(-50 pounds) “It’s been just about a year since I joined HOF and I can’t believe the progress I’ve made. I never thought I would be able to commit to this — the crazy schedule, the intensity of the workouts — for such a long time.

Somehow, I have lost 50 pounds. I have gone from a size 20 to 14, pulling out clothes that have been packed away in boxes for years.  Sometimes, I feel discouraged and think my progress should be more visible. But I realize that I have lost so much in places that aren’t noticeable. For example, my feet — I have lost a whole shoe size! My fingers and wrists — I have some bracelets and rings that just fall off! My knees are smaller. And, I think I’ve even lost weight in my earlobes. I guess the next 50 lbs will be more dramatic.

Though this experience, I’ve learned some valuable lessons:

1) Always keep pushing and fighting. Keep a positive mind set and remember your goal. Just do it like Nike says 😉
2) Remember that the scale is not the only thing that matters. Put it on “punishment” when needed. I went for about three months without looking at mine once, and then, I was amazed at my progress.
3) Plan and prepare so you can make good eating decisions. For me, that is the hardest and most important part — knowing what and when to eat. Even if you are going to have one cookie or a small piece of cake, plan it out, make sure it is worth it and eat slowly to savor it. Then, throw the plate away. Also, make sure you are actually eating enough food, one thing that really stunts progress is not eating enough especially if you are working out a lot. It seems wrong because you always hear eat less, but I have come to learn that, that information is really not right. You can’t just eat anything you have to get creative with your healthy choices. It is likely that you need to eat more than you think you do.

So, the challenges are still there every day. But that’s what we want in life, right? I am going to step out and challenge myself even more by facing one of my biggest fears. I’m making it official and announcing my plan to complete a 10K in November (I’m scared).

What’s your goal? Come on and join me in the challenge!”

-Nicole Neely