Stop the Insanity-From a Plus-Sized Fit Girl

I may never look like a Rockette, but it won’t stop me from working out with one.

My husband and I are on Day Four of the Insanity workout. It’s brutal and quite honestly the only reason I’m doing it is because he wanted to and I’m too damn competitive to let him workout without me. I’m not proud of that, but I’m all about honesty so there you have it. I’m abusing my body for forty minutes every day for the next 60 days because I’m a stubborn little b-i-t-c-h.

It’s gotten my thinking though, all this insanity,: this is why people yo-yo. We have an all or nothing attitude about fitness and weight loss in this country so we either go insane or we do nothing. Yes, the guys and ladies in this workout video have perfect bodies, but that isn’t the only way to be healthy and not having a perfect body shouldn’t stop you from using yours as much as possible.

I’m a size 12. Despite my healthy eating and regular exercise and over 30 pound weight loss, in the last year, I have lost one, yes one, clothes size. Apparently my waist (and hips and chest…) is also stubborn. I don’t look anything like those people in the exercise video but so far I’m keeping up with them. In any fashion industry publication I’d qualify as plus-size even though I can outlast my 6’3″ 100andskinny pound husband on a run and so far have been able to do at least as much as he can in these workouts that anyone will tell you are beyond-challenging.

I used to think if I didn’t or even couldn’t look like the trainers at my gym then why should I bother. I used to think if I did everything “right” and wasn’t a size four then why bother? Let me just have my ice-cream and evening on the couch with my favorite friend, the television.

Then I shook off all those expectations of what was supposed to happen when you ate well and exercised and just started nourishing my body and soul and everything was perfect. My “numbers” at the doctor are all near perfect, my immune system is pretty solid. I feel great and I’m mostly happy (everybody has days right?). I don’t count calories.  I don’t exercise like a crazy person except under the duress of my husband’s wishes. (Kidding, Dear.) I live my life according to what I feel like I need and so far it’s working out great.

And I’m still a size twelve.

My mission as a coach is to get the word out to people that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I want my clients to see that perfect looks different on every body and that you don’t have to be a size 4 or working out every single minute of the day and eating kale in between to be healthy and happy and fit.

Regular girls can be healthy too. Even if they are, according to the world, plus-sized or, according to me,  just plain normal.

If you’re interested in taking back your life and making it perfect for you, contact me about the EmpowHered groups and individual coaching that is starting this fall. 

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Disney Baby Feature

We're giddy with excitement. I mean, Disney!!!

We’re giddy with excitement. I mean, Disney!!!

We are very humbled here at RLW to be featured over on the Disney Baby Site as a Mom Working for You. Thank you the very lovely, Amy from Using Our Words for featuring us there. Go check out the wonderful job she did!


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Spring Cleanse

bethapplesIt’s that time of year again: the time where we begin to fear our shorts and bathing suits. How many of you have spent the winter months in hibernation, seeking warmth and comfort in more than just your fuzzy slippers? We’ve all been there and we’re all in need of a little spring cleaning now and then-both outside and in. Go over to Right Hand Mom today to see a video and some testimonials about my Spring Cleanse Program. Then contact me to sign up and get a jumpstart on a Healthier Happier Spring.

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Moving Your Mind

I’ve learned a valuable lesson about self-worth through rejection this weekend. All of this lead to some great news for me and you. Read about it over on the blog. Then contact me to see how you can change your mind.

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Moving Forward

GreensI was all set to write about meat today but then I felt like I owed everyone a follow-up to The Ugly Truth piece. I won’t bore you with too many details but I will say things are looking up.

Perhaps the most important thing I did was write about it because it freed me from the burden of carrying it around alone. Just releasing that helped me to move forward (or back?) into better taking care of myself. I’ve started tracking my food like a good Health Coach client and I’ve added exercise back in to my (almost) daily routine.

Of course, the tremendous feedback helped as well. Hearing you’re not alone and you aren’t the only one making mistakes always helps make the mistakes seem less colossal and hard to return from. It’s amazing what making those few little changes has done for me. I know it’s true, as I’ve seen it with dozens of people I work with, and myself, but this was a huge reminder that it doesn’t take much to take good care of yourself.

In that same vein of reaching up and out, I went a step further than just writing the truth. I reached out and did the thing I thought I could not do.

I went to a networking event for a group that I have been “cyber-stalking” for about a year. The room was full of successful women who intimidated the heck out of me, but I held my head up and ran right into the fear.

You know what? I not only heard from incredible people that night, but I was supported and challenged and inspired in ways I haven’t been in a long time. It was the greatest decision-professional and personal-I’ve made in a long time. And just that little lift was enough to shift my focus to moving forward and stop punishing myself for the perception that I am behind.

So, dear readers, thank you. Thank you for the support you provide just being here as well as the feedback you give in comments here and on facebook and twitter. You have lifted this girl back to a place where she can go about the business of lifting others again. I still need to make sure I’m paying attention to ensure forward progress, but I now feel fortified to do just that.

I leave you with a grateful heart.

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The Ugly Truth

kidsonbeachSomewhere along the way, I’ve lost myself. The last few years, I was so focused on living well and then starting a business helping others do the same, that I was losing weight, running farther, laughing more and generally feeling great. I started to believe I really could have the life I wanted after all.

Then something happened. Actually, that’s a bad way of saying it because that would imply that something actually happened when, in fact, nothing really did. Sure, there were some changes to my routine, with all of my kids starting at school and the increasing responsibility of my business. And yes, we had a natural disaster that set us back a couple weeks while we lived in a powerless alternate reality. But nothing happened that should have stopped me for good. I, like many of you I’m sure, could point to a million different things that happened over the last six months that would make perfectly acceptable excuses for my current state. However…

What is my current state you ask? Oh boy, where do I start? I have successfully started that business I was talking about before and I really do believe I am helping other people discover and live the lives they’ve always wanted to live. But I’m not sure I’m helping myself do the same anymore.

Except for the hours every week that I am physically with  clients, I would describe myself  as tired and unfocused and often sad. I’m not exercising regularly and while my eating will never be as bad as it once was, it has taken back on the haphazard, unconscious style of years past. If you asked me what I had for dinner last night, I might not be able to answer the question. As has happened in the past, I’ve quit on myself and when I quit on myself, stuff has a way of getting totally out of control. Try having a job where you teach others how to live while knowing you aren’t practicing what you preach. It’s like the Fat Cardiologist-heavy on the hypocrite.

Why am I telling you this here? Here, on this site where I’m supposed to be the Coach who can help you avoid these situations in your own life? Here I am admitting I’ve taken quite a tumble. Risky business, perhaps. But I’m no kind of coach at all if I’m not honest and this is the honest truth-even coaches need coaches sometimes to remind them how to Be.

I’ve stumbled. Hell, I’ve fallen, hard, of late. But I know there are better days ahead. I know that all I have to do is recommit to paying attention to myself. I can’t use everyone else as an excuse to put myself last, because when that happens, everyone loses.

Before you get to feeling sorry for me, let me admit another hard truth. I think I put myself last when I am scared or when I’m more comfortable being a martyr than being a risk-taker. It is no coincidence that as soon as my business started picking up, my personal life came crashing down.

All these years I’ve thought, “as soon as I find my niche and begin a job I love, THEN I’ll be happy.” Know what happened? I found a job I loved. I even created my own niche. But as soon as I felt that shift, my subconscious had to figure out a way to screw it up because what if I failed and never could be happy or, even worse, what if I succeeded and had to be happy? Holy crap, what then?

I think we all get comfortable in our own personal level of misery and when that misery is threatened by abundant happiness, we might just shoot ourselves in the foot. For you it might be reverting to old ways. For me, it is checking out entirely and living my life in reaction mode. Gone went the planning and the purpose and in came auto-pilot, which often steers me in the wrong direction. Only you know why. I’m still trying to figure out why for myself, but I’ve decided not to wait for the answers before I get back on track.

So, here I am, staring at the right track, the conscious track. Part of the return to conscious living is being accountable for what I do, how I think and what I say to myself. So, I will share those things here. For better or worse, here I will share the truth.





Posted in Personal wellness, Truth Telling | 20 Comments

Beets-They Should Be What’s for Dinner

beetsThere are million reasons to love beets and the delicious taste is just one of them. Come on over to The Right Hand Mom today. I’m sharing the benefits of beets and the incredible recipe that I might eat a bit too much.

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Try This: SHRED Diet

shredI know, I know, I always preach “no diets” but really what I mean is no crazy, restrictive, impossible to maintain diets. I actually get pretty into diet plans books as a means of research for clients. I am a firm believe that different things work for different people, so over the years I’ve personally “played with” Gluten Free,  Paleo, Kris Carr’s Vegan diet, any and all sugar buster diets, and of course any and all media (book, DVD etc.) by my beloved Jillian Michaels. 

The thing I don’t do, is share these thing with other people unless I think there is merit in them long-term. Such is the case with SHRED: The Revolutionary Diet—Six Weeks, Four Inches, Two Sizes that just launched last month. The SHRED diet came from Dr. Ian Smith’s work with patients who had hit stubborn plateau’s in their weight loss. Who doesn’t hate the damn plateau?

The result of this work is the SHRED diet that even though it uses that four letter word, is really more a plan for a healthy life. It’s a six-week plan but it can be maintained as it really is just a roadmap to living well.

Dr. Ian’s SHRED diet includes: “all of his strategic dieting tools in one plan—like putting all the best players on the field at once to create a can’t lose combination.”

What I thought was cool is that each week of the six-week plan can stand on its own yet is meant to build on one another. So, in the beginning it’s a great starter plan and when you’re comfortable with it, you can tweak after the initial six weeks to keep going with the lifestyle. I’m all for tweaking diet plans!

Perhaps my favorite part though, and the reason I’m sharing with you, is because the overall “method” in Dr. Ian’s plan is mindfulness. Check out the week breakdown below and you’ll see that above all, you must be present in order for this plan to work.

  •  Prime prepares you for the rest of the plan, focusing on meal spacing, proper snacking techniques, and suppressing hunger without consuming too many calories.
  • Challenge is a confidence booster, showing dieters that despite past failures or plans they thought would be too difficult, they actually have what it takes to succeed.
  • Transformation, the toughest week, a critical seven days where most shredders start truly noticing a difference, many dropping a clothing size
  • Ascend combines knowledge and skills of the first three weeks to keep dieters motivated and moving forward
  •  Cleanse pays special attention to enhancing your liver’s ability to detoxify your blood. 
  •  Explode into your new life with the knowledge and skills you’ve developed.  The variety in the types and quantity of food and beverages keeps you moving along from one day to the next.

I’m all for exploding into a new life! I may just try to take this one on for the entire six weeks. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, have a look at Dr. Ian’s SHRED diet and keep me posted on how you’re doing.

 *I was given a complimentary copy of the SHRED diet book for review. All my opinions are my own. 
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Let’s Talk About Food

SaladStrawberryIt’s that time of year again-new year’s resolution time. I can’t scroll through a Facebook or Twitter feed without at least one comment about diets. Many of the comments involve people starving or sacrificing which always makes me sad.

Yes, if you want to lose weight you have to cut calories and control portion sizes. But if you’re starving, or feeling tortured,  not only might this “diet” not work, it certainly isn’t going to last a life time. So, not only are you making yourself miserable now, but you’ll probably feel the need to do it again next year, when the weight comes right back on.

One of my favorite lines of all time comes from the book Women Food and God by Geneen Roth. It’s a chapter title actually and man does it sum up this whole theme; “It’s not about the weight, but it’s not not about the weight.”

Forgive all the double (triple?) negatives if you will and just focus on the sentiment. The struggle usually isn’t entirely about the number on the scale as there are tons of reasons we end up overweight. However, one can get so lost in all the other reasons for weight gain that they forget that the weight is actually still an important piece of the puzzle. Excess weight makes you unhealthy, which in turn makes you sad or broke or angry or all of the above. When you are sad or broke or angry, you tend to eat more and there is an underlying reason for that too-that seeking comfort in food. Which means, the weight and all it involves leads to a vicious cycle that can only be broken when you pay attention to every single part of it. So, “it’s not about the weight, but it’s not not about the weight” either.

The same is true for food. So many of us think we can diet and deprive our ways to the perfect weight and then we’ll really begin living. When we’re a size six, then we’ll be happy. We may come to the table, if you will, viewing food as an enemy or a trouble maker or a punishment or a reward or something even deeper. When we’re dieting we try to make that right by taking power away from food. We call it nourishment and medicine and try to strip it of its love and comfort powers. We know it can not fill all the void, so we take away any power it may have to fill some.

Sometimes, this works and people are very successful maintaining healthy weight for years this way. But I always wonder, are they happy? Have the reached that magical number and really started living? Some are. Some people truly have no emotional connection to food and thus it is merely fuel. To them, my hat is off.  But for the rest of us, I submit it’s not so simple.

Here is the radical idea I live by-love your food and accept that it does hold power, then take control of that power and use it to enhance your life.

I love food. I love eating it, shopping for it, preparing and sharing it with people I care about. Through the years of my life, food and meals have played a central role in happy memories and feelings of comfort and joy. Therefore, to me,food is comfort and love. I have had to learn that it does not substitute for love from a person, but I accept that it is a type of love that I need in my life. Food is not my enemy. Food is not a trouble maker. Food is not punishment or reward. But food can equal comfort and food can equal love.


Only by accepting this, and then learning to harness that power for good, have I been able to lead a life that is full and happy because I have a sane and fulfilling relationship with food.

My love of food has led me to learn more about which foods will love me back. Sugar will not. Fresh fruit, warm whole grains and crisp bright vegetables will. When I cook for groups it no longer includes ooey gooey cheese-laden meals but rather fresh and seasonal dishes that make everyone feel warm and healthy when they leave my table. That is love.

It has not been a simple path and I’m certain I am not finished growing, but learning to embrace a love of food has led to real happinnes that only health-not a clothing size-can bring.


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FitFluential Ambassador

FitfluentialbadgeI’ve recently been asked to be an Ambassador with FitFluential, an incredible network of people sharing their fitness journeys both online and off. The part of the community that drew me in is that FitFluential isn’t just for uber-jacked trainers and ultra-marathoners. There are some of them involved, but while the common theme is fitness, the community is made up of people of various shapes, sizes and backgrounds.

As a Health Coach with an emphasis on Real Life, I love to provide evidence that everyone can be healthy and that healthy looks different on everybody.

Through FitFluential, I may be exposed to new products, programs and techniques that I’ll of course love sharing with you. I do most of my writing and reviewing online over at The Right Hand Mom blog. Don’t let the title fool ya, there isn’t much “mom” happening over there these days. It’s a healthy lifestyle blog with a heavy dose of real life humour. If you’re interested in hearing news that I learn as a FitFluential ambassador, head on over to The Right Hand Mom and give that blog a follow. Then watch as I use this ambassador position to keep my inner-lazy self honest!

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