On Becoming an “After”

For the past four years, I’ve been working on becoming an “after.”

I’ve written about the process here on No Thanks to Cake, and after all this time, I’m still not there.  I’m still not that 91-pound weight loss success story that I had my eyes on when I started this journey nearly 4 years ago.  And, that kinda sucks…

I’ll tell you what doesn’t suck though…  I’ve lost 65 lbs. and kept it off for 3 years now.  Given, I’ve allowed an extra 15 lbs to creep back up on me, but it’s not 16, not 17, and not 18.  So, still a mark in the WIN category, if you ask me.

And, I do have my “after”… pictures don’t lie 🙂

Before-After | No Thanks to Cake

Something that I don’t write about here on NTTC is the fact that I’ve just wanted to be “done with the process” for a while now.  I’ve wanted to just lose the darn weight and close that chapter.  How great does it sound to dramatically slam that book closed and deem myself “cured” after all???

Being “done” in my head might mean that I could smother my food once again with real ranch dressing, eat with total disregard of calorie count, or maybe even become attached to my couch again.  Oh, the lies I’ve told myself… and the food part is just the beginning…

Like many others, most of my life I’ve prescribed to the belief that “Once I lose weight (fill in the blank) will become possible.”  For me, it could be that I’d have it all, or that I’d finally meet Mr. Wonderful (real talk: where the eff is he??), or even that all my challenges would melt away.

I’ve always sort of felt that it was in fact the weight that was holding me back.  Looking for a great way to debunk the myth?  Lose the weight and see what happens.

For me, I was sort of dumbfounded.  I had always thought that the weight was the problem.  Surely, it was the weight that was holding me back… but the harsh reality met me on the scale 65 pounds into the process.

Weight Loss Reality Check | No Thanks to Cake[pinterest]Losing the weight simply exposed the issues even more… and it was a lot to navigate.  And, I realized that the challenges I was having were more about the person staring back at me in the mirror.

That’s why I started working with my life coach Betsy Fry.  Yes, I wanted to go after all of my dreams and I wanted her to help guide my way… but I also needed help adjusting to my body in its new state, to understanding why I was “stuck,” and ultimately, to figure out what I needed to do next, since the eternal “lose weight” to-do item has been removed from my to-do list…

Betsy came at just the right time and lovingly listened to me ramble about my challenges, while offering tactical suggestions for how to move forward.  She also help me cut through the bull$#*+ that I had been telling myself, teaching me to separate emotion from the challenges, and put steps in place to drive change.  A few weeks ago, I gave away two coaching sessions with Betsy – – Congrats, Bri!!  Just as a reminder, winning sessions is not the only way to work with Betsy.  Her door is open, if you need her.  One of the best decisions I made last year…

Becoming an After | No Thanks to Cake

Undeniably and absolutely… YES!  It already has.  

For me, I now recognize that “finishing” is never an option.  I’m officially done trying to become an “after.”  Realistically, the day I consider myself to be done, I would guess is the day that I breathe my last breath.  Not to be dramatic, but don’t we all work every single day to be a little better than we were yesterday??  It’s that spirit of continuous improvement that will carry me into my next adventure, and the one after that… I don’t plan to ever be done anymore.

I have to tell you though.  Right now, I’m working on a hell of an improvement project that is shaping up to have some great results.

Before-After | No Thanks to Cake

For the past few days, I’ve felt sincerely, optimistically, and completely inspired.  I’ve been eating well.  I’ve found my way to the gym.  I’ve even found my way back to Jenny.

I’m taking the steps to move forward with losing those 15 lbs I’ve gained back.  And, this time, I’m powered by how great my body feels when I work out and when I fuel it with healthy foods.

So, here’s to progress… and continuous improvement.  If it was easy, everyone would be successful.  In the end, the challenge of the process will make the victory that much sweeter!

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    • nothankstocake says

      Thanks, lady! It’s one of those that’s been in my head for a while. Felt good to get it on “paper!”

    • nothankstocake says

      Thanks, dear! I like how you say that you’re working to “better your after” btw! Well stated!

  1. Cathy Steffen says

    Kelly, have you read “Women, Food, and God” by Geneen Roth? Despite the title, it’s nothing to do with religion. It was one of the best things I’ve ever read (okay, listened to while driving) in terms of helping me come to terms with my body as it is and banishing the thoughts of “when I weigh X amount I will be happy.” She helped me understand that it’s not really about the weight…it never is. Anyway, check it out if you’d like and if you haven’t already.
    You are and always have been beautiful and a shining light in everyone’s life that you touch, regardless of whether you are carrying an extra 15 pounds. That is not meant to sound corny, it’s just the truth. Your fairy tale ending is right now…it is every moment that you tune into your body and its needs rather than mindlessly consuming what it doesn’t need. And that is damn hard for those of us in this country who use food emotionally to do when we are surrounded all the time by crappy, addictive, pre-packaged (CHEAP!) edible substances masquerading as food. Just saying.
    You are brave to post your journey. Kudos for being an inspiration to others.

    • nothankstocake says

      Cathy – Thanks for your kind, kind words.. I actually have read “Women, Food, and God”, but it may be time to read it again. And, I love the idea of listening to it! She definitely lays out the concepts that I want to adopt… embrace.. and practice. When I read it last, I heard the words and nodded, but may it’s time to read again and REALLY adopt it. Hmm… Thanks for reminding me how great that book is! PS… Your son is so adorable!! Congrats!!!

    • nothankstocake says

      Thanks, dear! Hope you had a fabulous workout!! I somehow made it there tonight myself, and it felt GREAT!!

  2. Theresa Bakken says

    I love this! Made me tear up a little, you look so great and it’s definitely a different yet positive look at things… Keep up the amazing work Kelly!

  3. kim says

    You go girl! You are an inspiration to many. You have done amazing work to get where you are and will continue to do so!

    • nothankstocake says

      Thanks, Kim! The cheers from you guys have been so awesome this week, and so motivating to me!! Thanks for your kind words!!

  4. Janie says

    You are beautiful and talented! Be proud of your accomplishments! You are amazing and an inspiration! Rock on!

    • nothankstocake says

      Such a nice post. It’s been a lot of work, but it’s so worth it! That next 15 lbs is toast… 🙂

    • nothankstocake says

      I like that. My “renovation” project… that’s what we’ve got going on here. Well stated! Thanks for saying hello! 🙂

  5. erin says

    I loved reading this! So often we assume that the end result defines the success, when often, we learn and grow so much more throughout the process! Always know where you want to go, but know that the destination itself can change. You rock, girl! Thank you for sharing your journey!

    • nothankstocake says

      Thanks, dear! It’s been a lot of fun sharing this process with you and achieve a healthy lifestyle in the past year! Let’s keep going!!! xoxo

  6. James says

    You may not have had the fairytale ending, but I think you definitely had one hell of a journey, what you have accomplished is amazing, here’s an internet toast to you! Keep up the good work.

  7. Meghna says

    I can sooooo relate to this, to each and every line… of trying to lose XX amount of weight.. of feeling once i lose the weight the “White Knight” will magically appear… wonderfully, beautifully written! 🙂

    • nothankstocake says

      They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and we just need to stop trying to be the beholder. 🙂

  8. says

    Even as small children Kelly, you have always inspired greatness in others. I remember many days of wishing I could be more like you. Whether it was as clever as you, or have the amazing curl in your hair that I completely lacked…and you are still doing it today! You inspired me to really move forward with my own blog and have the confidence to make daring and dramatic changes. The numbers on the scale aren’t the finish line…you my dear, have come so far…you have so much to be proud of…and you change lives everyday with your words and support.

  9. Karen C says

    Love this – I just found your blog, after seeing it mentioned on the JC message board when I went there to vent about the disappearance of the Baked Potato with Broccoli & Cheese (the only JC item I’ve bought in a long time…grrrr that it’s gone)

    Been doing JC off and on since 2007. Last year I totally rocked the weight loss, this year, it’s definitely been a struggle to stay motivated, and still have not lost the 7 pounds I gained over the holidays 🙁 and the loss of the potato has not helped matters.

    I stopped going to JC a few weeks ago because I felt like I was wasting the consultant’s time, but now that I’ve discovered your blog and seen some of the volumizing recipes for other JC items I’m inspired to go back to my JCC, and perhaps try something else until the potato comes back (I posted on the JC FB page and they DID say it was coming back, tho they didn’t give a date…) as well as start using the dinners again…so thanks for that, I know when I work JC in conjunction with MFP and my insane beastmode workouts, I lose weight 🙂 KC

    • nothankstocake says

      Hi Karen – I had no idea that the potato had gone away!!! That wasn’t my go-to. I’m more of a Stuffed Shells girl (every. single. day), but I do love it! What a bummer to hear that it’s gone! Keep me posted if you hear it’s coming back!!!

      • Karen says

        well my JC consultant and JC themselves (I messaged the JC FB page) states that it’s coming back. One of those “we’re looking for someone to make it”. just like the turkey dinner which as you probably recall took more than a year to come back. I’m FAMOUS for my “jacket potato” lunch at work. My manager found me a recipe online and I’m going to try and make it this week 🙂 In the meantime I bought a few lunches, the mashed potatoes and chicken and a couple others. I still want my tater. 🙁

  10. says

    Hi Kelly

    Thank you for sharing! You are truly inspiring and I look forward to reading more. I’m so happy I came across your blog, its motivating and encouraging!!


    • nothankstocake says

      Awwww… thanks, Amanda! Excited to see what the next year of this journey produces! xoxo


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