This post gave me a lot to think about. Mainly to remember that weight loss, like every endeavor is HARD. It’s hard for everyone but in different ways. And it works (or doesn’t) for all of us in different ways. There is no 1 miracle diet, no 1 perfect exercise regime, and most importantly, no 1 timeline for accomplishing this or any of goals that are meaningful to us. We WILL have setbacks, there is a learning curve, and some serious soul searching will probably be required. While it’s helpful to read different blogs, check out websites, even listen to podcasts (and “friend-casts”), the hard truth is we do have to figure this out for ourselves – what works for us. And to give ourselves a break – or a kick in the pants – as needed. The pithy “this is a marathon, not a sprint” sounds great, but sometimes it’s 1 step forward 15 steps back, and that’s ok. It really, really is.

Running from Death

Today, in my news reader, I came across yet-another-blogger who is fits into the “advice” or “coach” genre.  I added the person, even though I know it’s unlikely the person will last long.  Each week, I delete one or two of them from my feed and always for the same reason: they present complex problems and answer with ridiculously simple advice.

It’s the same with health and/or fitness magazines, too.

Complex problems

It took me a long time to understand that real problems are rarely simple.  Everything substantial connects to everything else.

For example, take the simple yet real problem of cooking more meals at home: When I stop eating take-out, I have to make sure I have set aside time for shopping…and time for cooking…oh, and making sure I have the right pans and knives and such…and also that I know what I want to cook (or even how to cook)…and then…

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How To Start The Next “Do Over”

So, am starting over, again. It’s funny how each new do-over has it differences but it’s similarities as well. Here’s one way to get started…and start to heal.

Day 1: shock, depression, can’t stop crying, eat every sugary, fat item in or out of sight

Day 2: get off butt, do basic, easy projects (you know the ones that have needed to be done but there just wasn’t time), try to remember to eat, brush teeth, feed dog, all the things that used to be on the “mindless to-do”, leave house to get mail, start step one of major, potentially long term project, plan rest of week

Day 3: start major, potentially long term (weeks, months even) project, for example, painting all the baseboards, door casings, chair rails, and doors – in the whole house (except the master and guest bedrooms – they’ve just been done)! It’s been a number of years since a touch up and the high gloss paint will help with resale and just snazz up the place. So in the last two days I did the accent under the chair rail in the dining room (it’s beautiful by the way!), and today did the dreaded “foyer” and the library casing/window lintel/baseboards. Worked for a solid 6 hours, it all looks amazing, and, except for the french doors, is the hardest part of the whole project. Can’t believe how a fresh, bright coat of paint on baseboards and casings makes such a huge difference! Very excited about the dining room – once it’s done and has new, modern power switches and outlets will post pics. Even got out and forced myself to do a few short but important errands. Remembered to eat and take meds. Still haven’t showered, ok, still painting tomorrow.

* Day 4: planned through the weekend, doing a lot of painting, will do under chair rail, got a cheap Groupon for a massage in the afternoon, and will rest a bit, careful with eating plan

Day 5: back on the exercise wheel with a session with trainer (as if painting like a crazed woman isn’t enough)

* Day 6: painting = finishing the dining room – chair rail, baseboards, door and it’s casing, only switches/outlets (new modern ones) to go, and then 1st day of “Insanity” program

* Day 7 and beyond: it’s important to have a plan, preferably a couple; so continue painting, leaving some items for a friend who’s coming to finish the harder parts, as well as do the “Insanity” program/sticking to clean eating — all over the next two months (or til end of year!)

– And then start next year off with a new “Vision Board”, new goals, and a renewed commitment to re-achieving and maintaining stability – eating clean (no sugar/fat/flour), 5 days of exercise a week, training for a half marathon, meditation, and treating myself like my best friend (a chore but doable).

This is my “do over”. It may seem a bit limited but after this pretty big set back, need to have achievable goals to rebuild that ole self esteem. If you’re doing a “do over”, I wish you the best and offer just one piece of advice “keep it simple, keep it achievable”!





Just Because It Doesn’t Work Out…This Time


I made a very hard decision today, to withdraw from my class because it was too much…for now. After a week of daily cycling, and difficulty with mood regulation since I started it, it was that or the hospital. After doing so well, getting confidence back, being consistently stable for months at a time, this has been quite a step backward.

You see the picture in my head is going back to school, getting a degree or tech certification of some kind, professional preferably, stay stable, and GO BACK TO WORK. Well, it’s still there, but not sure if it’s the right picture now. Not sure of anything really. Back to babysteps. My wife says it’s not failure, it’s simply postponement. Or maybe it’s time to consider a different picture.

Lesson: What gives us the most strength is own freedom to choose. The trick is figuring out the choices. And that’s quite a trick!

Ok, So the Scale is Evil But a Pic Tells It All

Ok, so the scale still isn’t moving but a pictures tells a thousand words!

This was taken tonight after a dinner celebrating a dear friend’s birthday:

Compare to 2 months ago:

Face keeps getting skinnier and the rest is redistributing. Lesson: look at overall pics, especially your face! Keep taking pics every few months to see the changes. You’re worth it!

Sunday AM Gratitude

Good morning! If you are in the States, did you change your clocks yet?

– and while you’re at it, maybe take a moment to think about a few things you

are grateful for on this beautiful Fall morning! And sending best wishes

to all those impacted by Sandy.

Thrilled To Be Back…And How To Torch 100 Calories – It’s Easier Than You Think

It’s been an extremely busy few weeks, not an excuse, just an “exercise” in juggling new activities and responsibilities. Think I’m finally getting a handle on it.

Activities / Milestones of Note:

  • This past Sunday, did a 5K and ran/jogged 2/3rds of it. Compare to this April when struggled to just walk one.
  • On the 5th week of the C25K training program.
  • Signed up for 3rd 5K this year – the Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning.
  • Battling emotional eating yesterday while in another bad depression BUT was able to stop myself for calling for pizza/cheesecake takeout and instead did a 20 minute run.
  • Called Overeater’s Anonymous to start digging into what’s holding me back and get tools to address overeating, sugar addiction, and self sabatogue.

But enough about me, here’s the good stuff:

How To Torch 100 Calories…Some Ways Are Easier Than Others, But You’ll Be Surprized!

Everything you do burns calories—breathing, sleeping, standing, and all of the active pursuits you enjoy. But what does it take to burn just 100 calories? You may be surprised by how little—or how much—activity you have to do to achieve that goal! To put it all in perspective for you, we’ve gathered 50 different ways to burn 100 calories. From standard exercises you do at the gym, to everyday chores around the house, you can burn 100 calories in just a few short minutes of your day.

Keep in mind that not all movement is created equal. In order to classify an activity as a cardio ”exercise,” you must be working at 60-80% of your maximum heart rate. (You can calculate your target heart rate here.) However, even though periods of less intense activity may not count as part of your workout, they still provide health benefits and burn extra calories. After all, the less sitting you do, the better!

50 Ways to Burn 100 Calories

(Values are approximate and are based on a 150-pound person.)


  1. Biking: 23 minutes of casual cycling
  2. Cardio dance class: 15 minutes
  3. Elliptical: 8 minutes
  4. Jumping rope: 9 minutes at a moderate intensity
  5. Lifting weights, vigorously: 15 minutes
  6. Pilates: 24 minutes
  7. Rowing machine: 13 minutes
  8. Running stairs: 6 minutes
  9. Running: 9 minutes of running at a 6 mph pace
  10. Swimming: 15 minutes moderate intensity
  11. Walking stairs: 11 minutes
  12. Walking: 20 minutes of walking at a 3 mph pace
  13. Water aerobics: 23 minutes
  14. Yoga: 20 minutes
  15. Zumba: 11 minutes

Sports and Leisure Activities:

  1. Basketball, shooting hoops: 20 minutes
  2. Bowling: 30 minutes
  3. Dancing around living room: 20 minutes
  4. Darts: 35 minutes
  5. Golfing, carrying clubs: 15 minutes
  6. Ice skating, moderate: 18 minutes
  7. Kickball: 13 minutes
  8. Mini golf or driving range: 30 minutes
  9. Playing catch with a football: 35 minutes
  10. Playing Frisbee: 30 minutes
  11. Playing soccer, casual: 13 minutes
  12. Skiing,downhill: 10 minutes
  13. Softball or baseball: 18 minutes
  14. Tennis (doubles): 21 minutes
  15. Tennis (singles): 15 minutes
  16. Treading water, moderate effort: 23 minutes
  17. Volleyball, recreational: 26 minutes
  18. Water skiing: 15 minutes

Yard Work:

  1. Mowing the lawn: 20 minutes
  2. Painting house: 18 minutes
  3. Raking leaves: 23 minutes
  4. Shoveling snow: 15 minutes
  5. Washing the car: 20 minutes
  6. Weeding the garden: 18 minutes

Everyday Activities:

  1. Carrying an infant: 24 minutes
  2. Cleaning, moderate effort: 26 minutes
  3. Cooking: 34 minutes
  4. Doing dishes: 40 minutes
  5. Mopping the floor: 20 minutes
  6. Playing with children: 23 minutes
  7. Pushing a stroller: 35 minutes
  8. Rearranging furniture: 14 minutes
  9. Shopping: 38 minutes
  10. Sweeping: 23 minutes
  11. Walking the dog, 26 minutes

Were you surprised by the amount of time it takes to burn 100 calories? Which of these activities can you incorporate into your life to burn an extra 100 calories per day? Pick one that fits into your schedule and go for it!

A Picture Tells and All That

Just to reinforce the whole “Transformational Pics” trend, here’s a contrast for you.

This picture is from late February 2011:

Notice the lack of cheekbones, chin and moon-like appearance.

About a year and a half later, yesterday 9-27-2012 the difference is really showing – welcome back cheekbones and chin!:

A bit different, huh! Can’t believe it’s the same person either. And still getting the hang of smiling again after dental issues for some time which explains the lopsided smile.

Please tell me you have before and during pics as well – would love to see them!!

Train Like Your Stronger Fitter Evil-Twin is Plotting…

How hard do you train? More importantly, what are your real fitness goals? Are they written down? Have you even thought past just losing weight and being able to shop in cooler stores?

When I started this journey in April of 2011, my only goal was to lose weight, mainly because I was just so miserable and disgusted with myself. But actual fitness goals aside from what I needed to do to lose the weight, not really. There were a few ambiguous ones like being able to walk for 20 minutes, get through a whole yoga class, that sort of thing. Now, a bit over a year later, 80 pounds lighter, and spending more time at the gym than I ever dreamed I would, now I have goals. They are:

* Consistently do at least 30 minutes of sustained activity 30 minutes 6 days a week.

* Complete 2 5K’s by December 31, 2012. (Have 1 scheduled for October. And doing the C25K program.)

* Complete a Half Marathon in 2013. (Start training in January.)

* Reach my goal weight of 160 by December 31, 2012 – and be at 25% body fat percentage (the normal range).

* Biggest: At least double the amount of weight I can lift, strength training I can do, and incorporate a program like P90X to really push losing fat and building muscle.

* And of course, ditch the “white stuff” – sugar, white flour, salt, butter/margarine (ok they’re not white) and eat as cleanly as possible.

These are my goals – sure that yours may be different in many ways. However, the next most important piece is planning how to reach whatever your goals are. Planning how you’ll do it, creating a schedule, journalling/charting your progress, and celebrating milestones. All this seems pretty basic, right?

Basic until you ignore your eating regime to have oatmeal right before bed. Til you blow off gym class to do, well whatever. Letting your schedule slide because life is getting in the weigh (family, work, school). Unless you have a plan, look at it regularly, and have a method to hold yourself accountable, it’s so very easy to let life takeover one tiny piece at a time until you’re sliding backwards and even more stressed out.

If you don’t have a plan, consider making one. If you’re not journalling to keep your food under control and charting your fitness progress, there are tons of great sites and apps to make it quick and easy. A small notebook works, too!

Don’t do what I did last night – ignore my trainer’s advice to have a protein shake at night if I get hungry and instead carb load and let it turn to fat overnight. Especially after busting butt for over an hour with my trainer that afternoon. Stepping on your own success is only frustrating and discouraging. Let that “future you” you’ll become be your guide and advise you. I ask “what would future Lara want me to do right now to help her become the fit, toned, and healthy person she became?”. The answer is: move more, eat clean and smart, and keep going! This journey is truly a marathon not a sprint. Pace yourself, do your best, and you’ll get there. In the meantime, be firm but gentle with yourself “on the weigh”!