Romantic Interlude

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“What’s wrong with dad? He looks like he lost his best friend.” Josie says.

I look at my husband sitting at the end of the pool. He does look forlorn.


“Are you OK? You look sad.”

“Yeah. I’m just considering the preseason injuries the 49ers sustained. It doesn’t look good.”

“Oh well, I’m sure sitting here worrying will help,” I chuckle.

“And we have the pool cover on wrong.”

“I’ll help you turn it over.”

“And I’m still fat*. I look in the mirror and I just don’t want to be this fat.”

“Why don’t you exercise? Make it fun?”

“No, it’s too hot for fun.”

“OK, Eeyore. Have it your way.”


We both laugh.


*see post about his weight loss. He’s lost over 15 lbs in the past two months!

The Secrets To Being Fit For Life


You’re on your 18th diet. You’ve lost weight before – many times – and you’re planning on doing it once more. You’re going to the Bahamas this spring and you want to look good.

Why do you find yourself back in this place again and again?

You had the wrong kind of motivation.

There’s short-term motivation and long-term motivation. Short-term motivation is fueled by factors outside of the goal. For example, you’re motivated to lose 15 lbs. because you want to look good for your trip to the Bahamas. “The Bahamas” is not only outside the contiguous United States, but it’s also outside of  being healthy and fit. You’ll be able to take the weight off, maybe. But the weight will come back. This is because your motivation lies outside of you. It’s external.

If you want to lose 30 lbs. because you want to be more ambulatory or because you want to get off your blood pressure medication and you want to feel more energetic, then your motivation is internal and you are much, much  more likely to stick with your exercise, diet and all the other healthy habits that you need to adopt for the change.

This goes for any goal you create for yourself. If you want to ensure that you make a long-lasting (permanent) change, define for yourself the internal motivation for it. The externals are easy: more money, the respect of others, prestige, etc. But the internals? These could include: new skills, peace of mind, confidence, mental strength, and physical strength.

Of course, there are consequences for hard work. You very well might make more money by gaining new work skills. You might get noticed and gain fame. You might look great on the beach.  But make sure these are not part of your motivation and it’s more likely that you’ll sustain your success.











It’s the WHY, as well as the how.


One New Habit: A New You

We’re still 87 days to New Year’s (but who’s counting)?

Maybe you get excited about setting resolutions. Maybe you are thinking of how you are FINALLY going to change…lose weight, make/save more money, get a new job/spouse/partner.

Or maybe not. Maybe you’ve tried and failed so many times, you’ve given up.

If you are serious about reaching your goals, then you need to develop healthy habits. It’s the things you do on a daily basis that ultimately lead to the actualization of your dreams. Crash diets don’t lead to long-term weight loss. Superficial makeovers don’t lead to marriage and a lottery ticket won’t make you rich (your chances: 1 in 14 million).

It’s going to take change on a daily basis. But it doesn’t have to be painful.

Charles Duhigg of The Power of Habit discusses the surprising power of developing a small habit. He found that people who formed a small, healthy habit usually developed other strong, healthy habits.

For example, I know someone who decided to see if drinking 64 oz of water every day would get rid of her under eye circles. She drank at least 64 oz of water every day for six weeks. She didn’t notice a difference with the dark circles (dang it!), but she did notice that she was eating healthier foods and exercising more regularly which led her to sleeping better.

Duhigg was right!

What small, healthy habit can you begin today?


The Personals


[This is an ad ghost-written by me, on behalf of my husband].


MWM Seeks General Practitioner

You:  Good-looking, fit doctor. Non-smoker. Willing to give tough love. Age between 30 and 49 (I don’t want you dying on me). Friendly, passionate, conversationalist (I like to talk), must be funny. Race unimportant. Favors advice of healthy eating and exercise over pill-popping, per my wife.


Me: Hilarious white male. 6′ tall, 200-something-lbs. (will discuss when we meet).  Nonsmoker. Honest. Good-looking. Hobbies include football (watching) and baseball (also watching).  Cookie-addict. Seeking painless weight-loss. Call me.



What “Countdowns” Really Mean


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A few weeks ago, I wrote about Eckhart Tolle’s premise that Judging others and ourselves, Attaching (to things) and Resisting reality (JAR) all lead to unhappiness and that if you eradicate these three things, you will be happy.

Counting down to vacation, the weekend, or the end of the work day are examples of moments when we resist reality. These are opportunities to stop and think: we need to stop resisting our reality, our longing to be elsewhere.

I  used to have a Countdown app. Long story, but I was in a job with a terrible boss. The job would end in 102 days. When I realized this “secret,”- that counting down was the antithesis of living with joy –  I deleted the app and paid attention to my life. I did my best to enjoy every minute of the job, despite this awful boss. And I really began to love it!

Enjoy your present moment. Our lives are made of a chain of present moments, right? One right after another….this  makes up a lifetime.

I was eating lunch with someone. She said, “I wonder what we’ll have for dinner.” Don’t do that. Fully enjoy your lunch. Dinner will happen when it happens. “But I  have to plan it. I have to think about it beforehand, it doesn’t just happen,” you say. True. But while  you eat your lunch, eat your lunch. Enjoy each bite. Being fully present for each bite…realizing when you are full and stopping…this is the best “diet.” When it comes time to plan your dinner, do it. And plan your dinner, but only do that. Be fully present. Be happy.

We were driving to violin lessons today. It’s a 45 minute drive.  The car in front of us was crossing the line and coming back. The car in the other lane could not advance because of this. I thought, “Either this driver is drunk, or texting.” We passed the car and I saw the driver looking at his lap, obviously on his phone. How dangerous! We saw several people driving in this manner.

Multi-tasking is not only the enemy of happiness and excellent work, it can also cost lives.

So do not countdown to the next thing. Do not do two things at the same time. Slow down. Relax. Be mindful. This is the secret to happiness.









Are you looking for a REAL makeover?

I’m dedicating this portion of my website to life makeovers: not just losing weight or a getting a new hairdo, but overcoming huge obstacles like self-doubt, depression and “failure.”

The easiest and most motivating way to do this is to learn from people who are doing or have done what you are dreaming of accomplishing!

The Debut Spotlight belongs to someone who, against all odds, overcame incestual abuse, spousal abuse and debilitating depression. She is also a single mother of two beautiful daughters. Still think you can’t overcome your current struggle? Meet Laurie Lee…. She lost 130lbs and gained a brand new life.

The “Baggage”

Laurie experienced incestuous abuse at a very young age from various male members of her family. She left her home, fell in love and got married at the age of 26.  After having two daughters, she realized she was in a loveless marriage. There was no physical affection of any kind and no emotional connection. At age 33, she was divorced. “The weight gain just happened,” she says. “After ten years of absolutely no exercise and bad eating habits, I weighed 275lbs.”

She was working at a bank and doing very well, but her boss could tell that she needed help, and told her so. Fortunately, Wells Fargo has excellent insurance for employees. They covered counseling sessions and, despite her doubts, she went. “I didn’t expect anything to change, but something did.”

Laurie’s therapist is an exceptional one. While Laurie kept calling herself, “broken,” Tammy was adamant that nothing was broken, especially Laurie. During her first session, Tammy listened to her 100%. There was no agenda and Laurie was shocked.

After several sessions of Laurie sharing her painful past with her, she declared, “I want to lose 100lbs this year.” Tammy didn’t blink an eye. Laurie thought she’d say, “That’s nice, but you have a lot on your plate already.” Instead, she said, “OK.”

Throughout their next sessions, Tammy began using words like “fearless” and “warrior” to describe Laurie. It was a challenge – a very big one – but slowly, Laurie began to see herself that way. “Those are powerful words!” Laurie says.

Losing the Weight

Laurie said she wanted to try running. Again, she expected Tammy to laugh in her face, or say she wasn’t ready. Tammy accepted her wishes matter-of-factly. Laurie joined a running support group. The group supported much more than running, the women supported each other emotionally. “Running, for me, is a mind clearing event,” Laurie says over her salad. “But I started running to prove to Tammy that I couldn’t run.” It took her over a month before she could run a mile. She watched “The Biggest Loser” and admired Jillian Michaels. Laurie lost 60lbs. in 7 months.

It’s been a rollercoaster, Laurie’s weight loss and increase in self-esteem has not been easy. She’s cried a lot, felt alone much of the time and struggled with feeling at ease. With over 1/3 of the United States’ population being obese1, this disease is a pervasive, challenging one to overcome. The roots of obesity’s cause run deep. Mid-way through her progress, that discouraging voice still reared its ugly head. Laurie wanted to prove to Tammy that she was right, she was broken. So she brought in a broken flower vase. “You see, this is broken, this is how I feel. I want to feel whole again.” Tammy showed her a website of art created by broken glass. “So, you think these pieces of art, made of broken glass have no value?” “No, I mean…they are definitely worth more than just a broken vase.”

But now, Laurie feels better than ever. Take a look at the gallery:

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She’s still losing weight (slowly) and she’s enjoying the process!  These days, it’s more about the feeling she gets after the run. Some runs are inspiring, others not, but she always feels better after going on one.

Key Factors for Success

Take advantage of insurance and offers of help from others.

Know that life is a journey, not a destination.

Change your thoughts, learn to live through your heart. You come out the other side stronger.

Think less and feel more.

Don’t diet, just be aware of what you eat and stay active.

Get cute outfits, you want to look good.

References: 1

If you’re curious about your BMI (Body Mass Index), here’s a calculator: