Sunshines Journey to 199- ThankStories

A Thankstories to remember: Sunshines Journey

I was on Facebook one day when I had the distinct opportunity to see some really motivating posts. I was moved by the words that were being shared, and more than that- I was being challenged to be a better, more healthy, more fit, more dynamic person! I have had the chance to talk with the author of the “Sunshines Journey to 199” Facebook page, Sunshine herself!


Sunshines Journey is shared with RetroFit Ministries, Austin Andrews

Austin- Sunshine, when did you first realize your weight was different from other people?

“… Just so I could feel like I was normal”

Sunshine- I think that I really started to notice that it was a problem when I was in middle school. I had pretty much been overweight my entire life by that point, but that was when boys started to be interested in girls, and girls all had to have the cute “brand name” clothing, school trips with your friends and others in your class to amusement parks. I was never the girl that the boys were interested in, but had LOTS of friends. I was who the girls went to gossip about their crushes, and who the boys went to to try and get me to be a “go between” with them and the girl they liked (my friends) but never the one that they wanted to ask out. I can remember fitting into some of the “popular” clothes, but when I was in middle school I can distinctly remember that Guess jeans were popular. I was too big to fit into the “cute” ones, and can remember cutting that little Guess symbol off of a pair of Guess jeans from a thrift store, and sewing it onto a pair of “big girl jeans” just so I could feel like I was normal and could wear what everyone else was wearing.

Austin– It sounds like you were dealing with a lot of loneliness- I mean, you had people around you, but you knew you were different and you wanted to fit in. How did that loneliness affect you? Were you driven to eat more to comfort yourself, was there a desire to make a change?

Sunshine– I was honestly very lucky to have lots of friends, and family who loved me. In grade, middle, high school and college, i was friends with all of the cliques, and was always getting invited to parties, hang out etc. However, it was a bummer that the boys were not really interested in me until the end of high school and college. I didn’t even go to prom! It’s all part of what shaped me though, and the person that it made me. I know that I am full of personality, funny, and have a big heart, and if I had to trade any of those three things to be “skinny”, I wouldn’t do it. 🙂 I know I am a good person – now it’s just a matter of losing weight and becoming HEALTHY , not so that people will like me.

Austin– Did something happen that caused your weight gain?

“I would eat as much crap as I could, even secretly in my room…”

Sunshine– My parents were separated a lot of my “growing up” years, and my dad was not the best at providing for us. We barely had food in the house, and would eat out a lot. My mom lived with my grandma, and there was constantly food there. I would eat and eat when I was with my mom, and she would spoil me with food (and love, don’t get me wrong – my mom rules…she just didn’t want to say no to her baby 🙂 ) – I would eat as much crap as I could (even secretly in my room) when I was with my mom because I knew when I went back with my dad that there would not be much food at the house.

Austin– I know habits are learned over time, so did you see these habits change as your situation changed? Did you continue to “Secret” food even after it was available all the time?

Sunshine– Oh yes, definitely. And once I started driving, the world was my “fast food wonderland” – I could go through the drive through, and eat in my car, and no one would know! It was that instant gratification …. and of course, feeling bad afterwards. When I went away to college, my meal plan was that we could literally eat whatever we wanted in the cafeteria. Depending on what friends I was with that day, or who else was in the cafeteria, I would definitely over indulge. It wasn’t until the end of college really that I began to educate myself more, and with the “birth” of the internet, and more people’s stories becoming available, it really gave a glimmer of hope to me that I didn’t need to just “succumb” to being fat my whole life. I was looking at people who had once looked just like me, and they had done it! Why couldn’t I?

Sunshines Journey of weight loss gets shared with Austin Andrews of RetroFit Ministries

Austin– What happened to give you hope that you could change?

Sunshine– I’ve always thought “what if” , and lost a little weight here and there, only to gain it back again. A very good friend of mine started a weight loss challenge at my old job, and it incorporated not only weight loss, but different challenges – I was doing things I had never done before, never thought possible, like completing a 5k with a partner, not coming in last in a swimming competition, etc etc. I also started working at Curves at that same time, and really started honing in on my passion to help others achieve weight loss/a healthier self, all while holding myself accountable. The Biggest Loser was also VERY inspiring to me – I cried along with every story because as I watched these people, I could identify with all of them! So many times I have looked at a contestant in their “before/beginning” stage, and thought – that’s me, that’s my body now! Seeing what they achieve with hard work and dedication is INCREDIBLY, and personally inspiring to me. 🙂

Austin– How did you decide on how to lose weight?

Sunshine– I’ve never followed a specific diet, or any one exercise program. I’ve kind of taken a little bit of everything I have learned so far, found out what worked and what didn’t , and moved forward one day at a time with the tools that do work for me. I learned so much from my month at Biggest Loser Resort- Malibu, and have become inspired and educated daily by some of the pages that I follow on Facebook. What works for one person may not work for the rest. It’s about not only finding out what works for you, but finding something you will stick to, and be motivated to incorporate every day. It is cliche but it is SO TRUE – it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change.

Austin- I have found that LIKING or enjoying what you eat, and how you move is more important to the long term journey- What do you like?

Sunshine– I am one of those people that can eat the same thing, day in and day out. I was on a kick a couple weeks ago where I had the same salad for lunch and dinner for like 6 days straight. I always find myself scolding myself in my head one I’ve been doing good and eating well , like SEE??? You aren’t depriving yourself, you LIKE to eat healthy! Get it together lady! My fiance and I are just guilty of eating out a lot, we’ve really been trying to make eating out a “treat”, and not a several times a week occurance! I am really not a terribly picky eater, and even found a liking to things that I thought I hated while I was at the Biggest Loser Resort – like raw, unsalted almonds – YUM! I now have a baggie of them in my desk drawer at work so I have NO excuse to go to the vending machine!

Austin- Do you consider yourself finished on this journey?

“If we become stagnant on our journey that is life, what a waste…”

Sunshine- Not at all, and I am not sure if I ever will be. My ultimate goal is to reach 199lbs. I will be 35 on Sunday and I have never weighed under 200lbs as an adult before! It’s not like I will hit 199, and everything will be magical, and I’ll never have to watch what I eat or not exercise again. This will be every day for the rest of my life. If we become stagnant on our journey that is life, what a waste. We should be constantly learning, constantly growing, constantly striving to be better, and constantly smiling into the sun at what the day holds! 🙂

Austin- Sunshines Journey has been a journey to 199, so where are you at today, and do you have a date that you are pushing to get to the 199 lbs?

Sunshine- I am currently at around 60lbs to go to 199. I’ve told myself that this is IT. Enough of the losing weight and gaining it back. I WILL hit this goal in 2013, mark my words!!! I just turned 35 two days ago and this is it, enough is enough, this WILL be the last birthday that I will be over 200lbs!


Well, I marked her words with an underscore! I do not know if Sunshine has publicly stated this Goal wo anywhere else, so I count it as a priveledge and honor. You have heard it here, at, Sunshine’s Journey to 199 will be reached in 2013. We have just a few days left till the new year and I believe that peoples lives, your lives, are getting ready to be radically different. No More status Quo- no more existing without meaning. We are taking a hold on life that we have never had before. 


In 2013 be ready for RFM (RetroFit Ministries) challenges, RFM Motivation and goals- We are headed somewhere, and we invite you to come with us.

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