Oct 24, 2014

3 Year Journey

With tears, I post this.

In my heart I have so much thankfulness, and, am so grateful to Julie!

In my life, this transformation is nothing short of a miracle.

3 years ago today, I walked into Julie's office for the first time.  In tears, with great fear and doubt.  I was heading to an early grave.  I had given up.  I was well on my way to becoming bedridden, one of those people you read about that they have to take out a wall of the house to get them out.  I felt so helpless..., so lost, so misunderstood, WHY...

Then came my appointment with Julie:


I am not at my goal size yet, but I know, without a doubt, I WILL get there!

Oct 23, 2014

New Perspective

Have you ever given someone a compliment, say for example about the blouse they’re were wearing, and they immediately retorted with “This old thing? Look at the stain on it…” Moments earlier you thought it was a beautiful blouse and now all you can see is an old blouse with a stain. The blouse didn’t change—your perspective changed. When you look in the mirror or see photos of yourself, do you see the incredible transformation you’ve gone through or do you only see flaws? If the later is the case, it’s time to change your perspective. It’s time to see the new you.
Have I forgotten I used to be a size 30/32?
It’s time for me to change my perspective too. I had a fabulous dinner with a wonderful group of key friends last week and the next day I realized I had been harsh about how I looked in the photos.

Before dinner, I took selfies with two friends and then I leaned over to share the photos with them. That’s when my little mean girl (my internal self critic) first came out.

“I don’t like this photo.” I told Karen.

The next morning I started thinking about my little mean girl and I started writing…

Have I forgotten what my life was like three years ago when I was a size 30/32? Why would I ask others to look at my flaws? Do I really want validation that I’m flawed?

And who invited my mean little girl to dinner?

That’s when I realized—it was me—I invited my little mean girl. I’m the one who started the negative conversation. It’s moments like this that I remember why I took so many photos of myself along my weight loss journey and why I encourage you to do the same. It’s moments like this that we can look back and see how much we have changed. Look back and be in awe of who we are today.

I searched my computer for a photo of me when I was bigger and put it next to the one I told Karen I didn’t like. Looking at these photos, I reflected that there have been many times during my weight loss journey that I looked at photos of my larger self and thought, “I don’t know that woman.” I’ve also looked at current photos of me and thought, “I don’t know that woman.”

At what point do we let go of the larger self that we once were and embrace the self we are right now?

This exact moment is as good as any.

Choose to change your perspective: to live in the present moment. Stop looking back—see the wonder of who you are today. You are far more than a number on a scale or the size of your clothes.

It doesn’t matter if you’re just beginning your weight loss journey, still losing weight, or at you goal: stop being mean this moment.

Negative self-talk goes beyond ourselves—it projects onto others what we see in ourselves and encourages them to judge us as well.

What are we asking of others when we speak this way of ourselves? Are we asking them to join us in being mean to us?

Join me in embracing who you are today, in focusing on how great you feel right now, and in silencing your little mean girl (inner critic).

There is more to this group selfie than just me. When I step back and look beyond myself in the photo, I see that there aren't any mean little girls, there is just a group of vibrant women having fun.
Key-friends enjoying a night out.
That group selfie was just one moment in time at dinner with my wonderful key friends! There were eleven of us gathered for dinner and it was a lovely evening with a group of key friends who all have incredible stories of weight loss and transformation through the key program.
Nine key friends and our 6' 4' waiter.
You can read stories of weight loss transformations that these nine women (and many others) have made in their lives on this blog. It is my hope that in sharing our stories, you too can join us in your own transformation to a healthier body and mind.

Ask any one of us and we'll all tell you: If I can do this—so can you. You have to want to want it. You can do this!

Oct 9, 2014

Megan's Transformation

Megan's weight loss journey has taken her from a size 22/24w to a size 10/12. This isn't the only change in her life, not that her weight loss isn't incredible enough on it's own. Megan changed her attitude. She became an avid runner. Megan no longer suffers from acid reflux or the daily pain she had carrying so much weight. Megan makes time in her life to train for 5k runs and half marathons. Megan made this transformation while working full-time and raising her family. Here's a peak into her transformation...
Megan two and a half years ago and today
Megan
My journey began 2 1/2 years ago. For me, I changed immediately after that first session. The change wasn't physical; it was my attitude, that inner voice was singing a different tune for once! I actually had hope. I believed that I could do this. I didn't see a change in size for a good three months. I was OK with that.
Megan experienced more than physical changes - her attitude changed too.
Over the first year, I celebrated small victories:
  • No more acid reflux.
  • No more pain all day long.
  • Being able to paint my toe nails and cross my legs.
  • Fitting in a restaurant booth.
  • Fitting in an airplane seat and being able to fasten the seat belt.
All these things that skinny people take for granted – I could finally do!

Over the last year, I have not dropped a size. While I am disappointed, I have never wavered. I have had to think about what I have accomplished during this time since I haven't gotten any smaller.

Over the last year, I have run:
  • Five 5k's (3.1 miles)
  • Two 10k's (6.2 miles)
  • One 7-mile road race
  • Two half marathons (13.1094 miles) - I'm running the second half marathon this Sunday.
Megan before her 7-mile road race; August 2014
And I'm disappointed that I haven't dropped a size?  If I stay this size forever it will be OK with me. I have never been this active in my life and stuck with something for so long!


Springfield Biggest Loser Run - a proud moment for Megan.
I came home from my run this morning disappointed. I said to my husband "I was supposed to run nine miles, I ONLY ran 8!"

He looked at me like I was crazy.

I had just run eight miles and I'm not happy about it???

I needed to put this in writing to remind myself that I HAVE CHANGED – even if I'm not an 8 or a 10. 
I first met Megan after I finished the Hot Chocolate 5k Run in Northampton in December 2013. She recognized me from this blog and introduced herself. I asked her what size she was and she replied that she was a size 12. My response was "if this is how good a 12 looks, then I'm good with being a size 12!"
Megan and Theresa; Hot Chocolate Run December 2013.
Megan's change in attitude is one of the keys to her success, but this isn't something she did only once, she changed her attitude again and again along the way. Keeping herself in check and seeing where she was being too hard on herself was another factor in her success.
Theresa and Megan April 2014
Megan and her husband, who has lost 10 inches from his waist on this program, are running a 5k in early December. I'm training for this run as well. I'll meet them at the start line and then I'm on my own from there. This how this weight loss works too: some will finish sooner than others. This journey is not about how long it takes to reach your goal size - it's about reaching your goal size. This is not a race, but exercise will help you reach your goal sooner. Keep moving forward, stay committed, stay the course (on program), and you too will be a winner (reach your goal).

You don't have to run a marathon to lose weight, in fact you don't have to run at all, but exercise helps transform your mind and body. Find a form of exercise a part of your life helps tone your body. This is your journey and you get to choose what form of exercise works for you.

Oct 2, 2014

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted cauliflower? A whole head of cauliflower? This recipe has you slathering cauliflower in a spicy yogurt marinade and roasting it at a high temperature. The result is an amazingly delicious dish that’s as dramatic in presentation as it is easy in preparation.
Spicy Whole Roasted Cauliflower
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1½ cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° and lightly grease a small baking sheet with vegetable oil. Set aside.
  2. Trim the base of the cauliflower to remove any green leaves and the woody stem.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt with the lime zest and juice, chile powder, cumin, garlic powder, curry powder, salt and pepper.
  4. Dunk the cauliflower into the bowl and use a brush or your hands to smear the marinade evenly over its surface. (Excess marinade can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three days and used with meat, fish or other veggies.)
  5. Place the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the surface is dry and lightly browned, 30 to 40 minutes. The marinade will make a crust on the surface of the cauliflower.
  6. Let the cauliflower cool for 10 minutes before cutting it into wedges and serving alongside a big green salad.

Sep 30, 2014

Pistou

Pistou is an olive oil—based basil sauce from the south of France that closely resembles Ligurian pesto. Like its Italian twin, pistou can also be served as an accompaniment to grilled meats, poultry, fish and vegetables. I searched online for other ideas on what to do with pistou and discovered you can add it to soups; I included those instructions and a recipe for Pistou Meatball soup.
Photo © Quentin Bacon.
Pistou

There's only one way to make true pistou—by hand. Tear the basil leaves into pieces first, then grind the leaves against the side of a mortar with a pestle to puree them into a silky, creamy sauce. 

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  •  4 1/2 cups basil leaves, torn into pieces (2 ounces) 
  • 1/4 cup coarsely grated plum tomatoes 
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 cup finely grated Mimolette or slightly aged Gouda (3 ounce)
Instructions
  1. In a large mortar, pound the garlic with the salt to a paste. 
  2. Add the basil by the handful and grind the leaves against the side of the mortar until almost smooth. 
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, then gradually stir in the olive oil until it's incorporated. 
  4. Stir in the cheese and refrigerate until ready to serve. 
Above recipe and photo source: Food and Wine

Add Pistou to Soup
  1. Make the pistou first and let it sit around for a while, enhancing. 
  2. Put the finished soup in bowls and then add a dollop of pistou to it just before serving, releasing a fragrant aroma of basil and garlic. 
  3. Or just add the pistou to the pot after the soup has finished cooking and be done with it. 
Pistou Soup with Meatballs
Pistou Meatball Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of basil leaves
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 1 lb ground meat
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large leek, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 quarts water
  • 3 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 3/4 lb Romano green beans, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
Instructions

In the food processor or blender or mortar and pestle, make a thick paste with the basil leaves, garlic and olive oil. Add the Parmesan cheese and set aside.

Form small meatballs with the ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Saute the leek, garlic cloves and carrots in the olive oil until the leek slices are wilted. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, bay leaf, water, bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the meatballs and continue to simmer for about 20 minutes. Finally, add the white beans, zucchini, and green beans, cooking until the green beans are crisp tender.

Either add the pistou directly to the cooked soup or add a dollop to each bowl. Serve with shaved Parmesan.

Above recipe and photo source: Cooking in Sens. I modified this recipe to be key-friendly.

Sep 20, 2014

Eye on the Prize

Meet Kathleen. She's been following the Key Hypnosis Program for three months and she's had great success. Join Kathleen as she reflects back on her journey.
July 2013 vs July 2014
Kathleen
Three months ago today at this time I was one in a group of people being ushered in to begin our first session with Julie. I was hopeful that my life might change for the better, but I was a tad anxious that this too might not work.
I wish I could go back in time and reassure that version of myself. I'd tell her "your life won't just change for the better....YOU and your life will be forever shaped (literally and figuratively!) by what will transpire in this room."

Three months of no sugars; no grains, no fruits, no carbs, and most amazingly - no cravings.
Three months and I'm down three sizes and my current size is loose.
Equal to being pleased with the changes in my appearance is the change in how I feel: I feel more energized, more fit/spry, healthier.
I think my body is starting to trust me...is finally forgiving me for hurting it. 

Trust me folks....anyone questioning or struggling....if I can do this, you can too!
Eye on the prize!

Sep 19, 2014

Special Occassions

I met Barb when she first started the Key Hypnosis program. It's a year later and she has transformed from a size 24 to a size 12. Her weight loss journey has been inspiring for me to witness and I'm honored to share some of Barb's weight loss journey wisdom and photos.
July 2013 vs July 2014
 Lean in, as Barb shares what she's learned about handling special occasions:
When I started this program a little over a year ago, I thought I'd be done by now. I'm not, but I'm still going!

I also thought that once I reached my goal size, I would go through cycling [maintenance], and then I would eat out of the river on "special" occasions.
Sounds good right? 

Well in the past year, I've had lots of special occasions that I thought I should be able to eat off program! Holidays, birthdays, picnics, weddings, showers, parties, and the Big E. These special occasions, which only occur once a year or once in a lifetime, were the times I really wanted to go off program.
If I think about it, these special occasions happen almost every week!

I'm coming to the realization that even when I'm on maintenance, I'm not going to be able to eat sugar or carbs at every special occasion!
I think there are two things I need to start wrapping my brain around: 1) not every activity is a special occasions that needs to be celebrated with food, and 2) special occasions can be celebrated without food, even once I'm on maintenance.
Barb started in a size 24.
Barb is now a size 12.
Congratulations Barb on your incredible transformation and thank you for sharing with us!

Your statement "when I started this program a little over a year ago, I thought I'd be done by now" really resonated with me. I started a few sizes larger than you and I figured it would take me two years to reach my goal. It's been three and a half years for me and I'm not there yet either. I'm still going too! 

We're doing this program once and then we're done. We'll learn to cycle through maintenance and then live the rest of our lives at our goal size.

I'm going to pause right now and do the happy dance for the both of us!

Thanks for helping us to redefine special occasions! If I gave in on every special occasion along the way, I would have gone off this program so many times that I'd never be able to get back on.