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A 25 Pound Very Personal Journey – Part 2 – Introducing Shawna Kaminski

As I mentioned in Part 1 of this post, I gained 25 pounds IN ONE YEAR!!! I’ve chronicled that venture and I need to say this right from the start this time…THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST! I’ve written this to own my health and my intentions, and as a personal thank you to Shawna Kaminski who has challenged me and changed my life. Here’s where I left off on my very personal journey to regain control:

“I have to say the toughest part of changing my ways was actually leading myself out of denial and making up MY MIND that it was time”

Once I realized I had to do something about my weight (and accompanying constant state of tired and illness), I did what I always do…I started running again…because I LOVE running…and I’m not talking a kilometer or two…I’m talking Sunday runs of up to 10k! But guess what…my old standby didn’t work this time! But I kept running anyway. Because…you know…the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results! Just ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you that I have been known to have been bitten by cray-cray bug from time to time!

But here’s the kicker: with running came my other usual outcome…I was constantly hungry. (The Mr always jokes that he needs to carry an emergency supply of energy bars in the glovey because when I need to eat…I NEED TO EAT…and it’s dangerous for his health if I don’t…but that’s because he’s constantly second guessing if we should stop to eat here at the restaurant right in front of us, or if there’s another one 200 miles down the road that might be better…but that’s a whole other post!)

So I ran, I ate more, I was constantly hungry, and NO WEIGHT CAME OFF.

I actually think I gained a little more. Well, since I was no longer living in denial, my science brain kicked in and I began to do my research. Which of course involved Facebook ;). That’s when I saw a picture of a friend and former co-worker who was a fraction of their former self. And who??? pray tell was the brawn and brains that was being credited with this transformation?

Meet Shawna Kaminski

She is none other than the two time winning “toughest Calgarian alive” of course. She’s a 49 year old mother of two who can knock out over 20 pull-ups in a row…and she can beat most men at this when challenged! But for me, I liked what I saw when I really looked beyond the pull ups. And the more I did, the more I was impressed that she is REAL and relatable. What I mean by that is that she isn’t a 20-something who eats 2 kleenex a day and is then telling people how to stay thin (sorry kids, I have had a trainer or two like that in the past). Her focus is on FITNESS…if you’re fit, the weight-loss will follow…but beyond that, she shows you how gaining control of your health and your body flows over into all other areas of your life! (Yes, there is a bit of a religious fervour when I speak about her!)

Shawna Kaminski

Click THIS LINK to see her rock the pull up bar!

If you weren’t impressed by the video, then go try to do a pull-up!

Only about 5% of the world’s populations can do them and once I came to that realization, my naturally not so competitive self (cough cough) knew I wanted to be able to be strong enough to pull one off. Plus, Shawna and I are pretty much the same age so there was no reason why I couldn’t do it too. Sooo…..yes, I just came clean on my age too…I’m just one big ol’ SuzieSpiller these days’ aren’t I?!

Ok, so I checked out her program and lurked on her blog (I know, sounds creepy but it was with good intentions), and started really researching what she was doing and why it could/should work from a REAL scientific perspective…peer reviewed journal articles (y’all know I’m a trained physical/nutritional anthropologist, right?). And trust me, there were times she really pee-ed me off…like when she said if you want to get fit RUNNING isn’t the most effective way to do it! This went against everything I had come to believe in so I ran more, just to prove her wrong! But guess what: I couldn’t!

When I couldn’t succeed even though I was running more, I finally gave in and downloaded her  Challenge Workouts program and started working out her way. Plus, I finally quit lurking and LIKED her Facebook Page. It was through this that I found out she had a 24/7 virtual coaching service. It involves texts, emailed workouts and tips, and me being accountable to her for my nutrition at the end of every day, for 6 weeks, until I gained good habits. And the price was less than one personal training session per week! Well, I signed up…YES, I SIGNED UP FOR VIRTUAL SHAWNA…A WOMAN I HAD NEVER MET!…at the hardest time of the year to begin a journey such as this I might add…at the beginning of November…which I remind you is right before USTG (which my family celebrates) and all the ensuing holidays! I’m telling you, it was the best thing I EVER did for myself!

Why? Because before you can work with her this way, you must fill out a questionnaire that helps her gauge if you’re serious (she’s a seriously busy woman who owns Calgary North West Fit Body Boot Camp and constantly traveling to attend/speak at conferences that provide her clients with the most up to date fitness information available). It was those questions that caused me to realize what had really been going on in my life beyond just being busy and sometimes lazy! And the realization was deep! It lead me to this:

2007 was humdinger of a year for me, let me tell you!

In January, our beloved Nana (who was 99 3/4 and still living alone through the assistance of family and daily visits from homecare) had a stroke and we were told she would not make it. She had always been adamant that when her time came she did not want to go into the hospital, so my sister and I helped care for her until she passed away in the comfort of her own home. In March, this was followed by my beloved one year old yorkie, Scout, suddenly passing away due to a congenital birth defect. In the midst of all this, my brother was suffering horribly from lung cancer and given 6 months to live. When his time came in September, my sister and I spent the last days helping care for him at my mom’s until he passed. And after all this? I kept telling everyone and myself that I was fine…except I wasn’t. But you know what? Once I was able to put my finger on the source of the pain, it was as if the burden was lifted. Sometimes just KNOWING where it’s coming from helps you deal!

And since I was able to put my finger on the REAL issues so that they didn’t cloud what I wanted in my life, I realized I wanted more than weight loss! 

  • I wanted health and life and strength.
  • I realized wanted my mental health back! I had very likely been depressed and  it was time to deal with it in my own head (sorry, I’m not a therapy gal, I’m a self-healer).
  • I found the roadblock, set my goals, and clarified my intentions such that I was able to give myself a break, stop blaming myself, but also start holding myself accountable!

And that’s when the magic really happened!

I now work out 6 days a week with virtual Shawna there to support me (but also threaten to fly to Vegas to find me if I don’t check in!) Yes! I said 6 DAYS A WEEK. But the beauty of it is, most of the workouts use my own bodyweight as resistance and a whole lot of science to deliver a kick a$$ metabolicly challenging workout AT HOME…and some days they are as little as 12-15 minutes. Since I’m not blessed with co-ordination, in spite of being a former cheerleader ;) those yoga-zumba-sweatin it to the oldies classes are not for me! If you can do that, I say FANTASTIC…it’s just not MY thing…plus, I travel too much to be able to consistently attend, even if I wasn’t worried about embarrassing myself.

And there is so much variety to my workouts that I’m never bored! Trust me, I get bored REALLY fast! So I think this is why I am still sticking to the program. My long workouts are 30-45 minutes, depending on whether I add a 4-6 minute “finisher” onto the end, and every other day they’re short. I get in, get out, and get ‘er done! And in 8 weeks, I haven’t missed a workout…now that’s consistency!

Have I changed how I eat?

Yes…and no! See, if your diet tells me I can never have a Baconator again, I’m not going to stick to it. As I said, I’m a nutritional anthropologist so I understand nutrition as it relates to health, but I also understand cultural contributions to why we eat what we eat…and for me BACON is part of my culture, or so I like to tell myself (Praise the Lard)! But I don’t eat a Baconator every day like I did last summer when I was studying Chemistry. What I love about how I eat now is that it’s delicious, nutritious, filling (some days Shawna actually tells me to eat more), and it’s REAL food. Not a pre-packaged meal plan that can sit in my closet for two years without going bad…not a two shakes a day then eat a head of lettuce for dinner kind of scheme (don’t even get me started on how flawed this is!). This is a plan where I can eat anything I want…just NOT ALL THE TIME…and when I do there are trade-offs, like finishers at the end of my workout! I eat clean 80-90% of the time and live my life 100% of the time as a result of  it.

So what has my progress been so far you ask?

Well, at the end of eight weeks (which is today), through US Thanksgiving (when my son cooked his first turkey dinner and there was no way I was not eating EVERY bite), through my trip to Vegas and NFR (when a 2:30 a.m. cheeseburger and a “few” libations did happen), through Christmas dinner (when I DID eat turkey, stuffing AND the Christmas Cake that had been soaking in Sailor Jerry’s Rum for 2 1/2 months), through a very stressful New Year’s when I had 6 extra house guests, the sewer backed up twice, you couldn’t flush the toilets, and my lovely friend Vicki brought her famous rum balls to apply to my butt cheeks…at the end of all of this (as of this morning) I’ve lost a total of 14 lb since starting with Shawna (17.5 since I started on this journey…note that other 3.5 lb was the result of 3 months of running!). I haven’t done my measurements today (I usually weigh in and measure on Monday mornings) but at the end of the first 6 weeks I had lost 16.75 total inches! I consider these solid steps toward success.

But more important, I’ve gained muscle, tone, and control of my life!

Here’s an IG pic from yesterday…check out the pipes ;)

SuperSuzie

(PS My new hashtag is #stongisthenewsexy  so if you tweet or IG I’d love it if you’d follow back and tag your workouts/selfies with this so I can follow too)! I still can’t do a pull up (but come on…for from zero to one in 8 weeks  for a non-strength trainee like me is unrealistic…and I know I CAN and WILL achieve it…If you think you can or think you can’t, you’re probably right, right?). Another success? I can do 5 REAL pushups now (I could only do them from my knees when I started)…and my Burpees? I do them with ten pound weight in each hand now! (I jokingly tell Shawna I’m aiming to be the Queen of Burpees!)

So…here’s what I like the most about this change

It’s not a diet (just solid nutrition plan that doesn’t tell me I can NEVER eat Baconators again, I’m just careful with how often and how much, and I add a finisher, thanks to Shawna’s friend Mikey Whitfield, to my workout if I did)! It’s not boring! At the end of the day, this is a lifestyle change and one that fits MY lifestyle to boot. Because of the number of bodyweight only workouts I have, I can do this at home or in a hotel room with limited equipment (I invested in a trx and a skipping rope for travel). And 3 of the 6 days I can get ‘er done in under 30 minutes…often under 20! I’m definitely not too busy for that!

To RECAP what has lead me this far:

  1. I no longer allowed myself to live in denial. I found photographic evidence to wake me up. I ask you, can you find an old pic of yourself that you love and compare it to today? Are you where you want to be NOW?
  2. I identified my mental roadblocks (does this resonate with any of you?)
  3. I did my research to find a life-plan that has solid science behind why it works and I apply it in a devout manner.
  4. I set my REAL goals…which are way beyond weight loss (it’s like business, if you’re only in it for the money, eventually you’ll be forced to cheat…don’t be fooled…pounds are the weight equivalent of money so make your health your priority…not so much the number on the scale).
  5. I set up a system of accountability for myself that I LOVE (I highly recommend her because she really KNOWS what she’s doing, but if virtual Shawna is beyond you then how about setting up a network of friends to text/post/email each other daily on your progress?). Prior to Shawna, I was part of a wonderful Facebook group called 100 for 100 (log 100 miles in 100 days). When I stopped logging miles, I reported my workouts to them and they were all so encouraging that the next challenge will include workouts as a daily point in the challenge…thank you Michelle Farley for providing this!
  6. I make my workouts a priority…no excuses…even if the sewer backs up burpees will happen!
  7. I researched healthy recipes that taste amazing! (if you follow me on Instagram (@urbancountrystyle), Twitter (@UrbanCntryStyle), or Facebook you’ve seen them appear in those feeds this past couple of months!)

OK, this post has grown way too long. If you all would like examples of what I eat in a day, how I eat, healthy recipes, or where I find inspiration for healthy recipes, then just leave me a comment below saying you do. I’ll be sure to set up a future post with one of my sample days’ nutrition and some links to where you can find great inspiration for tasty REAL food!

And if YOU have tips that work for you, please share them. As I said on Friday, we all get there together…there’s no need for us to be out here alone any more!

Have a wonderful Sunday Y’all!

Love,

~Suzie

44 Comments

  1. This is an amazing personal story of falling only to get right back up again! Thank you for sharing because there are so many of us with parallel stories to tell.

    I have been working out 3-4 days a week and started the virgin diet – no GMOs, soy, artificial sweeteners, corn, dairy or gluten and those were all my essential food groups! Well I eventually stopped eating those food most if the time, but I’m a southern girl and got to have grits, bacon and pancakes from tint to time! I turned it up though with a plant based protein shake with greens and berries for breakfast, a salad or veggie / protein and the same fir dinner with bow rice, sweet potato or quinoa. Still no weight or inches lost in 5 weeks!!! I just started Shawna’s workouts last week and have lost 3 inches! Maybe it took this ling to see results but I hoped to be down at Least 12 lbs. by now! The scale is the same.

    My GP just mentioned to eliminate grains when my sugar spiked last week! Wait.. What??? My diet is super limited now since I love chocolate and don’t have it except The occasional 80% ugh!

    I am 54 as of last week and pre-diabetic, a RCC survivor of 3 years and pray for many more, hypertensive and taking meds. My goal is to be med free and healthy again. I am so happy that I stumbled across fit over 40 because it just makes so much sense! I need help with meals and portions to really see weight loss it seems. I would love to see 5 lbs lost to start. any help on this mutual journey would be appreciated!

    • Paulina I’ve been away so I apologize for the late reply. There really is magic in how Shawna has planned her workouts. Sometimes weight loss takes time to show up on the scale (so many factors affect that number…time of day, amount of food in system, water intake/retained, etc), which is why inches lost are also so important to keep track of! I’d love to know how you’re doing now, after a bit of time at her approach.

      Also, you may want to check out her Challenge Diet since your doc said no grains…it’s grain free in the first 21 days and many folks have had amazing success (I know because I’m part of the Challenge Diet Facebook Page).

      All the best and please keep in touch!
      ~Suzie

  2. I love your blog….I have struggled with my weight my entire life. I was the fat kid in kindergarten right up until now, as I approach 46 in a few weeks. I call dieting my second full time job. I don’t remember a time in my life when I haven’t been on a “diet” and it has consumed me. I have tried just about everything on the market and have spent thousands upon thousands of dollars over my lifetime. I have had many successes but much more failure. 6 years ago I lost 117lbs and vowed it would be the last time I ever did this. Well here I am 6 years later and have gained back 60lbs of it. Am I absolutely devastated. So now I am trying to take the position of healthy eating and lifestyle and have come across Shawna Kaminski and am looking forward to spending time with her. I think it helps knowing he is somewhat local to me as I am in Edmonton. I am just starting to follow along with her so hoping it will click in this time for me. To say I’m a bit skeptical about trying anything again is an understatement but my making excuses for the weight gain and blaming it on my age, metabolism, back pain isn’t helping either. Thank you for the encouragement and sharing your story.

    • Lisa,
      Trust me when I say Shawna has changed my life. I don’t “diet”, I live a healthy life and workout 6 days a week. I don’t dread the workouts, I love them and how they leave me energized for the whole day. I’m happy to report that over a year after writing this post, I’m still working with Shawna and I’m still the same size, actually a little lighter than I was last year. My goals now are to remain healthy and just be the best “me” I can be. I’m so excited for you as you start your journey and would love it if you’d check in again and let me know how things are going. You are welcome to email me at Suzie@urbancountrystyle.com.
      ~Suzie

  3. I am happy to hear about your progress in making yourself healthier. I, too, had reached a point aobut a year ago where I could not stand what I had made myself into. I quit eating junk food, fast food, fried foods, soda, and most sugar. I started slowly with an exercise program, and started going to a gym three nights per week. I know, it was fast, but I lost almost 100 pounds in about 5 months. I went from a 44 inch waist (265) to a 32 inch waist(158), and cleaned up my eating habits for good. I decided I was TOO thin, so I put on some muscle, which I am still working on, and now stay at about 178 pounds. I don’t obsess about food like I used to. If I am hungry, I eat, if I am not, I don’t. I sometimes go 10 or 12 hours, with an occasional fast for 24 hours, without any food at all. Just lots of water, tea, and sometimes coffee. This has worked very well for me, and I have put on about 15 pounds of muscle in the past year. I want more muscle, but at the age of 58, it doesn’t come as easily as it used to. I am getting stronger every day, and even with arthritis, trigger finger, and painful knees, I still manage to make progress. I go to the gym AFTER work, at about midnight, and even sometimes after working a ten hour shift for the USPS. I sleep like a rock! Without my workouts, I am lost, I don’t sleep well at all. So I continue at least three times per week and I feel great for an old man! If I inspire even ONE person to make themselves healthier, then it has all been worth it.

    • TJ, I’m sure your story will help more than one person. Thank you so much for taking the time to share it with myself and our readers here at UCS! You are very inspiring indeed!!!
      ~Suzie

  4. Wow I loved your honesty! I just bought the workout package and I’m anxious to get started. I might even get brave enough to go to one of her upcoming boot camps! I would be interested in seeing your daily diet plan. I’m also a runner and I walk my two Golden’s about 5 miles every day but I just can’t seem to take the weight off! I assume its my age as I just turned 51 . Thanks for sharing your story!

    • Susan,

      Thank you for stopping by! I’m so excited for you beginning on a journey with Shawna…and I must say I’m a tad jealous that you have the opportunity to attend her boot camp. She’s been so inspirational and encouraging in my life, I can only imagine what that little package of dynamite would be like in person.

      As far as your age is concerned, I think it’s unfortunate that we’ve all been lied when we are told that we must accept a different body because of it. Yes, our bodies change (as in our metabolism shifts into a lower gear), but through a little bit of hard work each day we are all capable of gaining our strength and old bodies back. I say this from personal experience. I can honestly state that today I am in better physical shape then when I was in my 20s. I’m strong and enjoying the new found energy that comes with that.

      I’d love to hear how your journey goes forward. I’m truly excited for you and the potential that lies ahead of you. And if you do get to meet Shawna, tell her I said “Hey Girl!” :)

  5. This is so inspiring! After some failed attempts to get in shape, I finally set a routine a few months ago and have been sticking with it. And it’s working! Always looking for extra motivation – so glad I came across this!

    • Adrienne,
      I’m so happy you stopped by too! I’m thrilled you can find something in this to take away with you. I know I draw inspiration from people such as yourself who have taken control and are continuing on the road to wellness.
      Have a wonderful day!
      ~Suzie

  6. The main thing is that you identified your problem & you didn’t let it get out of control! I need to get my “old body back” as well. In fact, someone commented recently on a photo of mine “could those pants make her hips look any wider” – immediately I was crushed & realized that was all it took to get me back saying no to unhealthy things & working in some exercises again…. Big props to you for being able to talk about this because I sure couldn’t do it.

    • Raquel,

      I happen to know you are a gorgeous young woman!!! And whoever said that obviously didn’t have a mama who taught them that if they didn’t have anything nice to say, they should just keep their big ol’ mouths shut! They should know, I’ve got your back girl!!!

      As far as you wanting to embark on a personal journey to improve yourself because YOU have decided that’s what’s right for YOU, then I applaud you girl. If I can ever help, just let me know!

      Huge Hugs!
      ~Suzie

  7. Hi Suzie!

    I’m so relieved that I had a chance to read your blog…and that I an mot the only person in this world who has got to this road block in my health and feels like “How did I get here?”. So many things you touched on relate to what I am going through right now. I just started my first day of Bootcamp with Shawna – and I can’t wait to see what my next six weeks brings!! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am certain that so many women out there can relate to you…to the spiral that you went through and the life road blocks that you were faced with. But you persevered through…and now you are a voice of reason to so many women reading this including myself! Congratulations on your success – and continued success:) I look forward to hearing more about your journey!
    Thanks

    Patti

    • Hi Patti!

      I am so thankful that readers such as yourself are finding these posts useful! Y’all inspire ME with your comments and support. And I will admit that I’m just a tad envious that you actually get to go to boot camp. I’d love to…there’s just that little commute over the rockies that stops me…for now ;)

      I’m excited for your next 6 weeks too! I’ve just started week 9 and I have never felt better. Body. Mind. and Soul. I’m thrilled for you and the excitement the next 6 weeks brings!

      Thank you so much for stopping by Patti. Have a wonderful evening!

  8. Hey Suzie!! Way to go and you are a true inspiration!! I am a hardcore bootcamper with Shawna and I too workout 6 days a week and have not felt stronger or fitter in my life!! Shawna is a keeper and definitely a great person to have in your corner!! You amaze me with your perseverance and dedication! I love my network at camp but I have also taken workouts on my holidays and when I have been away from Calgary…and you know Shawna…she is always right there to check up on you and keep you accountable for your actions!
    You have had amazing results in such a short time and that in itself shows that it is all mind over matter! Once you put your heart into it everything else seems to fall into place!
    Way to go on maintaining that ability to eat yer bacon!! We all have to have our little just rewards!! Keep up the hard work!! I think you look awesome and those “pipes” of yours will have you pounding out those pullups in no time! Best wishes in your continued success! Ronette

    • Ronette,

      Thank you!! I am overwhelmed with the outpouring of support from all of you who know and love Shawna (and those who don’t as well)!

      She’s definitely a keeper…who else is going to hunt me down in Vegas and ask me to do a workout in the airport…in my COWBOY BOOTS?! #truestory :)

  9. Suzie –

    What a great testimony – to you, to Shawna, to the power of living out the gifts that God bestowed on you! Thanks for an incredibly inspiring start to my week. Tom.

    • Wow, Tom the thanks is all mine to give to people like you who send out such motivating messages to those you have never met. You are my inspiration today to pay it forward!

  10. I love your story Suzie. I think we all have to get to the point where we make life changes rather than diet. And, it’s mental before it’s physical. Shawna’s doing great work and you’re proof of it. Keep it up and make 2013 your best your yet!

    • Deborah, I read somewhere that the life you are living has to get more painful than the one you want before you will make changes. And how did you know that 2013 being my best year was my mantra for the year? :)

  11. Suzie, awesome, AWESOME job. You’re going to inspire a lot of people with this.

    Keep rocking!
    Mike Whitfield (aka Mikey)

    • Oh my goodness, with big red embarrassed face I must say I meant to provide a link to your finishers Mikey! I’ve gone back in and done that just now…to those of you who were confused, I also appolgize! Mike is the powerhouse behind trainwithfinishers.com !

      I LOVE them and I know they’ve also contributed to my success…and ability to consume bacon ;)

      Your comment and kind words really mean a ton to me Mike! Thank YOU!

  12. AWESOME….your doing great. Your a inspiration, keep up the good work. I personally got the challenge workout of Shawna…..REALLY COOL. I’m in second week of phase 1, almost did a pull-up(if you count 1/4 of pull then i’m happy) and love the workout, i laugh my way to the workout for the layout :).

    Mentally and fiscally that have help me is the workout of TT workouts (Turbulence Training), finisher and the concept of fasting.

    P.s your doing great, your not a lone is this battle.

    • Way to go on almost getting the pull up Esther! Shawna’s program is really COOL! Have a great day girl and thanks for stopping by!

  13. Thanks for sharing your story, I love when women are so incouraging with each other. I love also when people find there work out “thang” that works for them. Shawna’s program sound amazing. With that being said I am not a ” I get bored work out gal” Creature of habit sadly is my game.

    I do Jackie Warner six days a week and a different work out each day, but still Jackie. Its fast, to the point you get in you get out and you get a great workout. Her workouts vary in time but nothing longer than 40 minutes and most as short as 20. Love them! Good luck Ms. Salmon ;) Happy New Year!!

    • Shae, even though we’ve never met I feel like I know you ;) . I do know from pics that you are one fine looking lady who is obviously doing thangs right! I’m happy you’ve found what works for you…but if you ever get bored, I hope you will see Shawna as one more resource to draw from…’cause she’s ALL THAT…and more!

  14. Way to go girl. This is extremely inspiring. You have done it and you are a true champion , when you stick with it results do happened. Congratulation and keep up the GOOD work.

    • Awww, Thank You France!!!! I really am going to go soft with all this luv being sent my way ;)

  15. Hey Suzie! Thanks for your inspiring story. Shawna is just the “bee’s knees”! I couldn’t do push-ups either until I did her push-up program. I am getting close to pull-ups too… keep working at it Suzie – I’m sure we’ll both achieve them in the end! I love that you follow a realistic eating plan, so you can have your bacon and eat it too :)

    I wish you all the best for your continuing great health and strength – kick some butt!

    • Isn’t having your bacon and eating it too what life’s all about Deb? #PraiseTheLard ;)

      Seriously though, I’m sooooo happy to have “met” Shawna and her programs. I’ve never been this enthused about working out and I’m loving the accompanying strength that has followed in its footsteps!

      When you get your first pull up, I’d love to hear from you. I’m still a ways away, but I know it’s in there just waiting to bust out and I love drawing inspiration from other women who have gotten there!

      Now you go kick some butt too :)

  16. Suzie – CONGRATS!! Love the posts and love your attitude!! I’mm so happy you have found such a passion for taking back your health and strength!! Thanks for sharing it with us!

    • Marci,
      You are such an amazing woman, and one of my favourite writers to read over on BeingMarci, I might add! Your comment means the world to me. Thank you!

  17. THANK YOU!

    Would I love to look like you and have the enthusiasm you carry with you on this journey….YES!

    So after another day of tears, frustration and embarassment because NOTHIN’ FITS…and it’s not due to shrinkage…I’m doing it…no more procrastinating…my goal just to FEEL good inside and to have the confidence to wear something and not worry about what’s hangin out in the wrong spot.

    You know the best motivation is the sharing of the “line in the sand” we all define for ourselves and just being able to be “real” about taking that first step crossing over it.

    Thank you again Suzy!

    • Sandy,

      Now I’m the one humbled! I have a firm belief that no one gets to where they are going alone. We all share in either helping others succeed or fail. I refuse to be a part of the latter club!

      Good for you for making up your mind on what you want for YOU. No more tears now girl, that’s the best part about stepping out on this journey once you decide. Use the frustration for motivation and keep your head high. You should be proud that you’ve made the first step!

  18. Thanks Suzie!!! Your story is inspiring!!

    • And your support is too! Thanks Bella!!!

  19. I bought some XC skis today and am dying to get them. I finally broke down and weighed myself yesterday too- MUST LOSE 25 LBs. I will start my UFC strength training on the kinect this week and skiing next week when they arrive. I am going to do this.

    • It all starts with those first steps Jenn! Now I’m curious about The South Dakota Cowgirl goes UFC! Will this be aired ;) And good for you on the xxc skiing. I hear it’s a kick a$$ workout! Let us know how it goes please!

      • I’m not sure I’ll be airing it. We shall see. I really hate the way I look right now.

        • Sounds to me like you have a plan to change that! Good for you Jenn!

  20. Wow, I am so humbled and honored to be part of your transformation. I must say that you’ve been my BEST protege yet. You’re committed (or should be ;) and driven. Thank you for the shout out, but really, the credit is all yours. I’m SO proud of you. Virtual hug! (Enough mush, let’s do some burpees!)

    • Virtual hug…followed by burpees it is!

      But seriously, thanks for all the love and support Shawna!

  21. Congrats, Suzie! You are such an I spitation to get healthy – body, mind and spirit.

    • Thank you Laura! I am so fortunate to be able to draw strength from so many great women and men, such as yourself, via this little blog!

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