Happy New Year everyone! I hope that this year brings you health, happiness and many blessings. This January 1st has a particularly special meaning for me because in addition to being the start of an exciting new decade it’s also the one year anniversary of my resolving take back control of my body, lose 50 lbs. and get into the best shape of my life.

I’m happy to report that through dedication and the support and encouragement of my friends and family I’ve not only achieved my goals but surpassed them. A big thank you to all my facebook and twitter friends who cheered me on during this year long journey. Your support meant so much to me.

People have asked what finally flipped the switch for me and motivated me to make this change. It’s a great question and something I’ve thought a lot about. I’d have to say that there were two aha moments for me, one mental and one physical. The physical wake up call came while I was shooting Holly & Ted’s engagement session at Fort Funston in San Francisco. The session involved some strenuous hiking up steep hills while carrying my gear. Ted & Holly are both avid hikers and Ted just happened to be Marine of The Year, so you can imagine this presented no problem for them!! I on the other hand thought I was going to have a heart attack – no kidding. In fact I was so overheated after the shoot that on the way for drinks with everyone after we finished I had to pull over and puke. Wow, TMI, I’m just saying I was way, way out of shape. To make matters worse while we were all hiking back to the cars after the shoot Ted offered to carry me or my gear. I was so humiliated, here was the Marine of The Year offering to carry me!! I could just imagine him yelling “come on, my grandmother could climb that hill soldier!!” I promised myself that the same time next year I’d be able to take that hill no problem. Shame is a powerful motivator ;-) Seriously I knew I needed to make a change.

The mental change was a simple one, I just got sick of being sick of it! I was so feed up with listening to myself complain about my weight, how I looked, how I felt and how I was going to change it… someday. I was sick of looking in the mirror and thinking “who is that?”, not to mention being unable to fit into my clothes, yuk!! What happened?! I had to draw a line in the sand and just do it! That line in the sand was Jan. 1st 2009.

When I look at the before picture below I can’t even believe that was me. I felt so out of control, unhappy and uncomfortable being that heavy. The cool thing is the physical change is just a representation of a mental change. It’s the realization that the power for change is inside all of us. Once you learn to tap into that power you can achieve just about anything. I feel like if I could do this, have the discipline to stick with it day in and day out and transform myself, that I can do anything I set my mind to. I feel totally empowered. I’ve gone from a bulging 40″ waistline to fitting into size 32 pants with room to move.

I feel so great and have made positive lifestyle changes that will be with me for the rest of my life. How I did it? No big surprises, eat less and move more ;-) I made a commitment to exercise daily, eat 5 small meals throughout the day, stop drinking for 3 months, cut out white sugar and white flour, and watch calories. The bodybugg was a big help during the weight loss phase. Now I’m able to be indulge my gourmet cooking from time to time in moderation and without guilt. Love that!! If anyone has specific questions I’m happy to answer.

Wishing you guys a great, healthy and happy new year!!