Fat to Fit – The Struggle is Real

When people tell me how proud of me they are, I usually smile and say thanks. In fact, it’s still a work in progress, so sometimes I even get down on myself and say how far I still have to go. Truth is that deep down, I feel like they don’t really get how real my struggle has been to go from fat to fit.

Yeah, sure, I’ve run half marathons (yes, that’s plural). I’ve lost 173 pounds (in total, not off my highest weight!) over the last six years. I’ve done things I never thought I could (like jump off a sail boat into the Caribbean or jump up on a box at a crossfit class). But I hate that people probably think I make these things look easy, because they are not.

Imagine you are in a starting corral of runners and you start to breathe really fast because you’re looking down at your body and looking at the body next to you. You start to question if you really should be here doing this thing. You are not a runner! You quickly forget the miles and hours of training, the on point eating you’ve done in the last five months and just hyper focus in on the moment. It’s crushing. It’s numbing. And it’s a real struggle. You forget that (even though you are still working) your journey from fat to fit has been full of way more endurance than many of the people with the full marathon bibs have ever gone through.

Or maybe you are laying face down on the floor of a crossfit class wiping away tears because you can’t do burpies and you really don’t want to be a baby about doing them again. You justify your thoughts that you have way more pounds to lift off the floor than anyone else in the room and jumping up with this much flab just isn’t pretty. You forget that a year ago you were laying face down on a different floor crying because you were so tired of being so tired and unwell. You forget that you have come so far, all you can do is focus on that moment and get down on yourself.

Even if I make it look easy with my posts about running and Whole30, I am here to tell you it hasn’t been. I’ve had to overcome a lot of physical and mental struggles. Even when I was at my thinnest in 2014, I still had a lot of issues. (I couldn’t do a burpie or box jump, for instance.)

But what I can say is I am working on being proud of how far I’ve come. And sometimes, that may show too little or too much. This is all part of my journey, and I am thankful for those who support me, those who get me, and those who are inspired by me. No, it’s not easy going from fat to fit – but it’s my struggle and I’m loving it.

Live Well

A few weeks ago, I was honored to have won the Live Well award at my Company’s Annual Awards Luncheon.

The award meant so much more to me than a celebration of my weight loss. I was recognized for becoming a healthier person in many ways, not just for my pounds lost. The thing that I think most people appreciated about my nomination was that I am doing this so I can be around for years to come for my family.

Sure, this journey to lose weight, eat healthy, be fit, and run my butt off (literally) hasn’t been the easiest challenge I have endured. It’s been around two years of dedication, support, and learning to really love myself. Along the way, I’ve had to make some tough decisions, endured some athlete injuries, and push myself harder every single day. It wasn’t a magic switch or pill that made this possible, but it was my head and my heart.

Because throughout my journey I have been motivated by others, and in turn found out I am also an inspiration, I’d love to start sharing more motivational / healthy posts with you all. Help me get started. What do you want to hear about? I think the kids will appreciate having recipes that we’ve found we love (like the other night’s Brussels Sprouts!), but I don’t want to bore you. Of course, there are stories to tell about my training and sharing roadblocks with you (because trust me, they are there). Is there something specific you want to know about my journey? Ask! And keep your eye out for more posts about how Greg and I are working on our tagline, raising a happy and healthy family in Pittsburgh!

Tech Tuesday: Fitbit #Sponsored Review

Welcome to what I hope becomes a new feature here at ‘lil Burghers, Tech Tuesday! I’m a techie mama (my day job is in the IT Department) and I’ve been asked by some “fans” to write about how I use technology. Why not share finds with you weekly? 

Last month, while I was at BlogHer ’13, I ran a 5k. As part of that, I received a FitBit to track my distance. Today’s Tech Tuesday feature is going to be about my experience obsession with it.

Disclaimer: Best Buy provided all participants of the BlogHer 5k with a Fitbit. While I was not asked to write about it as part of my participation, I chose to do so. All opinions, however, are 100% my own.

When I signed up for the BlogHer 5k, I realized that it was highly unlikely my plane would land before the registration began the night before. I pulled a few strings and got an earlier flight (props to Southwest’s no change fees) and was able to be one of the first to go through registration for the 5k. Let me be clear, there was never a line for the registration. I just saw “first “xxx” participants will get a Fitbit” and I had to be there. I haven’t owned a body monitor in the past because of the mere fact that I hate armbands; however, I’d heard about the Fitbit and thought it would work for me.

Oh, was I right.

At registration, I had to draw a ticket to get my Fitbit. There were three choices, and essentially my ticket matched the one I’d get. Either a Flex (a very easy to use/remember bracelet which you have to sync to see how you’re doing besides the lights that show your daily progress), a Zip (which hooks to your clothes and smiles at you when you’ve met certain goals), or a One. I got the One (which I’ll tell you more about here). At first, I was disappointed. I really wanted the Flex (turns out many of my co-workers have this version). Mom brain sets in, I forget my stuff. Proud to report, forgetting the One has not been an issue and I’ve actually fallen very deeply in love.

Fitbit One
Source: Fitbit.com

So, why do I love the One? Let me count the ways…

  1. The color. It comes in black or maroon. I got maroon, which is a great color on me. It’s adorable.
  2. The stats. I am a metrics person, so by the push of a button I can see how many steps/miles/calories/flights of stairs I’ve taken in a day. It’s also now my watch (which is usually my cell phone).
  3. It tracks my sleep. Admittedly, I am not the best sleeper. Even after two weeks in, I am still tracking my sleep (with a wristband that I don’t love and has gotten stuck in my hair) and seeing I am very restless at night. And, I don’t get enough.
  4. It syncs with my computer (via a USB adaptor) or the iPad. If I had a Galaxy, it would sync to that via the app, but I digress.
  5. It talks to me, greeting me with a fun message and a “Hi Becky” when I pick it up.
  6. It charges quickly and for a long time. In two weeks, I’ve only charged it once. It took about 30 minutes connected via a USB dongle to my PC and showed me right on the One how much it was charged. Vroom.
  7. It’s challenging me. In the last week, I’ve averaged just under 10,000 steps a day. I wish it was higher, but on my rest days and yoga days, it’s hard to get those 10,000 steps. Also, many of my co-workers have the Fitbit, so they are my friends on the app. I get to log in and see who has passed me for the day and cheer them on (or taunt them if I want). (Have a Fitbit and want to be my friend? Find me here.)
  8. Arianna loves it. Truly. She keeps me going, always asking to see how high my flower has grown for the day. “Mama, let me see how good you’ve been today”. (She’s told me my flower looks sad and I need to get up and move it, move it.)
  9. The dashboard. I can see everything I’ve done and go back through history. It tracks my weight (manually added in), steps, and I can even add in food consumed to balance the calories burned.The fact that it wirelessly connects is a huge plus, too.
  10. Badges. I earn badges (like my 20,000 steps “best in a day” badge). These motivate me like you wouldn’t believe.

For the price and convenience, the Fitbit has blown me away. In the two plus weeks that it’s been part of my life, I’ve dropped almost 2 pounds and stepped many steps. it’s definitely a big part of my life, and I’d love to connect with those of you who feel the same. It’s become an addiction, I have to have my Fitbit and I have to make sure that I am up at the top of the social ladder. A challenge and a fun way to lose weight? Wins!

If you are interested in getting your own Fitbit, you can purchase one at BestBuy.com or through Fitbit. Prices start at $59.99 for the Zip and $99.99 for the Flex and The One. 

Fitbit One
Me wearing my Fitbit One at the Best Buy Blogher 5k

Proskins Bloggers Challenge Final Wrap Up

The time has come to share with you my Proskins Bloggers Challenge Final Wrap Up. A few weeks ago, I was sent a pair of ProSkins Slim Leggings to try out. Since then, I’ve slept in my ProSkins and seen some amazing changes in my legs.

Disclaimer: This post is part of my review and participation in the Proskins Bloggers Challenge. I was sent a pair of leggings to review, and as always, all opinions are 100% my own.

After 28 days of wearing my leggings at night (okay, and some evenings to get my full 8 hours a day in), I am happy to consider my participation a success. Although I didn’t shed an inch (or even a quarter) off my hips, I lost 6 inches on one leg. That means, potentially, that my legs are 12 inches smaller around than when I started this. (Note, I only measured my right leg as part of the challenge, but what happens to one should happen to the other.) Here are my official results:

And although I can’t really see the difference, I can feel it. Greg can see it, and begged that I post this photo, too:

#picstitch ProSkins


So, all in all, I am really glad I participated in this challenge. Wearing at night meant I didn’t have to wash as often. I’m not noticing any issues with the leggings (such as holding shape or losing threads or pulling) that I haven’t already mentioned in my other posts about the challenge.

Since last week I learned that there are more options in the Proskins line, I think I’d love to add the shirt to my wish list. My leggings have made my skin feel softer and helped reduce cellulite in my thighs. I could only imagine they’d work wonders on my wrinkly arms.

If you are considering picking up a pair of your own, I highly recommend it. There aren’t just long options, and they come in fun colors, too. There are versions for men and for women. There are different types based on what you need. In my case, I needed the SLIM leggings to work my whole leg. You might be luckier than me and chose to focus your ProSkins experience. Whatever the case, if you have the money to spend and cellulite to burn, consider this line as an option in your journey.

Interested in seeing my thoughts as the Challenge went on?

Day 1

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Want your own Proskins? Visit their website for more info.

Another (Goal) Bites the Dust

It’s been two years in the making and I am proud to announce that today another goal bites the dust.

In June 2011, I began a weight loss journey that’s had it’s ups and downs (but far from my yo-yo dieting days of the past). Starting at a 287 pounds (sadly, only a ‘lil more than 30 pounds over my high school graduation weight), I knew there were changes to be made.

So, I met up with the Corporate Dietitian at a “10 in 10” class, aiming to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks. That was in June 2011. In the 10 weeks, I changed my outlook on food and dropped about 16 pounds. I wasn’t dedicated to exercise, but I was dedicated to eating healthy. In the months that followed, I maintained the loss. After seeing a photo of me at my cousin’s wedding, I knew that it was time to get back to business and I started a monthly 1:1 check in process.

Now, 20 months later, I am proud to say that I have completely changed my life. I have ran a 5k walk, completed a 7-mile mud obstacle run (twice), ran an official 5k, ran the Pittsburgh Half Marathon, ran a Foam 5k. I’ve shared with you my joys when I dropped 50 pounds (about 13 months ago). When I hit onederland. And now today, I am proud to say it…

I have officially lost 100 pounds!

100 pounds weight lost

If you want to be technical, 101.6 pounds. And I want to keep going, not to meet some societal standard but because I want to keep improving my health and tone my body (I am hiding some ferocious skin flab). And I am not afraid to show you my official weigh-in, broken toe and all (oh, you missed that? I broke my toe in the Half and ran around on it the last 7 weeks without knowing, oops).

185 pounds

Yeah, I know 185.4 is still a bit of a weight, but I continue to work and find meaning in every day, something I am not totally sure I was able to do 100 pounds ago. Excuse me, 101.6 pounds ago. I can get out of bed, run 3 miles, and not feel like death. I ran 13.1, who am I kidding? I am a new me, and I am so glad that I am doing this not only for me but for my ‘lil Burghers, my babies who need their Mama (and Daddy!) in their lives, being the best we can be.

Some days I do not see much difference, but in my heart of hearts, I know this is a new me. Thank you all for your constant encouragement and love. Can’t wait to tell you again that another goal bites the dust. Now, where’s my next tattoo, Billy Hill?

Giving Up is Not an Option

This morning, I almost gave up. While I am still in “one-derland”, I gained a ‘lil bit of weight. A number on the scale caused me to cry.

It’s stupid, right? An inanimate object made me cry all because it had a number I didn’t like. What happened to the girl who would have given anything to have weighed 250? 

A number. It’s hard to not let the little things get to you, isn’t it?

After meeting with my nutritionist who assured me (like several others) everything was okay and adjusted my eating plan so I am eating like an athlete and not someone eating to lose weight, I felt ten times better.

After getting home and using my anger to fuel my three-mile (albeit slow) run, I felt one-hundred times better.

And after I enjoy the pulled pork sandwiches and sweet ‘tater fries that Greg is lovingly making? I’ll feel a thousand times better.

Just have to remember…giving up is not an option. 

I Made It: #ONEderland

This post gets quite real. I have been waiting 21 months (since my journey began in June 2011) to write this post and I cannot even tell you how incredible this feels. I am so happy to share this honest post with you tonight. Thank you for those of you who have carried me along this journey. 

It’s been an incredible journey (and it’s not over). Today is perhaps one of the best days of my life. It’s hard to even find the words to write, but I need to. In order to be an inspiration, and to let you all know I still need love and support on the rest of this journey. It’s time to “catch my breath” and share.

In June 2011, I started a “10 in 10” class. During those 10 weeks, I lost 5% of my weight. I started out at (gulp) 287 pounds. You guys. I said it. I may regret it–I know there are haters out there, and I know there are people who are going to say “no way”–but there it is. 287 pounds of amazingness was in my body.

I haven’t lost an ounce of that amazingness, people. 

After Sally and Ryan’s wedding, I got back on the path. It was time to get serious. Monthly meetings began with my dietitian  By the next June, I was super excited to have participated in a mud run, ran a 5k, and have lost 50 pounds (which, sorry the pictures were gone to those of you who searched for that post earlier today–they are back). I shed some more weight, did another 5k, and then hit a plateau. Since Thanksgiving, I struggled between 209 and Monday’s weight of 203.

This morning before heading to work and knowing I had a meeting with my dietitian, I thought it might be a good idea to get on the scale. Last night wasn’t an easy night for me after the day it was and a weak moment at Ikea. I needed to be ready to be honest, to tell him about quitting my training and how I needed a huge reset button. Greg went with me (he hides the scale so that I cannot weigh in daily–it’s been a HUGE help) and I told him, “you just look, tell me if I should be happy or have some explaining to do, don’t want to know a number”. I stepped on. He sucked in his breath. How could I NOT look?

When I looked down, this is what I saw:

Excuse my feet, they need a pedicure, they’ve worked hard, hard, hard. Because my feet pulled me up and down hills, round and round tracks, through mud and snow, and  to ONEderland (a phrase coined by The Biggest Loser on NBC for when the contestants get in the 100s). People, I cannot remember when I weighed in the 100s. Elementary school, maybe? This is absolutely incredible for me.

This self-proclaimed foodie has learned to eat healthier, and do this naturally. Good foods, nutritional awareness, fitness. There were times I “cheated” and tried a supplement or two, but I’ve learned THEY DO NOT WORK FOR ME. I have to do it the right way, be in the right mental state. Be ready to give up things that I loved (like cake, truffles, pasta), and exchange them for more tasty things (granola, Greek yogurt, coucous).

Here today, March 7, 2013, I am down 88 pounds, 31% of my body weight and have made it. I am in ONEderland.

It doesn’t stop here–I have 12 pounds and 4 weeks to go until my birthday, and to -100. Will you be with me on the rest of my journey?

Finding My Peace

I’ll admit, for the last 29 years I have not been so kind to myself. This year, I turn 30 and have turned over a new leaf in my quest to be healthy (and that’s not just the physical, it’s the mental, too).

Specifically, the years I spent in college and in Myrtle Beach were the harshest on my body. I entered college at  253 pounds (eek!) and “never looked back”. There were days when I would eat pizza for all three meals and did not care in the least. I had a “plateau” weight that I pretty much maintained through college then dropped a good bit of it off upon moving to Myrtle Beach, only to pack it back on during an abusive relationship (where I forgot how to love myself, since I figured I was unlovable being beat and broken).

Enter Arianna. I lost 42 pounds during my pregnancy (part of it was that I was worried sick about being a single mom, the daughter of a pastor, and having an on-again/off-again “thing” with a black man in the south, the other part being I danced my butt off, literally, 3-4 nights a week at the Beach Wagon). I kept that off for all of 5 months after she was born and then I found my happy with Greg and moving back home to (cold) Pittsburgh full of family, food, and cuddles.

Being pregnant with Evan was much different. I was just as sick, but was put on Zofran around month 6 so I could actually eat with him…and eat I did. That scale tipped so far, so fast. I thought that breastfeeding would help, but I found myself using the excuse of “I am really still eating for 2” and I hovered at post-baby weight for 6 months.

Then, through work, I was introduced to a nutritionist who has literally saved my life. I did a “10 in 10” program and lost 16 pounds in 10 weeks. That was great, but for me it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t 10% of my body weight. I put off personal nutrition coaching for a few months and easily gained back 4 of those pounds in 3 months. It was clearly time to say YES to myself and get a new start on life.

For those of you that personally know me, you know I strive for perfection. The past 14 months of working with Jeff have been a great blessing, but I find myself still hating parts of me, feeling like I am not enough. Struggling to love me, whether or not the scale shows what I want it to. It’s not been an easy ride.

During this time, I was inspired by a friend to start running and tried the “Couch to 5K” program. My VP at work said we’d do Mud on the Mountain for team building, but budget issues kept that from happening. Too bad, I set it as a goal and instead of a 5K, I did 7 miles in the mud. Two weeks later, Greg and I did run a 5K (unofficially, it was actually a walk), but then I stopped because I was running on a sprained knee, busted up MCL, and severely pulled hamstring (ouch). I had a few months of PT and kept working on the eating part.

In November, you know I ran the Turkey Trot and hit an all-time low in weight…but have kind of stuck there over the holidays (and a ‘lil beyond). It’s been cold, and I’ve been whiny. Blah!

So, to the real reason I set out to write this post, finding my peace. In January, I went on my annual girls’ trip to Myrtle Beach to scrap and craft. Jess and I bought a pass to do unlimited yoga at Inlet Yoga (if in Myrtle Beach, you should ABSOLUTELY GO). I thought I couldn’t do yoga because I can’t relax. I am working on finding my inner peace, you know? Well, I found it there. I fell in love with the studio, with the readings, the music, the mats. It was beautiful. I cried (I guess I might not of had they not played “Angel” during the relaxation part of hot yoga?). I breathed. I found my peace.

Upon coming home to Pittsburgh, I knew I had to find a mat to put in my Inlet Yoga strap I bought and a place to wear my Inlet Yoga t-shirt. I had bought the Bob Harper “Yoga for the Warrior” DVD and decided to give it a try since I am not sure I am ever going to find another beautiful studio like that. It’s been working, although finding “ohm” at home isn’t always the easiest thing (as you’ll hear about in a later, funny post), so I am still consider a drop-in at a local studio once the weather warms up and I can wear my capris out of the office and into the “wild” of the city.

I am not quite there, but folks, I am so close to my peace. This morning, I cheated. I felt lighter, so I stepped on the scale (something I only like to do on Monday mornings). I found out I’ve lost 3.4 pounds this week (so far). I swear, it’s because I’ve been running again and feeding my yoga addiction. I am so close to my peace. I was going to be “okay” with only hitting -88 pounds by my birthday, but now that’s only 4 pounds (and 2 months and 1 week) away. I can do this, I can hit -100 by my birthday, and I will.

But I am also going to find my peace. I am going to understand again what it means to love myself (because, I am sorry, I am beautiful inside and out) and what it means for someone (Greg, Arianna, Evan, both of my sets of parents, my best friends, my favorite cousins and aunts and uncles) to truly love me with no conditions. Whether I am tipping the scales or wearing baggy skinny jeans (I love you, Ella!). I am finding it, I promise. God made me beautiful, and this body was a gift. It’s time to really love it.

source: pinterest



Today was a cozy day. I believe ‘lil Man and I caught a virus. (I had a flu shot, he didn’t.)

After a very rough night of sleep for me, I woke to workout. When trying to roll out of bed, I could hear my heart beating in my head. Besides waking to get some toast and a banana, I was in bed until 5:30 and spent the evening on the couch.
Luckily,  I found some cozy accessories to accompany me and feel a bit better.  No more cold chills or headache, I will take that.

Tomorrow,  no more excuses. It is back to the workout grind (how much is Biggest Loser inspiring YOU?). Thos crud has been given an eviction notoce. As of tomorrow, I have 3 months to drop 24 pounds and meet me-100# goal by the day I turn 30.

I’ve got this.

Rewarding Behavior

One of the things that has kept me on the wagon over the last few months has been the glory of rewards. The problem I was having, was not having a reward to work toward. Now, I have so many.

The first one, it was just a “it will happen when it happens” was to slip into a pair of “skinny jeans” to wear with my boots. Mark that one off the list as of February 11! The second, one that I didn’t think would happen until about 10 more pounds off, was to wear my jeans from after having ‘lil Miss A. achieved this morning!

I’ve decided I need to put a little bit more to the goals. Time to share with you so that you can keep on me, ask “have you got THAT yet?”.

Goal 1: -30 pounds (Achieved!)
I am cheating a little and going with a 30-pound reward a few weeks late–a “Zero Scale” and pedometer (currently available through Groupon). You’re thinking, what in the world does she want with a scale as a weight loss reward? Well, it will keep me motivated, and this one is really cool. No one will ever know what I weigh if they peek at my memory setting, they’ll just know how much more/less they weigh than me. The Zero Scale only shows differences from the first weigh in. I like this.

Goal 2: Be at the weight I was when I moved to Myrtle Beach (1 pound to go)
A pair of new shoes. Warning, these might be running shoes. And that’s ok with me, too.

Goal 3: -50 Pounds (17 pounds to go)
A Kindle Fire. Good for me, good for the family. I plan on reading up on all the lovely blogs I follow while working out.

Goal 4: Make 7 miles at Mud on the Mountain (77 days to go!)
If I do this (if you ask my nutritionist, it’s WHEN I do this), I will be rewarding myself with a view of Seven Springs in the snow. That’s fine and dandy, but I’d also like a little something more. What do you suggest? I need to make it worthwhile!