Guest Post – Margie Webb: I Am A Loser

My friend Margie is one of the most inspiring people I know. To say that she has taken charge of her life would be an understatement. Over the last few years, she has tackled the various areas of her life, improved them and transformed them. Today, she writes about her journey toward better health. Read on, and prepare to be inspired.

Nov 2013, March 2014 & September 2014

Nov 2013, March 2014 & September 2014

My weight is going to kill me.

I knew this at the exact moment that the nurse had to take my blood pressure twice because she was concerned about the initial high reading. While I wanted to believe that it was her ineffective bedside manner because I know that my fat arms require the larger cuff, the fact that I knew I even needed the larger cuff DUE to fat arms was the moment that I had to accept my fate. My downhill march to death has started and I have nobody to blame but myself.

Granted, I hope that it doesn’t happen today, or tomorrow, or anytime in the near future, but eventually, if I don’t get healthy, my weight will kill me. Admit it, you never see elderly fat people just kicked back, living it up at the Senior Center. That’s because by the time you hit middle age, if you are obese, the health problems start to wear down your body and organs.

That’s blunt but it’s the truth. If you are reading this, are of a certain age and more than 100 pounds overweight, then you probably already know what I know: the life expectancy for a morbidly obese person who is past 40 years old is decreased by up to ten years. (

I am 41 years old, a middle class Caucasian female, and I am trying to save my life. Earlier this year, I topped the scales at over 300 pounds. Looking back at pictures from that time is very painful because I can see the unhappiness in my eyes. Physically, I was at my highest weight and my body felt it in various ways. My struggle with my weight is the same story that my generation of women share: we came of age with mothers who learned in their 1960ish teenage years to fad diet their body images onto us. Then, the internet came along, which solidified the “skinny is perfection” belief, and as we have children, we are passing along that message. It’s a vicious cycle with serious consequences for our society’s future.

Every woman that I know is an expert in picking her body image to shreds and always, ALWAYS, believing that she needs to lose this much or just a little more and she will be perfect happy. Our society regularly rams this message down our throats and millions of us are the reason that the diet industry is a $20 billion dollar business. Twenty billion! ( That’s how much we have been brainwashed that quick-and-easy is the only fix.

In high school, I was a size 8 and you could actually see my collarbones. And. I. Thought. I. Was. Fat. That memory makes me laugh hysterically now because if I ONLY KNEW what was coming for me. But, I was told I was fat and I believed it to be true. I never much watched what I ate or exercised. Once I got in to my 20’s, started having children, and continued eating processed foods, my weight began to climb.

And yes, I succumbed to the diet schemes and again, like many women, I have a list of them that I tried. Oh and I would be successful with them too. That is, until I stopped taking the pills, or ate carbs again, or stopped howling at the moon at midnight, or whatever the tricks of that particular weight loss plan. Then, I would not only gain back what I lost, but I would add more pounds to the total. As I grew older, the weight started to affect my health.

At 40 years old, I was diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure. These are solely because I am overweight and I am overweight for two main reasons: I did not eat healthy and I never regularly exercised. That’s it. That, gentle reader, is the simple truth about struggling with weight issues. Outside of weight loss surgery, which I am against for opinions all my own, no diet or pill is going to help you successfully lose weight and maintain the loss.

This is a growing epidemic in our culture as our population continues to rely less on fresh, clean food and more on processed and fast food. We all know the statistics and that our culture is driven increasingly by the quick result. That’s a huge reason why so many people, like me, have been unsuccessful in their weight loss attempts. It’s all good those first few weeks but when you don’t lose 200 pounds at once, many have the tendency to quit.

I have worked for many things in my life, finishing my college degree as a working, older mother, being chief among them, but nothing, and I mean, NOTHING, has been as hard as losing weight. I started my wellness journey last January with a goal of eating less crap and moving my body more. Vowing to not use any diet tricks (and sad to say, I did get weak once and spent 14 days hating myself on Advocare), I started a journal and created a Facebook group just for women like myself. The name of the group is Losers, because that’s what we all want to be.

Here I am almost a year later and 54 pounds lighter. No, I am not even halfway to my goal weight and there have many bumps along the way. But, I have made changes and am baby stepping my way to a longer life. I credit the support that I surrounded myself with and the mindset that this is going to take a long time.

And yes, it’s going to take a long time. It just is, there is no way around that fact. But, it’s worth it: for yourself, for your family, for the sustainability of our society.

Are you ready to save your life?

Margie can be found on Twitter @thehunnyb and on Facebook under Margie Webb. If interested in joining her Losers support group, she can be reached at either. Photo credit to the author.


Body for Life: Week 1

A week ago today, I started the Body for Life challenge. I completely revamped the way I eat, ditching the carb-heavy lunches from the cafeteria-style shop downstairs from my office in favour of meals brought from home, consisting primarily of lean proteins and salad. In the evenings, I started making more of an effort in the kitchen, selecting dinners based on nutritional value rather than convenience.

At the same time, I have started getting myself into something resembling an exercise routine, following my post-half-marathon hiatus.

So, how has this all gone? Has my week been a success?

Well, in terms of hard numbers, I haven’t seen as much of a change as I would have liked, but the change I have seen has been in the right direction. I have dropped two pounds, and I have lost an inch from my waist measurement. I am off to a start, so yay!

I have had a surprisingly easy time where discipline is concerned, and I believe this is the result of planning. Last Sunday night, I meticulously planned out and wrote down what the week’s meals would consist of. Once I have a written schedule, I tend to follow it quite rigourously. I have not been tempted by all of the Halloween candy in the house, nor by any of the processed junk food in grocery stores.

In fact, I have been having something approaching fun in the kitchen, as I have tried out new recipes. To my astonishment, none of my cooking experiments ended in disaster, although there are some that I clearly need to practice.

The thing that killed me was time, and this makes me realize that the obesity epidemic can, at least in part, be blamed on the fact that many people just do not have enough time to accomplish everything. I don’t care what you tell me, eating healthily is a lot more time-consuming than the alternative. When I’ve just worked a nine-hour day and spent an hour and a half commuting home, it is so tempting to just throw some processed crap into the microwave instead of taking the time to prepare something that’s actually good for you. It is so easy to blame people for the poor eating choices they make, but honestly, in this day and age it is not easy to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Lesson learned: do more prep on Sundays to save a bit of time during the week. Even if I do that, it may take a while for me to adjust and do things as efficiently as I need to.

With Week 1 done, I am looking ahead to Week 2. The menu is planned, and I have some specific goals with regard to runs and workouts.

Check this space for another report-back next Sunday.

(Photo credit: Andy Roberts. This picture has a creative commons attribution license.)



Body for Life: Starting the Adventure

Quite a few years ago, on the suggestion of my friend Adam, I entered something called the Body for Life Challenge. Adam, who was my chiropractor at the time, was entering the challenge himself, and he formed a little group of people who would take part and offer support and encouragement to each other along the way.

Body for Life is an exercise and nutrition program that promises spectacular results if you follow the guidelines. The guidelines are quite simple. The nutrition aspect involves balancing carbs with proteins, and it follows the now-accepted protocol of six small meals throughout the day instead of one large one. The exercise aspect involves daily workouts, alternating cardio activity with strength training. You follow the Body for Life program for six days a week, and on the seventh you are free to eat whatever you like and sit in front of the TV all day.

I stuck with the program for about nine of the twelve weeks, and during that time I had phenomenal results. Excess weight melted off me, and for a while, my flabs actually turned to abs. Unfortunately, I was thrown off-track by a serious injury to my left (dominant) hand that required stitches, cortisone shots, and all kinds of other ugliness. Back then, I did not have what it took to get back into the saddle after a setback. I was completely derailed.

Although I gained back some of the lost weight after that, it wasn’t all a complete waste. Being on the program taught me some basics about nutrition and exercise that have stayed with me to this day, and of the fifty or so pounds that I lost, I gained back about fifteen. So as a program with long-term effectiveness, it’s pretty good.

I have been feeling a little iffy about my body of late. I run long distances and exercise several times a week. My eating is less than ideal but certainly not disastrous. And yet, I still struggle with my weight. I continue to fight with belly fat gained during my pregnancies seven and nine years ago. I have bat wings. My thighs wobble. My oversized boobs get shredded to bits on long runs, in spite of a good sports bra.

I hate to think what I would look like if I didn’t exercise. I mean, what does a girl have to do to be a normal weight around here?

In the wake of my decision to run a marathon three years from now, I have decided that I am going to reinvent my body. I will never be reed-thin or fit into a B-cup, and perhaps I will always have a little jiggle in my belly to remind me of the lives I had the honour of growing. But there is weight for me to lose. There are things I can do to lose fat, increase muscle mass, and be leaner and stronger.

Over the years, I have tried a number of different eating plans. I have sought the advice of a life coach and a dietician. I have attempted this thing and that thing. But none of it has worked, and it has been very frustrating. For someone with body image issues and a history of eating disorders, this is not healthy.

And so it makes sense to me to go back to the only program that yielded results, the only program I was able to sustain for any length of time. Yesterday, I started the Body for Life challenge again. I have recorded my weight and measurements, and I have had my “before” pictures taken.

This time, it will be even better than before. Because now, I know I will have the strength to pick myself up after any setbacks that may come my way. And when the twelve weeks are over, the healthy habits that I gain will stay with me.

I am not publishing my initial weight and measurements, but I will report back every week to tell you what I’ve (hopefully) lost, along with pictures that show progress. Hopefully they will look better than this:








If you really want to see my flabby bits in all their glory, you can click on the pictures for full-size versions

Photo credit: Kirsten Doyle’s long-suffering husband



GUEST POST: A New Journey Begins

This weekend, I decided that I had had enough of not being as healthy as I need to be. I catch too many colds and take too long to get rid of them. I am always tired and run-down. I don’t run as fast as I know I’m able to, and in spite of having lost a lot of weight, I’m still about twenty pounds overweight.

Since I was a teen, I’ve had a one-extreme-or-the-other approach to eating. Either I consume calories as if they’re going extinct, or I live on the smell of an oilrag. That I have psychological issues with food is without question. Part of my problem, though, is good old-fashioned lack of discipline.

My nutrition habits suck because I haven’t tried hard enough to fix them. This weekend I decided that I was going to turn over that particular leaf. Right after I made this resolve, I went to see if anything interesting was happening on Facebook. And there, right on top of my newsfeed, was a status update from my good friend Mimi, who had made a very similar resolve.

I emailed her excitedly, and we decided that as we strive to improve ourselves, we will swap guest posts once a month, to tell each other’s readers how we are doing in our quests.

Mimi is a special needs mom like me, only with way more special needs kids. She is patient and kind, and she knows the true meaning of friendship. I recently did the 2012 Blogathon alongside her, and I am so thrilled to be embarking on another challenge with her – albeit a challenge of a different nature.

Today, Mimi tells us what her goals are. I am delighted that she is sharing her journey with us.

When I look back, I can see myself at various weights.  Some bother me and others make me wish I was back there again.  Before I had my first daughter at age 19, I weighed in at a whopping 97 pounds soaking wet.  I had no shape to my body whatsoever, but as soon as I got pregnant, through those 10 months of pregnancy (yes, my daughter was 28 days late!) I gained 91 pounds!  That was a whole me that I put on!  I worked very hard to get the weight off, and I managed to get most of it off, I got myself down to 120 pounds and was happy there, but then I got pregnant again and up went the scale.  This time I went up to 150 pounds with my daughter and after her birth, I managed to get myself to GAIN an additional 10 pounds.  See, my daughter was born with Down Syndrome, so I was more concerned with her health, than mine at the time.

I got married in 1994 and my weight was 160 pounds, which I was technically happy with.  I had a little pudge on me, but nothing that I was embarrassed about.  But then I had our next daughter and I immediately put on the weight again, and this time with each pregnancy I had, the weight just kept piling on, I couldn’t get back down to 160 no matter how hard I tried.

I remember the day that I was at the doctors office and I stepped on the scale and it said “200” in big bright orange numbers.  I about died right there on the spot!  It affected me so badly that I started eating my emotions, and my favorites are carbs.

I have since given birth a total of 6 times and am currently sitting at 225 pounds.  Just in March I was 216, but I’m stressed, there’s no doubt about it, but to pack on 9 pounds in just a little over a month, that’s a problem to me.

So I decided that now at my age (44) I need to fix this problem for once and for all.  My doctor has promised to take me off of my diabetes medications if I can get down to 175, but I want to do better than that… My goal is 160 pounds, like I was 17 years ago when I married the love of my life.

I want to lose the weight not only for me, but for my family.  If I can do it, then it will show them that they too can do it.  My hubby is over-weight as well and I think this weight loss program that I started would be great for him too.  He had one knee replaced last year, and is going to have the other one done this summer, so if he could take some of the extra weight off his knees, they will last longer.

But really, I’m just tired of looking at myself in the mirror and looking pregnant.  I’m not fat anywhere else except in the stomach, butt and hip area, which is of course where all of women’s weight tends to go.

The program that I am doing is the CTS300 which is sold at Complete Nutrition.  I’m really excited about doing this program because I’ve seen the pictures of the locals who have lost the weight and I am more determined now than I ever have been before.  I’ve tried Weight Watchers, that didn’t’ work for me… So I’m hoping that this program does.

I have an exercise routine that I do two times a day, I walk the treadmill at various inclines for 20 minutes, 2 times a day and I carry two 5 pound dumbbells with me as I’m walking.  By the time I’m done, I’m glistening like a diamond ring – because women don’t sweat!  My thighs are usually on fire by the time I’m done on the treadmill, but that just means I had a good workout, which is what I’m looking for.

So I’m not looking at this as a “diet”, but more as a lifestyle change.  I’m changing the way I look at food now, and I think before I go reaching for something to put in my mouth.

Check out Mimi’s blog at Wife… Mom… Writer… All Blessings!