Since this is the first blog, it’s probably going to be long. I apologize in advance. My name is Stefani, but most call me simply Red. I am the “front office girl” at Phoenix Physical Therapy Swansea location. Even though this is my first blog, I did not start this journey today. So, lets start from the beginning.

I have been overweight for years. At least 9. And when I say overweight, I don’t mean I weigh 130 lbs, but I would really only like to weigh 115 lbs. I mean, I’ve been over 200 lbs for 9 years. Mostly staying around 225-235. But in the last 5 years pushing the limits at 270 lbs.

I’ve always been the girl who was comfortable in her skin, no matter her weight, (within reason). I laughed and joked about my weight frequently. I wasn’t offended by the word fat because  1. it was/is true and 2. because I knew myself and my worth……….. BUT, that all changed when I went home and looked into a mirror. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved ME. I still loved the person I was and my outgoing personality and my loving heart, but I HATE the site of my naked body. And if I’m being totally honest, it has affected me mentally as well. From not finding myself attractive to my spouse, to always wearing 3/4 length sleeves on my shirts (even in the dead of summer); going on a Caribbean vacation and NOT wearing a bathing suit, which meant no swimming in the ocean or on the cruise line; not having worn shorts in 9 years cause of my insecurities with my legs……… The list can go on and on, but I’m sure you get the point by now.

I’m embarrassed to admit the amount of time and MONEY I’ve spent on these magic pills that are going to make your body lose weight with minimal effort. One day I will sit down and total up the amount I’ve spent. I’m sure its outrageous.

After hearing several success stories of friends/family having bariatric surgery, I decided that was the right decision for me and I booked an appointment with a surgeon on August 31, 2015. I made a commitment that day that I was going to change my body for the better. Not because I wanted to be skinny, but because I wanted to not hate the view I saw in the mirror. I wanted to be healthy. I wanted to climb my stairs to go to bed at night without huffing and puffing. I wanted to go to the park and actually play with my amazing children versus sitting on the bench.

Very soon after my initial visit with my surgeon, I lost my insurance coverage, which meant, no surgery for me. But, I decided already that this was going to happen, with or without the surgery.

For the first month, from August 31 to September 21, I began to make small changes in my lifestyle. I made 3 – small to most but big to me – goals for my first month.

  1. Cut my soda intake from 8-10 cans a day to 1-2
  2. To get 15-20 minutes of activity 3 days a week. ( I went for walks with the kids on the weekends, and once during the week alone)
  3. To start being aware of calories and carbs and proteins. Not really monitoring them and what I was taking in, but to be aware of them and try to get used to looking at them when I’m purchasing food.

My first month went great. Probably even better than I expected. But I had made a commitment to myself and I will be successful! The second month was a litter harder. From September 21st to October 31 I struggled a little. I again set 3 goals.

  1. To drop soda all together
  2. To use my fit bit and get at least 5,000 steps every day
  3. To begin working out

And again, I did very well. I am now completely off soda. I enjoy carbonated flavored waters instead. I regularly get 5000 steps a day and I began working out with a personal Trainer here at Phoenix Physical Therapy on October 22nd.

That brings us pretty much up to date………..

I decided to track my journey for several reasons. I’m sharing my story because I am committed,  but I need support. I’m sharing because I know in my heart there are people out there who are where I was/am. There are people who struggle with their weight, but think that there is no hope, or it just isn’t in the cards for them to live a healthier life.

What you can expect to read about from me? REAL LIFE. I will post about my food, my working out, aka, my hatred of working out!! My struggles. My cravings, my good days and my bad days. You can expect the truth. If any of y’all personally know me, you know I am pretty fond of speaking my mind and telling it like it is, and this blog won’t be any different.  If you don’t personally know me, please feel free to say hi and we can swap stories and inspire each other. I can use all the support I can get. This is NOT an easy road for me.

So, I’ll conclude this obscenely long blog with this. From August 31, 2015 to November 4, 2015 (today), I am VERY proud to say I have lost 18 lbs. I’ll be honest, I can’t tell any big difference, which makes me sad – 18 lbs seems like I would notice something. BUT, I did put on a pair of jeans yesterday that I haven’t worn since February. That of course, made me smile.


I have a very long, very hard road ahead of me. I know this. But I am committed to this journey.