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1.31.2012

A Weight Loss Journey - From the Beginning

Alright, so I've been putting this post off for a while now... mostly because of the fact that I knew it would take me a LONG time to write, but also because I have been a bit skeptical to "put it all out there", due to being completely exposed. But after an inbox full of emails from women who struggle with the same challenge in life that I do and wanted to know what I was doing to overcome it... I knew I couldn't wait anymore... So, today we're going to take a sharp left turn here at the House of Smiths and chat a little bit about one of the biggest (literally) challenges in MY life... Weight.
Bleehk, ugh, grrr, ahhh, blahhh

Yup, I could pretty much end the post with that last gargle of written sounds and we could be done, because it describes to a T, how I feel about the subject of me and my fat. But because I have always had the tendency to talk too much, this post shall go on...

Strap on your seat belts and hold tight, you will now be taken through the super-turbo-fast-flyin' tale of Shelley and her lifetime struggle with weight, and how she's slowly trying to conquer it. If at any point you get bored, wonder why we're even talking about this, because it has nothing to do with a DIY home project or feel that the post has gotten way out of control, due to it's length... then please feel free to jump off this ride at anytime.
:)

My weight problem started around 10 years old. I remember not being able to shop in the "normal girl" clothing section in stores and how frustrated it made my Mom and me. (probably more my mom) I remember feeling different, fat, and sometimes self conscious as I noticed that I was a lot bigger then other girls my age. At that time there was no "missy plus" section in stores. It was either girls or women's sizes... not much in-between, like today.
Let me preface this by saying that I grew up in a AWESOME household environment. I always felt loved, never needed for anything, had smart, caring, successful parents and for the most part... got along with my siblings pretty well! (minus a few spitting fights and screaming matches...totally normal though right?. ha!) I was an all-around really happy kid! Even though I struggled with my weight, it never made me feel like less of a person. This mentality has carried on throughout my entire life and I couldn't be more grateful for it.
I know that a lot of people with weight issues can suffer from a lack of self worth.


My elementary years were... elementary? (ha!) Lots of fun friends and recesses. Middle school was pretty much the same. I remember being called fat one time by a little boy from a younger class...and then also remember him promptly getting punched in the face by one of my best guy friends who overheard. Needless to say, I have always had ridiculously amazing friends. I was the epitome of a social butterfly.
(red flag for future social media job, ha!)
High School was awesome. I found myself never hanging out with just one specific group or people. I always jumped from one little clan to another, having really great friends wherever I ended up! I definitely had my few "best friends" but always felt free to make new friends and talk with all sorts of people on campus. From the nerds to the party crowd and jocks, I felt comfortable with all sorts of people and their lifestyles. I'm still a lot of the same way today. I've always had the notion that you can't judge a book by it's cover. (maybe because MY "cover" has never really expressed the REAL me?)
I liked boys, they liked me back. I dated, I partied, AND got into my fair share of mildly-dramatic teenage  trouble. (hee hee) And through all of that... even ended up making some pretty decent grades on my report cards! Pretty much, life was FUN and most of the time... a breeze! And YES, contrary to what television and movies depict, I did all of this WHILE being overweight! From about 9th grade until I graduated, I pretty much hovered around the same body size.

Then collage came... and I don't know if I missed the memo in high school, but guess what!? COLLEGE IS HARD! (said in true valley-girl, socialite fashion). Really! I went to my first few classes and thought... "WOAH! This is WAY more then I can handle!" So I did the only thing I knew how to do, well... Socialize and party with my friends.
ack! don't ask...
Yes, I sound quite shallow right now, but give me a break, it was my first time away from home, I was living in a different state, and I was 19.

After the college scene ended (only a year later) my Dad lit a fire under my butt and said... "Shelley, what do you REALLY want to do in life?" After a brainstorming session, I decided I wanted to go to Cosmetology school.
And this my friends... is where I really started packing on the pounds.
I'm not quite sure what I was thinking, but during my 18 months in Cosmetology school, I bet I put at least 60-75 pounds onto my already overweight frame! We ordered lunch in EVERYDAY, and our classrooms were always filled with some kind of sweet treat. It's like I had no sensor. I would just consume whatever was put out, because it was there! And for anyone who's been to Cosmetology school, you KNOW that more of your days are filled working in a cramped back room on mannequin heads, then actually working on real clients. This lead to boredom and LOTS of mindless eating.
Although Cosmetology school was bad for my body, and I no longer actually "do hair", I must say that it's the first experience in my life that really sparked my creative talents and passion for design. And for that, I will forever be grateful.

Once I graduated from Cosmetology school I moved back home, fatter then ever! I honestly couldn't find a photo, because I don't think I even allowed pictures to be taken of me. I was so uncomfortable in my own skin, I had a dead-end job at a haircut chain establishment and for the first time, not because of anyone else's mistakes, but my own... I started feeling like "less".
It was about this time that I realized I needed to make some monumental changes. Religion plays a huge roll in this portion of my life, but I won't get too deeply into that. (Just a FYI)
After eventually "finding myself" I started a series of crash diets and lost about 40+lbs. I found that "happy person" again, I met and married Cason in less then 6 months...
about a year later we had twin girls, and only 19 months after that... our third sweet baby arrived.
WHEW!
Needless to say, I was exhausted!... but still fat. Grrrr.

Fast-forward to 2011.
Our kids were growing up, I was busy with my blog, Cason's work was going well, and I started to feel the stress of being a "baby Mommy" lift off my shoulders. You know... the moment when you suddenly realize that you no longer have to carry a diaper bag or haul a bulky stroller around? That your kids can now pour milk into their cereal for breakfast (best day EVER) and you spend more time sleeping then you do awake, between the hours of 11pm - 8am!?... I was in a GREAT place, and I felt like all of the balls I had been juggling were finally disappearing! But no matter how hard I tried, I still had one big HEAVY ball left in my hands, that made it nearly impossible for me to do all the things I really wanted to... My Weight.

So 2011 turned out to be, what I like to call... THE YEAR OF DIETS. And I'm sure what Cason would like to call... THE YEAR OF WASTED MONEY.
I tried EVERYTHING. From Juices and pills, to shakes and exercise. Sometimes all of those at once.
I even called in the "big-dawgs"... A Queen, Jennifer and Marie! 
I would always lose about 10-15 pounds, but in the long run, nothing worked (for me).  Don't get me wrong, I believe that ANY diet CAN work, if you're in the right mind set to do it... but clearly, I was NOT. We even spent 4 hours and hundreds of dollars going through the motions of preparing for gastric bypass surgery. (which in the end, wound up not even being a good option for me at the time).

I remember one night sitting in my bed, head in my hands bawling to Cason about my weight troubles (something that had been done multiple times in our marriage and which never really did much good because Cason always reassured me that he loved me like crazy no matter WHAT size I was)... but this time I was at a breaking point.  I was feeling better then EVER with my spirit, my family, my relationship with my husband, my work, and my kids... but as hard as I tried, I just couldn't get a grip on this endless trial that I had been given, of conquering my OWN BODY!
Was my FAT seriously going to define me the rest of my life!?

I don't know what it was, but during the months of July through November... something snapped. Not being fat anymore was the ONLY thing I could think about. Usually I could shake these feelings off or overshadow them with other projects and responsibilities, but this time was different. I'm pretty sure that if you were a close friend of mine between these 4-5 months and got me alone long enough, you witnessed me breaking down to you about my "big-fat-problem". (sorry Susan, Lara, Jen, Amy and Kristine. ha!)
I remember telling my friend Susan one night that I was ready to REALLY do something about this weight problem of mine, but I felt like I was missing something or someone. This imaginary "KEY" to my success that hadn't been found yet in any other plan or diet that I'd tried. I'm sure she thought I was mildly crazy, but nodded and agreed with me anyway... coaxing me to be proactive in trying to find it!...

So I did. Or should I say, Cason did.
:)

Only a few weeks later Cason came home from work and we had this conversation:
Me: "Why do you look suspicious?"
Cason: "Well, I did something, but you can't get mad"
Me: "Ugh, WHAT?"
Cason: "I signed us up to go to a weight loss seminar"
Me: "WHAT!? NO! Why did you do that? I'm not going!"
Cason: "Come on, just go with me. It sounds really good. It's a program that a girl at work told me about called Body Metrix, and it's led by an ex NFL football player and doctor!"
Me: "Ugggggggh! I'm DEFINITELY not going! I'm sure he only works with skinny cheerleaders who want to be skinnier, and football players who want those crazy bodies where they have no necks!"
Cason: "Look, I love you, and I know this is something that makes you really uncomfortable... but YOU ARE GOING!"
Me: "FINE! Whatever!"
There was a swift smack on my behind from my smiley husband who was more then happy that he had won this little battle, and honestly... I was really busy with blog stuff for the holidays, so I just pushed it to the back of my mind until I REALLY had to deal with it.

Well, Friday of that week came, and Cason reminded me about our "seminar". I reluctantly got into the car with him and headed to our appointment.
That night, I met Doc. (aka: Dr. Hall) and Matt (aka: my "KEY")
In a nutshell, the seminar was actually really good! I didn't feel weird at all and everyone was totally laid back and nice. (plus I wasn't the only person there, so that helped) ha! Basically, they had come up with some great techniques to kick start your body into it's fat burn zone, all while maintaining muscle mass.
Want to know all that I heard? ... "WE CAN MAKE YOU HEALTHIER AND SKINNER"... and that's all that mattered at that moment. I was sold, and honestly just had the attitude of "Eh, why not?" So I signed up and started the Body Metrix journey on November 18th 2011. Yup! Right before Thanksgiving, my birthday, our anniversary, Christmas and New Years. Total weight-loss no-no, right? Well... my reasoning behind it was simple. If I can succeed during the WORST time to lose weight in the whole year, then I can do it ANYTIME.

So, even longer story longer... It's been about 11 weeks since I started working with a lifestyle coach and even though I've been posting updates about my weight loss journey through Facebook, I have been waiting until now, to REALLY come out and talk about it. 
Why? Because...
 1. I finally feel like I am strong enough to keep going.

2. I now understand what it takes to ACTUALLY lose weight.
hint: A good clean diet and the RIGHT kinds of exercise... go figure! :)

3. I'm DONE letting my fat define me, I'm sick of being a "before" and I'm ready to share my journey with someone else who feels the same way I do.

I wake up every day with the realization that this is it, that there's only one shot at this life and I can either enjoy the ride, live it to its fullest and highest potential... or I can stay the way I am. 

Instead of FEELING like less, I want to LOOK like it.
To today's date, I have officially lost 30 pounds.
(fist pumps in the air!)
To celebrate my small victory in this war, I threw out 6 pairs of these today...

As Cason was trying to stuff my workout pants onto a full shelf in our closet after folding the laundry he ripped down my jean pile and said... "If you can button and zip any of these pants up and then slide them off without UN-buttoning or UN-zipping them... then they HAVE to go"
Guess what? I only have one pair of jeans left in my entire wardrobe, ha! And although that should make me a bit frustrated, when trying to find something to wear in the morning... it doesn't.
:)
I can do this... I know I can!
The fit, fun, spunky girl inside of me is just WAITING to feel as good on the outside as she does on the inside!
I feel like I can honestly say that the first 4 weeks were the absolute hardest... an uphill climb, if you will. Anyone can start a diet or exercise routine and do it for a week... maybe even two. But once I passed that 4th week I had the thought...
"Okay then, this is really how I'm going to live from now on!"
*Answering to my health coach every week
* No sugar
* VERY low carb
* Lots of fiber
* Gym 6 days a week
&
* Enough water everyday to make my eyeballs float.

It was then that I realized this was going to be WAY harder then I thought, and since then... my body has been fighting me EVERY step of the way. Each pound has been a struggle to get off and some weeks are better then others.
There is NO EASY WAY to loose weight, if you want to do it the RIGHT way.
I figured that if I made myself this way, then I was going to have to UN-make myself this way. And no juice, pill, shot or procedure was going to magically do the work for me... even if I did have crappy-fatty genetics.

Do I still have a loooong way to go before I'm the healthiest, best looking me???... Um, yeah.
But now I feel empoweredknowledgeable, stronger and hopeful. It may take a year, it may take TWO... but I know that I'll get there eventually. And once I do, I'm NEVER going back.
This may not make sense to anyone else, but now that I've seen my first results and have dropped some noticeable inches, I can't decided if I'm more scared to actually LOOSE the weight or gain it back. My weight has been a part of me for 29 years. And as odd as it sounds, I can't imagine life without it.
But this IS the year...and I'm willing to take the RISK.
:)

433 comments:

  1. You are such an inspiration! I have also struggled with weight for a majority of my life with "crappy-fatty genetics." This post couldn't have come at a more perfect time as I am about to head down the road of a more health and slimmer me. Thank you for being so candid and I will be praying for your journey!

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  2. Congrats. Best blog post ever...by anyone. So honest, so heart wrenching. You are a brave girl. You are a beautiful girl. You should be so proud of yourself. I. Proud for you. I think we have lived parallel lives...and as I struggle to get healthy, I look to you for inspiration. You go girl! Congrats again...fist bumps to you!

    -Erin

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  3. Oh my gosh... so much of your story is me... thank you for being so real...

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  4. I just love you. You make me smile the way you persevere with such a positive outlook and wonderful expressions on your gorgeous face, I'm very proud of you and I can read how proud you are of yourself! Bravo my friend! I can't wait to give you a hug in a few months!
    xoxo
    Kate

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  5. That is so awesome! You are so awesome! I am just starting my "healthy living lifestyle" (that's how I'm putting it now) and I'm on day 5, I agree that it seems all up hill right now.

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  6. I am so proud of you. You've given me hope.

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  7. Love you LOTS! Now share that protein muffin recipe ;)

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  8. You look awesome! Thank you for sharing your journey. I too am trying to eat healthy and work out more not only to lose weight but to have a healthier life. It's not easy, but the rewards are worth it. How exciting to throw out 6 pairs of too big jeans! You go girl!

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  9. You are very inspiring! Just another thing to add to your list of talents and attributes :) I'm currently on a weight loss journey, not doing so hot. But I have to do better, I'm going to check out Body Matrix!
    You look amazing, don't give up!

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  10. WOW!!! GO MAMA!! I am so proud of you for writing this post, and I can't wait to give you a big hug at SNAP!!

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  11. I have so much to say about this but I need to think about it for a bit. The first thing I want to say is...

    You've got this!!!!

    Seriously, you can do it. I know you can. I am so excited for you.

    I'll email you later.

    WAY TO GO and get your SEXY Back.

    And what is with Cason sitting next to famous people on planes????

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  12. THANK YOU for this post. I was a skinny kid, thick teenager, skinny 18-22 year old... Once I turned 23 & got myself a "grown-up" job the weight slowly showed up. Fast forward to present day- I am 26 and 80lbs overweight. I had that "moment" a few weeks ago where all I could do was think about how much fat was on my small 5'4 frame. It snapped, and I've made that lifestyle change to lose the weight. I enjoyed reading this post and hope you keep us updated often. You're such an isparation and you look fabulous.

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  13. I am fighting the same fight! Ahh! I'm SOOO glad you were willing to share! I love your blog and this made you seem real!(You know how some people seem non-human because they are great at stuff??:)) Well this is AMAZING! I hope to be there some day! REALLY thanks for sharing!

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  14. Oh my word! Good for you! I am so excited for you. I read every word and then went back and read again! I cannot WAIT to follow along with you and cheer you on as you walk this difficult journey. You go girl!!!!!!!!!!!

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  15. Shelley, you are gorgeous, strong, and courageous! You go girl! I have no doubt that you will be as successful at reaching this goal as you have been in reaching ALL of your DIY goals. Thank you so much for taking the time to write out your story and inspire us all to be our best, cutest, healthiest selves :). xoxo!

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  16. Oh. My. Goodnes.

    I am in tears. Your story sounds so similar to mine in so many ways.

    I'm too chocked up to go into detail, but just know that you have inspired me in so many ways with this post.

    You are AMAZING, and BEAUTIFUL, and SO STRONG! Keep up the fabulous work! You can do it - I'll always be cheering you on! :)

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  17. Thank you for sharing and being so honest. I really appreciate it.

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  18. Wow! This is so inspiring. I'm at a point in my life where I want to change everything around in regards to my weight, but I've tried so many things before I don't know if I can do it. But you've given me the hope that, with enough work, things can work out.

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  19. Congratulations on your weight loss and your journey is so inspiring to so many.

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  20. Girl!! This post is so inspirational and inspiring!!
    I am currently in week 3 of my weight watchers lifestyle change (I'm afraid to call it a diet) and it feels as if it's been 3 months!! But for the first time ever I feel like I can do this!! WE can do this!!
    I am so proud of you, you look amazing! thanks for sharing such an intimate detail of your life. I'm grateful!
    xoxo

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  21. i think you are the most adorable thing EVER! I'm soo rooting for you as you move into this new adventure in your life! Go girl!

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  22. YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!

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  23. You are beautiful. Thanks for sharing and inspiring all of us to take the risk :)

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  24. One meal at a time will take YOU one step closer! You are amazing!

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  25. I seriously LOVE you for not only posting this, but for having the courage to put it all out there and be so incredibly transparent!! I am EXACTLY where you are... Fighting the same fight- some days winning, some days loosing! But you, my friend, have INSPIRED ME and turned on EVERY. SINGLE. LIGHT BULB in my head!! I am printing this- posting it up- and walking this road WITH YOU! (or taking you with me, I guess..;). THANK YOU! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU, Shelley!!!

    Wishing you MUCH success and HOPE and PERSERVERANCE!!! Keep on, keepin on girl! You are beautiful- JUST THE WAY YOU ARE-

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  26. WOW such an inspiration!!! I like you have been battling my weight since I was younger. So, a few weeks ago I started eating way healthier. Haven't completely started exercising but walk every now & then. Kinda hard when you babysit a 21 month old & the weather can't make up its mind. I'll be 30 in July & am really wanting to drop these pounds so we can start a family. Reading about your journey just made it a lot more easier & opened my eyes that I can achieve this like you! Thank you for taking the time to type up your story!! :)

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  27. GO YOU!!!! You are doing great, keep up the good work :)

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  28. WOW! I don't know why, but this post made me cry. I have been the same as you, for most of my life. I, too, am to the point that I am not letting my weight control me anymore! I would love to know how much the body matrix costs, as I too live in Utah :)

    Congrats!

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  29. Oh my gosh! This is such an amazing & inspiring post!! I don't know you personally, but I wish I did because I'd give you a big giant hug and high five! You look so beautiful and HEALTHY!! Don't give up!!

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  30. Well said! You will inspire many in just one more way!!!Love ya!!

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  31. Love this story, which really means I love your story. I'm beyond impressed with your willingness to share. You will strengthen many along the way by sharing! Although this struggle is not mine your strength will help me through my own different struggles! I too am a personal trainer and I get to share the other side of your journey with my clients, and it is beyond rewarding to see your successes! Cheers to the journey you're on to be a healthier, happier, fitter you!!

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  32. Good for you Shelly! I'll be honest one of the things that I like about you and your blog so much is how happy you are, how you are always so smiley and energetic, and people who have met you in life say the same thing. You need to lose weight to be healthy, so thats great that you are doing it.

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  33. Thank you for posting this. You are doing amazing. One lb is hard to shed and thirty is phenomenal! Keep going (of course you will) and you will reach that goal. I understand what you mean about not knowing what it will be like to be without the fat. I haven't been an adult without it and finding out will be the adventure. Good Job!

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  34. Love this story, which really means I love your story. I'm beyond impressed with your willingness to share. You will strengthen many along the way by sharing! Although this struggle is not mine your strength will help me through my own different struggles! I too am a personal trainer and I get to share the other side of your journey with my clients, and it is beyond rewarding to see your successes! Cheers to the journey you're on to be a healthier, happier, fitter you!!

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  35. Congratulations, you are such an inspiration!

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  36. That is great! Even though I don't really "know" you, I feel like I do. You are an inspiration. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  37. You are amazing girl! So happy for you! You can do it because you are so strong! Glad you were brave enough to share your struggles. We all have them they just vary in what they are. You are inspirational. xoxo

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  38. Beautiful girl!!! Love this post. Congrats on the 30 and your amazing no fear attitude for putting this battle out there. There are so many people who can identify with your story.

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    Replies
    1. Awesome... you CAN do it! Way to go!! I have four kids and after each pregnancy I've had to work so hard for almost two years before my baby weight comes off. It is so worth it. I'm so excited to follow your progress! :) But you are already beautiful.

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  39. Woohoo! You are just amazing! This is funny because I just started writing a blog post about my weight loss journey myself, then I saw your post! This is just what I needed to read!

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  40. Way to go !!!!!!!! Thats awesome :) !!!!!!

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  41. Your story has made me feel like I am not alone. I am in the same place that you were in. I told my husband this is it.. I am taking before pictures today and I am only moving forward.

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  42. You go girl! Weight is also my biggest life battle. Thanks for sharing your story!

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  43. This is such a great post! Congrats for the success so far - it's only going to get better! This is very inspiring, as I've been dealing with weight loss, as well. It's such a struggle, but it's so, so worth it in the end! Keep it up, girl!!! <3

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  44. Thank you for this blog post, you are such an inspiration!!! I met you before at a blog conference and thought you were so beautiful inside & out. Now I can't wait to see the rest of your weight loss story. You have me so motivated, I'm getting off the computer and going to get on the treadmill. :)

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  45. AWESOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOME!!!!!!!! this is just a wonderful post and a BIG CONGRATS and tons of HUGS to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) your newest follower : )

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  46. Ahhh I'm so excited for you! I have thought you were beautiful since I found your blog, but it looks like this is really working for you & it obviously makes you healthier & happier, so keep it up! I'll be cheering for you!

    Also, oh my your meet-Carson-have-babies streak was FAST! Find a guy, get married, have 3 babies all within a little over 3 years!?! Wow you guys are gutsy! I met my hubby 4 years ago, we got married this past June (at age 29) & we're waiting at least 3 years to have our first baby- kinda by necessity, but still. Congrats on a beautiful life to you!!!

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  47. You have a wonderful story!! You are beautiful, inside and out! Thanks so much for sharing your story. I've lurked here for quite awhile and really enjoy your site, but this story you just shared makes you so....well, human is the only word that comes to mind. So proud of you!!

    Beth

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  48. thank you for sharing your story! Im proud of you!!!! Time to kick my but in gear and shed my 60lbs of baby weight thats been stuck there for the past 22 months!!!

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  49. Your story is my story! I've just started on the journey, but I'm exactly to the point that you are. We're the same age, and our bodies could be identical so it's so great to see someone else going through the same thing. Thank you for being brave and posting about your journey - I know it's an inspiration for me!

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  50. Whoo Hoo!! Cheers to you and to Cason for signing you up for that class and good for you for going, being open minded and sticking with it!

    I can wait to read about the next milestones and of course the DIY in between.

    Inspiration at it's best!

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  51. You are so courageous. I'm inspired! Go Shelley Go!

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  52. Wow. Just Wow. You are incredible. I have a very similar story to yours, and this year is going to be the year I change my life. I signed up for a couple of 5k's and a mud run and am starting the Couch 2 5K program tonight. I would love it if you would continue to share your journey to help motivate me along the way too! Keep it up, we can do it!

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  53. Go Shelley! You are amazing and an inspiration to us all!

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  54. What a beautiful and inspiring post!!!!!! Thank you for sharing your story and now becoming my losing weight role model :-)

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  55. Congratulations on finding a healthy lifestyle for you and your family! Keep up the good work.

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  56. You are amazing! And for doing it for YOU is the key! Keep up the great work! You are already such a great example to people all over the world through your blog, attitude, and spirit. Now you can once again show people through your example their own potential!! YOu go Girl!

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  57. You go girl! I'm on the same journey but I'm going to be 49 in a couple of weeks. I've done it before. You just have to get in the mind set and you are in it. Keep up the good work. Wishing you the best you!

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  58. Thank you so much for sharing this. I have always thought you were gorgeous and have noticed your weight loss from pictures. I didn't want to email and ask you what you were doing b/c I was sure everyone was! ha! But, I have also struggled w/ my weight my entire life and now at (almost) 37 years old and the mother of a 3 year, I cannot seem to find the energy or enthusiasm to just jump out there and DO IT! So, perhaps you have given me some motivation. I hope you will be comfortable updating us in the future b/c this is something so many of us (readers) struggle with! I think you are amazing:)

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  59. I am very proud of you! I've maintained an 80 pound weight loss for 2 years now and while it gets easier it's still hard. You rock!

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  60. Great post :) You look great. I'm losing weight myself at the moment and its a hard journey but so worth it!

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  61. Thanks so much for sharing! You are INSPIRING!

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  62. Oh, Shelley...I absolutely adore you. I, too, have struggled with my weight all my life & after losing 50 pounds last year, I'm now slowly putting it all back on and I hate myself for it. Your story is such an inspiration and I feel excited to start getting back on the right track, too. Thank you so much, sweet girl...for all that you do...you are amazing!

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  63. Amazing and inspiring! I've got 30 lbs. to loose myself. 2012 is the year! Thanks for sharing!

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  64. I literally just got on the scale at work today moments before reading this post and almost cried! I've crept into another set of "digits" on the scale and I’m devastated. I truly feel that reading your post was not a coincidence. Thank you for sharing your story. It was just the motivation I needed to start making my own change :) Good luck on your journey. With the right attitude, you can do anything!

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  65. You go girl!!! I am on the same journey, Your story could be mine minus the twins. I'm going to be 49 in a few weeks and now is my time. Keep up the good work. Wishing the best you!

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  66. Great post and you're a beautiful woman inside and out!!!

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  67. Shelley what a wonderful post, good on you! You are a beautiful lady inside and out and I wish you all the best on your journey :)

    xx Karen

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  68. Good for you. I'm always amazed by people who take on such a tremendous goal because I know it isn't just losing weight, it's changing your life. Keep it up!

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  69. You GO GIRL!!! Congratulations on your success!! I wish you the very best on your weight loss journey!! One thing is for sure...you will have plenty of cheerleaders with all of your blog followers!! Keep on, keeping on!! YOU GOT THIS!!!

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  70. You rock!!!! I'm so proud of you (I know that's odd coming from some random commenter on your blog, but it's true!) My story so closely parallels yours it's not funny. Thanks for being such an inspiration!

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  71. your story is so inspirational and uplifting! i am so impressed with your continuous upbeat attitude and willingness to just TRY. so many don't even want to make the effort(complaining is MUCH more fun)I think what you are doing is awesome.
    Congrats on your first 30lbs and cheers to keeping up the hard work!!

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  72. YOU. ARE. UH-MAY-ZING.

    Seriously...THANK YOU for sharing your heart with us. I completely admire YOU for the decision that YOU have made for YOUrself and YOUr family!!! Praying for continued success along this journey...thank you so much and God bless.

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  73. So proud of you! You are setting such a great example for many others. Stick to it. You can do it. And now the whole blogosphere is here to support ya :)

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  74. Thank you so much for sharing your journey! You have given me hope.

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  75. Thank you! Your smile in those pics say it all.

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  76. My favorite post ever! Thank your honesty. I look forward to more posts about your journey. You WILL get there.

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  77. You can do it. I've lost and kept off 105 lbs!!!

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  78. Go Shelley!!!!!!!!!!!! You just made me want to throw the soda can out the window! Chin up and move forward!!!!

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  79. You are gorgeous inside and out! Congrats on the weight loss, I know all too well how hard it is! I've just lost 40 pounds myself and still have a ways to go but I'm motivated and know I can do this! Thanks for being an inspiration!

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  80. Good for you for taking control!!!! I'm so happy for you! High five! And a hug too!

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  81. LOVE, love, love this Shelley! Thank you so much for such an open and honest look into weight loss journey. You are inspiring and so talented!

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  82. I've cried myself to sleep MANY times over the last couple months because I'm so upset with myself and discouraged over my weight, but now I'm crying because I actually feel encouraged and motivated. Thank you for sharing your story and letting us know that it can be done! I tried WW last spring and lost 23 lbs and was thrilled with myself! It felt awesome! Since summer, I have put every single pound back on and I am beyond disappointed. It completely sucks. I will conquer this again and this time for good. I have to, because you're right, this is my one shot at life. When I'm exercising and it's starting to burn, I tell myself that I'm at the fire. I either can push myself through it or just stop. I know my body will never change if I don't push through the fire. There's no chance of it. It has to be uncomfortable in order to change. I'm ready to get uncomfortable! Thank you so much for putting yourself out there as an inspiration to the rest of us!

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  83. Working on dropping the pounds here too! Haven't been brave enough to share on my blog. Maybe when I am an after. Congrats to you!!

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  84. You're Awesome and I have no doubt you will be successful! You're already so beautiful inside and out and such an inspiration to everyone! Love ya!

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  85. Thank you for sharing! Very brave as well as inspiring!

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  86. Thanks for sharing! Very brave as well as inspiring!

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  87. You go girl!!!! This is awesome! 30 lbs! Way to go!!! So proud of you! Keep up the hard work!!!! Cause it's definitely working!!!!

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  88. I am so impressed with this post, the hardest thing to do in life is to not give up when giving up would be the easiest thing to do. You are one beautiful woman and you go girl!! Janell

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  89. Gooooo Shelley!!!! I am hitting this point right about now too. I am rooting you on. you are brave to put this out there. I can totally relate to this, because I never really felt horrible about myself either, but I am finally feeling like this year might be my year to feel really truly good and healthy. I'm rooting for you!

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  90. You are amazing, always remember that! You can do it, look at everything else you accomplish. Thank you for sharing your story, you inspire so many. Keep it up and remember to keep sharing your success....it motivates us as well. Getting on the treadmill right now...I'll be red faced before I know it

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  91. Amazing. You ARE going to do it this time!! I know that determination. I recognize it, because for the first time in a decade, I have it too. Thank you so much for sharing this! For everyone who has commented, I'm sure you've inspired so many others who are struggling with similar things, but too timid to comment.

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  92. I've read your blog for a few months now, but I have never left a comment until now. I have to tell you what a generous thing you are doing by sharing your story with all of us. What a great display of determination, hard work, and self-worth. Keep up the good work!

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  93. I've read your blog for a few months now, but I have never left a comment until now. I have to tell you what a generous thing you are doing by sharing your story with all of us. What a great display of determination, hard work, and self-worth. Keep up the good work!

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  94. You are doing so well! Keep it up- I'm in the same battle and I am using WW, so we can get thin together.

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  95. Oh Shelley - you have NO idea how much I know ALL about this. I went on my first diet at EIGHT. Eight!! I have never seen a single digit size in my entire life. I am on a journey myself right now (15 down since Jan 2nd!) but know that you are certainly not alone and there are lots of us to cheer you on! Congrats on the hard earned 30 pounds! Woot woot!

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  96. Thanks for sharing with us. You look amazing and your progress is inspiring. Keep up the good work!

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  97. Thank you for this AWESOME post! I am also on a weight loss journey. I decided that I was tired of being the "funny fat girl" Not that it is bad to be that, but I hid behind my weight by being funny, loud and crazy. I finally realized that I can still be me and not hide any more. While I read your post I felt like I was reading my life story. You are awesome girl!!! Oh and doesn't it feel so great to get rid of the old jeans, best feeling ever!

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  98. Thank you for sharing your story Shelly. In you I am finding inspiration everyday. Now you're inspiring me to find good health again. You're a very generous woman!

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  99. You. are. awesome. I love you even more for writing this post. You can do it!! Loved hearing your story and can't wait to hear more...xoxo

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  100. What I think I wiped a tear or two. So empowering and so Inspiring. I am so thrilled for you and your success. TRULY! Your before and afters are fab. KEEP IT UP GIRL, you ROCK! Its so awesome of you to open up like this for all of us. Once again, high fives, and props.

    winks, jen

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  101. You Go GIrl! I am so happy for you. Thanks for sharing your Story! I think you are an amazing Person.

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  102. Go girl, go! I can see a drastic difference in your 11 weeks pictures...amazing work!

    As a first time/new mom, I have some extra lbs that I need to rid my body of and this post is very motivational. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Keep up the good work!

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  103. That is so great! I know there are many other comments on here, but I am so happy for you and I wanted to tell you anyway! You are gorgeous. Thank you for sharing your story!

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  104. May I offer you the biggest, most heartfelt congratulations ever!? What an amazing change you've made in your outlook and attitude - and that's such a commendable thing. I lost 35 pounds in 1999 and have kept off every single bit of it by doing the work every single day. It sounds like this time you're doing it right because you. are. doing it...not just trying. You look fantastic and even more importantly, you sound like you feel fantastic. Thanks for sharing your story and good luck (although you won't need luck because you are killing it!)! -Teresa

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  105. awesome!!! congratulations and best of luck as you continue your journey! thanks so much for sharing your story and motivation!!!

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  106. You are looking amazing!! I have always thought you were a beautiful woman, but your figure is looking great :) I have struggled with weight since my mid twenties (am now 32) and I know those feelings all too well. Keep it up girl!! You can do it!!!!!! Nothing tastes as good as "skinny" feels :)

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  107. you are awesome girl! it's better to share your story, because someone can always relate!

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  108. Congrats on your weight loss. I started on January 1st and have lost 11 pounds so far. It is not an easy thing to do and I know it's going to take a lifetime to lose and maintain the weight loss. I wish you much luck! It's going to be great to see how others are doing.

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  109. You look FANTASTIC! It takes so much strength to really, truly talk about something so personal. I'm sure you're an inspiration to so many people. Keep up the great work :)

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  110. I read your blog, but rarely ever comment. I had to today because just wanted to say yay for you! big congrats!! changing your lifestyle is no easy feat and you should be so proud! And you are SO right. All the fad diets and magic pills don't work. It has to be a lifestyle change of clean eating and exercise! You look amazing! Keep it up. It is SOOO worth it!!! :)

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  111. Congrats!! Your husband is so right - you look gorgeous no matter what. With that said, I can see a big difference in your pics. Keep it up!

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  112. AMAZING! Thank you for sharing. I am so inspired by you. Your motivation, love and zest for life. I'm sure you are an amazing friend, wife, and mother. Congrats on your progress adn good luck with the rest. You look amazing and I can't wait to see your journey.

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  113. Amazing!! Good for you and THANK YOU for sharing, I am a yo yo er and I am so sick of it!!! Everyday I look for that "thing" that holds me back from being my healthiest self, I hope I find it soon!!! GO GIRL :)

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  114. GO GIRL!!!!!!!!!!

    Those before and after shots are remarkable! 30 pounds is a huge milestone! Celebrate every lost pound. The one thing I HATE about watching the Biggest Loser is that when they do lose weight, it is still not enough. and I'm like you just lots 7 pounds in a week, and they are standing up there crying that it isn't good enough. Soooo, celebrate EVERY pound and remember that each pound is worth 3500 calories!!!! That is a LOT of work to burn off!

    Excited to be along on your journey!

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  115. I have never commented before, but I just had to say that I really admire your courage for putting that all out there! YOU GO GIRL! I think you have lots and lots of people cheering you on right now:)

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  116. YOU ARE AMAZING! I'm so happy for you and how you've finally found something that works for you! I seriously don't know how to express what I'm feeling right now. I'm just so happy for you!
    Thank you so much for sharing your story and letting all women know that there is hope. Again, you're amazing!

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  117. woohoo! I am SOOO happy for you! Now there is no stopping you! I'm rooting for you to do this quickly, safely, and that it gets easier every day!
    gail

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  118. You are so fricking AWESOME!!!! My husband and I just started, hardcore, to eat healthier and work out consistently. Not getting rid of any jeans yet, but I am very encouraged by your post - thank you!!!!

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  119. i'm so proud of you for putting yourself out there and sharing your journey. i'm rooting for you!

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  120. Fabulous post - thank you for being such an inspiration to us in many areas of life!

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  121. WooHoo!! Thanks for posting this.... I need the encouragement!!

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  122. You LOOK amazing!! Thank you for writing your journey! It's very inspiring! I started working out with a trainer and for 4 weeks of one hour sessions 4 times a week I didn't lose a pound! I cut out sugar and most all carbs and BAM! The weight is melting off.....your post has inspired me to maybe write about my journey too....I'm only down 13lbs and have a long way to go....I am actually heading to Hawaii in March for a fitness challenge called the Warrior Dash ..it is also an amazing fundrasier for St Jude's....THAT is my motivation:-) Thank you!

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  123. Thanks so much for posting this Shelley! It is just the motivation I needed! I have been feeling the same way for the past 5 years and I am tired of feeling down and I want to make a change. I have so much love for you and your blog and I am so excited for you! Keep us posted on all your success! I know you can do it!!! :)

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  124. You're amazing!! You look great!!! Congrats on your 30! Thanks for always sharing such amazing, inspiring stories. Whether it's family life, home decor or personal struggles, you are always an inspiration! Keep at it girl!

    You're awesome!

    Mallory @ Classy Clutter

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  125. Thanks for sharing that with us. I can understand it being hard to open up like that. (Being a previous overweight person myself) I appreciate it though. Your insights are great to listen to, and I feel like I know you better. You look fabulous, and excited that you threw out clothes!! Excited to hear more about it as you keep going! Thanks again!

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  126. Thank you for your well spOken and heart-felt words.

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  127. Woohoo!! Way to go! YOU CAN DO IT!

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  128. Woohoo!! Way to go! YOU CAN DO IT!

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  129. Good for you! You're so beautiful and you seem to have such an amazing personality ... I hope this venture to health will just make you happier. I, too, started a get-healthy program at the beginning of the summer and I'm about to run my first 5K ... I just decided that I wanted to be healthy and in shape for my kiddos so I can really enjoy life with them. I wish you amazing success in this new lifestyle!

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  130. what a great thing you are doing!! SO happy and excited for you :) xox

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  131. You are so very brave for sharing this journey so far! It makes you even more lovable :)
    Congrats to you for all the hard work and self awareness.
    I pray that the rest of your weight loss journey continues to let your outside reflect your inside!

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  132. Congrats! You should be so proud of yourself! Oh how your story reminds me so much of mine. I was overweight my entire childhood, forced to shop in the "plus size" section beginning in the fifth grade. Something finally clicked and during my sophomore and junior years in high school I lost 85 pounds with good ole diet (low carb, high protein) and exercise (I bought myself a treadmill for my 16th birthday. Who does that?!). I'm one of those people who will always struggle with my weight, but it's something that I've come to terms with and I'm constantly working at. Keep all the awesome work! It's so worth it!

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  134. I am right there with you on the weight loss journey! The hardest part is taking the first step everyday. But we never regret working out! We never say, "gosh I shouldn't have exercised and ate that healthy meal! What was I thinking!" haha! You GO GIRL!!! I am looking forward to meeting you at SNAP!

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  135. I sometimes click over here and today I read this whole post. I just wanted to say I am so happy that you are getting healthier for you! I have never personally had weight problems, but I have to stay on a strict diet for other health reasons and it is hard, but empowering. Have you checked out http://www.canyoustayfordinner.com/ ?? She has such an inspiring story. Just click through the left sidebar--I know you'll love it and relate.

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  136. Oh, Shells (you know, my pet name for you!), I am SO incredibly proud of you, sweet friend! What a wonderfully inspiring story. So proud and so cheering you on that you will indeed get to your ideal self & weight. Loved this post & just know that you'll have everyone in blogland right there behind you. You're a beautiful woman & you will feel so good on your journey to finding the real you that is underneath waiting to get out.

    I can't imagine how hard this journey has been for you. I have friends who struggle too. I'm one of those lucky people who have thin genes (but I have been working out for 30 yrs. too to help it along). None of us ask for it, we get what we are given from God, but we all have choices in how to make our bodies the best they can be. So happy for you that you are heading in the right direction for your health, your family & yourself. Fist pumps with ya!! xoxo

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  137. Um this is my life in a post. Except the losing weight part. I'm still trying to figure that part out. I have been overweight since middle school and it's time for a change. Thank you for your amazing example! I so identify with your story. Hopefully I can experience some success like you have.

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  138. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story! There are many people like you out there, including me.. Whether we have 25 pounds to loose or 100, we all still have the same insecurities and similar struggles... besides that fact that food tastes good (lol).. I've learned that although many foods taste good they are not all good for us. Many provide temporary pleasure but give long term pain. It took me a long time to make that connection. I started eating clean just over a year ago and have lost about 27 pounds... it is a slow and go process, but it feels so much better to eat right, than to eat junk! I wish you the best of luck in your journey. Now that you've made the decision to do it and share it with others, You WILL BE SUCCESSFUL!!! Blessings, Diana

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  139. Also...you don't have to post this one, but "collage" should be college. ;)

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  140. Thank you for your story. I see a lot of me in you. We both are fun, cute talented LDS girls who are social butterflies who grewup in good families. (Heck, our family blog is even called "House of Garcia" - a name I've had for years.) I feel I am sucessful in most aspects of my life, but not this stink'n weight thing. I have tried my whole life to be a single-digit size :o) I had almost lost hope --thinking, maybe I'll wait for this resurrection "perfect body" thing to happen....but you have inspired me to not let excuses get in my way. I'm proud of you and hope you all the best in your journey. I know we can do it. I am only down nearly 10 lbs since the beginning of January, but slow and steady wins the race....and I'm not going to give up and let other distractions and habits (or chocolate bars) get in the way! xoxo Lori

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  141. I have been reading and enjoying your blog for about a year and love it so much! I have always admired your confidence and sunny disposition (and talent!). Even though we don't know each other I have to tell you that I am so PROUD of you!

    You also have to know that you are a stunningly beautiful woman! Like-- breathtaking! When you lose this weight you will be causing traffic accidents from gawkers! Cason better watch out! (kidding!)

    Speaking of which, what a loving wonderful husband. I know you are doing this for yourself, as you should be, but I know you are doing this for your husband, too. Which is beautiful!

    Congratulations on your "30"... and go go go to your goal. So many people are rooting for you!

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  142. I have been reading and enjoying your blog for about a year and love it so much! I have always admired your confidence and sunny disposition (and talent!). Even though we don't know each other I have to tell you that I am so PROUD of you!

    You also have to know that you are a stunningly beautiful woman! Like-- breathtaking! When you lose this weight you will be causing traffic accidents from gawkers! Cason better watch out! (kidding!)

    Speaking of which, what a loving wonderful husband. I know you are doing this for yourself, as you should be, but I know you are doing this for your husband, too. Which is beautiful!

    Congratulations on your "30"... and go go go to your goal. So many people are rooting for you!

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  143. congrats!! that is pretty awesome. i hope you donated the jeans though :) keep up the great work!!

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  144. Oh girl you are AWESOME!!! I just love seeing your photo updates on Facebook about your weight loss journey. It's very inspiring and we are all so proud of you! Now it's time to go buy one of those fancy pairs of designer jeans! :)

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  145. Hi Shelley-

    Congratulations not only on your success so far, but your willingness to share your story with us. You are soooooooo pretty and your smile justs lights up every photo I have ever seen of you. Someday I look forward to meeting you. Keep on smiling, it is hard making tough changes mentally as well as physically, but I think keeping that quote above where it states- that you may not be there yet, but you sure are closer than you were yesterday is a great way to look at your journey. Best wishes for a happier, healthier you!

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  146. I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised that you'll have more comments than on most posts with this one! Weight issues and weight loss journeys are a universal issue for women, I think. I've had a very similar path to yours, and I'm in the middle of dieting and exercising (and drinking lots of water!) again right now. I'm walking two miles a day and using the Lose It app on my phone to track calorie consumption. I've only lost 7 pounds, but it's only been three weeks. I am encouraged, and I wish you all the best! Cason is right ... you are beautiful at any weight, but I know it's important to YOU to lose it. Good luck! :)

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  147. Love this post! Thanks for being so brave & sharing it with all of us. You are so inspiring. I have struggled with my weight my whole life too. Last year I even had to have spinal surgery. Apparently my weight along with genetics has taken its toll on my body (I knew there was a skinny girl in there & apprarently she can't handle all the excess weight.) I HAVE to find a way to really embrace a serious change for my health. I am only 2 days into my new me life...I KNOW I CAN DO THIS! I have to. Best of luck on your journey! I'll be following along looking for inspiration:) Carrie

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  148. Shelley, you are amazing, girl! 30 pounds is amazing! You have the best attitude - you must be so proud!

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  149. Thank you so much for sharing! You are truly a wonderful inspiration!

    -Jen

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  150. You have me all teary eyed! So proud of you.

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  151. Thank you. There's a reason I don't often share photos of myself on my blog. Your post was really encouraging to me.

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  152. Amazing, amazing! Thank you for sharing your story. So much hope and inspiration.

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  153. Wow! You are so so brave and have a lot of courage. You will get there. You are an inspiration on so many levels. Just another reason to keep reading your blog.

    From one friend to another (even though you don't know me) It is spelled college not collage. There I said it. Please don't hate me!

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  154. Shelley, I am so excited for you. I know exactly what you've been going through, as I've always struggled with my weight too. I really need to get my butt in gear too. I've cried the same cry you have about being overweight, and it's so hard. You are so inspiring though Shelley.

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  155. I once heard someone say they would never call it "weight loss" because losing something implies that you intend to find it again. I say we come up with a new buzz word like "weight removal" or "weight disposal" or some other clever saying (I know my suggestions were not that clever, you could probably do so much better:) But congrats on getting there mentally...personally I think that's one of the hardest parts, just as hard as that first step out the door to exercise. I wish 1/2 of my patients were as motivated as you. Thanks for sharing your story, best of luck in your weight-lost-never-to-be-found-again journey.

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  156. Yay for you! You are doing great! I lost 85 lbs 7 years ago and I too have the "Crappy genetics" If I did it then so can you! You keep it up lady!

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  157. Thank you for this! It is a struggle I am dealing with right now too. Unfortunately, even when I was a thin, fit teenager/college student, my body image was crap, I didn't have the unconditional love and support from my mom that you seemed to have. I know that shouldn't matter now, but it does. Eating is my coping mechanism and, after 2 kids, it shows. I have been on the same diet roller coaster from juicing to weight watchers to 6 week makeover and back so many times. I never stick with anything, it's almost like I'm afraid of the success- no I'm afraid of succeeding and then gaining everything back. This post was very inspiring to me, Shelley. You have no idea! That quote by Bill Crosby is my 'Key'! Thank you for sharing your story! {Sorry to unload like that, but whew, that felt good!}

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  158. I needed to hear this today. I have been a big girl my whole life and just had my first baby a few months ago. I just keep making the excuse that I don't have the energy to start working out and planning healthy meals because I'm too busy being a new mom. But I found a quote on pinterest (evil) that said "Suck it up, so you don't have to suck it in." They might as well have added my name to the end of that, because it felt like that saying was made just for me. It's time to do this. Not just for myself, but so I can be a healthy mom and a good example to my new daughter. Thanks so much for the inspiration - we're gonna do it this time!

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  159. I once heard someone say that they would never call it "weight loss" because losing something implies that you intend to find it again. What kind of clever catch-phrase could we come up with instead? "Weight-removal" - sounds like a trash service! "Weight disposal"- sounds like something in my kitchen sink! Maybe someone out there has a better idea. But anyway, congrats on getting to this point mentally - I think that, as well as the first step out the door to exercise, is the hardest part. I wish 1/2 of my patients had a percentage of your motivation and spirit. Keep it up! I love your blog:)

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  160. SOOOOOOOOOOOOO incredibly cool! Seriously! I have had the hardest time even losing 15 lbs. and staying motivated. In fact, it hasn't happened since I had my babies - ever! I'm so happy for you!
    Keep going, girl! Your ROCK!

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  161. You go girl!! And keep going. And when you fall down, get up and get going again. I look forward to hearing your progress because it helps to keep me going :)

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  162. I totally have an identical picture of me & my roommate w/ ski goggles & bras. Although ours was bikini tops. Your story is awesome! I wish I had a fraction of your motivation! Keep going! You look great!

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  163. Thank you so much for sharing this!!!! I have been struggling with my weight for about nine years - since the birth of my second child! You are such an inspiration - and I know if you can do this then I can too!

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  164. I love this post and how you just put everything out there! There are so many of us dealing with this battle on a daily basis and have been for years, me included. My weight has yo-yoed back forth by about 50-60 pounds within 10 years. I am where you are now and saying enough is enough and taking control of this weight issue and choosing a healthier lifestyle is the only option for me! I want to thank you for posting this, your journey is seriously an inspiration to many people. Keep going girl, you can and will do this, like you said the first 4 weeks are the hardest and you've already conquerered that:)

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  165. Good for you - you inspire me!!! I start a fitness bootcamp on Monday...

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  166. Way to go. I am 52 years old and have been battling my weight since my teens. I love your post about working out and If you still look good after working out, you are doing it WRONG. (I look horrible after I work out!!!)
    Keep it up, girl, you are a stellar example to your beautiful daughters. and your husband is a gem~ A keeper for sure. Thank you for your blog

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  167. So glad you shared this post! I am working on myself as well and yours is an inspiring story. You look fabulous btw. Congrats on the weight loss.

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  168. So proud of you! Best of luck, you're very inspiring! **hugs!**

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  169. That is so awesome. You go, girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here's to you! thanks for sharing.

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  170. You. Are. Fabulous. And such an inspiration. I have no doubt you will reach whatever goal you set for yourself. I'm super glad Cason's got your back (and your backside...LOL). ;)

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  171. Oh man, fist pumping with you, Shelley!!! You are AWESOME!!! Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

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  172. How awesome!!! 30 pounds?! Good for you! Way to be brave and post this, you are an inspiration!

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  173. Thank you for sharing your story. I feel like I could remove your name and insert mine. I always say my weight will be a lifelong struggle. It's like an "OK" drug..i.e. Food is something we need to eat to survive. However, I go way beyond what our bodies need to survive. I too have said, "This is the year!" Kudos to you, can't wait to watch your story unfold and pray that I can tell a similar one :) Rock on!!

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  174. Hugs! So brave to post this -- it can be so scary to share parts of yourself... way to go, girl :) I was really heavy as a teenager and still struggle with my body image. I'm so inspired by your willpower and tenacity -- you are a beautiful person :)

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  175. You are my absolute hero. I can relate to your story almost every single step of the way (from youth to adult). Thank you for giving us gals hope who've felt that same frustration. I feel like 2012 is the year of great changes and you're definitely on your way. I'm looking forward to seeing you continue to kick butt!! ~Sam

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  176. Congrats! Fist pumping for you over here :) Thank you for sharing this wonderful story... you are brave and beautiful and its an inspiration to us all!

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  177. I think I may have commented using my husband's google account :) Sorry about that. You go Shelley!!

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  178. You go girl! You're beautiful. We only met you once briefly but you have a FUN and CONTAGIOUS personality! We're rooting for you! XO

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  179. I just love you. This post made me tear up a bit. I'm glad you have Cason & such an incredible support group around you. Thanks for sharing this part of yourself with us! xo

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  180. I know this was a difficult post, but I appreciate you "keeping it real." Sometimes bloggers only showcase the "glitzy" sides of their lives which leaves the readers feeling that every aspect of your life is perfect. I think this post will make your readers feel closer to you. Thanks for being a inspiration to all of your readers! YOU ROCK AND LOOK FAB!

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  181. *college* Thank you for sharing your weight loss journey, I think you are amazing!

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  182. Way to go! No matter what weight your readers are, I think we all can relate to this!

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  183. Shelley you are absolutely amazing and I am SO PROUD OF YOU! This is AWESOME! I related SO MUCH to your post today and I'm so grateful that you were willing to write it all down. I have been overweight almost my whole life but lost weight my Senior year of high school/freshman year of college. Then after marrying my husband I gained A TON of weight (even more then I had lost) which really bums me out. This post is such an inspiration though and really makes me want to get back on track and LOSE THE WEIGHT FOR GOOD! Thank you so much for posting this and good luck on the rest of your journey!! :]

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  184. Awesome! Congrats on the 30lbs and for keeping up with the new lifestyle. I finally feel like I am ready to do the things you need to do to lose weight too. I have about 20lbs that I put on with my first child that I would like to lose. I have noticed that making little changes are easy, just do what you can when you can. I am currently 9 months pregnant so I can't focus on losing weight right now, but I can learn how to eat healthier. I add more veggies and fruits wherever I can and by so doing I cut out other things I might snack on. It feels natural rather than a "diet". Good luck and keep it up, it feels so good to stick to something you've decided to do.

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  185. From the first day I saw you via your blog I thought what a beautiful women! Thanks for sharing your story, congrats and keep it up! You are such an inspiration! Hoping to catch someof your determination! Looking forward to meeting you at Snap! Hugs from Conroe, Texas!

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  186. Shelley you are absolutely amazing and I am SO PROUD OF YOU! This is AWESOME! I related SO MUCH to your post today and I'm so grateful that you were willing to write it all down. I have been overweight almost my whole life but lost weight my Senior year of high school/freshman year of college. Then after marrying my husband I gained A TON of weight (even more then I had lost) which really bums me out. This post is such an inspiration though and really makes me want to get back on track and LOSE THE WEIGHT FOR GOOD! Thank you so much for posting this and good luck on the rest of your journey!! :]

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