Author Archives: Diane

About Diane

Ciao! My name is Diane. I'm a wife, a mom, a working professional, and a Weight Watcher from New Jersey. I started blogging in 2011, at 45 years old, when I was training for my first Half Marathon at Rutgers on April 22, 2012. Since then, I've lost 80 pounds, completed my Half Marathon goal and gone on to train for and run my very first Full Marathon. On Jan 13, 2013, I ran the Disney Marathon in Orlando, Fl! What an incredible day. As the saying goes -- "The person who starts the race is not the same person who finishes the race." I am forever changed! So now we move on to the next phase of this journey! Come along. We're in this together!! Ciao for now!

security is under-rated

security is under-rated

I woke up this morning, like every morning, in safety, security, warmth and comfort. Gratitude abundance!

Before I even opened my eyes this morning, I could feel the things for which I am grateful.

Today’s small things are warm, soft and fixed.

#1 – The safety and comfort of my bed. I perhaps don’t think enough about the women and children in this world who live without this…and what it must do to their sense of self and security in the world.

#2 – Sometimes when I wake up an hour or two too early, I reach out, eyes still closed, and find Peter’s hand. He responds and clasps his warmth around my hand….and I drift back to sleep. Peter’s love is a fixed mark and it grounds me to the planet.

#3 – Quiet mornings where my shuffling feet are the only sound in the house. I make my coffee and sit outside, listening to the birds for a few moments…waking up slowly. There is security in this quiet. Our world, in big places far away, and small neighborhoods nearby need more peace.

Find your joy….

Ciao for now…Diane

Bacon, eggs and avocado!

Bacon, eggs and avocado!

Those are my 3 things today. I’m grateful for 1) Bacon, 2) Eggs, and 3 )Avocado.

This combination is my breakfast most days. In some combination, form and function. G.O.N.E. are the days of a tiny yogurt and berries. Eating bird seed and drinking water to save calories and opportunity for a treat later in the day. Those treats would spiral me into sugar oblivion. I’ve learned that those milk and fruit options were also a trigger for me. Not a key to success for me anyway. Of late, I am following a low carb, keto type diet, with focus on protein and healthy fats. It’s working. What does “working” mean, well… firstly, I. AM. SATISFIED! I am full, satiated both physically and spiritually. Hey, don’t discount the spiritual aspect of food. The universe gave us taste buds, so life could be sweeter, spicier, full of flavor and zest. Add those things back into your life, but in a healthy meaningful way.

Conclusion….my 3 small things today fill me with g.r.a.t.i.t.u.d.e. I am HAPPY. And…I’m losing weight and gaining control over my appetite and choices. A+ Diane.

Ciao for now…Diane

Gratitude all around you

Gratitude all around you

Build a habit of finding 3 small things each day. Three small things that make you grateful.

I’ve been gone for too long. So my #1 thing I am grateful for is …You. The fact that anyone is even still out t.h.e.r.e. reading this, is amazing in itself. So thank you. Thank you for listening in on my internal dialogue. The self-imposed therapy as I work my lifelong problem to turn my critical internal voice into a friend.

So we’re here. On the other side of the pandemic. Or we hope anyway. The past 18 months…whew. When somebody finds that DELETE button…PUSH it twice, okay? Just to make sure. Well, actually, maybe I don’t want to delete ALL of it. Let’s go back to gratitude….because I found some things that Ive learned to cherish in the past year….things that have become more deeply important to me than ever before. I wanna keep those. So, let me get them out of the way, and into my treasure basket – THEN, you can push the button. TWICE, remember, hit it twice.

So #2 came in the form of technology. When we all began to hunker down and separate physically, we learned to use ZOOM and let people, friends, work colleagues, and even strangers into our homes. Yea, even strangers. For me this happened in my Weight Watchers meetings. When the Workshops in Maryland closed down, (eh- and NEVER opened again, Grrrr!), an opening in the universe brought me Denise and all my old East Brunswick WW friends on ZOOM! WOW! Gratitude in abundance. It’s Sunday morning at 9am on ZOOM, but o.m.g is it fun. Huh? Weight Loss Can Be FUN? YES! We laugh, we learn, we motivate, we comfort and encourage. We. Are. Friends. My #2 of small things IS that WW community. Still to this day, I have never found a place where I feel as comfortable. There is a green chair in East Brunswick that I miss So So much. But Sundays on ZOOM bring that green chair and the community that surrounds it right. into. my. home. Come friends, you are welcome here. I am really hoping this lasts forever!

Number 3, for today…is family. My daughters who have cuddled closer this year. My husband who remains a solid rock upon which I rely and yet (also) a soft place for me to rest and be safe. Thank you sweethearts….your love and closeness this year has meant everything. My mom and my sister in Florida….boy have they had their fair share (and then some) of tough times. I’m grateful for your resilience and your bravery. You are not alone. Your family , as small as we are, are around you. Rely on us.

So the task for the next while….however long this while may be…is to look inside your life and find the small things. In those small things, I believe, we will find peace, and comfort, and the drive to reach tomorrow…..and its 3 more things.

We’ll find happiness….3 small things at a time.

I’m here, loving that you are there! Thank you….be well friends.

Ciao for now…Diane

A new day with no mistakes

A new day with no mistakes

When my daughter Erin was a little girl of 7 perhaps, we stumbled across a tv show, Anne of Green Gables. Now I had read the book when I was a girl, but soon enough Erin and I had pulled the back sofa cushions off the couch, and we snuggled in under a blanket and fell in love with Anne and Gilbert. Perhaps we became kindred spirits of sorts. Week after week, we laughed and talked and enjoyed being together with these amazing characters. Anne was so relatable….equally for a 7 year old and her middle age mom. We promised one day we’d go to PEI together. It’s still on our bucket list, but I’m convinced it will happen one day.

Anne had a resilience about her that was intoxicating. Every day was a fresh beginning, with no mistakes in it yet. Reflecting back, her mistakes were harmless, joyfully innocent, typically well intended. Anne was the gift to Marilla and Matthew that helped them see the hardship of life through a softer, playful, unbounded perspective.

Mistakes. What of them. Nothing more than an attempt. A try. A stretch with good intentions.

Good thing, tomorrow will come again. And another chance, a new day with a blank canvas upon which we will paint our mistakes. Anne, and my 7 year old Erin, visited my memories today and brought beautiful perspective into the things that challenge me. I’ll try again, and again, and again. We’re blessed with another new day…..use it well friends. I know you will.

Ciao for now….Diane

weight loss is the side effect of being a bad@ss

weight loss is the side effect of being a bad@ss

Sometimes the universe is talking to you….and it takes a little time to hear.

This weekend, i heard this statement, “Weight loss is the side effect of being a bad ass.” I was getting dressed after a nice hot relaxing bath this morning, and it stopped me in my tracks.

This doctor I was listening to on Youtube went on to say….most people who are trying to lose substantial weight ask him, ” I hope once I lose it, I can maintain it”. But what he says in reply is…”Maintaining is the first step to re-gaining”. Whoa.

Yea. Apparently, we need to be vigilant every day. Whew, man….just the thought of that makes me tired. Aren’t you tired? Well, this doctor said, “yea…well…you can be tired if you choose to see living life that way. But instead, he suggests that we shift our mind, and reframe our goals. See life every day as exciting and feeding ourself as one very small part of it. That it’s not hard. We make it hard by how we choose to look at food and weight as work”.

What if weight was just not that important. Huh?

LOL, yea, um – that’s been my life’s work Doc. My weight.

But see, THAT’S exactly what I’ve been doing wrong. Weight…up, or down, or the same….is NOT the point. It’s how I’ve been living my life that matters. My weight is just a side effect of how I’ve been living.

Most significantly overweight people have other factors that have lead to weight gain beyond overindulgance and bad relationships with food. Some of us have confidence issues, and we should work on that. We hide in the back of the photo, or better still — we take the photos to avoid being in them at all. We hide in the back row of our lives. Silence our voices. Bury our feelings. Deny our strengths. Forget our dreams. Fail before we try. Is it any surprise that we doubt our abilities?

The advice to us is to find something, something to throw yourself into that will grow an ability, grow your confidence, potentially open a new door for ourselves….. and become a badass at it. I <3 this!

I think this is what running was for me. Running was such a surprise. How much I loved it. How good it made me feel. And how capable I became at it. Who knew…I could be athletic? When I lost running…I felt like I lost ALL OF THAT. But thank goodness I allowed myself to try something else. None of us are 1-and-done at a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. You can have a fresh start any. and. every. day. of . the. week. Now, kettlebell workouts give me that same feeling.

I. Can. Do. A. Plank .

I LOVE BURPEES

I Can Swing 53 pounds.

Who Is ThiS Person?

I’m Me. I Am A Badass.

Or at least that’s how it feels every time I do kettlebells.

While in quarantine, the people who run our gym, David and Abby, have been producing daily workouts via Zoom. 2-3 times a day. It’s amazing really. #39MinuteWorkout is an incredible community of badass men and women who work equally hard at becoming strong for themselves as they work at friendship with each other. And the trainers, David, Abby, Drew, Betsy and Wendy care as much about your success as you do. They will believe in you when you feel weak and will call out how AWESOME you are when those burpees rock! It’s unique. I can say this because, if someone like me…someone who lacks confidence in her physical abilities, can join and assimilate with this group of incredibly strong people, without any fear of being the “last kid in gym class to be chosen to a team”….Oh you get me….then, this place is special. #NoDoubt

Peter and I were working out last Monday night on Zoom with our people...and it was hard. Hey – it’s supposed to be hard. Hard means we’re growing. Peter took a step away and took a break to drink some water and he said, ‘Baby, you’re amazing. You push yourself hard, every time”.

Yea. I don’t know where that comes from, but it’s true. I don’t feel competitive. In fact, I sometimes still feel that “I hope no one is watching me” feeling. I am a work-in-progress, but I do push myself. But, you know what, I always push myself. At work, on the job, as a mom, with my kids, at fun, at play. Why should this be any different? Just because being athletic is new-ish to me, doesn’t mean I wouldn’t go at it with the same intensity that I bring to other facets of my life. It’s just been an area that I never allowed myself to think of as mine.

Now I do. And that’s huge.

So, I’ve reframed my journey a bit. I think back to one of my last longer talks with David. He tried to tell me this months ago. He said, “at some point, my mind set had to change. I had to stop looking at weight loss as the goal.” Back then, I couldn’t think my way into what he was saying. Perhaps this time in quarantine at home has given me the time to just do it. I think I get that now. Weight loss is a side effect to being a badass. Whatever that means to each and every one of us. And whatever that means to us over time. How we do it will change, should change. Being a badass is the constant.

Right now for me being a badass means working out with kettlebells on zoom 3-4 times a week and feeling incredibly strong and taking walks in this glorious spring sunshine, and feeding myself food that makes my skin glow.

Weight loss?

I believe it will come.

But my goal? It’s to live this new life of other goals that drive up my confidence and improve how I feel and change the way I see myself. If I string those days together…..how can I not manufacture happiness?

Be well friends. Rest peacefully when you rest. And be a badass at what you love. Keep walking the journey until you find it.

Ciao for now…Diane

good medicine

good medicine

Social distance may keep you well, but activity, exercise will keep you sane.

This week, almost half the nation, employed in non-critical jobs, worked from home…or didn’t work at all. Trying to keep the world population from becoming sick with the COVID-19 coronavirus, is requiring drastic measures. Measures that are scaring people.

Will you or your loved ones get sick? If it happens, will you become one of the ones who end up in the ICU on a hard-to-find breathing machine? Or worse. Will your employer keep you on, or furlough you until this is all over? How long before this is all over? Even with all that has transpired already, has this even started yet?

We don’t know.

And that’s scary in itself.

When this all began in earnest about 2 weeks ago, I wasn’t self monitoring very well. I was calming myself with food. Eating my way through my fear and anxiety. The one blessing is that I monitor my blood sugars every morning and evening. I didn’t need to get on the scale, or attempt to squeeze into my jeans to know….Diane, you’re going down the wrong road. My blood sugars were signaling me. The return of my morning headaches were signaling me. And now more than ever is a time to be healthy. To stay healthy. To focus.

So that’s what I did.

It was easy enough. I just laced up my sneakers and went for a walk. Every day. Two times a day. Three. Whatever it takes…to let the fresh air into my brain…and chase the thoughts away. For a little while.

I work for a really great company. Trust me, they want hard work out of me, and they get it. But they also care about us, their employees. Enough to send an email to us, their employees, reminding us to take care of ourselves through this. Read a book, meditate, phone a friend, take a walk….was their advice.

Now that’s investment advice I will take.

My new routine has become…get up early. Check in, read and respond to critical email that came in overnight from the global offices, sipping my first cup of coffee. Then lace up, and go walk the trails behind my community. Breathe Diane. This coronavirus is out there. But it’s not here. Not in the air that you are breathing into your lungs, not in the oxygen that is filling our brain and cleansing your thoughts and your cells. Breathe. Heal. Let it Go. For 30 minutes.

Then, I go back to it. I work. I’m a leader, a manager, a mentor, a problem solver, an innovator, a thought leader. I work until lunch time…then I eat a small healthy meal of whole foods…and lace up again. Repeat the walk through nature, down and around the neighborhood. Sometimes I see a neighbor walking a dog, or a runner, or a cyclist. It’s remarkably quiet out there. People ARE staying inside. I just hope they aren’t locked inside their homes in fear.

Come out friends. Please don’t gather in groups. Still keep your distance, but it’s a big world. Come out into your little corner. Come breathe the fresh air and find some peace, some space, some sanity. It’s good medicine.

I can’t call it a habit. It’s only been a week of this new “non-normal”. But I see it for what it is….it’s my lifeline to staying sane.

Breathe friends….this will come to an end. And we’ll all come back together and hug the hell out of each other. Then begins the social non-distancing times! Good times. Nah….Great Times :).

Ciao for now….Diane

social distancing

social distancing

The world is having a problem right now….with this COVID-19 Coronavirus. But in a peculiar way….social distancing has made us feel closer.

Nothing makes our first world problems feel small, than a Real World Problem. I’m writing tonight hoping my biggest hopes that two weeks from now we are all breathing a big sigh of relief that the extreme measures we are taking now, will have worked.

Worked, by that I mean…delayed people getting sick, so we don’t ovewhelm the health care systems resulting in tremendous loss of life. Flatten the Curve, as we have all come to hear. But I also hope that the economic effects of the extreme measures of social distancing and sheltering in place dont have depression-like effects on our economy and those we love.

Peter, the girls and I are all working from home now. Nestled into “home offices” around our house, taking care of business inside our own coccoon of sorts. The car doesn’t leave the driveway unless Peter ventures out to the grocery store. Man – the Giant supermarket looks like the old Soviet Union. Shelves are bare of …..almost everything. The president says our supply chain is f.i.n.e…..G.R.E.A.T, even. Well, the store shelves paint an entirely different picture. We haven’t fallen into the scary abyss of hoarding. Not t.p., nor hand sanitizer (LOL, we don’t have any) and not food. We’re just trying to buy our normal groceries, but the sight of the store sure does stimulate the urge to grab whatever they have.

Around the world, some people are living like nothing is happening. It’s so weird. They are roller-blading in San Fran, the beaches are packed in Clearwater, Florida. But here in Maryland, there is a state of emergency. Schools are closed, gatherings of greater than 10 people are forbidden and neighboring states are sheltering in place.

It’s scary. I sure do hope the roller-bladers aren’t ruining this for everyone. Because that is what is at stake right now. Everyone. All of us.

We’ve all turned to Virtual as the real world. Our Facebook Friends are our only friends now. We’re watching each other meal prep and cook and homeschool our kids. We’re exercising to kettlebell workouts together on Zoom. My first Weight Watchers meeting on Saturday will be Virtual. I dunno what that means, but….we all welcome the chance to be together….enough to make us all willing to download whatever and give it a try.

We’ve been asked to separate. To social distance.

What it has taught us is…just how much we value each other.

We want our kinship, each other’s company, the health and well being of our families, the financial solvency of our businesses and livelihoods. We want the community which we collectively comprise.

Perhaps what Coronavirus will teach us when all of this is but a distant memory, is just how much our individual lives are sewn together with those around us. Now that Y.O.U are not there……it has finally dawned on me….that I miss you.

So peculiar….that it takes the separation and isolation from you to remind me how much you mean to me.

They say 8 weeks. Hopefully only 8 weeks. Will you have grown your hair by then? Will your kids be taller? Did you learn to cook while you were away? I don’t know much, aside from this one thing….. I will be home in my small little coccoon…..wishing, praying and sending all good thoughts to your little cocoon.

I miss you. You’ve never felt closer….now that you are so far away.

Ciao for now….Diane

the secrets I don’t tell anyone

the secrets I don’t tell anyone

I cried a lot today.

In the shower. In my car. Maybe it was good to let the sadness out.

When I’m doing really well….I believe the things I tell myself.

The secrets I never say out loud in front of anyone.

Hey, Diane….we’re going to DO THIS, and starting this year – you wont be the FAT GIRL anymore.”

The idea of being able to live some part of my life, as a normal size person, is important to me. I want to feel it…before I die.

When I’m stumbling, failing…I give up that dream, and the real secret comes out.

….NOPE, not gonna happen Diane. You. ARE. The Fat Girl. That’s who you will ever be in this life. That’s you.

The tears…..could water a million gardens.

Tomorrow, I will try again.

I will begin with an honest food journal. Something I abandoned a few weeks ago, when the downward spiral began.

This is fear of success.

I don’t know what happens after 197 lbs, so I’m sabotaging myself so I can stay in the safety of the place I know.

But, I don’t want to. I need to figure this out.

Start small, Diane. Start with honesty with food. It all begins and ends there.

Ciao for now….and thank you for catching me today. For helping me not stay alone in my sadness…

Diane

self-appreciation

self-appreciation

Why is it so hard?

This past Sunday was the 6th Annual Swing-A-Thon charity event at #39MinuteWorkout. (It was also our Erin’s 23rd birthday <3 . Love you Erin! Forever my baby, no matter what age.) Peter and I joined the event for the first time. All was just as David promised. It was a fun-filled 3 hour block of camaraderie with friends. Laughs. Lots of cheering for each other…and collectively, we raised over $29,000 for Casey Cares. WOW. Talk about a winning experience. It Felt So Good to be working on behalf of someone other than ourselves. The Human Spirit is Boundless when used for Good.

At the event, this beautiful, talented woman named Gina was snapping photos. She was the record keeper of this day in the “book of our history”. You can tell when a photographer transcends to become an artist when she glides through the room, practically unnoticed, sharing a moment about you, for you, with you, all with the lightest touch….and then with a click and a whoosh….she’s gone. On to another treasured moment.

Today, I was feeling down. Nah, be honest Diane. You were tearing yourself down, one knick, one chip, one negative thought at a time. You see, I’ve been slipping. I’ve LET GO. Been eating granola bars, ice cream, yes…my baby’s birthday cake. The first week it happened, I skipped my WW meeting and I promised I’d stop. Week two just passed. Seriously Diane, you have to stop. Today was day 1 of week 3. Can I stop? The Doubt began to scare me.

Then it happened. My image of myself was replaced by this one….

Gina pinged my Messenger, with a picture. A black and white image and these 8 words…

“I think you look like a badass here!”

I look up to the universe tonight and say a humble thank you.

Thank you for putting people in my way, that help me climb down off of my own back, and learn to appreciate myself. Appreciate what I have accomplished. No, simply appreciate who I am. Me. Not my weight, or my BMI or my dress size. Just Me. Thank you for allowing me to see myself through their eyes, in those moments when I am blind in my own.

I had to google what “appreciation means”. Yea, I know. It’s a common word. One that we say often enough…but do we really know what appreciation is? Do we? …and do you know what I found? Take a read of this definition….straight from Merriam Webster herself.

Appreciation”: recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something

Did you pick it up?

Enjoyment. En-JOY-ment of the good qualities of someone.

Man, when was the last time you stole a minute or two to enjoy the good qualities of YoURseLF! If you are like me, that would be a BIG FAT NEVER! We’re too busy seeing ourselves as a giant “human project plan”. Eyes on the prize to change ourself, to fix ourself, to be someone other than ourself. A better me, a new me, a different me.

Wheewwww….deep breath in. Deeper breath out.

Tonight, I’m sitting here at our dining table. Some political talking head is jibber-jabbering and making promises on the tv in the other room. But I’m just sitting here, with you, and with the picture Gina took of me this past Sunday. I’m enjoying myself…and what we did together on Sunday. And I think YOU SHOULD TOO!

I appreciate what I have done. What I’ve accomplished. That I can even swing a 44 pound kettlebell and look like a badass while doing it. When did THAT happen. Oh but Diane…..it didn’t “happen” at all. You MADE it happen girl. You and your badass self!

I’m taking a few minutes tonight and I’m enjoying being me, right now, this night, just as I am. I hope you are too. Revel in it. Roll around in it like when you were a kid jumping into a pile of leaves on a sunny October day.

I’m so grateful for Gina. She was our muse with her camera on Sunday. She floated through the room like a gentle breeze. She captured you too – in all your F.I.E.R.C.E moments. Can you feel it? I KNOW you can! EN-JOY IT.

Then we learn how to find more moments like this.

Ciao for now..Diane

nice quiet reckoning

nice quiet reckoning

busy work week, late nights, less sleep, fewer planned meals, more desserts.

The whole week.

Saturday morning, I chose to sleep in before I even went to bed last night. I’m super tired. Mind, body, spirit.

The whole day, I’m like an old Ford choking on bad gas through its carburetor. All the poor feeding of my body is compounding how run down I feel.

The only good realization? Monday is a holiday. No work. LONG WEEKEND! Ahhh…so good. so good.

Again, before I went to bed last night, I made a promise to myself. Tomorrow, we get back on track. Back to taking better care. Back on the path to feeling strong again.

So this nice quiet long weekend, where we don’t really have any obligations — I’m taking these 3 days as a quiet reckoning. All that went down this week has lead me to how run down I feel. But turning this around is just as easily in my control.

I slept in till 9am. Woke up and took a hot bath. Eased my way into waking up. Was great however…I still feel tired. So its more than sleep. Even though its cold outside, brrrrr freezing cold…. Peter and I took the dogs for a walk. We didn’t want to go. Even the dogs didn’t want to go. But we went anyway.

I made eggs and chicken sausage for breaking my fast. Tracking my food like a champion. Drinking my water and nice warm cups of Irish breakfast tea. Sunday 9am kettlebell workout is scheduled and I AM GOING.

I’m calm cool and collected. Not at all climbing on my back about falling off the path. Just looking to feel better, and I know how to put premium unleaded in my tank….so Let’s Go.

It’s the weekend. Do. You. Boo.

Ciao for now….Diane