Category Archives: inspiration

FLEXIBILITY GOALS 2017

To follow, without halt, one aim: There’s the secret of success.

I love this quote, as a Sagittarius I have my arrow on my prize always. I have many prizes in the form of my goals. I have so many goals, and I believe in never giving up. Some goals may have to wait because of money constraints, and some goals are put on a hold because let’s face it, one can only do so much at one time. I do not consider this procrastination, but a pause. I focus on what I can do, and return to my other important goals as soon as life and time gives me a little more freedom to do so. I keep adding new goals, I guess you can say I am driven my making goals. I aim for my goals.cirque11

I photographed this statue of a dancer in this beautiful pose and added the quote I felt best represented the image. It struck a cord with me when I saw it, it inspired me. I was a dancer when I was younger, and one of my motivations/goals when I began this blog was to return to my dancers shape and flexibility. Age was not a factor with this or any of my goals. To do this that takes consistency and hard work. I have come a long way but there is still a lot of work for me do to get to my goals. I want to attend ballet and yoga classes in my area, because face time in a studio really makes me come alive. In the meantime, there is no reason why I cannot do this on my own. I can prepare for the time when I am in a place to pay for such classes. My plan is to add to my home workouts a rigorous home yoga and flexibility training. I know my body, I know what to do, and I have my benderfitness videos to help guide me along,http://www.benderfitness.com

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It reminded me of the time I slacked off on flossing my teeth. ( I know, gross huh)  I realized I needed to floss again twice a day to get my teeth in good shape so my next cleaning would not be painful. Once that happened I vowed to never not floss again. If you have ever stopped flossing and went for a cleaning you know this is a painful experience. Same holds true for any goal, you can prepare on your own, take baby steps. You want to take an acting class but cannot afford it so for now you can find a library and read. Prepare, prepare for your aim. Use your time wisely, spend your time learning.

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So instead of complaining that I cannot afford the classes I covet, I will prepare my body by doing the work myself at home, and on nicer days I will take my mat to the park. I will begin this starting Monday next week. I have been meaning to write out my schedule, but that too has been on pause. I am on top of that now.

Rome wasn’t built-in a day, but I am sure the Romans worked really hard day in and day out to get to where they wanted to be, one brick at a time, one day at a time. 

I am the architect of all of my goals, the designer, the builder, the person with the vision. I will do so, one brick at a time. 

Namaste’

Love and Light

Rose

 

 

MAKING FOOD MY FRIEND

Your body is a temple not a trash can. At the same time, you have to learn to live with food, not without it. It is fine to occasionally eat foods that are not considered healthy. For me, I now follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time I eat real, clean food, and the other 20% I allocate a little wiggle room for occasional treats and goodies. I find this plan is sustainable for life and living. I can maintain this forever, and not feel deprived. This is how I am moving forward in my weight loss journey, and my life.

Rose Bruno Bailey

Food, it is a necessity of life, the staple of living. We need fuel to live. Food not only feeds the body but it can nurture the soul. Food can be healing, and it can be addictive. For some food can cause anxiety and fear, how much is too much?  One cannot decide to just quit food and go cold turkey. You have to learn to live with food, to achieve balance, to make food your friend.

For the longest time food was my enemy. When I was age 13 I began dancing, and an adult dance teacher told me I must lose 30 lbs between freshman and sophomore year of high school. That began my journey of making food my enemy. I had eating disorders and spent most of my early days trying to avoid food. You can read about it here. http://mychangeforaten.com/eating-disorder-past/

That post was in 2013. This is now 2017, and I am here to say the old habits came back after that moment. I decided I did not need Weight Watchers after some time, and went at it on my own. I lost my weight, but the old feelings of being obsessive about food came back, in the form of what I was eating instead of not eating. I went from my starving days of yesteryear, to being obsessive over good vs bad foods. Carbs, gluten, sugar, just a little sent me over the edge of guilt and obsession. I think I was bordering on a new eating disorder called Orthorexia. Melissa Bender from Melissa Bender Fitness was the person to suggest this was how I was behaving. She knows my background with food.

melissabenderfitness

or·tho·rex·i·a
ˌ
noun
  1. an obsession with eating foods that one considers healthy.
    1. a medical condition in which the sufferer systematically avoids specific foods in the belief that they are harmful.
      noun: orthorexia nervosa; plural noun: orthorexia nervosas

     

I am happy to say here I am in February 2014. I feel like I am back in control of my eating disorders, and I have done so with Weight Watchers Online. Melissa Bender told me she is so happy I am making food my friend, and I am too. I can safely say I am still eating healthy, but I now have a little wiggle room. I no longer obsess with what I am eating, I track it daily on the Weight Watchers App and I am done with it. I eat clean, but I allow some treats here and there. I work the plan each week, and if I feel something is not working, I try something new the next week. I have broken my year long plateau and lost 9 lbs since January 14th, 2017. That brings my weight loss goal closer, I am now 24 lbs from 135 lbs. I will always do this, I will maintain my weight by the points system after I get to goal. I will achieve lifetime status with Weight Watchers, and have a healthy relationship with food.

I am grateful for the food that nurtures me and fuels my body to do the things it loves to do. I will not obsess over bad and good food. I eat clean and healthy yet I enjoy life, and with life comes the occasional treat or celebration. Food is no longer my enemy, food has become my friend. Every Monday, after weigh in I enjoy a treat with my coffee. I do that, and I am still losing weight. I really look forward to the scale, and the treat afterwards.

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I will leave you with this, a quote from the weight loss guru himself.  We miss Richard Simmons. If you would like to hear the number one podcast in the country, Missing Richard Simmons, here is the link. I was interviewed on the last day of Slimmons. I hope Richard is well. https://www.facebook.com/MissingRichardSimmons/

We miss you Richard Simmons.

I’ve always practiced this: Love yourself. Move your body. Watch your portions.

Richard Simmons

 I love myself, I am watching my portions and moving my body Richard. Thank you.

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WEIGHT LOSS MILESTONE

16387009_1393904893988306_2621029889834396704_nMy weigh in day is on Monday. I am working so hard, and I really get excited for weighing in. This week I finally made it into the 150’s, a milestone I have been chasing for over a year. I finally broke my long time plateau with Weight Watchers Online and I lost 9 lbs in a little over a month. That is 10% of my body weight.

I lost my initial weight between the summer of 2013 and 2016 and than the scale just stopped moving. I continued to work hard on my fitness and I continued to eat healthy but nothing could get the numbers to go down. I even kept off every pound through an ongoing crisis. I never gave up nor will I ever give up. One day I will write about the crisis I am in, but for now I keep all of that private.

I can officially say I am 24 lbs from my goal weight of 135 lbs.

Cue Happy Happy face.
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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

 

 

 

 

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5 reasons I went back to Weight Watchers

The journey is never over, each time you get close to your destination life decides it’s time for you to take a different route.

Rose Bruno Bailey

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My weight loss journey, my life. Ups and downs for sure, but in my heart I definitely feel I experience more ups than downs. In the beginning of this weight loss blog I began with Weight Watchers, and after some time I decided to go at it on my own. I lost about 60 lbs and then hit one major snag, a plateau that lasted about a year. When I moved up to San Francisco my weight actually went up about ten pounds. I lost that when I moved back to Los Angeles, then I got stuck at 168 lbs. I even did a six month clean eating challenge, and did not lose a pound.

On January 14th, I joined Weight Watchers Online. I decided this was it, I needed to do this again, and I planned to journey with Weight Watchers all the way to my goal weight of 135 lbs. Since that day and moment, I am loving this new route of my journey and I lost 7 lbs. I broke that plateau, and I truly am loving the ride. 

Here are the 5 reasons I went back to Weight Watchers Online.

Weight Watchers works in real life, it has been proven. You get a set of daily points, and some extras weekly points. I broke my plateau since I joined on January 14th, 2017 and I lost 7 lbs. You get live support if you attend meetings, and virtual support online if you do not. You can choose to have a coach for a little extra, and for some I am sure that is a life line. Weight Watchers works for weight loss and maintenance. This is not a fad diet, this is forever.

Weight Watchers Online is only 19.95 a month. That is truly doable. For someone on a budget I know I can make that payment. I get the app and all of the wonderful features that comes with it. I track my food, my progress and weight on the app. I get recipes and ideas and share inspiration with others on their Weight Watchers journey. Weight Watchers Connect is like Instagram and Facebook, but for all of us on Weight Watchers. So far I track everything I eat and drink, and I would never do that without the app. I love it.

Weight Watchers helped me with my food issues. I admit it, I had eating disorders. I always looked as food as being bad or good. I would get anxiety if I ate something considered bad. I was getting obsessive and it wasn’t pretty. Now I eat whole grains again, and I am losing weight. Weight Watchers keeps my portions in control for me, teaches me to love food again. I couldn’t be happier.

Weight Watchers may be a format, but I can work the plan the way I choose to, and each week I can change it up if I feel something is not working. On Mondays after weigh in, I have coffee cake with my coffee. I would never have done that before. I actually love weigh in Mondays!!

Weight Watchers is for everybody. Anyone can rock this plan, and everyone can be successful at it. I have seen people on Connect who have lost over 100 lbs with Weight Watchers, people of all ages. It can be done, and I am going to get to my goal of 135 lbs with Weight Watchers. In about ten pounds, I plan to start going to meetings, and when I get to my goal weight I can be a lifetime member. Lifetime members get to attend for free. Talk about the perfect weight loss maintenance plan. 

I am all in with Weight Watchers. All the way, journeying to my goal and beyond.

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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.

 

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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

 

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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
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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