Thanking My Rock

I got an email this week from Red Envelope, that made me pause.  They have a new campaign that they are running: #RedGift Thank Your Rock.

Hailey from Red Envelope reached out and asked me if I wanted to take an opportunity to “Thank My Rock.”  That person that has been there through my weight loss process, who is always there when I need someone to lean on.

I could resist participating…. so today, you’re going to hear all about my rock:  My Sister-In-Law Beth.
Thank Your Rock | No Thanks to Cake
I have the best sister-in-law.  I don’t say that lightly… yes, I only have one, but seriously, she’s amazing.
Thank My Rock | No Thanks to Cake
She took the plunge and married my stinky brother back in 1999.  I always jokingly tell her that she got so lucky that day, because she picked me as her sister-in-law as part of the process.  But, looking at our relationship, I completely know that I am the lucky one.
Thank Your Rock | No Thanks to Cake
She is a wonderful wife to my brother, shares my passion for cooking, and is raising the two most adorable Guys I know.  And, she makes it all look so easy… aside from the many loads of laundry she washes. That still scares me.
Thank My Rock | No Thanks to Cake
Even though we’re more than 1600 miles apart on a daily basis, I always have a chance to catch up with Beth.  During my hour plus commute home during the week, my first call is always to Beth.  It gives us a chance to catch up, chat about the kiddos, and ponder about life.
Thank My Rock | No Thanks to Cake
When I first started my weight loss journey, Beth was one of the first people that I talked about it with.  And, REALLY talked about it with.  I always feel like I can tell her anything… and she heard all the nitty gritty details of how I felt.  How the weight felt like it was holding me back, and she witnessed all the tears.
Thank Your Rock | No Thanks to Cake
Beth encouraged me to try the Jenny Craig program, and even joined the program with me.  We lost weight and shared Jenny stories back and forth… and shared recipes!  When I began to eat non-Jenny foods, Beth introduced me to the Weight Watchers cookbooks I love so much…
Thank Your Rock | No Thanks to Cake
This process hasn’t been easy.  I always say that it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, the most valuable change I’ve ever made, and the thing I’m most proud of… and I couldn’t have done it alone.
Thank Your Rock | No Thanks to Cake
You’ve been such an amazing support throughout this entire process and beyond.  I can’t even begin to thank you enough for the countless hours you’ve spent encouraging me, offering suggestions, sharing ideas, and mostly, being you.  
I absolutely know that you came into our lives for a few reasons:  1) To build that beautiful family that you share with my brother, and 2) to be my sister.
I think the world of you and can’t thank you enough.  Love you, mean it!
xoxo - 
Everyone has a rock…. someone who’s there with you, supporting you through life.  Who’s yours?
Disclosure: did not compensate me for this post.  I just loved their campaign and couldn’t resist participating.

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A Product of My Lifestyle

As usual I am amazed by how much the Fitbloggin experience means to me every year… and how darn different it is every single year.  The faces change.  New voices emerge.  New opportunities for selfies appear. :)

I feel particularly compelled to write about one of my biggest takeaways of the weekend:  A simple phrase uttered by our fearless leader, Roni Noone, who is responsible for the organization of this yearly retreat.  And, who is a stunning example of how to lose weight, keep it off, and rise above the challenges that appear along the way.

On Saturday morning, exhausted and geared up in an 80′s workout getupI stepped into a session called “Life after Goal” with very little expectation.

Realistically, I am not at goal.  I am still about 30 lbs from it, which to me is pretty significant.  So, why in the heck did I have my butt in that room?  I was there because I wanted to listen. 

Everyone wants to be at their goal weight.  Everyone wants to be safely across the finish line.  And, I too have dreamed of being one of those people.

Even moreso, I’m a girl who is amazingly happy in her skin right now.  Even with the extra pounds I carry every day.  Still happy, but I wanted to hear what the group had to say and to see what I might be missing out by not chasing after my goal right now.

Overall, I heard Kelly, Sarah, and Roni talk about how life is several years after weight loss.  I tuned into Roni’s comments most, as I’d never really heard her speak about her journey and frankly, she has such wise things to say.

My Body is a Product of My LIfestyle | No Thanks to Cake

THIS IS SO ME and resonated completely…

My ups and downs all relate back to my lifestyle.  I’m never truly SURPRISED when I gain a pound or two… I can always track it back to a specific week and what did or did not happen during that week.  And, when I’m feeling GREAT, I can also tie that right back to my lifestyle… it’s all interconnected.

And right now, my body with that regained ten pounds is reflective of my lifestyle for the past few months… and I totally own it, rock it, and I’m happier than I’ve been in a year! I’ve been getting out a little more, vacationing without a hyper-critical eye on my food intake, and I’ve been living freely.

For the past week, I’ve been at the beach.  Wearing the same bathing suit that I’ve worn for the past few years… but feeling that extra weight more than normal.  When it’s all out there and exposed, it’s hard to ignore… but I had these words in my pocket to reference.

Rather than jumping into that space where I criticize every bit of my existence, I took a deep breath and remembered.

It’s ok… my body is simply “a product of my lifestyle.” What a kind way to look at the current state!  Shifting my lifestyle will yield the results I am looking for… and I looked at these words as a gentle hug that I needed during this moment of realization/discomfort.  Now, when I start structuring my meals, making it to my mat regularly, and getting the sleep my body craves… I absolutely know that my body will shed the extra pounds.

I don’t see these words as an excuse, simply a confirmation that my mind has been elsewhere… and that a shift will once again bring change.

Take a look at your lifestyle… is your body reflective of your lifestyle?  I suspect it is…

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How Kelly Got Her Groove Back

I’ve shared a few times over the past month or so about my struggles with losing the pesky poundage that decided to reappear over the past 6 months.  You likely read about it here, and here, and even here.

Now, we’ve talked about weight loss before and even simplified it by saying it’s just calories in, calories out.  Eat Less, Move More.  As I struggled for a solid month, I heard a lot of recommendations about how to fix it.  Those logical recommendations that mean nothing to someone struggling with motivation.

And then… it happened. I found my motivation.

Excitement | No Thanks to Cake

Cue the bells, the whistles… sound the alarms… and play the lottery!  

Hot damn, I’m back!

I had looked everywhere for it, and I know how this goes.  There is a level of “fake-it-til-you-make-it” that I employ… you know the drill, where you’re working out on the elliptical trying to pretend you’re having a good time in hopes of actually start having a good time!  But, I still wasn’t enjoying it…

I tried to force myself to “just do it,” but that didn’t work either… and then one day, it happened.  Finally.  After a month of trying to get back on track, I finally was.

In retrospect, I can see clearly what was holding me back and frankly, what took me so long… and I’m going to share my ideas with you here today.

How Kelly Got Her Groove Back | No Thanks to Cake
Power through your Excuses

This one was CRITICAL for me, and most applicable to my lack of motivation to get to the gym.

Often times, I’m like a trial lawyer.  I can argue my case better than just about anyone I know… and I can convince myself that my excuse is valid.

It’s too HOT / COLD / LATE /EARLY.  


In order to move forward, I really had to have a “conversation” with myself about the situation.  I really had to push myself out of my own way.  And mostly, I had to just get there.

Walking back into the gym the first time was the hardest, but since then… it’s been fairly easy.  Sometimes, I still have to trick myself to get there… but I don’t let myself convince myself that it’s a bad idea to go.  It never is.

Pause to Reflect Upon Your Journey

For the past few months, I’ve been a little down on my progress.  I wanted more than anything for that little ticker over there to the left of this post to read 80 like it used to.  Because 80 is so much better than 65.  What???

I took some time to go through pictures of where I was 65 lbs ago, and to reflect upon all the progress that I had so far.  Rather than letting myself get caught up in the numbers any longer, I just wanted to enjoy where I was at.

Before - After | No Thanks to CakeIt took looking through pictures to make me realize that I’m not the girl I used to be (physically) and that my goals are different… but important.  I’m also pretty darn proud of that above picture, so it was a nice reminder!

Don’t Skip the Gym for More than Three Days (unless you’re legitimately injured!)

This is an important guideline:  Once you go past that third day, it makes it even harder to work exercise back into your schedule.  And, if you’re like me, your body forgets how delicious all those endorphins are that you pick up at the gym.  Bottom line:  Don’t go past three days.  Get there.  Make it happen.

Choose a Non-Competitor to Hold You Accountable

In this healthy living world, it is very easy to play the comparison game.  Avoid it at all costs!!!  Find someone that you can count on to hold you accountable, who wants to hear about your healthy day… and share!  I recently started sharing my workout schedule with a guy at work that I know is trying to eat healthier and exercise regularly.  I call him and “check in” on how my workouts are going, and he cheers me on.  I do the same for him.  He is a dad of 4 and has figured out how to spend 2 hours a day at the gym getting it done.  I have zero kids, zero pets, and right now, I don’t even have plants!  If he can do it, I can definitely do it!

While we both have very different lifestyles and fitness goals, we’re both having to  squeeze gym time into our schedules and we’re both getting it done!  He’s the perfect accountability partner for me right now.  (Note to Self:  Must mention this when I speak with him today!)

So, not everyone has this awesome co-worker, but if you’re reading this blog, you probably have some connection to social media.  Consider checking into the gym via social media.  I do every day… it’s my way of “checking the box” as I walk out of the gym.  To me, there’s a strange sense of satisfaction with announcing to the world that I got my workout in.  And, it can’t be any more annoying than the political ads or Candy Crush-related posts.

Quick NTTC Safety Tip:  As a single lady, I always check in as I’m leaving… and not as I’m arriving.  A tip I received from a friend as a way to stay safe.

Reward Yourself… Often

I set up a formal rewards program for my weight loss journey in the very beginning… and I highly recommend doing something similar.  These days, far into my journey I still have rewards, but they’re just little things I want to do.  I feel like I really earn them this way, and it seems like daily there is something I’m working toward!

“If I go to the gym tonight… I can do the laundry tomorrow night instead of tonight.”

“If I eat a healthy dinner and stay within my calorie count… I’ll have just enough calories left for a Skinny Cow ice cream cone.”

“If I finish my meal prep tonight, I can schedule a spray tan this week…”

Consider What You Want Most

When I went to see Jillian Michaels perform a few months back here in Denver, she shared that if you haven’t figured out “WHY” you want to do something you may never get there.  That’s kind of stuck with me ever since.

I have my bigger long term goals of being at a healthy weight, building muscle tone, being physically stronger, and assuring I live a long, delicious life with my future husband.  For me, some of those long term goals seem really far away (for example:  I haven’t even met “him” yet), so I also have more short term goals like fitting comfortably back into my favorite pair of pants.  They fit today, but I’d really like them to fit well again.

So, when I’m considering not going to the gym or maybe driving through at a local fast food joint, I go back to my goals.  And simply ask myself if my momentary actions support my goal.  Most times the answer is an astounding no.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

True Story:  Stuff is going to get in your way.  You’re going to get distracted.  Every.  Single.  Day.  Every day, I get to wake up and start over and try, try again… I firmly know that those cute pants are going to fit well again, and that there will probably be an even cuter pair of pants that I find along the way.

I know that the gym is going to be smelly one day, and I’m going to want to leave.  I might even leave if it smells as bad as it has in the past.  BUT, that doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the story.

The key is to JUST KEEP GOING.  With your efforts focused upon your goal, you will get closer every day.  And, life is truly not a sprint, it’s a marathon… you have the time.  You’ll get there.

How do you get your groove back when it’s escaped you?

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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

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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