The Free-Weigh: Andre’s Story

1st Degree of Freedom

Wow! Wowwwww! This picture was taken last New Years at my Brother’s wedding.  Since this picture was taken I’ve rounded out even more and have gotten even more un-athletic.  Yes the guy to the right is me!  Talk about motivating!  Yesterday, I actually recognized that I’ve got to get in shape and start making healthier choices.

Funny about 10 years ago on my first assignment with General Electric I had an opportunity to meet a person that would later become a great friend.  On that trip I remember asking my soon to be friend “So when did you lose it” he laughed slyly and said “live a little and ask me that question in 10 years.”  Well as you see my time has come and I looked back and laugh, man I just lost it.

My apologies, the “It” reflects the amount of weight gain.   I’m actually the gentleman on the right.


Height    6’2”

Weight   266

Waist      40 something (42”)

My post will highlight my goal to lose 40 lbs utilizing traditional methods of exercise in an unconventional ways or in a “Free Weigh”.  Following a rigid diet program and stale exercising program gets boring.  I would like to use this opportunity to show how being active can help transform you back to the gold ole days.

Recognizing that I’ve gained weight and need to get shape is liberating and now the fun begins…….

Stay tuned


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Body After Baby: Michelle’s Story

There are some things that can’t be controlled. Whether it rains, if you give birth to a boy or a girl. And stretch marks.

The body I have after three babies is much different from the body I had before them. At first it was a lot to accept. The ill fitting pants and having to pick up a size large shirt instead of a small threw me for a few years. At some point I decided that my body bore the evidence of carrying babies and I had to be alright with that.

My three girls

Somehow that acceptance turned to complacency and my weight climbed higher and higher. What once was a every now and again treat (chocolate…my nemesis) became an every day thing. I stopped caring about the types of food I put into my body. Fast food, processed and sugary foods, soda was the norm.

And I paid dearly for it. I am still paying for it.

My pregnancies were rough. I had gestational diabetes which is basically just a precursor for diabetes later on in life. I took insulin and had to control my diet. That more or less led me to clean eating.

My sister (Life After 30) loaned me the book Eat Clean by Tosca Reno that changed my life. I read the book in one night, devouring the knowledge. It was so easy that I was astounded that it had never occurred to me.

For about six months, I ate clean, exercised and then ran a 5k. I felt the best I had felt since highschool. It was incredible.

And then I found I was pregnant with my youngest daughter (now 3 months old) and moved from Philadelphia to Florida and eating clean flew out the window.

Now that I’ve given birth, I’m ready to take back my body. I have decided that eating clean worked for me before and that’s what I plan to do again. It’s not easy to turn down that Big Mac and Fries or to say no to that giant box of turtles my husband brought home today, but it’s worth it.

5’6 – 176lbs
Busting the Gut!


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Body After Baby: Off and Running

I’m off and running. But so in the wrong direction.

Today Big Mac’s were buy one get one for 1 cent and my husband came home with these:

Trouble in a box


If there is one thing in this world that I love almost more than I love my children, it’s turtles.

In case you don’t know what turtles are, I’ll explain.  A turtle is a delicious confection beginning with nuts, usually pecans, but in my case cashews, covered with a soft caramel and then covered with chocolate.

You see my dilemma?

These things are big time trouble and in no way part of my Eat Clean diet. But that’s okay because I haven’t yet started my Eat Clean diet. With a 3 month old, a 4 year old and a soon to be six year old, all home for Christmas vacation, I haven’t yet made it to the grocery store.

All of that to say, that though I have started working out at the Y, I have yet to begin eating clean. I’m going to take a note from my sister (Life After 30) and rid my pantry of anything unclean (i.e., processed) and then hit up the grocery store and stock up on the good stuff.

I know that there will be temptations.  I know there will be days when my husband comes home with gigantic boxes of chocolate or when the drive thru seems easier than turning on the stove but I know that eating clean is something I can do. I’m ready. No more excuses.


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Slow Cookin’

I made a goal to cook more.  I have so many reasons why I don’t cook.  Being too tried being the main one.  I made a point to try some new paleo slow cooker recipes.  I figured if I spent 10 minutes prepping dinner the night before, I could come home to an already prepared meal.  (Just remember to take the Crockpot out of the refrigerator and turn it on in the morning! Something I totally did this week.)

I’ve tried four new recipes this week.  Two of which weren’t very successful in the fact that I really didn’t like the taste of the veggies in them.  Ended up just picking the meat out of the pot and adding it to salads and steamed veggies instead. But I am still proud of myself for trying something new.

However there were two recipes that I loved.  A beef stew that I made up with things I had on hand and I forgot to take pics of and this:

Marvelous Meatballs


I did make some changes; I halved the recipe and used seasonings I had on hand.  AndI used a jar of organic marinara sauce from Martins’.

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My Way: The Paleo Way

So this all began because I came across the book by Gary Taubes, Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It.

The point of the book was to give the research into the best diet for humans, turns out it is a lower carbohydrate diet.  He mentioned in it the Paleo Diet which lead me The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain, Ph.D.

I read this book from the cover to the end.  I was hooked.  I decided that because of my family history of diabetes, this was the perfect lifestyle for me.  Over the holiday break I read everything I possibly could to get ready for the change.  I found many great blogs and articles.  Before heading home I stocked up at Trader Joe’s and Martin’s.  Then I did something I’ve never done before, which was completely clean out my fridge and cabinets of all non paleo foods.

Take a peek inside my stocked fridge:

Eating all organic costs more but I already feel a difference.  I’m not craving sweets as badly or wanting to snack late at night.  But it still is the first week.  Old habits die hard.  So far I can only say good things about eating the paleo way!  Anyone wanna join me?


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Life After 30: Kim’s Story

I’ve never been what one would consider skinny.  My ultimate goal isn’t to be skinny.  The ultimate goal is to get to a healthier weight and live a healthier lifestyle. I want to be active and look good and feel good in my own skin.

I remember always being “solid”.  However, I always wanted to be skinny, like my sister.  No one ever compared our sizes but they would make comments around me about how skinny she was.  So deep down it hurt and I thought they were telling me I was fat since she was so skinny.

I can’t remember my first “diet” but I can remember making elaborate plans for weight loss but never following through and being successful with my efforts.  So I just settled and lived with the weight.

Eventually, I left for college and managed to lose some weight during marching band season.  But it always seemed to creep back on over the school year.  My junior year in college I lost 30 pounds by running with the band while we trained for a Mardi Gras parade.  I felt so great about myself.  I felt confident and beautiful.  Even at that the time I still wanted to lose more.  I managed to keep the weight off through the rest of college. But then I started my first job after graduation.  I sat for eight hours a day and began to prepare my own meals.  I ate a lot of processed foods and got zero exercise.  Within months all the weight crept back on.

Two years after college I had my first child and quickly became pregnant with my second child.  I gained about 30 additional pounds between the two pregnancies and was able to lose 15 pounds.  In the three years since the birth of my last child I regained and lost the same 15 pounds several times.

The problem lies within my motivation.  About a year ago I discovered healthy living blogs and wanted to make a change but couldn’t get motivated.  I have finally just made a commitment to do something about my health and weight.  I’ve read several books, and I have a gym buddy lined up.  This is the time I WILL be successful.  My blog is meant to be a motivation and accountability tool for myself and if it helps others than that would be great as well.  I have less than two years before I turn 30 and I want to enter the next decade of my life looking and feeling the best I ever have!

Edited: So, I wrote all of that over a year ago.  I’ve got about 6 months until I turn 30.  So I still wasn’t successful but I did manage to gain more weight.  Only this time this blog now includes my entire family!  We are starting this blog to encourage one another on our different weight loss journeys and goals.  I really feel this time I will be successful because I have so much support behind me!

Previous Starting Photos
June 2010
Side View
These pictures are old I was probably about 229.  Add about 18 pounds and much longer hair.
June 16, 2010:  229
February 21, 2011: 234
March 27, 2011: 240
April 9, 2011: 235.5
January 2, 2012:247.5
January 9, 2012: 236.5
January 16, 2010: 236
January 23, 2011
Waist: 45″
Bust: 47″
Hips: 44.5″
Left Thigh: 27″
Left Arm: 16.5″

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Family Affair

We all may approach it differently, but we have the same goal: weight loss.

Follow us as we count points, eat clean, Paleo diet and do it our own way.

It’s time for a new us.

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