Monthly Archives: February 2020



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… 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



Betsy put her hands to her cheeks and said, “your face is so much slimmer.” Not the first place you expect to notice a difference…..but I’ll take it. Cheek bones are da bomb!

If you ask a group of women what she’s looking for in weight loss, slimming, toning – you will get a dozen different answers. We’re not all built the same AND I say GooD ThINg For ThAT! Diversity and variety is the spice of life. Beauty has no definition. I often think that beauty is a feeling, an energy, not a physicality.

Most often what all women want is for someone to notice “the change“. Where ever and whenever it comes, however small. As you start “becoming” someone who enjoys fitness, changes are going to happen. If you are quite overweight, like I was….[was] … so freaking good to say…you want pounds dropping off and you want your scale to clap every time you get on it! Adoration, please, Mr. Scale. Nothing less than adoration….I’m working hard over here!

But that’s not how it often works. One of my trainers, Betsy told me something one night when I was complaining (a little) about the scale not moving. She said, “weight loss isn’t the first thing that’s going to happen“. Huh? BUT I…..wan.t….

Later, David and Abby built on that fact and talked about how muscles are forming as my strength is being built. David is a preacher of “build strength first, then fat loss will come”. This IS why I’m having so much success losing fat with doing Kettlebells 3X a week for 39 minutes a session versus running crazy #’s of miles 6 days a week like I was 7 years ago. {Oh the irony. How perfect is the universe when it takes away the thing I clutched with my fist (running)….and replaced it with what I really needed (kettlebells}. When I was running, David said I was probably burning off fat and muscle. He’s not against running….just not cardio exclusively. Strength first. Always strength first.

So what impact has strength first brought to my life? Let’s review a few of the obvious.

#1 – I’m sitting here today wearing a pair of brand new, never worn Lucky Jeans that I bought 7 years ago. Why are they never worn? LOL, cuz they never fit. Back then, in 2013, when I ran my marathon – I was convinced that I’d never be fat again. I bought all these clothes, jeans, tops, in a size smaller than I was at that time. It was motivation to keep going. Not a terrible idea….I just hadn’t considered that my “change” back then wasn’t as positive, nor as sustainable as I thought. I was about to have a 2013 energy crisis….and revert back to a 260+ pound woman. It was unconceivable at the time. But it happened nonetheless.

#2 – I weighed in yesterday, and I’m 200.6. The day I ran my marathon, I weighed 197. So I was almost 4 pounds lighter back in 2013.

#3 – Back to #1. I’m wearing “the jeans that never fit at a higher weight today than when they didn’t fit.

It’s change.

My body is changing soooo much more with kettlebells than with running. It started with my face. Come here you gorgeous little cheekbones! I didn’t know I’d love you so much until I met you <3

Then, my pooch started to flatten. Come on know the pooch. If we were kangaroos, they’d call it our pouch. But it’s the lovely little gift left behind by our babies.

Then my waist started to emerge. A waist! Followed by some collarbones, and then my sneakers got too big….it’s all change. It’s amazing!

Over there —— > Mr. Scale was doing his thing. Loving and hating me, AS HE TENDS TO DO. But my body, S.H.E wasn’t havin’ none of that. She was doing her thing. Burning fat and shifting things….she had her eyes on those jeans….and I didn’t even know it.

This all became real this morning, as I was drying myself off after my Sunday morning bath. I take a nice long warm bath on the weekend mornings….it helps me distract my mind so I can more easily make it to breaking my 18/6 fast later in the morning. I was drying off and caught a glance of myself in the mirror.

What. Are. Those ?

I noticed these two small indents to the sides of my tummy.


Those little puppies just emerged out of thin air and pasted a smile on my face that will last the month of February. Hot DAMN!

So the conclusion is this. We all walk into our gyms, and workouts and kettlebell studios for a reason. For way too long my reason has been what Mr. Scale had to say. I think I’m learning to care much more about the change my body is delivering. Heck, after I get past 197 pounds, the whole thing is a mystery anyway. I don’t KNOW what exists after that weight so it needs to stop being such a focus. Of course I’m still going to weigh in every week at WW – but the changes in my body are becoming equally, if not more important.

I’m so curious. Curious what lives beneath the fat that represents the years of damage I’ve done with sugar and junk food. Curious enough to try to learn how to do push ups. That’s my next goal. And hey, if I fall down and end up face down on the floor…..I’ll parlay that failure into a Plank. It’s all good! Those little baby Abs need attention too. LOL

Happy Sunday 🙂

Ciao for now…Diane

It’s hard to BE on Friday

It’s hard to BE on Friday

If you know me, you know Saturday is Accountability Day. It’s a habit I started well over a year ago — as a mechanism to keep a promise to myself to go to WW every Saturday morning, no matter how my week went. Good, Bad, or Ugly.

Well, it’s Friday night. Accountability Day “Eve” 🙂 I find it very hard to Be Present in the moment on Friday. I can’t help it. 30 years of chasing my tail, chasing the scale…doesn’t die easily. Let’s be honest, Accountability Day over time, has become Judgment Day! I’ve long past created the habit of going to WW on Saturday morning. In fact, I’ve evolved and added a kettlebell workout right after WW, so Saturday morning is a combo.

[Did you also just get the image of a pretzel nugget stuffed with cheese? LMAO, sometimes food is a sickness…sorry, I’ll just keep moving.]

Tomorrow has the opportunity to be a BIG day….or a BIG letdown. I’m sitting at 73.2 pounds lost. Only 1.8 pounds more and I reach the 75 pound milestone. At WW that means I get a charm for my key chain. They give out charms for losses of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25lbs, but then it’s a long road to 50, and an even longer road to 75lbs. So, I’m kissing distance to the 75 lb mark, and I WANT IT!

Who really cares about the charm….I don’t really care about it. What I really want is the payoff. I want to BE PAID for the hard work of eating well and working out and being GOOD.

Ooooh Diane. Remember David. You’re NOT trying to BE good. You’re just striving to BE.


It’s just sooo hard on Friday. I’m at the eve of Pay Day. Weight loss Pay Day. And I want a deposit in my bank. I WANT 1.8 pounds to get me to the elusive 75 pound loss.

I walk into Peter’s office at home tonight and sit on his lap and tell him about this. He kisses my cheek and says, “Diane, remember your jeans are getting loose. Remember?”

I remember.

He says, “if it doesn’t happen tomorrow, it’ll happen the next week.” I’ve been paid already in his love and tenderness.

Peter is reminding me that I’m not letting myself BE …not letting myself BE happy, BE satisfied, BE proud…

So, I’m trying to reframe Saturday Morning. I don’t want it to be accountability day anymore…because I’ve achieved that goal. And just the sound of it makes me feel like somehow I need to be forced to be accountable. That’s so not true. I am completely accountable to myself. I own my choices. Some weeks I give, other weeks I take. I got OK with that a long time ago. Peter is reminding me of that skill. Pull it out girl, you might need it tomorrow!

Do you remember when you were a kid and your mom would take you to your friend’s house for a Play Date? Well, tomorrow I’m meeting Kelly at WW for a meeting, then we are going to the 9am kettlebell workout together. Tomorrow morning, Kelly and I are having a play date! We’re driving ourselves….haha…but I’m excited just the same. I’m enjoying thinking about Saturday morning as Saturday Play Date instead of Accountability Day.

Tomorrow I’m going to weigh whatever the heck I’m going to weigh. That’s the unknown part. Yet, what matters most is the known part. Tomorrow morning I’m going to sit and sip coffee with my friend Kelly, soaking in some new life lessons at WW and enjoying the company…then we’re going on a kettlebell play date. <3 <3 <3

Saturdays are an easy place to BE. L.O.V.E.

Ciao for now….Diane

one in every color

one in every color

Women are notoriously hard on other women. I’m not sure I get it. It must relate back to the cave women days and our innate need to compete for the best man to mate and reproduce with. I’ve seen it in the work place. I’ve seen it in the PTA. Women who climb over the backs of other women, and treat each other more cruelly than men would ever treat women.

Survival of the fittest, I guess. But it sure does make life harder…

As adult women…we tip toe in as we meet new women. Making friends as adults is soooo much harder. There’s no playground to go to, and just slide down the slide, and swing the swings, until you meet some other girl who asks you….”Wanna ride the see saw with me?” BAM – you’re friends.

Life doesn’t work that way when you are All.Grown.Up. Or Does It?

#39MinuteWorkout is a kettlebell gym, with 10+ years of history designing and offering workouts for women in their 40’s, 50s, 60’s and beyond. Walking in there every time is the closest thing to walking into a grown up playground. We don’t have swings, or a slide….but we Do SEE SAWS. LOL

Some workouts are stations, where you all cycle through different exercises for a few minutes each. Other times, we buddy up. This is one of my favorites. I’ve met so many wonderful women, each striving and thriving, against their own goals. Some, losing weight like me. Others building their strength and stamina. Still others, survivors of cancer, or recovering from an injury, or fighting aging by b.e.c.o.m.i.n.g. KICKASS!!

Each of these amazing women have given me something to consider, something that has helped me grow as a person. Once it was a kind word of encouragement. Once it was some help learning a move I hadn’t tried before. But a couple of specific times stick in my mind. Let me tell them about you.

Beth – she is a lovely, warm, generous spitfire of a woman. Ridiculously strong. She throws kettlebells around in a way that I aspire to achieve one day. She’s not the type of woman who calls out cheers and Rah Rahs….but she is always very approachable and generous with her encouragement. One day, a few months ago, just before the Christmas holiday….she and I came together as we were putting our weights away at the endof class. She said something to me, that touched a sensitive spot deep inside my woman-ness. (Is that a word? Woman-ness?) . LOL

I had lost 69 pounds at that point. Feeling good. Loving how my workout clothes were getting looser. But what Beth said, was different. Paraphrasing, she said, “You’re looking great Diane. Your shape is changing. You’re sexy“.

In my brain, I was kinda frozen in time. I probably turned pink and said something that sounded like a thank you, but I scurried away and finished putting my weights away.

But Beth severly affected me. That night, I sent her a FB message…because I was s.t.i.l.l. thinking about Beth, and her words, and how they made me feel about myself. I felt sexy. As if Beth’s words allowed me to step out of the Fat Girl persona I have occupied all my adult life, and become somebody else. Somebody who could be…well, sexy.

Women of a certain size will KNOW exactly what I’m going to share here. When women are b.i.g ….men treat them differently. No, not rude, crude, or mean. Different. And they probably don’t mean it. But it happens. I’ve experienced it as I’ve lost weight. Men, don’t hold the door for you. Men don’t step aside and let you enter the elevator first. They don’t smile at you. They don’t chit chat with you in line for the cashier. They just don’t. And we women…we feel it. And over time, you begin to feel like you don’t deserve it. Ugh, its such a deep topic. But as a b.i.g. woman, your woman-ness turns down like a dimmer on a light bulb. Feeling sexy….is hard. Your rights to that feeling got buried under the pounds.

Beth was like a 9 volt battery to my woman-ness bulb. She lit me up inside. I felt….like a woman. This was a gift from one woman to another. I mean, have you ever…e.v.e.r. said to another woman…you’re looking sexy? I have not. But I’m gonna. Because I can’t say it enough. It MORE than made my day. It made my year. Beth, thank you again.

Second story is Betsy. Betsy is a trainer and she is also a Physical Education teacher. She has a natural way of encouraging everyone, helping them work harder for themselves and recognizing progress. Betsy can make me feel like I can lasso the moon and pull it down to earth. I can’t explain it, but it’s just part of who she is.

One night, I walked into the studio straight from work. I was in my work clothes, a purple dress. I was heading to the restroom to change. I slip in, try to be unnoticed, so the class in progress isn’t ..bothered by me? [Diane, you are SO weird sometimes. Who are you bothering. Let yourself be noticed. People WANT to see you. It’s another Big Person thing. We try to hide in plain sight. Anyway, I digress.]

Just as I hit the restroom door, Betsy’s head pokes around the corner. With a huge smile and an I mean it voice she says, “Diane! That dress! You look amazing. I hope you own it in every color!”

The F.e.e.l.s There it was again. The gift, from one woman to another.

Ladies….if you have experienced pain, or rudeness, or shame at the hands (or mouths) of other women….I’m here to tell you, you are hanging out with the wrong women! Come find some kettlebell girls. They, We, are some of the best women I’ve ever met. Your goals mean as much to them as they do to you. Your progress makes them celebrate you. Your joy is their joy.

I joined a kettlebell gym? No…I joined a community of some of the best people around.


Ciao for now….Diane



I’ve always feared losing control. With food. With most things in my life. Surrender is letting go of perceived control over things you never had control of in the first place. Breathe……

I lost my father to esphogeal cancer when I was 13 years old. He was only 55. “They” say…when a girl loses her father at such a young age, she loses her sense of security. I can identify with that a great deal. I was so lucky. So lucky to have a mother who saved us. I mean that, she saved us kids. My mother was a child of the Depression Era. She left school at 17. She had her first baby at 18. She worked to feed her young family. Sometimes it was a can of Campbell Soup for 4. When my dad died, suddenly, after surgery that was supposed to save his life….I learned many years later that my mother was devastated. It makes sense that she would be….but she was devastated on many levels. Not only had she lost my father when he was 55, and she was 45. But she had 5 kids in the house. The youngest only 3 years old. And she had no career. She was a home maker. No driver’s license even.

My mom took jobs that saved us. She created a belief that we were safe, and loved. That we would be okay. Us kids went back to school. Tried to move forward. But my mom spent many years scared. Figuring it out day-to-day — how to raise this family on her own. It shakes me to the core to imagine myself there.

When I was 17, a junior in High School, everyone was talking about college. I remember my biology teacher asking me, where I was going to go to college. I told him – “I’m not going to college”. He was rattled. Here I was a straight A student, but I was lost in the world. My older sister went on after HS to work at the same company where my dad worked. My older brother join the Navy. This man, my bio teacher, took me by the scruff and taught me how to aspire. How to apply to college, how to get financial aid. I dared to dream…and went on to college. The first one in my family to do it.

Why is all of this relevant to my 54-year old present journey? I think (I think) it formed me very young to be risk averse. To make small calculated moves in my life. To ensure I had firm ground under my feet. To keep myself safe….in a world without my father.

I have an intimate relationship with control. A foundation in belief that if I maintain a safe place, a controlled world, that I can worry less. THAT IS THE BIGGEST LIE. Because all that I have been doing…ALL OF IT….has been about worry.

Control is the “perceived solution” to worry. They go together like hand and glove. Like peas and carrots as Forrest Gump said.

So as I begin this walk to BE….my first step is surrender.

To surrender this perception that I was EVER actually in control of anything. I still believe that I own my choices. Don’t get me wrong, we all pay the piper for our choices. What my surrender means is…that not every outcome is directly related to my actions. There is a world of mysticism, charm, luck, biology, magic and gravity out there that directs some of my outcomes.

And I’m going to surrender to it….let my choices guide me….and Be Here Today.

ps – Mom, your children are forever grateful to you. You saved us during a time when your world was so out of control….most people would have curled into a ball and cried in bed. I am my mother’s daughter…and you are my most precious blessing.

Ciao for now..