mandyfitness_sizedBlogger Mandy Dawson, a mom of two kids, has made it her mission to get healthy and lose 50 pounds. Over the next eight weeks, she'll be working with wellness guru Debi Silber to get on the right track to meeting her fitness goals. Check back every Thursday for an update on how she's doing in our Weight Loss Challenge series.

I've been writing about my struggles to lose weight since the beginning of the year. From my frustrations with the scale to the temptations I’m having a hard time resisting, it’s been a struggle. I tossed my scale in the garage where it could collect dust with the pile of old maternity clothes and once used party supplies. Out of sight is out of mind, after all. I concentrated on eating well, drinking plenty of water, and exercising every day, whether it was a walk, a jog on my groaning treadmill, or a video on YouTube.

I stepped on the scale March 6th and discovered I’d lost a total of 2.6 pounds.

While that’s a loss and we should always celebrate a loss, it was depressing to realize that I’d not seen much success with all the work I’ve been putting into weight loss. Thankfully, Debi Silber, aka the Mojo Coach (and a Momtastic Contributor), has stepped in to help me.

Since we’re based on different coasts, we had a phone meeting last week. I listened to her with a mixture of excitement and dread combined with shock and a little trepidation.

Debi explained to me the damage grains, sugars, and potatoes were doing to my body. She went over my food log — a log I’d thought looked pretty healthy and well balanced — and pointed out the areas where I’d filled my body with processed foods. Who knew my whole wheat bread and steel-cut oatmeal was contributing to bloating and low energy?

I agreed to work with her and figure out how to make myself healthy.

And I want to share this journey with you. I’ve read so many stories of weight loss. No one, it seemed, was in the same position as I am: full time job, part time freelancer, single mom of two kids, an addiction to cookbooks, and an aversion to gyms. It all seemed so easy for them. I felt like I was missing the gene that allowed me to drink lemon water for breakfast or choke down chia seed filled water. Where were the honest stories that told how hard it was to resist the double fudge pistachio truffles co-workers bring in? Where were the women who don’t know how to do a plank and think yoga pants are for lounging?

I have a significant amount of weight to lose. To be honest, we’re looking at 50 pounds to put me in the upper end of “healthy” for my height. I’ll be writing in the hopes that I’ll be able to help other women out there like me. I’ll share my successes, my roadblocks, my failures, and ultimately whether or not giving up fresh baked herb bread was worth it.

I won’t lie. The first week was rough. I missed my fresh-baked breads and my lovely homemade pastas. One of my co-workers made sugar cookies and they sat a few feet from my desk, their purple iced sweetness tempting me to take just one. I struggled with feeling satisfied after my meals of grilled chicken, vegetables, and salad. Though I wasn’t hungry, I couldn’t quite get past the idea that something was missing.

I stuck with it though. I ate apples for dessert, unsalted roasted nuts for the crunch on my salads, and treated myself to rich, creamy cheeses on top of my morning eggs. I’m not sure how I’m feeling yet. Debi told me to give it time and let my body adjust. I do know I don’t feel as bloated, and while it was difficult to figure out what to eat the first couple of days, with help from some great friends and co-workers, I’ve got a meal plan in place for next week that includes food so delicious I’d want to eat it even if I wasn’t trying to change my lifestyle.

Will I be able to stick it out for the long run? Will cauliflower fried rice really taste as good as regular? Will this lifestyle change help me lose the weight I so need to eliminate to get healthy? Stay tuned and find out.