Archive for the ‘Spinning’ Category

huuuuuhI love to share my unexpected moments of shame with the world. Like the day my pants fell down at the gym; or the day I slid seven feet to the floor off a Stair Master (twice); or the day my water bottle fell off the spin bike and exploded on the floor (that was my first spin class…my second was seven months later); or the day I had an all out brawl at Kohl’s in the lingerie (long-er-ay) section with Spanx (you know those were meant to be stepped into, not pulled over like a super big compression wrap?).

So I thought to invite you- the readers of Sneaker Porn Diaries, those who follow, and those who would never admit to following but they do – what’s your silly weight loss story?

The deadline for the Silliest Story…Like…Ever contest is July 15th, 2013. Submit your stories to using the following format:

Please put “SNP Silly Story Contest” in the subject line of your email.
Please keep your stories to no more than 700 words, check spelling and punctuation.
Be sure to include your before & after picture, and a picture of your favorite pair of sneakers.
Share your starting & current weight, age, city & state where you live.
First names and the first letter of your last name will be shared on the blog if your story is chosen.
If you have a blog, please include the blog address so your journey can be viewed by other readers!

Deadline for submissions is July 15th, 2013. The Silliest Story winners will be announced on July 20th, 2013. And yes, there will be a PRIZE!

You CAN workout…so get off your ass.

To workout or not to workout had never been a question, it was a decision made before I crawled out from between the covers in the morning. My weight loss doctor would ask me naggingly constantly if I had been to the gym. Three months of that led me to hire a personal trainer for six weeks just to keep him quiet. I thought I’d outsmart him with reverse psychology.

Six weeks later, I ate the proverbial crow pie: 17″ and 25lbs lost.

I have learned there is no valid excuse not to workout.

  • I am way too busy. If you watch American Idol, The Voice, and The Walking Dead with religious vigor– AND you DVR those shows (or others), you got the time.
  • I can’t do what people half my age do.
    Really? Madonna Buder has competed in over 45 triathlons. She started training when she was 48 years old. Her first Ironman was at the age of 55. In 2005 she completed the Hawaii Ironman at 75, she was the oldest woman ever to finish the race. Ironman adds new age brackets as she continues to compete. She’s best known as “The Iron Nun”.
  • Nobody will workout with me. Not true. You can find a workout buddy, they’ll challenge you and you can motivate each other. Ask my friend Anne, last summer we spent almost every weekend together at Weekend Warrior Boot Camp. She recently turned 59 (again). Just this weekend I chased her around the football field.
  • Working out is boring. Not if you add variety. Not everyone has to run. There’s the elliptical, rowing machine, Zumba (you brave, brave souls), spin, kickboxing, yoga, cross fit…the list is endless. Playlists are a big help, too!
  • I have kids, they take up all of my time. They don’t take up all your time (they sleep, right?). Get up early , or workout after they are down for the night. If they are babysat by TV, movies and video games, turn them off and get outside. Play sports, go to the park, hit the beach, hike, bike, walk, run, or create a Family Boot Camp. You’ll get some quality time with your kids and together model a healthy lifestyle.
  • My back/knees/hips/elbows/fingernail hurts. I sprained my back during a training session one night. Stairs hurt my knees. Running irritates the muscles which wrap around my left hip. My left shoulder has been dislocated twice, presently I have a fracture that’s three or four years old and a torn muscle. I have to have a total knee replacement. What’s your excuse?
  • I’m too fat, I can’t workout. That’s better translated to “I’m too fat, I don’t want to workout.”
  • I’m not overweight. What? You thought this was just for fat people? Not all skinny people are fit people. Exercise is just as beneficial for skinny people as it is for fat people.
  • My friend is a gym rat, there ain’t no way. My therapist said I would become a “gym rat”. A friend of mine who lost over 200lbs by living in the gym would workout three to four hours a day. I thought they were both nuts. I have since digressed. I usually spend no less than two hours working out.
  • My (insert illness here) makes it hard to get around. Talk to your physician, who will tell you to move. The Government says cancer survivors, those with arthritis, have had a stroke, have Parkinson’s, are mentally ill, even those who are disabled can all benefit from exercise.
  • I’m depressed. Great! Studies have strongly suggested regular exercise is helpful in fighting off depression!

You don’t have a valid excuse, so get off your ass and take a walk!

I had dug around in my box of weight loss surgery stuffs for some items that had been handed out pre and post-op. There was a “Get Your Kitchen Situated” list; the “Hi, the shrink says you’re not nuts…here’s your next to-do list” letter); “Vitamins to have on hand…for…ev…er” list; lists about food “Stages” (liquids, squishies, solids, Starbucks).

Actually, I think Starbucks should be a food group.

None of what had been contained in my little box of weight loss really explained what would happen to my cute self when all the weight came off. Rapid or gradual weight loss always results in physical changes: my nose shrank, my boobs mysteriously got bigger (I’m in denial and don’t care what the 4’11 lady said while I got fitted for a new bra).

Oh…clothes shopping? Really? It’s not (make little quote signs with your fingers) shopping.

Those of us who have personally experienced massive weight loss know all too well the frustration fitting rooms hold. Two weeks ago I spent the better part of half an hour in a pathetic stubborn effort to get into a Spanx tank. The damn thing rolled behind me because I somehow got it wrapped up in its own fabric and hooked in my bra-strap. To add insult to injury, the light overhead made that little fitting room hotter than a book shelf in hell.

After I wiggled out of the Spanx tank with a couple of MMA moves Mark taught me, I saw the back of a tag which had instructions. Plain as day: “Step INTO your shape wear.

I rock.

sneakerbinMy experience with new sneakers has been just as enjoyable, as you can see. There are 15 pair of sneakers in my bin: Nike (3 pair), New Balance (5 pair), Reebok (3 pair), Champion (2 pair), Kmart Blue Light Special (2 pair).

I now own my own sneaker factory.

Well…maybe own is a tad dramatic.

As a person who has first-hand experience with rapid weight loss, it would not be unreasonable to think I take as much care with the purchase of new sneakers as I do wrestling with Spanx.


Fat people walk differently than non-fat people (sounds like I just described yogurt). The muscles in my body had to compensate for my weight which means my legs would roll out (all of my shoes were worn down on the outside of the heels). Now that I weigh about 140lbs less than I did two years ago, I walk differently. The type of shoe I wore then I cannot wear now, and this is true for a lot of people in the weight loss community.

Failure to take the time to properly shop for sneakers could develop foot and/or ankle problems down the road. Gym sneakers are different than street sneakers. Running sneakers are different than cross train sneakers. The cool sneakers on the rack at a discount will not do their job if they do not fit properly. Don’t be me and look like a shoe who…um…hoarder. Love the feet you’re in, get fitted!

There’s a great article here on shopping for sneakers. If you have any additional input, toss me a note at

Exercise equipmentRemember the New Year’s resolutions you made back in January? You made a list of all the things you were going to change, including getting a little bit more healthier than last year? Still got “Clean Out the Pantry” on the list of things to do?

I’m inviting you to participate in a Get Up & Go! Challenge. It’s super simple: do something everyday you did not do last week. Pull out the list of resolutions. Share what you’d like to do on the Sneaker Porn Diaries Facebook page, on YOUR Facebook page, on twitter – and include a picture of your sneakers!!. Invite your friends (always better with a buddy!). At the end of your day, share what you achieved.

It doesn’t matter if exercise is/isn’t part of your day. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had weight loss surgery, or went crazy, never had a weight problem, have an event, blah-blah-blah:

Get Up and GO!!

I was inspired by a few things:

1. The Biggest Loser’s Challenge America campaign. NBC says, “More than one third of the adults in the United States, it’s critical to engage the adult population in making healthy changes in their own lives.” TBL Challenge America Campaign also encourages fighting childhood obesity. Danni, who’s one of the three finalists, has completely inspired me.

2. My weigh-in and measurements on Friday. My scale has stood at the same number for months, but for the first time in 20 months I did not put a large number on the board with inches. Mark wasn’t happy. I saw it on his face. It’s entirely my fault. If you have a personal trainer – this is the moment when what you have and have not done is revealed. Although I do work out on a regular basis, I’ve gotten lazy with the amount of time I spend in the gym. I’ve gotten a little lazy about my eating. Nik says it best: Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD! 

3. I’m a face to my trainer’s business. Not the face. In the same way Mark’s son represents his family, and his behavior (positive or negative) reflects on Mark. My before and after picture are on his car wrap. There are 8 people I know who signed on as clients his. I represent them too in a way.

4. I was asked to share my story with a weight loss group next week.

5. Bariatric Foodie: I’m a staff writer, an editor. I write food reviews. What I do represents BF, and is seen by thousands. When it’s in print, it’s permanent.

6. Total knee replacement. Crap knees are a consequence of being super morbidly obese for my entire adult life. I’ll have to have the surgery a second time later in life.

I have lots of reasons to stay off the couch. So do YOU!


sneakerconfusedStories about people overcoming extraordinary odds motivate me, probably because I’ve overcome a few myself.

Karim Ramos overcame obesity, his brother’s suicide and living on the streets. He’s now a personal trainer, author and motivational speaker.

James Howell ran the 400m under 00:45.9. He’s 5’5.

Andy Sedar overcame shyness to become a competitive power-lifter and founded Torque Athletics.

Heather Hardy is a single mom from Brooklyn. She’s a professional boxer & Golden Gloves Champion.

Dan Benintendi weighed 400 lbs five years ago. He had gastric bypass in January 2008. Since then he has completed 8 Half Ironman Triathlons and 4 full 140.6 Ironman Triathlons. He’s an endurance athlete, spin instructor, a husband and father.

Paul Corley had what he called the co-morbisity-trifecta: diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol. He wrote at one time his highest known weight was 360. Paul had gastric bypass in July of 2010. He is also an endurance athlete, his son Anthony has raced with him. Paul is also a husband and father to an adorable little girl & another son.

Whether I meet these people face to face at some time in the future remains to be seen, but their commitment to a healthier lifestyle has made an impression in my life: Like Karim – to get up at 4a.m. to do cardio. Like James – to blow away the naysayers who think size matters. Like Andy – who’s determination infects anyone who comes into his gym. Like Heather – who is an incredible inspiration to single moms (and their daughters) everywhere. Like Dan-to conquer anything (or anyone) that stands in the way. Like Paul-who went to the gym in spite of rain, no phone and dead Garmins.

We are all more than names on a file, numbers on a scale, calories in a log. Against all odds, we stood up and took control of our lives and made a decision to change.

We’re all more than what we could ever imagine.

Now go – write that down somewhere you can see it every day.

I’m sucking on a gummy penguin. I found them yesterday in the checkout lane at Trader Joe’s, which was the only thing that distracted me from watching the hot cashier scan my friend’s flowers. I’m not really sure if I like them or not (the gummy’s, not the flowers), nevertheless I continue to stick my fingers in the bag. The penguins have squishy bellies.

So, it’s been about a year since I had my surgery. Some call it a surgiversary, I did at one point. Then I realized I’ve had an appendectomy, bilateral shoulder surgeries, knee scoped, carpel tunnel release, my gallbladder removed, lower extremity AND abdominal wall cellulitis and MRSA. Though I’m frequently reminded of these medical phenoms, I don’t celebrate them (serioulsy…could you imagine getting an invitation in the mail: “Come to my MRSA Survival Party”???).

Everything has changed.

No longer am I medically considered obese. Last week I checked the BMI chart and it said I was moderately overweight. After spending 20 plus years as super morbidly obese (almost sounds like a super hero. Not.), I was thrilled to death to finally be able to post that. Though my online pal (Nikki) says the charts are bunk (“Shaq is considered obese by those charts!”), it was like a milestone. Well, another one at any rate.

Does one ever run out of mile stones?

I initially set my weight loss goal for a loss of 200 pounds. It’s still a possibility, though some speculate I’d look like Skelator vying for first place at the potato sack dress party. As of this silly blog post I’ve lost 140 pounds (by my scale at home, it’s the one I frequent most). I think I’ve lost 3-4 feet in total inches. Don’t burn that into a log yet, I’m not 100% certain in the figure. However, the last time I had measurements I had lost almost two feet off the largest area on my person, so I’m fairly confident in my guess (sounds like an oxymoron). I do not idolize the scale. If it moves it moves, if it doesn’t it doesn’t. The before and after pictures I have say everything.

My blood pressure is below normal. I think I’ve stopped snoring, but I reserve the right to confirm this until I’m on vacation. I still have sleeping problems which require the assistance of Ambien (which has resulted in some strange amnesia eating, phone calls, text messages and Facebooking. This seem to be all the side effects I experience. I’m pretty fortunte…have you read the possibilities???). I’ve exhausted the clothing budget on more than one occasion (yeah. Right. What clothing budget? Seems like every time I put on a new pair of underwear in the morning they fall off that afternoon).

I hate the extra skin under my arms. Hate. Hate. Hate. I wear a lot of t-shirts, which keep the bat wings covered. But I have been wearing tank tops at the gym for some time now, and God help me. Mark, my trainer, will stand in front of me if we’re near a mirror at the gym because I pick at myself like a vulture gnaws over a carcass. Say what you will, but honestly – unless you’ve spent a considerable amount of time as a fat person, you won’t get it. I know plastic surgery is in my future. I’ll get the wings clipped, the girls lifted, and the tummy tucked. Out of all of it, the arms bug me the most. Maybe it’s because I really want them to be as cute as my legs (LOVE my legs!).

My diet is fairly normal and I enjoy a variety of foods, just in moderation. I love a strong coffee (Starbucks and Caribou are my favorite places to go. I recently discovered a Sugar Free Carmel Frappe. Proof there is a heaven!). There’s a soft spot for Goldfish crackers (oi-vey!) and mint chocolate chip ice cream (Edy’s Slow Churn). I really can’t do bread, it just sits there for-ev-er. I found that out by nibbling on a bagel one Thursday morning. Full for the whole day. I’m a snack monster. I love Greek yogurt mixed with Kashi Go Lean Crunch! Really, it’s the crunchy-ness. Sugar snap peas, fresh green beans, seedless red grapes are always in my fridge.

I have spent a LOT of time at the gym. I love spin class, even though the past few weeks wouldn’t suggest that (been feeling kind of crappy with the weather changes and sleep problems. Blah.). I also love the elliptical. I dig working out with my trainer. The surgery helped me get a handle on my diet, but exercise has been key. For the first three months I didn’t do anything, then my doctor got on my case about moving more. So, to appease him, I shuffled some things around and hired a trainer. OMG. I had no idea the changes would be so dramatic. Mark has been awesome. Patient. Pushy. Rewarding. So much of my weight loss success has been solely attributed to his working with me. I’m happy as a clam.

With a mean right hook. 😀

I’m really grateful God opened up the opportunity a year ago for me to get this new chapter of my life started. It really did save my life.

This is the most recent picture. Pardon the quality. I’m slated to have some pictures taken (and a new tattoo!) when I go to San Diego. Until then, this will have to do.