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A Transformation Story {Be Intentional}

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

We’ve been crazy excited about this post since our friend Staci agreed to partnering with us!  From time to time, we revisit our Be Intentional series.  Staci’s story is one that we hope encourages you to set goals in your life (in any and all areas) and then take intentional steps to achieve them.  We love this girl, we’re so proud of her, and are honored to share her story today!
Meet our friend Staci…
I am going to be honest. I am “no good” at home decorating and DIY design and crafting. To be brutally honest, I flat out stink! Oh, believe me, I have dreams about a beautifully decorated bedroom and a warm and cozy living room with amazing wall colors and fresh flowers in beautiful vases accented on my tables and shelves. But, I am just not good at putting everything together to transform a room. So, thankfully, I am NOT writing this post to give you tips about DIY design! Really…you should be thanking me!!! Haha! On the other hand, I thank God for making us all unique and designed for the purposes HE designed us for.  So, you may be wondering who am I and why have I been given access to writing to an audience of DIY pros and creatives?!?! I may not be good at DIY design and transforming the rooms of my living space, but I have been on a little DIY transformation…in my body and in my life.
 My name is Staci. This is me in January of 2010.
I know what you are thinking. Oh goodness. Yikes. I am thinking it, too.
“Did she stuff her shirt with melons?”
“Did she put pillows in her pants?”
“Is she a really grouchy person?”
“She looks angry.”
All to which I can reassure you…NO. I did not put melons in my shirt. I didn’t add pillows to my pants. And no…I am not grouchy nor angry!!! Okay, maybe you weren’t thinking “exactly” that, but when I look at these pictures of who I was 2 years ago, I can hardly believe that was me.
The reality is, I was 260 lbs. of hurt. 260 lbs. of frustration. 260 lbs. of failed diets. 260 lbs. of zero confidence. 260 lbs. of someone I never, ever wanted to become.
Sad, unhealthy, embarrassed, lonely and hopeless.
Have you ever been at your rock bottom? The place where you feel that you are never going to get out of? The place where you feel that no one understands? The place where you feel so far away from where you truly want to be? That was me 2 years ago.  I don’t exactly remember what it was that sparked a deep desire in me to change once and for all, but I was really starting to think that God didn’t create me to be any of the things I was becoming. And he surely didn’t desire for me to be trapped in a body that I was ashamed of, embarrassed about and so hurt to be in. Although, one post is not nearly enough to share with you all that has gone on in my life and my transformation over the past 2 years; I will share with you where I am today and the main reasons I am where I am. I reached my final goal in November 2011. This is me today at 135 lbs.:

Never in a million years did I believe that this was possible. I still look at my before and after photos and I cannot believe that was me and now this is me. You  can only see the images, but I can see the hurt and defeat in the before photos. And I can see the strength and hope in the after photos. I haven’t just transformed physically, I have transformed emotionally as well.
This picture of my old jeans is a clear reminder of where this journey started!
Staci would love for her story to reach and help anyone that might need encouragement.  So, you have her permission to Pin her pictures and share it with anyone that could use some encouragement and motivation!

When people hear of my success or they see it for themselves when they see me, there is always one question that gets asked:
At first, I used to give people my simple cookie cutter answer of what I did: I started eating right and exercising daily. And I prayed. Sometimes minute by minute. But, after seeing the sometimes disappointed looks back at me because for some reason or other, when people give us the straight up hard truth (even though it is common sense), we somehow think that we could never do that. We believe the lies:
“I could never do that.”
“I don’t have that kind of willpower.”
You know what? I am not crazy motivated. I don’t have any more “willpower” than you. I don’t have a magic formula and I sure don’t have a magic potion. But, I do have intention and a God who never gives up on me. Even when I give up on myself. Jess and Mon talk often about “Being Intentional”. For me, being intentional means doing things even when I don’t want to because it is what I need to do. Being intentional means having a plan at all times. Being intentional means setting goals. I am not speaking of having plans and setting goals because I believe I have my future all figured out or that I can truly control what happens tomorrow or next week, but I desire to have a plan and set goals because it is one of the ways that lives can change. It is one way that people can move from an undesirable place in life to a place of freedom and the ability to fully live the life they were designed for! By setting goals, I had to make choices as to “how” I could get to that goal. I set a 6 -week, 90-day, 6-month and “end of year” goal. If the scale wasn’t moving, I had to assess what I was doing. And change something immediately. There was no time to go off the path I needed to take if I wanted to meet my goals.
This was me about 1/2 way through… I was around 190lbs.

In addition to setting goals, I also had to learn what I needed vs. what I wanted. Monica and Jess have talked about wants vs. needs in decorating.  Well, I may have wanted to go out to my favorite restaurant for a big burger and fries, but I truly didn’t need a big burger and fries. See the difference? I know, I know…it still seems like it is a willpower thing. But it really isn’t. It’s looking at my plan. If I want to weigh 10 lbs. less in 6 weeks, a burger and fries isn’t what I need. Does it mean I will never be able to have a burger and fries? Not at all. But right now, that isn’t part of the plan.

Bottom line, I am not here to tell you what to do and how to do it. I am merely trying to tell you that you CAN do it. Do what works for you. Do what you know you need to do. Even if you don’t have to lose weight, it is still important to fuel your body with healthy, nutritious foods. And it is so important to take some time out of your day to get moving. Find something that you enjoy and get moving!

Be intentional.
And above all else, remember that you were created for a purpose. By taking care of your body; physically, emotionally and spiritually…you are unleashing a power within that no one can take away. And you are unleashing the power to connect and encourage others around you! When I am struggling or having a day where my wants seem to be trying to overpower the intention of my needs, I cling to the words below. Maybe it is with eating, maybe it is trying to get through an intense workout, maybe it’s facing the daily pressures of life. Here is what I hold on to:
“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.
For I can do everything through Christ,who gives me strength.”
~Philippians 4:12-13


In the midst of the depth of all of this; the tears, hard work, the defeats and the triumphs, I have made every effort to maintain a attitude of openness and realness with others as well as a level of humor. So, I will leave you with one last photo. It is my favorite one of all!!! This is my mom and I in my old pants…yes, two of us! 🙂
125 lbs. lost and gone forever!!!
I am forever changed!!!
P.S. I must share that I am a recovering sweets & desserts addict! So, I will share one of my absolute favorite treats that I make almost daily for myself! Enjoy!
Quick Chocolate Oatmeal
(adapted from my absolute favorite dessert blog Chocolate-Covered Katie)
1/2 cup quick oats
1 small banana (broken up into small chunks)
1 1/2 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa
2 Tbsp Unsweetened Applesauce
15-20 drops of Liquid Stevia
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup of Light Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk or Light Vanilla Soy Milk
 dash of salt

2 Tbsp. fat free cool whip (optional)

Spray small saucepan with cooking spray. Combine all of the ingredients together in the small saucepan. Stir everything together until thoroughly mixed. Turn heat to high and continue stirring oatmeal until oatmeal starts to bubble slightly and thicken. After oatmeal starts to slowly boil, turn heat off and continue stirring for another minute or so to finish heating all the way through. Pour into a bowl and enjoy! For an extra treat, add some fat free cool whip on top!
*You can also add a Tbsp of Peanut Butter to the above recipe for a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup bowl of oatmeal! My husband’s favorite! 🙂
So how’s that for some intentional living?  I don’t know about you, but Staci has encouraged, inspired, and motivated us big time!  Staci recently started blogging about all things health,fitness, and nutrition, so check out Musings of a Wellness Hopeful for all kinds of recipes, motivation, and more!

Got questions for Staci?  Leave a comment and she’ll get back to you! 

The comments +

  1. Courtney says:

    Thanks ladies! Exactly what I needed today. I’ve been praying that God would help me with discipline when it comes to eating and exercise. Staci, your story is inspiring and thank you for sharing!

  2. Anonymous says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Lindsay says:

    an amazing story, beautifully told – thank you!

  4. Congratulation! Great job!!!

  5. maike rinaye says:

    Ooh, great post!… I love transformational stories! And you can TOTALLY tell in Staci’s after photo’s that she’s a happier, mentally healthier person! LOVE IT!

  6. Ellen says:

    THANK you for sharing…this is just what I NEEDED to hear today. I am so frustrated with myself and I need to be intentional with this aspect of my life just as I am intentional with my family, etc.

  7. Oh Staci, I’m almost in tears over here because this is exactly what I’ve been needing to read lately. I’ve gained 26 lbs. in the last year (1 year, what the heck??), and have been so focused on it. I know I need to just accept it and start dealing with it. It’s here, it happened and constantly repeating it and dwelling on it won’t change anything. But I just can’t seem to mentally make any changes. Your paragraph about needs vs. wants and being intentional being different than willpower really resonated with me. I’m in an awesome place right now in SO many areas of my life except for this, and yet it seems to take over nearly everything else. I’m just tired of it. But, anyways… you are fabulous and I am SO happy for you! I love that last picture of you and your mom too! And not just because you both fit in your old jeans, but because of your smiles and look at those arms muscles! You rock and I will definitely be bookmarking this and following you for more inspiration. I need to come read your story when I’m feeling down instead of looking at Pinterest for more recipes! : ) Oh, and I am trying to make changes… Tuesday I went to the gym and left after 13 minutes because I just wanted ice cream, so Wednesday I tried something different and walked outside and got 2.8 miles in! Sometimes just switching it up is what I need, but I’m proud that I got right back to it the next day! Thanks for sharing your story and have a wonderful holiday weekend (you, Jess and Monica!!)

  8. Congratulations! You’ve done a great job. And, you are an inspiration to the rest of us.

  9. Staci Landis says:

    Thank you SO very much all of you for the encouragement and support! I am glad my story has helped many of you to be thinking about being intentional and also about being healthy!

    @Natalie, thank you for sharing your thoughts and feedback with all of us! It is truly a struggle for me everyday, too! Even at my goal weight! I have to make the same choices as someone wanting to lose weight daily in order to keep my weight off! So, I feel you…just a different angle! Just know you CAN do it! It doesn’t matter how long it takes you…don’t focus on that. Focus on the fact that you CAN! Have a wonderful holiday weekend! If I can just stay away from the cadbury eggs for ONE more weekend…I will have made it through this fiasco of candy everywhere only having eaten 1 egg!!!! 🙂 Enjoy!

  10. Becca says:

    What an amazing story of triumph and hard work. I know someone I’d like to share this with. Thanks you!

  11. Andrea J says:

    It is so uplifting to see someone catch the value of themselves. This is something I’m trying to work on, that every single person has value and power. Thanks!

  12. Savanna says:

    Great job! I think what you’ve done is incredible. You have just given me so much inspiration. I too have been losing. I started at 210lbs and have lost 50lbs. In the last month I finally realized that in order to keep losing and to stay at a healthy weight I would need to cook healthier for me and my family. I love to experiment in the kitchen now. It sure is nice to feel good about what your eating. My husband has also noticed a huge increase of new energy and has lost 8lbs. Thank you so much for this post.

  13. Divi says:

    Staci, Congrats on you success and choosing an active lifestyle. My husband and I have also recently started our lifestyle change and are eating a healthy and wholesome diet. I actually have the opposite problem. I am 25 yrs old and I had been a mere 85lbs since third grade. I was tired of feeling weak and wanted to make the change to gain strength. My goals are to first be able to do a sit-up (yes! I have not be able to do one yet) and to eventually do a pull-up. Thanks for sharing your story. 🙂

  14. Anonymous says:

    my dear staci,congrats on your weight loss!i love you so much and so very proud of you!you truly are a transformation!!!!!Love,Mom

  15. Lisa says:

    Does Staci have her own blog?

  16. Sharni says:

    Wow that is amazing!!! Congratulations! You obviously put in a heap of work to obtaining your goal, I hope you are proud of yourself!! You should be>
    Thank you so much for sharing your story and while I may not be in the situation where you were, it can speak volumes in so many other areas of all our lives!
    Truly an inspiration:)

  17. Tiffany says:

    Congrats Staci, you look great. You are an inspiration, keep spreading your joy!,,

  18. Kristen says:

    Staci, your story is so inspirational and I LOVE that you involved God in your weight loss! We can do all things with Christ! I have been on my own weight loss journey since February 2011 and it has been an extremely slow process but down -34lbs and 15-20 more to go. So reading this has really inspired me and encouraged me t0 keep pushing and to involve God a lot more!

  19. Frume Sarah says:

    Wow — Staci, you are just amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your journey.

  20. Wow you look very beautiful and gorgeous. You maintain your body very nice. Thanks for sharing this useful post with us. You have done great work.

  21. Anonymous says:

    GREAT JOB STACI!! Congratulations. Amazing journey, thanks for sharing it! At a point when I’ve nearly decided to give up, you’ve inspired me to keep going. Thank you.

  22. Anonymous says:

    How much weight loss per week/month were your goals set for? Amazing job!!!! I am looking at your past as my present and your present as my future! – Sarah

    • Staci Landis says:

      Hi, Sarah!

      Thank you! I tried to aim for 1.5 to 2lbs per week. Some weeks I had more losses and sometimes the scale didn’t budge. But, I felt like 7-10 lbs per month was possible for me. Everyone is different, but this worked for me! You can do it!!!

  23. i love this! i’ve started losing weight, too. my knees aren’t killing me, i get full faster off a smaller portion of food, and i have so much more confidence. that’s only with 10 lbs off! thank you for sharing your story!

  24. Tanya says:

    You look AMAZING!! Thank you for sharing your story. It is a true inspiration.

  25. That last photo of you with your family hit me and has just given me the push I need. I have hardly any photos of our family or, more specifically, of me with my children because I avoid the camera like the plague. It makes me so sad to know I don’t even have photos of me with them as newborns. Well, there is still time to make lots of memories so I am going to get started! Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Staci Landis says:

      Oh, Catherine! I know how much that hurts. :-/ If I could go back, I would be in more photos despite my size just because I now see how much I missed not being in photos with my children. I am glad to see that you are going to make those memories and capture them regardless of how you view yourself! THAT is a beautiful outlook to have! 🙂

  26. Ficou muitoooo linda! beijos Parabéns

  27. heidi hensley says:

    Hi there.
    I am a california ministry leader and was wondering if I could use your gray and yellow (be intentional) logo. I am putting on a children;s ministry training and it our theme, love what you did 🙂 let me know.

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