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My journey from obese to lean & beyond!

**I use this page as a journal, so updates are added in down below, kinda like a snap shot to look back on.**

I've come a long ways! My goal, always, has been to become and stay, healthy. Of course, what we want, isn't always what we get!

Initially, my focus was on *weight loss*. Then it moved to *fat loss*. Then to *muscle growth*.

Now, I'm on a mission to be in the best shape of my life! This means my focus is, totally on fat loss & muscle growth. Scale ...
**I use this page as a journal, so updates are added in down below, kinda like a snap shot to look back on.**

I've come a long ways! My goal, always, has been to become and stay, healthy. Of course, what we want, isn't always what we get!

Initially, my focus was on *weight loss*. Then it moved to *fat loss*. Then to *muscle growth*.

Now, I'm on a mission to be in the best shape of my life! This means my focus is, totally on fat loss & muscle growth. Scale weight is no longer the target...so the changes I'm shooting for, are mostly the fine tuning ones.

My calories are within a healthy range of 1400 - 2000 and I eat Clean..so there is no starving involved.

So before anyone thinks I'm getting too *skinny*...that's not my intention.


*My* "first on" is my tummy fat...so it's *my* "last off".

In order for this to happen, I need to keep draining the fat off my body, in the most healthy way... through nutrition, strength training, and never giving up!

Analogy: Fat loss is like a swimming pool. You can't drain the deepest end..before the shallowest end.

My deepest end: Tummy

My shallowest end: Upper/Lower Body

The ONLY way to get the swimming pool *dry*, is to keep pushing forward. Of course, we have zero control of where our body will lose fat.

The leanest end (obviously) will just keep getting leaner & leaner..While the deeper end will drain away at a slower pace.

But, until the deepest end is completely dry..others might think you're pushing too far.

It has to be done!

Lean/Super Lean, is not easy!!

Lean does NOT mean *skinny*.

Lean DOES mean *muscle*.

Lean DOES mean *low fat*.

There is no other way around it.

So, when others read this, know...

1. I eat VERY healthy

2. I eat at a safe/healthy calorie amount

3. I never go hungry. Not for a single second

4. I ONLY exercise 3 times a week/40 minutes, max

5. I do NO cardio, but will walk on treadmill if mood strikes

In person, people say I'm skinny, yes, but they ALWAYS follow it up with.."But you have a lot of muscle, too".


So, that's my mission. My journey of *weight loss*, may be over...but my journey to becoming the best *me*, is just beginning!

On with my story....
Jan 1, 2007...

Starting weight: 185 pounds

Height: 5' 3.5"

Frame Size: small

Body Fat: 45%

Clothing size: 20 jeans

Starting Measurements...

Chest: 41"
Waist: 38 1/3"
Stomach: 42"
Hips: 45.5"
Thighs: 25.5"
Arms: 13 1/3"
Calves: 14.25"
Wrist: 6"

June, 2007...

Weight: 135lbs
Weight loss: 50lbs!

2008 & 2009...

I still had a few stumbles and had to re-tackle some gains. But I always returned to the 135lb mark. I thought this was my set point. Boy! Was I wrong!!


My head finally fixed itself, so whatever issue I had with relapsing, suddenly went away. Poof! Just one day, I was fixed! Don't ask me how..cause I'm not really sure??

I was 48yrs old, knew 50 & menopause was approaching, soon, so I just knew my time was now...or I might risk my future health.

It was now or never...so I picked NOW. And have never looked back or had a single stumble.

Aug 26, 2011...

I had pretty major surgery for a prolapsed bladder.The recovery, even though I was in excellent shape, was horrendous! But I healed very well and after a 3 month wait, I was allowed to resume the exercise...which is VERY modified and safe.

Aug 25, 2011...Day before surgery and last day of work: 125lbs

Aug 26, 2011...Morning of surgery 123lbs

Sept 5, 2011...almost no eating, so the scale read: 117lbs!

October, 10, 2011... I returned to work. People were commenting on how "skinny" I was looking and not in a good way. I assured them it was just because I had lost all my *muscle*, not because of low scale weight. It's amazing the difference muscle makes, in our appearance!

Nov, 2011...weight settled back at the 121 lb mark

Dec 17, 2011...119.5lbs *started back with light weight lifting

Jan 23, 2012...117lbs

Feb 27, 2012...116lbs

April 8, 2012...114lbs

May10, 2012...112.5lbs

June 11, 2012...111.5 lbs

July 30, 2012...111 pounds

August 26, 2012...110.5lbs

September 18, 2012...110lbs

October 1, 2012...109lbs

Oct 8, 2012...107.5lbs

Oct 29, 2012...106lbs!

Feb 2013...103lbs!! **this drop happened due to a 48hr fast I needed to be on for a required medical test. Weight went right back to 106lbs, after resuming normal eating**

Late 2013 - 2014....After achieving ultra low scale weights and ultra small jean sizes , my desire to attain more muscle mass in my lower body took over, so I changed my focus by increasing both my calories and my squats & walking lunges.

It took a few months, but I'm happy to report that I've been able to build my body into a very feminine balance of muscle & body fat, which I'm more than pleased with.

Since I was careful, about the only changes occurring were...

1. Increase in (sloooooow) scale weight

2. Had to move out of *boy build* jean sizes of 00 & 0's, into 2/3's which allow my new *girlie shape* to be showcased

Never thought I'd have the ability to sport a muscular back end, but it has now become my most prized body part. While it wasn't (mentally) easy, at first, to pitch my super tiny jeans, I've come to really appreciate all my newly acquired curves.

Score! : ))


June 2014.....

Still holding fairly steady, but it appears that I've arrived at another milestone in my life called menopause...so I've noticed my body is *trying* to make some alterations, which I'm not going to allow! Ha

While I AM loving my new curvy lower half, I am NOT liking how my lower tummy is becoming fuller & easily puffy. This makes me feel very self conscious and my clothes just don't fit as smoothly.

Luckily I am NOT a person who just gives up without a gallant fight, so I am once again diving in full force with all my weight loss knowledge and am gonna win this latest (no fault) battle!! :))

Hormones have way more power than we give them credit for, that's for sure! While it appears that all my healthy eating & being fit has paid off greatly, as I am having what is called "an ideal menopause type (zero adverse symptoms), the shift in hormones (even though balanced) is causing my body to add body fat to help with some of the oestrogen loss.

Since I have no need or desire to supplement with hormones, I will just keep digging deeper into all my years of nutritional knowledge, until I find just what it is that my body is asking for...cause I know I can't be too far off the mark, or I would be having a lot more issues, than just the annoying weight shifting one.

So my newest plan of attack (thus far) will be....

1. Log my eating again, just until I'm positive it's remaining on track. Since I'm not much for eating outside my normal selections, this shouldn't take too long.

2. My strength routine is still spot on, so no alterations needed, except for weight increases, gradually.

3. I'm gonna shoot for doing 20 - 30 minute treadmill sessions, on non strength days, depending on whether I dive into HIIT or not. It won't be through jogging or running (due to past female issues/weakness) but by incline adjustments & fast walking increases.

4. Goal with scale weight...is to get myself down towards the 112lb mark, as I know I will feel more content around that number. But I will NOT allow myself to dip below the 110lb mark, for sure!

That's about it. Nothing too drastic is needed, luckily, so it will be pretty slow & boring. I definitely do not want to risk losing any of my hard earned female curves, just to reach a itty bitty scale number, or tiny jeans again. I just want to feel good in my skin again. Confident in my clothing. That's all.

Let the battle begin!!!!!!


July 3...It looks like my body is beginning to respond quite well with the new activity I've thrown its way. While the scale has not yet moved down (but it will) I can notice a few positive changes:

1. My middle area is getting smaller and looking less bloated.

2. My clothes are starting to feel more comfortable and the material is laying smoother. I'm even back to wearing a few of my more body hugging dresses, shorts, and shirts.

I can notice that I'm getting back into this whole cutting desire, again, which makes me feel much better, mentally. This time, though, I'm noct gonna take it to the extreme, like last time, so not to risk losing any of my hard earned muscle growth.

Another goal I'm shooting for is to see how much I can improve on my next cholesterol check in another year. At first, when I got my results back, I was a bit put off by the numbers, as it just didn't seem possible for the TC number to go up. It just didn't make sense, as I only eat healthy foods, so I had to doctor send me a print out of my full blood work.

This is when I dug out my test from 2011, to compare, and this was when I took noticed of WHY my number had gone up...and it's great!!


TC: 169
HDL: 61
LDL: 108


TC: 190
HDL: 78
LDL: 103

So it appears that I made INCREDIBLE progress...YAY!!

My *bad* cholesterol went DOWN by 5 points! Yes!!

My *good* cholesterol went UP by 18 points!! Score!!!!!

I am elated and so motivated to see just how much BETTER my next test results can become, cause what I already accomplished, in the last 3 years with ZERO cardio, is mind blowing!! I'm just excited to see the improvements I'll make by adding in 30 minute treadmill sessions, several nights a week.

It just feels GREAT to find something to motivate me again, cause maintenance sure has its way of getting a bit dull. HA


July 17, 2014.....It seems that my new strategy of dealing with my challenging body issues is working very nicely. Yay! The scale is slowly moving downward, I've lost that puffy look & feel in my tummy, and I'm once again fitting into most of my clothes. And even having fun shopping for new ones!! :))

I bought myself a polar HR watch, as I was becoming quite curious as to how many calories I was burning & how my heart was doing with all the new activity being tossed its way.

And it's doing great!! I'm really quite excited over how low my resting heart rate came out to be....49 bpm. Score!! That was way better than I was expecting, especially since its been YEARS since I've done ANY cardio, so it appears that my strength training routine has worked well with keeping my heart fit.

I've been toying around with a few various HIIT sessions and so far I'm really liking them. In fact..way more than *just walking* on the treadmill & watching Netflix! Ha

My max speed is 7mph, but I tend to feel better at 6.5mph, instead. I do a 1 minute sprint and then a 1 minute recovery for about 22 minutes, so far. This one I'll do about twice a week, then I have another programmed course that goes for 30 minutes and it tosses in just a few running areas, but tends to focus more on increasing the incline levels. This one I really enjoy and will shoot for about 3 days a week.

I'm just happy that my body seems to be going right back to how it was acting, prior to all the hormone shifts, and that this next phase in my life is remaining symptom free. Guess I was just needing a small fitness adjustment to keep my metabolism strong.


December, 2014....Guess it's time for another update, since the last one was in July! Wow, does time fly!!

About the tail end of October, I finally decided that the only way for me to truly know how to fix my puzzling body, was to actually SEE just where I could be making some adjustments. So, I finally bit the bullet and bought a....


And I just LOVE it!! Since I'm a challenge oriented person (mostly with myself, luckily) this device is a dream come true!

I started out with getting to the 10,000 step they recommended, automatically, but that target was just too darn easy..so I climbed it to 15,000 steps, which is about perfect (on just a *normal* work day), but even that number is being left far in the dust, as MANY times I've surpassed the 20,000 step mark. Have even made it to 25,000 a couple times, too..but that number is more than plenty and I have no strong desire to keep shooting past it.

Anyway, it looks like what the Fit Bit has done for *me*, is that it has opened my eyes to the one thing that would help to assist all my strength training and muscle gains, with keeping my weight down, and that was the.....

**NEAT** factor!

Now that I have some numbers to SEE, I'm more than driven to get off my tush and bust out some more steps/mileage..which, in turn, torches more calories. It's awesome!!

One thing I do still need to note, though....

I'm still doing ZERO strenuous *cardio*. It's just simple *walking* , as I'm never gonna be the type to convince myself to *love* the full on cardio stuff. Every once in awhile, I may get a hankering to do a easy jog, while on my treadmill, but other than that, my true passion is just, simply *walking*.

So, between the *walking*, and the strength training days (just trying to *maintain* the muscle, no longer feel the need to build, build, build..as I'm perfectly content with the amount of muscle I have already acquired, all theses several years) that's about the ONLY changes I've made.

I'm still eating all my favorite healthy foods. I still have zero cravings for any of the less healthy food choices. My gosh, just yesterday, it dawned on me...

Its been 7+ years, since I've eaten any of my old nemesis'..Chinese & Mexican foods! Wow! And it's NOT because I *can't* eat them (cause I know I very well could, if I wanted to) but because I just don't have that *craving* anymore. Once your body (and taste buds) become accustomed to eating a certain way, the *desire* just vanishes. It's a nice feeling!

Lets see, now it's time to update, just what my body has been up to........

1. Can't say for 100%, just yet, that I'm classified as *Post Menopausal*...as after 230 days of nothing, I had a teeny tiny spotting day(s) occur, which makes me start over with the counting. It's no biggie, though, as I'm still symptom free..so I figure "oh, well". {shrugs shoulders}

This very month, though, would mark that 1 year target goal. Just sayin'! HA

2. After over a YEAR of, almost next to nothing for SLEEP...my *newest* hormone shuffle has seemed to leveled itself out and I've been sleeping ALL NIGHT..even needing my alarm to wake me up! THAT there is MY most incredible adjustment! Woo Hoo!! Over a year of waking up EVERY hour..night after night..sure can wear a person down! :((

Luckily, about the only thing that was saving me *some* brain cells, and just enough energy to function, was the fact that *when I DID fall asleep*, I always went right back into dream mode. But, to the minute..one hour later..ZOOM! Awake, again!!

Sure have my fingers crossed (tight!) that this past week of sleeping, becomes my, forever *normal*. Only time will tell.

3. Weight wise...This was the pisser! Ha While I knew I was doing absolutely nothing to cause it...the darn scale would jump (over night) by 5 whole pounds!! *Knowing* it's physically IMPOSSIBLE to gain that much (from nothing), was just not enough, to calm my stress factor! Go figure!!

But, since I'm not one to throw in the towel, I just kept right on doing research about hormones (which I knew was the culprit), and plugging away with keeping my calories/fitness in check.

A few *subtle* signs started to show themselves, letting me know that the scale issue WAS NOT ME DOING SOMETHING WRONG....

1st MAJOR one that happened..purely by accident, mind you!

I went to try on some (new to me) thrift store jeans, and found that they were a size 3. Of course, after just *trying* to come to terms with wearing size 5/6's..I just put this off as a *fluke*, and thought nothing of it.


It happened AGAIN! Different name brand, even. And AGAIN!!

Then, one day, I noticed that I was pulling on size 2's with ease!

Now, just weeks later (scale STILL wavering back & forth with those 5 extra pounds) I'm wearing size ONE'S!!

So, a few days ago, I pulled out the ole measuring tape and found the next *subtle* change...I was getting smaller, again!! Even though the scale was STILL holding firm.

So, this morning, I got my long awaited "Whoosh Factor" and the scale FINALLY took a nose dive! 115.4 pounds!! Thank Goodness!! :))

Needless to say...I'm beyond stoked. But, more importantly, I just wanted to post this up, in the hope that it may help another woman in my age category, to see that it IS possible to win the body battle, in spite of the hormone shuffles, as long a we just keep fighting. Don't give up!! Keep your eyes open for those *subtle changes*, as those may just be the clues you're needing, to know you ARE on the correct path.

Till next time! :))

***Felt I needed to add an important note:

Weight last year: 106lbs
Pant size: 0/1
Shirt size: small/x-small

Weight currently: 115.4lbs
Pant size: 1
Shirt size: small/x-small

Weight difference: 9.4lbs MORE
Clothing difference: NONE

So, see...we CAN weigh MORE, due to muscle growth, yet ONLY the SCALE will reflect the increase.


**Another nice surprise to add.....today, after work, I went browsing in GoodWill. Stopped at the jean section and found a pair of one's (half price) tried them on...they fit nice. Was stepping out of dressing room and decided to pick through the discarded rack and stumbled upon a pair of Aeropostale (my favorite brand) and slipped back into the dresssing room. On goes the jeans, easily, even though I was doubtful, due to the fact that they are..........

Size 0!!!!!

So it appears that my body is right back to where it was a year ago, EXCEPT it's 9 pounds heavier!! This is proof that females need not to worry about lifting weights/building muscle, for fear of *bulking up like a man*, as our bodies just don't have enough testosterone to allow that to happen.

Anyway, that's my latest surprise!! And no one is more surprised, than....ME, that is for sure! WOW!! (STILL SHOCKED)


Read More About GOING4MUSCLE (Updated December 19)



My Ticker:

394 Maintenance Weeks

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Member Since: 2/10/2007

My Goals:
Staying Fit, Getting Lean & Eating Healthy!

I use vitamins & foods, to keep my body & hormones as stable as possible. My favorite staples are...

Soy Milk
Flax Seed
Soy Nuts
Greek Yogurt
Fresh Fruit
Chicken Breast
Red Potatoes
Brown Rice
Spaghetti Squash
Pure Protein Bars
Whey Protein
Steel Cut Oats
Cream of Wheat
Adams Peanut Butter
Fiber bars (my only *sweet* treat)
Lots of water
Caffeine Free Teas

I'm a total believer in...


My Program:
Eat Clean, avoiding process and sodium, as much as possible.

I do follow a 95/5 rule, as there is no reason to be 100% strict, to be healthy.

But, I have no desire to stray away from my eating plan, so it's very easy to follow.

I strength train Mon, Wed, Fri...

Free Weights
Total Gym ramp for leg work with about 120lbs of weight added
Bench with barbell

I do ZERO cardio

My job is very physical, so lots of calorie burn happens, 5 days a week.

Personal Information:
Height: 5'3.5"

Age: 52

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New Hairstyle

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Member Comments:
6/2/2014 2:34:40 AM

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6/2/2014 2:17:17 AM

Seven years of maintenance--woo hoo! Congratulations on your enduring success!

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6/2/2014 1:17:21 AM

Congratulations on your recent Maintenance Anniversary. Spectacular!

Successes such as yours inspire me and give me hope.

Comment edited on: 6/2/2014 1:21:26 AM

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6/2/2014 12:55:02 AM

congratulations on your weight maintenance. You rock girl emoticon

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3/20/2013 2:31:01 PM

Hey Shelly,

How are you?

Long time no see ... or at least hear from. I think that is probably my fault though.

I've been incredibly busy with my teaching job and running and finding time for the family. Sometimes there are not enough hours in the day to do everything I need to do.

I've got some good news. I recently put on books onto Kindle. In fact they came out today, so I thought I would pop on here to spread the word. I wrote a little blog about it. If you can think of any ways to help me promote my books I would be extremely grateful. I feel as if I am a tadpole in a rather large lake.

How is your family? And your cute little dog?

Do you still blog on here regularly?

My kids are growing up fast! My youngest is now 15. My son is 16 and will be finishing school next year! Where has time flown to? My oldest daughter is standing on her own two feet trying to find out what she wants to do. It looks as if she might become a teacher.

I love reading your posts on here and it's great to see you continue to shine forth like a beam for others to follow. I know you certainly continue to inspire me.

Hugs xxx

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Comment edited on: 3/20/2013 2:31:25 PM

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