New Workout Gear for Week 14!

Fall is in the air!! I always loved going “back to school” as a kid (nerd alert).   As an adult, I’ve used the “back to school” fever to get myself organized and back on top of my goals/resolutions.  Honestly though, this year, (I’m happy to clean my house up a bit) but this challenge has kept me so accountable over the summer that I don’t need to RE-focus on my goals, I have been focused the whole time.  I went to so many BBQ’s and skipped dessert, extra servings, macaroni salad, hamburger buns etc.  I mean I really did the damn thing!  I didn’t use “summer” or “Bbqs” as an excuse.  I have been really dedicated since beginning this challenge.  I finally made a decision to transform and stop getting in my own way.

For so long I was afraid to take a stance and say “I’m not eating that” at family parties because I was afraid people would find me annoying or self-indulgent.  But now I realize that I was letting the FOWOT (fear of what others think) stand in my way for far too long.  Imma be me!  And honestly, no one has given me a hard time about being gluten & dairy free so that was all in my head!

I’m way behind on my workouts for the challenge by about 6!  So this Sunday when I arrived at the gym at 9am and there was no teacher for class I was a little panicked!  I waited a while, but then realized the class was cancelled.  I got home and rounded up my family for an impromptu workout in the playground on my street.  Ran also wanted to get a workout in and I figured at the playground we could do a circuit with my few dumbbells from home and some ingenuity.  I also figured no one would be there since it was the Sunday of labor day weekend at 9:45 in the morning, but we ended up bumping into 2 people we know!  They both complimented us on our workout enthusiasm so early in the morning.  I was determined not to miss a workout so I got creative.  Now I think we might start doing this every weekend and invite some local parents.  There’s nothing better than bringing your kids to your workout and showing them the great example of taking care of yourself.


Doing some Rows in Cabrini Park


Daphne looks on at Cabrini

Since Dylan had no school earlier this week, I had to bring him to bootcamp for a class with me (because again, I couldn’t miss a day) so I can work on completing the challenge. He is pretty well behaved there and talks about his “workouts” that he does at karate.  Plus he sees me “doing the damn thing.”  He also likes to see where I’ve been all those nights I said, “I’m going to bootcamp.”  It’s never easy to leave your family at night for an hour to get a workout in, but taking him has helped me show him what I’m doing so he understands why it’s important that I go.


Dylan does his best “Superman”

I’ve started thinking about what comes next in 2 weeks when this challenge is over. What more can I layer in to make it more transformative?  I’m always looking for ways to push myself out of my comfort zone, because that feeling of personal growth is so intoxicating I’d hate to let it go.

So I’ve decided to do 2 extra cleanse days for the challenge.  I’d originally committed to 16, but now I am re-upping for 18 total.  My workouts are going well, but it’s likely I won’t hit my 48 goal by Sept 21.

Week 14 Results

Weight: 185.6 (-11.4 since start, -4.0 change since last week)

Cleanse days completed this week: 2 (14 total for the challenge)

Workouts: 4 (36 total for the challenge)

Non-Scale Victory:  Today at the gym one of the trainers said I look great!! She said my shoulders and arms have improved.  Arms are smaller and shoulders are more defined.  Plus my body fat percentage went way down!  I was very proud today to get on the scale.

What I want to be acknowledged for this week:  I went through my clothes and pulled out 12 items that no longer fit or are just old and need to be passed on.  In the past, I would have agonized with guilt about getting rid of “perfectly good” clothes even though they don’t suit me anymore.  But I have LET GO of this false attachment and removed some items to make space for the new.

Book I am reading this week: Love Louder, by Preston Smiles

This week’s title inspired by: Imma Be, by Black Eyed Peas


HALFWAY POINT!! I’m really pleased with my results so far.  So many people are starting to take notice and are supporting my journey – it really makes it so much more fun.  Thank you to everyone who made a comment and encouraged me!

I think I had a major breakthrough this week…emotionally!  Which I promise, is related to my weight.  In my business we say, how much weight did you “release”? Instead of “lose”.  Using the word “lose” makes it sound like you may want to find it again, which no one does!  So we say “release” instead, so that it may never come back and find you!  For me, my extra weight was related to so many things that I’d never realized until I became a health coach.  A lot of them are personal, but I’ll share a few here to give you an idea of how the mind/body connection can be a factor in your weight loss journey.  My family is full of people who are overweight – everywhere from 10lbs to 100lbs.  So for me, to release weight and be at my goal weight would mean on some level to not be connected with my family anymore.  That sounds crazy on the surface, but that is a real reason to resist losing weight.

You want a gut check? Take a pen and paper and write 20 reasons why you don’t want to lose weight.  Someone challenged me to do this and I did it reluctantly.  But I found it really cathartic.  The reasons will surprise you.  Another one of mine is that if I got to my goal weight I was afraid that I’d be under more scrutiny from people about how I ate and lived my life.  I was also afraid that if I got to my goal weight I’d have to eat way less to maintain it.  I’m also afraid that I’ll lose my struggle and my identity wrapped around my weight loss struggle.  The struggle is very familiar, I’ve been doing it for a decade!

I wrote the list, then I shared the list with a confidant and decided these were all “reasons” I could overcome.  And just like that, I decided to let go.  I stopped “trying to let go” or “struggling to let go” and I just let go.  One of my coaches, Jeffery Combs, has been teaching me about how letting go is a decision.  Not, as he puts it, “a ‘How do I?'”  He says, “Why don’t you?”  I decided this week I have suffered enough and I let it all go, all 2o reasons.

And you know what, I lost another half pound.  This mind/body shit really works.

I’ve named this week’s blog after a song that Ran and I performed at an event for Jeffery Combs back in December.  To me, it’s a song about letting go.  I put a link at the bottom to a short video of our performance.  Enjoy.

Week 8 Results

Weight: 187.6 (-9.4 since start, -0.4 change since last week) *Averaging 1.175lbs per week, overall goal for challenge is 25lbs

Workouts: 3 (23 total since start) *1 behind on Schedule

Cleanse days completed this week: 1 (8 total for the challenge) *Right on Schedule

Non-Scale Victory: Virtually shopping for a gala gown was actually fun this week! Instead of looking for dresses that would hide my body I was actually excited to show it off!  Buying dresses for formal events is pretty stressful for me usually and this time I was very relaxed about it.  This is big growth for me, getting dressed in the past used to give me anxiety attacks!

What I want to be acknowledged for this week:  I really got back in the kitchen this week and cooked up some delish food for myself and my family.  I had been resisting cooking because I was lazy, bored or just too hot! But this week I made a few new recipes and I started to enjoy cooking again!  I made Sweet & Smoky Chicken, Zesty Turkey Meatballs, Quinoa Salad and Shiitake Bacon!

Book I am reading this week: Love Louder, by Preston Smiles *Already completed my 4 book goals for the challenge

This week’s title inspired by: You Only Wake Up When’s It Over, performed by Marie & Ran Isner

Love Trumps Hate

May 9, 2016

I recently mentioned in my video blog that I am my own worst hater.  For a long time, like so many of us, I would look in the mirror and only focus on the negative.  I hated the way my stomach looked after having two kids, my thighs were too doughy, my waist too wide, the complaints were endless.

Then something strange happened 2 months ago.  I looked in the mirror and started to like what I see.  My stomach seemed flatter, and my thighs has less cellulite, even my mid-section was slimmer.  I actually looked myself in the face and thought, I look pretty.

It was bizarre!

I figured, “Oh that was a fluke!” Blaming the “skinny mirror” or the fact that I was in a good mood that day.  It couldn’t possibly be that I was finally, after 34 years, coming to accept my body for what it is (and what it isn’t).

Next time I got dressed to go out, I went to the mirror and again it happened.  “I look good!”  “This outfit looks nice on me!’  Maybe it had to do with my recent closet edit where I purged all the items that don’t work for me and learned how to dress to accentuate the postitives of my body (instead of hiding the negatives).  I was happy when I looked in the mirror and that was something very new for me.

For so long, my health journey has been fueled by hating what I saw in the mirror.  Every lowest point of my life when the pain was great enough for me to say, “I’ve got to make a change” was built on the hate that I had for my body (myself) and never on love. In fact it was some really embarrassing photos of me back in 2008 on Superbowl Sunday that finally sent me to Weight Watchers.  I couldn’t stand the sight of myself and the worst part was that they were on Facebook for all the world to see! My motivation was always what disgusted me about my body and how I couldn’t stand to look at it anymore.

Once I realized that, I became very sad thinking I’ve misunderstood what this whole journey was about.  In 2013, I started learning about health and how to help others and the whole time I wasn’t loving myself, I was hating myself.  Fueling my workouts and my healthy cooking with hatred the entire time!  Thinking, “If I eat that donut I’m gonna look terrible in pictures on Facebook” instead of “Donuts are empty calories that I don’t need.” I’m ashamed to think I’ve been coaching others with this undercurrent of hate just beneath the surface.  I’m always telling my clients to “practice self-care” and “love yourself first”, but like, have I done that?

I’ll take the occasional afternoon off for a mani/pedi or to get a massage thinking I was “loving myself” and “practicing self care” but this is only the tip of the ice berg.  Truly loving yourself when you look in the mirror goes way beyond the superficial surface of hair and nail maintenance.  It’s actually liking what you see and not immediately following it up with the negatives.  I got a compliment just yesterday from my husband saying I looked good and I immediately said, “Thank you…but I wish my stomach looked flatter.”  It’s like, MARIE SHUT UP, just say THANK YOU and move on!

I’m sure the last two years of personal development (which includes dozens of Saturdays spent at training events, private coaching, and many podcasts on repeat) is what has allowed me to reach this new level of love for myself.  I’m really proud that I’ve at least gotten to this point, because it means there’s growth happening here.  Sustainable growth can only be found once you begin to love the new habit.  It’s like what people always say about the gym.  “You know once you start to love it is when you’ll actually make it a habit.”  That’s so true!

Anyone can hate themselves enough to lose a couple of pounds, but the real growth is when you start to love yourself enough to transform your life.

March 2015 (left), May 2016 (right) with love



A client of mine sent this over to me and it made me smile to read it.  Though it’s too long for my monthly newsletter, I wanted to print it in it’s entirety here.  Enjoy. -Marie

There once was a girl

with a curl right in the middle of her forehead. 

When she was good she was very, very good,

 but when she was bad she was awful.

This is a poem my mom would often recite to before bedtime when I was quite small.  I would laugh and laugh – because it was true.  She knew it and I knew it.  This poem was not only true when it came to my behavior as a child, but would later be true with healthy and healthy habits that would follow me throughout my life.

When I came to Marie several things were going on with me.

A)    I was engaged and getting married in a mere 3 months

B)    I was unemployed (I don’t do well idle)

C)     I was physically not were I needed to be (I couldn’t fit into my jeans from the previous year)

It was a trifecta.

I had never been to health coach before and was not sure what to expect.  I had no idea how amazing and how much it would change my life and my outlook.  Through Marie’s assessments and teachings, I was able to see that things weren’t as dire as I thought, the beauty of the 90/10 theory and easing my way into new habits was the way to success.

I have come along way, baby.  I now go to yoga 3 to 5 times a week.  I can now fit into my pants and feel so much better about myself.   My weight loss is slower this time around because I am doing it in a more healthy way. I have cooking schedule (I cook all day, once a week) and do my best to cut myself some slack.  After all, I am only human.

R.I., Brooklyn, NY 2013

One of the biggest motivators to lose weight is a wedding or a class reunion. It just so happened that I had both coming my way this past September. My brother was getting married and I had a 10 year college reunion. This coupled with some indulgence in Las Vegas back in August really got me motivated to get back on the weight loss train. I came back from Vegas and immediately got serious about watching and tracking my food. I detoxed, I cleansed, I ate a lot less. I didn’t have time for exercise, but I still managed to take off 10lbs. The first 3 were Las Vegas weight and the next 7 were pounds I really needed to lose. I’d been at a weight loss plateau for 17 months.

The good news was that I got to pull out some old clothes that haven’t fit since the pre-baby years. On my birthday I got to wear a dress that I bought on my honeymoon 4 years ago! That was quite a thrill. I really felt good, those 7 lbs were the difference between me being OK with my weight and being happy with it.


Marie and her husband Ran at the wedding, Sept 2013

When the wedding came around, I was feeling good and was happy that my dress was even a little big.  I got many compliments from my family that I looked great!  It was a triumph over food!  I lost weight and felt great.  Good for me.

Then, I went to the reunion a week later.  Now the at the last reunion, I was also in the midst of losing weight in preparation for my wedding.  I wasn’t at the lowest weight I’d ever been, but I was also in weight loss mode, so I felt good.  From then till now I was probably only 7 or 8 lbs heavier.  Plus, I had a baby and aged 5 years, so I didn’t think it would be subject to condemnation by my friends.

The biggest change was not my weight, or the baby, but the new career.  Now, I have a business card that says I am a health coach.  Now, my weight is up for discussion.  Well, not to me, but to other people what I weigh is up for discussion because I call myself a “health coach”.  The majority of people I’d be chatting with at the reunion don’t know the intimate details of my life and my weight.  They’d just know that I was parading around as a health coach and was a certain weight and pants size.

I mentioned my new career to a former teacher, and his reaction was to look me up and down like a piece of meat.  What I saw in his eyes was, “YOU’RE a health coach?”  Disbelief that someone who looked like me could have credibility to help people lose weight?  It was like he looked through me.  He also confirmed one of my biggest fears.  “Who the hell am I to coach people on health?”

Good question.  But I didn’t have an answer.

The next day a friend/advisor also mentioned to me that I “need to lose 10 more pounds” for health reasons.  She said, “you look beautiful, but you need that weight off your feet.”  Ouch.  I thought I was really doing well and then this double whammy.

Marie and family at Muhlenberg College reunion 2013

Marie and family at Muhlenberg College reunion 2013

The truth was, that I WAS doing well, and I DID lose 10 lbs, and yes, I do need to lose another 10.  But man, I wasn’t expecting to here it from other people in such a blatant manner.  I remember thinking, “Well you don’t know where I started.”  This is also something I often think in yoga practice when a teacher I don’t know very well starts giving me a hard time on a pose.  They don’t know where I started, so they don’t know that what I’m doing might be the furthest I can go.  It’s not their fault, they just don’t know – but I do.

I also know that losing 10lbs was a big accomplishment for me after my 17 month plateau. Since then I’ve lost another 5, so I’m really gaining (lol) momentum here.  My weight, my cup size, and my pants size are really no one’s business but my own.  But maybe purposefully I have chosen a career where my health is front and center.  I am my own walking billboard.  No doubt, THIS will force me to stay the course and keep my health a priority in good times and in bad.

I actually think the answer to the fear based question, “Who the hell am I to coach people on health?” is simple.  I can do it, because I have been there and I have walked in those shoes.  I have struggled with my weight, I have tried many different types of diets.  I have worked with a health coach.  I have avoided myself in the mirror, I have felt dread when someone tags me in a picture on Facebook.  I have felt all of the emotions associated with my weight being up and down and somewhere in between.  Simply put, I have been there.

I am always reminding my clients that no one is perfect, not me, not them, not even Oprah (who has famously also battled with her weight).  We strive for 90% perfection, not 100%.  We allow ourselves 10% for fun.  Wine, chocolate, birthday cake, pasta, whatever that is for you.  Because not me (Marie the “health coach”) and not you are ever going to be perfect.  But, we are in this together.  We can support each other, we can share delicious recipes, we can encourage each other to fit in exercise, we can commiserate when things don’t go well. This is what the hell makes me a health coach, not my weight and not my pants size.

Having said that, I’d really like my pants size to be one size smaller.  So, hey, I’m working on it.

Let’s get started together to fill YOUR plate with something GREAT! Schedule a free initial consultation with me today!

This Girl is on Fire!

September 18, 2013

What a lovely fridge!

What a lovely fridge!

Here it is – the long awaited Family Plate newsletter!!

It includes one new recipe, information on my new group program, and much much more!

Please check it out and subscribe to stay up to date!

Win a FREE Juicer!

September 4, 2013

Marie's Green Juice

Marie’s Green Juice

Everyone who signs up for our “The Family Plate” newsletter this week is enrolled to win a free juicer! Make your own delicious juices at home and feel like you are running jet fuel! Winner announced Sept 14!


Juicing is fun, family friendly and gives you great nutrition from every day fruits and vegetables!  Read my article on Juicing vs. Smoothies here.

Marie's New Office

Marie’s New Office

I never would have dreamed over 4 years ago when I started this blog that someday I would have such an exciting announcement to make.  But here it is – my first office in New York City for personalized health coaching.

Since January, I have been a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition – the world’s largest nutrition school.  I have been working towards my Health Coach certification and it’s been a trans-formative year.  I’ve learned over 100 dietary theories and how to successfully coach people to unlock their inner potential to achieve health and much more.

Health coaching was not something I was even aware of when I left my job in the corporate world last year.  I knew that I wanted to do something in a health related field, but I assumed that I would become a yoga teacher.  I was practicing yoga 3x a week and found it to be a good fit for me, because I’d spent so much time in corporate education.  I thought, “well, I’ll just go educate people about yoga instead of cosmetics.”  The one hurdle was that I really loved Bikram Yoga but the training to become a teacher is 9 weeks long and held in Los Angeles.  I had a 15 month baby at home and a husband, I couldn’t very well leave for LA for 2 months.  I started to look around for other types of yoga that I might enjoy so that I could potentially become certified in a different type of yoga, but nothing really spoke to me.  Just when I thought yoga teaching might work out for me a dear friend told me about a certification course she was taking.  She mentioned, off-hand, “Marie this might be a good idea for you.”  I said to her, “You’re nuts! Me? Telling people how to get healthy? No way.”  I just couldn’t see myself as a “health professional”.  I still saw myself as someone who was in the trenches fighting everyday to regain health.  I was looking for health professionals to help me, not the other way around.  But then she reminded me, “But what about your blog?”


The picture that inspired a cheese-loving blog.

Oh yeah.  What about my blog?  My whole reason for starting the blog was to give other people a first hand account of what it’s like for a “real person” to lose weight.  I was so sick of the shows on TV like “Biggest Loser” that were only targeting the morbidly obese.  Where were all the women who had 30lbs to lose?  The average women?  The women who looked like me?

They weren’t on TV.  It was either super skinny actresses or people with hundreds of pounds to lose.  That’s why I started writing.  I got so many encouraging responses about the blog that I kept writing.  There were lean times when I had zero inspiration and there were times when blogging came very easy – just like weight loss.  I kept writing and hoping someone was out there listening feeling comforted knowing someone else (Me) was going through things with them.

The Family Plate Logo by Paul Ingrisano

When I decided to take a leap of faith and enroll in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I didn’t know what would come of it.  I figured, I’ll do the course and see if it works out.  In the meantime I was just going to learn as much as I could even if it would end up being for my own knowledge.

Just 2 months after starting The Family Plate, I am already working with 10 people on reclaiming their health!  Meeting these women and men (yep! one dude) has enriched my life immeasurably.  Hearing their stories and their struggles gives me a greater insight into not just my own life, but the world.  Guiding them to try new whole grains, vegetables and self-care activities is so rewarding for me.  Hearing them say, “Before I ate that extra serving, I thought ‘What would Marie Do?'” was unbelievable to me!  Here I am – ready to help! Ready to inspire you and hold you accountable.  Wow – what a year it has been!

Through another stroke of good luck and timing, I was given the opportunity to open an office as part of the Soho Professional Health Center in Soho, NYC.  I am writing this post to you from my new office with some “Stress Away” essential oil diffusing into the air.  It’s lovely.

The beauty of health coaching is that it can be done in person or by phone, so for those of you not able to make it to Soho – fear not!  I can still become your personal cheerleader and health coach.

While writing this blog entry, I was reminding of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Barbara Walters from 2010.  This was her farewell tour as she was ending her show and starting OWN.  I won’t even attempt to paraphrase or explain it – but her words inspired me.  I didn’t know then how I was going to let God “use me up” but I think I do now.

If you are interested in having a conversation with me about health coaching and how it could change your life email me at  Visit my website for more information or stop by my Soho office!

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