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. ūüôā

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


Living a Daze of Motherhood Craze

tired mom

When my son was born 11 years ago I swear my brain fell out of my vagina. Yep. I said it. I was exhausted, I couldn’t focus, I was in a complete fog. It didn’t get any better with the second kid either. I thought this was how motherhood was supposed to be. This was my life now. I lived in a haze… a daze in the midst of motherhood craze.

So around week 2 of my new optimal health plan I noticed something different. Something totally crazy. Something amazing. I felt like myself again. My old self. My 11 years ago self. My BC (before children) self. My mental clarity had returned. The fog lifted. The haze and daze had vanished!

What was this craziness? This sorcery?! What’s the secret you ask? Diet. I had spent all those years abusing my body and not giving it what it craved. The haze? Yeah, that was my body begging for nutrition. Probably revolting against all the junk I had given it all these years. It’s amazing how quickly my body responded to the balanced nutrition I was now consistently giving it.

Are you in a motherhood daze too? I can help! Just ask.



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.



Finding a Friend in Weird Places…

When I was in the hospital the first time I was there for 2 days in the CDU while they found a bed for me upstairs. Once I was transferred to the 5th floor  I was placed in room 531 and had a nice window seat with a view.

When they moved a roommate in a couple hours later, a woman in her 50’s. ¬†I didn’t think much of her until her crazy started showing. I told her I was going to take a nap because my headache was pretty intense. This is when she decided to make a few phone calls. 9 total. Including one for a mani/pedi for Friday. Plus, to make matters worse she was a loud talker. You know THOSE people. I now knew more about Loud Lynn than I ever wanted to know from this hour of what was supposed to be nap time. She then tried to tell me that I was screaming,”Don’t hurt her!” in my sleep. Even though I wasn’t sleeping. She began complaining to Nurse Brian that it wasn’t fair that I could get around without help and she had a restricted diet. She was in tears and Nurse Brian told her to worry less about others and focus on herself (what a pro!). When a friend came to visit me with her young daughter she interrupted our entire conversation whenever she wanted to including at inappropriate times like when we were discussing my friends grandfather’s funeral the weekend before. Her comments were inappropriate and unwanted but we were kind to her none the less.

After the delusional incident I immediately texted my husband Nurse Brian’s direct phone number and begged him to to tell Brian to move me ASAP. I couldn’t deal with Loud Loony Lynn any longer. I was nervous about how the process would go down, but Nurse Brian is a total pro. About an hour later he peaked around my curtain and said, “oh Jill! We are going to need to move you closer to the nurses station because of the heparin you’re on.” I gave him a huge double thumbs up behind the curtain and mouthed “thank you” and said, “Oh, OK.”

That’s when I was moved into room 527, not a window seat but I didn’t care. I just needed a nap and someone normal. My new roommate was a young lady, pretty blond,¬†maybe 30ish. She had obviously been there for some time, she had a ton of flowers, balloons and plants on her side of the room. She had the prettiest blanket on her bed too which reminded me of the blanket that I had gotten for a birthday present that year from my coworker. Mental note, tell hubby to bring it next visit. She seemed normal but so did Loud Loony Lynn at first.

Quickly, I found out that her name was Amy. She had so many people coming in and out all day ¬†(poor Loud Lynn didn’t have any visitors). If she had this many caring people in her life I was pretty certain she wasn’t crazy and maybe this was a good change. It couldn’t¬†be worse than Loud Lynn.

The evening came and went, the next day I snooped and found her last name on her empty IV bag that was on the counter by the sink in our room. I stalked her Facebook page and found that we had 2 mutual friends, one nail tech and a mom of the kids’ friends. I said, “So Amy, I stalked your facebook page and we have 2 mutual friends!” I asked her how she knew the two people and discovered that we had so much more in common. She was also a singer, had worked in a nearby salon to mine, and knew many people from a local church that we also knew. Our friendship began to bloom in that very moment.

Amy was there for pancreatitis which was a result of her Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction. She’s been dealing with the dysfunction for over 14 years now. She was in a ton of pain and had a feeding tube since she couldn’t eat anything without pain. She had been there for over 40 days.

We got Campus Passes which allowed us to roam freely throughout the entire hospital, (IV poles in tow) including being able to go to the cafeteria and the outdoor courtyard for fresh air. We would go “downtown” (downstairs) and go to the “mall” (the gift shop) and to Starbucks for a latte. Anything that made us feel more “normal” made for a good day. We became well known downtown, enough that they stopped asking us for our Campus passes!


We introduced each other to our family and friends who came to visit. Some I got to know better than others like her parents and best friend who came almost every day. Some mornings I had to threaten some if they woke her up after a rough night the night before. We even got pedicures in the room together! We had become hospital bffs.

Here we are getting our pedis! #dormroom

On day 11 I had a feeling the next day I would be sent home. As much as I wanted to be home with my family I knew I would miss Amy terribly. We cried that night as we both sat in her bed and her dad prayed for us right then and there. It was confirmed in that moment that God had brought us together for a reason.


I was finally being sent home the next day, we said our goodbyes, and promised to stay in touch. I made sure her nurse knew that Amy was to have my IV pole with the cool tray/handle too (those things really need cup holders!). I was glad to be in my own bed and get uninterrupted sleep (no one to change the trash bag at 5am and roll the scale in to weigh Amy at 5:30am!). It was definitely weird being away from the hospital and Amy. We texted a lot and I went to visit her in “our room” the day after. We joked about me returning never thinking it’d actually happen. The next day some of my symptoms returned and there I was in the ER once again and guess who came downstairs to greet me?! Yup, Amy!

I spent a day in the CDU and 2 days in a room on the 2nd floor without a bathroom and a shower. On that third day I was still waiting to be admitted (or not!) and was able to get another Campus Pass (no one in that wing had ever heard of such a thing!). I snuck to Amy’s room to shower while we waited for the news. Her roommate had just been released and the bed was empty (there’s God working again!). We had already asked the floor nurses if I could get my old bed if I got admitted again. Amy wouldn’t let it go and really worked hard to make it all happen. Once we got the news that I had been admitted all the pieces fell into place and we were back together again in room 527!

It was business as usual for the next 7 days. We became closer and closer and thanked God for bringing us together. It was the day before Thanksgiving when we were both sent home but that wasn’t the end of our story. We see each other regularly and talk often. It’s never a dull moment with us. The #hospitalbffs!










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 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!


Loaded “Baked Potato” Soup – Pressure Cooker

I am on Day 5 of my new eating plan and I have been researching different recipes that are “on plan”. Tonight I got home late, hubby wasn’t feeling well and I hadn’t marinated the chicken for the recipe I wanted to make. I was desperate to find a recipe that I had all the ingredients on hand and I found one on Sandy’s Kitchen Adventures¬†and knew I had everything except the chives (no biggie in this household!).

Lately I’ve been experimenting with adapting recipes to utilize my Electric Pressure Cooker¬†instead of stove top, baking or even crock potting. Why? Because sometimes I forget to put dinner in the crock pot. Sometimes I just want to dirty up one pot. Sometimes I just want dinner to be done in less than 30 minutes (prep included!). My hubby will want credit for this aparatus entering into the Clark Household. It was my Christmas present year before last. Thanks honey!

So, here is my adaptation of Desinie Dunn Rushing’s recipe using the pressure cooker!


Loaded “Baked Potato” Soup – Pressure Cooker

Serves 4
3  12oz. packages frozen cauliflower,  or 2 medium heads of fresh cauliflower. (3 Greens per serving)
4 cups chicken broth (1 Condiments per serving)
8 wedges laughing cow light garlic and herb (1 Healthy Fat per serving)
Sea Salt to taste
1/2 tsp pepper (1/8 Condiment per serving)
2 tbsp or 0.5 oz 2% reduced fat cheddar cheese (can be used as an additional 2 oz or 1/8  Lean each serving)
4 tsp of Turkey Bacon bits (1/3 Condiment each serving)
If using fresh remove the leaves and thick core from the cauliflower and break apart the florets. Add the cauliflower and stock to the pot. Set pot to HIGH PRESSURE for 5 minutes. If using frozen cauliflower set timer for 1 extra minute.
Quick release the pressure and  remove the lid. Add the Laughing Cow cheese, salt and pepper. Use a stick blender directly in the pot (remember when I said I like to just dirty up one pot?!) or dump it all in a blender and blend for about 30 seconds or until smooth. Serve with cheddar cheese, bacon bits, and optional chives.
1/8 Lean, 3 Greens, 1 1/2 Condiments and 1 Healthy Fat per serving. Makes 4 servings



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!

One year later…

As the year anniversary of my Carotid Artery Dissection was approaching I had many feelings spring up.¬†I was feeling guilt because I knew many people would be curious to know how the last year has played out and I’ve been¬†bad about writing blog posts. I was feeling joy because my health has been improving tremendously but then feeling sad for those that have the opposite experience with CAD. Some have lifelong effects of this injury and some sadly die from it.

There are still many unknowns about CAD and in my case we still aren’t sure how it occurred. After looking back at my week that week I was fairly stressed with¬†several fundraiser events coming up, my mom visiting, some bad news for the chorus I sing with and was exercising 4-5 days a week. Two nights before I had spent about 4 hours cleaning and organizing the chorus storage room with a friend. I had been reaching overhead lifting boxes and bins. The day¬†after that¬†I went to Jazzercise and that’s when it all began with the headache and then wound up in the hospital the next day. I may have created the perfect storm for the injury to occur. We just don’t know.

I’ve had several¬†MRAs over the past year, each one drastically¬†improving from the last one and¬†thankfully the headaches have nearly come to a halt. I’m blessed to have a body that repaired itself quickly and¬†I’m thankful for everyone who helped me get through it and move on!


Pressure Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup


Who doesn’t love a warm and comforting soup in the fall?! Today was one of the chilliest days since the end of summer and when I saw a friend post this recipe from 77 Easy Recipes on Facebook this morning I knew chicken noodle soup was in line for dinner tonight!¬†Being a Weight Watcher there was no way I could afford to make that exact recipe so I came up with my own¬†non creamy¬†version.¬†Now, if you don’t have rotisserie chicken you can cook your chicken ahead of time on the saute function in your pressure cooker or bake in the oven.

One of my biggest complaints since I began this journey is trying to figure out how to make my food more flavorful without the calories or need for expensive fresh herbs on hand. Enter essential oils! I have been using my Young Living essential oils for 3 years now in many applications around my home and in my life but rarely in the kitchen. I’m completely obsessed with using my Dill Vitality Essential Oil for my cucumber salad! I decided to try my Thyme Vitality in this recipe and it didn’t disappoint. It totally¬†bumped up the flavor!

I am doing everything I can to eat clean so this is a rare occassion that I have pasta, it could be made without it and you’ll save 1 smartpoint per serving. If you like a creamier soup you could add a can of cream of chicken soup that will add 1 smartpoint per serving. Keep in mind canned soups add a lot of sodium and other questionable ingredients so I don’t recommend it.

I am new to the pressure cooker¬†lifestyle and think there is likely¬†a way¬†to cook the egg noodles in the pressure cooker but I took the safe route and boiled them on the stove. I do know that¬†the noodles will turn to mush if you put them in the pressure cooker¬†from the start.¬†I’ll update this recipe when I try adding the noodles after the 10 minute broth session.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes on high pressure

Servings: 6-8

Smartpoints: 3pts for 8 servings, 4pts for 6 servings


1T. Butter

1 large yellow onion chopped

4 celery stalks sliced

2 carrots peeled and sliced

1tsp salt

4-6 garlic cloves (though I always use more!)

2 32oz. chicken broth/stock cartons

¬Ĺ tsp. pepper

3 drops Young Living Vitality Thyme Essential Oil

1/2 tsp. dried thyme (mostly for looks!)

1 ¬Ĺ cups cooked rotisserie chicken chopped

6oz. egg noodles cooked

On sauté function melt butter, then add onion, celery and carrots and salt. Cook until softened then add garlic. Cooked until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add broth, dried thyme and pepper. Change function to high pressure and set time for 10 minutes. Quick release then add thyme essential oil, chicken and cooked egg noodles. Mix up and serve!