Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's Almost My New Life Birthday!!

Meet the old me. The above pictures are from the summer of 08' and then Halloween 08'. Believe it! It's me! I weighed about 180 lbs. at this point and was wearing a size 16. Many of you know my story and why I started the Skinny Mom Challenge. For those of you who don't know, I was a mom of four children who had given up on my life at one point. I was a binge eater, I was depressed and I was fat. Somewhere along the way I stopped living my life and started taking care of everyone else and going through the motions to get me through the day. I became overweight over a period of 4 years. It didn't happen overnight it gradually occurred and along the way I knew it was happening but I kept putting off doing anything to prevent it from going further. This picture is 2 days before my "new life" began and on my husbands birthday, January 10, 2009. I weighed 178 pounds at this point. I started Skinny Moms after I lost all of my weight. It took me from January 12, 2009 to August 2009 to reach my goal. I had a lot of friends and family approach me wanting help with their weight loss goals. I wanted to put together a group for women to feel encouraged, empowered and I wanted to help hold them accountable during their weight loss journey so Skinny Mom Challenge was hatched. I am the cheering squad for my challengers and I cheer during their progress and I encourage them when they feel like giving up. I have met a lot of strong women and great friends during these challenges, women who have inspired me and keep me motivated. I have pushed many of them past anything they ever thought they could accomplish. In doing this I have decided to become a personal trainer and I am going to school to become a Nutritionist.

I am a much happier person and soon I will be celebrating my "New Life Birthday"! January 12, 2010 will mark my 1 year anniversary since I began my own journey to lose weight and I have become a much happier and healthier person both physically and mentally.
This picture is of me and my husband one month to the day from my one year birthday! I am so much happier and I want to thank all of you who gave me support and encouraged me. I want to think my family for not giving up on me and for Ed for really encouraging me and telling me he could see a difference especially when I couldn't. I really enjoy working with all of you challengers and I look forward to many more challenges to come. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you Skinny Moms! Thanks for believing in me and following me. Remember as Ali Vincent (First female Biggest Loser winner) says; "Believe It, Be It"!
Jennifer Sherlock

Monday, December 14, 2009

Finding the Courage

Here is a wonderful success story by Lauri one of our Skinny Moms! If you want to share your successes please email me.


When I was in high school I was always athletic and never worried about what I ate or drank. I was on the go all the time, so fast food became a way of life. My first year of college while most people gain weight I stayed pretty slim and maintained the same weight that I was in high school...I kept the same eating habits, which weren't good. Fast food at least once a day and the other stuff just junk like chips, sodas, candy, etc. Dorm food!

I met my husband and had a baby and packed on a ton of weight. I was 123 lbs when I got pregnant with Cole, and was 193 lbs when he was born. He had a rough time and I was stressed so I managed to get down to about 150 lbs pretty quick after he was born, but my eating was terrible. I would eat late at night and I would eat out every single day usually for breakfast and lunch! About 9 months after Cole was born, I got pregnant with my second child, Belle. Again, I ballooned up to about 210 lbs when I delivered her and I was so big they did 3 ultrasounds just to make sure I wasn't having twins (how embarrassing!!!). At this point I was going crazy trying all kinds of crash diets trying to lose the weight I had packed on, but nothing was working.

My marriage was not going as planned and so I think I just ate to comfort myself! I lost some weight when I would get stressed, but gained it right back. Finally, after calling my first marriage quits, I decided to lose a little weight. By this time I was about 190 lbs! Still way over what I should have weighed. I started dating my current husband and he had lost a ton of weight and he and my mom had even bought me a gym membership to trial, but I was too lazy to go and came up with a million excuses not to go. When Rodney asked me to marry him, we knew we wanted a beach wedding and I didn't want to be embarrassed in a swimsuit, so I tried dieting and going to some exercise classes and lost about 25 lbs. By that time (late 2006-early 2007) I was about 165 lbs. After we got married in February, I gained back all that I had lost and maintained a constant 185-190 lbs.

I was so embarrassed to even go to the doctor because I just couldn't keep the weight off. Finally, fed up with myself, I asked for help from one of the ladies I work with. In January, 2009, I weighed 189 lbs and decided I had had enough! We started a competition at work to lose some weight but we had to do it healthy. She taught us how to eat the right portions and to count calories. She gave us hints for snacks and dinners and how to order out at a restaurant. Slowly, the weight was coming off. The first week, I lost 6.5 lbs and felt great! I felt like I could really do it if I put my mind to it and that was my first real effort to lose weight the right way. By April, I had lost about 20 lbs and it was warmer so I added walking to my daily things to do. I started just walking around the block, but within two weeks I was walking about 3 miles a day. By this point it was a consistent 2 pound per week weight loss.

We started a second challenge at work and I won!!! I also joined the Skinny Mom Challenge as a second challenge to myself! I had lost some serious weight and felt great. I even went out and bought a new wardrobe. I looked and felt better than I had in years!!! I was a size 10 at that point and was thinking to myself, "You won't get any smaller than this, so just be content!" I was so wrong! I kept up with my calorie counting and every time I went to eat with my family I would plan ahead and know exactly what to order! I even got my kids eating healthier like getting the apples instead of fries and chicken instead of the other meats!

Since this past January I have lost a total of almost 52 lbs. All by just getting off the couch and making an effort to change the way I thought about food. It is your bodies’ fuel! I don't use it as a crutch and I don't starve myself, I just make healthier choices and watch my portions. I also cut out ALL soda (even diet)! I drink lots and lots of water and unsweet tea and eat lots of nuts, almonds, berries, apples, veggies, etc. I also count calories and maintain my count so I know exactly what and how many I have to spare. I now belong to a gym where I try to go 3-5 days a week AND I work out at home with my Wii fit! The Skinny Mom Challenge has also helped me to hold myself accountable. When you are held accountable you seem to make better choices!! I love the feel of walking in the sunshine and going to an exercise class and how your adrenaline gets going! It is amazing to think that I weigh what I did in high school, only now I am actually healthy and eating the right things for me!

The most important thing to know is that anyone can do this!! I never thought I would wear a size 6 again (I didn't even wear a size 6 in high school!!!!!), but now I look and feel a thousand times better than I did a year ago. This is a life change so make the leap! It's well worth it!!!!!



Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tired of Plateaus?

I am finding many of the challengers are hitting plateaus during this challenge. Here is a way to really jump start your metabolism and this will eliminate the feelings of starvation at the end of the day. If you feel sluggish in the evening or if you find yourself very hungry while you are fixing dinner then you are not eating like you should during your day.

It is important to first start your morning with (2) 8 oz. classes of water because over the 7-8 hours of sleep you become dehydrated. Drinking water will jump start your metabolism first thing in the morning and hydrate your body. Think of your metabolism as a wood burning stove, if you don't put wood in the stove during the night your house is cold in the morning. You need to throw a lot of wood in the stove and keep it fueled throughout the day. Your body needs food throughout the day so don't starve yourself. Skipping meals will actually do more damage to your metabolism and you will have a much harder time losing weight.
Once you have your metabolism started you need to eat a filling breakfast. I start my morning off with 1/2 cup dry oatmeal (cooked = 1 cup), 2 tbsp. of Stoneyfield French Vanilla yogurt added to the cooked oatmeal, along with blueberries, raspberries, bananas or apples. I also eat scrambled eggs (1) egg white and (1) whole egg and a bottle of water or 1 cup of hot green tea. This is a very filling breakfast and you want to consume most of your calories during the morning and by lunch time. You do not want to feel like you are starving at any time during the day. When you get the first signs of hunger eat!
As you can see in the picture below here are several snack ideas. Kashi bars, oranges, Hummus with vegetables, Ezekiel bread with almond butter or natural peanut butter. Another snack idea is a protein shake especially if you had a hard workout. Your goal should be to eat at least every two hours or 6 times a day. I mean eat "Clean" when I say eat. You do not want to consume empty calories and waste your calories on food high in sugar. Sugar will give you a rush but once it wears off you will crash hard. Listen to your body, drink a lot of water to keep yourself hydrated. Sometimes you can misread what you body is really telling you and think you are hungry when actually you are just dehydrated and need something to drink.

If you change the way you eat and stick to your daily workouts, I believe you can make a change and knock that plateau out. A plateau occurs because your body is used to the things you are doing and it needs a change to restart the program. When you plateau for more than three weeks then it's time for changes.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Healthy Lunch Idea for Kids

Do you struggle with healthy lunch ideas for your children? Here is a great and yummy lunch or snack idea.

My children love these Flat Bread Banana Wraps and they are quick and easy to make.

Flat Out Bread - Meijer located in the produce department
Organic Natural Peanut Butter
Sliced Almonds
1 Small Banana

Spread the peanut butter, honey and cinnamon on one flat bread. Add 1tsp. of sliced almonds and wrap the banana.

For a healthy lunch add applesauce, Stoneyfield yo baby yogurt and a Capri Sun Roarin Waters drink or water.