Doing what it take to make business, family and life work together this Fall

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Hi there!

So the past couple of weeks I have been neck deep in preparing for my Fall programs. Although January is ultimately my busiest time of year (of course), September runs a very close second. And when you think about it, there is no surprise. Throughout the summer, kids are home from school for two months or if you are like me, you take a COMPLETE break from Homeschooling simply because you are E.X.H.A.U.S.T.E.D! Schedules fly out the window, as do sensibly prepared lunches for the kids. “What do you mean this is the third day in a row I’ve made PB&J sandwiches? Here, have a hot dog instead!” LOL  We spend our days having fun with our children … and many times wishing it would just STOP RAINING so they will leave me alone!! Achem. Did I mention that Nova Scotia can be a VERY wet province at times? On top of all this, we spend a lot more time at beaches, pools, camping (more hotdogs), summer BBQs and get-togethers. And generally, our fitness priorities disappear. Too many times we just think, I’ll take the summer off and get started again in September. Can I get a raise of hands?!? 

The good thing about September is we start to find our groove again. Not only are we staring down the barrel of another year coming to an end in three short months (and we are determined NOT to wait until the New Year to make a change), everyone seems ready to get back into a more regular schedule, whether you homeschool your children or send them off each morning. Our priorities can start turning back to ourselves now that we have a little more time to breathe and we realized that all the summer fun wasn’t necessarily kind to our waistline. Enter DETERMINATION!

Yep, we start looking at every thing that is available to us. And in the weight loss, healthy living world, there is A LOT. Trust me, I live with the competition of shakes diets, commercial programs with multi-billion dollar advertising campaigns, high end and low end gyms offering every fancy new gadget and class that can be created. Piloxing anyone?!? Yes, a combination of pilates and boxing. Who knew! And here I sit with my hundred + dollar marketing campaign (here’s a huge THANK YOU for amazing Facebook & Twitter friends who share my info) and my mantra of KEEP IT SIMPLE DEB!

People need to exercise to keep their muscles strong, their heart healthy and their body young. People need to eat well and still enjoying eating with their family. People need to have some fun when they exercise. People NEED ACCOUNTABILITY!  And this is where I decided to keep it this year. I wanted to provide enough variety that everyone can get what they need, without me burning myself out. Because believe it or not, that is the number one hazard of being a Fitness & Healthy Life Designer (cause that is really what we do). There are many days that being just a “trainer” would be the easiest thing to do. You show up. I tell you what to do. You do it. You go home while I move on to the next person and not think about you again until the next session. My CartoonOh my…not even close! I put my whole heart into my business and my clients (both in-person and online). Your success is my success and there is nothing…NOTHING more rewarding to me that you reaching your goals. I’m constantly thinking about your meal plans, your workouts, what’s going on in your life, your family, your concerns and how we can overcome your obstacles. My heart breaks when you struggle and it rejoices when you are happy with your accomplishments. But as you can imagine, this can be exhausting!

With that in mind, I developed a line-up of programs that I think will make us all happy. For more details on each program, please click the link to go to my website. Here we go…..

TOTAL FAT LOSS SYSTEM: This is an online program that I have been running for four years now (previously called Journey to Wellness: Home Edition). During this time, I have helped hundreds of people learn what it takes to get (and stay) fit and healthy without starving yourself or spending hours on the treadmill. I promote healthy eating with your family, exercising efficiently and effectively to promote fat loss, supporting others going through the same thing you are and being held accountable for your eating and activity.  If exercising in the privacy of your own home works for you, you can find more details here… www.journey2welless.ca/totalfatloss.html  **Deadline to join the next 12-Week Fat Loss Program is September 12th.

SMALL GROUP TRAINING: I took some time off from these programs after the birth of my two youngest boys. Now that my baby is 18 months old, I have a little more flexibility and have opened up a couple of timeslots, mainly working around my business schedule, my husband’s travel schedule and my children’s activity. I told you it isn’t easy! How it works is that you gather up 1-5 people who would like to work out together and I will come to you once a week to make you sweat! Saturday time slots are available in Fall River & area while Sunday afternoon time slots are available in Dartmouth/Cole Harbour & area. More details can be found here… www.journey2wellness.ca/programs.html

FITNESS CLASSES: This is my fifth year teaching fitness classes in the Fall River area (since I moved here!). Fitness Boot Camp on Saturday mornings continues to see great turnout and a new class I created last year for the Tuesday evening spot, Strength Circuits, has quickly become a favourite and we actually filled up last winter! Fall classes begin the week of September 8th. Registration has begun and you can reserve your spot or find out more information here… www.journey2wellness.ca/classes.html

MEN’S ONLY ONLINE WEIGHT LOSS: Last summer I offered the opportunity for a couple of men to give my online program a try. Although there were a few tweaks that had to be made, the results were absolutely outstanding with two of the men losing over 20lbs in six weeks! The 8-week Men’s Only Weight Loss program will be starting up on September 15th. Come on guys – imagine being 15-25lbs lighter by mid-November! More details can be found here… www.journey2wellness.ca/programs.html

Well that’s it folks! I hope I have a little something that can work for everyone. Please know that I am always available to answer your questions so if you’d like to speak with me before you sign up, just give me a call at 902-222-1353 or email me at info@journey2wellness.ca. I look forward to hearing from you and I can’t wait to start celebrating your success!!

~ Deborah

Let’s Cook! My journey heats up!

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So the conversation went something like this…

Friend: What are your plans for today?
Me: Cooking.
Friend: Seriously?
Me: Seriously. Cooking. All day.
Silence.
Friend:  Ok, good luck with that.

I will admit, the idea of cooking my entire monthly meals in one day seemed scary and daunting to me at first too and I won’t say it was an easy day but once I had my head wrapped around what I was about to do, it just took shape and it actually felt good to start pulling off the dishes. And I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I could or would have done this without the step by step process that Once a Month Meals provided me. Perhaps it wouldn’t have been too bad if I was doing my tried and true recipes that I can whip out with my eyes closed (I did include a couple) but when trying new recipes, the steps were very helpful. And because I had all the prepping done the day before, I was able to dive right into the cooking. Here’s what my cooking instructions looked like.

cooking instructions

I printed this off and had the recipes on my computer so they were both within easy reach. Remember my comment from yesterday on my “list” addiction? Well I liked having this in a printed version for the same reason, that satisfaction of checking off each step as it was done. 

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Tomatoes, kale and sausage getting ready for the pasta bake. I loved the colours.

Little bit by little bit, things started to come together and one by one, the meals were being completed and ready for the freezer.

A couple words of warning and/or tips for cooking day….

1. Your house is going to get very warm so be prepared with fans, air conditioners and LOTS of water!

2. If you have little ones, whatever you do, DON’T look around the corner when all is quiet. You just don’t know what you might find. It isn’t worth it I promise.mess

3. Also, one thing that would have been very useful here would be to have a helper, especially a great dish washer because you end up using your measuring cups, pots, etc… over and over again. Which reminds me, don’t plan to do your cooking day when your 10-year-old AWESOME kitchen helper is away at summer camp …. cause that would just be dumb. Really dumb. Achem.

Sausage Pasta Bake ready for the freezer.

I think because of the busy-ness of my two little boys and the lack of ‘kitchen’ help, it did take me a little longer than I would have liked but really, in the scheme of things, when I think about how much time it will save in the month ahead, it really wasn’t too bad. I started at about 11am and finished up about 7pm that evening (I was probably most productive between 2-4pm – you guessed it – nap time!). And I was right. It was a VERY long day. Both my feet and back were sore by the end of the day but to see my freezer FULL of food was so extremely rewarding.

Another thing I liked was the labels the website provided. You just cut them out and paste them to the dish. There is a space to include your “freezer date” as well as re-heating instruction.

labels

So, in a nutshell, the day was long but successful. In addition to the tips above, I did make note of a few things that would have made the process a little easier and I’ll be back again tomorrow to share more of those tips with you, along with the most important question we’ve all been wondering. How will it taste?!? 

Chipotle Chicken & Rice, which I decided at the last minute to turn into burritos for quick and easy lunches.
Chipotle Chicken & Rice, which I decided at the last minute to turn into burritos for quick and easy lunches.

If you are just joining me, you can check out my other posts in this series by clicking the links below or visit the Once a Month Meal website by clicking the photo below.

Day 1 – Returning to the Blogging World with Once a Month Meal planning!

Day 2 – Making a Plan

Day 3 – Getting Organized and Groceries

Day 4 – Prep Day

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Prep Day – My Journey with Once a Month Meals Continues

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Before I begin today’s post, I must first apologize to those who have been following this series. I know there has been quite a gap in posts but our entire family was systematically taken down, youngest to oldest, by a Norovirus type illness that was unknowingly (until it was too late) bought by a house guest and things were NOT getting done as per usual. Luckily, I did finish my Once a Month Meal cooking day (just not the blog writing) and let’s just say that having those meals in my freezer, ready to be warmed were more helpful than I could have imagined!

A quick refresh of what I’ve covered so far. Day 1 was decision making day where I decided that I would take the leap to not only plan my meals for the month, but actually prepare and in some cases COOK all my meals for the month of August. I decided to obtain a membership through Once a Month Meals, a website dedicated to helping you organize your meal prepping like nothing you’ve done before! I purchased the “Pro” membership in order to have the capability of swapping meals. Day 2 my husband and I made our list of meals that interested us and I organized my calendar, chose my meals and on Day 3, headed to the grocery store with a very well organized list in hand. So far, I’m impressed!

So today is the Prep Day! prepping1Now before you think you can forgo the prep stage and just prep as you go along on cooking day, let me just say one thing….DON’T! There is a lot of chopping and there are some things that need to be cooked and cooled so I HIGHLY recommend that you take their advice and take a day to prep everything. You will be very happy you did because it makes cooking day go so much smoother.

Printing off the “Prep Instructions” provided, I went through my list to make sure I had everything I needed, just in case I missed something and then one by one, started following the instructions. I will say that I did leave the chicken until the very end because I am kind of weird about cross contamination and there was just SO MUCH that needed to be done I was afraid I would miss something. But because it needed to be cooked, I really could have cut that first and got the crock pot going before I did everything else. Didn’t really affect me much as it just ended up meaning that I let the chicken cook overnight instead of during the day and it just gave me a little piece of mind.

Here’s a little glimpse of what you will see on your prep day instruction sheet (the chopping list was MUCH longer). It really did make it fool-proof.

prep screen shot

Confession…I’m a lister. Like a SERIOUS lister. I have to-do lists for everything. I’m one of those people that when I do something that is not on my list, I will put it on my list and then check it off as done. Yep. That’s me. There was quite a lot of satisfaction in actually checking off all the items on the list. I mean, everything….in one day!! Only listers will understand how absolutely giddy this made me feel! I felt very proud of myself at the end of it all to know that I had completed everything on the list and was ready to start cooking the next day!

prepping2So there you have it. Prep day was easy peasy and I’m ready for what I know will be the biggest challenge yet, Cooking 24 meals in one day! So I’ll be back tomorrow with the details of cooking day and on Wednesday, I’ll finish off the series with some handy tips I learned along the way to make your own adventure go even smoother. Wish me luck! 

If you are just joining me, you can check out my other posts in this series by clicking the links below or visit the Once a Month Meal website by clicking the photo below.

Day 1 – Returning to the Blogging World with Once a Month Meal planning!

Day 2 – Making a Plan

Day 3 – Getting Organized and Groceries

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Getting organzed and oh my goodness the groceries!!

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My journey with Once a Month Meals continues! The last two of days I’ve taken time to organize my meal plan for August, including which recipes to make, printing my grocery list and shopping! I’ve gone with the Once a Month Meals Pro membership because I have a somewhat picky family and I wanted to option to be able to swap out meals. If you have easy-going eaters in your family and you like to take the guesswork out of what to make, the basic membership would be perfect for you. With the membership you also get access to all past meal plans so you aren’t stuck with just the meal plan for that month.

So, let’s get into the details. I used the July Whole Foods meal plan as my jumping off point. For those in the USA, this is not to be confused with the Whole Foods store chain. It simply means that the recipes are based on whole foods and all ingredients made from scratch. At this point I started swapping out a couple meals with ones that I thought were a little “safer” as a first timer. As I mentioned in my last post, I also asked my husband to have a look through the recipes to see if there are any that appeal to him. I think I’m starting to realize why our weight isn’t coming off as fast and easy as it did in our 20s and 30s because the majority of the meals I were drawn to either had “Cheesy” or “Creamy” in the title! Not to be outdone, if it had the word “Bacon”, it was on my husband’s list! Let’s just say I had to make a few compromises to ensure we were eating what we love but still eating healthy on most days!  Here are the recipes I chose for August.

Breakfast:

  • Sausage Skillet

Lunches:

  • Almost Chick Fil A Chicken Nuggets
  • Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
  • Cheesy Chipotle Chicken & Rice
  • Monterey Chicken Quesadillas

Dinners:

  • Brown Sugar Glazed Meatloaf
  • Cheesy Sausage Pasta Bake
  • Creamy Chicken Pockets – Diet Version
  • Enchilada Pasta
  • GFDF* Sesame Chicken & Rice
  • Paleo Bacon Crusted Pork Tenderloin
  • GFDF* Slow Cooker Beef & Broccoli

*GFDF – Gluten Free Dairy Free

The plan creates enough meals for the number of servings you need x 2 meals per month. So I’ll be creating 24 meals!!! In addition to these, either because I love my family THAT much (or I’m THAT insane), I’m also going to make my family favourites of spaghetti sauce, sweet & sour meatballs and a large lasagna. Here’s a great example of why planning is vital to your success. I plotted on my calendar all the days that we will have house guests next month to ensure that I have prepared meals while they are here as well. At one point I have the potential for eight house guests in addition to my family of five! As the month’s go by I’m hoping I’ll get a little more adventurous and trusting with the new recipes but for now, I want to ensure I’ve prepared a couple of meals that I KNOW are my tried and true recipes.

Now that everything was decided, it was time to get my supplies! Once you save the meals and select the number of servings you’ll need, the shopping list can be generated. This made my trip to the store very easy…especially since I had two little ENERGETIC boys with me (not necessarily recommended but sometimes not an option). Here a snippet of my shopping list.

shopping list

With list in hand, I headed out to get everything I needed. I was happy to see that there was nothing crazy or unusual on my list, which made things a little easier (and saved $$ because a lot of things I had in stock already). I’m not going to lie though because when I saw my grocery bill hit the $250 mark I started to panic a little. Is this really going to be worth it?!? In total my grocery bills (Sobeys & Costco) came in around $375. A crazy amount for me in one shopping trip but when knowing this will provide me with all my dinners for a MONTH, I started to relax a little. I know I’ll still have to buy fruit and a few fresh vegetables each week but when I think that I’m generally spending $150 per week (a good week) in groceries, coming in at $400 for the month doesn’t seem as scary. One thing I will do next month is plan out my meals earlier in the month and pay closer attention to the sales flyers in hopes of saving even more!

MY SHOPPING TRIP REVEALED!

Want to see what I’ll be working with? Have a look!

groceries

At first, I felt very overwhelmed and at the same time I had a wave of tremendous gratitude wash over me. Images like this remind me to appreciate just how fortunate I am to be able to own this much food.

groceries2The bulk of my expenses came from the meat portion but if you choose the vegetarian recipe options, you will of course, have a much different looking group of foods. For those of you who know me and know how much I stress the importance of eating vegetables, please remember that I will continue to buy (or pick) my greens this month to accompany all my meals. I’ll be talking a little more about how a meal plan like this can work for your whole family AND still work with any weight loss goals, etc… in another post. groceries3

And before you ask, YES, the wine is for the meals. Well….9 fluid ounces of it anyway. I’m not a drinker but cooking 24 meals in one day may just turn me into one. 🙂

So there you have it! I’m now ready for the prepping phase! Join me tomorrow when I’ll go through what it takes to prepare meals for my family of five…for a full MONTH! I’m really hoping it won’t be as scary as it sounds. So far, it’s all be relatively easy and painless so I’m optimistic! Have a great day everyone!

If you are just joining me, you can check out my other posts in this series by clicking the links below or visit the Once a Month Meal website by clicking the photo below.

Day 1 – Returning to the Blogging World with Once a Month Meal planning!

Day 2 – Making a Plan

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Can I really plan my meals for a full month?

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“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” ~ Benjamin Franklin.  I’ve seen this a million times and I’m sure I say it, in some variation, to my clients on a weekly basis. I believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if you are trying to lose weight, better your health, get stronger, build muscle or create a toned physique, then you absolutely must make a plan! Plan your workouts and most certainly, plan out your meals.

Think about it for a second. You start a “diet” – I hate that word but we’ll use it for this example. Whether it is something you purchased or something you came up with on your own, you made a decision that you want to lose weight. You buy some healthy food (some of it you don’t even like but it’s for the cause right?) and you are determined to stop eating the junk. The first couple of days go pretty well. You’re making healthier choices, you’ve exercised and are limping around because your muscles have NO IDEA what you’ve done to them but overall you’re feeling pretty proud of what you’ve accomplished so far. But then something happens. You get busy, the kids get sick, you forget to take something out of the freezer, you have to work late … and you not ready. What do you do? At least half of us will grab something at a fast food restaurant on the way home, another big percentage will dig out whatever they can from the fridge or pantry and try to put something together (usually consists of less than ideal options), while a small group will simply just be hungry because they are determined to stick to their goals and being hungry is better than eating crap right? Oh my.

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The first thing I try to get my clients to do is start planning a day in advance. Look at their schedule, plan when they can eat and when they can exercise, and then add that to their schedule! This is a huge first step for people who generally fly by the seat of their pants. You should see the eye rolls I get when I tell them now they need to prep as much food as they can ahead of time! Yes, writing it down on paper is not where it ends (or my to-do list would be my masterpiece!). You actually have to DO THE WORK! Once people master the planning the day in advance, I try to get them to start planning a few days or even a week. Sometimes, if you’re like me, just planning the evening meals will make the biggest impact.

Never though, have I considered planning a full MONTH in advance…until now. I’ve heard people talk about only shopping once per month, planning out a month’s worth of dinners, etc… but to think about doing one big shopping trip, planning out a month’s worth of meals and actually PREPARING those meals!! At first it seems daunting. But the thought of having a meal ready, with just a little heating required on those crazy busy afternoons, sounds like heaven. So….here I go!

As I mentioned in Saturday’s post. I acquired a Homemaker’s Bundle back in the spring and included in that was a complimentary one-month membership to Once a Month Meals, a website dedicated to helping you plan out and prepare your meals only once per month. This is what started my path and what I am going to use (for the most part) in my planning.

So how does Once a Month Meals works?100-days-october-ad5

My first job was to go through the website and the ‘start-up’ emails that come through when you first sign up. I’ll admit I didn’t make it through all the emails because I like to just dive in head first. Good idea? Who knows. There is also a chat option where you can speak to an admin live and ask any questions you have. The first thing you’ll see on the Home page is a variety of menu types including Traditional Menu, Whole Food, Diet, Paleo, Gluten Free, Vegetarian and even Baby! For variety, there is a new menu each month for each of these menu types and with a basic membership you have access to all of these menus and any past menus. You’ll also receive  shopping lists, prep and cooking day instructions, labels and heating instructions. You can also adjust the number of servings based on the size of your family. This is a perfect option for you if you want to take the guesswork out of ‘what to make’ and you’re not a picky eater. But if you’re like me and surrounded by a bunch of (wonderful) people who try new foods very cautiously, when you upgrade to the Pro membership, you are given the ability to create and save your own menu, including swapping out meals. The good news? There is a huge variety of meals to choose from. The bad news? There is a HUGE variety of meals to choose from! I felt a little overwhelmed so I started by opening the basic “Whole Food” meal plan and then starting swapping out any meals that I knew wouldn’t appeal to my family.

This is when I thought it was a good idea to bring my husband on board because if I was going to plan out a whole month of meals, I thought it was very important that he had a say in what we were eating. This has three benefits…

  1. I am making meals that interests and pleases my husband,
  2. He understands that I value his input and opinion, and
  3. If it isn’t a good meal, he knows that he had a say in it! LOL.

I asked him go through the recipes and write down any that appealed to him. Score! I had a starting point and takes me up to where I am now. A blank August calendar, my smart phone with all our activities and a page full of meal options. Time to start getting organized!!

Come back tomorrow when I talk about the planning process, how I decided on the meals and a sneak peek at my shopping list! Until then, I wish you an organized, blessed and healthy day!

See how this I started this journey – Day 1 – Returning to the Blogging World!

Join me for Day 3 – Getting Organized and Filling My Cart

Must blog – must blog – I’m back!

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Do you know how many times I stop in the middle of a day and think “oh, this would make a great blog post”?!? I have so much I want to share and I’m honestly not sure what keeps me from doing so. Laziness? Unorganized? Too freaking busy?!? Maybe a little of all of the above. Because I run an online program, I know that the best way to reach my potential clients is through blogging, online advertising and social media. I want people to get to know me and I want you to know that I understand what it is like to be busy, what it is like to get tired of exercising and eating healthy and I want you to know that I’m WITH YOU in your struggles.

We are in this together and I can’t think of a better way to start up my blogging again with a potentially fun…potentially successful….potentially hilariously disastrous series this week! Just keeping it real. LOL.

I’ve heard a lot about once a month shopping, once a month meal planning and once a month cooking. From a girl who many times, flies by the seat of her pants, this scares the daylights out of me! BUT I also know, as a personal trainer and nutrition & wellness specialist, just how important planning and prepping can be. So here I go…diving head first into the world of Once a Month Meals. I came across this “Once a Month Meals” WEBSITE HERE a couple of months ago and was really intrigued by what I saw but that’s about as far as it went. Then I was offered a free month’s subscription through a Homemaker’s Bundle I acquired and knew I had to take a closer look (because I love anything free).

For the last hour (my smaller kiddies nap time) I’ve been sitting on my back deck going through the recipes and I have to admit, they all look great! But I have a fear that this will be more work than it is worth and that making these meals ahead of time and freezing them won’t produce the quality my family is use to. *Please note I’m NOT saying I’m a good cook. I just know what my family likes and I stick with what I know! Well, there is no way to know for sure what I am capable of unless I try, so my plan today is to choose my meals and start the planning process.

Come back tomorrow when I’ll go through more of what the program offers and the recipes I’ve chosen! Make it a great day everyone!!

Day 2 – Making a Plan!

Day 3 – Getting Organized and Filling My Cart

Last Night’s The Biggest Loser Finale

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article-2552579-1B34CC9300000578-66_640x569So what did you think of last night’s The Biggest Loser finale? From what I could tell from social media today, it is a HOT topic!! I get very little time to watch TV so my beautiful DVR keeps me up-to-date on a couple shows that I watch when I have a chance (The Biggest Loser sits next to Big Bang Theory – I apparently have an eclectic taste in television). First things first. I was in the Rachel corner from the start of this show and I will absolutely admit this was one of the better, less “drama for the camera” seasons I’ve seen in a while. She was such a competitor and she never backed down. To me, that represents a strong and powerful woman. I also think we live in a world where you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. First she was too fat and now she is getting bashed all over Facebook, Twitter and every blog going today for being “too thin”. Geez, give the girl a break right? But hold on. Did anyone notice the look on Jillian and Bob’s faces when she walked out on stage? po46txahs0Those weren’t the faces of happiness…those were obviously the faces of two very concerned people. My heart broke for Rachel. That isn’t the reaction I wanted for her. But folks, it’s a competition for $250,000. It’s called the BIGGEST LOSER – not The Healthiest Person. Why is everyone (including Bob and Jillian) so shocked that someone lost a crazy amount of weight? She had trainers screaming at her for months to lose lose LOSE!!! She is an amazing competitor and she totally kicked butt! We all saw her just before she left the ranch and looked amazing but even then, she was eating a diet of grilled chicken and veggies. This WOULD happen if that is all you ate and she was in it to win. And win she did! BUT, and this is where I have a problem, at what cost?

Side Note: I’ll admit I have been a long time fan of weight loss shows. I love seeing people change their lives, get healthy, and the personal trainer in me loves watching the workouts but for the record, it should never be a Personal Trainer’s goal to make you puke, pass out or die and if you find a trainer who only has that goal in mind, please leave and report them to their regulatory body.

But back to my point. Did you know that this is Eating Disorder Awareness Week in Canada?  Whether Rachel is actually healthy or not (I am not a doctor and cannot judge that from the two minutes I saw her on TV), she did appear shockingly thin. Many viewers already have unhealthy expectations watching this show and I fear this “win” could make it worse. I mean really, ask any Personal Trainer out there and I guarantee you at least one client compares their weight loss to the weight loss seen on these shows. Come on folks…it IS NOT REAL LIFE!!  Please stop being disappointed with your amazing 1-2lbs per week weight loss because you are comparing yourself to the crazy numbers that Biggest Loser participants put up. Unless you are removed from your family, your friends, your job, your life and you have nothing else to do except exercise for eight hours per day (I’m still shocked nobody has died on this show yet), have all your organic food, and as was hinted around to this season, copious amounts of caffeine delivered to your kitchen, YOU ARE NOT going to see those kind of results so please stop comparing! My fear is that seeing someone drop from 260lbs to 105lbs in a few months sets viewers up for even more unhealthy expectations and may make them willing to resort to unhealthy methods to achieve a similar weight loss. Awesome job for being such an amazing competitor Rachel but you can be sure she lost the last 10+ lbs just to win the $$ and I would be shocked if we don’t see her in a couple months time having gained a little fat and muscle back and looking rock solid again. Another side note just for the record – I thought David looked better when he left the Ranch then he did last night as well but that again is my personal opinion.

Ok, I know some of you have read this and are thinking, “umm…Deb this is a no-brainer”. But this is one topic that I haven’t talked about much before and based on “current events”, I felt was an important topic to discuss. So in a nut-shell, yep … Hard workouts + Healthy Eating + Changing your Mindset = Reaching you Goals. But please ladies and gentlemen, it is possible to do it in a healthy and realistic manner. You do NOT have to starve yourself. You do NOT have to exercise until you can’t move. And the number on the ******* scale does NOT define you or the work you put in!! What you need is a good attitude towards healthy food – don’t feel like you are “missing out” when you eat healthy. You need a good attitude towards exercise – yes it can be fun, you just have to find something you enjoy (or a great Instructor/Trainer). And you need a good support system – or an attitude that nothing will stand in your way of your success.

Folks, There is nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight and get fit. BUT, you have to love yourself no matter what size you are. Do you want to see results? It can be done and you don’t have to be on a television show to do it! You just need to find out where your comfort zone is and get ready to step outside of it. I promise, if you set realistic goals and pick at them a little more each day, you will succeed. Every step in the right direction, no matter how small that step is, will get you closer to your goal. Never quit! Love to you all.

~ Deborah