Thursday, December 31, 2015

A tribute...

Sometimes, my friends, reality doesn't just visit, it punches you right in the face.  Such was the case today as I prepared to write my last blog of 2015 and received some devastating news.

Growing up in our small community, my very best friend was Elene.  Elene had a younger sister, Diana.  I was around Diana as Elene and I hung out all the time, but she was just the annoying little sister of my best friend and I viewed her much like I viewed my own younger brother.

I remember Diana as being a kid who was smart and athletic and very independent - she did her own thing and hung out with whoever she wanted - not concerned about what other people thought.  As someone who was always very insecure and very concerned about popularity and wearing the right clothes and hanging out with the "right" crowd, this puzzled me.

Elene and I lost touch in college and when we reconnected years later I also got back in touch with Diana.  Turns out she wasn't smart - she was brilliant!  She was a top scientist who had traveled the world and conducted ground breaking studies and taught at colleges.

I saw pictures of her and her travels and no matter what she was doing - from hanging out with friends to doing a side plank at the North Pole to cuddling with her daughter and pitbull - she had this huge goofy smile on her face.  And unlike most of us who reflexively paste a fake smile on our faces when a camera comes out, every one of her beautiful smiles radiated joy and sincerity.

As we reconnected primarily on Facebook I began to see the sheer number of people whose lives she had touched in a positive way - this extraordinary woman who was so admired.  My experience with super brilliant people is that they are so smart they can't socially connect to us mere mortals or they alienate people because they are so full of themselves in their intelligence.

Not Diana - she was the first person to jump in and offer support and love to everyone.  She was unfailingly down to earth and humble.

And when her beautiful young daughter got sick, she and her equally brilliant husband went right to work - putting those great minds to work on how to get her better - without an ounce of self-pity.

In the midst of this crisis Diana had to inform her friends that she had been diagnosed with a rare cancer.  While this would have brought most people to their knees, Diana instead began fighting and underwent an experimental treatment - that the scientist part of her actually found fascinating.  And in her recovery?  Picture after picture of her bright smile!

Shortly after incredibly invasive surgery Diana ran a 5K and WON her age group.  I was amazed at this incredible accomplishment - Diana in her typical way passed it off as no big deal.

And she had beaten cancer - of course she had!  Cancer was no match against someone as rare and precious as Diana!  Something that evil can't snuff out a light that wonderful, right??!!

Then, on Thanksgiving I saw Elene at the Turkey Trot.  When I asked about Diana, Elene said things were not good.  I was shocked - in true Diana fashion she had kept it pretty quiet so no one would worry about her.

Just a couple short weeks ago we learned that Diana had chosen to stop the treatment that wasn't working and to face the end of her life with the same incredible strength, dignity, and class that had marked her entire life.

The outpouring of love that streamed out from all corners of the world - words of support and sincere admiration - that is extraordinarily rare and proof of what a unique and wonderful woman this planet was graced with.

Today, Diana lost her battle.  She leaves behind a beautiful daughter, family that loves her, and a legacy... Her family says that Diana would not want us to be sad at her passing - she would instead want us to live our lives to the fullest and suck every bit of joy out we can.

I can't promise to be as good at this as you were Diana, but I will try.  The world has lost a wonderful soul today...

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

You have NO RIGHT!

I was not aware of this, but I was recently informed that I have no right to my feelings.  Nope, apparently my struggles aren’t real and – somehow – they also mean that I suck at my job.  Oh, and at life.


Because I lost weight and am no where near my heaviest, I am not allowed to be upset about gaining weight back.  I certainly should not have any feelings that I have screwed up, and have absolutely no reason whatsoever to feel depressed.

Or so I was recently informed.

2015 has not been my finest year, for sure.  If you have never known the feeling of sinking terrible blackness and felt there is no way out, count yourself lucky.  I had periods of this before I lost weight and, unfortunately, have not been immune to these feelings after losing weight.

I don’t  feel this way now – and I’m not proud – let me be the absolute first person to admit – I had times this year where I was a whiny, pathetic, self-involved little bitch.  I will totally own that, because it’s true!

For 2016, one of my goals is to do BETTER.  Not just in terms of losing some weight – that is a goal but only part of the overall picture. 

My goal is to be better at putting things in perspective, being more positive, not sweating the small stuff as they say.  And that should make me happier and therefore less annoying, right?

B_Icdn8WwAERbZI But I am human.  I am bound to fall back into old behaviors.  To have bad days, to throw unwarranted pity parties for myself.

The internet is a very large place.  I am quite sure that there are men and women who have lost weight and are finding maintenance easy.  Where the posters are consistently positive and focused.  I’m sure there is some great advice to be had there!! 

Because if you are looking to read a blog where it’s all unicorns and rainbows, this isn’t the blog for you – I’m just not that person, and I don’t want to pretend to be.


I do promise that I am going to try to do things differently in 2016.  I sincerely and truly love to hear from you guys.  I would LOVE to hear more – for some readers to do guest posts – about anything that has helped or is helping on your journey!  You know where to find my e-mail!

And if you choose to stop reading?  I wish you the absolute best of luck in the future! 

P.S. To Christyne: thank you, thank you, thank you!

Monday, December 28, 2015

It’s in the timing…

One of the most frequent questions I get asked is “When is the BEST time to work out?”  My answer is always a very trite one – “The best time to work out is the time that you will do it!”

I know an avid runner who gets up every morning at like 4:30 AM to run!  I wish I could do that – get up, start the day right, and have exercise done before I’ve even really started my day.  But I am NOT a morning person.  People that ARE morning people say that you can train yourself to be one.

I call bullshit on that.  If I tried to be a morning exerciser – well, I’d never exercise.  It just wouldn’t happen.  Not only would I not get my ass out of bed, but I don’t like to exercise before my body has had some time to warm up.

On the other hand, I also know a guy who keeps an elliptical in his bedroom (he’s single in case you were wondering LOL) and he does a hard workout while watching tv at night.  Then he takes a very quick cool shower and goes to bed.  According to him “I sleep like a baby!”

Yesterday was a weird day and time got away from us.  I found myself exercising much later than we normally do – although not right before bed.  As I sat there and tried to relax later, I was totally hyped up and anxious – it was like I had pounded a ton of caffeine!  And then when we went to bed, I was tossing and turning – I couldn’t get my body to calm down.  So I’m not sure that night exercise would work for me either!

So you have to find what works for you, personally.  I like to come home, relax for like 30 minutes, check my e-mail and then workout.  Would that work for you?  Maybe not.  If you have kids that have activities, and/or you have to cook dinner and help with homework – that time might not work. 

Are you a pretty functional morning person?  Can you get up a little earlier and get your workout out of the way?  How about walking or running on a treadmill while watching tv at night?  

What works for you might take some experimentation.  But it is ultimately what works for you.

There is some evidence that working out in the morning before eating helps burn fat a little more than later in the day.  But in reality, that difference is so small, that for the average person, you won’t notice a bit of difference.  Any time you are working out and burning calories – it is a good thing physically and mentally.

Have you found a time that works for you?


Sunday, December 27, 2015

The confidence of a fool

What a whirlwind couple of days!  I hope everyone here had a wonderful Xmas!  My day was packed full!  I was pretty happy to get an early start – making the food that we take over to his sister’s house first thing.

With that done, I could take the dogs on a relaxing 10K run.  Marc got me a hands free leash for running with them and I just had to try it out Smile  For anyone who runs with their dogs, I think I’m going to do a review on this leash at some point, so stay tuned!

The calories burned on the run were nominal compared to the massive amount of food I ate that day, but it certainly was better than nothing.

The rest of Xmas day was spent with Marc’s family and it was a relaxing and fun time.

Yesterday morning I ran again – not an easy task the day after massive food injestion!  But that run did put me at over 1,000 miles running this year.  That number is pretty low given what I hoped to accomplish in 2015, but given the partial tear of my Achilles in May and having to rest it almost all of June, I was happy to hit that number.

We then removed all traces of Xmas from the house.  I am always thrilled to put out all the decorations and the tree, but the minute after Xmas, I’m ready to see it gone!

I’ve been reflecting a lot the last few days on the future and what the New Year will bring.  On Xmas Day I was full of confidence, despite failing most of this year, that I would get back on track – that I WILL lose my extra poundage and get back into running shape.

And I was flying pretty high.

Then last night I woke up at 3:38 AM and was in an utter panic.  I was full of anxiety that I cannot do it.  I have no self-control.  The woman who lost the weight is gone forever.  That I am being a FOOL by thinking that I can do this. 

I lay in bed, wide awake and felt the old familiar feeling of despair wash over me.

Fortunately I was able to get back to sleep and as I sit here this morning, I’m just not sure.  I want to believe that I have what it takes, but am I just fooling myself?

The proof will be in the proverbial (sugar free of course) pudding.  Can I do it?  Can I get back to where I want to be?


How about you?  Do you need to get back on track?  Are you feeling confident or doubtful?

Thursday, December 24, 2015

It’s Merry time!

I seriously am in so much denial that Xmas has arrived!  It was 64 degrees here today so Marc and I took the dogs on some hiking trails we never got to this summer and fall.  It felt like September as we walked through paths of dried leaves.

But Xmas is indeed here, and I hope all of you have a wonderful time tomorrow.

Hug your loved ones, eat good food, have conversations with people you don’t get to see enough!

Enjoy the last remaining bit of 2015 and set your eyes fondly on what is to come!


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

We’re getting there!

How is everyone hanging in there?  This time of year is so wonderful for many reasons but it can also be extremely stressful.

Yesterday was the shortest day of the year, and I had a rough day.  Although it's been unseasonably warm, it has been rainy and cloudy making it feel like I'll never see the sun again.  That just really throws me into a melancholy mood.

The thoughts of the New Year are very present in my mind with the steely resolve to get my fat ass back on track.  And with that comes a desire to eat everything in sight - like it's a last supper!  It's absolutely nuts.

I do feel a little lost for direction right now - I have to make some concrete goals for 2016 and hit the ground running!  But there’s a part of me that just wants to turn my brain off and ride through Xmas without thinking all the time.

I hope all of you out there are enjoying the last remaining days before Xmas and have high spirits heading into the New Year!

I would love to see any Xmas card pics you have - you can E-mail them to me at the E-mail link at the top of the page!!

Here's mine!
draft 2

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Let’s talk 10,000

Many of you already have “wearable technology” like Fitbits and Jawbones and some using smartphone based apps to track your activity.  Another WHOLE LOTTA people have asked for and will get these devices for Xmas with the goal of helping them get fitter and in shape.  So many of us will be using these devices to help us with our New Year’s resolutions and goals.

I wanted to talk about these devices and maybe get some perspective on how they can help your progress but also fool you into a false belief of your achievements.

So before I piss all over your Cheerios, let me first say that these devices are wonderful for many reasons.  They are a constant reminder that you need to be active and move around in order to improve your health.  If you work a desk job, it is too easy to look at the clock and realize that it is 2:15 PM and you’ve only moved from your desk twice to pee the whole day. 

And it can be fun to join a community of people who have the same devices and join challenges and meet new “friends”.  If you have kids and they wear a device it can also be a HUGE motivator – they have a new video game that they want to play?  Ok, once they hit their “steps” they can have at it.  Plus kids love technology and wearing something that challenges them can become a game of sorts.

Most of all – any activity is good activity!!  So whatever encourages a person to move more than they are currently moving is a fantastic thing!!!  In that way, wearing any of these devices – if that gets someone off their ass and moving around, it is more than worth the money spent!

Ok, now let the promised pissing begin.  First let’s look at the origin of that magical number of 10,000 steps that has become the “gold standard” for movement.  I’ll bet many of you thought that this number derived from some well-funded government study.  Well, you would be wrong.  In the 60’s a Japanese inventor made a pedometer and called it (roughly translated) the 10,000 step meter.  It became a fad in Japan – like a game - to hit the 10,000 steps.  Later, experts studied people and found – shock of all shocks – that people who were hitting these 10,000 steps had lost weight.  So this magical number has stayed with us. 

How far is 10,000 steps?  For the average person, it’s walking about 5 miles a day.  For shorties like me, it’s only 4.  Is that far?  Not even slightly.  That’s about 500 calories worth of burn a day.  And that can easily be negated with a trip to Starbucks for a speciality drink.

For weight loss, hitting 10,000 steps barely makes a dent.  Back in the 60’s when that number was invented, the avaerage American ate about 2,200 calories per day.  Now?  Experts estimate the average woman eats about 3,700 calories per day and the average man 4,000.  So you either have to basically double your steps or drastically cut your calorie intake to even start to make a dent.

Since most people who are embarking on a weight loss/fitness journey are indeed cutting calories, this will certainly help in the weight loss arena.  But how about fitness?

You know how we’ve talked about before that a calorie is not necessarily a calorie?  Well, a step is not just a step either.  Is is the quality of your steps in addition to quantity.

Marc and I have a friend who works a retail job and often boasts about hitting 12,000 steps while working.  Again, let me stress any activity is good activity.  But, having said that – meandering around and getting your steps in is NOT the same as getting in a good aerobic workout.

So simply getting in 10,000 steps by walking around is not sufficient to make a significant increase in your fitness level.

To accomplish that, you need to engage in activity that significantly increases your heart rate for at least 30 minutes.  That means  a challenging aerobic activity.  That can mean walking.  But it means walking quickly and purposely or challenging yourself by walking up stairs – not just lesiurely walking around and getting steps in.

And walking alone is not going to greatly increase your overall fitness level.  In addition to increasing your lung capacity and heart strength with an intense aerobic session you need exercise that will build your muscle and bone strength.  This mean higher impact exercising like running and doing workouts where you jump and put a good kind of stress on your bones and joints and muscles.

You also need to increase your muscle mass by doing activities that grow muscle – like lifting weights and doing challenging body weight exercises.  This does NOT mean that you have to become a body builder.  However, if you have 30 minutes to exercise you should be spending some of those days getting in muscle building exercises.  If you do 30 minutes of squats, lunges and push-ups, you might sacrifice hitting those precious 10,000 steps for a day, but you’ve greatly increased your fitness level and will burn MORE CALORIES when you stop moving then you will from even a brisk walk.

On the other side of the coin you have people who easily hit their 10,000 steps and then think that they can just relax the rest of the day.  That’s not healthy either.

Runners can be especially guilty of this.  They wake up on a Sunday morning, go for a 7 mile run (approximately 14,000 steps) and then spend the rest of the day sitting on the couch.  Even for people that do intense workouts, inactivity is bad!  If it takes you just over an hour to run 7 miles and then you barely move for the next 23?  That’s not healthy!

So find that balance.  This wearable fitness technology is fantastic as a reminder to keep yourself moving.  But remember that 10,000 is pretty much an arbitrary number and should be a small part of your eating and fitness routine – not the solitary goal! 


Friday, December 18, 2015

I smell COOKIES!

TEMPTATION! Is that the root of all evil? This time of year is filled with constant sources of temptation. So is your best strategy to avoid it or face it in the attempt to conquer it?

I deal with this all the time with my clients. Some seem to feel that there is a certain moral high ground of being able to face what tempts them and walk away. And there certainly is some gratification in being able to do that. To have something that you want right in your face and being able to turn it down.

But it’s hard - really super hard. As I tell my clients - no matter how good their program is, they are bound to have a weak moment. And if that weak moment occurs while they are around what tempts them - they are certainly going to be more vulnerable to use.

So what is the best strategy? If your weakness is donuts, why would you walk into Dunkin’ Donuts to get your morning coffee? Can get your coffee from some place that doesn’t serve those sugar coated temptations?

I will admit that there have been times when I’ve actually completely avoided certain social situations because I was in a place mentally where I knew I could not avoid temptation and would eat way off plan if I went to them.

But, like the alcoholic can’t avoid for the rest of his or her life being around people who drink, we CERTAINLY can’t spend our lives avoiding situations where we might be tempted to eat something we “shouldn’t” or eat more then planned.

And there’s the other side of the coin - there is a lot of research that indicates that willpower is almost like a muscle - the more you use it, the stronger it gets. So being faced with what tempts you over and over again - when you are able to say “NO” it makes it easier the next time and so on.

So there is a fine balance of exposing yourself to temptation and avoiding it all together. You might not be able to keep all tempting foods out of your home, but don’t bring home a gigantic cheesecake if you love cheesecake in your mind saying that it is for your husband. Because you and I both know what will likely happen. You’ll avoid initially and then say that you’ll just have a “tiny slice”. The next thing you know, you’ve eaten 4 “tiny slices” and you feel like shit - physically and emotionally.

It makes no sense to constantly expose yourself to temptation. Alcoholics who want to join a “dart league’ that plays all over the local bar scene? That’s just crazy.

If you know that there is an event where you just won’t be able to avoid going off plan, especially if you are vulnerable in terms of being tired or stressed, or if you know someone who pushes your buttons is going to be there - just skip it.

But if you are going to be exposed to temptation there are certain things that can help make it easier to be on plan. Like wearing something tight so overeating would be too uncomfortable. If you are in a situation where you are bringing a friend or family member with you that you trust, tell them what you goal is - like not going back for seconds - and ask them to keep you on track.

There are all kinds of strategies to avoid temptation - who has one they can share??


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Ready for change?

What are the ingredients necessary for change? Why does change happen? How does someone who has smoked for dozens of years quit - finally? My friend smoked through 2 collapsed lungs - even sneaking out of the hospital to smoke during one of those episodes. Someone he knew was diagnosed with cancer and he still didn’t quit - even as he was around while she went through chemo. That person then went into remission but when he saw her several months later, she told him the cancer was back and she had been given about 6 months to live. That was it for him. He bought some nicotine replacement gum and never smoked again.

For some people, change happens when something “shocks” them into changing. Like a doctor telling someone to lose weight or they’re going to die. Or someone being told by their employer that they need to stop drinking or they’ll be fired.

But more often it’s small things that lead people to make a life-altering change. Why and exactly how that change is made is a source of debate and study that experts still don’t have THE answer to, otherwise everyone could and would be able to make those changes.

There is a stages of change model out there that seems to work well in helping people to try to understand where they are at. It was developed in the late 1970's and early 1980's by James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente at the University of Rhode Island.

Stage 1: Pre-contemplation: This stage is true denial - the person does not believe anything is wrong and there is no need to change their behavior at all.

Stage 2: Contemplation: This is the stage where many people live their lives. They know that their behavior is at least a minor problem. There is a desire to change, but also a desire to NOT change. People in this stage weigh the pros and cons of the effort it takes to changes versus the consequences of staying right where they are.

Stage 3: Preparation: In this stage the person has started to make plans to change. This might involve getting the paperwork to join a gym. It might mean gathering healthy recipes. Making an appointment with a doctor to get a nicotine patch. Getting a list of AA meetings - the person has made a decision to change and is getting ready to start their change.

Stage 4: Action: The hardest stage! Putting your money where your mouth is. Actively working on the change. Implementing the tools gathered in the preparation stage. Eating healthier, exercising, not smoking or drinking - whatever behavior the person is trying to change, they are actively working on it.

Stage 5: Maintenance: The person is in this stage has integrated their new habits into their lives. It is an ACTIVE stage though - which means the person is not just coasting, but actively works to maintain their new lifestyle. That means recognizing being at risk for relapse and making plans to deal with that - like attending more Narcotics Anonymous meetings during stressful times

While not technically a stage of change, Relapse has to be mentioned. It can happen at any time and usually does, not matter what behavior we are talking about. It involves falling back into old habits and old behaviors.

Relapse might throw a person all the way back to contemplation - I’ve had moments of this - the “fuck it it’s not worth it!” moments. Or it might be a quick throwback and the person gets right back into action and then rapidly into maintenance.

Where do you think you are right now? Are you a happy maintainer? Are you in action? Are you thinking about changing, but haven’t really done anything about it yet?

This is the time of year when many people are in the preparation stage. They have decided to make a change and are gathering information and tools, but haven’t really started making any real changes yet. Many people won’t until January 1st.

If you fall into that category, that’s great! I would encourage you to use this time for practicing - not fully committing to a complete lifestyle change, but trying it out. If you’ve decided your going to stop smoking in the New Year, try not smoking one of the times you always do - like after dinner. Just skip ONE cigarette and see how it feels. Going to join a gym? Great! Pick a night and do 1 20 minute workout video without any other expectations - even give it a half-assed effort but try it out! Pick one weeknight and make a healthy recipe you’ve never tried before.

This will help psych yourself up and give you a running start when the big day hits!!

Where do you see yourself today?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Predicting the future...

I am not a member of the psychic friends network.  I can’t see what lottery numbers will be drawn – oh, but I SOOOO wish I could!  I don’t know who will win the upcoming Presidential primaries.  (Don’t get me started!)

I don’t know if I’m going to get my shit together or whether I’m just going to keep getting fatter and fatter.

But I can tell you what the future holds in just a couple of short weeks – are you ready?

First let’s look at where we are right now.  My Facebook feed is FULL of cookie and cake recipes.  Colorfully decorated snowman made with so much sugar and butter that I typically gain about 1.7 pounds just scrolling over the fracking recipe!  Pie ideas to serve for Xmas that make the most fit person’s heart seize up with one bite! 

And don’t forget the selfies of people partying – drinking high fat alcohol drinks and eggnog thick enough to choke a horse.  And wonderful looking thick dips and creams served at friends’ Xmas party.

We have a new gym that I walk by twice every day – passing it from where I park into work.  It has 1-2 people that I can see working out in it in the morning and a sprinkling of people in the late afternoon.

But this won’t last!  In just a couple of short weeks, people will be throwing out their Xmas trees and putting on brand spanking new workout clothes.

My Facebook feed will be filled with people post kale recipes.  They’ll be bragging about trying quinoa for the first time.  There will be suggestions of how to freeze healthy recipes for use on a busy weeknight.

And – without a doubt – there will be a ton of people with their new Fitbits crowing about achieving their 10,000 steps.  And the now close to empty gym that I pass will undoubtedly be filled to the brim.

People will be posting that swimsuit season is coming and they want to ROCK a bikini this year.
This is fantastic!!!  And unfortunately, the vast majority of these life changes will be abandoned before Valentine’s Day. 

I don’t want to be that statistic.  I want to make some serious changes and I want them to last, not to be a 5 day commitment which has marked this year.

So I was thinking today that now is the perfect time to make plans.  As I’ve mentioned before research shows that people that focus on a date in the future to make a change – stopping smoking, exercising, etc, have a great success when they have committed to that goal.

The goals need to be small and attainable.  Not “I’m going to lose 100 pounds this year” but “My goal is to weight myself every day and to lose 5 pounds in January.”

So I’m going to start making some goals – slow, small goals that will allow me to get back on track.  

And while I allow myself to enjoy what is left of the holiday season, I’ll keep in mind those goals.

Have you thought about making a list of goals for January?  How about telling us some?

Saturday, December 12, 2015

With one exception...

In many ways I feel like after a disastrous year that I am getting back on track.

Mentally, I am in good spirits – I haven’t felt that feeling of total and utter despair that plagued me earlier in the year.  I’ve been reasonably able to put things in my life in perspective – not an easy feat for a drama queen bitch like me.

I’ve even chosen to see things in a more optimistic way – looking at events as opportunities, seeing the good in people.  Okay, not ALL people :)  But in general just viewing people in a positive light.  Having my head NOT full of paranoia and anger is a good thing!

I feel like my exercising is back on track – I am still exercising about 2 hours a day, but not out of desperation and if I feel like I need a light day, I’ve been taking it.

And running?  Well, I ran 30 miles this week – including the 7 I did this morning with the dogs.  It’s by far the most miles I’ve run in a single week in a very long time.  My times are slow as shit, but I’m okay with that right now. 

My Achilles hurts but it doesn’t HURT.  I don’t think it will ever get better.  (At least not until I’m 70 when I get fat again as promised and ride a scooter everywhere I go – actually I’m hoping that by then we’ll have these flying hoverboard type things that I can fly on…like Rygel in Farscape.)

But I digress…

So in general, life is good.  Except in one area – my incessant, constant, and disgusting behavior of STUFFING MY FACE.

We took some pics yesterday for our holidays cards and I was beyond horrified by how I looked when I saw the pics, with a magnificent muffin top clearly spilling over the top of my too tight pants.
Why, when I saw this picture and was so crushed by it, did I go ahead and plow my way through food yesterday?? 

There is no excuse, no reasoning, no nothing that can justify and explain why I just cannot – WILL NOT – get my fat ass under control!

What’s it going to take?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Suggestions but no solutions!

I never know when I’m going to pop up. Last night on my Twitter feed, I suddenly saw myself in a split screen showing me in 2009 and then in 2012. Runkeeper was re-running the short story they did about me last year. I then saw that they had also re-cycled it on their Facebook feed.

I am assuming this is because of the story being re-visited - although I suppose it could just be a coincidence - but I received an e-mail from someone this morning asking – begging - for help. The person states that she has tried for YEARS to lose weight and has had some success at losing but has always gained it back and is the heaviest she has ever been. She is relatively young, but has health issues and is desperate to find a way to lose weight.

I recognized the pain and shame and utter despair in her “voice”. I have been there, felt that. This is not the first time that someone has come to me - I have had both strangers and people I know wanting to know how I did it. They want THE ANSWER. I wish - SO WISH - that I could just tell them the magic solution - the one that would allow them to “get it” and begin the process of fulfilling their weight loss dreams.

I wish this because I would love everyone to be healthy and happy with themselves. I also wish it because if I had THE solution I would be wildly rich Open-mouthed smile

But I don’t have an easy answer - one that I can just explain to people and change their lives in an instant.

If it were easy everyone would be thin, right?

I wonder if - when people see that story about me - they have any idea how HARD it was and still is. People (ME INCLUDED) want things easy, I think. I wonder if people see pictures of me and think that giving up certain foods allowed the pounds to melt off and I decided to run and immediately and gracefully started running miles… If only that were true.

So I told this woman a harsh reality - it fucking sucks. There is NO EASY WAY to make it happen. If you want weight loss and improved health, you have to sacrifice. You have to give up foods that you love. You have to say no when you don’t want to. You have to stand around and watch others eat what you don’t. You have to plan your meals and watch your portions and PAY ATTENTION to what you eat rather than just eating. You can’t just go to a restaurant and order - you have to check out the calories in the meal before you order.

You have to exercise. And it hurts. I think there are some wackos out there that LOVE the feeling of their heart in their throat beating a million miles per hour and muscles aching and every fiber of the body screaming STOP. I am NOT one of those people.

Believe it or not I HATE exercise. I have NEVER gotten a runner’s high. I don’t relish the “me” time. I do it because I HAVE to if I want to be thin-ish and fit. I hate it less than I used to, but I still hate it.

As I told this woman - that is the bad news. But here is the good news - study after study shows that losing even a small amount of weight improves your health dramatically! So if you weigh 225 pounds, getting under 200 - even if you are still technically obese - makes you SO MUCH healthier.

And the rewards when you not only lose weight but start eating right and exercising? They are fantastic! Being able to wear cuter and more comfortable clothes. Your energy will increase. You will sleep better. Your skin will look and feel better. Your sex life will improve. You might be able to stop certain medications. You will be happier!

The other good news is to achieve small goals, you don’t have to change everything at once - I didn’t! What do you have the ability to change RIGHT NOW? Can you commit to walking 30 minutes 3 times a week? Can you set a goal to drink more water? Can you cut down eating desserts from 4 days a week to one? Can you eat out less? Can you park in the furthest parking space from the door when you go to the mall? Can you switch from white bread and pasta to whole grain?  Can you commit to adding in more veggies to your meals? All of these little things start to add up. And you can and should be continually re-thinking your goals and re-assessing what is working and what is not.

I don’t have THE answer, but hopefully the suggestions I made will help her. And I hope I take my own advice!

Monday, December 7, 2015

No slacking off now…

Most weekends go by in a blur, but the weekends around the holidays seem to go even faster! I feel like I am always trying to cram in activities balanced with chores and Xmas shopping and about 1 billion other things!

On Saturday, I wanted to get the boys pictures with Santa which they were doing at Petco. So, my brilliant mind decided that if I took them for a long run in the morning, they would be calm and docile for our visit to Santa. Yeah, right - have you ever met a Boxer?? I was tired - them? Not so much!!

The woman who took the pictures was a pretty crappy photographer as you can see, but the money I paid to get the pics taken went to the local SPCA, so I consider it more of a donation. Yes, Santa does look like he is choking both of my boys, but actually, Chakotay loved Santa - getting several uninvited licks in before the picture was taken. Archer tolerated Santa, although surprisingly he was a little more weary of the man in red then his brother.

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I do most shopping in general online, but we had to make a few stops - people are CRAZY this time of year, right?

Sunday arrived and Marc and I had signed up with Runkeeper for their global 5K event - where people around the world were encouraged to run or walk 5K on Sunday for a sense of world unity. We did our part as we headed to a local trail and ran 4 miles.

jenny and I and dogs global5k day run

I found myself thinking this weekend that Xmas in only 3 weeks away and that maybe I should just completely relax and do whatever I want until then. As I stared at all the goodies in the stores, the temptation to eat frivolously and not hang on to healthy habits was there BIG TIME. Fat Jen told me repeatedly that I should enjoy myself and just start new after Xmas. Almost like a drug addict using all he/she can before heading off to rehab.

That is a dangerous prospect - studies show that the majority of weight gained during the holiday season is NEVER LOST. And people that are overweight or obese gain much more than normal weight people during the holidays. Although my body may not currently fall in that category, my mind does, and always will, so I am definitely in a greater risk category.

So I still aim to stay on track MOST of the time, and not go back to the “I’ll quit tomorrow” mentality. I would encourage everyone out there to do the same. Yes, allow yourself some leeway, but allowing yourself to just eat whatever you want or slack off on exercise - it just will make it that much harder come January 1st! And we all know it is SO FUCKING HARD as it is.... why pile it on (no pun intended)?



Saturday, December 5, 2015


Is what I feel coming.  The start of December has been an unbalanced one so far.  I was taken out of my routine several times this week, and it filled me with fear.

But maybe, just maybe, fear is what is needed.  I’m am having some change foisted upon me at work – new challenges and new responsibilities and stepping into the unknown.

Since I don’t adjust to change well, I feel scared of being taken out of my known routine.  So my immediate reaction was anxiety and resistance when I attended a meeting about these changes yesterday.

But after the meeting as I was processing mentally what these changes would mean, I realized – once again – that I can choose to see this change as an opportunity instead of something negative.

After all, the routine that I’ve been in this year – well, it hasn’t been making me particularly happy and successful.  I mean, I’m love what I’m doing at work, but I’ve gotten so used to the routine of it, that I’ve also been in my head too much.  And I’ve been obsessing about exercise and weight all the time.  And the result?  I’ve gotten progressively fatter and have felt a lot of lack of control in myself more days than not.

So now, with new challenges, maybe I can get outside of ME and focus on a new mental challenge and maybe food and exercise won’t dominate my life in the unhealthy way it has!

The change is a little way off.  So I have some time to adjust and plan.  I had already decided that December would be a practicing month  - to set up for a better 2016 – so this falls right along with it!


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

BLECH of a day!

You guys know that I have a TERRIBLE memory right? I don’t know how many times Marc has said to me “You don’t remember that??!!” referring to something that a few months or even years ago and I’m like “I don’t remember what happened THIS MORNING!”

But some things can’t be forgotten even though I wish they could. It was 25 years ago today when my father died of a heart attack. I can’t believe it’s been 25 freaking years. Every detail of that horrible morning is etched in my mind as clearly as when it happened.

Yesterday it was dark all day long and rained.  I woke up this morning to the same.  It hasn’t been all that cold, but when everything is damp and dark, it just makes it feel colder than it really is.

I told myself in the shower this morning that all I needed to do was get through today and I can mentally move on to looking forward to the holidays.

Arriving at work this morning I was busy and productive with no time to be in my head, and I was feeling pretty good all things considered. And then all hell broke loose. Things didn’t go as planned - there was running around and complete chaos and waiting and all the things that I have no patience for – this included me not getting to take my lunch break.

Now that’s not a tragedy, but when your entire existence seems to be focused on working out and burning a required amount of calories, missing a workout - well, it feels like a disaster. Add this to stress and anxiety and sadness - well, that’s not a good thing.

It’s so stupid when I intellectually think about it, but that guttural sense that not having worked out has instantly made me gain 20 pounds sits there like a monkey on my back.

Was there really a time in my life when I NEVER worked out and didn’t think a damn thing about it? That seems like a lifetime ago!

I’m happy to close the door on this sad day for at least another year.  And tomorrow will be better, right?