So I Don’t Repeat The Past


I was going through old files on my computer and I found videos that I recorded in April of 2011. I was contacted by a recruiter and asked to submit an audition for a weight loss show (Heavy), so I put together some videos and sent them in. Unfortunately the show was cancelled before my videos were ever seen. I forgot all about it until I came across the videos in my files.

When I saw the videos there on my computer I thought, hey let’s watch these. How funny will they be. Yeah, well, they weren’t. At the time that I recorded them, I was somewhere between 550-570 pounds. I was in pain-physically and emotionally and I was miserable. I was so sad in those videos that it was overwhelming.

My Gram had just died six months before I made the videos, Shawn had just gotten fired, and it felt like my life was falling apart. I was gaining back all the weight that I had worked so hard to lose and my marriage was falling apart. It wasn’t because we didn’t love each other. It was because I didn’t love myself and I was too miserable to go on. He was afraid and angry and trying to take on more blame than he deserved. It was a bad time and in the videos it shows.

My first thought, immediately after the initial LOOK HOW FAT I WAS!!!, was look how sad I was! My first reaction was, let’s erase these! I almost did, but I didn’t. I spent so much of my life not looking in mirrors, not having my picture taken, not paying attention to myself because I didn’t want to see the truth. I don’t want to do that ever again. I’m done hiding. Hiding got me to 400 pounds, 500 pounds, 600 pounds and it will not get me back there again.

I decided that I am going to, not only keep the videos, but edit them and use them in my challenge. It may take a while because there is about 45 minutes of videos, so I need to do A LOT of editing, but I’ll get it done. I need to see my past and show you my past, so that you and I can both see why my future is so important. No matter where you have come from in your life, you can go anywhere that you want to go. Don’t ever give up.

As always, links are below. Thank you for your ongoing love and support. It means more than I can ever say.

Are you ready for the challenge?

Mindi’s Taking It Off

Help Me Win The Challenge Showdown

I Dare You


Today is Tuesday and that means that it is Takeover Tuesday for the Showdown Challenge. I wanted to do my video this week about making my favorite shake, but I ran out of time and I already had my two shakes for the day by the time I got around  to making my video last night. So, instead of that idea, I decided to make a short video and go in a different direction. It’s a dare, and not only a dare, but a double dog dare! Are you up for a little truth and dare? Check out my video here and if you would be so kind, rate it a 10.

I Dare You

You can always visit my facebook fanpage here:

Mindi’s Taking It Off

Thanks to Body by Vi, I have lost 27 pounds in 7 weeks. It has been such a blessing in my life. It’s even better that I get my shakes for free, but the absolute best part, is that I get paid to help other people get healthy. If you’re ready to start the challenge or become a promoter, my Vi page is here:

Mindi’s Vi Page

As always, thank you SO much for your love and support. You mean the world to me!

Mindi’s Family Video


I posted a new video in the showdown challenge. This one is an interview style video of my family and I. Please watch the video and rate it here:

Mindi’s Taking It Off – Mindi’s Family Talks

Here are my other pages if you’d like to visit and check them out:

My Facebook Fan Page

My Body by Vi Page

As always, thank you for your love and support 🙂

Colors of the Rainbow


I often try to avoid blogging about political and religious issues, largely because I do not enjoy being attacked by people who feel that their opinion is the one and only valid one. This blog, however, will be a little political and a little religious, so you may or may not want to stop reading now. If you continue to read and are offended, it’s your bag. I welcome your response, your opinion and yes, even your arguments, but do not attack me personally, insult me, or try to cram your beliefs down my throat. That is unacceptable.

I, personally, greatly appreciate that we live in a country where we are all free to have our own thoughts and opinions. Even if I don’t agree with you, I would like to hear your opinion. It is nice to be able to discuss and debate without attacking and arguing. Not everyone feels this way. Some people are so incredibly offended when someone has a different opinion, it’s like they are being personally attacked, so they attack back. I welcome contrasting views, because they, like every individual shade of color, add beauty and depth to the world. So, with all that being said, let’s talk a little about religion and politics.

On Friday, August 17, 2012, the South Bloomingville Christian Church in Logan, Ohio burned down. It is suspected arson and is quite possibly a hate crime, because it is a “gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender church” who “welcome all people regardless of their faith, sexual orientation or race”. You can read the entire article here in the Logan Daily News.

When I first heard about this horrible crime I was heartbroken, then angry, and  back to sad again. It is astounding to me that in this day and age there are still people who are so small-minded, so close-minded, so self-righteous, that they feel they have the right to do something like this. In the first place, what possible harm could this church have done to you? If you didn’t agree with their message, no one was forcing you to attend services! How does their belief, in any way, affect yours? If you don’t believe that people should be gay, DON’T BE GAY! I’m not asking you to stop believing what you do, but really, if you don’t want other people to push their beliefs on you, why do you have the right to push yours onto them? Why can’t we live and let live? There are a lot of things that I could say here, but then I’d just be ranting and rambling and no one wants that! I think Minister Evan Young’s Blog does a beautiful and eloquent job of saying what needs to be said. I am trying, every day, to follow much of what he says. Some days are better than others.

I am not exactly Christian. I am not exactly straight. I am not exactly a Democrat, but definitely NOT a Republican. I am a person, a woman, an American, and I am who I am. You can accept me for who I am or you can leave me alone, but you cannot change me no matter how wrong you think I am. I accept you for who you are, even when and if I totally disagree with everything you may or may not stand for. I don’t see why we can’t all just let each other be. My life doesn’t take away from yours and if you give me a chance, I might just add a little color to your black and white world.

Come like my page on Facebook

If you’re ready to join the Body by Vi Challenge or you want more info

5 Minute Pity Party


So yeah, the last week has not been the greatest. I have been emotional and I have been emotionally eating. I was feeling sorry for myself and you know what, that’s okay. We all have those moments. Well, now I’ve had my (way more than) 5 minute pity party and it’s time to suck it up, buttercup, and move on.

This week, thanks to Body by Vi I still managed to lose some weight, even though I did not exercise enough and I ate horribly. In 6 weeks on the challenge, I have lost 23 pounds and almost 15 inches!!! Physically, I feel better than ever. I am doing more and feeling better every day. I love the difference that Body by Vi has made in my life, and honestly, my only regret is not starting six months or a year ago.

So that’s kinda what my video blog is about this week. It’s a little emotional, but not too much (I think). Please watch and rate my video here: Falling Off the Wagon

As always, thank you for all the love, encouragement and support!

Taking Baby Steps Means You’re Moving!!


It’s all those little things that add up to make my life a hundred times better than it was two months ago and a thousand times better than it was 3-4 years ago. Lately my life is rocking awesome and I owe a HUGE thanks to Body by Vi for that. I know that I am the one making the changes and doing the work, but honestly, Vi is totally making it easier to lose weight, feel better and get healthy!  In any case, my life is better and it keeps getting better all the time. I can, obviously, give you a few BIG reasons why it’s better, but I can give you many small reasons. Sometimes things sneak up on me and shock me, but some are obvious all along the way. Sometimes it’s not until I’m talking to someone that I realize some differences. Yes the big changes are exciting and obvious, but the little things, the baby steps, are what add up to make the overall life changes.

The other day I was talking to someone about my life when I was at my highest weight.In some ways, it is VERY difficult to talk about because I remember feeling so miserable, so afraid and hurting so much.  In some ways I enjoy talking about life then because I am so much better than I was then and because I know that I will NEVER go back there again. It was an awful time in my life. I talk about it so that I will always remember what I am fighting for and why I cannot go back. I talk about it because maybe my pain, my mistakes, my failures and my successes will help someone one else. That is a huge part of why I am making my journey so public, because if one person is helped by my story, then it is all worthwhile.

So, I was talking about when I was at my highest weight and what it was like. It was like hell. I was miserable. I hurt all the time. I hurt ALL THE TIME. I hurt physically, mentally and emotionally. I slept through most of my life for over a year because it was easier to sleep than to hurt or deal with the negatives.

During that time, I was constantly afraid. I was afraid of leaving the house and people seeing me and judging me. I was afraid of becoming housebound because I always loved being around people. I was afraid to move because it hurt and I sweated so much and my heart would race. I was afraid that I was headed for a wheelchair, or worse, being bed-bound. I was afraid of falling because I wouldn’t be able to get back up. I was afraid of being alone because I needed help with everything. I was afraid that Shawn would leave me because I was weak and sick, fat and pathetic, needy and emotional, and just no fun. I was afraid that Shawn would stay with me out of loyalty and obligation and be miserable. I was afraid that Marissa would start to hate me and even more afraid that she would grow up to be like me. My biggest fear was that I was going to go to sleep and not wake up again and that Marissa would be the one to find me. I would fall asleep and wake up in a massive panic attack because I kept having that same nightmare over and over. I think it was my mind and body ganging up to tell me that it was time for a change. Although it took me a little while, I finally listened.

It’s funny because people ask me all the time how I started and the simple truth is one step at a time, literally. I got up and walked around my house for five minutes at a time several times a day. That might not seem like much, but at the time it took all that I had. Five minutes and I was sweating buckets and sucking wind. I did that a couple of times a day at first. Then I got a rollator walker  and  I started walking outside. It was very very slow at first and I had to take constant breaks. I started doing light strength training and very light cardio. I literally baby stepped my way into starting to lose weight. I started keeping a food journal and trying to just eat healthier. I did NOT diet. I started making lifestyle changes and slow ones at first!

I went from almost bed-bound and eating 6,000 calories a day to moving around a little and eating 3,000 (or less) calories a day. So, at first the weight started falling right off. I lost a lot of weight quickly and I noticed that as the weight came off, I hurt less and I felt better. I was breathing easier which gave me more energy which made me want to move more. I purchased a Wii, which to this day is one of the very best purchases I have ever made! I started exercising with the Wii every other day or so. At first I had to sit down every few minutes even on the easiest levels. I baby stepped my way into being able to exercise for longer periods of time, more often, and on higher levels. It took me months to be able to exercise for fifteen straight minutes. Was it frustrating? Yes, sometimes. Was it difficult? Yes, often. Was it worth it? TOTALLY!!! I seriously doubt that I would still be alive to write this blog if I had not started with those baby steps.

If you are overweight, out of shape, in pain, sick, or unhappy and you feel like giving up, DON’T! If you think you are too far gone and cannot possibly recover, you CAN! Take one step, one small step, and then another. It may not be easy and it may not be overnight, but you WILL get there. I am getting there one baby step at a time and so can you.

If you want to join me on my walk, here are some links:

My Facebook

My website

All Play and No Work?


Lately I have been debating the work issue. I have not had a job for many years. I didn’t want to go to work when Marissa was a baby, so I was a stay at home mom. By the time she was in school I was so unhealthy that I was physically unable to work. I have been disabled for several years now. As I lose weight, get stronger and healthier, more and more I have started to feel like maybe I am ready to try to go back to work.

 At first it was more about needing the income than anything else. We have been struggling financially for a while now, that’s no secret. We are worried about paying the bills and making the repairs that we desperately need to make. There is never enough money to do what we need to do, let alone anything that we want to do. My husband has been searching for a job for a year with no luck. I thought that I may be able to get a job before he could and perhaps I should. Luckily, he found a job that he started this week, so things should start getting better soon. I am now promoting Body by Vi and I am starting to see some income from that as well.
http://mindiraley.myvi.net/

So, now that the finances are starting to come together, why am I still thinking about going back to work? Well, for one thing, thanks to Body by Vi, I am feeling better than I have in so many years. I have more energy and less pain. I feel more capable than I have in a very long time. I think that going back to work would make me feel more productive and useful. It would give us a little more income and also give me a little boost of self-esteem which both are needed!

I have also been trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. What is my purpose. I honestly feel like I am on this earth at this point in time to do something, but I’m not sure what. I want to be able to help people and feel like I am making a difference.

There are some potential problems with me going back to work and some causes for concern. One thing is that I am almost certain that I am not ready to work full-time yet. I need to start slow and ease my way in. I do not want to work full-time anyway, because my first and most important job is being a mom. Marissa will ALWAYS come first and I want to be as involved as I can. Another issue that I have is that, although I am MUCH better than I was, I still have bad days where I am sluggish and I hurt a lot. On those days I am not good for much of anything and I could not work then. I am not, nor have I ever been, a morning person, and for the last ten years or so, mornings have been really bad for me. When I first wake up, I always hurt and I hurt for, at least, the first little while that I am awake. Granted, I hurt A LOT less now that I am doing Body by Vi  than I used to, but still, it takes me at least two hours to really get moving in the morning. That limits the amount of time that I can work for.

So you see I am not an ideal employee. Not only do I not know what I want to do, but I don’t know who would want to hire me. I am afraid of doing too much too fast and causing myself more damage. I am also afraid that I am letting my fear hold me back. So too much pride or too much fear? Neither sounds good to me. I want to try a few hours a day a couple of days a week, if I can find something worthwhile. There is a program here that helps people who have not worked in a long time ease back into the workforce. I am going to call Monday and find out about it. What’s the worst that can happen?

A Fabulous Cycle


I was diagnosed with fibromyalsia in 2007. I joined a few online support groups for information and to talk to other people affected by it. Over the last several years I have added myself to several fibro groups to Facebook. Sometimes I actively participate, sometimes I don’t. I go weeks without checking in and then something draws me back. The last few days I have been chatting with a few people on one of the Facebook groups. A few things have come to mind about my life with fibro and also about others. One thing is that in talking about my personal history I realized how far that I have come in the last little while. I knew that the more weight that I lost the better than I would feel and it is true. I have more ability and less pain in general, but even after losing over 100 pounds, I still had little energy, a lot of pain and weakness. I still felt tired all the time and I still had trouble sleeping which was a vicious cycle. I still had at least one down day a week, if not more and I was still very sensitive to cold (all the time) and touch (sometimes) among other issues. When I started the Body by Vi challenge, it was just because I wanted to lose weight. I did not have any other agenda. I was starting to plateau with my weight loss and I was afraid I would stop losing weight altogether. I decided to give BBV a chance and I am SO grateful that I did. It has affected so much of my life and impacted me in ways that I never could have imagined. I have lost weight, of course, but I have also lost a lot of other things including many of my fibro symptoms. I am rarely touch sensitive these days which is something that my husband loves 🙂 I have more energy than I have in years and I am sleeping better than I ever have. These two things affect greatly. What’s the opposite of a vicious cycle? A fabulous cycle??? I don’t know, but I do know that I love it! I have had less muscle spasms, less numbness and less nerve pain in the last month than I have in ten years. I am not symptom free. I don’t know if I ever will be, but I hope that I will. I know that I will at least be better able to manage my symptoms and my life and I honestly believe that I owe a lot of thanks to Visalus. I am grateful to them for making a product that has made a huge difference in my life. I know as I lose more weight I will feel better, I will do more and that will help me to lose more weight. It really is a fabulous cycle!

http://mindiraley.myvi.net/

https://www.facebook.com/MindisTakingItOff?ref=hl

 

Healthy Family


Today was one of those days. It was an up and down day, a total roller coaster of emotion and experience. We got a lot accomplished today. We got everything on our shopping list and we dropped off paperwork that needed to be filed. We picked up the x-rays I need to take with me to the orthopedic doctor  tomorrow and we got the shirts that Shawn needs to start his job tomorrow. We got home and Shawn fixed the sink in my bathroom so that my bathroom is one step closer to being done! Yay!!! That’s all the good stuff.

Now, for the not so good stuff. We went to the doctor about Shawn’s blood-work. It was not the best news and we were a little surprised by what we learned. His blood sugar was a little high, but he’s not diabetic, he has metabolic syndrome which may lead to diabetes if not controlled. That was not great news, but not as bad as we thought. What shocked us was that his good cholesterol was very low and his bad cholesterol is high. We also learned that his cholesterol particles are very small and that is very bad because that leads to headening of the arteries, heart disease and stroke. He said Shawn’s case is unusual because he has low triglycerides. So, Shawn is to eat a healthier diet, exercise and take cholesterol medicine. He is not a happy camper. I have decided that he is going to do what he has to do to get healthy because Marissa and I need him around for a long, long time. He is going to keep track of what he eats and start exercising whether he likes it or not. I also want him to start doing the Body by Vi shakes because I know they will help him to get healthy and to feel better. Besides, with him starting a new job tomorrow, he will need the energy!

So, here we go, out with the bad, letting go of the negative and moving on towards the positive! We are going to be a strong, healthy Body by Vi family from here on out. Look out world and watch us go 🙂

P.S. If you want to get healthy for you and/or your family, join us on the 90 day challenge. There is an unconditional 30 day money back guarantee. What do you have to lose? http://mindiraley.myvi.net/