Wednesday, June 15, 2011

SPOTLIGHT: Mike Badger

Hi I'm Mike Badger,

When you have been overweight your entire life, you learn to love yourself no matter what. When I married Karlie, my wife, I was overweight but considered myself to be at one of my less-fat stages in life. Before we got married, Karlie and I talked a lot about our futures. What we wanted, how we would be. One of the things that Karlie made me promise to her is that we would work to keep out family healthy.

Soon after getting married, I took a job at a car dealership as a salesmen. Even though Karlie and I were downing bowls of ice cream on many occasions, I was always on my feet at work walking the long parking lot with customers all day. While I wasn't gaining weight, I wasn't getting any slimmer. At that point in my life, I was okay with that.

Jeffrey, our son came soon after and I got a great Job with a software company. I went from walking lots to an average daily step count of about 100 plus the 10 calories burned a day that you get from typing on a keyboard. Karlie was pregnant and I was a compulsive eater so we pretty much got way fat in that year. After that I gave up on ever loosing the weight and slowly crept up to an astonishing 524 Pounds. Then I started to have medical problems.

After not going to the doctor for a checkup for almost 2 years, I was forced to because my legs were swelling up like balloons and they started to turn black and blue. Karlie freaked and made me see a doctor. The doctor told me I was way fat, as I expected. He also told me a lot of things I was not expecting. I had lymphedema, sleep apnea, vitamin deficiencies and was boarder line diabetic. I knew I had to do something but didn't know where to start.

I tried out for Biggest-Loser (the real one) and didn't get a call back. Then I decided my only option was surgery. I hate the idea of surgery but I hated the idea of death more. I geared up, met with doctors, talked to my insurance and was ready to go under knife. I wanted to know EXACTLY what it would be like after surgery. I hunted down blogs of gastric bypass patients, articles ... anything I could get my hands on and was still left wanting. I decided I needed to chronicle my weight loss surgery so I started my blog Starting At 500 Pounds

I had never been more ready for anything in my entire life. I went into the doctors office for the surgery consultation. After meeting with the insurance "advocate" I found that my insurance would not cover the surgery without a "doctor approved" 6-month diet. I got angry. Angry that I was in this situation. Angry that I couldn't get the surgery. Angry that I felt like no one, not even my wife, could understand what I was going through. Angry enough to do something about it.

At first I started to exercise and eat right so I could be a good candidate for surgery. A strange thing happened. I started to lose weight. I found new friends online through my blog that encouraged me and pushed me to my limits. The most important thing was I found people who REALLY understood because they had been in my shoes.

6 months came and I had lost 100 pounds. People started to look to me for a source of inspiration. I felt great. There was no chance a doctor was ever going to cut me open at that point. I am still on my journey and have currently lost almost 150 pounds over the past 8 months. My blog has become my passion as people email me about how I have given them hope that they still have the power to change, even at 500 pounds.

Anything you want to know about me is out there for the world to see. You will be my best friend forever if you...
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Much love to all the competitors out there. I look forward to finding out more about you and meeting you lighter and leaner at our final weigh in party.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Horray for half way there

Thank you for all those that sent their results in. I am amazed how well we are doing!! Yet again Jen is our #1 for the third time in a row, way to go Jen!

Month Total
Jen 8.8% 21.11%
Mindie 4.98% 15.58%
Karlie 2.23% 11.44%
Mike 6.36% 9.67%
Lenna 2.93% 7.75%
Tammy 2.33% 6.42%
Kathy 1.06% 5.98%
Lindsay 0% 5.77%
Mandi .78% 4.20%
Jessica 3.93% 3.93%
Joel 1.78% 3.41%
Barbara 0% 3.37%
Alex .82% 3.19%
Don 0% 3.12%
Ryan .98% 2.10%
Tyler .26% 1.85%
Kathy .79% 1.27%
Caren 1.04% 1.25%
Tina 0% 1.13%
Brent N/A
Jay N/A
Aundrea N/A
Vicki N/A
Dawn N/A
Leroy N/A

Lindsay thank you for your spotlight. Just wanted to remind anyone who hasn't done theirs yet send it in to Karlie. Have a great month and I look forward to seeing spotlights and getting to know you all a little better. Thanks!!!!


Hi All. I am so happy to be a part of this friendly, yet motivating competition, and even more grateful that Mindie is allowing me to do it from Wisconsin. (we used to be neighbors)

I am 30, just barely, and currently a SAHM with 3 kiddos: 5, 3 1/2, 18m. But my story of why I am here, with this group, began 9 months after I got married. (over 8 years ago) I rapidly gained 60+ lbs in just 6 months, despite being active with my new hubby. I no longer felt like a cute, young, newlywed... It took me a few more months to get the courage to start medically investigating the reason(s) for what was happening to me. I bounced from doctor to doctor to specialist, had tons of tests run, and was "diagnosed" with many causes: diabetes - no; Cushings disease - thankfully no; lazy lifestyle - what?! So I gave up on the medical world for a couple of years. It was about this time that I weighed my heaviest, and I graduated from college that way... so there are lots of photos of that. Boo. Later, I was correctly diagnosed with PCOS. But even then, there is no magic pill, but major lifestyle changes.

Since those days and now, I have tried many, many, many diets and workout plans. Each one brought discouragement when I would lose a little and then like auto-pilot, gain it right back. It was hard to feel positive about being healthy internally when there were no outward results. It seems petty, but it was true for me. BUT, last year, I found an amazing hormone specialist who worked with MY symptoms - not test results. Apparently, there was a lot my body was not producing on its own. So for the first time in years, and after 3 pregnancies, I am feeling like what a healthy person should feel like all the time. I don't have to crash on the couch every day, preventing me from being active. I LOVE LOVE LOVE exercising, and also don't have a major crash right after. My female stuff (sorry guys!) is working properly for the first time in my life. And, I have actually been losing weight and keeping it off. This has been an unbelievable side effect of proper hormonal therapy. (man, that made me sound so old!) But it's real. And I feel amazing.

I definitely believe in the power of exercise and a healthy diet for maintaining health and happiness. But, I also strongly encourage EVERYONE to get their numbers checked regularly: cholesterol, thyroid, glucose, progesterone, testosterone... These things are not often discussed when you first start chatting with doctors. YOU need to be your own advocate and find a medical professional who will LISTEN to what you know about you and your body. It's all about being balanced.

Good luck to us all!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The results are in..... or most of them atleast

Hey fellow competitors I appreciate all of the feedback I received from the last email about weigh ins. For those of you who enjoy the weigh ins keep coming and for those of you who could care less thats fine too. I am not going to sweat it. I will keep scheduling the monthly times to weigh in and hope that we get most of you out for it.

Here are the results:

Congratulations to Jen she is our winner again this month with a loss of 8.65% with a total loss of 13.49%
Mindie 7.55% total= 11.16%
Karlie 5.88% total= 9.42%
Lindsay 2.27% total= 5.77%
Kathy 3.16% total= 4.97%
Lenna total= 4.96%
Tammy 3.73% total= 4.18%
Mike total= 3.54%
Mandi 1.4% total= 3.53%
Barbara .82% total= 3.37%
Don .19% total= 3.12%
Alex 2.39% total= 2.39%
Joel total= 1.66%
Tyler 1.59% total= 1.59%
Tina .39% total=1.27%
Ryan total= 1.13%
Leroy total= 1.02%
Kathy total .48%
Caren total .27%
Vicki 0%
Aundrea 0%
Brent n/a
Jay n/a
Jessica n/a
Dawn n/a
Natalie n/a

So I had to get some help to get the totals calculated. So if your total doesn't seem exactly right it is because I missed calculated the first percentage. From here on out there won't be any mistakes. Congratulations to everyone and continue to keep up the hard work!


My name is Aundrea, and I am a chocoholic.

Most people do not look at me and think, “Wow, she really needs to lose weight!” In fact, when I told a friend that I would join this group (Hi, Jessica!), her husband said, “Aundrea’s thin!” Well, I [heart] Jess’s husband for saying that, but 1. I am not really thin. In fact, I weighed less at the end of my fourth pregnancy than I do now. There is definitely some work to do! And 2. Thin doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. My cholesterol is off-the-charts high. It’s seriously time to make a change.

I’m not the girl who will win this thing. I’m the girl who will think about stepping on the scale and actually writing down my weight for strangers to judge me. I’m the girl who will knock out a few video workouts with Bob and Jillian, hoping that it helps a little bit. I’m the girl who is signed up to run in two different races this summer (we’re using the term “run” VERY loosely here, folks!).

I’m the girl who is looking for the motivation to keep the M&M’s OUT of my mouth. Thanks for providing some motivation!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Karlie Badger

Hey guys! I am Mindie’s cousin. My name is Karlie. I am 27 years old. I’m a wife mother of two beautiful kids. I am a florist by trade and a stay at home mom. I own my own company Garden House Floral my website is check it out. I love plants and flowers always have. I’m a friend to everyone, easy to talk to, and I’m a great listener.

Let me take you back to the prime years of my life. I was 20 years old, the healthiest I had ever been. Exercise was a joy and eating healthy was not a problem at all. I was all about myself and what I wanted and what would make me happy. It was great. I met my husband Mike (who will be spotlighted this weekend) we fell in love and got married shortly after in 2005.

I knew marrying Mike would be wonderful and great and awesome. It IS!!!! What I didn’t know is how being married and all the added responsibilities would affect my personal life. We had our little boy exactly a year after we got married. The weight quickly piled on. I was so comfortable in my situation I forgot how important it was to keep myself healthy, my focus shifted to my son and the care of my home and my husband. We had our baby girl in 2008 and it got worse and worse. I was at my fattest Fall of last year. Mike and I decided it was time. Enough letting ourselves go. There were a few instrumental occurrences that got us to the mentality we are in, (post for another time).

I am here, NOW!!! It’s TIME and I am in it to WIN it!!!

My weight has always been an issue ever since I can remember much like a lot of you I’m guessing. Until recently I just didn’t care about myself. I was careless with what I ate and how much I ate. I sat on the couch all day and was super depressed in the winter. I would get spurts of motivation to try a diet, but that would quickly fade. Out of frustration and with lack of results, and I was back where I started maybe even worse off than when I started. I’ve heard the term yo‐yo dieting. I was there. I was sad, I was depressed.

Me on the left: 2005 before I got married Me on the right: 2011 how did that happen
TODAY!!! I am 30+ pounds lighter and not even halfway to my goal, but I am on my way. I am consuming 1200 calories a day and counting every one on My Fitness Pal online. I drink 145 ounces of water a day. And I exercise at least 4 times a week. Accountability is essential. I have a group a few of us started at our church, we meet every Monday to weigh in and talk about our accomplishments and struggles for the week. Mike and I are a part of Slim Down Sandy, we weigh in weekly and meet up for meet and greets with others on board. I couldn’t do this without the support of my Husband Mike he is my inspiration. I can’t wait for everyone to meet him on here.

Find and do what works for you. Stick to it, exact to the plan. That is my advice. I’m no expert ;)

Thanks Mindie for getting this going! Just one more way to be successful!

Good luck everyone!

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