Monthly Archives: July 2013


Today is Monday, and my first weigh in. Monday and weight, two things that are not so popular, but I am totally excited for my first weigh in. Monday, well I am a little sleepy thanks to our two Siamese cats Spanky and Rascal. They think three am is jungle gym time. Let’s just say the little Rascals are not so popular with me this morning as I make my way to begin my day and week. They are our babies but for some reason they only mess with me at night, and not my husband. Coffee is definitely needed today. I feel I had a successful week but I will see what the scale says later after work. Tomorrow is my second workout with Mike, my trainer/friend. This is a commitment but one that makes me happy and totally inspired and motivated. Bring it on, burpees and all.

After my first ten pounds I am volunteering with the Monday Night Mission, and donating food. I wrote a post about all of the wonderful selfless acts they do to keep the people at Skid Row in Los Angeles from being hungry. They are a blessing to the people of Skid Row and I am humbled by all that they do.

Homeless people have always touched my heart, and the fact that it could be anyone. No one on this earth is better than you or me, we are all the same. I was in NYC and I saw an older homeless woman crying on the street, and that night I wrote this poem. I do not rhyme usually but this one came to me in a rhyme. Remember, everyone has a story and everyone is someone important in the scheme of life. We are all one, we are all connected.

Step into my worn shoes,
How would you feel?
When People walk by,
Forgetting you are real.
Beyond your reach,
Hopes of a warm meal;
Or a place to lay your head,
To let your weary body heal.
Your spirit is broken,
But your head held high;
Only to be ignored,
By oblivious eyes.
A face with no name,
Is what they see;
Unloved, forgotten,
Throughout society.
Such lonely solitude,
Unanswered prayers;
Hopelessness and sorrow,
Does no one care?
Who will miss you
When it’s your time to go?
Will anyone remember,
Your name is not John Doe.
Rose Bruno Bailey


It is Sunday, and lazy Sunday it is. I am doing well on my journey to lose weight and get fit. Tomorrow is my first weigh in, so I probably will make a nice light, low sodium meal for Sunday dinner. One of my staple recipes is my Italian Style Lentil Soup. I make it almost every week, we love it and it is super healthy. 

I am great at making delicious vegetarian soups. I have become quite savvy at reinventing recipes to be healthy or vegetarian. I am no longer vegetarian but I eat that way most of the time. I hope you get the chance to make my simple yet wonderful Italian Style Lentil Soup. It is easy, inexpensive and oh so hearty. Serve it with some warmed crusty whole grain bread and you will sure win over even the most die-hard meat eaters of your family and friends. It is a big pot of deliciousness for all to savor and share, especially on a cool evening. I admit though, I also make this on a hot summer night. This soup is so healthy, and high in protein and fiber. A great way to eat a fulfilling meal and still stay on track.


You will need

One bag of dried lentils

A few tablespoons of olive oil ( I use two to three)

Chopped up onions, celery, and carrots. Enough to fill up the bottom of a semi large pot. I use Mirepoix 14.5 oz from Trader Joe’s, it is already pre-cut and I just add my own garlic. I use about six garlic cloves.
If you do not find Mirepoix use one large onion, two carrots, and two celery stalks, chopped fine.

Two  cartons of vegetable stock 32 fl oz. I use trader Joe’s.  You can use regular or low sodium, I have tried both. I usually use the low sodium vegetable broth.

One large can of diced tomatoes in juice.

One small can of tomato paste

Sea salt, ground pepper, dried basil.

Parmesan cheese to garnish

Saute garlic, onion, celery, and carrots in olive oil for a few minutes til the onion caramelizes and the vegetables cook down. Salt,pepper, and add some basil as you are cooking the vegetables. After they cook down mix in one small can of tomato paste.

Add full bag of lentils, 2 cartons of vegetable stock, and whole can of tomatoes with juice. You may need to add a little bit of water to fill pot up.

Add a bit more salt, pepper, and dried basil for flavor and stir.

Bring to a rolling boil, then simmer on low for 45 minutes covered.

When finished you can sprinkle Parmesan cheese and mix it in for more flavor.

I once sauteed some kale and added it to the soup right before it was finished cooking. It made it richer and more stew like.

I serve this with warmed whole grain bread from the bakery. It is absolutely delicious.

I hope you try and enjoy my Italian Lentil Soup Recipe. I love it and sometimes it is difficult to only have one bowl. Love and light to all from my west coast home to yours. Ciao for now.



Good morning on this beautiful  Saturday. So far I am doing great on my path to fitness and health. Monday is my first weigh in. If I am able to today, I will be doing some speed walking and exercises at the beach in Malibu, CA. My husband thinks he may have a kidney infection, so those plans may be halted as we may trek to the emergency room to make sure he is fine. So no Richard Simmons class for me today. I am drinking my coffee and reflecting on life and why we are here. I am a poet and a bit of a philosopher of life so I tend to do that from time to time. 

I have been trying to decide my future charities when I get past twenty pounds, and I know at some point I will do something with senior citizens. They have such a history, a story to tell but unfortunately many people just look at them as old. Yes, we grow older but none of us is different from one another. We are all the same, and I believe we are all one. I have friends of all ages.  I also feel sometimes you can receive messages from people you may have never encountered, if your mind and heart are open to it. 

This essay I wrote was actually written one year ago, but as I ponder  my journey and getting to my first ten pounds I thought I would share it, after all my destination of my journey is to make a difference in the lives of others as well as my adventure to get fit and healthy. This is the story of my encounter with a lovely lady named Margie. We kept in touch for months afterwards, and I have not recently heard from her so I hope she is fine. 

Little side note to this story. After my encounter with Margie I went to Trader Joe’s  and met a lovely young lady named Jami on the same exact day. Jami has become a dear friend of mine since my encounter with her, and we have kept in touch now for over one year. Friends are everywhere, so strike up a conversation with a stranger the next time you are waiting in some long line. That person may be your new best friend. 
Listen to the wind whispering through the trees, it may be telling you secrets of the universe. 

written the summer of 2012

Have you ever had a day or two when your mood sours and you reflect on what is going wrong in your life. It can be all consuming when that happens. It could be something so small that sets you off, or a larger life problem weighing down your weary shoulders. 

I am rarely ungrateful, and I usually see the light at the end of the tunnel even when I am feeling discouraged or displaying embarrassing moments of self pity. When that happens, I usually look to my volunteer work, as giving back always puts life in perspective. I never go out into the world without interacting with others, sometimes those interactions with strangers leave you humbled and understanding the greater message of the universe.

Such a moment happened to me a few weeks ago. I was working out and afterwards a few people struck up a conversation with me. An older woman approached, and joined in on our chat. Her name was Margie, and she was originally from Budapest and has been living in Beverly Hills for years. It is amazing how simple chats with strangers reveal the most interesting stories, you just have to have an open mind and choose to be present and engage yourself with others. Listening grants the loveliest non material gifts.

Our conversation went from the beauty of Hawaii, its music and culture to European travel. I visited  Hawaii only once but it left a lasting impression on my life. Europe on the other hand, I dream of seeing all the splendid countries across the pond. All of a sudden the older woman named Margie asked me some questions about my family. She was from Budapest and I told her my unrequited dreams of Europe. She started to tell me about her travels, she has been to every continent except Australia.

I was intrigued, I love history and elderly people. I wanted to know who this free-spirited elderly lady was. I truly believe it is a sad that so many people go through their days without listening to older generations. They are walking history lessons, with beautiful stories to tell if you just are receptive to them. I answered her questions and I asked her if she had family in Budapest.

All of a sudden Margie opened up with the most fascinating stories of her past. She did not have any family left. She lost most of her family except her father after World War II. She continued to tell me that she is one of the last survivors of the Holocaust and was recently featured in a documentary. She told me about an interesting memory she recalled about her school days before and after the war. She came from privilege, and at her school  the children with parents and children who were orphaned were all photographed together for the same school picture. After the war, just about all the children photographed for the school portrait were  orphaned. She also told me in the beginning of the war, she and her family were not aware of the travesty’s that were going on just blocks from her home.

She continued to tell me about her life after the war, her marriage and her amazing travels. I was also blessed to meet her husband Steven. They were truly walking history and her spirit out rivaled most people I have ever met. She was not bitter about life, quite the contrary she embraced it and took every opportunity it offered. Happiness had not eluded her even with her tragic past. We exchanged emails and I knew I had made a new friend.  She instructed me to email her, and she exclaimed she would return the email with a link to the documentary she was in. She was the epitome’ of survivor, and she reminded me of my own Mother.

After my encounter, I  suddenly felt so alive and went through my day with an extra smile on my face and extra appreciation for life. No longer was I wallowing in my own worries. Margie had put all my silly problems in their place, and she was not even aware she did so. She inspired me with her story of survival and her zest for living despite her past.  I  left my encounter feeling like I normally feel, just blessed to be breathing. I knew I could do anything, be anything no matter what obstacles were to ever come my way; and those usual obstacles were self doubt and insecurity.  Life is too short to ever succumb to such useless feelings of not being worthy. We are all the same, and we all can do anything as long as we believe. Of course as I always feel, compassion and love for others is always the most important reason for being. It is the essence of life. Keep your eyes open and  ears clear or you may miss the messages the universe is sending to you. 
Rose Bruno Bailey

Interesting side, side note on the topic of the Holocaust. I have always been saddened yet fascinated with the stories of that tragic scar on humanity.  I have watched many films and read many books on the topic. I have written a few poems on the subject.  I  do not have a personal connection to that part of the past but for some reason I have always felt it deeply, and I have no understanding why except that my heart bleeds for all the injustices of the world. 

We all have problems, maybe not as heavy as Margie’s but they do weigh us down from time to time. At the end of the day it is how we choose to face adversity that matters. I choose to do so with love for my fellow creatures and gratitude for every blessing that has been bestowed upon me. If I get lemons, I will make lemon cookies so I can share my abundance with my fellow neighbors.  Believe in yourself, but also take the time to make a difference as you are out in the world making a name for yourself. Don’t forget to pay attention, there is inspiration everywhere.

Namaste’ love and light.


In the 1980’s the only colors we wore were neon, we watched General Hospital after school, sweated with Richard Simmons, and of course we wore Guess Jeans. It is so surreal to be able to take classes at Slimmons with Richard Simmons. Yesterday I went to another class, and it was fabulous. I invited a friend to come and share in the retro style aerobics class with me, but unfortunately she was held up and never made it to class. Of course I wore my signature pig tails, which tend to be a conversation starter.

I started talking to this lovely girl with a Guess headband on, and her name is Amber and she works at Guess in the Marketing department.  We got to discussing how we heard about the class etc. She and her whole marketing team from Guess came together. They were all so friendly and enthusiastic about taking Mr Simmons class.  I told her a little about myself, how I became hooked on his classes and of course I told her all about My Change For A Ten project. I also told her how I loved to wear Guess in the 1980’s.

She was so welcoming, and told me for the night I was to be an honorary Guess team member. She even gave me a read headband with the Guess logo. Now, in the 80’s Guess was all the rage. I was Guess obsessed if I do say so myself. So the retro headband was perfect and totally fitting for a Richard Simmons class, where everyone comes decked out in their best 1980’s inspired aerobic gear.

I introduced Amber and her team to Geri aka Gigi, or Grandma Gorgeous as she is known, and gorgeous at  the young age of 91 she is. She also got a red Guess headband and was one of the team for the evening. You should see Gigi dance, she is such an inspiration and a total sweetheart. 

The class started, and Richard was decked out in black with a long black wig. He played Korean pop music for the class, and it was a crowded one. I guess, hehe, that coming to his classes has become trendy. I love it. The aerobics was super energetic and fun but I must say Richard kicked my but during the mat workout. Hold planks on our elbows? Let’s just say Mr Simmons does not let leave without a proper workout. 

The class ended with Birthdays and Richard wished some of the members Happy Birthday, and he gave another inspirational talk. I am hooked through and through. I work out, sweat, laugh, cry, and I experience every emotion in between. It will be a once a week event for me, I am now a regular at Richard Simmons Slimmons class, and I love it. 

I walked over one mile home too. Boom!!


Good evening to all on this beautiful Thursday. This post is late because I made an error and saved it in a draft. I will have a fresh post about my Richard Simmons class in the am with photos. I have decided I will attend one of his classes once a week, his energy gives me this natural high that lasts for days.  It has always been something I wanted to do and it was on my Fitness Bucket List.

That got me thinking. Fitness Bucket list, I have one but I have never written it down. These are the things I would like to do as I continue to progress with my fitness goals. Some of the items on my list I will not be able to do for a while, because it would require for me to be in tip top shape and have more strength than I have now.  Some of the things I can do now. Some would be just a one time experience, and others passions I will continue to do for years.

I have my workout plan in motion, so all of the workouts that I am currently doing are not on this list as I am already making them happen.  Working out with Mike, speed walking, Melissa Bender Fitness videos, Yoga and Richard Simmons classes are all things I am currently doing to get fit. This list is the dream list of things yet to experience.

So here is the list, a way to make my fitness transition a fun adventure. I have my work cut out for me but I am confident I can make it happen. I always say I am a bit of a dreamer, but what is life without dreams to look forward to?   What is on your Fitness Bucket List?

                                                 FITNESS BUCKET LIST

1. Trapeze Classes at the School of Trapeze in Santa Monica

2. Synchronized swimming classes at Aqualillies in Los Angeles

3. Michael Cornell Ballet Classes at

4.Ballroom Latin Classes at 3rd Street Dance in Los Angeles

5. Go to Pittsburgh, work out with best friend at Melissa Bender Fitness

6. Go to San Diego, take yoga and aerial yoga with one of my best friends Tracy Gittens at Galaxy Lifestyle, Fitness, and Aerial Yoga. Grand Opening July 19, 2013.

7. Surf if I am not too afraid of sharks, lol

8.Take a Tracy Anderson class in Los Angeles.

9.Some type of Yoga Retreat by the ocean.

10. Be in or on the cover of Weight Watchers Magazine. (Hey, a girl can dream and they use real people all the time).


Yesterday was my first workout with my friend/trainer Mike. He was so kind to offer to help me on my quest to be a better version of myself and help others in the process. I will have more information about him at later dates including photos. Let’s just say I am lucky to have supportive people like Mike in my corner as I continue on the path of fitness and weight loss. I am very grateful for that.

We arrived at this lovely little park with machines, a little path and a grassy area. We started with burpees, and I struggled I cannot lie. I actually ran a little, did some speed walking, did all the machines etc and I crawled in the dirt. Did you hear that correctly? This bona fine east coast girlie girl whose sister claims she brought a curling iron camping years ago crawled in the dirt. You know what? It may have felt a little awkward, a little hard to do but it was kind of like being a kid again. You know when you were a kid you were not afraid to get your hands dirty, and by the end of the day all other parts of you were dirty too. When I arrived home I had grass in my hair, and I felt like a kid again. This journey is going to also be an adventure, so why not approach working out like playtime when you were a kid. After all, in some ways I really am a kid at heart.

We continued on with the workout, and it was a bit of a struggle for me to keep up, to catch my breath etc. I am out of shape but that is changing now. I did my best and I will continue to improve as I venture forward. Now when I reflect on the exercises I cannot decipher if they were super difficult or just felt awkward and funny to do. I expected to feel somewhat intimidated working out with a trainer but Mike is so nice that I  felt relaxed. He is nice but not soft and he gets it done. I respect his manner of training very much. He even plans to do my measurements soon, ( more numbers), and a full body assessment including checking my oxygen levels. How cool is that? 

So I crawled in the dirt, and did my stretches in the grass sans mat and loved every minute of it. I am going to do the workout again this week on my own. I probably for now will work out with Mike on Tuesdays schedules permitting but will perform his workout two times a week to start on my own.  It was fun and I can see how it makes you stronger and fit. Luckily I am not too sore as I wake up this morning.  I never expected to feel so liberated with everything I am trying and doing to make My Change for a Ten a success. I am feeling grateful, inspired, liberated and extremely motivated. 


Yesterday in my blog post I talked about our digits. Those sly little numbers that seem to be our identities. Our we robots or humans? We are identified by our social security numbers, pin numbers, credit scores, weight, age, and our measurements. Ah, the nuances of numbers. It is enough to make a mathematically challenged gals head spin. I am Rose, and I am not a number.

Ok, Enough griping about numbers. I am coming clean with mine, and it is not the easiest challenge. I have accepted the fact that my weight is a high number, but accepting it and admitting it to the world does not mean I have decided to stay in the position of being overweight. Quite the contrary, I have accepted that I am overweight and  choose to lose weight for good to be a healthier, happier version of who I am today.

So yesterday I made my trek to Weight Watchers. The leader Susie recognized me from before. Yes, I had been there before and did not follow through, remember I am a procrastinator and tend to not always follow through when it comes to losing weight. But that has changed as I embark on this journey to lose weight and sponsor a charity with each ten pound loss. To lose weight the correct way, no quick fix scheme. And yes, I am doing it for me too.

Susie is quite adorable, and inspirational. We had a long chat and if time allows I am going to try to make her meetings. She told me stories about the seventies and Weight Watchers. She is very helpful and I felt empowered by her positive energy. I like Weight Watchers because it works for me. I keep a food journal, and eat my healthy meals and track my 26 daily points. It is a reminder to not skip meals, and to pace your points though the day. It works when you stick with it, combined with fitness and working out. 

Here is the beginning weight of my journey, 210 pounds. I do cringe when I look at it, and people always say I do not look it but the scale does not lie. I am coming out today, my name is Rose and I weight 210 pounds, but not for long.

Off to work then work out with my friend Mike who is a trainer. He is kind enough to help me begin my journey.  I will have more information about him and what type of workout I am doing with him as I continue on. More photos to follow. I decided this journey is to be a fun adventure, and so far I am loving every minute of it. I am transitioning, and enjoying the process as well as the final results.

Namaste’ Happy Tuesday
Make today a remarkable day


Monday has come again, like it does week after week. As I wake up, I ponder Monday, a not so popular day and word.  I really do not mind you at all, without Monday there would be no Friday to look forward to. So I awaken to coffee and water, and a healthy breakfast to get my day going.  I wish a sincere Happy Monday to all, as I continue on my journey of getting fit, losing weight, and sponsoring a charity with each ten pounds I lose. Yes, it is Monday, but it is ok.

So now another unpopular word. Weight. I have finally posted before photos and if I do say so myself I took more than I would have thought I would. I have lived through the dreaded full body photo.  Now comes the business of posting my beginning weight. It is not such an easy thing to put all of  your digits out into the world. Your age? 46  I have come clean there. Your weight? Ok, so tonight after work I am weighing in at Weight Watchers so my weight will be here tomorrow morning. No more hiding, no silk screens here. I will post my beginning weight each week after weigh in with more photos.

So Monday, and weight. I am facing my  fears and challenges head on and they are not as frightening as one may seem. I can do this, and I feel exuberant as I make my way through my Beautiful Monday. After all,Monday it is just a few days off from Friday.


Happy Sunday to all. I woke up slightly sore yet totally inspired from The Richard Simmons class. He has taught people for decades to love yourself, every single ounce of yourself. I am motivated as I make my way documenting my quest to lose weight for good and make a difference in the lives of others by sponsoring a charity with every ten pounds I lose. At the age of 46 I plan to be fit and fearless.  Combining my love for others and learning to love myself is the best thing I have done in forever. I live my life with such a love and acceptance for all people and animals but I have not given myself the same respect. Loving all of myself is the hardest part, but I am making long strides on the path to self acceptance. I have followed Mr Simmons for years, I did my Mother’s videos with my sister but somewhere his beautiful message of loving yourself alluded me until now. It took having the opportunity to dance with him in his music video and taking his extremely energetic class for the message to finally make an impact on my opinion of myself. 

There are many things I have personally put off because I felt I was not thin enough to do them. What is really an eye opener for me is I followed this self destructive pattern when I was fit and thin. The first step is to love your body as is. My body is my temple and I  am accepting it and loving it and all of its flaws. This is a first for me. I am so motivated with the process of my new transformation, the ups and downs. I am changing my mind as well as my body. Someone this week asked me if posting my before photos was liberating and I shrugged at him and said no. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. I have completely changed my outlook since my Richard Simmons experience. I do feel completely liberated and inspired.  I  really am taking the E out of EGO and I truly enjoying the beginning of my personal journey. No fear, no more. Fear is my second Achilles heal behind procrastination but that has completely changed this week. 

I have always felt such a gratitude for life, love, and living. This week I add true self love to my life filled with such beautiful abundance. Love yourself as you love all creatures of the universe. After all, you are a spectacular creature yourself. You are human. Thank you Richard Simmons for inspiring me and the masses for decades. 
Namaste’ love and light.


I was up late last night, and my husband basically did not think I would wake up to go to the Richard Simmons exercise class. It was his 65th Birthday yesterday, and today’s class was a special one. You had to be there early to secure a place. I had promised Joanne and Susan from the video shoot that I would be there. It has been on my bucket list since I have moved to Los Angeles, and the icing on the cake was the opportunity to be in his video, but I still wanted to attend his class as well.

I woke up  completely tired and almost decided to stay home. Then I remembered a promise I made to myself, to follow through with everything I say I will do.  So I got myself ready, ate a little oatmeal and fruit and made my way to the Slimmons Studio in Beverly Hills.

The minute I arrived people were already signing in two hours in advance. I met some new lovely people and caught up with Joanne and Susan from the video shoot. The energy in the room was like nothing I have experienced, it was completely electric and Richard wasn’t even in the building yet. People mingled, the music played loud and I swore I was going to jump out of my skin. I had goosebumps.

All of a sudden  Richard Simmons enters the studio, in all of his glory dressed in orange as bright as the sun, and I think he radiates as much energy as the sun. One could bottle this feeling and make a million dollars. I can see why he is considered such an icon. He comes in, yells “Hi Everybody” and basically the room takes off like a firecracker on speed.

We did a dance aerobic routine that made me sweat bullets, and the music was fantastic. It was a mix of old and new. He played Neon Trees, my favorite. Everyone sings along as they move, and I have not had this much fun since my theater and dance days. Then comes the soul train style dancing, when he picks people to go in the middle of the room to dance with him.  He makes the men take off their shirts, and you almost feel like you are either at a strip club or a rock concert. Everyone is moving, sweating, smiling, hooting and hollering. I don’t think I have smiled or laughed that much in ages.

After the aerobics and dance portion, there was free weights and mat work. At the end of the class everyone sits up on their mat and listens to Richard’s motivational speech to wrap up the class. He basically said if something is wrong, change it. Your birthday is not your dead day, it is a birthday so get to living. 

The class ended and Mr Simmons had time for some quick photo ops and then  he was off to finish a portion of his music video. This man is 65 and he is so energetic. I was completely moved, inspired and high on life. I plan to go back, it is literally just blocks from my house.

I left with an extra pep in my step. I exchanged contact information with the wonderful new friends I encountered. I felt like I was walking on a cloud. If anyone is ever in Los Angeles I highly recommend you attend a Slimmons class in Beverly Hills. You will not be sorry. 

This was a perfect way to motivate me to continue on my quest to get to my first ten pounds the healthy fit way, while having fun in the process.  My first week of My Change For A Ten wrapped on a high note, not unlike the voice of Richard Simmons as he yells at you to get moving and sweat.