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Jenny Craig Journey

A few “before” photos for you, to set the scene…

December 2010

March 2009

March 2009 (I’m on the right)

July 2009

I started Jenny Craig on June 1, 2011

I didn’t choose to blog about this until September 2011, and here are my weight loss blogs all together from the first one to present day.

SEPTEMBER 27, 2011

Fluffy to Fabulous!  A work in progress.

Well, I have debated for months about doing this post.  Partly because it’s a bit personal, partly because I didn’t want to publish what I am doing, and partly because it’s just embarrassing (how did I let myself do this to…myself?).

“Um, hello, Jenny Craig?  My name is Dot…(slight pause)…and I’m fat.”

Yep, I’m pretty sure that’s how that phone call began the last week of May, 2011.  Several things have led me to the point of calling Jenny, and I’ll give you the brief rundown.  I’ve always been the “bigger” girl, not necessarily fat, but curvy for real with soft hips, thighs and killer ta-tas.  I stabilized at a near perfect size 14 at the end of high school, and relished the attention from men in college.  I enjoyed my body the way it was and did little to no dieting and/or exercise.  I know, bad BAD Dot.  My first real attempt at losing some serious weight was right after college graduation.  I signed up for a year with LA Weight Loss.  It may be great for some, but after a few months it was just not the program for me.  Having to go to the center three times a week for weigh-ins and discussions about your salad lettuce varieties and bowel movements…no thanks.  Trying to get over there three times a week was inconvenient enough!  I had two gigs with Weight Watchers, one before I got married and one right after.  I did like the program and I lost about 20 pounds each time.  It was easy to count the points and track my food and stuff, but the other women who attended the meeting time I chose to go to were super irritating.  I was the youngest by far, and these old and older ladies just sat there and yapped on and on and on…it’s a 30 minute meeting ladies!  Just spit it out and move on!  I’m all for encouragement and inspiration, but I do not care to hear your life story in EVERY meeting.  So…I stopped going.  Twice.

Now fast forward almost 7 years and two kids later.  I have not only accumulated “happy marriage weight”, but I also have leftover baby weight (and I wasn’t exactly tiny before I got preggers) and some emotional-eating related weight due to my dad’s unexpected illness and ultimate passing when my first son was 8 months old ~ he was 56.  And this past May when my second son was 8 months old, my mother-in-law suddenly passed away due to diabetic complications ~ she was only 51.  This is some heartbreaking and scary stuff!  I had that “A-ha” moment that Oprah talks about so frequently, and knew that if I could avoid all the potential health hazards that come from just being overweight, that I had to jump on that pronto.  No time to waste.  I want to be around for all three of my men, and I want to see my grandchildren grow up.  I have to make some changes.  NOW.

Having tried the diets that ask you to check in at meetings and allow you to feed yourself has not worked for me, so I seriously researched Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem.  I needed something that provided the prepared food for me while I learned portion control.  Jenny won overall because I liked the client reviews more and the food options were more up my alley.  I called Jenny the last few days of May, set up an account and had my first food delivery on June first.  No meetings or centers to go to, I weigh in once a week at home, and I have one consultant who calls me once a week during nap time.  I sifted through the entire menu the first month or so, and now only get the things I really really like, while still feeling like I have enough variety.

Now, here comes the part where I hold my breath, cringe a little and tell you my stats.  I’m making significant progress and am seriously committed to this change in my life, so here we go:

June 1st, 2011 starting weight ~ 246.8 (OMG – I know)

Today, September 27th, 2011 ~ 201.0

Current total: 45.8 pounds GONE.  Y’all – that is more than my almost-three year old!

I feel better, I sleep better, I am learning the right things to eat and how much of them.  The feelings of deprivation have changed dramatically…it’s easier (note: easier not easy) to turn down treats and temptations (sweet tea especially, large amounts of pasta and bread and ice cream).  I still get Starbucks once in a while, but my grande Cinnamon Dolce frapp. has turned into a tall Cinnamon Dolce frapp. with skim milk and no whipped cream (hey – it still tastes good!!)

And another awesome thing entirely unto itself – my clothes don’t fit!  I bought two pairs of cheapy jeans at Target for transitional purposes (my pants were bagging off my ass and I could pull them up and down without unzipping them), and smart girl here INSTEAD of buying a boatload of fall and winter clothes and upsetting my hubby with the Visa bill, I bought two wide belts – one woven brown leather and one black stretch with silver accents – to belt all my too-large shirts and sweaters and get through the winter.

My goal is to be the foxiest version of myself, and to have all my weight lost by next summer.  I’ve lost 45 pounds, and have about 50 pounds to go (seems extreme, but think here ~ I’m only 5′5″ – 150 pounds is right for that height).  I want to be healthy and active for my little boys and a goddess for my husband (he’s always made me feel like I am, but I want to feel it, too).  Is it weird to want my sons’ friends to think their mom is a fox???  I mean, later on in high school and college…not in kindergarten.  And NOT that I intend to do anything like Stiffler’s Mom!  Just saying.

Here are some of the “before” pictures I am sending to my JC consultant.  I need to get on a fitted shirt and my transition jeans and get Matt to take a picture for me.  You can make your dreams happen.  You can reach your goals.  But you gotta get off your tush and DO something about it.  It won’t happen all by itself, and as many times as I wished for a bag of Tinkerbell’s pixie dust, to the best of my knowledge, it doesn’t exist.

Be prepared – I don’t want your retinas to burn!

For comparison, that’s my sister on the left.  She’s a smidge taller and has always been very svelte.

Watch out – rear view!  This is just a week after I started JC.

With my son, in September 2010 (about 6 weeks after son #2 was born)

Current pictures will be added soon, I promise!  Just wanted to share the news and major transition I am making.  Hell, hopefully you guys will be like my fabulous Jenny consultant and keep me accountable! (Now tell me to start doing cardio ASAP).

OK – it’s not perfect – I’ll get a good one up soon, but this was a few weeks ago on a Sunday outing with my boys.

November 1, 2011 UPDATE:

53 pounds total!  Whooo!

Here is a recent one (November 2011)

58.6 pounds lost (December 2, 2011)

JANUARY 31, 2012

Fluffy to Fabulous update

Well, I’ve been on the Jenny Craig program for 8 months tomorrow and would like to update some numbers for you.  I’ve been stuck at 180.0 for three weeks now and have taken extra steps the last two weeks to help bust into the 170’s.  For me, this has truly been a “one pound at a time” process.  I happily found 179.0 on my scale this morning and thought I’d take some measurements, too, since it’s been 5 months since I’ve even done that.

For comparison I’ll give you all my starting numbers, too, horrific and embarrassing as they might be.  They were the beginning of my weight-loss road and therefore part of my story.

June 1, 2011 Weight 246.8 January 31, 2012 Weight 179.0 Lost: 67.8 pounds

Bust: 50  /  41                     9 inch difference

Waist: 45  /  33.5                11.5 inch difference

Abdomen: 54  /  42          12 inch difference

Hips: 54  /  45                      9 inch difference

Upper Arm: 17  /  13          4 inch difference

Inspired by friends, I have purchased a few different sets of dumbbells and have added arm weight training to be proactive about addressing the granny arm waddle.  And with the goal less than 30 pounds away (WORD UP, Y’ALL!!!) I have gotta bust my butt to be proactive about losing every last pound – one at a time.

MARCH 22, 2012

Fluffy to Fabulous Update

***WARNING:*** This post has before & current photos that are swimwear related.  Sit down, take a deep breath, and read on if you care to.  If you have no desire to see me in a bathing suit “before” or “after”, skip the rest of this post and carry on with your day!

It’s bathing suit time, so I am taking the plunge (pun intended) and doing a bathing suit edition of my weight loss update.  As of this week’s weigh-in I am at 168.4 pounds, which is now equal to 78.4 pounds LOST!  Whooooooooooooooooooo!  I am so excited about this, I cannot even properly translate my elation into words.

The first two are from July 2011, approximately one month after I started my Jenny Craig journey (pardon the “bathroom mirror self-portrait”):

My weight here is around 230 pounds (I can look it up and be specific in a bit).

Here I am today – seriously, just 15 minutes ago in my living room.  I am at 168.4.  This is me ~ lumps, bumps, thighs and all.  No retouching of any kind (truthfully, I don’t even know how to do that!)  And though I’m not perfect, and never ever will be, I am becoming the best version of myself that I can.  And that is something I am very happy about and proud of.

May 24. 2012: Last year’s suit a day before it was taken to the consignment shop (I had to wash it!) ~

APRIL 2012

I have some new information – I asked my doctor earlier this week to look up my heaviest weight on their charts just for my information.  The heaviest weight they have listed is 260 pounds (HOLY COW) in November 2009 (just prior to getting pregnant with kiddo #2).  OY! x 10 bazillion!

MAY 30, 2012

Hmm…does this excessive snacking make my butt look big?

Happy post-Memorial Day, y’all!  I’m doing this quickie weight-loss update post to tell you that not every week is easy, and as much as I seem to be sailing through the weight loss process I can testify that each day, each meal, each snack is a decision and a struggle.  Still.

We had a lovely long weekend that we spent quietly at home taking care of some MAJOR yard maintenance that we have neglected since the kids were born.  Man, we had our work cut out for us and after a grueling three days I can say that our yard is spit spot and the upkeep should be a lot easier now that the bulk of the work is done.  We pruned trees, hacked back most of our shrubbery that had turned into trees, pulled weeds (lots.  and lots. of weeds.) and pine needled EVERYTHING.  Between the combo of serious physical exertion and profuse sweating, I thought I could get away with some serious snacking because I felt hungry.  Some fruit, but lots of nilla wafers, peanut butter crackers, cheese, carb-y things in general (the stuff I was getting out for the kids).  I was munching all day on and off for three days while we were outside working and playing.  I felt pretty good about my meal choices (small sandwiches, grilled chicken, steamed veggies) so I wasn’t concerned about that, but when I got on the scale Monday morning to check myself I had an “oh, sh*t” moment.  I was up over three pounds!  Um…my increased activity level had not counterbalanced my increased snacking (at least not the kinds of things I chose to snack on).  Oh damn.  So, I kicked myself in the ass and gave myself a stern talking to and jumped back on my bandwagon immediately.  As of my official Jenny weigh in this morning I was only .6 pounds above my weigh-in weight from last week (whew!) and have no intention of repeating my behavior from Memorial Day weekend.  Lesson learned.  Moving on.  I am at 162.6 today and have 12.6 pounds to my goal.  I can dooooo eeeeet!

Have a good one y’all.  And if you have an off day or off week once in a while, don’t get all depressed and upset about it.  Evaluate the choices you made whether they were good or bad, and learn from it.  Move forward and do better next time with your new knowledge.

Have a good one, friends!

JUNE 2012

My One Year Jenny Craig-Aversary!

I began down my path with Jenny Craig June 3, 2011 and here I am one year later.  I began at 246.6 and weighed in on my one year date at 161.2.  My (former fat girl) favorite Calvin Klein jeans in these pictures are size 20 and I am currently in size 10.  I have just 11 pounds to my goal!  I believe in the Jenny program and their support system.  I love my consultant.  and I could NOT have done this without them – believe me, I tried….several times.

I still feel like I used to look most of the time and it still surprises me when something doesn’t fit because it’s too big because I’m so familiar with picking up XL’s & XXL’s in certain stores.  I am still wildly jubilant that I can forage through almost any store and find things I love that do fit me.  And I can say, though I have come a long way, each day is still a challenge.  I think about almost every bite that goes in my mouth.  I still slip up and have errors in judgement, but I note them and make immediate moves to correct myself.  I still print my weekly JC food journal page thing and fill it out.  I might switch to a spiral notebook in the future or find a smart phone app that I can use instead, but I know writing everything down helps me.  It keeps me accountable to myself and I will continue to employ this “tool” long after I complete the Jenny program.

I feel better physically and know my self-esteem and self-image are just through the roof now.  I am more active on a regular basis because I have to be and I want to be.  I feel more present for my sons and husband.  These are the changes I didn’t know I was looking forward to.  I just thought I wanted to slim down, be a little healthier and be able to shop in more places.

So, I toast my Former Fat Girl and everything I learned from her about how not to care for myself.  She will always be a part of my past, and I will carry her lessons with me each and every day as I strive to maintain my new lifestyle and eating habits.  Cheers!

June 25, 2012

157 pounds!!

(Pardon the self-portrait in the gym mirror style photography here)

July 11, 2012

156.4 pounds (6.4 pounds to GOAL!!!)


January 15, 2013

WOWZA!  New Year, new me for sure!  I am maintaining within three pounds of my goal weight of 150 (with the exception of the first week of November when my husband was in the hospital having & recovering from open heart surgery…I had an affair with some Snickers bars…)  I am still careful with my food choices and preparations at home and I am still hitting the gym as often as I can.  Even on days when I really really rrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeaaaaaallllllllllllllllllllly DO NOT want to.  Like today. But my sis-in-law/bestie made me go.  We had a gym date and I got my sweat on.  It was horrible, but we did it!

I am ridiculously excited and immersed in helping my sister plan and carry out the details for her wedding (which is just under four months away!).  The boys are back in their preschool/gymnastics/play date routine and we are marching towards spring (please please show up, spring!  Mama needs time outside with the tots!)  Our 2013 travel itinerary is filling up quickly and lots of exciting things are happening.

Here are a few quick recap pictures I did with a nifty little (FREE) phone app:

(1)  August 2009 &   (2) December 2012

(1)  Honeymoon picture from October 2004 – 180-ish pounds, (2)  May 2011 – 250 pounds,  (3)  December 2012 – 150 pounds

Today is June 25, 2017

I have maintained my weight loss for nearly five years now (I weighed in at 154.2 this morning), but there is another piece of my story I shared about a year ago.

I don’t mind sharing my weight loss story.  It’s hard and requires dedication, motivation and support.  It is time to share a more recent event in my story.
After losing as much weight as I did, there were certain new things I had to adjust to with my body.  I lost over 100 pounds, and then had a large ring of skin around my middle.  I could hide it in clothing and it didn’t bother my husband.  But workouts were uncomfortable and sometimes painful with that much skin jerking around.  And it darn sure bothered me.  I asked my husband in fall of 2012 if I could have at least two years to maintain the weight loss, firm up & tone things before possibly discussing skin removal surgery.
I researched regional surgeons, read every word of every website, studied before & after pictures of women who looked like me, and looked up the doctor’s accreditations and what they meant.
In September 2015, we went to Charlotte for my surgical consultation and we left feeling confident in my choice of surgeon, comfortable with the facilities and having scheduled a surgery date that was only 8 weeks from the day of our consultation.
November 3, 2015 was surgery day.  I had my abs sewn back together, several pounds of extra tummy skin removed, a breast lift and augmentation.  My hubby stayed home with me for a week and I had massive amounts of help from friends and family with childcare and meals.  I could not have gone through recovery without the help of so many people who love me.
I want my story to be an open book and sharing this is part of that.  I didn’t magically pop into a bikini last  summer and want to strut my stuff.  I put in hours of hard work to get to my best body.  And in the end, I did choose surgical assistance to make the final tweaks that no amount of exercise would ever be able to accomplish.  This is the version of me I never thought I could be.
Every day is still a series of choices.  Some days I do pretty well and am proud of myself, but other days I mess up.  The difference now is that I don’t let one bad meal or day (or even week) throw me completely off.  I try to breathe, accept where I am, and move forward on a positive track.

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