A Heart to Heart with the author of Half Assed

Jennette Fulda, who recently published her weight loss memoir Half Assed. The minute we landed on her blog Half of Me, respect and admiration poured out of our fingertips and the rest of the workday was lost to her extensive archives.

Jennette has put her two-year weight loss journey out there for all to see, to show the good, the bad, the frustrated and the elated. (And she showed a rotating 360-degree view of it because she happens to be a savvy web technician as well as an extraordinary writer.)

Jennette recently chatted with us about the ups, the downs and the static middle of the road parts of weight loss. Interestingly, her biggest struggle was learning to cook, but now she’s got a recipe for stuffed chicken that’ll make 10 minutes in the kitchen taste like at least 30.

Chapter 2 of Jennette’s weight loss is maintaining, which she has done successfully for a year. She said maintaining is almost more difficult than losing because you don’t get the thrill of seeing that you’ve lost a pound in a week, but by keeping it interesting and bringing in new activities, she’s staying motivated to stay the same.

Jennette’s real life commitment to weight loss and her day-by-day attitude makes the process of shedding extra pounds seem possible. She’ll be the first to tell you trying to lose it in a day just won’t work, but losing it doesn’t mean being perfect. It means being aware.

The process of losing weight is a slow one that requires dedication for, well, basically the rest of your life. It forces you to choose between effortless indulgence or disciplined sacrifice, but, as Jennette knows, the lasting benefits to your health and your body far outweigh the instant gratification of that Honey Bun.

Jennette recently went on the Today Show to talk about her weight loss journey and her new book. She once again offered up that 360-degree view of weight loss, and in doing so, paints an accurate picture of a real woman’s weight loss experience.

To learn more about Jennette’s weight loss story, order a SIGNED copy of Half Assed from her website.

How a trainer helped me get fit… FINALLY

“People around me said—you can’t audition looking like that.”

When Traci got cast in the role of the ‘best friend’ at her first NYC audition, she took an honest look at herself.

“Regardless of my talent, regardless of whether I was the best fit for the role, I knew that it had something to do with, or I felt, that it had something to do with my weight,” Traci said.

“And that sort of propelled me into thinking about my weight and looking at myself realistically saying, what am I doing? Why am I here?”

Traci began working out with a trainer, who gave her the tools, taught her how to eat for weight loss and exercise properly. More than anything, Donna taught Traci to believe that what she wanted for herself was possible.

“My two-day-a-week workout turned into three, then four, then turned into me cutting back on certain foods like bread, rice and sugar,” she said. “I started eating tons of fruit and vegetables, and I noticed that I felt better. I came out of that depression-like state I had when I first went to New York. Within five months, my body was completely transformed.”

Traci had been overweight her whole life. She wasn’t used to being thin, and her body resisted every pound she lost. It took her about 7 months of commitment and discipline to shed 20 pounds.

Finally being able to experience what losing weight felt like, understand how to do it was a huge learning experience for Traci.

“I learned how to eat and how to keep challenging myself in new ways,” she said. “I learned how to express myself in new ways, both physically and emotionally.

“Working with Donna allowed me to stand in a different way, walk into a bar in a different way and order from a menu in a different way. I finally feel comfortable and confident with myself.”

Fitness trainers are popular and they get results, but making a good match takes effort. Check out this article for some tips on not just why you need one, but how to find the right one.

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How I lost 40lbs by… walking around!

Leigh struggled with her weight for all of her adult life. She tried diet shakes, counting calories, cleansing fasts… nothing worked.

Finally she realized it wasn’t her intake that mattered as much as it was her outlook.

She decided to concentrate on a lifestyle overhaul and began pairing healthy eating habits with simple exercise routines.

Knowing that big changes come by taking small steps, she first started taking her dogs for walks every day. The two labradors loved running around outside, and keeping up with them proved to be a great workout for Leigh.

Gradually fitness started becoming a priority for her and she headed to a gym to strength train.

“After the first day I could barely move,” she said. “But I just kept doing it. I lifted weights and did lunges and did free weights. I did all the things that you’re kind of intimidated to try, especially at a gym with sweaty guys everywhere, but the free weights were necessary for me to get in shape.”

When it came to cardio, Leigh also had to work her way up.

“My first experience on the treadmill I walked extremely slow, but at the time I thought it was pretty fast,” she said. “I then just bumped it up a little more every day, go a minute longer or a little faster each time.”

The rewards of taking it slow and adopting a long-term healthy lifestyle paid off in more ways than Leigh initially expected. She thought she’d be healthier, but she didn’t realize how much being fit would put her back in touch with her body. Her husband began to mark her progress by their hugs, noting that he could touch his wrists, then his elbows, when they embraced. Eventually she had to buy new clothes, shoes, and even have her ring resized.

Here are some tips that have helped Leigh transition and find a healthy balance for staying in shape.

Leigh began this journey by taking leisurely strolls with her dogs, but now, she feels no matter what path life leads her down, she’ll be able to keep up.

“My husband and I were going on a trip my mom happened to be in the the same airport at the same time, but she had about five minutes before she had to get back on the plane and she was in the other terminal,” she said. “We wanted to see each other because I wasn’t gonna see her for a few months, so I just took off running in my little sweats and tennis shoes. My husband couldn’t believe it because he didn’t think that he would ever see the day that I would just take off running. It was great to meet that way. She was really happy to see me running down the terminal.”

For more inspiration, read about how this mom of three transforms herself into a triathlete.

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How I lost my baby weight

Farrah struggled with obesity throughout adolescence, so when she got pregnant, the weight worries came flooding back. She had grown so accustomed to her routine before having a baby and she didn’t think she was going to be able to get back into it afterward.

With a degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in fitness, nutrition and health, she started working with a personal trainer during the Tae-Bo craze, transitioning into personal training clients after college.

“I was still determined to do all the training I had been doing before I got pregnant, but altered,” she said. “I used lighter weights, I didn’t work as hard, I would watch my heart rate and make sure I didn’t go over 150.”

But when Farrah hit 8 months along, her fluid was low and she had to stop exercising. With an allowance of walking only two days a week for no more 20 minutes, she stopped looking at the scale at around the 60-pound gain mark.

After her delivery, she wanted to get back to exercising, but how? As any mom with a newborn knows, even getting a shower is nearly impossible.

“I started with running errands. I was scared to drive with her in the car, so I decided to walk wherever I needed to go,” Farrah said. “I’d take 15 minute walks to the post office or the park, and it evolved from there. I remembered the difference in how you feel when you’re exercising and when you’re not exercising. When you’re exercising, you want to get up, you want to do things, you’re motivated to eat well, you have more energy to play with your baby.”

Farrah had discovered a way to workout that didn’t require a nanny or time away from her baby. And thus, T.O.T. Fitness was born.

“You just have to figure out how you can take what you used to do and incorporate it into what you now need to or want to do,” Farrah said. “I wanted to lose weight, and now I had a new dumbbell. It was really that easy.”

Getting out of the house is one of the most important things for new moms to do. With T.O.T. Fitness, Farrah created a way to be around other moms who are going through some of the things that she went through or is going through and spend time with her new baby at the same time.

“It’s one small thing that moms can do for themselves, one small way they can take a step to being a healthier person,” she said.

If you are in the LA area, get connected with T.O.T. Fitness.

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