Getting rid of it! I think it's time. Don't you?

I wasn't always fat, and I'm not going to always be either.

Images from photo shoot for Looking Good Now! Magazine

Newspaper article

Here is the story that ran March 21, 2005.

(They used before/after pics and a family pic for the article)

Carla is a success story followed by an exclamation point to people who are heavier than they'd like to be.

Still reluctant to talk about her "then and now" weight, she will proudly reveal some other startling numbers.

Mainly she wore a size 22 dress and now wears a size four or six. A couple of other important numbers are she stand 5'3 1/2 inches tall and is the 34 year old mother of two daughters.

But perhaps the most important fact is she lost 114.6 pounds over a period of 17 months. And that has vaulted her into at least one "national spotlight", so to speak.

The daughter of _____and ______ of _______ and her husband recently returned from an all-expense paid whirl-wind trp from Toanoke to Los Angeles and Orange County, California.

The trip all came about because of her weight loss and her "before and after" appearance.

She and eight other women from across the United Sates were flown to California to "star" in a new 30 minute infomercial for the aerobics and strength training company known on TV to viewers as "The FIRM".

The couple left on Sat. FEb. 12. After a stop in Chicago, they were touring Universal Studios City Walk that afternoon.

But let's start at the beginning of the story just 17 months ago when Carla decided she was "just tired of being fat!"

She decided to join the Weight Watcher's organization at the mall. Less than a month on the special program that taught her how to eat properly she decided she needed an exercise or fitness program of some type to "firmand shape her up". Carla had seen "the FIRM" commercial and decided to go that route. "It's an intense work-out program" using videos or dvd. "it was like having a personal trainer in your home doing the workouts with me," she explained. Carla went through a total of 16 DVD's or videos to get the complete course including cardio, toning, strengthening and sculpting. Carla said she started the program out slowly in the first few days. But shortly thereafter, she was working out form 30 minutes to and hour daily. An average workout is 45 minutes. Now she uses the program five or 6 days per week.

And her home is not crowded with large bluky exericse equipment. She only has two plastic "stepping stools" known as "fanny lifters" on the tapes. Also included is an 8 pound sculpting stick that's about a yard or so long, a small incline bench along with 5 sets of dumbbells ranging in weight from two to 15 pounds.

As she progressed in the firm program, her family and friends began to see the pounds disappear and a new Carla emerging.

Along with the loss of pounds came a new sense of pride. She created her own website and frequents a message board to help others achieve their dreams. Cathy Sovde an associate producer with the FIRM saw her website and was impressed with Carla's progress. She was so impressed that she invited Carla to be a part of a new infomerical the company would be having produced in February.

So the stage was set for her "claim to fame". The production schedule was announced. After they  arrived in California on Feb. 12, they enjoyed the remaining part of the day touring. They were surprised to find a large fruit and "goodie" basket waiting in their room at the Hilton Hotel.

Then they went to Hollywood to Script to Screen Production Company arriving at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 13.

The nine women met all the instructors who conduct the workouts on the video. They also met Ali Landy, who was hired to host the program. She is a former Miss USA who does frequent appearnces in TV dram series. "She is also the one who does a split in one of the recent commercials for Doritos, " Carla said.

Carla and the other women each had a makeup artist to get them ready to be in front of the camera. Then the production work began. Including the breaks for a rest and to eat, the women were in the production studio for about 12 hours. "Actually, we were using a new system that is featured in this infomercial."

"On monday on Valentines' Day, we went to Orange County for an hour-long taped interview plus individual photo shoots, " Carla said.

The others who were involved were from Alabama, Tennessee, Flroida, Illinois, California and there was one from Roanoke.

"The photo shoot was interesting because it was shot at a beach side private home that the company had rented. Actually the guy who owned the home came walking in carrying his surfboardd while we were there. We enjoyed room service that night for Valentine's Day", Carla added.

They left Tuesday morning, Feb. 15, from John Wayne Int. Airport in Orange Co. flew back to Chicago and back home. Her husband pointed out that while his wife's expenses were paid, it only cost a round trip ticket for him to go along. "Of course her room was paid for, they catered in all the food when she was in the stuiod and doing the interviews and I ate along with them. They even gave her spending money, recalled Bobby, who owns his own trucking company.

In the past several months, Carla has attained some major accomplishments. "I reached my goal in body weight in December and I earned lifetime membership in Weight Watchers in January.

She said she slowly started gaining weight while she was a senior in High School, where she graduated in 1988. That was 17 years ago. "What took me 17 years to gain, took me 17 months to take off, " she joked.

Of course her daughters, Hailey and Carly were born during that time and that didn't help her w/ the weight problem. She home schools the two girls and in between teaching them and working out, she enjoys singing in the community. In addition she's a liscensed beautician.

Carla is quick to say that her life is much better since she lost the extra weight. "Before I ws eating high-fat southern food. Now I eat and live a healthy lifestyle.

Her daughters  like their "new, half a mom" "They say I can run faster now and they have trouble keeping up with me when we walk through a mall, " she said and the girls agreed. While she was talking, husband Bobby was sitting on a kitchen stool beaming at his wife with pride and a smile on his face. 

"I feel wonderful now! I feel brand new, " she proclaimed.

Gaiam Article

The Biggest Loser on NBC featured my before and after photos on  their television show, Jan. 4, 2006!


Justified (my youth choir) Performing I AM!

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