Friday, December 30, 2011

From Within

Once a miserable 388 pounds, I decided I loved myself enough to try. Try to be better. Be happier. Be healthier. And lose the weight. All the weight: emotional, spiritual, physical.

When you're in a dark, cold space trapped under 388 pounds light seems non-existent. I traveled many dark, foggy tunnels before I saw a glimpse of light. I had a negative spirit, negative attitude, and a negative outlook. In the depths of darkness, however, there was some nagging voice within, telling me: I deserved more. I was worthy. I could be better. After sitting still with myself and some serious soul searching I was able to hear that voice loud and clear. The voice within instructed me to stop wallowing in my pity, put my thoughts to action, and create the life I envisioned for myself.  The voice within gave me hope, courage, and belief. The voice is the very reason I was able to see my way out of the dark, foggy tunnel. I'm the happiest I've ever been in my life. Today, I stand in the light. 

“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts."

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Oh, goodness!

The other day I visited New Seasons Market to restock my produce. I usually go produce shopping every two to three days. If we had fresh corner markets I would go daily. Fresh corner markets...Wouldn't that be nice? Anyhow, some things I will only eat organic. Apples being one of them. Non-organic apples are sprayed with pesticides and waxed - no thanks. Buying organic, however, means paying considerably more. Organic Jazz apples were $2.49 a lb. Four apples cost $5.28. I used to gripe and complain, but now-a-days I just swipe my debit card with a smile. I want to fuel my body with good wholesome food and it's not cheap. That's typically the case with anything.  I could buy the non-organic apples at a lower price. Or if we look at it folks spend five bucks on a cheap processed McDonald's meal.  Instead, I chose to spend my dollar on four natural sweetened apples. 

As I professed a while ago, I have fallen in love with Kale. However, it is quite spendy too. I bought two bunches of Lacinato Kale to the tune of $4.98. It usually serves as a side for two meals. So that's not too bad when you break it down that way. Or if you look at the bigger picture -- I'm paying for my health and well-being upfront. Filling my body with inexpensive, crappy, processed so-called food would only cost me in the long run. I chose to eat good wholesome food and am willing to pay the price.   

*Disclaimer: I realize that eating organic and healthy comes with a significant price tag and when on a budget it can be nearly impossible to afford. I've been very fortunate to afford good quality food. I'm also fortunate enough to have the knowledge about what's good and what's not so good for me. One of my "Food and Your Health" books posed a very valid question: Is the healthy food movement elitist? Darn right it's elitist. It boils down to socioeconomic status (huge subject maybe in another blog post, maybe). Socioeconomic status is only part of the problem though. I believe for some eating healthy just is not a priority. For me, eating whole fresh food is top of my priority list because the alternative not only is going to cost more in the long run, but eating healthy never tasted so good. I hope that you too can make it a priority and find it in your budget to eat fresh whole food.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


A perfect demo of Warrior 2
As I proudly stood in Warrior 2 pose this morning in Yoga, this thought filled my mind: All that I've endured, all that I've battled, all that I've become -- all that I am.

Ten months ago, I was hit by a car as a pedestrian and suffered a fractured Tibia. Today, I was back in Yoga. Knee a little tender and my heart unsure whether I could perform some of the stretches and poses, but I was there. Throughout life, throughout this weight loss and self-transformation journey, I've been tested and I've overcome. All that I've endured, all that I've battled, all that I've become -- all that I am. I'm a warrior.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Be encouraged

Many of you have written to me to tell me I've motivated, inspired, and encouraged you along my journey - thank you. After all, you are a big reason why I blog. Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting with a young woman who found my blog after reading the article that was written in "The Columbian" back in July.  How totally cool. Anyhow, she was interested in buying a copy of my cookbook. She's local, so I met with her at New Seasons Market.  I signed her book, we chatted about my weight loss and I offered her some tips and suggestions. Next thing, I know, my passion for good wholesome food and sharing my knowledge led us to the produce section. I explained to her why it's important to buy local, organic and offered her some recipe suggestions. Before I knew it we were traveling the entire store -- I was giving her a Personal Grocery Shopping 101 class (hmm...this could be an upcoming class).

We talked about exercise and lots of other health, fitness related stuff. I felt honored to be able to pass on what I've learned and to know that people look to me for ideas and motivation is just amazing. I use to be a slothenly 388 pounds. I use to eat highly caloric processed food and my exercise consisted of going back and forth to the kitchen. Today, I promote a healthy fit lifestyle and folks look to me for inspiration. Ha ha. That's awesome.

As we walked around the store and I introduced some of my recipe ideas. She pointed out that she doesn't like oatmeal, Brussels sprouts, and a few other things I suggested she try. I gave her permission to not like these items. There are plenty of other foods that fit the bill that she may like. Our shopping experience/conversation prompted this blog post...Look to me for your inspiration, motivation, but remember the path you travel is unique. Let me be your guide, but your journey is your journey. You may be able to use some of my recipes, exercise routines, tips, however, some of my methods may not work for you and that's okay. Adapt what you can from me and others, but your journey will be different. Be encouraged by me, but remember your journey is uniquely yours. Good luck! Do continue to look to me, I love it!

Monday, December 26, 2011


It's been a long time coming, but I finally threw out my old, stretched out, raggedy, big girl undies. For Christmas, I bought myself a variety of fun, colorful undies n a considerably smaller size - yay me! I realize it may be Too Much Information - T.M.I, but heck I am excited! It's a milestone. Next up, Victoria's Secret.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Like Charlie Brown

Not The Scrooge or The Grinch,  I actually like Christmas and some of the commercialism. I love the smell of Christmas trees, freshly baked goods, the sounds of Christmas, and all the glitz. I, however, struggle with how everyone runs around like mad, scrambling to procure gifts, most of the gifts have no real meaning behind them.

News flash people: There is a religious reason we celebrate, Christmas.  Though most of us don't take that into account. At the very least it seems we should just cherish our time spent with family and friends.  What about taking in a movie? Having a coffee date? Or a sit down meal at home? Yesterday, I was looking forward to meeting with two of my friends for coffee. I had small gifts for them, but mainly I wanted to just have a chance to sit down and catch up with them. I've been extremely busy with public events the last few months and truthfully I was really looking forward to some time with friends. Last minute, both of them cancelled (they were separate dates) on me. Today, I was suppose to meet a friend for coffee and she too had to reschedule "So much going on." It's a sad shame that we all have become too busy to connect and share time with one another. For me the time together, laughing, talking, connecting is more important, meaningful than the gifts.

Today, I'll continue my holiday baking while listening to Christmas tunes, hopeful in the next few days, I'll get to meet with some of my loved ones to spread my holiday cheer.  In my old age, I'm a lot like, Charlie Brown.

"Give love on Christmas day...No greater gift is there than love."

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I believe

My journey of self-transformation, weight loss has been an amazing experience. I've shed hundreds of pounds and in turn I was able to deal with layers of emotional stuff. The old Chrisetta had a pessimistic attitude and did not truly believe in her abilities. Over the years, fortunately I've had a cast of supportive folks in my life who have encouraged, supported, and believed in me. Believed in me at my worst. Believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. I tell you, it's a cold, dark place to be in when you don't think much of yourself, you seek outside approval and even with the approval of others you still don't see your value or believe in yourself. It has taken a great deal of time for me to be at peace with myself, believe in myself. Having folks encourage me and tell me they believed in me was very, very  helpful. I am forever grateful to them.

It's been a long, bumpy road, but present day, Chrisetta, does not seek outside approval or validation. Sure, it's nice to have supportive folks rooting me on, but it's more rewarding to know within myself that I can. Chrisetta of today, believes in herself, her abilities and will never give up on herself. I believe.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What will be

There's one thing that I've grown to know for sure: Everything happens for a reason. I may not see it at the time, understand it, or like it, but there is a reason for it. Knowing this makes it much easier to deal with disappointments. People enter my life for a reason, maybe a season. Plans I thought surely should and would work out, didn't. Relationships start off strong and end with a sudden fizzle. My dream job really was quite the opposite. The man of my dreams, was a dream. The universe is a powerful force.  No longer do I fight with the universe. And, by not fighting it I usually am rewarded by it's splendor. What will be, will be.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Food snob

I've been thinking...I'm a food snob. Yup, I said it. A while ago, I wrote a blog post, "Grocery Shopping No-Nos" in which I was not ready to admit to my snobbish ways, but as time has progressed my snobbishness has increased.  The way I see it, there is nothing wrong with me turning my nose up to packaged, highly caloric, so-called processed food. 

I've decided to take a stand. I say no to the crap that dominates the aisles of the supermarket. I stay clear of food that is advertised and put together in fancy little packages with a long list of ingredients mostly preservatives, and sugars. For goodness sake, I do not let strangers prepare my food. I prepare and eat fresh, whole food that you can picture growing in it's natural state (Thanks, for that one Michael Pollan).

I'm willing to pay the price for my health and well-being up front. I make my health and food a priority. I take the extra-time I need to shop and prepare food. Real food. I really don't see any other way. So from this day forward, I proudly declare myself as a food snob. Heck, I'm even contemplating starting a food snob movement: A bunch of health crazed folks purchasing, growing, preparing, and eating fresh, whole food.  Hmm...stay tuned.

Friday, December 16, 2011

"Stewards of Earth"

Will Allen - Growing Power
A journalist by trade, I've always had an inquisitive nature, combined with my Jesuit education -- watch out! I'm always seeking information, questioning everything, and advocating change. Throughout this amazing self-transformation and weight loss journey I've evolved and learned so much about health, fitness, food, and of course myself. I'm bursting at the seams with tons of information about the food industry. I have a nagging desire to share it -- it's my civic duty, the journalist in me. My goal over the next several weeks, months is to pass on what I've been learning, reading, researching to you. We've got a lot of ground to cover, but some of the bigger topics are:
  • Sustainability
  • Feedlots
  • Food deserts
  • Organic food 
  • Local food
  • Milk - The Truth
  • Plant based diets
I am forever changed by what I've learned about the food industry, the abuse of animals, raping of the land, and the government's involvement or lack thereof. The food industry is in need of a huge overhaul. It's going to take some work on the part of the people and that's why I feel it's very important I share what I've learned. It's going to take all of us to stand up and say no more.

A few weeks ago, I added two new sections to the blog "Food and Your Health" and "Food and Your Health: Recommended Readings & Films" if you haven't checked these sections out I urge you to do so. Also, check out these farmers who are doing there part in keeping alive the traditional farming practices with the help of some modern technology:

Will Allen - Growing Power
Joel Salatin - Polyface Farms 

"We are stewards of Earth, we are to respect the design of nature." Joel Salatin

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Calm before storm

The last few months I've been all systems go. I love what I do so it doesn't feel like work, but it can get hectic. Classes ended last Wednesday so that freed up a bulk of my day. It's been nice to sleep in, enjoy my morning coffee, and have a little flexibility in my schedule. For the rest of the month, I have no community activities or commitments. I'm just enjoying the down time because my January calendar is already slammed with dates -- booked into March 2012. It's the calm before the storm.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What's the worst that can happen?

I was talking with my dear friend (who happens to be obese) this morning.  She complained of how tired she was after sleeping 9 1/2 hours last night. 9 1/2 hours! Sometime ago she was diagnosed with Sleep apnea and prescribed a C-PAP machine. She does not like to use the machine because it's a huge nuance. Usually, I listen on as a good friend would (or would they?).

This morning, however, as she complained about how tired she was I couldn't hold it in anymore. I offered my unsolicited advice. Perhaps she was so tired because although she had been in bed, supposedly sleep, her Sleep apnea prevented her from actually sleeping through the night. Hence, the need for the machine. I realize the machine may be a nuance, but not waking up the next morning would be... She has two small children for goodness sake. As a short-term solution, I encouraged her to start using her machine again, but the long-term solution is to reclaim control of her weight and her health. I mentioned that maybe, just maybe she should start exercising. Just a ten minute walk. That's when her complaining really began: she doesn't want to exert that much energy. Huh? Really? Silly me. I see the ability to go outside and walk in the fresh air as a gift. I reminded her, I'm the gal who use to weigh 388 pounds. I'm all to familiar with restlessness nights of sleep because of too much abdomen girth. I too avoided physical activity like the plague when I was morbidly obese. I did not want to walk and God forbid I work up a sweat. Turns out I love to do both now.

My unsolicited raw opinion: Too many of us are sitting around letting our lives pass us by. We won't walk to the mailbox that is 300 ft. We drive to the grocery store that is less than a mile. We eat processed, crappy so-called food because it's convenient. What's worse, we won't even be inconvenienced to get out of the car to get our so-called crappy food. We drive-up and drive-thru. Sadly, most of us don't know how to prepare/cook a meal using fresh, whole ingredients. Most of us don't know how to cut-up a whole chicken We forgot that chickens even have bones. We find it perfectly acceptable to eat our vegetables and fruit from cans. We take a pill for every ailment, when the truth is a little exercise probably would do the trick Our health and well-being is at stake and we're in denial. Or is that we just our too lazy to do anything about it? A healthy lifestyle has a price tag, but so does the crappy, convenient lifestyle.

My forty something year old aunt had a massive heart attack about a month ago. She's obese, eats like crap, and does not exercise. A recipe for disaster. She was hospitalized for several days and even was confined to the ICU for a spell. Heart disease runs in her family.  Her father died of a massive heart attack before the age of 50. You would think that would be reason enough to take better care of herself. She left the hospital with a bag full of meds and a schedule in which she should take them. Of course, the doctors also prescribed a healthier diet and exercise. Popping the pills is the route she has decided to take. Another short-term solution for a much bigger problem. A problem that probably can be resolved with some effort on her part. The way I see it, she's very fortunate to have walked out of the hospital.

In both of the scenarios I've shared with you, the writing is clear. These are people I know and love. For some reason my message is not getting through to them. Maybe, by writing this blog post I can reach a few of you. I plead, I beg of you -- take control of your health. What's the worst that can happen? You might actually enjoy exercise? Eating healthy? You may actually feel better? Improve your health? Lose weight? Live longer? Or actually live?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Back to basics

For the past several weeks, I've been busy, busy, busy. Fitness trainer classes, writing and self-publishing a cookbook, teaching cooking classes, motivational speaking, and planning future events. It's no wonder something had to give, that something was me. I made it to the gym all of three times and my eating habits were a little questionable too. I'm happy to say, I was able to maintain my weight and did not gain. It's good to know that I can withstand life events and maintain my weight. But with my goal to lose 70 more pounds I can't rest my laurels here. I still have work to do, plenty of work to do.

One of the things that has changed about me throughout this journey is knowing when I need help and not being afraid to ask for it. I have the desire, motivation, but I need folks to help guide me through. Battling obesity is a tough battle, a battle not to be fought alone. Since I'm a little out of sync yesterday I called my coach to help dial me back in. Him and I came up with my game plan and now it's time I execute. I need not worry about the past several weeks. I need only to refocus my efforts and go back to the basics.

I've said this before I'm no contestant on an edited reality TV show. I'm not farmed away at some camp where I have chefs preparing my meals and personal trainers working me out around the clock. Nor do I have the luxury of not dealing with everyday life in the process. I'm right in the thick of life. Trying to create a healthier, fitter life all while maintaining life. There are bumps and I have to learn how to maneuver them. 170 pounds lighter and I still find myself having to come up with new ways to maneuver the bumps. Truthfully, the more weight I lose, the fitter I become the bigger the bumps.

What I know for sure: I can and will overcome any obstacles. I get to ask for help. I get to have periods of time when I don't workout. I get to not eat healthy all the time. No matter, I will never, never, never give up. It's time I go back to the basics.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Alive and kickin'

July 2011 © Vivian Johnson, The Columbian
My weight loss story was featured on the front page of  "The Columbian" back in July. Since then the blog has really taken off, I've went on to motivational speaking, teaching cooking classes, writing and self-publishing a cookbook. Surely, without the coverage I would have went on to do these things as well, but there's something about being featured in the newspaper. It's kind of cool to see your name in print, have your story told through the eyes of someone else, you reach more people, and it gains you a certain level of respect.

I'm a journalist by trade and believe in the nature of journalism. Print journalism - newspapers, however, have suffered since the rise of the internet. After the responses I've received after each article written in "The Columbian" I'd have to say newspapers still do make an impact --  they are alive and kickin'.

Thanks to the staff of "The Columbian" for helping me share  my story with the community. I want to reach as many people as I can and they've helped me do just that. 

A recap:

Woman packs on happiness as she sheds pounds - July 2011
Woman winning obesity battle featured on 'AM Northwest' - August 201
Chrisetta Mosley keeps inspiring - September 2011
Welcome new health bloggers to! - September 2011
Cooking up weight-loss success - December 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

- 5

I'm operating on a -5. Anyone who knows me, knows how passionate and enthusiastic I am -- especially when I believe in something, I get pumped UP. My voice raises and I just get to Whew! I get that from my dad's side - The Mosley's. My dad jokingly says I'm reserved and that I'm really operating on -5, go figure. Anyway, I'm really, really super passionate about my bid for a healthy, fit lifestyle. And, I want to share that passion. I do that in a number of ways: blogging,  motivational speaking, cooking classes, speaking to anyone and everyone that will listen, Facebook, etc.

Daily, I'm trying to make connections to promote my ideas for healthy living to the community.  I have tons of connections and plenty of folks who believe in my ideas, which I'm grateful for, but not everyone is as passionate about trying to do the same things I am. Sometimes it's frustrating. Sometimes I get discouraged. I think I have great ideas. I want to share my knowledge and help people. I pitch my ideas all the time and then I get no call back, no respond to my emails, or I get told not at this time or just no. I've come to the realization that my passion, my beliefs, my desires are just that -- mine. Surely, folks may share some of my passion to a certain extent, but not quite my way. I'm operating on a -5, which for most people is off the richter scale.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I'm always thinking. Masterminding. I've never been one to ponder things over extensively. Usually once an idea has entered my mind I act on it. Sometimes acting on impulse is not a good thing. Case in point, the sleek, black iPhone I just ordered a couple of weeks ago needs to be packaged up and sent back this morning. I really had no business taking on a added expense like that, it's been fun while it lasted.

While making impulse purchases is not a good thing, putting my thoughts into action is. Once my mind is set on something I do it. Never have I been the type of person to over-think things. I know what I want and I usually understand what steps are required to go after it. My friends and family jokingly say I'm always drawing up "blueprints." Yesterday, when I was role playing in class as Wellness Coach for my final exam it was noted that I seemed to move the client to the action stage to quickly. I didn't fully allow the client to explore their ideas instead I was eager for them to put their thoughts to action.  It doesn't really matter if you act swiftly on your thoughts or if you take your time. What matters is that you act. Mentally draw your blueprint and execute.

"Never worry about action, but only inaction." ~ Winston Churchill

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Where You Are

I talk to lots of folks through the blog, Facebook, and every day interactions. Recently, I was chatting with a friend who told me of his desire to get in better shape. He has big plans to exercise and eat healthier -- beginning in the New Year. Me being, who I am asked, "Why wait until then?" After all, no one is promised tomorrow. Harsh, maybe, but it's true.

I hear these types of comments from folks all the time. I use to talk the same way, so I can relate. Change is hard. Change is scary. It requires us to move outside of our comfort zones. What I've learned from my Wellness Coaching class is that type of talk is what professionals call the "Contemplation" stage. The individual recognizes there is an issue and is talking about making changes, but has yet to commit to the changes.

As a Wellness Coach, I would not be able to speak my opinion so freely. Instead, I'd be there to guide the client to finding answers. But, I'm not a wellness coach so here's what I say to you...If you are contemplating a change. Start where you are and start today. You're not promised tomorrow. Life is short. Live it to the fullest now.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A gift from God

My debut cooking class @ Chuck's
A few months ago I spoke to a group of spry seniors at a Men's Breakfast. After my speech, a 99-year old man approached me with teary eyes and said, "Your message is a gift from God." I never thought of sharing my story as such. I mean, it's just my story. I never imagined that by sharing my story, I would motivate, inspire, and encourage others.

When I started this blog, back in July 2010 I simply began writing as a way to document my journey. I never imagined that penning my lifetime battle with obesity wasn't about me. What I've learned, however, is it's really only a little bit about me and more about helping others. That's why I was given the voice, the passion. I went through all of my life experiences good and bad-- so that I could share my gift. Plenty of people have lost weight so I'm not extra-ordinary in that way. But, I recognize now that what separates me from others is my ability to tell the story, share the story. Blogging, cooking classes, cookbook writing, motivational speaking those are my gifts. I plan to share, share, share. That's what it's all about, listening to your inner voice, finding your passion, and sharing it. The rest will follow.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Happy as a lark

No complaints. No worries.

Counting my blessings.  

Open to receive all that the universe has to offer.    

Peace. Joy. Love.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Labor of love

It's an exciting day for me. This afternoon, I will pick-up my very first cookbook from the print shop. I created, designed, and am self-publishing the book. It's truly a labor of love.

As I reflect on the year, and the last couple of years. It's amazing to look at my progress. I decided in the fall of 2009 I did not like the person I had become and since have been on a mission to change myself into the person I want to be. It's been a challenging yet rewarding journey. I'm so glad I put my tennis shoes on that cold, dark day and went outside for a walk. That walk, lead to more walks, and eventually to the realization that I could change. And, I was worth the fight. In the midst of changing myself, I've shared my story with you, which has turned into a reciprocal relationship. You say, I motivate you, and you give me strength on days when I can't find it internally.

I've been on a mission to share my knowledge and passion with you in a variety of ways: blogging, motivational speaking, cooking classes, and now in the form of a cookbook. I feel so very fortunate to have the opportunity to share my gifts with you. I'm proof that "You can do anything you set your mind to," and "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."

 My hope is to continue fine tuning myself and inspiring you a long the way.

Hello, December!

The Obesity Epidemic is REAL!

The evidence of an epidemic is everywhere.

· Two-thirds, more than 190 million Americans are
overweight or obese.

· Obesity-related diseases are a $147 billion dollar
medical burden every year.

· Childhood obesity has tripled in the last thirty years

Source: CBS News