Friday, March 2, 2012


I have now lost 20 pounds since January 1st. Moreover, I've lost two inches in my waist and THREE in my hips, plus more all over! I am so encouraged and excited by this progress I can barely contain myself!! That's 28% progress towards my goal in just two months! I can see my body changing and it is a wonderful thing to finally feel in control.

How are you progressing? I want to know!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

On Nakedness

One thing that I am feeling stronger every day, is that weight loss and a journey toward a healthy body needs to start with a love for yourself and respect for your body. I read this the other day and it resonated with me. I hope it does with you as well...

Eight Things I Learned From 50 Naked People

In the past year, I’ve touched more than 50 naked people.

Don’t worry though—the fancy parts were covered—I’m a massage therapy student. They have you start on friends and family, other students and then the general public. Some people are silent during a massage; others can’t stop talking in a nervous attempt to clothe themselves with something, even if only words.

Despite our obsession with sex, American culture doesn’t really encourage nakedness (physically or emotionally). And if all the pleasantries and social constructs we use weren’t bad enough, we add social media into the mix and distance each other even further. When we’re naked and silent, all of that falls away. What I learn from what a person tells me is miniscule compared to what I learn by feeling his skin, muscle and bone. By watching him move. By listening to his breath. By feeling his pulse. So, in case you didn’t know:

1. Your body doesn’t lie. You might say, “I’m relaxed!” or, “That pressure is great, you can work deeper,” but your body may tell a very different story. What goes on in your muscles, with your breathing, with your pulse is the truest you: the you that even you might not know yet. It’s a good thing to get in touch with. You’d feel much better if you listened and let your words match up to what your body was saying.

2. When you stretch, you open up space. This is physically true, and emotionally true. When you physically stretch (or allow yourself to be stretched) you create space and allow for greater movement, greater vulnerability and more growth. It’s the same when you stretch yourself emotionally, too. Your physical and emotional selves aren’t separate––stretch one, and you usually stretch the other, too. It isn’t always comfortable at first, but it’s a wonderful thing. Surrender to it. You won’t regret it.

3. That thing you’re embarrassed about? That you don’t want anyone to see? That you tense up and hold your breath over? The part of you that you wish were different? It’s ok. Let go. Enjoy it. It’s part of what makes you so beautiful.

4. Everyone has body hair in various places and amounts. There’s no one right amount. It’s all good. Same goes for moles. Even models don’t look like they do in the pictures. Smooth and hairless is a Fifth Avenue invention designed to create discontent (and sell grooming products).

5. Everything you’ve experienced is stored in your body at a cellular level. Each cell is a record of all of it. I’ve felt it in your skin. Being born. Being held. The time you fell off your bike and weren’t that hurt but very scared. That brutal sunburn on your shoulders at 14. The time you fell out of a tree and broke your collarbone. The first time you felt deeply loved. The person who hurt you so badly you thought you were broken for good. Your muscles remember it. They remember it like it happened 10 minutes ago. Your successes hold your shoulders high. Your losses pull your chest inward. You hold your sadness in your throat, your anger in your jaw and your fear in your belly. Your happiness rises and falls in your chest. Love rolls in and out on the tides of your breath. It’s all there, all the time. {You can release the parts that hurt, if you want to. Yoga and massage are the best ways I’ve seen.}

6. Your weight is the least interesting thing about you. I promise.

7. Your skin, however, is fascinating. Every line, every freckle, every scar tells the amazing stories of your life. Please don’t Botox, bleach or sand it all away. They’re all beautiful.

8. Your body is a f*cking wonderland. You are amazing just as you are, right now.

~ Kate Bartalotta

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Dreaded Plateau

Oh yes. It has arrived. That week (or two weeks) when the scale lies and tells us that the work we have been doing each day doesn't matter. Well, as frustrating as the plateau is, I have decided to take away it's power. My problem with each diet that I've been on, my entire life, is that I didn't believe that anything matters but the number on the scale. And if the numbers weren't changing, I considered my diet a failure and went back to my old habits.

Now I believe that there is a much bigger picture. There are so many things besides weight loss to be thankful for. My energy level, the decrease of toxic crap in my body, the knowledge that I'm doing the right and healthy thing, the joy I get from seeing my children making healthy choices because of MY example... all of these things matter more to me than ever before.

That said...this f***ing plateau is a b****h, and I hate her.

So, what do we do? First off, make sure you have been eating ENOUGH calories. Your body needs enough calories to know that it's not starving. IF you aren't eating enough, your body fights even harder to keep the fat on...thinks you'll need it to keep you alive and warm this winter. I have found that taking a day where I eat a little more than I have been (200-300 calories worth) is enough to remind my body that we live in the land of plenty and to stop worrying already. And THEN... ramp it up. Change the intensity and/or the length of your exercise. Do something new that you haven't done before. Challenge yourself.

That is what I will be doing this week. I have been slacking at the gym, because I was BORED OUT OF MY MIND with the circuit and elliptical at Renew. So, last night I joined Juniper to take advantage of the many classes they offer and immediately went to a great yoga class which has made my arms feel like limp noodles all day today. Yay!! This morning I bought 3 new workout DVDs, guaranteed to kick my ass into fat-burning mode! If you are just starting out, I cannot recommend highly enough Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. It's awesome, makes your whole body hurt and only takes about 20 minutes. And it's only $7.49 on Amazon. Just do it!!! And keep doing it!! You will feel stronger and more in shape so quickly. Trust me on this.

What are you going to do this week to push yourself?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Don't Give Up!!!

I have a wonderful, close friend who is my inspiration every day. I will let her tell her story herself soon, but suffice to say she lost a lot of weight last year and it took a loooong time. I think I needed to see that. I am notorious for trying a diet for a few months and if it doesn't work quickly, I quit. I do. I admit it. I didn't see the point of giving up all the delicious food I love for ten pounds or so of loss. It wasn't worth it to me. I mean, come on. I needed to lose at least 70 pounds. 10 was a drop in the bucket.

What I Learned From Jen

1. That I don't have to give anything up.
Weight Watchers best principle is that you can have whatever you want, if you want it bad enough. If you want to spend your entire day's points on a bowl of mac and cheese, do it! Moderation is key. If you eat the mac, be prepared to eat nothing but salad the rest of the day. OR eat a tiny bit of the cheesy, deliciousness and then eat some veggies to get full. It's your choice.

2. That it takes a really long time.

It took a year I think.

3. That losing this weight will change me in a million ways I couldn't expect.

She is the happiest and most energetic I have ever seen her. I have known her for 11 years and I am amazed that she seems younger and more beautiful then ever. Her confidence, grace and the way she moves even, are so changed. I can barely describe it. She finally seems at home in herself and I want to feel that way so badly. I can't tell you how often I don't go do something I want to do because I am ashamed of my body or my fitness level. Or because I am simply too tired or depressed to want to.

4. That confidence leads to wonderful, life-changing things.

5. That you have to make the time to love yourself.

That's what putting your health first is, loving yourself!! Don't make excuses. Just do it. I have a 20 minute exercise video that I can do anytime. Think about how much time you spend staring at the TV or staring into space even. I bet you have 20 minutes a day that you didn't even know about.

I love you, Jen!
Thank you for being such an incredible friend and role-model!

The Calendar

I have a good friend who is always encouraging my efforts to be healthier. She gave me this great idea and I want to share it! I modified her plan a tiny bit to work for me, feel free to do the same.

1. Print out a free calendar for the month.
2. Find a pen.
3. Tape calendar to your mirror or your fridge.
4. Every day, and I mean EVERY DAY, write down your weight when you wake up.
5. Before you go to bed, give yourself a check if you exercised.
6. Below that, write down how many points or calories or whatever you had for the day.

I find this helpful for many reasons. To see my actual weight staring me in the face on a daily basis helps me to keep focus. And the points and exercise with the weight helps me see that my efforts are working. No matter how is working. It also helps me see the patterns in my weight loss reflected in how I ate or exercised that week and it motivates me to do better.

I also keep my measurements on a Post-it on the back of the calendar and each month, I will remeasure and see my progress. After one month, I'd lost an inch in my waist and 3/4 inch in my hips. These are no small accomplishments and it's hard work. I'll take any reward I can get. ;)

One thing...we are all aware that weight naturally fluctuates day to day. Please do not freak out if one day you suddenly weigh three pounds more than the previous day. Stay the course. Look at the end of the month. It will be less than the beginning if you have followed your plan. Have faith.

Being Prepared

One of the easiest ways to trip up yourself when on a diet is to not be prepared. Running late for work and haven't made a lunch yet, driving kids around town endlessly, forgetting to eat breakfast at the beginning of your day...can lead you to feeling desperately hungry and heading to fast food or God forbid, the cafeteria. I know. I do it. We all do. Sometimes there's no way around it and you just have to make the best choices you can in the moment. But I will tell you that a grilled chicken sandwich from Wendy's, a diet coke and a small fry is 17 points. That day sucked. I learned a valuable lesson later than evening as I was starving in my bed with no points left... Be prepared.

I stash food everywhere now. I keep an apple and a Larabar or an Almond-Coconut Kind bar on my person at all times. Freeze-dried fruit and microwave popcorn in my work bag. Set yourself up for success.

I also just started making meals ahead of time and this, my friends, is genius. I went to Cash and Carry and bought a hundred plastic containers. You can use whatever freezable receptacle you like. When I make a dinner that I like and that freezes well, I make a double batch to save time! I measure out my serving and put it in the container, label it with point value and freeze it. No excuses. Grab it on my way to work with a piece of fruit and I'm set. No preservatives, no wasted leftovers molding in my fridge and I'm saving gobs of money over frozen diet meals (usually not good or filling) or the cafeteria salad bar. Yay!!!

I was even thinking of having a frozen meal exchange if anyone is interested in doing that to give us some variety. Let me know!

Getting Started

IF you are going to to Weight Watchers, I do recommend going online and checking it out. I am using the e-tools (no meetings) version and while I don't love it, I do think it's a great way to get started and learn the point values of food. The first few weeks are intensive in that respect. You have to look up everything and plan your day a little bit, but it does get easier. Once you learn to values for things you eat often...say chicken gets LOTS easier. The website will give you how many points you need in a day, based on your height, weight and gender. Eat your daily points. I will tell you that when I didn't, I didn't lose. There's a science behind this plan, they didn't just make it up!

I hear they have a great iPhone app, but I have a Droid so that was completely unhelpful for me. The Droid app blows. Sorry folks.

If you go to a meeting, which is around $12, I think, at the first one they give you a handy-dandy purse sized booklet with point values in it. There is NO other way to get this book, I am told. So...I plan to go Tuesday and get one for myself!! I think one meeting would be helpful for people new to WW. I have done it a few times already and this time didn't feel the need. (Boo me, not the program.)

I have been using e-tools and the tracking app online and I find that it is just not that useful on the go. Find a way to track that works for you and DO IT. I have found it immensely helpful in guiding my choices at the end of the day, to know exactly how many more points I have to "spend" before bedtime. I am currently using a click to count app on my phone, but they have little mechanical clickers for sale at WW meetings. When I eat something, I count it immediately. If I don't know the point value of something, I have a little blank notebook in my purse where I can write down these things and look them up asap. Don't wait. You will "forget" or "underestimate" the size of your pasta bowl when you recall it later as dinner is calling your name. TRUST ME on this.

What are you waiting for? Get going! Start today.


I hate oatmeal. Always have. Nope, that's a lie. One time I had it with gobs of brown sugar, heavy cream and lovely, plump berries and it wasn't so bad. :) In general though, I find it slimy and gross and not at all appetizing. People who lose weight are constantly swearing by it. They call it the breakfast of champions and applaud the way it keeps you full for long periods of time and lowers cholesterol... blah, blah, blah. It's gross. Period.

But...I wanted to try to find a way to incorporate it into my diet these days. Trying as I am to be healthy and whatnot. Honestly, I didn't hold out much hope. However, while trying to find a palatable oatmeal that I could manage to choke down...I found the one. Moreover, I found a way I actually like it.

Three Sisters brand multigrain cereal, at Whole Foods. I like the Brown Sugar and Maple one, but pick whichever. It has a far better texture than Quaker in my opinion and is made with oats, brown rice, flaxseed, barley, and quinoa for a tiny bit of extra protein and cholesterol fighting oomph. It doesn't hurt that the packaging is way tiny (pantry space is at a premium in my house) and you can measure the water you need IN the pouch, which makes it handy for work. I top it with a splash of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, fresh berries and lots of them, for a FOUR point breakfast or snack that is tasty, sweet and filling. Try it!!


If you find yourself here, I can bet that you are like me in a few ways.

1. You are tired of feeling tired.
2. You are sick of feeling uncomfortable in your own body.
3. You are ready, or hope you are ready to make a change for the better.

I want to start by saying that in no way do I want anyone to consider me a role model for this journey. I have failed to lose the weight more times than I can count. I have been overweight for 15 years. Initially, I blamed my children. The pregnancies. My metabolism. My unhappiness. Now I see the past more clearly. I see the things I could have done differently to prevent the situation I am in. Now is the time for me to take responsibility for the behaviors that led me here and to take charge of my body and get back where I belong.

I am simply feeling empowered by the transformation I have been feeling lately and I wanted to share my experiences with you. If I can help to motivate you, wonderful! Honestly though, I am hoping to find strength and motivation through you!! I think a community of others who are working towards a common goal is extremely beneficial. Not only do I think that, but it has been proven through research that support groups WORK for weight loss and maintenance.

I am using the Weight Watchers Points Plus program. I love it. Many of my tips will be for that program, but feel free to follow whatever program that works for your life and your body.

I am six weeks into this and I have lost 16.4 pounds. Moreover, I feel better than I have in a very long time. I am feeling so much more energetic. I am sleeping fewer hours and waking up rested; ready for the day. Best of all, I feel in control of my body.

I should tell you that I have also cut out dairy and most "fake" foods. Dairy seems to have awful side effects for me and as for the crap food? I just don't believe that it is doing us any favors. So, you won't find any sugar-substitutes or lab-created low calorie foods on here. And that is where I feel WW and I split. All the meetings I have gone to really push the sugar-free, fat-free agenda. I have come to the realization that I feel more energetic, less hungry and lose weight more if I eat real, nutritious food and count my points.

Ok...that is my story. I hope you want to start this journey with me! We'll do it together. One day at a time. I know it's going to be a long road...but I'm ready.

Are you?