Thursday, February 28, 2013

{It's Now or Never}

by Brianne

One month ago, Cara and I stood in front of a group of amazing women led by the one and only, Menne Hall to commit to goals for 2013. We have joined a group called She’s Now or Never and it could not have come at a better time. The purpose of the group is to find support in reaching goals you set for yourself, but many goals are not reached because of a true lack in living the fit life. Health can limit you or thrust you forward. For me and many of the women in She’s Now or Never, our health has held us back, stopped us from moving forward and accomplishing goals we set for ourselves. This has left us with a sense of fear and failure that is hard to overcome. Joining this group allows me and my fellow SNN sisters to come together and find that balance in living a healthy lifestyle. We bravely stood before each other and read our commitment letters aloud confirming our vulnerability and most importantly the accountability that goes into such tasks. However, since the commitment ceremony, I have found myself struggling.

Many overweight people say they look forward to fitting on roller coasters once they reach their goal weight or at least find themselves small enough to wait in line and make an attempt, however who knew starting a weight loss journey would mean every day is a roller coaster ride? After all this, I have had enough of the twists and turns and jolts and my arms are sore from holding them in the air. There are days I find myself ready to be done with the ride. I want to wave the roller coaster operator down to stop the ride, raise the safety bars and let me get the f*&k off.

I hit a wall around Christmas and though, I am still on this damn roller coaster of a weight loss journey, there were a couple attempts made at waving down the operator. I find myself waiting for something to click. I envision this light switch that exists within the minds and bodies of healthy fit people that flips on at some point to illuminate their path to this fit life I so desperately want to live in, but nonetheless, I am not sure I even have this switch in me, let alone a light to find my way. This may sound depressing and distant, but this shit isn’t easy. I am still pushing, still fighting, but I am struggling. I still deal with residual food addiction issues and find myself eating for wrong reasons. It may be carrots, but my relationship with food is still a part of my journey that has not flipped that switch.

What I know is that I feel better than I did over 100 pounds ago and I don’t want to lose that. I can clearly remember the first day I started my journey at the Biggest Loser Resort and it was a feeling….a nightmare that I can still taste. I felt like I was going to die and though my trainer may push me that hard now, I know it’s not as hard as it was at 361 pounds.

What I know is that I have met more people that understand and support me in the last year than I have in the last 10 years and that is simply amazing. Instead of hiding behind a disease, I am standing in front of my past and will never look back.

What I know is that this damn roller coaster is all part of the journey. I must feel all the ups and downs and twists and turns in order to exit the ride with a true sense of what it means to be a healthy person in control.

What I know is that I used to not be able to touch my elbow to my knee during bicycle crunches and now I can. Every time.

What I know is that I can see and feel a change in my body that makes me proud.

What I know is that change equals a chance to get it right. A phat chance.

Shout outs:

Menne…thank you for your selfless service. I admire you and the work you do for others. SNN exists because you followed your vision and persisted until you accomplished your goal. That’s what this is all about. Reaching my goals seems so much more attainable when I have a strong woman showing me it can be done.
Cara…we recommitted on January 26, 2013 to what we know and trust. Look at how far we have come and how much we have done. I am so proud of you and your skinny body. Trust the process.

To me: I know the conversations you have inside that head of yours and some days they are sad. You are just a girl that wants to be happy. You mean no harm and want to do well for yourself and the people in your life. Sometimes you make it harder than it needs to be. Sometimes you forget that a positive mental attitude can change everything. Don’t forget how you started, why you started and what you have done to get here now. Recognize you can’t make everyone happy. Just focus on you and your goals and life will fall into place. It’s a damn roller coaster so raise your arms up, open your eyes and go with it. There will be shit days, but you would rather have shit days than no days. It’s now or never.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Finding Inspiration Online

by Cara

"Fast. Easy. Convenient" I was driving to work and there was a commercial on the radio for some special diet drops or pills or something. And "Fast. Easy. Convenient" were the words used to describe this diet. I have also heard people talking about how they have already stopped their "New Year's Resolutions" and are already looking for that quick diet fix to lose the pounds they committed to lose in 2013. Let's set one thing straight....there is NOTHING easy, fast, or convenient about dieting. And thats the other thing we have to change this terminology, it is no longer a diet, it is a lifestyle.

Choosing to be healthy, rather than not even noticing what you are eating or that you haven't walked farther than from your car (in the closest parking spot possible) into the store or your house or the restaurant, this is a lifestyle that requiers mindfulness on every front. This lifestyle requiers commitment, dedication, goal setting, preping and most of all TIME. There will be situations that are not convenient, there will be days and most of all workouts that will not be easy. And this is not going to happen fast. 

Here's the exciting thing. This weight loss and LIFESTYLE community is amazing. There are people out there that are all doing this. There are people that want so badly to make a change in their life, who are inspired each day by someone else. Brianne and I have been so motivated and inspired by the kindness and the inspiration that we have found in others. The messages, texts, comments, Facebook LIKES, are all noticed. We feel the love. We are truly humbled and thankful that our story might just touch the life of someone else. But here's the thing, we are not doing this to get attention we are sharing our story because we were looking for stories ourselves. By sharing our story we hope that we can motivate even just one person to be mindful. That really is all it is. Be mindful of what and how much you are eating and of how often you move your body. Start slow if you have to, but then take the time to write down what you hope to accomplish. Maybe its a number, but maybe it is trying new veggies or walking or hiking.

We want to encourage everyone reading to really seek out online groups that are there to support each other. And if you are involved in groups now we want to encourage you to be positive toward the group and in how you share your stories and your struggles. If you only share the negatives or the hard parts you lose sight of the good things and the successes as they come. CELEBRATE. There are so many good things to might be SLOW. HARD. and COMPLICATED, but it sure is worth it.

We would like to share with you some of our favorites. Check out these motivational people and places that inspire Phat Chances everyday:

Friday, February 15, 2013

Mom Strength

By Cara
This post has been in the makings for a while. I recently was laid off from a part time job, I have another job, but I had a lot of work to complete before I turned in my keys. I have been wanting to share my experience on this journey and being a mom at the same time. I know that there are plenty of moms out there that need some perspective from a "loser" mom. "Loser" as in losing weight and being a mom at the same time. I like to think I am a good mom, there are times maybe even I think I could do a better job, but as long as they are warm, fed and have happy faces, I am doing OK. 

A little over one year ago
I looked like this. I weighed 308 lbs after having Sylas 
(son #2 in the right picture).

I wore a size 22 and was happy. I honestly thought that I was doing all I could, by walking to the playground and taking the boys out. But I was also eating enough for 4 people at EVERY meal. 

Just one week after this birthday party photo with Syals was taken, my sister Brianne and I began our journey with our 2 week stay at the Biggest Loser Resort in Malibu. At the start of this journey in November 2011, at 280 lbs I accepted the fact that deep down I was not happy. I wanted to be the track athlete that I was in high school  I wanted to have something in my life that I could turn to when I needed to de-stress. Working out is a natural anti-depressant. As a mom I have happily accepted that there are 2 lives that must be placed before my own. Having children means that you are bathing, feeding and teaching (among a MILLION other things) little lives that need to be shaped into positive and happy grown men (or women). There are times that this is the most stressful job ever, just thinking about the fact that 2 people will walk this Earth based on what I teach them.......STRESSSS.
In the last 4 years that I have been teaching my babies to now be children I had enormous amounts of guilt. Guilt to leave them even with family members to get "ME" time. I had guilt about leaving them in the gym day care because they are my responsibility and I shouldn't pawn them off to some stranger while I am just in the other room sweating. EXCUSES. I have spent the last 15 months teaching myself that it is ok, that they are ok. Whether they are home with a family member or in the gym day care they are having fun, everyone is happy and I am happy too. This guilt still gets to me, but I realize that if I am going to be a better mom we have to have this time. 
I have also found some great opportunities to sneak workouts in. While they eat breakfast I do a 20-25 minute cardio video or I get them set with a few activities or ipad games and I sneak downstairs for a 20 minute spin on my stationary bike. I also do get one training session in per week with a trainer and a spin class. They are either with me at the gym in daycare or if my younger sister is off she comes by and I take off. Sometimes with all that a day entails with kids I find that I am getting a workout in at 9:00pm. They are in bed and I am infront of the TV with Turbo Fire for 40-50 minutes, or on the bike. There are days when I reach the end of the day and am too exhausted to workout, as long as I get 4 workouts in per week I reach my goal. My husband Ryan has lost 60 lbs and we get at least one "date" a week at BOOT CAMP. In the end it also comes down to food. I need to make sure that my food is just right. Since starting this journey we finally have our oldest son eating spinach (hidden in whole wheat grilled cheese or in homemade pizza).  We ahve made significant changes in food and I am only eating single portions, measured out and weighed.
This is a lifestyle change that I will hold onto for life. And because I am teaching my sons to be healthy young men, they are following my example and we get outside biking or playing for at least one hour each day. I am happy to say that most days work, but I will be honest its not everyday. Growing kids is hard work, but it is amazing and fun. There is a balance and although flexibility is key to making this work, it can be done. 
If you are looking for more about what life looks like on a daily basis you can find Phat Chances on Facebook, you can become a reader here on our blog and you can always message us or leave comments in either forum.