Saturday, August 20, 2011

Summer 2011

I figured before summer is over..I might as well be brave and post a swimsuit pic.  So here I am.  :)


Thursday, August 18, 2011

So Close!

So this morning marks a new milestone for me on my journey.  I saw 160 on the scales.  I am only 8 lbs from reaching a normal BMI.  It's still a daily struggle, but I've come this far and refuse to give up.  Sometimes I worry about what happens once I decide I'm done losing though.  This is who I am now.  It makes me feel productive to see the numbers go down.  I'll be relieved obviously and feel like I've achieved something great, but at the same time...the idea of it scares me.  What else concerns me is that I've came to the conclusion that I'll never feel perfect.  No matter how small I get I'll still look in the mirror and be confronted by an array of imperfections that cannot be corrected.  I guess I naively thought that I'd eventually be able to be entirely pleased with myself.  I suppose that will be my next endeavor...the next hurdle on my path.  Deciding that imperfections are what make each of us uniquely beautiful.  Perhaps that will be even harder than losing the weight, but it's something that has to be done...and it will be done.

Hope all of you are well.  :)


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Q & A

Louise said...
Have you had a problem with sagging skin since the weight loss? I'm 7 weeks into my Dukan journey and looking forward to the end (a lo-o-o-ong way away) but admit that this is the only thing bothering me. These before-after pics are amazing, you were beautiful before but...wow! Louise x  Hi Louise!  Loose skin is inevitable if you lose quite a lot of weight, but you can certainly minimize the risk by exercising and drinking plenty of water along the way.  My personal experience is that it is not bad enough to discourage you from losing the weight!
Mindy said...
I just started the diet and happened upon your blog, which I absolutely LOVE! You're such an inspiration! You look gorgeous. Luckily, my fiance is doing the diet with me; we're a little over 3 weeks into it. His weight loss is more rapid than mine, so I'm looking for a fellow female perspective. Are/were there times where you experienced stagnation in your weight loss? Possibly even a frustrating gain? I know everyone is different, but is a 1-2lb loss a week typical? I'm following the "rules" rather strictly, but I admit, once or twice I've slipped. I allow myself to have regular gum, rather than sugar free, and a week ago I regrettably had a beer, which caused a 2lb gain! After that, I swore off straying from the guidelines. My last question is, were there times you allowed yourself to break the rules, and if so, how did it impact your results? Thank you so much for sharing. :) Mindy
 
Hi Mindy,
Plateaus and occasional gains are perfectly normal.  Your body is quite sensitive to the things you eat.  Whether you have to much salt or even if it is a hot day you may retain more water than normal.  Also, cheating is inevitable.  The most important thing is that you compensate for your missteps immediately.  One step back and two steps forward.  Exercise more the next day and do a white out day of only chicken breast, tuna, water, and green tea.  The more times you break the rules the slower your progress will be.  It becomes a balancing act of how badly do you want to have the occasional treat versus how quickly do you want to see more pronounced results.  You control the speed of weight loss.  But never let your missteps prevent you from continuing on.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to not let any amount of weight gain discourage you from fighting just as hard as you were before.  That's how I came so far.  Best of luck to you and your fiance!  Lastly 1-2 lbs a week is superb!  
 
thecardigangirl said...
You are amazing! I'm on my second attempt at diet success. Last year I went from 260 to 191, however i'm back up to 230 and reading about your successes are truly motivating. You are giving me hope that I can do this :)  You most certainly can do this!  When I was 16 I lost 70 lbs and put all of it back on and more.  This diet is different.  It changes your life entirely!  Best of luck :)
Anonymous said...
You are amazing. I have lost 18 lbs on Dukan and am nearing my true weight. I am suddenly struggling when all has been easy so far. I just crave all the wrong things in the last week and have had two awful binge days resulting in 5lb gain. I can feel the whole thing slipping away and am scarily out of control. I don't know what has happened in my head this week. How can I re-focus? Daisy  Hi Daisy, Sit down and make a list of all the things you have to gain by fighting for this.  Look at it as an investment in your future.  You are in control, and no matter what you can always lose the weight.  When you start to focus on failure it can become a reality.  Failure is not an option because you deserve the best!  So go for it.  You'll be amazed at the power that lies within you. :)  
Anonymous said...
You look absolutely amazing and are such an inspiration. Did you have any trouble with consipation or bad breath during the diet?  Hi!  Thanks so much.  I did not have any digestive troubles with the diet, but yes ketosis breath has plagued me quite terribly.  It's a necessary side-effect.  Though it's annoying, I'd much rather be healthier and happier than larger with perfect breath.  I recommend mouth wash.
Anonymous said...
Hi, First of all you look amazing and are truly an inspirational women !! I have just started the Dukan diet and in my first week i have a long way to go but hoping it will be successful !! Laura United Kingdom xx  Hi Laura!  Thanks so much.  Let me know how it goes for you.  You'll be amazed at the results! Thanks so much for your questions.  I'll be happy to answer any others as well.  I hope you all are doing splendidly.  :) And here is a before pic of me from August 26th, 2010.  I didn't know the picture existed til i found it today.  A news reporter took my photo at a Beatles tribute concert.  So I couldn't hold the camera just right to try to hide.  This is where I started.  Less than a year ago, this was me. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Let your soul take you where you long to be...






Down 136.5 lbs now.  
Every additional pound at this point makes such a huge impact.  I'm feeling healthier by the day.  I would like to use this post as an opportunity to address any questions or concerns you might have.  Ask me anything.  About the diet or otherwise.  I'll be happy to explore anything you wish to.  I feel that honesty about my experience is what seems to motivate people the most.  

So hopes, fears, questions, whatever you wish to share now's your chance.  I look forward to hearing from you all. :)

Also, I stumbled upon this blog today, and find this guy's story SO inspirational.  Check it out!

Let your mind start a journey thru a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be...Close your eyes let your spirit start to soar, and you'll live life as you've never lived before.





Friday, August 5, 2011

Go Confidently In The Direction Of Your Dreams...

So I've gone back to fully determined dieting mode.  I'm far from doing it flawlessly, but I am being far better.  I've been drinking more water and exercising more.  Trying to minimize bad foods.  I've now lost 135.5 lbs.  I'm beginning to fear I'll never feel satisfied, so I'm going to set my limit at 139.5 lbs.  Which means I still have right at 25 more lbs to lose. :/  But, I'm already well below what I dreamed possible before, so I'll take it a day at a time.

I wanted to remind you all how important drinking plenty of water is to the diet.  We've all heard it.  We all tend to ignore it.  Well here is one thing I hadn't heard about water until recently.  Drinking plenty of water can help your skin remain firmer during rapid weight loss.  How about that for incentive?  Also, water enables your liver to process fat more effectively.  So there's that.  And, if you don't drink enough water, your body actually clings to its fat deposits.  So drinking enough water alone without even dieting and exercising would likely help you shed at least a few pounds.  So put all those things together, and you have a very, very simple new weapon in your weight loss arsenal.  If you're not a big water drinker (I wasn't at all!), here's another interesting detail.  If you're rarely thirsty or rarely desire water, it is likely because you're not drinking enough water.  Make yourself drink enough water for a day or two, and you'll miraculously find yourself wanting water all the time.  Problem. Solved. :)

The idea of a perfect summer was so motivating to me when I began this diet.  The things I would do, the places I would go.  This summer has exceeded expectations.  I hiked to the loveliest waterfalls, I stood on top of a mountain and gazed downward at the clouds, I've been so overwhelmed with the beauty of nature that it brought tears to my eyes.  I've sunbathed without a care in the world to the point that I'm a quite lovely shade of bronze which is a welcome change from my typical paleness.  I play disc golf outside every weekend in 90 degree weather, and feel even better after I do it.  I am not the same person at all.  It blows my mind.  In some ways I'm the very antithesis of my old self.   

A brief moment last night seemed to epitomize the entirety of this summer.  I took the trash out down the way, and felt like sprinting homeward.  I ran as fast and as hard as I could.  Not caring who saw me.  Not caring about anything except the fact that I could do this.  And in those moments I felt weightless and strong.  I felt unstoppable and truly free.  I used to have recurring dreams as a child of simply running out my front door.  No destination in mind, just running as far and as fast as I could.  It was always a good feeling in the dream.  I didn't feel like I was running from or to anything in the world.  I was simply running.  That was something I never did as a child really.  I never did it as an adult either until last night.  And somehow I wonder if that's what my childhood dream was meant for, to show me where happiness lies...in simply being, in simply doing.  I always used to wonder what I was running from or where I was going.  I suppose I know now, and I'll run in this same direction for the rest of my life now.  Most. Gladly. :)
 


Me.  7.27.11
Frustration is the first step towards improvement. I have no incentive to improve if I’m content with what I can do and if I’m completely satisfied with my pace, distance and form as a runner. It’s only when I face frustration and use it to fuel my dedication that I feel myself moving forwards. ~ John Bingham

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Reminder of Where My Journey Began.

I'm going to share something intensely personal with you all.  Something I ran across this morning.  Something that finally made me realize just how far I've come.  Approximately 3 1/2 years ago, I was in the process of completing all the prerequisites to have my insurance approve gastric bypass.  One of which was writing a letter explaining why I wanted to do it, despite the risks and sacrifice.  So this is me being completely honest with myself.  I wasn't exaggerating.  I felt I couldn't do it on my own.  That there was no hope. 


To whom it may concern:
My Perspective on Gastric Bypass
The greatest things in life often require the seemingly greatest sacrifices. It only makes sense in the whole scheme of things that what you sow is what you reap. Sometimes, however, people just don’t have the green thumbs required to sow things exactly the right way, and they are left without a thing in the world to show for it. I’m one of these latter people. My whole life I have done all I can to be the person I so desperately long to be. I have succeeded internally for the most part, but a large part of what’s inside of me is inextricably linked to what’s on the outside of me. That’s why I took the first step in seeking out help with this life-altering endeavor. I know that without help I will be destined to be this same person for the rest of my life. This person who despite having a pure heart and a wise mind still cannot truly live her life the way she is entitled to.
Going into this endeavor I have heard far more scary things than good things. I’ve heard so many times “You must…” and “You have to…” I’ve heard of the horrible consequences that will result if I don’t do those things, and I’ve heard of the real people who didn’t listen. I know that it’s about far more than a happy ending. It’s still a long, hard struggle that will be lifelong. I’ve thought about all of these things for a long time: how my life will be permanently changed in good ways and bad, how a major source of stress relief will be gone forever, how the people around me will treat me differently, how I’ll never be free from focusing on food for the rest of my life. I’ve thought of how afterwards I’m going to have to grieve over losing a freedom that most people take for granted. After thinking of all these things, what I come back to is this: I will do anything in the world if it means I will have fewer regrets in my old age, and that I will even see that old age.
The life I’m looking at now is not nearly as promising as it should be. I can’t plan things as simple as my class schedule the way I want to, I can’t live without some sort of pain on a day to day basis, I can’t be free from the all the burdens that being overweight entails. If I don’t lose weight I’ll likely never be able to have children, and even if I somehow did, I might very well never live to see my grandchildren.
The most striking reality came to me at the last bypass support group meeting I attended. A girl who had lost 140 lbs over 7 months was there. She was so happy and healthy. She had been my size before, and here she stood looking what I would consider perfect. She told me of how her life had improved, and how she would do it again. She was such an inspiration. Someone asked her if she ever regretted having the surgery though, and her response just dumbfounded me. She said, “Yeah, but only at family get togethers. I wish I could eat all the food they have there, and I can’t.” I thought to myself, how can this woman who has been given a second chance at life even say that with a straight face? It just made me realize that if that thought ever crosses my mind I’m going to remind myself of how silly she seemed. She was given all the world, and she was complaining about missing out on an hour’s pleasure of enjoying one meal.
The implications of this surgery are so far-reaching that I don’t believe any person who has never been overweight can fully appreciate them. Everyone looking in sees it as a result of vanity, but it isn’t. They don’t know what life is like being morbidly obese. Try as they might they could never fully empathize. When every single minute of every single day of your life is made either painful, emotionally hurtful, unnecessarily frustrating or exhausting, or simply not of the quality that any living individual is entitled to; then you can begin to empathize.
I suppose the bottom line for me is this: dietary restrictions, vitamins, other required medications, and follow-up appointments are by far worth the effort and worth the sacrifice. I’m only going to live once, and it’s up to me how much I make of it. If I want to live the rest of my life being miserable physically and mentally then I very well can, but if I take the initiative to recognize that I cannot do this on my own and that help is out there then I will end up with a far better quality of life. By having a better quality of life I can, in turn, improve the quality of the lives around me as well.
How can I do this?...How can I alter my life so drastically and cope with the changes that will follow? Because I’ve never wanted anything more in my life, because I have people who love me more than anything in the world who are completely committed to seeing that I do make it through this, and because if I don’t do this I’ll be robbing myself and those around of me of years of lifetime that could very well hold things so beautiful I could never begin to fathom. I can and will do this because I want to live. I’m not going to take the gift of life for granted. I’m going to make the best of it. I’m going to give it my all, whatever it takes, and in the end, it will all be worth it.

It will be more than worth it.



With sincerest commitment and a newfound sense of hope for the future,




Brianna Marshall

So that's where I came from.  And today I hit the 130 lbs lost milestone.  I've never seen the 160s in my life.  I used to dream of the 220s.  Before that, I clearly couldn't dream at all.  So no matter how discouraged you may feel.  No matter how daunting it might seem...the same girl that wrote that...did what she considered wholly impossible.  I'm not some super optimistic driven woman.  I was a woman without hope.  A woman who anticipated a life ahead that was full of shame and pain, as her childhood had already been.  But I did it, and you most certainly can too.

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!
Audrey Hepburn
 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Big Day!!

The day began with me buying my first pair of Size 8 jeans, and then I got news that my magazine was out! :D  Enjoy :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

We Must Carry It With Us or We Find It Not.

First off I wish to reply to all that commented.  You all are so kind!  It pleases me so deeply when I hear from all of you saying that I've helped inspire you.  I know how grateful I am to those who inspired me along the way and helped me through (like you Miss Cheryl!), so the idea that I am that to you all thrills my heart :D  You all inspire me as well.  When I read your stories, I am reminded of the first days of my journey.  How it was a struggle, how I doubted my ability to follow through, how I found it difficult to believe it was even possible to lose the weight.  I felt that way.  I was terrified.  But it's possible.  It is.  You can do it, and you're in control.  There is no, "It won't work."  It will work, as long as you stick with it. Sure it won't be easy, but the things in life worth having always require struggle. 

Secondly, I must admit that I'm getting a little excited at the prospect that in a mere 2 weeks or so my magazine will be in stores!!  I'm not even going to lie..I'll be giddy as a kitten.  I find joy in exact inverses in the universe.  They're meaningful to me...so when I see my article I will be vividly reminded of how many times I looked at those same magazines and dreamt the "impossible" dream.  Never knowing, never even fully hoping that it would ever be me.


Also, I have been struggling with something over this past little while.  Everywhere I go, now more than ever, every woman I meet is on a diet, or about to begin a diet.  I don't know if it's because I'm more aware of it now or if it's truly an epidemic, but it concerns me.  Clearly I support dieting, and clearly I encourage it...but I think we need to look at the bigger picture as well.  If seemingly every woman is dieting, what does that say?  That none of us are alone in our struggle to accept our bodies.  Dieting is serious business that requires will power and time and thought, and people wouldn't do it if they weren't seriously displeased with their bodies.  So here's the thing.  Dieting is fine, and worthwhile.  When you stick with it, your life will improve tremendously.  But during your journey, especially if you've not yet began it...don't be hard on yourself.  Just because you feel like you've yet to reach your potential does not mean you are any less special now than you will be at the end of your journey.  You are the person who is strong enough and brave enough to even dare begin the journey.  That says something!  Also, be reminded that your self-perception is often skewed.  We are intrinsically hard on ourselves.  Those that care about you often don't even notice the things we can't ignore when we look in the mirror.  Embrace who you are now, and that is when you will be empowered to become healthier.  If you don't love yourself the way you are, then you won't value yourself enough to get through this.  That's what made the difference for me.  Though I look back now and realize I was missing out on many exciting adventures, I also realize that there were days at 300 lbs when I felt truly stunning, unstoppable or truly loved and desired.  And that is precisely what aided me in this journey.  Until I found a reason to love myself, I didn't have the courage to discipline myself. 

I want to conclude with some little things to look forward to, and those of you who are well on your way on your journeys feel free to comment with additional things!  Also, for those of you who are doing this diet and aren't beginning with an obese bmi, you might not find these things wholly relatable, but at least a few will be.

So here are some things I've encountered this summer that remind me of what a difference my hard work has made.

  • the hottest days aren't nearly as hot as I remember!  I used to refuse to go outside with the temperature passed 85 or so, now I exercise out in 95 degree weather and love it!
  • Those delightful plastic lawn chairs with the arms that I used to avoid like the plague, now they're of no concern at all.  No creaking...no spreading of the arm rests to accommodate me.
  • The beach towels that used to not cover a thing, now cover very nearly most of me.  
  • Swimsuit shopping was a truly pleasurable experience.  It used to make me so depressed that I could scarcely cope.
  • The strength in my legs is increasing all the time.  I realize that I used to avoid walking uphill entirely.  No wonder I could barely do it.  Now I climb up steep hills like it's absolutely nothing.  And each and every time I do I can't believe it.  
So that's just a few things that I think about frequently, and that I am very much grateful for.  Also, it's things like that that gave me hope as I faced the most trying times of my diet, so I hope it does the same for you.


Happy Summer!  Be sure to check out FIRST magazine during the month of August to read my story and get some tips about the diet :)

Til next time!

-Brianna xx

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. Ralph Waldo Emerson

And this is something I found delightful.  Be inspired.  It's from www.self-esteem-enhances-life.com

Self acceptance is key to a happy, satisfying and productive life.
What do you pledge?
  • to life or yourself?
  • to others or yourself?
Uncover your life
  • Don't hide
  • Come out into the sun
  • Breathe the fresh air
  • Get the wind in your hair
  • Feel the wind on your back
  • Enjoy and explore
  • Make the most of this life
Find the beat of your own life. Find and experience and gain strength from it. Explore and bathe in it. Play to the beat of another or others and your search, if still unknown or hidden, will still be ongoing and 'incomplete'. Find your own way and your own calling. Be yourself.Quietly, taking the things in, taking the moment in. Taking in your own life.
That's fair enough:
  • Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself
  • Be reasonable, fair and polite
  • Know when to stand your corner
  • Give as well as take
  • Be comfortable with who you are and your contribution
You are your best friend. Rediscover how you - your best friend - can turn your life round and be the best you can be.Don't humiliate anybody. Rather build their confidence. Show you believe in them. (But first you must believe in yourself.)
If you're not good enough that's fine, that's OK. But don't make the excuse, that you can't do it.
Do you have a credibility issue?
Opportunities to do various things in life. 'I have proved myself to everyone.' Have you proved yourself to yourself?
Self control is good practice.
See the logic of life. All created for a purpose.
Don't fall for unsubstantiated promises.
Don't mislead yourself about your life.
'I learned to walk away when I needed to. It was folly to shut myself off from things.'
Appreciate life. Honor and respect your life. Make the most of your life. Give it your best shot. Don't scrimp and save for another day. Do your best today.



7.11.11

Thursday, June 16, 2011

FIRST Magazine

It was just brought to my attention by one of my lovely followers that I have not kept you all up to date on my photoshoot.  It was quite fun!  I will be featured in the August issue of FIRST magazine.  You can find it in most grocery stores and definitely in Walmart.  I'm not sure how much of my story they'll include or the format that will utilize, but I very much hope that I help even one person to strive for the life they deserve and are capable of.  I have not seen the photos from that day, and I'm not sure what they've chosen to use, but here's a photo of me from the day of the shoot as a sneak peek of sorts. :)




Thanks for all the love you guys :)  Can't wait to hear from you all.

The Emotional Side of Rapid Weight Loss

I apologize for neglecting the blog, but I've just finished relocating to the city from the country.  It was an intense an exciting endeavor, but I have most certainly not forgotten all of you lovely followers.

Today I would like to focus on something I'm very familiar with.  It is something that I would have never worried about or known about until I experienced it personally.  Losing large amounts of weight, especially in a relatively short amount of time, is both a wonderful and turbulent experience.  It is not that you merely appear to be a whole new person, you become a whole new person.  Beyond that, however, your past experiences and relationships still color your new life in ways that can sometimes be quite unexpected or even stressful.

For me, the most difficult part of all this has been reconciling my self-perception with the new me.  Now, as always, my self-confidence fluctuates severely to either extreme.  Some days I wake up feeling invincible and beautiful, so proud of what I've done.  Other days I wake up feeling like all of my efforts have been in vain, and the things I sought to gain from all this are still beyond my reach.  In reality, this fluctuation has always been present.  I suppose I naively thought that losing weight would relieve me of this rollercoaster permanently.  Instead, it seems to have amplified it.  I believe many people experience this.  The way I have found to cope with this is a lot of self-exploration and questioning.  Sure losing weight and becoming healthier makes your life easier and better, but it is not going to eliminate all of life's struggles.  It is not going to ensure that all the things that bring you stress or pain will never reappear.  More than anything it has opened my eyes to the cliche phrase that life is what you make of it, and how you react to it.  On a daily basis I must look in the mirror and say, "Yes, I look different, but I want to BE different."  I no longer want to be the girl who doubts herself or her abilities.  I'm capable, more capable than ever, and the obstacles I encounter along life's path should not discourage me from trudging onward.  In fact, they should be looked upon as opportunities to test my newfound strength.

Another predominant struggle I deal with is underestimating myself.  It's the equivalent of looking at a smaller item of clothing and instantly assuming there's no way it will fit while never pausing to try it on.  When you lose weight so quickly, your self-perception can't keep up.  Allow yourself to see what you're capable of.  Challenge yourself.  Take the world for a spin, and marvel at how you won't fall off.  But all the while realize that your strength and your capability are not merely a result of your new body and your new life.  The person that you've uncovered was there all along; you simply never gave them the  chance or believed in them enough to let them try.  But today can be the beginning of something new; an adventure you've been waiting your whole life to undertake.

When it comes to relationships I also struggle with processing their implications on my life without coloring them with my personal weight loss journey.  When someone lets you down or doesn't react the way you want them to, it's very easy to grow discouraged.  To feel at a loss for how the same experiences you once had to deal with as a larger unhappier you are still present in your life.  But this should be an educational experience of sorts.  All of the things that were once so easily attributed to being overweight and dealing with that are now clearly not because of that.  But that doesn't mean that your efforts have been in vain.  Instead it means that you've peeled back yet another layer of misdirection.  That you're on your way to uncovering the truth about the world around you and how you can make your way in it.

I hope these personal revelations aid you in your journey and perhaps get you thinking along the way to your goal just how you can prepare yourself for the psychological struggles that await you.  They are all chances to prove yourself.  Chances to be the person you've always wanted to be and now have the courage to be.

Best of luck to you all until next post!

Me last week.  Down 127 lbs in 11 months.


“The mind can make a heaven out of hell or a hell out of heaven” – John Milton

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New "Support My Blog" Gadget

The newest addition to the blog is a donation gadget.  I of course do not want any of you to feel obligated by any means, but if I have helped you or inspired you and you feel so inclined, I would very much appreciate any amount you'd like to contribute.  Times are hard right now and every little bit helps.

Thank you so much!

-Brianna

Summer's On the Way! + Follower Q & A

I would like to begin my getting back to all you lovely folks! Sorry for the delay!

Sunny said...
Woohoo! That's awesome! Congrats on the reward for all your hard work and good luck with the photoshoot, you will be beautiful! :)

B: Thanks so much Sunny!

Deb said...
Wow!!! That is so awesome - CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Can't wait to hear when it will be in stores. And go for the swim suit girl - YOU'VE EARNED IT NOW ROCK THAT BODY!

B: Thanks Deb. I'm not so sure what they'll be doing now, but I'm excited regardless :)

Kathi said..
Can't wait to see the magazine ... you need to post me one please! but I'll bet you gonna buy quite a lot of them :-)

B: I may very well indeed buy several. I'll try to mail you one if you want Kathi! :D

Anonymous said...
Hello, I came across your blog by viewing Dukan's website. I am struggling with losing 25 pounds. I have tried a lot of diets out there and have found them to not work. I'm very leary of trying Dukans diet....How exactly does it work??? I purchased the book today-now I'm just waiting for it in the mail...please advise...

B: Hi Anon. I have tried many diets too. I lost 70 lbs on Atkins and gained it all back. The Dukan Diet is different though. It's changed my life entirely. If you stick with it, you are guaranteed to lose weight. He comes out and says it in the book that as long as you do as he prescribes, you will lose weight no matter what!

Lauren said...
Congratulations! It is proof that hard work and commitment breeds good things. And what girl wouldn;t love her own photoshoot! Can't wait to read about it.

I have been lurking on your blog and actually used it as a reference when I decided to start the Dukan Diet myself. I started a week and a half ago and it is going pretty well. I ended up starting my own blog to help track my progress and keep me accountable.

Thanks for the inspiration and congratulations on all of your success, it is more than deserved.

B: That's great Lauren! I'm glad my story has inspired you to begin writing your own! Remember, you get to choose what the rest of your life holds. It doesn't matter what has happened thus far. All that matters is the story you've yet to write! I'm sure you'll do splendidly. Keep me updated. :)
Girl Friday... I mean Foody. said...
Congratulations. I'm excited and thrilled for you!

B: Thanks so much Girl Friday! :D

hope said...
How wonderful for you! You deserve it girl so enjoy every moment! I can't wait to see it!

B: Thanks Hope! :)

Elizabeth said...
just discovered your blog while looking through the Ducan website. I don't even know you, but I am sooo proud of you!
I am planning to buy the book as soon as I get a chance, and start the diet.

B: That is wonderful Elizabeth. What a sweet comment. Means a lot to me. Let me know how it goes for you. You can do it. Be strong, and you'll do great!
Healersmoon said...
As many others, I have found your blog through the Dukan US website. I've bought the book and I'm about 1/2 way through reading it. I want to make sure I completely understand it before I begin so that I don't sabotage myself.

I have to tell you, I'm thoroughly scared. Scared of failure, scared that I just don't have the willpower. I have medical issues from a car accident that require medications (which caused a lot of my weight gain) and I'm afraid this will hamper my progress significantly. I've read so much about diets, this and that site, this book and that book. They all sound perfectly reasonable. But again and again I fail at them. Food is my completely comfort from the physical pain I am in every hour of every day. It's my escape. I know that with less weight (I need to lose 100lbs), I WILL feel better and probably won't need nearly as much medication. I also know I have no willpower when it comes to my comfort foods - sweets.

I really really want to try - for now I will finish the book while I psyche myself up for this and learn to believe that I can do it. Thanks so much for all your postings. I hope I can contact you and write you along my journey - I really don't have any friends close by, just my kids.

Warmly, Debra

B: Hi Debra,
I think it's quite clever of you to finish the book before beginning. The better you know the tenets of the diet, the better prepared you'll be for the journey ahead. As for being scared of failure, don't be! This time is not like the other times. This time is different. This time you have the motivation and the proper tools to achieve your goals. You can do anything you set your mind to. Believe me, if I can do it, so can you! This diet is unlike anything else. It teaches you how to eat well instead of how to diet. Once you get into the swing of things you'll see what I mean, and you'll be so grateful you began doing something so wonderful for yourself. I would be more than happy to correspond with you. Feel free to add me on FB. :)


Dukandoittoo said...
I love this quote! Who wrote it?

B: I'll have to get back to you on that one. It should be able to be found by googling!

Anonymous said...
You are an inspiration! I just started the DD two days ago and I'm not feeling my best and I am having MAJOR cravings. But reading your blog has motivated me to keep on trucking!

B: Hi Anon. I hope I am inspirational to those of you who doubt what you're capable of. It was looking to another Dukan-er for inspiration that got me off on the right foot. :) I only hope to pay it forward. I've been given my life back, and I am eternally grateful. As for your cravings, if you're wanting something sweet try some popsicles made with crystal light in a popsicle tray. Or if you're craving something that feels like junk food use lean deli ham, fat free mozzarella, and a dill pickle to have a Dukan ham and cheese breadless-sub. Or make yourself a crustless pizza with veggies, meat, and fat free cheese! :)
Anne said...
Hi! You know, I think you need to go to your comfort level and let your body tell you when it's done losing. If you stick with the cruise phase and continue to lose, then go for it. But, if you find yourself doing extremely restrictive eating to budge the scale, you're done.

B: Very good advice Anne. As of right now, I've been slacking quite a bit. I monitor my weight and try to behave a little more if the scale budges upward, but thus far I've maintained my weight for a month straight with very little effort. I may try to lose a bit more, but I'm really relatively quite happy the size I am now. :)

Veerukka said...
My impression from reading the book was that Dukan discouraged going lower than the "ideal weight" because dieters would be more likely to burn out from the excessive length of time in the cruise phase. If you are satisfied with continuing the cruise phase further, I'd continue. HOWEVER, if you up your exercise in the consolidation phase, that might be another option. That would mean you'd have a longer consolidation phase. You would probably have to do a true "consolidation" phase when you reach your goal (lower than ideal) weight. This preliminary consolidation phase would just enable better exercise results. Does that make sense?

B: I understand Veerukka. I agree as well. That is definitely what Dr. Dukan prescribes. For the time being I'm giving the consolidation phase a trial run and seeing how I like it. So far, I've been maintaining my weight while eating a grand variety of things. It's working quite well :)
Anonymous said...
So, as many here, I am about to start this journey as well. I came online to research, etc and found your blog. Congrats to you for your success, you look fabulous! Here’s my question as I’m reading the book and coming up with a shopping list to make sure I’m completely ready to this without any excuses of not having the right kind of foods in the house… oat bran! Can you tell me what oat bran you used/use? I know it sounds like a silly question, but I do not want to assume that the oat bran I have in the pantry is OK, since they say that the “brand” the writer talks about is not available in the US yet. Thanks in advance and again, keep up the great job and thanks for the inspiration! Deb

B: Hi Deb!  To be perfectly honest the oat bran portion of the diet is something I modified personally. I'm sure that my rate of weight loss and ease of weight loss suffered because of this and I would not recommend doing as I did unless you simply find that it works better for you. I know that oat bran can be bought at harris teeter and kroger here in the states. Other than that I can't help you too much more. I apologize. Thanks for your kind words. Good luck on your journey!

Cheryl said...
You know how to lose the weight. You have proved that very well. What you need to prove to yourself is that you can maintain.... This will be hard but stick with it for a few months and see how you do. If you are unable to maintain in that bracket, then get back on for a month and try again...Enjoy this space you are in right now, you worked hard for it, but never never reward yourself with food. Your food is only for body sustinance, we know it can NOT be "Good Girl B, you have been good, here eat a box of cookies"....Keep the Faith.....

B: Wise words as always coming from you my lovely friend! So far, so good. I'm quite comfortable now. Eating plenty of good things and maintaining. It's hard to go back to weight loss mode, but I still very well might :)

Karen said...
Congrats on your awesome accomplishment! I have just purchased the book and am doing some research like the commenter above I'm curious about the brand of oat bran you use/where to purchase!
Thanks so much and keep up the great work.

B: Hi Karen! As stated above, I'm a little naïve about that area of the diet, but it should be easily found at a Kroger or Harris Teeter in your area. Thank you for your kind words. Good luck!

Anonymous said...
Hi there,
I'm Karina, British but living in Belgium. I was happy to stumble upon your site. I have a question, do you or anyone else who follows this site have any problems with loose skin given the amount of weight that you have lost. AND more importantly, what do you do or have you done to minimize the problem?
Thanks so much for your answers and thanks for a great and very informative site.
Karina xxx

B: Hi Karina! As for the loose skin issue, to be perfectly honest yes I do have lose skin. Going from 300 lbs to 175 made that an inevitability for me. However, I must admit that I did not adhere to the exercises exactly as prescribed and if this concerns you I would suggest doing the opposite of me and following them to a T. Dr. Dukan gives descriptions of simple exercises meant to tone all the problem areas in order to tighten skin up. I intend to try harder with the exercise aspect of the diet to possibly remedy my problem. Hope that helps!

Sam said...
It is amazing what you achieved. You can stay where you are as long as you feel great (you look amazing so no worry about that:)). Congrats again!

B:  Thank you so much Sam! What lovely and comforting words. :)


Suzi said...
Just started the diet today! :)

Hi Brianna,

I'm on my second day of the dd diet and wanted to know if I could have protein shakes on this diet? (btw, you look fabulous)
Thanks,
Suzi

B: Hi Suzi! It's great you're beginning. Away you go towards your new happy ending! Protein shakes are probably not acceptable. In the attack phase especially not. You want to more or less eat minimal carbs and minimal fat, and as far as I'm aware protein shakes are very high in carbohydrates. It is possible that you could incorporate them in later as a personal modification to the program however. During this crucial phase of the diet though, I would definitely say not to. Thanks for the compliments! Good luck :)

Anonymous said...
Wow, your story is so inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing! I recently began reading the Dukan Diet book, and am on day 7 of the program. I have a question for you that I was unable to clarify...when you choose an alternating rhythm as you go into the "Cruise" phase, do you have to stick to the same rhythm throughout the phase, or can you keep one rhythm ie 5/5 as long as you can and then change to the 1/1 when you feel like it would be easier and simpler? Nancy

B:  Hi Nancy,
Great question! You can most certainly switch rhythms later. In fact, I would recommend doing it just as you've suggested. In the beginning when your willpower is the strongest and weight loss is the most rapid, you can easily speed it along by doing a 5/5 rhythm. I would eventually progress to a 3/3, and finally a 1/1 as you near consolidation. Hope that helps. :) Mixing and matching is yet another one of the beauties of this plan!


Great news! My photoshoot has been confirmed for Friday, May 27th. The details are a bit sketchy for the time being, but the date is set which means it's really happening. I'm thrilled and anxious! Also, I'll be moving in the next couple of weeks so if I don't get back to you all in a courteously timely manner, I apologize in advance! Thanks to all of you who have told me my story has inspired you. The fact that all of you are finding the strength to begin your own journeys through me is a beautiful reward and a motivational tool that helps me as well. May you all have a beautiful Memorial Day. Remember, even if you are just beginning the diet and summer holds negative connotations for you, the work you're doing now will ensure that next summer is the best one ever! As for me, the girl who spent her whole life fearful of being seen in a bathing suit is facing the prospect of being photographed in one for a national magazine. If I can come that far in less than a year, then you certainly can as well!
Best wishes and thanks for following!


“Summer is where the girls go barefoot and their hearts are just as free as their toes!”



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Photo Shoot In the Works!

Well the magazine contacted me today and said the photoshoot will be within the next 12 days. I'll have a wardrobe stylist, hair and makeup stylist, and professional photographer. I'm so excited I can scarcely stand it! They are hoping to take some shots in bathing suits. I'm a little leery, but also willing to give it a go. This is quite the reward for my efforts, and I am very grateful!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

To Consolidate or Not To Consolidate? That is the question...

At this point in my dieting journey I have surpassed by True Weight goal. The book is quite clear about how important it is to stop at this point, and to not keep going. I feel that I can be healthier though, and every little bit of additional weight I lose dramatically increases my energy level as well as the stamina I have when it comes to exercising. Because of these contradicting circumstances, I'm struggling with the decision of whether to maintain my weight here or to keep going. I've been experimenting this week with various foods and monitoring my weight. I've been eating significantly more, and I've been eating things like watermelon, apples, pineapple, whole wheat bread, the list goes on. I've been enjoying myself immensely. Sandwiches on whole wheat bread are quite the treat after going so long without such things. So far, my weight has fluctuated within a 3 lb range from the lowest number I've reached to just below my true weight. I've been rather impressed with the things I've gotten away with eating. As of today, I'm .4 lbs heavier than the lowest weight I've reached thus far putting me at 178.2. So for now, I'm going to keep this routine. I'm hoping to continue losing weight eventhough it will be much more gradually. I am also hoping that introducing these other foods will have the same imperative effect that Dr. Dukan touts in his book concerning the consolidation phase. It is very encouraging me to see the variety of foods I've enjoyed this week while doing no harm to my progress. I hope this acts as reassurance to those of you concerned with keeping the weight off once you reach your goal. My body seems to be working quite healthfully and seems to be efficiently handling the more diverse menu I am now permitted to enjoy.

Feel free to ask me anything. Your interest is as motivational to me as my posts are to you!

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cover Girl?

I was contacted this morning by a writer from FIRST magazine. If you are unfamiliar with this title, it is very much like Woman's World magazine. Anyhow, they chose me to profile, and they will be setting up a photoshoot for me soon. Typically they put women who have lost weight on their cover, so I'm rather girlishly leaping to the conclusion that's that where I'll be. Fingers crossed I'm not getting my hopes up too high! It's very exciting and emotional for me. Seeing magazines with women who had lost weight was once a very bittersweet experience for me. I viewed them as both an inspiration and a reminder of just how large and unhappy I was. Now I get to be that smiling face. :)

Here's some Q & A for you to peruse. Hopefully you will find it helpful. Also, I will answer all your questions soon. Today is just especially busy, so I am unable to.

- Were there any stages of the plan that you found more challenging than others?
The most challenging stage of the plan was most certainly the initial attack phase in which you eat only lean protein and fatfree dairy. Because the foods you are allowed to eat are rather limited it makes the diet a much more cognitive effort. It requires planning ahead when you're out and about as well as strategic grocery shopping. It also makes dining out quite challenging, but fortunately it does not last very long. Also, you see very rapid weight loss in this stage, so the reward soon outweighs the challenge.

- How did you overcome them?
The way I overcame the challenges that the attack phase brings with it was to be proactive. I made certain my pantries were stocked with foods I could eat. I made certain to eat before I became so hungry that my resolve would weaken. I chose to eat at home instead of dining out to avoid temptations. I also relied on my creativity to think outside of the box and create dishes that were diet friendly as well as satisfying. It is not terribly difficult to fool one's mind if you really try! Low fat deli ham and fatfree mozzarella cheese with a dill pickle on the side and served with mustard can easily be perceived as a very tasty hot ham and cheese sub if you get in that mindset. It did require willpower, but, consequently, successfully completing this stage was very empowering. It acts as an impetus and catalyst for the rest of the diet.

- Did you encounter any troubles when you first began? Or any troubles along the way?
During the first few days of the attack phase there is a brief period where your body is trying to adjust to this new way of eating, and it affects your energy level significantly. This period lasts only a couple of days, but during that time you feel quite lazy. The amazing thing is, however, that immediately following these couple of days you begin feeling the full force of all the diet has to offer. You feel like you have a surplus of energy, and like you are fully prepared for the journey ahead. Dr. Dukan discusses the lethargic period in his book, so it is a common occurrence. It is nothing to worry too much about though.

Also, plateaus are inevitable, but more importantly, they are temporary. Every plateau I hit along the way, where my weight would stop dropping for a few days, I would panic thinking my progress had stopped. It took me a long time to realize that these are unavoidable, and that with patience and perseverance I'd be back on track in no time at all!

- Did you have any tips/tricks that helped you succeed along the way?
Do all you can to self-motivate. Occupy yourself with positive thinking in the form of a blog or a journal or a fitness smartphone app.
Track your progress. Seeing the change in yourself is the greatest reward, so weigh daily and keep measurements, also, take photos frequently.
Enlist others to hold you accountable. Tell your closest friends and family about your journey, and do not be scared to tell them that their interest and encouragement is of great value to you.
Add in an exercise routine gradually, especially if you are very overweight to begin with. If you try to do too much early on you will only discourage yourself. Add in a little at a time and as you become fitter exercise will become easier.
Monitor your salt intake. When you eat too much sodium it is not only bad for your body, but the water retention it causes can camouflage your weight loss.
Drink lots of water and green tea. Dr. Dukan explains in his book that even if you follow the diet plan perfectly and neglect to drink enough water you can hinder your progress. Also, green tea counts as part of your daily water intake, but it is also a natural diuretic. It is a great aid during plateaus.
Protein only days are a tool in your arsenal that you can call upon whenever it is necessary. If you do transgress and eat something you shouldn't, you can compensate for bad behavior by having a day or two of only protein. Which means you are entirely in control!
Set short-term and long-term goals but make certain they are attainable. They represent milestones along the way, and reaching them is very motivational. If you set them too high , however, they can work in the opposite way so be reasonable! No goal is out of reach, but patience must be employed as well.

To conclude, here is a photo of me from May 3rd. :)


Can't wait to get to know all of you. I look forward to being here for the happy endings to the fairy tales you're beginning to write!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Hi All!

I want to apologize for my neglect of this blog. It is through no fault of my own. Over a week ago my home was in the line of one of the many tornadoes that came through the southern states. Consequently, I've been without internet since then. When all is back to normal you can count on replies to your comments as well as updates, photos, and recipes. Please stay tuned!

Thanks for your interest and best of luck to you all :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Questions and Comments. Oh my!

Hi new followers!  So glad to have you.  Regardless of what leg of this journey you're on, I'd be glad to hear from you.  I figure first off I'll address the questions and comments I've received thus far.  I'm assuming most of you found your way here via my testimonial on dukandiet.com.  It was thanks to you all that I even knew my testimonial was up yet.  It isn't up to date.  My lowest weigh-in is now 179.6.  Meaning my grand total lost is 120 lbs!

So now onto the comments!
-ANON:  You're certainly a huge inspiration I started the DD a month ago and till now I'm pretty happy of what I've lost but the journey is gonna be very long for me since I have to lost at least 80 pounds more and see your pictures really inspired me. I'm really happy for you, congrats!!!
I know it is daunting right now to look at the road you have ahead of you.  I remember exactly what it felt like to be both excited by how far I'd come and frightened by how far I'd yet to go.  But you just have to keep trudging onward.  The benefits you reap will only increase with time!  I'm so glad I could be of help to you.  Would love to hear about your progress!
-And thanks for the compliment dukandoittoo!
-ANON:  You ARE on the US Dukan website. Check it out: http://www.dukandiet.com/brianna


My mother is placing all of us on the Dukan. ALL of us being herself, me and my Dad. We'll see how it works out. I've got the most to let goes.

CONGRATULATIONS to you. I'll look for you on Facebook.

I want to thank you very much for letting me know this.  I would not have known otherwise!  Good luck to you and your family.  It works believe me!  And yes feel free to add me on FB :)




-ahna_1969 said...

Congratulations!!! I bought the book and am currently reading it. I working on my shopping list, so I can start this diet after Easter dinner.

that sounds like a great plan ahna!  You can do it :)

-
1quincy said...


Oops I found where to comment to you.
First I need to tell you how inspireing you are being to all of us out there starting dow that road that you've gotten so far, Bravo.
Your first photo showed a pretty but chubby girl next one show the results of sticking with the program. You look marvelous!
Where did you get those recipes you mentioned? I got my Dukan Diet from Amazon UK and have ordered the recipe book but no one seems to know when or where it'll be available.
Thanks for the great role model you are to all of us who are just starting down our own roads to a healthier and probably happier life.
Please let us know how you are doing now on your third phase.

I appreciate your kind words so much.  The recipes I mentioned are all my own creations :)  I will definitely keep you up to date, and will post more pics along the way :) Best of luck to you!




Aisha said...
Thanks for the inspiration! I just purchased the DD book today...and reading this post on the same day I decided to commit to the program makes me feel great and very hopeful about this new adventure. You're before and after pics are amazing - I look forward to seeing more posts, recipes, and progress updates from you!

Thank you so much Aisha!  You have every reason in the world to be hopeful.  It truly works like magic if you play by the rules :)  





Anne said...








Fantastic to read! Great inspiration. I am just beginning my journey as well, and I plan to blog about it as a mode of accountability. http://thisdukandietthing.blogspot.com/

Thanks for the motivation!

Thank you Anne!  I would love to follow your blog.  Blogging does very much help.  Pay the motivation forward :D





Anonymous said...








Do you use the online coaching on dukandiet.com? Do you find it useful, or do you use just the book?

I do not use the online coaching, simply because my finances do not permit.  However, I have known those who have, and they have found it very insightful and helpful.  If you can afford to do it I highly recommend it.  The book of course is a must-have as well!


And since ya'll asked so nicely ;)  Here's some pics from my weekend fishing adventure.  It was quite possibly the happiest weekend of my life.  This summer is shaping up to be mind-blowing!







Wishing you all the best of luck on your journeys.  Ask me anything, anytime!

Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Today's the Day!

This morning upon weighing, I discovered that I'd reached my true weight.  I stood before the mirror and sobbed.  I kept thinking, "I did it.  I really did it."  Now, I don't intend to stop here, but this is the biggest milestone.  To use the worse cliche for a diet blog ever, the rest of the weight I plan to lose will be icing on the cake.  ;)

I just hope that for those of you that are midway through or just beginning, and you feel like the journey is still so long and difficult; you can read this and realize that if you stick with it, you'll have a day like this too.  I've never been prouder, and this is coming from someone who has struggled with self-esteem issues her whole life.

"If you want it, you can have it...But you've got to learn to reach out there and grab it." - Weezer

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dukan in the News

So ABC has been Dukan crazy these past few days.  Loads of reports and videos.  If you go to ABC.com and search for "Dukan" you can watch Dr. Dukan be interviewed.  While they did interview me about the diet, there was no mention of me.  However, they did interview Marshall Brain which is equally exciting for me as without his blog post, I would've never began this journey.

On the weight loss front, the true weight goal lingers near but just out of reach.  I'm 2.8 lbs from it.  So patience is key I suppose.  I was also just informed that I will be the VID of the week on the UK Dukan site on May 6th.  So I updated my testimonial and photos for it.  Here's the most recent before/after splice I've made.
They will be featuring me on the US site as well, but I've yet to hear when that will be.  Will keep you posted.

I hope you all are doing well and staying strong.  Summer is just around the corner, and I cannot wait!  It will almost be as though it is the first summer of my life as I can finally go out and live. :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Waning Resolve + Newest Recipe!

Well, as usual, despite my best efforts I was less than well-behaved this weekend.  Thursday (the beginning of my weekend) went over flawlessly as did Friday...but then Saturday came and my two new friends came over with an entire catered party in tow.  (You think I'm kidding, these fellas do it up right.  Brought everything to make mixed drinks, had a crock pot with a dip concoction they'd made, some simmered meatballs, and a delightful fruit salad).  So yes, common courtesy gave me the perfect excuse to indulge, and as usually happens, that indulgence snowballed into the next day.  So I wake up today retaining water, feeling guilty, and just plain frustrated.  How do I allow myself to lapse into these silly behaviors that make me have to work twice as hard?  It's completely psychological.  Some release occurs when I eat things that are considered "bad."  The things don't even have to taste that great; it's just the idea that they're taboo and I want them.  So how am I going to counter this?  Well I'm going to be creative.  I'm going to come up with new ideas for Dukan friendly food that is appealing to me.  So much of my dilemma is that I've been on the diet for so long that I'm growing bored with my original go-to recipes.  So tonight for example I made a lovely Chicken Stir Fry.  Here's the thing, in the early days I would've been a Dukan stickler and said well you know carrots are no nos and snap peas are a bit starchy, but in mixed veggies there's so few of them, and the rest is perfect.  So, a few extra carbs are totally worth it if I've made something I can actually enjoy and will choose to eat as opposed to sitting about pining over the thought of fast food.  I think this will work.  Let's hope so.


Chicken Stir Fry
1 bag mixed stir fry veggies (Squash, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, peppers, cauliflower, and snap peas)
5 chicken breasts seasoned with pepper, garlic, chili powder, and a pinch of mongolian seasoning
1 bell pepper
1 clove garlic
chopped chives

Pan cook the chicken breasts with garlic and chives
Cut into pieces
Use same pan to put chicken back in + veggies
Season to taste

The greatest delight the fields and woods minister is the suggestion of an occult relation between man and the vegetable.  I am not alone and unacknowledged.  They nod to me and I to them.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Add

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Exciting News and a Recipe for Spring!

I was contacted by Dukan Diet North America about their new PR campaign in the US.  They'll be releasing a book, and they're developing a website.  I've been asked to be involved in the PR campaign by participating in interview for news segments, and the possibility of meeting Dr. Dukan was even mentioned!  They say it will be all expenses paid, and I just couldn't say no.  I think it's an amazing opportunity to pay this gift I've been given forward.  My life was saved, and I want others to be too.  So the future looks quite bright at the moment.

On the dieting front, the day prior to being contacted I decided to recommit myself to the diet.  I'd been slacking quite horribly, and had managed to gain 2 lbs that hung around for nearly 10 days (which is unheard of for me).  I'm now back to within two tenths of a lb of my lowest weight thus far, so I would say I'm back on track.  It's still a struggle, but hey I enjoyed myself quite fiendishly for a good week straight, and if I can correct those missteps in a matter of a few days, I think that's a pretty acceptable turn around.

I fit into my first pair of size 12 jeans ever yesterday.  I used to dream of being a size 18, or maybe, just maybe a size 16.  Then I fit into a size 14, and my mind was blown.  So fitting into a 12 is quite the surreal experience for me.  I distinctly remember buying pants at the age of 11 that were size 13/14's, and from there I just got bigger.  I was thrilled in high school when I barely fit into a pair of size 16's for a few months.  As silly as it sounds though,  I still very much struggle with my self-perception.  Somedays I look in the mirror and am amazed at my progress.  Other days it's as though I feel so big still.  The only comfort I find lies in the fact that the last time I lost weight, I recall never feeling anywhere close to average sized.  But when I look at pictures of myself from that time, I see that I was smaller than I ever imagined.  So who knows.  I don't think I'll ever feel truly fit or truly small.

Moving onward, I spent quite a bit of time cooking this week in order to ensure that I had access to Dukan approved meals.  I updated a classic recipe of mine and turned it into something fabulous, and I would like to share it with you.  I've been eating two servings of this a day and steadily losing .5 lbs per day after a horrid plateau.  Combine this with some green tea, and it's a magic combination!

Spring Stew

combine the following in a pot with 99% fat free low sodium beef broth

  • lean roast (either cook it yourself or buy precooked)
  • yellow squash, peeled and cut into pieces
  • frozen asparagus, broccoli, and cauliflower
  • chopped bell pepper
  • chopped cabbage
  • mushrooms
In a separate pan, saute chopped onions and celery until golden for taste, season with garlic and black pepper.

Add these to the the other ingredients and simmer until fully cooked.  S
Serve topped with chopped fresh chive.

To ensure your veggies are not overcooked, feel free to add in the frozen vegetables last.

Good luck to you all!  As always, feel free to comment with any questions or advice!

Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.