DietBet with Me and Shaun T!!!

Oh yeah!! You read that correctly! The one and only Shaun T is doing his very own DietBet!! I have been hosting and participating in DietBet’s for about 2 years now and I love them!! It’s all about challenging yourself to set an, keyword, ATTAINABLE short-term goal! Hit the goal and as a killer bonus you win some cold, hard CASH!!

Wait. So, you’re saying that I lose weight and win money at the same time? YES, I am saying you lose weight and win money at the same time!! Sounds crazy right? CRAZY AWESOME!! Plus, you’ll be rocking it out with the Insanity creator himself Shaun T!

Here’s how it works: you head on over to Shaun T’s DietBet page (click the pic!)Shaun TYou bet $30 that you will lose 4% of your body weight over the course of 4 weeks.Then you lose the 4%! Then you split the pot with the rest of the players who hit their 4%! So, you are only competing with yourself! Hit your goal and you win! Easy as that!

The DietBet community is truly unbelievable and you will most certainly be more than inspired to crush this goal and more! What are you waiting for!? Head on over and sign up now!! It all starts October 22nd!!


The One


Me and the love of my life!

Me and the love of my life!

Some people spend their days searching. Some think they’ve found, but truly haven’t. And then there are those such as myself who are lucky, privileged, blessed enough to have undoubtedly, unquestionably, undeniably found the one. Found the one who will laugh at your bad jokes. Found the one who will sit through sporting events that hold no interest for them. Found the one who will put down everything at a moments notice and bring you lunch when you get stuck at work unexpectedly.

When you’ve found the one you know. It strikes you in the heart and washes over you like a hot shower. It makes you feel the need to be a better person because you know the one deserves that even though they think you are perfect just the way they found you.

You know that whenever your eyes catch a glimpse of the one your heart will skip a beat as it leaps into the air just to flutter back into your chest. When the one smiles it washes away all the bad that could have happened throughout the say. When you’re together all you want is for it t never end. When you’re apart all you can do is count the moments til you’re together again.

I will never be able to thank God enough for making me one of those lucky few. Courtney Crozier, I love you with everything that I am. I love you to infinity and beyond.

Announcing my first DietBet!

I was perusing the Internet the other day and happened across the website called The name in and of itself was enough to peak my interest so I took a tour of the site and found out what a cool idea it truly was! It’s a way for people on their weight loss journey to turn something that can seem insurmountable into something fun and competitive. It’s a way to keep yourself accountable to your weight loss and it’s a way to make a little cash along the way!

With that being said I am going to host my own Diet Bet and challenge each and every one of you to lose 4% of your body weight in 4 weeks! If you do that then you get to split the pot with everyone else who hits their 4% goal! A little challenge with a big payoff in your waist line AND you wallet! So, grab all your friends and make the bet! You won’t regret it!

If this is the beginning of your journey, then use this as a jumping off point toward the success you want to achieve! If not and you need a little kick in the pants, then let this be just that!

Also, it’s a great way for those of us on the weight loss journey to connect with other people going through it! It shows you that you aren’t alone in this fight, that can at times feel very lonely, and that their is a community full of support behind you!

My DietBet begins SEPTEMBER 16, 2013! Head on over to and sign up today!

Can’t wait to get started on this exciting DietBet with all of you!


Skin Removal: The Two Year Anniversary

Hello all!

It has been two years (yesterday) since I had my skin removal surgery! It feels like it has passed in a flash! I have seen where people have said that skin removal surgery isn’t necessary and I am here to tell you that that is simply not true for everyone. It was very necessary for me! If I had not had it done, then I know to this day I would be extremely self-conscious about it especially when working out. Before the surgery when I would work out I could hear the slapping the skin made with every movement. I mean they took off 6 square feet of skin!!!

It truly was a blessing to be able to be rid of that skin so that I can live a relatively normal life. I can’t thank the best surgeon in the world, Dr. David Stoker, and the most awesomely, amazing nurse in the universe, Tami Greiner, enough for all the care they provided.

Before the surgery Dr. Stoker asked me if I would be able to maintain the lifestyle and not develop extra skin again. I responded with an emphatic HECK YES! And I can say that I have lives up to that promise.

The skin surgery is unbelievably liberating for someone who has lost an immense amount of weight. It signals the end of a chapter in your book of life and the beginning of a new one. When I first saw what I looked like post surgery I was in awe and the tears flowed instantly. The tears were happy ones because it showed me just how much work I had truly done over the year-long process.

To all those on your weight loss journey, keep fighting! To all those in the next chapter, stay diligent and don’t regress!


It’s Been Three Years Already!?


My attempt at The People's Eyebrow (a really bad hair day) and the beautifully sparkly Courtney

My attempt at The People’s Eyebrow (a really bad hair day) and the beautifully sparkly Courtney

They say that time flies when you’re having fun and i’ll tell you what…it could not be more true! Three years ago today I found myself on a plane headed out to Los Angeles, California for finals week of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition. I didn’t know what to expect and I was nervous as all get out. We were all picked up on a charter bus and little did I know, but the last one to step on to the bus was this loud, happy, and exceptionally sparkly girl who would become the love of my life. The first couple of days I stayed to myself and unbeknownst to be the others stayed away because of my “do not disturb” sign on the door (which was only for the hotel staff). Courtney was busy being the social coordinator so when I decided to find out what the rest of the finalists were doing I called her room and asked if I could come hang out (oh my how times have changed).

Y’all know the rest of the tale, but aside from finding my future love what I found were people who were battling the EXACT same thing I was. I didn’t stick out like a sore thumb like I did back home. These individuals knew exactly what I was going through and what life was like being “super obese.” For the first time in a decade I took my shirt off in front of other people (at the pool) because I felt comfortable that I was not going to be judged. There was a level of acceptance unparalleled and the beauty of it all is that we were all trying to change our lives for the better in being there. We had all become fed up with our current life situations and were taking control of them. Those 16 people had a profound impact on my life in one way or another since I have known them.

The first finalists of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition

The first finalists of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition

This week was also the first time I got to meet Chris and the moment I met him he endeared himself to me just by knowing who I was. Chris Powell was my saving grace and I couldn’t even begin to thank him for all he has done for me. Three years have passed since that week and I can’t even believe it.

Obviously a lot has changed since that day three years ago and I must thank God that they did. I thank God for bringing Courtney and Chris into my life. They have both had a big had in helping me become a better me. I didn’t know it then, but as time progressed I realized that Courtney is my one and only. Thanks to Courtney I have love and thanks to Chris I have life.

Here’s to great memories and hoping the next three are just as great!

Me, CP, and Court

Me, CP, and Court

Life: An Unexpected Journey

Life is full of various twists and turns that we generally don’t see coming. There are pretty much two options when we get to those twists and turns: 1) go with the flow 2) swerve off the path into who knows what. Over the past few years my life has taken a number of twists and turns that I would never have even imagined possible. Three years ago I never thought that losing weigh was a possibility. I thought I was forever destined to be 459 pounds. Then came Chris Powell, Extreme Makeover, and hope. He showed me what I was capable of and gave me the knowledge and the tools to make it happen. Over the course of the next year, and with the help of an AMAZING support system, I lost 216 pounds. I was given a whole new lease on life!

Then came love. I finally loved myself and in doing so I was able to open my eyes and my heart to a woman who had been one of my very best friends throughout my journey. Courtney Crozier stole my heart and for the first year of our relationship we did the long distance thing. She came to Georgia on numerous occasions and I went to Indiana a time or two. Being away from her for weeks at a time was terrible, but we made it work. However, she was opening her own frozen yogurt shop, YoAmazing, in Indiana which meant that we were destined to be apart much more. I wasn’t alright with that and that meant another twist in my life was right around the corner.

So, one year ago today, after an INCREDIBLE Christmas in which Courtney surprised me on Christmas Eve with help from my dear friends Alison and Ardy, I picked up and moved to Indiana. I never thought I would live in Indiana…EVER! Love does funny things to you though. I knew it was the only way I would get to see the love of my life so it had to be done. Had I stayed in Georgia I know my heart would be longing to be with Courtney, but I didn’t and my heart could not be any more happy.

I also couldn’t be any more happy or thankful about the people who have welcomed me into their lives. Kevin, Marci, and Casey Crozier are fantastic people with big hearts who made my transition so easy. Their hospitality and humor are unrivaled and I am blessed to call them family. Thank you for all you have done!

I’d also like to say thank you to the Arroyo’s, Teresa, John, Joe, and Nick. Always welcoming and with delicious food (hello skirt steak). Even when my family came to visit for Spring Break they had us over for a feast. Thank you!

I can’t believe I have been in Indiana for a whole year. The one thing I will say about the state is that the winter’s do not play around! Being from the south does not prepare you for this kind of cold.

Here’s to the next twist and turn!

Breakfast…EAT IT!

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard people say, “I don’t eat breakfast.” I immediately think to myself, “How do you function properly?” To put it plainly…you can’t. In order for your body to function properly throughout the day you must put fuel into it. Essentially the body is a machine and, much like a car, the “machine” needs fuel to operate. If you don’t put fuel in a car how far will you get?

We can let that one be rhetorical because we both know the answer. When you eat breakfast you start your metabolism. When you are on a weight loss journey you need your metabolism charged so that it can work at a high level and so you can shed those pounds.

In addition to that you need to make sure you are eating the right thing too. If you roll through the McDonald’s drive thru like I used to do, then you are not doing yourself any favors. Ditch the bagels, sugary cereals, and Pop Tarts. You need to fuel your machine with premium! You need to have a serving of protein and carbs. Grab some greek yogurt and a piece of fruit or you can do what I do and have some incredible homemade protein pancakes. All you need is:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 of steel cut oats
  • vanilla extract
  • cinnamon

Mix these ingredients together in a bowl thoroughly. Pour half of the concoction into a hot pan on the stove top and cook for approximately 1 minute and 15 seconds on each side. Repeat! If you’re so inclined you could put some PB2 on top and a touch of sugar free syrup and you are good to go! A delicious and easy breakfast (that my beautiful girlfriend Courtney taught me how to make)! Something with the right FUEL for your MACHINE!!! So tomorrow join me and eat breakfast!

Fat Shaming is NOT Productive!

The other day I was perusing my Twitter feed, @AlexRespess (shameless plug), and came across an article by the website Deadspin, whom you can follow @Deadspin. It linked a video from a soccer match between, well that doesn’t make much difference, but it showed an obese man texting on his phone. The announcer, Rob Stone, took to making juvenile comments about his weight on air. What Rob Stone probably doesn’t realize is that the man is more than likely well aware of his weight. He has probably had many people throughout his life point it out to him in far more clever ways than Rob Stone. But this begs the question, why do people feel the need to resort to fat shaming? It is not productive and more often than not sends the person who needs help losing weight in the opposite direction. Trust me, I’ve been there.

Rob ultimately made an apology via Twitter, but in my opinion it doesn’t hold much water. His unplanned outburst on live television tells the story of how he truly feels about the subject and the apology (more than likely prompted by his employer) felt insincere.

Follow the link above to see the video and the apology and leave a comment down below to tell me what you think?



She may be gone, but she will forever be in our hearts.

Loss is never an easy thing. In fact it very well may be the most difficult thing to come to grips with. 6 years ago today I lost my Mom to pancreatic cancer. She was the absolute strongest person I have ever known because during her 2 year fight she never once complained or expressed a “woe is me” attitude.

When she passed away I was, of course, heartbroken beyond words. I just lost my Mom and wasn’t ready for her to leave this world. More so than myself I was worried about my little brothers. I had gotten to spend 20 years with her, but they were only 12 and 10 years old. Losing a parent at such a young age is terrible. Nothing can prepare you for it and the longing in your heart to share your daily accomplishments or a hug never goes away.

Adam and Tim, my brothers, though have grown into incredible young men. Adam just began college and in my mind I know our Mom was sitting right there with him on his first day. Such a big step and I cannot believe he has gotten so old. Tim is a sophmore in high school, but he has a talent with words that far exceeds his years as you will soon see…stay tuned. They have been able to grow because of the strong support structure we have in our family.

When you lose someone it is extremely important to have a storng support structure. Our Dad has been our rock for a very long time and he kept it together for us even though I know he hurts inside too. My aunt Mary Lou has been a second Mom to us by lending an ear, helping me try and lose weight, and just being there for us whenever we need. Our Granny was always right there when we needed her for a chat, a night out to eat, or just to sit with and watch a ballgame. Miss Leigh, whom my Dad married in 2010, has taken it upon herself to treat us just like she treats her own children and loves us just the same.There have been many people that have supported us since our Mom passed and I cannot thank them enough for all the have done.

Kimala Freeman Respess
June 16, 1963 – August 31, 2006
She may be gone, but she will never be forgotten.

I miss you. I love you. Your son, Alex

My Hero, My Mom

During her battle with cancer, but never without a smile

Today, August 31, 2011, marks the 5 year anniversary that my Mom, Kim Respess, left this Earth. After a 2 year battle with cancer she lost the fight 5 years ago today, but even though she is not here anymore she is still in the hearts of all of us that knew and loved her. Let me tell you a little bit about my hero…

She was born in Raleigh, North Carolina on June 16, 1963 to Ralph and Glena Freeman. She is the youngest of three girls (Donna and Abbey her older sisters), but that is just the general stuff. My Mom never once met a stranger. She could talk to any and everybody and it blew my mind. We would be in line at Wal-Mart and she would be striking up a conversation with whoever happened to be around. She loved dogs and throughout my 25 years we have had a number of them Shana, Chesney, Chewy (he looked just like Chewbacca from Star Wars), Chancey, Chester, Yoda, Scooby Doo, Cookie Monster, Angel, Cinnamon, Isabella, and Jackson. She loved to read and play video games (she dominated Ocarina of Time!). My little brothers and her would spend loads of time playing Gauntlet Legends on the Nintendo 64. She loved to cross stitch (I still have the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles one she did for me). Her favorite movies were Breakfast Club and Beetlejuice. She loved to watch TV, but most of all she loved us. She would do anything in her power to make us happy.

I can remember one time for Easter she gave me a coupon book. It had different things in it she came up with like go to the batting cages with Dad one day or get out of doing the dishes one night. I remember using one to go with her to see Indian in the Cupboard at a theater that no longer exists. Around Christmas in 1994 when The Santa Claus came out my Dad, Mom, and I went to see it at the theater (also not there anymore) by Gwinnett Place Mall. We would sit at the kitchen table and play Yahtzee! and peanut. It really is strange the memories you hang on to.

When she got sick it was a shock to us all and pancreatic cancer usually takes whoever it has a hold of very quickly, but my Mom was strong! She fought it for two long years. Over those two years I never once heard her complain about the pain even though I know it had to be ungodly. She never once asked, “Why me?” She just fought and stayed strong. If we were all half as strong as her, then we could move mountains. When she was in the hospital and had all the tubes coming out of her she was comforting me because I couldn’t bear to see my Mom like that. It hurt so much to know that she was in pain and that I was going to lose her. She was the best! I know that she is in a better place and free of pain, but every single day I miss her.

My Dad wrote a blog about her fight go read it. It shows just what the battle with cancer looks like up close.

I miss you. I love you.
Your Son,