The Liar

Have you ever been doing something challenging – maybe you were running a 5k or participating in a Crossfit class or yoga; maybe you were making or following a meal plan, navigating the food booby traps that pop up in office break rooms and social gatherings? You come to the point where it gets more strenuous, when you are tired and you hear a voice in your head that tells you, “this is too hard.” It tells you, “you can’t do this.” It tells you to quit, that you are too something… too slow, too tired, too old, too heavy, too whatever. I have to tell you something about that voice. That isn’t your voice.

I know it kind of sounds like your voice but it isn’t. That is the voice of every person, every situation that has ever left you feeling like a failure, feeling like something is impossible, feeling embarrassed or ashamed. That is the voice of the high school P.E. teacher who failed you after you ran four consecutive laps on the track for the first time in your life simply because you took a little longer than deemed necessary (true story). That is the voice of the sales woman at Dillard’s who helped you zip a dress you were trying on then told you that you needed to wear Spanx with it (true story). That is the voice of the couple a few tables away at Carrow’s Restaurant discussing what you ordered and what you should have ordered because of your size in voices, intentionally or not, loud enough for you to overhear (again, true story). That is the voice of all the catty bitches who say things like, “oh my god, she should NOT be wearing that.” That is the voice of every bully, every mean girl, everyone who ever tore you down in order to make themselves feel better.

And I’ll tell you something else about that voice. It is a f*&%ing liar. That voice doesn’t know you or know what you can do. It doesn’t know your limits or abilities. You are strong enough, you are perfect, you can do anything you believe you can do. You are a warrior, you are a superhero, you are the champion of your own life story. But that voice is so tempting. Sometimes the voice tells you what you think you need to hear. Sometimes it seems like it is looking out for your best interests. That voice is going to let you off the hook, show you how to rationalize quitting when something gets uncomfortable. And that voice is loud – man, is it loud. Loud and persistent. When I ran my last 10K, I think that voice was chattering in my head for the final two kilometers… “you already did better than last year, you can walk now”… “you are so tired, your legs are so tired, you can’t do this.” I ran those last two kilometers with that voice nagging at me. That voice didn’t want me to finish, it didn’t want me to achieve my goal. It wanted me to quit, maybe because I ran those four laps 20 years earlier only to be told I failed. That voice doesn’t want what is best for you, it doesn’t want you to be happy and it will never guide you where you truly want to go. It thrives on your insecurities and fears; its singular goal is to keep you mired in defeat, to keep you feeling helpless and powerless.


Whatever it takes, you have to stop listening to that voice. You can not give it that kind of power over you and your happiness. Find our own voice; the voice that knows you are limitless, you can accomplish anything. I use my voice against the lying voice. At the risk of looking like a crazy person, I will speak out loud when necessary just to make sure MY voice is louder than that other voice. I have no patience for that voice, no empathy. I will ignore that voice or tell it to shut up, I will talk over, I will mock it. Nine reps in to a fifteen rep set of TRX high rows, I’ll start saying aloud, “piece of cake, I got this, I could do this all day” to drown out my screaming muscles and that screaming voice saying, “this is too hard, you can quit at ten reps – that’s still pretty good.” No, voice, pretty good isn’t good enough for me anymore. I have missed out on years of life and experiences and joy because I settled for the mediocre existence you had planned for me. Next time you are struggling with something and want to quit, listen for that voice. Identify it, see it for what it is, then tell it to shut the eff up. Give it a name if you need to, talk to it aloud, find your way to combat that lying, cheating bully of a voice until there is no place left for it to lurk in your mind.

Let your own voice guide you – you know what you want, you know how to get there. You know… you MUST know… you are worth it. You are worth every ounce of sweat, every long soak of sore muscles in an epsom salt bath, every moment of hard. You are worth every elated moment you step on a scale or button your jeans and see progress. You are worth every crossing of the finish line, every Savasana. You are worth the complicated meal plan, you are worth every extra jump on the box, you are worth passing up on birthday cake at the office. Not only are you worth it, you can accomplish all those things easily. It’s a walk in the park, you could do that all day. Dream up something amazing and do it because you can.


210.2 (2.4 pounds lost this week, 4.8 pounds lost total)

Tailless Kite: Adrift Without a “Why”

Why? One little word, three little letters, one huge question. Why? Why do you do what you do? Why did you start? Why do you endure and persist? I have been thinking a lot about whys. The why is what motivates us to start, what we reach into our memories to retrieve when we lose our ways, what we hold onto with white-knuckled death grips when we struggle to carry on. I had a why when I began this journey six years ago but I lost it. I didn’t misplace it or lose sight of it – no, my why died, destroyed by the lessons I learned along my way. It can not and should not be resurrected.

Talking about it now, I speak of my why in a low voice, refusing to look you in the eye. I am embarrassed of my why. It was silly and ridiculous. Don’t think that means I regret my why because I don’t. I am grateful for my why, it got me started and I owe every gram of success since to it. Even the smallest spark can start a fire. In the simplest terms, my why was a boy; a boy I liked and who I wanted to like me back, a boy I wanted to see me. It is, of course, bigger than that and the bigger explanation is that my why was the belief that changing myself physically would change the way people felt about me. That is the fundamental problem with my why and why my why was always doomed.

As far back as I can remember, I indulged in fantasies involving my losing weight and some man who had spurned me suddenly seeing me in a new light, falling helplessly in love with me. It was like that moment when the nerdy girl removes her glasses and takes down her hair in the teen rom-com, leaving the most popular boy in school mouth agape and swooning – only my big reveal was my thin figure. I would be suddenly thin and suddenly wanted. Twenty years of this kind of thinking (and dieting) and my belief in my own lovability and worth was helplessly tangled up in the idea of weight loss. I had such a pretty smile, I would be so beautiful if I were thin. Right? That’s what I was told, anyway. And then I met another boy.

He was no prize, trust me. My self-esteem had flown the coop years before and he was an asshole (specifically, he was a self-involved, superficial megalomaniac) who had feigned interest in me for the sole purpose of feeding his own dying ego with the rapt attention of a sad, desperate woman. But the smallest, most pathetic spark can start a fire. While he was out dating women he felt worthy of his attention, I went to the gym and tried to make myself worth something. I lost over 100 pounds, metaphorically took off my glasses and let down my hair and he… he couldn’t have cared less. He treated me the same way he always had; like I was disposable. From this I learned something vital and here it is: losing weight can not make you anything you aren’t are to begin with (except for healthy). It can’t change the way someone feels about you. It can’t make you more likable, more lovable, it can’t increase your worth. The good news is, you are already likable, lovable, worth a thousand jerks who treat you like gum on their shoes and you will learn that along the way, too.

This lesson transformed my life more than anything else throughout my journey. If I hadn’t learned to love myself, to embrace my worth I never could have found the pure, unconditional love I have now. I never could have prioritized myself and recognized the importance of my own health and happiness. But, in learning this lesson, I lost my why and I think that may be the reason I have struggled to reach my goal, to sustain this lifestyle over the years. Without a why I am a kite with no tail, dipping and diving, adrift and spinning. I can no longer answer those questions: why do I do what I do? Why do I endure and persist? I can’t answer that for you today, I haven’t been able to answer those questions for years and it shows in my fight to get and stay motivated, in my inability to persist and ensure. I don’t know if I need to find another why or if, perhaps, there is already another why I am yet to discover that drives each new attempt, each time I start again, each flare of inspiration. Or can I do this without a why? Is it enough to simply know it is the right thing to do, to do it simply for the sake of finishing what I started? What do you do when you lose your why?


212.6 (2.4 pounds lost)

Super Power PB&B Smoothie

This is one of my favorite recipe “inventions.” Many, many moons ago, “fat Jody” was trying to lose weight and she’d found a simple recipe for a simple smoothie somewhere – one frozen banana, one cup of milk, one teaspoon of vanilla. I remember mornings in Martinez before the sun came up, sitting on my back porch with the tea lights lit and sipping on my banana smoothie, hoping it was the magic elixir that would whisk away all the weight I’d hope to shed. A number of years later, when I was learning about diet and nutrition and finally succeeding in weight loss, I resurrected that simple smoothie recipe and it has evolved over time until it became what I call the Super Power PB&B Smoothie. I drink it most often for breakfast and you will see it frequently in my meal plans – it helps me to power through my morning without getting hungry. It would be great for anytime you needed an easy and easily-digested punch of major protein.

Super Power PB&B Smoothie
100 grams banana, frozen
1 scoop protein powder (my favorite: Beyond Organic Raw Protein Powder in Vanilla)|
2 Tbsp powdered peanut butter (Just Great Stuff – Protein Plus)
8-oz non-dairy milk (Organic Protein Almond Milk Unsweetened Vanilla)
1 tsp black chia seeds
1 tsp ground flaxseed
1 tsp raw shelled hemp hearts
1 tsp Spirulina

Combine all ingredients in a blender or NutriBullet and blend until smooth. Don’t like banana? No problem… this becomes the Super Power PB&J Smoothie when you substitute frozen strawberries for the banana. Enjoy!



Nutritional Information*
Serving Size: One Smoothie
Calories: 356; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0g; Sodium: 416mg; Total Carbohydrate: 37g; Fiber: 10g; Sugar: 16g; Protein: 39g

*Nutritional information based on recipe as written with designated ingredients, calculated using MyFitnessPal recipe calculator.

Day One

My first run since December 2, 2014 – I can’t believe it’s been so long. I wasn’t running for distance or speed, just time: 15 minutes out and 15 minutes back for a 30-minute cardio session before my TRX workout. I’m not sure what I was expecting other than maybe the naive expectation of picking up where I left off. Suffice it to say, the run was brutal. I am not sure I have ever attempted running at this weight and every cell in my body lodged a complaint almost immediately. At about nine minutes, when it hadn’t gotten easier and I knew I wasn’t halfway done, the thoughts of quitting started. Over the next few minutes (read: eternity), my mind came up with at least a half dozen ways I could cut a corner and save myself a little misery. I could turn back at 13 minutes; I would be slower on the way back so that would put me home at 30 minutes. I could run 15 minutes out then walk back; it is only my first run so I shouldn’t expect to be able to run the whole way. There were more, each as much a cop-out as the last. Then, just before minute 14, I had a realization. It seems so obvious, so “no duh” when sitting comfortably at a desk but when my lungs were burning and my legs aching and the salt of my own sweat stinging my eyes it seemed a profound realization. Here it is: any corners I cut out on the road, in the gym, on the TRX or with any other workout is not without consequence. I can rationalize them away in a moment of discomfort, convince myself that it is perfectly logical to quit early; however, every time I welsh on a workout I will pay a price. I may pay that price on the scale, I may pay that price when the reality of quitting slams into my conscience like a dump truck on nitrous. One way or another, quitting will come back to haunt me.

I know how this process goes. It’s hard, especially in the beginning. Sure, you start out great and strong and inspired. But then it gets hard – it gets physically hard because workouts are supposed to challenge your body, it gets mentally hard because you are out there on the road knowing that people are home on their couches watching Jeopardy and eating dinner and that seems “normal” and it is exhausting and painful to feel like the special snowflake running while everyone else is relaxing after a long day’s work. Quitting is always – always – going to feel like an option. Hell, most days it’s going to feel like a damned good idea. There will be moments over the course of this process when the quit wins, when I pack it in early or shave a minute off here or there, when it feels too hard. I’m going to have to cope with the consequences of those days. But today I am proud of myself because last night, when I wanted to go home, I stayed out there for 15 minutes out and 15 minutes back, running the whole way.



Whole Transformation

I promised you an outline. I put this together, really, as a guide for myself – to outline exactly how I hope to accomplish my goals for a healthier, more balanced life. I am sharing it as a way to make myself accountable as well as a way to release my intent into the Universe where it may manifest. I imagine this outline will be a bit of a living document, constantly growing and evolving as I move through this journey, learning along the way.



1. Weight Loss
Nutritional goals will be set and meals prepped/planned in order to achieve a healthy two pounds per week weight loss.
Specific targets set for calories, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, fiber and protein.

2. Health
Nutritional goals will be set and meals prepped/planned in order to create a nutrient-dense, balanced diet for optimum overall health. 
In additional to weight loss goals, targets set for micronutrients, including sodium, sugar, vitamins and minerals.

3. Breakdown of Goals
Calories: I have had the most success in the past using Weight Watcher’s old “points” system (not “Points Plus”). That formula can be found here. With each 10 pounds lost, I subtract 50 calories from the meal plan and adjust all other macro- and micronutrient goals as well.
Gender: 2
Age: 2
Height: 1
Activity: 0
10% of my Current Weight in pounds: 22
Total: 27 x 50 (50 calories per point) 1,350 calories per day

Macronutrients: I am starting out using the recommended macronutrient ration for Mesomorph body types: 30% (101g) Protein/40% (135g) Carbohydrate/30% (45g) Fat. I may adjust this if necessary. Fiber target is 25g.

Micronutrients: Based on my nutritional goals, targets are 2300mg sodium and 45g sugar. I use RDA for vitamins and minerals. As a vegan, I don’t bother tracking cholesterol.


1. Workout Days
I am beginning this journey with the TRX 8-Week Training Program. Program includes varied workouts 6 days per week plus one rest day. I will also add additional cardio for fat loss and hearth health. After the 8-week program, I will assess progress and decide whether to repeat, add other workouts to my regimen, etc. Eventually, I would love to include yoga, swimming and cardio kick-boxing to my workouts.

2. Non-Workout Active Lifestyle
Incorporate lunchtime walks to break up my workdays of constant sitting. Incorporate physical activity into leisure time, i.e. bike rides, hikes and walks in my free time.

I used to go by the 8 8-oz glasses per day of water recommendation; however, new studies show we need more water for proper hydration, particularly if working out. Calculation for hydration is as follows. Multiply your weight (220 – I am rounding up) by 2/3 (147.4) plus add 12 oz for every 30 minutes of working out. My daily mimmim water would be 148 oz, but it would be 184 if working out 90 minutes per day. 
Water may be enhanced with fresh fruit, cucumber or mint.

Aside from water, I allow myself one cup of coffee per day with breakfast. Decaffeinated green or herbal tea is acceptable. Absolutely no juice, soda (diet or otherwise), or other commercial beverages allowed.

My goal is to get a minimum of eight hours sleep per night.



Making my health and well-being a priority is not a selfish act; rather it is a necessity. I can not take care of others if I am not taking care of myself. I am not a good partner, friend, sister, aunt or daughter if I do not take care of myself. This does not mean I should blatantly disregard the needs or wants of my loved ones; it simply means it is ok to put myself first when it comes to my health, fitness and overall well-being.

One of the biggest causes of mental turmoil for me is outside “noise.” I will make a point to remove the “chatter” from my life when at all possible. This means unplugging from social media, news media, etc. during evenings and weekends. I must allow for stillness of mind and tranquility.

Make time for relaxing, peaceful pursuits, i.e. reading, journaling, drawing, participating in creative endeavors, etc.



Daily meditation is key to healthy heart and spirit. Make time each morning and/or evening for quiet introspection and mediation.

Be my true self, not a portrayal of what I think others want of me. It is only through being genuine, honest and candid that I can achieve whole wellness. It is not my job to be perfect, to be inspiring or to be a role model. My only responsibility is to be myself.

Pay attention to every step of this journey, be mindful and present and appreciative of the experience and lessons. Do not get caught up in the future or past, in goals or past successes and failures. The day will come when this journey is behind me and, on that day, I don’t want to realize it passed me by without my savoring each second.


So there it is… I may refer back to this often, I may add to it or change it on occasion. The most important thing for now is that it is here, in the world, powered by my intent.