Lose weight the delicious way...

Saturday, October 13, 2012


I absolutely love my wife.  As all my Facebook friends are aware, I not only have a nickname for her, but she even gets her own acronym - TBD.  This story is about the beautiful Dawn.

When this story began, I thought it was about me.  My friend Jerry called me one day out of the blue.  He seemed unusually worked up about something.  He had something he wanted me to see.  In truth, I had just woke up from an afternoon nap (don't judge me - I was working the overnight shift that week) and I was a bit groggy.  He tried to give me a website, but I asked him to have Traci just email it to me then I told him I'd look at it when I got a chance.

( this would be a good time in the story to see what I'm talking about)

I didn't bother with it til the next day, but when I did, I was intrigued - a little.  He called me back and asked me a few questions, then invited me to come and get some more info about this great opportunity.  We finally found a day where my schedule was open.  Dawn watched the video as she walked in and out of the room.  When I told her about hooking up with Jerry and Traci to find out about this, she didn't seem too pleased.  When I told her we were going to drive all the way to St Louis for it too, her expression, oddly enough, didn't seem to improve.  I guess at this point she figured she was being drug into one of my stories. (cue irony toned laughter from the crowd)

That was 78 days ago.  78 days that have flown by.  78 days that have been like no other that we experienced.  78 days that have led to what I like to call my rising Dawn.

The following story I tell in the strictest confidence.  If this story had ended in any manner different than it has, I would be signing my divorce papers for revealing any of this.  Because of the highly sensitive nature of the details contained herein, if you choose to read further, you are hereby obligated to share it with as many people as you possibly can.  The beautiful Dawn's story is inspirational and deserves as wide an audience as can be provided.


<-------- This was my beautiful Dawn on July 30th, 2012.


This is my newly reborn, Rising Dawn on October 7th, 2012 --->

<initiate flashback sequence>

Two years ago, we stepped up and took a chance on operating a Florist/Gift Shop in the historic downtown Ste. Genevieve district.  With extensive clothing retail, but limited floral experience and absolutely no experience in sales, TBD delved into business ownership.  What we found out after less than a year was that while she had an incredible ability, drawn from years in retail, to manage the storefront, the back office was not her forte and sales calls were these really scary things that sent shivers down her spine. 

Needless to say, when she fell off her stepladder while decorating the store for the holidays, we took that as a proper cue to cut our losses and exit business ownership.  My best guess was that our foray into a brick and mortar business set us back about $20k.  That meant a lot of effort was spent with a negative outcome.  In other words, Dawn was working her butt off and we were paying some faceless entity named Mr. Overhead, a few hundred dollars a week for the privilege.

It took nearly a year for my poor sweet TBD to deal with the disappointment.  Just as the time she was most in need of some validation, the economy was still having trouble producing jobs, so at home she sat, sulking if not sobbing.  It was a very difficult time and I really didn't know how to make it better.  When someone needs a job, trying to help them find a job gives the impression that you don't think they're trying hard enough.  (Which is great information that I wish I had at that time)

After nearly 10 months, TBD was hired into the bakery at the local supermarket (Super? What's so super about groceries anyway?).  Slight depression, plentiful baked goods and a husband who loves to eat?  What could go wrong?  (Perhaps its better to cutaway from this ugly scene ala Tarantino in Reservoir Dogs)

<flash forward to present>

Later today, our family is heading to Fright Fest at Six Flags in St. Louis with our good friends (oh, and the  Bova's too - Haha!).   Today, we will fulfill the beautiful Dawn's final Challenge goal.  When we started the Challenge, TBD wrote down four specific goals.  This one is the most important and the most personal of her Challenge goals.

<insert backstory>

We and the Bova's hit Fright Fest at Six Flags together last year too.  (No, I'm not sure if it's an annual thing yet, but I'll be sure to get the invitations out as soon as I know next year.)  While we were there, TBD had one of those moments; a moment that you try so hard to wish away, yet keep it seared into your memory.  As we were seating ourselves on the Superman ride, she was having an issue with her belt.  It took a few moments, but I soon realized what was happening - the belt couldn't reach far enough to latch.  A few different employees gave their efforts to get it buckled, but it wouldn't give. 

Finally, my sweet, beautiful Dawn was forced to exit the ride.  Now let it be said, that I have had a similar experience before, although for a guy who would blab on Facebook about food all the time, this was no big deal.  But for my wife, I could see the tears as she walked away from the ride.  I, even today, can't imagine how she felt that day.

So her primary goal on this Body By Vi Challenge was simple.  She wanted to go to Six Flags during Fright Fest and be able to ride everything.  Today we do that.  But hidden in her heart were three other goals, all that contained meaning for her.

Over the past few years, she has taken various steps to lose weight, all to no avail.  Understand, I'm not talking about tried but quickly forgotten steps.  When she quit drinking soda two years ago, she stuck with it, even to this day.  But none of them worked.  So she made an outlandish, pie in the sky goal of losing 40 lbs on the Challenge.

The next goal was about redemption.  Losing the flower shop was difficult for her.  Forced to head off to make the donuts at 4am was defeating at times.  In taking the step to not only do the Challenge, but also to promote the Challenge her goal was to be successful enough to quit setting an alarm clock that screamed, "Time to make the donuts".

The last goal was probably one that came from somewhere deep in her heart, that sat there for many years.  Being the wonderful wife that she was, Dawn never sought the spotlight from myself or the children.  She was always satisfied to be the backbone of our family, but I can imagine that part of her aspired to have some bit of recognition for all her efforts.  In seeking to achieve the BMW Bonus Award and get that "Told U So" license plate, she was really just looking for that moment when all eyes turned to her and said, "Great Job Dawn!  Way to go! We knew you could do it!" 

On Monday, October 1st, on Day 62 of her 90 Day Challenge, the beautiful Dawn achieved her BMW Bonus Award.  On Thursday, October 4th, on Day 66, the beautiful Dawn worked her last day as a full-time employee in the bakery.  On Sunday, October 7th, on Day 69, she lost her 40th pound and received her "Told U So" license plate.  Today, October 13th, on Day 76 of her TOTALLY AWESOME 90 Day Challenge, we will get on every ride, with plenty of room to spare, and we will have the time of our life. 

These dreams are coming true before our eyes as my now radiant wife has arisen from those humbling ashes to become the beautiful Dawn that I always saw, but she didn't.  To my beautiful wife, I can only say, "Great Job Dawn!  Way to go! I knew you could do it!"

How beautiful is my Rising Dawn in all her glory.

That is the beautiful Dawn's story on the PROJECT 10 Challenge.

What's your story?                  

Are you ready to Challenge yourself?

We were.


Start your Challenge today.

Update:  That pic above was in the fall of 2012.
Here are a couple of more recent before and after pics.

Truth is, anyone can do this.  There is definitely nothing special about me.  I was just a person who never ate well.  Age and a slowing metabolism caught up with me.  I like Fried Chicken, pizza and burgers - I didn't want to give them up.  I also like cakes, cookies and candy bars - I didn't want to give them up either.  Thanks to ViSalus, I didn't have to.  For two meals a day, I can have milkshakes that taste like a butterfinger or brownies.  For one meal a day, I can still have fried chicken or pizza - just not everyday.  And that works for us.  Really, it can work for anyone.


  1. HAVE you gained the 40 back yet?
    The problem is the food brother.

  2. Down 70 now. I agree, food was the problem, but not anymore thanks to Body By Vi.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Thanks for sharing such an inspiring story!

  5. Thanks Jason. There will so much more to share after our trip to LA. Plus we still need to schedule our trip to come & see you in Houston.