Saturday, June 23, 2012


Oh, hello blog readers.
Hope this finds you well and sweaty. I have had some crazy days since my last ‘Time Management’ blog where I am sure I came across as a HOT MESS. Well, much to my dismay, but no surprise, I am still quite the hot mess, but I am gaining some strength in perspective. Slowly, but surely.
Strength. It takes strength to get up in the morning, put on a smile, work hard, and be a good person. It takes strength to do what is right and give what is good. It takes strength to stay on this journey and move forward every day. It takes strength to know when you need help and to ask for it. It takes strength to balance life and live it well. If strength is this necessary, I must reflect on it in my life. How does one learn how to be strong? I think part of my struggles with my weight have had to do with my lack of strength or my lack of believing in my strength. I have always been very fortunate to be surrounded by extremely strong people and it seems that it has only been over the last year that their lessons are really surfacing. Daily, I am recalling conversations I have had almost 10 years back that are just now being understood. I know I may not do everything right, but strong is one I can handle.
I met with the Big Boss Lady (BBL) today at work and she said something that I have heard many times, but today it stuck…”You can’t be everything to everyone”. This is something that I have struggled with since I was able to choose to live my life or help everyone else to live theirs. For the last 10 years, I really haven’t always lived my life. Glimpses here and there, but usually, I am surrendering my time for something or someone else. (This time management theme will remain present in most of my posts until I either die or figure it out). I have been proud to say that I have lived a life of service. I am blessed with a life that can contribute to bettering someone else’s so that’s what I do. Whether it be my parents, sisters, partner, friends, patients or strangers, I want to make life happier and easier for everyone else. Though it takes strength to do that, it takes way more strength to pull back. I honestly can say I still struggle with this. I would rather be unhappy in order to make someone else happy. And don’t confuse this with a people pleaser. I am far from a people pleaser, in fact, I have pissed off more people than I have pleased, but oh look…there goes the last f&*k I gave about that. If you are in my life, you must know I would give my last penny, shirt off my back, last ounce of food and all my time for you. It’s my gift. Even if I don’t do the best job at it. It’s the only thing I can truly and constantly unconditionally offer.
My public service has become what drives me and what makes me a true professional. As the Godfather Uncle Victor would say, I do it “so that others may live…”. I want to make a difference and leave an impact in the lives of other people. My heart is in the right place, but it is surrounded by a buildup of fat and probably some plaque that shows how little I have done for myself. This is the sharpest fork in my road yet. Which way do I go? Do I continue on a path that provides other people with a constant support or do I start living my life for me? To be happy, I must find the middle. I must continue on this journey I have started and do what is right for my heart, soul and mind. I will never stop and I will succeed. I must also continue to do the work I was placed on this Earth to do. Service.
I am grateful for the strength I gain from my BBL, family and friends to live my life for me and I am also dedicated to them until I take my last breath. 
May the strength that surrounds you, lift you up every day.
68 pounds down. I am plateauing a little bit, but I know why. I’ve had a few less workouts and a couple days with some long gaps in between meals. I have vowed to myself and to all of you that I will not fail at this. This journey has no U-turns. This weekend I will spend cleaning out my fridge (I may find WMD, but I live with a HazMat Captain…I will survive), refilling it with good food, lots of fitness and I am registering for my first 5K on July 29…thanks to Michael and Cara.
Shout Outs:
BBL: I thought I knew leadership and professionalism and then I met you. If I could be half the leader you are when I grow up, I will have achieved greatness.
Family: Nan, Mommy, Grode, Murr, Nooch, Ryan Dennis, Bun and Pup…Pinecrest, this year, will be epic. I can’t wait. Check for spiders before I get there, please.
Whenever I find myself lost, I return to my roots. Good, fresh, healthy food, food tracking and fitness. Burn them calories.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Motivate & Perspirate

Feeling good. 

Mentally and physically I feel on top of the world. I know that I have more to do, I am no where near maintenance (40 lbs to go). However, the habits and the life I am living is what I hope maintenance looks like for me. I love meeting with my trainer and friend, Michael, once a week. His spin classes are AMAZING and I am trying to run 3 miles as many days a week as possible. My husband, Ryan, is also killing it in the gym and I have decided that getting one workout a week with him at the gym is important to our journey together. 

This past week was by far one of my best in a while. I ate really really well, but I have to say putting a variety in my workout was awesome. 

Tuesday: Training session with Michael and 90 minutes of cardio with Ryan at 24 hour
Wednesday: I was late for spin (Michael's secret is out, so there were NO bikes) I did 40 minutes of cardio on the stationary bike and stair climber, then took the boys to my aunt's pool and swam/played for 90 minutes
Thursday: 3 mile run which included a 10:27 minute mile!!!! and swimming for 2 hours
Sunday: 90 minutes of Mike Messina and John Hebison's Boot Camp in the HOT HOT sun*

I loved this week! LOVED! And although the scale is not moving much (because my workouts have not looked like this) I had some fun and I am seeing that I am stronger and faster. I also love doing this with friends and family. Ryan and Betty were at the Boot Camp with Mike Messina and John Hebison, we encourage each other and check in on each other and that to me is support!! 

Things I am learning: you MUST have clothes you look and feel good in as you lose. I have been wearing clothes that are too big and just not cute. I am not buying whole wardrobes, just a few items that I can mix and match and luckily I can give some to Betty as she moves into the sizes too. I just ought a size 14 bathing suit. The bathing suit I have worn for the last 3 years has been a XXL maternity suit! Seriously I feel GREAT!

MOTIVATION: I have been grabbing quotes off Facebook and Pinterest that keep me thinking and keep me going. I think about them or re-read them a million times over the course of the day. 

Motivate and perspirate!

*Mike Messina was Biggest Loser Season 13's at Home WINNER! John Hebison was one of his trainers while he was home training and losing. Together they have created a weekend Boot Camp. 1-2 hours on Saturday and Sunday mornings in the East Bay Area. We are lucky to be able to work out with them. Awesome work out indeed. If you are interested in coming, please let us know and we can send you the details!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

{Time Management}

by Betty
Time management or lack thereof, has always been something I seriously struggle with. You think my weight is my #1 battle…try getting me ANYWHERE on time. I am the worst. It is something I absolutely can’t stand about myself. I have the worst time management skills of anyone on the planet. I am not really sure why or how it started, but every moment of the day I find myself rushing. Rushing to get to work, rushing to make a meeting, rushing to get a paper in, rushing to find time to breathe. This broad generalization would normally be something I would just set aside and deal with, but it affects a lot of people around me. It affects my ability to be efficient, my stress level, should I be late (oh and it happens…even with the rushing) I may appear very unreliable, and most importantly it costs me the trust of the most important relationships I have in my life.
My best friend Kian, recently and tragically lost her brother. He had just turned 25 years old and a few days later didn’t wake up from his sleep. To know the love I have for Kian is to know true, unconditional, pure love,  but you wouldn’t know that from my actions. We met working together at AMR and our friendship remained. She is a model friend. Comes to everything, remembers everything, is always there for me and knows me like no one else. I thought I knew friendship. Then I met Kian. We believe in the same foundations of friendship and integrity which makes her someone I need in my life. I need very few…I need Kian. I have been blessed with a partner and family who support me and are always there for me, and friends who know me and love me still, but my struggle with time management doesn’t allow me to support them the same way. This is why it must change. I must change.
Since Kian’s brother died, she has only seen me 3 times. It’s been a month and I have done little to support her. This absolutely breaks my heart. She is disappointed in me and that, I can not have. My word means everything to me and without it, I am without. When I became friends with Kian and many times throughout our relationship, I have vowed to be her rock. (After hiking Sandstone, I know rocks, and I have been far from a rock for Kian).
I chose to blog about this because time management is something I know I need in order to be successful in life and on my journey. Additionally, I blog about this because life happens and dealing with it is definitely part of my journey. I am quite disappointed in myself for letting Kian and many people down. I know I am not the best daughter, sister, cousin, granddaughter, partner, personal training client or friend, but I want to be. However, good intentions without action make it all crap. My weight loss journey is about living a healthy, happy lifestyle. It’s not about stress, rushing, or disappointment, for anyone. What I know is that I want to do well at work, in school, and with my journey…but mostly I  want to be a good person for the people in my life. Nothing else really matters.
So my question/inquiry/proposal to anyone reading who tends to be spread too thin every day…how do you do it? I am looking for advice on how to balance my life. I work at Kaiser 5 days a week and it’s busy. I consult at my previous job, AMR whenever they need me. For now, it’s all by phone. I go to school online which includes 3 discussion questions, 2 papers, and about 100-200 pages of reading (with comprehension…that’s the key) a week. I work out 4-5 days a week for about an hour, but want that to be 6 days for 2 hours. I have 2 cats, a home, a family and friends that I really want to see and talk to regularly. Oh and I like to sleep. So how do I do this? Don’t ask me to cut back. Don’t tell me I am crazy. I have been blessed with this life and I need/want to live it. I invite any and all ideas/best practices. My email is if you would like to send me an email rather than leave a comment.
In the meantime, I am going to start logging everything on a calendar. I will also try not allowing work to consume me. I will try to use any free time better than I have been instead of wasting it on bullshit. Back on November 27, 2011 when I started my journey, I vowed to myself to take back control of my life. This is part of that vow.

Shout outs:
Kian…Rock and rib. That’s us. I am sorry that I have let you down. Intentions mean nothing when actions are crap. I am confident we will move past this and find a renewed sense of the love we have always had. I know that this month has flipped your world upside down. I can’t come close to understanding what it would be like to lose a sibling and I hope I never do, but I do know what’s it’s like to see your best friend hurt and it’s the worst thing I have ever been through. I know you will never ask for anything, but I am here. I love you more than life.

We are far from perfect. Own your shit when you know you are wrong and make it right. Do whatever it takes to make it right. To deny my faults, especially about something like this, sets me up for failure. And I, my dear readers, am an Italian, Irish, native San Franciscan, Biggest Loser Resort beast, who knows that life is short which means I DON’T FREAKIN FAIL.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

7 Month Check Up

It has been 7 months...7 months. We arrived at the Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge in Malibu on November 27, 2011. I will never forget how scared and yet how excited I was to be there. I had left my two sons and my husband, to make a change...FOREVER. I knew that it was not going to be a miracle. But I did actually think I could set a goal, 20 lbs in 2 weeks. Boy was I wrong on that one. It wasn't going to be a miracle and after 2 weeks I had lost 9.6 lbs and just over 5 inches. Not a bad start, but my journey was just in its baby steps. 

This past week I finally reached some new goals. I PR'd on the treadmill at 10.5 for about 25 seconds, I am so close to officially hitting the 60 lb mark. Michael, my trainer, also remeasured me, in 2 months I have lost another 10 inches from my body, 2.25 from my ass!!! (Total since the resort approximately 20+/-). But my biggest success is jumping back on this wagon. Back in January, I had officially fallen off. I didn't gain anything, but I wasn't losing. It happened again in March and every single time I went back to my basic goals that I had set at the resort. 3--1 hour workouts a week and 1600 calories a day tracked with MyFitnessPal, oh and I wear my Body Media Fit armband EVERYDAY. 

So it was time to look at pictures again, I remembered that my wonderful BLR friend Heather  (check out her blog here) had some pictures from BLR on our very first hike. I needed to know what I looked like. So she sent me the photos and I have to say I am shocked. Shocked not because I look so much different, but because I didn't know that I looked that unhealthy, let's be honest...I didn't know I was FAT! How did I not know it. Maybe I did, but clearly didn't care, or maybe I didn't want to believe it, but now here I am looking and comparing my before to my now. I am not done. My first major goal is to hit 199. I have about 24 lbs. until that goal is a reality. I will keep doing what I have been doing, I will be running my second half marathon on July 29, the SF Marathon. And I will continue to see Michael once a week and take his spin class every Wednesday. When I reach my final goal, not exactly sure what that is maybe 180, I want to spend one more week at Fitness Ridge. I want  to go back to where I began. I want to remind myself that there is officially an athlete inside of me and that making these changes in my life are the most important thing I can do for myself. Along with the support of my trainer and my family and my friends, I know I can do this. 

And to my partner in crime, Betty, I cannot wait for you to run your first half together in November!

Are you ready...I sure wasn't, but here I am in all my glory.

Today and 7 months ago, wearing the EXACT same clothes.

Thanks Ryan for the side-by-side edit!