Saturday, March 19, 2011

Heavy recap


Tim and Stacia


- 33

Glendale, AZ - Unemployed

Height: 4'2"

Start Weight: 240.2 lbs

End Weight: 173.4 lbs

“I’m grateful for this opportunity. I learned so much about portion control and being consistent, I am more healthy and active than ever.”

Tim is a unique client for Hilton Head Health. He is a little person with an average torso coupled with smaller arms/legs. Exercise will be challenging due to his build. He is 4’2” and his waist is 61”. His waist is 11” longer than his height. I am 5’6” and his waist is 5” longer than my body. Think about it, he was literally a little round ball of a person. Along with the physical complications that come with dwarfism, his excessive weight is putting tremendous strain on his internal organs. His medical evaluation reveals he has high levels in every category. He is on the brink of death. Despite the grim diagnosis, his spirit is high and this carries him throughout the 6 months.

During his therapy sessions Tim reveals he began packing on the weight when his mother was killed in a car accident when he was 15yrs old. Not much is shown of his sessions but I am glad he got a chance to talk about his feelings. Discussing his grief was long overdue.

Tim dives right into the process and immediately has great results. He definitely is in need of this program. I’m not sure he would’ve gotten similar results at home doing Jenny Craig and a personal trainer. Tim really needed a team to help him achieve his goals. He was the perfect candidate for this show.

In the end he lost 68lbs and has since managed to maintain the weight loss. Tim needs to lose almost 90lbs more but hopefully he will find a way to continue his journey. I wish him all the best.


- 36

Atlanta, GA - Accounts Receivable Specialist

Height: 5'6"

Start Weight: 435.2 lbs

End Weight: 286.4 lbs

"I knew that I had to work on healing my heart and head if I wanted lasting, life-changing success. I began learning and practicing the very habits that I plan on maintaining for the rest of my life."

Stacia is a singer/actor/performer who feels held back by her weight. She is married to a man who enables her by eating excessively as well. In an opening scene the couple are shown discussing breakfast. The choices are pizza or cereal. Stacia’s husband decides they should have pizza and cereal. Stacie one ups him by suggesting they eat frozen waffles while waiting for the pizza and cereal to cook. My mind is literally boggled by the fact they are eating three meals for breakfast. Stacia’s husband admits they have only been married for 1½ yrs and are not intimate. Stacia must sleep in a chair sitting up wearing an oxygen mask for her sleep apnea. To not do so could result in her dying in her sleep.

During her counseling sessions Stacia reveals she was molested as a child. To ease her pain, she turns to food. Stacia feels her weight is now holding her back in life. She is involved in theater and cannot be as active as she’s like due to lack of mobility. Stacia frequently cannot fit into chairs in public places. During a meal at Hilton Head she reveals that she eats in excess of 10,000 calories a day. She’s not really sure how much because she stopped counting at 10,000. Stacia’s eating is definitely out of control. As soon as she starts the program the pounds begin melting off. She embraces the program and I am so glad she doesn’t pull the fragile girl act that so many women portray when forced to show effort.

Unfortunately, along with losing weight Stacia lost that loving feeling for her husband. He no longer fits into her new lifestyle. The poor guy never saw it coming.

At the final weigh in Stacia lost almost 150lbs. That is absolutely phenomenal!!!!! At her reveal Stacia performs jazz standards for friends and family and looks like a new person. After leaving Hilton Head Health, Stacia losses an additional 15lbs on her own. She still needs to lose approximately 115lbs but I think she will achieve that goal. Stacia has what it takes and nothing will stop her now.

Heavy recap


Bill and Julia

Bill, 52

Height: 6'3"

Start Weight: 443.0 lbs

End Weight: 301.6

“I hope those around me will benefit from my transformation and be inspired to do something that they have been fearful of doing until now.”

Okay, here we go again with the former athlete who still eats like he’s in training. Is this gonna be the theme for all the men on this show? Bill knows what he needs to do to get back in shape but like most people he needs help getting there. Bill also has bad knees which is a major hindrance. Bill is a recovering addict and should stay away from painkillers at all costs. He puts his sobriety at risk by lying to his physician and the staff at Hilton Head Health. I wish the trainer had gone a little harder on him when she confronted him about his prescription for narcotic painkillers. I’m glad they brought his son in and somehow that reminded him he was an addict. They say he threw his pills away and used a non-narcotic method to deal with his knee pain. I’m proud of him for getting back up and dusting himself off. Can I just say that young male trainer that didn’t have a name was a cutie patootie? I was like train me baby, and train me hard ;-) .

When Bill showed up at his son’s game, I got a little bit teary eyed. He had missed out on so much because of his shame regarding his weight. The things we do to ourselves! Bill’s weight loss of almost 150lbs was amazing! That’s how you take advantage of a 6 month stay at a weight loss spa baby! I was so happy for him.

Julia, 26

Height: 5'8"

Start Weight: 254.4 lbs

End Weight: 166

“For years I struggled with my weight, but I feel like a new woman now. I am happier, stronger and faster than ever. I reminded myself of my inner strength, nothing can stop me now.”

I really related to Julia. While I don’t have a twin, I have an aunt who is only 4 months older than me (grandma had kids 24yrs apart!) and we were treated like twins our whole childhood. She was tall and lanky and I was the awkward chubby one. Life is funny though, after we went through puberty I’m the tall fit one and she’s the short fat oneJ. But back to Julia. Julia has a thinner twin that she’s always being compared to. Being compared to someone and always being on the losing end can be devastating to a child’s self esteem. Julia comforted herself by eating to the point of obesity. Her mother’s death added to her self medicating with food.

Julia studied at the Flo school of kick ass and take no prisoners weight loss program. She came with a purpose and rocked it like nobody’s business. Julia is another great example of someone coming on the show and taking advantage of a great opportunity. I was already emotional over Bill’s story and Julia refurbishing her mom’s bike tilted me over the edge. That 350 mile bike ride back home was such a triumph for her. Julia is truly a winner in my book. And she looked absolutely amazing at her final weigh in.

This episode of Heavy was truly inspirational and made me realize my problems are small in comparison to others. I hope they bring this back for another season because I am definitely hooked!

Heavy recap


Johnny and Jill


- 20

Tempe, AZ - College Student

Height: 6'0"

Start Weight: 404.2 lbs

End Weight: 266 lbs

“This experience taught me so much, I now understand how important it is to live a healthy lifestyle. I hope to be an example and inspire others.”

Johnny is very young. And in his young life he has been through a lot. Born to a 14yr old girl, he had a very rough upbringing. Overwhelmed by motherhood, his child mother gave him up and he spent his childhood in foster care. His fear of abandonment manifested itself in overeating. Food was the one constant in his life. When Johnny arrives at Hilton Head, his spirit is strong but his body is weak. Johnny has always skated by along the fringe of life and has no clue how to workout or even play sports. He is the youngest of the group but the first to quit.

The trip to the Piggly Wiggly brought the LoL’s when Johnny sniffed at a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I would’ve done the same thing. I love me some Krispy Kreme!!!!!!!!!!!

I was so happy for Johnny when he found his biological dad and siblings. It seemed to free him from the chains of his past and allow him to now move forward in his life. The spark in his eye was evident and he seemed to explode with new life. His decision to study Culinary Nutrition was an inspired one. I definitely see great things in his future.


- 35

Gainesville, GA - 2nd Grade Teacher

Height: 5'6"

Start Weight: 305 lbs

End Weight: 210 lbs

I am so lucky to have had this opportunity to start my journey on loving and accepting myself and knowing that I am strong and deserving of a healthy and long life.”

Jill wants to have children and her weight causes major fertility issues. She teaches 2nd grade and longs for a child of her own. Jill appears to be serious in the beginning but soon the cracks in her veneer show. Jill sneaks food at night and doesn’t understand how that affects her weight loss. As a counselor points out, they are at a weight loss spa. They have individual menus designed just for them and her silly behind is sneaking peanut butter? Jill looked that woman dead in her eye and said, “Sometimes I just need some peanut butter.” It was as if she were speaking of water. Yeah, sometimes I just need some Red Velvet cake but a $12,000 a month spa is not the place to be sneaking it. Unless she has some calorie free peanut butter, Jill is a self saboteur for sure. What was even more pitiful is even in her talking head she was still trying to justify having contraband in her room. Jill is another individual with more excuses than a MotherF*cker going to jail.

Jill lost 95 lbs and that is a great feat. I wonder how much she would have lost if she hadn’t cheated…. I would personally like to see her lose another 40-50 lbs due to her short stature. Her make over was great and definitely was the cherry on top of her weight loss. While Jill has made great strides, her journey is not over. Hopefully, she will get it thru her head to follow doctor’s orders and be rewarded with the little bundle of joy she’s been dreaming about.

I'm the queen of plastic surgery

I’m the queen of plastic surgery….kinda

My friends call me the queen of plastic surgery, but I’ve never had any. The thing that is true is that I get things done. I’ve had laser hair removal, Dermabrasion, chemical peels, fruit peels, Lasik, teeth whitening, and permanent make up. All of these things have either improved my appearance or made things easier for me. I’ve never had Botox or Restalyn but only because I don’t need them ;-). If I ever do need them I have no problem making an appointment and getting it done. I’m not trying to look younger than my years, just good. It makes me sad to see women my age or even younger look like hell because they think it’s vain to spend money refreshing their looks. If you don’t take care of yourself, who will? I don’t think there is anything wrong with getting your hair colored professionally when they grays begin to show up. There is nothing wrong with getting a peel or buying a slightly pricey moisturizer that plumps up the fine lines near your eyes and makes your face feel like a baby’s bottom. I frequently have to reveal my age to new acquaintances who think I’m 10yrs younger than my actual age. It’s confusing to them. I speak like a middle aged woman but I look 28. I do not dress young for my age, I just look youthful. Why look old and crappy if you don’t have to?

I got permanent make up for my 34th birthday. Last year my 40th rolled around and I felt I needed a touch up. There were some issues with scheduling and I wasn’t able to get it done until two weeks ago (picture below). While quite pleased with myself, I heard the phrase queen of plastic surgery in my head when I looked at my end result. Then the other night I was watching R.H.o M. and thought, “My god, I hope I don’t look like one of these bitches!” There is a fine line between maintaining and butchering your face up. I hope I always know the difference.

Heavy recap


Ronnie and Debbie


Height: 6'2"

Start Weight: 446.6 lbs

End Weight: 264.8 lbs

“The knowledge I gained during this experience altered my life. I now understand that life is about choices and we all fail. The failure is not what makes us who we are, it’s the journey to recovery that makes us strong.”

Ronnie is another “big guy” who is a hell of a lot bigger than just big. He’s the quintessential football player. In his heyday he was encouraged to be corn fed and husky. The problem is that unless you are putting in football workouts to go along with that diet of extra everything, you will gain weight. Ronnie is a perfect example of a self saboteur. He knows how to workout and his fiancé is a fitness professional! The more he gains, the more he feels helpless to do anything about it. His family relies on him to be the big strong man who saves the day and Ronnie is buckling under the pressure. He has six kids, a fiancé, and was caregiver for a mother who died of breast cancer. That’s a lot to carry on your shoulders.

Ronnie steps up to the plate and does the damn thing at Hilton Head Health spa. They changed the format dramatically this episode. The participants stay the entire 6 months instead of 30 days like prior participants. This leads to fantastic weight loss as they are guided every step of the way. Visiting day had Ronnie’s fiancé joking that he could stop losing weight and I wanted to pop her upside the head for saying that. You can love someone unconditionally and still encourage them to continue their weight loss journey. I’m glad Ronnie didn’t use that as an excuse to quit. His final weight loss of 180lbs was phenomenal. I know his new sleeker profile will motivate him to keep the weight off. His fiancé will finally get that beach wedding he’s been too ashamed to have. Good for him!


Height: 5'2"

Start Weight: 400.4 lbs

End Weight: 269.8 lbs

“This experience saved my life, I gave the weight too much power over me. I now eat to live, instead of living to eat.”

Okay, Debbie was a Hot Ass Mess, a HAM. I was done with her almost immediately. I can’t stand girls who act like they are too delicate to work out. My mouth fell open when she told the trainer she was going to get off the treadmill as soon as she left the room. WTF??? Debbie is a 44yr old virgin. Not for religious reasons, either. She never comes right out and says it but she implies that her weight keeps her from dating. I’m not buying that. I know too many women Debbie’s size (including a friend named Debbie) who date with no problems. Debbie has low self esteem and is socially awkward. These things will prevent her from dating no matter what she looks like. The flirting 101 class with the trainer at the golf course was just sad. Debbie is at a crossroads in her life and seemed resigned to being the fat spinster cat lady. You do have a choice in how you live your life. I’m glad Debbie finally woke up and got with the program. It would be a damn shame if the $72,000+ spent on her went to waste. Thankfully it did not. Debbie lost 130lbs/ 30% fat and I will clap for that!

Another emotional Heavy roller coaster comes to an end. It’s funny that this episode was a great example of sabotage in its many forms. Self, family, and society tell us we can’t. We have to love ourselves enough to say “Yes we can” J

Emotional Triggers

Emotional Triggers

On this journey we call life; we come to the occasional fork in the road. The direction we choose can either lead us to happiness or self destruction. Sometimes outside forces influence our decisions.

A friend of mine recently started dating someone new. At the age of 40 he is in love for the first time. I noticed something different about my friend since getting a boyfriend. He used to always want to go to the Chinese buffet and always had triple layer cakes to tempt me with. Now that he’s blissfully in love, he’s stopped overeating. Kind of funny how that works. Love can make you do right or make you do wrong (shout out to Al Green).

In reflection I’ve allowed relationships to influence my weight/food choices as well. I always gain weight when I have a boyfriend. I’m from the south and I love to cook comfort foods from scratch. When I break up with someone I tend to lose a dramatic amount of weight in the weeks following the break up. I eventually gain it all back but you get the picture. I eat when I am stressed and forget to eat when I’m deliriously happy. Neither is healthy. In my food journal I see the patterns; I just wish I had more control over them. I guess acknowledging the problems are at least halfway to the solution. There was a time when I had no clue whatsoever.

Doing the recaps of Heavy has caused me to self reflect as well. While not obese, we can all relate to the issues the participants deal with and lead them to the place they’ve found themselves. I see myself reflected in them and in you all. What are some of your triggers and how do you overcome temptation?

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Saboteurs among us

The Saboteurs among us

“With friends like these, who needs enemies?” I ask myself this all the time. At times it seems like everyone is trying to sabotage me. Most of my friends know I keep a food diary. I weigh all my food and track my calorie intake religiously. Yet I have friend who constantly wants to go to the Chinese buffet. I mean at least once a week, if not more. When I decline he says he doesn’t want to eat alone. He argues that I do so well during the week and what’s one little cheat day? He even tried to tell me that he observes what I eat and tries to model my eating habits to help him in his dieting efforts. Yeah right…… Then there’s the friend who wants to be my workout buddy. She’s been saying this for 3 yrs. We’ve never worked out together. Why? Because every time we schedule a workout, something comes up. I’ve gotten her 30 day passes to my gym. I’ve paid for hip hop classes at a local dance studio (taught by a member of the Jabbawokees) and offered to pay for registration fees for a 5K when she said she wanted to run one with me. But when it comes time to shit or get off the pot, she never actually comes through. There have been times when she called me saying she was running late and please don’t start without her, but after 3-4 of these calls never showed up. But every time I run into her around town, she tells me how great I look and we should get together to workout. Uh huh ;-).

My workout buddies are the girls I see at the gym every day actually working out. My diet buddies are you guys ;-). It’s kind of funny, complete strangers won’t bullshit you but your loved ones will. It seems like it would be the other way around. I love my friends dearly but they really work my nerves when they don’t understand why I am driven to be healthy. Do the people in your life sabotage you? Do your husband, kids, co-workers, and BFF’s try to derail your weight loss efforts? How do you stay on course when it seems like everyone is out to destroy your diet?

Heavy recap


Kevin and Flor


Height: 5'11"

Start Weight: 596.7 lbs

End Weight: 507.0 lbs

“This journey has taught me that nothing in life comes easy, but you can't beat the results. One day at a time.”

I once had an old boyfriend from Mississippi who would say, “He’s got more excuses than a MotherF*cker going to jail”. Kevin has a lot of reasons for why he can’t achieve his goals. My radar began pinging with him in his intro when he said he didn’t think he was obese. How in the hell are you damn near 600lbs and think you are just big boned? I didn’t expect him to flog himself on camera but he seemed too comfortable with his current weight. When Kevin was busted bringing candy to Hilton Head I almost threw my shoe at the T.V. First thing he did was lie. “I didn’t buy that.” So what? If someone else buys the candy, do the calories no longer count? If Kevin had spent as much time working out as he did spouting “Affirmations”, he might have really lost some weight. Did he think the weight was going to magically evaporate? He refused to follow the advice of the experts trying to work with him. His sorry ass excuse about different climates in different states causing him to gain back 14 lbs at home ticked me off! Who do you think you’re fooling? You stated on camera you were gonna do things your way. If what he was doing before had worked, he wouldn’t be 600lbs, but Kevin is hardheaded. I really wish I knew what was going through his head. To me it was a complete waste of 30 days and $12,000 at Hilton Head and the following 5 months at home. He gained absolutely nothing from his experience. Kevin did not appreciate the blessing this experience could have been to him and his family.


Height: 5'0"

Start Weight: 308.6 lbs

End Weight: 242.8 lbs

“It has been a difficult journey, but I have learned through therapy, knowledge and hard work that it was lies that enabled me and justified my addiction to food.”

Flor has been through a lot in her life and has been waiting for an opportunity to break free. During the at home footage her husband spoke of her like a roommate and not a woman he loved dearly. This broke my heart and I really felt for Flor. When Flor came to the weight loss facility she came with determination. This pint sized woman kicked major ass! I knew she was not playing when she shaved her head. Talk about a rebirth. Too bad none of her positive attitude rubbed off on Kevin. Flor knew she had to turn her life around when she came on the show and she did not waste any opportunity. Flor was very inspiring to me. I loved her fighting spirit. She looked absolutely glowing at the final weigh in. I definitely see Flor achieving her weight loss goals and being fabulous.

This episode should have been called determination and denial. I was taken on an emotional roller coaster this week. I knew this show would evoke feelings but I never knew I would get this wrapped up! Flor’s picture should be in the dictionary under girl power. Kevin’s should be in the dictionary under slacker.

Next weeks episode looks like another ride on the Heavy rollercoaster of love J

Monday, February 14, 2011

Fitness to feel young and sexy

How to get your groove back- fitness to feel young and sexy

While we are on this fitness journey together we need to discuss a few peripheral subjects. Last week I discussed clothing to enhance your mood. This week I want to discuss beauty, hair, and skincare. When I’m at the gym I notice good and bad examples of how we as women take care of ourselves. I see women wearing full faces of make up. I see women wearing their hair down or pulled up with newspaper rubber bands. I see women wearing non-supportive bras. I see women wearing shoes made for fashion, not working out. I once saw a chick wearing stilettos and sunglasses on the Stairmaster! I feel like that one comedian and just walking up to them, “Here’s your sign.” What’s with women wearing their hair down at the gym? Who are you trying to be sexy for? There’s a chick in my TKB class with waist length hair who comes in with it down, then struggles to pull it up into a ponytail while doing the drills, and has to stop numerous times to fix it. Why doesn’t she just put it up in a bun to begin with? Like I do ;-). I try to understand the make up thing. If you’re coming from work or sneaking in a lunchtime workout, I’ll cut you some slack. But I see some women who stroll in on Saturday with a full face of war paint and then act too cute to sweat because their make up might run. I sweat like a beast when I work out, the gym is no place to be cutesy. The only thing cute about me at the gym is my outfit and it still has to be functional.

Aside from losing weight and toning up, working out has beauty benefits as well. Jogging, jumping jacks, and fast paced dancing helps keep your skin firm. Sweat helps flush impurities. Vigorous exorcise helps blood circulation and gives your skin a rosy glow.

Make sure your gym bag has all the essentials your need for after your workout. My gym bag has small train case with 3 oz bottles of the following;

  1. body wash
  2. special Tea tree body wash for intimate area
  3. shampoo
  4. conditioner
  5. lotion
  6. sunscreen
  7. eye make up remover
  8. deodorant
  9. styling spritz
  10. styling wax
  11. mini brush
  12. tooth paste
  13. travel toothbrush
  14. razor
  15. dental floss
  16. “new item” OneMoreinBoston’s body scrub

I also keep a spare pair of panties, socks, pantyhose, and scarf. I can’t count how many times I have rescued someone by giving them a sample shampoo packet, a tampon, and recently a razor! I bring my own body wash because the soap at the gym disgusts me. Since I work out 6-7 times a week, if I used the gyms cheap soap my skin would be thrashed. I use unscented body wash due to my psoriasis. For lotion I use non-scented brands or scented with natural essential oils like lavender or plumeria (my favorite) cut in half with baby oil gel. I use Mitchum deodorant because it lasts longer. I like Avon’s creamy eye make up remover because I use liquid waterproof eyeliner and mascara. For shampoo I like Paul Mitchell Tea tree and Sebastion’s Laminates conditioner. When my hair is “tore up” I use my Paul Mitchell Tea tree styling wax to slick my hair into a ponytail. On my face I smooth on either Clean & Clear dual action moisturizer or Aveeno Ultra-Calming daily moisturizer with SPF 30.

Well, now that I’ve divulged all my favorites, what are yours? Do you have a favorite must have beauty item that makes life easier? Please share with the group ;-)

Also, feel free to ask me any questions about hair, skin, and make up. I am a beauty professional with 20+yrs experience in the field.

10K Run

2011 Super Run 10k/5k in San Diego, Ca

Okay, I didn’t break any speed records. I finished, I didn’t have to be carried over the finish line, no CPR, and no vomiting. It was a brisk sunny day in Mission Beach. This was 3rd year doing this event. When they announced the race was about to begin, I complained to a woman standing next to me that the starting line wasn’t very flashy. I wanted to take a nice picture for this blog. The woman stared at me like I was crazy. ”Weight loss blog? Who you?” She was a very fit person and her shock made me giggle inside like a school girl. The race started and I felt great. At the 1 mile mark the timer yelled out, “10 minutes!” Cool J The course snaked through the Sea World parking lot and around the bay. At the 2 mile mark the timer yelled out, ”22 minutes!” and I thought to myself, “Okay, I see a trend.” At the 3 mile mark, “33 minutes!” Sure enough, I ended up averaging 11 minutes a mile, very short of my 8 minute average running 5K’s. My final time was 1 hr and 9 minutes. But that’s okay. AZ Girl told me I did great and I believe her J . Matter of fact, I went to the gym afterwards, ran 2 more miles, and then took a Zumba class. My fitness goal for 2011 is to finish a 10k in under an hour. I think I can do and by reporting it to my friends here on the blog, I’m holding myself accountable.

Heavy recap


Travis and Lindy


Height: 5'6"

Start Weight: 284.6 lbs

End Weight: 220.2 lbs

“This has been an extremely emotional journey for me. I’m finally equipped with the proper tools and resources necessary to live the healthy, happy and energetic life I’ve dreamed of.”

I’m going to be honest with you; I didn’t really care for Lindy too much. She started out at 5’6” and 109 lbs. That’s underweight. Lindy built her image around being underweight and “sexy”. In my experience, underweight chicks often don’t know to deal with pregnancy weight. After having children she settled at a normal 130-140lbs but I suspect she wasn’t happy with that. When her marriage fell apart she ballooned up to 284lbs. She says her daughters are embarrassed to be seen with her. Maybe when you were 109 lbs you made fun of heavy set people? Maybe when you were 109 lbs you wore sexy clothes and as you gained weight you started dressing down? I suspect Lindy wasn’t very nice towards heavy people when she was thin and her daughters attitudes were a reflection of the things they heard at home

I was also a little perturbed to see her attitude towards the counseling sessions at the weight loss spa. She said it was nobody’s business. Okay, then why did you come on the show? You are on a T.V. show, you’ve shown us your exposed belly fat, we know how much you weigh, but therapy is private? Her attitude made me think she wasn’t completely open to the process. She lost weight but I think she might have had more success if she hadn’t fought the trainers and counselors every step of the way. I was not inspired by Lindy’s story.

Once at home Lindy decides to plan a wedding. She uses the wedding as an excuse to sample fattening foods and drink empty calories. Despite everything she’s been taught, she is not following the advice. She claims to workout 3-4 hrs a day. I don’t believe her. She never seemed to embrace training at Hilton Head and I doubt she does at home. The scale says someone is lying. Lindy doesn’t seem to care and neither do I.


Height: 5'9"

Start Weight: 431.2 lbs

End Weight: 333.6 lbs

“I wasn’t a good role model for my sons, I was just a lump on a couch. I needed to make a change and getting healthier was the only choice.”

I had mixed feelings about Travis. The trainer was reading my mind when he stated that Travis kept saying he was doing it for his kids but the effort didn’t reflect that. Travis had a lot to overcome. In the at home footage, his family is shown sitting down to a southern fried meal that had me drooling and my stomach churning all at the same time. Travis grabbed a gravy boat and poured gravy over his whole plate. The road to healthy eating was going to a long one for him.

During his journey Travis became a dad for the second time. The late night feedings and stress that come with a tiny bundle of joy threatened to snap Travis’s last nerve. A sharp reprimand from his personal trainer causes him to walk out of a training session. We see Travis struggle with the emotional battle that comes with changing old habits. In the end Travis seems to get it and the weight starts to come off. At his final weigh in he losses 99.99 lbs. I’ll call it 100lbs and feel no shame doing so.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Bringing sexy back (dress to elevate mood)

I don’t know if any of you know this about me, but I’m a fashionista. Since I’m not rich, I try to be a recessionista too. The one thing I’ve hated about working out is the clothes. It’s either baggy sweat pants or muffin top inducing spandex. I hate it all with a passion. So in order to make working out more fun, I’ve come to treat it like a role I’m playing. In my mind a movie is playing where I star as the woman who over comes all odds and wins. This movie has been in production for a while but that’s okay. I’m in charge of the wardrobe in this movie. My character is constantly searching for figure flattering clothing that costs little or nothing. I like to match and I like looking good. My search for bargains leads me to the clearance racks at Sports Authority, Sports Chalet, and Ross stores. Online I scan the availability of discount gear at and track how deeply my favorite items are marked down monthly. I’ve amassed quite the athletic wardrobe. The thrill of finding cute name brand yoga pants for $8.00 is almost as exciting as winning the lottery. I can’t wait to go to the gym and strut around in a new piece of workout gear. I love love love! when someone asks me where I got something and I tell them my t-shirt only cost $2.00 online ;-). Cute gear puts a pep in my step and a glide in my stride. A well coordinated outfit makes me feel like a model on the runway.

So tell me, what do you do to bring your sexy back? Do you have any great discount tips to share?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Heavy recap


A new show on the A & E network chronicling the weight loss journey of two obese participants each week. The cameras follow as they struggle for six months to attain their goals. There is no prize at the end, other than renewed health and a new lease on life.

We join the series on episode 3. The first two episodes were very uplifting. And while this one also has a happy ending (spoiler alert) I admit I got a little watery eyed upon learning the two participants histories. The first 30 days of their weight loss journey begins at the beautiful Hilton Head Health Weight Loss Spa in Hilton Head Island South, Carolina. A quick check of their website reveals a 28 day stay will set you back $12,000

Sharon, 47

Height: 5'6"

Start Weight: 366.4 lbs

End Weight: 257.0 lbs

“I have learned to truly love myself in a constructive way, instead of destructively. The journey has been one of highs and lows, but every step has taken me closer to living the life I’ve always dreamed of!”

Sharon’s earliest memories as a child are of frequently going for days without food. That’s enough to give anyone anxiety about never having enough. Bad times were full of starvation; good times were when the freezer was full. It’s no shocker that when things go bad in Sharon’s life, she turns to food for comfort. When her mother passes, Sharon comforts herself to the tune of an additional 100lbs. And just when things can’t get any worse, her teenage son who struggled with bi-polar disorder commits suicide. I just wanted to reach thru the screen and give her a big hug. This soft spoken woman has endured a lot of tragedy in her life. The death of her son causes her to pack on an additional 60 lbs. A doctor’s visit reveals her BMI is almost three times normal. Something has to change or she will die. The only thing that keeps her inspired is her surviving family and she comes to the conclusion that she wants to live again. She has a 10yr old daughter that she doesn’t want to follow in her foot steps. She wants to be there to see the milestones in her daughter’s life. Her first few sessions with the personal trainer feature lots of crying and declarations of, “I can’t!” She finds the stationary bike intimidating. By the end of her journey she beats her demons by riding a bike with her daughter and enjoying it!

Ashley, 26

Height: 5'6"

Start Weight: 296.0 lbs

End Weight: 205.0 lbs

“I’ve learned that you have the strength inside and all you need to do is find it within and you have all the power in the world to do it. If it was easy everyone would be doing it, but it’s not, so it’s worth the fight.”

Ashley is young and pretty. She is, however, the heaviest in her circle of friends. Ashley plays the wacky zany fat girl role so people will like her. Ashley is a heavy drinker and pretty much gets drunk every day of the week. Footage of her home life shows heavy foods and alcohol are the norm at every meal. Dad is an alcoholic, step mom does not like Ashley, and little sister is the slim favorite in the family. Again, we can see the root of Ashley’s obesity just like with Sharon. Ashley arrives at the weight loss spa drunk. At this point I’m not sure if her story will have a happy ending.

Upon arriving at Hilton Head, Ashley takes advantage of the amenities and throws herself into the process. A phone call from home where baby sis relays a negative message from step mom threatens to derail the whole deal. But in the end Ashley perseveres and makes good progress at the 30 day weigh in.

After the initial 30 days, both participants go home for 5 months to continue in the real world. They are given gym memberships and personal trainers to help. Ashley does so well she even completes a 5K run. Neither women have to return to Hilton Head for a remedial course like others in previous episodes have had to do. At the final weigh in they lose over 200 lbs total. Ashley shows up at her final weigh in wearing some sexy ass bedazzled jeans and looks great! Sharon dedicates her weight loss to her son and holds a memorial balloon release in his honor. Both women look and feel great. They have turned their lives around and the future is bright.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail

Think about it for a minute. If you don’t have a plan, you cannot succeed. Nothing worth having should be left to chance. Too often we want phenomenal results but forget the phenomenal effort it takes to get there. Today’s society is all about instant gratification. Kim Z. of R.H.o A. getting laser treatments while eating a “The Works” pizza and chicken fingers is a perfect example. A few years ago I was 50lbs heavier. I was disgusted and desperate to get back in shape. I made a New Years resolution to do everything short of surgery to lose weight. I immediately signed up for Nutrisystem. I found my misplaced gym membership card and began going several times a week for 30 min cardio sessions. I was in such bad shape that the 1,200 calorie a day regimen and light cardio immediately gave me great results. I begin losing 3-4lbs a week like magic. I am so encouraged I buy cute athletic gear instead of fashionable stilettos for the first time in my life. I pop in yoga DVD’s on my lunch break and people at work think I’m losing my mind as well as my fat ass. I get many compliments on my progress. And then Maria B. asked me a question. Maria B. is a naysayer. Maria is the type of person who says, “Why bother? We’re all gonna die one day anyway, right?” Several of my coworkers had begun doing little things to sabotage my weight loss. Like buying me lunch for no reason… Surprising me with a giant gourmet caramel apple double dipped in white chocolate. Hilarious shenanigans like that. I took the small pranks in stride. But Maria B. shook my confidence to the core in a way I thought no one could. We were passing each other in the office one day when she motioned to me. “Hey, let me ask you a question.” I smiled at her thinking she was going to ask me for exercise tips or something. Maria B. looks like a cross between Rosanne Bar and Snooki with a voice like Marg Simpson’s sisters. “I see you’ve been losing a lot of weight lately. How did you do it? Pills?” My jaw hit the floor. Pills? Really? I mean, I was getting my Nutrisystem orders delivered to the job. I was carrying around baggies of fresh fruit to snack on. I carried around a food journal like a minister carries a bible. And yet this idiot had decided that because her weight loss efforts had always failed, I MUST have been doing something other than what I was portraying. Healthy eating and exercise don’t work, drugs do. I was beyond insulted. Looking back I realize that her small little brain just couldn’t wrap itself around the concept of hard work paying off. I’ve seen many friends and co-workers start out to lose weight and then give up after a short amount of time when they don’t see results. Why do they fail? Because they didn’t plan correctly. Unless you have a fabulous buffet style cafeteria at work, not bringing lunch is going to cause you to fail at your weight loss. If you cook your diners based on what your kids like instead of following a healthy meal plan, you will fail at your weight loss efforts.

Here are a few things I’ve found to be true about losing weight and getting/staying in shape.

You must keep a food diary. It’s amazing how much we eat without realizing it. A journal keeps you accountable and allows you to make changes when needed.

You must count. Whether its calorie counting or the Weight Watchers point system, you must count the amount of food you take in every day. If you eat thousands of calories a day and then suddenly start eating cottage cheese every meal, you will lose weight without counting. But only for a little while. At some point you will have to count. Your body is a bank and food is money. If you want to lose weight you must budget your calorie intake. I keep the menus for all the major fast food restaurants in my food journal. That way if someone wants to go out, I can quickly figure out what to eat that will not ruin my intake for the day. I leave very little to chance. I plan my breakfast, lunch, and dinners. I snack on fruit (that I weigh) or 100 calorie snack paks. I keep bookmarked on my phone in case I come across something I’m not sure of. Here is a good calorie calculator I like I also have it book marked on my phone for quick reference.

If you are over 30 you must exercise at least 30 min a day every day. If you are over 40 you must exercise 1hr every day. Not to lose weight, to not gain weight. If you want to lose weight you must double those numbers. Nature is not on our side any more. We are not 20-somethings that can lose weight by blinking. Hormones, stress, work, kids, etc are working against us. We cannot put in half efforts and expect full results.

If you don’t like to exercise, fake it. Find an exercise you will do and do a variety of them. Running, jogging, and walking are good. Adding different aerobics classes and moderate weight lifting are even better. Adding fitness to your life will help keep the weight off once you achieve your goals and lengthen your life as well. I run on the treadmill, elliptical, or walk everyday. I lift weights several times a week. And to round things off I take Zumba and Turbo Kick Boxing four times a week. Just to keep from turning into a ball of fat J

We only have one life to live; we should take care of ourselves while we are living it. Be good to yourselves and treat your body like the temple of beauty it is it. Namaste !!!