Book Recommendations for Weight Loss Success

Anyone who knows me knows that I love books and am an avid reader. I have read many books over the years on losing weight and want to share my favorites with you.

First one up is The Beck Diet Solution by Dr Judith Beck PhD.  Don’t let the name fool you, it’s not a “diet”.  It uses Cognitive Behavioral Techniques (Dr Judith Beck’s father is Dr Aaron T. Beck who originally developed CBT) that teaches you concrete skills to stay on whatever eating plan you choose.  I find myself referring to this book often and it has helped me tremendously in my weight loss journey.

Next is Brain Over Binge by Kathryn Hansen.  The subtitle is: Why I Was Bulimic, Why Conventional Therapy Didn’t Work, and How I Recovered for Good.  Now, I have never been bulimic, but this book was fascinating nonetheless.  It introduced me to the idea that we have a “reptilian brain” which, as I understand it, is the part of our brain that “wants what it wants when it wants it”.  This book gave me ways to talk back to that part of my brain and not let it take over my eating.

Next one up is one sure to be a classic: Why We Get Fat: and What to Do About It by Gary Taubes.  I was originally introduced to Gary Taubes via his book: Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health.  That book really opened my eyes to exactly how food works in our body and is chock full of science and research studies to back it up.  It really appealed to the science-geek in me but for a more accessible read to the average lay-person, while still backed by science, his Why We Get Fat is a must-read for everyone.

Another must-read on my list is: Spark: the Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey.  I can’t review it any better than the following reviewer from Amazon, so read it and be inspired, too…

5.0 out of 5 stars A liberating and inspiring source of life transformingknowledge, October 1, 2012

“This book is an engaging and entertaining example of infotainment. You read interesting stories and examples that are weaved together to tell a greater story: the relationship between physical activity, health and mental function. You will learn the why’s that exemplify all of the positive things physical activity does to your body and mind.

Revelation after revelation, this book is a wealth spring of liberating knowledge that will inspire you to become or stay active. The author’s voice is sincere and dynamic. His examples are numerous and well based in both the sciences and the real world. I have recommended this book to dozens of people!

This book is a liberating and inspiring source of life transforming knowledge! I thoroughly enjoyed reading every word of it!”

The book Sugar Nation: the Hidden Truth Behind America’s Deadliest Habit and the Simple Way to Beat It by Jeff O’Connell is a great read.  While there are many books which will extol the dangers of sugar, this book does it in an engaging and readable way.  It especially hit home with me as the author talks about watching his father battle diabetes, and then getting diagnosed himself with prediabetes (something I have gone through also).

Last, but most certainly not least is The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable by Stephen D. Phinney and Jeff S. Volek.  It is practically required reading for anyone interested in nutrition science.  I constantly refer back to it and consider it the “bible” for low-carb living and science.

There are many more books I recommend and I will leave those for another post on another day. I hope you found something that speaks to you and your circumstances in my recommendations.  Please share some of your favorite books on the subject as I am always looking to learn (and read!) more.

Back From Florida And Survived Hurricane Sandy

Well, I had a very successful trip to the ASBP Obesity Symposium in Orlando and made it back to Connecticut just in time for Hurricane Sandy.

I survived both!

My experience at the “Networking with Experienced Bariatricans” event was fantastic.  I got to speak with people from around the country who are on the front lines of the work being done in Pediatric Obesity today.

According to the CDC, more than 1 out of every 3 children/ teens in this country are either overweight or obese. This number has more than tripled in the past 30 years.

At the meeting of the ASBP Pediatric Task Force, we got a chance to exchange thoughts and ideas on ways to best approach this crisis.  A highlight of the meeting was getting to meet Dr Wendy Scinta (our Board Liaison) in person.  Dr Scinta is the Secretary and Treasurer of the ASBP, as well as running her own private practice in New York to aid overweight children and teens.  Her website is a wealth of information and I was honored to speak with and learn from her!

After my meetings at the conference (and getting some time to celebrate my 16th wedding anniversary!) it was time to return home to make preparations for Hurricane Sandy.

My heart goes out to all those affected by this disaster.  I feel very fortunate that we survived the storm with no damage to our home or family.  If you wish to help those in need after this historic storm you can go here to the American Red Cross to donate.

Exciting News! I'm Off To Orlando!


I’ve been invited by the American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP) to serve as an “Expert Bariatrician” at their “Networking with Experienced Bariatricians” event on October 26th during the 62nd Annual Obesity & Associated Conditions Symposium in Orlando, Florida.

I could not be more honored and thrilled!

The ASBP is a medical professional association that focuses on the treatment and management of overweight and obese patients and their related conditions.

I also serve as the Chairperson of the Pediatric Obesity Task Force and we will be holding our meeting on that day, as well.

It also happens to be my 16th wedding anniversary and I’m so happy my husband will be able to go with me!

I am so proud to be a member of the ASBP and a small part of the important work it does.

It is through its resources and advances in obesity treatment that have allowed me to achieve success in losing and maintaining my weight loss.

If you are looking for help like I was, I highly suggest you check out the ASBP link here to find a Certified Bariatrician in your area.

And if you happen to be in Orlando at The Peabody hotel, stop by and say “Hi!”

Exciting News! I’m Off To Orlando!


I’ve been invited by the American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP) to serve as an “Expert Bariatrician” at their “Networking with Experienced Bariatricians” event on October 26th during the 62nd Annual Obesity & Associated Conditions Symposium in Orlando, Florida.

I could not be more honored and thrilled!

The ASBP is a medical professional association that focuses on the treatment and management of overweight and obese patients and their related conditions.

I also serve as the Chairperson of the Pediatric Obesity Task Force and we will be holding our meeting on that day, as well.

It also happens to be my 16th wedding anniversary and I’m so happy my husband will be able to go with me!

I am so proud to be a member of the ASBP and a small part of the important work it does.

It is through its resources and advances in obesity treatment that have allowed me to achieve success in losing and maintaining my weight loss.

If you are looking for help like I was, I highly suggest you check out the ASBP link here to find a Certified Bariatrician in your area.

And if you happen to be in Orlando at The Peabody hotel, stop by and say “Hi!”

The Day I Finally Let Go Of My "Fat" Clothes

I didn’t call the small area I hung my clothes in a “closet”.

I called it my Boutique.

That’s because I could have opened my own store with all the variety of size clothes I had in there.

Everything from my then size 26W jeans, to my dream “someday-I-swear-I’ll-fit-them-size-8s”.

But, I’ll never forget the day when I finally decided to get rid of all the clothes that were just too big for me anymore.

I knew it was time to let them go.

Boy, was that scary! I had to face my deepest fears.

What if this is just a temporary weight loss like the many times before and I need them!!

But, you know, that kind of thinking gave me the same psychological “out” before. I needed a clean break. No back-up, “just in case” plan.  No turning back.
I set my intention to refuse to make failure an option.

The clothes had to go.

I told myself if what I had in my closet didn’t fit, I’d go naked before I bought a bigger size! (Eek! Talk about pressure)

Basically, I had drawn a line in the sand because I knew once I pushed that line even an inch, I would have been free-falling right back to ground zero. I had done it a million times before.

So, I packed up all my bags, and even though I felt terrified that I’d regret my decision (hey! I had some nice clothes!) I drove to the local Goodwill, and never looked back.

I haven’t had to go naked yet (aren’t you all lucky?).

The Day I Finally Let Go Of My “Fat” Clothes

I didn’t call the small area I hung my clothes in a “closet”.

I called it my Boutique.

That’s because I could have opened my own store with all the variety of size clothes I had in there.

Everything from my then size 26W jeans, to my dream “someday-I-swear-I’ll-fit-them-size-8s”.

But, I’ll never forget the day when I finally decided to get rid of all the clothes that were just too big for me anymore.

I knew it was time to let them go.

Boy, was that scary! I had to face my deepest fears.

What if this is just a temporary weight loss like the many times before and I need them!!

But, you know, that kind of thinking gave me the same psychological “out” before. I needed a clean break. No back-up, “just in case” plan.  No turning back.
I set my intention to refuse to make failure an option.

The clothes had to go.

I told myself if what I had in my closet didn’t fit, I’d go naked before I bought a bigger size! (Eek! Talk about pressure)

Basically, I had drawn a line in the sand because I knew once I pushed that line even an inch, I would have been free-falling right back to ground zero. I had done it a million times before.

So, I packed up all my bags, and even though I felt terrified that I’d regret my decision (hey! I had some nice clothes!) I drove to the local Goodwill, and never looked back.

I haven’t had to go naked yet (aren’t you all lucky?).

When Fear Rears Its Ugly Head

Fear  is an emotion that is meant to be helpful.

If we are in a jungle and come face to face with a lion, fear is what is supposed to get us up and running out of there.

But, often times fear can hold us back from things we want to do or can make us doubt if we can be truly successful at something.

Fear has, and at times still does, affect my life in this way.

When I made my last decision to lose weight, I was full of fear and anxiety. Would this be just one more diet to add to my long list of failures? Could I really go through that again? What if I can’t do it?

And, even now, after all these years of maintaining my weight loss, there is still that voice that creeps into the back of my mind that says: What if you gain it all back tomorrow? What if what people say is true and you can’t keep it off?

Thankfully, days like that are fewer and farther between now, but thoughts like that still happen occasionally.  The difference now is I know that no matter what happens in my life (and things will happen).  I won’t let anything defeat me. Sure, it may knock me down, but nothing will keep me there.

Is it because my life is perfect now?        No.     No one’s is, nor will it ever be.

I stopped putting my life on hold until  the magical “someday when______”.  There will never be a time when everything is just right.  Life isn’t that way.

I now know to ride the wave and not let it crash over me and pull me under.  I can only do the best I can at that moment.


Don’t let fear hold you back in your life.

Water Water Everywhere, But Why Is It So Important To Drink?

Ah, Water…

We have all heard how important it is to drink at least “8 glasses a day” of water everyday, but why exactly is that and why is it so difficult for some people (me included!) to do so?

Water is vital to just about every bodily function from cellular communication, to hormone balance, to lubricating joints – just to name a few! But, most importantly (for the purposes of this post, anyway) it is crucial for fat metabolism!

Let me explain:  The liver is the filter of the body, everything must be processed through it, including all the fat your body is “burning”. If you aren’t drinking enough water to allow your kidneys to flush toxins & waste, the liver must take up the slack. And when that happens, fat metabolism has to stop in order to do so!

Also, did you know water is the best diuretic? If you aren’t drinking enough water your body will hold on to every drop causing water retention. So, even though it may seem counter-intuitive, you need to drink water to lose water!

The best tips I can give to reach your daily water goals are:

  •   Have a bottle handy at all times (I even keep one at my bedside for when I get up in the morning)
  •   Make mini-goals to get your water in throughout the day (I try to get at least 2 bottles in before noon)
  •   Get your last bit in well before bedtime, unless you want to be up all night making bathroom trips! (my cut off time is 6pm)

It wasn’t always so easy for me to be a water drinker. I swear, I must have been a camel in a past life! I used to go all day without drinking anything (well, okay, maybe just coffee) and never felt thirsty, but now my natural thirst has returned and I feel much less tired (it has been proven that even slight dehydration can make you feel tired).

So, drink up and feel good knowing you are doing something great for your body and for your weight loss efforts!

How Not To Be A Weekend (Eating) Warrior

The weekdays seem to lend themselves more easily to sticking with an eating plan, because of the structure most of us have due to work and other routine obligations.

But, come the weekend? That’s usually a time to let loose, relax, and for me that meant indulge.

It was a way to “treat” myself for all the hard work I’d done and for being so “good” all week-long, but, as Dr Phil would say: “How’s that workin’ for ya?” (NOT good).

Those two days would completely screw up all my efforts for the week. Now, I know we can’t always be in deprivation-mode and we want to live a little sometimes, but, if my goal was to lose or maintain my weight I knew I had to rethink what I was doing.

I am programmed to reward myself with food (“you did good on your test! Good! Here’s a cookie!).  I try my best not to look to food to make me happy, but if I really want something now, I make sure it is the best. I’m not going to waste my indulgence on some crappy stale doughnut! I save it for the very best-of-the-best, something I can’t get everyday. I eat it on a special plate, SLOWLY, savoring every bite, with NO GUILT, then I move on.

Or, if I’m going out on the weekend with friends, I don’t use that as an excuse to overeat anymore. Now, it’s about the people I’m with, not the food. I make sure I eat something before I go so I’m not hungry when I arrive (hey, I’m human! if I go hungry I’ll make a choice I wish I didn’t!)

A little planning before the weekend is upon me makes a big difference. My motto is: If you’re not planning to succeed, you’re planning to fail.  This works with my weekend eating. I’m not obsessive about it, I just plan out a rough idea the night before. I think about my obligations for the next day and try to think of as many portable protein options that will work on the go. Tip: I never go anywhere without a backup protein in my purse and one stashed in my car. I never know how long I’ll be out somewhere and I never want to get to the point where I get too hungry. I know myself; if that happens I will make a bad food choice!

Some people can’t imagine a weekend without unwinding with a few cocktails, but those empty calories will stop your fat burning for at least three days!  Not only that, but depending on how many carbs are in your drink, it is putting you that much more time behind getting back on track; not to mention it lowers your inhibitions (“Yeah, sure! Bring on the nachos!!).

So…remember your goals and  don’t take the weekend “off” and think you’ll “make up for it on Monday”. 

All you will have done is move 2 steps forward and 3 steps back.

I Was Recognized By One Of the Greats In Our Field!

Jimmy Moore , author of the insanely popular blog “Livin’ La Vida Low Carb “, is quite an inspiration to me.

It was after reading his first book:  Living La Vida Low Carb: My Journey From  Flabby Fat to Sensationally Skinny in One Year, that inspired me to start my own journey to weight loss and wellness.

I even got a chance to meet my hero at the American Society Of Bariatric Physicians Conference in Baltimore last year and it was a real thrill! I was nervous to walk up and say “hi”, but Jimmy couldn’t have been nicer. He was just as I had imagined he would be!

Imagine my happy surprise when I read his blog post today about the  New Paleo, Low-Carb & Health Blogs For September 2012 and I was number 7 on the list!!

WOOT WOOT!

Talk about dream come true!

Things feel like they have come full circle…Jimmy inspired me & gave me hope and I pray I do the same for followers of this blog and all the wonderful people I have met along the way…

This is the true meaning of Paying It Forward.

Thanks, Jimmy!

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