Category Archives: life’s lessons


Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

Winston Churchill

Dreams, we all have them. It’s one of the things that motivates us to move forward in life. Dreaming feels like stepping through muddy moments and coming out refreshed on the other side, where the sun shines in a bright blue sky and rain comes down like a warm release of cleansing water. Dreams, I live for my dreams and passions and I have many dreams.

This blog was one of my dreams. It began with an idea. That’s the thing with dreams, at first they are just ideas. Our imagination concocts these thoughts called ideas, and it is up to us to either ignore them or find ways to turn thoughts into ideas and then into dreams. Sounds magical I know, and it is. I remember when my best friend suggested I write poems. Her suggestion was a thought, her thought became an idea and when she conveyed it to me it became my thoughts and ideas; and finally one of my dreams. I started writing, first with poems and later memoirs and essays. I am far from done and grateful to Melissa for her amazing idea that changed my life and my direction in which I live it.

The idea for this blog became a dream of mine. To lose weight while helping charities. It became one of my passions in my life and took me to places I had no idea I would even think of going. I had success, I lost 60 lbs and helped a lot of charities, and I was introduced to the world of fitness for the first time since my dancing days. This blog sprouted ideas that I continue to work on. I am so proud of the work I do. One of my largest dreams is to one day after I reach my goal to become a motivational speaker, helping others achieve weight loss and confidence, and encouraging them to pay it forward and help others all while achieving their own personal goals.

That same sky that brought the sunshine and the cleansing rain fell right through, more than once. In the same six months I went from achieving my lowest weight on this blog to gaining 30 lbs back six months later. I experienced the loss of my Mom, a move from LA to Houston and the sickness and loss of our beloved Siamese Rascal. I discovered I  sometimes can be an emotional eater. I did all of those things I thought were behind me, I ate unhealthy food and stopped exercising. Stress took over my life, especially during the three months I tried to save Rascal. The overeating, the lack of exercise, the stress and the grief taught me a valuable lesson. We are all human, we will fall from time to time. Our failures and falls do not define us. Our humanity and connection to each other defines us. Love defines us. What I did to try to save Rascal was love.

So back to dreams. How does one dream of doing something when they worked so hard to get to their goals and they failed? How can you continue if you failed? Where do you go from here? How do you start over? Can I ever make that dream of helping others lose weight after I myself had a setback? Am I not worthy? 

The answer is we are not defined by our failures and our setbacks, but how we stand back up; scraped knees, bruised egos and all. Facing our failure but putting it behind us as we admit we need to make a change and move forward. The key to change is facing you fell, forgiving yourself for faltering and admitting it happened. Connecting to others helps in the process, no man is an island. Connecting to other people was a huge part of my beginning of this blog and I will continue to connect and not try to go it alone. We are all connected.

I am back to blogging, back to losing weight ( with more to lose after my 30 lb weight gain), back to helping charities and working on my fitness goals; back after heartbreak and the business of being human. 

I fell hard, but I stand up again. I am alive, the sun rose today and I couldn’t think of a better way of honoring life by taking the universe up of the gift of another chance to dream and to do what I love; turning magical thoughts into inspirational ideas and dream, dream and do.

Nice to see you again,




I Have taken to grinding my teeth, which means I have a lot of stress to deal with.  In the last six months I lost my way on this blog and my weight loss journey; my Mother’s passing, a move away from California and a very sick cat left me with thirty extra pounds. I did the unthinkable, I gained half my weight back. This post is not to complain about the changes and stress that I encountered. This post is me facing my weight gain and getting back to blogging and losing weight. I know what to do, it just took me a while to find my way back to me. Half the battle is facing the music head on, admitting it happened and making the necessary changes to get back on track. My name is Rose and I went from 159 lbs in May of 2017 to 189 lbs as of Today November 29th 2017. For the sake of blogging I am going to say I am 190 it is easier to manage the numbers.

Today is my real day one, I am starting over.  I am going to lose my first ten pounds of the thirty I gained. I am going to do my food drive when I lose the ten pounds. I am back to committing to a charity and committing to myself and my health. I couldn’t be more motivated. It took me six months to get here but here I am, ready to get to work. Each day I workout and eat healthy I will collect a can to be donated when I lose my first ten pounds.

How am I going to do it? How did you do it? These are questions I am often faced, but I am in unfamiliar territory having had the moment when I slipped up and lost my momentum. I spent six months eating foods on a regular basis that normally I would only eat as a treat. I also ate a lot of carbs. I know my body and what diet works best for my body type. This is not my first rodeo. I am doing what I always did successfully but I am doing a do over.

Exercise, I am doing cardio mostly walking nightly on the treadmill after work with my husband James. We call it date night. We are getting healthy together and getting back eating mostly plant-based and lower carbohydrate and some lean protein for me. I am also doing body weight exercise based workouts from Melissa Bender Fitness and in a few weeks when I feel ready I plan to tackle the machines at the gym. I plan to run three times a week and Yoga and stretching to round it out. I am also working a server job again, which helps because it is an active job and I can bring home healthy salads and fish dishes.

Here it goes, I got on the scale, all the Thanksgiving leftovers are gone. I have my challenges but that is life. Dealing with my weight gain head on with diet and working out will only help me with these challenges. I also plan to post more often, and some posts will just be quick updates with no fancy writing. I plan to plan to be here and be accountable. Less photos for now and more of the struggles we all face. I will save my writing for publications and photos for when I start losing again. For now it is all about the hard work. I have a slow computer and my goal is to be here and get it done and get to work on my fitness. There will be time later when I get a faster pc for more photo uploads when I start losing again. No excuses.

There is no shame in admitting you stumbled, there is no shame in admitting you fell on your face. Can you get up? Stand back up? Fall nine, get up ten. I am getting back up, my self esteem is bruised but soon it will heal.

After all, we are all human. I found out how human I really am. I also remembered feeling strong, fit and healthy feels better than eating pie.

Love and Light, 






Transitions in weight loss and gaining some weight back. Pick yourself up, pick up the pieces, pick up your weights. Transitions in weight loss happen, just pick it back up where you left off. Continue the journey, you got this.

Starting Weight 220

Lowest weight loss 159

Weight Gain, Current Weight 179 

Goal Weight 130-135 By Summer

Last night I woke up from a dream. I must have been at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on Sunset Blvd near where I lived in West Hollywood. It was so real and so vivid that I woke up and decided I would go there today to work on my writing projects. Than I realized where I was and that made going there impossible. I was dreaming but awake.

I find myself living in this beautiful little community right outside of Houston Texas, and after everything James and I have been through I am grateful to have the opportunity to pick up all the broken pieces, to pay the debt from when James was unemployed. I miss West Hollywood but I have to focus on the now for now.  I can either wallow in self pity or get back to being the best me I can be, and do it here in Houston.

As I begin this blog again just like when I began in 2013 I took a new waitress job, and I am assuming it will be my last. This job is going to be a learning curve for me as far as managing my time to do my outside pursuits. As my Mother Shirley would say, suck it up kid. We need two incomes to be able to get us back on track. So this autumn I need to find a way to work on my goals and manage a full time server job. The gym in my complex is open 24 hours so I should be ok. I also plan to do all of this and some writing projects  and do it with a smile. 

If you find yourself in hot water, make like a kettle and sing. I am singing today, my official day two. I am also saying goodbye to my former self, the summer me who gained a few pounds and was just a little lost. Today is my day two and I am ready for a better version of me. I am using the lose it app to keep my portions and calories in control and writing up my ten goals for the month of October. I think slipping up one time in four years is not too bad. So here I am, downloading my running playlist, singing and cooking healthy food. Today I am making soup, here is the recipe I am making tonight. It is autumn and even though it is still so hot here James loves soups and football.

How To Make Vegetarian Split Pea Soup


Ain’t no use in complaining when you got a job to do. Bryan Adams

I have a lot of jobs to do but I like it that way. 


Love and Light



20472165_10155431492018617_1161137351_nWe start fresh, we get excited. We go all in, gung ho and high on our new quest. Life comes in and decides to shake us up a bit. We stumble and fall from the personal earthquake that is our life,  After the last aftershock ceases we stay still in fear and our own perceived failures, we stop moving forward. Eventually we circle back, all things are connected even our goals and the obstacles that seem to keep us at arms distance from our destination. We circle back, eventually everything comes full circle, even us.

I am in the process of circling back and finding my way. This week was my first weigh in since I dropped the ball on my fitness and weight loss journey. The ball bounced upward in my favor, as I lost five of the thirteen pounds I gained and now it is also time to re-commit to my fitness routine.

My fitness routine to begin is this:

walking every day except on my running days- one hour or more

Running three times a week

Melissa Bender Fitness 3 times a week

Sneaking in stretching and yoga to help me succeed.

Seems simple and I think it is something I can sustain as my body starts to bounce back.

Are you with me, are you circling back after dropping the ball on your goals? We are all connected, let’s circle back together.


Love and Light







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. 


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


I FINALLY WEIGHED IN, (here is what happened)



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.


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.





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.

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.


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.


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







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. ( 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,  ( )  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.


Love and Light




Good Morning to all, it is Friday and I plan on running today. On my playlist is a song from the group Electric Light Orchestra titled I’m Alive. Each day we awaken is such a gift. If you forget that, maybe you should take a trip to your local emergency room. Nothing puts your life, your personal strife in perspective then spending six hours in the emergency room. I went to the ER this week, and this post is about my experience within those four walls of sickness, healing, anxiety, grief and compassion. My experience left me with gratitude to the Healers, the Doctors, the Nurses, the volunteers, and everyone in health care who chose such a selfless career. My ears could not tune out the agony of pain from the lady across the hall, her young sons by her side trying to console her; the healers trying without success to just make her feel more comfortable. The cries out to her lord were so intense I forgot my own reasons for being there. 

My reason for being there does not matter. My health is fine, my numbers were perfect. I was one of the lucky who got to leave. My husband James and I mused as we were walking through the hallways looking for the exit, that the hallway felt like a maze leading to the escape route back to where life makes sense. Trees and a cool breeze would await us on the other side. Cars, streetlights, people smiling; real life or the reality we all like to live in. What goes on within hospitals is very foreign to many of us, almost like a world within a world. It takes special types of humans to live and work in that center of sickness and healing, and to them I send my gratitude. We walked through the automatic doors hand in hand as if we had a renewed lease on living, never forgetting those who we left behind. Kindness and empathy for others should always be a given.

In yoga we often make an intention in the beginning of the practice, and we may offer up well wishes and healing thoughts for someone we know; for someone who is struggling. I offer this to the lady in the emergency room and her two children who stood lovingly by her side. They do not know me, but I know them. I was just on the other side of the curtain,veiled yet not blind to her suffering. Empathy for the sick and gratitude to the healers.


Love and Light







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.


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. 


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.

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