My Personal weight loss journey


As a child, I grew up with my mother always on a diet. Always trying to lose the same 10 pounds. I was also encouraged to watch my weight and diet as needed. This led to a lifetime of diets for mom and diets for me. I have tried everything from cabbage soup, Atkins, Paleo, food combining, OA 12-step groups, veganism and vegetarianism, intuitive eating, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, pretty much you name it, I tried it. Also, all my life I have had a passion for nutrition. I always thought of myself as a kind of guinea pig experimenting with different ways of eating as a way of taking care of my body. 

One of my favorite books was Overcoming Overeating. This book really helped me to appreciate my body and to pay attention to negative self-talk and eliminate it. My diet attempts have mostly been to feel as healthy as possible versus striving to look great or to be skinny.

In 2018 I decided I had enough! I told myself I would do away with the daily weigh-ins and give up on diets. Why not embrace the big and bold is beautiful concept? I made a deal with myself that I would weigh in on the first of each month just to keep track of my numbers during this experiment. That January of 2018 was a relief to be off the scale for the rest of the month. I focused on making sure we were eating nutritious well-balanced meals like pork chops, mashed potatoes with butter, green beans and apple sauce. 

As the months went by I definitely noticed my clothes were getting tighter. No problem, I just bought bigger clothes. On July 1st I weighed myself and looked at the number on the scale. 202.2. Hmmmm, I had never ever weighed over 200 lbs. I spent the day in a lot of self-reflection. I had recently bought a cute pair of white shorts…size 3 X. If I could wave a magic wand I would have happily stayed at that weight for the rest of my life, but I knew deep in my core that I would one day be looking at 300 lbs. I just couldn’t live with that either. No more going up. 

I decided to try again. I ended up turning to the MyFitnessPal app. It’s mostly based on “CICO”. Calories in/calories out. I stocked up on sugar-free Jello, low-calorie Cool Whip, and diet A&W root beer. I needed whatever treats I could find that would keep me on track. I would switch to more nutritious options later. I was fortunate to also find a wonderful support group that offered daily check-ins. I did so well that I was asked to be team motivator. I consistently lost weight each week. On July 1st, 2019, exactly one year later, I reached my goal weight of 142 with a 60-pound loss! I was so thrilled. I went from a size 3X to a size small, size 6. I don’t ever recall being a size 6. Getting dressed every day was like dressing a Barbie doll!

At my highest weight July 2018
At my highest weight 202.2 July 2018
December 2019 size 6 goal weight 142

I have always enjoyed being active. The more weight I lost the easier it was to be active. I started with a very slow Weight Watchers 12-week walking program. You start out with 15-minute walks and progress to 60 minutes by the end of 12 weeks. After that, Lula Mae (my black lab training partner) and I started training for a 5K race. I had great success on the couch-to-5K training program. I ended up continuing my runs and ran my first 10 K coming in first in my age division. Granted, it was a very small race but I was overjoyed. 

Molly (my wife) and I also embarked on a bike training program. We trained all summer and successfully rode the 34-mile Virginia Creeper on my birthday in October 2019. I was in the best health of my life and loved it!

At the end of December 2019, I had to leave work early. I was feeling very dizzy and feverish. I came home and collapsed into bed not bothering to change out of my work clothes. I could barely move. It took a few weeks to finally start feeling better. But in January I felt like something still wasn’t right. I could barely breathe. I went for an exam and was diagnosed with pneumonia. The antibiotics definitely helped but by February I still wasn’t doing well. I sat in my recliner and told Molly that I just didn’t feel right. She took my blood pressure and heart rate and was shocked to see such low numbers. She called my daughter Robin, a nurse, and was instructed to immediately get me to the hospital. Fortunately, we only lived a mile away.

As soon as we arrived, I was immediately rushed into testing with no waiting. I was transferred from nurse to tech to doctors. Within a few hours, I was told that I was on the verge of death from electrical heart failure. By morning I was sent into surgery for a pacemaker. 

My weight dropped down to 136. But the struggle back to health was a very long one. I felt defeated. Over the next four years, I put back on 40 of the 60 pounds that I had lost. Was this cycle never going to end?

I spent the next few years half-heartedly trying to “diet”.


As I wrote my goals for Level 10 for 2024 I wrestled with the idea of once again putting down 142 as one of my health goals. Sigh…why bother? I continued to mentally feel discouraged as I would once again make a great effort only to fail within a few short days. What was it going to take? I finally had to decide if I wanted it or not. And if so, how much did I want it and what was I going to do about it?

As I was strolling through I came across the title “Portion Savvy” Oh shoot, why not? I ordered the book at the beginning of February. Meanwhile, I ordered a raw juice cleanse from Raw Generations. I have always benefited from detox juice cleanses. Both mentally and physically. During the 3 days of juicing, I read the entire Portion Savvy book. As you can probably guess, there is nothing new. All of these plans work for someone at some time. But there was something in this book that struck a chord with me. I was eager to give it a go. I knew portion sizes were probably my biggest challenge. You know those people that say “No thanks, I am full”, I could never understand that. What did being full have to do with a second serving of something yummy? 

Raw Juice cleanse
Raw Generation juice detox
Ingredients for juice cleanse

Weight Watchers has a free BMI calculator. I am currently at obese status!  171 puts me overweight and 142 is “normal”. Goal weights are subjective and often calculated as a range. But getting to that magic 142 number is my top goal. I have very small bones and being size 6 feels just right! 

Week one: 

Weight: 176.2

Measurements: 45-36-45

In week one, I took a photo, recorded my weight, and took my measurements.

Starting again February 2024

The book focuses mostly on breakfast in the first week. Everything was measured and weighed. You would not believe how tiny a “normal” serving is. I laughed when I saw these tiny portions. But surprisingly, I was satisfied. For lunch, I had salads and leftovers from dinner. Dinner was protein, vegetables, and a carb. I also was instructed to enjoy 2-3 100-calorie snacks a day. One of the options is red Twizzlers licorice. Yeah, baby! Yes, I am into nutrition but alas, I am also a sugar girl. 

For exercise, the program asked you to burn 200 calories 5 days a week. For me, that is 46 minutes of walking at a 20-mile minute pace. This was quite a leap from the occasional 20-minute walks that Lula Mae and I enjoyed. I was eager to get out on the first day. It was enjoyable but felt long. After a few days, I came upon a very motivating strategy: audiobooks! This was a huge game-changer for me! I started with Alice Hoffman’s “The Rules of Magic”. Oh, this was fun! I really enjoyed listening to the book and the time flew by.

I have also committed to drinking 64oz of water a day. The easiest thing for me is to fill up my water jug at night and have it sitting by my bed. I chug a large glass first thing in the morning. I bought this water jug on Amazon.

water jug
64 oz water jug from Amazon

I also signed back up for My Fitness Pal and used their app to log my calories and activities for the day.

Week Two:


On Week Two the emphasis was on lunch. I tried to keep up with the suggested breakfast but found that I was much happier tweaking the menus to include more of the food items that I enjoyed that were still within my calorie limits. I continued also to log all my food into my Fitness pal. (Referred to as MFP.)

This week’s activity was to increase exercise by 100 calories. I started using our stationary bike for 15 minutes. I also piled up a bunch of books I have been wanting to read. I use them only when I am on the bike.

Week Three:

Weight: 172.6

The food focus is on dinner. By now I had enjoyed the recipes and the concept of smaller portions. I did feel good about branching out into foods that meshed better with my body. I lean more towards plant-based eating. My wife graciously went vegan with me for 1 year, a few years back, but felt that it wasn’t for her. After 3 years I went back to eating animal protein with her. I would strongly consider going back to being vegan, but I really do enjoy dinners that we both can share. And…I really don’t want to be vegan on our trip to Italy. Don’t get me wrong, I know we can eat extremely well on vegan vacations. Our favorite foodie vacation ever was to Pittsburg Pa for a vegan extravaganza. Best food we have ever eaten!

So for now, I am slowly finding out what I need to feel my best. Switching to smoothies in the morning, fruit snacks, and big salads for lunch is very much in sync with me. I also belong to a bean club (Rancho Gordo, there is a 2-year waiting list to join, but I have been happily enjoying their beans for the last few years), I try to always have a fresh batch of beans simmering and servings of whole grains. And yes, I am still enjoying my Twizzlers!

Green smoothie
Super Bee Shamrock Smoothie

Week Four:


Weight on March 1st, 2023 186.6 (a 1-year loss of 15#s)


It’s March! I am feeling so good and so optimistic! My size XL clothes no longer fit! I am down to a size large! 

For exercise, I am now doing Yoga with Adriene through YouTube, walking for 1 hour 5 X a week, biking for 15 minutes 5 X a week, doing Tamilee Webb’s 10-minute ab workout 3 X a week, and lifting home weights 2 X a week.

March Adriene Yoga
March calendar for Adriene’s yoga

Food is about the same. I am spending time thinking about what foods I love and what feels like it is nourishing my body. My portions have been adjusted. Our dinner plates look so tiny compared to the way we used to eat. (Molly is also on MFP wanting to get back to her normal body weight as well.)

Smoothies are still the best bet for my breakfast. I am planning an upcoming blog on my 7 favorite smoothies with recipes.

This morning, I started sorting out my clothes that are too big and retrieving some of the smaller ones from the storage closet.

Week 5: 

Weight: 171 

Hurrah I am officially out of obese and into overweight BMI status!!!

This week I am in autopilot. Continuing the same efforts and looking forward to getting thinner, healthier and stronger each week! As a reward, I allow myself a trip to the Goodwill for every 5#’s that I lose. Yesterday I found some really cute green cotton pants in a size 12. I allow 2 purchases. Something that will fit me now, and 1 size 6/small item. I have a small closet where I am collecting a few super cute size small items for Italy. This cotton ivory lace top was my size small purchase.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Ivory-blouse-size-small-768x1024.jpeg

Romantic size small lace top for Italy
Green cotton pants size 12
Green size 12 cotton pants

I also enjoy charting my success with stickers.

Hearts to happiness
Sticker chart to success

I want to mention that I truly believe that weight loss is a very personal journey. What does it take to find that motivation? And when you do get to your goal, how to maintain it?  I firmly believe in everyone’s right to find what works best for them. And to change their minds as many times as necessary. We all carry these extra pounds for a variety of reasons. Some physical, some mental, and some emotional. When the timing is right, we move forward with a plan of action.

Stay tuned as I post my results each month.

Tips, Notes and Recommendations:

Favorite books and programs:

GBOMBS Greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds based on Dr. Furhmans book Eat to Live                               

Daily dozen free app by Dr. Gregors book How not to die

Portion Savvy by Carrie Latt Wiatt

Portion Savvy

Overcoming Overeating by Jane R. Hirschmann & Carol H. Munter

Yoga with Adriene Youtube link

Weight Watchers BMI calculator (google search for weight watchers BMI calculator)

Raw Generation Juices

MyFitnessPal Free app

Abraham Hicks intuitive food video-I am a huge devotee of Abraham Hicks. I couldn’t provide a link but I would highly recommend listening to this particular video on YouTube “Abraham Reveals Truth About Alcohol & Eating Healthy!” Abraham Hicks 2024

Tamilee Webb-Abs of Steel Program 1. There are 3 10 minute videos in Program 1. You can also find her on YouTube.

Eat Move Rest The Stanczyks are also someone I enjoy following on YouTube


Have you also struggled with a weight loss journey? What works well for you? I greatly appreciate all comments and suggestions! Please feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks!

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  1. So relatable, I’m sure your weight loss journey will be encouraging to many and congrats on your success.

  2. Angelina, I am loving your blog! So much I can relate to! What a scare you went through in 2019. I’m sorry we didn’t know and so glad you are still here with us and on your way to success. I love how hard you are working and the multi-prong attack! You definitely got this and are an inspiration ❤️

    1. Hi Kim, Thank you so much for your supportive comments! It really means a lot to me. I look forward to your future comments as well!

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