Guest Post: The Best Thing you can do to Stay Motivated in your Workouts (Nope, It’s not about Weight Loss!)


Today’s guest post is brought to you by Cat Smiley, a professional health and fitness writer based out of Whistler, Canada. She’s been nationally syndicated in over 300 newspapers for over 5 years, and is an award-winning personal trainer and nutritionist. She has been named Canada’s top trainer three times by the International Sports Science Association. She is the owner of Canada’s leading fitness vacations for women, located in beautiful scenic nature of Whistler, B.C. You also follow her on Facebook.


The Best Thing you can do to Stay Motivated in your Workouts (Nope, It’s not about Weight Loss!)


Icy wind howled through the trees as I sheltered from the storm in my car. I had been contemplating a jog around the lake when my interest faded about as fast as the rain falling on my windscreen. Excuses started to mount; bad sleep last night, still sore from yesterdays workout…..and was that a cold coming on? So I flagged it, and you know what? I didn’t feel an ounce of guilt. An extra day off this week might even be good for me.

And as I confirmed my decision, a beginner exerciser trudged through the trees. “Honestly, if I stick to this #!** program for three weeks it will be a damn miracle!!!” Despite being soaked to the bone, she was enthusiastic to chat about how she was trying really hard to lose some weight in time for her daughter’s wedding, but hating every minute of it. I ushered a few encouraging words, but at the back of my mind I knew she would likely fall off the program in a couple of weeks if she didn’t tweak her motivational factors.

For starters, workouts are not meant to be a chore. Nor are they meant as a ‘quick fix’ to erase years of inactivity. Exercise is a way of healthy life, and even if you’ve heard it all before, you may not fully believe the wealth of this statement until you have been exercising for at least six months.

Some fitness buffs have no desire to run up Grouse Mountain, will never turn heads in a swimsuit and are yet to find a sport they can stick to. But they feel great in the morning and can tackle anything their day may bring, with energy in reserve to chop firewood or walk into town. They can take an extra workout off sometimes, because chances are they will accumulate at least thirty minutes of activity in their day anyway – raking leaves, cleaning the house, biking to the store.

Efficient training cycles allow for changing lifestyles and seasons, adding variety to your workouts so you will never feel like letting it go completely. Because once you’re out of shape, it can be extremely difficult on the self-esteem and moral to face the whole process of the ‘jogging four minutes, walking four minutes’ style of training. It’s easier to be blissfully unaware of the other side!

Functional fitness includes balance, postural alignment, free gait, flexibility, core strength, strength through varied movements, balanced nutritional intake, strong aerobic/anaerobic capacities and emotional stability. In translation: you need a training program that works your entire body through complete range of motion, working strong cross-training techniques in an environment that is ever changing. This could include consistent explosive leg power, hamstring stabilization, swimming, yoga, trail jogging, weight training, sprinting on the treadmill. Regular healthy meals and a happy personal life will complete the picture of overall fitness, without feeling too time-consumed with the whole fitness thing


An Update From Me


It’s been a long time since I posted an update. The last few months I spent in a depressive state. Last week I finally had my nervous breakdown, I got help and got on two medications to help. I also have started an intensive therapy problem, I did it back in 2011 and it really helped. I knew it was the right thing to do. I also quit my job, I was miserable there. It’s time for something better. Quitting my job also opened up time for me to attend this intensive therapy for the next few weeks. Weight wise I am maintaining and frankly I’m okay with that. It’s been a hell of year…all year. Right now I’m working on getting my head back on straight. And it’s also not the end of my world if I don’t lose anymore. 130lbs+ is a good achievement especially considering all the crap I have got through in the last 4 years.Click here to read my back story. Really there’s not much more to update right now so there you have it for now. Here’s some current pictures. Love to all of you!

                       z2061                                                 z2060

Guest Post: Connie From BariatricHELP & Fitness


Today’s guest post is from Connie from the Facebook page BariatricHELP & Fitness. Today she shares her journey with us. 


My name is Connie, from BariatricHELP & Fitness.

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You can also visit my facebook group: “BariatricHELP Forum.” This group is for pre-op and post-op followers. This page is designed for those wanting/needing support, advice, tips, motivation and inspiration.  It is a “closed” group. “Closed” – means only the people in the group can see your posts.

Sometimes just knowing what others have done and knowing you are not alone is important and that is why I am sharing my experience with you.

I have been over weight since I can remember. As a baby my mom tells me that people would stop her in the store because they had to touch me.  I was a cute chuncky baby, haha.

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Well, it was not cute anymore once I started kindergarten. I remember going to school and being made fun of because I was overweight. My Tata (grandfather) use to drive me to school, he knew I did not like going to school because of kids making fun of me. One day we drove up to the school and he seen the kids that were making fun of me. He got out of the car and stood straight up-my Tata was a huge/tall  man (over 6 feet tall), he did not even have to say anything (he just showed his presence) but I remember no one made fun of me anymore. Then, later I switched schools for other reasons.   When I switched schools the picking and bullying began once again. I had to ride the bus to school. My Nana (grandmother) had to walk me to the bus every. I would attempt to wait at the bus stop without her but I hated the feeling of getting made fun of. Although I was bigger in size, I felt belittled – I felt small and ashamed.

At a young age my doctor placed me on a diet. He had me complete food logs and I had to show him my logs and progress at each visit.  I remember starting off good by trying to eat better and walking, then I would slack off and by the time of by next visit to the doctor,  I had not do so well. I would take “water-pills” the night before my appointment just so that I could lose a few pounds and not be scolded by the doctor.

The following are screen shots of my food logs from back in 1987, I was born in 1977, therefore, I was 10 years old, struggling with my weight and already logging my foods.


My weight was something I thought about every single day of my life and still do. In junior high school I had lost weight and participated in volleyball and track/ I enjoyed running-I loved the feeling.  It was a yo-yo affect with my weight all through high school and college. I have always tried to diet and exercise but eventually would fall off the wagon and gain my weight back plus more.

In 1998, I married my best friend and after 2 children (and dieting in between) I finally said enough of this and began focusing on eating better and working out. Fortunately, my employer offers us a free full sized gym and classes onsite. I took full advantage and used the gym, each morning before work. My heaviest weight was 309 lbs. I got down to 242 lbs and it seemed like no matter what I did the scale would not budge.  Of course, I would get frustrate and eventually gained some of the weight back.

I admit, I would get frustrated and start to give up. I was at a point where I told myself, this is me, I have always been overweight –this is who I am and realized I may not get to the weight that I wished and wanted to be at.

After several discussions with my husband, he told me that he wanted to look into the gastric bypass for himself. He knew I was against it as I had my feelings about it. I had heard of all the risks and heard of stories in which others had put their weight back on. To support him, I went to classes with him. I wanted to get educated and learn about what changes were coming his way, I wanted to know how I could help him through his journey and learn about the foods that he was going to be able to eat.

After several classes, I realized I could do this, this is for me too. We went to classes together and we went through the process of getting educated and approved for this surgery. My husband decided at this time it was not for him, but he continued to cheer me on and he is my #1 supporter. On August 20, 2012, I had my surgery-the RNY gastric bypass. I told myself and continue to tell myself that, if I was going to have this procedure there was no way I was going to go backwards or back to my old ways. This was a time to change – not only the outside (physical appearance) but most importantly –the inner me (mentally and emotionally).

Luckily, I have been successful  on my new journey. This does not mean that it is not hard or difficult.  I have had to overcome a lot mentally and emotionally. I have learned a lot about myself. After approximately  5-6 months post-op I joined a challenge group on facebook in which I met people from all over-through this group we supported and motivated each other and my coach kept me on track with this group. I decided to change up my workout, I was doing Tae-bo, using the stability ball, squats, planks, walking, etc.  I ordered Insanity (a Beachbody workout) -I was nervous because its known to be “insane” but I told myself I can do it and I will do it. I immediately fell in love with it. I was excited each morning to get up and dig deep. I could feel my body toning. I lost lots of inches. While being a part of the challenge group my coach suggested being a coach as I love supporting and motivating people -I wanted to help others. After, taking some time to think about it, I jumped all in. I was so excited about what Beachbody had to offer not only me, but everyone who wants to get healthy.

After coaching for several months I decided to stop coaching as I was focusing on everyone else’s goal and not mine.  I absolutely love helping others but it was my time in my life to put focus on me.  I did not go through all this to lose focus on me and therefore I made my health a priority. The RNY gastric bypass was a “tool” in my journey to becoming healthy . The rest is up to me.

Now that I have shared information about me, I want to share information that I have come across during my journey with you.

I was very fortunate that my Bariatric Team at the Mayo Clinic of Arizona offered bariatric patients a jump start program. I was scheduled for a full day of appointments-all in 1 day. I met with my surgeon, the nutritionist, endocrinologist, psychologist, psychiatrist and bariatric nurse. I then began taking classes which was a  8 week program.  We discussed preparing for surgery, reading food labels, documenting food logs, identifying hunger signals, mindful eating, etc…  I followed up with my bariatric team throughout the process with follow up appointments. I was required to attend a support group and reading the book “mindful eating” by Jan Chozen Bays, M.D.

If you are going the process of preparing or learning about weight loss surgery here are my suggestions:

Do not rush the process, learn as much as possible. Sometimes what you learn or what you are told sounds like common sense or sound redundant but IT WILL HELP YOU, especially post-op.  Take all required classes that your Bariatric Team suggest/recommend.  Attend support groups. Talk to your bariatric team/doctors. Most  importantly, ask questions!

I hope you join me on my journey and/or follow me by liking my Facebook  page/group!





Guest Post: It’s All About Balance


Our next post is from Kim from Weight Loss Journey-Taking The Surgery Route . She’s 58 and had RNY on June 17, 2014 and has lost 44 lbs to date.  She lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, is a teacher and has 4 beautiful grandchildren.

It’s All About Balance 


School started this week for the kids, so my job started to settle somewhat. The part I’m having the most trouble with is time management….when my time does not seem to be my own.  Friday we had a meeting that lasted longer than it should, then had to rush to help a teacher with orienting kindergartners to the computer lab, I was missing an Educational Services quarterly birthday luncheon to do this, but my eating choices would have been extremely limited so I had already planned on stopping at Chik-fil-a on my way back. The kids meal with grilled nuggets, then a diet lemon aide for later is a great fast food for me….well as luck has it, the drive through line was around the building and I just didn’t have time for all that…I had another meeting/training starting at 2.  So I was ill prepared, I should always have a P3 or a protein bar on hand in case I don’t get to eat.  I found a package of peanuts, so I survived. (But just barely ;-))

Exercise is going pretty good, I’ve been going after dinner on Monday and Wednesday…get a good workout plus my 10,000 steps…then Friday rolls around and I’m whooped.  So today I’m going to try to go later this afternoon ….depending how the day goes…today is Bill’s birthday and we are going to some some of warbird/car show….I have no idea what that is….and how long it will last.  Water and vitamins are OK….not where they are suppose to be; but better than I was before surgery so I’m counting that as good.  I would like to find time for more support, there are plenty of support groups locally, but if I go to a support group I miss my gym time (plus I pay $37 per session for a personal trainer).  Finding balance between family time and what I need to do for me is a struggle, as women I think we tend to put everyone else first…I’m working on this, and doing better…I just feel guilty sometimes.
I’m finding on line support somewhat lacking.  One FB group of local people is pretty good, the other that spinned off Bariatric Pal…I’m having some issues….there are some people who post nothing but personal drama…talk about eating pizza, then complain when they don’t lose, post weight loss on My Fitness Pal…then get on FB and say they are in a stall…haven’t lost a lbs in a month… I’m checking in there less and less…don’t need all that drama!  There are tons of face to face support group meetings in the area…I would love to go to more, but feel I’m taking time away from my husband.  I don’t want this surgery to take away from our relationship…like I said before: trying the find the balance.
I’m continuing to lose at a rate of about .5 lb per day, it seems like a continual process of trying on clothes that are going into the too big pile…and finding items that used to be too small and now fits….there has been a whole lot of shopping in my closet. I was noticing this morning I now have a waist, and my last roll is almost gone.
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Appreciation Giveaway



Just want to share that I’m running an appreciation giveaway for reaching over 1,500 likes on Facebook. I would have shared earlier but unfortunately life has been insane lately. But there is still plenty of time to enter if you are interested.

Enter at

Guest Post: Satisfied versus Full – How do you know?


My first guest post is from the lovely dietitians at Nutrition For Weight Loss Surgery. Sally Johnston and Justine Hawke are Accredited Practising Dietitians and Accredited Nutritionists with a combined experience in weight management of over 20 years. Sally & Justine have worked with hundreds of people undergoing weight loss surgery and have not only the theory to share with you, but the valuable, practical tips they have learned from their clients. You can read more about Nutrition for Weight Loss Surgery at Sally’s book, Your Complete Guide to Nutrition for Weight Loss Surgery is a must have for anyone considering, undergoing or who has had weight loss surgery. Available as both hard copy and ebook, more details are available here: For all the latest recipes, hints, tips, tricks & product review, sign up for Sally & Justine’s free ebook and monthly newsletter here Also make sure to follow them on Facebook at

Satisfied versus Full – How do you know?

Many of our weight loss surgery clients talk to us about ‘feeling full’. It is common for many clients who we meet prior to having surgery to speak about ‘feeling full on a smaller amount of food’ being one motivation to have surgery. Following surgery, those with a gastric band may often seek further adjustments of their band hoping it will help them feel ‘full’.Feeling satisfied and feeling full after eating are not the same and it is important to understand the difference.

To eat until satisfied means to eat until you are no longer hungry. You feel you have definitely eaten something, but may not need to eat for a few hours. You could eat more.

Eating until full is like when prior to surgery, you dined out on a delicious three course meal, so tasty you could not bare to leave any on the plate. It may be the feeling after trying to make sure you got your value for money at a buffet, or the feeling after lunch on Christmas Day.

Eating until full after weight loss surgery can cause some discomfort, indicating you have eaten too much. Continuing to eat too much over a long period of time will compromise your weight loss and it can cause surgical complications.

Eating until satisfied will guide the amount of food you should be eating. Whilst serving sizes may have been recommended to you, everyone is different and you need to listen to your internal cues to judge how much is right for you to eat.

People who have dieted for many years may have lost touch with the signals they get when eating. It is important to re-learn how to listen to your body’s signals to judge how much to eat.

The following scale can be useful to help you understand your internal signals and when is the right time to eat and to stop eating. Keep this scale near where you eat. Before you start eating a meal, stop and rate how hungry or full you are. Once you are part way through your meal, pause and consider where you would be on the scale. Do you need to continue, even if you haven’t finished the plate? If you are still hungry, continue eating. Pause again later in the meal and repeat. If you do finish the plate, rate yourself again.

Try this at different meals; breakfast, lunch and dinner. It may take some practice, but is an exercise well worth doing.

Your goal is to start to recognize the point where you reach a 6 – this is the goal.

  1. Starving, ravenous. All you can think about is how hungry you are. This is a ‘danger time’ for overeating.
  2. You may have a headache or feel weak or grumpy.
  3. You feel like it’s time to eat.
  4. Your hunger is just starting, but you could wait to eat. Your stomach is starting to feel empty.
  5. Not hungry, not full.
  6. Satisfied or “just right”. You are no longer hungry, but probably will be in about three or four hours.
  7. You had a few bites too many. You are a little uncomfortable.
  8. You definitely don’t need more food.
  9. Your stomach feels stuffed, uncomfortably full.
  10. So full you feel like you could vomit.

For some more reading on this topic we highly recommend the work of Dr Rick Kausman and his book, If Not Dieting, Then What? Find out more here:

Let us know how you go finding your number 6 by joining the conversation on our Facebook page:

For more great info, please download our free ebook, Top Ten Tips for Success with Weight Loss Surgery, available on our website:


The Tie One On For Fibromyalgia Campaign



Just want to share about a fibromyalgia campaign I discovered, it’s called Tie One On For Fibromyalgia.

I’ve help them out by creating this image for them to share. So please share and better yet join us on Friday, October 31 and wear a purple tie or scarf to bring more attention to fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia awareness is very important to me as developed the condition after my life threatening allergic reaction.

The Journey Of Juicing


This blog post is a part of Williams-Sonoma Juice Week

About two years into my weight loss journey in 2012 I started juicing, I jumped on the juicing wagon when a co-worker of mine at the time was ranting and raving about how easy and tasty it was to juice so I decided to give it a try for myself. I got myself a Shaper Image Stainless Steel Supper Juicer 8021 and starting juicing and experimenting with all sorts of fruits and vegetables to find my favorite combinations. Needless to say I was hooked and was on a juicing journey. It’s easy, tasty, and a fun way to experiment in the kitchen.

Juicing is a great way to add fruits and vegetables into your diet. It is also a nice way to try certain fruits and vegetables you normally wouldn’t eat. Afraid to eat kale? Toss some in the juicer with apples or whatever you heart my desire and you’ll have a tasty drink. Your body will thank you! Juicing recipes are easily available online, cookbooks, or just have fun mixing up your own combinations of fruits and vegetables. That’s the beauty of juicing you are in charge what what goes into your glass and it gives you can to be adventurous. When you juice, one suggestion of mine is return some of the pulp, that is left over from juicing , to your cup before you drink your masterpiece. Not only does the pulp have healthy fiber and other important vitamins and minerals, but it can help fill you up! If you don’t want to drink the pulp save it and bake it into some muffins. The pulp is too valuable to waste in my opinion.

You can really juice about must anything! Some of my personal favorites and their benefits are:

-watermelon: studies have suggested that watermelon decreases the risk of obesity and overall mortality, diabetes, heart disease and promotes a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, overall lower weight.

-strawberries: rich in vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and fiber.
-blueberries: contain antioxidants, which work to neutralize free radicals linked to the development of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other age-related conditions.

-raspberries: anti- cancer benefits have attributed antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients in raspberries.

-pineapple: a source of thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, manganese and potassium and antioxidants and polyphenols. Only known source of an enzyme called bromelain, which has been determined to be effective in alleviating joint pain, arthritis, reduce inflammation, and inhibit tumor growth.

-lemons/limes: rich in vitamin C, help eliminate kidney stones and strengthen your immune system, cleanse your stomach, and it is considered a blood purifier.

-apples: full of antioxidants, flavanoids, and dietary fiber. May help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.
-carrots: loaded with Vitamin A and Beta-carotene. Help reduce cancer and cardiovascular disease risks.

-ginger root: ginger is widely used for loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, flatulence, stomach upset, colic, morning sickness and motion sickness. Adds a spicy kick to your juice!

-mint leaves: mint has one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any food!

Obviously there are tons of other fruits and vegetables to juice out there. All of them have great health benefits and offer a different flavor to your juice. Just give juicing a try, I promise you’ll be hooked and prefer it over store bought anyway!

In need of a juicer to start on your juicing journey? Check out the awesome selection available at Williams-Sonoma

Trying To Keep My Head Above Water


Sorry I’ve been kind of absent from posting. Most days I’m just trying to keep my head above water. One month ago I was officially diagnosed with fibromyalgia through I have been suffering from the problems since about February after suffering from a life threatening allergic reaction that started to shut down my kidneys and required me to have 11 blood transfusions. I also spent 13 days in the hospital and was out of work for 8 weeks. This year has really been hard. My depression comes and goes, the pain is consent. Two months ago I transferred departments at work as I was having huge problems doing my physical job effective. With my new job I still get to care for people but it is much easier on my body. However the 40 hours a week still exhausts me. Some weeks it’s too much.

Almost every day I ask “why me.” Life was going so well towards the end of last year and in an instance my life changed forever. I used to run and completed several 5Ks. I used to walk a ton. I could do planks and things I could never do before, all that’s a distant memory now. Just going out and walking now is a huge chore and hard on my body, but I try to do it because in the long run it is good for my fibromyalgia. I try to remain positive but some days it’s just too hard.