New Year

Like many of you I struggle with my weight. Every day. Two years ago I successfully lost 30 pounds and for quite awhile I did really well in keeping it off. Then last spring I had some health issues and slowly put 10 pounds back on. Not horrible in the grand scheme of things, but frustrating nonetheless. I tried cutting back on my calorie intake, but due to an injury I couldn’t do much in the way of exercising (walking/running was out of the question). I’ve been able to keep it to just a 10 pound gain, so my clothes still fit okay, but I’m determined to take the weight back off. And the sooner, the better!

I recently started taking Advocare products (MNS 3, Spark, and Thermoplus) and have noticed a definite increase in my energy levels and general well being. I even made it through the holidays without gaining any extra weight (and pretty much eating what I wanted – within reason). I liked the products so much I became a distributor! If you’d like info on the products, you can check them out here: https://www.advocare.com/131218401/Store/default.aspx

I’ll be tracking my progress as I reengage with my diet and exercise program. Hopefully before too long I’ll be celebrating the exit of those pesky 10 pounds!

What are you health and fitness goals for this year?

Taking joy in the journey,



Small things

Sometimes the smallest change can make a huge difference. I know you’ve probably heard it before, but I am living proof of that statement! About a year and a half ago I began a journey to change my life through diet and exercise. I began by making small changes in my diet: no sodas (diet or regular), green tea instead of coffee, lots of water and portion control. I didn’t make all the changes at once, but gradually. Then I added moderate exercise and plenty of fresh vegetables and protein. Over about 10 months I lost 30 pounds and went from a size 12 (almost 14) to a size 2. That’s a pretty substantial weight loss, but at the age of 53 it felt impossible. I’ve kept the weight off for over a year now and am making every effort to keep it off for good!

The bottom line is this: it doesn’t matter how many diets you’ve tried (I’ve tried pretty much all of them) and failed to lose weight. Start today. Start small and set reachable goals. Do it for yourself. Do it for your future. You won’t regret it!

Taking joy in the journey,


You can do it!

**Please note! This is not a paid advertisement. I receive nothing from My Fitness Pal – this is just my personal story!!

After years of struggling to lose just 10 pounds (and constantly regaining the weight ++) I had just about given up ever successfully losing weight. I tried just about every diet, pill, program, you name it with little or no success. I hated to exercise and found it difficult to get motivated. In December of 2011 I was 30 pounds overweight, tired, frustrated and borderline depressed. I was a mess. After crying my way through the New Year something switched in my brain and I decided it was time to get moving. I can’t even explain what happened; I just knew it was time. And I was the only one who could make the change.

In January of 2012 I began a diet and exercise program using My Fitness Pal (MFP). By May of 2012 I had lost almost 20 pounds and by December had lost my goal of 30 pounds. The change has been remarkable. As a former confirmed couch potato, I was amazed (and so was my family) when I started going to the gym 4-5 times a week. I started running in August and had run three 5k races by February of this year. After years of water-skiing on two skis I finally learned to slalom last summer. I look younger, feel better, have more energy and more self-confidence than I can remember. I weigh less now that I did in my 30’s. At 54 I’m healthier and happier than I ever thought possible. I owe a large part of my success to My Fitness Pal! MFP helped me stay on track by recording my daily food and exercise. The app is so easy to use and being able to connect with friends has been a great encouragement. The community message boards were a great resource when I had questions, and reading about other members successes was inspiring. I also “went public” with my journey on this blog: https://thisjoyfuljourney.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/determination/ which kept me accountable to my followers.

I have recommended MFP to so many friends! Whenever someone comments on my weight loss I share my story and always encourage them to download the app. Just this week I started an MFP group at work to encourage my coworkers in their weight loss journeys!

Losing weight is hard work. My Fitness Pal has been a great companion on my journey.

Taking joy in the journey,



Progress 2013b

Losing it (Again)

I had an interesting conversation with a friend recently. She was bemoaning the fact that she had gained back some the weight she had worked so hard to lose. She said she had been eating fried foods, fast food, drinking sodas, not drinking enough water and slacked off on exercise. Yet she couldn’t really understand why she’d regained the weight. I gently stopped her litany and simply said: “You know exactly what to do – you just have to recommit to doing it. She looked surprised, then a little sheepish and agreed. I committed to helping hold her accountable and she committed to start over.

It’s amazing how easy it is to gain back weight you’ve worked so hard to lose. All it takes is one weekend binge, one carefree vacation or just a temporary lapse of commitment. The thing is, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. You can easily drop that extra five pounds by doing what you know: drink more water, watch portion sizes, cut out fried/fast food and get moving!

I’m speaking from experience here. I lost 30 pounds last year, but it takes a lot of effort to keep it off. I have given myself a five pound “window” so my weight can fluctuate (up or down depending on water weight, limited gym time or a little too much wine or chocolate) and I don’t panic. When I gain a pound or two I know exactly what I need to do: exercise, increase my water intake, watch my portions) It’s amazing how quickly those few pounds come off when I make just a few changes.

Have you gained a little weight recently? Don’t chastise yourself – just get back on the program! It’s much easier to lose 2-5 pounds than to let things get out of control and have to lose 10!

Taking joy in the journey,


Just do it

Just Do It. Good advice. If you’re on the fence about starting – or continuing a diet and exercise program, why are you hesitating? What’s keeping you from losing weight? What’s keeping you from going to the gym or even taking a walk around the block? If you keep coming up with excuses you’ll waste precious time and keep going around the mountain of frustration, depression and unhealthy lifestyle.

I speak from experience, believe me. I spent a good portion of 50 years convinced that I could never weigh less than 140 pounds and was destined to me tired and frustrated with the way I looked and felt. I tried every diet program, plan and pill on the market – all without successfully taking off, or keeping off more than about 11 pounds for any length of time. The problem was this: I wasn’t motivated. It may sound excruciatingly simple, but that’s it. It wasn’t until December of 2011 that I finally got motivated to get my butt off the couch and into the gym. I was tired, frustrated, unhappy and borderline depressed. I hated the way I looked, felt and looked at the world around me with uninterested disdain.

When I finally woke up from my potato chip/diet soda/fast food haze I took a long, hard look at my diet and realized I was eating myself to an early grave. I had heard something about aspartame and how bad it is for you, but I never really paid heed to it until I started doing some research. What I learned shocked me. All those sugar free snacks and drinks (and even chewing gum) I was ingesting – thinking I was being “healthy” were actually making me tired, achy and fat. I was carrying around 30 extra pounds on a 5’4” frame and I was miserable.

My first step was a 21 day Standard Process Cleanse. Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables replaced the fatty foods I normally ate and hot water or green tea replaced my usual morning coffee. At the end of the cleanse I had only lost 4 pounds, but felt better so I kept going. I’ve never been able to stick to a “diet” of any kind so I chose to count calories instead. I discovered an iPhone app that changed my life: My Fitness Pal. I started logging everything that went into my mouth and made portion control the rule rather than exception at every meal. I also started going to the gym (just walking first, then jogging, then the elliptical) 4-5 days a week. By the end of April I had reached my initial goal of 20 pounds lost. I was motivated!

The last 10 pounds took a little longer to lose, but I was feeling so much better, healthier and stronger I didn’t care. I started slalom waterskiing in June (a lifelong but unattainable goal to this point) and knew at that point I would never go back to my old way of eating. I kept watching my calories, exercising and drinking lots of water and by November I was down a total of 25 pounds. The final 5 pounds was just a bonus in January 2013.

Believe me when I say if I can do it, anyone can. No excuses. Do it for yourself. Do it for your family. But please do it. Start today. You’ll never regret it!

Taking joy in the journey,


A funny thing happened on the way to the new me – I discovered that people were watching my progress. It’s easy to feel like the Lone Ranger when you’re on a diet and exercise program, but trust me, you aren’t  If you go public – like I did by writing this blog – people will watch. Even if you try to stay “under the radar” you are inspiring people just by sticking to your plan. I have been amazed at the number of friends and acquaintances who have remarked on my weight loss, asked how I did it or even asked if I would coach them in achieving their goals as well.

My beautiful sister has been a devoted user of My Fitness Pal (MFP) for the past six months or so and since we are “diet buddies” I’ve been able to watch her progress and encourage her along the way. She recently sent me a message and remarked how she appreciated the fact that I still log into MFP every day even though I’ve reached my goal weight. It was a great reminder that I am not alone!

Losing 30 pounds is an achievement I’m very proud of. It took a lot of hard work, discipline and patience over the past year and I am grateful for all the love and support I’ve received along the way. It’s humbling to find out that people have been watching my progress and are inspired. A coworker recently asked if I would coach her through her diet and exercise program. She said she’s watched me over the past year and was impressed at how I’d lost the weight – and consistently kept it off. I’m so glad this journey has made a difference not just to me, but to my friends, family and acquaintances.

If you’re thinking of giving up on your diet and fitness journey today, don’t. You never know who you might be inspiring!

Taking joy in the journey,


This time last year I was 13 pounds down from my starting weight in January – not quite halfway to my goal of losing 30 pounds. I remember feeling so excited about the fact that my clothes were looser, I had more energy and I was feeling better about the way I looked. In all honesty, I expected to lose about 20 pounds and not be able to lose any more. Oh me of little faith…

Like so many people, I yo-yo dieted for years. After I had my second child I lost 30 pounds and kept it off for quite a while. Then life barged in, I got busy and quit caring about what I ate. I’d finish everything on my plate, then proceed to finish off whatever was left on the kids plates. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted it. And the pounds piled on. Then I’d buy the latest diet pill and half-heartedly embark on a “diet”. I didn’t exercise aside from chasing two kiddos around and I honestly wasn’t very motivated to lose weight. When I had moderate success on a diet I would quickly get tired of the menu choices and run straight for the ice cream. Over the years I’ve probably lost (and regained) a good 30-40 pounds. That’s just sad.

Something clicked in my brain in December of 2010. I finally saw, really recognized that I had a problem. I was overweight, out of shape, borderline depressed and generally unhappy with life in general. I was still relatively healthy (a heart scan came back completely clean) and my doctor didn’t tell me I had to lose weight. But I knew. I’m 5’4” and was wearing a size 12 – and quickly headed to a size 14. I know that’s pretty normal for a woman in her early 50’s, but it was too much for me. I decided – no determined-to lose weight and get in shape. And I did it.

My initial goal was to lose 20 pounds. That would probably have been plenty, but the more I changed my lifestyle, exercise and eating habits, the better I felt. So I kept going. The next goal was 25 total pounds lost. It took from April to August to achieve that goal and was well worth the effort. I started running in August and since then have lost the remaining 5 pounds. And it feels so good.

If you had told me this time last year I would be 30 pounds thinner, had run three 5k races and be wearing a size 2 I would have said you were crazy. But I did it. And you can too.

LY Before














Taking joy in the journey,