305 lbs. True Confessions

As summer comes to an end, I have taken some time to reflect on my accomplishments.  It’s been a rough summer, but it has gone by quickly.

I lost my job in the spring and started working again in May.  The company I worked for was sold, and at first I was told that the new company was not going to hire me.  After my boss who was one of the partners in the original company quit, the new company did hire me.  I gained a job but lost my biggest cheerleader.

Sometimes you don’t realize what a strain something is until it’s gone.  I’ve grown up having a dog my whole life.  I didn’t realize how much work having a dog was until our dog of 16 years died and we decided not to get another one.  I did not realize how much stress my job brought into my life until it was gone.  Finding the time to run or go to the gym was easy.  The pounds just seemed to fall off.  My stress was definitely at an all-time low.

Going back to work has been very stressful  for my whole family.  I am doing the exact same job that I was before, except that I am no longer allowed to work from home.  That has caused a huge strain on me because I am now trying to cram seven days of home management into five.  My being out of the house two days a week for somewhere in the neighborhood of 13 hours a day has effected everyone in some way.

This summer has been the roller coaster summer–lose two pounds, gain two pounds, lose two pounds, gain two pounds.  I’ve been here before, and it’s frustrating.  I look back at the summer and think of the time that is gone that I cannot get back.  However, I look back at what I’ve done so far–losing 100 pounds and able to do almost anything–and I’m amazed.  I feel like I’ve completed a monumental task.  Did I really do that?

However, I’m not finished yet.  I’ve been looking back so much on what I’ve done that I have lost sight of my goal.  I need to refocus.  I need to quit looking back and turn around and look ahead.   However, when I do look in the right direction, the task ahead seems astronomical. I think that I cannot do it and that I might as well just give up.  Fear sets in.  Fear of failure.

Sometimes I think I’ve gotten too comfortable where I am. Everyone keeps telling me how great I look, so I feel accepted. I feel content and satisified where I am, so there’s no push to change that.  Time is flying by.  I don’t want to waste another minute!


The Benefits of a Group

Last weekend was the big finale for our C25K (Couch to 5K) group.  We all spent the summer training together for a 5K.  Last weekend was the 5K our group ran together.  For a few of us, this was not our first year in the group.  For others, it was their first year and their first 5K.

The morning was a cool and crisp 55 degrees.  The course was fairly flat on a paved highway.  Running on pavement is my favorite, so I loved it.

We all had our own personal goals, which I believe everyone met.  Thanks to our coach, we were all very well prepared.  Many in our group received medals!

Working out in a group has been great for me, especially when trying something new.  Here are some advantages of working within a group:

Leadership.  If you’re working in a group, there is most likely going to be a group leader.  This is someone that is experienced in the task at hand.  When you meet, the leader will most likely have a workout already planned.  All you have to do is show up and follow directions.

You’re not alone.  Trying something new on your own can be difficult.  You may not know what to do, how to do it, and when to do it.  If you’re working in a group, you have a lot of people to help you.  There will probably be other people in your group in the same shoes you are.  When trying something new, it’s nice not to be alone.

Defined meeting time and place.  Group workouts will have an appointed meeting time and place.  Your workouts are already scheduled for you!  Some might see this as a disadvantage but working in a group will keep you from using excuses not to work out.  You’ll show up on days you really didn’t want to work out and do it anyway.  When I do this, I’m always glad I showed up.

Accountability.  If you don’t show up, everyone is going to be asking where you were! Other in your group will let you know when you’re doing a great job, and when you’re slacking as well.

Collaboration.  You can glean from your coach and from those in your group.  You can share knowledge, experience, ideas, mistakes, and successes even.

Encouragement.  With physical exercise not only are you having to mentally learn something new, but you are most likely stretching your body physically.  You will be surrounded by people that are there for the same reason you are–to better yourself.  I have never seen people be more encouraging to one another as I have seen in the fitness community.  On the days that you “don’t want to” or “don’t feel like it,” you’ll have people to encourage you and get you moving anyway.  On the days that you’re feeling great, you can be an encouragement to others.

Camaraderie.  Whether you’re in a team sport or doing something that’s more individual, you will develop the same camaraderie a team does.  You will all have this “we’re all in this together” attitude.  The strong will encourage the weak (so to speak), and the weak will remind the strong of where they once were and how far they’ve come.

Relationships.  Most likely, you will gain a new friend or two.  It may not be a close relationship or someone that you tell your secrets to, but eventually you will find a workout buddy that you can exercise with.   This could prove invaluable when the time allotted for your group has expired.

If you’re wanting to try something new whether it be exercising, knitting, or cooking finding a group to be involved in may be the motivation to do it.  Your group will be made up of people with varying degrees of knowledge and experience.  You can all glean from each other while learning something new together or trying to meet a new goal.  This can make learning or doing something new a lot less painful while boosting your odds of success far above that of doing it on your own.


2 Days, 2 5K’s

I ran another 5K with my daughter and a group of friends Sunday morning.  This one was bright and early at 7:00 am.  A cool front had come through, so the weather was nice and cool.  It was about 60 degrees when the race started.  It was great running weather!  Knowing the course and knowing what to expect is always a plus as well.

This course was the same course as the SuperDad 5K that my daughter and I ran on Father’s Day.  It was amazing what the difference in the weather made that day.  My focus leading up to the race was to get the nutrition and rest that I needed to get up at the crack of dawn and run three miles.

We all did well and ran the entire race without walking.  My time was a little slower than I had hoped, but my pace time was where I wanted it to be.  Overall, it was quite an improvement over the last race I ran.

My daughter got 3rd place in her age group, and our friend Isaac got 2nd place in his age group for running the 10k.  There’s nothing like being in a group of winners!

Monday night I went to meet with our running group, and our coach said, “We’re going to run a 5K tonight!”  I was not feeling up to a 5K Monday night.  I had just finished a 5K the day before.  I knew I could do it.  I didn’t think I needed to prove anything to myself Monday night.

So, I didn’t.  I cut a few corners and made it through.  Tuesday I felt good and refreshed.  We worked on speed, and I gave it all I had–just like I did on Monday, just like I did on Sunday.

The human body in some ways is like a machine.  Many factors can effect its performance, especially maintenance.  Physical activity, like running, is more than just physical.  It is very much a mental activity as well.  If you’re not in the right mindset, if you’re telling yourself that you can’t do it; then you won’t.  It’s important to listen to your body as far as pain and injuries, but when it comes to physically completing a task (like a 5K) all that’s needed is your knowing that you can do it.  Having friends and family around you (see photo above) that will tell you that you can do it when you’re doubting yourself is vital in the beginning.  Once you quit doubting yourself and know you can do it, all everyone else needs to do is get out of the way!

By Lori Camper


Gone Fishing

I will be back next week!


305 lbs. You are . . .

Many people in my neighborhood have gotten accustomed to seeing the old, fat lady trying to run.  While out on a run this morning, a tall, skinny lady was out watering her plants.  She politely waved to me, and I waved back.  She then yelled,


Old, fat lady (me), “Thank you.”

Skinny Lady (SL), “I’m a runner too!”

Me, “I’m trying to be one.”

SL, “You’re out here, you’re doing it, you ARE A RUNNER!”

Lifestyle changes such as changing your eating habits and taking up a new sport are difficult.  It may take months or even years before we become experienced and proficient at our new lifestyle.  In the meantime, we often feel as if we’re not really a ________ (fill in the blank) yet.  We’re new at it, we’re struggling, we feel like we’re not there yet.

I was reminded today that if you’re doing it consistently, you are.  If you’re pumping iron regularly and consistently, regardless of how much, you’re a weight lifter.  If you’re out riding your bicycle, you’re a cyclist.  If you’re out running again and again and again, you’re a runner.  If you’re making and drinking juices regularly, you’re a juicer.  If you’re sitting on the couch thinking about doing some of these things, you’re still a couch potato.

I could go on and on with examples.  The bottom line is, you are.  If you don’t like what you are now, decide now to change that.  Once you start your new lifestyle, remember that regardless of how long you’ve been at it or how proficient you are, YOU ARE!


The Silencing of Juicing Radio

Juicing Radio is a free podcast sponsored by Champion Juicers and created and hosted by Shane Whaley and Angela Von Buelow.  Their website says,

Juicing Radio is a podcast aimed at motivating, inspiring and educating people who are interested in starting juicing, sustaining juicing or renewing their interest in juicing.

Anyone you’ve ever heard of in the juicing community has been on Juicing Radio.  Most of them more than once.  A lot of people you’ve never heard of, ordinary people like you and me, have also been on Juicing Radio.  In fact, Shane asked me a few months ago if I would do an interview for the program.  I felt very honored, and I was excited to be able to share my story and what I have learned the last few years.  My eight year old has been asking me all summer, “Mommy, when are you going to be on the radio?”

Juicing Radio’s weekly podcasts have been an encouragement over the last year.  I have looked forward to listening to them, learning, and gleaning from the guests on the program.  I arrive at my part-time job on Friday mornings and refresh my podcast list.  Always there is a new program from Juicing Radio that I add to my “up next” list.  Often after listening to the program I would add it to the “up next” list again so that I could glean even more information.

This last Friday morning there was no new podcast from Juicing Radio.  I was bummed and thought, “What’s up?”  I arrived home Saturday night to find that there was a new podcast released, but it was also Juicing Radio’s last podcast.  This came as  a disappointment as the quality of the podcasts were absolutely excellent, and there is no other podcast out there like it!

The good news is that the podcasts are archived for now and you can listen to them and even download them to listen to later.  Shane says in his final podcast that he does not know how long he will be able to host the podcasts online, so go listen and download now while they’re still there.

Thank you, Shane and Angie for your valuable contributions to the juicing community.  I’m sure you will continue to contribute in other ways.


305 lbs. From Commit to Get Fit to Couch to 5K

The Commit to Get Fit program was finished the first week of April.  After that, I signed up for more exercise classes.  I was going to the gym five days a week for classes and trying to figure out what my next course of action would be.

One day, I picked up a flyer from the front desk of the community center.  It was advertising a Couch to 5K program that started in the middle of June.  I contemplated and stewed over whether or not I could do it.  I had never been a runner–probably a lot of that was to do with my severe pronation and never having the right shoes.  The one thing I hated the most in P.E class was track and field.  The only thing I hated more than running were the hurdles or anything else that involved jumping.

I tried to get a few people to sign up for the Couch to 5K program with me, but no one was interested.  I decided to go ahead and give it a go.  After all, it was only $20.  If I failed or dropped out, I wouldn’t be out much.  If it weren’t for Cole convincing me that I could do anything I put my mind to, I would’ve never even signed up for it.

I convinced myself to sign up for one reason, and one reason only–the dreaded turkey neck.  That’s right, pure vanity!  Due to my sheer size, I had a double chin for quite some time.  As I lost weight, I could see that it was slowly turning into the turkey neck.  One look at the women in my family, and I could see that it was inevitble.  I had noticed many years prior, and for some reason it had stuck in my mind, that runners have great necks.  I didn’t know one runner (and I mean a seasoned, dedicated runner) that was overweight, had a big belly, or a turkey neck.

Bottom line was, I needed a reason to give this a shot.  It was a 15 week program with a 5K at the end.  If vanity was what it took, I was willing to use it.  For the first time in my life I was starting to care about me.  For the first time in my life I was starting to take care of myself the way I should–not just skin deep, but through and through to the core.

By Lori Camper


305 lbs. Mama Gets a New Pair of Shoes

After a few weeks of the Commit to Get Fit program and going to the gym five to six days a week, my ankle which ached for as long as I could ever remember had become very painful most of the time.  It had gotten to the point where I felt like I was not going to be able to continue with all I was doing, so I finally broke down and went to my sports injury doctor.

He x-rayed my ankle.  The bad news was that I had some serious pronation and I was walking around as if I had one leg longer than the other.  When I was 12, I had a doctor tell me that I had one leg longer than the other.  I wish I had learned the truth long before now. The good news was that I did not yet have any permanent damage and that this was very fixable.

The doctor looked at my shoes and told me that I was wearing the worst brand of shoes available.  I said, “But these are the most comfortable pair of shoes I’ve ever owned.”  His answer, “We’re not necessarily looking for comfort.”  Not only was I told that I needed better shoes, I was also told that I needed orthotics.

Ugh!  The older I got, the more I was willing to sacrifice good looks for comfort.  Now, I was being told that I couldn’t even have that!

After reading the book Commit to Get Fit I knew what shoe I was looking for.  I did a little research on my own, and then went to my local running store in search of the right shoe for me.  After trying several different brands, I left with my new shoes and orthotics.  Shockingly enough, they were comfortable.  Actually, I finally had the support I needed, so they felt great and the pain in my ankle eventually went away.

I went to my next training session with Cole.  As usual, we started out on the treadmill.  We were mostly walking on the treadmill with some running here and there.  When I began to run, Cole stepped back, looked at my feet and proclaimed, “You have new shoes!  I can tell a difference in your stride.”

It was nice to know that all the money I spent was making a significant difference.  I could feel the difference. My ankle was no longer hurting, I no longer favored one side, and I quit dragging one leg.  Walking and running was suddenly not as much work as it had been.

I certainly learned the value of a “good” pair of shoes.  It didn’t take me long to decide that my shoes and the orthotics I put in them were worth every penny.  I realized that I could invest in good shoes, or I could pay even more in doctor bills.  I consider my shoes and my orthotics necessary tools of the trade.

The lesson I learned this time around was not to skimp on shoes.  I know it’s something we hear over and over and often roll our eyes when we do hear it, but it is something to take note of.  It’s like going from dial-up internet service (yes, we all remember those days) to a T1 line.  You don’t know what you’ve been missing until you’ve tried it.  And once you do, you certainly don’t want to go back.

If you are running or constantly on your feet, find a running store that will fit you properly for the shoe that’s right for you.  They should measure your foot.  I have them measure my foot every time I go in.  You might be like me and find out that you’ve been wearing the wrong size shoe all these years.  Find a store that will video tape your running on a treadmill with and without your shoes on so you can see any pronation or problems you are having.  They should allow you to take plenty of time walking or even running in the shoes you try on.  They should also offer an exchange period.  They should be all about customer service, finding the right shoe for you, and making sure that you are happy with them.  Your shoes are the most important tool of the trade, so take some time to find the right pair and most of all, don’t skimp.  Your body will thank you.

By Lori Camper

Keep Getting Up

I just completed one of Jason Vale’s quarterly juice challenges.  This time it was a 7-day juice challenge.  It varies each quarter; and, of course, you can modify the plan to fit your needs.

This quarter’s challenge started on July 4.  This is a big holiday in the US, and we already had big plans with friends visiting from abroad, so I decided to start the challenge on the 5th.

These challenges are a great way to give juicing a try.  They are completely free.  A shopping list for the produce you need is available long before the challenge begins.  Each day you will receive via email the juice recipes for the next day.  You will also receive an encouraging video featuring Jason Vale, the Juice Master.  There’s even a Facebook group that you can join for more community support.

I have mostly maintained my weight the last couple of months, and had decided a few weeks ago that it was time to get serious about weight loss once again.  It was time to buckle down on my diet and to stop those unhealthy habits that were starting to creep in again.  A juice steadfast is always a great springboard to get into or to get back into a healthy lifestyle.

What did I notice?  Right away I noticed that I was feeling fabulous, feeling lighter, and feeling like I had more spring in my step.  I did also lose weight, so I am happy with that as well.  Now that I have infused my body with lots of required nutrients for a week; that is what it wants and is craving–not the processed, sugary food-like substances the we often call food that our body will crave if we make them a part of our diet.

If you have fallen and stumbled and need to get back on track or perhaps have completely fallen into a pit that you need to climb out of, do not be afraid to get up and give it another try.  Do not decide that you are a failure and give up, but instead look back on what made you fall in the first place and learn from it.  Come up with a plan to keep it from happening again.  Each time you get up you will become smarter and stronger.  If the same obstacle makes you fall again, that’s ok, as long as you keep getting up.

Changing the way you live overnight probably isn’t going to happen and trying to do so is most likely going to lead to failure.  Just as anyone with a healthy lifestyle can slowly let the bad creep in and change their life, anyone with an unhealthy lifestyle can slowly bring in the good and let the good change their life.  If you can slowly incorporate healthy habits into your life and keep them there, you will crowd out the unhealthy habits.  This is a lifestyle change, not a “diet.”  A lifestyle change will change your life forever, whereas a “diet” will only change your life for the short-term.

The path you decide to take truly is a case of mind over matter–a decision you have to make.  If you decide to change paths, it will be a decision you will have to make over and over again.  As with anything new, the first time is the hardest.  The important thing is to keep making that decision, and when you fall (and you will) to get up.  When you fall again, get up again.  Rinse, and repeat.

By Lori Camper

Which Juicer is the Best?

This is a common question juicy people have, especially those that are new to juicing.  Often people ask the wrong question, which is the case here.  The question is not “Which juicer is the best?” but rather, “Which juicer is the best for you?”

My first juicer was a high-speed centrifical juicer.  The main thing going for it was that it was fast.  I could put whole fruits and vegetables in it and have juice within seconds.  It also was not expensive as far as juicers go.  Cleanup was ok and it could be rinsed and put in the dishwasher.  The number one negative about this jucier was the noise.  It was loud.  Loud enough that after using it for several months it just sat on the counter because I couldn’t bear the thought of turning it on and listening to it.

I sold that juicer on Craigslist and got most of my money back out of it.  I used that money and added to it to buy a horizontal masticating juicer.  I knew this would be the end of the line for juicers for me.

That juicer was a great juicer, but I was spending a lot more time in the kitchen.  It did not have the three inch feeder chute, so I was spending a lot of time prepping and cutting so everything would fit through it.  It also took a lot more time for the produce to go through the machine.  However, clean up was a snap with only a few, small parts to clean and my juice pulp was much, much dryer so I thought I was getting more juice out of the produce I was buying.

Next, I bought a centrifical slow juicer.  I bought it for two reasons:  it had a three inch feeder chute, and it promised to be whisper quiet.  It was whisper quiet, and I was very happy about that.  I liked not having to prep the produce but I was back to having very wet pulp and thinking that I was not getting as much juice out of my produce as I could.  It also had a lot of parts to clean, even though they could all be rinsed and put in the dishwasher.

Now that the vertical masticating juicers are available, I recently got rid of the centrifical slow juicer and have gone with a vertical masticating juicer.  This juicer is the best of both worlds with a the three inch feeder chute and a vertical auger.  And most of all, it is quiet.  The pulp is very dry with this juicer and cleanup is not a chore.

It has taken me four tries, but the juicers that I have kept and continue to use are the maticating juicers.  They are quiet and give me the quality of juice I am looking for.

The best juicer for YOU is one that you will use.  It’s just like having a treadmill or other exercise equipment in your house that you never use.  It does you no good if it eventually becomes a coat rack.  A juicer will do you no good if eventually you sit and stare at it because you can’t bear to turn it on, to clean it, or go through all of the preparation to use it.

Here are some things to consider when buying a juicer:

  • What will you be juicing?  Most juicers do ok with fruits and vegetables, but if you will be juicing a lot of leafy greens, you might want to take that into consideration and look for a juicer that superbly handles leafy greens.
  • How much time do you want to spend juicing?  If time is of the essence, consider a juicer with a three inch feeder chute so that you do not have to prep your produce (except for washing).  However, if time is not an issue and you enjoy working in the kitchen, then don’t be concerned about the size of the feeder chute.
  • Clean up.  It is important to at least rinse your juicer immediately after using it.  Otherwise, the juice dries like concrete and clogs the screen.  Masticating juicers have fewer parts and are easier and quicker to clean.  If clean up is not your forte, look for a juicer with few parts that has to be cleaned that can be rinsed and put in the dishwasher.
  • Noise.  If you are like me and sensitive to noise, a high-speed centrical juicer is not the one for you.  Also, if you are juicing at a time that you have children napping or others in your household sleeping, you will want a quiet juicer.  Think this one through, because it could effect you and your family more than you realize.
  • How much do you want to spend?  Many people list this as their first consideration, but I think it should be put last.  It’s easy to want or need a new appliance without realizing the cost involved, so we end up settling for something that doesn’t really work well for our needs.  However, I also realize that cost is an issue and that everyone’s cash is limited.  Buying a new appliance should be thought out and planned.  I think it’s best to first set your sight on the juicer that is right for you.  If it is within your budget, then you can purchase it and move on.  If it is way out of your budget range, then there are ways to start saving and setting goals to purchase it.  If it is going to take quite some time to be able to purchase it, then beg, borrow, or go to the thrift store and find a cheap juicer you can use in the interum.  Save up, do some extra jobs, or even ask for cash for birthdays and Christmas so that you can eventually purchase the right juicer for you.  This appliance can change your health and your life.  Don’t settle.

By Lori Camper