Friday, April 21, 2017

Fat Camp Update

When I posted my two Frankensewing pictures the other day, I didn't realize they would strike everybody as my "before" and "after" photos from Fat Camp.
Many of you have written to ask what was my key to my weight-loss success.

Hey...if I knew the answer to that question, I'D BE RICH!!

Back in 2009, I saw a picture of myself at Elliott and Emily's wedding. I weighed 325 pounds and looked terrible. OH MY GOD, I was fat. I never wore that outfit again -- and that photo caused a click in my brain.  Over the next two years, I lost nearly 100 pounds.

But this time around is different. There was no one click in my brain... I just got lucky.

Really. I unexpectedly had the chance to go to Fat Camp -- I was in a position to say yes -- AND I DID!!

Weight has been my lifelong battle. I wrote the book, remember? LIFE IS NOT A DRESS SIZE...and I have always tried to make my life about something more important than how much I weigh. Which is why I have been reluctant to blog about "my weight loss journey".

The irony, of course, is that as much as I say I don't want to be defined by my weight -- I absolutely know I will have a better life -- and a much LONGER life if I can lose weight.

So, if anything I've done might inspire somebody out there to make some changes, I've decided to blog about it...a and then...


One thing I want to say is that there is no one "KEY" to success. What works for me may not work for you. I was very lucky to have the opportunity to go to Fat Camp when I did. It changed my life. But, when I break it down...these three big things are actually three simple little things.

It's about outlook and habit...

1. I STOPPED WORRYING ABOUT FOOD. Before Fat Camp, I spent an inordinate amount of time every single day worrying about shopping, cooking, and planning what I would eat, what John would eat, whether or not we'd be going out for a meal... how to use the leftovers...yada yada.

Having a little Styrofoam box delivered to my room three times a day, at the right time, and in the proper proportions, was LIFE CHANGING. I learned that I didn't have to love everything I is just's not my happiness. A $2.50 Healthy Choice frozen entree is fine with me. If I'm lucky enough to go out to lunch with friends, I take half of it home for supper. If I feel like dessert -- my friends are happy to share it with me, and I am thrilled with just a few bites.

2. I DON'T SKIP MEALS. Ever. One of the biggest mistakes I've made in my life was skipping meals...thinking that if I was NOT eating those calories, I was doing good. But, now I understand that I shut down my metabolism. NOW -- I NEVER SKIP MEALS. I get it...I really get it...

Eating at regular times has become part of my job. I eat breakfast by 8:30. I love breakfast!! It can be cereal, eggs, oatmeal, yogurt or fruit. I eat lunch by 1:00, and supper before 7:00.

3. I QUIT SITTING IN MY CHAIR. Before Fat Camp, I was sitting in my chair 10 or 12 hours a day. SITTING IS THE NEW SMOKING. I joined the YMCA, I go to Swimfit classes 4 or 5 times a week, I get on my treadmill, I take the kids to the park, I clean the basement, I walk around whenever I can...if I'm at the grocery store, in the parking lot, or at a thrift store -- I take the LONG WAY around. And then I do it one more time, just for good measure.


When I arrived at Fat Camp, Conn (my trainer) told me I was not the oldest client he ever had, nor was I the fattest client he ever had...But, at 67 years old, and nearly 300 pounds, I was definitely at the top of his list, "Least Likely To Succeed."

Yet -- here I am. Still doing it...making different choices, every single day, feeling better, and losing weight...bit by little bit. I am THRILLED to be able to take Lilly to New York City, and walk for miles, climb the subway steps and not worry about looking for a bench because I need to sit down. (good thing, because THERE ARE NO BENCHES in the Big Apple.)

Here's the big thing. I AM GRATEFUL. Grateful to be able to make these choices. I don't beat myself up about how I got this fat. It took a long time to gain the weight, and it will take a long time to lose it. That's okay with me. But I don't worry one bit about hitting a certain goal, or losing "X" amount of weight. No matter how much I weigh, I'm going to make the most out of EACH day I'm given...

Because I know LIFE IS NOT A DRESS SIZE...


  1. I'll say it again, I am proud of you. You are doing something so great for yourself for a change. You are a wonderful person, I miss your laugh, and thoughs, and ideas, Rita. I miss seeing you and having little talks like we used to at the store. You are an amazing person.