Living my truth

I am obese.

There I said it. I said it out loud. I have written it in this post.

I did not die.

Living my truth – a reality

This is the second step in cultivating the courage to live my truth and embracing who I am.

While obesity is not the sum of all who I am, it is a huge (no pun intended) mirror of how I see myself. It’s difficult exercising the compassion that comes with knowing I am made of both strength and struggle. But I have begun to start mindfully practicing authenticity of another soul-searching struggle. My weight.

If you have been a reader of my blog, you will note my many posts on varying diets and exercise programs I have started that only ended up with no follow-through and failure.I know I will never be my 26-year-old, 108-pound self again. Yet even genetics and Hashimoto’s disease aside, I own the reasons for why I am obese 30 years later.

I am beginning to nurture a lifestyle that connects a sense of worthiness that comes with knowing who I am and that I am enough. I don’t need to be perfect. I don’t need to be thin. I need to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

Living my truth – setting the boundaries

I will never diet again.


I will never diet again.

I am being deliberate with sharing my weight struggle. By sharing my weight imperfection and admitting my vulnerability particularly in recent blog posts, I cannot continue to cope with my weight, nor do I believe I can conquer it, but I know I can manage it.

I have made the following 5 empowering decisions in managing my weight struggle:

1. I do not have a weight goal.
2. I do not have a time goal in which to lose weight.
3. I will not weigh myself.
4. I will not measure myself with a measuring tape or do the once-over in the mirror.
5. I will not measure myself in terms of success or failure.

I know these decisions go against every self-help, diet and exercise plan on the market today, but I say, “enough with the nonsense!!

Living my truth – a lifestyle

If living my truth means being authentic, then being authentic means living and loving wholeheartedly the person that I am during my wrestling matches between my struggles and the strength of being a survivor including believing I am deserving of joy and love too.

My new lifestyle is inviting grace, joy and gratitude into my life… like stopping at my favorite coffee shop, The Flower Bar every morning for a cup of organic coffee… and other things people may find to be an inconsequential part of their routine, but for me it’s just a small bit of kindness I spend on myself.

“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.” ~ Christopher K. Germer

Another lifestyle change comes in the way of a book recommendation, Diabetes Meals by the Plate, 90 low-carb meals to mix & match by Diabetic Living. (I LOVE THIS BOOK.) I hate to cook or follow recipes. This book was written for me – simple, visual, and ‘normal’ food. It shows how to fill a 9-inch plate, one-half inch high of healthy foods all under 500 calories. The mix and match style allows me to determine what foods I can exchange for my tastes and for foods that don’t agitate my Hashimoto’s disease.

5 Lifestyle decisions:

1. I do not count calories.
2. I do not record what I eat.
3. I do not have a weekly workout goal.
4. I will not live and die by wearing a Fitbit.
5. I am committed to the 9-inch diabetic plate.

My husband, Vinny Sal joined a gym with me. I’ll go to the gym right after work or after dinner and if he wants to join me – great! If not, I will still go by myself. It’s my weight struggle, not his. I am grateful though for a supportive and a loving husband.

Living my truth – today

“Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt and live like it’s heaven on Earth.” ~ Mark Twain

How do I know that this new lifestyle change will not end up in failure too?

I don’t.

But the sad truth is, I won’t have tomorrow if I don’t make the necessary lifestyle changes today that will allow me to see my sons graduate from college, get married, and hold my grandchildren. I want the happiness I have not known before which is just being happy with myself. That sad truth is my daily reminder to live and enjoy the poetry of today in mind, body, and spirit.




#FitbitTheOwl – Taking a hit

(This is the fourth in a continuing series, #FitBitTheOwl.)

An Update

It’s been since last September since I posted about my progress with the perimeter walk – my “backyard fitness plan where the only mirror is a positive attitude!”

When it rains, it pours both figuratively and literally. We had one of the most beautiful falls in recent memory and the perimeter walk with Penny and Barkley was an established habit. The three of us were really enjoying the outdoors, the fall colors, the early sunsets and the fresh air. The daily 2.5 to 3-mile walk was not only refreshing physically but mentally too.

In preparing for winter weather, I purchased new snow boots and snow pants. I was NOT going to let the cold weather and snow keep me from succeeding in my business plan to better fitness in mind, body and spirit. Then it began to rain, and rain, and rain… even the dogs wouldn’t go out with me. I do have a treadmill, but I rationalized myself right out of that boring activity pretty-quickly.

The scariest “rain” storm came late in October when I awoke in the middle of the night in a pool of blood. A medical emergency that caused me to miss a week and a half at work. Nothing like a phone call to your husband, who is out of town on a business trip, informing him to come home immediately to really start thinking about how easy we take our health for granted. A myriad of ultrasounds, CT-scans, and a medical procedure determined it wasn’t cancer, but the surgery would be in my future.

It was difficult to get back into the backyard again walking the perimeter. The dogs missed our time together, but October took a lot out of me.

Then more rain, then snow, and then the holidays. Need I say more?

It’s the new year and back to square one

January turns out to be cold, damp, and rainy. For the love of scotch! We have not seen a winter like this with more rain than snow!

Then it is back to follow up doctor appointments and another doctor referral.

“You have two choices”

After being sick last fall, I thought I had at least maintained my weight, but I was 4 pounds heavier. My primary care physician who gave me the verbal spanking last summer that inspired, The Perimeter Walk, was not pleased. He referred me to a new endocrinologist for a second opinion since he wasn’t so sure my current endo was doing me any favors. (My inner eye roll, “not another doctor.”)

After changing my prescription and talking at length about my health goals, this new endo gave me the same recommendation as my gynecologist last fall. Bariatric surgery. After explaining why some people of have difficulty losing weight than others, he said, “You have two choices.”

“You can continue to be diligent with your diet, portion control, increase your exercise output, and just be happy with the way you are.”


“You can consider Bariatric surgery, more than likely you will be able to decrease your medicine dosage, and lose the weight.”

Decisions, decisions

After discussing with friends and family who have had different types of Bariatric surgery, hearing their stories, a strategic planning session is in order. Two different surgeries for two different potentially long term life-saving consequences.


This post in the “FitbitTheOwl was supposed to be about “The Bonus Plan” where I was to discuss strategic planning for successful results. I didn’t realize that the strategic planning I thought I would be having would involve such considerations.

While research and consider what to do next, if any readers of this post would like to share their stories with me privately or for future posts on Bariatric surgery or how you achieve your health goals, please email me at or tweet @thebloggingowl. I would love to hear from you.

Until next time!

The Perimeter Walk – “Backyard fitness where the only mirror is a positive attitude!”


#FitbitTheOwl – The Bonus Plan, Part 1

(This is the third in a continuing series, #FitBitTheOwl.)

Early in my professional career in sales, I joined a financial services company headquartered in a Philadelphia suburb.  Upon my hiring, I along with about 7 other new district managers were sent to headquarters for two weeks for orientation sales training. I was the sole woman in the group and only one of three women in a group of 28 district sales manager nationally for this company.

The sales training manager was pure Philly and ex-military so he was quite full of himself and a task master. Our sales training consisted of 8 hours of being stuck in a windowless conference room with lunch often brought in to our meetings. At the time, I was a vegetarian, which I could tell rankled the training manager a bit since the menus were often limited to pretty much bar food.  Plus, being the only woman in a group of eight, a bit competitive, and single (all of us were in our mid-twenties), I didn’t let his macho persona get to me. He was one of those types that liked to instill fear or “you’re outta here!”

The goal of the sales training was an orientation to their products and services, but mainly to brainwash the district managers into learning  a word-for-word canned sales pitch. At the end of the two-week sales training period, each one of us was to have learned this sales pitch that was 2.5 pages, typed in single space with 1-inch margins. We would present the sales pitch while being videotaped, plus we would be required at the end of the two weeks to write the sales pitch word-for- word including proper punctuation with no errors. “Zero tolerance for errors!”

I went along with the training game, but I knew once I was back in my sales territory that “canned” sales pitch would go right out the window as I drove back to my apartment from the airport. If my new clients were anything like my previous clients, I would be laughed at right out of their office. Yet, I played along because whoever was perfect in rewriting the sales presentation word-for-word, complete with correct punctuation won $100.  It wasn’t much money, but that wasn’t the point. I was the only woman and I wanted to win the prize, dammit!  In fact, I would become only one of three women district sales managers on a team of 28 district sales managers nationally.


Now, why am I telling you this story?

During that two-week sales orientation meeting, there were one or two new district sales managers that didn’t make it to the end of the “Mr. Philly’s” sales training. One of them in particular from New Jersey was scoffing at Mr. Philly’s sales techniques which drew this response, Look in this mirror!  Whadya see??”


(Obviously, Mr. Philly was prepared for a scoffer in the bunch because he held up a small mirror.)

You know what I see??  I see a bad attitude! And none of ya’s are going to be successful with a bad attitude!”

At the end of the two weeks, I did win the $100 bucks. Not because I bought into his sales pitch entirely, but because I had an attitude toward winning. I wanted to prove to Mr. Philly and to the other guys in the group that I was going to beat them, not only in that dank, little conference room but out there in the sales world. And I did. I took an under-performing territory that ranked almost last nationally to third in the country within nine months.

In order to earn the bonus…

Over twenty-five years later, I am putting that same positive attitude into “The Perimeter Walk Business Plan.” #FitbitTheOwl – The Business Plan.  I know my neighbors, friends, family, and perhaps some of my readers think I am a bit nuts, silly, weird, whatever by my backyard perimeter walk and turning the fitness lingo into the sales lingo. I know there have been a few giggles.

But you know what?  I don’t care!

What keeps me motivated is that “before” photo I promised I would reveal when I hit my sales (fitness) goals. I want my husband and sons to be proud of me, but most of all, I want to be proud of me. I want to earn that bonus of a healthier me, and in order to earn my fitness bonuses it starts with that positive attitude Mr. Philly drilled into our sales group all those years ago.

The Tag Line

In almost all fitness gyms there are the dreaded mirrors. Those mirrors are there to help make sure people working out are doing the exercises properly, however, those damn mirrors are what keeps many people from returning to the gym. Who wants to look at themselves in the shape that brought them there in the first place?

But I thought about that mirror Mr. Philly held up in that conference room. I thought about what I saw in my own imaginary mirror. I saw that photo of myself that one day I will have to post here, as I promised, whether I win or lose at this perimeter walk business plan. The only mirror I want in my backyard is an attitude that reflects a winner no matter who giggles at my walking the perimeter every night.

Every business plan, there is a marketing tag line that is supposed to inspire and motivate everyone towards the business plan’s success.  My perimeter walk tag line is this, Backyard fitness where the only mirror reflects a positive attitude.”

Go ahead, giggle…. “but, none of ya’s are gonna believe the ‘after’ photo!”


My next post in this series will be “#FitbitTheOwl – The Bonus Plan, Part 2.”  I will be discussing more of my strategic sales trajectory planning for achieving successful business results.

I will also be updating you on my backyard fitness progress!

“Backyard fitness where the only mirror reflects a positive attitude!”