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!