I got married today!

I got married today. For like, the 3rd time but this time it’s for REALSIES. It’s a long story but here it goes. We got engaged on one of Darren’s visits in from Michigan in 2005. We had planned a lovely wedding in my California hometown of Livermore for September 23, 2006 where I’d always dreamed of getting married. Ravenswood! I was so busy planning the wedding that I didn’t even realize that there was another plan for me for the next 9 months… Yup. I was pregnant. In November I moved to Michigan as planned but 3 months pregnant (not planned).

I had Blue Cross of California health insurance which ends 6 months after you move out of state so come spring I was going to have to purchase independent health insurance to cover me and the baby until our wedding in September. I thought, “this is silly.” We agreed that getting married now and getting me and our son on his insurance BEFORE he was born would be much smarter way to go. So there we were planning a wedding for February 24, 2006 in Darren’s mom’s living room.

1st wedding

Look at us all shiny and happy!

Darren arranged with his best friend Kurt to marry us. I bought a pretty new outfit for my 6 month pregnant belly, bought a bunch of purple tulips, bought Darren a shiny new tie and we said I do! I even had my mom and aunt on speakerphone in the room so they could “attend” from afar. After, my aunt said, “this is by far the weirdest wedding I’ve ever been to.” Indeed! We signed the all 3 marriage certificates, celebrated with champagne (sparkling cider for me!) and had some snacks. It was perfect!

2nd wedding

In September we had our second wedding in California. It was more of a renewal of our vows of sorts, some guests knew we were legally married already but many of them didn’t. It didn’t really matter to us, it was the celebration we had been planning for almost a year. Nolan was 3 months old and stole the show in his tuxedo. It was an incredible day spent with friends and family that we’ll never forget!

Fast forward 11 years when my mom asked for a copy of our marriage license for a change in the trust account that I had signed with my married name back in the summer. The original forms had been signed with my maiden name so the attorney requested our marriage license. We had no clue where it was. Somewhere in our house. We hadn’t seen it since our first wedding 11 years prior. We dug through the basement, bedroom, garage, office. Couldn’t find it. Our officient couldn’t find his copy either.

I gave up after a couple weeks and ordered a new one through the county website. 5 minutes and $15 later it was done. So I thought. 2 weeks later (and while in the hospital mind you) I received an email from the county that said, “We have no record of your marriage in Macomb County.  The note on the license said it was NEVER used.” Um. Yes it was. I have photos of us holding them!

Apparently the county never received their copy so it was never officially filed. This meant that we weren’t really married. Flashes of our lives, buying a house, cars, life insurance, filing taxes… all of it a lie! We were given an option to have 2 witnesses from that wedding to sign a letter saying we indeed got married. Before we could get those letters done and notarized I found our marriage license copy in a random box in our living room.

So today Darren made us official and submitted the license to the county so it can be officially filed. I had a 5 minute bachelorette party at the salon and we celebrated our 3rd wedding over a text message. Talk about a weird wedding! It feels good to finally be official! #truestory #nolongersingle


6 months in!

6 months into my new health program with a personal health coach and I am so close to my goal weight I can taste it! I’ve lost 43lbs since February (which makes for a total of 135lbs lost to date) and who know how many inches (why didn’t I measure myself?! Oh I know why. I thought this would be another program that wouldn’t work…) but I went from an XL/Size 16 to a Medium/Size 12. I have about 25lbs more to go to get to my initial goal weight of 160. Check this before and after out!


My non scale victories (NSV) have been probably more rewarding than the numbers on the scale.  My energy level has been through the roof, my mental clarity has returned after having kids and clothes shopping is actually FUN now!

I’ve been personally coaching about 25 clients with this program over the past few months and overall they have lost over 200lbs! I absolutely LOVE helping others achieve optimal health and feel incredible! My own coach has been such an integral part of my success and she has been such an incredible mentor and friend.

One of my favorite clients of course is my husband! He’s lost an incredible 40lbs and is seriously on a mission to relieve the pressure on his bad knees as he prepares for a knee replacement. He may have been the toughest client yet but I’m super proud of him!

I truly believe that this program has transformed my life. As I continue with my journey to optimal health I realize I will not be a “new” person as I reach my goals. Instead I am shedding layers of doubt, fear, and negative self talk that have existed for so many years. The more I progress, the more I am feeling connected to my true self. I hope you are too! If you’re not, let your journey begin today. Don’t wait another minute.


3 months in…

So a lot has happened in the last 3 months since trying out a new health program! Month 1 I lost over 10lbs, Month 2 I was at almost 20lbs shed and by month 3 I decided it was time to become a coach myself since so many people were noticing my incredible results and asking me what I was doing.  Here is my before and after for the first few months.

17880518_10154507627073097_735795765422978222_oIncredible right?!?! I had no idea how much my body had changed in that time since I look at myself every single day. This is why it’s so important to document with measurements and photos along your health journey!

My experience with the program and being a health coach has enlightened me in so many ways. I’m much more accountable and really want to be a good example for all my clients. I absolutely LOVE helping others achieve optimal health and feel incredible!

Are you ready to transform your body and mind? I can help! Email me at jillannclark@gmail.com and lets chat!


Week 1 Results!

Just completed Week 1 of working with a health coach and here are my results! I’m thrilled!


I stayed 99% on track (I snuck 2 bites of pineapple while cutting one up for the kids) and it was so easy. Eating 6 times a day has really made a huge difference.  I’m not starving at any given time.  Just when I’m starting to feel a little hungry it’s time to eat again!

I’ve loved finding out that a couple friends are doing the same plan, one is 4 weeks out (down 28lbs) and the other 6 (down 17lbs) which is super encouraging and helpful! This plan has an amazing community.

I’m really enjoying cooking hnew recipes (especially the “dupes” like this one) and can I just say that my energy level had kicked up about 26 notches?! On day 5 the fat burn kicked in and hasn’t quit since. I’ve slept better (as good as i can with a 3 month old puppy) and really have a lot more motivation to get things done.  I haven’t had this much energy since I had my kids over 10 years ago. That alone has been worth it!

Week 2, here I come!

My Silence Ends Now!

I’ve been quiet. Too quiet. I can’t explain myself. I shouldn’t have to. I’m an adult. However, I do feel sort of a sense of responsibility to my friends, family and followers. I’ve struggled for the last year to get back on track. I became bored of Weight Watchers but loved the sense of community it brought me. Some of the nicest people I’ve ever met sat next to me every Wednesday morning in that room.
It was a hard decision to cancel my WW membership. I hated making that phone call. I am however excited to have a new plan that I’m trying and will be journaling here about my experience and results.  I’ve maintained my weight loss for the most part, I’m still around 90lbs lost which is a feat in itself. I knew that I needed to shake things up a bit to get past the “Set point” in which my body has been in for most of my life.
Today is day 1 of my new plan and so far so good (I’ve been awake for 2 hours ha ha!). I’ve distracted myself with shoveling the 1 inch of snow we got from the driveway and walkways (some might consider that unnecessary, I consider it a mere distraction from the evil that lurks in my kitchen (left over pizza from last night).
I want to take a moment to thank all my friends and family who have supported me for the last 4 years through this journey and have reached out to me to say that I have inspired them in some shape or form. Or those that have met up with me to exercise at one point or another. It’s such a neat experience to have “followers” who have been inspired by my success but the pressure to keep it up can also be tough.
My original goal was to be at my goal weight by my 40th birthday. It’s in August. I now have 6 months to lose approximately 80lbs. While that may be a stretch, I plan to be as close as safely possible and really get down to business. Enough is ENOUGH!
Here is to a new journey, one that will bring fabulous to my 40th!


How do I spell that sound that screeching tires make? You know the one… That’s the sound I hear every morning when I wake up and realize I can’t exercise. According to my doctors I can, if I feel up to it I can do anything. I have a torn artery in my neck and they think it’s OK to workout?! I’m sorry but I think that’s a really bad idea. I’ve read other carotid dissection sufferers stories about how it took over a year to heal because they continued to exercise. I’m not interested in that at all. My healing comes first.

Isn’t it ironic? After 38 years of absolutely despising exercise I finally start to make the time to do it on a regular basis and 2 months later I have an injury that puts all of that on a back burner. Screeching tires. I never LOVED to exercise but after trying 6 different gyms/trainers/programs etc. I found a good groove of cardio and strength training that was tolerable and almost (do I dare say) fun?!? It’s cruel that it was all taken away from me with a single diagnosis.

My plan is to walk for now. No running. No cardio. No heavy lifting. Anything that increases my heart rate and/or blood pressure can’t help the healing process so it’s on hold for now.

Screeching tires again… I also have had to stop eating all my favorite vegetables because of the blood thinner I’m on. Vitamin K interferes with the effectiveness of Coumadin and therefore should be avoided. Because I am so resistant to Coumadin in the first place (I’m taking 3 times what a normal person takes), I can’t take any chances so I avoid anything containing Vitamin K. That includes all of my newly found favorites, like Brusselsprouts (have you had them sauteed in bacon fat?!), kale and spinach. Even seemingly harmless foods like blueberries, kiwi and chickpeas contain Vitamin K.

What a cruel joke this has wound up to be. I’ve lost 100lbs and am the healthiest I’ve been in my entire life and now I have to avoid everything that has gotten me there. Shhhhh, don’t tell my doctor that I snuck a single brusselsprout on Thanksgiving.

So Many Snubbies!

We get asked a lot why we named our new Boston Terrier puppy Snubby, I mean it is kind of a unique name. My dad’s side of the family has a long history of male Boston Terriers and they were all named Snubby. The first Snubby was born in the 1930’s and named after a Boston Terrier (though some say that he was a pitbull) named Sergeant Stubby who has been named the biggest war hero of his time. Stubby participated in 17 engagements and four major campaigns including those at Aisne-Marne, Champagne-Marne, St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne.

John Robert Conroy with Stubby, Ecommoy France 1919 (National Archives)

John Robert Conroy with Stubby, Ecommoy France 1919 (National Archives)

His story is so inspirational and can be found here with many more photos and watch a video here:

In 1933 hen my grandmother got the first snubby, she altered the name a bit when she got Snubby1 in 1930 and aparantly one year he jumped on the Thanksgiving table and ate an entire pound of butter which was quite the luxury during that time!

Snubby1 was born in 1930

Snubby1 was born in 1930

Snubby 2 came along in 1955 and was my dad and aunt’s childhood pet. My aunt Jocelyn remembers getting to stay home from school to pick him up. She went up to their school to show him off in a handsome red collar to her school mates. Snubby2 was very potective, he would go after my grandparents viciously if they tried to spank my dad and aunt. My aunt also said that Snubby2 also did not like her parents kissing. He would circle around them in an agitated state until they stopped… sometimes they did it just to get a rise out of him. Ha! Snubby2 also would circle the table when my grandmother would make anise cookies at Christmas. The cookies had to rise over night on the dining room table and the smell drove him wild. He never ate dog food, only table scraps and lived to the old age of 16.

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Snubby 2 as a pup, he actually looks quite a bit like Snubby6!

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Snubby2 with my dad and aunt as kids!

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An older Snubby2 with my dad who was about 20 here. Not really sure why he’s wearing heart pajamas…

Snubby3 was crazy. He was truly viscous and hated everyone. It was said that he even attacked a group of nuns and bit them! My grandmother tried everything possible to help him be normal, took him to many trainers to help but he wound up with a very early demise. My grandmother was heartbroken but then my brother and I were born, she and my grandfather moved to California and she got over it quickly. We unfortunately don’t have any photos of Snubby3 that we know of. 😦

Check back for photos and stories about Snubby4 and 5 soon!