My name is Liz. I am 33 years old, and 5’8. I may be “model tall” but I have never been “model thin” my lowest weight as a high school student was 150 pounds. But back in 2000 I weighed 296 pounds! This was my heaviest. I gained a lot of weight during the pregnancy with my first child. Now, I accepted a long time ago I would NEVER look like one of the beautiful, tall and ever so slender models in the magazines or on billboards. At least not size wise. As a young girl seeing all of these women being praised and called beautiful because of their size was hard. Especially when you knew you looked nothing like these women. I had low self esteem all throughout grade school and high school, although I did my best not to let that show through in my attitude or way of life.
Fast forward to 2006, I have two children now a 6 year old boy and a 3 year old girl. I was having marital problems, was very depressed and started to feel bad for myself. One day I just decided that I was going to make a commitment to my children and to myself. I was going to start living healthy. I was not going to be this big any longer nor ever again. So my journey began. I joined a gym, I changed my eating habits, I tried a bunch of gimmicky diets, weight loss pills etc. Those quick fixes got me started but never lasted. When my divorce was final I had weekends where the kids would be with dad so I worked out a lot and started losing weight the right way.
I work for John Muir Health and as an employee we have programs available to us that will help with different issues people face in their daily lives to help cope with weight, stress, smoking, etc. I decided that I was going to try a few of these programs so I could get healthier not only for me but for my children. I didn’t like being tired and not being able to play with them, or run around soccer fields, baseball fields etc. These programs are offered different ways. Online only programs where you watch a video once a week that offers a different change for you to implement into your daily living. (small steps work best when drastically changing anything).
There were ones where you have a health coach that calls you every 10 days to do a check in and give they give you different goals to reach for the next 10 days, and then there is the fit club where you track your daily exercise. I try to get 30-60 minutes MINIMUM in of exercise every day. Exercise can be redundant so finding ways to keep it fun is the best way to keep you interested and coming back for more. I joined classes at the gym like body pump, spin classes, Zumba, yoga and just recently I started Pilates. I have found that for me working out with a group is fun and if you have people you can workout with on a regular basis that helps too. They can motivate you when you may have the feeling like you just can’t muster up the energy to work out one day. Writing down your workouts as well as your food consumption (food diary) keeps you honest and helps you track what is working and what you may need to change if you aren’t seeing the results you are looking for.
For me the most important thing about my transformation is to believe and teach my kids especially my daughter that society tends to brainwash people into believing you have to look a certain way or be a certain weight in order to be considered beautiful or be accomplished in life, and that simply is not the case. Making good, healthy food and exercise choices is a must but feeling confident and “Sexy in Her Skin” is all a mentality that you possess and once you have that mind set the world and life’s challenges are just hurdles that you now have momentum to jump over. Change doesn’t happen overnight. Persistence and commitment are definitely needed in order to make changes that will last a lifetime. Once I got over the fact that I won’t go to bed fat one day and wake up thin the next and learned to have patience in meeting goals I set for myself, weight loss became a whole lot more realistic. Sure there are surgeries that can assist you in losing the weight and I am quite sure I could have qualified for one of those options but I chose to work hard for what I wanted. I was brought up to work for what I wanted because you tend to appreciate the reward or end result more than if something is given to you. I teach my children this same life lesson. Not saying that surgery is an easy way out for some it is the only way out because the situation is much more grave than mine was. But I was still young and able bodied to work for this and so that is the decision I made to do it. Either way it is work, life style changes have to be made, goals have to be set and determination has to be present.
Today I am no longer a smoker, I weigh under 200 pounds and I have tons of energy to exercise, play with the kids, volunteer at their schools and work full time. I have not reached my goal weight still shy by 30 pounds but I love my life, I feel sexy in my skin, and I am so thankful that I am finally in a happy place. I may not be “model thin” but I feel “model beautiful”. I was asked to include photos of me before and then now and I had a hard time finding any photos from when I was big because I simply hated having my photo taken because I hated the way I looked. So the ones I have included are few..
The journey has been long, full of ups and downs and of course plateaus but all in all the journey has been worth it. I have energy, I am able to play with my now 14 and 11 year olds, I am successful in my career and I simply LOVE MY LIFE. I know my story doesn’t have a quick fix answer or a specific plan to follow and I don’t think anyone can really give you that. The plan has to start in you. Tips for success can be inserted along the way but the real plan has to come from within. It is truly a mindset one creates to succeed. My goal for 2015 is to finally reach my “Goal Weight” and then move on. My weight has occupied enough of my life. It’s time for new adventures and goals to be put into action. After all I am so much more than a number on a scale.
More about the photoshoot and Liz’s fabulous testimonial:
First of all, let me just say if I could give Angie Capri Photography 10 Stars I WOULD!!! I first learned about Angie Capri from a girlfriend who was planning her wedding and was in the market for a photographer. She had very specific needs and was looking for a photographer who could travel and handle her rowdy crowd at the wedding. My friend came back to work raving about this photographer she found through a referral. Angie wound up being my friend’s photographer every step of her wedding planning process. Engagement photos (which I immediately fell in love with!!), a sexy boudoir shoot she give her fiance the night before the wedding, and of course the wedding photos! I was not present at the wedding so the anticipation of seeing all of the photos was killing me… When I saw the final images, I was in tears!!! Angie’s arrangement of all the photos she took, told the complete love story of Rachel and Dave, and I knew then that I HAD to have her do a pin up inspired boudoir shoot for me to give my boyfriend for his birthday!!!
The idea I had was a vague one. My boyfriend had mentioned on several occasions that he thought I would look good with my hair and make up done like a pin up girl. I thought I would give him a one-of-a-kind birthday gift that he could cherish forever. That is pretty much all I had lol… I contacted Angie and told her what I was thinking and she kinda just took off with the idea and put her creative artistic talent to work! She was able to find a location that was very unique for boudoir shoot – I was outside on a ranch that had lovely scenery just outside of San Francisco. She turned an old claw foot tub (which had been left out in the elements for quite some time…) into a great addition. She referred me to an amazing hair and make up artist (Annie Lam of The Makeup Movement) who captured exactly what I wanted and gave me the perfect pin up look for the shoot. I purchased a few garments, found a few sentimental quotes I wanted included and emailed them to Angie, and basically showed up and she took care of the rest!
I am a very shy individual when it comes to more intimate settings and I have never been one to flaunt my body. I was totally out of my element. Angie made me feel very comfortable and sexy in my skin. This boudoir shoot was supposed to be a romantic, one-of-a-kind gift for my BOYFRIEND and wound up being exactly that, as well as the most liberating, exotic, life experiences that I have ever had! I am truly thankful for the way the universe brought me to Angie Capri.
The expression on my boyfriend’s face when he opened his high quality, super well made fine art album on his birthday – was priceless. He was so proud of this book that he even took it to work and showed his coworkers and boss! He is in love with it and noticed every detail down to the jewelry I wore. Thank you so much Angie Capri Photography for everything.
The Team: Photography: Angie Capri Photography // Hair and makeup: The Makeup Movement // Sequin linens: Candy Crush Shop // Location: Gerlach Ranch, Martinez CA