Health, Weight Loss

No Rain, No Flowers 🌻

Seems appropriate for this rainy Michigan morning to share the quote “No rain, no flowers.” Call me crazy but I actually adore the rain. The smell, the sound… I don’t however enjoy being wet so I prefer to enjoy it from inside. I remember as a little girl sitting on our avocado green sleeper sofa staring out the window at the rain. The harder the better.

I know it’s an inconvenience to many. This morning I had to drive my daughter Violet to the bus stop because it was raining so hard and the sidewalks were flooded. I also noticed that our gutter was overflowing and washing out our flowerbed. In the grand scheme of things it’s just water. I can fix the flowerbed. Violet will dry. I mean, her name IS a flower so some rain might have done her some good right? Ha!

There are seasons of life that it may rain a lot, and even seem like the storm is relentless. Honestly, I’m in one of those storms right now. I’ve fought with depression and an anxiety disorder for much of my life. I get panic attacks out of the blue and thankfully I can manage it pretty well. I can’t pinpoint what the exact cause is but I know that stress is a big part of it. This time of year is crazy busy with end of the school year, camping season beginning, company coming and going and our kitchen remodel has been a huge source of stress as well. When it rains it pours right?!

Sometimes the uncomfortable things in life are there to teach us lessons because to go through a change of habit, we need to feel uncomfortable.

— Mo Seetubtim

A life without discomfort, inconvenience or struggles would teach us nothing. Use that discomfort to motivate yourself; to become more determined, work harder, and succeed. Frederick Douglas said, “If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.” Would you want a life that went 100% as planned and perfect all the time? It’s my belief that you cannot achieve success without hard work, mistakes, plateaus or failure. Or all of the above.

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I love this graphic that shows what a true weight loss journey looks like. My journey to lose half myself (165lbs) was not a straight line. I still have the ups and downs. The emotions are a crazy roller coaster and in my experience with helping others in their health journeys I’m not alone on this ride. I love that I have an amazing community of like-hearted people that share in the struggles on the path to optimal health. We support each other like it’s our job (well it IS my job LOL) in both rain and sunshine.

Flowers don’t grow without rain. It’s no surprise that we need rain to survive and thrive. Flowers see rain as a life-breathing opportunity. They can’t control how little or how much rain comes; they can’t change their roots. They don’t stress about the unknown. They just do their thing and bloom right where they are planted. Why aren’t us humans the same way?

When it rains, let it pour into you as an opportunity for growth. When your sky of life opens up absorb as much as possible and let it cleanse and heal you. Allow it to hydrate your soul, wash away all your fears of failure and help you to flourish.

Since my surgery I have struggled with my own personal health. I don’t weigh myself often but I can feel the heaviness in my body, my clothes are tighter and I just don’t feel good. I know what I need to do. I have all the tools I need to snap out of this funk. I have amazing support with my health coach, husband, friends, and family. Today is the day that I stop letting the rain relinquish life and take back my health!

When rainfall hits your life this week, how can you use it to your advantage? What is your personal action plan for growth, regardless of any unexpected interferences? I challenge you to look for the opportunity to make positive changes in your life to bloom.


Surgery, Uncategorized, Weight Loss

The Surgery

I realized about a week prior to surgery that our kids, who are 10 and 12, had been hearing us talk about “the surgery” for months. They’d watched me food prep for weeks but I wasn’t even sure if they knew WHAT I was having done. We sat them down one evening and just asked, “Do you know what surgery I’m having done?” Our son Nolan thought long and hard about it and said, “Your wrist?” It made me chuckle a little because I hadn’t ever complained of wrist problems but made sense considering I’ve done nails for 26 years. Nail technicians are prone to wrist issues.
I gave it to them straight. Giving them all the details but in ways that they could comprehend and not scare them at the same time. I explained that when you carry excess weight for a lifetime and have big babies (Nolan was 10lbs 1oz and Violet was 9lbs 5oz) that the stomach muscles stretch out and don’t return, it’s very uncomfortable and the only way to fix it was surgery. I never wanted them to think it was their fault so I took most of the blame for mistreating my body for so many years. They remember me at my heaviest and have seen me shrink to half my size and their father lose over 100lbs too. I ensured them that it was a safe procedure and prepared them for the pain I would be in. They understood I would need help standing up at first but it would get easier with time and I’d be better in time for camping season!
My husband Darren had a total knee replacement 8 weeks prior so they were already familiar with the drill. They were so amazing during that time. They were so patient, helpful and understanding. We did a household bootcamp of sorts training them to do their own laundry, empty and load the dishwasher, clean the litter boxes etc… I know, I know, all things they should have been doing anyway. We are less than perfect parents.



Our kiddos have been great through the last 2 weeks and have been super helpful once again and they’ve let me rest. I think our pups have taken it harder actually since they can’t be in our bed until I’ve healed a bit more. “The surgery” has been a roller coaster so far, but so far it’s worth the pain and frustration. I look forward to feeling more comfortable in my own skin and certainly don’t miss the skin infections under my mommy flap!

Health, Weight Loss

Hello Fat Pants.

I was doing some reorganizing in our basement this morning when I came across a huge unlabeled box (the horror!) and discovered it was all “before” clothes. I hate even using the word “fat” when referring to my former self. It isn’t a kind word in any context except when referring to food. I’m all about being kind to myself and others and all but when I see photos of my former self I see a fat girl. A sad girl.

So when I rifled through the box this morning not only did I find my “fat pants” but I also found maternity clothes that I had been wearing because they stretched in every which way to accommodate my growing body. I knew other moms that continued to wear them years after birth who didn’t even have a weight issue so I didn’t see a problem. (So there!)

So when I held up said “fat pants” I first asked myself, “was I REALLY that big?!” Yup. I said, “Hello Fat Pants. We meet again.” This time we met in a totally different context. I recalled that these particular pants while they had a tag that said 26W I was indeed a 28W. I Just had refused to go up yet another size. I wasn’t even sure where I would find a size 28. That was the moment that I knew I had to make a change. A healthy change for my husband. For our children. For MYSELF.

I had fun this morning snapping photos of my now size 10 frame in my “fat pants”.

As I type this I am still on the journey for a healthy weight. I’m 20 pounds a way from a goal I never even dreamed of. Finding the “fat pants” has confirmed how far I’ve come in my own journey. I’ve lost 151lbs which is a whole person! I’ve also helped over 80 people achieve better health and release over 1300 pounds! Holy cow, that’s almost as much as an average cow! (can you tell I’ve been having fun using this cool website??)

I wish I had a photo of me in my “fat pants” but I did everything to avoid the evidence. Though, in that image I would have seen a beautiful sassy diva just screaming to get out! I’m so glad I released her. Saved her life and in turn saved myself.

Goodbye Fat Pants.


If you or someone you know are in need of a life changing health intervention please don’t hesitate to share this post and let’s connect. I am living proof that it’s possible! #h2oUw8n4

Health, Weight Loss

I’m THAT girl…

When I was 321 pounds I remember looking at THAT girl… the one who wasn’t skinny. The one who could stand to lose 20ish pounds. She’s healthy but not fit. You know, THAT one. The one who in my judgemental mind I could find 15 flaws with but I envied her body (I didn’t even selfishly find the perfect body). I wished I could trade with her, flaws and all just so I could make the weight disappear.

This occurred most of my life when I gave myself a moment to think about it. To really think about how miserable I was. I tried not dwell on the negative 99% of the time because really, it got me nowhere. Many people comment today about how my personality hasn’t changed much, I was happy then and I’m just a little happier now. I have a glow about me. I have to agree!



My positive attitude certainly got me through many weeks of little scale gains throughout my journey. A gain on the scale meant a gain in knowledge for me though. A gain in self awareness, a gain in strength and a gain in motivation to do better the next week and continue on.

So now that I am to the point where I realize I AM THAT GIRL. The one I was jealous of. I’m THAT GIRL with 20ish pounds to lose… the one with 15 flaws that someone may wish they could trade for to make the weight disappear. I would give it to them in a heartbeat and even keep the 15 flaws (let’s be honest I have about 1500). Although it’s physically impossible to do it I am thrilled that as a Certified Health Coach I can help! The relationship begins as a coach/client relationship but turns into something so much more that includes a physical and mental transformation and best of all HOPE. The hope that they will become THAT girl (or guy!) too. 🙂

If that’s YOU let’s talk about it. It’s completely confidential and doesn’t cost a cent to just hear what I have to offer. I can be reached at 586.549.6224 or by email

Weight Loss

I’m a Loser

This week I achieved my biggest weight loss goal yet. It didn’t come without it’s challenges. For the last 5 months I’ve been in a plateau and it’s been the most frustrating experience, especially since I was within 5lbs of the 100lb goal all that time. Starting this blog put a little fire under me for sure. I’ve been much more health conscious with my food choices and I’ve been exercising regularly. Everyone has noticed my body changing but because the scale wasn’t budging I couldn’t really recognize it myself. I’m pretty sure I’ve been building muscle and burning fat which is ideal!

So on Wednesday I went to my regular 10am Weight Watchers meeting not expecting to have lost enough to be even close to 100lbs lost. I stepped up onto the scale and thought to myself that I should have peed first (as if that would have made a difference!) When Enola told me that I was .4 away from that giant goal I’d had in sight for 5 months I was in shock. She told me to take my necklace off, I complied and also took off my glasses and wedding ring. I was still .1 away and the bathrooms were out of commission. I walked over to Tim Horton’s next door and squeezed out everything I could and returned back to the scale. My heart was pounding with every step back. When I stepped up on that scale I had very little confidence that I’d make it that day. I immediately pictured it taking weeks more since this holiday weekend was going to be a challenge.

She looked up at me and told me I had done it. I had lost 100lbs in exactly two and a half years. That’s about what my two kids weigh combined. It’s unbelievable how amazing I feel now compared to that first day I started this journey. When my leader Jen called my name and gave me my award signed by Florine I bawled like a baby. Everyone in the room stood up and clapped for me. I bawled even harder. That moment was one of the happiest of my life.

Many people before me have lost 100 pounds faster than me, but I’m OK with that. I did it my way and discovered so many things about life, food, farming, nutrition, exercise and myself that enables me to share it all with you and inspire others. What you others don’t know is that you inspire me. You give me the courage to keep moving, keep sharing and keep inspiring to be a healthier mom for my kids and for myself. Thank you to all who have supported me, taken the time to congratulate me or shared with me how much I’ve inspired you. YOU are truly my inspiration!

Weight Loss

I Ate Ice Cream

I ate ice cream. I did. There’s no fun photo here because it was gone before my eyes. I’m not ashamed to admit that I ate the ice cream or that it happened more than once this weekend.

While shopping for our camping trip this past week I bought ice cream bars (6 count cookies and cream drumsticks!) for our 3 kids with the intention of them each getting one on two of the nights we were there. The minute it made it into my cart I had already decided that one of those was going to be in my belly that weekend and we were going to have a numbers problem later.

We arrived at the campground Friday night and went to bed almost immediately but come Saturday those drumsticks were calling my name. I told the kids that after lunch they could have ice cream. I knew I was giving myself permission to eat one too since my hubby wasn’t there to witness it (he had to run into work that afternoon). Dang, it was yummy but uh oh… Now there are only 2 in the box. 3 kids, 2 ice creams. See? I knew there would be a numbers problem if I gave into that darn ice cream. I called the hubby, confessed and told him he’d better get more.

When he arrived with a 12 pack of ice cream sandwiches I knew I was really in trouble. 12 is almost limitless to this fat girl! The next day I gave the kids an ice cream sandwich after lunch again and once again gave myself permission to have ice cream. I deserved it right?! “I ran twice while on vacation so I worked it off!” I told myself.

Then the third ice cream came into play, there were 2 adults and the limitless box of ice cream sandwiches. Even our daughter suggested we have to 2 drumsticks left! There… the permission I needed! So I ate it. Ugh.

I’d done so great getting sugar out of my diet at the beginning of the year that I’m disappointed in myself but realize I can’t be perfect all the time. There will be times that I will allow myself to give in and enjoy something off plan for a special occasion. I just can’t say that me waking up today is a special occasion. Everyday! If you slip, don’t beat yourself up. Also, don’t give up and eat the “what’s the use cake”. Just pick yourself up agree that what’s done is done and move on!

Weight Loss

But you don’t look healthy…

I know what you’re thinking… “Boy, this person doesn’t exactly look like the image of health.” You’re right. I don’t.

If you take this photo into consideration though, I do.

This is me at 321 pounds. I had been pushing a size 26 jeans and was winded walking my kids to the bus stop 6 houses down. I was killing myself.

So 2 years later, I’d lost 90lbs using WW points plus plan. (Read more about that journey soon). Now, I have been struggling for the last 6 months to get more off. I realized that while I was still “on program” and within my points I wasn’t eating very nutritious. At all. That’s when it hit me, like a ton of bricks.

Albert Einstein once said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” I really needed a new way of thinking! You know how facebook has the ability to give you more information than you EVER imagined? Even things that you didn’t know you cared about? Like that cute dog video, (awwwww) I don’t even like dogs! Well, my good friend Cyndi had posted a few times about Whole30. When I reviewed the information about the program on their website ( I said, “NO WAY!” I could NEVER give up bread and sugar! And beans?!? What!? No. Nuh uh. Nope.

I love this quote from local Michigander Henry Ford, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Yup. Not only did I need a new way of thinking, I needed a new way of doing. So there was my crazy friend Cyndi posting about whole30 again just before the new year. Crazy… I thought maybe there is something to this thing.

On our way to a New Year’s party I reluctantly brought it up to my husband which unbeknownst to me had been doing research on Paleo for some time. He was in. Just like that. We began January 5, 2015 and here are my first whole30 results.

I lost 3 pounds which really doesn’t sound like much but I lost nearly 7 inches. I was thrilled! I could see the minor changes in my body (like my neck and back) which got me fired up for more. We’ve been Paleo ever since and I can’t wait to share more about why we’ve made that decision in future posts!

It is my mission to lose the remaining 80lbs that I have to go and take ya’ll along with me on this journey of finding balance in our family with nutrition, food exploration, exercise and fun!