Monthly Archives: April 2014


HE always makes me laugh, even when he isn’t trying.

HE has a big, caring and loving heart.

HE is kind, understanding and patient.

HE is dedicated, determined and hard working.

HE inspires me to be better

HE has taught me how to trust

HE has encouraged me to open up my heart to love


For those who know me, know that I am not an openly mushy-gushy person.  This comes from a life-time of terrible dating experiences and encounters with men (top experiences explained in DETAIL in the book).  I have been single my whole life and have spent time just figuring out who I am instead of how to make someone else happy.  Don’t get me wrong, this hasn’t stopped me from trying my luck with the fellas!

About a year ago, feeling overly confident like usual, I hit on a very attractive, very handsome, red-headed, red-faced man at the gym who was just trying to get a workout in- poor guy had no idea what just walked into his life.  I had no idea that that encounter would change my life.

I figured this would sizzle and fizzle like most encounters I have had with the opposite sex.  With each passing day I realized I really enjoyed this man’s company.  We make each other laugh, we understand each other, we have fun and we support each other…I think we have something here.

Marc has been an incredible support system and we have dubbed ourselves “team Shmuley” – His last name and my last name in one word haha.  (Not to mention our pet names for each other “badger” and “baboon” which were both auto-correct situations that we found hilarious)

The reason I wanted to write an entry for this wonderful man is A. because he’s wonderful duh! and B. on May 10th (13 days, 13 minutes and 53 seconds-but who is counting??) He will step on-stage in his teenie weenie nut-hugger bikini and show the people of Chicago how amazing and incredible his body looks after years of hard work, progress and dedication.

I consider myself so lucky to be on this journey with him.  It hasn’t been pretty every step of the way and I’m sure it will get tougher as the days progress.  He is doing something that 99.8% of people CANNOT and WILL NOT do and he does it without complaint.  He is hungry, exhausted and sleep-deprived and takes each day like a man, knowing that it will all be worth it.

He inspires me in a different way every day.  When I have tough days with my diet and just want to stuff my face in a bowl of mashed potatoes, I think of him and how dedicated he is to his diet everyday.  When I am loud, foul-mouthed and politically incorrect he will laugh at my jokes and let me be exactly who I am without judgment.


I am so proud of you.  Not one day goes by that I am not excited to see you, talk to you or have you in my life.  You are such a good man and I am such a lucky woman to be with you.

Good luck on May 10th!  You are going to do amazing and I cannot WAIT to cook and bake buttery, chocolatey, peanut buttery, cheesy, baconey food for you.  YOU DESERVE IT!

I love you


He doesn't like to dance but I absolutely love him trying just because he knows I love to bust a move!

He doesn’t like to dance but I absolutely love him trying just because he knows I love to bust a move!


Each surgery he has been there to make me laugh and take care of me!

Each surgery he has been there to make me laugh and take care of me!


We set the scene…

It’s a lovely Tuesday afternoon on April 15th.  It is a typical crazy day at work where I am just trying to keep up but the phone calls and emails keep coming in.  I am working on my huge jug of water when I start to feel a familiar gurgling in my tummy.  I knew it was gas, I always have to hold gas in at work, obviously.  My co-workers already hate me for my food smelling like farts…I don’t want to torture them with the actual thing!

I was scheduled to leave early that day because it was the second day of Passover, I had to get home to help mom set up for the 30 people we were going to have at our house later that night.

I get up from my desk and try to hit the bathroom but was unsuccessful and decided to just keep holding it until I got home since I was leaving in an hour anyway.

3:00pm comes around and I get to leave to head home.  My tummy is still hurting and I know I need to get home sooner rather than later to avoid a bad situation if you know what I mean.  When I get home the bathroom was again unsuccessful but the stomach pain was getting worse.  Johnny was getting stuff together for dinner before mom got home and I start putting together a few things but the pain was getting worse and it was hurting to stand up straight.  I decided to take some gas x and get into a hot tub.  I’ve had gas pain before… it is agony for a few hours but then it goes away.

When the gas x and hot tub were both failures I thought maybe it was heart burn?  I took some Pepcid and started to get ready for dinner.  When guests started to show up for dinner I just swallowed the pain and put on a happy face.  During dinner I kept excusing myself to go up to my room.  At that point I wasn’t sure if it was gas, heart burn, stomach ache… I had no idea.

*SIDE NOTE*  It was amazing having so many people over for dinner.  This was the first time Marc’s family met my family and I think it went pretty great!  My mom did an INCREDIBLE job making dinner and the desserts came out pretty awesome if I do say so myself.*

After everyone left the pain just kept getting worse.  I ended up  curled up in bed with a heating pad on my tummy hanging over the edge over the trash can in case I needed to throw up.  I was up all night and couldn’t get into a spot where I was comfortable or anything that offered a little relief.

The next morning I decided to rally and get to work.  I had a presentation to do at our staff meeting, I had 6 groups in-house and every time I miss a day of work it is absolute hell trying to get caught up the next day.  On my way into work I decided to call my doctor who said I needed to come in and see her that day sooner rather than later.  I told her I would come in after 1pm so I could get things done at work first.  When I got to work I wasn’t even able to sit up straight.  The pain was absolutely crippling.  I wasn’t able to take deep breaths because the pain was so bad.  It went through my ribs around to my back and all the way down.  I ran into my boss’s office at 9:00AM and asked if I could leave to go to my doctor.

When I got to my doctor she took me in right away and told me that I need to go to the ER.  She said that it could be a number of things and a few of them could be very serious.  She asked if she could call me an ambulance but I told her I would just drive.

I got to the ER at 10:30am and they took me into a bed and hooked me up to an IV for fluids.  It wasn’t until 12:00pm that a doctor finally came in and gave me something for the pain.  They also gave me a weird fluid that I needed to drink for a CT scan.  I didn’t see another doctor, nurse or staff member until 4:00pm when they took me for my CT scan, and the pain medicine wore off LONG before then.

After the CT scan my mom was there waiting for me.  It is always comforting to have my mommy with me.  She was furious that no one had followed up with me or was there to even check on me during the day.  The doctor came in and started telling us that it looked like there was fluid in my pelvis and near my colon.   She also said that it looked like there was swirling in my abdomen.  Then she got a phone call and left the room.  She was gone for about 45 minutes before mom had the nurse call her.  She came back and when we asked for a further explanation she said; “Well that’s about it…there is swirling and fluids in her abdomen.”

uhm…okay?! so are you going to put a pump into my belly button and release the fluids?!

Finally, they decided to admit me into the hospital to do some more testing and monitor the pain.  That night a surgeon came into my room and told me that they don’t have anyone on staff who is familiar with the type of bariatric surgery I had and if they decided to do a scope in my tummy they would have no idea what to look for since my insides were moved around for the surgery.  So they would most likely transport me the next day to a different hospital where my bariatric surgeon was and could do a proper scope.

They told me to get some sleep that night and they would check on me in the morning to get me transported.  Johnny came to visit and bring clothes.  Laurie came to visit and so did Marc.  It was so nice to have visitors to get my mind off of the pain.

I was just starting to drift off to sleep when I was lucky enough to get a roommate.  Not just any roommate… this one was coughing, hacking and graced me with her presence at 1:30am.  They turned on all of the lights in the room to get her into her bed and were asking her if she had any sleep issues like sleep apnea?  She said no, she just snores a lot…great. Not only did she snore, but her pumps and monitors kept going off all night and she would just sleep through it!  I had to keep calling the nurse to let her know to shut them off!  Well, at least my roomie got a good night sleep.

The next morning they told me that they were going to transport me and that my surgeon was at the hospital in the city waiting for me.  They weren’t able to finally get me into an ambulance until 4:00pm which means…TRAFFIC!  DAMN IT!  So 2 hours of bumpy driving, my pain medicine had worn off before we even got into the ambulance and the paramedic (who wasn’t even hot!) kept talking to me about where to get the best burgers in Chicago.  In most cases I’d be all for food talk but in this particular situation…not so much.

We finally got into the city and they brought me into the hospital only to find out that they took me to the wrong building AH! so they had to take me through the bowels of the hospital to the other building and up into a room where the nurse was there waiting for me with my mom.

At 7:00pm the doctor came in to give me some pain medicine and told me that she would be working with my surgeon who come to find out had left but would be back the next morning.  The doctor then returned at 9:00pm and told me that they think my intestines had twisted and caused an internal hernia that was cutting off the blood supply to the intestine and if they didn’t do surgery that night to fix the twist that it could cause the tissue to die off and they would have to resection the intestine.

My surgeon came in at about 10pm to let me know that we would go in for emergency surgery. This man was at dinner with his family and he came into work to do this surgery.  I cannot explain to you how amazing my bariatric surgeon is.

At 11pm I went in for surgery.  Everything was fixed.  He had to re-open 3 of my incisions on my stomach from my original bariatric surgery 4 years ago.  He informed my mom and I that I actually have intestines that are 4 times longer than average.  He also informed us that this whole thing is caused by the amount of weight that I lost.  When I had surgery at 340lbs all of the stitches and incisions inside were made to fit my body at 340lbs and some of those could come loose which makes space for the intestines to twist and since I have SO much intestines…that was very likely to happen.

I am not home from the hospital.  I am sore but this is all over.  Thank goodness.


I was really frustrated on Thursday and Friday.  I hate missing work.  I barely am able to keep up when I am there for 10 hours a day so missing even a day stresses me out so much.  Luckily, my co-workers have been amazing and even my GM sent me an email wishing me well and telling me not to stress.  I was also frustrated because I have had a few medical issues the past two years between this and the rectal fissures and it gets so frustrating.  I lost the weight to be HEALTHIER…and I have had more medical issues since losing the weight than before I lost the weight.

This is another reason why I think postponing the competition was a good idea.  I think it will be good for my body to just relax.  I don’t mean relax in terms of not training but between focusing on losing weight and then switching into focusing on bodybuilding right away the past two years my body has never had a chance to just enjoy training, enjoy being slim and adjust accordingly.  It was always my goal to not just look healthy but BE healthy and I need to take the steps necessary to make that happen.  Even if that means postponing my show and postponing my second plastic surgery.  I only have this body and I need to take the best care of it possible.

Thank you all for all of the love and support that you have sent my way the past few days.  It means so much to me to know that there are so many people who love me and who wish the best for me.  I am also very grateful for my co-workers for their amazing support while I am out and their kind emails and positive energy.

This is just another small bump in the road, I keep saying that nothing will stop me and I truly mean that.  Life always has a way of reminding you that you are human and bringing you back down to earth.

When you need something…you WILL make it happen

Oh I’m sorry where you calling my name?  I no longer respond to Lyss anymore… that’s CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER LYSS!!! MWAHAHAHA I PASSEDDDDD!!!!!!! WHEE!  I am not a NASM Certified Personal Trainer!

All of the months of studying, all-nighters and my family and loved ones wanting to murder me are OVER.  I cannot WAIT to start training and really putting this certificate to work!


So here is what has been going on the past few weeks… ASIDE from studying my brains to mush (ignore all grammatical errors)


I have always told myself and people around me “If you want something bad enough…you will do anything in your power to have it.”

Now let’s not get dramatic here with this statement.  No, you don’t have to kill anyone, no you don’t have to trade sexual favors and NOOO you don’t have to risk your health, wellbeing. MMMK? What I mean…is that if you REALLY want something, you will work, work and get up and work some more to make it happen for yourself.

That being said…there WILL be bumps in the road, there are days even WEEKS where I get so frustrated and exhausted and lose focus on why I’m doing this, where I really want to go with this and what is it all worth?  Those are the moments that I think are truly a gift…these are the moments that make the difference between  NEEDING something and just being interested in something happening for you.

You can fall, you can give up and you can just accept that your life “is what it is” or you can harness these moments, forgive yourself for losing sight, brush it off, get up and keep working.

After a bit of a stressful few months; traveling to Atlanta for work, studying NON-STOP for my personal training certificate (WHICH I PASSED BOOYA!!), Vegas for one of my best friend’s bachelorette party, a week from HELL at work…needless to say it has all slowly chipped away at my drive and determination I’ve had a few moments of;

“Why can’t I just drink with my friend and have a fun drunk time?!”

“I’m sure going out to a big dinner with co-workers will be just fine, it’s just one meal.”

“Well…I’ve already fallen off the diet today I can just start tomorrow again.”

I don’t know about you…but for me…those are all dangerous ways of thinking.  Once I start justifying and making excuses it is just a downhill tumble roll to getting back to where I was 3 years ago.  NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!

I have also had to make a very difficult decision to postpone my competition until 2015.  For several different reasons:

– My body is making progress a bit slower than I would hope to make.  This being the first time I have done something like this there is no real way to know how my body will change.

– The excess skin is just too much to get into a teenie weenie bikini on stage and be proud of my presentation even if I lose to body fat.

– I want this experience to be a fun one and I want to do this in the healthiest way for my body and my mentality.  I never came into this to do this professionally or to make a career out of this.  I want to be PROUD of what I present on stage, I don’t want to just get on stage for the sake of getting on stage.

Until then, the training and diet continue.  The HARD work continues and the drive, determination and dedication continues.  I NEED to prove to myself that I am not just a fit fat girl…but a truly fit FIT girl…I WILL make it happen.  I have a whole new type of hunger from years ago…this one just takes a whole lot more to satisfy.


Check out the progress pictures and Vegas pictures below:

First night in Vegas.  Of course we had to invite The Rock!  AMAZING group of girls!

First night in Vegas. Of course we had to invite The Rock! AMAZING group of girls!

This was the FIRST time I have ever worn a TWO PIECE in public.  The moment before taking off my t-shirt was a moment of absolutely terrorizing fear.  The girls were incredible all day encouraging me and telling me that I look great.  Thank you so much girls!  I appreciate it more than you know!

This was the FIRST time I have ever worn a TWO PIECE in public. The moment before taking off my t-shirt was a moment of absolutely terrorizing fear. The girls were incredible all day encouraging me and telling me that I look great. Thank you so much girls! I appreciate it more than you know!

They took ALL of my food at the pool party in Vegas.  ALL of my meals.  SO BUMMED!  I snuck in two protein bars and a package of tuna hahahaha

They took ALL of my food at the pool party in Vegas. ALL of my meals. SO BUMMED! I snuck in two protein bars and a package of tuna hahahaha

*MORE PROGRESS* again, not where I want to be but slowly making progress.

*MORE PROGRESS* again, not where I want to be but slowly making progress.



Not quite where I want to be with progress but I’m slowly getting there.  It IS happening.