thistlewood I hope you dance

Hi, my name is KariAnne.

And this is the post I was never going to write.

I’m still not sure I’m going to hit send.

You see….this is a decorating blog.  I’m talking paint colors and DIY projects and smocked burlap curtains and Christmas decorating and how to paint a plywood sub-floor and remodeling a beach house.

And stories with happily ever afters.

I write and you read and we laugh and giggle and drink coffee together….

….and all the while I never mention the elephant in the room.

Before and After Me

I have a weight problem.

And even though I’ve been working on it every day and I’ve lost almost 85 pounds……I’m crying as I look at that picture.

Tears are literally streaming down my face and getting the keyboard wet.

I’m crying for that girl holding up the earring and smiling.

I’m crying because she’s worried she might not fit into a theater seat or the seat belt might not stretch or the airplane seat might be too small.  She’s standing in a store looking at those earrings because she couldn’t try anything on.

All the clothes were too small for her.

So she’s wearing her size 20 pants proudly and trying to look cute with her cardigan sweater and big earrings and smiling.

She’s smiling because she hopes no one will notice.

She’s hoping if she tells a funny store or makes someone laugh or acts like nothing bothers her….

…no one will comment on the elephant in the room.

Before and After Weight Loss

Somethings have changed.

I don’t worry now about the theater seats or the airplane seat and I”m wearing size 10 pants and I’m buying every cute outfit that walks.

But I still struggle.

Every. Single. Day.

The chip aisle at WalMart sends out its siren song.

The McDonald’s drive through still wishes it was my home away from home.

Those Reese’s Peanut Butter Trees are calling my first. last and middle name.

And the road ahead is full of slippery slopes.

And so to keep it real.  To help me stick to my journey and maybe…just maybe… inspire someone else along the way….

…..I wanted to share my story.


And so, in 2015, I’m partnering with 21 women for an eight week course to share our hearts and our faith and our journeys.

I’m telling my story on video.  It’s raw and truthful and all about my weight loss journey.

Each of us has a story told from the heart and we are each sharing a creative project or idea as well.  Painting, drawing, bread-making, guitar playing, entertaining and so much more.

And the best part?  The course is FREE.  

That’s right….it costs nothing.


The perfect price for talking about elephants in rooms. 🙂


Want to join us?

You can read more about the study….here.

To join this free study you just need to be registered at (registering is free).


To register for Becoming | The Unfolding of You

1) Go to COURSES along the left hand side of the page

2) Go to the bottom of the course and click “view all” to find Becoming | The Unfolding of You

4) Click on Becoming | The Unfolding of You

3) Click the +join button on the upper right hand side

4) All of the details are on the page and you are all set for the study to begin on January 6, 2015

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Dawna Dawna

    Awesome ! I am heading over to register! and you look wonderful by the way! Looking forward to learning with other women and seeing that we are not alone in our "white elephant" situations that we go through. Merry Christmas and thank you for all that you share!

  2. Image for Beverly Elaine Beverly Elaine

    Excuse me while I pount out the little elephant in the room that you aren't noticing because that big one is in your way. That little elephant is the girl who had the strength and self-discipline and grace from God to lose 85 lbs already! Each and everyday that girl honors herself that wee bity elephant grows bigger & stronger! One day she will be big enough to chase that other elephant right slap out of the yard. So, you just keep on feeding that little elephant with love so she'll keep on growing! The things we are proudest of are those that we work hardest for. Keep on going!

  3. Image for Shirley@housepitalitydesigns Shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    I am blessed to have come to know you and I am looking forward to following another journey in your have inspired many of us with your incredible projects and beautiful home...I am glad that you are taking care of yourself while always taking care of look wonderful Kari...proud of you!...

  4. Image for Janet Janet

    85 pounds?! Amazing - I had no idea you list that much!! Congratulations, Sweetie (although you've always been beautiful inside and out). Love you!

  5. Image for Wanda Wanda

    Bless you!! This is just what I need!! Honey, I have had a weight problem all of my life. I now struggle with 30+ pounds that I constantly lose & gain. I need help. Thank you!! I am joining now!!

  6. Image for Pam Smith Pam Smith

    Wow! You look amazing! While it will always be a struggle, I know you are strong and can keep going all the way. Look what you have done so far!! You are a rock star! Have a Merry Christmas!

  7. Image for cheapdiva cheapdiva

    Oh, KariAnne - You ARE beautiful, no matter the size! But, I am glad you care enough for yourself and your family that you are chipping away at that elephant and working towards avoiding health issues that put your life at risk! It's not easy and YOU are a very determined lady. I am going to sign up and walk right next to you and the other 20 ladies! You give so much joy to your blog friends and truly a sweetheart.

  8. Image for Diane Diane

    You are truly an amazing person...inspiring all of us will loose all the weight you want but never loose that huge heart of yours!

  9. Image for Felicia Felicia

    Bless your heart for being honest, real and inspiring. I signed up for this course and can't wait! Have a very Merry Christmas and New Year

  10. Image for Peggy Peggy

    Dear KariAnne, I can't remember if I've told you recently but thought you should know once again. You are a ROCK STAR! I started a similar journey 18 months ago and then fell off the "wagon" so to speak. I went from a size 20 down down to a 16 and then some health issues and confidence issues and old skeletons crept in.... yes fear. fear was my undoing. fear of myself. fear that being thin would be the undoing of my marriage, that i would go back to my old ways, fear of the future. it has taken me 12 longs months to admit this to myself.... and to no one else. not even my husband knows these fears. but yesterday afternoon after picking our middle son up from the airport.. he said something to me.. he asked if i had lost weight. what he didn't realize is that i HAD only lost 5 lbs since i last saw him in October and it made all the difference in the world this time. why? i'm still not sure. but between you and Lisa and my sister-in-law well you girls are an inspiration to me. an encouragement to keep on. you see you have always been beautiful to me... its your heart! you shine Jesus every where you go!!! I am so proud of you!!!

  11. Image for Kelly Kelly

    You look fabulous, daaahhhling! And I admire what you've done! It takes alot of hard, hard work but just look at your payoff!! Merry Christmas, Karianne!

  12. Image for Karen @ The Decorated Nest Karen @ The Decorated Nest

    Once again, you have entertained, taught and inspired me. You may not know this, but you are the reason I started blogging. I somehow found your blog and we had some "conversations" and you told me I could do this and I believed you--so I did. I started and I love it! I could care less what someone weighs, but I do want the people I care about to take care of their health and to feel really good about themselves. I am so happy for you in this journey. You are a blessing to me and so many others. You inspire daily with your talent and humor and I look forward to your contribution to the "Becoming" series. such a fabulous group of young women! Merry Christmas KariAnne, blessings to your family this Holiday Season and always!

  13. Image for barb barb

    You are beautiful and brave and courageous and creative and a daughter of God. You are a wife and mother and a daughter to a mother whom loves you more than her own breath. You are a friend and a blogger and a DIYer. You are the first person your husband talks with in the morning and the last one your children kiss before going to bed. You are more than the numbers on the scale. The scale can't tell you how amazing and loving you are. You go girl! Make 2015 the year you wear your earrings with reckless abandonment....naked if you want!! :) :) :) Merry Christmas, KariAnne - enjoy the season

  14. Image for Bobbie Brown Bobbie Brown

    Kari Anne - You are amazing, just amazing. Thank you for sharing your joys AND heartaches and way to go on your weight loss!

  15. Image for Ashley Ashley

    Kari - as long as Ive known you Ive always been struck by your beauty. Girl, you are one of those unique people that just has that inner beauty that shines on your face and that is the impression that is left with people. BUT I am thrilled that you are working hard to get healthy and encourage you to keep it up! Its much easier to make unhealthy choices as far as food is concerned. Ive been super lucky to never have to watch what I eat or struggle with weight, but now that Im getting more candles on my cake, the pounds are starting to hang around too. My resolution in 2015 is to start really making healthy food choices! Love ya sister and hope you all have a blessed Christmas down the road!

  16. Image for Suzi Suzi

    I love decorating/diy/sewing/gardening blogs. I know God cares about all these things being the master designer and decorator of the heavens and the earth. And I honestly believe God did not put within each of you Christian blogger gals the desire for beauty, the earnest love of family, and an honest affection for other women who are hammering out this thing called life to "only" talk about and address "outsides". I truly believe He is using you collectively to walk along side one another as we all address "insides" too. We all struggle with issues...BIG issues. Overwhelming struggles, demoralizing defeats. We all need to be on the same team fighting back, pointing out the lies we have believed, unlearning those lies and replacing them with the truth that we are all amazing!! I hurt for that amazing girl in the first photo...and today my prayers are with her that she will never lose sight of the gorgeous creature she is...and for strength to stay in the battle. Cause we need you Karianne :-)

  17. Image for Vicki Crowe Vicki Crowe

    Thank you for sharing !! You have just helped hundred"s of women who now know it is possible to have that dream tucked deep deep down inside that they never speak to anyone about- that dream IS possible if they will just reach for it. I just lost 78 pounds myself and i am So Scared that those lost pounds will find me again and i am being so careful. But there is candy everywhere! Cakes everywhere! Soda Pop everywhere! But they are not my friend. They lied. They were never my friend even though they told me they would make me feel better. In the end - it was the worst thing ever. Inflamation all over my body, sleepless nights, depression that could not be lifted - and no one can understand. I cannot wait to hear your story! I feel so much better having gone through my journey of weightloss and on to a healthier lifestyle. I cannot eat what and how others eat. I am ok with that. I don't want to look like them. I want to look the way God intended for ME to look. And that is where I am now. And I am loving life!! Thank you so much for being an encourager and allowing God to use your voice!

  18. Image for Ann Weisman Ann Weisman

    I know you have struggled. We have all had our demons. But I want to tell you after I saw that interview video of you and your decorating ideas and philosophy, I discovered what a smart and throughly charming person you are. Hold on to that and always remember the positive and great things about you that have nothing to do with your size.

  19. Image for Christine Christine

    Karianne, So proud of you. I lost and gained it back. It's a daily struggle as you mentioned, but you're winning! Me not so much.

  20. Image for Steph Steph

    You are so talented with decor and you are a real human being - authentic. It has long been that I read you NOT JUST for decor. You are a light, a spirit that lifts. May you be lifted in the sharing of more of yourself!

  21. Image for Gee Gee

    Now tour have me wetting the keyboard and sniffling. Oh Marianne... what a wonderfully written post on a very hard subject. 85 pounds... that is NO small accomplishment. Out of 4 children, I am the 9nky 9ne who has not struggled with this very same elephant... I feel for my siblings so. Wish I could sign my sisters up for this course. Will have to beg and plead with them to. I have always admired your spunk!! Your sense of humor and your beautiful decorating ability. That million watt smile.. what I have always seen and will continue to see in you. You inspire me! HUGE hugs. Gee

  22. Image for Vicki Obenhaus Vicki Obenhaus

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! The timing in my life for reading your post and joining these women is perfect. Thank you.

  23. Image for Dagmar ~ Dagmar's Home Dagmar ~ Dagmar's Home

    Hi KariAnne, thanks for sharing your story and making this available for free! I'm so proud of you for having lost 85 pounds - I can't loose 10 pounds as I've told you :) Struggling with food issues is doubly cruel -- because we all have to eat. Plus junk food manufacturers know how to put flavors together that are practically addicting. That's why we eat a mostly non-GMO, organic diet in our house - back to the basics without all those additives. Now we are also trying to be mostly gluten-free because my husband seems to be sensitive to them. Not having junk food in the house works best for me, because I never crave a Snickers so badly that I would go out and get it from the gas station. :) Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and happy and healthy 2015!! Thanks again for all your guidance and help for my blog! I'm already seeing results!

  24. Image for Julie Julie

    You are beautiful, KariAnne, and this is just one more way that you will inspire so many people "out here". We are all proud of your accomplishments, your honesty, and proud to be a part of your journey. You've got this, girl!! ;)

  25. Image for Mo Mo

    What an awesome and wonderful thing to do. Truth be told, we all have our elephants just that some of them are not as visible to the naked eye as others. I applaud your courage in putting your elephant out there. It is not an easy thing to bare our insecurities and flaws for all to see. I will definitely join up for this. I think it sounds as if those of us that want help and encouragement will find it here!

  26. Image for Lisa at celebrate-creativity Lisa at celebrate-creativity

    Wow, congrats on seeing all your hard work pay off in such a lovely way. You look amazing, Karianne! I remember the story you shared at Haven a few years ago about the tree and your old sidebar photo. No more hiding. Good for you. Happy holidays and all the best for a wonderful new year with continued success on multiple fronts.

  27. Image for Denise Denise

    KariAnne, That is also my daughters name. Your post shows the truth about most women. We judge ourselves against those we see on blogs, TV, facebook etc. We seem to always fall short compared to them in OUR mind. Yet, the truth is most those women we feel have it all together are just like us, with their own white elephant and fears and worries.Thank you for being honest on who you are at all times, I love that, and all that you do. It's that honesty that keeps me reading your blog each morning. Thank you.

  28. Image for Monique Perreault Monique Perreault

    To be honest all I noticed was your great smile. You were beautiful then and now. Have a merry Christmas!!

  29. Image for Lisa Lisa

    KariAnne, I haven't followed you in a while but I have to tell you how much I admire you. You are a ROCK STAR! Thanks for sharing. One day when I find the time and no excuses I will tell you more on how you helped me in ways you don't even know. So thank you for now. Have a wonderful holiday.

  30. Image for Dee Dee

    Dear Sweet KariAnne, Echoing the thoughts of so many who have had opportunity to "know" you via your blog postings, conference interactions, fellow bloggers, etc., your beauty has never been reflected in the numbers on the scale. Instead God's own glory is reflected whenever you gift others with your smile and your beauty shines through as others witness your very heart in your stories and general passion for life! I'm truly dee-lighted that I've had opportunity to get to know a slice of the fabulous KariAnne. You are loved and appreciated at whatever size. That said, you have much to be proud of on your weight loss journey. You are an incredible young woman who sets an example for your family, friends, and all who cross your path in your passion and enthusiasm for life. May God richly bless you and your loved ones in this Christmas season and in the coming year. Ciao, Dee

  31. Image for Robin Stephens Robin Stephens

    Still my favorite blog whatever direction it takes, but not for obvious reasons. I don't decorate in farmhouse style... I don't wear big earrings and pink has always been my lipstick's color. I don't even enjoy much DIY....but I do love you to pieces... and and your unpretentious spirit and the ways in which you convey love and joy. I'm in for sure. What a sweet, God-driven thing for you girls to do. Can hardly wait.

  32. Image for Angela Barribeau Angela Barribeau

    Thank you for sharing! I didn't struggle with my weight until I was pregnant with my 1st daughter, at the age of 20. I've yo-yo'd for 30 years... I know I'm a stress eater, a boredom eater, an emotional eater... so Sept 29th, I started a new journey...and I've lost 25#. Since Thanksgiving it's been a struggle, but I'm maintaining at the very least. So here's to keeping on, keeping on... I still have 120# I want to lose. I will be joining this group and can't wait! Merry Christmas everyone! <3 Angela

  33. Image for Julie Julie

    I got rid of the elephant in the room almost 10 years ago with gastric bypass. No matter what course you take to rid yourself of the pain of being overweight, no course of action is easy. None. I am so much happier now after saying goodbye to 200 pounds. 20 pounds rejoined me as it is much easier for me to maintain this weight. Some things are just not realistic. But I celebrate my success everyday and am still enjoying my shopping adventures although the newness has warn off a bit. You go girls! Blessings for your Christmas gatherings and joys.

  34. Image for Peggy Peggy

    Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring story! It makes me want take better care of myself too! It has touched my heart and made me cry! I have already registered and I can't wait for it to start! Today (I always say tomorrow) I will start moving more, eating better and loving me!!

  35. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    I'm GLAD you wrote this post. Like everyone else, I think you're beautiful no matter what, but I also totally get where you're coming from. Honestly, I think it's fear of not following through that stops me from losing the 60 pounds I'd like to shed. So, SO proud of you and your journey! You inspire me in so many ways! I'm thinking seriously about joining the study.

  36. Image for Allison Allison

    Too many people put so much emphasis on is a shame...because they miss seeing all the wonderful things and smiles a person has to give. Screw them. I choose people who bring joy to my life no matter the size. I am happy you are happy for your achievement. Congratulations.

  37. Image for Vanessa Vanessa

    Love you so much sweet friend and feel incredibly honored to be apart of this amazing study with you! I'm thinking back to the day you walked into that hotel lobby in downtown Atlanta with your arms wide open and your smile even wider when you saw me and Heather and I thought to myself 'she's my people'. :-) You inspire me every day and I'm blessed to call you friend!

  38. Image for Carla Khouri Carla Khouri

    Just registered. Thank you for such an honest, heartfelt post. Sometimes, I feel that all the blogs are directed to only perfect people with perfect homes and perfect lives. To say I fall short, is an understatement. I find this so uplifiting and am truly looking forward to this new adventure in 2015

  39. Image for Debbie Esparza Debbie Esparza

    Kari, you are a beautiful woman inside and out! We all have our struggles, and deal with them the best we can, and, WOW, to lose 85 lbs is fantastic! Congratulations on winning the battle. I am proud of you! Have a blessed and joyous Christmas!

  40. Image for Erin Kaven Erin Kaven

    KariAnne, you have always given so much to us and now you are giving again, in helping us by sharing your journey. As someone who cried when her son came home from school and told her that the girls in his fifth grade class were talking about how fat his mother was, as someone who couldn't go on the carnival ride, not because she gets woozy on them, like she told people, but because she exceeded the weight limit., and as someone who looks back at her pictures and thinks "wow, you weren't fat at all" but felt fat, saw herself as fat...and so became what she thought, I am looking forward to and thanking you for this new forum. I have watched and admired you, and felt like a kindred spirit to you long before your weight loss. Now I have more reason to love you and hope, oh how I hope, that this journey of yours and others on Jeannie Oliver's site, can help me out of this abyss. Thank you.

  41. Image for Cynthia - Clockworkinteriors Cynthia - Clockworkinteriors

    CONGRATS TO YOU! Wow--85 lbs--you lost a sixth grader! ;) One thing I've have a beautiful home and are thoughtful about what you bring in to it..I can't see that you would bring in something that looked like cr**. So the next time pringles are calling your name, remember to treat your body as nurturing as you would treat your home! I use this analogy all the time...if I wouldn't feed something guilt free to my children, why would I eat it myself?! Happy New Year to you!

  42. Image for Vicki Vicki

    As a part of our ongoing efforts to enhance communication across our 43 locations within our health system, the Senior Leadership Team and I conduct "Open Forums" 3-4 times per year. During a recent Open Forum, one of our 1.500+ staff members reflected upon her sense of "value." A non-nurse in a clinical setting, she stated that she did not feel as valued as others who are nurses. Imagine my struggle as I attempted to be both empathetic and encouraging to her. How courageous or inexperienced I thought, that she would say this in a crowd of about twenty-four of her peers. The good news is that her doing so opened up a fresh dialogue about growth and career opportunities with her immediate Supervisor. I concluded, after much thought, that one's self worth does not come from without. But, from within. Having been knocked down more than a few times in life and experiencing God's grace and mercy, I have come to know that one's self worth is a gift opened over the years. A gift honed by time, failures, success, and overcoming. Congratulations to you as you overcome the elephant in the room, daily.

  43. Image for Ashley Ashley

    You are BEAUTIFUL, I don't care how you THINK you look. Thank you so much for sharing this. I've struggled with this all of my life. My own (very tiny) mother used to tell me as an adolescent and teen (and later as an adult) how much weight I was gaining, how fat I had become, and give me diet books and exercise videos for every gift-giving holiday. Your blog, your stories, YOU, bring a smile to my face and joy to my spirit every single day. And I definitely will look into the course. I think, much more than helping my weight, it may act as a balm for a soul that's been very bruised for a very long time. Ash

  44. Image for Gayle Gayle

    I've suspected as much since I've usually only seen facial pics. I too have the same elephant and am miserable and want to confront it. I have had a mixture of sorrow and hope while reading your post. Sorrow, because I know how you feel and how it hurts and I too have great jewelry because nothing else that's cute will fit. Joy, because you did it and maybe there's hope for me. You've got to know that people will ask you how you did it. I will be right up there at the top of the list. Did you have any products or programs that were successful for you. I know everyone is different but I think it's probably good to go with something that worked for someone else also. You are a beautiful person no matter what you weigh. I'm happy for you though that you have confronted this and will be happier with yourself:)

  45. Image for Susan Susan

    I too have that elephant in my house. I lost 38 lbs 5 years ago while doing a weight loss program . It was expensive , lots of supplements to purchase & 3 times a week counselor cheering or scolding me on. Fast forward to 5 years year , I have gained the weight back now have various health problems including feet problems , varicose veins & neuropathy in all limbs. I am researching going gluten free to help loose the weight but also to see if some of these medical problems go away. I was always that person that said yea yea gluten intolerance whatever just another fad.....but now I am the one doing the research & reading a book from Mayo Clinic. I am disgusted with myself when I look in the mirror , have to buy a size bigger, see pictures of my neck slowy disappearing or when I can't walk my dog cause my feet hurt. I am needing support & look fwd to your group!

  46. Image for Zolane Zolane

    You're amazing, KariAnne. I appreciate so much your sharing your heart and always being an inspiration - not just diy and decor. Heading over to register! Merry Christmas to you and your dear family :)

  47. Image for noelle noelle

    Hi Karianne! I cried too as I read your words, I too have lost 85-90 pounds, its been 3.5 years since I started. I have maintained for 2.5 years. Yes, it is a struggle. every. single. day. But by the grace of God I have maintained. So keep your eyes on your goal! You're such an inspiration, a beautiful, talented, woman who has touched so many!!xoxoxo

  48. Image for Barbara Barbara

    I join the long list of folks Blessing Your Heart!!! You are inspiring in every way and I absolutely love reading your words every day...these just may be the best. Congrats on your journey so far. Merry Christmas!!

  49. Image for Julie G. Julie G.

    Thank you. Thank you for being strong and courageous. Because it takes great courage to share the things you put into words here. And it takes a strong person to be so open and honest. So, thank you. I've struggled my whole life with my weight and I know exactly how you felt. I know what it's like to walk into a store and not be able to try anything on and I know what it feels like to pretend like it doesn't bother me and that everything is all sunshine and rainbows when inside I'm crying. I've enjoyed visiting you and getting to know you in your blog home here. I feel like I know you in that funny we're-internet-besties-really-I'm-not-a-stalker kind of way :) and if we were neighbors in real life, we'd have so much fun! I've been sitting down on the job (literally) regarding my weight and health and I've been meaning to do something, anything. But starting is the hardest part and I just never seem to know how. I love all your design and decorating posts, but would love it if you shared your success story and what worked and didn't work for you. And, know that you've inspired at least one person with this post - ME! Merry Christmas and warm wishes! -Julie

  50. Image for CT Granny CT Granny

    Love your blog because you bring joy to my day, no matter what you weigh. I have, and am still, walking in your shoes. I just "know" that your story will help me lose my 85.

  51. Image for Malia @ Small Town Girl Malia @ Small Town Girl

    Well said! I'm glad you shared! Struggling with weight is a wretched feeling. I've been up and down my whole life, I hate it! 85 lbs lost! That's amazing! Keep fighting the good fight and be proud of your accomplishments :)

  52. Image for Colleen Colleen

    Karianne, Congratulations on the amazing weight loss! What many people don't talk about is that losing weight only fixes the outside, not the inside of whatever is "eating you". Be proud of what you've accomplished my friend, and keep setting little goals for yourself. I find it helps keep me on track. Take a minute and give yourself a pat on the back, then set those goals and keep on truckin'!!! I have a good 20-30 to loose myself and a good friend of mine, just yesterday said that her goal is to run a 5k in June. I'm not a runner, and I haven't even had a work out schedule at all for the last 5 years, but she has inspired me with her 65 lb weight loss and I think I'm going to join her on this journey and go for it. I've always wanted to know what it feels like to run a 5k and cross that finish line. Granted, it's only 3 miles but coming from zero to that will be amazing. I also think much of the real work is on the inside too, which is sometimes harder than the outside work we all do. It's hard to stop the negative self talk and hard to rely on will-power (that whole will-power thing is bull-puky) by the way, haha. They say sugar is our worst enemy and researchers are now saying that it is worse than crack and it ages our bodies years beyond where we actually are. My husband said to me out of the blue a few days ago that he is going to give up sugar. I'm joining him in that as well and see how I do...that's not going to be easy, I have a sweet tooth! My husband has struggled with his weight his entire life, even had lap band surgery 4 years ago...and guess what? He lost 100 lbs, but he still struggles because he has more to go. I am joining the group and can't wait to see what it's all about. We can all benefit by keeping it real and sharing our triumphs and struggles. I admire your courage, not only in how far you've come but the guts it took to share it with all of us, thank you. Merry Christmas to you and your family and Cheers to an amazing 2015!! Watch out world, the Rock Star Posse is coming for you!

  53. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    I weighed 211 pounds and am diabetic!!! Lost down to 180 but bought few new clothes. Now my diabetes is out of control and I must give up my out-of-control eating. Life is not fun when you have lived your life on sweets and McDonald's cokes....not diet but the real thing!!! I am 61 and am having to learn how to eat!!! Here's to your sweet self--you can do it, cause YOU'RE A ROCK STAR!!!

  54. Image for Julia Julia

    Merry Christmas KariAnne - and many blessings to you and your family in the New Year! I am looking forward to the study. Thank you for your transparency and your sweet love for our Lord!

  55. Image for Danielle Danielle

    Karianne, congratulations on your weight loss. I know it has been a goal and 85 pounds is amazing. So proud of you. Your blog and you inspire us all each day. So blessed to have you in our lives. Looking forward to starting this series and hearing each of the women. Love you and Merry Christmas! x

  56. Image for Doreen @ Hymns and Verses Doreen @ Hymns and Verses

    I'm right there with you sweet KariAnne! Just got my son's wedding photos from October and wanted to cry as I looked at myself in those pics! I can't wait for the e-course and I know you will be an encouragement to me! Keep up the awesome work - you totally look like a Rock Star - and I for one an just a bit envious! Gotta get my rear in gear in the New Year!!!! Blessings for a wonderful Christmas! Doreen

  57. Image for Christopher Christopher

    Once again, you inspire all of us! Anyway you look at it, you are beautiful inside and out. Thank you for sharing and as Rupaul says, "If you can't love yourself, how you gonna love anybody else?" Thank you for sharing and spreading your love, you are a Rock Star!

  58. Image for Kris Kris

    Stay the course, Karianne. You have clearly touched a nerve by being willing to talk about this subject. I think I've mentioned to you before that I lost 60 pounds 7 years ago. Here's the deal ... there will always be a tendency to want to overeat when faced with whatever life throws at you. I have maintained my weight loss within about 5 pounds or so ... but ONLY because I have monthly accountability (in my case, Weight Watchers ... but do whatever works for you). I had hoped by this point in time that I would, I dunno, only want to eat broccoli and brussels sprouts, but that doesn't fit in so well with my love for baking. ;) I have found that success in maintaining weight loss is dependent on two factors--one, doing it for my health, not my appearance (although I love not shopping in the "big girl" clothing section of the store) and two, having regular accountability and hopping right back on the wagon when I fall off. That being said ... enjoy finding clothing for the new you! And GET RID OF your old clothes. Look critically at yourself in pictures to discover what fashions accentuate your new shape (much as I would love to wear flowy peasant styles, I look 10 pounds lighter when I wear something tailored--they should invent a store for me--Boxy Builds R Us). I'm so happy for you!

  59. Image for Jo-Anne Jo-Anne

    I am a short fat middle aged woman and yes I would love to be slimmer but I have stopped stressing over it but it is hard not to get upset when I see myself in photos

  60. Image for Deanna Deanna

    Well done, KariAnne. I know your struggle and this year, in the fall I started following an eating plan. I am amazed that it is working for me. I am down 32 pounds, and have quite a bit more to go. Bless you for sharing your heart. It will encourage people. Deanna

  61. Image for Karli Karli

    First time commenter here...your post really touched me. I was already signed up for the course but now I'm even more motivated to take part. I struggle with my weight too and its something so very deep and personal, yet everyone around you can see it. Good for you for making a change. Stay strong!

  62. Image for melodee melodee

    wow! you go girl! you are beautiful no matter what....whenever I click on your blog I am welcomed by your beautiful smile! congrats on your achievement, but I would have never noticed that "elephant in the room." Have fun feeling great about YOU and buying even more cute clothes..... going to register now...this sounds so inspiring.....

  63. Image for Charity Charity

    That is so inspiring! Keep up the good work! How long did it take you to lose 85 lbs?? I need to lose close to that much.

  64. Image for Barbara Bachus Barbara Bachus

    You are an inspiration! Not only do I love reading your blog for great ideas but hearing this success story motivates us all! Merry Christmas!

  65. Image for Heather C Heather C

    Bless you, it is so hard to be vulnerable, but it strenghtens us, I signed up after reading your story, we assume everyone on the blogs that we love are so hip and put together and what is wrong with us. So thank you and Merry Christmas

  66. Image for Maureen Maureen

    Thank you so much for your honesty KariAnn. Food is a hard issue to deal with because so much of the advertising sells us the holy trinity of sugar, salt and fat. But like so many other issues, it's one day at a time. Learning to see food as a neutral object is hard for me. Upset? my natural reaction is to go for the sugar, to sweeten my life. Bit by bit, I'm letting that go. "I" almost cried when my on line order of a Medium flannel shirt arrived and I could wear it rather than the XL I'm used to! I wanted to share that with someone and this is the best place! Love you!

  67. Image for Pinky at Designs by Pinky Pinky at Designs by Pinky

    Oh Kari, you are SUCH a HUGE inspiration to everyone who meets you through your blog and now you will do even more for everyone out there! Losing that much is phenomenal!!!!!! My neighbor and I started walking in the Spring. We started out doing about 1800 STEPS in that walk. Now we are up to 4.2 miles a day! It feels like a huge accomplishment but in all that walking I have only shed 4 pounds, yes 4. Then I gain 1 or 2 back, then lose it again, it is like a roller coaster. I am hoping in 2015 to add different exercises to my regimen to lose the rest of what I want and get to my goal weight. THANK YOU for writing this post. I know you will inspire SO many people, myself included. You ARE beautiful; your heart, your spirit and every single thing about you. Wishing you the merriest Christmas FULL of blessings fr you and your sweet family. XO

  68. Image for Mari Mari

    Wonderful share I am sure it will inspire many and that wonderful smile will help someone else. Thank you for your raw honesty. Happy Holidays

  69. Image for Janis Janis

    I have a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes after reading this. Why? Because I can so relate to being an elephant. I wish I had words to convey how phenomenal it is that you have lost that much weight. You are an inspiration. Thank you.

  70. Image for Debbie Debbie

    You are so beautiful, KariAnne, that I never imagined weight was an "elephant in the room"! When I read your opening statement, "The post I was never going to write", I was sure you were saying "good-bye" for some reason and I had such a sinking feeling that I almost didn't read any further. I just sat for a while staring at those words. I look forward to your every blog post, not just for the decorating, but mainly for your writing. You have a generous, sensitive heart AND a wonderfully wacky sense of humor that jumps off the page and uplifts my spirit and brightens my day. (I'm sooo relieved my first thought was wrong!) Congratulations, KariAnne, on your weight loss! You are an inspiration. YOU are the best kind of rock star!!

  71. Image for Theresa Kane Theresa Kane

    You are perfectly and wonderfully made and it has nothing to do with the scale!! Thank you so much for sharing such intimate thoughts with us. You are one brave and courageous lady!! I have just signed up and what a perfect time (at least for me :) I have signed up and ready for the unfolding of me! Thank you for allowing God to use your gifts to reach so many of us. I have struggled with my weight and you are inspiring me to get back on track. Hugs and love to you and your family and a very Merry Christmas!!

  72. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    I was gone yesterday or I would have answered right away. I haven't known you as long as some of these ladies have but from the minute I found your blog I've felt a close connection. I have sensed from the very beginning what you were going through from your picture behind your front door and the day you finally stood in front. You see, I'm an ostrich -- I don't look in mirrors very closely. The weight just seems to crop up and yes being cheerful makes everything seem like all is well with the world. You have lots of courage and this year I am determined to finish the journey. To become exactly who I want to become. Big Hugs to you my friend -- you are precious and priceless. Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo.

  73. Image for joyce joyce

    Congradulations! that has been a tremendous accomplishment, you should be so proud of it as its much more than that, God bless you

  74. Image for Brie Brie

    Congratulations to you on your hard work so far; that's wonderful that you've achieved such great results. You look beautiful in both photos, and I'm happy for you that your perseverance in pursuing your goals has brought you to a place that makes you happier. Best wishes on your continued journey towards making your good habits permanent.

  75. Image for Lindsay Lindsay

    This could not have come at a better time. That is the beauty of sharing. You have made an impact today! Thank you so much;) I went over and registered, can not wait to start the year with this class. I am 36 weeks pregnant and although all that is happening within me is amazing, I am def at the uncomfortable, I feel BIG stage. I want to continue to view my inside and out as beautiful, and I am delighted to take a course that can explore that at this transitional period in my life. So proud of YOU for doing this, and happy to join in!

  76. Image for Khadija Khadija

    I never noticed that you were chubby. :P I just noticed YOU. Congrats on your weight loss. When I read the title to this email I was terrified that you were going to stop bloggin!!! :D PHEW! :D

  77. Image for Judie Olivero Judie Olivero

    I love your blog - never, ever gave any thought to what you looked like, how much you weighed, etc., etc., etc., but you did so you had to make some changes, and, you made those changes, and I applaud you for that.

  78. Image for Beverly Bower Beverly Bower

    KariAnne....As I read your blog about the "elephant in the room" I was touched by your courage to share your journey. We all have some type of problem in our lives but as a dear friend once shared with me "It's not about what people see on the outside. It's what's in your heart that truly matters" If I could look into your heart I see a woman of amazing courage, joy and love! Your beauty shines in each and ever post you shareI hope I can speak for the amazing woman on this blog that we will be your biggest cheerleaders in the next 8 weeks. You have so many people who are loved

  79. Image for Deb Deb

    This story touched me beyond words. I cried while reading your words because everything you said I have felt. I had recently given up on being able to address my weight issues because the task seemed far to daunting to tackle. Your story has given me the inspiration I needed to start fresh on this journey. Thank you for sharing yourself with all of us.

  80. Image for Amy W. Amy W.

    This was a difficult post to comment on as I'm certainly not degreed in counseling or the such... and well maybe you don't need one more comment... however, I care,.. and thought I'd do so. I read your post before the Christmas Celebration and afterwards started praying for you...not knowing what and how to comment. All of us have some challenges to work on. Mine is creativity....but that's so 2nd nature and gifted to you. I get so frustrated in the culture we live in. Everything thrown at us these days seems to concern how we all need to be stick thin to feel truly validated. That couldn't be further from the truth...tho it seems in the days we live in that it is. Ugh! KariAnne, You Are One Beautiful Woman! I marvel with such a high level of amazement of you, your family, and each of your posts over and over for a couple of years now! There are some stick-thin very ugly women inside and out in the lime light who don't have an ounce of warmth, creativity, love and smarts in which you are naturally all about! If I could lend one bit more of advice along with the lovely peeps above who have already commented to you...I'd say in BIG BOLD LETTERS AND WORDS..... DO WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD, HEALTHY, and VALIDATED IN THIS NEW YEAR! I asked myself this question for a good 6 months or so while searching for something to help me feel healthy...... A good friend of mine is a Boot Camp Coach and urged me to try....which I did....and ended up with knee surgery. Before that I tried Arobics....wasn't coordinated enough... plus the instructor was honest enough with me, and told me she couldn't look at me or I would get her off beat in her calls with the I hated sweating. Tried Zumba...again wasn't coordinated with shaking my booty to a beat and got frustrated. Tried Yoga, couldn't stand one minute of it...tho I went to quite a few sessions. Tried cycling....ugh. Out of my league. I'm thinking at this point you get my picture. Anyways, so I pondered...prayed...pondered some more.... and WHA-LA found it. Swimming. I don't go to any classes. Just do as many laps as I wish 2 afternoons a week. That's it! I've built up lap time on my own. I don't swim in any form near to an Olympic Swimmer but it feels empowering. My shape is changing....and I've lost 10lbs. after 3 months. I know, nothing to write home about.....but it's validating for me and something I've found that I will continue to do. My prayer for you is that this will happen also along the same lines. Do something that makes you feel healthy and don't in the least be concerned about the rest of the world!! Keep us posted! I'll definitely will be thinking of you! Take care and God Bless! Happy New Year!! :)

  81. Image for Robin Follette Robin Follette

    I was supposed to find your blog tonight. We probably have very little in common. I can barely decorate a room let alone a beautiful house like yours. We live very different lifestyles. I typed a farm name into Feedly tonight and your blog popped up. It showed so many followers that I knew I needed to check it out. We're so different but I needed to find your blog tonight. I was a size 20 last November. I've lost 80 pounds and I'm not a size 10. I still have more weight to lose, a good 20 pounds, I bet. I'm going to check out the course. Congratulations on your weight loss and improved health. I know it's hard and what a huge accomplishment you've achieved. Good for you!

  82. Image for Jennifer @ Town and Country Living Jennifer @ Town and Country Living

    Oh KariAnne ... my heart is full of joy for you! Weight loss is so difficult because it's usually not just about controlling what we eat. It's also about dealing with the psychological issues associated with food ... and most everyone has those issues. We eat our way through stress or console hurt feelings with food. Sometimes we eat out of boredom ... and other times out of guilt (how many times did our mothers make us feel bad if we didn't finish everything on our plate because there are children starving in Africa?). The reasons are numerous. So proud of you for having the discipline and determination to do what you needed in order to live healthier!! I have a feeling your story will be hugely popular at Jeanne's course! Congratulations on a truly amazing feat ... and thanks for sharing your struggle and inspiration!

  83. Image for gina gina

    KariAnne, I had signed up for the course a week before you announced it here. Found it by "accident", but we both know there are no accidents. Always said that I read your blog because I get you. Well, I have the weight thing, too, so I am very happy for your success. Can't wait for the course. I'm ready to get raw and real, too.

  84. Image for dawn@joyfulscribblings dawn@joyfulscribblings

    Congrats on your weight loss success. You look great and I'm sure you feel better too. I have struggled with weight in the past and body image issues. Kudos to you for being brave and sharing your story. I've signed up for the class and look forward to being inspired by other women's stories. Ultimately you have to be happy with yourself, but I just want you to know that your personality and inner light is bigger and brighter than any physical part of you :)

  85. Image for Cristina Cristina

    Hello Dear KariAnn, I have just found your blog, surching for design and crativity ideas for my home. It is one of my favourite hobbies. My name is Cristina, I am 47 years old and am Portuguese. I live and work in Lisbon. Your recent post about your evryday struggle with your weight, touched me. That is why I am writing to you. Please, please KariAnne never give up. Yes it is very hard. VERY. We might achieve some success, but soon bad days arrive. In my personal experience I lose weight from time to time and one yaer after, looking at the pictures, I realize I got all the pounds back. yes it is a lifetime strugle for us. But NEVER give up. Go on believing and concentrating on things that make you happy. I will come here often to read you blog. it will inspire me and ..I'll be watching you! Kisses form Lisbon-Portugal.

  86. Image for Jan Fusco Jan Fusco

    I'm looing forward to this. Your story touched me so. So glad you shared and hit the "send" button. Happy New Year.

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