“You look great! Is this a good thing, or are you sick?” It’s a statement/question I’ve been asked quite a bit lately…and you know what? It’s totally a fair question! The fact that I have Multiple Sclerosis is no secret. The fact that I went through a wicked flare up starting in 2018 is no secret. I’m an open book about my life with MS. So, it’s totally understandable that I have received many calls, emails, and private messages asking if I am okay since I have gone through a “transformation” let’s call it (and I thank you for genuinely caring)!

I touched a bit on this in my last blog, however, with the amount of messages I have received lately, our traffic anchor, Madison Glassman, said, “Maybe you should blog about your weight loss so everyone knows what’s going on.” Oh that Madison…so wise.

So, here’s the deal…I’M GREAT! My last blog explains the WHY behind this “wellness journey” (click here to read that). Now, let’s talk about the HOW.

My best friend, Sarah, is a certified personal trainer. She is also a whiz with nutrition. I reached out to her in August and told her I was feeling good enough to start working out and I was ready to lose weight and just be happy with ME again.

Sarah & I

So, we started working out several days a week. From August to September we did some serious workouts (meanwhile, I was definitely overweight and out of shape). I wasn’t losing much weight. So, Sarah suggested something I had been avoiding like the plague…changing up my nutrition. I mean cheeseburgers have protein and the bun has fiber! Pizza DEFINITELY touches on several food groups if you put the right toppings on, right?! Cue the slow blink from Sarah. AKA…NO MAMA. 

Sigh. So we talked. I cried. Would you believe I cried about changing my nutrition, but NOT about working out and doing things like burpees and mountain climbers?!

We cut out most salt/sodium from my diet. That’s a big deal, because most who know me know my love of hot sauce. I literally used to carry it in my purse for fear a restaurant would not have my favorite kind. I had a problem…a tasty, tasty problem.

We cut out the majority of my red meat intake and upped my intake of white meats and fish. We adjusted portion sizes. We changed my snacks to more nutritious things like veggies and hummus. I added smoothies in to my diet. I HAD TO CUT OUT CHEESE FROM MY DIET, PEOPLE. CHEESE. GONE. I mean seriously…you wonder why I cried?!

Guess what else had to go? Mmm Hmm…wine…prosecco…champagne. Even when I type those beverages I can hear Julie Andrews singing “These are a few of my favorite things” in the background. 

Sarah also helped me with one of my biggest problems — WHEN do I eat? You see, my day starts with my alarm clock going off at 2:30am. That means I would usually eat breakfast at 3:00am, lunch at 9:00am, and then dinner at 6pm. It was kind of a free for all in between.

So, once I learned WHAT to eat and WHEN to eat it…the true journey began. I combined the nutritional changes with working out and the weight and inches started falling off. I have had to change up my wardrobe more times than I can count. I went from a size 16 to a size 10 to a size 8. I have lost more than 25 inches from head to toe. I have lost nearly 50lbs.

So, no KETO. No pink drink. No Weight Watchers. No counting calories. I knew for me, personally, I wouldn’t stick to those diet plans once I reached my goal. I needed something I would continue, something that would be a true lifestyle change for me. What Sarah laid out for me is exactly what I needed. (Disclaimer: If any of the diets I mentioned are working for you…GOOD! You do what is best for you!!!)

One of the things she told me that REALLY helped on this health & fitness journey was, “This is not a ‘never again’ diet. This is a ‘not right now’ diet.” AKA: I cut a lot of my favorite things out of my diet, but I can add things back in when I reach my end goal. I just have to monitor my life. When I get up five pounds, reign it back in.

I met with my neurologist and we discussed my weight loss/health plan. He is all for it. He explained that people who weigh less, and have good nutritional habits, do better with their Multiple Sclerosis. Makes sense to me…I think that applies to many of us who live with chronic illness.

Every Sunday, I meal prep. A protein & veggies is what I bring to work for lunch. It takes very little time to prepare and then I am set for the week. It actually made my life easier.

I had promised my trainer that I would be her best student. I promised her I wouldn’t waste her time. More importantly, I promised myself I would do this. I would put in the effort to find myself again and just feel GOOD again. I can honestly say, I can’t remember when I last felt this good and confident. I have energy. I don’t need a nap every day (which is really saying something from a person with Multiple Sclerosis who wakes up at 2:30 every morning). I can play basketball with my very energetic son. I feel strong.

It has been hard work, but when I set a goal, I do all I can to reach it. You can, too. Moms, dads, grandparents, kids…just take control of your life. You deserve it and you are worth it. It can involve hard work, but doesn’t anything that’s worthwhile?

So, yes…I have lost weight. I have done it in a healthy way. I feel incredible. Thank you so very much for asking.