Former Fat Girl of the Week

Former Fat Girl of the Week is a place for us to come to celebrate and learn from the success and achievements of one another. Former Fat Girls of the Week are regular women like you and me, living normal lives, but are extraordinarily inspirational. This is their time to shine, and I hope you are as inspired by them as I am.

Name: Betsy
Age: 27
Occupation: Administrative Assistant (aka Desk Jockey)

Betsy BeforeBetsy Before

How often do you exercise?
4-5 times a week, if not everyday. I walk at least 2 miles Monday – Friday to and from work, and sometimes I’ll come home and go walking some more! I do strength training about three times a week using workouts from DVDs. My favorite is The Biggest Loser Workout’s Strength and Sculpt segment (with the warm up and cool down, of course!) with Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred coming in a close second.

I also like to ride my bike, so I either get outside and cruise around town, or log miles on my stationary bike in my scenic bedroom. I have a love/hate relationship with running. Right now I’m not running as much as I should be. Need to get back into that!!

To unwind and give my hard working muscles a good stretch, I do yoga. I take classes on Wednesdays, and since it’s summer, a lot of park districts and places around town have a lot of extra “free” classes that I’ve been taking advantage of.

What’s your favorite workout?
When I lived in the city, I took Jazzercise classes. I loved them! I love music and dancing, but am SO uncoordinated! Taking Jazzercise introduced me to new music I probably would have never checked out (hello Rihanna!) and helped me on that uncoordinated thing. Oh…and I lost my first 15 pounds from Jazzercising. I really worked up a sweat and felt like I was getting a great workout. I never felt that way from “working out” before. It made me realize that I had been phoning in my workouts up until then. Not only that, it made me learn to love exercising and from there I kept doing more and more. Since I’m in the suburbs now, there isn’t a facility near me with hours that fit into my schedule. I’m still trying to find a great dance class to fill that void.

Share 5 Food Must Haves in your kitchen:

  • Fat Free Milk
  • Cheese - I'm an addict
  • Lots of fresh fruits & veggies - whatever is in season works for me!
  • Bags of Salad - makes throwing a lunch together super easy, even when I'm late!
  • Organic Yogurt - I've fallen in love with Stoneyfield French Vanilla yogurt...mix it with cinnamon and it's like instant cinnabon frosting, but fat free and less than 100 calories (1/2 cup serving).

I actually have celiac (an autoimmune disease in which the body cannot tolerate wheat/gluten) so that cuts out a lot of tempting food like bread, cake, cookies, pasta, etc. They do make gluten-free versions of those goodies, but it’s SUPER expensive and a lot higher in calories and fat than regular versions of food.

When you read all these articles about eating healthy they ALWAYS suggest whole wheat bread and whole wheat pasta. Even healthy treats call for ingredients I can't have! It does make life slightly difficult at times – if I accidentally ingest gluten it’s really painful to my stomach/intestines.

A lot of people just don’t get it, especially some restaurant workers. Ordering out can be challenging so I usually just stick to salad and grilled chicken or fish. I also have a blog about my gluten-free life which is in desperate need of updating, but if you are interested, please check it out here: Gluten Free Betsy

List 5 songs you love on your iPod:
This is by FAR the hardest question! Here are five great songs that get me through some workouts:

  • LCD Soundsystem - Someone Great
  • Noisettes - Don't Upset the Rhythm
  • Teddybears Stockholm - Hey Boy
  • Mary J. Blige - Work That
  • Nirvana - Rape Me

These are just five random ones, there is SO SO SOOOOOOOOO much more! I'm gonna start making iTunes mixes of my favorite workout jams, so look for those soon. I'll post links on my blog!

What do you love most about your body?
That it’s become so strong! My legs are just downright ridiculous because they are so muscular. My arms and shoulders have toned up tenfold. I actually have a lot of health problems and take a pharmacy’s worth of medication – several that CAUSE weight gain and others that make it almost impossible to lose weight. For so many years I’ve used that excuse as to why I never got rid of my excess weight. The fact that my body is finally shedding the weight – even though I have to work 10 times as hard as a “normal” person – makes me love it. I never cease to amaze myself with what I CAN actually do.

What is your greatest accomplishment?
I feel like it changes often. When I first started working out, that alone was an accomplishment for me. When I lost my first 5 pounds, I was tickled pink! When I lost more weight and people started noticing and complimenting me, I was over the moon! When I did my first 5K, I felt I could do anything. When I ran an entire 5K (yes, I walked a little bit of the first one) I felt like a rockstar. I remember being a little teary eyed and thinking about how far I’ve come and how proud of myself I was.

Now a lot of things make me feel proud – having a loss at a weigh-in, another article of clothing falling off me, drinking like 80 oz of water in a day, doing a challenging workout, etc. I had been at a plateau for about a year (is that even a plateau anymore when it’s that long?!) but I’ve been steadily shrinking in the past couple of months which has reignited my spirit and now everything I accomplish makes me proud!

How do you find balance in your life?
Well, since I’m still single and don’t have any children yet, it makes things a lot easier. I only have to look out for myself, so I don’t have to worry about juggling a lot of schedules at once. I do spend a lot of my free time working out, but I also make time to see my friends too.

I think I’ve finally learned how to go out, have fun and still stay on track. I don’t drink as much as I used to, I make healthier choices when eating out, and luckily all of my friends have adopted a healthy lifestyle too! When we DO see each other, a lot of times it’ll be doing a fitness event or something that involves a lot of walking!

I also don’t deprive myself of anything. I’ve found that eating natural, unprocessed, REAL food works best for my body. I’ve stopped eating “diet” food – basically anything with artificial sweetners. My cravings for sugar vanished, I feel better, and I am more satisfied overall. If there is something that I really, REALLY want that isn’t as healthy, I’ll only have a little bit. It doesn’t kill my calories and I don’t binge on it later. Usually I find it wasn’t that great as I thought and I’m not missing anything. I also eat a small piece of chocolate everyday and if I want ice cream, I’ll have it, but I noticed I only need a little bit and I’m satisfied. Something that NEVER used to happen!

Betsy Now

Betsy Now

Are you working towards a particular goal?
NO! But I should be!!! I need to find a fun 10K to run in the fall. I haven’t done one yet, and I need to! (Michelle find one, and I’ll do it with you!)

Thanks for this wonderful opportunity, Michelle. Going through old pictures and stopping to take a step back and look at myself from the outside to see how far I've come has been so rewarding and something I should be doing more often. I cherish you, your inspiring blog, and the friendship we've started by adventuring on this journey together. Thank you for believing in me! Knowing that, and also seeing how hard you work pushes me further! When we all reach goal, let's go on a tropical vacation and we'll all be in bikinis! :)

Betsy, it is such a pleasure to have you as my Former Fat Girl of the Week! You inspire me to the moon and back with all of your successes and achievements! You have perservered and overcome so many obstacles, particularly with your health and have defied all odds to become the empowered, healthy, and beautiful person you are! And yes, we'll do that 10K together this fall!!

Please be sure to visit Betsy's blogs Witness THIS Fitness and Gluten Free Betsy!



Mesha said...

Way to go Betsy, you've done great! i just love this recognition day because we get to read tremendous stories from "the next door neighbor" so to speak. love it! Keep up the good work Betsy, you are an inspiration.

Michelle, thanks again for offering this type of outlet.

Kristen said...

Go, Betsy, go! You look fabulous!

Betsy said...

Woo Hoo!

Thanks Mesha and THANKS Michelle! :)

*Fitcetera* said...

Fantastic results, Betsy!

Anonymous said...

Great blog Michelle!

Betsy you sound and i'm sure feel wonderful!!! Stay fit, Love life! :)

Betsy said...

Edit to my comment: THANKS EVERYONE! :)

Deanna said...

Yeah!!!!! I love you gals so much!! Way to go Bets, and thanks to Michelle for allowing positive woman to be broadcasted on your site!!

Michelle said...

Congratulations Miss Betsy!!! FFG of the week!! Hmm ... we should do a FFG calendar ... woot! ;)

Corey said...

Bets, you are a ROCK STAR!!! Congrats you former fat girl you! Love this post Michelle!!

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