Oh, Georgeanna. You, my wise friend, were an absolute dream this year. Chris and I cannot begin to tell you just how amazing it was for us to get to know you AND Scott. Your family will be a part of our lives forever. Thanks for blessing us as much as (or more than) you say we blessed you. Your hard work, determination, kind heart, mothering instincts, and never-ending quest for perfection (the perfectly imperfect kind, of course) made for one heckuva year and transformation. I know the sky is the limit for you…I can’t wait to see what you conquer next!
Georgeanna made such an amazing transformation, and I am so thrilled to hear about what she’s been up to and what life after EWL is like for this hot mama!
Heidi: As moms, we can sometimes get SO caught up in our mama roles that we forget about caring for ourselves and even lose our own identities. In the beginning of your transformation, you shared that that was a major problem for you. Do you feel like you’ve found yourself again? Who is the new Georgeanna?
Georgeanna: I definitely did not have any balance in my life. It was all about my family, what they needed, and what I could do for them. Although I desperately wanted to lose weight and change, I never told my family that I needed some time to focus on myself. I loved my life, felt successful in other areas, but had not waved the white flag and asked for help until I reached out to you and Chris. The new me is much happier, and much more at peace with myself. I have a confidence and a well-being that I haven’t had in years. And I am much healthier!
H: Healthy AND Happy – doesn’t get much better than that! You got the chance to train with your childhood idol gymnastics superstar Nadia Comaneci for months! Holy cow! That must have been so amazing…and maybe a little intimidating! Tell us what that was like.
G: It was incredible! The first day I went to the Bart Connor Gymnastics Academy, I knew I would be meeting her, but I still turned into my seven-year-old self and cried as soon as I walked into the gym and saw her. She is the main reason I wanted to start taking gymnastics as a child. I was 7-years-old when she won the gold, and she has been a lifelong idol of mine. But she was so sweet, so encouraging, so humble and nice, that she put me right at ease. You know, no pressure, or anything, relearning gymnastics with NADIA!! I definitely had moments that I would just be freaking out inside. She showed me the final pose of her floor routine, then we both did it, and I just thought, “Is this real life?” I also got a chance to just talk to her about her Olympic experiences, and it meant so much to me for her to open up about her training in Romania. She told me that when she was competing in 1976 she was just a kid who was hoping her mom was getting to watch her on TV. She is an amazing person, and I feel so honored to have spent time with her.
H: What a once in a lifetime opportunity you had, my friend! Despite a few imperfections during your final gymnastics routine, you got the most AMAZING responses from some of the greatest gymnasts in the world! It was such a proud moment for me, and I can only imagine what you were thinking! Can you share what that was like?
G: I was SO nervous going into my milestone. I had been working hard, but was feeling like my body was not cooperating with me, so I was very nervous about being able to do some of the skills I had been trying. I never could nail the front handspring during my routine, and I had landed it pretty well in practice. I had not gotten to the point where I could do my back handspring by myself yet, so I was a little frustrated going into that night, but I had the best time! Even though it was tough to get out there in front of so many people and do something I was struggling with, I felt the love from the crowd and ended up really enjoying myself. The fact that Shannon Miller, Bart Connor, and Dominique Dawes said they could tell I was a gymnast and could see that I knew how to carry myself, well, it doesn’t get any better than that. And of course, I had the BEST coaches! Having you and Nadia encouraging me made all the difference.
H: So the big question…any more gymnastics performances in your future? You were such a natural!
G: No more performances, but I do want to keep on doing back handsprings! I had to stop gymnastics following surgery and recovery. And to be honest, my skin has been so tight that I am just beginning to feel that I can really stretch and move enough to give it another shot, so I am ready to get back in the gym and make sure I can still do my back handspring. I didn’t work all year just to do it a few times! I want to continue to keep that skill and possibly get my roundoff back handspring. We’ll have to go to gymnastics together again next time I see you!
H: During your finale, you and Scott both agreed that this experience not only changed your life, but your marriage also. How has your marriage and life changed since the show ended?
G: Now that the show is over, it’s just about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and finding an overall wellness we didn’t have before. We were happy and content, but out of shape. Scott and I used to spend time together going out to eat and watching TV, but now we rarely ever do either of those things! We still work out every day together and have found a great group of friends at CrossFit. We’ve gone hiking, and I rode a bike for the first time in years! It’s been so fun to try new things. I would have never done any of those things before.
H: Let’s talk about the final weigh in. You surpassed your goal (and your high school weight!) by FIVE pounds! How incredible did that feel?
G: It felt amazing! When this process started, Chris would ask me what I thought I wanted my final weight to be. Sometimes I would say 155, and sometimes I would say 160. I just couldn’t believe that 155 was possible. But as I began to get into the process and realized that my body really was responding to the changes in diet and to the workouts, I began to believe I could get to 155. The great part about my weight loss is that the testing with Dr. Holly showed that I only lost 2 pounds in muscle over the course of the year, so 163 pounds of the weight lost was FAT! 99.5% of what I lost was fat, so it came off in a very healthy way. Even though I am much smaller, I am stronger than ever!
H: 163 lbs of fat lost?! So incredible! Throughout the show you struggled to embrace your imperfections. How did your experience change your perfect pastor’s wife mentality? Are you feeling okay with being “perfectly imperfect” now?
G: I am definitely okay with being “perfectly imperfect.” I know that finally being comfortable with myself and having a peace within myself has made me realize that I can’t worry about what others think. I just need to know that I am the best version of me that I can be. I definitely used to worry about what others thought, or worried that they felt because I was overweight that there must be something “wrong” with me. I never wanted my family to be embarrassed by me because I was fat. And I just have to say that my church has been so supportive, and I have felt so encouraged by my church family. They completely embraced me and made me feel loved all year.
H: When we first met you, you had a love affair with sweet treats. What are your go-to craving kickers to battle that sweet tooth now? Any quick tips you can share?
G: I still have a love affair with sweet treats, but now I know it has to be in moderation. If I’m having a total craving, I have a square of dark chocolate. I keep a bar in the fridge, and I allow myself one or two squares a day. I also love Greek yogurt with strawberries and Kashi cereal. It’s a great “treat.” And I’ve made Rocco’s frozen yogurt a few times. It’s a big hit at my house! If I feel like if I have to have something really wonderfully sweet, I wait for my reward day and get a cupcake or a donut. But just one!
H: So, Miss Georgeanna, the kids are out of the house, you’ve rediscovered yourself, and you’re looking better than EVER! What’s up next for you?
G: Just as we talked about at the finale, paying it forward is big for me. I have launched a website, fitiswell.com, to continue to share my journey. My hope is that by sharing my journey as I continue to stay fit, that I can inspire others to get moving and make changes. I stayed stuck for so long, and was so overwhelmed with self doubt, that I don’t want to see anyone else wait as long as I did to make changes in his or her life. I have written an e-book detailing the three big diet mistakes I was making, and it’s available for free on my website. You and Chris changed my life with the information you passed along to me, so now I want to share all that knowledge I’ve gained with others and let them know that it’s possible, no matter where you are in your life, to become a better you.
H: Paying it forward, I LOVE that! You tackled some major self-esteem issues during your transformation and came out on top. Any advice for moms out there battling the same problems?
G: I had some major self-esteem issues, and I had a lot of negative inner dialogue and felt like a failure because I couldn’t seem to lose weight or commit to making changes. Throughout the process as I began to lose weight, and with the support that you and Chris gave me, I began to gain confidence. Now I feel better than ever! My advice to moms would be to be willing to share your weaknesses with someone, and be willing to say, “I need help.” I spent so long trying to act like I had it all together that I was afraid to just say, “I am not happy with myself, and I have to make some changes.” I would tell other moms it’s okay to focus on you, and there is time to spend an hour a day on yourself. Sure, be a great mom, but don’t lose yourself in the process. Being a mom should just enhance how great you already are!
Georgeanna, you are such an inspiration! You’ve accomplished SO much, and we are SO proud of you!!