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Salute to Success ~ July 2012

Do you ever feel already buried deep?...Six feet under screams …but no one seems to hear a thing…Do you know that there's... still a chance for you…'Cause there's a spark in you?

You just gotta ignite… the light… and let it shine...
Just own the night… like the 4th of July!

'Cause baby, you're a firework…Come on, show 'em what you're worth Make 'em go, oh….As you shoot across the sky…Baby, you're a firework….Come on, let your colors burst…

        You’ve heard those lyrics I was singing haven’t you?  Sound familiar?  They’re from Katy Perry’s song “Firework.” 


         Well, we have a couple of “Fireworks in my clubhouse I’d like to tell you about this month.  I’ve written about both of these ladies before.  But wow…they’ve just been doing so great… I want to give you an update.  So here are Iris, and Hannah, in their own words.

First, let’s catch up with Iris…

        “This is an update that I am very excited to share. I wake up every morning in awe that I actually am getting closer and closer to goal weight. I haven’t been this weight since I was 30 (over 28 years ago). While my knees will forever be a problem until I get them replaced, I am absolutely thrilled to say that losing weight has given me my legs back. I am able to stand to do aerobics again . . . yes -- I can “Fly” again, so long as I remember to ice when I get home!!!!

         I will never understand why I allowed myself to gain so much weight so that my entire body ached so badly that walking was so very hard. I never, ever want to be where I was again … because I not only caused myself so much misery; I was a drain on my family and friends because I needed so much help. NEVER AGAIN! Now that I can stand on my own two feet, it is time for me to give back to all those who stood by me. I will always be grateful and full of love for all of those who supported me physically and emotionally and gave me hope.

        Throughout these six months, I have maintained my extremely busy lifestyle. I still worked full time, took my three college classes … and got all A’s. Except for two of my busiest weeks, I exercise every day. I do my physical therapy exercises every morning and every night to strengthen my knees, went back to doing aerobics, and walk almost every day at lunchtime with Rita. As the pain decreased, I became much more active, enjoying my Saturdays with my dear friends and family, and my Sundays with Marcia, and visiting our brother. I am so lucky to have so much love and support in my life … which includes all of you who always remind me how much you care … and, of course, dear Richard, who is always in my corner!

         Here are the stats … My start weight on 12/27/11 was 280.3. (It is a miracle I did not gain back to my all time high of 312.) As of June 28th, I am 161.4!!! Along with the 118.9 lb. loss, my body has changed. My Upper Arms went from 18-1/2” to 14”. My Chest went from 48” to 39.5”. My Waist went from 40” to 33”. My Hips went from 58” to 44”. My Thighs went from 32” to 23.5”. Can you imagine, I am really 56.5” smaller? I went from a size 3X to a 12 or 14. I just bought a beautiful Calvin Klein suit for work in a size 14 that only has a slight A-line skirt! Oh my!!! But even more importantly, my BMI went from a very scary and unhealthy 48.1 to 28!

         My journey is far from over. My goal has been 155 (the weight I was the day my mom passed away), but I’d like to get below 150. Here are the changes I have made: (1) I have a new friend … it is called a scale, which I choose to use every morning. (2) I measure my food, plan ahead, and keep track of what I am eating every single day; (3) I don’t cheat … not even one bite; (4) I drink a minimum of 64 oz. of water a day; and (5) I exercise every single day. I have taken back control of my life, and it feels good!

         The last time Richard gave me the opportunity to share in my success, I said that I hoped to have lost 100 lbs. by our next follow-up. I would love to tell you all, a year from now, that I have reached my goal and I am still there! Maintenance will be the hard part … but I can’t wait to try it!!!”

And now…let me share Hannah’s words…

        “Here it is July…Happy Birthday Richard! I'm not sure which is harder to believe that this year is more than half way thru or that an entire year has passed since Richard asked me to write my success story…now he's asked for an up-date and I have to admit I haven't exactly embraced the idea of me as a success…so for my own comfort zone...let’s think of this more as a succeeding up-date…on a work in progress.  Yes, that feels much better.

         I sent Richard a postcard trying to be funny…me stepping on a scale with the caption…"Are We There Yet? " a familiar question asked on any journey…with the equally familiar answer closer…but not yet. For the journey started on the New Orleans Cruise to Lose late in Oct 2010 at 347 pounds and continues in June of 2012 at 156 pounds... 9 pounds to the goal...when we started Richard asked me how much weight did I want to lose…and jokingly I said well, 200 pounds would be nice...this at a time when losing 2 pounds seemed impossible…but he said if I was willing to do the work...if this was the most important thing in my life… it could be done and he would be there to help me ...that was then and this is now that story is in the archives and this is an up-date so I am going to really try to not over think this as I unfortunately have a tendency to do. One thing I have learned and it’s taken some time to really understand is that this journey is so much more then the number on the scale.

        Of all the tools Richard has given us…and since we are being honest here I will admit I have still never made it thru a blast off week on the food mover...I continue to try...but for me it’s a puzzle I haven't solved. I've learned a lot from it..I use it…but on the list of things I struggle with it is probably I’ve got to wonder…" Richard what were you thinking including me in this success category..."but maybe that is exactly what he was thinking... I don't know why but on my journey it’s been the biggest fear...maybe because I don't like to cook…or...I'm terrible at math…and weighing and measuring...math oh my...scary.  At first I think it was a fear of seeing how much less food I was supposed to be eating compared to what I was eating. And not wanting to face that..or scared of failing…having to find the time to plan and prepare my meals.  I don't know…still working on that...but it has taught me about portion control and keeping a balance in my choices and consciousness of my choices.

           I will continue to try and figure it out...and continue to use it even if not to my full advantage…so that covers the "need to get better at" up-date...

           Now on the things I couldn't be more pleased or proud of so far...workouts…love them.  So comfortable with that as part of my lifestyle didn't start off that way. But now it’s like a treat to myself…Me time.  I have not missed a day since the first cruise…some days are better than others but each day has at least 45 minutes of exercise…and some added physical activity. I have a twenty minute walk to and from work and Millie my dog gets her 30-to -45 minute walk time twice a day. I know Richard says it over and over again…but to me (I guess because I am not so good with the foodmover) getting extra exercise in where I can is a major key on the key ring of success...and of course the ancient Chinese custom..Tone-ing. I have a few self -image issues I deal with. But that's another story.  Let’s just say for someone like me who's weight has been a battle all her life and who has put her body thru years of abuse by carrying all the extra weight...even more puts into perspective the importance of its not just the numbers on the scale.   I do a lot of "Project ME" work…and am really proud of those accomplishments .

         In my journal I keep a list…oh there are lots of lists...but this one I call my Keys to Unlock the Health Door. I refer to The Project ME list..a lot…and try to do what Richard suggests.  These are some of the things I've learned this year on my journey that have helped me and perhaps  will give you some, excuse the for thought....


You've Got the KEYS…Unlock the Door




2.  NO EXCUSES this is the most important thing,I want this more than anything.


3.  EXERCISE every day...exercise is more than physical activity and it is a pleasure not a pain.


4.  The 3-D's Desire ..Dedication..Discipline each one leads to the other.


5.  IT's NOT just about the NUMBERS-it’s about your health, losing weight will make you thinner, usually healthier, BUT it is not going to solve the challenges that life presents personal or professional.


6.  Food is Fuel…not a comfort...or a way to cope…or escape.


7.  Don't be SCARED…BE Prepared.


8.  Day by day we make our’s getting better and better...little steps.


9.  Get the life you were meant to live.


10.  It may be HARD..IT may be Difficult..BUT ,it is not IMPOSSIBLE.

       Well...that's my up-date. Best to you and yours on this extraordinary journey we have started...See you in Chat

        Wow ladies!  I am so very proud of you both!  And boy have you “let your colors burst!”  You both are shining bright these days!  Thank you both for letting me share your stories.  Keep going strong!