Saturday, November 23, 2013 still haven't gained back your weight?

Wish I could say how many times I've had this question, or some version of it, asked to me in the last year. It's a lot.

And I gotta say a couple of times those questions included some arch tone, as if the person was somewhat surprised that I hadn't. 

I also hear dire warnings about how hard it is to maintain, and of how someone's (mother, brother, best friend's cousin, some random neighbor down the road) lost 100 pounds and then regained it.

The first few times, this question rocked my world. Really - I saw myself in that scenario and I spend more time than I should have bending the ear of one or all of my closest friends exacting promises from them to keep me from gaining one pound ever and endless scenarios of "what if?what if? what if?"

There is a stat out there that says "95% of all dieters regain their weight loss." I did a little research into that study and it's unmitigated bull. Not true at all. The study was redone in 1999 under better control and the results then were much different. Actually, MOST dieters kept the weight off for 5 years or more.  

Still, there is that figure of "most" which does mean many, many people worked real hard, the regained. Sure does. And I have a thought on that.

Take a little side trip for a's worth it, trust me.

Dr. Wayne Dyer has a wonderful philosophy about intentions. His view is that you when a possible outcome can go a negative way or a positive way, believe the positive. Even if the chance is 1% or 10% or 50%, set your intention towards the positive. Always.  Why not? If the outcome could go either way, and you decide it's going to go the way you don't want it to go, then you've further diminished your chances!!!

So, back to weight loss.

I intend to maintain healthy eating and exercise habits for the rest of my life.

Do I know that this will be hard? Sure do.

Do I know that others have lost and regained? Sure do

Do I know that ""I"" have lost and regained? Sure do

What do I care about?

I care about making good health decisions today. I get that my weight will fluctuate a few pounds from time to time and my happiness is not dependent on some number on a scale. But I also know that if I start putting my trigger foods on my plate, pretty soon I'll be seeing that number go up to places that I won't be able to do the activities I like, which would be a problem.

I'm working on what would be a good answer to someone who asks me about my weight loss and how long will it last; haven't come up with a good reply yet. In time, I will.  For now, I just set my intentions to the outcome I want.

Thought to take with me today: Focus on what you want, see it, feel it, taste it, smell it. Intend that it will be yours - and it will be

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


For years I would watch joggers from my car. Out loud I made fun of them. Inside, I envied their easy stride, swinging pony tails, and sweaty faces. I wanted to be them.

But running at 200, 220, 240, 250 pounds is problematic to say the least. Especially when walking is challenging. Running? yeah, not so much.

So when I began losing weight, one of the first things I put as a goal was to run a 5k. My trainer never really understood WHY that was so important and to be fair, it was hard to put into words, that I wanted to be that beautiful woman running along the side of the road, lost in her own world, feeling the pounding pavement and moving so effortlessly through space.

As I began losing weight, running became more and more of a possibility. Using the C25K program, I would faithfully get out on the track and churn out week 1, then week 2, and then somewhere around week 3, I'd get injured, again. It happened so many times, that eventually I gave up on that goal.

This June a fellow gym member asked me if I wanted to run with her. Our first mile (as documented on my Nike app) was 14 minutes - a combination of walking and running.  We started running 2 - 3 times a week and very gradually our pace dropped to 13, 12:30, 12:00 and then into the 11:00's.
We talked about maybe, possibly doing a race - we were both so nervous. What if we were last? What if we couldn't do it?

Finally, I said "So what!!!" to all of our questions and signed us up.

And because you know where this is going....on October 26, I ran my first 5k!

And then my second on November 2

And then my third on November 9

Yeah, 3 in 3 weeks. That's a bit cray-cray I know.

While I do not for a moment think I look beautiful when I run, I hope that I look like I'm enjoying it, because I am. Moving through space, feeling the air, loving the time outside.

I run, because I can. 

Thoughts to take with me today: Dream big

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My journey so far

On July 1, 2011, I began my second life. That date is more important to me than my real birthday, as it is the day I was reborn.

As every birth of a child is hard, my journey has been no different. It was and is hard. But as every birth of a long waited for child is a reason for celebration, so is mine.

On July 1, 2011,  my weight was 258. 

On November 1, 2013, my weight was 154.

How did I do it?

Oh dear ones, I have to use a cliche that I really don't like.

It was one day at a time.

But to dig a bit deeper, the process also involved not giving up even when...

I went to bed in tears from the pain of working out
The scale refused to budge for weeks and months
My clothes didn't get bigger
No one noticed
I was hungry

I just kept telling myself "It will work. Everything you are doing will work in time, give it another month, two months, three months. Just please believe, and keep following the plan."

Another thing I did that was helpful was that I saw a therapist about why I weighed so much in the first place. She became a tremendous support.

Those of you that have read my blog also know that practicing yoga became vital.  It was on my mat that I first found peace and in time I learned how to take that peace off the mat. Trust me, it's still a bitter process at times, but easier every day.

Would I do anything differently? No, I wouldn't, except  I wish I had trusted more and worried less.

And the process? What did I actually DO?


Workout - 
Cardio that got my heartrate up 5 days a week 45 minutes to an hour
Yoga 3 days a week
Strength training 2 days a week
Rest day 1 day a week (although I didn't do a rest day for months, that took a long time to trust that I wouldn't quit after having a day off)

Diet - 
About 1800 calories with 45% carbs, 30% protein, 25% fat. Very few processed foods, with tons of chicken, good starches, fruits, and veggies.

That's it - no magic combination, no withholding of any food really. I ate and still eat what I want, but in limited portions.

There is one more thing I did that I don't always give full credit for. There were 3 close friends that knew everything I was going through - including my starting weight, which was hard to admit, but it was good that I did.  By being brutally honest with them in the beginning, they were able to remind me of the progress and point out milestones that were easy to forget when when I was depressed.

Although you most likely never see this, Natalie, Erin, and Denise. I love each of you dearly. You have a piece of me in you and I trust you to hold that piece with care. And you do.

The payoff -
No more medications
My body feels alive
Endorphins kick ass
I am more healthy at 51 than I was at 21

For those of you struggling with weight, I beg you to not give up.

You CAN do this
You are stronger than you know
You are worth the struggle

Thoughts to take with me today: I am not thin, I am healthy - inside and out - and that's pretty cool.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


At the end of every yoga class, there is a time of rest or savasana. These few minutes allow the body and the mind to absorb the work of the class and more importantly, a time of reflection, a time of quiet, a time of peace.

Savasana is the corpse pose. 

By engaging in this asana at the end of each class, we remind ourselves that life has a beginning, a journey, and an end. It should be a moment of quiet celebration and a gentle acceptance of the passage of yet another piece of our lives. The class is finished, it cannot be repeated, it can only be remembered.

And not just yoga, but so much of what we do is also a cycle.

Our child's first day of school - then the proud walk across the stage
The nervous first date - then the tearful "I do" in front of loved ones
A smile from a stranger - then the oh-so-sweet hug from your best friend
The first kiss - then the closing of a lid

Beginnings and endings - all with tears and smiles and love and sweetness

I celebrated an ending this week. I wish I coud say it was done with grace and dignity. I cannot claim that. In fact, I cried bitterly that something so very important to me had come full circle. I could not celebrate a single thing, I could only think of the loss. But I was wrong to do that. Very.

In the moment we forget 

rainbows only come after storms
pearls are made from grains of sand
mountains must have valleys to even be mountains

and mostly - to be human, we must engage in a full range of emotions

Including tears

The end always comes - and that's a reason to celebrate - and even more of a reason to love every single minute of what we hold dear.

Thoughts to take with me today: Do not cry because it's over; smile because it happened. Namaste

Thursday, May 9, 2013


I'm a teacher. It goes with out saying I have candles. Why? When it's time to give a teacher a present, what is the 'go-to' gift? A candle.

I have jar candles of all sizes, votives, tapers, shaped, novelty -  every color and scent imaginable. In fact, at last count, there are well over a hundred candles in my house right now.

Tucked away in drawers. Just about every one of them. Except for the few that sit out getting dusty.

Why do they sit?

Because I don't burn candles.

Do I not burn them because I don't like them? Actually, just the opposite. I LOVE candles. I love the flickering flame, the gentle glow, the subtle smells...I adore walking into a dim room lit only by the warmth and richness of a candle. It makes me smile. Every single time.

I don't burn them, because I don't want to waste them.

What happens to candles left unburned? Eventually they lose their smell, their color, and fade into a dull lump with a wick. Of little use or interest to anyone.

Wait...What was my goal again?
I. Don't. Want. To. Waste. Them.

As if burning them in my house, for my pleasure, is a waste.

This truth hit me hard recently as I looked at 5 candles in tall glass votives on a sideboard. At one time each candle was a vibrant color with a vivid smell, nestled in a sparking glass, asking to be used, but instead, over time, slowly fading to a non-descript color with only a hint of the original scent, covered in dust.

In saving them, I wasted them.

Now, let's take a deep breath and tuck down a bit further, peel back a couple of layers and see what I'm really saying.

I'm not worth a candle.

The pleasure of enlightening my senses, of bringing a smile to my face, of feeling the comfort - all for me? No, I'm just not worth it.

But I am. I'm worth a candle, and so much more.

This is what my sideboard looks like right now.

Candles, lit and in use, not for anyone else, but for me. For no other reason than it makes me smile.

What do you save for company only? Is there something that you only pull out for 'special' that sits in a drawer or a closet that you wish you could use more often? I challenge you to use it for you, not for company, but for the best person in your life - you.

You are worth that, and so much more.

Thoughts to take with me today: Light a candle, feel the love, and smile.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Lessons from a beginner

There were new people in my yoga class last night. This isn't unusual, except that these were first-timers to yoga - as in, first class, evah. Since this is a mixed levels class, beginners are generally part of any class, but brand new? Not so much.

One of the ladies was me from two years ago - unsure, uncoordinated, inflexible, but determined to do everything 'right.'  I wanted the class to go just so beautifully for her, I wanted her to align her hips, flex forward with ease, and then bend back and open her heart to the heavens and see herself as the radiant soul she most certainly is.

My wish for her? No struggle, no effort, just joy

Of course though, she had a typical first timer's class. Nothing came automatically. She needed many adjustments, lots of explanations, and several attempts to do basic poses.

Thankfully, her first class was under the instruction of a great yogi - one who has marvelously clear instructions and tons of support, all delivered with a spirit of love and humor.

At the end of the class though, the similarities between her first class and mine ended as she commented to me, "I know I didn't do everything perfect, but I felt like I did a whole lot right! I loved it!"

The thud you hear is my heart hitting the ground as I realized that even after two years, I still don't always have that attitude. Too often I end class thinking about how much my hip hurt in a stretch, that I needed to be corrected in a back bend, or how someone else's pose soared, while mine...not so much.

In other words, I focus on what I did wrong, instead of celebrating the journey on my mat that day, respecting where I was at that moment.

It took a beginner to help me see that.
Maybe girlfriend isn't such a beginner after all.

Tomorrow brings another yoga class and another chance to enjoy the movement and feel the love. My goal is to end it with deep belief with her exact statement.

"I know I didn't do everything perfect, but I felt like I did a whole lot right! I loved it!"

Thoughts to take with me today: Who are you right now? You are also a radiant soul. Believe nothing less.

Monday, March 4, 2013

It's the pauses that matter

The more I study, practice, learn about yoga the more I'm struck by how much I want my life to actually be yoga. As in, no difference between my behavior on or off my mat. Just seamless, continuous yoga.

On my mat I can be calm, giggly, exuberant, sad, humble, joyous, inquisitive, or any number of emotions, not always 'pretty' ones, but authentic and respectful of what I am at that moment.

On my mat I journey from one pose to another and pause when the pose is exactly right for me,  Not where I will be in a year, or where I was a year ago. But now - this moment.

On my mat, I don't ask myself  'why?' and 'when?" and "what the hell are you trying to do?" There is movement and breath and finally a stillness with no past or future. Only present. Only this moment.

On my mat I breathe in peace and breathe out what little stress is there. It's not that the anxiety melts or dissipates in the yoga room, it's that it doesn't follow me. The stress is somewhere out in the hall, or parking lot, or just away.

On my mat healing thought patterns form and slowly erase the old tapes. Thought patterns that speak the truth with love and over time I believe those whispered truths just a bit more.

On my mat, I pause, and feel that moment.

On my mat, I am home.

This weekend I made a comment about someone being 'comfortable with having pauses' when they teach yoga. And there was the discovery. How perfect to have pauses in life. How right to be still, how blissful to leave the anxiety in the ether and what a gift to breathe in peace.

Living the moment - no matter what is happening - exercising, meditating, eating, house cleaning -loving the purpose of the moment.

That's yoga.

Thoughts to take with me today: I want to live on my mat and I can. It only takes practice.