*GUEST POST* Never Say Never... By Suzi Storm

Regaining weight after hitting goal or getting close to goal is something I get asked about often. Thankfully, I do not have first-hand experience with gaining weight back (besides after healing from my eating disorders - which isn't the same). Soooo I asked my dear friend Suzi (aka Suzi Storm) to share her story about regaining weight after hitting her goal weight and starting the weight loss journey all over again!!


Suzi & I at her wedding in June 2013

Take it away Suzi!


Never Say Never…



Dani is a friend that is near and dear to my heart. So when she asked me if I would be interested in writing a guest post I said “hell yeah”…

So if the title didn’t give it away already…this is a post about where I come out…for my love of Justin Bieber.

Just kidding.  ‘Never say never’ is his song right?! Otherwise this post is already heading in a horrible direction.

My “success” story in a nutshell…I lost 101 lbs following the Weight Watchers program in 2010.  In 2011 my life went on the wildest rollercoaster that I have yet to experience in my 30 years on this planet. It kind of goes like this…go to NYC to do a success story shoot for Weight Watchers Online…get chosen to go to Chicago to be on Oprah & be one of the 100 people who have lost 100 lbs or more for her very last weight loss episode...do numerous amounts of local news and newspaper interviews who want to display my story…get chosen to be featured in the Weight Watchers Winter/Spring ‘Believe’ campaign & go on to be featured in magazines along with having numerous television commercials…am asked to contribute my story and have my very own little section in former Weight Watchers CEO David Kirchhoff’s book ‘Man Meets Scale’.  Oh and within this year I would go to Boston to train and become a Weight Watchers meeting leader not once…but twice (well I didn’t train twice, I just was a leader for a few months, stopped, then became a leader again…and stopped).

That literally happened all in ONE YEAR!! Oh and did I mention that I made Lifetime (that’s when you have hit your goal weight and maintained it for 6 weeks) on December 23rd 2010…and in January I was off to NYC…pretty much all of the events I mentioned above were spaced out within a few months of each other.

When you lose weight, no matter the amount, the questions are generally all the same.  “How did you do it?” “How long did it take you?” “What was your AHA moment?” “How do you feel about yourself now?”…

In mostly all of my interviews I used to say “I will NEVER go back to being THAT person again!!”  Before losing the weight I was depressed, angry, and hated myself every day for the choices I was making…of course I thought I would never go back to being THAT person again!! I was a size 6 and feeling AMAZING!! And did I mention all the cool shit I got to do?!

I will never be THAT person ever again…what a naïve thing to say. Because guess what…it’s 2014 and I am THAT person again. Did I *want* to end up back in this situation? Did I *want* to repeat the whole weight loss journey again? Hell no!! Who ever wishes for stuff like that?! But sometimes we lose control and sometimes we are so lost that we can't grab a hold of ourselves until we are hanging out with George Clooney & Sandra Bullock in space. Never say never, because you never know what will happen.

I have gained all of my weight back, plus another 30 lbs. I am officially the heaviest I have ever been in my life. I even had to be put on blood pressure medication and last year I thought I was having a heart attack and had to be hospitalized.  Come to find out, it was just a panic attack.  Something that was happening often and I had to be put an anxiety medications.

I didn’t *feel* anxious per say.  But when I think about it now I guess I did have a lot of anxiety. I feared going to public places where I might run into someone who saw me when I was at my goal weight.  I dreaded seeing family members who hadn’t seen me in a few months.  See, I gained the weight back very quickly.  After I ran my first (and to date my only) marathon in October of 2011 I pretty much stopped running.  Then I started drinking more (Beer is my poison and my most tempted lover) which of course lead to eating more…which lead to more hangovers, which lead to less movement, which lead me back into my couch with my sweats on and a beer in my hand…the same exact picture of the girl I said I would never be again.

See, I never got to just *BE* with my new body. Losing weight is hard and is a transformation for anyone but losing 100 lbs is some serious life changing stuff, and I am not talking because of all the amazing experiences I got to have but I am talking about your body. Your physical body and your mental state…they take a dramatic change. And I never really got to understand that until it was too late.

I think around spring of 2012 was when I really fell back in the hole. I was up about 30 lbs so you would think I would’ve stopped there, but my self-hatred for those 30 regained lbs ate me and ate me and I just continued to drink and eat and drink and eat and drink and eat. Everyday I would ask myself “How in thee f*ck did I get back here?!”  But that wouldn’t stop me. Sad part is, this wasn’t the first time I had gained weight back. Years prior I had lost 55 lbs on the program. I didn’t hit goal weight. I didn’t even have one set. But I was pretty close to a healthy weight and felt great. But then I had gained that back plus another 50 lbs.

So here I am now…2014 and at my highest weight yet.  Do I give up?? Do I throw in the towel and believe that I can’t lose weight and successfully keep it off for more than a year and half at a time?? HELL NO!!!!

I got married last June and it was the happiest time of my life. But aside from my wonderful marriage (& I must say that I am so lucky to have a husband who has loved me & has supported me no matter what)…I have been living in my own personal hell over the past year.  My drinking might be the worst it has ever been and it has forced me to look at my patterns and my habits. This is something I am still seeking answers to and not something I am ready to publicly share until I come to peace with it myself.

And my food intake?? If it’s cheesy and bad for me, well then I will put it in my body.  Sure, every now and then I get these so-called AHA moments (I always hated this question and I think that I now truly believe that there is no one AHA moment) and I start to track my food again and count my points…this usually lasts for a week or two but then I am right back into my old, disgusting habits again. And my exercise??  I sign up for races and then never train again to them. I went from running ½ marathons and a marathon to not even being able to run a ¼ mile straight.

Something over the past few weeks has changed though.  I don’t know if I am just, as they say, sick and tired and of being sick and tired. But I have really been taking a good look over the past 8-9 years of my life to try to see what the patterns are…what the triggers are.  I think I have figured some of them out.  Others, well they are a work in progress.  I never did this before though. It was just about weight and unhappiness. I knew I had bad eating and drinking habits but I think that my mental thought was “well if I track them they are OK.” That’s not always the case.

But one thing is for sure…I will NEVER give up!! I may fall and I may fall really ‘effing hard, but I will always try to get back up. It’s not easy.  Especially since all I want to do is get back to being healthy and fit again.  But I have to try to keep learning to be patient with myself.  Change never happens over night.  And even though I have learned SO many valuable lessons along the way about this journey, I still have many more to learn.  I have *so* much more to learn about myself. I’m not a quitter. I am a fighter.

You know what…I am NEVER going to be THAT girl again…I am going to be BETTER!!

Maybe you are or have been in this situation.  Maybe you are at your goal weight and struggling.  Or maybe you have maintained your weight for 10 years. Either way, we are all in this together. But we all have our own individual seats on this ride.  All we can do is scream and cheer for not only ourselves but for each other. Never give up and most importantly...never stop believing in yourself.


Suzi can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Wedding Weekend

"So we are going to a wedding of someone you have never met in person" - My Wife "Yup, but we have been friends online for about three years ... so it makes total sense!" - Me


This past weekend the wife and I took a road trip to upstate NY to attend the wonderful wedding of Suzi Storm. Suzi is someone I've had the pleasure of knowing thanks to blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Weight Watchers, etc.

When she originally invited us to her wedding, I knew I had to be there. I know it seems crazy for never having met her in person, but when you find a good connection with someone - you make the trip.

Suzi's wedding was to take place June 22nd in Cicero, NY. Quite a haul from Boston, MA. I knew flights would be pricey so driving would be our only option. Hello road trip!

Friday traffic in Boston is NO joke. It usually takes me about 10-15 minutes to get from my house to the wife's work ... on Friday, June 21 - it took me 45 minutes. NOT a good way to kick off a road trip.

I picked the wife up just about 5pm and we hit the open road for upstate NY. We were hoping to get there before midnight - factoring in a stop along the way for dinner.

Massive traffic leaving Boston that thankfully dissolved about 45 minute to an hour into the trip. Despite numerous bathroom stops - thanks water and caffeine - we pulled into the parking lot of the Holiday Inn Express in Cicero, NY at 11:15pm.

Thankfully on Saturday, for the first time in a looong time, we would be able to sleep in. Hey, no dogs to take out or a morning workout to do - I was excited for it.

Aaannnd eyes popped open at 6:45am - DAMN YOU INTERNAL CLOCK!! :P I thankfully was able to force myself back to sleep until 8am and it was all over. I headed out in search of Dunkin Donuts and hair gel (yup packing for a whopping 2 day trip and I forgot hair gel).

The wedding was starting at 12:30pm so we had plenty of time to lounge around before getting ready. We headed down to the lobby at 11:45 in preparation of the Noon shuttle. But when I got to the front desk, the woman asked the shuttle driver - who was also the breakfast chef/attendant - how to get to the venue and she had no idea.

We took this as a sign and just drove ourselves to the wedding ... which took about 6 minutes! Thanks GPS!

Now Suzi had made everything herself for the wedding with a lot of suggestions/ideas of Pinterest ... and it looked AMAZING!

Right from the moment of walking in the front door.

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With no seating plan, we sat ourselves down at a table and waited to see who our new family would be. But, no one ever came. Yup, the wife and I must've smelled or something ;) because no one wanted to sit with us apparently.

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Or maybe it was the fact that we were sitting at "lucky" table #13??

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How awesome were the gifts? Koozie, bottle opener (hidden inside koozie), a tiny bell and a personalized guitar pick.

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On the back it read: "ever thine, ever mine, ever ours"

Amazing! Wicked creative!

When you walked in there was an entire bucket of bubbles and we took quiet a few bottles, which led to much amusement as the afternoon wore on. ;)

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While we waited for the ceremony to start outside behind the reception area, we grabbed a drink and took in all of Suzi's hard work!

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And quickly put the koozie to good use. :P

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I like Hershey kisses so we may have left them quite a few wishes! ;)

The handmade paper flowers that Suzi sweated over turned our beautifully!

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I love a good bouquet!

Check out the amazing cake topper...

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How cool is that?

And instead of a wedding cake - they had cupcakes!

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While we were drooling over the cupcakes, it was time to head outside for the ceremony!

I had to make a pitstop beforehand to snap a pic of my outfit. We needed proof of the non-sneaker footwear. :)

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I was just so excited that the dress size matched my shoe size - both size 8! Eeek! *insert happy face*

We then headed over to the gazebo-y area for the ceremony. It was nice and sunny with no chance of rain. Phew!

I could see the top of Suzi's head before she started walking down the aisle and I couldn't wait to see it all.

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Radiant! Gorgeous! Glowing!

It was amazing to finally see my friend in person and in such a special way to boot!

The ceremony between Suzi and Frank was short, but sweet. You could feel the love.

And before you knew it - they were man and wife!

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I had to make sure I snapped the pictures as I felt pressure to get them right from the whole social media world. ;) I hope I made everyone proud.

It was party time! And finally time to hug Suzi in person.

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We all headed back into the reception hall and it was time to celebrate.

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There was music, dancing, drinks, a buffet and cupcakes.

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I HAD to go with the Guinness and Bailey's cupcake ... and it was GLORIOUS!!

Before I knew it, it was 5pm and time for the reception to end. But not the party!!

We took a quick detour back to the hotel to relax for a quick hour and for the wife to change into more comfy clothes and for me to put the hair up and grab a Sparkly Soul headband.

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Then it was time to meet the crew for the after party at a local bar, Cooper's. It was a little joint with a deck that overlooked the lake.

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It was great to chat with Suzi, Frank and some of their other friends/family in a more intimate setting after the craziness of a reception. :)

About 8pm it was time for us to say goodbye and head somewhere to catch the Bruins-Blackhawks playoff game. (I was not happy with the outcome, but had actually fallen asleep before the end)

We successfully slept in until 9am on Sunday - WIN! We decided to check out the local Cracker Barrel for breakfast since I had never been there. Yeah not my cup of tea!

Then we decided to check out Syracuse a little before getting back on the road to Boston. So we drove around Syracuse and checked out the University before heading to a local brewery for a tasting.

Middle Ages Brewing

It was a great little detour with some delicious beers. You were able to sample 7 different brews for free!

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Of course we walked out with a sample 12-pack and a pint glass. :P

Since it was close to 1pm it was time to hit the road since we really wanted to be homy by 6pm.

Thankfully the trip back home wasn't too eventful and we hit minimal traffic.

Overall, it was one AMAZING weekend. We both needed a tiny break from life and it was exactly what we wanted. It was an honor to be part of Suzi's special day and I can't wait to figure out when we will see each other again!

Dani Dishes 6-24-13

On this episode of Dani Dishes, I thank social media for the friends that have come into my life, joining Suzi Storm on her special wedding day and heading to Fitbloggin this week! Product Of The Week Jolly Time Popcorn -- http://www.jollytime.com/products/pop_corn/view?object=525