Category Archives: My Story


Cyndi’s First 90 Day Challenge Success Story!

Our sister in law Cyndi has had one cool transformation. She works out like a crazy woman and it has been nothing short of inspiring to see her story unfold! We started our weight loss journeys before we discovered ViSalus, but once we did…. she took things to the next level!! Here’s what she does….

First Name/Age: Cyndi/31

Which challenge kit did you use?
Transformation Kit – loves the Vi-trim/Vi-slim combo!

What is your favorite recipe?
Green Greek Vi Shake – (½ cup water, 2 cups spinach, 2 scoops shake mix, 1 cup frozen fruit, and ½ cup of plain greek yogurt)

Do you exercise? If so, what type of exercise do you enjoy?
Yes! CrossFit and Yoga!

What do you eat on an average day on program?/What are some of your favorite foods that keep you on track?
1 tsp peanut butter before work out, post work out Vi shake, protein pancake, balance bar, lean meat and veggies for dinner, Vi shake for dessert…

Which of your personal goals have you achieved? 
Before the challenge I had lost 32 lbs, and went on to lose 18 more for a total of 50lbs! As I have continued into my 2nd 90-day challenge, I have been able to gain more lean muscle and reached personal fitness goals!

What is your goal for your next 90 Day Challenge?
To be in the best shape EVER!!!

You ROCK Cyndi and you are such an inspiration!!!!!  :)

First challenge down!!

Wow 90 days went by fast!!  I can’t believe I almost have a 6-month-old.  I just wanted to do a quick update on the end of my first challenge.  So on 3/25/12 I weighed in at 202, I would like to say the largest I’ve ever been, but I weighed more when I was pregnant with Cole.  On Monday June 18th at 174 pounds I started my Body by Vi 90-day challenge.  At first I wasn’t really into drinking 2 shakes per day.  I love food and didn’t want to drink my meals.  So I incorporated them into my Weight Watchers point plus plan and mostly had the shake after my workouts.  I loved all the different recipes you could make, but mostly just made a Green Greek Vi Smoothie which consisted of:

1/2C water, 2C spinach, 1C frozen fruit, 1/2C greek yogurt, 2 scoops of Vi-Shape mix.

At the halfway mark I had lost 12 pounds down to 162.  So I thought hey if it’s working with 1 shake per day, I wonder how awesome it would be with 2 shakes a day.  So I started having 2 (1 usually as my post workout and 1 either mid afternoon or in the evening).  That was until I learned how to make the delicious Vi pancake!!  Now I eat a pancake after my workout and have my Green Greek Vi shake in the afternoon.  At the 90-day mark I was down another 9 for a total loss of 21 pounds on the challenge and 49 pounds total.

I can’t even believe it myself.  I feel so awesome and love/hate the fact that none of my clothes fit.

I still have 3 pounds to go until I reach my Weight Watchers goal and 13 to my ultimate goal.  It’s a process and I know it’s not going to happen overnight.  I love my shakes, I love changing up my workouts, and I love finally feeling like my hard work has paid off!


FLF Girls

Our 2011 FireLitesFire Reflections

January 2011

Lexy – I started 2011 really motivated to follow the 4 Hour Body diet by Tim Ferris. The main thing I learned is that I can usually follow a strict diet when I set my mind to it… but it also makes me angry and emotional because I feel so restricted. I felt like I could only eat at home to be able to stick to it…  I was cranky with my kids and didn’t feel like I saw a drastic difference. Even though I was able to lose approximately 12 lbs that month, I didn’t feel like it was that noticeable or worth it! I was so glad when that month ended!

Carman-I started Four Hour Body with the rest of the gang and it was one of the hardest, most frustrating, restrictive eating plans I have ever been on. I didn’t loose the weight I thought I should have with how good I was eating. I ate lentils for the first time ever and realized that I could eat eggs with black beans and spinach for breakfast everyday because of how long it kept me full.  Glad that was only 4 weeks long.

Cyndi– 4 hour body, that’s all I remember about January. I actually enjoyed the 4 hour body I think mostly because we were all doing it together, boys and girls.  My husband and I were actually on the same diet, kind of.  I also learned how much beans really do keep you full.  However, it was super restrictive, made me gorge myself every cheat day, and I didn’t lose anywhere near the amount of weight I should have considering we ate meat, veggies, and beans for a month.



Lexy– I really wanted to go back to something more flexible. Weight Watchers had worked for me in the past. I knew that WW had unveiled a new Points Plus program because I had signed up online back in November of 2010. I finally made the decision to give up everything I knew about the “old” WW program and learn everything about the new one. During February, I experimented with dietSNAPS to track my food. Following WW Online was great, but I noticed that I would still cheat more than I should because I wasn’t really accountable to anyone.

Carman– Went back to Weight Watchers online that we all three had joined back in November.  I finally got to start using dietSNAPS to track my food once I got an iPhone again. 😉  It was a hard month coming from 4 hour body to discipline myself to learn the program doing it online.

Cyndi– Feb was a rough month, I started fertility treatments, signed-up for a half marathon, and Keller left for Korea for 3 weeks.  Just tried to eat healthy and workout with my trainer David.  The stress of trying to get pregnant was overwhelming.



Lexy– After talking with the girls, we decided to sign up for the Weight Watchers meetings. Cyndi, Carman and I went together to our first meeting on March 3rd and I weighed in at 156 lbs! I was so disappointed in myself because I had worked so hard in January on the 4 Hour Body. I couldn’t believe how fast the weight had come back. I was determined to learn the new Points Plus program and stick to it no matter how long it took me to reach my goal! I made a commitment to track all of my food intake using my dietSNAPS app! I attended two weddings that month and was still able to lose approximately 7 lbs. I loved the flexibility!

Carman– Decided I needed the meetings for accountablilty so we went to our first meeting and signed up on March 4th.  My starting weight was 158.8lbs. I gained weight the first 2 weeks on the new Points Plus plan and was really leary of this new plan working. After it taking the whole month of March for my body to adjust, I finally started seeing a slow weight loss.  I lost 2.6lbs.  I even went on a trip to NYC with my oldest daughter and was still able to loose weight!

Cyndi– So I went to the meeting with Carman and Lexy, but my heart wasn’t in it.  I was skeptical of WW, I had done it before and hated it.  I counted points, but I wasn’t diligent about sticking to them.  I refused to go to meetings thinking I could do it myself online.  I was still training for the marathon and still had baby’s on the mind.



Lexy– This is the month that I was told I might be obsessing too much over Weight Watchers. Hahaha! It was at the end of April and I was heading out of town for Easter. We were taking a huge family picture and I had been stressed about it. I had high hopes that I would have lost more weight and I was so disappointed that I didn’t lose as much as I wanted. I stopped in at a 24 Hour Fitness to do my weekly weigh in…. this was not at my normal meeting location. I started asking the leader (a male leader) for advice and to see how I could lose weight faster. He said that WW was designed to lose anywhere from .5 to 2 lbs per week and I was right on track. He said I should relax and just follow the program. Not to stress over a time table and let the weight come off gradually. This was a lifestyle change!!! After that pep talk… I checked in with Carman and Cyndi and they totally agreed with him! So…. I tried to relax!!! I lost approximately 6 lbs for the month.

Carman-I finally earned my first alb star! I adopted the motto ‘Just  Keep On Keeping On’ – I wasn’t getting the results I wanted as fast as I wanted them but I figured if this program worked for other people then surely it would eventually work for me. So I just needed to stick to it – and I would tell myself everyday ‘Just Keep on Keepin On!’  I realized how important it was to track everything I ate and keep learning the points values to the foods I was eating.  I also found a new Jeff Galloway running app to help me get motivated to run again.  I lost a total of 4.2lbs this month. Total weight loss so far was- 6.4lbs.

Cyndi– This was the month of my half marathon and 30th birthday.  I was so proud of myself for accomplishing the goal of running the race.  I had always hated running and never had the desire run a marathon.  Lexy and Carman had inspired me with their races and I jumped on the bandwagon.  Turning 30 was tough, but I survived and at the end of April made the commitment to finally start REALLY doing WW.



Lexy– May brought with it a trip to Phoenix to visit one of my best friends, another wedding and a huge family get together! I went into each of these events with confidence knowing that I could make healthy choices and I could use my extra weekly points to indulge in the “must have” desserts! I bought a new dress for the first time in years and I even got to try the famous Sprinkles Cupcakes for the first time! I was so amazed that I could eat normal foods in moderation and still lose weight. My weight loss did slow down significantly that month. One week I gained .4, then lost 1.6, then gained .8, then lost 1.2….. ending the month having lost approximately 1.6 lbs. I remember being really frustrated that month and Carman, Cyndi and I were all on a walk together. We created the term H.A.S.U. (hook a sister up!) We love the support we get from each other and so we all agreed when one of us is down the other two should be able to give straight-forward-with-all-the-love-of-a-sister-in-law-in-the-world kind of advice to that person. We decided to come up with a code word to use as a warning to that person that they were about to get some blunt, truthful advice that they might not want to hear at that moment–but it is intended to help bring them back to the great realm of how far we have come and to count our many blessings.

Carman-To start the month off I did the Houston Lupus 5K for my cousin for the WW’s Walk-It Challenge. I walked with my cousin and some of my family members including my mother and it was so awesome to be a part of that with them. I  joined a Boot Camp studio and I loved it! I earned a 5lb star and I got my 5% award. I also switched my WW account to start using my activity points first instead of my weekly points allowance and that made a HUGE difference in my mentality and success. My husband was gone for 6 weeks. This month was super busy!!! Had lots of end of the year school stuff with the kids. I got to visit one of my best friends in AZ for her daughters high school graduation and then fly out to see my husbands graduation. Memorial Day weekend we had a wedding reception and a big family get together. Total weight loss – 7.8lbs.

Cyndi– My first real month committed to the plan.  I was learning the program, trying to do it my way and realizing it wasn’t going to work.  I squeezed in my detox diet trying to jump start the weight loss, it ended up just setting me back when I binged the next week.  This was a learning month.



Lexy– This is the month I finally broke through and reached my Weight Watchers Goal!!! I was so incredibly happy! Never in my adult life… especially after having children… had I weighed under 140lbs! I went to the beach with my boys that day and my son took pictures of me in my bathing suit. I could not believe the difference!! I would never have taken those pictures before… much less have them posted on my website! When I got home that night, my husband surprised me with a beautiful necklace to represent my accomplishment. I love wearing that necklace because of what it means to me! I also started looking for old pictures of myself to really see how far I had come. Carman had some pretty scary ones that I had never really looked at before…. it was crazy to see them side by side with the current pictures!

Carman– I loved the Boot Camp and Kickboxing classes! After all that hard work I finally started seeing the ‘fruits of my labors’ that I had wanted to see in the beginning. It was taking a while for my body to adapt to this plan but finally the pounds were melting away and I was still eating  some of the same foods I had eaten  before- only now I eat it in moderation and I plan for it. It was about this month that I was starting to see this be a lifestyle change. At the end of the month, I reached my WW goal weight and 16 week award and earned my 10% award keychain!!!!!  It was such an awesome moment for me to have set a goal and accomplished it!!!  I shared what I felt was working for me at our WW meeting HERE. Total weight loss -15lbs

Cyndi– Keller left for the Czech Republic for 6 weeks.  I wanted to try really hard to work on getting myself on track while we was gone.  We went up to Utah for a couple weeks and I found that it was easier for me than it had been in the past to eat healthy while around my family.  I was starting to feel good about myself and good about sticking to the program.  I introduced the family to protein pancakes and they made fun of my taking pictures of my food.  By the end of the month I was down a total of almost 10lbs in 14 weeks.



Lexy– I really enjoy working out and trying new forms of exercise! Two friends of mine (Hi Cathy and Brenya!!) both had been telling me such good things about Bikram Yoga! There was a deal going around on the internet and I signed up for 10 sessions! I loved it! Now that I had reached my Weight Watchers goal, I had to learn to maintain it. To become a lifetime member of WW, you have to maintain your weight for at least 6 weeks! This was my post from the day I received my Lifetime Award!

Carman-A crazy busy month! My cousins wife was in a tragic accident and I spent a lot of time trying to help their family while she was in the hospital in Houston. It was an emotionally stressful month. It was also my husband and I’s 15th wedding anniversary. I also spent all month as the Girls Camp Director getting things ready and prepared for for the last week in the hot and humid Louisana heat for our church Girls Camp.  I was able to lose 4 lbs.

Cyndi– Staying steady on my WW plan I tried to change things up to see if I could spark a jump in weight loss.  Carman suggested to start eating my activity points.  My activity points were between 8-20 points, some days I would do hot yoga and spin.  I loved it and I felt great.  At the end of the 3-week trial, I actually ended up losing 0, I gained 1lb, then lost 0.6, then lost 0.4.  I was not happy, but I was proud of myself for sticking to the program and not getting frustrated with the lack of results.



Lexy– This is the month that I got to visit one of my best friends that was in town from the Caribbean! It was so great to see her and catch up! We also moved across town! Another exciting thing was when we decided to switch to Word Press and switch our blog to self hosting! We had so much to learn and it was all so fun!!! Over all, I was able to maintain my weight even though things were so crazy!!

Carman-I became a Lifetime Member of Weight Watchers and got my first Bravo star for the month of August. We took the leap and switched our blog over to wordpress – it was A LOT of work but we are so glad we did! Lots of work getting my house in order and kids ready to start school.  I maintained my weight around 143lbs.

Cyndi– I call this my downhill month.  After 3 strict months on the WW plan and 12 pounds lost, I found out I was pregnant.  Of course I was, cause we were no longer trying and I was totally focused on losing weight.  My husband also had an accident while on a dive trip in Hawaii which was not awesome.  So let’s say there was some serious emotional eating this month.  After Keller got back from Hawaii we went to Portland for a week for a friend’s wedding.  I was starting to feel very nauseas and got to the point where I was eating whatever would make me not feel like barfing.  And that was pretty much carbs!



Lexy– I finally got my gym membership back! (I didn’t have it for a few weeks because of our move!) September ended up being a very tough month for me! Lots of back and forth…. one day good, and one day bad… I think all of the excitement finally caught up to me and I just started getting sloppy with my diet! I wasn’t nearly as healthy in my choices and I put on a few pounds. Luckily, I was still under my Weight Watchers goal so I was able to keep my status as a lifetime member. I realized that the “maintaining” side of the Weight Watchers program was a whole new ballgame! It was definitely a mental shift. Once the kids got back to school and a routine was formed… I started to get back on track! Cyndi was in town for Labor Day and we had some good girl time!

Carman-I felt like life was at all time crazy between getting kids and our family established on a totally different school routine this year and my hubby was out of town most of the month. My husband and I joined 24 Hour Fitness again and I started making it a routine of going and trying new classes. We got to watch sweet little Cole while Cyndi was in Europe for 10 days and then had a fun family get together after.  Thankfully I was able to maintain my weight around 143lbs.

Cyndi– Our month as gypsies.  We moved out of our place in Austin and drove to Tennessee for Keller’s training.  Lived there for almost 3 weeks until Cole and I drove back to TX and I flew to Europe.  Tennessee was pretty good.  I tried really hard to have healthy snacks in our hotel room and we were able to find restaurants where we could eat healthy dinners.  We also got a temporary membership at a gym there which was awesome and we took full advantage of it.  In Europe we walked pretty much all day every day.  I brought my balance bars for snacks and we really didn’t eat a ton especially for all the exercising we were doing.



Lexy– We did a Walk for Candi to help in her fight against cancer. We were also contacted by the team at ShareCare to submit a question for Dr. Oz’s Virtual Doc Talk. :) They asked our question first!! I also struggled this month with comparing myself to others. October is the “unofficial” start of the holiday season! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays because I love candy! I tried to come up with a plan! Overall, I felt like I survived the month and maintained the weight. Miracle!

Carman– We tried the Muscle Blast class at the gym and loved it!! We spent a week changing the look of the blog and getting used to it. We went to Boot Camp by my fav trainer Monica!  Still maintained 143lbs.

Cyndi– Oh crazy Oct, got back from Europe, drove to Utah, and spent a week getting Keller ready to leave.  Let’s be honest, not the best month for eating and exercise.  The best part of this month was being able to do all the walks up the hill and hiking.



Lexy– November was another fresh start. I love the beginning of each new month because I print out a blank calendar and post it to my mirror. It helps keep things in perspective for me. I realize that I have to make good choices on a day by day basis and this is going to be for the rest of my life! My husband and I celebrated 16 years of marriage! We also started the Burpee 100 Day Challenge. Weight Watchers announced the new Points Plus 2012 and it was just the spark I needed!

Carman– – I was proud of myself for maintaing the same weight for the last 4 months!! That’s a huge accomplishment in itself!! Since its my birthday month 😉 I decided to start getting serious again on getting to my personal goal weight. 130lbs is my new personal goal because it is right in the middle of my weight range for my height. (It is also about what I weighed in high school.) My husband started off the month with a 100 Day Burpee Challenge  and I challenged everyone to a Gratitude challenge this month. I went on a shopping trip with my mom and my sister and then I got to go on a weekend trip with my husband (no kids) and spend some much needed time together. We had a nice long Thanksgiving break at my parents ranch and I also celebrated my 34th birthday. 😉  I lost 3.8lbs this month and finally broke off that plateau I had been sitting on.

Cyndi– Our first real month without Daddy.  I quickly had to find things to keep myself busy.  So along with trying to keep tabs on counting my points, I joined the gym.  I was so excited to finally get back into spin classes!  I decided to start my prerequisites for nursing school and started classes for my CNA.  I think this was my best pregnant month so far.  I finally felt like I was back into a routine.



Lexy– The new dietSNAPS website went live and I am really excited to blog for them! Our long awaited trip to Estes Park finally arrived! I thoroughly enjoyed being able to take 2 weeks off with my family. We have not taken a vacation in quite some time! Our hotel had a kitchen and we were able to prepare healthy meals daily. We went snowshoeing, continued our burpee challenge, and worked out in the gym for exercise! Because we are from Houston, we really enjoyed having a white Christmas! We had such a great year and I am really looking forward to the new year!!! I love having this blog with Carman and Cyndi to hold me accountable.

Carman-Our (year long planning) Christmas family trip to Estes Park, CO was finally here!  Our kids were so excited to get their wish to play in the snow for their Christmas this year. I was excited to get to give my kids a Christmas memory this year instead of worrying about all gifts.  It was the best thing we have ever done!  They really appreciated getting to spend time together as a family and making those memories they will remember forever. My kids are already talking about what we want to do as a family next Christmas. :)  My last weigh in before Christmas break, I was at my all time low since starting WW’s in March (and since having my 4th child) of 137.8 lbs for a total weight loss of 21 lbs.. I am so grateful for the progress I have had this year and the goals I have accomplished!!! It is all from taking babysteps, having patience, tracking, working hard, attending meetings and owning my weigh ins, having some more patience, being accountable on this blog, more patience, and having the amazing support system that I do!!!  I can’t wait to see what 2012 brings!!

Cyndi– End of my second trimester.  My family started a weight loss challenge 4 weeks before Christmas. I, being pregnant and not advised to go on a “diet”, decided my goal in the challenge would be to maintain my weight for 4 weeks. Instead, I gained 0.6 the first week, lost 2.6 pounds the next week, and then maintained the next 2.  Then came Christmas and I refuse to get on a scale until after I have a week of detoxification!  But I’m excited for the upcoming year and the goals I am hopeful to accomplish.


Listen to your body!

This post is for Lexy and Carman…yesterday my eyes were opened to the fact that I am not super woman. What???  I know, but it’s true.  After a Wednesday spin class, 120 make-up burpees (on the BOSU), and my Thursday buns and guns class where we spent most of the class on these:

They are called gliders and you can probably guess what they do…they glide.  These can be used for a variety of different exercises under the hands or under the feet.  It makes the workout way more intense causing the entire core to contract while sliding back on forth on the gliders.  We used them almost the entire class for tons of exercises such as: mountain climbers, one-legged burpees with shoulder press, side lunges, push-ups, and lots more I can’t remember.  Since my core was already sore from my burpees the day before, I couldn’t complete every exercise and modified a lot.

So after all that, Thursday evening I started having some pain in my stomach.  It was a hard to describe pain kinda of all over my belly, strong and horribly uncomfortable.  I thought maybe it was something I ate, but I really hadn’t eaten a lot that day and nothing different than usual.  It got to the point that when we sat down for dinner I could hardly eat and was doubling over in pain.  My mom took over getting Cole to bed and I went to take a bath and get in bed.  I did some googling and found that it was most likely gas…which my mom and I concluded today, came from some bad spinach in my green smoothie.  The fact that my core was so sore from all the workouts just intensified the pain.

So even though I do feel like I listen to my body and don’t push myself too hard, I may have to re-evaluate.  Carman and Lexy voted me out of the burpee challenge with a vote of thanks.  I have not accepted this forced exit, but I have a feeling it’s going to be harder to keep up everyday.  All I can do is my best and my goal is to finish the challenge one way or the other.

Wednesday’s Fire Bites

Pre-spin: 2

1 hr spin class +12/120 burpees

Post-spin: 5

Volunteered at the hospital, Wednesdays are now my official days.  Started getting a huge headache halfway through my shift so I grabbed a coke zero (after going 2 days without caffeine, yeah for me, 2 whole days!).  Picked up Cole from school and headed home.  I bought a kabocha squash last week to make for my mom who is doing a very strict protein/veggie diet.  She had bought a rotisserie chicken from Costco and I made the squash.  It was a super delicious dinner!

Snack: apple w/PB  3



Pre-buns and guns: 2

Kick my BUNS and GUNS class +12

Post-B&G: Muscle Milk light  3

Cole I went to the rec center and I Skype chatted with Keller while Cole played.  Came home and had lunch and both of us went down for naps!

Lunch protein pancake and green smoothie 5.

We got up just in time for Taekwondo.  Snack on the way: 5

I dropped Cole off and went to do some Christmas shopping.  Grabbed Chipotle for dinner on the way home.

Dinner: burrito bowl- brown rice(awesome!), small bit of black beans, chicken, fajita veggies, pico, sprinkle of cheese, lettuce, guac…this was the night I got sick, I ate maybe 1/3  6pts?

FRIDAY fire bites

Breakfast…another protein pancake and green smoothie 5

50min of yoga at home

It was Heidi’s (from Tuesdays with Heidi) birthday so I surprised her and showed up at her house to take her to lunch.  We went to one of both our favorites Cafe Trio.  I really wish she would let me take pictures with her.  We both looked really cute today!

Lunch: 15?

appetizer…rosemary flatbread w/white bean, pesto, and olive spread…I had 3 pieces of the flatbread

lunch…portabello mushroom and veggie panini w/mozarella and a cup of roasted red pepper soup…ate the entire sandwich, and maybe 4 bites of the soup

dessert…Heidi’s choice, creme brûlée I had literally maybe 2 tsp…so full from the rest of my lunch

Made a Costco run to exchange my Garmin…hopefully this one works.  Picked up Cole and we went home. Papa has been wanting to try this BBQ place in Heber, UT (about 20 min from Park City) so we went tonight.  It claims to be “Texas” BBQ.

Cole chillin’ on the way…thank goodness for car DVD players!

This is Cole and my skeptical face that it would be anything like REAL TEXAS BBQ.

Dinner: side salad (did not eat croutons or all of the cheese), brisket sandwich (ate 1/3 of the bun), 3 bites of Cole’s pulled pork sandwich, a few green beans

My overall rating of the place is a 5 out of 10.  The brisket was good, but definitely NO extra lean Rudy’s brisket.  The beans were out of a can and in water with a piece of bacon that was gray.  The potato’s were good, but I’m not a crazy potato person, I can pass them up.  The service was not awesome, they gave Cole RANCID milk!  And before we even got home my stomach was hurting and I had to spend some time in the loo. TMI I know!

I will be listening to my body the next time my Dad suggests going to this BBQ place again.  😉

Cyndi’s Story

I have always been chunky or as my sister likes to call it “big-boned”! My body type and genes are prone to never being a size 2. Starting as early as elementary school I remember feeling self conscious about my weight. I wasn’t very active. I played softball in elementary school, but not really any other sports.

I started doing ballroom dance when I was in middle school. Although I loved it, I wouldn’t call it much an exercise regime being that we only practiced on Saturdays.

In high school a friend of mine lost a bunch of weight really quickly, I asked her how and she confided in me about having an eating disorder. So of course being a stupid teenager I thought, oh I can throw-up my food and lose weight. My sophomore year in high school I started a very long battle with bulimia that lasted more than 10 years. It wasn’t an everyday for 10 years thing, but something I always fell back on when at a low point. I believe this was a major factor in my steady increase of weight over the next 5-10 years.

The above pictures were freshman and sophomore year of high school, below was my senior year.  We moved from California to Texas the middle of my junior year.  I fluctuated between a size 8 and 14.  Up and down, up and down…

(PS that is my hubby…up not down)

My freshman year in college I tried out for the BYU ballroom dance team, a dream I had wanted for a long time. I was a good dancer, but I definitely didn’t have a dancers body. I made it all the way to the final cut and didn’t make the team. I was devastated. I felt like I hadn’t made the team because I was overweight. I really don’t remember what I weighed at this point but it was in the 160’s.  I gained a lot of weight my freshman year of college, I would guess about 20 pounds.  I had a boyfriend freshman year that I was pretty serious with and then he left for a church mission. After that, I pretty much didn’t date anyone. I was heavy…my heaviest and I didn’t even realize it.  I was probably between 185-190 at this point, but do not even remember weighing myself.  It didn’t help that I had a barbie doll roommate and lots of gorgeous friends.  I always felt like the “fat” friend.

(My exotic looking beauty friend Heidi, and Barbie roomate-Sarah)
 The below picture sums up my coping mechanism with the fact that I felt super unattractive…I was the FUNNY one…I didn’t have to be skinnier, because I was funny and happy, I had a boyfriend so I couldn’t have been that ugly right???

This was at my debutante ball…in the pic was my best friend from high school…a tiny little 5 foot nothing, gorgeous little woman!  I felt like an amazon woman next to her (it doesn’t look like she’s that short in this pic, I either had my shoes off or she had really tall shoes on).

The summer of 2000…my older sister Sherilynn and I took a trip to Spain…I can’t even believe that I looked like that!


In January of 2002, Keller (my best friend from my year and a half in Texas) returned home from his mission and our friendship grew into a lot more.  We were engaged by April and married by August.  I remember wedding dress shopping and having to get a size 16 that was TIGHT.  I was mortified.  This was probably about the time I started more binge dieting, going from one extreme to the other. I tried Atkins, South Beach, and other extreme deprivation diets and always ended up losing weight really quickly and then eventually falling of the wagon and gaining it all back, plus some!

I was a bridesmaid at one of my besties wedding…this was April 2002 right after we were engaged.  This bridesmaids dress was so tight I thought it was going to bust open at the seams right there at the wedding!

After seeing the above picture and the dread of my size 16 wedding dress being too tight, I hopped on a low carb diet bandwagon and lost about 10 pounds.  I’m not really sure what my actual weight was at the point, only that I fit a lot of better into my dress on the second fitting.

My husband is the nicest guy in the world…a genuine southern gentleman.  However, the kid has the metabolism of a 12-year-old.  He can eat anything and everything he wants.  Our first years of marriage we ate horribly…I just remember a lot of Little Caesar’s pizzas with crazy bread and Carl’s Jr. six dollar burgers at 11pm.  At one point we actually did join a gym, but our attendance was very sporadic.

Over the next 4 years 2002-2006…I was just up and down, up and down.  Pretty much stayed at a size 14 sometimes a 14 was tight and sometimes loose.  The below picture is from a family trip to Hawaii…you better believe there was low carb dieting going on before this trip!  I wanted to fit into my size 10 tankini.  I did end of fitting into it, although I’m not sure how good it looked!


In 2006, my hubby decided to join the military…and of course I got pregnant the month before he left.  Getting pregnant was an eye opener!!!  I was already unhappy at the weight I was at and now I was going to be pregnant on top of that.

At my 8-week appointment I had already gained 12 pounds, I was now tipping the scale in the upper 180’s…I decided that day that this was not going to continue.  My husband was away, I was “house-sitting” my parents house (they were living in a different state at that time) so I was pretty much alone.  I had nothing else to do at night when I got home from work, so I decided I would walk on the treadmill for an hour every day.  It was great because I was able to catch up on missed season’s of Friday Night Lights and Arrested Development.  I also incorporated pre-natal yoga and this began my love for yoga!!  And of course I had to give myself limitations on eating…I worked full-time so M-F I had the same breakfast everyday (eggo waffle w/peanut butter and a glass of oj), I would eat whatever I wanted for lunch and then the same dinner (yogurt over fruit with granola).  Doing this, I was able to only gain a total of 25 pounds during my pregnancy.

March 2007:  7-months prego
May 2007:  Two days after delivery
A week after delivery I was back into my pre-baby pants and a week after that I started walking.  I remember the first walk I went on, I went way too far and was very sore after.
July 2007:  6 weeks after about 175
Maternity leave was awesome…I was able to focus on only Cole and me.  By the time I was back at work, I was in better shape then before I had gotten pregnant.  But being back in an office setting, where most of my lunches were eaten out (I worked for a TV station) and there was always some sort of treat laying around, my weight slowly began to come back on.
Motivation to get on the South Beach diet came with the upcoming reunion of our family (meaning my husband was finally finishing his training).  I was really strict the month before his graduation and by the time his graduation rolled around I was in the 160’s.
After real life set-in, it was back to my normal ways.  I was still working out, in fact I had started training at a CrossFIT gym in Park City.  CrossFIT started my love for working out.  I loved the challenge and how I felt afterwards…if I had only controlled my eating I would have dropped some serious weight.

In March of 2009 we moved to Texas.  To sum up the last 2 years, they have been life changing…emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally.  I went from working at a job I loved and was awesome at, to being a full-time SAHM.  It was fine in the beginning, I got a little stir crazy, but I loved having the freedom to spend time with Cole and explore our new city.   It was a new place, new people, new life.

The change: I had heard about a miracle diet pill called Phentermine that would help curb my appetite from some friends that were taking it.  So I went to my doctor and asked for it…and she gave it to me.  I started the Phen in April of 2009 starting weight about 180 and by May of 2009 I was 167.  The pill was unreal, seriously like meth, not that I would know, but I had an insane amount of energy, I wasn’t hungry pretty much at all, it was fantastic.  I would eat eggs and cereal for breakfast, a yogurt, apple and some nuts for lunch and then half the amount of food for dinner than normal.
Before the Phen April 2009
In June of 2009 I walked into an Anytime Fitness trying to sell them a sponsorship for a TV station I was working for.  I did sell the sponsorship, but I also walked out with a membership and personal training sessions with my new trainer David.  He encourgaed me to get off the Phentermine and just do what he told me to.  I went on a 3-week detox diet and started the hardest workouts I had ever done.  He got me down to 155…my lowest weight since high school.  I love David because he taught me to challenge myself.  He also pushed me to a place I’ve never been before.
My first binge weekend at Hotel Hinson after a 4 week detox diet…I made myself physically ill, but at least I looked damn good while doing it!
July 2009

Over the next year I was on a roller coaster of David’s detox/clean eating to bingeing.  There was no balance.  It was extreme loss to extreme caloric intake.  Back and forth back and forth.  I still have not been able to get back down to 155.  From June 09-June10, I waiver-ed between 160-170.  During this time I also started trying to get pregnant to no avail.
 June 2010 (I finally didn’t feel like the FAT sister)

By November of 2010 I had hit the 180’s again, only to drop almost 15 pounds with a 3-week stint of strict detoxing…back to 165 in December of 2010.  In January of 2011 the gang decided we were going to try the 4-hour body diet, so after a final hou-rah of Christmas/New Year’s bingeing, I weighed in at 175.  I also started ovulation drugs this month.  By February I was 170, not pregnant, becoming depressed, started to train for a half-marathon and put on birth control to regulate my period.  March was a rough month.

 Ran my 1st half in April 2011, one-week before my 30th birthday

And in April I joined WW at 182.4.  WW has been hard for me.  I fight it.  I hate doing things slowly.  I want it now!!  But obviously I’m a walking billboard for quick fixes don’t last!  You can see in my progress chart the weeks I gave up and stopped counting points, the week I starved myself, and the repercussions for it all.  The weeks I actually followed the program, I lost weight, and felt great.  I also noticed that as I slowly lost the weight, even if I fall off the wagon, I don’t gain everything lost back.

I hate this picture below, but I’m putting it up here so I know where I began with my WW journey and why.  I want my 155 back…and then some!

In July of 2011 I found out I was pregnant.  Of course I am because we were no longer trying and that’s when it always happens.  Oh and because my husband got a new job which will take him overseas 3 months at a time, so of course I’m pregnant now that he’ll be leaving again!  Putting aside my sarcasm we are elated to finally be having another addition to our family.  So my last weigh-in with WW on 8/2 I was 174 for a total loss of 13.4lbs over the course of 3 months.  I spent the next 9 months continuing my workouts and trying to still count points within reason (allowing myself treats if needed) in over to keep my pregnancy weight gain to a minimum.  The day before I delivered (March 25, 2012) I was 202lbs, for a total of 28 pounds gained.  I was super proud of myself during this regency for sticking with my spin classes, weight training, and enjoying myself food-wise, but keeping it under control.  The biggest ah-ha moment for me was when I realized how easy following the Weight Watcher Points Plus plan had been for me when my goal was to gain as little weight as possible instead of losing.  This was a life changing moment for me because as soon as I had Cruz, my mind was focused on getting to my goal weight, but the way I wanted to get there was slow and steady.
28 , 32, 37 weeks
Since counting points was now a habit of mine, I was counting points while I was still in the hospital.  I started working out 2 weeks after I delivered.  I took it easy at first just doing walks and a little yoga.  I started P90X2 May 21st and weighed 178.  The first month I lost 9 pounds.  The workouts were hard and I could barely do anything, but I loved them.  You do something different every day and that’s what I loved.  No monotony.  I also started up hot yoga classes again.  LOVE LOVE LOVE Baptiste hot power yoga!  AND my sister-in-laws introduced me to ViSalus!  Seriously the best thing ever to come into my life.  I jumped on the chance to start a 90-day challenge to parallel what I had already started.  After my second month of P90X2, I was down another 9.  My total loss for P90X2 was 22 pounds.

4/12                   6/12                    8/12

While still continuing my Body by Vi 90-day challenge, I also started the paleo diet.  I like to call it the Paleohell diet.  Basically you eat meat, veggies, fruit, nuts, and that’s about it, with a cheat meal or day throughout the week.  I did it to support a friend who decided she would bail from it 2 weeks into it.  I lasted a month.  I felt myself feeling like I was going back to the old Cyndi, where I was super hardcore during the week, and eating everything in sight on the weekends.  The only thing that saved me was being able to have my Green Greek Vi Smoothie and Vi Pancake everyday!!  At the end of my Body by Vi 90-day challenge I weighed in at 153, I had lost 19.4 pounds on my challenge for a total loss of 49 pounds since having Cruz in March.

Before and After

202                                       153

I still have 2.8 pounds to go to my Weight Watchers goal.  And another 10 after that to my “ultimate” goal.  I’m so excited for the habits I’ve built and for the support of my awesome sister-in-laws along the way.  I know this is a life long process and I feel like I will always struggle with my weight and food, but I will never be back where I was EVER!