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Are we done yet?

(From 63+% body fat to 14.5%)

ITE_Before-After_InstaThe most frequently asked question I get about my transformation these days is: “Are you done yet?”

After dieting for 18 months and losing 211 lbs, people assume I am at goal and “done.” A fair assumption. After all, I did have a party and celebrate my transformation!

This question packs a powerful punch. For me it raises the question: “Are we ever “done?” Or rather, “Are we ever really “there?”

I have been on a diet and exercise program – transforming my body inside and out – for exactly 1 1/2 years. And today this question is more prevalent than ever before. Today, I re-visited the bod pod to accurately measure my body fat percentage. I am 14.5%. Whoooo hooo!

To put that number in perspective, this is the low end of the range for women athletes. And, it is another 4% drop or 8.5 lbs of body fat for me in the last 2 1/2 months. I last measured April 1, 2012 and you can read about the accuracy of the bod pod test and my previous results here.

My hard numbers: 
-211 lbs, -47.5% body fat, and -11 dress sizes in 1 1/2 years. 

I think it is safe to say that I am a lean, fat burning and muscle building machine. In my own terms, a healthy, fit and active girl who is living a bran new life. I have changed as much (or more) on the inside as on the outside. And so, the question remains, “Am I done?”

Are we ever “done?”
My view is that we are never “done,” but rather move through phases or stages of transformation…and life. I believe I am ready to be done dieting, but we’ll see what my transformation coach says. I have lost my weight (fat) and transformed my body and my life with optimal speed and efficiency. This is thanks to my amazing customized plan, and my determination to execute that plan and achieve my goal. In the process, I have reached so many other personal milestones. Now, I am healthy and fit inside and out. And oh so happy!

So, yes, I am ready to move to the next phase of maintenance and to start living a healthy lifestyle for the rest of my life. I am in the process of determining what that really means to me. I will make a new list of “non-negotiables” to keep me in the center of the equation of a new life where the goal changes from weight (fat) loss to weight maintenance and fun, active living!

There is freedom in that. There is anticipation of this whole new life in a bran new body sans the 200+ lbs that I was hiding behind for much of my adult life. And yes, let’s be honest, there is fear. Fear of slipping back to old patterns and behaviors and putting the weight back on.

But, mostly there is happiness, hope, excitement, and joy over my new number — 14.5% body fat. Can I please say “whooo hooo,” again?!

A message of hope
To all of my colleagues and friends who are in mid journey – in particular those struggling to execute their plans at 100%, frustrated by emotional challenges and life stresses – I urge you to find inspiration and hope in my story. You can do this if you focus on the long-term goal and persevere one day, one meal, one step at a time. Indeed that is how I did it.

For those of you struggling to find balance and put yourself in the center of your life and be true to yourself, the same is true. It is with focus on the goal, determination and perseverance that you will find your way. And when you falter, as you most certainly will, find your strength in the learning from the slips or set backs, then get right back on the horse and do it again.

So to all who are on a path of personal transformation, I offer this one simple message: If I can do it, you can do it!

It is absolutely, positively, without a doubt within your reach. And I am living proof that not only you can do it, but life on the other side of fear – well, it is totally awesome! Use my story and my 14.5% number as the inspiration you need to ROCK IT in your own way and on your own path.

Remember, as my beloved friend and mentor O’Neal Hampton would say: “We’ve got this!” We’ve totally got this!



**For those of you interested in learning more about your ideal body fat percentage or the bod pod evaluation to accurately calculate your body composition, check out these links.

Body Fat Composition & Percent Body Fat
Ideal Body Fat Percentage Chart: American Council on Exercise
Body Fat Percentage: What Gets Measured & Managed

The Bod Pod: Capsule like tube uses air displacement to measure your body composition. Most argue this is currently the most accurate measure of body composition.

What are you made of? The Bod Pod Knows All

I have my testing done at Arete Fitness in Edina. Ask for Nathan Walsh and tell him Lori Schaefer sent you. The University of Minnesota also has a machine.

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