Category Archives: focus on fitness

RECOMMITTING TO MY GOALS

In the New Year I have recommitted to a lot of my goals. I have joined Weight Watchers online and I am now my lowest weight on this blog, 159 lbs. I lost 9 lbs since I began on January 14th. I am proud to be published twice in a international yoga magazine, but there is so much more work for me to do, for this blog and my writing. I have recommitted to all of my goals.

I revised my yoga, running, and my workout schedule. Today is my running and yoga day and the weather is my type of running weather and I could not be happier. I am also revising my fitness bucket list, and I plan to work on my book stuff as well as this blog. It helps when the weather is so warm and inviting. One of the things I am really working on is my blanket drive.

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Here is what I wrote about blankets, this is one of the things I am working on. I am trying to collect blankets for the homeless at the Midnight Mission, I slacked off a little but I now have about ten blankets. I plan to deliver blankets and volunteer after I get to 150 lbs. This gives me plenty of time to collect more. 

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Happiness is a warm blanket. 

Charlie Brown

Today I had some extra time to myself when a friend cancelled on our morning coffee. It was extra time to do nothing but to snuggle with my two Siamese cats and a big fluffy blanket. As I lay there completely content to be idle, my mind started to reflect how lucky I am to have such a simple yet happy moment blanketed from all the woes found outside our front door. 

A blanket is one of those items you probably never think about, but think how attached you are to it. A blanket comforts your body and your soul. On a hot summer night do you still curl up with your blanket?  It is much more than an item that keeps you from getting cold, it is a security blanket. A blanket protects in the wee hours of the night. Even our beloved pets feel safe when there is a cozy blanket to curl up in. A blanket is warmth, and warmth is love.

For the homeless a blanket is all of these things and so much more. A blanket is a safety net from the elements of the street, a barrier against all the dangers that exist when you dwell without four walls to keep you safe. To a homeless person a blanket is shelter, a soothing hug in the middle of the night, a coat to keep you warm. A blanket is a veil of privacy, a sleeping bag, a layer between you and the mean streets. To a homeless person a simple item like a blanket is home.

This brings me to my current Charity Project. I will be doing a blanket drive to collect new blankets for the homeless for The Midnight Mission in Downtown Los Angeles.  http://www.midnightmission.org/

I am collecting now through the time I reach 150 lbs. I will be planning to volunteer and deliver the blankets, hopefully with a friend.

As I wrap it up my two Siamese cats Rascal and Spanky are in dreamland curled up with a blanket  and probably content to be there all day. Creature comforts are so important for both humans and animals. 

Much love and light.

Chasing goals and trying to help others is my aim

Namaste’

Rose

 

MAKE IT COUNT MONDAY

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“Don’t give up! It’s not over. The universe is balanced. Every set-back bears with it the seeds of a come-back.”
Steve Maraboli

Good Day to all, it is  Weigh In Monday and I am off for two days. I love to use my days off to catch up on my writing and my plans. I am always redesigning my life, even when set backs happen. I continue to forge forward always, and I never give up. I love this quote above, it truly speaks to me.

I think I am going to call Weigh in Day “MAKE IT COUNT MONDAY.” It has a special kind of hopeful ring to it.

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This week the scale did not budge, but I expected that. I stayed at 159 lbs. I know the scale can sometimes be that fickle friend, one day it shows you love and the next day it stands you up. There you are, standing on the scale with all the hopes of the hard work you put in the previous week, and then nothing. Not one bit of movement, no matter how many times you step on the darn contraption. 

Weighing in should not cause that much drama, do not view the scale as a frenemy; someone you love to hate. Instead embrace the process, weight loss is just like life; you will have your ups and downs. Each week is a brand new chance to reinvent your approach. This week I did not feel well, I felt a bladder infection coming on and I drank all my extra points in cranberry juice. I knew the extra calories of all that juice could alter my outcome on the scale, but my body needed healing. I recently discovered cranberry pills, highly recommended by friends and I am now on the mend. Remember, this is all for your health and wellness. I am completely fine with the scale staying the same this week.

I am embracing the process of the journey. I am going to work harder on my fitness this week, and keep my food clean and keep my points on point. Monday is my splurge day, but I will not go overboard. Splurging within my point range.I will make an effort to get at least 6-8 fruits and vegetables a day. Maybe I should begin making smoothies with veggies again. I will stay motivated and put in the work, it is all about the work.

My workout schedule for this week:

The 3 W’s. Four days a week on my work days after work, I will do my workouts by #benderfitness. I am tailoring them to the fact I have a shoulder injury, and I will also be doing exercises for my shoulder to help myself heal. I will complete two walks a day on my work days. This is all easy to remember, if I work, I workout and walk. The 3 W’s, walk, workout on work days.  http://www.benderfitness.com

Three days a week I will run, I will work up to 3 miles each day. I will also do home yoga and flexibility training 3 days a week. Again, 3 days off equals 3 miles. No way I can forget this plan. Here is my yoga, flexibility and running plans.

http://www.benderfitness.com/2015/05/5k-training-for-new-runners.html

http://www.benderfitness.com/2016/10/daily-yoga-challenge-10-sun-salutations.html

http://www.benderfitness.com/category/flexibility-training

I will work on sleeping better, and not stressing even though life can sometimes throw a pie in your face, and trust me I have dodged a lot of pies lately. Willpower, a good attitude and a smile works wonders; and perhaps just a taste of the pie. 

I am off for now. Namaste’ Love and Light.

Happy Monday,

Make it Count

Rose

WELLNESS WISH LIST

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It is the second week of the new year, and I am on the mend from the stomach flu. I also gave the virus to my husband, so right now our home is all about healing and recovery. I missed a few days of Melissa Bender 30 day challenge, and today I am slowly jumping back in. I am still weak and not 100% but I can find the energy to do one round.  Positive spin of being sick, my weight is back at 165 lbs. When I get to the 150’s I plan on delivering the blankets I am collecting for the mission and volunteering. Here is the link to todays workout. http://www.benderfitness.com/2017/01/standing-buns-thigh-slimming-workout-15-minute-body-weight-workout.html

I also plan to work on my flexibility and a home yoga practice. I really want to grow my practice but at the moment I do not have the funds for a studio pass. Here is a link to a flexibility video to do along with yoga to deepen my yoga practice. When I get sick I always really start to feel it in my spine and joints, so this is so needed now.  http://www.benderfitness.com/2017/01/15-minute-hiit-core-fat-burn-flexibility-stretch.html

As I grow my yoga practice I wish to write more yoga poetry and yoga articles. Two of my poems and my bio and blog info were featured again in Asana Journal, an international yoga magazine. How honored I am. My title of my poem Out of Body even made the cover. Who knows, maybe one day I can be on the cover of a weight loss magazine. One can dream big. More writing and getting down to work. I am constantly thinking about new goals and experiences, new hobbies and ways to create.12046852_10153629609803617_2085860221255069651_n

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I also feel the need to catch up on clutter clearing, to get rid of chaos and break down some boxes from our move last April. My dining room feels more like storage, and when there is chaos in your home it can feel like there is chaos in life. To move forward with my goals I need to kick the clutter to the curb, hang my artwork and feel more at home. I started with this and then I just stopped. Great goal for the new year.

If you know me, you know I rarely concentrate on material items, but with that said I have a wish list to help me conquer my goals. Some things on the list may have to wait, and some things I may try to find in a more inexpensive item. This is my wish list, the tools to help me move forward in my fitness goals. What is on your wish list?

First thing on my list, new work shoes.  I purchased these when they were so pricey and the price has come down. I need to get these asap, they are like walking on a cloud. Great for work.

https://www.thewalkingcompany.com/abeo-smart-3600-black/30845

My fave running shoes. Saucony Triumph 

 

http://www.saucony.com/en/womens-running-neutral/

Here is the rest of my wellness wish list for the new year, and hopefully I can get some of these things to help me get to where I am going. Some things may seem frivolous and some necessary, but I am human and sometimes I like to purchase something functional and beautiful. 

This trio just looks so lovely. I saw the planner and wanted it, I love planners, I love to make lists and check them twice. Than I saw the yoga mat and water bottle and I cannot stop thinking of them. It is pricey but it is on my life because the yoga mat is 6mm, so it is thick for the joints and I also need a new water bottle too. Check it out. Frivolous or functional?

https://www.popflexactive.com/collections/yoga-mats/products/new-years-kit-desert-garden

 

This next thing on my wish list has been on my list for a while. I am so curious about this product. I am interested in reflexology and this product does it for you. Yoga Toes, toe stretchers. They say stretching your toes daily helps with your alignment and foot ailments. I am so curious since I have problems with my feet since I started my journey. Here is the link. There are toe stretcher socks on the market, but should I go for the real deal? 

Toesox for class? Again the idea that the toes need to be stretched intrigues me.

https://www.amazon.com/yogatoes

https://www.facebook.com/ToeSoxInc/?fref=ts

These four items will help with my home workouts and I think they are necessary. A stepper, stability ball, a yoga wheel, and a stretch strap to use for my workouts, and of course the perfect bag to carry my essentials in. 

http://www.hayneedle.com/product/thestepworkoutsystem.cfm

http://www.hayneedle.com/product/gaiam-restore-strong-back-stability-ball-kit.cfm

http://www.gaiam.com/product/yoga-wheel/05-62124_2.html?dwvar_05-62124__2_color=navy%2Fblue#start=1

http://www.gaiam.com/product/8ft-cotton-yoga-strap/05-62002_2.html?dwvar_05-62002__2_color=storm

 

http://www.gaiam.com/product/everything-fits-yoga-mat-and-gym-bag/95-1389.html

Down the line and gym membership and a membership to a yoga studio would be a dream, and I can start looking for specials on Groupon for when I want to take this workout journey on the road for added inspiration. No excuses in 2017.

 

I CHEATED ( this is what happened)

It is now common knowledge that the average American gains 7 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

Marilu Henner

The dreaded scale after the holidays, how many of you faced it today? I did, and I gained five pounds. I knew I put on a few pounds so I felt there was no reason to avoid the scale. Better to know now, as I begin anew in 2017 with my weight loss and fitness goals.  One of the reasons I feel this happened because I went so extreme on my diet for five months.  than I ate whatever I felt like eating off and on in between Thanksgiving and New Years. I did not plan to eat with abandon, it just happened. I am human.

My plan for my next 10 lb charity is to deliver the blankets I am collecting for the homeless to the Midnight Mission when I lose 10 lbs and finally make it into the 150’s. 159 I am coming for you.

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I am here to tell you one or two cheat meals are ok, but every day cheating for a few weeks left me feeling as crappy as the food I ate. I thought maybe I would feel the joy of the holidays if I indulged, I worked every holiday and I was trying to find my joy elsewhere. This year the holidays lacked sparkle for me. I am here to remind you and remind myself that food is not the answer to happiness. A little moderation is better than an all out binge. It left me feeling empty and not healthy. I felt bloated, ill and my stomach and joints felt off kilter. It did not bring me the joy I was seeking, it did the opposite.

Marilu Henner got it right on the nose, but I was lucky I only gained five pounds since Thanksgiving. Now I have to back track a little, but no complaining. I got this. Lesson learned for the future. Back to the 80/20 rule. Eat healthy almost all the time, but leave room for occasional treats, of course within portion control. 

Life is not linear; you have ups and downs. It’s how you deal with the troughs that defines you.

Michael Lee-Chin

Back to the drawing board, as I sketch the 2017 I envision. I need to do some grocery shopping and I am reading health magazines for ideas. I am on day three of Melissa Bender Fitness 30 day Challenge. ( I am behind so I am doing one round of day two and one round of day three so I can be in sync with Melissa.I am also going to join her and work on my flexibility.  Here is the link. I got 2017 by the collar and I am showing this year whose the boss. Who is with me? Let’s do this. 15870575_10154786151473617_1135422458_n

http://www.benderfitness.com/2017/01/muffin-top-meltdown-body-weight-exercises-to-burn-fat-strengthen-your-core.html

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR

The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.

Melody Beattie

Happy New Year. I cannot believe 2017 is upon us. I actually love New Years, because I love the idea of starting over and reinvention. It could be as small as starting fresh on a Monday morning or taking a big leap and committing to your goals as the clock strikes midnight on a brand new year. I am so ready for this year and all of my goals; weight loss and fitness blog goals, personal goals and artistic goals. Let’s do this 2017.

I believe for me 2016 was a transitional year. A lot of good happened but most of the year was spent working on a move from San Francisco back to LA and dealing with the nuances of settling into a new home. I did hit my lowest weight in 2016 since beginning my weight loss/charity project. I am half way to my weight loss goal.

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Besides my weight loss one of my proudest accomplishments was being featured in my first print magazine, Asana Journal, International Yoga Magazine. Check it out.

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I lost my way a little on my blog, a very busy holiday season at work really wore me out. I also went five months without a cheat day on my diet, and then I did take a little time to enjoy holiday food and celebrate life. I admit it, eating off program left me feeling lethargic and ill. I learned a lot over my diet hiatus, I like eating healthy and exercising and when I eat unhealthy foods I feel unhealthy. I am back to treating my body like a temple. I am following the 80/20 rule. Eat healthy 80% of the time and leave 20% open for occasional treats.

My first commitment of the new year is to get back to posting regularly on this blog, at least every other day if not daily. I am making a resolution to my weight loss and fitness goals. I am currently collecting blankets for The Midnight Mission, and following my original format one charity per each ten pounds. I will deliver the blankets to the Mission as soon as I lose my next ten pounds. That is what I do, I lose weight and I do something for charity. It is a win, win.

Starting on January 2, 2017 I am beginning Melissa Bender 30 day fitness challenge Here is the link to her original 30 day fitness challenge.http://www.benderfitness.com/2014/05/original-30-day-workout-challenge.html

I have many fitness goals, including yoga and running goals. I will revisit my fitness bucket list within the next few weeks. I am motivated and ready to begin anew. Who is with me?

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CRISIS CHALENGES

It is Thanksgiving week and it never escapes me how lucky I am, despite being in what seems to be a long-term financial crisis. I keep dieting and exercising through my challenges. This week we had yet another disappointment, but I am not going to allow myself to wallow in my woes. I took a moment yesterday, cried in my coffee over conversation with my dear friend Mary. I shared with her some things that concern me about being in a financial crisis as a weight loss blogger. My friend is a fixer type of friend, she is completely giving and the kind of person who tries to come up with solutions to your issues. She is amazing and I am lucky to have her around the corner. I am thankful indeed for all of my friends, family, my husband James and our beloved Siamese cats Rascal and Spanky. I am thankful for life.

I decided to do a quick post and share my thoughts and concerns about being in a financial crisis and how it affects my blog, These thoughts are ridiculous to me when I type them up, but they are my feelings. Being in a financial crisis puts a limit on a lot of spending. If you know me, you know I am more interested in helping others, in reveling in nature than I am about material possessions. With that said, everyone likes nice things, and I am not immune to that fact. If you follow fellow weight loss bloggers and well as fitness bloggers it seems a lot of the things they post I cannot post because of my situation. I feel like I do not measure up. This is not a pity statement, rather a way to get it out and share and to come up with other ways to be a motivational weight loss blogger during my lean time. I love that I said lean, because despite my crisis, I can say I accomplished my lowest weight on my blog. I did it even though there were times I wanted to dive head first in a vat of chocolate cake batter. It has been five months without a cheat day, and I have one more month to go. My workouts are at www.benderfitness.com which are all free. My equipment is weights, a mat and again a pair of worn shoes. Here are my silly concerns and how I am moving past them. I keep moving.a02b9032-b84b-415f-b804-150a63cc676414705636_1268334023212061_7219886695795970552_n

  1. My running shoes have seen their best day. I almost did not go to the last Richard Simmons Slimmons class out of embarrassment. I shared this in a private group, and the beautiful support that came my way through the Slimmons family taught me I am not an embarrassment. Someone even kindly offered to mail me shoes his wife has never worn. That touched me but it was not why I posted it, I just felt the need to vent. I am grateful to him and the whole Slimmons family, and as I type I am sporting my proudly worn Asics. They still feel good when I walk and run, and I am proud of all my steps. I am proud where these shoes have been, and where I am going.15073486_10154639242963617_6508711910709230700_n15078580_10154628087623617_8586468506395100455_n
  2. Instagram is filled with photos of people posting work out gear. I love nice work out clothes too, so I love liking the photos. I cannot do that now, and that is OK. I will find other ways to share my journey. So I am at my lowest weight on my blog and I am not clothes shopping. It will come soon enough, perhaps when I hit my ultimate weight loss goal. For now I keep keeping on and staring as trees as I run in my worn shoes. This gives me something to work for and something to look forward to. Perhaps a fun photo shoot when I finally reach that elusive weight loss goal of 135 lbs. The new clothes can wait, I am refocusing on the work. It is all about the hard work, the health and the wellness. And of course the connections with people.12592393_10153807006948617_2827822076568560780_n
  3. Races. I have done a few and I wish to do more. They are not cheap.  I  hope to run in a race in the new year. In the meantime, I will maybe do a virtual race and ask my followers to run along with me virtually. In 2015 I ran across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and that was such a high on national 4/20 day. I can find another place to do a run here in LA, some place that really is special. As long as I keep running in my worn shoes I will reach my dream destination. I am a work in progress.unnamed-15
  4. Recipes and Food. Lately I have fallen off the wagon with cooking and shopping for groceries. We are keeping our diet simple, and I eat a lot of my meals at work. I tend to rely on the same fast and healthy options. It does not leave me much time or money to make elaborate recipes and that is OK. We have food, we eat healthy, we are grateful. Tonight I am off and trying a couple of healthier autumn treats. I am going to bake apples and make a baked sweet potato with just a few pecans, marshmallows and banana. I will post these budget friendly recipes. I can do one or two new recipes a week. I love shopping at thrift stores and finding treasures on a dime. This is my vintage Cuisinart food processor that I made black bean brownies with. 13731689_1191796280865836_7205266471736481432_n
  5. My Blanket Drive. I wanted to hold a boot camp to raise blankets for the Midnight Mission in LA for the Homeless. This is my next charity. I ended up sick and I have an injured rotator cuff so this felt like a failure to me. The game may have changed, but the prize is still the same. I am collecting blankets for the homeless and I will continue to do so from now until I deliver them to The Midnight Mission in December. It is getting Cold here in LA and the blankets are needed. Here are my thoughts on blankets for the homeless.http://mychangeforaten.com/1750-2/ I am getting to my goals despite the issues and nuances of life. My best friend Melissa Bender called me Mulan today. I am a warrior fighting my metaphorical huns. Much love and light, I am thankful for you. Happy Thanksgiving to all. Remember to treat your body like a temple but still enjoy life. It is the holiday so it is totally acceptable to indulge and share delicious fare with family and friends. Try to watch your portions and maybe get out for a walk or run. xocirque11

RICHARD SIMMONS SLIMMONS CLOSING


Good Day Monday. In the spirit of Thanksgiving I feel an over abundance of gratitude. This weekend was a very emotional weekend for me and many others. Richard Simmons Slimmons Studio held it’s last class in Beverly Hills CA. I was lucky enough to be living back in LA to attend the last class. It was such a bitter sweet moment, a reunion and a goodbye; yet for me the connections and friendships will last a lifetime. Richard Simmons himself did not teach the class, and he was missed dearly yet it still was such a beautiful moment, a gathering of people from all ages who are forever connected by Richard Simmons and his message. Love yourself, love others, such a simple yet profound message.

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If you have followed my weight loss blog and journey you know in the beginning in 2013 I was in the Richard Simmons’ HairDo video, and soon after I was a regular and a member at Slimmons Studio in Beverly Hills. I met so many wonderful people through my Slimmons experience, and getting to know Richard Simmons was indeed a high point not only in my weight loss blog and journey but in my life. I made life long friends, I became part of a community where everyone is welcome. We are all on the same path, working towards better health and wellness and Richard Simmons, the Slimmons staff and members of Slimmons welcomed me and everyone with open arms. I felt like family.

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In 2014 I moved to San Francisco, and it was about the same time Richard Simmons decided to take a break from public life. He stopped teaching classes at his studio. I continued to follow my friends online and I followed his Facebook page from afar. Like the rest of the world I was concerned about him. I am so grateful I was back in LA to be at the last class taught before Slimmons closes its doors for good. 

A little back story about my Richard Simmons experience. Way before I ever met him, before my little appearance in his video, and before the classes, I was a dancer who did my Mother’s Sweatin’ to the Oldies tapes with my sister in our living room in Cleveland, Ohio.  I can still do all the routines. My favorite tape was Sweatin’ to the Oldies 2, it had the best music. I dreamed of appearing in one of his videos. ( little did I know that one day I would be in one of his videos).  Every time I hear the song Heatwave, or Shout I bust into a routine and skip through a grapevine, it doesn’t matter where I am or who I am with. 

I am and always will be in awe of Richard Simmons and the whole Slimmons community and I am forever grateful to call myself part of it.  Richard Simmons and his community were the beginning and inspiration that got me rolling on this weight loss journey and blog. The video was in July 2013, the exact week I began my weight loss blog. I almost did not go because I was so embarrassed about my weight. Since that moment I am now at 164 lbs. I am 29 lbs away from goal.  I have learned many lessons along the way, lessons from Richard Simmons and his community.

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I owe so much to Richard Simmons, Slimmons and the friends I met along the way at that little lively Studio in Beverly Hills, CA.  Saturday was a moment of memories, of tears, of people gathering around and dancing to the music. The energy could light up all of Los Angeles. Richard Simmons was not teaching, but the wonderful staff (Sherry, Michelle, and Anne) captured that same spark, that feeling that I kept coming back for. I am alive, and I love life. That is the feeling I got from Slimmons classes. It was not about the size of my thighs, or how my body image felt on that particular day. It was this sensation, you know that magical feeling when the hairs on your arm stand on end? That is what it felt like to dance within the hallowed walls of Slimmons.

It was Magical. 

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I am only half way there but so grateful for the journey. In my head I will always hear Richards words of wisdom:

Drink your water

Move every Day

Watch your portions

Be kind to yourself and to others.

The closing of Slimmons was a reunion, a sad yet joyful reunion. I was just grateful I had the opportunity to be here and share in the moment and memories with the people I now call life long friends. My inspirations, my mentors, my contemporaries, the loves of my life.  People of all ages, we are all connected by Richard Simmons.

I walked away with renewed willpower and inspiration. I am looking into becoming a group exercise instructor myself. It is something I have wanted to do for a long time and Marie a member of Slimmons (and an aerobics instructor) inspired me to go for it. I admit the last few weeks my will lass been at a low. I got sick, I have an injured rotator cuff but reuniting with the Slimmons family was just what I needed to keep going. I am sad it is closing but so grateful for the experience.

I will take this renewed inspiration and move forward. I will try harder, work harder, and be kinder to myself as I am out chasing my goals. I will keep in touch with the lovely souls from Slimmons I call friends, and I will attend classes of those who now teach in the style that captured the world by storm. The eye of that storm as retired yet his influence will go on forever.

Next time you take a sip of your water with lemon, remember Richard Simmons is the straw that stirs the drink. Keep Dancing. You are beautiful. We are family.

Much love and Light to all

Let’s Sweat

We love you Richard Simmons

Love, Rose

ADJUST YOUR SAILS

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Tonight the party I was supposed to work cancelled, and I had an impromptu night off. I never got the call and went into work anyway.  Life throws surprises all the time. Instead of being upset that I went all the way there, I adjusted my sails and walked home and was happy to have the night off. I ended up making Black Bean Brownies and hanging out with my husband James and our two Siamese cats, precious time with my busy schedule. Life has been hectic these last few months but I am so happy and grateful to be back in Los Angeles. A simple night, tomato soup and my loves made me very happy.

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That got me thinking, what is the game changer when it comes to weight loss and fitness success? Why do some people gain the weight back and other people are able to get to their goals and maintain weight loss and fitness? I believe I accidentally figured what it takes, or I figured out what is keeping me on the path to weight loss and fitness success.

I gear my workouts to all the changes that my life brings me. Life is not constant, but I adjust my sails and ride the waves to the destination of my goals. I realized the beginning of a weight loss journey is the easiest, but keeping the momentum going takes work and takes consistency. It take a willingness to adapt to the changes that life brings.

I have been through a lot, a lot I write about and a lot I have kept private. I started this blog and my weight loss/fitness/philanthropic journey in 2013 with the help of a trainer that introduced me to fitness. I was having success with my LA lifestyle and it was amazing having someone tell me I can do it. I was able to help various charities and lose weight in the process. It was smooth sailing for me.

Rose Bruno Bailey Weight Loss

In  autumn 2014 my husband James and I moved to The San Francisco Bay area, a move that came on rather suddenly. There was a big fear that I would quit, that I would regress and lose all I was working on. A rational fear that everything I worked hard on would fall apart.

All of a sudden my lifestyle completely changed. I was living in a brand new city, working a lot more than I did in LA, and I no longer had a trainer pushing me. I had to adjust to my new life. It took a few months but I did find my footing in the bay area,I did some charities and met some amazing friends. I ran in a 5K with my boss and made my best time in a race. I adjusted my journey to my new reality. I did not give up, I just worked with my new lifestyle. I started Melissa Bender Fitness workouts and I realized I can do this. I believed and stayed consistent in my endeavors, despite the challenges of a brand new life. There were a lot more temptations in San Francisco, a city known for food but throughout the challenges I continued on and I am grateful for my experience there.

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We recently decided to move back to Los Angeles, and again my whole lifestyle went through another transition, another new job with different hours. Yet last week I hit my lowest weight since I began my journey. What is it that has kept me going? 

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I didn’t quit, I am persistent and consistent. I have adjusted my workouts, my running, my diet to fit my new lifestyle. I find myself being too tired in the morning to work out since I am working later at night than I am used to, so I do my workouts after work.  Who said workouts cannot be done at 11 pm? Are there rules to working out? If so I am breaking them and making my own rules and it is working for me. I started a six month countdown to my December Birthday with no cheat days for the whole six months, and stayed consistent to my benderfitness workouts. I continue to meet wonderful people that inspire me.

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My advice to anyone beginning a diet and exercise program is to be prepared to change and evolve because life brings on changes and transitions. Every time my life dramatically changed paths, I adjusted my route to stay on course. I am successful despite the constant changes in my life. I am proud to say through it all I never gave up. My life continues to change, and I have changed inside and out and continue to adjust my sails to the whim of the mighty wind that is uncertainty. Bring it on life. I am a master of challenges and change.

VIBE OFF POSITIVE ENERGY

unnamedThe other day two young guys gave me a random compliment, they saw how spirited I was and they told me they were “vibe-ing off my energy.” It is a new word and I like it. Think about it, we are all energy based. Positive not only attracts positive but it also negates negative energy and can turn it around. A bad day can become worse with negative thoughts, it spirals out of control the minute you decide today is a bad day. So if you tell yourself today is a good day it will be. It may seem simple and cliché’, but it is also absolute truth and the law of the universe. If you see someone loving life, make sure to “vibe” off their energy. Their positive energy does not mean their life is perfect, it just means they find the beauty of living despite the obstacles life throws at us all. After all you are alive, so how about acting fully alive.

My blog became challenging two years ago when I found out were relocating to San Francisco. I knew I would no longer have a personal trainer at my convenience and I was afraid I would undo all of my hard work. On top of that I loved LA, I did all my charities in LA and I didn’t think the bay area was a fit for me. I did make it work while I was there for what I call my year and a half sabbatical, and my blog continued in the time I was living there. I even made some life long friends and mentors, hit some fitness milestones and volunteered and helped raise food for the hungry at The Second Harvest Food Bank. I survived a personal crisis and a spontaneous move back to LA recently.

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Through it all I woke up each and every day not only with a smile for myself, but for everyone I encountered along my travels. It helps you cope when you just slow down and remember to first be kind first. Sometimes it takes effort when all you wish to do is hide under the covers, but keeping a positive attitude even on the hardest days has helped me survive. In hindsight if I would have kept to myself and sulked, I never would have met the many wonderful bay area souls that have inspired me and touched my life.

It has been six months since we arrived back in LA, and three months since I began my countdown until my 50th Birthday. In this six months leading to The Winter Solstice I am eating completely clean and not cheating or having a cheat meal. It is a huge undertaking, considering we tend to want to splurge when life throws us disappointments. Yesterday was such a day, I am hoping to have my book signing here in LA at an esteemed book store but I let some time lapse from the first moment I corresponded with the book store due to my move back and all of the commotion of getting a new job and settling in. I am not going to jump to conclusions, but I may need a back up plan if this particular book store turns me down. Again I have to reach into my little bag of positive tricks and truck on forward.

This leads me to how often we reach for food to dull the ache in the pit of our stomach when things do not exactly go our way. It is not hunger we feel, but that need for comfort and soothing that we get when we treat ourselves. My husband James said “let’s get cake, no one will know.”  I regress, I will know. Back to the four agreements, “always be impeccable with your word.”

So no cheat day for me. This is teaching me to face my feelings and deal with them in a non food manner. I work in a world famous deli with the most amazing food and homemade bakery so this is extra difficult for me but I am standing by my commitment. I am a work in progress, moving forward despite everything that comes my way. I am leaning on my energy and attitude to keep me going. That and morning coffee.

They say life does not have a dress rehearsal, and this is it. So I continue to vow to be grateful and joyful an to not let obstacles chase off my dreams, and I vow to keep going.

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I am vibe-ing off the energy of the beauty of being alive. 

Namaste’

Rose

 

WEIGHT LOSS WISDOM

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

Francis of Assisi

I am not an after, I never consider myself an after. I am a work in progress, successful at what I am doing but I am on a journey and far from my destination. People write me and tell me that I look like I have already arrived. I am half way and proud at how far I have come. I have done things that have completely surprised myself, so to me that quote by Saint Francis of Assisi hits home.

My journey has become more than numbers on the scale, it is about being fit and strong as well as reducing my weight. I have many fitness goals I wish to accomplish and many milestones I have already met.  I am only 5’3 in height and I believe a goal of about 135 lbs is completely realistic. I also have many more charities I wish to help. So here I am at my lowest weight of in 20 years, working on my fitness and last 30 lb weight loss, and planning my next charity event; all less than four months before I turn the big 50. Always moving forward, even when life’s struggles trip me up; I catch my step and continue on my merry way. I may sometimes stumble, but I always rise.

When I began I had a set of ideas I followed. I like to call them ideas instead of rules.  These ideas became part of how I stayed on course with my goals. If you are beginning a weight loss and or fitness journey these little bits of wisdom may be invaluable to you as you set out on your quest to be the best you inside and out.

  1. Be impeccable with your word.

When I started I discovered a book called The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. The first agreement is this. “Be impeccable with your word.” If you say you are going to do something, than make it happen. The first week of my blog I was cast in a Richard Simmons video. I almost backed out because of embarrassment about how heavy I was, but I decided to be impeccable with my word and follow through with my commitment. No excuses anymore, no procrastination. Same with your workouts, that always say nobody ever regretted a workout after it was done. Whatever it is you plan to do, be true to your word and make it happen. The time is now, start strong.

 

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2. Find your Dream Team

I am quite blessed. My dream team is always growing and is always evolving. But there was a time when I did not have a dream team. Back in 2002 I met my now best friend Melissa and my life changed forever. I will write about this subject and her influence on me in a future post.

At this moment you may be asking what is a dream team?

A dream team is your tribe, your friends old and new who inspire you with their own accomplishments and greatness, yet they also find time to cheer you on and believe in you and your dreams with all of their hearts. They are your best friends,occasional acquaintances that fulfill a mission, your mentors, your inspirations in life. You must have an open mind to find your dream team. They come on unassuming sometimes, in unlikely friends of all ages and sexes. I urge you, open your mind and heart, and look around for your dream team. When you do find them, remember to give as much as you get and pay it forward; and the dream team will continue to grow and grow. Trust me on this.

No man’s a failure who has friends.

Frank Capra

Some photos of some of my fitness dream team, I cannot post all of my dream team it would take all day. xo My dream team is vast and includes people from all walks of life and backgrounds.unnamed

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3. Find the food lifestyle and fitness plan that works for you.

When I began I had no idea what I would do, I had just a simple plan. My plan was to begin Weight Watchers, do some speed walking and work out with my new friend and trainer Mike. (see dream team last pic with his dog Apollo)

I ended up a yogi, a runner who completed a few races, and I beat my trainer Mike at a planking contest. I am now much more confident at fitness than I was when I began, and in the future I may become a trainer myself. I have a lot of fitness goals that I would have never dreamed of making when I began in 2013. I continue to challenge myself.

click here for free amazing workouts, yoga etc.http://www.benderfitness.com/

Weight Watchers is a great way to begin if you feel lost about food and you are not sure how to eat. I did it for the first six months and it really helped me begin. As my journey continued I found what works for me, clean eating and lower carbohydrate and low gluten. That does not mean the way I eat will work for you. It is trial and error. Same with fitness, walking is a great way to begin, and working out with a trainer is a safe way to learn about fitness. As you evolve you may find your new brave self craving new ways to work out and new classes to take. You may even find yourself running in races. It is amazing what fitness does for your confidence and your energy levels. Start at the beginning, and do not be afraid to experiment. Learn what works for you and stick to it. Trust me, you will not miss that pizza when you are trying on bathing suits in July or when you are running circles around people who are falling down because they lack energy.

Rose Bruno Bailey Weight Loss

 

4. If you get a flat tire, will you slash the other three?

That is a quote from my dear friend Dawn and a member of my dream team. It is so true. You may falter, you may stumble. You may find yourself after a bad day diving into a vat of cake batter head first. If you do stumble, forgive yourself and begin again. Do not let one cheat meal or cheat day become a cheat week. Get back on that horse and keep galloping towards your goals. Forgive yourself, and forge forward.

 

5. Love your body and be grateful

We all body bash, hell I think I may be the queen of body bashing. I have learned to look at my body as a temple and not a trash can. This body has surprised and astonished me in ways I never thought it would, especially as I am on the verge of turning 50. I am grateful to this body, and I bow down in reverence for the gift of living and the chance to make my body stronger so I can continue to grow gracefully. So begin anew, and remember you are not growing old you are just growing and graceful as you embark on your journey to be the best you.

6. Do not look through other peoples windows.

There is no competition, except with yourself. If you wish to compete, make it with the you from yesterday. Do not body compare, or body shame yourself or others. Be a person who walks in kindness. Cheer on other people’s accomplishments but keep resentment and jealousy at bay. Those human emotions will sideline you. We are all one, and in this together. No matter how long it takes, or how slow you run, you are faster than you were when you were sitting on the couch. Soon enough people will be congratulating you on your accomplishments. You are beautiful the way you are, you are just going to become stronger and healthier and inspire others to do so.

Namaste’

Walk in light

Rose