Lexington blogger shares her weight-loss journey

'Blogging addict' shares how she shed 112 pounds

Special to the Herald-LeaderAugust 9, 2011 

  • Skinny Emmie online

    Emily Ho Sandford is a 20- something weight-loss blogger who goes by the name Skinny Emmie. Check out Skinny Emmie on her blog, SkinnyEmmie.com, on Twitter @skinnyemmie or on Facebook.

  • Stand up, Lexington

    Men’s Health magazine ­recently named Lexington the least active city in the nation. Today we’re featuring the stories of two active Lexingtonians. Help us prove that Men’s Health — and ­Comedy Central’s ­Stephen ­Colbert, who mocked ­Lexington on his show — were wrong.

    In about 100 words, tell us how you get those ­endorphins pumping. We’ll collect the stories and send them to Men’s Health and Colbert. We might even publish a few in the newspaper and online. And we’ve created Stand Up, a Lexington Facebook page where you can post how you’re being active.

    Send information about your activity with your name and a daytime phone number to: standuplex@herald-leader.com. Fitness 19 will give an annual membership plus one free personal training session to the first 100 respondents.

Two years ago, I topped the scale at 455 pounds. I'd always been a larger person, but after the premature death of my mom, getting married and losing a job, something in me gave up.

Of course, I didn't know it at the time, but I was self-destructing into a sedentary, binge-eating mess.

I was the leader of my own drive-through-eating, trash-hiding gang. I called in for curb-side carryout from restaurants (as we know there are so many good ones in Lexington) where they knew my order and I would tip them well for not mentioning how often I stopped by and for never forgetting the extra sauces I requested.

I would spend hours in front of the television, and the only exercise I got was the perilous act of shoveling cheese fries into my mouth without having the ranch dressing drip on my shirt.

I was self-destructing, and was completely oblivious to it. I was living the Men's Health magazine "sedentary" label for Lexington, and on my way to being a statistic.

I was sick.

After auditioning for NBC's weight-loss reality show The Biggest Loser and not making it, I realized something had to change. As a 29-year-old former president of my MBA class at the University of Kentucky and a general overachiever, I knew I was worth way more than shrinking into oblivion because a reality TV show didn't deem me worthy.

I turned to my computer and started a blog. If I was willing to go on national TV to bare all, surely I could do the same thing some other way.

That's how Skinny Emmie, my weight-loss-ninja- blogging-alter ego, was born.

I asked people around Lexington for help. I found a gym I was comfortable with; a trainer who understood what I needed; new, local friends through Twitter and Facebook who offered kind words and became workout partners. The goal: to become happy and healthy and to live an active lifestyle.

After 112 pounds lost, I know I've met my goal. My five-days-a-week workouts, completion of multiple 5K runs, a drastic reduction in TV time and completion of my first half-marathon are changes I'm proud to have made.

I'm thankful for how Lexington responded to my quest through supportive people, business support and even city support through the use of various local parks for half-marathon training and bike riding on the Legacy Trail. I am proud to say I'm not contributing to the "sedentary" statistic any longer.

I know what some people will think: She's still not skinny — how is this a success?

To be a success, it seems that there should be a start and a finish. This "during" phase of losing more than 100 pounds but still not being conventionally thin can get frustrating. I realized however, that success doesn't come from the "before and after." It comes from this messy "during" period.

Even when the day comes when I reach some physical specification that others might deem a success, this "during" phase will never, ever end.

A reader left a comment on my blog that sums it up perfectly. When I told of a moment of frustration when the scale didn't react the way I wanted it to, she asked: "What are you striving for? You aren't going to get there. You're already there."

Will you join me?

Emily Ho Sandford is a marketing MBA by day and social-media and blogging addict by night.

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