keep trucking along on this journey----even on days that I go the wrong way on the Interstate! Thanks to everyone who keeps encouraging me. I have said it before, but you do not know how much it means. Every little bit helps!
Have you ever had a day where everything that you attempted to do was wrong? I have them every once in a while and today was one of them. I should have known that my day was going to be off when I got on the Interstate to go to DD only to realize that I was going the wrong direction at 4:45 a.m. My day ended with me going to DD for the afternoon only to realize that I forgot my tennis shoes. I did not want to set any fashion statements by getting on the elliptical with my sweatpants, white socks and mary janes. Thank God for my wonderful trainer who was able to think of a workout that I could do at my apartment.
Here I am. Another night and another week down the road of this contest. I was not real happy about my lack of weight loss, but there are some cool things that have happened that are 10,000 times better than weight loss. For example, my comfy pink robe now fits again----never thought that would be something that would make me so happy. And I was able to go to the mall this weekend and not be totally pooped afterwards. That was really nice as well. And I would say that overall, I am feeling better about me and what I am doing for myself.
As I have said in the past, I am usually trying to take care of everyone else----even if I am the one that is sick. When I felt myself getting sick yesterday, I busted a move to start taking vitamins, drink plenty of water, etc. Something that I never would have done in the past. Heather mentioned her self esteem in her blog. It is amazing to me how we let others affect how we feel about ourselves. I am still shy (if you would call it that) about doing certain activities in front of people. The stairmaster has been my latest enemy. Initially, I felt completely inept on the machine. But the more that Chase has me do it, the more confidence I build-----amazing how that works!
This is our last week with our trainers. I am feeling some apprehension, but I keep reminding myself of all that I have learned in the past 6 weeks----can you believe that it has already been that long! And we made it through Christmas and New Years. Now we just have the Super Bowl, Mardi Gras and Valentines.
Gotta catch some zzzzzzz's . Going to workout early in the morning. Till later.
Congrats to everyone! I am so proud of all 4 of us. We have all really worked hard and are in the midst of achieving alot more than just losing a few pounds! Kellie-----I just read your blog. I am so proud of you for sticking with it and reaching your goals. I totally know what you mean when you say diet----even though it is a lifestyle change. Heather----I had a major epiphany last week that this "contest" is not about losing weight, but about bettering ourselves so that we will be able to take trips and enjoy life. It is not about the weight. I keep reminding myself of that and you should too. Think about how far you have come----how far we have all come -----in one month's time. I personally, think that WE ROCK! Tricia----I am so proud of you too. Anybody that can jump rope at 10:00 at night has my utmost respect.
While I am very excited about the trip, I have my eyes on a different prize-----being healthy. I want to go to Six Flags and be able to ride the roller coaster. I want to fly in an airplane without being squished to death and I want to feel good about myself. I feel that this contest is making all of that happen. Like Heather, I have definitely felt the pressure of everything today. I do not want to let anyone down. But, if I stay focused (which is really hard for me to do), then I can keep my eyes on the prize----being healthy and happy. Congrats again to everyone!!!!!
Today, I met with Suzy, our nutritionist. She was a wealth of information. I feel like I have more tools to tackle meal preparation, etc. Then we had my boss' retirement party this afternoon. This was not like Christmas where I could just not attend and avoid the sweets. I did well, however, and talked to everyone instead of using my mouth to eat. It was very tempting however. After work, I met Chase for a workout. It was a great session. And guess what......drumroll please........ I made it for 30 minutes on the elliptical. I am still in shock about it. And once again, Chase had more faith in me than I did in myself. But I DID IT!!!!!!!! Woo Hoo! Regardless of what the scale says Monday, I know that I am in better shape and feel better than I did a month ago.
Tonite was a good night. We got to do one of my favorite things-----box. What a good workout! I thought of the stressors in my life and punched them away. It was awesome. We also worked on the elliptical and other machines as well, but boxing was the highlight. I don't really feel as if I have lost any weight, but I feel so much better than I did one month ago-----and that is including my knee injury. I will be glad to meet with the nutritionist so I can see what foods are right for me since I do not eat red meat, poultry or pork.
Today I have been thinking alot about the competition. I was so excited yesterday when I found out that I had lost 18 pounds. That excitement was leveled , however, when I found out that I was not in first place. Don't get me wrong, I am so very happy for everyone that lost weight, but there was that little part inside of me that felt like I did not "make the cut".
Tonite, Chase and I had a really good workout. I worked out on the dreaded elliptical for over 20 minutes - a major milestone for me, I did alot of ab work on the balance ball and worked on my arms as well. I also had a personal best on the bike in burning 92 calories in 18 minutes and 18 seconds.
On the way home, I stopped by the store and purchased veggies to steam and some fresh fruit. Then it all hit me. Yeah, I lost some weight, but more importantly, I am gaining my self respect and am changing my lifestyle in a way that I could have never imagined.
I was actually looking forward to really working hard at the workout today. I now am finding myself wanting to go work out and eat right. That is something that no trip to the Cancun can ever beat. So, yes, I am still going to compete my little pea-picking heart out, but I truly feel blessed of all that I have gained. I am so blessed to have a trainer that pushes me to do things I never thought I could do. And, I am so blessed that I have had so much support from my coworkers, family and friends.
I would also like to thank anyone that has encouraged me. It has been amazing how total strangers have said that they were rooting for all of us. You do not know how much that means.
I am sure that I will have more tales of how Chase tried to kill me on the elliptical tomorrow, but one thing that I have learned in this competition is that I need my sleep. Till later.
Weigh in UPDATE (1/7/08):
270.4 lbs - 18.2 lbs. to-date loss - 6.31%
O.K. This was definitely the toughest day yet. I started off by attempting a spin class this morning. Hahaha. I did last for 15 minutes, which is much better than I could have done three weeks ago. My friend and I ended up leaving and doing the regular bicycles for the next 45 minutes. I met with Chase this afternoon. We started off by working on my arms with the cables. To be honest I had no idea what he was talking about at first----the only cable I know is the kind that I get aggravated with when the signal does not come in. I learned however, that there are cables that are connected to weights with which you can do all sorts of arm exercises. Pretty cool. Then came my nemesis-----the elliptical. I can honestly say I cannot stand that machine. Chase had me going at various speeds and "sprinting" at some points. I thought I was going to die! I went 15 minutes. My legs felt like jello when I got off, but I thought to myself, well, at least I am thru with this machine for today. WRONG! After more weights, Chase put me back on the elliptical. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper. All I can say is if you have ever had doubts about having a personal trainer, you need to stop having those doubts and get one. They will push you to the very edge---- much further than you will ever push yourself. One of my faults (besides being 200+ pounds overweight) is that I do not believe that I can do alot of the things that I can. Your trainer-----if your are very lucky, will show you that you need to believe in yourself. I got thru the elliptical ----twice, arms, and the bike. Something that if you had told me 3 weeks ago I would be doing, I would have laughed out loud. You never know what you can do till you try.
FYI-----we are all weighing in Monday morning on KPLC. Be sure to watch on the sunrise show.
12/31/07 - Here it is, the last day of 2007. I am up early as my knee was hurting and I needed to take some meds. Will be calling the doc back today. I feel so blessed that I am in this contest. We were all complaining about it starting in the middle of the holidays, but now that I look back, I am glad that it did. It has really tested me and shown me the times when I want to eat, versus the time that I truly need to eat. Stress is my biggest hurdle. When I get stressed, I want to eat to make me feel better. I have really tried to be mindful of that during the holidays and tried to exercise in place of eating. I actually feel calmer and better about things. I will have to think outside the box today as far as exercise. There will be no hotel swimming pool or bike to use. Walking does not feel good, but I might have to suck it up and do it.
I would like to thank everyone for all of their support. My cousin asked me the other night when I was going to write in my blog again. I did not think anybody was reading. My family and friends have been so very supportive. I know that we are only in the second week, but I am so grateful to have had this kind of support during the holidays. It has most definitely made a difference. I am going for that walk now. Happy New Year everyone!
12/30/07 - Ate really well today. My wonderful hubby made me a blueberry smoothie this morning and the meals were more doable. We ate lunch at Applebee's thinking that would be a good choice as they have a Weight Watchers menu. The meal itself was good and we ordered dessert off of the WW menu. I was very surprised when the waitress came out with the World's Smallest piece of cake for my hubby and I to split. I swear that the cake was Barbie sized------very, very, small. I guess that God was watching out for me and making sure that I did not overdo it. I swam and rode the bike to keep things in shape : )
12/29/07 - Back to Monroe today for my cousin's wedding and to see my sis who I have not seen in 4 years. Exercised this morning and once we got to the hotel. Eating right was very hard. Why is it that everything we do has to be surrounded by what we are going to eat? I stuck to the program for the most part. I will be glad to meet with the nutritionist who can suggest what to do when I am wanting to eat something that is bad, but know that I cannot. The shot has worn off and unless I keep the anti-inflammatories in me, I am still in alot of pain.
12/28/07 - Doing better today. Went to the doc yesterday. He advised that I had a strained meniscus, gave me a shot, some mega strong anti-inflammatory pills and told me to call back Monday if life was not better. I have still been working out in spite of my knee. I have been biking and doing whatever I can that is low impact. Thank God for my niece, Kathryn. She is in very good shape and has taken over the job as my personal trainer until Chase comes back in town. Today, we worked on the balance ball, weights, biked and did stomach exercises. FYI----if you do not own a balance ball, get one. They are very good for strengthening your core.
12/25/07 - Woke up this morning and could barely walk without being in massive pain. Went to Urgent Care - thanks to those wonderful people who gave up their holiday for people like myself. Was given a couple of shots and told to take it easy. "I can't take it easy!", I told the doctor. "I am in a competition." More importantly, I am beginning to have more energy and feel good. No way am I letting a little thing like this get me down.
12/24/07 - Yes, it is Christmas Eve and I have not only exercised, but I have also been very mindful of what I have been eating. The only drag is that my knee has really been hurting me. Not real sure what is going on there.
12/23/07 - Today we traveled to Monroe for Christmas. Chase had contacted a workout facility there in order for me to have a guest pass. Who knew that you could do such a thing. I kept to my word and worked out with my best friend who was in town from Colorado. She is so inspiring. She and I used to be the ones who sat on the bleachers in P.E. while everyone else was doing something athletic. Now, she and her husband run marathons!
12/21/07 - Yesterday I received a voicemail from Chase asking if I wanted to go for a run at 6:00 a.m. I laughed out loud at the message. The thought of me running makes me laugh. But, I said that I would try it out. I met Chase at 6:00 a.m. at the track to "run". We walked "Chasespeed" which translates into really, really fast. Then was the test to run. Even though I ran more at the speed of a turtle, I still ran. Woo Hoo!!!!!!! I feel very sore, but other than that I am feeling pretty good about things. Kudos to Chase for believing in me when I did not believe in myself.
Blog 1: So here it is day 4 and I am finally finding the time to write. Things have been non-stop since I found out that I was chosen as one of the final 4. I want to thank everyone who took the time to vote for me. Like Heather, I do not want to let you down. I can tell you that I am going to try my best.
This week has been full of temptation as we had several desserts at work for Christmas. One of which was bread pudding-----with rum sauce. And not just any bread pudding, but Nanette's bread pudding. I could smell it down the hall and was so tempted to have some, but I thought of several things. I thought of all of the people I would be letting down. I also thought of how I would be letting myself down when I want so badly to live up to this challenge. So, I looked past temptation to the ultimate goal. This weekend will be the true test when I visit the in-laws and try not to eat too much and stay away from the sweets.
Monday, Kellie and I went to the active class. I have been asked by several people if we all four work out together. The answer is no, we each have our own trainer and work out individually. But Monday night after Orientation, Kellie and I took the opportunity to go to a group class. While on one hand, I felt really good that I lived through the class, I was sad that I am so pitifully out of shape.
Yesterday, I met with my trainer, Chase, who I KNOW will take me to the limit. He has already gotten me on the elliptical. If you have seen my pic, that is no small feat. I am sore in places that I did not know existed. I am, however, being challenged like never before----which feels really good.
Lee Schmidt: 288.6 lbs
Chest: 48 1/2
Waist: 51 1/2