Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Feeling Beautiful

Self-image is a topic that touches every single woman, and it is certainly a big part of our weight struggles in this group. This topic has been touched upon so many times in our conversations.

Without knowing and believing that we are beautiful and a priceless, it is so difficult to become our best on the outside. It is too easy to become wrapped up in what the world views as "beautiful." And it is too easy to measure our self-worth by approval from people around us, whether it be our spouses, family, or comparing ourselves to friends or even the airbrushed models in magazines. But that isn't where we should be looking. We should know that we were created beautiful. We were created with dignity and that dignity comes from God, so no one can take that away or lessen it in any way. To begin our journey to becoming the best we can be, it has to start here to be truly successful and long-lasting. One scripture I have always loved, and unfortunately forget all-too quickly, is 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. It reads, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body." All that we do, all that we are is to praise the God who made us in His image and likeness. If the holy Spirit finds our body as His dwelling place, 1) shouldn't we see how beautiful our bodies must be? and 2) shouldn't we want to keep them as clean and beautiful as we are able?

So, that's my goal to begin this journey - to remember this and remember that my beauty is already there...I'm just doing my part to make this temple as beautiful as I can for my Lord.

Friday, October 23, 2009

All About Tracy

My name is Tracy, and I am 34 years old.  I am mom to Jack who is 2 1/2 years old and to Logan who is nine months old.  I am married to Aaron.  

I was average weight when growing up.  I gained weight after marriage.  I was able to lose 35 pounds on Weight Watchers a couple of years before having my first son.  With life's ups and downs, I gained the weight back slowly.  After having my children, I have gained all of my previously lost weight back and then some.  When I am really able to get myself to focus, I can lose weight.  I am most certainly a stress eater which is much of my problem now.  I gave birth to Logan, my second son, in January of this year.  He has been such a blessing.  Unfortunately, he was born with numerous health issues and has already undergone numerous surgeries and procedures in his short nine month life.  This, as one might imagine, has put an incredible amount of stress on me.  As much as I want to lose weight and get into shape once and for all, I am having a very difficult time eating healthy for any length of time.  


All About Camisha

Hello!  I am Camisha Williams, and I am 25 years old.  I am mom to Callie who is two years old and to my newborn son, Declan, who is two months old.  

I have struggled with weight my entire life.  I remember always being picked on for being overweight.  Growing up I turned to food to comfort myself and by the time I was 20 years old I was 314 pounds.  At that time I changed my life, and I ended up losing over 140 pounds.  When I was 23 years old, I gave birth to my daughter, Callie and at 25 years old, I gave birth to my son, Declan.  At this point my goal is to lose at least 30 pounds of baby weight and go from there.

~ Camisha 

All About Jennifer

My name is Jennifer Hannah.  I am 26 years old and have been married to Scott for just over three years.  I am mother to Matthew who is 2 1/2 years old and Mark who is ten months old.  

I grew up in a very health-conscious home and never really struggled with my weight growing up.  As I entered into my teenage years, I started eating a lot of carbs.  I went off to college and gained my "freshman 15".  I managed to lose 5 of the 15 pounds in time for my wedding.  I became pregnant shortly afterwards and gained 50 pounds. I still had some of that pregnancy weight on me when I became pregnant with Mark.  Now, I am 40 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight.  Even more than losing, my hope is that I will get into shape.  I have always been the last one to finish any kind of physical activity.  I would love to be able to run a mile or two and build my endurance and strength.

~ Jennifer

All About Sheri

We thought we would start off with a more detailed bio on each of us so you would know where we are and how we came to be in "this place". 

I am Sheri.  :)  I am 35 years old (yikes!) and am married to Jason, my high school sweetheart.  We have one daughter named Hannah who will be turning 3 in February, and we have a fur child/Black Laborador Retriever named Denali who is 6 years old.  Let me see...let's travel back to when this weight thing started.  Ugh!  Well, in high school, I weighed in at about 105 lbs soaking wet.  LOL  Sooooo very long ago.  The funny thing is that looking back, my eating habits back then stunk!  I remember eating a Taco Snack and cinnamon roll each day from the cafeteria for lunch. Man, I literally can still taste those things - they were so incredibly yummy.  Beans, meat and cheese fried into a tortilla?  What could be better?  Bleck!  Also, I was addicted to Mountain Dew, Funyuns, Skor Bars and Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream.  Yet, I still only weighed 105 lbs.  I think my portion sizes were definitely smaller and I was also very busy with working, social life, extracurricular activities, etc so while what I ate was unhealthy, I did not have time to eat a whole lot of it.  

Anyway, so then comes a move across country from Alaska to Tennessee for college.  So much change....bring on the emotional eating and the comfort food.  Gino's breadsticks with chocolate sauce and powdered sugar at night, late nights at Perkins Restaurant studying and eating, you get the picture.  Well, by the end of my freshman year, I was 138 lbs.  Ha!  What I wouldn't GIVE to weigh that again!!  Isn't that funny?  Well, at the end of my junior year, I decided it was time to do something about it so I lost about 25 lbs through watching what I was eating and exercising.  I felt great.  Then, just about a year later I moved to Alaska and got married.  You know what they say happens when you are happily married.  Yup, the pounds started packing on...AGAIN.  Finally, in 2001, I decided it was time for them to go away again so I lost 37 lbs.  I was totally a happy camper again.  Then, Jason and I moved across the country again from Alaska to Virginia which brought its own stresses, of course, starting over in a new place.   So, you guessed it...bring on the pounds...AGAIN.  

In 2007 we gave birth to our beautiful daughter, Hannah Lauren.  I was able to lose all of my pregnancy weight rather quickly which was a good thing; however, that did not mean I was where I wanted to be.  I have lost 10 pounds and gained them back a couple of times since  having Hannah.  When Hannah was four months old, we moved from Virginia to the suburbs of Chicago.  Jason was offered a management job for a local railroad here which allowed me to stay home and raise our daughter comfortably so it was an answered prayer.  So, here we are, 2 1/2 years later living in Chicago, and I have decided it is time to get rid of this for good. No more yo yo dieting.  It is ridiculous especially once I type it all out to you guys because now I really see just how many times I have lost and gained the same pounds.  LOL Not good!  :)  Thanks for sharing in our journey!  I hope you find some inspiration for yourself along the way!


Thursday, October 22, 2009


I've been having a hard time eating healthy because of stress. I'm trying to limit serving size, but I am craving unhealthy foods- mac and cheese and coke big time. I am definitely not drinking enough water so that's my goal for today.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Little History to Start Off With

We are a group of four friends (Sheri, Jennifer, Camisha and Tracy) who met because of one main thing we had in common.  We were searching for some connection, searching for support, and searching for ourselves after joining what was then a new club for us - motherhood.  All of us were moms to one when we joined a local moms group called Busy Bees.  Those children are all well into their toddler years...whoo-whee.  Several of us are now on round 2 with Baby #2 having been born since we first all met.  As you might imagine and many of you know, motherhood, while so extremely joyful, can also be rather tiring.  If you have ever watched TV and seen those hilarious Suave commercials, you know that it is a bit easy to lose a bit of yourself after becoming a mom.  Suddenly, it is not about you.  Suddenly, everything revolves around that precious, tiny baby that you are holding in your arms.  Well, that does not ever really stop, it just changes as they grow.

Well, a few of us in our Busy Bees mom's group realized that we had even more in common than just being moms.  We realized that we were struggling with some of the same things. In the process of taking care of that precious, tiny baby, yes, we started to lose ourselves.  Suddenly, we were waking up and looking in the mirror and not really liking what we saw.  This led us to start a little subgroup - our own little support group to help each other lose weight and focus more on ourselves in all areas.  Moms work so hard every single day that we deserve to give ourselves a little time and energy.  Just like they always tell me everytime I travel with my Hannah Banana on Southwest - "In case of a loss of cabin pressure, place the mask on yourself before assisting your child with theirs".  You have heard it before.  We can't possibly take care of our family the way we should if we don't take care of ourselves first.  So, we welcome you and thank you for joining us as we share with you the real triumphs and inevitable struggles on the journey to the inner "me".