Depression and the Emotional Eater

Pasta Lips

I am beyond excited to share some news I found out today.  The reason that the Express Weight Loss program and Lipto Plus injections may be making a significant difference in my physical and MENTAL health.

I was doing research about natural remedies for depression as I struggle with bouts of it and have friends and family that do as well.  I haven’t really had many bouts since starting the program and chalked a lot of that up to the fact that I am happy because I am losing so much weight and people are complimenting me on it!  I came a cross a very interesting article about natural depression treatment.

Natural Cure For Depression

What I immediately noted was the recommended usage of Inositol (Vitamin B8) and Choline (Vitamin B4) and how both are listed herbal supplements for, among many other things, preventing fatty build up in the liver but also battling depression and anxiety!!!  I haven’t had any bouts of depression because both of these natural supplements are found in the Lipto Plus injections!!!  The only weeks I have struggled with emotional eating on this plan are those where I have not been able to make it into the clinic for my injection!

I go in for my weigh in tomorrow and I am hoping that this week was successfully back on track and will take me to a 30 lb weight loss so far!  I was at 211 last week.  Shooting for 200 or less by the end of July!



Part of the fun in losing weight is literally shrinking in size.  When I began my journey originally at my heaviest of 258.0 lbs, I was still squeezing into size 18 jeans.  I finally bought some 20W pants last year when I needed to have some professional outfits for a week long seminar.  They were snug. So to say I was in denial is putting it mildly.

My sister began her weight loss journey last week using her own methods.  She posted her starting weight and pants size on social media.  She’s shorter than me, weighs about 10 pounds more than me but was wearing a size 16. This made me start to wonder what size I was down to.  My 18’s were getting lose and my belt has at least a 2″ gap on it’s last hole.

Fortunately, as I grew thru the years, I held onto some clothes.  So I pulled out all my 16’s and Large tops and guess what?  THEY FIT!

June 11 2015 Size 16 skinny jeans

In my size 16 skinny jeans!

So excited!  So I pulled them all out of storage and bagged up all my 18-20W and gave them to the girls at work.  It was an exhilarating feeling!  I don’t plan to EVER go back up in size, so there is no need to hold onto those clothes.  I recommend this to everyone, it’s very liberating and has me excited to see if I can get down to a 14 in the next week or so!  My ultimate goal is to get to a 12 and my dream would be a size 10.  I have a pair of acid washed, high waist Calvin Klein jeans from high school just waiting to be able to fit back into!!!  Good thing that look is coming back into style!  LOL!

I have a pair of dark rinse denim pants that I bought as incentive on a last diet attempt.  They are a slim 14.  They are my next goal!  I’ll post pictures when I get in them.   Mom also mentioned that she was getting rid of a bag full of nearly new size 12 & 10 pants now, so I have a whole new wardrobe waiting when I get there!  Yay!

Holiday Weekends and Straying from My Path

I don’t know about you, but holidays have always posed a challenge for me when it comes to eating healthy.  Aren’t holidays for indulging in favorite food treats like BBQ, Ice Cream and Adult Beverages?  Makes a girl go crazy!  I haven’t been in to the clinic to weigh in yet this week, but according to my scale I am at 216.0 this morning which is 4 lbs less than my last weigh in.  That’s good news because I for sure did not stick to plan this past Memorial Day Weekend.

Which brings me to todays thought.  We all have set backs.  If you’ve ever been familiar with an addiction recovery program, they tell you to be prepared for relapses.  They happen.  What matters is how you handle getting back on track.  I used to say, “I’ll start back over next Sunday.” or “Maybe in June I’ll get it right.” but now it’s become “Tomorrow is a new day and every meal is a chance to eat healthy.”

Back On Track

I’m not gonna lie to you… I didn’t hit Zumba for a whole week.  But last night I jumped back in with both feet.  My normal 2 hour session of Zumba Toning followed by Zumba.  I was a hot sweaty mess and physically drained after, but it felt SO GOOD! I am back to eating on plan and tracking.  It felt nice to take a little break and indulge in things that would probably be 1200 calories in one meal alone…  Like the Eggs Beatrice I had at One-Eyed Betty’s with a mimosa on Sunday morning, or the Spicy Polynesian Cottage Inn Pizza we ordered on Monday (it’s one of my guilty pleasures), but in the back of my head a little voice kept saying “You’re not going to get below 200 lbs eating this food!”

Another thing that became obvious to me this weekend is that I am very fortunate to be single and living alone during this time, because when another person shares your space and time, it becomes ever more difficult to stay on path.  While I like eating the same thing for weeks, others may need variety and variety makes dieting hard for me.  I like structure.  You also have a ton of time to focus on JUST you…  That changes when you care for someone else.  So I learned that no matter what or who comes into my life, I have to make the time to keep me happy and healthy.

Make yourself Happy

Mini Meals and Mini Goals

Hey everyone! I am floating on cloud 9 this week after a fantastic weigh in. I am down to 220.4! That’s 17 pounds gone in 22 days! I couldn’t be happier and more motivated!

I was out of commission last week due to a very nasty throat infection. I could barely eat for 3 days (the doctor joked he was going to bottle whatever bacteria it was that caused it and sell it as a diet aid.) but once I was well, I was worried any weight loss would be lost due to rehydrating and a few days of comfort food at the end. The ONLY thing that sounded remotely appealing after 3 days was egg drop soup from my favorite Chinese carryout. While soup isn’t necessarily bad for you, egg drop soup can be loaded in sodium. Had one night of eating out unexpectedly, but I ordered chicken fajitas and skipped the cheese and sour cream. Fortunately I jumped right back into my eating plan and the scale showed great results!

Express Weight Loss & Wellness has a meal plan that they give you in the beginning and it requires you to eat small meals about every 3 hours. The meals are high protein, low carb. Fortunately I don’t mind eating the same thing for weeks in a row, so meal planning on Sunday and having everything ready to grab and go has been great. I used to have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning without some seriously cream and sugar laden coffee, but since I started the injections, I find I am actually waking up before my alarm goes off.

So breakfast has been 1 egg, 1 egg white, 2 TB Feta Cheese, 2 cups spinach sautéed down with a bit of non-stick spray and some hot sauce wrapped in a flat out wrap. If I am really running short on time, I throw 1/2 c 0% Chobani greek yogurt in a to go bowl with 1/2 c organic blueberries and 2 TB of Bear naked Granola and drink 1/2 c of Silk chocolate almond milk, which feels like a treat!


Breakfast at my desk

3 hours later I have a protein bar. I buy the Healthwise brand at Express Weight Loss. The Caramel Nut is my favorite so far. It’s almost like having a candy bar.

Lunch is 2oz of Columbus roasted turkey breast with 2 thin slices of low-fat cheese wrapped in a flat out wrap with some spicy mustard. I used to be really funny about lunch meat after reading an article about all the chemicals in it, but the Columbus brand at Costco is rotisserie seasoned, nitrate free and reduced sodium.

3 hours later (usually right before my workout) I have another protein bar.

Dinner is 3 oz of organic chicken breast grilled with shwarma salt free seasoning blend (I get it from The Spice Guy at Eastern Market), 1/2 cup of cooked organic wild rice (Costco) and 1 cup of roasted asparagus. A small side salad with 1 c. romaine and 1 c. cherry tomatoes. I still have enough calories to put 2 TB of a low calorie honey mustard dressing on my salad and 1 TB of an amazing Tahini dressing on my rice/chicken/asparagus mix.

Most nights I am so wiped from my workout that I have to force myself to eat dinner. I no longer have the late night cravings for ice cream or sweet treats.

The week before I got sick, I was hitting Nafas Fitness Center in Royal Oak for Zumba at least 4-5 days a week and making sure I hit 12,000 steps each weekday on my Fitbit. This is one of the main reasons I think my weight loss has been so great in these first 3 weeks. I am being VERY active.

gym vs diet

So it got me thinking about my goals… I didn’t expect to lose 20 pounds in my first month. My next mini goal is to get below 200 pounds. I haven’t been that weight in over a decade. I can’t even picture what that looks like! My next goal is to be fit enough to wear a cute cocktail dress and stilettos to my cousins wedding in December. Ultimately I want to be at 165-170 pounds by next April or sooner. I’d like to get fit enough to consider becoming a Zumba instructor myself. My instructor Kaitlyn is so energetic and has been a positive influence on me! I look forward to her dance routines and smiling face!


So as you can see, this week has definitely boosted my confidence and determination to stick to the plan. I have more energy than I have in years! Who knows, maybe I will pick running back up and try for the Detroit Half Marathon again! Right now it feels like ANYTHING is possible!


Get Ready For My Fat Funeral!


I had my first weigh in this morning and I am over the moon to announce that I went from 237.2 pounds to 230.8 pound and permanently deleted 6.8 pounds!!! That’s in 6 days! YES! I feel like I am finally on track! I was so excited to weigh in because I knew I had stayed on the program and I did a lot of activity this week too (I swear I wasn’t a gym rat for the whole week though… I spent all of Saturday in my pajamas lounging around the house watching movies and relaxing! Cue Bridget Jones)

So I think what made this a successful week was several things. First, I stuck to the meal plan set out by Express Weight Loss & Wellness. Second, I tracked every meal on My Fitness Pal and showed them to Nichole this morning and we discussed a few alternatives if I get tired of the meals I am eating.  Third, I chugged at least 100 ounces of water or more every day.  I made a game of it and found that a smoothie cup with a lid and straw worked better for me that a water bottle.  I also put two slices of lemon in there every morning, just to give the water some flavor. Lastly, I made getting active a priority.  I even went outside my comfort zone and gave a new Pilates and yoga class a try at Nafas Fitness Studio.


The only challenge I think I honestly had was that I felt like I was eating ALL THE TIME!  I am not used to putting 2 snacks into my day, so I started setting an alarm reminder on my cell phone for every three hours to plan out my meals and snacks for the day.  Well, OK, to be honest, I visited the bathroom a whole heck of a lot more too!  LOL!  First time I ever actually thought about getting up in the middle of Sunday Service to go to the bathroom!

This week I am going to keep on doing what I was doing, but add to it the fact that I want 12,000 steps on that Fitbit everyday.  Now that the weather is nicer, this will be easy because I love walking around downtown Royal Oak when the weather is nice.

Here’s me… 6.8 pounds Gone… 65.8 pounds left to die!  Can we have a fat funeral when I reach goal? Have a great week and if you wanna see what I am up to daily, checkout my Facebook page Life On The Virg!

Me 4.29.15

I will keep trying…

Zumba with Kaitlyn 4.2015

With my favorite Zumba instructor Kaitlyn at Danz for the Kids
April 2015

Hi all!  Miss me?

I began a new journey in weight loss today.  One that I have been apprehensive to take due to the societal view of medically assisted diets.  The visions of 1980s and Fenfen spring to mind for most.  When did surgical weight loss become more approved of than medically assisted diets?  After all, the products used by medical weight loss clinics are FDA approved as opposed to these over the counter “appetite suppressants” that anyone can buy at your local vitamin store…  or these “energy drinks” that are full of God knows what and causing health conditions across the board.  I know people who have chosen to go thru Gastric Bypass. I’ve seen how it doesn’t always work and it certainly doesn’t teach healthy eating and exercise habits.  I WILL NOT EVER DO THIS!

Sorry…  back to what I am up to.  I decided to give Express Weight Loss + Wellness Clinic a try.  They have a medically supervised program that includes individualized meal planning, exercise and medicinal treatment solutions.  Today I had full blood work, body fat analysis, BMI, blood pressure and EKG work done.  Tomorrow I meet with the practitioner to discuss my plan.  I am utilizing their LipoPlus Injection which is full of Lipotropic Enzymes, Vitamin B-Complex, Levocarnitine, Chromium and L-Citruline.  I will also be using an appetite suppressant.  Anyone who is a foodie, food addict or emotional eater can tell you that diets are nearly impossible without these.  I have been secretly using an over the counter (non-FDA approved) one for a few weeks now.  You know…  the pills loaded with caffine that make you jittery….  well now I will be using one under medical supervision that has been FDA approved.  These will NOT contain amphetamine.

I will also be doing Zumba on average about 5 times a week and as I feel more energy, I hope to add some weight work and Pilates to the mix at my favorite fitness studio, Nafas in Royal Oak.  I also wear a Fitbit and will focus on at least 12000 steps a day.  This ensures you are getting activity regularly and gives you an opportunity to have a little healthy competition with others.

I begin my new journey at 236 pounds and a size 18W.  So depressing.  What’s worse?  I am 42.3% fat….  almost half my body is fat!!!  So why am I so determined to lose weight once and for all?

Vanity & health concerns.  I am happy with most things in my life…  My home, my job, my family and my network of friends.  The one place I find myself upset about most is my appearance.  I know I am a beautiful woman both inside and out, but I would be happier if I was the thinner, healthier version of me that I was in my earlier years.

Me 1997


Heart disease and adult onset diabetes runs on both sides on my family and has claimed 3 of my 4 genetic Grandparents lives.  I don’t want to be that statistic.

So I begin this journey with hopes that it is finally the solution to my yoyo dieting and gets me back to my fit and fabulous former self.  Tomorrow is my first shot and meeting to discuss my low calorie, low carb, high protein diet.  I will track all my food on My Fitness Pal under the screen name LifeOnTheVirg.  Feel free to friend me.  I will also be doing regular blogs about my successes and my challenges.  I don’t expect this to  easy, but it can’t be any harder than all the other things I tried (remember my 1200 calorie vegetarian diet with 2 workouts a day?)

You’re support is always welcome….  keep your criticism to yourself.

Eat Less. Move your ass more!

Last night was just what I needed to remind me that losing weight does not need to be complicated.  Mom and I went to see Jillian Michaels on her motivational speaking tour “Maximize your life!”

J Michaels

She spoke for 3 hours (no kidding)  and covered everything from food to exercise to defining your why.  She started right off with the biggest secret to losing weight.  This is valuable information and I should charge each of you to reveal it, but I am a share the wealth kind of girl.  The secret is…



She starts with the basics of what to eat (and not to eat).  She explains how to identifying serving sizes (Like the fact that so many single bottles of beverage are RARELY a single serving.) Just for shits and giggles, look at the serving size on the back of a yellow spray butter product spray bottle.  Let me know when you figure out how to measure .25 of a spray and let me know if your bullshit meter goes off on the 0 calorie per serving claim.  She offers to spray bug killer in a woman’s mouth!  (Who actually was going to let her at the urging of her daughter (Happy Mother’s Day!  Here’s some poison Mom!))  This was done to drive home the fact that so many of the foods we eat are covered with Obesogens, which are chemicals in our foods that interrupt our Metabolism (aka: our biochemistry) like bug killers, chemical fertilizers, etc.  She shows us a list of things to NEVER eat, which veggies you should avoid unless they are certifiably organic and which veggies and fruits (thick skinned) aren’t worth going organic, to save you money.

Jillian’s Lists

I love that she encourages you to eat grass fed, hormone free, antibiotic free beef and wild fish and used a very startling graphic of the visual difference between a “factory” cow and a grass fed cow.  She explains how the fat in the two is very different.  In the “factory” cows, the fat is Omega 6, which is not healthy for us (never mind all the chemicals that are also in the “factory” beef, like hormones to help them grow to slaughtering maturity in 6 months as opposed to 4 years, and all the antibiotics to keep them from getting disease due to the inhumane factory farm conditions.)  In a grass fed healthy cow that is raised over a 4 year period, there are Omega 3 fats, which we all know are the good healthy fats that your body needs.  I came across some of these facts in an article in “O” magazine a few years back. So when buying any kind of animal product, spend the extra cash and get the wild, free range, grass fed, 100% organic, hormone free and antibiotic free products.  It’s worth your money and your children won’t have boobs by the time they are 6 years old.  I’ve been drinking organic almond milk for over a year (unsweetened) and can’t tell a difference after a life of drinking cow milk.  If I get cow milk, I get Horizons organic milk/cream/cottage cheese/sour cream.

She breaks the myth of “eating small meals all day”…  by doing this, your body will release insulin all day and your body will be in a constant absorptive mode.  She recommends 4 meals a day about 4 hours apart: Breakfast, Lunch, Snack and Dinner.

Thru all the food talk, the point that she drove home that hit me like a lightening bolt is that if you are eating healthy, you can eat ANYTHING and lose weight.  It is very simply about calories in vs. calories out.  I knew that, but she really breaks it down for you.  You HAVE to track what you eat until you are at a point that you know how many calories are in the regular foods you eat and can track it in your head.  Follow the charts above, eat healthy meats and listen to your bullshit meter.  If a zero calorie food looks too good to be true, it probably is!

So she explains to each of us how to figure out approximately figure out how many calories we need in an average day BEFORE adding in exercise.

First, figure out your BMR (Basic Metabolic Rate)

BMR Calculator

Now that you have your BMR, Mine is 1845, you need to identify your normal activity level on an average day.

1.1 Sedentary = Seated most of the day at work.

1.2 Mildly Active = Retail or on your feet most of the day

1.3 Active = A personal Trainer

1.4 Extremely Active = You are working on a chain gang

Take the number before your activity level (Mine is 1.1) and multiply it by your BMR.  This is your Active Metabolic Rate.

(1.1 x 1845 = 2029.5)

  If I ate 2029.5 calories a day and never exercised, I would stay at the same weight.  So it’s simple…  eat less than 2029.5 calories and I will lose weight.  It takes 3500 calories to lose one pound of fat.  So if I eat a deficit of 3500 calories for the week, I should lose 1 pound.  You can’t starve your body either.  1200 calories is the BARE minimum she would want anyone to be eating.  She recommends instead that you find exercise routines that you enjoy and do them…  with a high intensity level to burn more calories.  I use Fitness Pal, a free online service and smart phone app, to track my calories daily and currently it has me consuming 1340 calories a day.  So it’s setting me up to lose around  1.379 pounds a week before exercise.


When it comes to exercise, it’s important to get cardio AND strength training.  Jillian discusses 3 types of workouts that will be very effective.

  1. Body weight training – Intensity level should be “MOVE YOUR ASS”
    • Zumba
    • Cross Fit
    • TRX
  2. High intensity interval training
    • Think measured busts of high intensity energy followed by normal workout energy.  Like sprints.
  3. Circuit Training (Jillian thinks this is the best)
    • This is moving thru multiple workouts in rapid succession to workout your whole body AND get cardio as well.

It’s important to know your maximum heart rate.  This can be figured by:

220 – your age = Maximum Heart Rate

and when working out, 85% of your MHR is the optimum level for losing weight.

My MHR 220 – 42 = 178 x .85 = 151.3

So 151.3 is a good heart rate for me to strive to stay at to burn more fat.


The last part of Jillian’s presentation was about YOU.

She explains that no one can motivate you.  Only YOU can motivate YOURSELF.  If you want to be successful, you need to figure out your “WHY” to get you thru the “HOW” and “HELL”.  Examples she used were:

  • How do you want your relationship to look?
  • What qualities do you want in a potential partner?
  • Do you want to live to meet your grandchildren?
  • Do you want to be able to fit into your skinny jeans at 75 a la Jane Fonda?
  • Do you want to be able to wear a bikini at 50?
  • Do you want to have more money?  Because all the health risks that are caused by being overweight and unhealthy will cost you way more.  The number one reason for bankruptcies in the USA is medical bills.  Chew on that.

Whatever your reason for wanting to lose weight, it needs to be personal and powerful to YOU.  It needs to be the thing you can plaster on a life board and look at to remind yourself “WHY?” when life throws you a curve ball.  Because life’s NOT fair and you will give yourself excuses to eat things you shouldn’t or to skip workouts…  it’s human nature.  Your “WHY” needs to be stronger than that.  Be aware of your emotions and be present.  Live in the NOW!

She suggests an exercise where for 2 weeks you set your phone alarm to go off once an hour or every two hours.  When it goes off, stop and ask yourself “What am I doing right now?” and “How do I feel?”

Finding happiness in life is simple:

Find things you love to do and do more of them.  If you hate doing certain things, limit how much you do them.  If you despise your job, only you have the control to change that.  If you are passionate about caring for kids, find something that will help you do more of that!  Be “all in”…  Identify what you are passionate about and GO FOR IT!!!

Also remember that rejection is the universe’s (or in my case God’s) way of protecting you.  So if you go for something and it doesn’t happen (ie: asking out the cute guy in the next cube at work) it wasn’t meant to be.  Don’t dwell over it…  move on!


So as a finale Jillian shared 4 points for being successful at whatever you are trying to do.

  1. Deep dive information
    • get the proper information before you take action
    • learn everything you can
    • take what works for you and leave what doesn’t
  2. Willpower
    • It’s like a muscle…  Use it!
    • If you overuse it, you can fatigue it, so remove temptations.
    • Think all decisions thru.  Visualize the outcome.  If it’s not the outcome you want, change the decision and repeat the process.
    • a moment of impulsivity can destroy all your hard work.  Find healthy coping mechanisms
  3. Communication
    • Learn to listen Empathically
    • Communicate your needs
    • Express your Fellings
    • Don’t use “YOU” statements.
  4. Boundries
    • The friends in your life that aren’t supportive – CUT THEM OUT!
    • “Hurt people will hurt people”
    • Share the things you are passionate about with supportive groups/people who share this passion with you.

I can’t begin to hope that everything I captured here covers everything that Jillian tries to share with you, but I gather all the information I could and I feel ready more than ever to dive forward into my life.  To live every day in the now and to find the why for me and use it to drive results that I will be happy with.  Thank you so much Jillian!