talks about Confessions

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    A fellow health coach, Anjela Stellato, shared this incredible poem she created and I am borrowing it for this week.  She NAILED it on the head.  If you’re feeling like this poem, CALL me!  I can help you reach your goals.  Hope you’re having a very Merry Christmas season!

    “Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house, not one thing would fit me…not even a blouse. My body was sagging, but I didn’t care, I just hoped that at work, no one would stare.
    The cookies I’d nibbled all nestled in frosting. All the holiday parties were fun but exhausting. H’orderves by the dozen, yummy eggnog I’d taste, to my absolute horror had gone straight to my waist!
    When I got on the scale, there arose such a clatter; I sprang right off it, to see what was the matter. Away to my computer I flew like a flash! I’ll Google and pay for a crash diet with cash!
    I rapidly reflected on meals I’d prepared, the gravies, the sauces, and beef (not too rare). The wine & the rum balls, the bread & the cheese! It would’ve been RUDE saying ‘No thank you please.”
    ‘Yes why not, I’ll take it!’ ‘Yes give me another!’ ‘More gravy, more yams, more nuts and more butter!’ Go ahead pour it on, I’ve not hit a wall! Now dash it with sprinkles and cover it all!
    So upstairs to dress, in my Husband’s old shirt, and to the bed to do battle, with the zipper on my skirt. More a yell then a whisper, words formed in my head, while visions of me soon passing out on my bed.
    I could dress all in fur from my head to my foot… But if it gets sunny, that idea is caput!
    I could layer myself and cover my back… So when I bend over no one sees all the fat.
    As I lay paralyzed with my hand on my belly, I realized it felt like a bowl full of jelly.
    Thank goodness for Spanks! (I’m their biggest fan!) But I can’t spend all winter disguised as a man!”
    When what to my wondering eyes should appear… but a chubby reflection standing there in my mirror! With a large muffin-top that’s been making me sick; I knew in a moment, a solution was needed QUICK!

    I’m round, I’m plump and I feel like an elf,
    And I’m no longer laughing in spite of myself L

    So AWAY with the last of the cream cheese dip! Get rid of the chocolates and crackers and chips! Every last crumb in the house must be banished! Till every last pound I have gained has vanished!

    I won’t have a candy–not even a lick. I’ll want only to graze on long celery sticks.
    No more frappucino’s, scones, biscuits, or pie, I’ll just munch on a pickle…and quietly cry.

    No I cannot stay silent! I cannot be quiet! And I’ll announce to the world, I’m not going to diet. But instead post-request to Santa’s ‘Top Elf’… Cuz my stocking was missing Dr. A’s Habits of Health!

    In this request I will start this way….

    Dear Santa, The Elves & Dear Dr. A,

    I’m fluffy, I’m hungry and I know life has more…But isn’t that what January is for? I will STOP, CHALLENGE & CHOOSE! I’m ready to commit! Give me a Personal Health Coach who can help me get fit! Guide me “On The Path To A Longer Healthier Life” Is it too much to ask for a world with less strife?

    I will promise to eat 5-6x a day, and drink lots of water, so when I do weigh, the scale will show that I haven’t cheated, and my bottom will show it, whenever I’m seated! When I Transition to Maintenance and the fat is all gone, friends & family might miss it…but they’ll have to carry on! Be Slim!!! I will, and when next year does come, it’s Christmas in Hawaii and a bikini in the sun!

    Well Happy New Year to you….and Santa…one thought. It’s just a suggestion, in case you forgot. The next time your red suit goes over your thighs…you might want to check out your own BMI! I mean isn’t it wise to change the message you send? And I’m only offering this, because I’m your friend. Yes when you lose 80lbs…there might be a riot, but seriously Santa…you should probably try-it!! So let’s ‘Take Shape For Life, not just for a day! And we can do it together, the safe and healthy way!

    Happy Holidays to All… And To All A Good ‘Try It!'”!
    {Anjela Stellato}



    talks about Confessions, Recipes



    Confession: I LOVE salad


    I recently found a great new healthy resource blog-this girl rocked my socks!  I LOVE her blog and can so relate to her.  There is a lot of reading there, but so worth it when you have the time.  Anyway, as my title says, I LOVE SALAD.  Seriously.  Good stuff.  However, it’s easy for me to get discouraged about it for two reasons:


    1. Keeping veggies on hand fresh

    2. Getting bored with the same old thing every day




    I found Andie’s salad post.  My world is spinning thinking of the possibilities.  I am totally using her method of fixing the HUGE salad at the beginning of the week & then keeping it fresh.  I think I am in LOVE with this idea.  Because I LOVE salad.  For the very same reasons Andie mentioned.  So without further adieu, I’m letting her tell her story with her words.  Because she just nailed it.

    {Everything-including pictures-within quotes is taken directly from Andie’s blog}


    3 Reasons Why Salad Makes the Best Healthy Lunch Option:

    1. Volume. Nothing fills me like a brimming bowl of fresh vegetables with lots of mix-ins. Not sandwiches, not soups, not even cake.*

    *I’d be willing to give this one another shot.

    And for lunch, when I need to feel ultra-satisfied, yet still light enough to go about my day in as energetic a way as I can (which is to say, not very), salad brings the heft and the nutrients like no other.


    2. Variety. Salads to offer a world more variety than other things. I start with a base of every fresh, raw vegetable I know of, and then I layer on my favorite toppings- whatever sings sweetest to me from my fridge on that given day. I’m unlimited in flavors and textures. And remember that volume thing? Yeah.


    3. Ease. These buckets of vegetables, they make my life breezier in two ways:


    a.) I prep a massive load of salad every Sunday, so that I have the base all ready to simply grab a few handfuls each day, toss them in an over-sized resealable bowl, and then add whatever toppings strike my fancy. The trick to this is to dry the cut vegetables well with a towel (paper or cloth), and to cover the top with a dry paper towel before sealing the whole salad in a closeable container. The dry paper towel will soak up any excess moisture in the bunch and keep your greens from wilting. Replace the paper towel every 1-2 days as needed. This salad lasts me through Friday.


    b.) I use up all the leftovers from my dinners throughout the week. Here, I get creative. Stir fry last night? Tomorrow I’d add the saucy chicken and vegetables to a base of greens along with a can of mandarin oranges (should my cupboard be so fancy and well-stocked), and then I’d whisk together a super simple dressing with equal parts soy sauce, peanut butter, and water. Brisket or pulled pork in the fridge? I’ve been known to plop them directly on a bed of greens with some sort of pungent cheese- blue or feta or gorgonzola- and then dress the whole mess in barbecue sauce. Barbecue chicken leftovers? I’m opening a can of black beans, adding in some frozen (defrosted) corn kernels, diced onion, and avocado. This bowlful will get all gussied up in hot salsa and sour cream for a burrito bowl.


    I’d try to sound fancier, but honestly, I’ve been known to lay my favorite hot meatballs and marinara on a big bowl of greens.

    Get creative. Whatever sounds good together, whatever flavors your craving- that mix will work just fine on top of greens. Show me your fridge and I’ll show you an unlimited salad bar.


    Here are a few basic principles I follow when fixing myself a veg fest:


    Constructing a Balanced Salad:  400 Calorie Breakdown


    100 calories: vegetables

    • greens: romaine, baby spinach, mixed baby lettuces, arugula, frisee, red or green leaf, butter, bibb
    • carrots (grated, sliced thinly on the diagonal, or shredded with a vegetable peeler)
    • peppers: any color
    • red cabbage (shaved)
    • cucumber (seeds removed, halved and chopped into crescents)


    100-150 calories: protein

    • 3 oz of chicken, beef, pork, tofu, tempeh, or fish
    • ½ cup beans or lentils
    • 2 hard or soft boiled eggs
    • 1 can tuna fish
    • 1/2- ¾ cup cottage cheese (I buy 4% milkfat because the more velvety texture is unmatchable in lighter versions- so creamy, so thick)

    sunflower seeds (1)

    100-150 calories: fat

    • 1/4-1/3 of an avocado
    • 2 tablespoons any dressing (all will generally clock in around 150 calories on average)
    • 2 tablespoons chopped nuts/seeds: almonds, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pepitas
    • 3 tablespoons full fat sour cream (excellent topping for a Mexican salad along with salsa)
    • 1 ounce or ¼ cup shredded/grated/crumbled cheese: any kind


    100 calories: fun

    • ¼ cup dried cranberries or raisins
    • handful croutons
    • mandarin oranges and fried wonton sticks (if I’m lucky to have them on hand for an Asian-style salad)
    • ¼ cup hummus
    • sweet beets
    • 2 crisp slices bacon, crumbled



    Now, here’s an interesting part of my salad-making. I don’t often use traditional dressings- bottled or homemade. This is mostly because I’ve gotten accustomed to using thicker, more concentrated flavors in the form of:

    • hummus (¼ cup makes a creamy topper)
    • guacamole (¼ cup)
    • fresh salsa (and often full fat sour cream- this combination becomes creamy sweet with the right amount of acidity)
    • peanut butter (1 tablespoon thinned with equal parts soy sauce and water (1 tbsp each) and a ¼ tsp ground ginger)
    • cottage cheese (½ cup of 4% milkfat- what I find to be the richest, creamiest variety)
    • sweet preserves: jams, cranberry sauce (at Thanksgiving), orange marmalade, apricot preserves, honey
    • ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce (excellent on a meat or veggie burger salad with cheese and all the fixin’s you’d normally find between a bun next to fries)

    BLTizza (4)

    The beauty of using these thick creams and spreads is that they add much more to the vegetables in terms of mouthfeel. Whereas vinaigrettes and other dressings might be fairly high in calories (for such a small portion) and light in terms of ‘wow’ flavor, these thick creams coat the vegetables in a more pronounced, distinguishable way. They’re saucy rather than just slippery.”


    Awesome, huh?  She totally inspires me.  And because I’m all about motivating ourselves in the best & most healthy ways, I love to share these awesome motivators when I find them.  Go over and leave Andie some love on her blog!  I guarantee you won’t go away feeling like you wasted your time.


    And, GO EAT A SALAD!  Then share with me what you did!



    talks about Confessions



    Although we don’t celebrate Christmas for the gifts, and they aren’t the Reason for the Season, I thought-just for fun-I’d put a little Christmas wishlist love out there for all the awesome peeps who might read my blog.  Maybe you’ll get an idea for your own wishlist or to gift someone else.  These aren’t necessarily things I need-and definitely not all of them at the same time, or even ever-but I like to give the husband plenty of ideas which he appreciates.  He does the same for me & I love having that list all year long in case a gift giving occasion presents itself.

    So for your enjoyment, here are some items on my 2011 list:


    1. Digital Food Scale.  My non-digi scale broke a few months back & I’ve missed it desperately.

    2. Curling Iron.  I think in the 1 inch size.  I haven’t owned one in 8 years of marriage & lately have been loving my hair curly.  My straightener is this brand & has worked wonderfully.

    3. The ultimate Body Pillow.  I know my husband would not like this gift as he likes being the one I cuddle in our bed…but I just know I would love this.

    4. A plasma Car.  Okay, really I want one for everyone in my family.  And really, that needs to wait a couple years till everyone can ride one.  And, I’d need more pavement.  But, I think they are so fun!  Great core/arm exercise, too.

    5. Massage{s}.  Plural.  I LOVE massages.

    6. Spray Tan Vouchers.  I just feel better when my skin has a bit of glow to it.  And, the Palm Beach spray tan I had was natural looking & enjoyable.  Love it.

    7. Videos transferred to DVD.  We’ve been talking about doing this with Husband’s side of the family for years.  His mom has at least 30 VHS tapes that need transferring.  But I’d also love to do it with our 8 years worth of tapes/videos/etc.  There is nothing more hilarious & endearing than watching home movies.

    I would LOVE to hear what you have on your wishlist.  Share!



    Also, I’m always looking for creative “non-food” items to give as neighbor/friend gifts.  I’d love your ideas on the subject.  If I use your idea you’ll receive a prize.  Fair enough?  Ready, set, think & share!



    {PS: Typing Wishlist in the title bar made me think of one of my favorite Pearl Jam songs found here. Love Eddie’s voice & the lyrics of this sweet song, especially this line: “I wish I was the verb to trust and never let you down.”}



    talks about Confessions

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    I chose the winners for the new Medifast meals today, so if you see your name, email me your mailing addy at & I’ll get these new meals out to you.  Thanks to all who entered!



    Lisa won the Orange Blend drink

    Amanda won the Sloppy Joe mix

    Jen won the Chocolate Chip Soft Bake



    talks about Confessions, Feature Friday

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    This woman is incredible.  She is one half of my health coach team. {her husband is the other half}.  But more than that, she is an inspiration, a trusted confidante, and an incredible friend.  Amazing how the program does that, too.  Brenda was a stranger to me before Take Shape for Life.  Now, not quite two years later, we are like soul sisters.  She is a complete blessing in my life in so many ways.  Anyway, it’s time to share a bit about her weight loss journey & story.

    1. Give us a bit of info on your story. Why did you want to lose weight, how were you introduced to TSFL, how much did you lose, and how long did it take?

    “I had struggled with weight my whole life.  I had 4 skinny sisters and they called me ‘pleasingly plump.’  How can you mix those 2 words unless you’re talking about a Thanksgiving turkey?!  In my mind there was nothing ‘pleasing’ about ‘plump!’ When I hit my mid-40’s, I was already overweight and started gaining weight without making any changes.  I thought I just had to accept it as the way it was going to be.  I felt hopeless.  My hubby ran into a friend who had lost 40 pounds and brought home a DVD about the program he used.  I was a little defensive and skeptical, but we were rapidly approaching our 25th wedding anniversary & a dreamy trip to Hawaii!!  Horrified to even think about donning any beach-wear, I watched with a guarded heart.  After hearing how the program worked and how scientific it was, I said, ‘Can we start tomorrow?’  I lost 23 pounds in 7 weeks before our trip and continued to lose a total of 50 pounds in 5 months.  The best part for me was losing 55 inches and 5 pants sizes!!! {from size 16 to size 6}


    2. What has been the most enlightening part of losing the weight; physically & emotionally?

    “I knew my worth was based on who I am on the inside and not what I look like on the outside, HOWEVER….I was amazed at how free I became to let more of the inside of me be known while losing and definitely once I reached a healthy weight.  I became aware that I was in an emotionally protective ‘hiding’ or being as invisible as possible mode.  Physically I feel like a different person-smaller & healthier than when I was in Jr. High!  I feel better than ever and feel in control of my health.


    3. How has reaching your goals and keeping the weight off changed who you are as an individual? And, in your relationships?


    “I have so much more confidence, but much compassion for people who have struggled like me.  I’m willing to say ‘YES’ to life now when my default before was to isolate.  I felt loved and accepted by my family and friends before, but now I feel like I can love and accept myself.”


    4. What dos an average day-in-the-life look like for you now? What is your favorite on program food & off program food.

    ‘I need much less sleep than I used to-and usually pop out of bed with a hopeful outlook.  I walk on the treadmill or outside {weather permitting} and do a classical stretch or yoga class that I record on PBS.  I continue to eat every 2.5-3 hours; making high protein/moderate carbohydrate choices most of the time.  I love a spinach salad with grilled chicken or shrimp & veggies sauteed in pan spray & garlic salt.  Another favorite is 1 egg white, egg beaters, sauteed mushrooms omelet with spinach & 1/2 wedge lite laughing cow cheese spread on the inside.

    Medifast favs-Brownie w/ 1 chopped walnut, topped w/ fat free whipped topping.  Hot out of the microwave!  Parmesan cheese puffs or BBQ bites in the afternoon.  I also love the new chocolate chip soft bake; mix as directed & divide in to 3 & bake like real cookies-woohoo!


    5. Please tell me about an “ah ha” moment you had while experiencing the TSFL lifestyle and how it’s changed you permanently.

    “I am in charge of my weight forever!  I monitor regularly and know exactly what to do if any pounds start to creep back on.  I had NEVER felt that way previously-always felt very out of control.”

    Thank you Brenda for your honesty and transparency!  I love how at the end you talk about being in charge.  When you experience a great change in lifestyle like that and you begin to own those changes, you consciously make a CHOICE-sometimes on a daily {or more frequent} basis-to CHOOSE health.  Brenda has now kept her weight off for 2 years {last picture}!  She amazes me and continues to inspire many others.