Wednesday, May 30, 2012

{It’s On.}

by Betty

To know me is to know I am not a current affairs girl. I can’t stand watching the news or CNN or reading about what’s going on in the world. I am usually the last to hear about significant world news and though, I can sometimes feel a little behind during smart people conversations, but for the most part, I live pleasantly unaware of all the crap that is going on around me. That doesn’t mean I live in a cave…I do hear about important matters as I am a proud social media user, but I don’t go seeking it out nor do I go in deep. Just a need to know basis. Cara says the News is her favorite show. I say every time I start to get caught up, I am sadly informed of the state of affairs and for as long as I can remember, when I am sad, I eat so eff the news. However, I am a proactive citizen and I do want to see and make change. “Be the change you want to see in the world”, is something I live by. Seeing as I am quite behind, I recently watched the KONY 2012 you tube video. If you haven’t watched it, it was worth the 30 minutes.
The message I am bringing to you is that our world and all the people in it are uniquely connected. Though, I am not living as a prisoner of Kony, there are many people who are and they are just like you and me. They want to live their best life. Isn’t that what we all want? I might not be able to pick up and fly over to physically do something about Kony, but I can give some money and I can tell people about it. I did hear that the guy who started this KONY 2012 is kind of a loony toon now, but struggle is struggle and it is still going on. (I think J)
So back to that uniquely connected humanity part…I know not all of you who read this blog have any struggles with weight, however, if we define struggle to be something that makes days longer, nights sleepless, tears to flow, headaches to brew, beds really hard to get out of, doubt to take over or fear to strengthen then we all know struggle and we are all connected. What I know is that I struggle everyday with my weight. I have over 100 pounds to go and then must live a mindful, healthy lifestyle to maintain my weight loss everyday for the rest of my life and I am struggling with that. I am tired.
I write this blog for 3 reasons: my own personal accountability, to inspire others and to be vulnerable which also acts as a voice for people just like me. We are all connected which means we must all come together and unconditionally support. I vow to support the fellow struggler as I have felt the fellow struggler support me. Don’t judge. Think before you speak. Find compassion during the darkest of times. And should you ever come across adversity (also known as stupid ass people that need to seriously consider taking vows of silence), believe in yourself and how far you have come. There is a fire inside all of us that can sometimes become dim. Light it. Fire it up for you and for me. Oh, it’s on my friends. It’s on.

Shout outs:

To my beautiful friend, Amanda Tyson…beast mode. It’s effin on baby.

To Victor my beach bum, You lift me up when I am down without even knowing it and I am so thankful. 510 Fitness in da house.
To my Jackson family and friends…such a gift to have time with you all no matter the forecast. I am so blessed. Thank you. The pink cupcake was by far the highlight. Christine, my love, it got me through.

To Joseph Kony, you have caused enough struggle for way too many people. You are a hot mess and will never feel satisfied in your life. Justice will find you. Asshole.
Michael my amazing trainer…thank you for your support. My journey would not be complete without you. I choose life. BML

I needed this workout today. Almost 2 hours with Michael says it all. I can’t believe how far we have come. Just 6 months ago we were different people. Sad, unhappy images of the people we want to be. The people we deserve to be. I want this more than I have wanted anything in my life and I am so grateful to have you and your small ass running a PR at a 10.5 on the treadmill next to me. I love you and our life more than bread and butter.

Think. Before. You. Freakin. Speak.

Friday, May 18, 2012

{Lose Weight. Gain Friends.}

by Betty
There are so many things I learn about myself every day. Maybe not learn like brand new learn, but rather I am reminded. I am in my second week of my new job at Kaiser and it is quite amazing. I was so nervous to leave what I had known and loved for so long for something new and what seemed so big. It is pretty big, but in just a few days, I have learned that leaving my comfort zone was the right decision for me. I am one of those people that likes everything to be comfortable so this little gem of discovery is rather huge.
I come home and literally race to change into my pj’s like my work clothes are on fire. I like to sit a certain way in a certain space on my couch. I like a lot of ice in my water. I have a pillow that I must have in order to sleep. I like my shower water a little on the cooler side.
Comfort has been my crutch for most of my adult life. I have feared change. Change is hard. Truth can be scary, but it can also change your entire life. The truth is that for many years I allowed myself to only be comfortable. If I ever felt uncomfortable, I would eat. Food provided me the comfort I wanted. Food also provided me with plus sized clothing, poor self-confidence, acne, gall bladder disease and many missed opportunities. The only thing I can say that I have on my side, is that there was not one day that went by where I wasn’t acutely aware of my health and weight. I never stopped thinking about it. I made many good faith attempts at trying to change myself, but it was uncomfortable. Uncomfortable to workout. It was uncomfortable to eat healthy.  And mostly uncomfortable to outwardly acknowledge my weight with anyone other than my own brain. I never talked about my shame or disgust with anyone. My weight was not ever an issue I felt comfortable talking about. Instead it became the little dark secret I would never share, but everyone could obviously see. Weight is not something you can hide. Obesity is a disease everyone knows I have which makes me feel even more lame for allowing myself to get so out of control. I allowed my family to see me lose control of myself. I don’t regret anything in my life thus far, other than that. So what’s different now? I ask myself this everyday to remind myself of the reasons I am on this journey. What’s different now is that I am present. I am not trying to comfort myself with food. I am learning how to cope with being uncomfortable without using food. And why am I ever uncomfortable? What is it that makes me uncomfortable? I am 32 years old. Eff uncomfortable. I work hard. I know what I want. I make it happen. I have a great family. I have a home. So what’s the big deal? Such a miserable little pity party I have been throwing for myself everyday for the last 10+ years. GET THE F*CK OVER IT, YOU LITTLE SNOT!
Pushing myself outside of my stupid, self-destructive comfort zone is what needed to happen. The Biggest Loser Resort is where it started and today, my choices are where it continues.
My choice to take the stairs instead of the elevator.
My choice to stop at Trader Joe’s instead of McDonald’s.
My choice to tell as many people about my journey as possible.

Starting this new job, I was nervous and worried that it would be bigger than I am capable of. My self-doubt made me question every aspect of it and today I realized that this was the best decision I could have made. Though, I adore AMR and miss it so very much, I was very comfortable there. Comfortable in the same atmosphere for the last 13 years of my working life. Returning home from the Resort, I feared relapse. Leaving AMR, I feared change. All of this was meant to happen. Opening a new chapter of my life with Kaiser has renewed my sense of work ethic and mental challenge. I am proud to come from AMR and proud to now work within Kaiser. I am proud that I have lost 68 pounds. I am proud that I am changing my relationship with food. I  am proud that I am present.

Shout Out’s:

To my Biggest Loser Resort Support Group (aka V34L)…You believe in me when I doubt myself. You cheer for me when I want to quit. You know me and love me still. I will forever be grateful to each of you for helping me save my life.

Malibu Reunion. Check out one of our favorite blogs by Amanda Tyson.

It can be really hard talking about your weight loss journey to complete strangers. But vulnerability and accountability make you stronger. I tell at least one person a day about my journey. I explain how it started and how I feel now. You will be surprised at the reactions people have. All very motivating and inspirational. Today, I had a long talk with an MRI Tech named Jan. She told me she had heard about my visit to the Biggest Loser from my boss. She had already looked it up online and was saving money to go herself. I told her it was worth every cent and that I would bring pictures with me next time I saw her. Everyone I tell reminds me that this journey is empowering and that I have people all around me who understand. It’s quite amazing really. Lose weight. Gain friends.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


So much to share.
And even better.

Last week, Brianne myself and our younger sister, Nicole traveled to SoCal. We returned to the place and the people that saved our lives. Our BLR (Biggest Loser Resort) Reunion was perfect.

A little history, when we began our goodbyes and departure from BLR five and a half months ago, we made a decision with our "group" to reunite at the Biggest Loser Season 13 Finale. The reminder and the invite went out to everyone and although everyone tried to get away for a few days our small group consisted of Keith (Jersey), Heather, Meg, Amanda, Haley (Doc), Betty and myself. We also invited our sister Nicole as this was something we felt that she would have a blast with and she is an important piece for Brianne and I. Luckily, we also had friends that were part of our BL trip including Courtney Crozier (Season 11), Sione Fa (Season 7) as well as our new friends, our trainer and Biggest Loser At-Home Winner Trainer Michael Friedman and of course Season 13 At-Home winner Mike Messina!

All of these people are intricate to our journey. And so is the place.

Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge Malibu and all of the staff there go above and beyond their call of duty. Trainers John and Tonia, nutritionist Jessica, life coach Essara and front desk staff Mimi and Sarah welcomed us with open arms, jaw drops and smiles.  We were also extremely lucky to plan a guided hike, our group and 3 hiking guides from the resort, TJ, Amanda, and Alicia were exceptional! Our hike to Sandstone Peak (which was Keith's request and maybe the best hiking experience of my life) was beautiful and challenging. Sandstone Peak is the highest peak in the Santa Monica Mountains at an elevation of 3,111 feet. Wearing our brand new Shut Up & Sweat t-shirts we took that hike head on. There were tears, and laughter and more tears and nerves, but all of us with our varying abilities FINISHED! Van 3 for Life! V34L!

This trip was planned around the NBC Biggest Loser Season Finale, so we had to go to that too! We were lucky to get a few tickets through our new friend and spinning buddy Mike Messina and through We arrived to the Sony Studios around 3pm and the 5pm LIVE! show was all that I had imagined and more. The best part was that our support for our fellow Loser, Mike, paid off...he won, which ment we made it on TV. Congratulations, Mike! We are so excited to watch you pay it forward!

So here we are a week later (almost 2 weeks later). The reunion lingers, the strength of our BLR family feels stronger and the journey continues.

We have about a million photos and a little more to share on our amazing trip. Look for a slideshow of photos coming soon!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

{Happy Birthday, Betty}

Today I turned 32 years old. Birthdays haven’t been my thing since bear shaped cakes and goodie bags. I have dreaded my birthday every year since I was 22. I have always spent birthdays reflecting. Most years I have spent reflecting on how unhealthy and unhappy I am. Hence, my dread. Every year I get older I reflect on how much I either have not done or need to do and I have tried to avoid the reality that I am not where I have wanted to be each year my birthday comes around. Usually, several pounds heavier and always a critic of my own success, if I was able to avoid my birthday altogether, it was a great day. This year is different. This year I reflect on my life and recognize I am a completely different person than I was when I turned 31 or any year before that. And please don’t get me wrong, I know how lucky I am and what a wonderful life I have, but internally, I have been dying inside. Literally. I was unhappy with myself and on my birthdays I would look back at what I had done to myself and regret each year that I didn’t change. Physical and mental successes are truly unique to each person so though, I have heard many times that I was successful in life; I could never really quite accept it. For me, I had been failing. This negative mental attitude contributed to each year being worse than the year before. And how sad that is when I have so much to be happy about and proud of. But like I said, this year is different. Like my journey, it doesn’t just change overnight, so I am still “bah-humbugging" some thoughts about singing and blowing out candles, but my reflection this year has brought so many emotions to the surface. Birthdays are about life. This year I have saved my life. I have taken control of my life and made changes that have reminded me I am alive and that my life is worth living. Not just my healthy lifestyle, but my career. Though today has been extremely emotional, I know that the last 13 years have been successful. There have been hard days, but look at where I am today. I have an amazing career with a company that has provided me with so much opportunity. And more than that, so many friends. There are people that become family. There are friends that I will love forever. There are people who know my soul and love me still. There are people who I will keep in my heart and mind forever. I look at my career and I know that I have made changes in people’s lives, even if small. That is all I have ever wanted to do. I am humbled by my reflections and I am so grateful for all the people that I have in my life.

What I know is that I am 32 and very blessed. I have reflected on this day and what I must say here on
this blog is that I vow to myself and to all of you reading that my life will never be the same again. I will stay committed to myself and my work every minute of every day and know that I am worth it. I know without reservation that I am blessed.

“The purpose of life is a life of purpose” –Robert Byrne

Shout outs:

To my sisters: the last 3 days have been the best of my life. You make me the person I am. I love you
more than life and more every day.

To Jerry Souza…you have given me opportunity and have mentored my leadership. I dedicate this blog
post to you. I have never respected someone more. Thank you for being my fan and role model and
know that your integrity and work ethic are contagious. I am so much better because of you. My goal is
that we find ourselves working together again.

To my AMR SF Lifesavers…YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE…Thank you for making the last 3 years the greatest of my career. It has been my honor working with and for you. Though I am not going to be there every day, I am still part of the team and will always be completely invested in supporting you and seeing our operation THRIVE...(word choice: in true Kaiser employee fashion) I love you all so very much.

To my Biggest Loser Lifesavers: Cara, Nicole, Kelly, Heather, Meg, Keith, Amanda, Haley, Michael…this weekend was the greatest weekend of my life and I am profoundly grateful that you support my journey. You are helping me save my life and you have my word that I will support you and yours every step of the way. Van 3 fo life b!t@hes!

Victor: Let’s celebrate life baby! Happy birthday (Sunday)!!!!!!

To me on your day of birth: Believe in yourself. Trust the process. Change forever. You are f&!king badass.


It’s your birthday. It’s ok to have cake.

"How does a girl plummeting into a rabbit hole come out unchanged? She doesn't."
-Alice in Wonderland