Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Like most, I have lost and gained the same weight so many times over my life that I could never put a number to it. The gaining part took no effort what so ever. The losing part seemed like endless sacrifice. Maintenance? Hmm...now that was an interesting concept. From childhood on I was either losing or gaining...never maintaining. My body didn't do maintenance. Dieting=weight loss. Eating=weight gain. Those were the two options. 
So needless to say, these past 15 years of figuring out how to not gain the 120+ pounds I had lost back.. has been as labor intensive as anything I did to get here. My body is so prone to weight gain that for me, maintenance requires vigilance and effort. I wish I could say that my body was "healed" from being a fat storing machine, but that wouldn't be true. If I deviate from my normal controlled eating plan for more then an occasional meal now and then, I will gain. If I take a break for a week and  eat like everyone else around me is eating, including people who are not overweight, I will gain. And it's not necessarily the calorie count that is the issue, but the food itself that will cause the weight gain. 

Grain based foods and sugar are the welcome mat in front of my fat cells. My insulin spikes and every calorie gets locked away like squirrels storing nuts for the winter.  On top of that, eating them also awakens the sleeping beast that is appetite and hunger. Uncontrolled type 2 diabetics can have a voracious appetite that is beyond anything imaginable. As far as you body is concerned, it is starving, no matter how much you consume. Obesity is the natural result.  
It is my JOB to be mindful of the food I consume and I know that each choice comes with consequence for me, good or bad. Because I am diabetic, I have a built in alarm system that fires if I go astray for more then the occasional deviation from my normal diet. I will feel like crap! I keep my blood sugar and insulin levels under control with lifestyle choices, but when I choose something different, BAM! Diabetic Pam!  
It frustrates me to accept the fact that I will never be"normal", whatever that is. I'm still not sure how "normal" people go about their lives. Do they just naturally run checks and balances in their heads constantly to keep their weight and health on track? I know that's how I live now. I generally know the caloric and nutritional value of everything I put in my mouth and I keep a running tally in my head. I see other people eating breads and sugary deserts and know that I can't have it. Let me rephrase that, I choose not to have it. Do I want it? You know I do, but if I want to stay on this planet with all my original parts and be healthy, I have to say "No". That is maintenance for me.

Standing Strong

So here we are at the gates of the annual "Binge Eating Ball". Everywhere you look from now until New Years it is nonstop over-indulgence in food and drink. We feel entitled to join in and for the next month,  we want to be part of the party. We want our traditional foods and we don't want to be the one standing against the wall while everyone else is mindlessly celebrating without a care. For people in the process of weight loss, it can be a complete derailment and an undoing of all your hard work.

I dread this time of year, every year. Not for myself, but for all my clients that will be struggling with the frustration of wanting to stay on their plan, but feeling overwhelmed and overpowered with all the pressure to eat, drink, and be merry. You may not be diabetic or have some other known health issue that influences the choices you make like I do, but we all desire quality of life. That means different things to different people. For some, it means doing whatever you want and paying the consequences which can be poor health, pain, or even death. For others like me, it means doing my best to support my body and accept it's special requirements and not feel deprived, but empowered by my choices. We each have our own reality to deal with and choices to be made. Stand strong and make yours based on your own best interests, not on the influences of others.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Life, Stress, Choices, Challenges

Dieting is hard, even under the best of circumstances, but outside stress pushes every button an emotional eater has. Without an alternative therapeutic release valve on your stress, it can turn in to an emotional battle ground which of course...creates more stress. For whatever reason, we turned to food as our coping tool. Other people turn to more positive outlets like music, exercise, hobbies, or any number of options. There are alternatives out there for each one of us. The challenge is to discover what yours is.

In a typical persons life they will be touched by all sorts of difficult things that are overwhelming and seem insurmountable, but for the most part, we get through and we go one. We may be changed, hopefully for the better, but we do go on. I have always told my kids that "You can get over pretty much anything". That probably sounds insensitive, but if it were not true, then why even try? I based this theory on my own personal experiences and heartbreaks. Deaths, divorces, addictions, poverty, homelessness, chronic illness, physical/emotional abuse..yeah..I can tick all those boxes whether in my own life or in one of my children's lives. And yet, time goes on and we do too.

We may not have the power to change other people, but we do have the power to change ourselves and the direction we choose to take. Obesity doesn't happen "to" us. It happens "because" of us. That's the good news! We are the creators of our current physical state, good or bad. We can be the designers of our new and improved physicality as well.

Never underestimate you ability to change.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Sitting Like A Lady

Back in the olden days when I was in elementary school ( mid 60's, to 1970) we were required to wear dresses. It wasn't until my last semester in 6th grade that girls were allowed to start wearing pants. I remember always being uncomfortable in a dress because I was a chubby kid with chubby thighs and sitting with my knees together was down right painful at times. All my thin friends had no problem with this of course and even had the ability to sit ladylike with their legs crossed at the knee, something I only aspired to be able to do. This actually became a lifelong measurement of my femininity, sitting comfortably and relaxed with my legs crossed. I do remember one teacher in particular who would make embarrassing comments whenever she was able to see up my skirt while sitting.

It's funny how even today, at the age of 56, I still am aware of how sitting with my legs crossed is important to me. For several decades the thighs would not cooperate and I was right back to elementary school, trying to sit without sprawling. Now, I can casually cross my legs with no resistance and feel perfectly ladylike and feminine. It's the little rewards sometimes that mean the most when you lose a lot of weight.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Staying Loyal To Our Commitments

When we are dealing with food addictions, we tend to make all kinds of commitments to change while in a heightened motivated state of mind, only to abandon those promises once the  emotions have died down and the daily grind of sticking to a diet overwhelms us. Saying what you are going to do is completely different from actually doing it. Staying loyal is the only way to get to goal. Beginning is the easy part. The true test is not how you begin or end, but the work you do in the middle when the emotional high has faded and the goal seems so far away. Successful people keep going while others are making excuses to quit.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Letting Go

Facebook has this interesting feature where each day they send you several postings from your own timeline on that date from years past. Today's entry included this post that I had composed on Sept 12th 2012. I don't recall the motivation behind it, but I thought it was worth putting here for anyone that may find it worth reading.


If you never got rid of anything you ever owned, and I mean anything...where would you be? Probably on an episode of "Hoarders". Life demands that we learn how to let go of possessions, ideas, lost opportunities, and even people. No one gets through life without having to let go. The thing to remember is that when you lose something, it just makes room for something new to enter your life. Some people miss the chance to learn and heal and move forward. They stay trapped in the past and revisit it over and over again. It makes as much sense as running back into a burning building to see what started the fire. Moving on is what we human beings do. I've always told my kids, "You can get over pretty much anything". Getting over is not the same as forgetting. Getting over means not staying stuck in your grief. When it comes, embrace it and squeeze the life out of it... and then leave it behind.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Fat Shaming

It seems we are in an interesting phase in our society. The term, "fat shaming" may be trendy, but cruelty towards people dealing with eating disorders and obesity has, in my opinion, been the last socially acceptable prejudice for a very long time. It begins in childhood, sometimes within the family structure that should be offering a safe haven, and continues all though a person's life. Every stage of life is affected. Schoolyard bullying, isolation during those difficult teen years, early adulthood with denied job and career opportunities, even lack of finding meaningful relationships and building a family. No one has ever gone to battle for the rights and feelings of the obese before. Over our lifetime other forms of prejudice have come under fire and caused a shift in thought and behavior of the majority, but publicly humiliating the obese has still been acceptable.

We can look back at what were once acceptable prejudices and behaviors, even within our own lifetime, and be horrified by them today. People will rally to the defense now of a person deemed "different" for whatever reason if they are being victimized or bullied, but as my daughter experienced just this past week in Walmart, two adult men can verbally abuse an adult obese woman in a store, with other shoppers present, and NO ONE will intervene on her behalf. No one will step up and shield her or call them out for being ignorant. It supports the deep belief that most obese people have. That we deserve to be abused. We should be ashamed of our bodies. Unlike most other self destructive addictive behaviors, we wear our pain and shame out in the open for all to see and judge and ridicule. 2 young adult men know that they can rudely imitate vomiting or gagging while looking at her as they pass and not worry about anyone else caring or taking action. The last acceptable prejudice.

The only TV shows that focus on overweight people are those that are about 'Extreme Weight loss" or "Biggest Loser" or some other insulting degrading shame fest. I was hopeful when the show "Mike and Molly" came on the air. It was about 2 normal people who were both obese that found each other and fell in love. it seemed like it would be so sweet. The first season was predictably focused on their futile attempts to lose weight with all the expected jokes and jabs. SO disappointing. Is it impossible to imagine fat people loving and being loved for who they are and it having NOTHING to do with their weight? There have been sitcoms that had slim women with overweight men and that is acceptable. A woman can fall in love with an obese man and no one questions it, but have you ever seen a show depicting a slim man falling in love with an obese woman that is not about fetishes? I haven't.

There was a comedian this past week that posted a YouTube video that went viral and has caused an enormous uprising among the "No Fat Shaming" community. She called it comedy. Everyone else called it hate filled bullying to the most extreme. The fact that she is making tons of money off of this video because the very community she attacked has spread it all over social media in protest is unfortunate, but at least it has stirred the pot and caused those who may not have given any thought before to the reality of what overweight people endure, to see and react and possibly change their own prejudice.

I fully support striving for a healthy body and weight. However, it's a personal choice how one manages their diet and their health. No one has the right to judge or abuse someone that is overweight. We all have our struggles. For someone like this "comedian", the shaming should be on her. She has hurt vulnerable people who have done nothing to her. That is the definition of a bully.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Easy To Be Cruel

Last night my 32 yr old Daughter needed to go shopping so she went to Walmart, the only store open late in our area. While she was there she texted me this message, "Two young guys just walked past me and one made a puking sound at me". She added, " They were probably about 20 yrs old.

Most people think my daughter is in her early 20's. She says it is one of the perks of being overweight. She tries to have a good self esteem in spite of her weight, and was actually feeling especially confident yesterday due to finally getting a good job after a couple of years of unemployment. She's been able to buy new clothes and take better care of herself. Then, two jackasses cross her path and lob an emotional grenade at her, a direct hit. As they walked away laughing at their mutual brilliance, she was left standing there humiliated, hurt, and angry.

This has been her life since she was about 8 yrs old. My daughter has battled being 200 pounds or more over weight most of her life. It creates an interesting dynamic between her and I. Here I am, the "Cambridge Lady" who spends her days helping other people lose weight and deal with the emotional luggage they carry, and I can't help my daughter. My heart breaks for her. Every time some thoughtless idiot does something like this to her...well...so many feelings.

I had my share of abusive behaviors directed at me and my weight over my life. Each one of them is branded in my memory. Beginning as a 3 year old being told I was too chubby to eat what my siblings ate, to being made fun of in the playground and feeling like I had to run faster and play harder then the skinny kids, to having young guys yell "Ya ever heard of Jenny Craig!" out their car window at me as they drove by, to having a neighbor in my apartment complex that would "Oink" every time I had to walk past his door to get to the stairs.

My daughter is a force to be reckoned with. She puts on a confident and together facade, but I know she is suffering in silence. This morning I saw that she had posted on her FaceBook page. It read, "Two young guys just walked past me at Walmart and one made a puking sound at me. Either I'm super gross, or he is. I was actually totally feeling awesome today. Clearly the issue was with him cuz I'm fierce as eff.

Good girl

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Feeling Invincible?

I was watching a TV show about addiction. One of the men featured was addicted to meth, and the other to Oxycodone. They showed a little of what their day to day lives were like and how their addictions had affected their lives, relationships, and their sense of self worth. Like most addicts, their drug of choice took priority over all things. The show was about them coming to terms with their addictions and going in to treatment.

I found it impossible not to relate to these two. Over the course of my food abusive obsessive life, I made many choices that I clearly knew were harmful to my life in body and mind. I knew that these choices also affected my children and friends. They altered my life choices regarding school and career, and were the root of my dependence on others.  No amount of shame or guilt was enough to cause me to stop what I was doing. My food addiction took priority over all things.

While these two men progressed in their treatment and recovery I was impressed again by the similarities between their experience and mine. One of the counselors said something, (it was more of a warning) that struck a cord.  He said that it's when you are feeling the most invincible in your recovery... that you are the most vulnerable to relapse. This may sound contradictory. Confidence and feeling invincible should mean you got your stuff under control, right? Unfortunately for those who struggle with addiction, feeling invincible is part of the illness. It's an extreme thought process or emotion that is not valid and leaves you teetering for a fall.

Over the 15 years that I have worked with people struggling with obesity, one pattern that I've seen repeated over and over, is the dieter who successfully completes their first month on Cambridge and now feels invincible over their old behaviors and habits. They honestly feel so powerful that they willingly put themselves in situations that in the past would have triggered a full on eating binge. They think they will not be tempted and that there is zero chance they will trip and fall. This emotional state of mind is not based on a history of experience, but on the high they feel from 30 days of self control. This is not unlike the addict that leaves their 90 day recovery program after only 30 days completed.

Sobriety needs to be tended to and nurtured, not challenged. No matter if we are talking drugs, alcohol, or food. Yes, it is wonderful to feel free from whatever substance had a hold on you, but never turn your back on it and become cavalier about your recovery. It takes time and a restructuring of how we react to the events of life, how we see ourselves in our new lifestyle and others see us. Relationships have to adjust..sometimes even end. Ultimately, the goal is to feel peace in  your relationship with food. Extreme emotions are not the goal. Feeling invincible is nothing more then the pendulum of feeling out of control, swinging in the opposite direction. It can swing back just as easily.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Why Cambridge Was My Success Story (finally!)

As I have shared before, I spent most of my life, beginning in toddlerhood, on a diet. I was born chubby (9lbs, 3oz) and I was always aware of the fact that I was different from my three thin siblings. Going through life constantly mindful of every bite of food you take and labeling it "good" or "bad" can really mess up any chance of feeling normal.

Going on Weight Watchers at the age of 9 with my mother was my reality. I was the only kid there in a room full of adults. I can't count the number of times we started and stopped that diet. We would lose some weight, and then gain it back...over and over. The meetings and weigh ins were torture. I can remember how labor intensive it was to follow back then with the counting, weighing, measuring, substituting, and generally having to choke down weird tasteless food. Yuck!

Now, many of you may not be old enough to have been on WW in the early days. It was very structured and detailed. I have to give most of the credit to my mom for the amount of work involved since she did the cooking. Once I got older I took over some of the kitchen duty and it was an enormous pain. It took up the whole day, planning meals and special prep work, making sure we had our weekly meals planned including the mandatory servings of liver and fish and veal, etc. I came to the conclusion early in life that dieting makes a person even MORE obsessed with food! Not the result you are looking for when you are already giving way to much of your time and attention to it.

I was poking around on the Internet this morning and came across this article that has the old original WW plan as I remember it from the 60's/70's. Maybe you can see why Cambridge was such a miracle for me and others who were completely burned out on conventional weight loss plans. This is long, but unbelievably and intensely detailed! Not unlike most weight loss plans that have you accounting for each bite of food you take. Cambridge's simplicity is the reason I was finally able to succeed at losing my weight and keeping it off for the past 14 years.

Here is the Weight Watchers original plan. You will be even more grateful for Cambridge. Click on the link below and prepare to be amazed!


Monday, August 3, 2015

August Is Cambridge Customer Appreciation Month!

August is customer appreciation month! Orders placed through the month of August receive 10% off! Call 386-585-2528 to place an order TODAY!! If ordering online type "10% off promo" in the comments field of the order. Discount price will be adjusted when method of payment is processed.

YES, Cambridge are still around after 35 years, and we appreciate our customers! Why have we been the #1 weight loss program in the world for so long? Because it works, it’s simple to use and taste great! Cambridge Diet products, a totally integrated system for nutrition and weight management. With the Cambridge Diet, you are not stuck eating horrible tasting packaged meals or counting or weighing every bite. IT’S JUST TOO SIMPLE!! Drink 3-4 nutritional supplement shakes a day, depending on your diet needs and goals and you will literally watch the pounds shed away. Studies show participating in a diet with a friend is helpful in losing unsightly pounds— so tell a friend that the Cambridge Diet is still around, and get Back On Track TODAY!

Call me to place your order, or go to my website at www.cambridgediet.org to order online.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Diet Fatigue

One of the things I remember about my weight loss experience with Cambridge is something I called "diet fatigue". It kicked in towards the end of the second month of my diet. I had already had a great deal of success. I had lost over 30 pounds my first month so there was plenty of reason to feel motivated! I was happy with my Cambridge products, not having any hunger, wonderful energy and all in all, I felt great...physically. Mentally was another story. This was not an issue with missing food. I know that's what it probably sounds like, but actually it was just an overwhelming impatience for the weight loss period to be over. By mid way through my 120 pound loss, I felt like it was dragging on forever! This was obviously not the case since I had dieted for many months before on other programs like Weight Watchers with only a moderate weight loss result. Here I was only 2 months in and had already lost over 40 pounds! For some reason, the rapid weight loss made me want to wave a magic wand and be at my goal. I had a taste of what was to come in my new life and I wanted it NOW!

I started getting sloppy. A nibble of this, a bite of that, some hot air popcorn at night...before I knew it, my weight loss had stalled. I was perplexed since I wasn't consciously sabotaging my diet. If someone had asked me, I would have sworn I was sticking to my plan 100%. I really was in denial. It was my daughter that pointed out  what I was doing and I realized that even though I had thought I had conquered my food issues by that time (totally unrealistic!) I was in fact still playing the same games I had always played with other diets in the past. Self sabotage is a hard thing to admit. It is easy to blame everyone and everything for our failures, but ultimately our weight problems are from the choices we make. I had to learn to pay attention to that little voice telling me that I deserved something extra, or that this little bit won't hurt. Worse was the old behavior of making impulsive decisions and seeing what I could get away with. None of these behaviors display the self control I thought I had. I also think that at some level I may have been a little scared of how my life was changing. I made no sense, but it didn't have to.

If you have experienced your own diet fatigue and feel like you may quit.. or like me.. be self sabotaging, this is your wake up call! When we say this is about "persistence, not perfection", it's really true! Losing weight is not for wimps. It challenges us on so many levels, both physically and emotionally. Getting our bodies healthy and in shape is one thing, but you have to get your mental health in line as well. One supports the other and when one is struggling, the other will follow. Starting a diet is easy. Finishing is something else. That finish line is there waiting for you. Don't let something as unimportant as boredom or frustration get in your way and keep you from what you want most.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy 4th Of July!

Hey people..we are in to another holiday weekend and that usually means food, right? I know it's tough to abstain, it seems like it really matters that you take part in the celebratory BBQs and pot lucks, but does it really? Do we attach too much importance to the food and not enough to the company or the events or the actual reason for the celebration? Most of our holidays have been reduced to spending money and eating mass quantities of food. There's nothing wrong with these things in moderation and as part of the celebration. But for most of us here, the food is the main event. That's a great way to miss out on the memory making stuff. We don't carry memories of food throughout our lives, but we do of the places, people, experiences, and love and friendships that were there.

This 4th of July you have choices to make, the same ones we make every day. Do I put my energy and focus on food, or on things that really matter?

Happy 4th everyone!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Fat Time Of Day? Really?

I read an article this morning on Yahoo News that had these advertisements from 1970. I found it amazing how aggressively manipulative the food and advertising industries have been in the past, as well as they still are today. All they have to do is present their pseudo science "facts" and fill in with a few technical sounding words or theories and they can mislead the public. The fact is that we humans were not designed to consume vast amounts of sugar, natural or otherwise. We evolved on a seasonal diet of fruits and other plant life as our main source of sugar as well as things like honey when available. The abundance of processed sugar is relatively new and the effects have been devastating to our health. It was only a few years ago that the corn industry was making a huge public push to convince us that high fructose corn syrup was perfectly natural and safe..."just like regular sugar". Well..I guess they are right because they are both equally unhealthy. What are you thoughts about these advertisements? Do you see any similarities to products being promoted and sold to us today?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Good Report Card!

Last week, a couple of days before my kidney stone adventure, I had a scheduled day at the lab for complete blood work and Urinalysis. Years ago, before my weight loss, I was a total train wreck when it came to the numbers. Everything was too high or too low. I hadn't gotten things checked in a few years so I wanted to see how things were doing. I got my results today. It's so awesome! You can have them emailed to you now! Anyway...everything is spot on target! Everything!

I'm 56 now and I have a history of diabetes, vascular disease, hypertension, congestive heart failure, gout, and a long list of stuff I can't even remember. I have to say...I'm pretty proud of those results! Considering that I passed a kidney stone the next day I was surprised to see there was no detected blood or anything else in the urinalysis to indicate any kidney problems.

Anyone that thinks they can't do anything about their lifestyle and related health conditions needs to kick that thinking to the curb. You CAN make changes that will change the course of your future health and it is so worth it. Cambridge was my springboard to good health and I am eternally grateful.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Hey! I've lost 32 Pounds!!!

I had a doctor's appointment today and as usual, they had to weigh me. Normally I dread that, but not today! I got on and was happy to see that I was 32 pounds lighter then my last appointment! Yipee!!

I've been taking this slow. I am still working towards my ultimate goal of reaching my high school weight, but I'm in no big hurry. Now that I have a husband it is important to me that I don't deny him having a relaxing evening meal together and an enjoyable weekend and that usually includes eating out once. He works VERY hard all week and he deserves a little spoiling. I'm always careful about what I order, keeping it low carb, healthy fats, and moderate protein. I find that this compliments my Cambridge days quit well and it doesn't interfere with ketosis.

I was SS 98% of the time when I was losing the bulk of my weight 14 years ago. I had a very long way to go and time was of the essence due to my serious health issues I was dealing with. That is not the case for me now, and this proves that there is more then one way to succeed with Cambridge. Most of my customers strive for sole source,  thinking anything less then that is a failure. Not true! Many of my customers...and now me...do just fine on The Regular Program, adding one small meal a day to their 3 Cambridge servings.

I don't have much further to go and that is exciting, but I'm going to be taking my time. I have a nice balance of Cambridge and healthy food choices and it's working.

So today was a rewarding day and I hope it was also for all of you that read my blog.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Good Article Worth reading

I saw this article in "Huff Post Healthy Living" today and thought it was worth sharing:


Expectations while losing weight can be a tripping hazard and it's best to not have them. You can have goals and milestones, but they should be a guideline, not  a win or lose line drawn in the sand. It may be hard, but it's best to put your focus on following your chosen plan and not judging your progress only on what you see on the scale. If you are following your plan, your body will be shedding the weight at the rate that's appropriate for you, not what others have experienced and certainly not on a scheduled time line. So many things come in to play when it comes to scales. Remember, it is not only weighing your fat content, but also fluids, waste, bone, muscle, all of it in constant fluctuation.

Focus on your chosen plan and let your body take it from there. You will lose the pounds whether you acknowledge them on a scale or not.

Friday, April 10, 2015

How To Stay The Course While Surrounded By Temptations

I know it's hard to stay on any diet while in a family or group setting. I was raising my own 3 kids and running a day care so I was up to my elbows in food 12 hours a day when I was losing my weight. It was tough and I tripped up more then a few times, but I never let it discourage me. You just keep going and doing your best and eventually you get to where you want to be.

Losing and maintaining a weight loss is a job. It's not a temporary job either. It's a life choice and you do it alone for the most part. We are all obligated to make choices for our own best interest if we want to experience good health. If a person lived in a house with smokers, are they obligated to smoke too? They may be more inclined to, but they can choose for themselves if they value their health more then they value being part of the group. Just like that question parents have always asked their kids, "If all your friends were jumping off a cliff, would you jump too?". The same applies to dietary choices. It may be hard to say no to junk food if it is all around your environment, but you are never obligated to put anything in your mouth that you know is potentially harmful to your body. Be your own best advocate!

When you watch one of those TV shows that is about the super obese and how they got that way, that person may share a story of past personal trauma, but then you will often see that the entire family unit is super obese as well, including the previous AND the next generation! This is not necessarily due to one single event or to heredity, but more likely learned behaviors and habits, not to mention the house culture. No parent makes a point of teaching their child how to overeat and become obese. It happens day by day through example and often through issues like co-dependency among family members.

Of course, there is the exception and I am one of them. In a family of 4 siblings, I was the youngest and the only one, other then my mother, with a weight problem . We all ate the exact same thing, no exceptions. No snacking or getting food for ourselves...just what my mom put before us. I was chubby from birth. I inherited my mother's health issues too. She and I battled weight, high blood pressure, and heart problems together, while everyone else in the family was perfectly healthy. I was also a tomboy as she had been, always moving and playing sports, never sedentary, unlike my siblings who were, for the most part, a sedentary bunch. It never made sense, but in our case, heredity played a part. She inherited it from her father.

No matter what hand life has dealt us, we all still have choices to make regarding our personal issues and striving for the best health and quality of life we can. Losing weight is hard, even harder when you are doing it alone in an environment of others that eat mindlessly, but never underestimate your ability to manage or change your own life.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Visualize Your Weight

Hey everyone! I saw this on yahoo this morning and thought it might be helpful for those looking for motivation to stay with their diet. It's called "Visualize Your Weight" and it's an app that lets you upload a picture of your face and then see what you will look like at your goal weight! Awesome!! Sometimes we get so bogged down in the day to day effort of weight loss that we can't see the changes in the mirror, even when we see the numbers on the scale going down. This gives us a little window in to the future.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

I know this may be a difficult day for some of you. If you are having to make decisions regarding food and whether or not to partake of social eating, try not to stress out about it. If you can remain on track today, wonderful! If not, then there is nothing you can't recover from so enjoy your day, your family, your friends. Be mindful of what you do eat and try and eat like the thin healthy version of you that you will soon be. THAT is your normal state and how you will be spending the rest of your life so you may as well practice at it now.

Have a lovely day everyone!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Losing Weight Can Be A Lonely Experience

When it seems like everyone else in the world is out enjoying reckless eating and drinking and mindlessly indulging while you are stuck in this isolated place of dieting, how do you make yourself feel ok about it? How do you not feel left out or just plain depressed about not being part of it all? Food tends to be the center of most gatherings, big or small. Being the only one not partaking can make you feel like you have a big ol' spotlight on your head saying, "Hey! Look at me! I'm not eating!". People notice and comment and question what you are doing, They give unsolicited (and uneducated) advice on the perils of what you're doing. They prod and push you to eat something because "it won't hurt you and you gotta eat".

We all experience this. Losing weight is hard. Being on a highly restrictive and very low calorie diet has it's own special challenges. The rewards are GREAT, but there is a price. You may have to watch people eating those doughnuts a co-worker brought in to the office, or smell the pizza your husband brought home for the kids, or bake the cookies for the sale at the school.....and on and on.

Food is everywhere and there's no avoiding it so.. if I had any advice to give.. it would simply be to remind yourself that this is temporary. The food will always be there. Anything you want so badly today will still be there when you are through losing your weight. Holidays will still come. Weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, or just Friday date nights will keep coming as long as you are alive so what's the big deal of temporarily bowing out for one round of them? What you are doing is important. Give this effort you are making the respect it deserves and demand that the people in your life do likewise. Yes, it can be lonely, but like the butterfly that spends its time alone in its cocoon, soon you will emerge and finally be able to fully enjoy what life has to offer you!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

All Comments Welcome!

I just wanted to let my readers know that I would LOVE to hear from you! Please feel free to leave a comment to any of my blogposts, ask a question, or suggest a topic on which would like me to share my thoughts. Even just to say "hello!" To get it rolling I am going to start a "Question for the day".

What are the top 3 ways you think losing weight will change your life and of those 3, do any of them scare you?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Here's A Question

Would You Rather Be Covered In Sweat At The Gym, Or Covered With Clothes At The Beach?

As someone that lives about 15 minutes from the beach, this is a pertinent question.  One of the nice things about the beaches here in my part of Florida is that people do not seem to be nearly as body self conscience as the beaches I grew up with on the West coast of Southern Calif. Here, with the large population of retirees, you will see all sizes, shapes, and ages strolling and enjoying the sun and surf in their swimsuits and shorts. I LOVE that!

 Everyone should feel free to enjoy life the same as anyone else does without worry of judgement or hurtful stares or comments. It makes me kind of sad though when I'm at the beach and I do see someone that is overweight and wearing too much clothing with the purpose to cover their body out of shame or embarrassment. I know that feeling. I know how hot and miserable they are. I wish I had a magic wand.  I could tap them with it and take away all those negative thoughts and feelings and free them to enjoy the sun and the water unencumbered.

Unfortunately, we do live in a society that make judgments and can be cruel and demeaning to people with weight issues. It's wrong, but it's our current reality. It can be hard to put yourself out in the world to face ridicule, but you can't let the small minds of others ruin your determination to improve your health and increase your happiness.

Making the effort now to lose the weight and get in shape can be your magic wand. Summer is right around the corner. There is still time to make some progress towards being more comfortable for that light summer clothing we all love to wear. Heavy winter stuff will soon be back in storage so no more hiding!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The "WHY" Of Weight

I know it is a normal thing for people to try and figure out why they have allowed themselves to become overweight or obese. You could spend a lot of time theorizing and even allow yourself to be influenced by whatever the popular thoughts are on the subject, but I came to realize that you really don't get to the root of it until the weight is in the process of being lost. When you are forced to face the reality of self imposed limitations and you no longer have that crutch to lean on, it is time to deal.

One thing I realized over the coarse of my weight loss was that my obesity had lessened others expectations of me. This had not been the conscious reason behind my weight problem, but it certainly did play a part in the path my life had taken all those years. I'm not sure when my sense of feeling incapable compared to others took root, but being obese sure did give me a good excuse not to excel in anything.  I convinced myself that survival was all I could hope for and that I had a perfectly good excuse not to try for more.

I was quite shocked at how that all shifted when I lost the weight. Suddenly people had expectations of me! I was very intimidated by that and it took time for me to adjust, but my sense of achievement and interest in seeing what else I could do eventually got me through it.

Along the same line, as a single mom I was often overwhelmed with the 24/7 never ending demands of my 3 kids, plus running a home based day care 12 hours a day. I realized that the action of eating tended to make people leave me alone for a while. Even a few minutes of no demands kept me sane, so eating was a good shield to tell everyone, "Later, I'm busy eating right now".

These insights gradually became apparent to me over the months of changing. There were others, but these were a couple of the ones that took me by surprise as I discovered them and worked at dealing with the emotions as they were emerging.

If you are in the process of losing weight, take advantage of the insights you will be presented with as you progress. Don't be afraid to accept the fears or to take ownership. None of us get obese because we are hungry. There is ALWAYS an emotional root that needs pulling.

Monday, February 23, 2015

No Limits

I have a question for you all. Over the time that you have been overweight, have you put limits on yourself and the experiences you could have enjoyed? I know that may be a totally "DUH!" question, but I think it's a good thing to think about when you are working on keeping your mind focused on what you are doing and why you are doing it. The day to day grind of sticking to a limited eating plan, no matter what kind of plan that may be, can seem to drag on sometimes and we dwell on all that we are missing, food wise. Well...how much have you missed by choosing food over experiences? I know that for me, my weight was a deciding factor in all the choices I made, no exaggeration. I missed out on a lot. So did my kids.

Today, when you find yourself thinking about the sacrifice that losing weight requires of you, flip that switch and instead think about all the sacrifices being overweight has cost you. Then, imagine yourself in all sorts of new adventures! What would you do if you had no limitations?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Success Story!

Hey guys! I just had to share with you all. I have a customer that I have been working with off and on for the past few years. Like many of us, she'd had a hard time committing to her health and weight loss. Being a single mom of 4, she had a hard time making herself a priority, but after a doctor's appointment last year where she learned that she was diabetic, she had a fire lit under her and she jumped in with both feet, fully committed to getting the weight off and getting her health under control. When she called me last Feb, there were lots of tears (on both our parts!) and she was scared and doubtful, but we got her going again and I am pleased to say, today she reached her goal! She lost a total of 138 pounds and is no longer on any meds for diabetes! She has turned in to a total gym rat and told me that for the first time in her life, she feels excited about what's to come. We talked about dating (she's not ready) and about my skin removal surgery (she has an consult appointment for a tummy tuck and breast lift next week, they call it a "Mommy Makeover" ) and she sounds so happy!

She would be the first to say that this took more emotional momentum then her diabetes Dx alone could maintain. It was her kick-start, but if she hadn't invested time and energy and effort in to creating a new lifestyle along the way, she never would have reached her goal. She had always been one of those who was desperately trying to lose weight for an event. Weddings, reunions, vacations, every time she contacted me it was for an upcoming social gathering that she didn't want to be the "fattest girl in the room" for. This time, she said it was different. Her focus was off of what other people would judge her for, and 100% on giving herself and her kids a better, healthier life. Now, instead of them all sitting in front of the TV and eating, they go out and do stuff!

I asked her if she would come and post her story here on the board, but she isn't one to share on social media. She did give me permission to tell her story for her.

I know some of you have a similar story. Some of you start with the best of intentions, only to lose your momentum and quit until the next attempt. She wanted me to tell people that she now realizes the sacrifice Cambridge requires of us, to forgo regular food for a while, is a tiny price to pay in hindsight. Going in, she felt completely  doubtful that she would be able to stick with it after all her failed attempts, but now..looking back, she realized that like Dorothy in "The Wizard Of Oz" she had the answer all the time right in her own back yard...or, more accurately, within herself. Once she took the focus off of outward influences, and instead focused on her own desires for her life, things fell in to place and she got out of her own way.

I hope her story inspires you to stop and examine your internal dialog, your motivation, your willingness to embrace a new lifestyle, and your belief in your ability to change. Never underestimate your ability to change.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

That Old "Nature vs Nurture" Thing.

In all my years (most of my life) of living  as an overweight to obese person, I often tried to solve the mystery of why I was burdened with whatever it was that had made me that way. I know most believe it is just a matter of eating too much and not moving enough, but I know for a fact this is not true.

I grew up in a home where we were not allowed to raid the fridge or dig around in the pantry for something to eat. We were raised to eat what my mother put in front of us, no more, no less. There was no fast food or restaurant meals in our lives. There was very little of what would be considered snack type junk foods. Just home cooking. I was one of 4 siblings, the baby. My 3 older sibs had no weight issues at all. They were thin and for the most part pretty sedentary. I was 100% tomboy. I rarely sat still and even TV watching was a short term activity for me. Besides, in the 60's and 70's there were only a few channels to choose from and cartoons were only on Saturday mornings. If we did not have our chores done in time, we missed the boat. With only one TV in the house, my parents had first priority for evening viewing choices.  I learned very early (around 4) to become an avid reader for my entertainment, or to just go outside and play.  I loved basketball, handball, riding my bike, working with my dad in the garage, anything that kept me moving. In spite of that, I was a pudgy kid from birth.

One of my earliest memories were of being in my stroller at a school carnival with my mom and brother and sisters. We had stopped at a booth with the most amazing aroma! They were selling little bags of fudge and boy I could hardly wait! My mom was actually buying some! I waited for my share, but I was told, "Not for you...you're too chubby". I had no idea what that meant, but I knew that for some reason, there was something wrong with me. From that point on, that was my number one identity in my mind.  I was different. I was "chubby".

Thus began my endless quest to be thin and normal, first through my mother's efforts, then through my own. As I said, although I ate exactly the same as my siblings, I was the only one in my family, other then my mother, who had a weight issue.  My mother had also been an extremely active child and teenager. Her sister had been completely sedentary...and thin. It was during the depression and her father had died when she was only 14. Needless to say, she and her sister and mother had struggled to get by so food was not abundant.  In spite of my mother's involvement with sports, even playing ball with the boys long before that was acceptable, she was never thin like her girlfriends all were. She eventually became an obese woman that lead to hypertension, then heart failure, then death at only 62. I evidently inherited my mothers health DNA. I inexplicably struggled with the weight, had elevated BP in my teens, became diabetic even though I kept my weight from exploding through very strict control, and had heart failure in my mid 20's. This was not a lifestyle issue. I came in to the world this way.

Over all these years, trying to understand why, in spite of my constant effort to remain healthy...well...except in my 30's when I just stopped fighting it up and ballooned to well over 300 pounds...why could I not figure out how to be "normal" like my friends? So much guilt is attached to obesity and like me, not everyone who struggles with this problem is 100% to blame.  Just like the color of your eyes or hair, or personality traits or interests, how our body processes nutrients will differ, sometimes well out of the norm. You can't change that.

My point is not to make excuses or cry "poor poor pitiful me" or blame my mother. This is and has always been my reality. My job has been to do what I can to manage it and not end up dying much too early from a weight related disease as she did. Keeping my weight under control it top priority to accomplish this. For me, Cambridge not only allowed me to lose the weight when no other diet would work for me, but it has also been my maintenance tool that has kept me on track for a long healthy life. I turn 56 next week. When I compare my health status at this age, to what I remember my mother's being, it is drastically different. I still have the same health issues and I always will, but I keep things controlled and I work hard at staying as healthy as I possibly can in spite of them.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

To Weigh, Or Not To Weigh. That Is The Question

I've been back on track since the 14th so this is day 10 for me. I weighed and I have lost 7.2 pounds. I'm happy with that . It's been a steady progression which is what I like to see. I am a charting kind of gal. I find that I do best when I have my college ruled spiral notebook to record in every day. I have columns for date, weight, blood sugar, ( history of diabetes) blood pressure,(history of hypertension) pulse, and I put either an up or down arrow beside each entry to be able to visually see the overall trend of improvement. I keep it right here by my computer and it reinforces my commitment when I see it. This is what works for me.

The whole weighing thing is a very personal choice to make. We have regular debates on here about what is best, but that will be different for everyone depending on what emotional state they are in at the time and how the scale effects that.

For me, 13 years ago when I lost the first 120 pounds, weighing was a self inflicted torture. I was weighing up to 5 times a day! Even in the middle of the night if I got up to use the bathroom! I put all my emotions and self esteem in a bucket and weighed it constantly just to see how I should be feeling about myself at that moment. it was, at that stage, the worst thing I could do to myself and caused me unnecessary stress and doubt.

Now, I approach this with little to no emotion. I just have a job to do and I am treating it like that. My morning weigh in does not always send me dancing in the streets, but neither would it if I suddenly saw 5 pounds lost. I can glance over at my charting and see my overall trend of progress and THAT is what keeps me emotionally neutral.

I don't want to start a heated debate on the topic of weighing, but I will give this advice. Depending on what kind of personality you have, and what current state you are in regarding self esteem and how the numbers on a scale determine your state of mind and actions, this will tell you if you should be a daily weigher/tracker, or a once per month/week weigher. Be truthful with yourself and make your choice based on your best interest.

We are all pretty good at beating ourselves up when it comes to all things weight and size related. Don't be the bully in the bathroom every morning weighing yourself if it doesn't ALWAYS give you a positive and progressive feeling, no matter what the number. If it makes you feel bad about yourself, or disappointed or like nothing you do is every good enough, then stop for now. It will only hurt you and make you feel hopeless.

But, if you are more of an analytical type, charting may be the way for you to go.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Best Single Serve Blender (in my opinion)

I often get asked what kind of blender I use for mixing my Cambridge shakes. I have been using the same one for over 10 years now...well...not this exact same one, but I've bought the same one a few times . This is a blender that you can find at pretty much every home goods store or department store in their kitchen and dining departments. It may have a different brand name on it, but they are all exactly the same. I have found that Walmart has the best price so I always get mine there. It's usually around $29 and it will be the hardest working appliance in your kitchen if you are SSing. This thing obliterates ice cubes and gives you a wonderfully smooth thick shake! Find it here:


Saturday, January 10, 2015

I've Been A Bad Bad Blogger!

Hey people, I've been sadly slacking in my blogging of late. I guess that I've been a bit sluggish due to after Holiday fatigue. The weather is cold and gloomy for Florida and I seem to be one of those people that gets blue when it's grey.

Good news is that I am making progress on my weight loss. No, I'm not weighing, but I am seeing and feeling the difference in the mirror and in how my clothes are fitting. I went off track over the Holidays and got a bit "fluffy" so I had some repair work to do, but things are going well now.

I am really enjoying making my Cambridge ice cream with the machine my son gave me for Christmas. I had Food For Life (FFL) 420 Eggnog ice cream tonight made with a good dash of cinnamon. Totally yummy! I had my delicious pancakes for breakfast and my favorite, my double 330 Rich/Dutch Chocolate Mocha shake made with some ice coffee I had in the fridge and my special blend of Shakes. I dump one whole container of 330 Dutch Chocolate in a gallon zip loc bag with another whole container of the 330 Rich Chocolate. I add about 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder and shake it up. This is the perfect chocolaty thick creamy shake in my opinion! Add the cold coffee and a couple of ice cubes and it's heavenly!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


Just checking in. It's late and I'm actually on my way to bed, but it was time for a progress report. I'm back on track with SSing and I'm feeling so much better then I did a couple of weeks ago when I was caving in to holiday food temptations. My capacity for eating is a fraction of what it once was. Even with that, my body REALLY let me know it was not happy with my choices. I guess I am pretty sensitive now to things that slow down my digestion and leave me feeling bloated and lethargic. Anything with sugar is not my friend. Same for breads and any simple carbs. I learned my lesson!

So other then a few minor additions to my Cambridge, such as an occasional egg white or some coffee creamer, I am on track. I'm not weighing. I'm going to give it a solid month and then maybe I might take a peek. The process of losing weight is not something that moves in a predictable pattern and seeing numbers on a scale can play with emotions like nothing else I know.

Hope that everyone here will catch the energy that flows when we are in the beginning of a new year! So much motivation and determination! it all quickly slips away if not acted on.