my best advice for the LiveFit Trainer

I am by no means the expert, especially only being in Week 2 of Phase 2. But I do feel I started this program with a slight advantage because I wasn’t new to weightlifting or clean eating, so there was very little behavior modification required on my part and the ones I did need to make weren’t that uncomfortable.

Having listened to many people discuss and go through the trainer, including some of my good friends, I have learned a lot about the do’s and don’ts. Combined with my own experience from this program and years in the gym, here is the best advice I can give to anyone starting or struggling.

Before I say anything else though, ANYONE who makes it through these workouts is tough. I have pushed myself pretty hard in the gym before, but these workouts are the real deal and would be challenging to most people, so pat yourself on the back because what you are doing isn’t much different than competitive bodybuilders!

I just can’t give up cardio, so is it okay to go ahead and do cardio in Phase 1 even though she says not to?

No, no, and no again. If you can’t give up cardio, this isn’t the program for you, to be blunt. And that’s okay, it doesn’t make you any less, just means it isn’t a good fit. The whole purpose of no cardio the first four weeks is to preserve every ounce of muscle you gain in the gym and cardio will completely defeat the purpose. If your diet is clean, you aren’t consuming lots of alcohol, and you are working hard in the gym you WILL see changes without the cardio. I dropped six lbs in four weeks which even I thought was impossible without cardio. Phases 2 and 3 will not benefit you like they should if you do cardio in Phase 1.

I’m not following her nutrition plan, but I am doing the workouts. Is this okay?

Again, my suggestion would be to follow a different program, or write your own. Her program is designed as a system of eating, exercise and supplements and if you aren’t going to follow it, you won’t get the results. Not only is it important to keep your diet clean, you have to EAT and EAT ALOT to pack the muscle on. I have been consuming an average of 2,000 calories a day with 170 grams of protein and it’s tough to do some days.

But THAT is how you build and retain muscle. Good clean calories and lots of protein! Let go of everything you knew from before, because 1200-1300 calories per day isn’t going to cut it unless you are a tiny person. She has a calculator in Phase 2, and I highly recommend punching your numbers to get an idea of where you should be. A good rule of thumb to follow is 40/40/20. 40% of calories from carbs, 40% from protein, 20% from fat and less than 2500 g of sodium and 25 g of added sugar per day.

I don’t even break a sweat lifting weights so I’m worried I’m not going to lose any weight.

You SHOULD be sweating. Maybe not to the degree you would with cardio, but you have to push yourself hard and if you are doing that, there will be sweat. Or a “slight glistening” as I like to call it 😉

I like to print my workout sheets for the week so I can plan days, times, etc. but also to track the weight I lift and beat myself. Muscles grow when they are stressed, so put the pressure on! You should be able to increase your weight every week, even if it’s just for one set or a few reps. I would also say to make sure your form is good, because without good form, you won’t hit the muscle right. Lift heavy enough to struggle mentally, but not hard enough that you can’t complete the motion.

I can’t stress enough, WORK HARD in the gym. Great results come from hard work.

I still want to be able to live my life and I’m going to drink beer with my friends on the weekends

That’s great, but I wouldn’t expect the same results as someone who is strict with the program. I gave up alcohol, had one minor slip and learned a very valuable lesson. When you are training with weights six times a week, keeping your diet clean, going out for a night of drinking will attempt to sabotage your goals. Your body needs every ounce of rest and energy to recover as that is when muscle growth happens. Alcohol taxes the immune system, makes you crave bad food and affects your mood which will hinder your performance in the gym the following week. It will also make defining your abs difficult, and isn’t that what everyone wants at the end?

I messed up on my eating one day, so I took a couple of weeks off, should I just start over now or go ahead and finish it?

Start over. I can’t stress enough that it’s a program. It’s designed to all work together, so when you commit to a specific program, it’s really important to follow it. Again, if you want to only use certain elements, that’s great too, but you can’t expect the same results. If you slip one day, bad meal, miss a workout, certainly just jump back on and keep after it, but two or three weeks has put your progress behind.

I’m in Phase 2 and not losing weight. It seems like I’m stuck. What am I doing wrong?

Possibly nothing. If you are lifting heavy and eating like you should, it’s entirely possible that your body is making changes you can’t see yet and will not reflect on the scale. Now I don’t think it’s possible for one month to pack on 5 lbs of muscle, but I DO think it’s possible for your scale weight to stall. Toss the scale and only weigh at the end of each phase to save yourself the mental roller coaster ride. TRUST the process. If you know deep down you are following the program, it will all come together in the end, as Phase 3 is designed to strip the fat. I would re-check your calorie numbers, make sure your added sugar is in check, drinking lots of water, pushing yourself with workouts and with all that okay, trust the process.

I started out 50 lbs overweight, will LiveFit get me where I want to be?

It took longer to put on 50 lbs than 90 days, so it’s going to take longer to get it off. BUT I do think LiveFit is a TERRIFIC place for anyone to start, no matter your weight. These workouts could be a lifetime fitness routine for anyone, combined with a healthy diet and some cardio, it’s definitely something you could modify and sustain forever. The worst thing you can do is compare your results with someone else. I started this program with about 10-15 lbs to lose, so it would be really unfair for someone with 30 lbs to lose to compare their progress to mine. Get in a competition against yourself and win!

To sum it up, follow the program. The way it’s outlined. Be patient and trust the process.

jamie eason’s livefit trainer phase 2, week 1

I finished my last workout of Phase 2, Week 1 today and I gotta say, after six straight days of workouts I am REALLY looking forward to my rest day tomorrow!

Like I said here, it’s becoming more and more imperative to me that I give myself credit for my accomplishments.

This week was challenging. With the Adorables out of town, I switched my workouts to 6 a.m., and the workouts changed and became more complex. I had to start new on figuring out minimum weights for things I hadn’t done before, and work through the frustration of not being able to lift as much doing a different exercise. The supersets made even my normal weight feel more difficult and today especially, I was sweating like a pig!

But I stuck to my goals without letting life pass me by. I had flavored almonds at the NBA game last night, laughed my butt off all night, and cooked a delicious healthy breakfast this morning when I really wanted to just say forget it and eat a moons over my hammy at Denny’s. I am going out with some friends tonight, friends I would normally drink with, to a place I would normally drink at, and it doesn’t even phase me that I won’t be drinking.

Last night, matter of fact, as I watched people around me who were drinking, I found myself so happy that I wasn’t. This experience has really opened my eyes to how easy it is to become dependent on alcohol in social settings. It’s almost as if there isn’t an option NOT to drink when everyone else is. Tonight will definitely be a social experiment, as I have never gone out in a setting such as this one without drinking right along with everyone else. I’m actually pretty excited to blog about my findings.

(Did I just use the word findings?)

To celebrate the end of my first week, I decided to post what I consider to be the worst picture of the old me. Not worst because of the picture, necessarily, but worst because when I look at this, I remember how heavy I felt mentally and physically. This was taken a few weeks before my second daughter was born, after I promised myself I wouldn’t overdo it again like the last pregnancy. I would watch my food, continue to exercise, and make good choices. I didn’t.

It is hard to believe that six weeks after this photo, after a c-section, I was back in the gym walking on the treadmill at 245 lbs and it was the beginning of the new and improved me. Yes, all those stretch marks are still there, though not as pronounced, obviously. Yes, the loose skin that is inevitable when you gain that much weight, is still tucked into my jeans. But I rarely see that look on my face anymore.

(side note: people ask me often, men especially, if it embarasses me to post these pictures. Of course it doesn’t. BOTH of these people are very much me. While I might be a smaller version of this person, the struggles she had are still there, losing weight and feeling more confident just gave me the mental energy to deal with life better.)

And not seeing that look on my face anymore is the only form of celebration I need that I made it through another week of workouts, and one week closer to my goal!

you are too obsessed

If I had a dolla for every time I’ve heard this, I would own every pair of cute shoes at Payless. Cause you will NEVER catch me spending hundreds on Jimmy Choos.

Is obsessed a term the lazy use to describe the dedicated?

I think it’s really important to put things into perspective when it comes to being “obsessed” with food and exercise. Whether someone has an unhealthy obsession with anything relies greatly on their ability to balance that obsession with real life, and how strong they are without the crutch. If someone suddenly ripped the gym and healthy food out of my life forever, I wouldn’t crumble into the fetal position and lose it. I would very much dislike it, because it’s my favorite hobby, but I could certainly survive mentally without it.

A good friend of mine, on the other hand, could not. I can tell you with almost 100% certainty that if you took away the ability to exercise and forced her to eat the way she SHOULD eat, she would crumble emotionally. She is very, very dependent on her lifestyle, no matter how many times anyone tries to tell her she should be different.

But guess what? It’s not my cross to bear. She’s not at an unhealthy weight. She eats enough to survive. She’s not passing out or throwing up or starving herself, she is just what most would call a little too “obsessed” with her body image which manifests itself in her behavior towards food and exercise. It is not my business or my place to tell her what she should be doing, she’s a grown woman and her choices affect me zero.

What’s difficult for people who are not “obsessed” with fitness and nutrition to understand is that most of us love it. We love it like other people love playing video games. We love it like some people love farmville. We love it like some love shopping or scrapbooking or bike riding or photography. We love it like some people like changing their relationship status on Facebook. We are all “obsessed” with something.

It’s a hobby. A challenge. Logging calories is FUN to me, as crazy as that might sound to some. Browsing product labels at the grocery store is fun. Sitting at home curled up with a blanket and movie while everyone else was partying the night away on St. Patrick’s Day was fun, because my life is usually go go go go. Crunching my numbers to find the right combination to meet my goals is fun. Outdoing my previous week’s weight is fun. It is a constant, everyday challenge for me to be better than before. I am a competitive person by nature, so it comes as absolutely no surprise to me that I love competing with myself.

Can anyone disagree that if you are going to have a race against yourself, being healthier and happier than the week before is a good one to take on?

Does that mean I’m constantly striving for perfection? No. Not happy with who I am? No. Setting unrealistic standards for myself? No.

To be really honest with you, sometimes I want to scream at people. I eat 2,000 calories a day! My bloodwork is always perfect! My blood pressure is perfect! Would you please stop worrying about whether I am too obsessed with something that causes no one (including me) any issues and attend to bigger issues than me being, healthy!?!

I anticipated the flack when I started the LiveFit Trainer. It’s just really difficult for many people to grasp that I could give up alcohol, give up the nights out, eat the same things day in and day out, spend six days a week in the gym and not allow myself cheat meals. But it was a natural progression for me. I’ve already lost the weight, started the foundation for weight training, the next step was for me to push myself to see how far I could go. When I get my mind set on something, I am driven, it’s just my personality. Naturally, someone just starting the journey to a healthier lifestyle NEEDS to log calories and NEEDS to be a little obsessed, because otherwise, you set yourself up for sabotage all over the place.

I love it. I’ve been pretty happy for quite some time, but I am happier in the last five weeks than I thought possible. I feel great, my energy is through the roof, and I don’t miss drinking or going out. I’m finding new ways to socialize and to be honest, some of the changes I am making will be permanent, while some are a temporary committment to a program I am determined to finish better than I started. (Cause you will not catch me in the gym six days a week for an hour when this is over. Back to a 4-5 day split for 45 minutes max.)

I loved this comment on the thread about being obsessed:

Life happens. Weddings, graduations, funerals, Christmas, Thanksgiving, 4th of July picnics, vacations. These are all detrimental to the “obsessed” dieter/calorie counter. Nothing wrong with counting calories, but we are talking about “obsessed” here. The obsessed dieter would just rather not go to their sister’s wedding, or to the family Christmas gathering or pass up a vacation b/c they have anxiety about what food will be there. Nothing wrong with bringing your own food or better yet, portion control and make good choices when you’re there. This is about a LIFESTYLE change – not just a diet time frame change (for 3 or 6 or 12 months)…. you can’t keep avoiding friends and social gatherings for the rest of your life. One has to learn how to deal with social gatherings while making good choices at the same time — or else (once off “diet”) you go back to making the same old habits b/c you never learned to deal with the real world obstacles.

The difference between someone who loves the fitness lifestyle, and one who is “obsessed” in an unhealthy way is that they can’t incorporate the lifestyle into their real life. If someone is able to successfully balance both, they are not obsessed. (Don’t you love how sometimes I suddenly just think I’m Wikipedia?)

I think there are times that we could take a step back before we judge someone. Because it’s none of our business. Because sometimes we project our own shortcomings and insecurities onto someone else who doesn’t have them. More often than not, the person who criticizes my lifestyle is someone who has expressed a desire to change their own life before.

And with that, I’m off to eat a pizza.

(juuuuuusssst kidding)


what to do when your weight stalls

I got an email from someone last week explaining how her weight had stalled. A very common question, especially among women.

“I was losing weight every week and now the scale hasn’t moved for two weeks. I just want to give up!”

When I was losing 100 lbs, I lost about two pounds every week. Sometimes more, sometimes less, and sometimes nothing. I admit to getting frustrated at times, wanting to throw in the towel, why am I KILLING myself with workouts and turning down french fries if the scale isn’t going to MOVE anyway?

If you hear nothing else I EVER say, hear this.

Life is tough. It comes with roadblocks. If you give up every time there is a mishap, you are doomed. Because it’s going to happen, and not just with weight loss. I truly believe the most successful people in life are those who learn to ebb and flow through the construction, to fight their way through the tough times, because there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t blind yourself from it.

First, I would get really honest with yourself. There is such a thing as a legitimate weight loss plateau, but when I was training clients and there was more than one week without a loss, I asked questions until they finally admitted it was self-inflicted.

“Well, okay, so I ate four cupcakes at a party and felt like I blew it, so we went out for chinese food. Then I woke up the next day feeling horrible about myself, so I decided to just eat whatever I wanted and start over again on Monday.”

Been there. Done that. Too many times to count.

From this point forward, let’s take “start over” out of your weight loss vocabulary. There is no starting over, only recognizing you slipped, chalking it up as part of life, and picking right back up where you left off. I don’t think we realize how many times a small slip that would mean nothing in the long run turns into a week’s worth of binging that completely sets us back weeks.

If you know you aren’t slipping, I would crunch some numbers. Eating too little is almost as damaging as eating too much, and making sure you are eating the right amounts. I post this calculator all the time to drive the point home that you have to eat ENOUGH! When your body thinks it’s starving, naturally it wants to hold onto everything because it fears there won’t be any more. Don’t underestimate how smart your body is, or that it’s really the one in control here.

And last but not least, confusion. Your body will work harder when it’s confused. Ya know, like a man when you don’t return his calls. He doesn’t give up, he sees a challenge and wants to find a way to conquer. Add a different workout, get more sleep, add more calories or take some away.

Figuring out what works best for your body is a process. I’m still in that process. I am trying something different right now, so I’m learning a whole new way of eating and it’s challenging to get everything right. But I trust the process and I know nothing happens overnight, so if I put on weight or lose too much, I know I need to tweak.

Be your own best friend when you do something good. And be your own advocate when you try to sabotage yourself.

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give yourself credit. LOTS of credit.

When is the last time you praised yourself? Patted yourself on the back? Celebrated a success, any success, as simple as drinking more water than the day before?

It’s amazing to me that we are hesitant to openly criticize others, but we have no problem beating ourselves up for the tiniest slip.

Stop that.


Day 4 in the Beck Diet Solution says, “by consciously giving yourself credit, you’ll reinforce your self-confidence and build an awareness that you are strong and in control. When you give yourself credit every time you do something right, you can more easily see slips as momentary mistakes, not earthshaking events, and head off the sense of hopelessness.”

It takes practice. But you deserve credit for every little step you take that brings you closer to your goal. When you refrain from eating something you normally would, when you get even one workout in that you didn’t do the week before, if you lose even one pound, or even if you maintain without gaining.

Start celebrating your progress! Any progress!

Losing weight is a process. A process that begins in your mind. And the more you beat yourself up and allow your negative Nellie inner voice to bring you down, the more you stall the process. When we are happy and confident, we want to keep doing good things for ourselves.

My challenge to you this week is to celebrate the little things. Start training yourself to be proud of your accomplishments instead of downplaying them.

I did my homework tonight before I wrote this blog even though I tried to talk myself into doing what I enjoy first. I squatted my personal best at the gym today. I have gotten up before the sun TWO days in a row this week to work out. I had a major craving on the way home today and my car almost went into auto pilot to McDonald’s, but I didn’t. I’ve been tracking macro nutrients this week and I’m almost SPOT on with my goal.

Whose next? 🙂


how do I get discipline?

My definition of discipline is doing things well, whether I love doing them or not.

I very much dislike doing the following things:

Shaving my legs
Painting my nails
Coloring my hair
Folding laundry
Sitting still longer than 5 minutes
Cutting my daughter’s nails
Telling my 10 year old she can’t have a facebook till she’s 14
Getting up in the morning
Finishing weight sets when my muscles are screaming
Cleaning my car

Should I keep going?

But I do them. All of them. On a regular basis.

Where does the discpline come from?

I mentioned before that I grew up in a family of strong women. From my great grandmother to my mom and aunts, they all had a few things in common. They all kept immaculate homes, successful in their jobs, made their kids pitch in around the house, great cooks, and they all cleaned the kitchen immediately after a meal. They all ran on very little sleep and worked just as hard the next day.

As a teenager and young adult, that worked against me. They did most things for me, so I was lazy. I was perfectly okay letting them do everything and not lifting a finger. I moved out on my own when I was 19 years old, sick and tired of the pressure to be perfect. I was a total slob and if you don’t believe me, ask one of my ex-boyfriends who said, “there are so many clothes on your floor, I’m not even sure you have carpet!”

Matter of fact, when my family found out I was having a baby, they said, “Billie you can’t even keep a fish alive, are you sure you’ll remember to feed a baby?” Referencing the time my aunt rescued my poor fish Fancy from it’s algae infested bowl. When I got married, all I could cook was pop tarts and macaroni and cheese.

Having a child definitely kick started my road to becoming one of those women I swore I would never be. Rigid, boring, cranky, constantly stressed. Unfortunately, that was another thing the women in my life had in common, they stressed out a lot. I say boring because to a 22 year old woman who parties her life away, they were boring. Who wants to cook, clean, craft, and go to bed early on the weekends?

My mom jokes now that she thought I would be a spoiled brat forever. I’m not sure exactly when it became important to cook, clean, craft and do all things womanly, but one day I just didn’t want to burn my bra anymore. The reward of being productive became more important than the temporary satisfaction of socializing my free time away. The high I got from eating healthy and working out, being a good mom, having a home I was proud of, those things outweighed my old negative ways. I did know, however, that I had no desire to live a life of trying to be perfect and beating myself up when I wasn’t.

So before things get twisted, let me tell you how imperfect I am. Sometimes I blow ALL the things listed above off to do something more enjoyable. Sometimes I let the house go and play go-fish instead. Sometimes I even go to bed with dishes in the sink, which drives me nuts. Sometimes, my bedroom floor is covered with clothes and I go to bed early and ignore them because I know my body is exhausted. I even go a few days without shaving my legs because, well, because I’m single, it’s been winter, and I just don’t FEEL like doing it. (I don’t think any date offers are going to come from this blog.)

Discipline is a balancing act. Doing the things you don’t want to do, but allowing yourself some slack, because trying to be perfect is a road to depression and anxiety. My mom was and is a perfectionist and not only have we locked horns my entire life like a couple of bulls, she has many regrets about not simply living life more when I was young. I am grateful for the lessons I learned from her and her mistakes, because they all contribute to who I am today.

I think I’ll revise my definition of discipline.

Discipline is the balance of doing things well even when you don’t enjoy them, and allowing yourself to enjoy life at the same time.

It is one of the strange ironies of this strange life that those who work the hardest, who subject themselves to the strictest discipline, who give up certain pleasurable things in order to achieve a goal, are the happiest men. When you see 20 or 30 men line up for a distance race in some meet, don’t pity them, don’t feel sorry for them. Better envy them instead. ~Brutus Hamilton


remember your reason for a better you

Yesterday, I asked all the fellow happies to post their reasons for wanting to lose weight. The purpose of the question was to write a blog about the chapter I read in my book, but then I came back and read the responses.

I was stunned, overwhelmed, jaw on the floor, blubbering crying mess.

Yes, I’m a sap like that. Cat’s out of the bag. I bawl during movies, commercials, anything sentimental and touching. Shhh. Don’t tell anyone.

Those responses picked me up and dropped me back to the time when I was 100 lbs overweight. I really felt like I was in that moment again, experiencing all the emotion with you. I mean, how happy does this woman look to you?

I absolutely cannot not post the responses. The real, raw, uncensored thoughts of people who have moving, valid, heart-wrenching reasons for wanting to change.

  • My two young kids and the fact I’m turning 40 and am 100 lbs overweight. I went and stocked up today to start a new life tomorrow.
  • I want to lose weight to be more healthy and to be able to keep up with my husband 🙂
  • So I can quit missing out on life…
  • For me I just wanted to feel better and look better. But it’s a lot more complex than that I guess? Haha, I mean I’m happier, sleep better, make better desicions( like as far as food)haha. And I have a lot of support from people who are just trying to do the same. I guess my reasons started simple, but I never expected the true outcome to be so amazing!! If that makes any sense. 🙂
  • To help with getting pregnant in a couple of years, to have more energy, decrease health issues
  • For me, i never want my weight to be an obstacle in my life ever again, preventing me from doing things everybody else can do easily.
  • Be a role model for my kids. I want them to WANT a healthy lifestyle and to know how to make the right choices in life ( i was not that lucky and was not thaught the importance of all that) Also, i want to be FIT and stronger and healthier. Im still 20 pounds to my goal~
  • The most important reasons would be to be healthy so I can lead a fulfilling life with my kids and husband. To set a good example for my kids so they don’t lead down the same destructive path that I have. To wake up feeling good about everything in my life:) and really the last one is selfish – I want to look good:)
  • My daughter! To teach her life long lessons and just to feel more comfortable with myself!!
  • ‎1st of all to be healthy, to look and feel good about myself again, to be able to do ANYTHING I want to and not be so insecure that I just sit back and let life pass me by… and as an added bonus I would love to be married some day and I dont want someone that is overweight and unhealty, I cant expect anything more than what I ask of myself 🙂
  • So I can go clothes shopping with my daughter in the same store, so she’s not embarrased of me, and mostly to be a better me. For my husband and children!
  • To be a healthy example for my girls and to make my older years easier. 🙂
  • My doc asked me if I wanted to live to see my grandchildren. Then suggested gastric bypass. Thats when I went full force the natural way and lost 120 lbs. BP meds and diabetes meds both had to be reduced 🙂
  • My kiddos. I have 3 and I’m almost 31 need to lose a ton of weight because I want to be around for them. Lost 20 so far.
  • Fit into any clothes I want and keep up with my kids! And live until I’m 100.
  • I am tired of seeing pictures of me and being shocked at not recognizing myself.
  • I just want to feel GREAT! With my body, and my health, and just my general overal feeling of wellbeing.
  • Because i want to look like u lol…..and keep up w all these boys
  • My 20yr highschool is this summer!
  • My fiancé had two heart attacks last year , I almost lost the love of my life and absolutely dont want my family to ever feel so helpless! My girls need an active healthy mom! I wanna see my grand babies n chase them!! I want to feel sexy! I want to turn my mans head not someone else! I want my girls to be proud to say that’s my mom, to invite me into the school not pick up outside…lol. Go buy jeans and say my size and the sales person not to have to dig on the bottom of the pile! Not wear a cover up!! Billy I was tearing up too! Finally I have with age figures out I have a a huge heart and the outside can’t n won’t match the inside anymore! Billy you are in the hearts of so many people , being a mommy and an inspiration is your purpose here on earth! I will post a before and now pic….scary
  • My reasons are my daughter!! But I want to be healthy too! After I had knee surgery my doc told me to lose weight to help with my recovery. So I did and my knee is great! I’ve lost 60 all together, 40 in the last year and 10 more to loose to reach my goal.
  • To be healthier. To look good. To look good for my husband lol. To feel good! 🙂
  • To be more confident in myself and love the way i look in a bikini!
  • To set an example for my 10yr old little girl and to be as healthy as possible to keep the cancer I had when was 29 from recurring.
  • To truly like myself
  • It’s all about ME! For me to be comfortable in my own skin. To be able to water ski, snow ski, play basketball, zipline, parasail, a million other things without worrying about my weight. Once I become comfortable with me then my husband, kids, friends and family will notice and respect and learn from what I have done.
  • Health for me and my family. Feel better about my body.
  • I have many memories of my mom trying the new in diet and always trying to lose weight. All of the women on her side of the family are very over weight. I told myself years ago I would NEVER end up like them. I don’t want my children to have the same memories or thoughts about me. I want to set a good example for them and be able to share clothes with my daughter when she gets older.

I wish I could bottle up the solution and send it to everyone who responded. But the only thing I CAN do is continue reassuring and encouraging because sometimes that’s all we need. A little push from someone else to propel us forward.

I challenge everyone to print this out. Make a reason card. Write your own reasons for wanting to stick with your plan and battle against the voices that attempt to sabotage you, whether they be outside voices or your own. Read the card every morning, every time you want to stray from your plan, everytime your evil twin rears it’s head and tries to convince you that four cupcakes will feel better than THOSE reasons.

This isn’t just about food, or exercise, or cheating or not cheating, it’s about proving to yourself once and for all that you CAN accomplish what you set out to do. It’s about wanting more for yourself because you believe you are worth it. The better you are to yourself, the more you will value yourself.

The Beck Diet Solution says:

“I need to read my Advantage Response Card at least twice a day if I want to resist temptation. It takes a few seconds and while I might not psychologically need it today, I’ll need it soon. I have to cement these reasons in my mind for when the going gets tough.” 


should you be counting calories?

My life sometimes feels like one big spreadsheet.

It took a few years of fumbling through being a single mom to understand that life becomes far more simple and manageable when you are organized. It takes more time initially, but it saves me so many headaches. My bills are on a spreadsheet with due dates, account numbers, amounts and contact information. (And if anyone wants the location and password to pay them for me, all you have to do is ask, I’m here to help!) My daughters gymnastics, school, and social schedule are on my calendar in my phone. And anything that randomly comes up also goes in as a reminder on my phone.

It’s NOT a perfect system, believe me, every few weeks I have to regroup and re-organize because it can get mentally exhausting to keep up with everything. But it works for us.

When I started losing weight, that also became a spreadsheet. I wasn’t real aware of calorie tracking programs back then and they also weren’t as popular or user-friendly as they are now. I used a calendar to write down my weight, and punched all my food numbers into a spreadsheet to get an idea of how much I was eating every day. Then I found which became my saving grace. I got totally obsessed with creating foods, tracking my weight, and looking back at progress. I’m actually going to share some of those weight numbers with you over the last two years tomorrow when I post my Phase 1 LiveFit blog.

I haven’t tracked calories in months, partly because I’m pretty in tune with my body so I know when it needs more and partly because I was slacking off, as I’ve admitted here, and here, then here and also here.

Listen, I’m going to be blunt for a moment. Losing weight is a process that requires your time and attention. If you decide to wing it, like so many do, your chance of success declines greatly. When I have a project at work that I want to be pristine at the end, I don’t fumble my way through it. I research, plan, pay attention to detail and give it time and attention. Losing weight, if it’s important to you, MUST be given the same priority. Why would you give yourself less than you would give someone or something else? In case you need a reminder, your goals and dreams are important. The kids, the house, the husband, the job, it’s okay for those things to be second sometimes to things that are important to you. This is your life, too, and you only get one chance to live it.

Tracking calories, in my opinion, is just imperative in the beginning. Over time you will get the hang of things and it will become second nature, but when you are learning something new, it’s important to have all the facts. When I was training clients, I had them keep a food log weekly and I would go over it every week before our sessions started. Punch their numbers and they were literally shocked at how far they were over or under their target range. Because this isn’t just about staying UNDER your target numbers, it’s also about making sure you are getting ENOUGH!

You will get sick of seeing this link, but I encourage you to punch your numbers into this calorie calculator to see where you should be. I think it will surprise you and I want you to promise me you will LET GO of the old idea that “every person who wants to lose weight should eat 1200 calories” and go with the number it gives you. Expecting a 230 lb person and a 130 lb person to use the same calorie range is ludicrous. I have used this many times, on myself and others, and it always works as long as you follow it.

It works as long as you follow it.

My fitfrand Stephanie mentioned myfitnesspal to me yesterday and in less than 24 hours, it has changed my life. The foods are current and up to date, it’s SIMPLE to find the items you use on a regular basis and also simple to create your own! Once you get the hang of it, tracking calories daily should take less than 10 minutes.

You can’t get where you are going without knowing how to get there.

exploring issues with food

Growing up, I was a bookworm. The worst kind. Most people never guesed, and probably still wouldn’t guess how much I love to read. I was the kid that would spend an entire break from school with my nose in a book, getting so lost in the pages that I would get up for a drink and forget I wasn’t watching the story on television?

(Has anyone else ever done that?)

As a kid, it was “The Babysitter’s Club.” My mom would buy me a new book every time one came out and I would just get lost in it.

Now that I’m all grown up, it’s anything that makes me think, without making me think TOO hard. I make significant, life-changing decisions almost daily so I’m not interested in learning to re-invent the wheel or do brain surgery, just learning better ways to make the chaos of life easier to maneuver.

I realize, however, that not everyone can get so engrossed in a book they don’t notice the house burning down around them, so I’m going to share my favorite excerpts of my current book obsession with you. With eight kidless days coming up tomorrow, what else do I have to do other than eat weird creative health food and work out, right?

(p.s. last year on my kidless spring break I painted furniture and watched Jersey Shore re-runs on Netflix, so this has to be an improvement.)

I talked in a recent blog about my journey to conquering my habit of binging and overeating and using this 90 day program to address and overcome.

In the Beck Diet Solution, she says:

“If you’ve never had the experience of feeling proud of yourself for not eating, you’re in for a wonderful surprise.”

WHAT? You mean, I’m ALLOWED to feel good about saying no to that triple chocolate chip cake instead of beating myself up for eating it? There’s another alternative?

“To think like a thin person you must learn to tell the difference between hunger and the desire to eat.”

She lists five characteristics of people who “blow their diet” on a regular basis.

  • You confuse hunger with the desire to eat. (Thin people are able to tell the difference between when their stomachs are empty and when they just have a desire to eat.)
  • You have a low tolerance for hunger and cravings. (Thin people feel hunger and notice cravings, but they don’t dwell on those feelings.)
  • You like the feeling of being too full. (Thin people only eat to the point they are reasonably full, trusting there will be another chance to eat soon and they  re-set their idea of fullness to reasonable instead of overstuffed.)
  • You fool yourself about how much you eat. (Thin people know even the crumbs in the bottom of the bag count, and they don’t justify eating too much because it’s a special occasion or vacation.)
  • You comfort yourself with food. (Thin people don’t turn to food to comfort them when their emotions are out of whack. They know that after they overeat, the emotion is still there, AND they feel bad about overeating.)
  • You feel helpless and hopeless when you gain weight. (Thin people don’t see gaining weight as a catastrophe or a reason to give up. They simply watch what they eat and have confidence the scale will go back down.)
  • You focus on issues of unfairness. (Thin people don’t frequently reflect on how unfair it is that they can’t overeat and stay thin. They accept that MOST thin people have to make conscious choices to stay thin, even if they say they don’t.)
  • You stop dieting once you lose weight. (Thin people maintain their new weight because they have changed what they do and how they feel about food and eating.)

“Thin people have faith in their ability to make good decisions about what, when, and how much they’re going to eat – and to follow through with those decisions. Even when they overeat or make a poor decision, they are confident they will return to a more controlled way of eating afterwards.”

I can’t speak for anyone else, but ALL of these describe my eating and thought process history.

One might say, this is too much, too obsessive, why can’t we just enjoy ourselves without obsessing over food?

Well, you can. If you are happy with your weight, your body, and your life, then I am happy for you. But if you want to change, you have to put in the work.

How many of these characteristics describe you?

one brick at a time…

My dear friend Tim, whom I’ve known for several years and is like a husband to me…

Well, I mean except that he’s already married. His wife is one of my best friends. And our kids are best friends. But aside from all of that, anytime I need anything man related he is there for me.

See how I just talk sometimes and never make a point?

He sent me an email about a story he heard with a poem and nothing could be more fitting for everyone trying to lose weight or even maintain their weight, or make any sort of life change.

Listened to a story today form ET.

He was telling a story about a kid who wanted to be successful.   I wont spoil the story , but the crux of it is this he said. You have to want to succeed as much as you want to breathe.

If you feel discouraged and it seems like you are making little progress chew on this poem today….

One step and then another and the longest walk is ended.
One stitch and then another and the longest rent is mended.
One brick upon another and the tallest wall is made.
One flake and then another and the deepest snow is laid.

The book I am reading, Beck Diet, stresses this more than anything when it comes to food, diets, exercise, ONE moment at a time. One obstacle at a time. One doesn’t have to lead to another (moment of weakness with food) but one can also lead to one more (losing pounds.)

Live in THIS moment, one foot in front of the other and if you slip, just KEEP GOING!

You are not your mistakes. Don’t allow your mistakes to define you.

For anyone who loves to read like I do, this book is amazing. You’ll hear me say it a million times, I think the mental aspect of losing weight is one that gets overlooked far too often. The real secret to weight loss success lies in your ability to sabotage-proof yourself, learning to overcome the slips, talking to yourself, loving yourself and being your biggest fan.