Category Archives: in a crisis

TYING THE STRINGS BACK TOGETHER

If you follow me you know since April my the strings in life started to unravel. I was able to have much weight loss success despite personal struggles because I was in control of the struggles in my life. I couldn’t control what was to come. My Mother passed away and my husband James took a position in Houston Texas and soon we left West Hollywood for Houston. It was our third move since 2014 and a big one at that. The summer for me was healing and not much else. I somewhat lost what I was working on as I tried to heal myself from the inside out. I also became vegan which was a transition for me. I since decided for now I will be vegetarian.

Today is the Autumn Equinox and day one of the second chapter of my weight loss blog, my official restart and my weigh in. I am not looking back now, I am only looking forward. For the relaunch of this blog my focus will be on health, wellness, fitness and goals. I still plan to sponsor a charity with each ten pounds I lose but I also will make a list of goals for each month beginning in October. There is going to be a give-a-way on my Facebook page, and I also promise to commit to posting if not every day every other day.

I am all in again, like I was in 2013 when I began this blog. I will not let WordPress struggles or life get in my way. I will be here and present even when things are not going my way. I will be raw, honest and forthright. I am putting all of myself out there beginning with my first weigh in today. I went from 159 to 179 in 5 months but that is ok, I got this and there is no shame in my game. 

I am human, I am me and today I am moving forward. Fall nine times, get up ten.

 

I GOT A NEW ATTITUDE

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.

Maya Angelou

That quote sums up what I need to do since I moved from my beloved West Hollywood CA to Houston, Texas. It’s time to make radical changes in my thoughts and attitude. I am starting over fresh, in this blog and my goals; to commit to posting at least every other day and to start over in my weight loss/fitness journey. As soon as I settle in I will be looking for new charities to help again. No more complaining I miss California, as I plan to embrace all of the positives of where I am living at the moment. I have landed in Texas, but I plan to take off in my goals and dreams. This is a gift of a new beginning. There is beauty when you open your eyes and look for beauty.

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Since 2014, We moved from LA to San Francisco, from San Francisco to LA, and recently from LA to Houston. That is one move a year. My husband James was unemployed for over a year and my Mother passed away recently. Sometimes I am surprised we are both still standing. That was a lot of changes and a lot of new beginnings, but each new beginning is just that; a new beginning. Life happens, we adjust, we falter; and we finally pick up the broken pieces and put them back together again. We figure it out. I am doing that now, I am figuring it out.

For the first time since I began this blog I gained weight. It started with 6 lbs and went up to 13 lbs. I realized I needed to go back to #weightwatchersonline before it was too late. It’s been one week and tomorrow is my first weigh in day. Starting over again at 173 lbs. I went from 159 lbs up to 173 lbs but now the scale will be moving in my favor again. The goal is to treat this blog as brand new, with new excitement and ideas. 

Today I met with a friend I know from The Richard Simmons community who also happens to be an author. It was an inspirational lunch, and I got my copy of her book signed. She even brought me a copy of her children’s book that just came out. Her first book, An Exodus From Obesity is filled with so much insight from someone who lost a lot of weight. Wisdom, inspiration and life’s lessons. I also picked up a copy of The Alchemist. Everyone who read it said it was life changing literature. It is just what I need for my new tomorrow.

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To Tomorrow, and new beginnings and life’s changes. Out with the old and in with the new.

Namaste’

Rose

WEIGHT LOSS AFTER LOSS

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Losing a loved one knocks you down,and then you get back up and the memories knock you over again. It is a never-ending cycle, this grief stuff. I guess I just need to navigate my way around the emotional grenades and go on, and we must go on. 

Losing weight after losing a loved one, this is what is on my mind at the moment. Nothing knocked me down, nothing until I lost my Mother. I made it to my lowest weight on this journey, 159 lbs and I did it through a move from LA to San Francisco, my husband’s job loss and a move back to LA. I kept going through all of those life changes, and life did not break me and I never gained a pound. I kept losing and I am proud to say I did it, until the last month.

Now life after losing my Mother left me with a few pounds of extra weight. I admit I fell of the wagon. That’s the thing about wagons, they keep going, you just have to catch up and jump back on. I am committing to my healthy lifestyle and workouts and goals, it is not easy now. Our new kitchen is barely set up but I can do this. It starts today, I know how to do this and I know how to get to where I am going. I am back on the wagon and on the road to all of my goals. I will lose the 10 lbs I gained and get to my goals.

I am about to run to the grocery store, my hubby James is working and we need something healthy to eat. I am going to wear my runners belt and run there even with this heat and humidity. I plan on making a schedule soon, and tomorrow I have an interview to work in a local restaurant for some extra cash for my goals and our new life. I will post my workout/running/yoga schedule once I begin my job and new routine. No more slacking off. 

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I would love to know how you kept working towards your goals through a life crisis. What tips do you follow to keep at it? We are all here to inspire each other.

So much love and Light

Rose

I FINALLY WEIGHED IN, (here is what happened)

 

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I like to consider myself unique. I believe in nature vs nurture. I believe my soul comes from somewhere else and this body is just the shell in which I walk my days. Or so I convinced myself.

And then there is home and you. Not the California home I claim as my own, but the city where you raised us. Cleveland, Ohio and a magical childhood despite the struggles, but isn’t life a magical trip? The hardest part of it all is loss. Coming home is truly bittersweet, full of celebration tainted with the sour taste of regret.

My first love, I have been your reluctant twin, believing I am an original when in reality I am just a carbon copy of you. Different but so much the same. You were beauty and fire married with humor and light. I am just the prism reflecting your existence.

I cry uncle, I cry when I don’t want to cry, I cry wolf. I cry.

Birdsong reminds me there is yet another plane to catch, the one thing I should have done long ago. I like to believe you will be flying on the wings of my plane. Drinking Dewars and soda with a Jane Austen novel
In hand; cussing at the flight attendants and causing a beautiful raucous.

In memory of my best friend, My Mother

 Shirley Bruno.

These are the times that try men’s souls.

        Thomas Paine

That quote really speaks to me, ever since we left Los Angeles for San Francisco in the autumn of 2014 my life has been a roller coaster. So many twists and turns that I am surprised I am still standing. After the move to San Francisco my husband James was laid off, a sudden move back to LA, my Mother passing away and another move to Houston would have broken the strongest person indeed. But here I am, sitting in Houston, Texas drinking water and Starbucks in the public lounge of my apartment building and I lived through it all. Here I am, a little worse for wear; with a damn cold and a damaged soul. As soon as my body heals ( my heart will take more time), I plan to get back into my workout and running routine. I plan to jump back into my goals even though I feel at times there is a brick sitting on my chest. Losing a parent is no joke, it is like there is life before the loss and life after. I often wonder if I will return to my jovial self, I often wonder how do people heal from such a tremendous loss. Through it all I made my lowest weight, 159 lbs, and after my Mother passed away I gained 7 lbs which brings me back up to 166 lbs. Time to get back to work. My Mother passing was the only time I fell off the diet wagon, it was the only time I slipped up and gained weight.

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I just returned from my first trip home to Cleveland, Ohio in years. I went for my Mother’s Memorial party and I was reunited with family and my hometown friends. I ain’t gonna lie, this weight loss blogger was not thinking about my healthy diet for the last few months. In Cleveland I think I was on the hometown food tour. My Mother’s Memorial party was a beautiful tribute to everything she was about. My sister Frankie, and her friends Shar and April pulled it off like pro’s and my sister Gina and Rosita out did themselves on the sauce, meatballs, pork and spaghetti. It was wonderful seeing my sisters, my nieces,and my childhood friends and I hope to see them more often. My original girls, my sisters, my loves. Frankie, Dona, Gina, and me. The girls I look up too, all four of them. Each one inspires me to be better and do better just like Mom did.

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So here I am again, navigating yet another home. I have so many goals, and accomplishments I am most proud of to date. I will jump back in and get to work. The first step was stepping on the scale, and I am happy that the damage was not too extreme. Time to begin anew in a brand new city. To be strong and emulate the strongest female I have ever knew, my Mother.

 

END OF A CRISIS

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Good afternoon to all, I am still on west coast time, but I am adjusting. For those of you who follow my Facebook page you know my husband James and I just made the trek from Los Angeles to Houston, Texas. This was not an east decision, but we both decided the opportunity for his career was too good to pass up. Here I am again in yet another transition, and this one was particularly tough because as we were moving my Mother passed away.  A lot to deal with in such a short time. For us, ever since we left Los Angeles in 2014 for San Francisco everything has been a bit more challenging, but we got through our crisis. The hardest thing we faced was a sudden loss of a loved one, it is one of those things you feel you may never recover from. Below is a story about my Mother Shirley, she was truly a beautiful soul and unique character. She is the love of my life.

http://lebomag.com/what-my-mother-gave-me/

I have learned many lessons about life and loss, and how time is so precious. I promise to see all family, both of our families from here on out. My fear of flying I will deal with, there are loved ones to see. I fly home Friday for a memorial dinner in honor of my Mother.

I also wish my dear Mother in Law Julie a very Happy Birthday. I have the best in-laws and I cannot wait to see them soon, even if it means bringing them to us in Texas. As I work on my goals and plans it is so very important to spend time with loved ones, family and friends. I will keep in touch better going forward. 

In the time since 2014, no matter how challenging things got, I never gained a pound. I stayed on my goals and accomplished a lot of new goals with my writing and my weight loss and fitness goals. I was on it, until the last few weeks. I fell off program for a few weeks, and life and loss showed me how incredibly human I am. I know I have put on a few pounds, and as soon as the movers arrive with our stuff and my scale I will post exactly how much weight I have gained. My blankets I collected are being delivered at the end of June. I plan on looking for more charities to assist in my new home.

So here I am,  A die-hard Californian in Texas and embarking on day one today. No more treating my body like it is a trash can, back to honoring this body as the temple it is. It is the home where my soul dwells and I will treat it with the respect it deserves.

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I will keep this short and sweet, as I begin anew in another new home. I can say today I have met two new friends, and learned a lot about my new community. I plan on posting what I plan to do as I move forward, including diet and my benderfitness workouts. I also plan on starting a Youtube channel as I work towards my goals in my new home. I am very proud to say I finally got my book Camellia in Snow into the famous Book Soup on the iconic Sunset Strip, so LA I will be returning. This was a goosebumps moment indeed.

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For now, hello Texas I embrace you with an open heart and open mind. Thank you for this chance to begin anew. I found my first Texas tree, and how unique is it? It looks like an open hand reaching out for the heavens. I plan on treating my life with the same reverence, and making it my mission to help people more than ever.18838877_10155246030878617_1431367025370470149_n

 

 

 

REINVENTING YOURSELF

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One hundred year old trees still recycle themselves and come out with new flowers. Recycle yourself. Know that nature gives you the clues to living.”

Tao Porchon-Lynch

 

Reinvention, I feel like I have been mastering the art of reinvention as of the last few years. Like Tao Porchon-Lynch I often look to the trees for wisdom and inspiration. They are our pillars of wisdom, they reinvent themselves but always grow more beautiful with each passing bloom. I try to always look up to them, they are my role models. I am always in the process of shedding my leaves and patiently waiting for my blossoms to emerge. 

I am not going to sugar coat it, the last two years have been challenging to say the least. Soon I will write about the crisis I was in and what is to come in the second half of 2017. My Mother has been ill in ICU in Cleveland, Ohio but she improves a little each day. I am so grateful to all my friends for keeping her in their prayers. If she can get through, I can conquer the world. This is my Mother below, at 15 in the black bathing suit. What a beauty.

shirley

I am most proud that as a weight loss blogger going through a challenging few years that I kept all my weight off despite the changes, the plateaus, and the hard moments that came my way. A move to San Francisco from West Hollywood, a move back to West Hollywood was just a a portion of our hardships. One could just throw in the towel and I admit there were a few times that I contemplated quitting. A good friend talked me out of it, so here I am moving forward.

My weight is still holding strong at 159 lbs and I am back counting my Weight Watchers points, and eating clean most of the time. The 80/20 rule works for me, I eat clean and leave a little wiggle room for special treats. I use Weight Watchers to keep my portions in control and to keep me from obsessing over good and bad food. It is food and I am grateful for it, and I am learning balance as I lose weight and get fit and strong.

Speaking of fitness, I did slack off there a little. I fell and injured my knee and my shoulder has been injured. Tomorrow I am starting a Melissa Bender 30 day Challenge and I plan to work on my running. I hope to be able to run to the Santa Monica Pier from my West Hollywood Home in the end of the month. I can do it and so can you. Join me on my quest to be more fit and strong and to finally get to my elusive goal weight.

http://www.benderfitness.com/2014/05/original-30-day-workout-challenge.html

Love and Light

Rose

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WEIGH IN MONDAY

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Happy Monday to all. Today is Weigh in Monday and I decided to skip my weigh in, and weight til next Monday. Notice the spelling of wait? I need to step away from the scale, scale back from the stress of the numbers. I had a really rough week, and there are some extra stresses at the moment in my life, and I am no stranger to chaos, stress and change. How I will handle these changes will be determined in the weeks to come, but today I am breathing and just taking one moment at a time. That is all you can do anyway.

Last week I went to the ER, fell and injured my knee days later, and had a personal crisis put upon my plate. I did not track my food, I really just lost interest in logging, but I caught myself and today I begin anew, and next week I will jump back on the scale with renewed vigor no matter what the outcome is. One of the keys to losing weight is staying consistent even when life throws you lemons. Take those lemons, make lemon bars and share with others. Kindness to others always makes you feel better when you are down.

I also had a lot of positives happen this week too. I got my hair done and I am so happy with it.

My next story I pitched for Mt Lebanon Magazine was accepted. Here is the link to the first essay they published about me and Melissa from Melissa Bender Fitness. (http://lebomag.com/a-newfound-friendship/) I sent off more submissions to other magazines and websites in regards to my writing, my poetry, and my weight loss story. My book Camellia in Snow, here is the link,  (https://www.amazon.com/Camellia-Snow-Rose-Bruno-Bailey/dp/1515347141/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 )  will be at Books Soup and Vroman’s in May.

Every day is an opportunity for success, even if the success is just a tiny glimpse of success that is to come. Keep dreaming no matter what is going on around you.

Now I wait and look for more places to write for and to submit. If I fall and tumble, I will pick myself off, dust my ego and keep moving forward no matter how slow. When I am down I will write, and when I am up I will run. No matter what life throws at me, I will channel it into something positive. I don’t know where I am going, but I know I am a go getter.

Namaste’ 

Love and Light

Rose

 

LET GO, LET GOD

Happy Sunday to all.

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Sunday is the last day of my work week, I am off Mondays & Tuesdays. Sunday is the day I reflect in gratitude and plan my goals for the week. I am always looking for inspiration, and I believe there is inspiration everywhere. I try not to focus on worries and the hardships of life. If I succumb to that, I will be unhappy and lose sight of my goals and dreams. Life is beautiful, but it definitely is not easy. Nothing of worth is easy.

I met someone this week named Guy who told me when you find yourself feeling caught up in your troubles, to Let Go and Let God. I found those words to be so poetic and powerful; to let it go, and give it to God to take care of. It doesn’t matter if you do not believe in God or if you are not a spiritual being, you can let it go, and leave it to the universe. To release your worries and let go is the best way to move forward in my opinion. if you hold onto stress and pain, it only hinders your health and well being. I believe health goes beyond just the body. I am trying to be healthy and happy in mind, body, heart and soul. 

So today, I will Let Go, and Let God. I will focus on the beauty of nature. I will be silent and meditate as I do my morning yoga, reflecting on my gratitude of life. I have so many goals as I move forward in 2017, but today I will just be. I will be grateful for my life and loved ones, for the food I eat, and the nature my eyes get to see as I do my runs and walks.

Today, I will Let Go, and Let God

Namaste’

Rose

 

 

 

 

WEIGH IN MONDAY

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To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.

Emily Dickinson

Happy Monday, good morning world. It has been a while since I posted here, I have been updating my social media pages, but I have neglected to write more blog posts. That is changing today. Life takes over, worries and fears crushed my motivation to write anything new. We have had our ups and downs, disappointments and distractions. I decided to put my seat belt on and ride the wild roller coaster of life with the enthusiasm of a child at a theme park, instead of getting run over. I love life too much to let the problems of living take me down. 

I joined Weight Watchers Online on January 14th of 2017. I felt I needed something new and fresh to get me to that elusive goal weight of 135 lbs. Since joining, I have lost 7 lbs. I now weigh 161 lbs, I am getting so close to the 150’s. I am really loving using the app for Weight Watchers Online, and counting points. I still eat the way I have always done since beginning my weight loss journey, but with wiggle room. Today is weigh in Monday, and I have to admit I get so excited to weigh in. After, I allow a little treat with my coffee, of course I portion control it and count it in. Today I ate a portion of Russian Coffee Cake with my delicious Dunkin Donuts coffee, with zero guilt. I officially weigh the lowest I have ever been since I began this weight loss blog.

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In addition to committing to posting here, I am writing out a new cardio and work out schedule. It will be geared to my rotator cuff injury. That has slowed me down, but I am going to begin doing the exercises I can do, along with running, walking, and some rotator cuff injury exercises. Of course I am working out with Melissa Bender Fitness. 

I am also looking for ways to update this blog, I added pages at the menu or the top of the blog, and I plan on adding more. Down the line when things improve I am going to get someone to really help me jazz this blog up. I added before and now photos, photos from my volunteering and my experience with Richard Simmons and Slimmons, and all the friends I met through that part of my journey. I am going to add pages of how I eat and my workouts, and races as well. I am also going to do a collaboration on a brand new book, and market my poetry Camellia in Snow. I am excited to be featured more than once in Asana Journal, and I plan to write and submit more, volunteer more etc. Lots of creative and exciting endeavors to focus my energies on.

Plus the work of life, do it all and survive. That is the challenge.

Since January I have lost 7 lbs. That is a beginning of a brand new year I wish to see more of. No more worries and stress. I will work hard and work off the worries with endorphins through exercise, of course listening to a motivational playlist.

The scale is finally moving again, hurrah.

Weight loss, worries, we got this. Are you with me?

Ready, set, Go!!

 

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