About Carrie

One of my best friends Kate and I right after law school
There has never been a time in my life where I have not struggled with weight or body image issues.  While I was never obese at a young age, cramming my curvy big-boned frame into junior's size jeans was far from pleasant.  My self-consciousness was exacerbated by "helpful" comments about my weight; for instance, when I was about 13 my uncle told me he was sure I would be fine as soon as I lost all of my baby fat.  Needless to say, the "baby fat" never went away and comments like these, even when well-intentioned, were actually destructive.  Food was also my primary coping mechanism and when I was feeling sad or upset I would binge on junk food.  Afterwards, I would be extremely ashamed; I knew this was not necessarily normal so I could make sure to hide the evidence so no one would know how many little Debbie snacks or candy bars I had consumed.

I also had a complete lack of any nutrition knowledge (I am still trying to figure out how in the heck an intelligent honors student like myself could make it to college before she realized that carbs included more than bread and pasta).  Hamburger Helper, Easy Mac, Wonder Bread, and all sorts of varieties of American processed foods were staples in my family’s pantry.

Throughout high school and college, I was around 15-20 lbs overweight. I would bitch about this when my friends were buying smalls/mediums and I was buying x-larges, but I never seriously did anything about it. I was always trying some kind of diet- but you can only eat 5 bowls of cheerios  a day or excessive amounts of protein (who cares if it is full of fat and garbage as long as it is carb-free!) for so long. Eventually I would burn out and each time I would end up gaining back the weight, plus a few extra pounds- while at the same time jacking up my metabolism a little more. If you look at pictures from this time you will notice that I had successfully mastered the “turtle pose” – aka stretching your neck out/tilting your chin up to avoid a double chin! Whenever I saw skinny people I never associated their slenderness with hard work or eating healthy on their part; I simply cursed my German ancestors for passing along the “fat, broad shouldered, wide-hipped genes.”

February 2011- 30th Birthday, size 22-24, 265 lbs
My weight began seriously spiraling out of control during law school (aka what I like to describe as hell that you actual pay for the privilege of attending).  Law school was one of the most difficult times in my life for a myriad of reasons, and I once again turned to food (primarily ice cream, cookie dough, and chocolate) to cope with the stress, depression and loneliness I was feeling.  When I graduated from law school, I do not know which was more staggering- my student loan debt or the extra 75 lbs that I had packed on.   

For the next 3-4 years, I languished in this state; I had resigned myself that I would always be overweight and that I should just accept it. As my friends started getting married, I became convinced that I would never meet someone or get married (even though this was-and still is- something I have always wanted) because I knew that guys had never seen me as an attractive person.  I always felt like others saw me as the “fat, funny friend”, a role that I played well; in other words I was the entertaining girl you would like to hang out with, but not the girl you would want to date.

I always joked that I should have been a farmer instead of an attorney so I could wear overalls instead of dressy professional clothes. I played this off as my being a tomboy and not wanting to sacrifice sleep for primping, but the real reason that I did not like dressing up was that I hated how I looked.  It was absolutely no fun to go shopping when I was a size 22-24; my only store options were Lane Bryant or the Macy’s women’s department. Once I eliminated elastic waist pants and tunics (seriously, there just is no justifying that), there honestly wasn’t much of a selection.  I remember telling a Lane Bryant sales associate how ridiculous I thought it was that Lane Bryant carried skinny jeans- I mean if you are shopping at Lane Bryant you do not need to be wearing skinny jeans! The reality is it was hard to get excited about shopping for and wearing clothes where the whole purpose is to hide as many aspects of your body as possible

Celebrating my first 5K run, June 2011 234lbs
My journey to health and long term weight loss started when I hosted a Christmas party at my house in 2010. When Sarah (a friend of a friend who I had barely known in high school) showed up at my door I had no idea that she would shortly become my own personal Jillian Michaels (and start me on a journey that would change my entire life!) After the party, Sarah and I became “facebook friends” and as I perused her profile I saw that she had competed in a 5k and lifted weights on the same day.  I clearly remember thinking, “holy crap, if I ran a 5k that would count as my exercise for two months- I would never run and lift weights on the same day!” I made a casual post on her wall telling her she was my hero.  Sarah wrote back thanking me and telling me she could help me if I wanted her to; impulsively I replied and took her up on the offer. Thank goodness I tend to be an impulsive person, because if I had taken a minute to think through what I was asking for, I never would have responded.

The first thing that Sarah asked me to do was to email her my weight and my measurements- talk about humiliating! It was embarrassing sending my “fat” measurements to an acquaintance who was already super fit and toned! I was tempted to pull the whole trick that I did when I renewed my drivers license – “yes of course I still weigh what I did when I got my drivers license at 16”, however, Sarah is an extremely intelligent woman and I was pretty sure she would not believe that I only weighed 155 lbs (especially since I was 110 lbs heavier than that).  

August 2011, 213 lbs
Sarah and I also made plans to meet at her her gym that week. A quick visual here, as proof that I am not lying when I say that I am not a natural athlete- I showed up to meet Sarah at the gym to work out in Skechers Shapeups. REALLY???? Who does that? Instead of laughing hysterically, Sarah kicked my butt and filled my head with all kinds of fitness and nutrition knowledge. I was honest with Sarah that I wanted to change and do something but I also knew mentally that I needed to slowly ease in to this. I was very determined not to be a cliché New Year’s Resolutioner.  I justified this to everyone (really to myself) by starting on Dec. 27; in my mind, that definitely set me apart from every other person in the world who started on January 1.  Yes, I realize that was ridiculous, but for me it was important mentally to distinguish myself from all of my past attempts at weight loss and from the general belief that all New Year’s resolutions fail. 
I decided I would focus on making exercise a regular habit before I made a drastic shift in how I was eating.  I am not necessarily recommending this approach for everyone; I know that I would have lost more weight sooner had I switched to eating healthy food immediately. However, at the time this was the right decision for me and in fact I still believe that making exercise a habit first is what led to this journey becoming a permanent lifestyle change rather than just another failed diet plan.
October 2011, 192 lbs
I started walking four days a week; Sarah sent me a walking training  plan where the mileage gradually increased each week.. What Sarah did not tell me at the time was that she designed the training plan so that in March I would walk a 15k and then would continue to train to walk the Cincinnati Flying Pig Half Marathon; I told you she was a smart woman, if she would have told me that up front I would have bailed immediatelyJ  Looking back, I laugh at how ridiculously low my mileage was when I first started, but at the time it was really hard. In the beginning I doubted myself and my commitment level; thus, when I signed up for a gym membership I made sure I signed up on a month to month plan, primarily because I did not want to have the double guilt of paying money to not work out.  However, I was really diligent and did not miss one of my scheduled walks! I think what worked best about having this walking schedule already mapped out for me was that I did not have to figure out what to do each day- for someone who has never really exercised, going to a gym and trying to figure out what to do can be really intimidating and overwhelming. I loved that after a stressful day at work I could just go home (or to the gym) and walk without having to think about how many miles I had to go or what machines I had to use.

November 2011-Oklahoma, size 14, 185 lbs
My first official “race” was the Cincinnati Mini Heart Marathon 15k.  I was really nervous- 9.3 miles is a long way to walk and I had never done any sort of “race”.  I felt completely out of my element among all of the runners with all of their official running gear, whereas I didn’t even know how to attach my timing tag to my shoe!  It was pouring down rain and I was standing there in my blue poncho thinking what the heck did I get myself into! I knew that I could not back out – not only had people sponsored me to  walk in the 15k, I had captained a team of people from my work.  As I crossed the finish line (in 2 hours and 38 minutes) I had two distinct thoughts: (1) it is really cool to get a finishers medal and (2) there is no way in hell I am going to be able to walk 4 more miles in the half- marathon in 6 weeks!

At this time, a couple of co-workers had started doing weight watchers and were trying to convince me to join with them.  I really struggled with this decision because I did not want to pay money for another diet plan and I felt like I was a smart enough person that I should be able to figure out how to eat healthier by myself (with the assistance of the google:)  While those were the surface level reasons, the truth is that I was scared.  I was terrified to start another weight loss plan, only to fail again.  I remember thinking how disappointed and disheartened I would be if it did not work- and how I wasn’t sure that I could mentally handle that disappointment. After thinking about it and talking with Sarah, I decided to try it.  On April 5, 2011 I joined weight watchers weighing 250 lbs.  I remember how absolutely daunting that felt, thinking that I had over 100 lbs to lose; it seemed so insurmountable.  . From the very beginning, weight watchers was different than any other diet I had every tried- simply because it did not feel like a diet.  I never once felt deprived and I could eat whatever I wanted, I just had to stay within my points allowance. The one thing I was committed to was that I did not want to eat diet plan food- I wanted to learn how to eat normally, not have to be locked into only being able to lose weight if I purchased and ate the “diet company” food. I focused on eating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and creating healthier versions of my favorite meals.  I also made the conscious choice not to buy a scale for my house and only weighed in once a week at weight watchers, because I did not want to become obsessed with my weight.

December 2011, 174 lbs
In mid-April, I decided to try the couch to 5k program.  I had a lot of doubts as to whether this would work- because I have never been a runner, ever.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that the last time I ran a mile was in elementary school for the Presidential Fitness test.  I stuck with it however and ran my first 5k in June!  I was so proud that I did not walk once during the 5k, that was a huge step for me.

During the summer and fall, I continued to eat healthy and run 4 times a week (I was doing the same training plan as before, except this time instead of walking I was running using 4:1 run walk intervals). Not only was I losing weight and becoming able to wear smaller sizes, I was starting to realize that this was becoming a lifestyle for me.  Here are some highlights:
-         I packed workout clothes and running shoes and kept to my running schedule even while on vacation at North Myrtle Beach
-         For the first time in over 5 years I was able to buy clothes not in the plus size department!

31 Birthday, 165 lbs
In November I went to Oklahoma and visited Lexy and ran my first half marathon- I did my 4/1 run walk intervals and I finished in 2:42!  It was such an exciting experience and definitely something I never thought I would be able to do.  My visit to Lexy also marked a huge change in the type of foods I was eating.  While I was already eating fairly healthily, including a lot of fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains, Lexy and her husband Brian taught me a lot about eliminating processed foods. When Lexy first told me this, it sounded crazy to me- but then I quickly realized that eating and preparing real food was not nearly as difficult as it sounds- and it tasted so much better! I remember when Lexy had me try Brian’s homemade almond butter, and it was delicious- I told her that I wanted the recipe.  She had to tell me at least three times that there were no other ingredients- it was just almonds!  She also made me watch Food Inc., which completely infuriated me and convinced me that I had to switch to organic, whole, non-processed food instead of eating contaminated meat and chemicals. While we were driving back to the airport, Lexy found a Kohls ad showing a food processor black Friday sale; I immediately got on my smart phone and ordered it- and seriously, that food processor has changed my life!  Almost every day as I eat my homemade almond butter I think, what did I do before I had almond butter in my life?:)  I never enjoyed cooking very much before, but making my own food has truly become something exciting and passionate about- it has made me a better cook. Honestly, I am an attorney and I don’t have hours to spend in the kitchen- and even though all of the advertising and propaganda tells you that the only way to eat quickly is by buying meals in a box, that is simply not true- eating clean and organic is just as quick as eating processed foods. I won’t go until all of the delicious, easy fun things that I make- but you will see the recipes on the blog I promise! And I guarantee you that after you try my homemade apple cinnamon oatmeal (that takes me 15 minutes to make and it makes enough servings for me to reheat for every day of the week), you will say the same thing that I did, “why the heck did I ever eat microwave apple and cinnamon oatmeal?”  This is the first winter I have never been sick, not even with a cold- and I know it is because I am feeding my body good wholesome food. 

Now, I am currently training with Bob Roncker’s running group to run the Cincinnati Flying Pig ½ marathon!  Sometimes I get discouraged thinking on a day that I have a bad run or the number on the scale is not moving fast enough downwards but then I think about how far I’ve come since last year-  I have accomplished two things I never thought I would do- I have lost over 107 lbs and I am an athlete! A half-marathoner to be exact! I am now wearing a size 6-8(medium) and  I have 10 lbs left until I reach my weight watchers goal weight (according to the BMI chart I have to be under 150 lbs per weight watchers guidelines).  While I am no expert on weight loss or running or eating clean, I am extremely passionate about all three of those things- and I would love to share any advice or encouragement or recipes or suggestions that I may have. If I can change from an obese couch potato to an athlete in a year, I know that ANYONE can- it truly is never too late to change your life! For me this journey has been and continues to be about more than just dropping numbers on a scale- it is about the confidence I’ve developed, the fact that I am learning to love and value myself, and that it has opened the doors to a whole new exciting world ahead of me. 
Easter 2012- size 6-8, 158 lbs



  1. I have been reading your blog & am so uber inspired by your story! I found about about your blog through the Junior of OKC League Link where it meantioned the blog under Lexy's Profile. I myself have just recently lost 50 pounds and have about another 75 to go, but am having a really hard time getting myself motivated to start working out --- the eating part has come pretty easy. It is one of those things I knew what I was doing was terrible for me, and knew how to eat right, I just wasn't doing it.

    After reading your story, I am going to try the baby steps of walking and setting up a goal of a 5K to continue my life change.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story!!


  2. Thank you so much Courtney!!! Please don't hesitate to email Lexy or I if you have any questions- it is such a hard journey but you can do it!!!!!