Thursday, July 25, 2013

So Many Changes!

I've had a few people ask about starting a fitness page on Facebook. I've thought about it, but right now with everything going on I'm not sure I'm comfortable starting one. I am hoping that the blog gives everyone enough information and I'm completely open to receiving emails and friend requests on Facebook. 

To those of you who have sent emails and friend requests, thank you! It means the world to begin a friendship with each of you and to talk about such an important transition in your lives!

With the excitement of the last post and wanting to get something posted for everyone to read, I failed to include EVERY exciting thing that has happened this month.

PCOS Awareness Association
So obviously, if you're reading this you know this blog is dedicated to my weight loss journey and struggling with PCOS. I've shared the links to my blog on various different sites including Twitter and Instagram. I had a PCOS related account on IG follow me and start to take notice of my pictures and videos which was nice, and to my surprise I received this email :) 

I hope you can read it. Of course, I was so excited! I've always loved to write, especially relate able topics, but this was a whole new level of excitement. I would be writing about what I'm currently facing and what I'm doing to better myself. I could potentially help other women and be a type of support. I also felt a tad bit unsure of myself of course; not knowing if I could provide the information women are looking to receive. I knew that God has placed me int his situation for a reason. I would go with it and give it my all. 

So of course, I submitted my first pieces and have loved the whole interactive site. It's a website that allows you set up a profile and talk to other women with PCOS. Click here to check it out. :) I will be posting every other week on Monday. For the first couple of pieces click here. I encourage you to check out the other 4 women who are writing for the website. We all have different perspective, different ways that we have seen results, but we all have PCOS and the desire to beat it in common. If you're struggling with PCOS, please go set up a profile under the "Our Community" tab to be able to talk with other women and doctors who will be participating in conversations. 


There is a sale going on at Old Navy, Banana Republic, and The Gap for 30% off entire order (even clearance) and this past weekend I decided to order some clothes. I don't have a lot of shorts or pants so I wanted to do what I usually don't do: buy brand new clothes while losing weight. I decided to buy half size 14 (current size) and size 12 (will soon be there!). When I went to the Old Navy website, in the menu I clicked on "Women's Plus Size" and of course immediately went to the "Clearance" section. I found some really cute jean shorts and after clicking on them, I became frustrated because my size was listed. The smallest size was 16. I was looking for 14. It took a couple of seconds to realize why my size wasn't available. It wasn't because none of the shorts in that size were available in the clearance section. It was because I am no longer plus size!

This definitely called for an emotional moment. I cried. I hadn't even thought about that mental transition until I ordered clothes. Looking and searching through items without looking for "plus size" really changed my mental state about where I was at and where I can go in just a matter of months.

Recent Progress Picture

October 13, 2012 vs July 23, 2013. 

Sick! :(
So, I wasn't feeling the greatest after a long weekend with my nieces. I thought it was a little throat bug due to allergies and being around more germs (movie theater, water park, etc) from the weekend's activities.

Well, after two days of feeling miserable, I was informed it wasn't strep (everyone's original guess). I actually had a fungi infection on my tonsils and throat region. It was caused from........DAIRY! Yes, most of you know that I'm lactose intolerant, but thought I had found a good balance the past couple of years. I found that yogurt was NOT OKAY for my body and I didn't enjoy milk anyway, but for the past 4 months it's been almond, soy, and coconut milk. But I do still have the occasional ice cream, and I LOVE CHEESE! I always had it in moderation since my life style change. However, this weekend I did notice a bit more cheese intake compared the past couple of weeks when a friend with PCOS mentioned that her specialist told her about limiting dairy to help with acne breakouts.

What do you know? The acne is diminishing (or was until this weekend's dairy intake). So, after some talking with my doctor it looks like a dairy free diet is the best way to go. So, I will be no longer eating cheese :( cream.

Yes, I know there are alternatives to both of those options and I plan to research and try new things, but for someone who prided herself in not feeling deprived or cutting something completely out of her diet, this will be a challenge. 

On another note, here are some items that are new to my kitchen that I plan on trying. (I will have to look at the ingredients for the Annies mac and cheese). I've tried the tortillas before but wanted to try some new items. 

Please don't hesitate to email with questions! :) or find me on Facebook by searching "Chelsea Niewald" 

Monday, July 22, 2013

With Hard Work... Comes AWESOME Success!

First: I want to apologize for not posting for a couple of weeks. Life really has picked up, or maybe my activity level has picked up? I'm enjoying my summer & not giving up! So much has happened it feels like. Of course, this month has been NO SCALE JULY so that's been an experience. No weighing in once a week was weird to get used to, but I had to find ways to keep focused. This month, I've learned to look more at myself in the mirror and focus on clothes. I didn't realize the amount of time I spent daydreaming about the numbers and focusing on the numbers. Obviously, yes, the numbers decreasing is motivating because I have a lot to lose, but now that I'm finding a healthier relationship with the scale, I'm focusing on other aspects of this journey and at the end of the day I go to bed feeling proud and content with myself. 

So, you guessed it more progress pictures! Why? Because I'm changing!!!! On New Years Eve, I went to a party and the picture on the L is then :) A couple weeks ago I wore the same shirt (hadn't done laundry in a few days so I wasn't able to just pick anything I wanted to wear). On the R is what it looked like. A few people at work mentioned how I was "swimming" in the shirt. After taking a picture and comparing it, I was shocked! I had the realization that even though I had sold a lot of my "fat" clothes (sorry for those of you who don't like that term) but I still needed to get rid of the other clothes currently in my closet. 

So, I had gone to a local clothing shop ReStyle Clothing Exchange a few weeks prior where you can cash in your nice, used clothes and even buy new items. I had bought some workout pieces, and thought that if the owner was willing to take my plus size clothes I could maybe find new clothes there, or even go somewhere else in town with the cash to go find a couple new pairs of shorts. After washing four large loads of laundry, I had two huge bags of clothes to be sold. I didn't realize how much I had sitting in the back of my closet! So crazy! 

I had called ahead prior to going in to make sure she would take some of the larger size pants that I found in the back of my closet and some tops that were XXL and some plus size from different stores. She said she would, so I went in cashed in my items! For in store credit you get 50% of what she will sell it for in the store or you can take 40% of it in cash. I took the cash. 

I immediately headed to Old Navy (obsessed with store!). Now, I started at size 18 pants and usually 20 shorts (to hide the love handle area). I had been wearing a size 14-15 in pants depending on the style. So, I got a size 16 and 14 and headed to the one place I absolutely HATE....the dressing room. I put on the first pair without looking at the size.

That's right, a size 14 in shorts....probably haven't been that size since about Freshman year in high school. My hate for the dressing room changed. This was a huge mental transition to me. I had smaller clothes in my closet that I've started wearing recently, but going to a store and being able to pick out a smaller size....actually 4 sizes smaller is so exciting. 

 Here's a little Flashback Friday (from this past Friday!). On the L i was 245ish lbs on February 1st, 2013. On the right: July 19 somewhere around 200...maybe less?! (I'll find out soon!). This picture is such a huge motivator. I didn't think in February that I could do it, I tried but gave up after a few weeks...but look at me now! 

Core & Arm workout!

First time using my watch! I did a circuit and hike behind my house! Whooo hoo!

Just a little core workout in the living room :)

Last night's Biggest Loser Max Cardio and Fitsugar workout!

This week I bought a Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor Watch off of Amazon for $62.00. I did a lot of research prior to purchasing it. I had been following so many people on Instagram that count calories and use it to determine their calories for working out. I DO NOT COUNT CALORIES so I had the idea that I wouldn't benefit from it (although seeing how hard your workouts are is a positive). After a lot of research I found out that it doesn't just tell you the calories you burn, it also tells you your heart rate. Based on my weight (I put 208 down), height, and the heart rate monitor it keeps track of when you're "in range". The "in range" section lets you know when you're burning the most calories as possible (that your body lets you) while maintaining a healthy heart. I was born with a few heart problems and it's so important that the weight is gone that I strengthen my heart and not damage it. This really was the deciding factor in purchasing the watch. After a few workouts, I'm so happy with my decision. Honestly, I live on a tight budget and I was able to affoard it by saving up a little every couple paychecks. I really like the feature that tells you how long during your entire workout that you were in rage. It really makes you want to become stronger and spend more time "in range" to get the most out of your workouts!

I wanted to share two videos that I used last night! :) A friend of mine introduced me to FitSugar, a great FREE online place to get workout videos targeting all areas with some of the most known celebrity trainers! I also did a favorite Biggest Loser Max Cardio workout :)
Here are the two videos!

Here are a couple of pictures of some love handle and bum progress. This is exactly 8 weeks a part. :) 

 I'm so excited for the end of July to see what kind of progress I've made. I'm honestly hoping to be in that's -8 lbs in a month. I know my body is changing and I see that daily, but we shall see! 

I hope everyone is staying cool, the summer is really getting hot! If anyone in the Missoula area would like to get together to workout or hike, let me know! :) 


Thursday, July 11, 2013


Dear Chelsea,

It's been a while. You seem happier, confident, and loving life. Good for you. I bet days like today make it hard. When you don't feel the best and the reminder that PCOS is still in your life even though you have come so far the past few that way your eating was horrible? Even after a friend warned you and you put in an effort? It's time you realize that just because the way you feel changes within a couple of months and you feel like a new person, your body is changing at it's own pace. From a friend's point of view your body is changing, but what's going on inside of you is a different story. Your PCOS symptoms may never go away. Your skin is getting worse by the day, no matter how many times you exfoliate, wash, or do homemade masks. This happens. It has to be tough to feel great but have your confidence shaken yet again because your face is breaking out so bad.  This too shall pass.

You have so many people telling you that you inspire them and that you're doing fantastic. Accept that. Accept that you have something to offer to others. You aren't just a human taking up space. You're on Earth to walk a path, inspire others, and learn from everyone around you. You can start a chain reaction. The best part is that the chain reaction is positive and leads to great outcomes. Be that person, Chelsea. You have that in you to start positive chain reactions. Be what you needed years ago. 

I know you're scared of failing. Everyone is. You haven't failed yet, so keep going. And if you failed it's because you stopped. Don't stop. "Friends" have shown their true colors and it's up to you to accept their choices and continue to forgive & simply focus on you. Don't feel bad. You are still giving so much to everyone in your life. And at the end of the day, you are still focusing on you. If someone can't accept that and support that, that isn't your fault. So many people can get turned off by someone else's success, but we all have to learn to let others shine. How else do we learn from one another?

Don't ever give up. I'm so proud of you. You have done all of this. You have prepped every meal, you have done every workout, and you are making the choice every day to make a positive life for your future. 


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Body Reservations

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably have seen a lot of my skin. Haha. My Instagram was originally just a personal account for random pictures and selfies, but 3 months ago I decided to use it as a way to document my progress and struggles. It helps keep me accountable and allows me to be inspired by others that I follow. 

It was really hard for me to post my first "before" picture and show the world how big I really had gotten. But with supportive followers, growing self confidence, and having pictures to show progress I was able to face the world. 

I have had a lot of people comment "wow, you're so brave to post this picture", "you go girl, no many people can share their body when they don't like it", "you're so inspiring to embrace what you're doing fully". 

Guess what? I'm not brave. I'm doing what I have to do to remind myself how far I've come and that I DO have what it takes to reach my goals. There was a day where I lifted my shirt and saw a difference from back in April and all reservations about my "fat" body was gone. I had improved a lot for 3 months. I was proud of that. Every 208 lbs of it, I was proud because I had come a long way since 242. 

So, in honor of not having reservation about my body, I posted my second "bare skin" picture yesterday on Instagram. Since I shared the 30 day challenge with you, I figured I would post a before picture. Here is my "before" on July 1, 2013.

 Can you believe that I'm proud of that?!?

I already know that my "after" picture is going to show progress at the end of the month and I'm so excited. 

Yesterday was day 2 of the challenge! I haven't been doing situps since I started working out because I always thought of them as "useless". I do know that I'm feeling the small amount I've done in my abs so that's good. I just have to remember to use correct form so my back and neck aren't strained.

After my workout :)

Now, I want to touch base on something that is a bit more "personal". It isn't directed toward any one person, however I'm sure a few people will be able to relate and hopefully understand my mental state. 

Now, I know how annoying it can be for friends and family when someone they know goes on a "health kick". I know that I can only talk about fitness for the majority of conversations. When people ask me "what's new?" My response, "Oh nothing, just working out, working on my time for my mile run, doing strength training circuits, managing macros". But for those of you who are annoyed by your "health kick" friends, here is something to understand: a schedule is put in place when someone is serious about their health. Partying and lounging around isn't a main priority. My days are very much a like (with of course the events of hanging out with friends or doing stuff around town to get out of the house). I get joy and excitement out of doing a new workout and pushing my body to a new goal. But, with my 9-5:30 office job, working out, meal prepping, and making sure I have a somewhat organized house I don't do much unless it's on the weekends. I like investing in myself during everyday of the week. 

By investing in myself it also means that I don't put myself in a situation where I'm encouraged or pressured into going out to dinner a few times a week or having a drink every single night. I know what my body needs and wants and for me to reach my goals, all of those "luxuries" are very limited. I don't deprive myself by any means but I also don't indulge every night so then I'm feeling horrible and it takes twice the time to make a goal I've put in front of me.

I knew that by changing my interests, goals, and priorities I would most likely either lose or distance myself from friends. At first I thought it wouldn't happen, but then I found that for certain occasions, it might be necessary. Now, I know that my "real" friends will understand and support me, but it doesn't make the decision any less hard for me. I know people probably think that I'm judging them because they decide to get a fat hamburger with fries while I order a garden salad and low carb pasta. 

Guess what?! I don't judge anyone by their eating habits. The only time I will argue and maybe make any kind of comment is when someone says they can eat anything and everything and still be thin. People may think that and bless their fast metabolism, but just because you aren't getting "fat" doesn't mean that your body is being nourished properly.  

The truth is, I'm focusing on JUST ME! I don't take the time to worry about others and what they eat unless they reach out and would like ideas, advice, or help. I'm not doing this to know more, or be better than anyone but who I was 3 months ago. 

So, with that being said, I want to apologize to anyone who has felt or maybe that I made them feel that way. I'm changing a lot and I do have different interests. I will occasionally go out to meet up with friends for a drink or maybe dinner, but it won't be something I can or will do a lot of the time. If anyone wants to go hiking or running, or even workout together, just let me know! I'm finding myself so interested in physical activities that I won't turn them down!

Now, I found this little quote online yesterday and even though I'd like to think I don't have haters, here is a reminder for those of us who sometimes feel that there are people are just can't seem to get over their issues when it comes to YOU or others around you!

Monday, July 1, 2013

A Little of Everything!

 This weekend marked 12 weeks, exactly 3 months since I decided to change my life! I'm officially 34 lbs down! :) I never thought I could do this, but I'm surprising myself! Starting today, I will not look at the scale for an entire month! I plan on focusing on my core, abs, legs, arms and really trying to jump start the toning up process and in the meantime, hopefully losing a few pounds this month! I really need to focus on my tummy region this month.

Food prepping for a couple of days. Chicken breasts lightly coated with extra virgin olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice (half) with 2 small red potatoes, fresh garden onions, fresh basel, fresh parsley.

A circuit! :)

Biggest Loser Workout kicked by butt! Such a great workout! :) Worked new muscles and literally had to take a day off after!

Breakfast for dinner! 3 eggs scrambled, 2 morning star veggie patties cut up, spinach, one roma tomato.

7 week difference! I hated showing my arms, but I'm proud at how far they are coming along! :D

Felt good enough to lay out in a bikini to get some sun. Of course no one was around, but still! The point is, I sat outside in a bikini!

My weight!!! I reach 208, exactly 34 lbs down in 3 months! I was so happy!! :) I spent a majority of last week freaking out about not losing weight. Obviously, my three periods made me hold on to some water weight but by weigh in day, it was gone!

I was told that when family follow your lead it's the most rewarding thing on the planet. Well, having my mom brag about almost being out of the 200s made my day! She is planning on rewarding herself with a new outfit when she hits 175. I'm so lucky that she sees how important it is to get healthy!

It's a new month! Here are July's goal! Yes, you saw that, NO SCALE JULY!

Here's a challenge I'm doing this month. I haven't ever participated in one before, but I thought this looked doable!

Wore a shirt I haven't been able to fit comfortably in a couple of summers! Feels great!

Today's workout. I took 3 days off from working out. Why? Because I was sore and a bit lazy, but I hit it hard tonight and this week will be a great week!

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Great workout tonight! :) Missed the feeling! :D

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