Thursday, July 7, 2011


Let's talk Transformation.

You've heard (read) me say over and over that if I can do it, anyone can! I know I'm eyebrow deep in competition prep, and my blog has been reflecting that, but I wanted to share with you about real life transformations. Yes, they are possible! Yes, it's possible for YOU!

If you've spent any time on my site, you know I've transformed. I've been posting my daily coolers since January 2010 (wow!), but I get a lot of emails (no kidding, about 10 a week) asking what I ate during my weight loss journey. That's what I ate. When I hit goal, I decided to not fix what wasn't broken. I kept the diet lifestyle - the general calorie range and the macro-nutrients (a balance of protein/carb/fat - 33% of my calories came from lean protein, 33% carbs, 33% fat) because it worked. Over the years, there have been times I've tweaked it for various reasons, most notably my current competition prep, but the "every-day" coolers are how I lost the weight. Add in my 3x/week strength training and my 3-5x/week cardio (30 min), and you have my formula for success.

In my daily life, I come across people who judge me for the way I look. Granted, right now I'm a tad bit leaner than is "normal", lol, but even prior to competition training/diet, I would get those looks. Should circumstances allow a conversation, almost inevitably, diet & fitness come in to play. And can I share a real frustration? No one believes me! I say I've lost over 70 lbs and I get the "shut the #$%@ up" look. I've taken to carrying my before/after book with me. Seriously. If I don't have my book handy, I whip out my smart-phone and pull up my website. Then, once the photos are accepted as proof that yes, I was indeed fat once (and not that long ago), I get the next "look". The one that conveys that I am somehow superhuman, and they could never achieve what I have. I don't swear often on this blog - I try to keep my potty-mouth to myself, but I have to say it... bullshit.

Here are a few of the objections I hear, along with my (not so tactful) answers - please don't take this as being mean. It's not, I'm not. I just want to point out that you absolutely can transform your body, your life, your world.

I can't afford it. It's too expensive to eat clean.
No, it's too expensive to eat out every meal for 6 people. Do the math.

I can't find all those exotic ingredients.
Brown rice, oatmeal, yogurt, fish, chicken, eggs, beef, seasonal produce. Nothing exotic there.

I don't have time.
Really? REALLY? You gonna make me say it? Fine - I have a full time job, a husband who's running his own business, 4 teens, a dog, a blog, a website, clients, bills, .... oh, and a social life. When it's important - you make the time. Period.

I don't have your discipline.
I didn't have it either, that's why I was fat.
Discipline is a learned behavior. 

I can't lose weight eating clean. I tried it for a week and didn't lose any weight. It doesn't work. 
Seriously? Gave it a whole week, didya? Wow. Folks, the body is like taxes. You know how you pay in April for the year ending previously in December? There's a time-delay. You're not going to see anything but water-weight-loss in a week, if you're lucky. It takes 2-4 weeks for the body to make a nutrition/metabolism adjustment - and that's if you're consistent in the routine! Give it time!

I don't want to bulk up like a guy.
Lifting weights won't make you bulk up. Steroids will make you bulk up.

I can't get rid of [insert problem area here]. I do hours and hours of cardio but nothing helps!
First, you can't say nothing helps, when cardio is all you've tried. Cardio isn't everything. Actually, cardio has limited value. EAT CLEAN, then lift weights and do cardio. The formula works.

There's more, there's so much more that I hear constantly... from strangers in the grocery store to people closer to me, but there's a common theme... see those words I've bolded? I can't. I don't. Therein lies the problem, because that's where we stop and plop our fat butts back on the couch and reach for the chips/cookies.

But you want to know a secret? Even that can't stop you from transforming. It's only been in the last year or two that I've begun truly kicking those words out of my life. I went my whole weight loss journey telling myself I couldn't do it. 

Huh. I guess I could. Surprised the heck out of me! Know what that means? YOU CAN DO THIS RIGHT NOW. You can transform! You don't have to learn to stop saying I can't before you can succeed - you just have to take the next step instead of the next seat.

(Of course, dumping the negativity is major personal growth and should be a goal for all of us.)
Take the next step. Then the next. Pretty soon, you'll arrive at a goal and go, Huh, I guess I could.

Here are a couple of my friends I'd love to introduce you to. They've completely transformed themselves. You'll be shocked! I'm so in awe of what they've done, and continue to do. They're 100% inspiration, and 100% real.

Allison Ernst

Tracey Weaver (aka Traweaver)

Want more proof that eating clean can change your life? Check out these wonderful men & women!


  1. Awesome post Chelle! Really hits home when starting this journey. Are you going to link to our Next Level Challenge FB page?


  2. Oh, good one! Just was talking to a cliet today about clean eating and was trying to give her strategies for fitting food prep into her week. I even leant her my copy of Recharged, seeing as my trainer has control of my diet these days! Nicely said!

  3. Wow!!! I really needed that, Chelle!! You must have read my mind. Thank you for the wake up call!!!

  4. Great post Chelle! I also transformed by body by losing 60lbs! It was so hard but once I put my mind to I realized anything is possible! I try so hard to convey that to people who ask me for help to lose weight. When I tell them how I did it by eating clean, meal planning, dedication and focus in all my workouts and a goal, I get the "Oh i knew all that". Well if you know it then why don't you do it? When someone is truly ready to change their life they'll do what we have done but we wont say I told ya so!

    Keep those great transformations coming!!!

  5. Hello! Found your blog through Allison's post on FB. We have very similar stories. I started at 190 myself and just competed in my first BB Competition this May! I love THIS lifestyle and could totally relate to everything you have said in this post! Nice to 'meet' you!

  6. I wanted to tell you that I am guilty of thinking you and other really superfit people(Tosca, Chelle) are superhuman, because it seems like you guys just got it, and it has taken me a little longer....and you are right everyone can do it, we all have it in us to transform are body. Thanks Chelle

  7.  Well said! It's funny how everyone is always looking for the easiest way to change their lives. A co-worker just asked my friend Sara, the other day, what "diet" she was on that helped her lose her weight. She looked at him blankly for a second before saying "uhhh... eat better and exercise?" As if there must be some magic secret to shaping your body. People who think there's an easy way to change their lives are missing the whole point. If you want an easy way to go about life, you've already got it: just keep doing what you're doing--that's easy! The point in changing your life is to go from the path of least resistance to the path of most reward. The sense of accomplishment and confidence you can take away from the changes in your own body and lifestyle are things you'd never have if you'd taken some magic pill to zap the fat away.

     I do believe, though, that people only change when they're ready. So, although that person might not be at the point in their life where they're ready to go forth and make their change, it's great to know that you're here and out in the world doing your part to give them the tools they can use once they reach that point.

  8. Perfect timing! Had a friend say "I heard you did a 41 mile bike ride last month. that's amazing! How'd you do that? I couldn't!" How'd I do that? by busting my butt in the gym and on the bike and not eating donuts every week. I'm not some superwoman, I'm just a person who wants to be healthy. thanks, I was, actually, going to write and vent to you about this! You saved me (and you!) the email! :)

  9. Thanks, Chelle! I read your blog faithfully, have many of Tosca's books, subscribe to Oxygen and Clean Eating mags, but you're right, I need to do the work to make this happen. I'm the the queen of excuses and "coulda shoulda woulda" should be my middle name. I just got back from vacation and feel ready for a fresh start. Now my husband is facing health issues so there's another motivator.

    You're so generous to give all these ideas. You've been extremely helpful answering my questions in the past and I so appreciate that. It's time I move my plus size butt and get healthy once and for all. Thanks so much for this today!