Friday, May 25, 2012

Forever

Having chronicled my entire weight loss journey online has had many benefits, as well as a few drawbacks. The benefits are plenty - the verbal & photo documentation of my experience, the ability to capture and then relive the highlights as well as the lessons from the setbacks, having met readers who became real life friends, and somehow, without even meaning to, providing inspiration, encouragement and entertainment to others. Drawbacks are much fewer but include being very visible and as a result, so vulnerable to scrutiny and criticism.

The reason I'm bringing this up is because I want to talk about my current weight. I've mentioned in a few posts over the last year or so that I'm above my goal weight. I don't think I need to mention this often, as I feel it's obvious from photos. But I'll address it here, officially. Yes, I'm above my goal weight range. I haven't been within that range for about a year.

I know that if you’re a friend or loyal reader, this news will probably not come as a surprise, nor witll it effect your opinion of me negatively. And I'm sure you wouldn't say anything mean or hurtful to me. I point that out because if or when something similar happens to you, I want you to be just as kind to YOURSELF. Forgive yourself. Do not say hurtful things to yourself. Think about what's going on and change it. But always love yourself.

So, how did this happen? Unfortunately, a little too easily. Before reaching goal, I spent my entire life abusing food and eating pretty poorly. I have a lifetime of unhealthy habits that are not entirely behind me yet. They may never be. I say all the time that I don't ever expect to be cured. I don't believe there is a "cure" for this condition. It's all about management and I simply haven't been managing it as well as I could have been. I knew when I reached Goal and Lifetime that the journey was not over, that I would need to work at this for the rest of my life. And I accept that. But I stopped being as diligent as I know I need to be. I let outside things get to me that I shouldn't have, and allowed myself to return to too many old behaviors too frequently. If I had to summarize, I’d say that I didn’t keep my priorities in order.

If you're wondering why I allowed that to happen, well, part of me is wondering that too. I’m not really sure I figured it out yet. Sure, I can blame things that happened TO me (situations/things in my life that were beyond my control) but the fact is I don't allow myself to think that way. I'm not a victim. No one made the decisions I did except me. The bottom line is that "things" happen to all of us. How we choose to react to them is all that we’re in control of. And I didn't always choose or react as well as I could have or should have.

So why am I telling you all of this? Well, I'm writing about all of this for a few reasons - first, because I thought I should address it since people occasionally ask in comments and because it’s part of my weight loss journey, so it belongs in my blog. But also because I think it helps others to see the reality -- that the journey doesn't end when you reach goal, and it's not easier because you're at goal. We have the same ups and downs after goal that we did before goal, but we just keep at it. Because it's not about being perfect. It never was, and I certainly never was! It's about patience, compassion and kindness. It’s about determination, perseverance, living life, having a good time, being healthy and making the better choice more often than not. It's figuring out how to create a new healthy lifestyle. One without shame, deprivation, negativity or abuse.

I also wanted to write about this because I get comments and emails from readers every single day - and the message is often something to the effect of how I inspired you in some way. It still boggles my mind to read some of the amazing things I hear from readers. When I hear the impact and effect my words or actions had on you to take a chance and try something new and healthy, I'm incredulous. I often think "Really? Me? I helped someone do that?!" I love that you share those things with me, thank you. It’s beautiful and amazing and sometimes difficult for me to even comprehend that I was in some way able to give you the confidence in yourself to take a chance and start to do something.

I mention that because since I’m not currently at goal weight, it can feel a little awkward hearing those things right now. For a brief moment, I think “But don’t they see I’m not at goal weight?” But then I put it back into perspective for myself and realize that being at goal weight is not the whole picture. I got there once and I can and will get there again. But I spent a whole lot longer *not* at goal weight than *at* goal weight and I still inspired many of you along the way. I believe it's my perseverance and determination - not me being "perfect" - that inspires many of you. So let this post inspire you too. Let it inspire you to see that no matter what, you never give up on yourself or your healthy lifestyle. Things may distract you from time to time - that’s part of life - but it’s never over unless you stop trying.

Know -- and accept!-- that there will be dead-ends and detours and dimly lit paths but the journey doesn’t end. You find another way. You keep going. Because even though there may be a few twists and turns and rough patches, those are few compared to all the great, exciting, awesome, life changing and wonderful parts of the journey. Never lose sight of how great your healthy new life is. Just pick yourself up and keep going. Vow to never give up. Because this is forever. I'm in it for the rest of my life and I hope you are too. :)


(In case you're wondering - I think I'm around 150 right now. And just to give you an idea what I look like, I took this on May 19th after the Brooklyn Half Marathon.)






129 comments:

  1. Not only am I in the same shoes (although definitely not the same high heels), I have been there more than once over the past 10 years. Two things then: (1) it's okay --even expected-- to be human and (2) getting back to goal is not a chore or a punishment, it's a promise.

    So let's just promise to do it!

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  2. I just want you to know, that that body is NOTHING to be ashamed of! It is healthy & beautiful----and you are keeping it that way. You live an active lifestyle and share it, honestly, with others. That's something to truly commend!

    And as I mentioned on Twitter, you are single-handedly responsible for getting me onto my bike. And look what I'm doing now! YOU. ARE. AN. INSPIRATION. Goal weight or not. :)

    Sarah
    www.thinfluenced.com

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  3. You are amazing and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

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  4. You continue to inspire others with your honesty, and by showing you're not perfect, and by explaining that the journey doesn't end at goal.

    You inspired me to start running. I ran my first 5k on Sunday, it was amazing. Take care of yourself, your well-being and health comes first :)

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  5. Awesomely put! I'm close to goal - 2 lbs away. I don't feel "inside" like I'm there. The outside may look it but I don't feel it. I have struggled getting back. But I have learned a lot whilst getting there. It's a way of life. Plain and simple. Can I have my favorites? Yes. All the time? No. Am I okay with that? Yes! I have been following you for about two years and your posts are the highlight of my day! You are my cyberworld weightloss buddy even though you don't know me! I admire your determination and how NOTHING gets in your way and that even if you are above goal it HASN'T STOPPED you and that's what is key! I've let my weight STOP me and your right, "the only thing stopping me is me"! You are the best! Keep it up, you will see it again, I did (with your help)!

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  6. Honestly if you hadn't brought it up, I don't think I would have noticed. You are awesome for all of the things you have already done, and as always your words here continue to inspire and encourage. I've lost 60 pounds on WW and have been struggling since March to get below that because I still have 20 to go to get to goal. I beat myself up constantly wondering why I can't do this... but never have I thought about giving up and a lot of that is because of you. Please keep posting and inspiring, many of us appreciate your honestly more than we can say. :)

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  7. Thanks for this Sheryl. Too often people beat themselves up and give up but your words put it best-'always love yourself'. You are a great inspiration at goal weight or any weight. Thanks for being so public.

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  8. You're a rock star! And ALWAYS on time with your blog posts. I've been struggling since March, 60 pounds gone and 20 to get to goal and I just can't seem to get THERE. I keep telling myself that it's ok, that it will happen, when it will happen. Although I do sometimes beat myself up and wonder why I can't just DO THIS, I am inspired and encouraged by your words here and in your other posts as well. Perfection isn't possible, all that matters is that you continue to persevere. I blog as well and I know that your revelations here weren't easy to do, so I thank you for your honesty!

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  9. AnonymousMay 25, 2012

    LOVE IT! Thank you for sharing! :)

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  10. Oh BRAVO to you dear Sheryl. First, you look fab. And I know you FEEL fab...maybe not about not being at 'goal weight' but about how strong and healthy that you are now...and about your incredible dedication to exercise. I've been on and off WW for many years...goal weight is nice, but sometimes people just need to find a weight that is healthy, realistic and one that they can settle into and feel happy and comfortable and not obsess over. It's not always as low as goal, but goal is certainly something one can aspire to; it's nice to have room to move in either direction. But it's not necessary, as you have proved with your photo. Weight control for some of us is a constant, and it is easy to slip. But you are keeping up above and beyond with your exercise, which is more important on this journey than almost anything. And you are aware, which is all important. Thanks for all of your writings and photos. You ARE truly an inspiration to so many of us...and thanks for sharing your beloved NY images as well. xo! L.

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  11. Plus who cares about "goal weight" to a certain extent...since that is really just a number on a scale, and not a true reflection of a person's fitness level. And I mean that, not just saying it in the "you are more than a number" sorta way (though you and all of us are!) But really anyone who can take pics like that, look that good AND post them for pretty much the world to see...has GOT to be one fit healthy inspirational chick! Rock on & thanks for the reminder that I don't have to be perfect! None of us are so we should let that go.

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  12. I've been where you are as I successfully maintained my goal weight for six years then went over for two years. Looking back, I blame my stressful job and myself for the way I handled it. I've been back at goal for almost a year and a half. It will always take work. :)

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  13. I needed the reminder to be kind to myself this week and that the journey has detours but we never give up. Thanks Sheryl.

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  14. Amazing. Thank you for that. My own journey has been up and down, and I am a few up from my low, which is frustrating, and this is JUST what I needed to read.

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  15. AnonymousMay 25, 2012

    I just want to say you look absolutely stunning in both pics! Nice ass btw, I'm totally jealous, I wish I had an ass like that! lol.

    If you want to get back to goal for you I completely understand but you are beautiful! Don't do it because you feel like you're letting your readers down or for any other reason except that it's where you want to be. You are fit and strong and healthy and can do amazing things, that's what matters.

    I also want to add you have been a huge motivation to me. Like you, I was never an active person, I hated to sweat! Now, I ride my bike, I've run 5k's and 10k's and have a half marathon coming up in November, I actually LIKE moving now! So for that, I thank you soooo much. You rock, rock on!

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  16. AnonymousMay 25, 2012

    You look amazing. Period. Thank you for alway being so honest. You've selflessly given so much to so many through your shared journey. Thank you Sheryl!

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  17. I think you look gorgeous! You are inspiring because of all the goals you set your mind to and actually do!
    It's (and you) are wonderful
    =)
    LPM

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  18. AnonymousMay 25, 2012

    I only found your blog recently but your post today means so much to me. I am constantly up and down with my weight and am just recently back on Weight Watchers. I know it's frustrating to not be at goal but you're not where you started and you're far more active and fit than you had been. I think those are goals in and of itself. And it's those goals, even more than your weight loss, that inspires me. I am fixing up my bike and will be riding it as soon as I am cleared to after having my baby. And even though I may not reach or stay at my goal of 145, I know that just being active and fit will be a huge accomplishment. And you inspired that!

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  19. Your honesty and bravery continue to inspire me. Thank you.

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  20. Your honesty and bravery CONTINUE to inspire me. I would have never tried WW if it wasn't for you.

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  21. This made me teary. Such powerful words. I can relate. It's funny how the closer I am to my goal weight, the more critical I am of myself. What used to be miraculous, now seems flabby and jiggly. Perspective and compassion are aboslutely required.

    You are an inspiration because of what you've accomplished in the past, but also how you choose to live your life each and every day. The amazing new life you've created for yourself and everything that is possible because of it. This is why I follow your story and what I connect to. Not a number on the scale.

    You're a rock star.

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  22. I think you look fantastic and you are very inspiring.

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  23. I love you for writing this post. It happens all too easily, especially when food was such a comfort to many of us for all of those years. I am struggling right now with medical issues that have packed on a few extra pounds. I hate how I feel & how I look. Knowing that I am not alone in my Weight Watchers journey helps me push forward...so I thank you LOTS for being so honest. :) xoxo

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  24. You have come such a long way, Sheryl, that a change of this amount in your weight really doesn't matter a hill of beans :) You remain an inspiration, because your attitude says it all.

    I went from 200 lbs, to 145, to 160, to 147, to 164, to 152, back up to 160 (my body liked the 160's, apparently), down to 146, up to 150... and today I'm squarely at 139 which is 6 lbs up from my adult all-time low of 133. You are so right that this whole thing is a journey, and it doesn't stop when we reach goal!

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  25. Love, love, love this blog. Especially the 'I am not a victim' I did exactly the same as you, got to goal and have spent the last year trying to get back there, but I still feel fantastic and SO much healthier and I am trying to view small victories as big ones in my quest for a healthy relationship with food. You are, and always have been an inspiration to me. If you were a perfect maintainer I would have found it hard to relate to you. As it is, your blog is human and honest and that's why it's so popular. X

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  26. Love, love, love this blog. Especially the 'I am not a victim' I did exactly the same as you, got to goal and have spent the last year trying to get back there, but I still feel fantastic and SO much healthier and I am trying to view small victories as big ones in my quest for a healthy relationship with food. You are, and always have been an inspiration to me. If you were a perfect maintainer I would have found it hard to relate to you. As it is, your blog is human and honest and that's why it's so popular. X

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  27. Love, love love this blog, especially the 'I am not a victim'. Getting to goal is so not the end, and it's inspirational to see you continue to eat healthily and exercise in your continuing quest for good health. If you had reached goal and maintained perfectly... you would not have seemed human, as almost nobody does that! Great post.

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  28. I think it's super inspirational how honest you are. Progress not perfection is my motto. It's a lifestyle change that we're in for the long haul. At least that's what I've learned. We're going to have "up" months but as long as we acknowledge it and not let it snowball, we will get back to the range we're most comfortable with.

    Very positive outlook :) love it!

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  29. Great post! On the surface, it seems like WW is just about the 'numbers'. I was a 'number chaser' for years: my happiness depended on losing every week and getting my goal weight. After being on WW for ...I don't remember how many years....it isn't about THE NUMBER. I'm twice as active and eat healthier than I did before WW. I don't care whether or not I am at my goal weight, I care that I am active and healthy. Shit, you can run marathons girl!! That's better than a number IMHO:)

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  30. What an amazing post, Sheryl - it made me cry! It gave me goosebumps and a great sense of hope about things! I always think this weight loss thing is taking too long - but as you have said before, it take as long as it takes and you just have to keep going!

    As Shannon said above it's not about the number - it's being active, being healthy and taking care of yourself!

    PS. You look amazing at 150 or any number for that matter! And inspire us all to be better to ourselves :-) xx

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  31. You could have fooled me!! You're gorgeous. I found your blog a few weeks ago (and recognized you from the cover of the WW mag!) and I adore you. You have a great attitude and you share your struggles in an honest way, and I think that's the most important thing: this is a journey and a struggle that lasts forever. It's a continual experience of learning and forgiveness and triumphs and setbacks. You really show that and I appreciate it.

    When I hit my goal weight in 2004, I promptly thought I was done, that the battle of my weight had been conquered. I didn't stay at my goal for long with that attitude. I'm working back to Lifetime again (5 lbs away!) and this time, I plan to STAY THERE DAMMIT.

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  32. You're still lapping all the people sitting on the couch. You look FANTASTIC! Keep it up :)

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  33. AnonymousMay 25, 2012

    I was using the WW plan for years, but 8 months ago I fell and fractured my wrist. I had a lot of time to sit around and at one point saw the interview between Sanjay Gupta and Bill Clinton about the fact that Clinton is on a vegan diet with no oil. We read "The China Study" by Colin Campbell and became Vegans. I lost 30 lbs. and my bone density has increased. I have found that it's MUCH easier to control appetite when food isn't laced with oil or surgar. The fact is that no one needs to consume animal products (beef, chicken, fish, eggs and/or milk) and no one needs to consume oil of any kind including olive oil. We sprinkle ground flax seed on cereal to get our omega 3's, we get calcium from eating lots of kale, collards, tofu and soy milk. We take a vitamin B complex supplement. My choloesterol has gone done 40 points. I also recommend "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease" by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D. "Forks Over Knives" is a documentary film about this and it is also the title of a great vegan cook book.

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  34. You look absolutely beautiful. You have come a long way since 2006 and should be very proud of yourself.

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  35. Well, I took about a years "break" after losing 50 pounds in 6 months. A few months ago I was diagnosed with a Chiari Malformation, had brain surgery 4/26, dropped as far as 233 pounds (I was almost 260 when I went in the hospital)...it's leveled off again...but it inspired me to re-up and go back to using points plus again. I was up to almost 250 and now I'm back down 242.4 (weight roller-coaster much??) You were my inspiration before I started points....and I have a lot further to go on my journey, but because of you I miss riding my bike while waiting for the doctor's okay. Because of you I went with WW AND IT WORKS!!!! Thank you.

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  36. Ah..... The bounce. We all do it.
    You look AMAZING! Better to be fit, which you clearly are than to be skinny fat.

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  37. AnonymousMay 25, 2012

    Thank you, thank you, Thank you for this post. I to have been at goal and now I am creeping up the ladder again. It helps to know that I am not the only one that has this struggle. Life gets in the way and old habits do too. Having your blog to read is a inspriation and a help.

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  38. Thank you for this post, and thank you for reminding me that the choices I make are not "good" or "bad". They are just choices!

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  39. Thank you for this! I get it, I really do. I'm still at least 20 pounds away from my goal weight and I've been more or less stalled out for the last year--no real movement one way or the other, just an endless loop of gain a few, lose a few. It's very frustrating and while I know that it counts just to make an effort and I know that everyone struggles (and for the most part I've maintained what I've lost so far--about 40 lbs.) I am still very unkind to myself. I'm working on it, but it helps to hear it again!! And honestly, I think you look awesome! That booty is out of control! (in a good way, of course)

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  40. You're 100% the reason I joined Weight Watchers. Before finding your blog I had an entirely different perception of what being on the program would be like. That was in February and I'm down 35lbs and WORKING OUT, which I never did before in my life all thanks to you!

    Now...as much as I love WW and the program we all can't be the same weight. Everyone's body is different. If you're working out regularly and eating right and still maintaining the same weight that just might be the appropriate weight for you.

    You ran a fucking half marathon! That's my dream! I can run for about a minute right now.

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  41. I've never been overweight, but I struggle with an unrealistic body image that I'm always trying to achieve. Your post really hit home today. I really need to be much kinder to myself. I would never insult someone else, so why don't I give myself the same treatment? Something I'm definitely working on.

    When I read your blog, I don't see the weight gain. I see someone who enjoys bike riding and running. Someone who truly looks happy with the activities she chooses. Someone who's upset when the restaurant's kitchen is not open to make her favourite fries. LOL (That would have been my reaction too. ;) Someone who enjoys meeting people and happily snaps photos with total strangers and finally...someone who continues to inspire people despite not being perfect.

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  42. AnonymousMay 25, 2012

    You're amazing, Sheryl, thank you!

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  43. lettucefactoryMay 25, 2012

    Can't speak for anyone else, but what I find so inspiring about you has almost nothing to do with the number on the scale.

    You inspire because you were a couch potato who never did anything active a few years ago, and now you're doing these long bike tours and these runs - you're OUT THERE in the world being active (and in fact are kind of a NY bike celebrity), even though you were just as scared and intimidated as most of us fat girls are when you started.

    When you see someone who has been playing sports her whole life put up a blog where she talks about being active....well, big deal. But you adopted this lifestyle. And you didn't change. You still wear your pink and your heels and you ride your glorious single-speed bike. I think so many of us feel like our entire personalities and lives would have to change to become "active" people, so we don't do it. You show that this isn't true, and that you don't have to be born to a family in an REI catalog to spend time outside. You're inspiring because you didn't know what the hell you were doing at first, but you did it anyway, and now you own it. That is awesome.

    Goal weight? That's an afterthought, in comparison.

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  44. I just found you so I can't comment but I will say that I loved that the photo was taken after the half marathon, reminded me that goals are many and varied :)

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  45. You look amazing, strong and beautiful. And there is no question that you have been an inspiration to me. I recently took my first community group bike ride, for near total of 20 miles, and then another last week that was about 12. And I can't wait to do more. I've always enjoyed riding my bike, for errands and fun and such -- but reading your bike-enthusiastic posts has turned my interest into something a little more indeed. Note that I'm 45, overweight and a breast cancer survivor, so I'm not exactly in the best shape in my life at present -- but riding my bike is now soundly an integral part of my fitness plan and I thank you....

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  46. Yet another fantastic post!

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  47. I think I speak for many of us who read your blog that we aren't inspired so much by the numbers, that is by exactly how much you weigh or how many pounds you've lost, but by the fact that you are now fully engaged in a healthy and happy life. A lot of us who are or who have been overweight know what it's like to always be afraid and use our weight as an excuse to not get out there and be present in our own lives. You've overcome this and it is so awesome to see you living your life!

    And besides, you look hot girl! :)

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  48. YES YES YES! You can and you will live healthily ever after!

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  49. AnonymousMay 25, 2012

    Such a timely posting...I am in the same boat, and just this past week, re-examined what I need to do to be successful. I got a little too complacent and thought "I had it all figured out", aka, I don't have to track anymore! I just started tracking EVERYthing again, and it has opened my eyes how far off course I have gone. A few years ago, I would have thrown my hands up and said, "Well, I've failed. I might as well just give up."
    But now, I don't think in terms of starting and stopping my diet (or plan, or whatever you want to call it). I know that I just have to keep going regardless of how successful (or UNsuccessful) I was yesterday.
    Thank you for always being honest in your blog. It can't be easy to lay it all out there sometimes. But struggling at times is realistic, and people can't hold themselves to a standard of never failing. Best wishes to you as you move forward...I'm right there with you!

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  50. I knew a post like this would get a ton of comments, so thank you all. I'm sorry I can't respond to all of you but I appreciate everything you took the time to tell me. For what it's worth, I'm not upset, I'm not discouraged. I keep it in perspective and I know the only thing stopping me is me. I love my new life. And I'm glad I get to share it with you all. :)

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  51. This is such a powerful post! Your honesty, letting us into your analyzations and saying what so many of us feel is so appreciated. Your gift for saying the exact words that I have floating around in my brain is uncanny.

    Honestly, I know the only reasons I am within my goal weight is not because I have it all figured out, but because I work for the company and have to be within my range, combined with some good old-fashioned Italian and Lebanese stubborness. (Is "stubbornness" a real word?)

    Regardless, we have definitely made progress on our journeys and that is certainly saying something!

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  52. AnonymousMay 25, 2012

    Kudos to you!!!!
    You are certainly rockin' the Marathons!

    From all the posts, including my own, you can tell that you are not alone in your cituation.

    Goal weight for me? lol I was there for about a minute!

    But, Once a month, being a lifetime member, I struggle and get down to "weigh in" and then I am usually back to a tad bit over. I'm ok with that.

    You are out there, living life and that's what's most important!

    Keep up the fabu work and keep up the great Blog! Love all your pics and interesting life stories.

    You do Weight Watchers Proud. No doubt about that!

    Hugs to ya!

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  53. I am there too (regained a small chunk after losing over 100 pounds). I am glad you are surrounded by positivity and that you love and accept yourself. You would not believe some of the hateful stuff that is said to me because I had a regain. I hope you don't get that kind of feedback. I get a lot of positive comments too and try to hang onto those and believe I can make my life what I want it to be. Seems to me you are still living the life you want regardless of weight, and that's awesome.

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  54. AnonymousMay 25, 2012

    You are brave, beautiful and honest. What's not to love? Critics are unhappy, self righteous people who have to create negativity to feel good about their own unhappy lives. I gained some weight when I stopped running. I am in my 50s and woke up one morning wondering how long I could continue to run in my 60s and 70s with the shin slants, broken toes and arthritic ankles and knees. I'm dealing with hormonal weight gain too. So I decided that by making healthy food choices, I will be content with the weight I am at. I'm heavier then I was when I was running but I feel good, I'm healthy and there is so much more to life then starving and obsessing about every single thing I eat. I'm happy. Be happy Sheryl. You have a great, exciting life and I love reading about your NY adventures. You inspire us all who read your blog.

    LL in Canada

    LL in Canada

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  55. Sheryl - my beautiful friend, I have been there. And we've talked about this. And it's not easy. Your honesty and positive attitude is inspiring. Just like all the exercise you do. And the brilliant changes you've made in your lifestyle. You're such a beautiful person inside and out and I know that you'll do what you need to do to be where you want to be.

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  56. Wow. You may never truly understand how much your words impact readers like me. I absoutely needed to read these words today. As I did Trixie's Success Story this week. It's truly beginning to sink in that this really is a lifestyle change and there will be ups and downs.

    I once heard, “The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” Isn't this the truth?!

    Keep loving yourself and focusing on the positives. You are nothing short of amazing.

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  57. AnonymousMay 25, 2012

    You are not alone by any means. I work with Weight Watchers here in Canada, I'm 5'4", and became a lifetime member at 134 pounds on November 1, 2010, so we have a lot in common. :-) I have had a lot of trouble maintaining that weight, and switched to a goal of 139. Currently I'm hoping to weigh in tomorrow at 141 so for the first time in 7 months I don't have to pay for my monthly weigh-in as an employee. I enjoy reading your blog, keep up the amazingness that is your life that you share with us. It's not all about the scale, but the feeling we get when we feel in control of our weight.
    Cathy

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  58. I actually weigh more now than I did when I started WW. It sucks. I quit smoking and gained it back over about 3 years. But you know what? I spin 2-3 times a week and work out with a trainer. I am WAY healthier than I was when I started WW regardless of what I weigh. I think you look great. I get frustrated, but I am learning to be kind to myself. It's very, very hard.

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  59. 1. You're awesome.
    2. I expect you get back to me within the week either in a blood donor chair, in the hall at work, or maybe even on the stairs (should time permit).
    3. Weight, like age, ain't nothin but a number.

    i recently thought to myself, 'enough with the negativity and judging of what i do wrong or right (and what that means from day to day) - just do it and whatever makes a happy and healthy me is the ticket.'

    you inspire because you DO, you do good for you and those around you and that is CONTAGIOUS!!! you may not be at goal weight now..you may never be again, and that (in my opinion) doesn't matter our happiness does and happiness may not be at the weight you started this journey and it may not be at goal...on this journey i think you definitely know where you're headed even if not every moment of everyday in every decision made (uhh hello - you're human like all of us!) you're doing such amazing things and that is why you're awesome!

    And, the answer is yes, i'd love to have lunch sometime and discuss all this and more!
    that may be more doable than the stairs ;)
    you rock, for real.

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  60. AnonymousMay 25, 2012

    I've been following you on-line since I started WW about 15 months ago. My goal was to get to a healthy BMI and I got there about 2 weeks ago. I'm not trying to get to what I weighed before I had kids or when I was in college... Just to be at a 'normal' weight. You've inspired me over the past year to get out there and run and bike and have FUN doing it. YOU LOOK GREAT!! And you ARE an inspiration AS YOU ARE. THANK YOU!!

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  61. Another post that made me tear up. I am on this journey as well..I need to lose 40 pounds. I know its not a diet, and I need to eat like this for the rest of my life..the journey will continue..it wont be over when I'm at goal. I saw a video response of yours to a question...someone asked how your foods/points change when you're at goal...and you said quite simply, they don't. That really hit home for me..I think about it all the time...this is for life..the ups and downs. Thank you for your honesty....I think you are amazing..I am a 45 year old stay at home mom and our lives couldn't be more different...but when I totally kick ass on something as simple as running up the hills on my morning walk...I often think of you cheering me on....corny I know but true! I think we are all in this together :) Someone who is "perfect" wouldn't be much of an inspiration!

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  62. I just want you to know, that you're beautiful and inspirational and I want to thank you for sharing this post with us. I myself am currently having a heart time getting back into the swing of things with excercising and eating healthy. I've followed your blog for so long and it's always been a huge motivation to me. You're an amazing woman, you can't even imagine how many readers lives you've helped, myself being one of them. Thank you, and good luck with your future fitness and marathons !

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  63. I am one of those people who have on occasion stopped by your blog and have been inspired. Your weight loss and success is definitely part of the inspiration, but your truth and transparency is another big part of it. We all know weight loss is a journey and there really is no final destination. You have been so open and honest with yours and for someone like me who is still trying to find my way, your story is extremely helpful and encouraging. Thank you.

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  64. I hope you don't mind I quoted you (with credit) and linked your blog in a post on my blog today because your message really hit home. If you do, please tell me and I will remove it immediately. (I realize now I should've asked first, but I was just so inspired and excited to share your words and story...) I hope it is OK...

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  65. Love your spirit and energy. You can't always go by the number on the scale, but how you feel. It is very clear that you feel and live life.

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  66. i think you KNOW my beautiful "babs" that i adore YOU and not thin or fat you, but lemme just make it absolutely clear that it's your bright shining stunning soul i fell in love with. you have wit and style to spare and i'm so very honored to consider you a friend. i KNOW you're a strong determined self sufficent woman but i also know you're human and sometimes life happens. if you EVER need me i have BROAD shoulders and HUGE ears , i also look pretty damn cute in a cheerleader outfit shaking my pompoms! lol

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  67. Well said. I am 3 pounds from my goal on Weight Watchers and I am petrified for the next stage. My mantra this whole time has been that life isn't perfect and either will be my weight loss journey. This time I am not beating myself up for every little slip up. I like to be as honest as possible in my blog too because even the negative stuff makes you who you are. Best wishes and good luck in the future.

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  68. I am so glad that you posted this! I needed to hear it. I'm trying to get back on track as well. I reached goal (-75 pounds), then gained 40 pounds back publicly (I blog too), then lost 20 back, and have now been struggling to get motivated to re-lose the last 20 again.

    It's tough, and I need to remember what you said about it never being OVER. It sucks, but I need to watch what I eat forever. There is no magical moment when I will suddenly be able to eat unlimited amounts of whatever and maintain a healthy weight. Unless, of course, some day I only want small amounts of food, and who knows if that will ever happen...

    Thanks for continuing to inspire me. :-)

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  69. AnonymousMay 26, 2012

    I think you look great, and you are crazy-brave to post pics at any weight as you do! You are an inspiration!

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  70. you are incredibly wonderfully beautifully babely! own it! and than you for the honesty and vulnerability. there's more of that inspiring stuff from you, once again!

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  71. Truth is, we are all in this together. We have to help each other out. Blogs like this are truly a blessing. When you see that you are truly not alone in your struggle, it just helps with the day to day. We all get off track, I sure as hell do. I've got one foot on and one foot off at the moment. Shit happens that throws you for a loop and we reach for whatever "helps". It's all about balance. You should be able to have your beer and fries damn it!!

    Today is a new day....

    We love you Sheryl!!

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  72. I only became aware of your blog maybe about a month ago, and I just have to say that you are seriously amazeballs and you are such an inspiration....okay, gushing stops now!

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  73. I've been reading your blog for a couple of years, though I don't think I've commented before. Your candor is a big part of why so many are drawn to you. You've accomplished so many incredible things and I love reading about them. Goal weight or not, you are strong, beautiful and inspiring.

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  74. what is your goal weight? How long were you able to maintain that goal?? Great post! you continue to inspire :)

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  75. AnonymousMay 27, 2012

    Thank you for your incredible post. Truth is, you look fantastic!! Strong, healthy, fit and tough! I am fifty years old, and only within the last five years have I seriously gotten my act together re: my weight and food issues. I am learning to be honest, kind and compassionate with myself and others. Like you and so many others, I am on a journey and that journey is the real goal. Every day brings new knowledge and adventure. Yes, some days are better than others, and I know that I will always deal with my complicated relationship to food, but this knowledge has given me far more power than I've ever had before. Your journey is inspiring (and I love your look!) Love and kindness towards ourselves and others is the most positive and wonderful message of all, and your postings prove that again and again.

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  76. You are just like the rest of of normal. We ALL struggles with issues whether it be weight or something else. Because of you I joined WW, and another friend of mine joined. I am losing really slow.. But that is ok.. I am striving for the first time in my life to be a "loser" at something. I have 20 more to go to reach my goal. But when I get to goal I may make it 10 more . WE ALL KNOW YOU WILL get back to your tinest goal that you were and stay. Hey fall of your bike one time get back up two. You have inspired so many of us.. Who could be mad at your for you being normal? Now when we mess up, we can just say.. "I will do what Sheryl did, pick up her bike(WW) and get back on the path!

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  77. AnonymousMay 27, 2012

    this might be the best post you've ever written. It's great watching you learn and grow. May we all keep learning and growing for year to come! :-)

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  78. Count me in as someone who doesn't give a shit about what you weigh as long as you feel good, are out running and biking like a mad fiend, and are happy. Go Bitch Cakes!

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  79. Thank you so so so much, I've always been the big girl my whole life, I joined weight watchers in Sept. 2011 at 269.4 now I'm 208.4. I'm happy that I've lost 61 pounds but the journey is far from over I'm just about halfway. I'm struggling through a mental plateau. So I understand the pit falls we create for ourselves and the self sabatoge. I'm so very thankful that I've discovered your blog, you're an inspiration and its nice to feel like someone else understands what I'm going through. Thank you so much! Please don't ever stop blogging. :-)

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  80. I have sooo been there. I lost 60 lbs 10 years ago...then had two kids and went straight back up. Spent the last 3 years losing it and have been 5lbs above goal for a while. You know what is a total inspiration? Your healthy BALANCED way of living.

    If I were to give you any advice, should you want to get back to goal, it's to ignore the "calories burned" during your runs/bikes and instead of rewarding yourself at the end, eat MINDFULLY no matter what you've done that day. Personally, I think I've gone overboard on a "rewarding myself" frame of mind, and the weight stays off better when I eat similarly every day.

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  81. I just love and adore you! gorgeous, honest, awesome! unique in every way. I love you!

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  82. AnonymousMay 28, 2012

    I think you look great! I lost 20 kg (European sorry ;)) a few years back and put a few kilos on again after a year or two. I think I did so because I had to struggle a lot and fight a lot to keep my goal weight and I did find that it was not worth it - I simply had to say no and restrain myself to often. I only have this one life and I want to enjoy it and the food that comes with it. I have currently startet attending WW again but can't at the moment because of my jobsituation, but I try to eat healthy (of cours both of us know that the meetings are essential). Im not at my goal weight, but Im okay with my weight at the moment. I don't think I ever want to reach my former goal weight again - it was to hard to keep and I don't want to fight myself every day. Not sure if this makes any sense or not. Think I just want to say that there must be room for putting on a little and still be happy - you are still so much smaller than when you began the journey - think of that instead of why you are not a goal weight!

    Thit (Denmark. thitbirk@gmail.com)

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  83. Sheryl, you inspire me with your honesty. You have written so openly about your struggles, and how you've changed your life...you inspire me greatly. Whether you are at your goal weight or not, you have inspired me. I am struggling with my weight (have almost lost 10 pounds, only to have allowed myself to gain 5 back!) but just signed up for a half marathon anyway. I'm a runner, I love to run, and just decided I couldn't wait until I was at the perfect weight to run further than before. Thank you always, for your honesty. It doesn't matter to me where you are in relation to your goal weight. You are awesome. No matter what.

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  84. Simply breathtaking. I never leave comments on a blog, but you have certainly compelled me to do just that. You, lady, are a true inspiration. Such heartfelt words and I feel it in every single word you have said. I am in more or less the same boat and this post is just wonderful, to know that someone else feels and is going through the same. Your writing is just beautiful and I hope good things come your way Sheryl, because you truly deserve them.

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  85. Simply breathtaking. I never leave comments on a blog, but you have certainly compelled me to do just that. You, lady, are a true inspiration. Such heartfelt words and I feel it in every single word you write. I am in a very similar position to you, have lost and gained and it is a constant struggle. Your writing is just beautiful and I hope good things come your way Sheryl. What a truly inspirational human being you are.

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  86. AnonymousMay 29, 2012

    Hi Sheryl, well this post brought alot of feelings to the surface for me. It's made me think of me, my life, and my struggles to understand my weight and get it under (some kind of) control. Thank you for opening yourself up to us in the way that you do. You are my anchor!! For me, you are the definition of living life to the fullest. See, I keep saying,"When I lose weight I'll do it".

    I've opened my eyes, printed this off and will read it when I truly need it.

    One of your biggest fans!

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  87. You're most recent pictures... LOOK AMAZING! If I could get there I would immediately!!!!!! I'm on weight watchers, but not seeing any weight loss. I am working on it, I think even though I am staying within my points, I am not choosing the best options for weight loss versus maintenance. You're blog is the best- most amazing resource. It also inspires me everyday. Thank you for your honesty, your perseverance, and your pictures!!!! I hope one day I can share the same type of success with you :)

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  88. Sheryl,

    You are inspiring to me because of these types of post. Like Mel said, whether you are at goal weight or not you have inspired me every time I read your blog, read the tweets, see the pictures, read you WW blog.

    Your awesomeness badge went way up with this post. BTW - my hubby saw your picture at the end and said "Damn she's hot". Gotta love that man's taste in women. :)

    xoxo

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  89. Sheryl,

    You are inspiring to me because of these types of post. Like Mel said, whether you are at goal weight or not you have inspired me every time I read your blog, read the tweets, see the pictures, read you WW blog.

    Your awesomeness badge went way up with this post. BTW - my hubby saw your picture at the end and said "Damn she's hot". Gotta love that man's taste in women. :)

    xoxo

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  90. I'm at 153 (well above my goal weight due to surgery and eating habits)...and my body doesn't look half as good as yours does in those pictures.

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  91. Sheryl, thank you for putting this out there. It's so true that it's something we will be doing for the rest of our lives and there will be times where we lose focus and slip back into old habits. We just have to get back on the horse and forge ahead. Your honesty is so appreciated. Too many weight loss 'celebrities' always focus on the results and not the journey to get there, or the detours. By the way, my daughter gave me a beach cruiser for mother's day 2 years ago and I finally got it out of the garage and took it on an 11 mile bike ride through Cades Cove in the mountains of Tennessee. WITH a 27 pound Corgi in the little bike wagon attached to it. Everyone else had mountain bikes, but I kept saying that if you can do your bike tours on one, then I could too. LOL. I had a blast. Thanks for being (super) human!
    xxxx

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  92. You look wonderful, but I do understand how easy and frightening it can be to lose a little control. Thank you for your honesty and keep up the great work. You are helping so many others, not just yourself!

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  93. Remember you are an athlete now. ;) Goals are important, but they aren't everything. Expect excellence not perfection....

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  94. I did not even notice you are not within your ideal weight zone. You have a very attractive body size. I have just found this weight loss blog and i am already feeling inspired and entertained by your blogs. You are not alone in this up and down journey. I sure i am in it too and just wish everyday that i could manage to reduce fat around my belly region. It is a good thing you have encouraged me to keep working on this problem and i will do it. Interesting read!

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  95. I love this post! I had lost 44 lbs, but recently gained back about 15 lbs. As a friend and I were discussing last weekend while running our first half marathon (yay!), we would rather take it slow and enjoy the journey than deprive ourselves of life's experiences and be slaves to the scale. Thank you for this beautiful reminder to always enjoy the journey, even when it becomes a little bumpy or dark. No matter what the scales says, Sheryl, you will always be in inspiration. Thank you for being YOU!

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  96. i am more grateful for this post than any of the others you've ever written. thanks sheryl. so so much.

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  97. I lost over 5 stones (75 pounds or so?) and hit my 'goal weight' in June of 2008. Since then I've had a very bumpy road and my weight regularly fluctuates by anything up to a stone (14 pounds) over my goal weight.

    However, like you, I recognise and accept that I had over 40 years worth of terrible eating habits to deal with and they wouldn't be erased in the three years it took for me to shed my excess.

    The way I look at it is that I will probably always be a yo-yo'er, however the string is very much shorter these days as I value and appreciate the benefits of being fitter, healthier and stronger more than I like eating pizza and drinking wine day in, day out and the inevitable effect that has on my mind and body......

    And for what it's worth Sheryl, you look gorgeous as you are, but I know myself it's how YOU feel about yourself that really counts.

    Go girl :)

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  98. You are beautiful, as always :) I have been trying to get off the last 5 lbs to reach goal weight for a while now, but I have had a few slip-ups. Thank you for your wonderful post!

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  99. Love this post. So needed it. Thank you!

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  100. You look fabulous! My weight is 125 (5'1") and your body looks so much better than mine. :) wonderful post - thank you so much for sharing.

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  101. 1. You look absolutely beautiful. 2. I applaud you and am so grateful for this post. It's important for us to have the conversation about weight ranges and ups and downs. Also that it's about being healthy - emotionally AND physically. It's not easy to admit these things and I am extremely inspired by your WHOLE journey, not just the one that got you to goal. xx

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  102. Hi Sheryl,

    Just wanted to echo everyone else who says that you have transformed not only your body, but your life. I've followed your blog for years, and although I'm still working on making exercise a habit, your openness about how it has helped your depression and hope for the future has encouraged me so much. I'm close to my ideal weight, but I struggle with mood disorders, and when I've been able to be active it's had a huge impact on me. You've inspired both me and my boyfriend to work on changing our habits not just for our bodies, but for our minds, and being able to control my mood without medication has made such a difference for me.

    You may not be at goal weight, and I know there are other issues you must struggle with that you don't always discuss here (we all have them), but remember that while your body is a huge inspiration (nice ass!), your life is a bigger one.

    Thanks so much for everything

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  103. People will always have something to say...both good and bad. But you look awesome!I don't comment a lot, but your website, stories, information and style have all inspired me. I'm sure many of us (who believe in you and appreciate your journey)don't care that you are above goal weight. You are a beautiful woman who's reached your goal. Weight comes and goes. That's why the journey is never over. It goes from loss to maintenance. Maybe it's your time to inspire us on the maintenance aspects of weight control. Just keep doing what you do! Kudos!

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  104. Wow, you look great!! You are such an inspiration!!!! I only hope to look this hot one day! :)

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  105. AnonymousJune 02, 2012

    love this post

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  106. AnonymousJune 03, 2012

    You inspire me not just because of your weight loss (and you look great at 150!) but because of the way you changed your lifestyle and your life. You went from a sedentary person to a very fit person. It's inspiring because it helps me believe I too can get there!

    Lalie

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  107. I read your blog regularly-your story is inspiring. The Forever post is especially inspiring, because too often you read success stories that are condensed-they don't cover the everyday struggles. Thank you for sharing the struggles with us!

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  108. I am currently on the up (in terms of weight gain) of my roller coaster journey and just this weekend with my partner in crime re-committed to being more diligent about working the program.

    But I must say, that for me this journey is much less about getting to or staying at goal weight (though that is definitely a plus) but more about gaining those healthy habits that lead to a healthy life. When you've veered off course - which happens - even then you are in a much better place because you have the tools you need to turn that around - we can, and will. I think back to when I didn't - and now, even off track, I'm in a much better position for success than I was back then.

    And seriously...you look amazing! It's all about perspective ;o)

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  109. You are absolutely beautiful and healthy.

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  110. I appreciate that you are sharing your whole journey. So many of us can be confounded by maintenance, that certainly includes me. I draw daily on your "tools" posts as goal is part of the journey and certainly not the destination. Thank you

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  111. AnonymousJune 06, 2012

    Sorry you're going through this, Sheryl. We have all been there!

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  112. Sheryl,

    I feel your pain about the pitfalls of getting to goal and staying there. Especially when you do it so publicly. For me, who lost 100 pounds, kept it off for 10 years, then moved, got a new job etc and gained 50 back- It's taken me almost 10 years to get my head back to where I am more than motivated; I'm determined. But it took having surgery twice in 4 months for me to get a clue that it's not the exercise stupid! I exercised like a fiend, but my weight wasn't budging. I knew then that I had to get straight with myself. I can't fix my bad eating with exercise. It just doesn't work. Each surgery I was off a whole month from exercising. The thought of that sent me into a panic. What was I going to do now that I couldn't work out? I literally was terrified. So, I decided that I HAD to write down everything I ate and stayed within my points or I was going to be able to see my butt get wider while I sat on the couch convalescing. Not being able to exercise was actual a godsend. It made me get serious. I admire all of the exercise that you do. The running, stair challenges and biking are so awesome. You look fabulous and have the most amazing style. You can get your head back into it. I use my iPad to keep a personal journal just to write down thoughts. It has really helped. I've now lost 30 pounds and have 20 to go. I almost can't believe I've done it since I've beaten my head against the wall and talked so negatively to myself for so long. Hang in there!

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  113. I love this since I am living it. I lost 75 lbs on WW online and kept it off for a couple of years. I regained 15 lbs last year which caused me to feel ashamed so I kept going. The total of my regain was 33 lbs. I stopped it there and then maintained my new weight for 9 months. I started to hide from people since I would feel odd when people would bring up my running and weight loss saying I was an inspiration. I would always think can't you see I gained weight how can I inspire you. Anyhow I decided to leave that shame behind. I am currently working on getting back to goal. And I am training for a new half marathon. Honestly, running for me is as important as being at goal.
    You look amazing and the numbers never matter as much as how much you have changed your life for the better.

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  114. You are so very inspiring and encouraging to me! You're right.....it is not about being perfect, or staying at goal weight every day of the rest of your life! It's about staying the course.....not giving up.....that's how you succeed, and that's how you encourage me to succeed, too. Thanks!

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  115. Your imperfection inspired me today.

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  116. Jennifer in ScotlandJune 09, 2012

    I've just spent most of the day reading your blog. You are amazing. I am going to try WW again and believe that this time I can achieve my goals. Thank you so much for providing me with the inspiration and the practical tools I need to make a start. The rest is up to me.

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  117. AnonymousJune 10, 2012

    I needed to read exactly this at this time! I've had a back-slide and remembering it's a journey and to be kind to myself is important. Thank you!!

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  118. AnonymousJune 11, 2012

    Denise in Kentucky: I literally sat up here reading your blog in tears. I weigh in at WW in about an hour and I am really nervous. I started WW two weeks ago and have not lost a significant amount. THis is my third time trying. It is an emotional journey. I was hit by a car while crossing the street last year and the depression made me gain heavily. I was heading toward 200 pounds at 5 feet and that made me more depressed. WW has given me a way to take control of me again despite my limited physical activity. Thanks for sharing your story..it is very inspiration and shows me to never give up and keep trying.

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  119. Tonya in Baton Rouge: Weight Watchers is for life. Your blog proves it. You will get back to goal weight. I stumbled onto this blog through Weight Watchers, and I liked it because you showed me and thousands of other Weight Watchers members that the journey will take time. I remember you said "Enjoy the journey," and I want you to enjoy this odyssey because we all have setbacks. We cannot allow setbacks to defeat us. Keep on keeping on, Sheryl.

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  120. Just found my way back to Weight Watchers after a too-long hiatus. 20 lbs from Lifetime Goal. That was such an accomplishment and I beat myself up every day over getting so far from it, once again...

    What a gift to find your blog, right when I needed it! Thank you!

    Stacey
    www.mylifeindeed.com

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  121. You have the most gorgeous figure I have ever seen!

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  122. Sheryl - I am a former weight watchers leader who has not been at goal weight for a few years. It is a constant battle, and one I am not always winning. Thank you for letting your readers know that the journey doesn't end when you reach your goal weight. Some might say it just begins. (And that's not to downplay the achievement of reaching goal!) We are here because we share a common habit, which is to feed our emotions with food. To keep ourselves from not doing that takes constant vigilance, and, well, sometimes for whatever reason, we leave our post. :-) I love your advice to be kind to ourselves. It is the most difficult thing. And, I must say, you look quite good at 150. And by posting your weight you have given another gift -- the gift of showing what real women look like at various weights. Keep up the good work. I love your blog and have been following since before you moved to WW. XOXOX - Sally_15 on WW

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  123. Where can I see more of you in your underwear? Your smoking hot! Okay not relevant to the blog but true ; 0)

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    1. Thank you Mark! there are lots in Flickr, but I don't tag them because then I get a lot of pervs. You'd have to dig for them. Sorry :)

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  124. It's so difficult to figure out this whole weight loss/healthy lifestyle thing. Just a quarter way through my journey it's daunting to think this could be a life long struggle. I'm so thankful that you're here to help so many of us through it. I started following your blog in 08' and beyond the weight loss the physical accomplishments you've achieved in the last year keep me motivated. Thank you so much!

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  125. I am a long time reader of your blog, and LOVE it!
    I was most inspired by your blog because of your stories about your activity, biking, stairs, rope, running, etc. I'm vegetarian and I try to dabble in being vegan, so another reason I loved the blog.
    I feel compelled to mention though that I gave up WW and the scale. I continue to be very active, running half marathons, biking and eating healthy. But the freedom I found from giving up the relentless pursuit of that 'goal weight' (based on arbitrary BMI and nothing to do with body type, % muscle)... has been priceless!
    Therefore, the fact that you aren't at your goal weight... irrelevant to me. You are beautiful and inspiring as you are.
    Thank you!

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  126. AnonymousJune 16, 2013

    I think we have all been there. I got down to 125lb about 5 years ago and slowly crept up to 132lb - stayed there for 2 years and felt great. I got up to 150lb. (I'm 5'4") Its a journey, and am slowly getting the weight back off again. I think I'm about 145lb now, but am not great about weighing myself.

    I was mad at letting myself get back to that weight again after so much hard work over the years. I quickly put on 15lb.

    But, at the same time - I'm human. All I can do is work on this, and focus on feeling good about myself and doing something about it. We can't be perfect all the time, its the journey.

    You seem like a beautiful person, inside and out, and I'm sure you will do well on your journey. We slip up from time to time, and thats ok.

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