Tipping the scales: A midlife crisis

For most of her life Bonnie never had to struggle with her weight. In fact, a normal weight for her was less than 100 lbs. “In my growing up years, my teenage years, and my young adult years I was very, very thin. I am not even five feet tall. I am a very small person, so that was my normal weight.”

“When I had my first child I went to 130 lbs—that is 30lbs on a small body. I lost most of it quickly and got down to 115, but that was still 15 lbs more than I normally weighed. Then with the next child I went to 150 lbs, and it took me three years to get me down to 115. My last child was premature, she weighed 4 lbs and I gained maybe 40 lbs. I was almost 40 when I had that baby and that is when it began, my hormones changed. And it was a real struggle.”

Bonnie is a self proclaimed naturalist; of course she looked for the most natural way to help with weight loss. After some research, she found an herb called Hoodia that helped her lose the weight. “Hoodia worked for me, but I also learned that your body needs to eat. You can never lose weight by not eating. You have to eat and you have to eat smart. I drink soy protein drinks, and I eat very well, very naturally.”

Along with conscious eating, maintaining your health also means maintaining an active lifestyle. Getting creative with how you move your body does not have to be as specific as running on a treadmill everyday. “A dear friend of mine, her husband is a paraplegic. He is a fine artist and amazing, but he is also as big as my finger. One day I said, “Gee, he is so thin,” and she said, “Do you see what he is doing? He is sitting in the chair wiggling. His doctor says that he burns 4,200 calories a day just through his wiggles.” I thought to myself, if I sit there and read a book and shake my hand, can I lose weight? Yes! Any movement counts.”

As an acting teacher, Bonnie used one of her own exercises in accountability to give herself a reality check. “You shut the door and you don’t tell anyone what you are going to do. You strip naked and assess what you have. But instead of going “I hate my hips,” look at what is beautiful. There are more lovely things happening in a woman’s body than there are things that are horrible.”

Eating smart is half the battle, check out the 11 Best Foods You Are not Eating to give your body some love.


23 Ways About It
Mommy, writer and successful baby weight loser Beth Howard gives you 23 practical, straightforward tips to shed your post-baby pounds.

Breaking the Tape
A mom of three transforms herself into a triathlete. Read about her trials and tribulations at 21st Century Mom

Hip Chicks and Macrobiotics
Author Jessica Porter gives fresh insight on a tried-and-true dietary practice in her “Hip Chicks Guide to Macrobiotics.”

Whole Grain Nation
Test your whole grain IQ and figure out how much more you should be eating at Whole Grain Nation.

The New Pyramid Plan
The food pyramid as we know it is forever gone. Check out My Pyramid, where you can customize a balanced diet of grains, fruits, veggies and proteins that works for you!


How Yoga Saved My Sanity

Eka walked into a yoga studio for the first time, attempting to better understand her boss. She hoped that by learning some down dogs and what all the different warriors were, she’d at least find some common ground. After just one class, she realized she’d discovered a new way of life.

“I literally could not touch my toes,” she said. “The first class I went to I was scared out of my mind because there were all these people twisting like pretzels and scratching their heads with their toes, and I am just looking around going, ‘Okay, I can’t touch my toes.’ That is what scares a lot of people away from yoga; they think they need to do all of that and weigh 90 pounds, but you can do yoga at any stage of life.”

With every class she went to, Eka started to feel stronger and more clear-headed. She felt her posture change and realized that she was overall more confident than she had ever been in her life. Eventually she started coming to her mat more than she was going into work.

It wasn’t just being able to contort her body in new and different ways that made Eka crave yoga. By being with her breath and meditating into each pose, she discovered a way to identify and release tension in her body.

“It is the breath that is the conveyor of everything,” she said. “It is a continuous wheel of becoming aware in the present moment and how you react in the present moment. I think that is a mirror for life. The yoga mat is often seen as a mirror of life outside the studio. How you react on your mat is often how you react when you leave the studio doors.”

Eka now teaches yoga to other weary souls looking for some peace in the chaos of life. Since you probably can’t commit to a two-hour yoga session seven days a week, Eka’s offering a few minute-long poses that you can do at your desk or on your living room floor. Take a deep breath and get going.

Want to learn more about yoga? Check out these great resources we’ve found!


Ohm My Gosh!
Can’t seem to find any peace and quiet? Find yoga classes, events, businesses, products and lots more at Yoga Finder.

Work Out While You Work
The office cube is hardly a match for a yoga studio, but with this desk-friendly workout, you can stay active even when you’re sitting down.

Strike a Pose
Be enlightened with blogs, poses, philosophy and news from Yoga Journal. (Also available on newsstands!)

Doin’ Time to Think
At-risk and incarcerated youth are reflecting on what they’ve done in a whole new way thanks to the Mind Body Awareness Project. Who knew meditation and yoga could be so soothing to criminal minds?

Sit Still
Easier said than done, especially when there are dishes to do, laundry to wash and carpets to vacuum. Sit still by first putting this Spirituality & Health Magazine in your lap and then putting its message into practice.