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Owning Up & Living with Limits


 I’m going to take a deep breath and own up to something.  Since starting this blog, and mostly since my business has really taken off, I have gained 30 lbs.  (It hurts just to write that.)  A year ago, I had to have my gallbladder removed and it was a wake up call to me.  Well, I hit the snooze button a few times, but last summer, I started making changes.  I wrote THIS POST about the limits I was going to set for myself dealing with food, health, my business, etc. and I thought I would give an update.

So, here I was pre-blog…  It’s hard to see in a frumpy t-shirt, but I had lost 38lbs after having my second son and was only about 10lbs heavier than when I was in college.  I was running every day and at a very healthy BMI and I felt awesome.


Here I am 3o lbs heavier.  Again, it’s hard to tell with the layers, but those 30 lbs were there and they were really hard to handle when I was trying to find the perfect outfit to wear on the Nate Berkus Show.

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So, in August, there was total upheaval.  I gave/threw away most of what was in my pantry and fridge.  Anything with MSG, corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils and anything I couldn’t pronounce was outta there.  Grocery store trips took me an eternity as I flipped over everything to read the label.  This meant giving up the thing that has been my “one thing” since I was 16 years old.  Diet soda.  I always said, “It’s my one thing and I’m not giving it up.”  Well, I finally decided to give it up.  I’m not saying it’s bad, but I couldn’t make a case that it was good for me.  I went from drinking 2-3/day to one and then none.  I felt terrible and craved them intensely for about two weeks, but then it got easier.  I had no idea how addicted I was to them!  I haven’t had a sip of diet soda since and I don’t want to.  I don’t view it as a treat or as an occasional thing.  I view it as a slippery slope if I take one sip, so I don’t even mess with it.

I also became a vegetarian.  This was easier for me, believe it or not.  I’ve never been a big meat eater anyway.  What was awesome, too, is that my husband went semi-vegetarian with me, so we eat vegetarian at home and he has gotten used to it.  He gets meat when we go out or sometimes buys some salmon or something for himself.  Being a vegetarian has limited a lot of unhealthy options like fast food, rich casseroles, etc. and has made me get creative with the way I fuel my body.  Since making that change, I’ve lost 6 lbs.

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I know.  That’s not much.  Especially over seven months.  I felt it was important, though, to establish a healthy eating pattern…to totally change my tastes and cravings, so that when I started to focus more on weight loss, it was very natural.  And it’s worked.  I would rather pack a veggie wrap and nuts than stop in fast food place.  I can’t handle candy that I used to like, like peanut butter cups and even my precious chocolate covered raisins.  They are just too sweet and taste really fake to me.  Oh, I can still put away a good homemade brownie or something like that, though!

So, this is the kind of stuff I crave and eat…

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…raw veggies with hummus, sliced cheese…

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…a bunless black bean burger with avocado and baby romaine…

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…and stir fried veggies with cashews, brown rice and quinoa.  Of course, I still have my guilty pleasures like all-natural kettle-cooked potato chips, Izze Clementine soda and Ghirardelli 60% cacao dark chocolate chips.  So, now that I’m eating the right kinds of foods, I’m tightening up a bit to focus on weight loss.  I’m also adding a workout routine.

I’ve done this in the past.  I go to the gym for a few weeks and then I get busy and stop.  One problem is that I’m just picking this class or that class to go to and I’m not very purposeful about it.  I used to be a major gym rat, so I know how to train, but I need someone to push me and I need a plan.  I looked around for something I could do at home and settled on the P90X Video Workout.  I just started this week and it is pretty brutal, but I like that kind of punishing workout.  It’s about an hour a day six days a week for 90 days.  So, I’m committing to do it for 90 days and we’ll see what happens.

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I bought a comfy new pair of tennis shoes and I’m ready to go.  I’ll only take a day off if I’m really sick, traveling and the two days of the Lucketts Fair in May (those are workout enough!)  Otherwise…no excuses,

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This isn’t going to be a main topic on my blog, but it’s a big thing going on in my life, so I wanted to share it.  I am also positive that I have a lot of readers who struggle with weight and it’s always nice to talk about common struggles.   I was initially thinking it would be my own secret makeover project and I would just show you in the end, but I kept finding myself wanting to talk about it.  I’m hoping some of you wonderful ladies can cheer me on and hold me accountable. Hopefully I’ll be showing some lean, muscular pictures of myself in 90 days…maybe 180 since I expect I’ll have to do the program twice to get where I want to be. I’m just going to give it all I’ve got and we’ll see what happens.

As far as the other limits I set in August…well, I’ve been stinking it up with going to bed at a reasonable hour and I’m going to get back to that. I’ve asked for a snazzy bracelet for my birthday that tracks and records your sleep patterns and I think that will help.  It means I might neglect my Facebook page more than I already do or I’lll be a bit slower at responding to e-mails, but I know that years from now, I’ll be glad I took care of myself.  I can never imagine my future-self being glad I stayed up until midnight or 1:00 regularly and was exhausted and stressed all to answer some e-mail and hang out on Pinterest.

I have been better at saying no, but that I-can-say-yes-to-everything-and-it-will-all-work-out side of my personality has been rearing its head again and I need to tighten up.  I just need to have another pep talk with myself about it and give myself permission to disappoint people who want something from me that I can’t give 100% to.  That’s hard…

So, here’s to limits and balance!  (I’m raising my Izze…don’t leave me hanging.)

I’ll give you updates here and there to let you know how things are coming along.  Have a great Easter weekend.

MMS_DividerDisclosure: This is NOT a featured post.  I bought P90X, the shoes, my bottle of Izze, and everything else I talk about in this post.  The P90X link is an Amazon Affiliate link.

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  1. TracieMcOB says:

    Good for you! I used Power 90 and I loved it. It is not as brutal as P90X but gives you a great kick start to get used to TH’s moves. I lost 50 # using the workouts in 4 months and of course eating right. Power 90 is nice too because the workouts are shorter and can be fit in a little bit easier then the longer P90X workouts. I THEN went on to more brutal workouts like P90X. (Insanity) .. Keep up the good work

  2. I’m living a healthier lifestyle, as well and I love it. The site I use to help me along is and it’s truly amazing….you can find me as “healthierlynn”.

    Remember to measure yourself….smaller measurements are what make your clothes fit better and make your body leaner and more trim, much more than seeing a smaller number on the scale. 😉

  3. Carla says:

    Great post Miss MS. In February (birthday month) I decided enough was enough and detoxed off sugar/processed food. What a horrible experience. I cannot imagine what detoxing off of drugs is like as bad as this was. Anyway, since then I have started eating more fruits, veggies, nuts. Limited sugar and almost no processed foods. Makes a huge difference. Some weight has come off but that was not my primary purpose at the time. Like you Marian, I wanted to learn to eat different foods before I started to try to lose weight and I also wanted spring to finally get here so I could get outside to walk/run. I will be interested in your journey!

  4. Suzanne says:

    Miss MS- I am in the same boat– 30lbs. from my 3 babies. I recently found this:
    In a nutshell– lose 4% of your weight in 4 weeks and earn money.
    I found this about a month ago, after reading and determining that it was legit. I decided to do it. I am in the last week of my diet bet, and I have lost 8.5 pounds. This is my first time doing this but it has been a great motivator for me– winning money by losing weight.

    I have no stake in this company, I just think it is a great idea. A way for all of us who have put on 30lbs. or so to win money.
    Praying for you as you go thru this journey. God bless.

  5. Thanks for being so real! I’m sure you’re going to get everyone’s story now so I’ll add ours to the mix. My husband and I started eating Paleo (The Cave Man diet) in June. He lost 30 pounds in 6 weeks without exercising. The premise behind the diet is to eliminate any foods that cause inflimation and are hard for your body to process. This includes ALL grains and legumes. It’s the opposite of vegetarian in that you eat meat and eliminate the grains – rice, quinoa, oats, wheat, barely, etc. These are hard for our digestive track and stay in the body longer (which is why we’re full longer)…. and cling to our abdominal area. I’d encourage you to start researching the effects of grains on the body. You most likely see the weight come off faster and feel much more energetic.

    Best to you. And congratulations on your new habits. It takes a lot of discipline to do what you’re doing.

  6. Kristen says:

    I ha e been out if work for over a year and in that time I have gained 10 lbs on top of the 10 I put on the year before. I have recently been sick…..and today I have finally gotten fed up with being sick and tired. I need to make some life style changes and start feeling good about myself again.

  7. Kathy says:

    WooHoo!!! I am so inspired by and excited for all of you. I loved reading the comments and as always Marion is giving us all a boost in our own lives. Being healthy is a choice we make every time we put anything into our mouths, solid or liquid. It is hard to eat some things after you really research and learn what is in there and what it does to your body.

    After being on a mostly vegetable and whole grain diet with not a lot of meat for about 15 years, I can say I am truly healthy, no weight issues ( I walk and hike, yoga) and I have not needed to take an antibiotic in over 7 years. My cholesterol is good, and i have a nice consistant flow of energy almost every day. At 47, people say I have the body of a teenager, now of course that is not true, but it’s nice to hear.


  8. once again, I feel like I am living in a parallel universe with you! (except for all the fame and talent!) 😉
    I just ended up at the chiropractor for the second time in 5 months. The only time I ever have to go is when I am overweight and out of shape. I hit my bottom over the weekend, hitting my heaviest weight I’ve been at in the last 10 years.
    It’s awful.
    Yesterday was my January 1, and I am committed to getting back to a weight that I know is healthy for me, and exercising regularly. It’s not about vanity, it’s about living!
    Kudos to you on your success and commitment to health!

  9. Good for you. I read recently that diet soda increases the rate of depression by 30%. I wonder if that was why is was so hard to get off it. You seem like quite an upbeat person. I’ll be curious to know if you feel a difference over time.

    Good luck and cheers.

  10. Good for you!!! I think your black bean burgers, and quinoa and salad look really yummy! I find that once you start eating green food, you crave it. Diet soda would be hard for me to give up too. Phew! and apparently sleep is a big deal with dieting, if you don’t get enough sleep it is harder to lose weight! Thanks for sharing it all with us, it’s so much more real when our blogger friends share their struggles and imperfections and warts.


  11. Tracie says:

    I’m right there with you!!! I started boxing/working out about month ago. I was just feeling blah. I’m not huge, but my clothes didn’t fit. I’m short so every extra pound counts. I was a diet coke addict and feel the same way I can’t even have a sip or it will be like starting from scratch. Anyway please keep us updated, I kind of get focused and it’s good to hear others stories. I feel great now, and hope the weight starts dropping soon.

  12. Marian,
    Thank you for sharing this along the way, rather than waiting until the goal is achieved. I think it is so important for many of us to hear this, and we can relate to it! I need to take better care of myself too. So many of us take care of business, family, friends and there is little left for oneself. I have been working on being and eating healthier as well and I love all that you shared with your readers, thank you, you inspire us!

  13. Good job!!! Getting healthy is a process and SO important for both you and your family! I’m convinced your children will reap the benefits! Isn’t it amazing how good you feel (and you probably didn’t think you felt bad before…)
    I’ve been on a whole- food, plant based diet for 18 months and my blood pressure, cholesterol and health in general is great. And I’m 56 and weigh what I did when I was in college…who’d have thought?
    You’re an inspiration…keep up the good work!

  14. It is SO hard to give up those “one things”, and healthy living is definitely a learning process and a fight for consistency! Great job taking those steps for you and your family Marian!

  15. good for you! Keeping balance on all those things (and esp diet) is so hard esp when one is as busy as you are. I’m quite sure you will meet your goals.
    And I know what you mean about soda. It’s the one thing I was truly addicted to but I did manage to give it up. And, happily, once I gave it up (and got well past that tough, first withdrawal) I found that I didn’t like it anymore. It just tastes like chemicals and it’s the opposite of refreshing.
    Hang in there – you’ll do great.

  16. I have admired your work from across the computer screen and in my mind I make these stories up about people living perfect lives with no worries or fears………..your work is beautiful……………….you, even more so. keep up the great work.

  17. I’m with you. I’ve totally changed my diet this year. (I never did the soda thing and have always exercised.). Weight loss is slow but I’m sticking with it. Good luck with your quest for health and balance. I will keep routing for you!

  18. I’m right there with you! I’ve gained 25 plus pounds since dating my (now) fiance. I have less then a year to lose it!! I just started two weeks ago committing going back to the gym like I used to before I met him and I’ve also committed to tracking my food again. (on my fitness pal app). its just in the beginning stages but hopefully I’ll get there.

    Oh and I also have a diet coke addiction. I’m cutting it out right now with a cleanse I just started today.

    We can cheer each other on! Keep posting your updates, it will help motivate me!

  19. Krista says:

    Good for you – I’m eating clean these last few months and feel so much better!

  20. Bravo Miss Mustard Seed! You can do this : )

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