Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Meet Carmen -- My first 1 on 1 Ultimate Accountability Challenger

Earlier this month I announced that I wanted to choose ONE person to work extensively with that has more than 60lbs to lose. Someone who needs extra accountability…maybe even some tough love. Someone who has deeper issues with food. Someone who needs a friend to help them stay true to their goals.

I want to turn someone’s LIFE around.

Meet Carmen. She began one on one training with me on January 5th. I love this girl already. She is gorgeous, and SUCH a sweetheart. I can’t wait to see her story unfold as she works towards changing her life through heath, fitness, and inner transformation. 2015 is going to be the year she stops WISHING and starts DOING. 100%.

Would you like to follow her journey? Here is how she got to where she is now….

"My name is Carmen, I'm 28 years old and have two children ages 8 and 3. I am a full time biology major. I am also quite overweight, which makes both of the major roles in my life more difficult to carry out. For as long as I can remember I have had an unhealthy relationship with food. I grew up sneaking foods in my room and hiding the wrappers under the bed. I grew up a latch key kid who considered food my best after school friend. I grew up knowing that my accomplishments meant I got to eat somewhere special. I grew up knowing that when something sad happens to someone in your family, you bring them a pie and a bucket of fried chicken.

But, I did not grow up being fat. I was not a skinny child at all but I also didn't suffer as an overweight child being bullied. I think that as a result of this lack of consequence for overindulging myself, I went into my teenage years feeling invincible when it came to food. And I was finally free to eat. I didn't have to hide things in the house anymore. I could go and pick up my first dinner after school, and throw away the evidence in the parking lot so I could go home to eat another dinner with my parents. My Wednesday night ritual with my best friend was renting a B horror movie and buying ourselves a large pizza EACH at the local pizzeria, and cinnamon rolls for dessert.

When I was 18, I got married to my high school sweetheart who happened to have just become a marine. I honestly don't know now what I was thinking now, but at the time I thought it was love. A few short months after living 2000 miles from my parents I had rekindled my romance with food... Eating things so ridiculous and huge and gross I honestly am too embarrassed to share them. I was the latchkey kid again. Home with myself and my food most of the time and I thought it was glorious. But then I noticed that nothing fit anymore. And my new marriage was already fizzling out. I had gained 20 lbs. in just a few months.

And then, I got pregnant one year after I was married. That meant I could eat for two and feel zero guilt. And I did. I gained 115 lbs. while pregnant and I came away from the hospital 100 lbs heavier. My marriage was awful for three long years after I gave birth. I lost weight on prescription diet pills while he was deployed the whole first year of my sons life, hoping he would come back and love me and the "changes" I had made. He was unimpressed. I still wasn't as skinny as he would have preferred. And of course when I couldn't take the pills anymore, the weight came right back. I was then diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and the symptoms of that along with my weight and situational depression put the nail in my marriage's coffin. After my divorce, I spent some time trying to figure myself out... Tried to lose weight many times... I yoyo dieted and gained and lost numerous pounds.

Three years ago I was given the gift of my youngest child and my fiancé. Unfortunately along with those gifts has come me gaining weight, yet again. My fiancé is also overweight and although we are very happy, our weight gets in the way of that. My fibromyalgia symptoms are the worst they have been in years and I know it's due to being so overweight. Those symptoms affect my ability to keep up with my children as I would like to and my ability to easily succeed in school because I have ZERO energy. I have felt like I was drowning lately, just desperately needing a change but knowing that the things I've tried in the past will never work long term.

And then I saw my friend Lindsey post a status on Facebook that sounded like she was talking directly to me. She needed a person who required tough love and extra motivation and had more weight to lose than her typical groups. And I knew right then that I would fit that category perfectly. This is my change I've needed so badly.

And honestly, this is my life being saved. 

My life living with this extra weight is really not much of one at all. I'm so limited compared to what my heart desires to do. And that will change. I am focused and determined to work hard and do whatever Lindsey tells me so I can get my life back! I am the happiest I've ever been with my kids, school, and relationship. Now, how I feel inside will finally match that... And I'm SO ready. <3" - Carmen


CARMEN's Ultimate Coach Accountability Journey (start date: 1/5/15)
UPDATE January 15, 2015:

I absolutely LOVE coaching this lovely girl right here. She always has positive updates for me...even during her rough days, she ALWAYS finds the silver lining in every situation. She brightens my days heart emoticon

Right now, we are focusing on HIDING THE SCALE and focusing on clothes and the way Carmen FEELS as progress. We are weighing in every 2 weeks. Since she's starting a new workout, she is going to gain muscle which may (or may not) make the scale go up as her body is leaning out. For some reason that darn # on the scale can be so discouraging...so, we are hiding it!!!

It's only been TEN days, and as of last week (last weigh in) Carmen was 9.2lbs down in one week...and, now...clothes are fitting LOOSE!!!! woohoo!!!! GO CARMEN!!


TOO good not to share!!! CALLING IT NOW...this girl right here is going to WIN a BB Challenge CASH prize for her final transformation...this is only DAY TWELVE!!!! I am BLOWN AWAY!!!!! Go Carmen!!!!!

((We still haven't weighed in...staying away from the scale for 2 weeks!!)) grin emoticon SO EXCITING FOR HER I can't even stand it!!! 


Carmen update:  23.25 inches lost!!!


CARMEN UPDATE!!  Ultimate Accountability with Lindsey Westbrook

Day 23... Carmen used to be a size 2x and is now fitting into a size Large!!!



"This week has been super tough for me! I hurt my back last weekend (moving furniture), and had a really hard time working out. I had a test on Friday so I was pretty consumed with studying for that all week. I managed to eat really well to make up for any calories I wasn't burning during my workouts, not being able to really go for it like I usually do. BUT…

On Friday I feel I did very well on my test, concentration and memory were on point, which I have really struggled with the last few semesters. A result of fibromyalgia symptoms and poor nutrition I'm sure. 

And as I was walking to my car after class, I noticed I was basically having to hold up my pants. My first pair of pants to officially retire. They were hanging off of me! What is driving me to push forward: knowing that eventually I will be a normal size again... The prospect of enjoying this summer as a skinny girl! Lol feeling good... Playing with my kids.... Goals for the next few weeks: get back on track with exercise... Drink more water.... Retire more pants! Lol ….."



CARMEN 5 1/2 Week UPDATE:  Life Happens

"The last few weeks have been very difficult for me. I was swamped with school already... Then something devastating happened in my family... We lost a very dear family member. Mark was my moms cousin. They were very close, like brother and sister. So he was always considered my uncle. He was a kind man who always made me smile. So many of my fondest memories growing up were the times I spent with him and my cousins, laughing and going on adventures. Unfortunately in his last years he developed severe diabetes. I was very sad when he passed away last week, and this along with spending time with family (where there was no shortage of the wrong foods) caused me to get a little bit off course. I wasn't working out, and I was not focused on making good food choices. I struggled with guilt over this. But I realize that mark would have wanted me to push on. He would want me to be healthy. Diabetes is something that runs in my family on both sides. My parents are both pre diabetic. I know that I am at risk.... Which is why I NEED this lifestyle change so badly, and need to stay on track no matter what happens. It's taken a while to feel like myself again. But now I am back on track and really looking forward to making more progress. I know that I haven't made much the last few weeks. But I've finally gotten over the guilt and forgiven myself. It's okay to shift focus when it is needed. I needed to focus on my family and on school. As long as I never forget that if I don't stay on the track to health, I will not be able to enjoy those things and succeed... I am doing okay. I haven't forgotten, and I am going to make huge strides in the coming weeks! I am going to make my family and myself proud by taking charge of my health and progress. I want to thank Lindsey Westbrook for all her support throughout this time. It helped me get through everything." - Carmen 

And, I want to add...the journey of change is NOT an uphill battle. There are dips and turns and speed bumps. Getting back on track requires strength and courage. And, THAT ...is PROGRESS. Don't forget to feel proud of your accomplishments...they are a big deal!! 

And, through all of life's obstacles...Carmen STILL measured 9.5 more inches DOWN!!

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