Week 5, Gym Selfie

“You look so slim!”

“You look great, Marie, keep it up.”

“I have been reading your posts every week and it keeps me motivated!”

“You should write for a magazine!”

These are just some of the compliments I received this weekend – okay ALL of them came from family members, but whatever!  I was so pleased people are starting to notice my hard work and the Light Yourself on Fire challenge.

And then, I got on the scale.  Whomp, whomp. 189.8.  It was such a downer.  ALL THAT HARD WORK FOR 1/2 a pound.  I think I actually said out loud to my scale “F you”.  I tried to shake it off, but man was I disappointed.  I felt like a failure about my own challenge.  And then, I went through all 5 stages of grief.

Denial – this scale can’t be right.

Anger – I hate this stupid scale and this stupid bathroom and this stupid body I have to live in.

Bargaining – If I could please just get down to 185 I would never lose my temper again with my children and never punish my body with junk food.

Depression – I am never going to lose this weight.

and Acceptance…I think I might still be working on that one.

So here’s the deal.  I remember 2008, the year I lost 23lbs on weight watchers and it was a painstaking journey of losing .2, .4, maybe 1 pound when you were lucky and then sometimes you’d gain and really want to throw in the towel.  But back then I was counting my points but I wasn’t armed with the knowledge I have now about cleansing and net carbs etc.  I thought now it would be easier, not harder.  Yes I realize I am 8 years older (is that math right? geez). But even still, why is it not happening faster????

I’ve tried in the past week 2 different cleanse days and both were failures.  That’s not common for me but it does happen from time to time. At this point, I’ve made a decision that I’m pretty much done with cleanse days for now.  I committed to 16 during this challenge and as of right now I’ve done 5.  I don’t know if I’ll change my mind from now till September, but that’s where I’m at.  I’m committed right now to healing my gut and maybe the best thing is to focus on that and not the weight loss.  It will come, I keep telling myself, if I build it, it will come.

Week 5 Results

Weight: 189.8 (-7.4 since start, -.4 change since last week)

Workouts: 4 (12 total since start)

Cleanse days completed this week: 0 (5 total for the challenge)

Non-Scale Victory: Wearing a bathing suit in front of my whole family and feeling good about it!

What I want to be acknowledged for this week:  I went to 3 parties/bbqs and managed to make it out alive! No dairy and no gluten!

Book I completed this week: Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight the creator of Nike

This week’s title inspired by: It Don’t Come Easy, by Ringo Starr

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



Oprah’s Big News, My Love Language, How to Make A Video Already!


September 11, 2012

So it’s not a new year’s resolution – but it is a September resolution. Time to get back on track! I remember from a Weight Watchers many moons ago that our leader said we will lose more weight in the time between Labor Day and Christmas than any other time of year. With that in mind, I’m making a vow to put down the M&Ms and get back in the saddle.

I was doing pretty well since I’d gotten a WW meeting started in my office. I’d lost a few pounds, but was mostly just maintaining since losing 12lbs earlier this year. All in all, I was ok with it as I’d been super busy with work, moving and being a mother.

Once the WW meetings ended and we started eating take-out food every night during packing and unpacking, I somehow lost my way. (There were far too many debits from Seamless Web on my debit card!)

I’m about to embark on a new phase of my life (more on that later) that is all about health. Healthy body, healthy mind, and healthy life. No more excuses.

Being so happy in my personal life as a mother and wife has inspired me to be happy 360 degrees of my life. For years I’ve been saying I want to achieve my goal on WW – and now I am finally going to do it. Like I said, no more excuses.

Today, I opened the WW app and dared to count points. An egg salad sandwich at Starbuck’s is a whopping 13 points – and you know what I always say – coulda had a Big Mac! A muller yogurt (the corner ones they have those delicious commercials for) is 4 points! Oh the things we learn when counting points!

Tonight I prepared 2 servings of Skinny Overnight Oats in a Jar from my favorite website I’ll have 2 healthy breakfasts waiting for me. Gotta love that convenience. Gina and her WW recipes have been a god send! I’ll keep posting my favorites as I start cooking more (in my new kitchen!) and get back to basics.

Truth be told – I’ve lost all my “baby weight” but I haven’t lost the weight that I gained before becoming pregnant. The weight that took me a year to lose before my wedding. The unhappy weight. Now that I’m happy there’s no need to carry around these extra unhappy pounds, right?

Nothing new here really, just a new commitment. A new outlook. A new phase. There’s 15 weeks till Christmas! 15 weigh-ins to make a difference. Who’s coming with me?

The Really Really

February 18, 2010

Last week, after a turn down “I don’t feel like doing Weight Watchers this week” lane, I was miraculously awarded with a 1.4lb weight loss on Monday night.  Stunned, shocked, and sporting a Cheshire grin, I celebrated by going out to dinner at Megu.  Ok, so I was already planning to go to dinner pre-weight loss, but that dinner our marked the beginning of a celebratory week, which included many cookies, dinner at the amazing BLT Steak, ramen noodles and pizza from Layla Jones.  Not exactly a great week for weight loss.  Some where along the line I decided to stop counting my points.  When am I going to learn my lesson that I can’t go out to dinner on Monday nights?  Monday nights become lost weeks. 

P.S. Dinner at Megu was very tasty and since it was the Restaurant Week menu, it was lighter than usual and I didn’t leave feeling stuffed.  Ran said he left wanting a slice of pizza, but I digress.

This Monday, I enjoyed a day off for President’s Day and failed to get into NYC for my weigh-in.  Lived in the land of Denial until Wednesday morning when I decided to track my foods from yesterday.  (How bad could it be?)  Well, it could be bad, very bad! 

HORRIBLE TRUTH DISCOVERED THIS WEEK:  Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies, 3 cookies are 4 points!  I mean, what the hell?  I think I scarfed about 6 of them down last night before dinner.  Damn.  And I didn’t even have a glass of milk for dunking!  Imagine how many I could have enjoyed with a tall glass of icy cold milk?  16?!!?!

I tracked Tuesday and found out I’d eaten roughly 35 points.  Um, I get 24 for each day, so what the hell happened?  What really happened is that I didn’t count and I ate what I wanted (to a certain extent) and I guesstimated my way thru it and was off by about 6 points.  Good show, Marie!  ( * shaking my head sarcastically *) 

I’m back on track now.  Ate a solid 25 points today.  I don’t know if I can correct the damage from earlier in the week in time for weigh-in, but I gotta try.  If I give up on me and go by the “guesstimation” rule, I’ll be right back where I started soon enough.

The really really of January – up .2lbs.  Consider it a success and move on to bigger losses and days filled with “triumphs over food”.

Sunday just so happens to be the last day of my Weight Watcher week.  I’m so proud to report that I went to the gym 2x this weekend, and earned a total of 13 activity points for the week!  This got me thinking, “What if I write a weekly blog post recapping my week – the good, the bad, and the ugly?”  Here it goes.

Total points eaten: 219

Total WPA eaten: 35 (the max)

Total Activity points earned: 13

Meals eaten out: 7

Favorite thing I ate this week: Mushroom Risotto from Cafe Mei Mei

Least favorite thing I ate this week: Spicy Tuna Roll from Tenzan, yuck!  I even sent it back to the kitchen!

Triumph over food: Going out to eat at Outback Steakhouse.  I spent 15 minutes on the website beforehand figuring out what would be the smartest menu for me.  I landed on a 6oz Outback Special steak (no butter preparation), Classic Blue Cheese Wedge Salad (a little indulgence), Fresh Seasonal Veggies (no butter), for a total of 15 points.  The “shame on you” award goes to Outback for not even listing the 6oz Outback Special on the menu!  I asked specifically for it, and it was served to me, so why isn’t in on the menu?  We don’t want people to have a lower fat (and price) option?  …tsk tsk tsk Outback, shame on you!

I weigh-in this evening, but I don’t want to make the weekly recap about “how much I lost/gained this week”, because that’s not really the point.

Having said that, I better be down this week! 🙂

23 points a day

October 31, 2009

On Weight Watchers y0u get a certain amount of “points” that you can consume each day.  It’s based on your current weight, what type of work you do, your age and whether or not your are breast-feeding.  It’s called your “points target” and you MUST eat all of those points everyday.  On top of that is your weekly points allowance (or as my leader Ellen likes to call it, weekly pleasure allowance!) of 35 points that you can use for the fun foods, alcohol, and/or larger portions of the food you are eating.  When I started out doing WW I was allowed a whopping 26 points a day.  As you lose weight, you lose points and last year on my birthday I had a rude awakening.   Not only did I lose a point due to weight loss (woohoo!) I aged a year, so I went from one age box to the next and I lost another point.  So in one week I went from 25 to 23.  It was brutal.

I’ve never really been able to master the 23 points a day.  I’ve tried to break it down by meal: breakfast 3 points, 2 point snack, 6 point lunch, 2 point snack, then 10 for dinner.  It was not working.  All I’ve done in the year of 2009 is struggle and gain weight.  Since my lightest, I’m up a total of 8lbs.  I’m not thrilled about it and part of why I started this blog was to get some momentum going and have accountability so that I had to lose weight.  Unfortunately, I keep losing and gaining, and yo-yo-ing back and forth.

This week, after my first weigh-in since September I was up 3lbs and sadly went up a point.  I didn’t realize it until I input my weight on the WW website and it automatically changed it.  At first I thought, “maybe I shouldn’t take the point and still eat 23 a day?”  I could hear my leader Ellen saying in my ear, “Follow the Program”.  So I decided to go with the 24 for this week and see how it goes.

Now that I’m a few days into my week and tracking my foods everyday, I am noticing how amazing it is to have that extra point!  I know it sounds silly that one point would make a difference, but it’s like a cushion of comfort that is allowing me to actually stay within my daily range.  I’m using some of my WPA everyday (as I always do) but not as many as I do when I’m eating 23 points and I don’t feel as hungry.  My downfall this past year has been the weekends.  I track every work day and then Friday comes and I saw, “awwww screw it!” and eat whatever I want, kinda.  Maybe since I’m kinda hungry all week with only 23 points, I’m blowing it every weekend to make up for it.  It’s a theory!

Let’s see how it goes next week when I weigh-in.  This might be something to discuss with Ellen if I lose and feel like I can continue losing by eating 24 points a day.

Goal for this week: write the blog everyday, track EVERYTHING I eat, and save some WPA for the Halloween party I’m going to on Saturday.  I’ll let you know how I make out.

Just because it SOUNDS healthy, doesn’t mean it is…


Better yet, make your own sandwich and brown bag it once and a while.

I had a similar incident at Panera.  I got a healthy sounding grilled chicken sandwich without knowing the nutritional information.  I enjoyed it and then went home and got on the Panera site to figure out the points.  Oy vei!  It was a 13 pointer!  I couldv’e had a Big Mac for the same 13 points and probably enjoyed it more!

This is why I love that chain restaurants have to post calories for all their items in NYC.

The 5 Worst Sandwiches in America

The sandwich is the on-the-go meal of choice. When you don’t have time for utensils and dishes, the sandwich is a natural go-to.

Unfortunately, these once-simple meals are getting more complicated: From wraps to paninis, and ciabatta, semolina and sourdough, there’s an entire armada of doughy choices and sandwich varieties. But which are good for you? Which will deliver protein and other nutrients and help you stay in fighting trim?

Here’s a hint: Some of the worst offenders carry innocent-sounding words like “chicken” or “salad” or even “vegetarian” in their names. Before you pick up a sandwich, make sure you know just what’s lurking below those innocent-looking loaves. The new book “Eat This, Not That! The Best (& Worst!) Foods in America” catalogs the best and worst sandwiches in America. Making simple swaps like these every day will help you eat what you want and still lose 10, 20, or even 30 pounds in the course of a year!

Worst “healthy” sandwich
Romano’s Macaroni Grill Grilled Chicken and Artichoke

  • 980 calories
  • 55 g fat (13 g saturated)
  • 2,240 mg sodium
  • 76 g carbohydrates

Equivalent: As many calories as 16 Fudgecicles

Nothing sounds healthier than some nice grilled chicken and artichokes, right? Well, chances are, you’ll seriously regret choking down this calorie-fest. It’s one thing to have a fatty, highly caloric burger, but when a sandwich sounds this diet-friendly, it’s particularly egregious. You’re much better off sticking with a simple, lean entree like the chicken spiedini.

Eat this instead!
Grilled Chicken Spiedini

  • 360 calories
  • 10 g fat (2 g saturated)
  • 1150 mg sodium
  • 17 g carbohydrates

Worst vegetarian sandwich
Blimpie Special Vegetarian (12”)

  • 1,186 calories
  • 60 g fat (19 g saturated)
  • 3,532 mg sodium
  • 131 g carbohydrates

Equivalent: As much sodium as 86 saltine crackers

“Vegetarian” doesn’t automatically translate to “healthy.” Sure, this sandwich has vegetables, but it also has three different kinds of oil tucked into a hulking 12” roll. No wonder it contains more than half a day’s worth of calories and a cascade of carbs.

Eat this instead!
VeggieMax on Wheat (6”)

  • 499 calories
  • 21 g fat (6 g saturated)
  • 1,212 mg sodium
  • 50 g carbohydrates

Worst meaty sandwich
Subway Footlong Meatball with Cheese

  • 1,260 calories
  • 54 g fat (22 g saturated)
  • 3,570 mg sodium
  • 142 g carbohydrates

Equivalent: Same calories as 42 onion rings (from Burger King)

Jared may be able to hold up those huge pants next to his svelte frame thanks to Subway, but we guarantee his weight-loss diet did not include this belt breaker. But luckily, there are only two things that will get you into trouble at Subway: footlongs and hot sandwiches. The best bet is to stick to a 6” ham, turkey or roast beef — if you’re extra hungry, double the protein for only 50 to 80 more calories.

Eat this instead!
6” Double Roast Beef

  • 400 calories
  • 7 g fat (2.5 g saturated)
  • 1,410 mg sodium
  • 47 g carbohydrates

Worst fried chicken sandwich
Chili’s Buffalo Chicken Crisper Bites

  • 1,620 calories
  • 100 g fat (21 g saturated)
  • 5,380 mg sodium
  • 123 g carbohydrates

Equivalent: Same fat as 28 scoops of Edy’s Loaded Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

These sandwiches may look cute, but they’re far from harmless. At Chili’s, the words “bites” and “crisper” translate into calorie-packed sauces and a bucket of frying oil. You can taste the same bold flavors and save more than 1,000 calories by opting for the Fajita Pita instead.

Eat this instead!
Fajita Pita Chicken

  • 460 calories
  • 13 g fat (2 g saturated)
  • 1,400 mg sodium
  • 52 g carbohydrates

Worst sandwich in America
Quiznos Tuna Melt (Large)

  • 1,760 calories
  • 133 g fat (25 g saturated, 1.5 g trans)
  • 2,120 mg sodium

Equivalent: Same calories as 12 Budweisers (bottles)

The classic tuna melt is, in our eyes, a travesty of healthy eating. They’re taking one of the leanest, smartest foods out there — tuna — and bombarding it with an ocean of mayo and a flood of cheese. And Quiznos takes it to the next level with their outrageous serving sizes. You’re much better off with a flatbread sammie — heck, make it two! You’ll save at least 1,000 calories.

Eat this instead!
Sonoma Turkey Flatbread Sammie

  • 280 calories
  • 14 g fat (4 g saturated)
  • 740 mg sodium

Burgers with no buns.

August 4, 2009

So why in the HELL did I decide to join Weight Watchers on a Monday?  I’m an emotional cutter!  Having to go in every Monday and get weighed is so nerve wracking.  On Monday there’s no opportunity to correct what you did over the weekend.  Lots of people in WW meetings talk about drinking all their extra weekly points allowance (WPA) in alcohol on the weekend and then struggling to lose weight.  Now, I’m not much of a drinker for a couple of reasons:

1.  If I’m ingesting calories, I kinda want them in SOLID form.  I could have a glass of wine OR a slice of cheddar.  Get me a cracker!

2.  I don’t exactly have the best reputation for holding my liquor.  Three drinks and I’m a wreck, which isn’t really fun the next day (once you’re over 25).

3. I’ll admit, I don’t really like the taste of alcohol, so that makes it a whole lot easier to resist.

My extra WPA gets spent on eating out over the weekend with friends.  “Let’s get brunch!”  “Let’s meet up for dinner!”  I love meeting up with friends in a more intimate setting (like a restaurant as opposed to a club) and of course, I love to eat.  So going out to eat with a friend seems like a perfect outing for me.  The problem with this is that the socializing is set around food (instead of around you and your friend) and it’s hard to have will power when you’re friend is ordering a giant bowl of fettucine alfredo or a cheeseburger with fries. Suddenly your grilled chicken with a side of spinach seems downright BORING!  and you’re thinking, well, what would happen if I have fettucine alfredo?  I’ll still lose this week…right?  WRONG!

So the good news is, I was shockingly down at WW this week, a whole .2 of a pound.

A Poem, by Marie I.
Got weighed in and down point 2

Lil less skin and smile I do

Kinda small loss, not even half a pound

But I still celebrate because I'm less round

Leader asks me this week what u gonna do

To lose more weight and maybe lose

More ounces that will combine

To make huge loss and blow your mind?

I went out to eat last night with some friends at the famous L&B Spumoni Gardens.  I had a friggin slice of pizza as a chaser to rigatoni bolognese (read: bad idea).  L&B is famous for 3 things: square slices of pizza, rice ball parmigiana and spumoni.  I’m proud to say I had a sampling of all three last night. And, hell, I enjoyed it!  I even had a ton of rigatoni bolognese left over to have for dinner tonight.  My husband had plenty of his fettucine alfredo too, so he figured we’d just have that for dinner.  And in the last six months (while my weight loss has slowed) he probably would have been right.  But, not tonight, I gotta get on track.  So I defrosted some chop meat I had in the freezer and made spinach/feta burgers.  I haven’t been grocery shopping since before my wedding (tragic), but I was able to pull it together.  Beef chop meat, crumbled feta with Mediterranean herbs, grill seasoning, onions, garlic and spinach.  All rolled into a burger that I ate atop a bed of lettuce (no bun!!).  It was delish and my husband ate my leftover rigatoni and said it was just “okay.”  See, I didn’t miss out on anything.  There will be many more bowls of fresh pasta with my name on it.

So my answer to my WW leader today when she asked “whats the one thing you can do this week to lose weight?”

ME: Write down everything I eat (we call it journalling), get to the gym, and stop double fisting 100 calorie packs of Cheetos.

Oh, if only it were that easy!

Mozzerella or “Muhz-za-delle” as my Italian-American family says.  I had some “muhzzadelle” on top of leftover chicken parm that I found in my fridge for dinner tonight.  It’s ultimately, very tragic.  I come home from work crazed and desperate to have a piece of chocolate.  I dig around the kitchen, first, I find Bamba (a peanut butter snack from Israel that’s similar to a cheese puff only with PB flavor).  I plop in front of the couch, turn on the tv and start chowing down.  I don’t know how many I ate, maybe 20?  Quickly, I’m bored with Bamba and searching for  Easter chocolate in my fridge (yes, I said Easter!).  Yum, Perugina chocolate eggs!  I devour one without even thinking.  Now, I’m thirsty, but I’m too lazy to get up and get a glass of water.  A moment later I’m up off the couch (not lazy anymore) searching for cheese, any cheese, to complete my meal.

Sidenote:  When I have PMS I crave two things, chocolate and cheese.  That’s it.  That’s what I want.  In fact, if there was a way to mix the two, I would!  Is it possible to dip a chocolate covered pretzel in cheddar fondue?  Hmm.

So, I found some takeout containers in my fridge.  I’m assuming they were left by my in-laws who have been staying with us.  It looks like chicken parm.  Smells like chicken parm.  I hesitate for a moment…”This isn’t my leftovers, should I eat it?”  Before I can even answer my own question I’m putting a dish of stolen chicken parm in the microwave.  2:30 and counting.   I leave the kitchen to catch a glimpse of Real Time with Bill Maher…I go back,  1:58 left.  Geez.  I repeat this movement 2 more times until finally I give in and eject the chicken parm 16 seconds early.  “Whatever, it will be hot enough with only 2:14 of heating.”

Finally, my fork and knife slices into the enormous chicken cutlets and I marry the food to my tongue.  It’s pretty good!  Success.

I think about food alot.  I calculate the calories of what I eat ALOT.  I’m on Weight Watchers since February 2008.  I’ve lost 20lbs but now I’m terrified of going back to WW since I just spent a week (my honeymoon) eating my way through Aruba.

Why does the fear of having gained weight make me want to eat more?  Human nature?  It’s so cruel.

I think for today I’m going to give myself a pass because I DO have PMS.  And I’m going to WW on Monday to get weighed, no matter what.  I promise.

There IS another plate of chicken parm in the fridge, but I think I’ll leave it for now.

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