Amazing #TeamDrew Transformation

How would it feel to lose more than 65 inches or 100 lbs?! It's obvious this would be life-changing, but the last sentence of Sue's story will blow you away (so make sure you're sitting down)! Everyone meet Susie from Boise, Idaho:

BEFORE (JULY 2011):                                                                                    AFTER (MARCH 2012):

BEFORE STATS:                                                                                      AFTER STATS:

07/06/2011                                                                                                 4/17/2012

Bust: 48 1/2"                                                                                              Bust: 35 1/2"

Arms: 14 1/2"                                                                                            Arms: 10 1/2"

Waist: 44"                                                                                                 Waist: 28 7/8"

 Stomach: 48"                                                                                      Stomach: 35 1/2"

Hips: 49 1/2"                                                                                              Hips: 36 1/4"

Thighs: 28"                                                                                             Thighs: 20 1/4"

Calves: 15 3/4"                                                                                       Calves: 14 3/8"

Blood Pressure: 169/118                                                          Blood Pressure: 131/65

Pulse: 93                                                                                                         Pulse: 58

Dress Size:18-20                                                                                   Dress Size: 6-8

My story may be different than others who have been spotlighted.  I’ve eaten natural/organic foods for more than two decades. I didn’t get fat by eating the standard American diet of high-calorie, processed foods and sugary sodas which offer little or no nutrition. I was an emotional eater who didn’t understand portion control, ate too many carbohydrates, and was addicted to natural ice cream. Like Drew became addicted to Captain Crunch cereal for a late-night snack, brands like Haagen Dazs, Ben & Jerry’s and Starbucks were always in easy reach in my freezer.  Add in life stresses of a 7-year journey as a widow with then-2 teenagers, and I can see how it happened. I can see why I got very fat and stayed fat. I can’t blame anyone but myself. I put the food in my own mouth; I didn’t exercise; I no longer knew what a healthy portion was; I consistently ate late at night--nearly every night.

This is where my story begins. It’s not where it ends.  My Fat2Fit journey began July 6, 2011. A couple weeks before, my sister called and shared the news of my nephew’s upcoming wedding in May, 2012. I had an immediate reaction of happiness mixed with dread. On one hand, I was jumping up & down in happiness; on the other hand, I broke out in a cold sweat: weddings translate to lots and lots of pictures.  Like Drew said, cameras don’t lie. They never lie! They show in stark terms--whether in color or black & white-- what you REALLY look like. And I didn’t look good. I certainly didn’t look healthy or fit. I took my blood pressure. The numbers were shocking. I knew I wasn’t healthy, but I realized at that moment that even though I had become comfortable with my increasing weight over the past years, my body was telling me in no uncertain terms just how unhealthy I had really become. I decided I wouldn’t weigh myself; I knew the number on the scale would deter me from even starting any exercise. I  measured myself instead. My initial numbers provided another wake up call. Just how had I let myself get so out of control? That’s what I really started pondering. Like many questions in life, I had no easy answers. The real turning point for me in early July. For the record, I’m incredibly embarrassed to write the next sentence: After 9 PM, I consumed three entire pints of premium Snoqualmie ice cream over three consecutive nights. I  mindlessly ate one spoonful after another. I was shocked when my spoon hit the bottom of the pint the first night, and I discovered the pint was empty. Yet, I  repeated the same exercise in emotional eating the next night, and then once again on the following night. I didn’t know then, but do know now, I was addicted to the sugar and taste premium ice cream provides.  If I had one teaspoon, I craved another. One became two, two became four, four became the bottom of the pint. I woke up on the 3rd night coughing and choking and feeling like I was suffocating. At first, I thought I had  a nightmare. What I realized right then was I was actually living a health nightmare! That lack of air had never happened before, nor since. I believe but can’t prove I experienced sleep apnea for the first time in my life.  I was scared. Very scared. It was a wake-up call and I woke up! Upon waking next morning, I was determined to change my life. I didn’t really know how I would, but I knew I had to take the first step I put on comfortable old sweats, and a T-shirt, opened my front door, and started walking. That’s it--simply walking around my neighborhood. I had two kids at college at the same time, so I didn’t want to pay to go to a gym. And I would have been too embarrassed to go anyway. That first day, I looked at my pedometer, after walking uphill for about 1 1/2 blocks: .09 miles. Not even a tenth of a  mile, and I was huffing and puffing like an old-fashioned steam engine going uphill. I was seriously shocked how out of breath I already was. Yet I continued. I felt ridiculously better after only 10 days. At that point it was no longer about the upcoming pictures at the wedding 10 months in the future, but how I much better I felt. I told myself: “If you did it yesterday, there’s no reason you can’t do it again.” That became my mantra. I ignored my mind--even when it gave me a million excuses why I couldn’t walk. I started a spreadsheet on my computer to chart my progress. The mileage wasn’t impressive at the beginning, but I didn’t give up. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months.  I measured myself on the last day of the month to chart my progress. I competed against my best mileage, and even did 10.55 miles one day during the summer. A few weeks later, without even planning it, I challenged myself to beat that personal best and hit 13.20 miles in one day. I called up my sleepy son to tell him the good news @ 11 PM because I realized I had completed my own personal half-marathon of sorts all in one day. The heat of the summer turned into the coolness of the fall season, and I became the poster child for just putting one foot in front of the other. Neighbors remarked how dedicated I was, and that inspired me to keep going--no matter how long it took to get fit.  The time a neighbor applauded from his driveway as i walked by encouraged me even more. Then a miracle happened. In October, 2011, I heard about Drew and his Fit2Fat2Fit journey. I was instantly intrigued, but thought he was a bit crazy! Who intentionally puts his own health on the line to inspire other people to get fit? From Drew and Lynn, I learned the importance of core exercises, drinking a 16oz glass of water upon waking and consistent exercise every day.  December arrived, and life radically changed for me.  I was diagnosed with a retina tear in my left eye. I was only to watch TV for 11 days & to move as little as possible.  I became a (literal) couch potato. I wondered and worried if this was the end of my journey. Certainly I couldn’t succeed with lying on the couch day after day. Or could I? I decided to refocus on my food choices. I was cleared to exercise again at December’s end. I measured myself on the last day of that month and was shocked to discover I still lost 11 inches! December turned into January, and I continued to walk--no matter how cold or windy it was or what excuse my mind offered up to me to stop. By this time,  I was getting constant comments from friends and acquaintances. I had undergone such a physical change, that I got numerous comments from acquaintances telling me I looked like a completely different person and they didn’t recognize me That inspired me further. I began strength training with a 5# Kettle Bell while still walking as much as winter would allow. There was a surprise 51-minute video with the Kettle Bell that I incorporated into my daily exercise routine. In January, I met my kids in CA for a late Christmas. They were shocked at the change in my appearance. I challenged my son to an exercise contest. We did wall sits, pushups and different planks. Yes, he won by sheer number, but I won on the technicality that I was his once- out-of shape, obese mom doing the same exercises on the floor as him! He was impressed--very impressed. Winter turned into early spring and I realized I had literally transformed myself in only 9-10 months. I became the person I knew was inside me screaming to get out of the perpetual fat suit that was of my own making. ?Two moments stand out in my memory. In late February, I tried on a favorite pair of summer capris. I knew they would be a bit loose.  I put them on, zipped them up and buttoned and then some robins on the patio caught my eye. Then I looked at the floor. There--around my ankles--were my  olive cotton capris.  They had literally fallen off! I stood there in amazement and then cracked up in pure joy. in mid-March, I got caught in the rain after grocery shopping and impulsively ran to my car parked at the end of the lot. It was a cats and dogs kind of rain, and I ran for the sheer joy of running--like a kid with total abandon. I felt the rain splatter on my face, but didn’t feel my heart pounding at all. I lifted my head up to the heavens as my face turned into one huge grin. It was at that moment that I realized I had fulfilled exactly what I hoped for at the beginning of this amazing journey: I had become healthy and fit. Yes, an every day occurrence had somehow transcended into one of those perfect life moments that I doubt I’ll ever forget and hope I never will. My Fat2Fit journey is now complete, and the wedding is only 25 days away. I only regret that I didn’t weigh myself that first day. But I discovered measuring six different parts of my body (bust, arms, waist, stomach, hips, thighs and calves) proved to be an excellent gauge of my success on a monthly basis. I’m so grateful to Drew and Lynn. I do know if I was to complete a list of the top 10 people who have had the most influence on my life, their names would be included. I’m here to tell you--for me--every mile walked (1,330+ daily miles so far),  every core exercise pushed through and struggled with, every pushup, every excruciating wall-sit, every plank I groaned through (regular, hand up, hip, side and "thread the needle”), every Kettle Bell lifted, ever ache and pain I endured, and every time I made the right choice on food has been worth it. For me, it has nothing to do with the number on some scale; it has everything to do with how you feel. Believe in yourself, challenge yourself and realize that no matter what your circumstance you can transform yourself. Success has nothing to do with how long the journey takes. Success has everything to do with the results you achieve. You may just surprise yourself. I certainly have. I never expected these results. And there’s no looking back for me. Fat? Been there, done that. The new me is healthy and fit.  For anyone who believes they can’t attain “healthy and fit” for themselves because of a million and one excuses, I encourage you to read this last sentence: I’m 62 and feel 35.