Thursday, January 7, 2010


Over the past couple of days, I have read a lot of blog posts and articles about goals and resolutions. Many of the goals I read were about eating “better” and exercising more. And I guess a lot of people have the same goals since “my” gym is pretty crowded.

Seeing all the new faces at the gym made me think about how many of them I’d see in a few weeks, or even just next week. I also thought about my own journey. I have certainly had to make some changes over the years when it comes to eating and exercising. Seven years ago, I went through a very stressful period in my life and pretty much “forgot” about eating healthy foods in the right portions and exercising. I still was exercising a few times a week, but it was not enough. Plus, I ate way too much food. I used food to make me feel better, which by the way – big surprise – doesn’t work.

So I found myself in a body that I truly didn’t know. I have honestly no idea how much I weighed at my highest point, but I think it was probably about 50 pounds more than today. Yes, 50 pounds is a lot. I’m tall, almost 5’11’’, but still, I definitely weighed way too much. The reason I don’t exactly know how much I weighed at my highest point is because I had conveniently put the scale in a corner in the garage, behind a bunch of heavy boxes… After I lost what I had thought was a significant amount of weight, I went into the garage, moved the heavy boxes and weighed myself and was shocked by the number I saw. I couldn’t believe how much I was still weighing…

I knew I had to change, but it took me quite some time to actually make some lasting changes. It’s not as simple as eating less and exercising more in my experience. Sure, that’s what you have to do, but in order to do these things, I had to make other changes. Here are some of them. For one, I had to put myself first. Besides raising a family and working long hours, I also volunteered for at least three different organizations at the time. And each commitment was very time consuming. While I truly believe in giving back, I had to let go of some of the commitments to have more time for me. Second, I had to learn that exercise was non-negotiable. That meant I couldn’t cancel my exercise appointments when other things came up, rather I had to get in the mindset that exercise was non-negotiable, and I could reschedule but not cancel. Third, I had to stop feeling guilty about taking some time for myself every day. I had to realize that taking care of myself made me a happier and healthier person and therefore a better wife, mother, and friend.

I got to a healthy weight (although still a bit heavier than my "happy weight") before I became pregnant with the toddler and then gained 50 lbs. Oops. The first 35 of them came off very quickly, but the other 15 hung around forever it seemed. I again had to make some changes. Here is what I did to lose those 15 pounds and then an additional 15:
  • Varied my workouts and included several high intensity aerobic workouts each week. 
  • Started to get serious about lifting weights.
  • “Cleaned up” my diet: eliminated most processed foods, increased fruits and veggies, ate out very little.
  • Started to plan meals; this one was huge as it did so much for my well being; I feel less stressed, and I again enjoy cooking week night dinners. What used to be a time of stress is now my favorite time of the day.
  • Planned “interesting” snacks and always carried some nuts and a Larabar with me.
I have found that making changes gradually and slowly works best for me. If I change too much too quickly, I get overwhelmed. Also, having a plan with small steps to take one after another helps. Finally, I let go of trying to be "perfect."

Questions: Do you plan to change anything in your life? Do you have a plan on how to accomplish these changes? Do you believe in slow change?

You have until 9:00 p.m. PST tonight to enter the Chobani giveaway. I will announce the winner tomorrow.

Be well,


  1. Congratulations on a great accomplishment and I couldn't agree with you more. Change does have to be consistent and happen slow. Too much too fast is sure to equal disaster.

    I went thru about the same journey as you. Major stress pre baby, baby, and back on track. It feels so good to have energy now!
    Thanks for sharing Andrea and 5'11" WOOHOO mama! I feel short all of a sudden!

  2. I love this post, Andrea! I can certainly relate to the "guilt" with respect to putting yourself first. I think women, in general, have an awful time doing this or thinking it's okay. Especially when the kids come along. All of a sudden, we feel selfish if we do something for ourselves! Even if it's just exercise!

    Thank you for sharing your tips for losing those last pounds. I am trying to incorporate most of those, so there may be hope for me yet! LOL!

    Congrats on the wonderful accomplishment!

  3. Great post. I have the same plan to exercise mroe, but my reasons are probably not 100% the same as everyone elses. I truly like to work out, I just don't have the time, so now my real goal is to find the time. And yes, I now have a few extra pounds to lose, which is the first time in my lofe I have not been strguggling to gain weight..ah love..yep fell in love and actually gained weight after sometime not being able to.

  4. Anonymous1/07/2010

    Thank you for sharing this and congrats on loosing weight! Great tips too! I gained some extra weight over the last year since I started my blog because of snacking way too much while browsing through all the yummy recipes all my blog friends are posting :) Will be trying to do better this year.

  5. Great post - you have inspired me! I need to take off the 13 pounds I've gained since starting my food blog. Exercise is key!

  6. I think SLOW change is the only way to make a change! This is why these fad diets always fail, because they aren't slow change, they are fast, unrealistic change. I love this post, and I love what oyu have done to become healthier. Good for you Andrea.

    I am slowly trying to reduce my anxiety and stress by increasing my yoga and decreasing my caffeine. Again, I'm doing this slowly, but I AM progressing!

  7. andrea...such a great post! thanks for sharing your history and letting everyone know that the key is not only healthy eating and exercising, but healthy LIVING. taking care of yourself, dealing with issues and all that are incredibly important to reaching your happy weight.

    thanks for continually inspiring - lots of love to you!

  8. Congrats! You must feel great inside and out now!

    I definitely agree that slow changes are best. They're the ones that you will actually stick to. Speed diets and such never last for long.

  9. I've heard the "make exercise non-negotiable" thing before but somehow when you said "I can reschedule but I can't cancel" that really hit home to me. I imagined myself making regular appointments with a person and constantly cancelling and the bad feelings that would come out of that. I wouldn't do that to another person, so why do I do it to myself?

    Great post Andrea.

  10. Good post. I remember when I lost 45 lbs I sort of did the same as you. I made sure it was slow and gradual. I've had experiences in the past where I was in a rush to lose it, but in the end eventually gained it back and more. It was a lesson learned that I promised to not make. Happily, I've managed to maintain my weight goal. And it's a good feeling.

  11. If I'm going to change things I do tend to rush right into it. But, I know that oftentimes that backfires. I think that deliberate changes often times make for a longer, stronger success.

  12. slow change is the best way! so many people Jump into something very fast and it never works out because well, they just didnt have the patience to really focus on what it was they were doing or 'trying' to do...easing into it is the best way to reach your goals!

    keep it up girl! you are awesome!

  13. I’m tall, almost 5’11’’ = me too!

    your goals/steps of 1,2,3 me time, non negotiable etc are SO IMPORTANT and as moms, we need that even more.

    Big changes for me? No, not really as I dont think about always is changing and I am just along for the ride per se :)

  14. Your story is very inspiring... thanks for sharing. One thing I would love to change in my life is how stressed out I get! I am slowly making changes such as increasing yoga sessions from about 1-2/week to 3/week.

  15. Andrea,

    Thanks so much for telling me about your updated "About me" page. I don't know why, but I always assumed you were a brunette! You are gorgeous, and your family looks so happy and wonderful together!

    Have a great night.

  16. i am most definitely a believer in slow change, though i am pretty impatient and would like it to be quick. i'm learning, slowly!

  17. Anonymous1/07/2010

    You're so insightful, I love this post. It's so true, it's more difficult than eating less and moving more. There's so much emotional tug and time commitment to weight-loss, especially if you're not nutritionally savvy. I am currently making changes, like putting myself first, in order to reach my "happy weight" again. Marriage has taken a toll on my weight! I have had to learn to make social situations SOCIAL and not EDIBLE. I would eat my way through any dinner party, meal out, or even coffee dates. It's not necessary to eat or drink to be social, and that was tough for me as I love to be with other people and experience dining out. Great post, Andrea!

  18. great post. I plan to treat myself better this year. Sometimes I'll eat less or overeat as a way to punish myself. I've gotten better over the last few months, and I plan to work on being more consistent about it this year.

    Thanks for checking on me on my blog. I'm back now =)

  19. way to go with everything! I love how balanced and realistic you are!

  20. What a great post! What a are quite the inspiration! And, yes, I most def. believe in slow change. Anything that is fast and overly restrained will never last long term.

  21. I found you from Marisa.

    I think what you've said is so important. I lost about 15lbs in 10 weeks last year crashing on WW. and then gained back 30.

    I love the slow gradual change. It's about a lifestyle alteration which is more important than crashing. Thanks for writing this.