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Who’s That Girl?

Hey there, I’m Lara.  Thanks for visiting!

I’m a 33-year-old California girl (OK – I’m a transplant from Wisconsin, but I feel like I should have grown up here).  My hubby and I were married in April 2008.

My Love & I with our wedding party.

We enjoy being outside, hiking, and travel.  We have 2 pups (Mason & Dixie – black lab/flat-coated retriever mixes) and 2 kitties (Tinkerbelle & Prissilla).  No kiddos yet, not for lack of wishing…

Dixie showing some love to the camera

Mason on the beach in Fort Bragg, CA.

Prissilla on high alert - Puppies are near!

I’m a “foodie” – love good restaurants and good wine, although I am also fan of beer festivals.  I truly believe that if I didn’t work out, I’d be 400 pounds.  However, working out doesn’t come naturally to me — my body has a tendency to find the easiest way (read: non-productive) to do any form of exercise.  “Fake” sit-ups have been instilled in this body since 3rd grade; real ones that cut my abdomen into 8 little “packs” are just never going to happen.  I’ve accepted that.

I started out as a “string bean with eyes” — quoted from the doctor who delivered me.  I was thin for a long time, then one day, I just popped.  It happened about 3rd or 4th grade.  I was taller than everyone else, and soon I was rounder.  I ate TV dinners since my mom worked late, and my dad was always working at home (but didn’t cook).  I would try to eat “junk”, but we just didn’t have it in the house.  Food was always a treat — ice cream was my favorite, and that WAS always in the house (got my “ice cream tooth” from my dad).

I was round up until 9th grade, Valentine’s Day.  I didn’t have a boyfriend, I’d never been kissed.  So I started running.  At first, I ran as far as I could, then I walked.  I would run past houses where I knew the people, then walk once they couldn’t see me anymore.  I ran when cars were coming, and walked when they were gone.  Eventually, I was running 5+ miles per day.  I then added in biking 10 miles and roller blading 5 miles.  So I got thin.  Not as much thin as skinny.  I was a size 2 in some things — when you’re 5’8″ or 5’9″, that starts to get a lot of attention.  But, it wasn’t only the workouts that got me there.  I was “vegetarian” which meant that I didn’t have to justify not eating the food that was prepared for me.  I ate lettuce, with my fork dipped in dressing.  I had 2 oranges a day for breakfast & lunch (total), and drank water out of a Diet Dr. Pepper bottle, before bottled water was a “thing”.  I made myself throw up when I felt that I’d had too much, or when I’d eaten something that was just not “allowed” (like macaroni & cheese when babysitting).  Once I got down to 118 pounds, I stopped.  Decided I was thin enough.  I’m not sure how, or what snapped me out of it.  I had a teacher ask about my relationship with food, but I’d already started eating again, and had tapered those crazy runs.  Never mind that a good friend was telling me I needed help — I looked GOOD.  (Roll eyes…)  Obviously, none of this was healthy.  NONE of it.  And I am so grateful that I stopped, and started eating again, and having a semi-normal relationship with food and exercise.

But, in college I bounced around quite a bit — beer & pizza (and ice cream!) will do that to you.  That and a general lack of desire to go to the gym or go for a run.  After college I bounced around even more.  I lost a good deal of weight by eating well, making good decisions, and working out at least once a day.  But then, I was in a pretty bad car accident.  The Land Rover I was in rolled 4 (or maybe 5) times before it stopped, right before going into the river.  Oh, didn’t I mention that we’d just dropped 25 + feet off a bridge?  Sorry, I’ll try not to miss details like that.  I had a concussion and a broken wrist.  With that night, I stopped working out, and gained weight, and I’d lost a boyfriend in the mix.  He had almost killed me; we weren’t going to go on.  Somehow, with the broken wrist, I gave up on being the person I wanted to be to fall into the spell of food.  I used food to make myself feel better.

Eventually, I met my hubby.  He is amazing, and more than I could have thought that I’d get in a guy.  And he loves me. For me.  He doesn’t care what size I am — which really doesn’t help things in the weight loss department, even though I know that he’d rather that I be at a size where I’m comfortable.  He’s awesome like that.  We met in a bar.  But not just any bar — it was a University of Virginia alumni function.  I had just grabbed a beer at the bar (not realizing that the beers were free for us that night), and walked over to the alumni group that had formed.  I heard someone talking about the pharmaceutical company that they worked for, and how they were just getting ready to launch a new drug.  I’m also in pharmaceuticals, and was interested in finding out where this guy worked – I would have loved a new job!  So I sauntered up, introduced myself, and quickly found out that I wasn’t interested in a position in the company in which he worked.  But I knew that I was interested in him!  So cute!   And smart!

We dated for a few years while living in Houston, Texas, until I was approached by a headhunter to move to the Los Angeles area to work for a large biotechnology company.  I could not pass it up, and Matt agreed to come with me, once he found a job.  I  moved to LA in January of 2006; he followed in May of the same year.  That October we bought a home together, and he proposed the following June on one of our anniversaries.

We were married in April 2008, and I was FIT for that wedding (worked my butt off to get that way).  I wore amazingly small jeans (for me) to events at my Bachelorette weekend in Las Vegas.  My seamstress was beside herself because I did not assume that I’d lose weight before ordering my beautiful wedding gown, and now there were multiples of inches that needed to come in…  And I was floating.  So happy.

Our wedding was amazing.

A variety of pics from our wedding...

Our honeymoon too.

Dessert in Fiji - It's all downhill from here...

But then it got harder to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Drinks and food, and entertaining got in the way of cooking and exercising.  And as I’ve gotten older, it’s gotten harder to maintain at the same number of calories.  I am an emotional eater, and I’ve had some trials in my life that make me eat more, somewhat uncontrollably.  I’ve tried to keep it under wraps, but sometimes this food monster rears her ugly head, and nothing but ice cream or chocolate or wine will suffice.

So I’m 33, and over 200 pounds.  At my highest, I was 226 pounds — that was 2 years ago.

I’m training for triathlon & multi-sport activities, walking the dogs, and cooking more.  I’ve done 2 half marathons (Does that equal 1 whole one?  No?  Darn it!).  I work full time doing cancer research, I volunteer, I have amazing friends (who keep moving away), I travel, and I miss my family.

And now, I’m ready to get to a healthy weight for the rest of my life.  Who’s with me?

6 responses »

  1. How cool, Lara! Love the blog as well–I cannot wait to follow you on this journey to health 🙂 Much love to you…xoxo

  2. I love this! I just saw your blog on Clean Eating Chelsey’s comments. I have also been on a weight loss journey (baby weight) and after losing over 40lbs on Weight Watchers decided to start my blog to share my recipes with other like minded people who want to lose weight the Weight Watcher way (read: moderation and portion control) but eat clean food without all the added crap. Good Luck!!!!!

  3. Lara,
    I am so glad to read your blog. I love it, and am jealous of how well you work on wordpress (I am in the stage where I read other blogs and think to myself “how did they DO THAT?”) I like the grid idea and may try it this week– I feel like go to the grocery store every single day because I haven’t planned anything out in advance.
    I am going to keep reading, thank you!


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