Tag Archives: Deborah Riley-Magnus

The Gettysburgh Diet … or Not-So-Much Diet


by Deborah Riley-Magnus

Sometimes you simply gotta get outta town! Period. This past week, two lovely things happened. My roommate landed a terrific new job, and my second book, a non fiction entitled Finding author Success: Discovering and Uncovering the Marketing Power Within Your Manuscript arrived, (official release date is November 5)! It’s a major event because my fiction is released in ebook format and there’s just something magical about holding a book you wrote in your hands! The publisher was so cool, just sending my copies to my front door. Early Christmas, I tell ya! So what do women do under these circumstances?


My roomie, Natalie, is a native Californian, born and honed in the web of Los Angeles freeways, traffic and diverse population. I spent five years there myself, and now that we’re both here in lovely Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, I seriously appreciate the things I’d taken for granted. She, of course, lives in aw. I don’t think two cities could be so different … outside of Gulliver’s Travels, of course. Taking a road trip across one of the most hilly, beautiful and autumn-colorful states in the country seemed like a perfect way to celebrate our good fortune.

We chose Gettysburg, making reservations at a hotel in Chambersburg (30 miles away) because nothing was available in town. It was perfect! I packed a healthy road-food bag, some clothes and we were off!

Diet? On a spontaneous weekend vacation? I suppose it’s possible but the other side of our New Lifestyle Plan is to actually, you know, live. In reality, jumping in the car and heading off for an unplanned few days isn’t normal, so when it happens, the last thing I want to think about is calories, exercise and getting the burn. Hell, I’m still suffering with some heel pain, so I figured whatever workout I got would be more than I’d gotten lately anyway. As it was, we walked all around the historic town and Cemetery Hill, took a Candlelight Ghost tour covering a few miles, then checked out the things that intrigued us most on those various ventures. THAT was just Saturday! On Sunday we drove back to Gettysburg from Chambersburg (along a road that the soldiers followed, mind you) and climbed onto a bus for an extensive historic tour of the battlegrounds. Several times the bus stopped and the guide walked us around the areas, spouting more (sad, frightening and historic) information along the way.

Needless to say, by the time we got home on Sunday evening, I was exhausted from not only the few hours drive back, but all the walking I’d done. The aching feet held up but want a little rest today, that’s for sure.

Now, about dieting … um … I made good choices, just not all the time. I did taste a homemade Italian lemon cake after my late lunch on Saturday. I did tire of the healthy road food and eat a Snickers bar on the drive home. But, so what. It doesn’t happen all the time and isn’t my real life (anymore than exciting road trips are my normal activity). The scale said nothing … nothing lost and nothing gained, whew. Today I’m fine, had my oatmeal for breakfast, have no desire to eat lemon cake or chocolate candy, and am already thawing the ingredients for a well-balanced, calorie-conscience dinner.

I wasn’t bad, I was on a road trip. I wasn’t out of control, I was fine! What a revelation that I can actually do such a thing! It was exciting to go somewhere and focus less on what I’ll eat at the next meal, and more on “Ohhh, what’s that over there? Let’s do that!”

It was wonderful.

Now, if I can only recover from the strange paranormal stuff that introduced itself to us over the weekend. Seriously, if you like ghosts, are interested in the paranormal, or just want confirmation that something remarkable hovers over places like Gettysburg … it’s a road trip you too should take!


Diet Life in the S L O W Lane


by Deborah Riley-Magnus

And the heel pain continues, but not nearly as bad as it was in the beginning. I’ve really tried hard to rest my foot for a whole week, careful to eat fewer calories and drink more water. Belly Dancing was part of my plan, but that proved not such a good idea. Guess what, you belly dance on your feet. DUH. I also intended to do some floor work, flat on my back, leg raises, twists, stuff like that. One big problem there … you have to get up off the floor and use your feet to do it. Every time I thought “oh yes, this feels a whole lot better” I’d somehow, without even realizing it, push the envelope and end up aching for hours after.


Life goes on. Go to the grocery store? Good for maybe three aisles. Check out the mall? Good thing there are benches every thirty feet and I wasn’t alone. It was such a frustrating week I wanted to jump out of my skin! Who knew that the person who used to say “When I get the urge to exercise I just lie down and it passes” would suddenly salivate at the mere idea of getting out and moving. Now that I’ve changed my feelings about activity as part of my new life style, I’m forced to sit on the sidelines and watch for a few more days! This (now I need to admit it) injury must heal before I can move ahead. Sigh.

Some progress was made though. I did purchase a new pair of shoes, thanks to the expert advice of the sweet young lady at Dick’s Sporting Goods. Turns out I’m at an age (ah-hem) where the padding at my heel has thinned and I require better padding in my shoes. To get that I needed to step away from the walking shoes display and introduce my feet to running shoes. The perfect pair of light weight, comfortable running shoes were tied on and (can you hear the angelic strains of music?) I could miraculously walk without limping! Granted it only lasted a few hours and the heels made themselves known again, but at least I know that when I’m ready to hit the walking trails again I’ll be well supported.  One would think I was talking about a sports bra, but that’s a subject for another post all together.

All week I cooked carefully, focusing on low fat, well balanced meals, lots of great soups (because it was a rainy autumn week in Pittsburgh) and watching the Major League Baseball playoffs. I will give this foot-resting thing another few days then start walking again … slowly, not too far and with the full intention of stopping when I feel any pain.

Weight loss? A whopping 2 pounds. Sheesh, that’s frustrating but I suppose I should be pleased. It could have been a gain if I wasn’t so careful.

So it’s a total loss of 13 pounds in four weeks, the gain of perfect shoes for future activity and a tentative acquisition of patience. A lot to ask of OCD me, but it is, after all, a journey.

A Pain in the Foot!


By Deborah Riley-Magnus


It’s a great week here in beautiful, Autumn painted Southwestern Pennsylvania, and to get my walking in, I chose the trails that showed off the season at its best. Pittsburgh’s South Park, a drive up to the gorgeous trails at Presque Isle in Erie, even making sure I parked as far as possible from the grocery store entrance! What a wonderful time! The air is crisp and crackling with energy as everywhere I turned there were brilliant golds and reds and oranges accented by the deep richness and pungent scents of pines reaching to tickle the passing clouds.

That’s when it happened. Maybe it was happening since my roommate and I began this diet and exercise journey but I didn’t really notice until last Thursday. I tried to ignore it on Friday while I pushed through the mile and a half walk. I finally threw up my hands on Saturday when it became just impossible to continue.

It was a pain in the heels I never felt before in my whole life! What began as a mild irritation made itself clearly known after doing three days of walking in a row. Brilliant me, I thought “hey, we have a busy weekend, so let’s just get all this walking stuff done in a clump on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday!” Dumb. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

I’m not on a medically supervised program like the Biggest Loser contestants, I don’t have trainers to advise me, wrap sore muscles with warm towels and massage away the aches and pains. I just have me and my body and I forgot to listen to one of us.

Ow, ow, ow ouch!

The culprit? It looks like my Sketcher walking shoes are breaking down over the past few years of use. Not that I did a great deal of power walking before this current effort, I just liked them so much I wore them all the time. Apparently, now that I’m using them to seriously raise my heart rate and burn calories, the shoes are having a laugh over my ambitious expectations for them.

No worries, a new pair of walking shoes are on the near horizon but … I do have this niggling issue of aching heels to deal with in the meantime. I can’t just stop trying to exercise, I can’t just throw up my hands and give up! That was the old me. The new me, the one with the new life and determination to get it together, lose the weight and live healthier, has to find a way to get through this week without injuring myself further … and hopefully without gaining weight.

My planned solution? Belly Dancing (because I can do it in my bare feet), and floor work, (because I can do it on my butt and back). Both have specific body activities I haven’t done yet, arm, leg, strength and balance. Both will hopefully do some toning, even if they don’t burn as many calories … and speaking of calories, I know I’ll need to cut back this week while I work my body differently. At least, that’s what my logic says, so I’ll be cutting a few hundred calories off my daily intake. We’ll see how this works.

As for the last week, I lost 1½ pound – after all that misery! I can pinpoint the issue without even looking back. See on Saturday and Sunday I spent a lot of time on the road. Long drives and stopping to pee every twenty minutes just didn’t seem practical so I cut back on the water, from 7 glasses a day to 2 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday. I kinda expected a low weight loss because of it. Nothing else changed in the calorie counts for those days. My theory is that WATER IS YOUR FRIEND and I need to make peace with stopping at rest stops more often while on a road trip.

So, this week I’ll be staying away from the walking trails, working hard on movements that will help tone my muscles … and drinking my 7-8 glasses of water every single day.

On the bright side … even though the total weight loss over three weeks is 11.5 pounds, I look and feel better, my clothes and my friends have noticed the changes and I am not discouraged! How’s that for lifestyle change and success?


And the Waters Get Rough!


By Deborah Riley-Magnus

Hoh man, what a tough week! I had a publisher’s deadline that stressed me like crazy but I managed to meet the target date with a few hours to spare. The weather was absolutely horrible and rain dominated everything. And between finalizing the book, dealing with gloom and attempting to keep an even keel in these rough dieting waters, I ate outfour times this week and I really thought I did it well. Yesterday, our final day for walking, it was so cold and rainy we didn’t go, so our “Last Chance Workout” never happened.

The results? A one pound weight gain. Sigh. BUT …

Considering that I still drank all my water every day, I still walked three times (although it should have been four) and I did choose from menus not once but four times, I’d say I did pretty well. I know, my body doesn’t know what I didn’t eat, only what I did, but if I hadn’t chosen carefully, it could have been a five pound gain instead of just one.

My goal is to look at what worked and what didn’t work, just like last week. Granted, there was no way I can expect another 11 pound loss in one week, so maybe the slight gain was God’s way of saying “Don’t get cocky, girl.” I’m still feeling pretty good, though. And, I can actually analyze everything and see where I fell short.

STRESS – Yes, stress takes a big toll, especially at the beginning of a diet and life style change effort. I couldn’t find time to cook, and one evening I actually went out for the evening to relax! Dinner was included in that relaxation and I’m going to say clearly that dinner should be part of a celebration or an evening out. I hate when people say things like “Don’t reward yourself with food” and “You can never eat that again”, so I’m going to state a rule for my new lifestyle. YES, you can celebrate with food … healthy food choices are a must, but you can celebrate with food! Hell, the rest of the world does, so rather than drop out of life until I can wear a size six, I think food will continue to be a staple when celebrating.

FOOD CHOICES – This week I ate at a Greek restaurant for dinner one evening, roasted chicken, sautéed veggies and rice pilaf. I didn’t eat it all, I was full and I really enjoyed the flavors too! I had lunch out three time, once it was a lovely steak salad, about 5 oz. grilled lean beef, lots of veggies and a circle of finely sliced fried onion rings. The second lunch I had out was a salad topped with about 4 oz. of ahi tuna. The third lunch was also a salad of grilled chicken over greens. In all cases, I ate very little of the dressings, dipping my fork in the dressing-on-the-side for a bit of flavor. That’s all. All those choices seemed really good … then, with one of those perfect salads, I added a cup of this absolutely yummy, totally decadently creamed, sherry crab bisque. I LOVE this soup. It was cold and raining and I wanted some comfort. I think that cup of soup is something like 500 calories! This particular restaurant is famous for it. Guess what? I distinctly tasted how salty it was and I felt like I’d swallowed a bowling ball when I was finished. Of course I ate it all, too so … no more crab bisque for me, at least not when I know it can put a kibosh on a whole week’s efforts. Some other time but in the second week of this diet, it just wasn’t worth it. Another bad choice I made was to eat after eight last evening, and even though it was a totally veggie, fresh made pizza (spinach, mushrooms, red peppers, Roma tomatoes and fresh mozzarella on whole wheat flat bread, only 300 calories) I really didn’t want it or need it. I wasn’t hungry. But I ate it. Where was my head? Well hell, who knew making good food choices could include choosing not to eat at all. Lesson learned.

EXERCISE – Toooo critical! Yes, there is nasty cool fall weather here in the north east, but I can’t be using that as an excuse. Yes, deadlines are important, but I honestly think that if I’d done the walk anyway, I might have felt better rocking out the edits on the manuscript. And yes, I now understand that walking at the park is far better than walking up and down my neighborhood street. Why? Well, I live in a hilly part of Pittsburgh and frankly, the hills are too hard and I end with hurting knees from the efforts. The hills are so challenging, I tend to give up quicker and head back home. Walking is only exercise if it raises your heart rate and holds it there for a while. I can do that a lot better at the park because the walking trails are flat and easier. It’s a ten minute drive to get there, but so much more productive. To press the envelope, Natalie and I plan how much further we’ll go the next time. We’ve also decided that we need to walk at least four times every week. When winter finally comes, we’ll need to come up with another plan but for now, we’re committed.

WATER – Yes, water. Doing my six glasses every day. Oh, and I’m trying to make friends with green tea (ew). I’ve heard that it helps raise metabolism so I substitute my first and last cup of coffee every day with green tea.

Okay, that’s it for this week. I definitely learned that playing around with the plan can be counter-productive so I’m going to let my OCD generate the next week’s efforts.

Have a great week, everyone!

Where’s a Brass Band when you need one?


By Deborah Riley-Magnus

Week one has ended, seven days of doing what our instincts told us would work and what our emotions hoped would bring results and it all comes down to this, the first week weigh in.

You know, I love The Biggest Loser, love the amazing inspiration of the contestants and the astounding weight loss those people see when stepping on the scale. Of course, I don’t expect anything like that. There’s no Bob Harper to guide and shout at me, there’s no big gym with expensive equipment to push me and there’s no $250,000 incentive here in my roommate and my house. We’re trying to do this without spending a fortune, and we’re trying to do it with common sense and rational choices. We’re trying to prove to ourselves first, and the world second, that we’re as strong and empowered as we think we are. We’re supporting and encouraging each other but we are also facing the fact that this is really a personal journey. No more comparing what I can eat vs. what Natalie can eat, no more doing the co-dependent behavior that got us here, no more “oh shucks, if you want cake, I want cake too!” This is a whole new road for us and we are trail blazers!


  • I religiously drank 6 8oz. glasses of water every day – Okay, truth be told I choked down 6 glasses of water. It was hard but I stuck to the program I believe works best. Well, maybe one day I only drank 5 glasses, but I really did try to meet the quota.
  • I walked 4 times this week – By walk, I mean about a mile of constant walking. I got a little out of breath but didn’t feel like I’d drop dead or anything. The day after my first walk I hurt like the devil! Knees, back, calves, holy moly I was in misery, but I went right back at it on Wednesday and did the same. I walked again on Friday and Saturday and guess what, I don’t hurt so much at all!
  • I made a decision! I’m PERMITTED to look at food I shouldn’t eat, watch the food channel, admire the donut display, even read a whole menu at a restaurant. I’m allowed to make those food items part of my life … just not part of my daily intake. This strange “permission” opened doors to making better food choices throughout the day. Odd, by not forbidding myself to look at the jelly donut, the jelly donut no longer had power over my desire to eat it. It’s just a jelly donut. Maybe someday I’ll want one enough to pass on a whole meal, today isn’t that day. So, pretty, fluffy, raspberry-filled jelly donut, you may continue on your quest to find eaters. I’m not one of them.
  • I’ve eaten only the allotted amount of calories per day. Now, this was a real challenge. See in the past (probably from as far back as when I was 18 or 19) I’ve always believed that eating 800 – 1000 calories a day was the only way to assure losing weight. On the occasions throughout my life when I wanted to lose a few unwanted pounds, I’ve done just that and it worked dandy … then I turned forty … then I turned fifty! At 214 pounds, I naturally assumed that I’d need to seriously eat as few calories as possible to get the ball rolling. Natalie, using her extensive education and experience, tapped into a website that told her that at my weight and age, I was to eat 1,700 calories a day in order to lose weight. THIS WAS ASTOUNDING and basically I thought it was ridiculous but, since my 1,000 calorie diets haven’t been getting any results at all since the big “40”, I decided to grudgingly give it a shot. 1,700 calories is a LOT OF FOOD, just too much for me to deal with and I found I couldn’t bend that far. So I decided I’d give it a 1,500 calorie a day honest try, but found I was so full 1,300 was the most I could get down. I must admit though, the whole time I ate over the past week I was sure I wouldn’t lose anything at all. In my warped mind, it just didn’t add up.
  • I listed everything every day, the water I drank, the food I ate (protein, starches, fruit, veggies, fats … everything I put in my mouth got written down.
  • See, I’m an obsessive/compulsive type, so if I lay down a law it’s just that, LAW for me. The problem is, I wanted this to be a lifestyle change, so I need to soften up on the strictness of my plan in order to keep it flexible. I did a few LIFESTYLE changes too this week that may have contributed to how and if this works. I got out of the house every single day, even if it was to run to the grocery store to buy zucchini or go for a ride and I even went to a movie! I actually took the weekend off! These are rare choices for me. I’m a writer who would rather sit at my keyboard than venture out into the black hole that is the rest of the world. Tearing myself away for an hour or two every day wasn’t radical enough … I didn’t work at all for the entire weekend! This is unheard of! Unthinkable! I didn’t turn on my computer once on Saturday or Sunday (except to briefly check emails – I do have a book coming out in November and lots of things to deal with regarding that) and I didn’t take my cell phone when I left the house. Can you imagine? I figured no one would even notice but I received six Saturday and Sunday cell phone calls from clients and a number of emails regarding publishing and my work. Apparently people have come to assume I’m available 24/7/365. Maybe that wasn’t so good.

All week I told Natalie that I didn’t feel like I’d lost even one pound, but I followed my committed plan to the letter.

Monday morning and I woke around eight, paranoid about going to pee because the bathroom scale would be right there, grinning at me, taunting me … making me feel like I had to know.

I stepped on, shook my head, stepped off, stepped back on, shook my head and stepped off again. I slid it to another part of the bathroom floor and tried again. Yup, it was right.

I lost 10.1 pound in one week!

Makes no sense! I enjoyed myself, I relaxed, I just walked a little and I ate sooooo much food … and I went from 214 pound to 203.9 pounds. Anyone have the number for a fifty piece brass band?

For this week I’m going to do exactly the same thing. I understand that if I keep getting results they will dwindle and I’ll need to make adjustments but for now, hey, this can actually work! It’s a new me! A new lifestyle! and I’m starting to see how things can be healthier and better all the way around.

Oh, and I set a little goal. On November 5, 2011 my second book, a non-fiction entitled Finding Author Success, is being released in print and ebook. My goal is to have a launch party with family and friends, and to wear clothes that don’t make me feel like anything but a lively, interesting and happy author. Tune up that brass band!

Habit? I Won’t Have It!


Where to start? Well, in this case it has to be at the end and on a Monday. Monday? Of course, some things about dieting just can’t be changed. They are law, written in the annals of eternity, stating clearly that fat people can’t think rationally unless the weekend is over.

Boy we did it too. I’m not sure how many calories Natalie (best friend, roommate and codependent) and I consumed over the past seventy two hours, but there was a whole toasted almond cake in there and a night at our favorite restaurant’s Oktoberfest. Beer, wine, weinersnitzhel, strudel, the works! That should give you a good idea.

I will say one thing though – when I woke this morning I was actually excited! Think about it. Overeating, eating badly and living day to day with my growing butt firmly planted in my computer desk chair or sofa is pretty bad. How bad? 214 pounds bad. Here’s the story.

Six years ago I had spinal surgery. Nothing massive, just the simple herniated disks most people my age get, but it made major changes in my life. I was an active person, I worked as a professional chef, on my feet all the time, up early, running here there and everywhere. After the operation I was in so much pain (more pain than childbirth, I tell ya!) I kind of slowed to a complete stop. I couldn’t work anymore because lifting heavy stock pots or cases of #10 cans is simply not possible. All my energy moved into the next career I had in mind … becoming an author. That process took five years to accomplish and it’s great to have broken through, but I did it on my butt. When this whole six year process started I was easily 60 pounds lighter!

Damn, they are right! One can gain ten pounds a year just by not paying attention to what one (in this case THIS ONE) puts in ones mouth! Sigh.

Okay. 214 pounds – an all time high. I’m over fifty with a bad back – an all time difficulty factor. And over the past six years I’ve done several diets that I swear have ended up making me even fatter. Seriously. I’m five-foot-nothing and at this weight I’m officially almost as wide as I am tall.

So, as stated last week, no more strict fad diets, do more big programs, no more paying for what I already know I have to do. It’s time to change my life.

Maybe this won’t really be so hard. Think about it. Overeating or eating badly and being a couch potato are nothing more than habit … and habit is nothing more than behavior … and behavior can be changed. I KNOW this to be true because I was a smoker and now I’m not. In fact, I’m so not a smoker that if I have a cigarette, I actually enjoy it but don’t want any more. Granted, this kind of thing can’t happen to everyone, the chemical, emotional and habitual bound with nicotine can be beyond control. For me it never was like that. I’ve gone years without a cigarette, bought a pack or two then never even thought to buy more. Maybe I’m wired differently, but in this case, I’m very grateful!

Now, regarding habit, everyone can create bad ones. Fantastic sales people suddenly develop “Call Aversion” for no apparent reason at all. If left unchecked, their sales drop and they lose their job. Young parents develop a bad habit of forgetting to take care of their own needs. Some marriages actually end because the baby came first. Writers too can develop terrible habits. We forget to walk away from the keyboard, we forget to walk out of our house and we forget to watch what’s happening in the world. All terrible habits for people who tell stories for a living!

So, without major psychological therapy or reading a hundred more books on the subject, we already know how to change our behavior.

Just change it.So today, day one of my new life, Natalie and I have already purged the house of all those stupid snacks no one really needs (snacks so bad, even ants won’t eat them). We’ve gotten up early and planned a walking regime. We’ve set up little notes around the house to remind us to …

  • Move Around (even if it means vacuuming, ew)
  • Drink Water (get those eight glasses down!)
  • Substitute Good Choices for Bad Choices (apples over Snickers bars – salad over burgers – 35 calorie fudge popsicles over toasted almond cake)
  • Eat Three Small Meals and Two Healthy Snacks Every Day (no more, NO LESS)
  • Reward Ourselves! (More on this next week)

So now that I’ve blogged, it’s time to tie on my walking shoes and go for a long walk! Maybe I’ll see something cool I can use in my next book. Better yet, I’m creating a whole new habit … a good habit.

Welcome to Our World


First off, if you are skinny, have a hard time gaining weight or maintaining enough weight … baby, YOU ARE SO AT THE WRONG PLACE! Cleanup in Aisle Six is about being overweight and finding a new way to not be overweight anymore.

I’ll give you Twiggies a moment to move on and then our little meeting will begin.

Okay, they’re gone. Where shall I start?

No, you don’t need to step on a scale. No you don’t need to follow a program we give you. No you don’t have to even admit you’re overweight. If you stuck around, you’ll totally understand where we’re coming from.

I’m Deborah Riley-Magnus and my best friend, Natalie Preston and I have decided to stop the crazy diet crap we’ve been dealing with our whole lives.

From having a few extra pounds to coping with major health issues, we both find ourselves in our fifties and frustrated beyond reason! No, we’re not lazy or non-committed. We’re not satisfied with being overweight and we’re not willing to imagine that we’ll never wear those great clothes in the fashion department stores. We’re just sick and tired of the plans, expense, acrobatic strategies, insanity and foolishness of weight loss programs from the super well known ones to those little fad diets that still manage to find their way into my email inbox.

Between us we’ve tried Weight Watchers, South Beach, Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, the Stillman diet, the grapefruit diet, the rice diet, an expensive, medically-monitored liquid diet, and a few we’ve either forgotten or refuse to admit to. Funny it took until Nat had an argumentative cancellation of our current online efforts with WeightWatchers to realize that guess what … diets don’t work.

Not being a woman to let something this big just slide by (and really sick and tired of a closet full of clothes that don’t fit anymore), I simply planted my fists into my oversized waist, stomped my swollen foot and stated, “Well then, we have to do something about this!”

I was a professional chef for 10 years and I did take at least one nutrition course at culinary school. Together Nat and I have studied and managed to be temporarily successful at a number of different diets, and frankly, if we don’t have a basic clue about how to do this by now, we never will! I refuse to believe we’re not smart enough to figure this out.

So, yesterday we sat at dinner and made some notes. We listed what we know works and what we know doesn’t work. We listed the triggers that knock us off a diet and we imagined the triggers or rewards that would help us get back onto the right track.

Above all, we chose NOT to call this a weight loss plan or diet program. This is the rest of our lives, it’s a new chance to be happy and healthy and it’s a WHOLE DIFFERENT LIFESTYLE. At least that’s what we’re hoping it will be.

So, welcome to our world. We’re giving our new way of life one year to be successful and the remainder of our days to prove we were right.

Well hell, if we can be codependent when we’re not dieting, why can’t we be codependent to help us succeed? Stick around, we’ll be blogging twice a week, me on Mondays and Natalie on Thursdays. We’ll share experiences, we’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas, opinions and especially your encouragement!

Here’s to making peace with the cupcakes and friends with the fresh veggies! Let’s get this new lifestyle started!