Sparkly & Slimming….a Weight Loss Blog

Samantha's journey to slim down, while remaining sparkly!

Thin – at any cost?

Sometimes procrastination pays off! I read this article last week and was so heated I need to blog….only then I got distracted (squirrel!) and never came back to finish the post. Last night was the finale of “The Biggest Loser” and of course there was controversy. Usually the big drama is someone went home, sat on their bum and didn’t look any different. Well this time we had quite the opposite problem…and it ties in to the article!

So, my friend Tiffany always posts thought-provoking things and she shared a true gem with this article…”Woman Can’t Have Kids After Gastric Bypass, Still Happy to Be Thin“.

Of course, the title alone was enough for me to be appalled – but then I read the article….

This woman, Jill was never loved by her father (and he admitted it on the Oprah show! Stay classy buddy) and decided to get gastric bypass so she could finally be thin and he would love her.

Hold up – wait a minute – are you fucking kidding me!?

Nope, she was serious. She never felt like she deserved love until she could be thin – and her own father propagated those thoughts. Then she had surgery and guess what? She ended up worse off. She is now thin…..and weak, nauseous AND she can’t have children. Complications from gastric bypass actually caused her infertility!  Was it worth it to be a size 6? I vote no.  I really wish that during my lifetime we could get to a place as society where your size does not define your worthiness or happiness. Going to the extreme just illustrates that there are other issues (emotional usually) being masked. Yay you’re thin! Oh wait, now you can’t have kids and you’re sick all the time….who cares, your dad loves you finally!

Also – I feel compelled to give my own Dad a shout-out. He supports me in any endeavor I take on and loves me regardless of what size jeans I’m rocking. Thanks Dad, I’m lucky to have you! (When I told him about the article his response was “Wow that dad sounds like an asshole”. LOL!).

Now, how does Jill and her asshole dad tie into the “Biggest Loser”? Last night’s winner, Rachel Frederickson was a contestant I was hot and cold about all season. I could relate to some of what she said….then she would totally lose me. She was a competitive swimmer as a child (and looked healthy and vibrant in photos they showed) then she gave up that dream when her parents got divorced. At this point she stopped talking to her Dad (because she thought he was angry she stopped swimming? It was all sort of confusing) then she got caught up with an idiot boy and gained weight because she never felt loved. All season she pushed hard to get back to being the athlete she used to be – which was inspiring. At the end of the season she finished the “Biggest Loser” triathlon in first place and weighed 150 pounds (down from her starting weight of 260). She looked healthy and amazing. Last night she took the stage and I literally thought it was Karen Carpenter. She was frail, weak and she looked like you could snap her in half with a hug. Given the event is live they panned to Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels for a reaction shot….their faces were pricelessly horrified:

Bob Jillian Tanya

They quickly panned away…only they couldn’t pan to the other contestants because they all looked EQUALLY HORRIFIED!!

Finally, Rachel gets on the scale and weighed in at 105. Yup, you read that right….One hundred and five pounds on her 5’4″ frame. She looked scary. She looked sickly and as my friend Sandy pointed out, she looked like she had developed orthorexia nervosa (an eating disorder categorized by an unhealthy obsession with being healthy). Her cheeks were gaunt, her arms were literally just muscle and bone – she looked as though she might drop dead.

Have a look for yourself:


Here’s another shot where I’m fairly certain we can see ribs:

Now, I posted to my Facebook saying she literally scared me – I wouldn’t recognize her if I fell over her and I have watched every episode this season. Of course, someone had to reach out and tell me “my opinion was wrong – she was healthy and beautiful and clearly an athlete“. Nope – my opinion is just that, my opinion. You can agree or disagree but I’m not wrong (and you’re not right). 🙂

Here’s a snapshot of Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin – check out the body composition difference:

Now, let’s say Rachel was healthy (despite all the indicators that she isn’t)….my real anger came in when I took to social media to see what people were saying. On Twitter, Instagram and Facebook I watched random girl after random girl saying “OMG she is so thin, I would kill to look like that!”. Really?! REALLY? Why don’t we have healthy role models for kids? Why don’t we teach them that there is more to life than aiming to be a size 0 if you’re not naturally a size 0? Sometimes society amplified by social media makes me sad. Why do we value weight and size above happiness or healthiness?? Where’s the logic here people!?

Did you watch “Biggest Loser”? What was your reaction? Given this is a game it has been speculated that she did whatever she had to do to win the $250,000 – including starve herself. How far would you go to lose weight?




Fear, Shame or Accept?

My friend Christina posed the following question on Facebook: “Do you think spreading “fat fear” or “fat acceptance” is more beneficial to women’s health?”. It got me thinking (which is always the sign of a good question!) and inspired this post. Editor’s note: The question is posed for a research paper, my friend is not a jerk! 🙂

Just in case you’re not familiar with the term, let’s turn to Wikipedia:

The fat acceptance movement (also known as the size acceptance, fat liberation, fat activism, or fat power movement) is a social movement seeking to change anti-fat bias in social attitudes. The movement grew out of the various identity politics of the 1960s and campaigns for the rights of fat people to be treated equally both on a social basis and on a legal one. Areas of contention include the aesthetic, legal and medical approaches to people whose bodies are larger than the social norm. Besides its political role, the fat acceptance movement also constitutes a subculture that acts as a social group for its members. Activities include conferences, fashion and arts events, shopping, swimming and other sports clubs.

Now of course we all know what fat fear / fat shaming is and we all know it happens and that it has grown as things like social media take a forefront in our communication vehicle. As a society we are OBSESSED with fat. Truly obsessed. There is a billion dollar industry around losing your fat, preventing or fixing cellulite and creating “fat free” foods/diets/fads. There is an ideal body type women (and men!) should strive to obtain. Failure to do so will result in mocking, exiling and best of all – public humiliation.

That said – does fat fear have any benefit to society? In my opinion – no. It creates and fuels eating disorders and forces you to constantly weigh (no pun intended) each bite you take, each move you make etc. while living in sheer dread of embodying “fat” or “fat like qualities”. It’s ridiculous. It’s dangerous and we need reject this as a society and move past it.

By the same token, does fat acceptance have any benefit to society? Sigh. Let me step on my soapbox and take what will be an unpopular stance for a moment. We all hate bullies right? We all hate having something forced upon us and then subsequently being judged for not adhering right? Well that has been my experience with every fat acceptance activist. I am a seemingly easy conquest upon first glance – I’ve been fat since I was 8, struggling with diet after diet since I was 21 and I am a self-confessed food lover. BAM! Trifecta of what should be someone to jump on the FA bandwagon, right? Except….I don’t want to accept my body as it is and stop by quest for being slimmer. I don’t want to be complacent and just accept my size and embrace it. No, I want to change it. I want to make my body better, stronger, faster (thanks Kayne, that song is stuck in my head now). I want better for myself – and it’s not because of some stupid magazine (honestly have you read some of the crap diets they post? Seriously). I want to be smaller not so I can fit in cute clothes (though I’ll be frank, knee-high boots WILL happen in my life, I swear on it) but so I can move around better, so I don’t have aches and pains from carrying 300 extra pounds on my small frame and most importantly so I get the chance to meet the physical goals I’ve set for myself. I know you can be fat and healthy (and conversely – skinny and unhealthy) but I also know the smaller I get, the better I feel. I reject the idea that I was “made this way and will always be the way” and while we’re at it I reject (and loathe) the term “good fatty”. That’s what a Fat Acceptance loving friend told me I was. “Oh you’re such a good fatty going to the gym and barre!”.

Will I ever be a size 2? God no (have you seen my hips? I rest my case). Will I ever run a marathon? Nope and honestly I don’t attain to be a runner anymore. I never did love the dreadmill but Zumba, well that’s my JAM. I love cardio classes! I do strive to be the healthiest version of myself possible (and would just love it that ends up being a size 12/14 so I can shop at cute stores and have more options!) but regardless I will love myself just as I am. While we’re at it just because I have a desire to change doesn’t mean I don’t love myself ~ on the contrary I think it shows that I love myself enough to want to ensure the best life possible.

So rather than fear or accept I would propose we as society acknowledge fat – recognize we’re all different (no one should be a cookie cutter cut-out) and allow individuals to make their own decisions regarding their health. You’re a size 20 and love yourself as is? Rock on. You’re a size 2 and wish you could be a 0? Go for it – but keep your health in the forefront. Don’t starve yourself, don’t judge others for being bigger or smaller. The only person you’re in charge of is you – act that way.

As my favorite blogger/Facebook page (It’s Not a Diet, It’s My Life) says:

 its not a diet its my life


A Lesson in Overcoming Betrayal….

My freshman year of high school I joined the school newspaper. I loved writing and I thought it would be a great outlet to hone my skills and train me for my future career as a contributing editor of Rolling Stone (funny how things turns out eh?). I was fortunate enough to work under an amazing student adviser and an equally amazing editor who pushed me to dig deeper in my stories (thank you Katie Ehresman + Dave Morrissey!) and they taught me not to just write fluff pieces (as fun as those are) – find the emotion in the story, marry it with facts and give the writers a perspective they may not have considered. I wrote some pieces during high school that I’m still proud of to this day. I would come home from school fired up about something (silly administration policies, nonsense events getting more publicity than plays, musicals or just normal teenage angst etc.) announce to my mom I was “Going to write an article!” and march right to the family room to furiously type  my next masterpiece. I was unphased by challenging authority. I didn’t care if I wasn’t popular (and I wasn’t) I had friends but I didn’t need to fit in – I wasn’t someone who jumped on bandwagons (I usually boycotted them!).  I spoke my mind and often times I was able to connect with someone I wouldn’t have imagined I’d reach just based on my words. I had gusto – and I wasn’t afraid to use it.

I’ve been sitting here for hours trying to channel that girl.

I’ve been wronged, I’ve been deceived and dammit I want to share it! I want to tell the whole world all the awful things someone I trusted has done and said about me. I want to tell you how betrayed I feel for entrusting my weight-loss and my health to them only to be ridiculed behind my back.


Alas, sometimes being an adult means taking a terrible experience, using it to measure future interactions against and putting the person who has wronged you and the circumstances surrounding it behind you. So rather than share my pain and humiliation with you I will instead give you the top 5 new life lessons I’ve acquired over the last few weeks along with some perfectly paired quotes:

1.Confucius once said: “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon and the truth”. When multiple sources report the same story chances are it’s true even if you don’t want to believe it at the time…..


2. If something feels wrong – it probably is. I am terrible at trusting my intuition and often times I change my mind on someone I initially did not like. Trust your gut, it knows more than you think!


3. Tomorrow you’ll have to live with the words you said today – make sure you’d be proud of that


4.  Karma – it’s everywhere you want to be….

karma 1

5. “Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Let it go”.

hot coal

There you have it – new mantras to live by.

Be careful who you trust – be careful who you share your dreams with…not everyone touting health and fitness has your best interest at heart or wants you to succeed.

A few friends have told me I need to stop being so “glass half full/benefit of the doubt/rose-colored glasses” …eh, I can see where being this way gets me hurt more often – but it also means I’m usually happier and I’ll take happy any day. Onward and upward!

rearview mirror


What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

grow up

I watch a lot of weight-loss shows. Despite knowing how unrealistic it is I still watch Biggest Loser and Extreme Makeover etc. religiously. I’m a sucker for transformation stories. I’m a sucker for watching people change their lives. However, there is an alarming trend amongst weight loss success stories that I am fucking sick of – and I need to rant about!

92% of people who go on one of these weight-loss shows and lose weight go home and become…..a PERSONAL TRAINER! You can get certified online (no lie) in just a few hours. It infuriates me. Not just because losing weight doesn’t make you an expert in weight loss but because they have learned unrealistic habits – things like cutting everything but vegetables from you diet to dropping 11 pounds in 5 days by working out 9 hours a day. That is NOT real life. I’ve ranted about this before. Now set that aside and I will share what really grinds my gears about this….

Every time I hear a past contestant say they are pursuing a job as a trainer (or worse  –  a motivation speaker – gag!) I think to myself –

What did you want to be when you were little? What’s your PASSION? What dreams did you have before you gave up on yourself? What did you want to be when you were little? What are your passions? Now….why aren’t you pursuing those dreams??

I understand that once you’ve changed your life you want to share that with everyone and their Mom – but to me it seems like a cop out. Anyone who becomes obese has more going on inside them than just a love for food. I was a workaholic, overachiever who wanted to be perfect in any capacity she could – since she had failed at having a perfect body. I’m mostly over that now. I schedule workouts and usually stick to the schedule. I don’t turn to food for comfort from stress. I’ve made awesome strides; all while succeeding at a job I really enjoy doing. I didn’t give up on my career just because I was fat.

I also understand that some people were lost before they lost weight (no pun intended) or before they found the exercise that changed their lives. So, I don’t consider Zumba instructors or people who pursue their new-found passion for healthy cooking to be in this boat. It’s the personal trainer / motivational speaker schtick that kills me.

I took to Facebook to rant about this last night and my friend Sandy had a great point I wanted to share: You know why? Because these people lost weight in a way that makes health and fitness their entire 24/7 lives. They never learned how to fit it into a normal life. Therefore, if they have a job where they’re not working out at least 8 hours a day, they are gonna pack the poundage back on SO QUICK.

YUP – exactly. I have learned how to lose SLOW (unbelievably slow) and I’ve gained and lost again. I’m human. Humans fuck up. Humans have lives outside of weight-loss and counting calories and tracking calories burned. Humans are not machines. My brother used to tell me that dreams are what separated us from the animals (pretty sure it’s a move quote I’m hacking) and he’s right. So, what are you dreaming about? What can you not wait to do once you’ve conquered a hurdle like excess weight? I can’t wait to live a more active life than I have now. I can’t wait to have a family of my own so I can pass on healthy habits to my kids and I will do that while maintaining a career I’ve had since I was 21 in a field I am passionate about!


Extreme is an Understatement…..

As promised (just for you Gary!) here is my mini-rant on “Extreme Makeover Weight Loss” – ABC’s answer to “The Biggest Loser”.

The show started last year and I mentioned once before that I wasn’t a huge fan. I’m a little more on board with the show now. This season they focus a lot more about the person’s background (which I think is important!). What choices did you make, what circumstances happened that caused you to balloon up to your current size? You didn’t wake up one afternoon weighing more than a half-ton. Just like I didn’t wake up one morning at 400 pounds. A lot of bad decisions and wrong turns went into that number. I’m a firm believer in fixing the root of the problem instead of the side effects. I was unhappy with who I was as a person and I turned to food as a comfort, an activity etc. I can eat healthy and go to the gym or barre all I want ~ but that won’t fix what’s on the inside.

I have this saying at my desk at work, in both my phones and next to my bed:

Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

Back to the show  so the host is also the trainer, Chris Powell. I like him, I like his philosophy’s concerning weight-loss (except for one giant exception which I’ll get to in a second). He advocates healthy eating, cardio, weights and most of all – figuring out why you overeat.If you don’t know what got you lost in the first place, how can you prevent yourself from getting lost again?

His program is set up into 3 month segments – Phase 1 is three months of boot camp essentially. Phase 2 gets you read for a physical challenge of some kind (hiking, biking, triathlon) and then Phase 3 prepares you for skin surgery. During Phase 1 Chris moves in with you and transforms your house into a gym. Woo! I’m fine with this. However, I think his weight-loss goals are often entirely too lofty. In 90 days he has some contestants losing 120 pounds. Do  the math – that’s 1.3 pounds a day or a burn of 4666 calories PER DAY. That’s insane + frankly unsustainable. Ya know what happens when you lose that much weight that quickly? Loose skin. Like woah. Like this:

Why does this happen? Extreme, rapid weight loss causes your skin (which is an organ) to be unable to adjust. Your skin is a living organism ~ it expands (stretch marks) and it contracts. However, it does so slowly. By losing more than 1-2 pounds a week you not allowing your skin a chance to rebuild its elasticity and go back to normal. Now, will it ever be perfect? No. You will still have stretch marks and in some cases when you lose 200 + pounds you will need to have skin removal surgery in some areas. So why am I bitching about it? I don’t like the EMWL goal of Phase 3. Skin surgery. EVERY contestant has it and every contestant is excited about it. Skin removal surgery is a HORRIBLY painful process – why would you WANT to lose so quickly it became your only option? Oh right, because you’re on a game show. In addition skin surgery can be looked at like corrected vision surgery. You must maintain your current prescription for X amount of time (I believe it’s a year) before you can undergo laser eye surgery. On the show you literally hit a weight-loss mark and BOOM – you qualify for surgery. No maintenance required! This is (in my mind) a very bad practice. When you reach a goal there needs to be a level of maintenance to ensure you’re really there – you understand what’s required of you physically and mentally. Having skin surgery at the 9 month marker is instant gratification. If you haven’t learned anything ya know what happens? You’ll balloon back up to where you were.

I feel strongly that gastric bypass is not a choice for me – you guys know that – but the reason I’m so against it is tied in with what irks the shit of out me about this show. With GB you don’t learn to eat – you can still eat cupcakes and ho ho’s – just not as many as before. Hell you can lose 200 pounds and go right back to where you started if you’re not careful. Your skin (which is now scarred) will stretch back out and you will be right back in the same pickle you were in before….only now you have physical scars to remind you of your failure.

Do the contestants look amazing? Of course. This is Mike – he went from 493 to 238. He’s a different person! Oh and he also had almost 3 FEET of loose skin removed. Needless to say there are no pictures of the “after” showing the scars.

So, that’s my beef with the show. Yes it’s got some merit but dammit, why rush the process? Why advocate for dangerous surgery when it could (hopefully) be avoided.

I am losing weight. SLOWLY. Sometimes at a snail’s pace! But, I am keeping it off and learning a lot in the process. What I ate on a day-to-day basis 2 years ago is world’s away from what I eat now. How I feel about myself is also world’s away. I don’t want to be skinny – I want to be strong. I don’t have my mind set on a number I must weigh or a size I must attain (though for a long time 143 was the number and 8 was the size). I’ve come to a point in my life where I want different things. I want to be curvy yet strong. I don’t want to rush this process and end up looking like Frankenstein. Of course, that’s me – you’re welcome (as always) to your own opinion. That’s what makes this great nation so great – to each their own.


A mini-rant about overweight kids….

I’m not normally one to jump up on a soapbox when it comes to obesity and America. I have my views, but I rarely feel the need to share them in public or with perfect strangers…..

Yesterday was an exception.

I came this (.) close to lecturing this woman in front of me at the grocery store. She was a few inches shorter than me and about the same build, so I’d guess she was 250 or so. She was well-dressed and nice to chit-chat with as we were waiting to check out. Then I noticed her daughter. She was about 7 and she was a BIG girl (probably 100 pounds or close to it). It made me so sad. Her outfit was too small, and you could see little rolls on her arms and her back. She DESPERATELY wanted Mom’s attention…and Mom was ignoring her. She danced, she sang, she tugged on Mom’s pants…nothing. But then, her reward for “being good in line”? A candy bar. A GIANT candy bar.


The whole scene made me so sad. I kept fast-forwarding 10 years in my head. The girl would be 17 and have an awful relationship with food. It will be her crutch, her go-to when she needs to feel better. She would mask her feelings with food and resent her mother for not paying attention to her.

Now maybe I’m exaggerating. Maybe this Mom was just having an off day, but if so how could her 7-year-old weigh nearly 100 pounds?! Sigh. I’m not a mom, I have no idea how hard it must be to balance work life, social life and a family….but I do not that giving your kids food-related rewards isn’t the way to build a happy, healthy child.

It reminded me of my friend Molly who would bring her daughter to work on occasion. Molly’s daughter was short, and overweight by the age of 6.  Molly left the company I work at now, but I ran into her and her daughter about a year ago. Her daughter was 11 and had asthma, juvenile diabetes and she actually had trouble walking! It broke my heart. This was clearly caused from overeating and choosing TV over physical activity…how could anyone let that happen!? Sadly it seems that more and more kids are “obese” at a ridiculously young age.

Now, I’ve mentioned before I was heavy as a child. But, I wasn’t neglected by my parents, or pacified with candy.  I was a crafty little kid, I knew where the food was and I knew how to steal it! In hindsight nearly all my memories from elementary school have a food association! I wish I could go back in time and tell my 8-year-old self that food wouldn’t make kids at school be less mean….it would just make things harder in the long run. I wish I could have told that little girl in the grocery store to choose strawberries over candy, and that she was beautiful. Part of me wishes I had said something, but really it wasn’t my place.

Does anyone else have a knee-jerk reaction when they see obese kids? Did anyone else catch this article? (For the record I think the concept is ludicrous. The problem isn’t going to be solved by shipping kids off to foster home, it’s going to be solved by educating kids and parents on healthy choices!).  When I have kids I really want to impress healthy options upon them in both food choices and exercise. I think when I was in school no one really understood the long-term effects of eating processed crap and having gym once a week. Now-a-days we as a nation are much more aware of the calories in/calories out model.

What do you guys think? For those of you with kids or who work with kids do you teach them how to live healthier?


Breaking Through Barriers

I mentioned last week that it was a tough emotional weekend, and last night I had a true breakthrough. I had been whining all weekend about how I needed to exercise but then not doing it. I had 500 excuses why I couldn’t. (Wah, wah, wah, I know…). Finally, my brother said “Sam, get your shoes and your water- we’re going to work out. NOW.”

FINE. Fine fine fine.

We get to the gym and I was still in my funk. I don’t want to hold myself back from being the person I know I’m capable of being…but I just wasn’t not sure how to get there. I always considered myself a happy, bubbly person but the last few week I was doubting my ability – doubting if I could ever change. I’m in my head too much, and it’s causing me to want to shut down.

Sidenote: It snowed yesterday morning and they canceled Fat Club. I think I might have felt better if I could have weighed in, but such is life. I’ll weigh in next week and it will be a HUGE number to account for the missed weigh-in!

So, he’s doing his workout – I’m doing some of mine. But, I’m half-assing it. I could have bumped up my weights on the biceps, I could have done more reps on the row. But, I didn’t. I just wasn’t giving it 100%.

I started pedaling on the recumbent (my old enemy) and usually I want to get off after 2 mins. I give up because it’s hard. It’s working my legs in a way I’m not used to…and it hurts! When something hurts, I usually let myself give in and stop doing it.

While pedaling I realized that was a metaphor for my life. It gets too hard to diet? I give up. It gets too hard to exercise? I give up. I never push myself hard enough! While pedaling I was sweating and whining and sweating. Gah! This is SO HARD. I HATE the bike! Boom – I cry. Now, I’m an emotional person in general…but this was a different kind of crying. It was a release. I let myself get out the pent-up frustration. I accepted that this isn’t always going to be easy – but it will be worth it in the end.

By the time we finished I was pedaling at an average of 90 RPMS! 90! Who is this girl?!?!  When I used to see my trainer I was always at 60/65 – NEVER higher. This was a victory. I was covered in sweat!

I feel like I mentally broke down the barriers I had in place to safeguard myself from getting hurt. I karate-chopped them right down so I can walk over the rubble and move on.

I was this little penguin:

Cute huh? 😉

I went to bed feeling 100% better and today I woke up with a renewed sense of purpose. The road isn’t going to be lined with sparkles, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the journey and the sweat I put in to reach my goal.

I might not ever LOVE cardio, but if I can attain the high I felt after getting out of the gym yesterday more often, I think it will benefit me mentally. 🙂

Kudos to my bro for kicking my butt into going. I would have been sulking on the couch otherwise!

Oh and my next fitness challenge? I’m buying boxing gloves! Once I have them I plan on hitting the heck out of the heavy bag at the gym. Sounds like a good release of pent up tension! I want these ones specifically because I love hot pink:

Do you guys use exercise to get our your aggression? Have you felt like the connection between what you’re feeling and what you’re expending is almost tangible? Share it with me!


Setbacks Happen….

I recently heard this quote, and thought it was a good one to save:

“You have to have a setback to have a comeback….otherwise you just settle in your setback.”

I’ve had a 3-day weekend full of setback, and I think the quote is hitting home today. I only exercised once, despite having 5 million opportunities to workout. I went completely off plan and ate WAY over my points on both Saturday and Sunday. Oh, and I gained 2 pounds.

Now, 2 pounds isn’t horrible – I can recover. But, the emotional part of a setback is the killer. I question whether or not I can REALLY do this. Doubt creeps in and I have a mini-meltdown. Can I actually get under 300 points this year? Can I make my goal? Can I be successful with weight-loss? Am I just fooling myself into thinking I can succeed? Maybe I’m just one of those people who’s always supposed to struggle with weight?Maybe I’m not meant to be thinner? Maybe my body wasn’t designed to be thin??? Maybe I should throw in the towel?

It’s crazy. I know, but it’s the strange cycle my brain goes through. It makes me toss and turn at night and want to withdraw from my life and hide under the covers for weeks at a time.

But alas, it’s Tuesday and I had to work.  So, I could not hide in bed and avoid my failure of a weekend. I have to face it, and move forward.

This weekend was a setback, but in the scheme of things – setbacks happen. It’s easier to move forward when you see what you’ve learned from a bad situation, what you’d do differently next time, what you can do — if anything — to make it better now.

So, I can forgive myself for having a crappy weekend and going off plan. I can get extra cardio in all week, and I can do my best to hit my points target (or a little under) every day. Oh, and I can “get over and stay over it” like this article says.

So often I dwell on mistakes for days/weeks/months/years….I need to get over it, and stay over it. President’s Day weekend was a setback, but I’m on the brink of a comeback!Right?!

What do you guys do when you’ve strayed from your diet / plan? Any other tactics I should be employing here?



Celebrity Endorsements – Yay or Nay?

A few weeks back I blogged about joining WW and how excited I was to see Jennifer Hudson’s transformation. My friend Cecilia’s comment has stuck with me, and prompted this blog post.

She said: “To be honest, sometimes I feel really jaded about famous people losing weight. They can afford the top cooks and trainers. Of course they can lose so much weight between September 09 and April 10!

She had a fabulous point. It got me thinking about the celebrity endorsement and why it holds so much weight (pun intended!). Why do celebrity endorsements even work? Do people buy something because their favorite singer or actor use it? I don’t, but I know I am not the majority. On the flip-side, if a celebrity you HATE endorses something, are you less likely to purchase it?

*For the record- I did NOT joined WW b/c I saw Jennifer Hudson’s results. I was rejoining anyways, and was commenting on how good she looks as their new endorsee.

The first celebrity backing a weight-loss plan I can remember is of course Fergie, Duchess of York. She was always the pretty red-head with the nice accent on the WW commercials. However, a recent picture shows she’s gained some weight. She hasn’t been a spokeswoman for WW for a few years, and I wonder if her motivation to stay thin has dwindled?

I’ve never tried Jenny Craig (the idea of eating pre-packaged food grosses me out the door, sorry) –  but they have had a plethora of celebrity endorsements. In the late 90’s there was Monica Lewinsky – followed by Kirstie Alley (who I ABHOR) and then Valerie Bertinelli. Most recently they’ve had Sara Rue, Jason Alexander and Carrie Fisher.

Why do I hate Kirstie Alley so much? Have you ever watched “Fat Actress“? She’s pathetic. She encompasses everything I hate about fat stereo-types. She’s lazy, she whines non-stop and she loves fast food. I couldn’t even make it through one whole episode. She also can’t seem to keep her weight off. She has trainers, she has cooks and yet she can’t lose weight? It makes you wonder if she really wants it. If you REALLY want something, you won’t let anything deter you from succeeding. I distinctly remember her saying she had lost 75 pounds at one point and thinking “Bitch please, you don’t look 75 pounds thinner!” Apparently I’m not the only one who was suspicious of her weight-loss b/c in 2008 Jenny Craig dropped her like a hot potato.

I have no problems with Jason, Sara or Valerie – they lost reasonable amounts of weight, and if they followed the plan – good for them. It didn’t make me want to run out and try Jenny Craig, but that’s just my prerogative. I’m sure plenty of people joined based on the success they had.

However, Carrie Fisher makes my blood boil.

Have you seen her new commercial? The world is a hostile place for a fat person? There comes a point when you can’t stand not leaving the house anymore?! Shut up. Please just shut up. You sound ridiculous. At my heaviest I will admit, I didn’t love going out to socialize, and I didn’t feel comfortable in every situation – but I lived my life. I held down a full-time job, a social life etc. I didn’t lock myself in the house like a leper because I was fat. It infuriates me to think people around the globe will see this commercial and say “Oh if Carrie Fisher is fat and doesn’t have the house, maybe I shouldn’t either?!”. Sigh.

As a side rant – Carrie reports her weight to be 180 pounds. I’m almost double that….and I’ve lost 90 pounds! I would kill to be 180 pounds,  I wouldn’t lock myself in the house and boo-hoo about how mean society is.

So instead of wanting to try Jenny Craig, they’re latest choice in celebrity endorsement has caused me to hate them.

Now, take a different kind of celebrity endorsement – Oprah. Anything she touches turns to gold, she is truly America’s sweetheart. But, she has struggled with her weight publicly for as long as I can remember. She has tried a million diets, and a million exercise plans and had varying success. But, all along America has been there – loving her. She succeeds? Hell yeah! We knew you could. She fails? It’s ok – she’s human like we are! I don’t have strong feelings either way on Oprah, but I will say that I have never tried something just because she was doing it. I do find the “Oprah effect” interesting though.

So, are you more likely to try a diet or exercise regimen because a celebrity has endorsed it?




Operation: Cankle Be Gone

So, we’ve been hit by yet another storm here in New England. I’m sick of snow! I’m also sick of being stuck in the house. It’s so hard to not snack all day….the fridge is 10 feet away! Sigh. I’ve been trying hard to focus on vacation and being at my goal weight this year, but the weather gets in the way.

When I’m working from home all I want to do is snack, sleep, snack, sleep!

My good friend, and Photoshop expert Tyler made me this amazing collage to help keep me on track. I’ve set it as my background for all 4 computers – and it’s actually helping! I have to remember that I have vacation and a photoshoot with my best friend and the AMAZING Pixie Spindel coming up in May. Pixie is *the shit* if you will. Her photos rock, and that’s her on my college with the red hair! 🙂 In addition I have the Tufts woman 10K in October, and our charity event, Shimmies in March! I have so many amazing reasons to stay on track – I need to a visual reminder to keep them in the foreground!

Collage made by Tyler Schoonmaker - he rocks!

I’ve also begun what I have dubbed “Operation Cankle Be Gone“. For those of you who don’t know, a cankle = calf+ ankle joined together. I have had cankles for as long as I can remember and they are ruining my life. Oh sure I recognized how annoying they were when I couldn’t rock capris or pedal pushers during the summer – but this winter they have been especially annoying. I cannot find a single pair of winter boots to fit me. Sure they make wide calf…but not wide cankle! They don’t account for the portion of the population that has fat ankles too. 😦

So, my plan for ridding myself of cankles is lots of hardcore cardio – uphill “slogs” on the treadmill, wearing my Sketchers shape-ups and doing lots of ballet calf raises! Anyone have any other suggestions?

Since I love a visual:




I have these exact shoes…maybe this summer I can actually rock them?!



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