Help Needed!

      25 Comments on Help Needed!

I’ll start this post off by saying I did not do my intervals as planned this morning.  I got to bed at 1am after doing tomatoes (yes, I’m a broken record about the tomatoes), and I was really not feeling it when I woke up.  Then I looked out the kitchen door to the pool and saw this:

You know the rain is hard when it’s making big bubbles! Although I didn’t do the intervals, I did suck it up and run 3 miles.  In. The. Rain. And I hated every minute of it. (In case you missed it, I hate being wet.)  When it was over, I was soaked. And miserable.

I really need to get myself a treadmill. 😉  Okay, I will say that there was one positive aspect of this run–my hip didn’t hurt me a bit!  This is great news!!

But anyway, enough whining about being wet. 😉  It’s time for me to formally ask for the favor I mentioned in my last post.

I think it’s pretty common knowledge now that I am on Weight Watchers, and I have used that program to lose, over the course of 12 years, more than 80 pounds.  I lost 50 pounds in the first 14 months, and then I got sidetracked by a couple of babies (they were mine, lol!) and some other life things that had me at a plateau for a long time.  It wasn’t until last November (2011), when I was inspired by my friend Katie, that I finally stopped “half-assing” it and made a real commitment to my health.  I lost another 30 pounds to get me to where I am now:  healthy, happy, and in the “normal” BMI range for the first time since they came out with the BMI range. 😉

I am still on the Weight Watchers site every day to track my food and exercise, and I recently saw a link for this contest.  Basically, it’s a “success story” contest, and the winners are treated to a trip to New York, a $2500 shopping spree, and the chance to be in a Weight Watchers commercial.

I’m not overly excited about the commercial part (I do not kid myself into thinking I am “commercial” material), but I cannot deny that the idea of the $2,500 shopping spree really appeals to me.  I don’t like to spend money on clothes for me, because there are just so many other things in my life that need my money. (My two hockey players come to mind.)  However, secretly, I would LOVE to be be given money that was only to be used to buy myself new clothes, since I have very few clothes that fit me these days. I know, I know, what a problem to have–clothes that are all too big. 😛 But I really think my friends and coworkers would like to see me in something other than the same 4 outfits I own in my current size. 😉

Anyway, I’m not trying to convince you of my worthiness to enter this contest.  I’ve mentioned it to a few people, and enough of them have been incredibly supportive that I have determined I should enter it, just because it will be a great boost of self-confidence to write the essay and try to be “inspiring” to others. 🙂

So here is the favor:  besides answering a lot of questions and writing a 400-word essay (really?? how do you sum up 12 years of weight loss in 400 words?!), entrants must submit one “before” and one “after” pic.  And I need help figuring out what to send!

We’ll start with the before pics.  I have gone through all my “before” pictures (which, admittedly, aren’t very many, because I didn’t allow too many pictures of myself back then) and I picked a few that I thought were, well…okay, let’s be honest:  I picked the ones that made me look the worst!  Let me assure you, it was a pretty unpleasant process, because no matter how much I like the way I look and feel now, seeing those pictures brought back a lot of memories of a very miserable time in my life.

Here are the four pictures I found that I thought might work. I put them in a gallery to more easily scroll through them. Just click on the first one to scroll through.


Phew.  Okay, those are done.  I don’t have to look at them anymore!  Let’s look at some more cheerful pictures, shall we? 🙂

The nine pictures in the gallery below were taken last Saturday in what turned out to be a very eye-opening experience for both me and my husband. 😉  This was only my second-ever “photo shoot,” (the first being for Katie), but it was very difficult because I had to be in front of the camera instead of behind it!  Worse, I had to give over control of my camera to my husband, who could win an award for the blurriest pictures ever. 😛  It was a real test of our marriage, but we survived, and I think he did a pretty darn good job, despite his “demanding diva” subject: “No, do it again, but crop it tighter. No, half my face is in shadow. No, use the stool so you’re above your subject.”  You’d think I was some sort of professional photographer with the way I was ordering him around! I’m not…I’m just really picky about any pictures coming out of my camera. 😉

I have no clue how to do post-production filtering, etc. on portraits, but I gave it my best shot with some free presets I found online.  I will probably continue to do some Google research and fine-tune them before I send in the final choice.  But in the meantime, here they are…


It was weird going through portrait pictures of myself. There isn’t one shot that I just adore, although I must say that, as far as outfits go, I’m pretty partial to that $30 floral print dress I got off the clearance rack at Parisian last week. 😉  I like the black dress as well (though I wish it had been a better bargain).   The one with the jeans and t-shirt was mostly just to show off the great “hockey mom” logo my friend Tonia designed, which I then made into reality via Photoshop.  I suspect only a hockey mom will know what the numbers mean. 😛

Anyway, those are the pictures–the good, the bad, and the way over-posed. 😉

I will admit that it was harder than I expected to do this post.  It was a hard decision to enter the contest, knowing that, if I actually do become a finalist, the whole world will see my “before” photos in all their…er, glory.  But, I am very proud of how far I’ve come, and if my success happens to motivate others, then that makes it all worth while.

If you are so inclined, I would love it if you left a comment and let me know which before and after picture you would choose to send in (one of each).  I’m very undecided at this point, and could use all the help I can get!  And please know it is perfectly acceptable (and kind of expected) to pick the “before” picture where I look the worst (aka, the fattest), in hopes that it will be the best contrast to the “after” picture.

Thank you SO MUCH for reading, and for supporting me in my weight loss/maintenance and fitness journey! It is much appreciated.  {{hugs}}

25 thoughts on “Help Needed!

  1. Gina, book dragon

    I like the swimsuit before picture. It’s a full body and shows a lot of skin…no way you’re dressing thin in that one!

    I also like the floral skirt dress when you’re standing on the rock.

    Good luck with the contest!

  2. Kelly@Sublurban Mama

    I agree with Gina! I love that both shots have water in the background, so it’s kind of unifying. Also, the after pics are all beautiful, and you do look really nice in the black dress, but the floral one is so pretty in print. So those are my choices as well! Good Luck Steph!

  3. Tonia

    Wow, such a very hard decision!! I think you should go with the before photo of you in a bathing suit. The afer photo, I really had a hard time making because I LOVED them ALL!! (by the way tell your husband he did a WONDERFUL job at taking them 🙂 ) Ok the after photo’s these are the ones I like, 2, 5 & 8. I am leaning more towards the #8 because it is taken on the beach like your before photo 🙂 So there are my 2 cents. Oh and to correct you, I didn’t design the T-shirt, you did…I just gave you the idea of what I was thinking, lol 🙂

  4. SlimKatie @ Runs for Cookies

    First, you are a total MILF.
    Second, you definitely would be PERFECT for the commercial.
    And my input?
    #2 for the “before”
    #3 or #8 for the “after”

    If there is any way I can help you out, please ask! I owe you big time 🙂

  5. Tina

    For the Before pic I like the one in the black and white dress. The After pick I like #2 and 8 both in the flower dress. Good luck!!

  6. Joy

    hahahah I’m laughing because I do the same thing with my bf when he takes pictures of me! We just know what we want right?

    I think this is a fabulous idea. For the before picture I pick number 2
    and for the after picture I pick number two as well! Good Luck and I hope you win!

  7. Jessica

    A shopping spree would be so much fun and you totally deserve it!!!! Amazing transformation pics! For the before pics, I def the swimsuit pic, and for after, I like #1 and #8 best. Good luck!!!!

  8. Jenn

    Being a member of Weight Watchers and having gone through several of the success stories, I am trying to consider this with the perspective of what WW has featured before. I totally agree with folk who have said you need to use the swimsuit photo as your before. It really helps to capture your transformation. I adore the After #8 shot. That dress is spectacular on you, really spectacular! I like the continuity of the water between the shots and it nicely ties them together. I really hope that you win the contest, Steph, you have come so far and I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more.

  9. steph Post author

    Okay, just one blanket reply on this since I’m SOOO behind anyway…

    Thank you ALL for your kind words, your encouragement, and your help in picking the pictures. Your enthusiasm and support is just worth so much more to me than I can possibly express. xoxo

  10. Brianna Ritz

    I really like the bathing suit “before pic #2” and the black sleveless dress “5” pic – it shows off your toned biceps :-D.


    1. steph Post author

      Thank you, Brianna! I giggled about my “toned biceps”…they really aren’t, but I think compared to the “Before” picture, they look like machine guns. 😉

      Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment!!

  11. Aundrea

    Before: swimsuit. After: DEFINITELY the one in the flower-print dress standing on the rock with the water behind you. You can REALLY tell in that picture how thin you are now…. beautiful!!

  12. Dani

    The bathing suit shot, and # 8 of 9 (floral dress, rock, water in the background)

    Congrats on your success, and best of luck in the contest! I keep saying I want Clinton and Stacey from What Not To Wear to dress me, I have NO idea how to dress this new(ish) body of mine 🙂

  13. Jessi

    Wow, you’ve done such an amazing job – super inspiring! I hope you win the contest. My pics are the bathing suit pic for before and the black dress by the sea for the after. Good luck!


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