Before and Current Pictures
I don’t think I have to indi­cate which are the before and which are the cur­rent pic­tures in this panorama, I think you can fig­ure that one out :).

I was always 115 pounds from the time I was 15 until I reached 30. I never strug­gled with my weight grow­ing up; even after hav­ing each of my three chil­dren I was back down to my reg­u­lar size within about six month. Then I turned 30, it seemed like overnight I bal­looned to 160 pounds and was very unhappy with my appearance.

I began work­ing out reli­giously at the gym 2 hours a day, 5 days a week and never lost more than 10 pounds. I did this for 6 months and gave up. I found out that my testos­terone level was too high which was caus­ing me to have dif­fi­culty los­ing weight. I was pre­scribed med­ica­tion for that and joined a weight loss pro­gram. I suc­cess­fully lost 30 pounds and was a happy 130 pounds which I main­tained for a year.

In Jan­u­ary, 2010 I had a severe gall­blad­der attack, I am convinced that my previous weight loss program caused my gallbladder issues.  If you google its name plus gallbladder you find many pages about it. I was unable to eat any­thing but Jell-O and soup for almost two months while I awaited surgery. This caused me to lose another 10 pounds and I was down to 120 pounds. They were unable to remove my gallbladder with the scope so I was left with a 23 cm incision across my right side, directly under my ribs. After my surgery I was finally able to eat again but was forced to stay pretty inac­tive so I could recover prop­erly. Dur­ing this time I gained 25 pounds and was steady at 145 for quite a while. I quit smok­ing in August 2010 and started drink­ing Steeped Tea Dou­ble Dou­ble x 2 a day and as of Octo­ber 11, 2012 I was at my peak at 184 pounds and had also started smoking again.  That was the frustrating part to have gained all that weight and accomplished nothing.

I was desperate to stop feel­ing like crap and I knew the key to that was to start by los­ing some weight, of course noth­ing seemed to work for me no mat­ter what I tried and believe me I tried it all. I signed up as a free mem­ber on teambeachbody.com and was hooked up with a coach. I told her my story and she rec­om­mended a pro­gram called Les Mills Pump and Shake­ol­ogy, she also invited me to my first 10-day chal­lenge. I had all the usual argu­ments about how I couldn’t afford it, I didn’t have the time and I had tried so many things in the past that didn’t work. What it really boiled down to was that I didn’t want to waste money on some­thing else that wasn’t going to work and I was scared to fail, again. I thought about it long and hard and made the deci­sion to go for it, what did I have to lose.

It wasn’t easy at first, espe­cially being close to Christ­mas, there were cup­cakes, cook­ies, choco­late, candy and all kinds of treats in the office all the time but I man­aged to say no to them all. I just kept telling myself I wanted to lose this weight more than I wanted that cup­cake. I can remem­ber not being able to grab my ankle when doing a quad stretch; I had to lean way over and clip my fin­ger in the back of my shoe to get a stretch. I couldn’t do a burpie to save my soul and just for­get about pushups all together. The sup­port I received from my chal­lenge group was amaz­ing and they assured me that if I just stuck with it I would get bet­ter. I lost 6 pounds and 8 inches in that 10-day chal­lenge and after that there was no look­ing back.

My coach also saw some poten­tial in me in that chal­lenge group because I was happily answer­ing ques­tions other peo­ple had, help­ing and sup­port­ing them with what I knew so she sug­gested that I become a coach. I was really wor­ried about doing that, who was I to be encour­ag­ing other peo­ple to get in shape when I had so far to go myself. I know Beach­body pro­grams are amaz­ing because they have every­thing you needed to suc­ceed, the Shake­ol­ogy is fan­tas­tic and gives me tons of energy and the sup­port in the chal­lenge groups is the key to every­thing work­ing. I went for it, why not!

I have been on my fit­ness jour­ney since Decem­ber 3, 2012. I have helped many peo­ple see the poten­tial in them­selves and make pos­i­tive changes in their lives. I had lost 46 pounds as of August 31, 2013 and had made huge changes in my appear­ance, mus­cle tone, self-worth and so much more. My Irri­ta­ble Bowel Syn­drome symp­toms have com­pletely dis­ap­peared and all that pain I expe­ri­enced daily in my back, neck, knee, hip and ankle is gone. My migraines are gone. I rarely need to take pain med­ica­tion and no longer take the IBS meds. I also have not seen my chi­ro­prac­tor in months. So that money I didn’t want to waste at the begin­ning? I have more than tripled that back in the money I have saved on med­ica­tion and chi­ro­prac­tic care.

On August 31, 2013, I finally conquered, once and for all quitting smoking. Unfortunately, this battle and the hand-to-mouth fixation caused me to gain back 14 pounds. This was a very sad set-back for me when it comes to reaching my weight loss and body transformation goals, but the benefits to my health quitting smoking has given me has made the set-back worth it. Since then I have gained and lost the same 5 pounds over and over because of the evening snacking and hand to mouth fixation.

Chapter 2
I had a little bit of a wake up call on December 1, 2015 that I think actually turned out to be kind of good for me. My doctor called me and wanted me to come in to discuss my test results. Now that is no big panic because she likes to discuss the results with you even when they are normal. The news she had for me really threw me for a loop, she told me that my glucose levels were high despite fasting for 12 hours prior to the test. She told me that I am borderline diabetic and that if I don’t start exercising and watching what I eat, staying away from sugar and carbs, that I could end up with diabetes. WHAT?!?! Anyone who knows me knows that I work out religiously every day and have to pretty much be on my death bed to miss a workout. Over the past few months I have also incorporated 5 miles of walking into the mix before I even start my workout. Okay my food can be a bit spotty, since I quit smoking 2 years ago I have had a real struggle with eating when I am bored. As you can imagine what she told me really took me off guard. I was quite concerned, if I am doing all this work to TRY and be healthy, what on earth would happen if I didn’t? I have no desire to be checking my blood sugar levels and doing injections multiple times a day. So I educated myself a little bit and asked my Mom about it, nope, no family history of it. Hmmm …. did some Internet research and spoke with some friends about it who have some experience and I decided I can kick this things butt before it gets me. This has really made me take ownership over what I am putting into my body and helped me to regain focus on my eating habits. Yes, it has only been a few days since I found out but I really feel like I have a handle on this. I also suspect that this problem may be because I have been off my Shakeology for about a month because I am on a limited budget and I had to cut back on some things. Well guess what, I am a priority and my health is of the utmost importance so I am going to suck it up and add that back into my diet. This seems to have given me more appreciation and zest for life as well, which I probably could really use as of late. I am on a mission to beat this thing before it beats me …. recheck in three months …. to be continued.

If I had one wish it would be to have the power to show peo­ple a comparison of where they would be in 30 days if they make the deci­sion to believe in them­selves and do this and where they will be if they do noth­ing. I know every­one has the poten­tial to be the best they can be and that, just like me at the begin­ning, what holds them back, what truly holds them back is the fear of fail­ure. Some­times peo­ple just need a help­ing hand to show them the way and help guide them through the twists and turns along the way. I am proud and hon­oured to be that help­ing hand.