Mindi’s Bootcamp


People are always asking me what workouts I do. I tell them that I strength train three days a week and I try to do cardio every day. I have had so many people tell me that they either don’t know how to strength train or don’t want to. Many women are afraid to strength train because of the myth that they will get big bulging muscles. That is so not true. It actually takes a concentrated effort to get bulky like that. Strength training gives you lean, strong, healthy muscles that support you in every aspect of your physical life and also help you burn calories. I have to confess that strength training is my absolute least favorite exercise. I hate every minute of it. I hate the pain, the burn and the repetition. It is hard work and not fun. I hate every minute of it and yet I do it religiously because I know how important it is. After you turn 35 you start losing muscle mass and if you don’t take steps to stop that process you will continue to lose. This is not what you want to happen! I tell everyone that they must strength train. So a few weeks ago I started posting “Mindi’s Bootcamp” routines. I post them on my facebook page Mindi’s Taking It Off and my pinterest board Mindi’s Bootcamp. I am not a health or fitness professional. I am just a woman who has been overweight her entire life and is now trying to get healthy. I would love to help others get healthy too. I started off with relatively easy workouts and I have been slowly increasing the difficulty. I am happy with the response that I have gotten from them. I thought I’d share them here too because the more people that I can help the better. I am always open to suggestions and I welcome any comments or questions. Today is Monday and here is the workout for today. Image

Happy sweating!

Not Too Daunting


When you are incredibly overweight and you are trying to get healthy, it can seem like an overwhelming task. At times it seems nearly impossible. I have been on my weight loss journey for a while now and I have lost a lot of weight. I am very very proud of how far I have come. Still, there are days when all I can think of is how far I still have left to go. Yes I have lost 159 pounds since January and 199 pounds from my all time high weight, but I still have over 200 pounds to lose before I can reach a healthy weight. Sometimes it feels like I will be on this journey forever and in a very real sense, I will be. My journey does not stop when I hit some arbitrary number on the scale or when I fit into a certain size. I am a food addict who has beaten her body into an incredibly unhealthy state and unless I want it to remain so unhealthy, I  must eat right and exercise every day, for the rest of my life. I’m not saying that I will never overeat again or that I will exercise every single day, but I have to constantly be on alert to not fall back into my old habits. It is way to easy to be unhealthy and I know that that is not the life that I want. It is not easy to take the healthy life path, but it is so very worth it. One year ago I could barely walk and I was in a lot of pain every day. Today I did my Cardio boxing workout, then I went to my daughter’s basketball party and played a little basketball with Shawn and the girls, and then I came home and did some Just Dance 4 with my daughter. That is SO amazing! I never thought that I would be capable of doing all that in a week, let alone in a day. This is why I will not let anything stop me. This is why, even when I get overwhelmed and afraid, tired and discouraged, I push on. This is the life that I want and this is why I fight the battle every day and I always will.

Abscessed :(


Sunday afternoon I went to the urgent care center because I have an abscessed tooth that was VERY swollen and VERY painful. The infection had spread and was making me violently ill. I got anti-nausea medicine and antibiotic which I started taking promptly. I did not expect miracles. I knew that it would take at least a day or two for me to start feeling better. After the first 24 hours, the swelling did decrease slightly and the pain decreased very slightly. However, today, 48 hours after my first dose of meds, I am still quite swollen and in an awful lot of pain. I am also now running a fever. I feel awful and all I want to do it sleep. I’m not sure what the right answer is here. I do have a dentist appointment for Monday, but if the swelling and pain are not gone they won’t be able to pull the tooth. It is causing me so much distress. It’s kind of ironic because I have spent so much of my life dealing with physical pain-back pain, knee pain, ankle pain, shoulder pain, nerve pain, etc., I have had migraines and I have been through child birth and this tooth ache is one of, if not the worst pain I have ever felt. No pain medicine touches it and all the home remedies I have tried have failed. So I am one miserable Min right now. Be very glad that you don’t live in my body this day 😦

Farther, Faster, Fitter


As I have mentioned in previous blogs, at my daughter’s school there is a nature and fitness trail. Her school is pre-k through 12th grade all in one building and the nature and fitness trail goes all around the school including the baseball diamond on one side, through the woods, around the parking lots and ends at the football field on the other side. Along the way there are a scattering of exercise machines that use your own body weight to provide resistance. I’m not sure how long the nature trail is exactly, but it isn’t short. There are also several small playgrounds, swing sets, and basketball courts which are available to anyone any time. There is also a track that goes around the football field that is open to the public. Since her school is only 5 minutes away and there is so much to do there, we go as often as we can. We usually walk and then Shawn and I shoot hoops while Rissa plays on the playground. When we first started going there in March I could only do one lap around the track or make it about an 1/10 of the way around the fitness trail. Now I can make it all the way down the fitness trail and turn around and come all the way back. I can probably do more than that, but I usually play basketball after that. I also stop along the way to do the machines. When I first started there were 4 machines that I could not do at all. Today I can do all of them and I can do more on all of them than I could before. I’m not sure how many laps I can do on track now. I think the next time we go down I will just go to the track and count how many laps I can do. It’ll be interesting to see what I can do there. Maybe I’ll even throw some sprint intervals in. I was hoping to run my first 5k this month, but with my knee giving me such a hard time, I had to cut back on my running so I haven’t been training for it. I still could do the 1 mile fun walk, but of course I didn’t register in time 😦 So I am still thinking about the October 5k. If the shots in my knee really do help then I can start running every day again and I can do the 5k, even if I do run/walk intervals. I would LOVE to do it! It’s amazing how far I have come in the last six months. It’s amazing how far I will go in the next 6 months. I hope you are pushing yourself to go further than you thought you could. We are all capable of so much, but only if we push.

Life is Worth Fighting For


This is National Suicide Prevention week and Monday was World Suicide Prevention Day. Suicide is a sensitive subject and one that has all too often touched my life. I have lost several people that I love far too early to suicide. This video is not only about my weight loss, but also a little bit about suicide prevention.

Watch, Rate and Share My Video.

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

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 🙂

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?