, My Journey, RunningA Year Ago Today

A Year Ago Today

A year ago today, I weighed 281lbs.

I worked out in a gym for six months, and didn’t have much to show for it. I mean, yes – some weight loss took place, lots of muscle development took place, but I still felt so defeated. I wanted to lose inches!! I wanted to be smaller! Why was I not progressing!

This was the start of a 3 month break from fitness. I just… I had other priorities. I had other focuses. I had other places my energy needed to be directed toward. I didn’t need the constant disappointment of trying to be healthier and failing. Repeatedly. Miserably. I just didn’t want to be bothered.

Well, in 3 months, I gained 10lbs.Yeah, it was a stressful 3 months and I was running to food to try to give me temporary release and relief… but 10lbs? Ten pounds? By March, I realized… “Well, if I’m going to have the gauntlet thrown at me, I might as well prepare my body for it.”

I started thinking about how I can properly tackle my health without cheating, being lazy, getting in my own way. A lifestyle change that would become second nature. I thought about this… over a bowl of queso. That I ate… for breakfast.

By late April (the picture above is from April), I got into the habit of cooking everything I ate. I realized that perhaps if it were more difficult for me to indulge in the foods I liked, I wouldn’t indulge so much. If I wanted cookies, I had to bake them myself. If I wanted queso, I had to make it myself. Want a quesadilla? Do it yourself. This helped with my blood pressure. Why? Because processed foods overdo it on the salt. It helped with my risk for overeating. Why? Because I was eating whole nutrients… my body was getting the nutrition it was looking for, so I wasn’t continually compelled to keep eating while my body sought out nutrition.

As soon as I got my eating habits together, I dropped 17lbs. That was when I realized what kept me from losing the inches I wanted – I was still filling my body with crap! I finally figured out how I could get a lock on this thing… and just like that, I started working out again.

Just going for a walk every day and eating better, I lost another 15lbs. I was doing so much more than my body was used to… that it was burning all kinds of energy to keep up. It wasn’t used to this kind or amount of effort! I had properly shocked my body, revved up my engine, and was on my way.

6 months later, another 50lbs was gone. I’m not as concerned with the pounds as much as I am concerned with the inches. Why? Because I’ve developed ab, leg, and thigh muscles that weigh just as much as – if not more than – the fat I once carried… and although it might cause me to put on more weight on the scale, my figure has still become much more lean.

I’ve probably lost about 20lbs in the past 3 months, but I’ve lost about 21″ total – 2″ from each thigh, 4″ from my low-rise waist, 4″ from my normal waist, 2″ from each arm, 2″ from the band in my bust, and 3″ from my hips. I can see cuts in my arms, and lines in my abs. My face is way more defined… I feel like a different woman. When I do my Yoga poses, I can see development in my thighs. When I stand in my high heels, I can see lines in my calves from my knee to my ankle. So my scale might be slow, but my tape measure is movin’!

How am I developing nutritionally? There is one processed item in my pantry that is not organic: goldfish crackers. Dreaded things. (I know I’ve written about how my love of these things plagues me.) If my daughter didn’t love them, I might throw them away. Hey, she’s young – I might throw them away, anyway. Besides… it’s my house. 🙂

I still cook everything I eat. I get a little more jazzy and bake things that I shouldn’t be eating – home made or not – but at least I’m not gaining weight at the speed I was before. I’m way more mindful of what I’m putting in my body. Thinking about this makes me more emotional than you think… because it passes on to my daughter. If given a choice between those goldfish crackers and a handful of blueberries, she’s going to choose the blueberries. I didn’t have that foresight as a child. If I had, I might not’ve spent middle school as a size 15.

I’m more comfortable working out in front of others, now. Which translates into my being more comfortable with myself as a whole. It’s easier for me to accept my shortcomings because I know the greatest of my troubles – my health – were able to be tamed… there’s nothing I can’t do at this point. My struggle with my weight has taught me the value of facing my shortcomings head on. If I don’t be honest and real with myself about the source of a problem, how could I ever possibly and effectively find a solution? Ever since I’ve had this epiphany – this newfound value in self-transparency – my life is so much less stressful. There’s less satisfaction found in dramatizing the problem, and the peace found in having obtained the solution is way more valuable.

All things I didn’t have a year ago. I didn’t weigh 185 a year ago. I also didn’t have a size 8 shape a year ago. Yay me.

Looking at everything I’ve left in 2008, I am excited to see what I leave behind in 2009. How I learn, how I grow, how I use what I’ve learned to help others. Hopefully, I’ll leave those stupid goldfish crackers behind. That’s first on the list.

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By | 2017-06-10T11:23:24+00:00 August 19th, 2014|Inspiration, My Journey, Running|62 Comments

About the Author:

The proud leader of the #bgg2wlarmy, Erika Nicole Kendall writes food and fitness, body image and beauty, and more here at #bgg2wl. After losing over 150lbs, Kendall became a personal trainer certified in fitness nutrition, women's fitness, and weight loss by the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is also certified in sports nutrition by Precision Nutrition. She now lives in New York with her husband and children, and is working on her 6th and 7th certifications because she likes having alphabet soup at the end of her name.


  1. Jubilance December 23, 2009 at 11:37 AM - Reply


    Like seriously. I’m so proud of you!!!

    My diet is the sole reason why I am 225 lbs right now. The absolute biggest I’ve ever been, and I absolutely can’t stand it. And its cause I’m lazy, I picked up the habit of grabbing things on the go in grad school, and now that I have the money & time to cook, I’d still rather be lazy.

    But I don’t want to be lazy anymore, its not worth it.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Valerie December 23, 2009 at 12:04 PM - Reply

    amazing story. it brings tears to my eyes and hope in my heart. keep up the good work.

  3. Melody December 23, 2009 at 12:14 PM - Reply

    Wow – your story is such an inspiration. Continued good health and progress in 2010!

  4. Scooter December 23, 2009 at 12:28 PM - Reply

    Very inspiring. I’m trying to change my trifling ways. I keep reading your blog and I know that change is gonna come.

    Kudos on your success!

  5. Ralonda December 23, 2009 at 12:56 PM - Reply

    Thank you so much for creating this blog. I have been reading it for a month or so now, and I am coming to understand my struggle a bit better. I have been overweight since I was 7 years old. I am now 24. My grandmother put me on countless diets, even diet pills (yellowjackets) once. Now I am realizing (slowly, but progress is progress) that this is not easy and calls for a drastic lifestyle change. I am now taking steps to ensure that I can at least enjoy the last half of my 20s. I have a dr.s appointment now to get a physical so that I can do this safely.
    You have inspired me. God bless you.

  6. Ebs December 23, 2009 at 12:57 PM - Reply

    You are such an inspiration. I want to change the way I eat in 2010 and you have given me some great tips. Now I know where to start. I just bought a cook book with simple, healthy recipes.

    Question- Did you see a nutritionist at any point during your weight loss journey?

    • Erika December 23, 2009 at 1:03 PM - Reply


      Thank you so much for your kind words! One of these days, I’ll have to thoroughly outline my journey so that perhaps it can help a little more.

      During my entire process, I never saw a nutritionist, but I DID do a LOT of research. Most of what I learned, I’m fully intending to share here. 🙂

      • Joni December 2, 2012 at 2:37 PM - Reply

        Wow, God surely put this story on my Facebook. I just came to “if you want it cook it” over the past 3 weeks or so and I’ve been looking up simple recipes for my favorite foods and comparing the ingredients to the “pre-packaged” counterpart. Amazing and pretty scary. Like you, I’m able to adjust the SALT content for my blood pressure. Thank you for letting me see what results I can achieve in advance!!

  7. P. December 23, 2009 at 2:35 PM - Reply

    Boooooo….. *sprinkles salt* lol

    (just kidding… good work woman. Maybe one of these days you can actually try out what I sent to you in that Zshare link lol)

  8. Ironlady December 23, 2009 at 2:39 PM - Reply

    Wonderful story! You found “The Secret” that so many of us overlook. Diet and proper nutrition is 85% of the healthy and fitness equation. Working out is VERY important, but if you are still eating junk, it’s not going to help with weight. Congrats on the weight loss and your healthy NEW life!

  9. SoJo December 24, 2009 at 9:46 AM - Reply

    WOW!!!! Absolutely amazing. I recently started following you on twitter and knew that you had a health and fitness blog, but had absolutely no idea how far you’d come in your journey!

    CONGRATS!!! And double congrats for doing it the right way. You’ve got a new reader in me. 🙂

    *bookmarking site and adding to Google Reader*

  10. lesley hal December 24, 2009 at 6:06 PM - Reply

    Wow! I was just telling my friends we need to do better when one emailed me your blog. you are such an encouragment.i know it will not be an easy process and that i will have to be patient. Keep up the great work! i look ofrward to reading your blogs from here on out!

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