My Journey for Strength

A picture tells a thousand words. These aren't before and after pictures, because I have yet to reach my after. I'll tell you a little bit how I got to where I am, after the pictures.

March 2008                                             July 2011
189.5 #                                                       137.5#


Birthday Pic
The 40's aren't looking to bad. Physically.

2013. 50. Not happy with the birthday, or the body. 
But...still strong. That's something.

*Heaviest 2008: 189.5
*Update 8/4/10: 150
*Update 11/15/10: 148
Talked with trainer. Not focusing on scale weight. Focusing on TIGHTENING
As of 11/15 reduced inches (yes, plural) on core.
*Update 3/1/11: 139.5 (**50# lost total**)
*Update 5/13/11: 134.5 (Pre-vacation!)
*Update 6/21/11: 138 (motivation sunk May - June)
*Update 8/6/11: 136
*Update 6/2013 It was downhill (or up hill since the scale climbed) from here. No more talking numbers.

2011 Goals:
  • September 2011 - The Warrior Dash *Update..shoulder has been worse - again!. I may have to skip the dash this year because climbing and crawling would do me in...dang.)
  • 1 year with trainer mid October. Doing countdown until the finish...because I want the 1 year after pics to look amazing. 48 final days of diet/workout compliance. Let's see what this gal can do!!
  • New Strength for the Journey; Forging Faith and Fitness website
  • Personal Training Certification by January 2012
  • Plus one unspoken summer goal. *Update - obtained this goal. Learned that with focus, determination, and boldness, you can get what you least with some goals.
Long Term Goals:
  • To be lean and strong, i.e. to be tight and defined FOR LIFE.
  • To continue to use my passion for forging faith and fitness to encourage and empower others to create strong and healthy bodies for Christ.
  • Pray for a life companion to partner in this endeavor.
  • Find joy and learn how to keep it.

 Prescription for my success:

June 2008 - December 2008
No snack foods in the house.
Slim in 6 beachbody video series.
Weight Watcher's type of diet (but not exactly).

Introduced to P90X. Got up at 5 am to do various cycles of this beachbody video series. Began to see significant results. Walked into a Muscle Max store and began my introduction into supplements. Told the young (and complentary) salesman, when he assured me I wouldn't get "muscular" like a man, that if I was going to go through the work lifting weights I sure as heck better gain some muscle size and definition. I wasn't in this to be "tone". 

Hit a plateau. Joined the YMCA and added cardio in the form of Zumba. Weight started dropping off.
Discovered Tosca Reno's clean eating (via Oxygen Mag...and also discovered figure bodybuilding...hmmm there are a lot of women who want to be strong and feminine.)
Redicated a spare room to a workout room (I considered using the "dining/living" room since it is pretty much unused space these days, but then I'd have to buy curtains for the front windows). I bought a Body Solid home gym when I bought the house, and I added:

2 sets of dumbbells with more than enough plates than I'll be using for a while.
1 10# set of DB (for pesky shoulder work...)
Stability ball,
Incline bench (room's not big enough for a rack or bar.)
Mirror. Fan. Music.
And, for sanity (and because I have always wanted one) I bought a punching bag and gloves. It's in my family room though for anytime I feel like punching something.

October 2010
Hit a plateau.
Needed some expertise, encouragement, and accountability so I hired a trainer.
Created a bodyspace on, and joined a body group of other 40 plus'ers which adds encouragement and accountability, and makes me realize I am not the only woman who wants to be strong and sexy in her forties.
Created Forging Faith and Fitness FB page. Keeps me grounded and focused, and is introducing me to some other great, like-minded, individuals.
Carb cycling begins. Don't particularly like it (miss my carbs!) but it has kicked me off my plateau and I am tightening up!
Enrolled in Personal Training Certification course.Not sure where this will take me, but will help with my personal education, as well as give my blog and FB page fitness and nutrition credibility.

Success in the gym. Lost weight. Tightened. Lovin' the strength.
Nutrition motivation flagged May - June.
Working on personal training course.
Creating website to complement Strength for the Journey; Forging Faith and Fitness FB page.
Break from personal blogging following some personal setbacks.
Transforming this blog to more fitness, less faith.

Met a guy. Fell in love. And suddenly I didn't need my refuge.  Gym time went from 6 days a week to 3 days a week.  Cardio, never my strong suit, dropped to 2-3 times a week.  Weight soared.  Went from 143.5 ish in December 2011 to the mid 160s.  I am embarrassed, ashamed, pissed off, disappointed in myself, and yet I am so much happier.  Not happier with my health or weight, but happier.

Goal - find a balance. Lean and strong and happy.

I have let my body size take over my life. Cranky, tired, and still too heavy to be healthy. The anger (at myself, at my lot in life as a woman, at my age, at my metabolism, at my chronic shoulder pain) overshadows the blessings I've been given. Still looking for that elusive balance.