Small Steps! Start stepping TODAY!! <3

Hi again, darlins!! :)

So, I had my doctor’s appointment today & everything went GREAT!!! Dr. Grevious is very happy with how everything is turning out & is already talking about the next surgery! We’re not even 2 weeks out & I am feeling fabulous!! I got 3 of the 5 drains taken out, so I still have 2 hanging from me, BUT 2 is SOOOOO much better than 5!!! It sucks they couldn’t all come out yet, but for any to even come out this quickly is awesome! The incisions all look freaking amazing & I can’t wait to show you all pics of those SOON! He cleared me to drive because I’ve been off the pain medicine for 2 days now & I can also shower which is HUGE!!! You don’t even know how much you miss a dang FULL shower until you haven’t had one in a week! (ewww, gross, I know…but the honest truth! haha) As for everything else with surgery, I’m doing wonderfully yet again today & have no complaints! Loving the results so far & can’t wait to see where it all goes!!

Me SUPER excited to see my arms w/out the bandages on!! SO happy I no longer have flying wings//bingo arms//extra skin flapping in the wind! :)

 

What I really wanted to talk about tonight is not my surgery though. I have been getting SO SO SO many questions about how I started my journey LONG before being on The Biggest Loser & how I lost the weight I lost at home before learning what we all learned at the ranch. I guess when I was losing the weight beforehand, I didn’t really realize how many people TRULY have the same exact struggles as I do & have a hard time not only getting started, but STAYING motivated!

Let me start by saying that I totally understand what it feels like to be the girl who is so deep in a hole that you can’t get out of it. 18 months ago, I was 435 pounds, sitting in my room in my apartment on my bed with my friends, surrounded by footlong subs, pizza, chips, and sodas watching TV or studying, completely out of control of my body and what I was doing to it. I was slowly killing myself with food, but the saddest part is for the longest time, I didn’t even care that I was doing that. Or maybe it wasn’t that I didn’t care, but I surely was NOT conscious of what I was doing to myself. So trust me, I GET IT! I haven’t always been so mentally “there” like I am now. It was on the night of my 21st birthday that I FINALLY realized that I was slowly killing myself and the bottom line of it was if I didn’t change, I was going to die. Why had I not realized that so much sooner in my life? I don’t know. Why did I finally start to care now? Because I finally realized that if I fully set my mind to something, I could do it. I knew it was  HUGE feat to lose close to 25o pounds, but I had to try. I finally had the WILL for myself to try. So that night, I said I was going to start making small changes & never look back. My MIND had completely changed & I was READY!!!!

Sharon, Mama, & I on my 21st birthday. The night I decided to change my life!!! ((PS..who ARE those girls! Holy crap, right?!))

I started out very slowly…with first weening off of soda. I was drinking close to a 2 liter of REGULAR  soda a day and seriously just not caring at all about those empty calories. That first month, I lost close to 15 pounds ONLY from cutting all of that sugar from my life! Crazy huh?! That was small step number1. The second small step I knew would be very difficult. I wanted to start weening off of fast food. Not only was I addicted to fast food, but my friends and I (or just myself) would eat it at least 2 – 3 times a day when I was in college. (Sidenote: My first 2 years of college, I’m pretty sure I probably only cooked 1 or 2 meals!! So sad, but so very true.) Instead of eating it 3 times a day, I started the first week by weening it down to 2 times  a day, then 1, then eventually none & I started cooking healthy meals for myself at my apartment. Another month like that, and another10 pounds gone! I then decided to go pick up The Biggest Loser’s 30 Day Jump Start book. I was totally BL obsessed & always thought, “well if those guys can do it, so can I!” So of course I wanted to be inspired by the book! So I picked it up, followed it to the T for 30 days, and lost another 25 pounds!! BOOM…3 months down go by, I’m already down 50 pounds! That was small change number 3! I knew that those first 50 were gonna be the “easiest” 50 and I was going to have to figure out the whole exercise thing next. I knew that at still close to 400 pounds I wasn’t going to start off by running at an 8.0 on a treadmill. Just wasn’t realistic AT ALL. So I decided that any kind of moving would be better than none…small steps 4, 5, 6…etc. Also around that time, my mom WON a BodyMedia at a convention she was at & I was SOOOO excited to finally have one! I wore that thing religiously and more than watching my calories, I watched the amount of steps I was taking each day. At first it was overwhelming and I thought to myself, “Okay, I’m just gonna try to walk 5,000 steps today.” When I realized that was a piece of cake, I upped it. I kept upping it everyday for months. I would ALWAYS want to beat my record from the day before! I kind of beccame obsessive, but it was a good obsession to have! I walked, walked, walked, walked walked my ass off!!! I paced all of the time and rarely sat down. MOVING//WALKING is key!!!! I was still eating right & writing everything down I would eat. I was eating A LOT of fruits & vegetables (unlimited really), a lot of lean protein such as turkey, chicken breast, pork tenderloin, tilapia and ONLY drinking water. I drank nothing but water for a  good year! Small step! I then quickly realized that having a SCHEDULE was helpful. Small step! Having my meals planned out, having my workouts planned out, and just knowing what healthy things were going to be in my daily life really kept me going. I started going to the gym EVERY MORNING at 6am with my dad. It was great to have a workout buddy. We’d do cardio for a good 45 minutes and then I would do weight training 3 or 4 times  a week. I was just kinda going with the flow and getting workouts from the Biggest Loser website and such. Really, I just kept moving all day everyday. I definitely had my weak moments & had MANY slip ups!! MANY!! There’s no doubt about that. I would go a week or 2 w/being perfect with my food, but then go out and ruin it by eating fast food or overeating on something when I wasn’t even hungry. What I didn’t do was hold myself back from continuing on my journey, but what I did do was learn from my mistake, own it, and KEPT FIGHTING. By the time I knew it, I had lost over 100 pounds & I truly felt like I could take on the world. Do you see how all of the VERY SMALL STEPS added up??? The little things become one big thing if you just want it bad enough. And it was honestly EASY!!!! It took me 9 months to lose 112 pounds on my own at home!

Is that really me?? Yup….230 pounds ago. It’s doable people!!!

Me! After losing the first 100 pounds!

So many people question me & wonder how the heck I did it. Well it’s right there. I took small steps the whole way!!! Yes, I was on a weight loss TV show & yes, on the show you do DRASTIC things to lose weight. But TRUST ME, that is not the only way. I feel like I have the best of both worlds because I was able to experience weight loss in two TOTALLY different ways, pretty much producing the same exact results!!! I lost 112 pounds at home on my own in 9 months and I lost 110 pounds on a weight loss television show in 9 months. So for anyone who says they can’t do it…PLEASE hear my story and KNOW that you can!!! – Believe in yourself, trust the process, and NEVER look back. Only move forward from here on out. Don’t let your mistakes hold you back anymore. Don’t let your MIND hold you back anymore. Nothing is stopping you BUT YOU. When you’re ready, you’ll know it and you will fight every damn day for yourself. You will cut the shit…you will cut the excuses and you will finally be LIVING!!!!

Like I said, I was that 435 pound girl living in a hole for 21 years, and now I’m the 22 year old girl out of that hole on the other side of things, but CONTINUING to fight every single day to stay out of that hole & be the best ME possible. There is never a finish line and I will continue to learn & grow by every single choice I make for the rest of my life. Will you join me in the fight?! :)


Comments

  1. Watched you on The Biggest Loser! God bless you for spreading such a positive message and offering support to others! So nice to see how you are using your medium after BL in such wonderful ways. Best of luck to you, Courtney!

  2. What a truly inspiring story you have! congrats on your weight loss. I can’t wait to read more about your journey! I watched you all through BL and love your attitude!

  3. Thanks for sharing, I needed to hear this tonight :]

  4. Thanks for another AMAZING and inspiring blog! Today I finally broke through a stall that I have been having after several weeks! -94 lbs and my body just stopped for weeks! It was soooo discouraging! However, I started jogging in minute intervals today! Something I have NEVER done! Never! i was so discouraged when I finished that I couldnt jog the whole mile. But after your blog, I have decided that I need to celebrate this SMALL victory and just try to do more tomorrow! You are truly an inspiration and I think your blog is going to do great things for a lot of people! (me being one of them) Hugs and Prayers with continuing your recovery!!!!!

    • That is SO amazing, Belinda!! i’m so dang proud of you! Isn’t it crazy how one small change can make you feel so good about yourself! PS congrats on the 94 pounds! That is AMAAAAAZING!!!!!

  5. You rock Courtney! I just love your determination and drive. It’s so infectious! I invested in a Bodymedia Fit a few months ago and I have to say it was one of the best investments of my life. I decided that 2011 was going to be a changing year for me and I was going to quit making excuses and start living. Thank you so much for your inspiring words. Much love!! <3 <3

  6. What an inspiration you are Courtney!! So glad everything is going smoothly after your surgery!! I’m going to make my first small step, too!!!

  7. wow. you look like a completely different person now I wouldn’t even recognize you!
    like always you’re such an inspiration & baby steps really is the key to my success as well, it really does work :)

  8. You are a ROCKSTAR! Thanks for such an upbeat and motivating post! I hope you continue to heal wonderfully. You are such an inspiration!

  9. Hi Courtney!

    Thanks for sharing your story!! I am taking my small steps and hopefully headed towards a smaller me!!

    <3 Keep up the great work!

  10. I love hearing your story. The people that I talk to who have been successful at losing weight all seem to have that moment when it clicked that they really could do this if they just did and didn’t quit.

    That’s what happened with me. I had that moment when I realized that I had never failed because I kept working at losing weight. I’d failed because I QUIT. I realized that if I just didn’t quit, I would succeed.

    I went from drinking, seriously, a gallon of REALLY sweet tea a day to drinking a glass of tea at lunch and one at supper. Hey, I’m a Southern girl, I can’t give up my sweet tea completely. I also cut the sugar down to about half. We used to go through 10lbs. of sugar a week. Now, we barely go through a 5 lb. bag. Still a lot for some people, but a huge change for us…for me.

    My body bugg was key for helping me lose weight, too. Just knowing how many calories I was burning was so important to being successful. When I hit a plateau, I actually could see why and could figure out what was going on with my body.

    Life is so much better now. Having gone from morbidly obese to being just 12 pounds short of my goal weight — from being a couch potato to being a runner — has been life changing.

    Thank you for the role you played in keeping me inspired and for inspiring so many people to get started on their own life-changing weight loss.

    • This is what it’s all about!!! Truly, one choice a time. I think you will cut that 5lbs down even lower if you just keep taking the right steps in the right direction!! XOXO

  11. Such an encouraging post! Thanks for sharing. Followed your story on biggest loser and always wondered how you lost all that weight before the show.

  12. You are such an inspiration! And not just for those looking to loose weight!! :) Love your blog!!

  13. So glad to hear all is going well with you, It is so great to hear your story! it gives me a lot of hope and I am looking forward to hearing more about your story!

  14. Thank You, I needed to hear this. Your blog was exactly the thoughts that have been going through my mind. I have 100 lbs to lose and nothing seems to help, I feel like I’m on a permanent plateau. Thank you for the encouragement.

  15. Jessica says:

    Thanks for sharing your journey! You are an inspiration! I attended a fitness class tonight and was a little discouraged on how much I have to lose and how out of shape I am. My goal is 100lbs. So again thanks for encouraging me personally!

  16. Meg Gazaway says:

    Girl, I feel SOOOOO spoiled! We are getting a free book to read with every post! Seriously LOVE your thoughts, life and inspiration! “By small and simple things are great things brought to pass!” Faith in every footstep, we can all do this together, we’ve got this! Man, I love me some good motivation and guuuurrrllll, you tore it up! BIG MEG HUGS!

  17. You are amazing Courtney! And you look fantastic! Thanks for sharing your journey! Hopefully this will help to motivate me! All I want is to be happy and healthy for the first time in my life! I can only hope to be as happy and loving life as you seem to be. Continue living the dream!

  18. OMG I am so excited to hear about all this good news… It makes me so happy that you didnt do anything crazy, you just took the first step and took it step by step and now you look amazing!!!! Congratz and we love seeing all your updates!!!

    • Thank you, Connie! I appreciate your kind words more than you know! :) And it’s so true…nothing drastic here. All natural, one choice at a time. xoxoxo

  19. You know what Courtney! You found that “Harajuku Moment” where you realized what you had to do and just do it and stick to it. If you fell down a few times or many times…you still got up and kept moving forward.

    I WISH that I had gotten that “Harajuku Moment” earlier in my life. MUCH earlier. At least now, you have your whole life ahead of you. I am 20 years older than you…and it took me 25 years to figure it out. After all the yo-yo dieting, going up and down and up and down….my downfall was snacking.

    Fortunately, I found a diet I could follow and stick to….and I’m happy to say I have lost 33.6 lbs and 21″ in 13 weeks! :) I’m on Week 14..and going to continue to my goal at around my birthday in early May to hit my ultimate goal of losing 132 lbs! :) Keep on doing what you are doing, Courtney! You AND your Mom are DEFINITELY an inspiration for me. I am also inspiring others in a FB group I’ve started and we’re all on the same diet trying to get to our goals.

    Love ya! Keep it up!

  20. Courtney, I am so happy for you and so impressed with what you continue to accomplish. You have such an incredible love of life that is so contagious. I really enjoyed reading about your steps – I have friends whom I’d love to help with their journeys, but in the long run, it HAS to be up to them. I struggled with weight and body issues on both ends of the scale in college, and know it is not easy. I am glad you are able to share your experiences with so many :)

    • It’s so very true!!!! It HAS to come from within them first and foremost. and when they are ready, they will know it and THAT’S when they will finally start asking for help as well! Thanks for reading, love! xoxoxo

  21. I love this post because the small steps you took to achieve your weight loss goal can be applied to ANYONE with ANY goal in mind. My birthday is in less than 2 weeks and I’ve come up with a list of 26 goals to complete in my new year. As I was making the list I started to look at each goal and think what can I do to accomplish this? What small steps can I take to achieve everything that I want to do? It can seem overwhelming, but not if you take it one step at a time. Just do the next right thing and keep on going! Loves!! :)

    • It’s so true! This is NOT just about weight loss!!! This is very much so about life in general and overcoming ANY obstacle!! Good luck to you, darling!!!

  22. Also, did you eat every single meal in the jump start book and that was all you ate? Or did you make your own healthy food choices and only follow the exercise program? Just wondering. I’m trying to decide if i should go out and only buy the food that are in the book or not.

    • You can DEFINITELY modify any of it!!! I know there were some things I totally knew I wouldn’t like, so I would modify it to something healthy. You don’t HAVE to follow it exactly..just make sure whatever you are putting in your mouth is HEALTHY & PORTIONED out!!

  23. Great post Courtney! You are always so encouraging. It’s awesome to see your transformation and to know that you understand the struggle. You are proof that it is possible.

  24. You are such an inspiration Courtney!! I have been trying to lose weight since I had my daughter almost 6yrs ago. Every time I start I always lose the motivation, but after reading your blog and knowing how you did it at home really helps me. Thank you for sharing your story, and you truly are an inspiration for me to lose the weight I need to!

  25. Courtney, you are such an inspiration! By doctor’s standards, I have about 150 lbs to lose, but I am opting to not weigh myself in the process to but to exercise a ton and eat healthy meals with fresh ingredients. My clothes are loosening and I am feeling fantastic and that is good enough sign for me! I don’t like to define myself by numbers (I’m a writer…numbers have never been my friend! haha). This summer though I have gotten into swimming laps…that’s my obsession (like walking more and more each day is yours). Last saturday I swam 5 miles (330 lengths of the pool! took 3.5 hours!) it was more than I have ever done and it felt freakin’ fantastic! I am going to try to shoot for that or more this satruday! Thank you for being such an inspiration and sign of hope for so many people!

    • That is amazing!!!! I’m proud that you aren’t letting a number define you! You can just weigh when you go to the doctor, and I”m sure they can give you a thumbs up each time!! That’s amazing! Proud of you for what you’re doing and keep going on the same track!

  26. Congratulations Courtney on getting your drains out, it must feel fantastic!!

    I’m really glad to hear how you lost the weight before The Biggest Loser… in my journey I have decided to start with small steps, in the form of creating new good habits, instead of focusing so much on the numbers. I’m glad to read your post and know that I’m doing it right! Also, I think it’s mostly about getting out of your own way!!
    :)

  27. Janet Rondot says:

    You are Fabulous!!! I love your positive energy! You always put a smile on my face I feel that I known you for years;like we are girlfriends from the past, because when I read or see the progress that you have made for yourself I feel joy for you….Keep up the great work!! I hope to meet you one day to give you a great big “HUG”

  28. Thankyou. I needed this today. I’m on my own journey and I have lost 35 and have about 50 more to go and I’ve been training for a half marathon and I had a really bad run and work out today that soured my mood. I just wanted to give up. I know I can’t and I won’t. Thank you for who you are and all that you’re doing. You’re amazing and a wonderful inspiration. YOU GO GIRL!!! :)

    • Congrats on your amazing weight loss so far!! You rock, lady! And that half marathon is no joke! I’m gonna start training for one when I’m recovered from surgery!! xoxoxo

  29. Truly Amazing!! I know form reading this you have made me want to do what I have been holding back from doing, Thank you!! you look amazing and can only imagine how you feel inside, I cant wait for one day to experience that.

    • The feeling is TRULY from the inside out!!! I feel so great & I’m glad that the outside will match the inside now! You go girl and remember you can do anything you believe you can do!

  30. Thanks for sharing your experience. I agree with you totally. It is a journey and the way you get there is through the small steps. And it’s a journey that never ends because it’s a lifestyle. What an amazing accomplishment!

  31. I really needed to read this blog today!! I am down 62 pounds but a few weeks ago I was down 67….. I’ve been really struggling with keeping the momentum going and I’ve been beating myself up badly for not being able to stick with my program. I’ve been doing weight watchers and zumba and now yoga too, but I have a LONG way to go yet. I started my journey at 312 pounds. Anyway, I tend to punish myself with food and today I really struggled to not binge after I had a cruddy weigh in. I really needed to hear someone who’s been there and done that tell me that I just need to move on and keep going. Thanks, Courtney!

    • There will ALWAYS be ups and downs, girl. Please know that! But the main thing is to never, ever forget to keep fighting! I had plenty of times when I was discouraged and beat myself up, but then you realize it’s not worth it! Look how far you’ve already come!!!! Don’t let ANYTHING hold you back or take you back to what and who you were 67 pounds ago! And also, don’t ever let a scale define you! It’s how you feel from the INSIDE OUT!!! You rock, darlin!!!

  32. Debbie in San Diego says:

    Awesome and inspiring story Courtney.I believe that taking small steps is the way to success.And I think that this pertains to many areas in life.Thanks for sharing your self with us.You are so stinkin’ cute! Thanks for being such an inspiration.Keep going with your blog,it’s fantastic and inspiring to read.~
    Hugs and good wishes from San Diego,
    Debbie

  33. You are gorgeous Courtney! I’ve fallen off the bandwagon lately – gotten sick, started a full time job for the first time, and it’s been winter down here (NZ)… but I know I just need to plan the small steps and get back in the game. :)

    Congrats on your skin removal surgery – it must be a (literal) weight off your shoulders. :)

  34. courtney you are a huge inspiration to me. Watching you do what you do inspired me. Thank you for keeping us updated on fb and here., it is so great to read this!! thank you.
    xoxo Erica

  35. CurlyMom says:

    Wow!!! Thanks…like so many have already said I needed to hear that!! Your so full of life…so exciting to see! I’ve always been full of life…& this body does not fit that life! I’m of the opinion do the best you can with what you’ve got…so I do what I can to look good, I think I’m pretty- I like clothes…but I know there’s a better more energetic me in the making and I look forward to shopping at stores other then Lane Bryant!! I have about 120 lbs to lose…small steps, sticking with it, not giving up & knowing I can do it & having faith!! Thanks for the inspiration…I always look forward to reading your posts! Hope you continue to have a quick recovery!! God bless ya!

    • Remember that it’s hwo you feel from the INSIDE OUT!!! That’s what’s MOST important on this journey. And if you believe you can do it, you can!!! I believe in you girl! You got this!!! xoxox

  36. Courtney :) A beautiful name for a truly beautiful person. Even when I look at your before pictures, you are still stunning- true beauty radiates from inside, and now your outside matches. Thanks for being such an inspiration to everyone. Your attitude is amazing, your determination is mind-boggling and your zest for life is encouraging! Here is to a wonderful rest of your week :)

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! It’s so true about beauty from the inside out! I’m so glad that the outside matches now! I feel so great!!! Thanks again for being so dang sweet! xoxoxo

  37. This is probably the best blog I’ve read…. Thank you so much for writing it. It’s exactly what I needed to hear. I will continue fighting!

    • Awwww, thank you so much!! I don’t know if it’s the best blog, but I’m just being as real and open as possible because I want everyone to know that it IS possible!! Thanks again for your sweet words!! Keep fighting and stepping…one choice at a time!!! xoxoxo

  38. nihonbecca says:

    Hey Courtney. This is a great blog, really inspiring.
    My name’s Becca, and I’m a fan from the UK. But, I’m currently teaching English in Japan.
    I’m 22 too, and I went from 235 to around 159lbs on my own.
    I started when I was 20. I’m almost at a healthy weight for the first time in my life.
    I’ve been finding it hard to keep focussed with all the stresses of life recently. So, thanks for writing this blog.
    Looking forward to your updates in the future!

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, darlin!!! And congrats on YOUR amazing success!! That is amazing!! i’m sure being at a healthy weight for the first time in your life is the best feeling ever, huh?! xooxxo

  39. You look great, but most of all your insides are even better… what a positive light you were to everyone on the show and those of us watching. You were my fave on the BL and I was more upset than you were when you left lol. I have been on this wl journey since 2009, bouncing back and forth and just tired, I just want to get to where you are now and like you said not worry about numbers anymore… I lost my mojo for a while there, but I am recommitted and I have lost 70 so far, I can do this.

    So proud of you. Wishing you the best always. xo

    • Thank you so much!!!! Your love and support really makes me keep fighting daily. Anyone can do it if you just believe you can. It’s so true. It’s one choice at a time and those small choices add up!!! Thanks again for bieng YOU and being so sweet!! xoxoxo

  40. Courtney!! Thanks so much for starting this blog. You have been an inspiration to me. I loved you on BL and even more so now. I really personally need to “hear” what you wrote about today. When I fail at something little. i usually get up. i’ve gained almost all of my weight that I had lost this year back. NO MORE!!! Today is a new day and I will cease it. One small step at a time. Thanks again for being so encouraging.

    Cyndi

    • You go girl!!!! Know that you are worth it and that you can do it and you will get it done!! I know what it’s like to feel like you can’t, but I also know what it’s like to KNOW that you can!!! xoxoxo

  41. Thank you again for motivating me. I’m in pain this morning and nearly used it as an excuse not to go to my exercise class – read your blog and now I’m putting on my trainers and about to go to aerobics. :)

    Small steps.

    Hugs, Debz xx

    • You go girl!!! We all feed off of each other and the energy and love you are giving me keeps me going too!! Glad we are all one big happy family here!!! Stay tuned for much more! xoxoxo

  42. Great story and inspiration Courtney! I have lost 87 pounds on my own just counting calories. I have also had to wean myself from fast food. It is addicting. Smarter choices and walking alot helps with my weightloss. I still have 42 to go. Sometimes I find it hard to get the motivation to keep going, but with stories like yours, it helps. I know I can do this. Thanks for sharing your story and life with all of us. You are amazing! Wishing you more speed in your recovery… you go girl!!! xo

  43. Hi!

    So grateful you realized at 21 that you were slowly killing yourself. It took me until I was 45 to realize it and now I wake up every day, remembering how blessed I am to be alive and grateful that I “woke up” before it was too late.

    75.6 down and a little more to go, but I feel like a different person than I did 10 months ago. Thank you for sharing your “small steps”. You keep me inspired, girl.

    Love ya,
    Chris

    • It’s so true! I was slowly killing myself and I’m glad I got it at 21 too. But it doesn’t matter the age, because no matter what, as long as you figure it out, it’s never too late to be what you might have been. So proud of you for your amazing accomplishments too!!! Finish it out strong, lady! You’ve got this!! :)

  44. So inspiring! Just yesterday I was thinking about making mistakes & getting back to it again & how my sense of worth-ness should not get destroyed by a fall!

    • Never let one mistake bring you down!! We ALL mess up! I still do today! But I keep stepping and fighting and learning form those mistakes! It’s what this whole journey is about! xoxo

  45. Courtney-
    Thank you for posting this blog. It does help all of us out there who struggle daily with our weight. I started at 204 pounds ( I am only about 5 ft 3 inches so I was grossly obese) and I lost 58 pounds in 7 months. I am stuck now- because as you said, there is no finish line. I find myself much happier with where I am, so I am being more relaxed about food and exercise. I find myself not really wanting to work out, opposed to just a few months ago when in my mind there was no other option but to work out. I truly feel so much better and know that my quality of life has improved so much, so I get angry with myself when I wimp out and don’t do what I know I need to do. The truth is that I have 6 pounds left until I hit my goal weight of 140 pounds (which is the healthy weight for someone my height) and it seems like it will never get here. I know you and others say not to focus on a number, but you have to admit at least initially that number changing on the scale was the greatest motivation. I have to remember not to get angry when I fail, and just push through and start again. That has become the hardest thing for me. Anyhow- you look fantastic, and you and your mom are some of my biggest inspirations! thanks so much for sharing your journey with so many others that felt your same pain. Much love to you and your mother! I hope to continue seeing posts from you, and hopefully that inspiration, combined with my own internal motivation, will help push me through this rut!

    • You’ve already come this far, the last 6 is probably the hardest, but you will get there!! Just keep doing ALL thaty ou can in that gym, make the BEST choices possible w/ your food, and the numbers will slowly but surely go down!! I’m sure you look fabulous and I hope you FEEL even more fabulous…from the inside out! congrats to you on your amazing success!!!

  46. Courtney,
    You are such an inspiration. I hope to one day lose it all and come out healthy on the other side. :)

  47. Courtney I LOVE that you’re blogging now!! I’m bookmarking you on my iPhone so you better keep writing! ;0)
    I’ve been a fan of yours since the 1st episode of BL but now I feel even more inspired by you! Thank you so much for sharing your story!
    I hope you’re feeling better soon
    P.S. I’m a cancer survivor….very familliar with those darn drains!!!!

    • BIG props to you for dealing w/ the drains!!! And for surviving cancer!!! So many prayers coming your way, darlin!!! ;) Thank you so much for your kind words!! I will keep blogging so stay tuned! xoxoxo

  48. Sam Kassouf says:

    Courtney,you were a very pretty girl even at 400+ pounds and now you’re off the chart beautiful all slim and fit.What you are doing,fighting obesity and inspiring others is truly admirable,I have lost 100 pounds since I first met you.God bless you child,you mean alot to many people.Alex is just like you,I love you both..

    • Thank you so much!!!! Your comment just made my whole day. I think that beauty comes from the inside out & on the inside, I’m still the same (with better changes of course). My whole body may be changed, but I am mostly just a better me from the inside first and foremost! Alex really is amaazing as well and I am so grateful to have him in my life!! Thank you again for your extremely kind words!! Hope you enjoy the blog and stay tuned for much more!! Congrats to you on your amazing feat of losing that 100 pounds!!!! xoxoxo

  49. Holly Cugini says:

    WoW!! You have no idea how much your story is going to change my life. Like you said,if you can do it at 435…I can do it at 330…its all about the small steps and never taking a step backwards! Thank you! For your truth,honesty,option,and support! I want to be like You and have your amazing personality and strength! Thanks again! Your my hero!

    • Awww, Holly! You are far too sweet!! I started at 323 on the ranch after losing 112 pounds on my own, so you can just look at my journey from BL…I lost 110 pounds in 8 months on the show and 112 pounds in 9 months on my own! Trust me, If I can do it…YOU CAN TOO!!! and probably in LESS than a year!!!! you go girl!! I’m so rooting for you!

  50. It’s so inspiring that you were able to do it at home! I have another 20 lbs to go and I keep telling myself I just can’t do it. You are definitely an inspirationg! :o)

  51. lisa sandberg says:

    I am about 6 weeks into my journey and down 12 of the 118 I need to lose.

    I discovered an Android app, NOOM, that I use to track my exercise, food and goals. I love it! Check it out if you are an Android user. I get discouraged that I don’t have any ‘big number’ weight loss weeks. So being reminded of the small steps is what I needed today.

    Courtney, I’m a Valpo girl, so when you are cleared for activity, Im ready for a workout buddie!
    I would love to get together! This 43 yr old girl loves to sweat! I have been biking like crazy this summer. There are siome really nice bike paths here in good ‘ole NW Indiana!

    Thanks for the inspiration,
    Lisa Sandberg

    • You go girl!!! 2 and 3 pound weeks are the BEST weeks…BIG numbers are not what defines you!! I’m always at the Valpo Y. do you ever workout there?!? :) xoxox

  52. Lizzy Wooden says:

    Courtney, thank you <3 It's so generous of you to share your entire story. I have always been a very tiny person, as I commented in your 1st blog. Liver problems, perimenopause and a few other things changed all of that about 3 1/2 years ago. I'm not that heavy, but still need to lose about 35-40 lbs. It's tough, as you are well aware. I'm a single Mom, and have been so for quite some time now. My son is 16, has cerebral palsy and is wheelchair-bound. My doctor seriously thinks that I feel the need to eat, much more than I should, because I have to maintain a certain size myself to be able to lift my 160 lb. son in and out of his wheelchair. My weight gain started when my son had a huge growth spurt, so maybe part of what the doctor says is true. HOWEVER, I think it's just an easy reason for me to just excuse it all away and blame it on other things. I've been trying very hard to stay motivated. I drive an hour each way to work every day, and work full-time in a very busy law office. When I get home, I make lunches and dinners for the next day. Then my son comes home. He's pretty much, full hands on care, but keeps himself busy some of the time too. Instead of using the time where he does his own thing to exercise, I sit on the couch. I'm exhausted by that time, and I just want to rest (and eat of course). I'm so glad you mentioned the body media. I wanted a Body Bugg like the Biggest Loser contestants where, but there were a bit pricey, so I bought the body media. I love it. It does hold me accountable. I'm not sure how I'm going to get out of this hole I dug myself into, but I'm going to do it. I don't have that much weight to lose, but I do feel an urgency to do it. I need to be as healthy and as strong as I can for my son. I want to live as long as I can so that I'm sure I've taken every step to make sure that he has a life beyond mine when I'm no longer here. YOU, are a sweetheart and a very caring person. You are truly beautiful from the inside out, and you shine, and anyone can tell that you have always shined, even at your heaviest. You deserve everything that has been happening to you. You've earned it. The only excuse in life, is just another excuse, and you changed all of that for yourself. As you can see from your fan list and friends on facebook and every other social media, you are truly loved :) Thanks again for sharing with us.

    Liz in upstate New York <3

    • Your story has brought me to tears, Liz. I can’t even imagine what you have gone through with your son, but NO MATTER WHAT, you always have to know that YOUUU are also worth it!!! I know that you will meet all of YOUR goals FOR your son. He wants it for you too, I’m sure. That extra down time, although exhausted, is YOUR time…and you should use it for whatever you need that day. Sometimes that may be working out, sometimes that may be relaxing and resting because that is just as important to your overall health as a number on the scale. Good luck to you and God bless you on your journey!!! I am praying and rooting for you from Indiana, darling!! xoxoxoxo

  53. Courtney, thanks for helping me realize it CAN be done at home! I needed to hear all of your story. That’s great! It helps me to think of just taking things just one step at a time instead of just looking at the big picture and getting frustrated.

    That picture of you and your mom is priceless! Your mom is about the same age as I am and if she can do it, so can I! I just need to take ownership and do it. Thanks for starting your blog, it will be so helpful in the journey!

    Lori

    • Thank you, Lori!!! You CAN do it if you believe you can do it. My mom never thought she could either and look at her now!!! You are amazing!! Rooting for you! <3

  54. Courtney – I am just a little older than you and I have already started my journey. I am down 16 lbs. so far and I will not stop. I follow you on this blog and on FB and I always look forward to your posts. For some reason your story hits home with me and even though I dont know you…you are in my heart. Much love from New Jersey.

  55. Kathy Strickland says:

    Hi Courtney thank you soooooo much for sharing this valuable information!!!! I have tried out for TBL five times and extreme makeover once!! So I have just been existing and waiting to get on one of those shows!! Silly huh?! Leaving my future up to total strangers?! I rationalized that you are a lot younger than I think of your mom and Deni and then realize that I am going to do this!!!! Thank you sooo much again for your positive Outlook and sharing !!!!! You are awesome!!!!! :)

    • You go lady!! It’s soooooo totally not about a show!! I used to think that too, then something just CLICKED and there was no looking back!!! Good luck to you! My mom and I will be rooting for you!

  56. Wow Courtney, very well said!!! You truly open eyes of others and are THERE for them when they are going through situations like these with whatever amount of weight that they have to lose being 5 lbs or 250 lbs. It’s all doable, hard for sure and with many struggles but in the end only YOU can change yourself!!

    Love reading your blog so far :) a true fan!!
    Kasia

    • It’s so true! Only YOU can change you. No show, no trainer…no one but YOU. Love it!!!! Thanks for your kind words! Stay tuned for more fun on the blog! :) xoxoxo

  57. Oh Courtney, thank you for sharing your journey!!!! I needed it this day! I just started the Biggest Loser 30 day book, I am on day four, I love how you talked about small steps and how they all add up!
    You inspire us all!!!
    I am so happy for you !!!

  58. Courtney… I have been struggling with my weight my whole life. I was reading your small steps blog last night and I have started to ween myself off of Soda.. I am on day 4 and I am just drinking water and Xing Tea – it has ginseng, honey and promgernate or cherry ( many diffearnt flavors) and 60 calories per serving or 180 calories per can ( its huge) I am so thankful that you have put this on here because it will truly h elp me. I don’t have the fast food problem thankfully ( can’t stand it) so I just need to get the working out started and stay true to myself and the no soda.. Thank you again for sharing..

  59. Monica King says:

    Way to go girl. I always wonderen how you did it. I feel lucky to know of you living so close to me and knowing this is possible.

  60. I also watched you on BL, and teared up when you got kicked off. But that was also a source of encouragement. Life is not “LIVED” in that bubble…health is a long term life goal…not a sprint race. So you going home, and not falling off the wagon was MORE encouraging to me, then you staying on and losing #s at the ranch. Your having lost so much AT HOME really inspired me…. just because I’m never going on the BL, I can accomplish long term mountainous goals. Thanks for being so public with your story.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! The biggest message I wanted to send to people is that it IS doable at home! I lost more weight at home in the same amount of time I lost the weight I did at the ranch! So anyone can do it if they just believe! :)

  61. Courtney!! Thank you so much for starting a blog!!!! Thank you too for sharing your journey with us all so openly. Whenever I am feeling discouraged and at a standstill I read some of your FB posts and now I can read this fabulous blog entry! Everything you outline sounds so simple and easy. Sure seems like the numbers would eventually cooperate when you do things “right”. I would really love to hear more about how you kept yourself “trusting the process”. I have heard that so many times from Bob and from the trainer at the gym. What do you do when it feels like you are doing everything right and it just does not seem to be working? How do you re-gain your trust in the process?

    I think you are absolutely fabulous. I hope to one day be able to believe in myself as much as you believe in yourself.

    Also – I am soooo happy the surgery has gone so well and you are following the docs directions for a speedy recovery. Fabulous news to already have some drains removed! You look FANTASTIC!

    • Even if the numbers aren’t going down, I dig deep and know how I”m feeling from the INSIDE first and foremost. As long as I’m happy and i know that I’m doing absolutely everything to get as healthy as possible and I know that I’m not turning back or looking back, then that’s how I keep trusting the process and continuing on. There are days and weeks and even months that the scale might not move. But you can’t define your overall health on that dumb number!! it’s all about how you FEEL!!!! You will get there if you want it bad enough!! If you believe, it’ll happen!!! xoxoxo

  62. pat stout says:

    Courtney absolutely love your blog….STOP! you have awesome writing ability…put it in a book!!!…I absolutely love your blog you have me glued its like siting here talking to you…. I don’t know how writing a book works but you need to look into it..Look how many FB Twitter fans you have…we all love your personality and commitment..thanks for letting us into your personal life, you rock! I can’t wait to come to your book signing!

    • haha!! Everyone tells me I should write a book!! I guess I should think about it, huh?! Thank you for your kind words!! I will definitely keep posting as much as possible!! xoxoxo to you darlin!

  63. You are beautiful!!! I think whether you have 10 pounds left to lose like me or you still have a few hundred, we are all inspired by your drive. Wish you so so well! :-)

  64. sam kassouf says:

    jjj

  65. Watched you on Biggest Loser and thought you were just amazing! you’re positive energy and mind set was very inspiring. I had no idea you were blogging with is ridiculous of me but I’m now going to follow as i’m also on a lifestyle/fitness change of my own and can use you as motivation like I did when I watched you BL.

  66. We talked about how mental this journey is when we met. It really is a mind thing more than anything else! I am so proud of u! I plateaued for the past 2 months after losing 65 lbs..and now the scale is moving again..67 so far. It is a fight every day..but it’s a fight I am going to win! Lov u!!!

  67. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!! AND WHAT YOU SAY ABOUT THE SMALL STEPS AND THE GETTING OUT OF YOUR HEAD IS THE SAME THINGS I HAVE BEEN SAYN!! I HAVE LOST 144LBS IN THE LAST 11 MONTHS!!! IT WAS ALL ABOUT ME AND THE HEAD GAME I AM WINNING!!!AND WATCHING YOU ON BL HELPED ME SO MUCH ON MY JOURNEY!!! I HOPE TO BE ABLE TO GET RID OF MY EXTRA SKIN TOO SOMEDAY!! HAVE TO SAVE UP THE $$$$!!! HOPE YOU HEAL SWIFTLY BUT I KNOW YOU WILL!!! A GOOD OUT LOOK WILL TAKE YOU SO FAR!!!
    THANKS AGAIN GIRLY!!
    CINDY

    • Thank you so much for your kind words!!l! Glad you enjoy the blog!! :) Congrats on the 144 pounds!! SOOOOOOO amazing!! I bet you feel fabulous, huh?! xoxoxo

  68. WOW! SO HAPPY I BLOG SURFED TODAY! THAT WAS AWESOME!

  69. Courtney Thanks so much for sharing your Journey!!! I have loved you from day 1 when I saw ya on the biggest loser. I would love to meet you in person!!!

  70. Crozier,

    You are amazing! I am so proud of you! I finally got my new BodybuggSP today. Got my pink strap and gonna get my my skin for it. My regular one finally quit after 112 weeks. I agree that is the best investment I have ever made in my journey. 75 pounds down.

    thanks Courtney!

    • You go girl!!!! Love my bodybugg & body media, always!!! So proud of you and your 75 pounds!! I’ve always been proud of you! :) You rock, lady!! xoxoxo

  71. Chastity Outlaw says:

    Hi Courtney your story has inspired me to try and loose my weight. I weigh 397lbs. and I am finding it hard to start loosing but after reading your blog I know I can do it. Small steps…my weakness is also soda and fast food. You and your mom were my favorite on BL, all I kept saying was you remind me of myself. I know now I can do this with reading your blogs on here and updates on facebook. Thanks so much and pray for motivation this time. God Bless!!

  72. Heather Rideout (waterboro, maine) says:

    WOW you have done such a great job. Im wearing the Body media too going through Jenny craig progam. You are right I always want to beat my steps from before and I up my steps. :) Its nice to see how many steps you steps we take and how many calories we burn. It makes you think more of what you eat and do through out the day. Also watching the Biggest Loser show it makes me want to work harder too :) Thank you for sharing. Good luck!!!

  73. You are such a inspiration Courtney. I too make up excuses daily and I always say tomorrow and tomorrow never comes Well I’m ready to do this for myself. Thank you for opening your life to us.

  74. Thanks so much for all your honesty and encouragement. I am going to start my walking DVD tomorrow. I walk a lot at work, but I need to do it at home as a plan of exercise.
    More walking will be wonderful!
    Thanks for being real! Teresa

  75. Kristi Mulders says:

    Hello Courtney,

    Youve forever changed how i feel about this whole process. I have 40 something ponds to lose but i really feel it is more doable with hearing about your journey. I look forward to sharing my sucess with you.

    Much Love From Kristi

  76. Az Insurance Lady says:

    Courtney-

    Thanks for sharing this very personal journey with all of us. I don’t have a lot weight to loose but the lessons you are sharing inspire me in all areas of life. I even started a twitter account so I could follow. Please continue to post regarding what you are eating. I know how to do the workout part – I just need to get after it. It’s the what to eat part I have the hardest time with.

    Thanks again and Gods Blessings to you!

    • Yayyy so glad you are following me on twitter too!!! You GO girl!!! Proud of you. Know that this is NOT all about weight…this is about total overall health! Bettering yourself daily! :) xooxox

  77. Az Insurance Lady says:

    I also wanted to let people know of a FREE resource they can use.
    SparkPeople.com
    There is also a book – The Spark
    That book talks of the little steps just like Courtney did!

    P.S. – I have NOTHING to do with the site or the book – it’s just a resource that I use.

  78. This is such great advice! I completely agree. In the past I would get so frustrated with myself because I couldn’t change everything overnight. It was frustrating and discouraging when I would take one step forward and two steps back. Then I would just give up.

    This time is different though, and I am learning that I can only do what I can do. I am learning to make small changes, to make small, achievable, measureable goals and to reach out for support.

    The biggest reason I started blogging about my journey is because I know I needed the support and accountability it would bring. It’s just one more thing that motivates me-knowing I have so many people looking to me, cheering me on, and being encouraged by me and encouraging me.

    This time, there is no turning back! I’m gonna get there Courtney!

  79. Alex Bedborough says:

    Thanks Courtney for sharing your story. It has truly inspired me that i really need to become healthier.

  80. Amazing reading your whole story, thank you for taking the time to share it. <3

  81. I can truly relate to what you said about the moment of change. My moment of change and awakening came with applying to be on BL12. First I got a weekend away from the kids and went up to Salt Lake City for the casting call and had a couple of my friends with me for moral support. It all began that weekend. My one friend had an idea for a plan B for me if I didn’t make it on the show. I didn’t get called back that day but then I made a video and filled out the app and in that time the desire and drive grew stronger and stronger. I knew that if I got on the show or not didn’t matter so much because I now new I was going to do this either way. We set plan B into motion before we heard the official word that the finalists had been chosen for BL12. In fact, the night that we really started we started with a 3 mile walk and then some stretching. It was a real struggle for me as we went along but it was thinking that people on the Biggest Loser had done whole 5k’s in one form or another on their first days that got me through it. If they could do it so could I. Then that night I checked twitter and there it was… All the finalist had been notified. It couldn’t have been better timing really. I was sore but I felt so accomplished! I’d walked 3 miles! And part was uphill too! I was doing this without the show and that was ok and right for me. The change in me was permanent I’m doing this. I too have setbacks, but I got some good advice about it and don’t let myself feel guilty over having something that “I shouldn’t” because that is only detrimental to the cause. I’ve been sharing your blog with other friends trying to lose weight. This is one that they all absolutely must read because you are so right about the small steps. Focusing on one thing at a time is a good way to start. And I have to say that it’s so interesting that it was basically the same results at home vs on the show. You are amazing and let me tell you, you are wise beyond your years. Thank you for sharing so much so candidly. We all appreciate you!

  82. Courtney – Your story is SUCH an inspiration. I am so glad you’ve started a blog and are using it as yet another positive tool to inspire others!!!

    I’m going to add your blog to my blogroll, so others know it’s out here. The weight loss blogging community is huge and we all reference each others sites for inspiration and motivation. I’m honored to have your journey to now follow.

    Please stop by my page if you ever have a moment… http://www.nothankstocake.blogspot.com.

    Congratulations on putting yourself first and on your amazing transformation. :)

  83. Simply amazing! I’m going to try it your way! You look amazing now!

  84. As I was reading this I started to cry, and I still am actually. LOL. I’m so happy for you and I look up to you because you and I have a very similar situation and story. I see how happy you are now and I want that for myself too! You are such an awesome person and I’m so grateful that you shared your story and are here to inspire others ! I have yet to start my journey but I know the ending to our stories will be the same :)

  85. Glenna Buford says:

    I loved watching you on BL11! When you started losing weight while you were at college, did you find it hard to find time? I’m a graduate student and I’m starting to exercise this summer to try and get in the habit before school starts, but I’m a little nervous that once school starts, it’ll be hard for me to find time (research, TAing, classes all get in the way). I WANT to do this, but I also want (and need) to do well in school. Do you have any advice? Also, when you were working out, did you have food calorie and exercise calorie goals for a day?

    Since I decided to embark on this journey, I am now following you, Alex, Austin, Hannah and Olivia!

  86. I am in tears right now. My baby is now 1 year old and this morning when I weighed myself I was 5 pounds heavier than the day I had him. I need to take these steps and CHANGE because I need to be here for my 3 beautiful boys. I think you are AMAZING and good job on making the change now, before you have children and before you hit your 30′s.

  87. This post brought tears to my eyes, I felt like you were talking to me directly :) Thank you so much for sharing your journey, I know I speak for many people when I say I am so proud of you. I struggle with the small steps, I always want to take one GIANT step and do everything perfectly but when I slip up, I give up. It’s a process and I’m learning more about me everyday. Keep up the great work, you look fabulous and are such an inspiration!

  88. You’re so beautiful. You always were, but now it shines so so bright. I look forward to the day I’m on the other side of it all. No rush though. I want to do it right this time so it sticks. I’m focused on the day to day journey, not distracted with the destination.

  89. You are such an inspiration to everyone! I love your positive and can do attitude and will continue to pray for your success!

  90. pat stout says:

    Hey Courtney just a quick question…. I too drink a lot of of soda and couple of years ago I switched to diet soda and rapidly dropped a lot of weight. I noticed you said you stopped soda entirely just as I noticed that is always the diet recommendation. Is there a reason for not drinking diet soda other than the obvious that water is better for you?

  91. Jackie Cottrell says:

    Wow Courtney! Thanks for sharing you story and always reaching out to encourage other people to start their own journey!

  92. Hi Courtney! I read this entry a week or so ago which spurred me on to get hulu+ just to watch the biggest looser. I had never watch a full season, just the result show. You are an inspiration! Keep it up, I’ll meet up with you in “Onderland” soon!

  93. Super Shopper says:

    Courtney – I have been a binge/overeater for as long as I can remember. By the grace of God, I never was obese. Fortunately, I have always exercised quite a bit. Now that I am older (your Mom’s age), I now more than ever want to get control of my eating and bad habits. You are such an inspiration. I related to everything that you are saying and your personal struggles. I truly admire you, kiddo. You are proving that if you set your mind to it, you can do just about anything. :) Keep up the good work, and God bless you. With your attitude, you will go far in your life!

  94. Hello, this blog is extremly helpfull, thank you. I have lost 155lbs and looking for a plastic surgeon to do my skin removal. Great job, and thanks for sharing.

  95. I just want to say, I just read this, and I’m in full blown tears. I can relate to you in so many ways, and I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing your incredible journey with me. I watched you on the biggest loser and admired you in every way, and I would do anything to meet you or talk to you more. Your tips and stories are something that I will think about every day and carry with me to finish out my journey. I have been struggling so much lately, and this really helped boost me up. Thank you so much Courtney, you truly are one of the most influential people I’ve came across in my life.

    I’m 18 years old and dying, literally, for my life back. I need to gain control of myself so I can be present in my own life. If you have any other tips for me please let me know. I’m looking forward to my future, and I just pray it has a brand new healthy me in it.

    Thanks again so so much, and thanks for the retweet on twitter!

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  1. [...] for losing more than 100 pounds before she even stepped foot on the ranch. She explained in her blog once that she lost the initial weight by making small changes: cutting out fast food, walking more, [...]

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