Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Help For Eating Disorders

So many people are talking more about eating disorders...and that is a good thing. Shows like Huge call attention to the problem, but we also see several celebrities in the news that have gone to the extreme and are so thin that it's unhealthy.
I've had a lot of people ask me lately how to get help for friends or family that have an eating disorder. I will elaborate more on this subject in another post very soon, but I want to make you aware of the National Eating Disorders Association. You can turn to them for help if you or a loved one is suffering, so please take a look at for advice and resources. Don't wait to get help...the sooner the better!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

More HUGE Thoughts and Feelings

I was going to wait until tomorrow to write this post, but I've had so many more thoughts and feelings about the show since watching last night. Plus...I've heard from a lot of people over Facebook and Twitter, telling me what they like or don't like about the show.
One of the main points I would like to make is that we can really relate to these characters, whether we are currently teens or pre-teens, or we are adults who have already been through those years. They go through things that actually happen to people. People really do deal with their body and self-esteem issues in all kinds of different ways, like stuffing themselves with junk food, throwing up, starving themselves, and sizing up others. They also really are treated like criminals because of their weight, and there is no getting around that. The show has to start with all of these conflicts, and they won't all be resolved in one episode...just like we don't instantly solve our problems overnight.
This show is based on a novel and although it is a work of fiction, the author and the screenwriters have made the characters into people we really know...perhaps even ourselves. You know that old saying that truth is stranger than fiction? It definitely applies here. There is much more reality in this show than many of the so-called reality shows that are on the air now. I used to be such a Biggest Loser fan, as many of you know. I even volunteered for a group that was an unofficial fan club for Jillian Michaels. I spent a year with them, hoping I could help people get past issues like dealing with stress and sugar addiction, but we were told that we had to stop talking about stuff like that. Supposedly this was a suuport group, but all we wound up being allowed to do was promote Jillian and her products. (These were not directions from Jillian herself, I've never even spoken to her.) I also found out along the way that Biggest Loser treats its contestants like crap, not just from Kai but from others. Some of them had good experiences, but the bad far outweigh that for me. I tried to stay positive about the show and trainers for a long time, giving them the benefit of the doubt and still writing about them in a good way. Of course, I also was not allowed to say anything derrogatory in my blogs, even if I was questioning things in my own mind. I was even told who to vote for in the finale...well, actually told I'd better not even think about voting for a certain person! We were expected to do all of this without pay, and it was very time consuming. Not only did it interfere with my family activities, but I was being told by the person in charge (not Jillian) what I could and couldn't tweet. These were not even tweets about anything Jillian or BL related. I was being told that I couldn't re-tweet things from my other friends that I cover for dance shows or other people I work for...that actually pay me! Apparently my tweets about anything other than BL were annoying this person, and she had to read through them to get to what she needed. Well, duh...that's how Twitter works! And she was following less than 30 people, so she really didn't have that much to read through. She just wanted to control me, and it was the last straw. I was already realizing that so many things with BL didn't add up, and becoming disillusioned very quickly. I resigned my unpaid position with the group, because I don't believe in their version of "reality" anymore and why should I promote something I no longer believe in, especially when the person in charge was treating me like that? It's one of the best decisions I ever made. I sleep better at night, and I can promote how I really feel...that we are all beautiful no matter what size we are, and that we still need to take care of ourselves and do healthy things. If you want to lose weight, you should not do it in a way that endangers your health... and you should not wait to live your life until a said number of pounds comes off. Start living now!
Needless to say...I won't be writing about BL stuff anymore. I may lose some followers because of that, but it's OK. It's more important for me to do what is right, and some very wise friends inspire me in that way as well. I'd much rather watch a show like HUGE that actually teaches us something, than a show the claims to be reality but is nowhere near that. A fictional show that is more realistic than a supposed reality show...and trainer Shay on HUGE? I know she's made to sound a lot like certain other trainers...and I can't believe I ever thought that screaming at people and belittling them was OK to help them lose weight. Maybe my self-esteem wasn't high enough at the time to realize that it would be wrong for someone to treat me or anyone else like that. I can't wait to see what unfolds next on HUGE!

Monday, June 28, 2010

HUGE Premiere...How Do You Feel?

Welcome to Camp Victory for the season premiere of ABC family's HUGE. As I post about this show, I will be sharing moments and feelings that I relate to, and I hope you will share some of yours with me as well. We are all there or have been let's help each other along the way.
As we start out meeting all of the campers, everyone is checking each other out. By this, I mean seeing who is heavier then they are, but also who is thinner. Haven't we all done that at some point? Even in the sharing circle, when Ian says they at least there was someone in his class that was bigger than him...I have to admit I did that in school. In junior high, I was mercilessly ridiculed, but I could always say that there were a couple of girls and guys that were bigger than me. It offered some comfort at the time when I was made fun of and needed something to hang on to so I wouldn't break down. I know exactly how these kids feel.
Wilhelmina, AKA Will, meets Becca, who attended this camp last year. She says she lost over 26 pounds, but put most of it back on. Once again...I have been there! I've never gone to a weight loss camp, but I have been up and down the scale. I was even thin for a stretch of a few years as an adult, but I did it the wrong way and it came back. I can truly say that I was not necessarily a healthy thin person, but I looked that way to others. Becca most likely did not learn how to keep on a healthy path at home, she just followed the rules and orders she was given at camp. So she's back again, along with several other teens that keep coming back every summer in an attempt to finally get the weight off for good. There's more to being healthy then just fo;llowing someone else's orders.
Will doesn't want to be in front of everyone in her bathing suit, but is told she must for the Before Picture. (Oh yes...everyone's favorite, the Before Picture!) Finally, she turns it into a funny striptease that has everyone laughing, except for a few who think she's crude or crazy. Afterward, Will wonders aloud why she did that. She also tells everyone that she wants to gain weight at camp. You can tell that she is trying hard to be comfortable with herself, but hasn't found the right balance yet. It drives her crazy when the overly perky counselor Poppy comes to check everyone's bags for hidden food...even sugar free gum and cough drops are forbidden. (Really??? That's carrying it a bit far! Whoever got heavy from cough drops?) They also have to hand over their phones, iPods, and video games. Somehow Will successfully hides a lot of food. The AquaNet can filled with whipped cream is genius...and I consider it a nod to Nikki Blonsky's "Hairspray" days! She winds up selling the contraband items to other campers, and someone rats her out. She thinks it was Amber, since they immediately got off on the wrong foot. Amber tapes all kinds of pictures by her bed of models from magazines, calling them her "thinsperation". Yes, I've done that too...even as an adult! Thankfully I've learned that those airbrushed pictures are not real and I'm better off just focusing on getting healthy, but I cringe when I see Amber put them up. So does Will.
Let's meet the trainers, shall we? Shay announces (actually yells) that she is their worst nightmare. Hmmm...where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, trainers who talk to adults that way on "reality" shows! I can't believe I let myself think that this was OK for such a long time. Trainers can help people without screaming at them or belittling them. That is no way to make someone of any age feel good about themselves. Shay's assistant is George, and most of the girls immediately start drooling, especially Amber. (I have to admit he's kind of cute!) She tries to get friendlier with him on the first group run, but he mishears her name and calls her Sandra. At lunch the new chef announces (well, he also yells) no seconds, and we learn that Amber has taken to chewing each bite of her food 30 times, probably in an attempt to control her food intake.
Since Will thinks Amber ratted her out about the food, she decides to get even by shrinking a pair of Amber's shorts in the dryer. Amber wears them for the obstacle course, and thinks she gained weight because her shorts are so tight. As she tries to climb the wall, George gives her a boost...and her shorts rip right then and there. She runs off humiliated as everyone laughs, and we see a smidgen of guilt come across Will's face. George runs after Amber and gives her his hoodie to tie around her waist. He decides to share an embarrassing moment of his to help her feel better, and she learns that he is deaf in one ear. He still keeps calling her Sandra...and I'm not sure yet if it's because she doesn't stand up for herself, or she figures he heard her name wrong because of the deafness and she doesn't want to make him feel bad about it.
There is also a big confrontation among the girls. It's been found out thatCaitlyn, Amber's best friend, has been throwing she is sent home. Amber blames it on Will selling her food, and they all argue about what being a good friend is. (In a moment between Amber and Becca, we find out that Amber told on Caitlyn, and Becca turned Will in.) Will decides she's going to sneak out during the night and leave camp. She and Ian have bonded, and he tells her to keep the mix tape he gave her. She gets to the closest diner and orders fries and a chocolate shake. (Yep...been there too. I've felt so bad about my weight or other things that I've binged on all kinds of stuff!) The camp doctor happens to wind up there as well, and wonders why Will would rather risk her life than change it. Will says she doesn't want to change. She also won't eat in front of the doctor. Doc takes her back to camp and calls her parents, who say Will should stay with her uncle. But after she sees a log that Doc carved a message into when she attended camp as a teenager, she decides to stay. Amber and Will start to talk and get to know each other better, and of course they bond by talking about ice cream.
I love this show don't know how much I wish there had been something like this when I was a teen. That was back in the 80's, but I can see we all still deal with those same universal issues. As you can see, so many things hit close to home for me, and I bet they did for you as well. I'm sure even more things will come to mind during the week as I keep thinking about the show. Please share your thoughts or issues with me, and also with the people at the HUGE page at We are all here to help each other understand and find the balance in our lives...and to realize how wonderful we all are exclusive of size.

Remember to Watch, Read...and Live HUGE!

HUGE, the new show that premieres tonight on ABC Family, is actually based on a book of the same name by Sasha Paley. I have not read it yet, but when a show or movie is based on a novel I am always one to recommend reading the book as well as watching it on the big or small screen. If you happen upon a copy from its original printing, the cover picture will be a stack of s'mores with a big red circle around it and a line through it. The new printing has the cover you see in the photo above, featuring Nikki Blonsky chillin' in her shades and gorgeous blue swimsuit. (You know me now...I LOVE swimsuits!!!) It's cureently in hardcover, but the paperback version with be available on July 13th, which is only a couple of weeks from now.
I will be blogging about HUGE about an hour after the show...I'm also covering Dance Your Ass Off for Ballroom Dance Channel. HUGE is on at 9 and DYAO is at 10 on Oxygen, so I will write about both of them right after both shows air. I can't wait to watch HUGE. If you have a daughter or niece that deals with body image and/or self-esteem issues, please get them to watch this show. Afterward, please share your opinions with me on this post or the one I write later tonight. We can all find ways to live our lives to the HUGE!!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Just Keep Swimming, Swimming, Swimming

Call me unusual or unique...but I've always liked putting on a swimsuit. I've been up and down the size chart, anywhere from 8 to 18. It never mattered how much I weighed, I've always been happy with any opportunity to get in the water, whether it be a pool or the beach.
I don't know why I'm that way. I've certainly had my insecurities on other occasions, ones where I'm wearing much more clothing. Other women feel comfortable when going anywhere else, but have panic attacks when they need a swimsuit. They're not even at the beach yet...they freak out when they are alone in the dressing room trying them on. And these woman are from all walks of life and different sizes. A lot of women who are on the covers of magazine, or look like they could be, still hate bathing suits.
Whatever the reason, I'm glad that it doesn't bother me. I think about all of the times that I would have missed out on the fun if I had refused to go out in a swimsuit. Even though I haven't learned how to swim yet, I still enjoy exercising in the pool and cooling off. Swim lessons will be coming shortly, so I can enjoy myself to the fullest and get over the fear. We got pool passes for this summer, and I'm loving every minute of it. I walk around the pool proudly, without a T-shirt covering me, and without a towel or sarong wrapped around me. There are women of all shapes and sizes at the pool, and we are all there to have fun. I spotted a lady about my size today wearing the most adorable suit with cherries all over it. I had to find out where she got it. She was so happy when I told her that she looked beautiful in it, and gladly told me her suit came from Pinup Girl Clothing ( After I got home I checked out their site, and they have really beautiful and sexy swimsuits, plus other gorgeous clothing. I didn't order the suit yet, but I hope to soon. (My husband just got a job after having been laid off for over a money's still tight, but I will get that suit yet!) I know I will order other items from them too when I'm ready.
So remember, most people are way too caught up in their own insecurities to be worried about how you look in your swimsuit. They are too busy judging themselves. Pick out a rockin' suit, put in on, and flaunt what you've got. This is one awesome way to live huge...have fun in the water!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

I'm A Size Active!

I've probably mentioned this company before, but it's definitely worth repeating. Junonia makes sportswear and activewear for women, starting at size 14 and going up to 6X. Look for them at Their clothing is very high quality and will stand up to the wear and tear of whatever sport you like to participate in. They also carry sports bras in larger sizes that actually give you the support you need. I can still remember Dolly Parton saying that if she went jogging, she'd have two black eyes...and I know exactly what she means! I've tried sports bras that offer no support whatsoever, even those that claim to give good support. With Junonia's bras, you will be comfortable and have the right amount of support.
Do not ever let your size stop you from swimming, playing tennis, or performing any activities that you enjoy. Sports are not just for slender people...they are for everyone! I know in the past it's been a problem to find the correct clothes in certain sizes, and that made it harder to participate. Since Junonia makes those garments, there is no excuse not to play those sports you love. I will also be on the lookout for other companies that offer plus size sportswear as well, and pass the information along to you. Live life NOW...don't wait!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

HUGE Inspiration

Have you seen the commercials for this new show on ABC Family? I was intrigued the minute I saw the first one, which wasn't even on TV...I took my son to the movies to see Marmaduke and one of the many previews was an advertisement for HUGE. The day after we went to the movies, I started seeing the ads on television regularly. The more I saw it, the more I liked the idea. HUGE is set at a weight loss camp, and follows several teens and the staff as they discover who they are and how to really live life. Most of us will really be able to relate to the characters...I myself was an "overweight" teenager, and I really wish there had been a show like this when I was growing up. No matter what size any of us are, from size 0 all the way up to 20 and beyond, we all have struggled or currently struggle with our self image and self esteem issues. Even those who wear single digit sizes stress and obsess over how they look.
Speaking of sizes...did you know that the clothing and modeling industry consider anyone over a size 8 to be in the plus size category? I learned that a few years ago when I took modeling classes. Our entire class was learning how to be plus size models, and some of us wondered why there were two rather slender ladies there. That's when we found out that both of these women were size 10's, and that's considered plus size. Are you kidding me? No wonder everyone's self esteem is shot!
The show stars Nikki Blonsky, who played Tracey in the latest movie version of Hairspray. Also in the cast is Hayley Hasselhoff (yes, David's daughter!) and I got to see an interview with her last night on Access Hollywood. This girl has a great head on her shoulders, and she has a healthy self image even after hanging around the Baywatch set as a kid. Now that's a strong young lady! We even saw part of her regular workout, and her body is as strong as her mind. She knows she will never be a size 2, and she's perfectly OK with that. This is the kind of role model that young girls should look up to!
I really can't wait to see the HUGE premiere on Monday night at 9 PM. Right now I love going over to their website at and checking everything out. They give you tips on how to take care of yourself by eating healthy and getting exercise, without stressing out about the scale. I'm really impressed by all of the resources on this site. You can also like HUGE on Facebook (I still miss "becoming a fan" LOL) and follow them on Twitter @ABCFhuge. Please check out the site and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What Is Wellness???

We all talk about health and wellness. We read up on the latest news from doctors, researchers, and other health professionals to find out what we should be doing now. Is drinking less coffee better for you, or are they now saying that you should consume more because a new health benefit was discovered? How much exercise should you be doing...half an hour, an hour, five days a week, everyday? The opinions vary, and change often. Which news should we follow now?
To me, wellness emcompasses many things in our lives. Getting regular exercise is vital, but should not be taken to an extreme. If you never do anything else in your life and you pass up opportunities to get together with your friends or family just so you can work out several hours a day, you've gone to an extreme. Not only does that much exercise make you more susceptible to injuries, but you miss out on the other stuff that is important in life. Spending time with the people we love is good for the heart, mind, and soul. Wellness is more than just the body. If you like to sing, read, draw, paint, or pursue other interests, don't give them up. We need to keep the balance in our lives to be well-rounded, and that in turn will make us happier people. If you don't pursue what you love, you will be miserable.
Eating nutritious foods on a regular basis is also important. But remember, you can occasionally have a beer or slice of pizza and still be healthy. As long those types of foods don't become a constant part of your diet, you can have them as a treat every so often. A friend of mine eats healthy stuff all week, and on the weekends she allows herself one indulgence. Her weekly serving of ice cream does her soul good. She is not eating ice cream every day, just once a week...enough to feel she can treat herself but not so much that she messes up her health.
Finally, part of personal wellness is loving matter what that number is on the scale or lurks on the tag inside your jeans. You are a beautiful person, on the inside as well as the outside. Obsessing about your weight will only stress you out, and that is not good for your body or soul. You are not really living life if that's the only thing you think about all the time. The key is finding that balance, and knowing you are wonderful no matter what!

Monday, June 21, 2010

My Attitude Adjustment

I feel like singing some Patti LaBelle, because I've got A New Attitude. This attitude adjustment has been taking place over time, but God has put some people and things in my path lately that are teaching me some valuable lessons. I am so thankful to Him for doing this, because it's helping me find peace in my life.
One of the most valuable lessons is...that I am valuable! Sure, I knew that already to an extent, but I was still always so hard on myself about things. Did I say something to upset someone? Why is this person mad at me? Did I do something wrong? I worked hard...why did I only lose half a pound this week? So many of these thoughts roamed through my mind that I was stressing myself out. No wonder I turned to food and binging for comfort. As much as I know I am a good person, I would still let my brain give me a beating. Then I would try to soothe myself from that beating with food.
I've had several epiphanies over the last couple of weeks, and they all come together to help me live my life in a better way. I've come to realize that sometimes we all say or do something that people just take the wrong way because of their own bad attitudes or because they happen to be having a rough day. That's not to say that there aren't things that we do need to apologize to others for sometimes...but I am not going to automatically assume that I'm the one at fault all the time. I must love myself enough to know that I am not going to apologize for being myself and living my life. It is not my fault that someone doesn't like it, that's their own issue to deal with. I can only do what's right for me...that's all any of us can do. Along with caring about other people, I also need to care about myself.
Another part of this new attitude is not obsessing over my weight. I am still exercising, eating well, and making new goals for myself...but I am wonderful just as I am. I was beautiful when I weighed 35 pounds more, and I will be beautiful at whatever size my body settles at. The key is trying to be healthy. Healthy is not a size or number. It is doing the right things to take care of the body that God gave you. God created all of us, and He doesn't make mistakes. He did not make us all the same height, size, race, etc. for a reason. Wouldn't the world be boring if we were all exactly the same?
This is helping me embrace all of who I am. I am worthy of doing all that I want to do in life, and it doesn't matter what the scale tells me. I will say that I did lose enough to get under 200 for real this time, but I am only going to post my weight on the first Monday of every month. The emphasis now is on living my life to the fullest every single day.
I am making another change to the title of this blog, and I will also be posting more about being active and looking our best at any size. We all need to live as we are right now, so we don't come to the end of our lives and find that all we did was obsess about our weight. There is so much more to life than that. We still need to take care of ourselves...but God has more planned for each of us than just getting to a certain weight!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Scale Tales Part 2 - No Obsessing!

I am SO over the new scale blues. I told you on Monday what happened when I used my new scale and discovered my old one was defective. Luckily I only freaked out for a moment, because I realized that I am not a number...I am a person.
We place too much emphasis on what the scale tells us. If we are exercising regularly, eating mostly healthy foods with an occasional treat, and drinking plenty of water, we are on the right path. What size our dresses or jeans are is NOT important. What is important is that we regain our health. Getting off of medications, having more energy, and feeling better are what really matters.
I have decided that I will no longer obsess over the number on the scale. I know I'm doing the right things for my body, and that it will settle into the size it's supposed to be. I will not be fixated on a certain size...I will let my body decide that. I will not expect giant losses on the scale; that is TV reality, not REAL reality. When you lose weight at a normal rate, you are more likely to keep it off, and not endanger your internal organs. I recall a gentleman who was on the board of directors where I used to work years ago...he wanted to lose weight quickly because he and his wife were going on a cruise. He lost 30 pounds in a month and looked great for his vacation, but two months later he dropped dead of a heart attack while he was driving. This man was only in his forties, and it was found that the rapid weight loss most likely did damage to his heart. I don't know about you, but I'd rather lose weight slowly, still have a few extra pounds on me for my trip...and still live a long life after I got back.
Not obsessing over the scale is not license to eat anything and everything. It just means that I am focusing on getting and being healthy instead of the numbers game. As I keep doing the right things, more weight will come off. I will not go to extremes in either direction.
I am changing the title of my blog Getting Healthy, No More Excuses. There is no excuse for not taking care of yourself...that's the part that matters. It's going to be all about being stronger and more confident, and what I can do instead of being a certain weight. Don't put off your life until you reach that "special" it now!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Move To The Music...Playlist!

***Our regularly scheduled recap of Losing It With Jillian has been interrupted by the Cleveland Indians. Yes, you heard right. Jillian was supposed to come on right after the President's speech, but my local NBC station was showing the baseball game. They didn't even air the President, they left the game on during that time. Since a local cable channel was also showing the baseball game, I don't know why WKYC didn't air the original programming for the evening. So I'll have to watch the show online to catch up...and since several of my friends said that they only saw the second half of Losing It after the speech, it sounds like a lot of us will be watching it on our computers.
So what did I do with myself last night since I couldn't watch Jillian? I had already completed my treadmill workout for the day by the time I found out the show wouldn't be on, so then I took to the stairs. I went up and down my stairs several times and did some arm exercises to make good use of the extra time.
Since I'm mentioning the treadmill, I would like to share some of my favorite workout music with you. Sometimes I listen to a whole CD...Sawyer Brown is really good for high energy tunes that will keep you moving. At other times I use my iPod, and these are some really great songs to keep the blood pumping:
I Know You Want Me by Calle Ocho and Pitbull
Say Hey I Love You by Michael Franti and Spearhead
I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas
According to You by Orianthi
Bionic by Christina Aguilera
Lover Lover by Jerrod Niemann
Seven Mile Breakdown by Taylor Hicks
Kerosene by Miranda Lambert
Undo It by Carrie Underwood
Does Your Mother Know by Christine Baranski (Mamma Mia soundtrack)
I Heard It Through The Grapevine by Gladys Knight
Telephone by Lady Gaga
There are many more, but this is just a sample of my selections. I love all kinds of music, so I like to mix it up a lot...and the variety keeps me from getting bored. Please feel free to share any of your favorite workout songs, so we can all keep each other moving! :o)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Overcoming The New Scale Blues

I've been having a lot of trouble with my scale. I always did think it was kind of strange how when I went to my doctor's office, I weighed so much more than at home. Now I did take into consideration that at the doctor's I was fully dressed and had eaten breakfast, but that only accounted for part of the difference. There had to be some other explanation for the rest.
I finally bit the bullet and got a new scale. This morning I weighed myself on it to find the number read 200.2. After my heart leapt into my throat for a few seconds, I stepped on the old scale and saw 180.2. I actually weigh 20 pounds more than I thought I did all of these months! I feel like Ruby when she switched scales and the difference between the two was over 30 pounds. The new scale is definitely in line with what my doctor's scale shows, so I have to deduce that my old scale was faulty.
Learning that you weigh 20 pounds more than you thought you did is not a good feeling. Here I thought I was well below the 200 mark, when I'm really just above it. I've been spending a lot of time thinking about it since this morning's weigh-in. I've come to the following conclusions:
1. I started out weighing much more than I originally thought, but I've still lost a lot of weight.
2. I'm still down over 35 pounds, and whether that started from 237 or 217 doesn't matter. I've still accomplished quite a bit.
3. My clothes are much looser and I'm even in some size 16's I know I'm doing something right.
4. I have more energy, less aches and pains, and I feel much better and can do more. And I'm off my blood pressure meds!
5. I am NOT, I repeat...NOT a number. I'm not the number on the scale or the digits on the tags sewn into my clothes. I am a good person, on the outside and the inside. However those other numbers fluctuate and for whatever reasons, nothing changes that I am a unique and wonderful person. We are all beautiful at all times!
Of course I will continue to eat nutritious foods and get my exercise. I'm still working toward the 5K Race For The Cure in September. I am doing everything I can to be healthier, and I already am. Nothing is going to stop me from doing the things I want to do...not a shocking number or the fact that I'm not a size 2. (Size 2 is not realistic for me to begin with, nor is it for most people.) I am living life to the fullest, no matter where I'm at on the journey!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Losing It With Jillian: Good For Body And Soul

*photo courtesy of Jillian Michaels Master Your Metabolism Cookbook.

I loved the first family so much last week on Losing It With Jillian, and I didn't think it was possible to top that. I was wrong! I love this week's family even more. Jillian is in Massachusetts again, this time with a family of 3. Deb is a single mom to 12 year old daughter Isabella and 10 year old son Jordan. Their husband/dad died of a heart attack 5 1/2 years ago at age 53. Ironically, Deb had finally gotten him to go to a marriage counselor with her because she believed his obesity was causing problems for the family. He had the heart attack and passed away right there in the counselor's office.

Ever since then, Deb seems like she has just given up on life. At her physical with the doctor, she discovers the she is now more than 100 pounds overweight herself. Her kids think she has turned into a female version of their father, and that makes her even more depressed. Jillian calls them to meet her at the gym, and every time she asks Deb to do something the first words out of her mouth are "I can't". This of course drives Jillian up the wall and she really lays into her about getting her life back and making sure that her kids don't lose another parent.

When they all arrive back at the house, Jillian finds a complete mess. It really looks like a hurricane blew through the house. Every single room has stuff piled and scattered all over the place, and it's difficult to even walk around. Jillian sees the room where she is supposed to sleep, and decides she'd better stay at a motel until it is livable. Deb admits she doesn't clean and is stressed out being the only one around to take care of her kids. Jillian tells her that she deserves better than this. The next day she takes Deb back to the gym while Izzy and Jordan clean their own rooms. Jillian knows Deb needs to have a breakthrough, or else her weight and the house will wind up a mess again after she leaves. Deb sobs and screams how she is tired of having to do everything by herself. Jillian mentions that the messy house is a symbol of what is broken inside of her.

After getting the house in order, Jillian tells the kids that they should be doing kid stuff and having fun. They go off to do just that while Jillian visits Deb at work. Her boss is a sweetheart and really wants to help. He shows Jillian an old picture of himself when he was overweight. Several people in the office go running together 3 days a week and are training for a 5K. Jillian loves this, and she gets Deb to commit to running with her coworkers.

Izzy gets really mad at Jillian for yelling at her mom, and they have a talk. Izzy is totally overwhelmed by the extra resposibility place on her since her dad died. Jillian puts a weighted vest on her, and Deb asks why. After Jillian lets her think about it, Deb shouts out that she should be the one carrying the weight instead. She realizes just how much she has put on her daughter's shoulders and apologizes. Izzy is interested in dance, so Jillian takes her and her mom to an African Tribal Dance class to try it out. They really enjoy it and it's something they can bond over. Of course Jillian teaches them healthier cooking, and she wants to make sure that when she leaves Deb can use her power and confidence to keep moving forward. They all go canoeing, and Jillan has a megaphone that she passes around to each family member to shout out their goals. Izzy wants to encourage her mom and lose some weight herself. JIllian tells her at that age she shouldn't focus on the scale, but just start making healthy choices and the weight will come off. Izzy decides to join her school's running club as a positive step in the right direction. Jordan vows to be a more responsible 10 year old. Deb's plans are to lose 30 pounds, run the 5K, and get off her diabetes medications. Jilliam reminds them that failure is NOT an option here!

Jillian comes back six weeks later to run the 5K with Deb and her coworkers. The kids are there to cheer everyone on. Jillian hands out pink T-shirts that have "Team Deb" on them for everyone to wear. Since Deb has a knee injury everyone wonders if she can finish the race, but Jillian is impressed with how Deb pushes through everything to complete the 5K. She's lost 32 pounds and should be off her diabetes meds within a month. The whole family looks healthier and happier, and they now know that anything is possible. Jillian presents them with a check for $50,000 to help out, courtesy of

This show inspires me so much, because in the real world we are not competing in gameplay to win a big prize. We are competing against ourselves to live our best lives. Not only am I motivated healthwise, but it's time to clean out the unnecessary stuff in my house! Even though my place is not anywhere near the disaster area that Deb's house was, there is still too much stuff around that we never use. It's finally time to have that garage sale and also donate items to people that need them. Now I look forward even more to Jillian's next family, and what else we will learn about life!

Monday, June 7, 2010

First Monday of June...Stay Motivated! of my favorite things about summer, fresh strawberries! I love having such a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables this time of year. I prefer fresh over frozen or canned, and buy fresh whenever possible. The fresher it is...the more I look forward to eating it!
This week I lost one pound. Any loss on the scale makes me happy, because I'm still moving in the right direction! This puts me at 180.4 now, and I'm going to break out of the 180's this week. 170's -- here I come!!!
This is the summer that I will finally learn how to swim. My family is getting season passes to a local pool and recreation area, and we will be in the pool a lot. I've always liked doing exercises in the water, and I will continue to do that. I'm also trying to set up adult swimming lessons for myself. I've been trying on my swimsuits in anticipation...and I'm down to size 16. I have a couple of suits in that size that I couldn't wait to fit into, and now I do!
Another perk of these season passes is unlimited use of their weight room and exercise equipment. I have plenty of cardio machines at home, but really need to get more weight training in. This is a Godsend for me, and I plan on taking full advantage of it.
Family Summer Shape-Up continues..this is going to be our healthiest summer yet!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Drink This...NOT That!!!

The weather is getting warmer and the days are getting some locations it's already downright sweltering. Summer is my favorite season...far away from snow shoveling, icy roads, and wind chills below zero. The warmer it is, the better I feel.

When it's this hot outside, we look for ways to cool off. This can take many forms, from swimming to air conditioning. The easiest way to refresh is an ice cold drink of some sort. If you're a coffee lover like I am, you are probably switching from a hot cup of java to something iced. What's better than a way to cool off combined with your caffeine for the day?

The problem is, a lot of these iced coffee drinks are filled with fat, calories, and sugar. In some cases you'd be better off drinking a milkshake or eating dessert than drinking a fancy iced coffee. One thing I do is make my own at home most of the time, where I can control what goes into it. Then I treat myself occasionally to one of those other coffees...just not too often.

If you don't make your own or you're on the road a lot and have to stop for coffee, you have to be really careful what you get. Men's Health put together a list of the worst coffee drinks at several chains, along with the better alternatives. You can check out this list at and see for yourself.

Don't sabotage your healthy eating plan unknowingly by drinking down a day's worth of calories in one sitting. You can choose wisely and still have your iced coffee!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Losing It With Jillian - Premiere

I hope you got to catch the premiere episode of Losing It With Jillian last night. If not, I highly recommend that you watch the episode online when it goes up at NBC. In fact, I must insist that you watch it, and I dare you not to be moved to tears.

Jillian will move in with a different family each week for 5 days, and in that short amount of time she has to turn their lives around for the better...dealing with their fitness and emotional issues. This week she is in Massachusetts, and the first thing we see is Jillian in her car, calling the family to let them know that she would meet them at the gym in 20 minutes. Everyone in the house is screaming, and daughter Michelle is so cute when she apologizes for screaming in Jillian's ear. Soon she is at the gym and meeting all of the family members: Dad Jim, mom Agnes, son Michael, daughter Michelle, and Michelle's fiance Jordan. This whole set up was Michelle's idea, since her wedding is a couple of months away and she would like her parents to feel better about themselves on the big day.

Before Jillian arrived, the whole family was seen by a doctor and evaluated. Jim and Agnes both need to lose about 100 pounds, and Michael needs to lose less than that, but still quite a bit. Michelle is thin...she had gastric bypass surgery and has kept the weight off. Jim also had the surgery, but he gained all of his weight back. Michelle still has some health issues to deal with though, more than she probably even thought she did.

At the gym, Jillian immediately starts working them all out. Michael and Michelle do pretty well, but their parents have a really hard time. They both stop, and Jillian says it's the fastest she's ever seen anyone quit on themselves. She tells them if they're going to quit then she's going to leave, and she walks outside. Michelle urges her parents to go after Jillian and bring her back in, because they need to change their lives. They get her to come back into the gym, and she enlists Michelle to help her drive her parents to work harder.

At their house, Jillian gets to see what they eat for dinner. Michelle does the cooking, and it's heavy Italian food...breaded, fried, swimming in oil and butter, and gigantic portions. I don't feel too well myself watching this stuff being cooked. Michelle admits that she's the enabler, but she cooks this way for the family because her dad tells her what to make. They also tell Jillian that they don't eat vegetables, and if there's anything green in the refrigerator it must be because of mold. Yikes!

Jillian is quite disgusted, and the next morning she takes Michelle grocery shopping to teach her about picking healthy foods. They purchase a lot of produce and lean meats. After they get home, Jillian takes Agnes on a walk to talk to her and get her to open up about anything that's bothering her. Agnes tells her that she had another son, Jim Jr., who only lived for a month and a day. The only time she ever got to hold him without tubes attached was as he passed away. Every time she would try to get Jim to talk about it, he said he couldn't. Neither of them got to grieve properly over Jimmy, and he didn't even have a headstone at the cemetery. Jillian got the whole family together to finally talk about this tragedy in their lives that happened over 20 years ago. They all decided it was time to get a headstone for Jimmy...and to talk to each other about their feelings and not keep everything bottled up inside.

Back at the gym, Jillian gives Agnes the chance to be empowered. She teaches Agnes how to push her husband in his workouts. Jillian literally jumps for joy when she watches Agnes really give it to Jim! (I love it!) Then the whole family got to go the bridal and tuxedo shops to get fitted for the wedding. Jim discovers that he needs to lose at least 3 inches to fit into the largest tux, and Michael also commits to losing weight before the wedding. Agnes tries on dresses, but hates how she looked in all of them. She also makes the commitment to lose some weight before the big day. The trip ends with a happy moment, as Michelle models her wedding dress for her parents. There is a lot of crying, but these are happy tears.

At dinner that night, they tell Jillian about the shopping trip. Jim beams with pride as he tells Jillian how beautiful Michelle was in her dress. Michelle makes a comment about being the bride with the saggiest arms, and Jillian calls her out on it right then and there...telling her how she ruined the moment for her dad by being so down on herself. Michelle and Jillian discuss how Michelle still sees the fat girl when she looks in the mirror, and that she still doesn't see herself as beautiful. (I can relate to that...when I originally lost all my weight I had the same problem.) They work on Michelle's perception of herself, knowing that just because you look good on the outside doesn't mean that you feel that way on the inside.

After 5 days Jillian has to leave, but not without plenty of tears from everyone, including her. She comes back 6 weeks later for Michelle's wedding. She is thrilled to see how good everyone looks, and how much happier they are. Jim, Agnes, and Michael all lost quite a bit of weight...Jim lost 48 pounds! Michelle says when she walks down the aisle that she finally sees herself as a beautiful person. They all plan to stay with their healthy new lifestyle and make their lives even better.

I have to say, even though I love Biggest Loser, this show is really something special. You get to see all sides of Jillian...not just the trainer who yells at you, but the compassionate, caring side as well. It's also a pleasure to watch her work with people who are not in a competition with each other, only with themselves. Nobody has to worry about "playing the game". Jillian knows that to be a healthy person you have to deal with the outisde and the inside. I can't wait to watch next week, and see what happens with the next family!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

ACTIVE Holiday Weekend!!!

On Memorial Day Weekends Past, we didn't do a whole heck of a lot. The most that would happen was attending BBQ's and eating a lot, then sitting around and talking with family and friends. Of course it was nice to catch up with everyone and have those conversations, but we were certainly not burning off all of the calories we had just eaten. In fact, we were too full to even feel like moving out of our chairs. We only got up to get another drink or more dessert.
Now to Memorial Day Weekend Present...we only had one BBQ to go to, and healthy food was served. We grilled at home as well, keeping to chicken or lean turkey burgers with salad and plenty of vegetables. Instead of big bowls of ice cream, we cooled off with sugar-free fudge pops. We went on long walks and bike rides, and played tennis. This is the first time I've ridden a bike in years. Until now, I had trouble balancing my extra weight and getting my legs to pump fast enough to get going. I still have a lot of weight to lose, but it's much easier to get on that bike now that I'm 35 pounds lighter.
The best thing is, we actually FELT like exercising! We didn't eat those heavy meals that would make us want to sit around or take a nap. We enjoyed our food, and it was fuel to help us do all of those fun activities. We drank plenty of water to stay hydrated, and didn't even miss all of the greasy, heavy foods. When I finally did sit out on my deck to read, I was able to really enjoy it because I had already gotten plenty of exercise and earned the time to just chill.
This is going to be a great summer. We are going to make the most out of every single day, just as it should be. I can't to see what our future holiday weekends have in store!!!