Friday, January 25, 2013

$100,000 Transformation Challenge Blog Post #1

For those of you who follow my journey on facebook you know that I have joined a 12 week weight loss challenge. It is put on by There is a weight loss category and a muscle building category with each grand prize being $50,000.

Justin talked me into to signing up and we are in the middle of week one of the contest. It's been a rough week with me being sick, but I am persevering. I would love to win a prize in the contest, but I am just as happy knowing that I am taking back my life and am excited to see, with Justin's help, what I can accomplish in the next 11 1/2 weeks.

Part of the contest is being active in their forums and writing a blog, so as I post there I will repost here. Here is my first entry. I posted it yesterday.

A little bit about how I got to be over 300 pounds again.

At the end of October 2012, after stepping on the scale, I realized I had to do something.

From 2008-2010 I had worked really hard to lose 106 pounds. I went from 306 - 200 pounds. I was so excited to finally be in the 100's after so many years. Over 20 to be exact. Then the unexplained started happening. I was throwing up, sharp adominal pains, unexplained digestive problems. The fall of 2010 I was in and out of the hospital for 2 1/2 months and by the end of it all I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. There is no cure, but it is a managable disease.

The first thing I had to do was go on a huge dose of Prednisone to get the inflamation down. If any of you have ever been on that drug, you know, that you balloon up. I gained 40 pounds back of the 106 I had lost. I was told, not to eat anything I had gotten used to eating to be healthy.

For the longest time I couldn't eat anything over 2 grams of Fiber, I was told to only eat white bread, pasta, rice etc. Popcorn? Never again. I was told, just eat chips if you get the crunchies. I could only eat canned veggies and very few fruits. No more berries, peel your apples, nothing with seeds. At the beginning and for most of the first year all my fruits and veggies came out of a can and everything else was the color white. As you can tell this recipe was not one for healthy eating and my dreams of getting in the 100's was slowly fading.

In the midst of all this I had to move across the country. I moved from the Chicagoland area, where I had live for almost 30 years to Sunderland, Ma, a small town of about 3500. The midwest and the east coast are very different, so the first year I just stayed in the house and didn't do much. Along with not knowing anyone I was also nursing some injuries. Again, not a great recipe for healthy living. My weight continued to go up.

Back to the opening sentence of this blog post. At the end of October, I stepped on the scale at home and weighed 305 pounds. I was devastated that I had gained all my weight back except one little pound. I knew I had to do something. I decided then and there I would take a walk, so that is what I did. I started walking and decided to go a route I hadn't been before.

I started out and realized after about 5 minutes this was going to be hard, but I knew I needed to keep going. I got to a certain point, was pissed at myself for gaining all this weight back, and I was ready to quit, turn around, go home, and soothe my feelings with food. Then it was like someone smacked me up side the head and told me to keep going. I actually argued outloud with myself, but I lost and I picked out a point in the distance to walk to and I kept walking.

When I got to that spot I crossed the street, ready to walk home. I was walking along when I saw this brown building with an 8 1/2 x 11 sign on the outside that said, "PIONEER VALLEY FITNESS. PERSONAL TRAINING." I thought to myself, "Hmmmm, that's nice." Then I got smacked upside the head again and I argued with the invisble force at hand. I said, "I've had a personal trainer before. They make you cry. They make you face crap you don't want to. I don't want a personal trainer." The force at hand, which I now know was God, made me take a picture of that sign and made me email the personal trainer, Justin Killeen. When I hit send on that email, I was scared, very scared.

We started November 5th, 2012. That first meeting was hard. We talked about a lot and at the end I felt like we were a good match. The hardest part was not telling Justin everything it was admitting to myself that I had let myself go, that I had not dealt with the mental crap. Yes, I had lost 106 pounds the first time around, but what was wrong in my mind, that I turned to food once again for comfort. Justin is helping me with the physical and I have a counselor that is helping me with the spiritual and mental aspects of this and I do believe that it all goes hand in hand.

Sometime in late December/early January Justin sent out an email about the $100,000 Transformation Challenge, to all of his clients. I was a little bit intrigued, but to be honest I had joined contests before and I never finished. I always self-sabatoge myself. I had decided that I didn't want to join the contest. I had just come of some of the hardest years in my life, had gained back all my weight, and just moved. I had enough going on without adding a failed contest to the resume.

Justin kept asking me if I was going to do it. Deep down I know I wanted to, but I was scared. Up to this point I had lost 15 with Justin's help. I thought maybe if I joined this contest and messed up I would just gain the weight back. I really didn't know what to do. Justin and I talked long and hard. I shut down and don't talk when I'm stressed, so this was very hard for me. After listening to what he said and after some hard long thinking on my own, I signed up. I knew it was time to face my fears and finally finish something that I started.

So here I am, part of the $100,000 Transformation Challenge. It is the middle of week one for me AGAIN.

Yes, you read that right. I am in the middle of week one of the contest AGAIN. To find out what I mean about that, you will have to wait and read my next blog post.

Until then,

Have a great day and BE GREAT today.

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