Saturday, July 9, 2011

New Beginnings

 18 months ago...

I tentatively dialed the number that I had thought about calling a million times and practically had memorized.  I was so nervous - nearly sick to my stomach.  I had followed this woman's blog for months and just HAD to know what her weight loss program was all about.  She was so kind as I explained who I was and how we had met once before.  She was upbeat and positive and explained her entire program to me - including her success story of weight loss!  I told her I needed to think about it - doubting that it could really work for me the way it had for her.

January 2010-August 2010

Over the course of the next 7 months, I tried a fad diet and lost weight (and a TON of hair!).  When I decided I couldn't continue with the diet, I took up exercise.  I started walking, then running.  I really love to run.  But, when the photography business picked up, my priorities shifted and exercise went right out the window! 

From September 2010 to the end of April 2011 (7 months), I gained 75lbs!  SEVENTY-FIVE POUNDS, PEOPLE!  That's a child (a large child) - or a really unhealthy pregnancy!  Except at the end of my "term", all I had was a ridiculously huge and out-of-shape body and extremely low self esteem.  My eating was out-of-control and my lifestyle was completely sedentary.  I drove the kids from school (4 kids at 2 different schools picking up at 3 different times), to activities, to home - where I sat on my butt!

I cried.  A lot.  I wanted to be the happy person I have always been (despite my weight), but it just wasn't happening this time - I couldn't get past how horrible I felt about myself.  And it affected everything else in my life - marriage, family, church, school, photography - EVERYTHING!

I sat in a defeated heap (sobbing) on Mother's Day, telling my husband how unhappy I was.  To his credit, he wracked his brain for ways he could help me.  But as much as he wanted to fix me - it wasn't up to him to fix!  I had to make that decision!  All of my "unhappiness" stemmed from my feelings of self-loathing and failure! 

I picked up the phone for the second time and called that woman.  Once again she was very positive and asked me lots of questions about goals and where I wanted to be in 10 years.  I cried as I tried to picture myself living a healthy, happy life with my healthy family.  You see, we were living in a state of sickness - unhealthy foods, unhealthy lifestyle, unhealthy habits - and really, no one was thriving the way they should have been!

She told me, "It really isn't your fault and I'm going to teach you why."  We talked for nearly an hour and as I hung up with her, she said, "Trust me!  You can do this!" 

It has been more than 2 months since I started on this program and I can honestly say it has saved my life is so many aspects!  I feel better, I'm looking better, I'm exercising and have more energy than I've felt for a year!  I have lost 47lbs in just over 2 months!  In the first two weeks, every morning, stepping on the scale was like my birthday - full of surprises and a new beginning!

I have a LONG way to go, but I am committed and I believe in this program 100%!  I am already a success story!  I want more than anything to help others discover what I have found - IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT AND I'M GOING TO TEACH YOU WHY! 

Having tried every diet - seriously, every type of diet you can think of - I've done it or some version of it!  Dieting since the age of 10! 

This is the program that WILL change your life - and it is a LIFESTYLE change - this is NOT a DIET! 

I'm so excited and I believe so deeply in this program that I have decided to become a Certified Health Coach.  I'm learning, I'm teaching, we're working together for our success - JOIN ME!

I've got big dreams and high aspirations and I'll share those with you along my journey here - because for the first time in my life, I'm not afraid of failure!  I choose health - for me and for my family!

Please feel free to give me a call (541-999-2313) or email me ( if you want to know more about my program and how I can help you put it to work in your life! Don't wait 18 months like I did! Had I started then, I have NO doubts that I would already be at my goal weight and optimal health by now...hindsight, huh?

"Our health is our most precious asset, yet the daily choices most of us make directly conflict with our ability to preserve it.  Why?  Because the negative results aren't obvious right away.  Eating a cheeseburger today or bypassing the treadmill on your way to the couch won't cause a noticeable downturn in your health right away.  By the same token, choosing a healthy vegetable for lunch today or going to the gym once or twice in January won't create a noticeable improvement.  What will make a difference is choosing actions on a daily basis that support your journey to optimal health.  Over time, those choices make all the difference in the world - the difference between death and radiant health."

 This is the ONLY picture I could find of me from the last 6+ months!  It was taken in March.  It's horribly out-of-focus!  I'm here with the adorable Mindy Gledhill.

 I'm still taking pictures....lots and lots of pictures!

 This is me after losing 40lbs

 Front view

Yikes!  Kiss that behind goodbye!


Sweet Polly Purebred said...

Stephanie, you are so beautiful!

Melissa said...

Way to go girl! You CAN do this! Good luck with it all!

Beckstead Family said...

I don't know if it's something you would need or not, but you might also try the book "He did deliver me from bondage". Our stake down here in Grants Pass has got a course using that book as the manual and it is life-changing. Basically the woman who wrote the book struggled with her weight for many years before hitting rock bottom and turning to the scriptures and the Atonement to heal her from the inside out, instead of just trying another diet. It's a really great book and can be used for so many problems. Anyhow, just a thought.

Rebecca said...

Stephanie, I just love you, and I love that you know how beautiful and worth it you are to take care of your health! I could never imagine my beautiful friend struggling so badly with feelings about the person she is! I have secretly always wished that I could be as beautiful as you are. When someone is so beautiful on the inside as you are, it shines right through to the outside, casting away all flaws you may have outwardly! I am so happy for you and the journey you have begun only another thing to add to the beauty of who you are! Keep on inspiring Steph!


Love you so much...if you truly believe in this, maybe I should look into it...I too just puddle when I look at myself in the mirror.

Anonymous said...

Way to go girl. I too have started in a weight loss program. It stats out by taking a genetic test to see where your particular problems with food are based on your genes. I know I come from big, pioneer stock, and now I can make better choices in my nutrition and exercise.
Don't get discouraged. It took us awhile to get the lbs on and it will take some time to get it off. I'm reading a book called "The Slight Edge". It really breaks it down into looking at life and our goals into just making a slight difference evey day and big changes can come into our lives. I loved to hear about the program you are using. Maybe we can talk sometime

Anonymous said...

ooops - forgot to write my name in ny message!?!?!
Cathy Leishman

50 Toes Photo said...

Thank you everyone!

@Jennifer - I actually have that book! It was recommened at an enrichment years's still sitting on my shelf, unopened. I'll have to dust it off! Thanks for the reminder!

@Becca - Thank you for your sweet words - you always say the kindest things!

@Dawn - You know I love you! I'll give you a call sometime today!

Hi @Cathy! Thanks for the comment! Sounds like you are working towards optimal health too - doesn't it feel great?! I'd love to talk to you more about your plan and your goals! Let's chat!

Evan and Charitie said...

I have always found you to be such an inspiring person. You are so beautiful already and I'm so excited for you on your new journey. Here's to the new you. You already are amazing!!! :)