Category Archive: Blah Blah Blah…


Raw Blackberry and Chia Seed Jam

Make fresh, healthy jam in minutes by using chia seeds. Chia seeds, in addition to being a great source of Omega-3, absorb a crazy amount of liquid, forming a jelly consistency. This trait can be employed to make jam without any cooking at all! Simply mix with fruit and sweetener and enjoy.

Raw Blackberry Chia Jam 
(Saw this on Pinterest)


1 cup blackberries
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup honey
3 Tbs lemon juice


Mash berries
Mix in all ingredients
Cover in plastic and set in refrigerator at least 30 minutes


Egg Muffins–A Great Low Carb Breakfast!

15 eggs (for silicone muffin pans, use 12 eggs for metal muffin tins. You can use less egg yolks and more egg white if you prefer.)
1-2 tsp. Spike Seasoning (optional, if you have food allergies or don’t have Spike, use any type of seasoning blend that’s good with eggs.)
1-2 cups grated low-fat cheese (I like sharp cheddar or a blend of cheddar/Jack cheese, use less cheese if using meat)
Optional, but highly recommended, 3 green onions diced small.
Optional: chopped veggies such as blanched broccoli, red pepper, zucchini, mushrooms, etc. (Using veggies will reduce the fat content)
Optional: diced Canadian bacon, lean ham, or crumbled cooked turkey sausage

Preheat oven to 375 F. Use regular or silicone muffin pan, 12 muffin size. If using silicone pan, spray with nonstick spray. If using regular muffin pan, put two paper liners into each slot, then spray liner with nonstick spray.

In the bottom of the muffin cups layer diced meat, if using, vegetables, if using, cheese and green onions. You want the muffin cups to be about 2/3 full, with just enough room to pour a little egg around the other ingredients. Break eggs into large measuring bowl with pour spout, add Spike, and beat well. (I used to add a bit of half and half or milk, but lately I like the way they turn out without it.) Pour egg into each muffin cup until it is 3/4 full. I like to stir slightly with a fork. Bake 25-35 minutes until muffins have risen and are slightly browned and set.

Muffins will keep more than a week in the refrigerator without freezing. Egg muffins can be frozen and reheated, but I like them best when they’re just refrigerated. For best results, thaw in refrigerator before reheating. Microwave on high about 2 minutes to reheat.

This recipe from


FDA Approves New Weight Loss Pill

It’s big news!   For the first time in about thirteen years, the FDA has approved a new weight loss drug, Belviq.    It will be prescribed only for people whose BMI has reached the “obese” category or people whose BMI is in the “overweight” category and who have at least one weight related health problem such as diabetes.

According to a press release from Belviq manufacturer, Arena Pharmaceuticals, the efficacy of Belviq was proven by “Three double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials demonstrated that BELVIQ along with diet and exercise was more effective than diet and exercise alone at helping patients lose 5% or more of their body weight after one year and managing the weight loss for up to two years.”

Wait a minute…5%?   At 300 pounds, that would be a loss of 15 pounds.  I’m not sure that is really all that significant–particularly in light of the list of possible side effects.   According to the same press release, these include: .

  • Changes in Attention or Memory: Problems with thinking, sleepiness, confusion, and fatigue have been reported in patients taking BELVIQ.
  • Patients taking BELVIQ should not drive a car or operate heavy machinery until they know how BELVIQ affects them.
  • Mental Problems: Taking BELVIQ at higher than the recommended dose may cause psychiatric problems such as: hallucinations, feeling high or in a very good mood (euphoria), feelings of standing next to yourself or out of your body (disassociation). The recommended dose of 10 mg twice daily should not be exceeded. Patients should be monitored for the development or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behaviors, and/or any changes in mood. BELVIQ should be discontinued if patients develop suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
  • Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia): Weight loss can cause low blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus who are on medicines to treat it such as metformin, insulin, or sulfonylureas. Blood sugar levels should be monitored for patients who take BELVIQ. Changes to medicines may be needed if low blood sugar develops.
  • Painful Erections (Priapism): If patients taking BELVIQ experience an erection lasting more than 4 hours, whether it is painful or not, they should stop using BELVIQ and call their doctor or go to the nearest emergency room right away. BELVIQ should be taken with caution by men who have conditions that might predispose them to priapism (e.g., sickle cell anemia, multiple myeloma, or leukemia), or in men with a deformed penis. Patients should tell their doctor if they take medicines used to treat erectile dysfunction.
  • Slow Heartbeat: BELVIQ may cause a slow heartbeat. Patients taking BELVIQ should tell their doctor if they have a history of a slow heartbeat or heart block.
  • Decreases in Blood Cell Count: BELVIQ may cause decreases in red or white blood cell count. A doctor may do tests to check a patient’s blood cell count during treatment with BELVIQ.
  • Increase in Prolactin: BELVIQ may increase the amount of a hormone the body makes, called prolactin. Patients taking BELVIQ should tell their doctor if their breasts begin to make milk or have a milky discharge or if their breasts begin to increase in size.
  • Increased Pressure in the Arteries of the Lung (Pulmonary Hypertension): Certain weight loss drugs have been associated with the rare but life-threatening side effect of increased pressure in the arteries of the lung. It is unknown if BELVIQ increases the risk for this condition.
  • Serotonin Syndrome or Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)-like Reactions: BELVIQ and certain medicines for depression, migraine, the common cold, and mood, anxiety, psychotic or thought disorders or other medical problems may affect each other causing serious or life-threatening side effects. Patients should tell their doctor if they are taking medicines to treat any of these conditions such as: triptans, tricyclics, lithium, selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), or antipsychotics; linezolid, an antibiotic; tramadol; dextromethorphan, an over-the-counter medicine used to treat the common cold or cough; over-the-counter supplements such as tryptophan or St. John’s Wort. BELVIQ and these medicines should be discontinued immediately and symptomatic treatment measures should be initiated if patients taking BELVIQ and these other medicines experience any of the following: mental changes such as agitation, hallucinations, confusion, or other changes in mental status; coordination problems, uncontrolled muscle spasms, or muscle twitching (overactive reflexes); restlessness; racing or fast heartbeat, high or low blood pressure; sweating or fever; nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea; or muscle rigidity (stiff muscles).
  • Valvular Heart Disease: Certain weight loss drugs have been associated with problems with the valves in the heart. Patients taking BELVIQ who have trouble breathing, swelling of the arms, legs, ankles, or feet, dizziness, fatigue, or weakness that will not go away, or fast or irregular heartbeat should call their doctor right away. Before taking BELVIQ, patients should tell their doctor if they have or had heart problems including congestive heart failure, or heart valve problems. Patients should not take BELVIQ in combination with drugs that have been associated with valvular heart disease (such as cabergoline). Patients who develop signs and symptoms of valvular heart disease while taking BELVIQ should be evaluated and discontinuation of BELVIQ should be considered by their doctor
  • Most Common Adverse Reactions In Non-Diabetic Patients: Headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, dry mouth, and constipation.
  • Most Common Adverse Reactions in Diabetic Patients: Hypoglycemia, headache, back pain, cough, and fatigue.
  • Response to BELVIQ should be evaluated at 12 weeks of treatment to determine if therapy should be discontinued.


Wow! I Can’t Believe “It Works!”

This is probably one of the most embarrassing posts I will ever write.   Obviously, I’ve been taking a little time off from blogging, but I’ve also taken quite a lot of time off of dieting, exercise and anything remotely healthy for me.   I’ve let the pounds creep back on and am pretty angry with myself!   I gave myself a good talking to and decided that the first thing to do is get back to blogging–which would hopefully motivate me to get with it on diet and exercise!

During my time of being a lazy slug, I became obsessed with Pinterest.  Yes, I know…should have gone to yoga instead.   However, while checking out all kinds of beautiful fashions that I felt too fat to even try on, I noticed a post by Jennifer Williams about her terrific business and the amazing body wraps that she sells.   Jennifer claimed that by wrapping myself I could lose inches off my waist in just 45 minutes.

Before and After Body Wrap

Given that I’ve tried so many things that are total scams, the scam detector in my brain started screaming!   The pictures that she posted looked good but I couldn’t imagine how an all-natural product could possibly make me lose inches in that short time frame.   Besides, I told myself, those pictures probably aren’t even the same people!

I wrote Jennifer, told her about this blog site and asked if she would be willing to send me a free wrap that I could try out and then blog about the results.   She immediately called me and was one of the most bubbly, positive people I’ve talked to in a very long time.   Her enthusiasm is absolutely infectious and by the time our conversation ended, I was actually feeling hopeful that the product might be as good as she claimed.    But the “proof is in the pudding” so to speak, and I’ve definitely been eating too much pudding.   If you are what you eat, my stomach had taken on a definitively pudding-like texture.

A couple of days later, Jennifer’s package arrived.   It included one body wrap, a brochure about the It Works! company and samples of one of of their nutritional products called Greens.  With trepidation, I tried the Greens .   When mixed with water, Greens gives you the complete nutrition of the eight daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables.   It helps to detox the body and alcalyze acids.   Surprisingly, once I got past the green color, it tasted fine–kind of like  watered down Tang.  Well, that is a step up from any green liquids I’d tried up to this point.    I’ve noticed in the past couple of weeks that as a result of neutralizing acids, my problems with acid reflux have improved drastically.

Then came the true test, the Ultimate Body Wrap.   It is a simple cloth wrap that has an all-natural botanically based formula lotion infused on one side.   I took my measurements and sure did not like the number!    It was easy to use… unwrap it, place it on the area you want to wrap (it can be used on stomach, sides, legs, back, arms and even chin and neck!).   Then, I did the finishing touch and wrapped myself in Saran wrap, put on a pair of sweats and lounged around reading a good book for 45 minutes.   It felt great.   There was a pleasant tingling sensation on my skin and it smelled nice.  It just seemed too easy!   How on earth could it possibly do anything?

After my 45 minutes were up, I cut the Saran wrap and got out the measuring tape.   I had no expectation of success.   However, I had lost an inch and a half!   I was glad that I’d taken a picture before.   Then I took an afterward picture and found that there was even a visible difference.  I kept watching and measuring and after 72 hours, it was two inches of loss.   I became very excited and ordered more of them.   Again, my expectation was that after the first one, there wouldn’t be a great deal of success.   I forgot to measure on the second one but I did wrangle more photos with my Iphone and again, it was visible.

It’s embarrassing but I am posting the results photos here for all to see.   No, the photos were not touched up.   Yes, all the pictures are of my “ginormous” belly.   Yes, all the photos were taken by me by holding my Iphone out away from my stomach.   The difference in skin tone is pretty much from the differences in lighting and what I was wearing and how difficult my phone camera wanted to be that particular day.    Embarrassing but true results.   Wow!   I can’t believeIt Works!”

My Results from three wraps….and I’m not planning on stopping here!   Now that I have a kick-start, I’m back to trying to develop more healthy habits!

Results--before 1st wrap to 48 hours after

Results of the second wrap

Results of the third wrap--what a difference from the beginning!

As you can see, this product made a huge difference for me!  .   If you’re interested in learning more, click here!


Chia Seed

Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family that grows abundantly in southern Mexico. It is a super food that have been shown to suppress appetites while providing protein, calcium, and omega-3s. Try adding  ground chia seed meal to your oatmeal, shake or smoothie for a longer fuller feeling.


-Lose Weight Without Starving
-Cuts craving
-Balances blood sugar
-Adds age-defying anti-oxidants
-Increases energy
-Healthy omega-3 fatty acids (more than flax seeds)
-Heart Health
-Relief From Rheumatoid Arthritis
Reduces Menopause Symptoms


I Can Make You Thin

Weight Loss Network Review of:   I Can Make You Thin: The Revolutionary System Used by More Than 3 Million People (Book and CD)
Paul McKenna’s book, I Can Make You Thin initially appealed to me for two reasons.  Number one was that it was a thin book and wouldn’t take long to read. (Hey, I’ve always admitted to being lazy!)   Secondly, it had appeal because it also included a CD for guided meditation.

Quite some time ago, I had a weight-loss CD that helped me lose weight which stayed off for years!  Unfortunately, during those years that I didn’t need it, I lost the CD and now can’t remember the name of it.   As a result, I have tested out many weight loss meditation CD’s that didn’t work very well.   I skipped ahead and tried McKenna’s CD at bedtime that day even before reading the book.

At first, I was put off by McKenna’s voice and accent.   Actually, for some reason it struck me as funny.   His voice has a bit of a growl at times so I lay in bed smiling for a little while….but pretty soon I was relaxing.   I woke up the next morning and I can’t tell you what was said after a certain point!   I listened for about five nights with pretty much the same result…snore!  However, I DID start noticing some differences in myself.   The desire to snack out of boredom seemed to have lessened.  I actually got on the treadmill a couple of times.  Hmm…    I kept it up, still being too lazy to pick up the book.   After a week, I stepped on the scale and I’d lost two pounds without really doing anything.   Another hmm…

Now that I’ve finally read the book, I found that McKenna advises not to get on the scale for a certain period of time.   Oops!   Too late.  The horse is already out of the barn on that one for me.   However, the purpose of this site is so that others can learn from my errors and won’t make the same mistakes!

There are four “golden rules” to McKenna’s diet plan:

  • When you are hungry, EAT.
  • Eat what you want, not what you think you should.
  • Eat consciously and enjoy every mouthful.
  • When you think you are full, stop eating.

McKenna explains his premise on each of these and how to go about them properly.    It’s not rocket science, he’s teaching moderation.  But somehow, his system seems to make it easier to be moderate.   Additionally, he adds a “hunger scale” to the plan to help dieters understand their limits, when it is important to eat and how much they should eat.  The hunger scale ranges from number one being so hungry that you are physically faint to number ten having eaten so much that you are nauseous.

All in all, I would recommend trying this system.   It’s inexpensive ($14.99 on to buy the book/CD set, you don’t have to resist eating foods you enjoy and replace them with foods that you dislike, as well as setting you up with good future habits.   If you wish, you can buy the book here…


New Years Resolutions

My New Year’s Resolution this year was NOT to make any resolutions!   Like many other people, the ubiquitous “Lose Weight” is always at the top of my resolution list.   Every year I swear that I’m going to work out and I’m going to watch what I eat and I’m going to accomplish all kinds of miracles.

Within about two weeks, all my resolutions are broken and my feelings about myself have suffered a blow that was not necessary or needed.   This year, no resolutions, no pressure, no timelines.   When my mindset is right for dieting, I will.  Right now, it isn’t.   So, instead, I’m just going to try to be moderate for a while and try not to gain any weight.  Heck, just being moderate after the holiday indulgences turns out to be a big cut-back.  So, not to be cliché but I’m just taking baby steps.

As for exercise, one of my friends has started the Couch to 5K program.   She has an app for her Iphone and highly recommends it.   The idea is to start running 90 seconds, then walking for a while, then running 90 seconds, etc until you build up the strength to run continually.   It sounds like a great idea!   But, even 90 seconds sounds like a long time for me at this point..   Maybe I’ll try it.   I probably won’t.   I already know that I hate to run.

I have, however, bought a hula hoop.   I feel like a little kid which is actually a really fun feeling!   I put on some lively music and just hoop to my heart’s content.   It’s terrific ab exercise and I enjoy it.   Like New Year’s resolutions, I’ve decided that the key to all of this is to figure out what I enjoy and will actually do.

What about you?   What do you enjoy?   What will you do?

P.S.  I bought my hula hoop from Lindsay Follett who is known as “The Siren of the Circle.”   Her Facebook page is You can watch her video below.  Next I’m going to take a class to learn how to do some of those tricks!  Right now I’m just happy to keep it up on my waist!


HCG and the FDA

I mentioned in earlier posts that the FDA hates the HcG diet.   On December 6, the FDA and FTC sent warning letters to the main manufacturers of HCG.    They claim that it is the “first step” in halting the sale of HcG products.  T he letters warn the companies that they are violating federal law by selling drugs that have not been approved, and by making unsupported claims for the substances. There are no FDA-approved HCG drug products for weight loss.

I take issue with the FDA on this.   First of all, they may not have approved it, but I can tell you that the claims for HcG are NOT unsupported as they say.   It works!   I am not one who can go without food.   I have a huge appetite.   However, when taking the HcG drops, I was not hungry.   The diet had its ups and downs but I feel that the FDA has been unfairly targeting the US  homeopathic producers of HcG.   Now, they’ll just take their labs to another country and sell them on the web from there.   The FDA has stated that the claims that HcG helps with weight loss are fraudulent.  I’m here to tell you that they aren’t!   Perhaps they should be cracking down on other manufacturers like Th-121 or those dreadful cookies!  They make the same claims and aren’t effective.

So, what am I going to do now?   I’m going to go get a prescription for HcG and do the diet anyway!     A Boston area pharmacist has created a prescription strength HcG nasal spray along with a supplement plan.   I plan on testing it out and I’ll write more next month.


Healthy Snacking

Snacking can be a killer for a diet! We’ve all heard the admonitions of “eat celery” or “have a handful of almonds” but let’s be honest here. Sometimes the thought of those just seems downright yukky! We want to eat something that feels normal. We get tired of dieting! So, when I tried the Bistro MD plan, I was delighted to discover a couple of very tasty snacks to keep in my repertoire.

The one I love the most was baked lentil chips from the Mediterranean Snack Company.   Inspired by the balanced lifestyle of the Mediterranean diet (as is the Sonoma Diet), this all natural, gluten-free snack is made from high protein, nutritious lentils, garbanzo, and adzuki beans. Bistro MD sent them with a small serving of hummus, which is a dip that I’ve always enjoyed.   Since that time, I’ve eaten them with bean dip, Greek yogurt dill dip, Tatziki, and just straight out of the bag.    They’re salty and crunchy with a great taste and fulfill my cravings for things like potato chips as well as cheese and crackers.   You really can’t lose with a snack that is all natural, gluten-free, GMO free, a good source of fiber, celiac and vegetarian friendly and has 70% less fat than regular potato chips!

The other snack I discovered was a beef jerky type treat called Simply Snackin.   The flavor they sent me was Beef Sirloin with Apples and Cherries.    At only 50 calories, it was a meaty, salty, chewy snack that tasted better than any beef jerky I’ve ever had.   With the addition of fruits, it changes the flavors subtly and adds additional nutritional value.  They are lean and tender at only 1-2g of fat, these high protein snacks feature 8-10g of protein each! No MSG, no trans fats (not even a milligram!), all natural fruits and meats.  The Simply Snackin line features savory gourmet dried meat snacks that begin with fresh,  all natural (no artificial ingredients or added color) 100% beef sirloin or 100% chicken breast meat. Next, tantalizing combinations of fruit, spices, and cheeses are added to produce satiating flavors. Finally, a leisurely roasting process, featuring a light smoking, finish them off.    The end result is really great taste.

I don’t often find foods like this that I’d give the thumbs up to, but both of these snacks really helped with the cravings and actually created enjoyable moments of dieting.   It doesn’t get much better than that for a dieter!




Calories In, Calories Out. It’s Easier Said Than Done!

It isn’t rocket science.   We all know how to lose weight.  Watch what you eat and exercise enough to burn more calories than you need for daily energy.   But, it’s so easy to say but so very difficult to do.

I can have wine with the Sonoma Diet!

I’ve been off the diet cycle for a while now and the pounds are starting to creep back on.  I’ve been putting it off, but it’s time to get back to exercising better judgement.   No more ice cream.  No more gooey baked goods.  Start eating whole grains.  Load up on veggies.  Lean meat.   Blah blah blah…

But it’s not so bad.   I have all the tools.   I’ve been reviewing all these diet plans so I’m equipped with knowledge.  NutriSystem food tasted awful so it’s out.  No cookie diet!   No Th121!    On the bright side, the Sonoma Diet has some terrific, flavorful recipes and it’s an easy way to measure portions.   BodyMedia Fit Armband will measure my daily activity against my calorie intake.   I can carry my TRX system with me when I go on the road for my job.   Now, I just have to hustle up my motivation and I’ll be on my way.

Anybody know where I can buy a bottle of motivation?


Bistro MD

As promised, I purchased a week’s worth of food from the weight-loss food delivery service, Bistro MD so that I could review it.   The first thing that you do is fill out a questionnaire about your food preferences.  I was able to tell them that I hate fish and to rest assured that I would not have any unpleasant surprises when the food arrived.  You have options of seven days of meals, seven days of meals plus snacks, or just a five
Lose Weight with BistroMD!
day plan so that you can take the weekends to enjoy your own meals.   I opted for five days plus snacks.  The cost of this plan was about $30 per day.    It isn’t cheap, but it is very reasonably priced for what you get for the money.

The food arrived the next day frozen and packed in dry ice.    When I opened it, I couldn’t believe how much food there was!!   Unfortunately, I forgot to tell them that I have a soy allergy so a lot of the snacks had soy.   I called Bistro MD about it and the customer service was absolutely terrific–helpful and took

Spinach ricotta crepes with sweet potato home fries and veggie "sausage"

care of the issue for the future.   The snacks that weren’t composed of soy were pretty good and took care of some of my cravings.

The frozen meals were interesting and filling.   There is a lot more food in them than in other frozen meals like Weight Watchers’ Smart Ones.   I did not feel at all deprived.   I took a photo of my first meal.   It was a breakfast of  spinach ricotta crepes with sweet potato” home fries” and a veggie patty that tasted just like sausage.   Other meals included a Southwestern wrap lunch and dinner of jerk chicken with mango salsa.      Some of the meals were more appealing to me than others, but on the whole the food is good and it’s filling.

After my five days on this diet, I had lost 1 1/2 pounds which is healthy weight loss!     I really feel that  this plan is a very good choice for people who are on the go and who want to have healthy pre-prepared meals!



Johnna’s note:  My friend, Angela, posted this on Facebook.  I thought it was terrific so I asked her if I could share it here… enjoy!

by Angela D.

I want to share something here with you about losing weight and the fact that people do struggle and it’s ok, you just have to dust yourself off and get right back up and keep on truckin’…

A few years ago I realized that I coudn’t keep blaming the fact that I was overweight from my pregnancies. My story was that it was “baby weight”…hahaha…seriously though, Haley was 9 months old when I became pregnant with Jack and I had such awful times with the both of them being on bed rest for most of both pregnancies that I just got used to saying the story over and over again. I was a size 5 when I got pregnant with Haley, lost some of the weight from her getting down to a size 10 and then BAM pregnant with Jack and blew up like a house! It was awful…but enough with the excuses already right?

Anyway, I used that story up until they were 8 and 9 (they’re 12 & soon to be 11 now) and then in the middle of the story I stopped short and said “Oh my gawd…I seriously can’t use them as an excuse as to why I’m overweight anymore! I need to get off my ars!”  Of course I may have thrown in a few choice words here and there, but you get the jist of it right? Which brings me to the next part…

Everytime I tried to lose weight in the past something came up or I didn’t stick to it, mostly I’d get discouraged because I wasn’t getting to my “goal” weight fast enough. Plus I had the “age” excuse on my side now…especially after I turned *clears throat* 40! In other words…it’s been a struggle! I’d lose 5 pounds, then I’d gain it back and I really did yo-yo A LOT! When I finally couldn’t squeeze into my jeans anymore and I had to go up 1 more size which was discouraging to say the least, I started dieting again and got back down to being comfortable in my “fat jeans” yeah, who wants to say that?

I finally decided that hey, this is me and I’m fine the way I am and I love food so I’m just going to enjoy life, eat, drink and be merry. That was until all the Facebook pictures started popping up of me and all my chins! UHG!!! There’s NOTHING worse than pictures of you looking your worst being posted for all the world to see. Not flattering at all and what kind of friend posts your most awful pics out there for all of cyber world to see? If I wouldn’t post the pic myself, please don’t post it for me, I think I’m pretty good at keeping that motto myself : )

Hand with Girl 300x250
Back on track…I never make resolutions for New Years…they never stick but what the hell was happening to my ass? I could enter a room and it would follow me in at some point and time…maybe that’s why people always thought I was late…maybe my ass hadn’t finished entering the room? I don’t know, “butt” (ha…ha…) I didn’t like it and I felt like crap! So this year, I made a resolution, I was losing weight! The first part of this year has been one thing after another, I’ve been running around like crazy, no time to eat right never mind diet or exercise! Yep, there’s those pesky excuses again.

I tried running, walking, dieting so on and so forth and finally I just said that’s it, I’m going to lose the weight and I don’t care how long it takes me! In other words I lied to myself, of course I care how long it takes me!!! But I had to start somewhere.

And this is how I got started…I wasn’t going to look at the “total” amount of weight that I wanted to lose, I decided to set small goals like 2 lbs., 5 lbs, 10 lbs., I really stayed between the 2 & 5 pound mark, it was easier than saying I’d lose 10. I started putting my meals on smaller plates, I have always been a good eater so using a regular sized plate and going back for seconds even though I was full was a bad habit! It took me a while to get used to the fact that I was using a smaller plate, the food tends to slide off the sides, I found that’s a sign of too much food on the plate and I walked almost everyday.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it has taken me a while to do this and I haven’t been extremely strict in my dieting or walking especially lately, it being summer and me running around entertaining kids, having a cooler packed with goodies and snacks galore because I just have to make sure they’re happy! Translation…I have to have my snacks too! I do love chocolate as well, so I found some things that have “splenda” in them and I also buy “reduced fat” products to munch on but I try to stay with “all natural” things…which brings me to some issues…

Issue #1: “Aspartame”~ I can not eat or drink anything with “aspartame” in it…neither should you! Look it up, it doesn’t help you lose weight, it actually hinders the process and is extremely harmful to your body. Anyway, it gives me headaches, bad ones and I have a whole long story to share one day with you all about what happened to me after I stopped eating and drinking stuff with that in it…short version…I ended up in the hospital and I do believe “aspartame” was the reason why because they couldn’t find anything wrong with me. Hey, they even did and MRI and a CATSCAN and yes, I do have a brain! WHEW!!!

Issue #2: Did you know that margarine is 1 molecule away from being plastic? I decided after I heard that, I’d switch back to real butter oh and real cream cheese too! I don’t eat a lot of it so I figured if I’m going to eat it, I should get to indulge! However, since my gallbladder operation, I can’t eat “real” mayo, I have to eat the reduced fat kind and that’s ok with me. I also can’t eat a lot of things that are high in fat, so I’m sure that has helped me along the way.

So finally,finally, finally, I started losing the weight…it is definitely coming off slowly and that’s good because slow and steady wins the race. Most importantly I went to the Dr’s and I so didn’t want him to do my blood work because the last time he did it was awful, he was considering putting me on medication for my high cholesterol! YIKES! I hate taking meds so I said “Nooooooo, I’ll try doing it without meds first” he kind of chuckled and said “ok but if it’s not better soon, I’m putting you on the medication”. Keep reading and you’ll find out my Dr’s results ; )

Also, I think that it’s important to remember that you didn’t put the weight on in 4 weeks, you shouldn’t expect to take the weight off in 4 weeks…a little at a time for a much more succesful goal…a healthier you! And remember that diets only work if you think long term…the slower the weight comes off the longer you will keep it off.

So here it is, I have been “aspartame” free for 4 years, I have been using real butter and cream cheese for years, I just had my gallbladder out last November so if I can’t eat it, I don’t…anyone who has had theirs out knows what I’m talking about and I eat very little fast food and when I do, I get something that’s not too big. Sometimes I even get a kids meal because honestly, once you start eating on a smaller plate, you’ll see that your body is full and you’ll know what makes you full. With the kids back in school now, I am going to start with my walking once again and who knows, maybe I’ll work back up to jogging. It’s good for me and I like it. I used to love the gym, but I’m just not that in love with being in a windowless room with a bunch of other poeple who are either sweating profusely or are all dolled up hanging out by the water bubbler ; )

My final results from the Dr. TAHDAH…my cholesterol is PERFECT and as of today, I have lost a total of 23 pounds. I still have weight to lose but I’m going to do it slowly and the right way because I want to be healthy and feel good. Please remember, don’t get discouraged…if you make one mistake during the day don’t worry about it, just don’t keep making the mistake for the rest of the day or give yourself a break and make the mistakes for the day but don’t do it for the rest of the week. I always have a “cheat” day and if I want some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream I have some but I don’t eat the whole pint anymore I don’t even eat 1/2 the pint! LOL Well, ok, sometimes I eat 1/2 but I won’t do it again in the same week which was always a problem for me because it’s sooooooo yummy!

Anyway, I hope all of you who are struggling to lose weight know that it can be done, just don’t be so hard on yourself and don’t deprive yourself of the foods you like, just don’t eat them as often and don’t indulge so much that you feel like you’re going to explode after eating. Pay attention because once you think you’re full guess what? You’re full ; )

Good Luck and keep on truckin’…



What to Eat While on the HCG Diet

There are always questions about what to eat while on the HCG diet.   It is a very low calorie diet (500 calories) and is very strict.   If you’re going to do this diet, which can be rather hard on the body, you certainly don’t want to eat the wrong things and have it not work!!

Below is what Dr. Simeon’s originally prescribed as the proper food:


Tea or coffee in any quantity–NO sugar. Only one tablespoonful of milk allowed in 24 hours.  Saccharin or Stevia may be used.


1. 100 grams  (about 3 oz) of veal, beef, chicken breast, fresh white fish, lobster, crab, or shrimp. All visible fat must be carefully removed before cooking, and the meat must be weighed raw. It must be boiled or grilled without additional fat. Salmon, eel, tuna, herring, dried or pickled fish are not allowed. The chicken breast must be removed from the bird.

2. One type of vegetable only to be chosen from the following: spinach, chard, chicory, beet-greens, green salad, tomatoes, celery, fennel, onions, red radishes, cucumbers, asparagus, cabbage.

3. One grissini breadstick (the little skinny ones) or one Melba toast.

4. An apple, orange, or a handful of strawberries or one-half grapefruit.

Dinner :

The same four choices as you see listed for lunch.

Other notes about HCG:

The original protocol calls for discontinuing use of things like make-up and deodorant.   I REFUSED!   Some things just have to be done!!   I also used moisturizer on my face.   However, I found that on days that I used body lotion, I did notice lower weight loss.


The Twinkie Diet

As I read the headline “Twinkie Diet Helps Nutrition Professor Lose 27 pounds,” I snorted with disbelief.   Then the little devil sitting on my shoulder made me think “Hmmm…now here’s a diet that sounds like a lot of fun!”   But, seriously, junk food?  I have been researching healthy weight loss for so long that my mind is reeling with questions!  How on earth can anyone lose weight on junk food?   What about vegetables, whole grains and low-carb diets?   How can this possibly be healthy?   What happened to his cholesterol?  How did he structure this experiment?


Mark Haub, a professor of nutrition at Kansas State University, (a school where I have the distinction of being a graduate school drop-out) decided to test a premise that counting calories is more important than the nutritional value of the food.   Strangely, although this premise seems contrary to everything we know about diet and weight loss, his premise appears to have been correct–at least for his metabolism.


For 10 weeks, while on what Dr. Haub dubbed “The Convenience Store Diet” he ate foods like Twinkies, Little Debbie Cakes and Doritos along with a few fruits and vegetables in order to get proper vitamins.  In general, a man of Dr. Haub’s pre-dieting size consumes about 2600 calories a day.  He limited himself to 1600 calories with 2/3 of those calories coming from junk food.   He ate a small amount every three hours but the amount of calories was considerably less than what he normally ate which is a basic premise of weight loss, but usually other factors such as fat, carbohydrates and nutritional value are watched as well.

But that basic premise held true.   By consuming considerably fewer calories, what he ate was not nearly as important as how much.   He lost 27 pounds and his BMI (see our BMI calculator to find out your own Body Mass Index) went from 28.8 which is in the higher end of the “overweight” category  (over 30 is considered “obese”) to 24.9 which is considered “normal.”

One of my first thoughts had been to wonder how badly his cholesterol levels suffered.  Strangely, no.   His total cholesterol level dropped from 214 (over 200 raises your risk of heart disease) down to 184.   His bad cholesterol level (LDL) dropped from 153 to 123 which is still higher than the prescribed 100 or less and his good cholesterol  (HDL) level was raised from 37 to 46.   Over 40 is better for a decreased risk of heart disease.


Then I wondered about his blood sugar…   Doesn’t this kind of food cause diabetes?   Again, the results are puzzling.   Haub’s glucose level dropped from 94 to 75.    Normal blood sugar levels are considered between 70 and 120.   Over 120 is an elevated level which is typical of diabetes.


Since ending the diet last year, his weight is only up two pounds and his cholesterol is slightly higher.
My next question was “What the heck did he eat on a daily basis?”   According to CNN, a typical day included:
  • Espresso, Double: 6 calories; 0 grams of fat
  • Hostess Twinkies Golden Sponge Cake: 150 calories; 5 grams of fat
  • Centrum Advanced Formula From A To Zinc: 0 calories; 0 grams of fat
  • Little Debbie Star Crunch: 150 calories; 6 grams of fat
  • Hostess Twinkies Golden Sponge Cake: 150 calories; 5 grams of fat
  • Diet Mountain Dew: 0 calories; 0 grams of fat
  • Doritos Cool Ranch: 75 calories; 4 grams of fat
  • Kellogg’s Corn Pops: 220 calories; 0 grams of fat
  • whole milk: 150 calories; 8 grams of fat
  • baby carrots: 18 calories; 0 grams of fat
  • Duncan Hines Family Style Brownie Chewy Fudge: 270 calories; 14 grams of fat
  • Little Debbie Zebra Cake: 160 calories; 8 grams of fat
  • Muscle Milk Protein Shake: 240 calories; 9 grams of fat
  • Totals: 1,589 calories and 59 grams of fat


Now, here’s where this gets a little more tricky.  Haub had graduate students carefully measuring out portion sizes for him.  You’ll note that his serving of Doritos was only 75 calories.    A single serving (small) bag of Doritos has 140 calories.   Haub’s portion size would only have been 1/2 ounce or about 8 chips.   You’ll also note that he took a Centrum to be sure to get necessary vitamins, ate baby carrots for the same reason and probably for some fiber and also added a protein shake to the mix.    Thus, the advantage of being a nutritionist…he knew how to do this where those of us out here in diet land really do not.


“I’m not geared to say this is a good thing to do,” he told CNN. “I’m stuck in the middle. I guess that’s the frustrating part. I can’t give a concrete answer. There’s not enough information to do that.”    Haub also told CNN “There seems to be a disconnect between eating healthy and being healthy.  It may not be the same. I was eating healthier, but I wasn’t healthy. I was eating too much.”


I don’t know if this is good or bad either.   All I can say is that this kind of diet sounds like a lot more fun!


How do I love Questbar? Let Me Count the Ways…

Try Quest Protein Bars!


I’ll spare you my recitation of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem declaring my protein bar love, but I really do love Quest Bar!   When I initially found Quest Bar protein bars, I thought I’d found the Holy Grail of Protein.    The first two flavors, Peanut Butter Supreme and Vanilla Almond Crunch, were absolutely wonderful!  I work as a traveling sales rep and too many trips through fast food drive through windows have caused my BMI to go into the “overweight” category.  :-(   I started carrying Questbars with me to replace those fast food lunches.

However, two flavors can get old after a while so I am thrilled to find three new flavors available and a fourth in prototype!      The new flavors are Mixed Berry Bliss, Apple Pie and Chocolate Brownie.    Mixed Berry Bliss has a blueberry cobbler sort of taste.   Apple Pie tastes very much like apple pie and when heated, makes me wish for a scoop of vanilla ice cream!  Then there’s Chocolate Brownie….  ooooh…..yum!   When you need a chocolate fix, this is the most satisfying thing I’ve found!

The new flavor that is forthcoming is Peanut Butter and Jelly.   Again, I must call this the Holy Grail of Protein Bars!   They’ve created almost all of the flavors that make my mouth water just thinking about them!

As I wrote in my previous post about Questbars, each Quest Bar has 230 calories, 20 g of protein, 15 g of dietary fiber (60% of daily recommendation), is gluten-free,  no soy, no gelatin and no trans fats and no refined sugar.   The protein is 100% whey and milk isolates.     Everything is natural and there are no fillers.    Best of all, well, I know I keep repeating myself, but they taste terrific!

If you’re going low-carb, or you’re just wanting to cut calories and unnatural foods, this is a great choice!

They’re only available online so click here to buy the best protein bar on the market, QuestBar!




My Diary While on HCG Diet

I have a love/hate relationship with the HCG diet.  It works if you follow it properly but it is really not healthy–nor is it easy!  This is the diary I kept while on it…

Day 1:  Start: 159 pounds. Today was a “loading day.”  I was supposed to eat a lot of fatty foods.  Okay by me but I was not feeling very hungry!   But, I had a big chocolate malt and it was sooo good!

Day 2:   I don’t think I’m going to load today.   I don’t want the food anyway.  They say you might get headaches if you don’t but I just don’t feel like eating.

Day 3:  Today, I started on the 500 calorie diet.  Easy!   I can’t believe I wasn’t hungry at all!  :-)

Day 4: Down two pounds from yesterday.  Now 158.   More 500 calorie diet.  Still easy.  I’m loving this!

Day 5:  Down two more pounds!   156.  Minor headache today but nothing too bad.

Day 6:  Down two pounds  to 154!.   This diet rules!   I’m feeling pretty good.

Day 7:   Down 1 1/2 pounds to 152 1/2.     Serious headache today.  :?

Day 8: Down 1 1/2 pounds  to 150 .   Another headache from hell.  I should have loaded on that second day.

Day 9:  Down 1 pound to 149.   I broke the 150 mark!  Life is great!  No headache today, thank God.   Still, it’s worth it to see the results like this!

Day 10:  Down 1  pounds to 148!!

Day 11: Down 1  1/2 pound to 146 1/2 this morning.   Went out with the girls tonight and I wanted to eat sooo bad!  It sucked to sit there drinking water!   Glad we’re leaving for our Florida house tomorrow so I can just stay home and not be tempted.

Day 12:  Down 1  pound to 145 1/2  this morning.   Had the flight to FL.  Not tempted..yeah right!   I was starving on the plane and ended up cheating a little bit.

Day 13:  No loss today.   That cheat yesterday wasn’t worth it!  :-(

Day 14:    Down 1/2 pound to 145.   I am so sick of eating chicken!  I hate chicken!   But I hate fish more so I guess I’m stuck with chicken.

Day 15:  Down 1 pound to 144.  I’ve lost more than a dress size so I feel a little better about starving and being bored!

Day 16:  Down 1 pound.  143  Jim wants to invite the neighbors over tomorrow for dinner.    I guess I’ll serve steak so I’ll (sort of ) be eating the same thing as everyone else.

Day 17:  Down 1/2 pound.  142 1/2   I’m starting to feel sort of blah and weak.   Dinner with neighbors tonight.  Hope I can keep my resolve.

Day 18:  I was good last night (although I really wanted to attack someone for their potato)  but only lost 1/2 pound.   Loss seems to be slowing.  Starving to death!   I’m starting to get hungry again.   Guess I need to up my dose of drops.

Day 19:  1/2 pound.   141 1/2  Wish I’d lose more.  I had hoped to be below 140 by now.   I think I’ll do 40 days instead of 23 on this.  Maybe.   If I can stand it!  I’m kind of miserable.

Day 20:  1/2 pound to 141.  The idea of 18 more days is starting to frighten me.   I want something else to eat so badly!   I have a headache.  I’m weak and I hate the world.   I really want to kill someone…and then eat them!

Day 21:  1/2 pound to 140 1/2    If I’m only going to do 23 days, this should be my last day of the drops.  I don’t know!   I feel like Hell.  The loss has been great but it’s been hard on me.

Day 22:  1/2 pound to 140!    I’m going to be strong and stay on.  I’m about to break down under 140.   If I could get down to 130 I’d be the happiest person on the planet.   But I really am starting to feel awfully weak and crabby.

Day 23: No loss!   8-O   I was soo looking forward to being under 140.  That’s disappointing.   Bit Jim’s head off this morning.   I am emotionally a wreck and I feel really rotten!

Day 24:  No loss!  WTF!!  I’m stuck at 140?

Day 25:  What?   140 AGAIN?  *&^%^%$#@   Jim is begging me to quit this because I’m such a grouch!  Well, that’s the nice word for it.  Going back home tomorrow.

Day 26:  140.   &**&^%$#@!!  Why can’t I break 140?  This is really pissing me off!   :-x

Day 27:  140.   F*** this!   I’m going to quit the drops and be done in a couple of days.

Day 28: 140   No drops today.    Without the drops, I’m starving!   Not that I wasn’t pretty hungry before, but I’m STARVING today!

Day 29:  This should have been my last day of the 500 cal diet but I couldn’t take it anymore!   I had to eat so I started doing some of the maintenance.

Day 30:  Up 1/2 pound.   I guess I still had HCG in my system.   Maintenance is really boring and I’m so sick of this food!   I’d kill for a piece of cheese.

Day 31:  I ate normally today.   Just couldn’t take any more!

Day 32:  Up 1/2 pound this morning.   Still couldn’t stand it so I ate regular food again.   Surely by now the HCG is out of my system and I won’t gain any more..

And so it went….until I gained back to 148.       Every time I’m tempted to try it again, I look back at this and see how bored I was and how hungry, grouchy and weak I was at the end of it.  I still ended up 10 pounds down so it was a win on some level but it was a hard-earned 10 pounds!


Chicken Caesar Kabobs

Notes:   My friend, Barry, sends me great recipes all the time.  I have no idea where he gets them so I don’t know to whom I should attribute them.   So, I guess Barry gets the credit.

Prep Time:30 min
Start to Finish:30 min
makes:4 servings


1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 medium green onions, cut into 4-inch pieces
1 large red bell pepper, cut into wedges
3/4 cup fat-free Caesar dressing
1 bag (10 ounces) ready-to-eat romaine lettuce
1/2 cup croutons
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)




1. Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. Thread chicken, onions and bell pepper alternately on each of four 10-inch metal skewers, leaving space between each piece. Reserve 1/2 cup of the dressing for serving. Brush skewers with remaining 1/4 cup dressing.
2. Cover and grill kabobs 4 to 6 inches from medium heat 10 to 12 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center.
3. Arrange kabobs on romaine; top with croutons and cheese. Serve with reserved 1/2 cup dressing.

Nutritional Information

1 Serving: Calories 270 (Calories from Fat 60); Total Fat 6g (Saturated Fat 2 1/2g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 75mg; Sodium 840mg; Total Carbohydrate 24g (Dietary Fiber 4g, Sugars 11g); Protein 29g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 110%; Vitamin C 120%; Calcium 15%; Iron 15% Exchanges: 1 Other Carbohydrate; 1 Vegetable; 4 Very Lean Meat; 1 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 1 1/2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.


The Belly Dancer with the Biggest Belly

Did you know that there are 18 different directions that you can move your hips?  That is the first thing I learned when, at age 40, I decided to get crazy and take a belly dance class along with my friend, Jen.  But it wasn’t the most important thing I learned!   Belly dance class led me on a journey to discover beauty in different forms I never would have known.

The classes were casual and enjoyable.  Most of the women in the class were around my age and our teacher, known as Alizah, was one of the most patient, kind and truly good people I have ever had the good fortune to know.  I’ve never been the most coordinated person but through her patience, I slowly learned the basic skills to move my body in ways that are very foreign to Americans.

Belly dance is very much about isolating muscles.   It’s great to learn awareness of posture and where your muscles are—and how to use those muscles independently.    I learned how to stand straight rather than to hunch over, which I’ve done most of my life.  I learned how to move my hips without moving my upper body and how to move my upper body without moving my lower…easier said than done!  Although I’m out of practice now, I can still isolate my stomach muscles to roll my belly.  I never did get good enough to be considered a real dancer but that belly dance class changed my life for the better!

They say that music is a universal language.  As I became familiar with and eventually learned to love the unusual sounds and rhythms of Middle Eastern music, I also started to have an appreciation of the culture and the people.   Belly dance was not initially a club performance.   It was a dance that women did in their own company, some of the movements a preparation for childbirth.   There are vast differences between Turkish, Arabic and Egyptian styles of music and the dance itself is very different in each.

Another thing I learned is that the most beautiful dancers are not necessarily the skinny gals…they’re the real women with a couple of extra pounds.   Curves accentuate the beauty of the dance.   You need a little “somethin’ somethin”’ to jiggle!   The skinny women who don’t have hips have to add something puffy to the sides of their costumes or you won’t see their hip movements very well.

My epiphany came only a few months after I started the classes.   Alizah was coordinating what is known as a “hafli”—basically a belly dance show and party with open dancing for everyone after the show and during breaks.   A band was hired and a show of dancers was lined up.   This particular show was very different than most, however.   This one was called “Hot Flashes” and was only open to performers  over the age of 45.    My friend and I bought our tickets without really having a clue what we were about to experience.  All we knew was that belly dance class was fun so a belly dance party sounded great!

I will never forget the first dancer in the line-up. Never.  Ever!   Her name was announced, the band started playing an Arabic standard and the dancer came on stage.   She was a very large woman.   This was not what I’d expected and I was initially taken aback.   That didn’t last long.  Almost immediately, I became lost in the fluidity of her movements, the grace of her choreography, gorgeous flowing long black hair swirling around her with every turn and what surprised me most was that she was sexy.  Yes.  Sexy!   She transformed through the dance into an amazing creature.  I really saw her as a human, rather than judging physical attributes.

After her, another stout woman did a Saidi cane dance—a flirtatious, rhythmic , fun, dance using a thin cane as a prop that was like nothing I’d ever seen.  Once more, the dancer was transformed!

Again and again, the belly dancers of all different shapes and sizes continued to amaze me with the beauty of their dances, causing my view of their physical appearance to change—and through that my view of my own changed.

When Alizah performed, Jen and I jumped up and down screaming and clapping for our teacher and her adorable, saucy style.

The next lesson came from Dorothea whose command of the stage was graceful and nothing less than regal.  Dorothea was a 70 year old grandmother at the time!   (She’s still teaching dance to this day!)   I’ve heard people say that “Belly dance keeps you young.”   I guess it’s true!

By the time Phaedra of Boston came out, I thought I’d seen everything that could amaze me.  I was wrong.  Wow, was I ever wrong!   Phaedra can do movements with her hips that defy gravity!   She is a small person, short in stature but looks six feet tall when she performs and has the most beautiful, engaging smile you’ve ever seen!   She’s truly an incredible dancer!   Aside from that, she’s a nice person and I’m now proud to call her a friend.   She’s one of  the many people I am lucky to have in my life because of that one class.

Friends, community, solidarity, and compassion are all attributes that I found in belly dance.  Through that one class, I met many wonderful, quality people.  It’s hard to believe that they weren’t always in my life.   I certainly intend to keep them close always!

No matter the shape, age or size, we are sexy, beautiful and valuable.   Belly dance made me see my own value, my own persona, my own soul.   It made me see how little my dress size means in comparison to all the characteristics that make up the rest of me.


Aliza is the creator of the online belly dance magazine,

Phaedra has made instructional DVD’s and can be found on

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HCG Maintenance Plan


By popular request, this is the basic maintenance plan for the HCG diet.

1st 3 weeks: Low Carb Diet, No Sugars and No Starches

  • Absolutely no sugar and no starches!
  • Follow this completely!   If you cheat during this phase you will probably lose all of the hard work you endured over the

    month you spent on the diet like I did!
  • Good foods to eat on this phase are protein-rich sources such as meats, eggs, hot wings, jerky, low-ish carb fruits and veggies, a few almonds, a bit of cheese, some healthy fats, and some fantastic salads with extremely low-carb dressing such as Ranch dressing and Blue Cheese.

2nd 3 weeks: S-L-O-W-L-Y add sugars and starches

  • This is where I messed up entirely.  Once I got started on the sugars and starch, I overdid it and gained 10 pounds back!  Be very careful on this phase.
  • Slowly add back sugar and starch back into your diet (starchier fruits and vegetables, good whole wheat bread, etc.)
  • The reason you need to be careful and do this slowly is because your body needs time to adjust as the new food is being introduced.
  • Good foods during this time are all the foods listed in the 1st 3 weeks with a little more leniency, any fruits and veggies, a little more dairy (yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese, etc.), still lots of salads, maybe a little more peanut butter, more milk, low carb/high fiber cereals like Kashi, oatmeal, etc. and your other favorite sugars and starches in very small portions and only one or so a day as the scale allow.

After six weeks, you can go back to normal eating (within reason!)

Get 20% off HCG Drops here!


Too Thin

Johnna’s note:   In the following post, we have an alternative look at how hard we all are on ourselves no matter our size!

My good friend, Johnna, asked me to write an article for The Weight Loss Network about the fact that all my life I have been too thin.  It’s truthfully not easy for me to talk or write about.  I have struggled over this for a couple of weeks but finally I’ve decided to just tell you how it’s been for me.  My whole life I have struggled to gain weight.  I know how that must sound to those who have the opposite problem, but believe me it was no picnic!

As a young teen I was gangly, not tall, 5’3”, but thin as a rail.  I probably weighed in at about 80 lbs.  To top that off I had thick glasses and a last name that people loved to make fun of.   So needless to say, I wasn’t the most popular girl in school.   When I was 14 or so, the model, Twiggy, became really popular and I was thrilled.  Finally someone who looked like me–well at least build wise.  So for a little while it wasn’t so bad and I felt somewhat better about myself.

As I grew older, the stigma of being so thin started to weigh in (pun fully intended).  Every doctor I saw asked me if I was anorexic
Superfruit Juices - Acai, Goji, Mangosteen & Noni
and tested my thyroid, even though I told them a million times that this was just how I am!   If I had a nickel for every time…well you know.

As I got older still, people started to think I was a drug addict, a hooker, or had AIDS or cancer or something equally terrible.   I would go to the emergency room and the first thing the doctors would ask is “Do you do drugs?”   Seriously…and the funny thing is, I have never done illegal drugs in my life!  (Other than a bit of weed smoking, which I, personally, don’t think is any worse than alcohol…whole other conversation there.)

I tried protein shakes and a myriad of other gimmicks to try to put on weight, but to no avail.  The shakes took away my appetite for regular meals, so that idea went out the window since I couldn’t get proper nutrition on just shakes.

At one point a doctor gave me some pills that were supposed to be an appetite stimulant.  They were anti-depressants of some sort…didn’t increase my appetite at all and had horrible side effects!

The thing that was really worrying all my life was that if I ever got really sick my body had no reserves.  I’m happy to say that this particular worry never materialized, but it was still something that bothered me quite a lot throughout my life.

On a more personal level, my self-esteem was a bit off because I had no breasts to speak of.   I know now how silly that was, but
growing up and living with the fact that most men are very fond of larger breasts did play a role in my low self-esteem until as recently as two years ago, when I was with a man who was obsessed with large breasts.  At one point I even considered getting an enlargement, then realized how ridiculous that was.  So now, after two years of therapy, I’ve learned to like myself more and as for relationships, I am looking for someone who is happy with me the way I am.

Now from the ridiculous, to the even more ridiculous, I have finally, at 56 years old, started to put on weight– and now I find myself complaining because it’s all going to my belly, hips, and butt…so I guess the fact is that we’re never really happy with how we look! We just have to do the best we can to be healthy and try to accept ourselves the way we are.  {Johnna’s note:  Lisa has finally reached 100 pounds!}

If you eat healthy and exercise, you’ll be at your best.  It may not be perfect according to the Barbie Doll standard in this country, but you are who you are.  Don’t try to be Barbie, eat healthy, exercise and lose the weight you need to lose (or in my case, gain the weight I need to gain) but if the end result isn’t model perfect, please just realize that you are a beautiful person and you’ve done your best.

Wishing you all the luck in your quest to be healthy and fit.

Lisa D.

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