Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Healthy Looks

Confession: For a long time my weight loss efforts were tied to me achieving a certain look, and I associated being healthy with that look. It wasn't until I started working out at Northwest Personal Training (NWPT) that my attitude changed. 

Coming from a place of morbid obesity at the onset of my weight loss journey, I was losing the weight to save my life. I was so big -- 388 pounds, so miserable. I could barely walk, barely breathe. I was taking meds to control my high blood pressure and I was on the verge of developing a slew of other health problems. Once I started shedding the pounds and working out regularly my focus changed. I seemed to be skewing health and looks together. 

In retrospect, I now realize that working out in a corporate gym environment contributed to my skewed outlook. Sure, there were your average looking folks who were concerned with their health and fitness who worked out at the corporate gym, but mostly there were a lot of model like men and women. I started wanting to look like them. Be like them. I was pressuring myself to get to goal weight, obsessing over the scale, and trying to achieve a look. It was so superficial. So unreal. So unhealthy.

When I first started working out at NWPT in April, I had the same mentality -- get to goal weight, wear a size x and be healthy, fit. That wasn't happening fast enough and I was beating myself up. It was a conversation that I had with Sherri McMillian owner of NWPT that really started changing my focus. She told me that she wanted me not to worry so much about losing weight, but instead concentrate on getting stronger.

Months later, working out beside some of the strongest, healthiest folks at NWPT, I realize that healthy isn't about looks. Healthy is a way of life. Exercising. And not just exercising at the gym, finding physical activities that you enjoy and making them a part of your life. Eating well. Resting. Loving yourself. I'm proud to say, I no longer am focused solely on the way I look. Rather, I'm focused on putting all the pieces together -- it's a holistic approach. Sure, I still want to get to goal weight and by doing so inevitably my looks will change.  But now my focus is about truly being healthy and strong I'm not sure that really has a certain look.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Celebrating Chrisetta | Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box

Just when I was coming down from the amazing shoot a few weeks ago...

From Lydene Robertson Photography's blog:

When I met Chrisetta Mosley at a local women’s networking meeting, I knew I wanted to photograph her instantly. Her story is so extremely inspirational and her energy…contagious!

Chrisetta is a survivor of childhood obesity. When she started her journey in 2004 she was nearly 400 lbs and has lost over 170 lbs. She is now inspiring others through her blog, For Once and For All Farewell Fatso, is the author of not one, but TWO cookbooks, holds a monthly support group for women and teaches cooking classes at Chuck’s Produce here in Vancouver, WA. I tell you she is everywhere! The week before our session I pulled a local newspaper out of the mailbox and there she was, on the front cover!
Although her journey isn’t over yet, through this process she has learned to love herself and it was such a pleasure celebrating how far she has come. Be sure to check out her full story on her blog, pick up her latest cookbook, Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box and follow her journey on her facebook page.

Chrisetta: Thank you so much for spending time with me and allowing me to capture your beauty, both inside and out!

Hair and makeup by Camille Saari at Posh Skin and Hair.

Please follow the link to see all the photos:

Celebrating Chrisetta | Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box

Thank you Lydene!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Dream & Believe

We've covered a lot of ground over the past few months in our "5 or 50" Women's Sustainable Weight Loss & Lifestyle meetings: Sustainability, incorporating more fruits and vegetables into our diets, thinking outside of the box (doing things that make us a little uncomfortable), and speaking and thinking more positive thoughts. Wednesday evening as a natural progression we started creating vision boards.

DREAMS do come true when you visualize them, when you believe them.  So we spent sometime talking about our dreams. Then Lisa headed a vision board discussion where she showed us her awesome, thoughtful board that she's been working on. After our discussion we went to work -- creating, envisioning, believing. Here's some of the photos! 

I am super proud of the ladies! They are really stepping outside of the box and trying different ways, different things.

Join us for the last meeting of 2012 -- 
Wednesday, November 28th
6 - 7:30 p.m.
Cascade Park Community Library
Family Room
600 NE 136th Ave

Make sure to "Like" our new Facebook page -- "5 or 50" Women’s Sustainable Weight Loss & Lifestyle Group

Read more about creating vision boards:
Jack Canfield
Oprah Winfrey
Christine Kane

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Thank ya!

Hold up. Wait a minute. Pause.

Thank ya. Thank ya. Thank ya. Sometimes I get caught up. Sometimes I need to slow down. Sit still.

First and foremost, to God for all of His gifts and blessings. To everyone who supports, encourages me to be more, want more, and NEVER give up. And for those who get in my way -- thank you too. Sometimes I get to comfortable.
  • To everyone who has purchased a copy of Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box and supported the movement -- thank you! I've sold nearly 500 copies! Yes, 500 copies with no distributor, no publisher. Thank ya! A big shout out to my dear friend Katina in Atlanta, GA my no.1 fan. She bought several copies and has been selling them to her fellow workout buddies.                                                                   
  • 32,000 + visitors to the blog. 
  • More than 400 Facebook 'Likes". 
  • Calendar booked with speaking engagements, cooking classes, you name it all the way into 2013. 
  • Lastly, but most importantly, I'm healthy, fit -- spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Thank ya! I'm so very grateful, thankful for EVERYTHING. "The greatest attitude of all is gratitude."

Monday, October 22, 2012

Word spin

Choose your words wisely they are meaningful.

"I hate Monday's," Okay, so you say those words repeatedly. Monday after Monday. You spend your entire weekend dreading Monday. Monday comes and guess what? Monday is miserable. No wonder. Instead of dreading Monday. Why not, welcome Monday? It's a whole new week, a week of possibilities.

I was chatting with a blog follower in the store the other day. Her and I met at one of my events a while ago and now it seems we keep running into each other at the store. Anyway, when she seen me she wanted to go running the other way. She didn't want me to see all the no-nos in her grocery cart. We joked about it. She went on to say, "I live by myself so it doesn't make sense to cook all that food. TV dinners are easier," "I'm on a fixed income so it's just cheaper," and "Besides, I can't cook like you." So, I just affectionately laughed at her and said, "No wonder you can't. You've put up too many mental roadblocks."

Words carry weight. Case in point, for months, I was saying I needed some space from my 19-year old daughter (I've been a single mother her entire life). I just wanted to know what it felt like to only take care of myself. Well, low and behold, I said those words one too many times. Guess what? My baby girl moved out a few months ago. Leaving me devastated. My words caught up to me. When my baby girl left it was a wake up call and since then I've really started focusing on my words Today, I'm a firm believer -- the words you put out in the universe will come true especially if you say them over again and again.

The same is true for positive thoughts. Today, a lady at the gym asked me how I was doing. My reply, "Excellent." That's my standard answer now-a-days even when I'm not in the best of mood.

On the road to a happier, healthier life, I will choose my words wisely. I will think positive thoughts. I encourage you to try it too. Instead, of dreading Monday. Look at every new day as an opportunity, every new week as a possibility. Don't limit yourself with your words. Remove those mental roadblocks. Happy Monday! This is a new week and it's full of possibilities and I'm looking forward to it. It's all about the spin. The word spin.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


As I write, I'm a teary eyed mess. Yesterday, I posted the photos (below) on the Farewell Fatso Facebook page. Soon thereafter, comments started pouring in.

"You were always beautiful...Now you're GORGEOUS!! Inside and out my dear!..." ~April M.
" Amazing transformation!" ~Debbie H.
"You look AMAZING!! Not just your quest for physical fitness, but from the look on your face on your "NOW" picture, it is obvious you are finding fulfillment on the INSIDE as well!" ~Michelle N.

As I read the comments and glanced at the photos it came over me...I've changed. I've really, really changed. All of me has changed.

I looked at the photos one-by-one. I wept and wept. Tears of sadness, joy, and triumph. All that I've endured, all the changes I've made to get to where I am today. The changes with food: How I interact with it, prepare it, and what I eat. I discovered, I love carrots. Raw carrots. The changes to my social life: I no longer shy away from social events or settings. Instead, I'm out and about -- here, there, everywhere. The changes to my physical activity level: Now, I workout regularly and I take the stairs because I can. And the biggest change of all: The internal change. I say this all the time, battling obesity requires a real deep look within. It wasn't or isn't just about the physical weight. I had to change my attitude, my outlook, and by doing so I've turned a whole lot of negatives into a whole lot of positives.  "Your new name is butterfly," my girlfriend Jeannine wrote after seeing my Facebook post. So appropriate. So true. This has been quite a transformation. I've spread my wings. I'm like a butterfly.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

No Sales Pitch

It happens to me all the time. I guess people figure since I'm overweight. Surely, I have to be looking for a way to shed some pounds -- and quick. Besides, I ooze motivation and enthusiasm, all the makings of a great poster child.

I've been approached by Advocare, Medifast, you name it. And what's the deal with Kangen Water? Anyway, I always politely entertain their propositions and once home I file their cards in the recycle bin. There has been a few occasions when I went so far as to have coffee with a rep. I enjoy coffee and perhaps a pastry (yes, I eat pastries occasionally) if I'm in the mood. The rep turns down everything on the menu in lieu of a packet of one of their products. Really? We sit down to chat. It never usually ends well. Probably because I'm a no non-sense type gal. There's really no grey area with me. I shoot at the hip. So that's probably why I don't buy into fads, gimmicks. I read between the lines and analyze.

Recently, I received a compliment from a couple of women "We wanted to work with you because we could tell you are genuine. You're not selling anything." They're right. I can promise you this. When you come to any of my events, I'm simply sharing my story in hopes to motivate, inspire, and encourage you to be better, healthier.

Here's the thing, ladies and gentlemen: My theory, method, sales pitch is tried and true. Eat real food that is from the earth and move your body.  Rest assured when you see me out and about in the community. I'll be free from bottles, packets, and boxes. Instead, I'll be offering up my methods on how you can live a sustainable healthy lifestyle. My energy and motivation can be shared, not bought.

When you see me here, there, everywhere --  there's no sales pitch, no gimmicks. Just a gal trying to motivate, inspire you to be a better, healthier you. Okay, maybe I haven't been completely truthful -- I will have my 20 dollar cookbook for sale so that you can create, delicious, simple meals using everyday ingredients at home.  '

I truly stand by my theory: Everything we need is available from the earth and with the movement of our bodies. No supplements, packaged foods, and crazy restrictions in our diets. The path to a healthy, sustainable lifestyle is all that I'm pitching.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Girlfriends Half Marathon 2012

Sherri McMillan (Owner of Northwest Personal Training and Fitness) does it again. Along with her staff she put on another great event for a great cause--  bringing together community -- vendors, food, and live music (Hit Machine), and of course a race.

I had a super fun time as a volunteer of the 2012 Girlfriends Half Marathon. Volunteering is a great way to get in on the action and support a great cause. Yesterday, I volunteered to snap photos and shoot video of the event. Being photographer allowed me to mingle with folks, capture the moments, and do what I love most  -- chat it up.

I chatted up lots of "girlfriends" who were on a mission to meet their own personal goals while helping raise money for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. While mingling and snapping photos I also met Steve Valenta (Owner of The Mighty Bowl), ran into Steven Lane (Photographer for The Columbian), and Kristen Myklebust (Clark College's Food and Your Health instructor). Good times!

I'm proud to have been a part of such an awesome community event, for such a great cause. I hear there were over 2600 participants and about $75,000 was raised.

Here's a few of the photos:

And the video of Sherri crossing the finish line. Yes, she even participated in the race. Talk about AWESOME!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Celebrating me!

It's been a long time coming. I've worked hard to get to where I am today. I haven't always been happy, content, and at a peace with myself.  So don't mind me if I brag about my accomplishments, toot my own horn, and celebrate my success -- I've earned it!
  • I've lost 170 pounds in the slow lane with a conscious change to my diet and regular exercise. In turn, I've gained a whole lot of self-confidence and self-love. 
  • I've authored two cookbooks, both of them in circulation at the Fort Vancouver Regional Library and my latest -- Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box is a required textbook at Clark College
  • I write a successful blog that inspires, encourages and educates. Sometimes, my blog is even featured in print in The Live Well section of The Columbian newspaper. 
  • I teach cooking classes, speak at venues, and facilitate women's groups -- I foster community.
Oh, and I recently turned 40 and am in the best shape of my life -- mentally, physically, and emotionally. Sure, there's more that I want to accomplish, but right now, today -- I'm happy, healthy, and living my life to the fullest. I'm not putting anything off until tomorrow, including celebrating. I'm celebrating me!

Yesterday, Lydene Robertson Photography invited me into her lovely studio to help me celebrate myself and my successes. Thank you Lydene for showing me how truly beautiful I am -- you are AMAZING. Thanks to Camille Goldy Saari of Posh Skin and Hair for doing a fabulous job on my makeup and hair and making me so pretty.

For those who have never had a professional photo shoot -- you should. It's time to start celebrating YOU. I highly recommend, without any reservations Lydene Robertson Photography


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Clark College: Outside of the Box

This was no ordinary book signing. This was a celebratory book signing. Clark College Bookstore was buzzing with enthusiastic students, staff, and folks from the community --  eager to hear my story, learn healthful tips, talk about food, and of course get their cookbooks signed.  I'm honored to have my cookbook on the shelves as a required book for Health 100 and thrilled to be a part of the Clark College community.

Thanks to Marti for planning the event and having everything set-up when I walked in the store. To the entire staff of the Clark College Bookstore for having me.

Thanks to all the wonderful students, staff, and folks from the community who stopped in to buy books, get their copies signed, and chat with me about food and life.

The Health and Physical Education department for believing in me to author the cookbook. Forever grateful for the opportunity!

And of course the one and only, Veronica Brock -- my angel.

May I NEVER become numb to moments such as these.

Clark College Penguins -- Happy Shopping, Cooking, and Eating!
           For Veronica -- In Food and In Health 
 I heard from several folks after the signing -- here's what they said:

"Met an inspirational ball of energy today at the Clark College Bookstore. Thank you Chrisetta for signing my copy of "Shop, Cook, Eat Outside of the Box". I am excited to try your healthy recipes." ~Sami

"I'll never eat canned chili again. Yours is so yummy. My father and brother want me to make it again."~Rachel

"Chrisetta, you're terrific!! We loved having you visit the store today. Write another book and let's do it again" ~ Marti

"Hey. It was a pleasure meeting you today! God bless. ~Evelina

"That was fun! You are doing good things in the world." ~Veronica

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Busy. Busy. Here. There. Everywhere. Book signings, speaking engagements, cooking classes, facilitating women's groups. Then there's all the behind-the-scene stuff, y'all never see.

So, here I am again -- in a funk. Off track with my eating and workout regimen, and not getting proper rest. A recipe for a stressed out, unhappy Chrisetta. Watch out!

I love the way healthy living feels. I never thought I would enjoy working out so much. Eating vegetables. Raw carrots for snacks. So why then do I fall off track? Good question. Maybe because old habits die hard. Healthy living is a new way of life for me so I always default to what I practiced for 36 years. I've been blogging since 2010 and unfortunately, there's a number of blogs on this subject so I'm not gonna spend a lot time trying to rationalize this.

The bottom line is -- I know what I need to do. What makes me feel good. What makes me happy. It's simple. It's just a matter of staying committed to it. Not missing my workouts - scheduling them in amongst everything else. Sticking with my healthful eating. I know better than this. There are NO excuses.

I love what I do! I want to be your real example. But, if I don't care of myself how can I help anyone else. I have to find a way to balance it all.  It's time to return to the basics. It's time to refocus on Chrisetta.

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