Posted by Ran Isner

Today my wife completed her “Light Yourself On Fire” challenge and I could not be more proud of her than I am right now. The morning started with her last way in and she was able to break her lowest weight since her pregnancy with our second child. This, by all means is an awesome result but she didn’t reach the goal she set for herself. Do you know what the most beautiful thing about it is? She wasn’t going to lose that weight anyway!

Now, what do I mean by that? Those lbs weren’t going to come off if she hadn’t started this challenge, at least not so impressively, and because she did the challenge, she lost that weight. She set her life in motion and created that weight loss for herself.

That has been my approach to this challenge the last few weeks. Whatever I achieved and didn’t… Those things weren’t going to happen anyway! Do you realize how empowering that shit is? Take that leap of faith because what you are about to do, wasn’t going to happen anyway!

Without taking that leap, my buddy Kevin wouldn’t have lost 145 lbs in a year and a half! Without taking that leap, my friend Kerri wouldn’t have completed her first Triathlon while having MS. Without taking that leap, my friend Bridget wouldn’t have lost 60 lbs and taken her life back! Without taking that leap, my sister in-law Rachel would’t have completed an entire screenplay!

I mean these are some phenomenal feats no matter how you look at them, and they all started by understanding that there was nothing to lose because none of this was going to happen anyway!

I feel like Robin Williams in “Good Will Hunting” but this message is so important because we hold ourselves back from doing so many things that even if we tried and it didn’t come out the way we wanted, it wasn’t going to happen anyway! we have the ability to decide how our life goes and it is only by taking those bold steps that we will ever really get to where we want to be.

This “mantra” if you will has given me something so powerful, it has given me permission to start taking more bold and brave actions and experiencing whatever comes along with them because as long as I keep taking those actions I can’t fail, the only way I fail is if I quit and as I said previously, that is not an option any more!

What I Gained When I Lost

February 21, 2016


It’s now been a week since my “Closet Edit” with Brandi Johnson and I am really happy with the results. Check out all the bags of clothes I got out of my closet that was just clogging up space and not working for me!

This styling session was a goal of mine for a long time, and I promised myself when I got to a certain weight loss goal I would go for it! Losing weight for me isn’t just about releasing weight but also about what I’m gaining! I never would have had the confidence to invite someone into my closet before. I also wouldn’t have had any confidence in my appearance to put myself out there to learn more about myself. I’ve gained confidence, acceptance and love of my own body. That’s pretty life changing for me!

Brandi provided me with this wonderful summary of my style (which I had never really thought about before) and I have a new found confidence around clothes that I didn’t have before.

“Your best style is Naturally Classic. Natural is your primary style base. Close-fitting silhouettes in medium scale is what you’re after. Tops that skim your natural waist to define it but don’t cling; fitted, straight skirts and straight and slightly bootcut pants are what you’re after. The classic element comes into play more so in your styling. Clean lines will lend themselves to a more classic and polished feel, but take care to avoid anything stiff fabrics or anything that looks restrictive. For example, you can do a classically styled button down shirt, but the natural element demands that the shirt be in a lightweight fabric with some movement, rather than a stiff cotton poplin.
Also, take care to avoid anything “cutesy” or gamine in its styling. Stay with organic and natural style details. ”

Who doesn’t love being called Naturally Classic?? Thanks Brandi for pulling my natural beauty out of me!

My Moment of Truth

February 24, 2014

MOMENT OF TRUTH: So, I was definitely not planning on posting these AT ALL. But then I thought that my before and afters might be able to show others that losing weight can be done! And I didn’t have to starve myself or become a 7 day a week gym rat. This is healthy nutritional cleansing at it’s best! And, I mean, just look at my back! Holy cow!


Marie Before & After Cleansing

Marie Before & After Cleansing

My journey began in August 2013, I was frustrated with being at a weight loss plateau for 18 months! I’d lost all my baby weight but was unable to get the scale to move despite counting calories, eating more whole foods and working out more than ever. Then I discovered nutritional cleansing and decided I had nothing to lose but the weight! After 30 days I’d lost 13lbs, had fit into a dress from my honeymoon(!) and was walking around with more ease and confidence than I had in years. Since my husband was brave enough to let me post his before and afters a few days ago, I had to take the plunge with him.

Iphone Import Feb 2014 4 012

I hope my story inspires you to regain your health and make a change for the better. I am so incredibly happy I did. Now after doing 2 cleanses I am happy to post my after pictures (that I literally just took yesterday!). If you’re interested in what nutritional cleansing can do for you go ahead and message me!

Thank you all for the support!!

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!

You know I’ve tried everything at this point.  Vegan, vegetarian, juice cleanses, excessive work outs – everything.

It worked to lose all the weight I gained having my son and it’s working in keeping my weight the same for over a year. (Maintaining is harder than losing sometimes).  But, now that I want to lose more I’m stuck.  As part of my health coach training I have been learning over 100 dietary theories, and of course, as you learn about them you want to experiment with them.  So I did, I tried being vegan, being vegetarian, I tried Paleo diet, gluten-free, in short, I’ve tried them all.  Everything would work for 3-4 lbs of loss and then I’d even out.  I’d stop seeing results on the scale and would lose heart, and put back on the 3-4 lbs.

About a month ago, I hit a rough patch, something (I didn’t know what) was coming over me causing me to be tired, cranky and hungry.  A very bad combination indeed.  I was basically following a low carb diet at that point but was still suffering from sugar cravings.  My diet had evolved dramatically from cereal for breakfast to one egg with spinach.  Snacks were no longer low fat yogurt and instead were a handful of raw nuts.  I was eating superfoods like Chia Seeds and Goji berries.  I was making Vegan Pudding and Chia Pudding.  The days of eating a box of Oreos were long behind me, but something still persisted inside of me.

It was an uncomfortable feeling for sure, and when something is uncomfortable I have been trained (unfortunately) to gravitate toward food.  So I overate a bit, I got tired and then I slept.  Then I remembered that every May I usually get the flu and end up in bed for 2 weeks.  I used to think it was because in May I used to do community theatre and would burn the candle at both ends a bit too much.  But I haven’t done that in a few years so that doesn’t explain it.  Then I thought, well it’s my allergies – which it could be.  Thankfully this year I didn’t actually get the flu – but I got the fatigue and no other symptoms.  I felt awful for 2 whole weeks.  I never really figured it out until I discovered it could just be a bit of boredom.  But I think it’s more than that.  I think when the Springtime arrives it brings back a lot of feelings for me of being a child and looking forward to the summer.  It was such an exciting prospect.  The thought of having total freedom from routine and being able to take everyday as it is.  Spending some days outside with friends playing in the yard, some rainy days inside playing cards or make-believe, and some nights having sleepovers with my girlfriends where we’d talk about boys.  As an adult, there’s still some fun summer stuff to look forward to, but I have to admit it’s not necessarily as exciting.  I used to look forward to having summer Fridays in my office, but now I don’t have an office!  Of course there is the beautiful weather to look forward to, and maybe a vacation.  But its not as special as it once was.

There is a concept I have been learning about while in school called “Primary Food”.  Primary Food is best explained by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, “Primary foods feed us, but they don’t come on a plate. Elements such as a meaningful spiritual practice, an inspiring career, regular and enjoyable physical activity and honest and open relationships that feed your soul and your hunger for living all constitute primary food.”

Once I’d tried every dietary theory, cleaned my home, paid off my debts, even cleaned out a closet, all I was left with was Primary Food.  The secondary food (actual food that I was eating) had changed dramatically for the better, but it wasn’t enough.  This week I finally had to acknowledge what I’d been avoiding for the past few years.  I have some issues with my Primary Food.

Side note – It makes me think of when Ruth Fisher from Six Feet Under went to a self help seminar where all the language was around house metaphors like “renovations and fixing the cracks in your foundation”.  I’ve got some cracks in my foundation!! There are some issues with Primary Food I gotta clear up in order to slim down.

Maybe holding onto the extra weight was like holding on to some extra armor, in case things start to hurt in my heart, I’d have the extra padding to insulate the blow.  Nutritionists and Mayor Michael Bloomberg want you to think that it’s all about the bad food: salt, soda, fast food.  But what if it isn’t? What if you eat a great diet and have a regular exercise routine and you still struggle? What do you do when all else fails?

You look inward.  And it will hurt.  But when you come out the other side, you will feel lighter and you’ll move forward. And everything will fall into place.

I hope.



%d bloggers like this: