Happy Anniversary To Me! WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG???!!!

On this day a year ago, there were a lot of thoughts going through my head.

Flashback to about six weeks before –  I was not happy with my physical health.  I was a few months out from back surgery following an accident that left me with a cracked back and 24/7 pain.  Surgery helped, but I was still in pain when sitting, standing, laying down.  I was only sleeping 1-2 hours per night at a time without waking up. I was taking steroids for inflammation that were making me want to eat a horse, as steroids do.

Needles to say I was a bit sad.  Here I was a personal trainer and water fitness instructor and avid runner who could not run, could not train people in person, and was just barely getting back into the water. Before the accident, for the past three years, my life had revolved around health and fitness.  About the only thing I could keep doing was my radio show, Fit Living.

It was pretty depressing.  About three weeks prior, I had finally “given in” to my friend Casey Brown.  See, Casey was the bariatric nurse coordinator at a local hospital.  We met when I came to speak at her support group and formed a bond, which I now realize was a God thing, and became friends.  I came back to speak every now and then and my very first stop on our anti-obesity tour, before my accident, was at her program.  This is me, thinking “wow, I look really good” and not even realizing how much weight I had gained.  I was beyond in denial!  Casey knew.  She had been mentioning Plexus to me off and on.photo 3 (33) photo (76)

She knew I was struggling since my accident with regain.  It was rough.  The lack of running, tons of meds, increased immobility and some pity party going on had taken their toll and before I knew it I had put about 40 pounds back on of the 135 I lost after my gastric bypass. I was also having ridiculous blood sugar crashes as is so common with post RNY patients.  Crashes down into the 40’s.  This can be quite dangerous and even when I was eating on point, the crashes kept coming.  Casey knew Plexus was made to help regulate blood sugar. She had been trying to get me to try this Plexus stuff for almost a year and each time I said NO NO NO! Here are just a few of the things I said:

“Are you crazy?”

“That is some fad diet pill”

“That is a pyramid scheme.  How can you do this as a nurse?”

These were some of my uninformed statements as I sat there getting bigger and unhappier and unhealthier.  In late July I had finally had enough and told her I would try this “Pink Drink”.  My husband Ben thought I was nuts.  Within 3 days I saw myself feeling less tired, feeling less melancholy.  I found myself not wanting to eat the chips and popcorn and carbs and also with less appetite.  This shocked us both considering what the meds had been doing to me for a year.

After the first week Ben said, okay, mix me up one of those drinks and let me try it too.  This was us last summer. Needless to say it was time to do something. I was mortified to realize how I had let myself, a HEALTH AND FITNESS PROFESSIONAL, regain.  I had to realize that I am HUMAN.  So we started taking the Plexus program serious and WOW!



We noticed changes right away and our energy improved and the pounds and inches started to drop.  By the time we headed to Phoenix, AZ for the OAC conference to speak and for me to teach water aerobics, we were both down about 15 pounds.

579640_624583990906808_264440034_nIt was an amazing trip.  It felt so good to be back in my fitness groove.  My class was filled with awesome people and it just reaffirmed my passion for helping others get healthy.  I was in no way thinking of this from a business standpoint at that time.  I just wanted my health back.  1184965_10151663265155983_1939020132_n  Then it hit me….I owed it to myself and to all of the people who followed me via the radio show and our online programs to share this tool.  At the conference where we spoke and I taught Aquafit, I spoke to so many people struggling with weight.  There were those who had had some type of weight loss surgery and were regaining, there were some who had never had any type of surgery and were looking for a solution.  At this point, I realized that I had an obligation to share.  I spoke with Ben and immediately worried about a few things.  My thoughts were:

“Oh the bariatric community will flame me and think I am promoting a diet fad”

“People will scoff at the network marketing aspect”

“What if I lose sponsors?”

“What if my radio show audience thinks I am crazy?”

On September 26, 2013 I signed up with Plexus as an Ambassador.  I was trying to find a way to tell the world about these awesome products without causing a furor in my weight loss circles.  On October 8 I realized that I needed to “come out” about my decision and realized FAST that if anyone wanted to make a stink, un-friend me, call me crazy, etc etc, then GO FOR IT because what if someone out there was struggling and needed this tool and I could be the only way they heard about Plexus?  So I released this blog.


The feedback was INCREDIBLE!  Sure there were a few uninformed people who scoffed at me, but for every one who did, there were 20-30 who contacted me saying PLEASE SHARE!  Yes I had to unfriend and block a few whackadoos from Facebook, and it was SO WORTH IT IN EVERY WAY!

With all of that said, what is different today than a year ago?  Well first off, I have lost 55 pounds and am now 15 pounds lower than the LOWEST I ever got after my gastric bypass.  This is where I started with Plexus to now:

erinbeforeaftermay2014  It is a big change for sure.  In addition to being down the pounds and inches and dress sizes, I also can take the steroid when needed without wanting to eat everything in sight.  My blood sugar crashes that were coming at least 3-4 times per week are all but gone now.  My energy is incredible.  Even with the back surgery, I was able to walk a 5k and 10k in January with my husband and kids in Disney.



Here is Ben, my husband who is down 52 pounds himself.  I am so very proud of him!  He had his best time ever in a half marathon!10583688_10152430650240983_1462598004_n


He is also off of his cholesterol and blood pressure meds. I love you Benjamin and am so blessed that Plexus is not only helping us get healthy together, but also allowing you to be home with me and help others get HEALTHY with this tool.


There are so many other great benefits.  On my team, I have a husband/wife who are both bariatric patients who had regained a significant amount of weight and are each down almost 80 pounds and FEELING AMAZING.  I have three people who have come off diabetes meds. The last time I totaled the pounds and inches gone so far on my team, the pounds were in the 1000’s and inches were as well.


Here is another great aspect of this decision a year ago.  Not only have we showed people a REAL TOOL to help make better choices and get healthier, but we have also helped many start a business.  Plexus is so unlike any home-based business out there.  We do not operate on the typical binary pay scale.  Have you ever tried those home-based businesses where you just spend money and make nothing?  Well the people who founded Plexus had been there and done that and wanted something better.  Oh and for anyone who thinks Plexus is a pyramid scheme, those are illegal.  And in Plexus, you can easily go past the person who showed you the business and got you in and it happens all the time.

This is my friend Shirley.  10585419_10152430647365983_402473719_nShirley is off of her $200 a month inhaler and her husband Eric had his cholesterol drop 60 points in 6 weeks after starting Plexus.  Oh and as far as being a true opportunity to earn a nice income while helping others- After joining my team July 5, Shirley earned a free trip to Orlando with us in October for the Leader’s Retreat.

We will be spending a weekend learning and growing with company leaders as well as going to Disney and the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party all on Plexus.  This company knows how to treat its’ reps.  See, Plexus spends zero on advertising.  World of mouth is how they spread the word.  TRUE network marketing.  No paid athletes, no ads in big sports events.  Just word of mouth from people who use and love the products.  The past year has been the biggest time of personal growth and development for me and I am just scratching the surface.  My circle of friends has changed and God is bringing some amazing people into my life via Plexus and weeding out some unhealthy relationships.  It is AMAZING how people change when you start getting healthier and are living your passion.  I could not be more grateful.

I am now a Ruby Ambassador with Plexus and my husband Ben is a Sr. Gold Ambassador and joining this incredible company was the best decision we have ever made.  10708275_10152430649130983_1892621676_nI love the way we feel, I love that he can be home working with me full time and not commuting to a job where he makes money for someone else, and I love knowing that we are truly helping people change their lives with this tool.  It is beyond humbling.  I am so very grateful for the team of 300 we have with us and for the many others not directly on our team that we have gotten to know and learn from daily.

Now a year later, I look back at those first few weeks when I was so scared to go public with what I was doing and I just laugh and smile.  I think of the PhD who literally told me I was in a pyramid scheme and giggle.  I think of the few people whom I had to block from Facebook and just pray for them to one day find happiness and a tool that they can be as passionate about as I am about Plexus.


This is my friend and business partner Susan who has lost about 40 pounds and lots of inches and has gone down several sizes and who I get to work with daily as we help others get healthy. I love this lady and love seeing what Plexus has done for her and her family.  Watching the stories come in daily of amazing and positive changes people are seeing to their overall health means way more to me than the paycheck I get each week.



Plexus is changing lives.  Chew on this incredible fact for a moment- Inc. Magazine recently named Plexus the 8th fastest growing privately held company in America.

This is a BIG DEAL.  This is a network marketing company.  I am so blessed and grateful to be part of this company.



To Casey Brown RN, CBN- I love you and thank you so much for meeting me for lunch at Panera on this day one year ago. 1555458_10151932469310983_740234748_n WOW I am so in awe of what God has done in my life and Ben’s life through this opportunity.  You are a wonderful person who truly cares and I am loving being on this journey with you!  I am so glad you did not give up on me when I said NO WAY!





To Sara Marble- You as well are an amazing mentor and leader! 1017722_10152087976635983_1705131434_n I am so glad YOU got Casey Brown into this business and so blessed to have two incredible nurses to learn from each day.  You are both changing lives and I love that Ben and myself can now try to follow in your footsteps!  The two of you teach me new things daily about just how incredible Plexus is and what it can do for people! I cannot wait to be with both of you in Orlando in a few weeks!




To my AMAZING TEAM- I am so stinking proud of all of you and thankful for each of you.  You guys continue to amaze me daily and I see incredible things in the future for all of us. thank_you_greeting_card_hot_pink Each time one of you messages me about you or one of your customers coming off of a script, losing another 5 pounds, losing another 3 inches, being able to walk past the cookies, being free of migraines, being free of fibromyalgia and other painful issues, I literally want to cry.  YOU GUYS ARE LIKE FAMILY!



I truly feel like Plexus is a gift from God and one I am not going to take for granted.committoGod  I cannot say enough about the company and the integrity of the leaders we have.  If you are really struggling with carbs and sugar and pain and stress, send me a message.  Think of where YOU could be a year from now!  YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!  All it takes is commitment and healthy tools.

If you want more information on what Plexus can do for you, by all means come visit my site at Erin Akey.com  Or email me- erineakey@gmail.com  What do you have to lose besides another year? Please be sure to visit our Facebook page Erin and Ben’s Plexus Slim!








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The elephant in the…sanctuary. Why does the church avoid this?

Those who know me know that I am passionate about a few things. First off is that I am passionate about God and my faith. I am passionate about my family. Those come first. After God and family, there is my passion for health and fitness and for fighting the disease of obesity that likely would have killed me had I not made a decision to take control of my health back in the fall of 2008. Trust me I was the poster child of unhealthy living. Fast food, huge portions, processed boxed meals, and pretty much everything I did not need to be eating.  The change was not overnight and not easy.  It is still a daily struggle for me, but my health is my priority and more important than the momentary pleasure offered by the taste of an Oreo or Doritos.

I have been thinking a lot over the past year about my faith and about strengthening my relationship with God. I had regained 44 pounds back in 2012 after an accident where I ended up having to have spinal fusion for some cracked vertebrae.  Steroids, lack of being able to run any longer, pity party over my anti-obesity tour coming to a halt for medical reasons, lack of physical activity prior to surgery, and poor habits creeping back in, all contributed to this gain.  I had to wake up and smell the nachos and realize that I was responsible for my health.  Thanks to a good friend I discovered the tool of Plexus to help me make better choices and now Ben and I are both down over 50 pounds since last October.  

I did a lot of soul searching and realized there truly is an elephant in the sanctuary.  Obesity.  In a report that came out last week by The  Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation the statistics are quite alarming.  We now have two states with obesity rates over 35%.  Mississippi and West Virginia have the highest obesity rates with 35.1% of adults in those states being obese, or having a body mass index of 30 or higher.  My state of Alabama is ranked 8th and my birth state of Louisiana is ranked 6th.  Here is a glimpse at the top ten.

1. Mississippi

1. West Virginia

3. Arkansas

4. Tennessee

5. Kentucky

6. Louisiana

7. Oklahoma

8. Alabama

9. Indiana

10. South Carolina

Let me be the first to say that obesity has so many different causes.  There are factors that range from genetics to environment to lifestyle choices. While we cannot control our genetics and sometimes cannot control out environment, we can control out personal choices.  There are also a host of medical conditions that are made worse or caused by obesity.  Hypertension, type 2 diabetes, arthritis and many joint issues, back pain, and so much more are all related to our obesity.  

Knowing all of this, I made a conscious choice to truly treat my body as a temple about a year and a half ago.  My martini bar became a coffee bar. Oh, and before anyone tries to lecture me about caffeine and coffee consumption, let me just say that for every study you can show my that says coffee is bad I can show you two more that show the health benefits, so let us put that aside.  I love coffee.  And it has almost no calories and helps keep things flowing and tastes amazing to me.  (Especially with sugar free flavorings)  I realized that for my to lecture someone about the calories in a cake yet drink a 300-500 calorie martini was a bit hypocritical.  I choose to get my calories from nutritious foods and not drink them. Another great reason to have my own coffee bar at home where I can add some skim milk and have a healthy drink for pennies as opposed to the $4-$5 creations that are often filled with fat and sugar at coffee houses.  Most people have no idea the calories they are drinking in some form.  Sodas, lattes, and sweet tea- a staple here in the south- are the biggest culprits.  

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 tells us:

“do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body[a] and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

We often hear this verse when the preacher is speaking about drinking or drug use or sexual immorality but how often do we hear them speak of the sin of gluttony?  

Proverbs 23:21

For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.



It sounds to me like God is telling us there is no difference in being drunk with alcohol and drunk with food.  I am a recovering food addict.  I know this and only by the grace of God and daily work do I  overcome this addiction.  For many food is their drug of choice when they are sad, lonely, or feel alone.  This is no different than the user of other “drugs” like alcohol, pills, sex, pornography, or gambling, to name a few.  

We have become such a sedentary society.  God designed our bodies in such a way as to be made to MOVE.  Our ancestors did a lot of manual labor and worked hard and burned off what they ate and often did not have enough to keep full.  Now we have become a society of more is better and quantity over quality and faster faster.  Most families rarely even sit down to a meal together during the week because of our busy lives.  I hear people say they have no time to cook, but in all truth you can throw together a healthy meal just as fast as you can drive to a fast food joint and get dinner.  And if you have time for TV and Facebook, you have time to cook a healthy meal for your family.  Is it easy?  No, of course not, but it has to be a priority.  We have to decide that the health of our family is just as important as catching the next episode of whatever TV show you like to watch.  

Unhealthy food is cheaper yes.  And yes we can buy more empty processed junk for $25 than we can healthy food.  However we CAN buy a good healthy meal that is enough to feed our family on a budget.  This is part of what Ben and I show people how to do every day in our programs.

So why do we avoid the topic of obesity in church?  Now I happen to attend a church where my pastor runs marathons and we have a running club for kids and tons of sports and physical activities we can participate in if we so choose.  We have an amazing gym and fitness center that if free to use.  This is a good and proactive thing.  This is not the case in many churches though for various reasons and also how many people actually use these facilities in churches that DO have them?

We owe it to God to treat our body as a temple and not a garbage dump.  There is no difference in putting unhealthy, empty carbs and food with no real nutritional value in or bodies on a regular basis than there is filling our bodies with drugs.  Both have very damaging long term effects.  The problem seems to be more prevalent here in the south where we center all gatherings around FOOD.  When we are happy we celebrate with food.  When we mourn or are sick, FOOD- how many times have you been asked to bring a dish to someone’s house after a loved one passed away?  

So much of our social life surrounds food.  Now I love parties and potlucks and gathering with friends over a good meal.  This is a wonderful tradition.  We southerners especially have a sense of hospitality and togetherness and that is something to be proud of for sure.  But it is time to start looking at what we are eating and how what we eat plays into our health. Almost all of the top 20 states with the highest obesity rates are here in the south.  Our culture plays into this in a big way.  Okay maybe I am biased but come on now, where is the BEST food in America found?  IN THE SOUTH!!  (I grew up in New Orleans- I know good food). People come from all over the country to try the delicacies and wonderful traditional foods of the south.  WE ARE FAMOUS FOR SWEET TEA??  This is about as unhealthy as you can get as far as a drink goes.  A 24oz glass of Red Diamond  Sweet tea is 210 calories, 51 grams of sugar. Pretty crazy.  And we all know we use way more sugar when we make it at home right?  

It is time to start a wave of change in our community of believers.  

I would love to see a potluck or gathering where everyone brings their favorite healthy dish.  We do this at our home when we have a Plexus meeting and I can assure you nobody leaves hungry or feeling like the food was not good.  It is possible to eat well and still enjoy food.  



Ben and I have created a program that involves total balance of physical, mental and emotional fitness called Cook, Eat, Live, Smart. We love showing groups and families and churches how to change their habits and improve their health.  I would love to see this topic be discussed in church just as much as financial fitness, and over indulgence in other things that are not so good for us.  I challenge any pastor or church goer who reads this to start looking at being a whole balanced person for God as a balance between not just emotional and spiritual, but also physical fitness.

Understand this does not mean everyone in your church needs to run marathons and wear a size 8.  This is about healthy and active, not skinny. All it takes to start is 15 minutes 3 times a week of some type of physical activity to get your heart rate up.  We need to create a movement of healthy living among our church peers.  IT can be done and it can grow and spread and we can make a difference one person and one meal and one good choice at a time.  

We owe it to God, our children and grandchildren and friends and family who want us healthy and able to live life to the fullest and serve God with the body He gave us.  If you need help getting started, email me- cookeatlivesmart@gmail.com and I am HAPPY to help.  Ben and I are happy to come to ANY church in America that wants to learn how do live a balanced healthy life and bring our program to your congregation and show you how to get started.  When you start living healthy and changing habits one at a time it becomes a lifestyle.    This is our ministry of health and we are passionate about spreading the blessings of healthy living.  I would love to hear from you and get your thoughts on this topic as well.  

In Health!



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Thank you OAC!

My video shout-out to the OAC!




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DO NOT miss this event!

Ben and I have been members of the OAC- Obesity Action Coalition– for a few years.  This is a wonderful non-profit geared towards awareness of obesity-related issues and weight bias and stigmas and education about the disease of obesity. Members do a lot of lobbying in Washington DC which is no easy task!

I have had many OAC board members on my radio show to talk about the good work they do and we are proud to be members of such a wonderful group.  Last summer, Ben and I had the pleasure of getting to speak at a lunch session and me to teach Aquafit at their annual convention in Phoenix called the Your Weight Matters national convention.  All I can think of to best describe the experience is WOW!  I have been to my share of obesity weekend conferences but I had never experienced something like this.

These are some fun photos from my Aquafit class.  I cannot tell you how much fun this was.  The plan was to teach one class on a Friday, but everyone had so much fun they asked me to do a second class Saturday and I was SO HAPPY to do this.  It made my heart feel so good to see people doing things in the water that they could not do on land because of knee and joint issues.





579640_624583990906808_264440034_n 1184965_10151663265155983_1939020132_n


But see this is the thing about the OAC that we LOVE.  They think of everyone and have classes and things to do for everyone!  It did not matter what your level of fitness was, there was SOMETHING you could enjoy if you wanted to do so.  There were so many choices!

The most impressive things about this convention were the educational components.  Literally there were dozens of different educational topics spread out over the course of the event so that attendees could go over a list ahead of time and sign up for the sessions they wanted to go to and some, like the lunch round tables we spoke for, were small and intimate and so each person really got to interact with the presenter.

Meals- for me, being in school to be an RD and being a fitness nutrition coach and radio host who’s show is all about healthy living and eating, the food choices at these conferences are always important to me.  The OAC does this RIGHT!  For every meal, you had the nutrition info listed in your guide for the weekend and so making smart choices was so easy!  Meals were always healthy and offered lots of options.  it drives me nuts to be at a medical conference and see a huge desert table of unhealthy options.  NOT HERE!

The OAC took every detail into account and it was even the tiny things.  Their goal was for all to feel happy and welcome and GOOD!  Something most would never think of, but that I noticed immediately was the rubber bracelets they gave attendees.  they said MY WEIGHT MATTERS.  In fact mine is still hanging over my desk in my office.  Well these came in two sizes.  That was thoughtful and smart thinking.  Something I had never seen before either.  Heck, I didn’t even KNOW those rubber bracelets CAME in different sizes!

This year the event will be in Orlando, one of my favorite places.  This was me last year when I learned about the location.  Can you tell I was just a TAD excited? 1185838_10151665448265983_1242852887_n


If you want a place to go and spend 3 days learning, sharing, growing, and just having fun in a friendly environment where you can just be you and feel accepted and not judged because of weight or any other issues, DO NOT MISS THIS EVENT!  Check out this YouTube video!

After you watch the video, GO REGISTER!  I promise you will not regret it at ALL!  Once you attend one, you will want to go back every year!

Here is the link to register!


Have a blessed weekend!




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The Truth About “The Biggest Loser”- My interview with Season 3 runner-up Kai Hibbard

It is no secret that I absolutely LOATHE the dangerous game show called “The Biggest Loser”.  It is supposed to be a REALITY show but is actually a very dangerous game show that is teaching horrible habits and unhealthy behaviors all in the name of money.  Competitors are trying to be the last one standing (kind of funny since so many end up passing out throughout the course of their time on the show) and win the BIG MONEY for losing the most weight, or percentage of their weight. This is all done is a VERY short amount of time and using very unhealthy and unrealistic methods to get the job done.  I have had so many former contestants speak to me “off the record” about the terrible things that go on behind the scenes that you never see.  Most are too afraid to come on the show and be interviewed because of the contracts they have to sign swearing they will never talk about the behind the scenes aspect of the show that viewers do not see. The contracts are perpetual ad never expire. RED FLAG NUMBER ONE- If nothing dangerous is going on, then why do they need such a contract? However many former contestants who have tried to speak out are hit with scary letters from the big lawyers who represent the production team of the show and they back down.  Even if you take away the dangerous practices they are teaching contestants, there is simply no reality to the idea of coming home to the “real world” and being able to keep up the lifestyle they are teaching of 2-3 hour per day workouts, personal chefs, etc. This is why if you look up former contestants years later, MANY have regained most, if not ALL of the weight they lost. It is just like with any diet.  You have heard me preach time and time again that diets DO NOT WORK long term and they do not.  We need good healthy tools and lifestyle changes to get to and stay at a healthy weight.  This game show is NOT one of them. There are countless stories of young people watching this show and starving themselves and doing INSANE things to try and achieve the results they are seeing on TV.  For the most part, the only former contestants I see with super positive things to say about the experience are ones with a financial interest in doing so.  Ones who have tried to turn that appearance into a career.   Again- MOST not all.  I realize that some will say it was best thing they ever did regardless of motive and that is all well and good.  It does not, however change the fact that most of the stories are NOT GOOD.  And the longer you survive on the game show, the worse things seem to be. kaihibbard I was so excited to see that one contestant, the second place finisher from Season 3- Kai Hibbard was willing to come on my show totally on the record and tell her story.  I will leave things there and let you listen for yourself.  KUDOS to Kai for not being afraid of the big bad network and producers and living her truth!  Here is the link to her interivew which is in 4 parts and all four can be listened to on the Podomatic podcast channel AT THIS LINK XXOO Erin erinsignature

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You are not a dog………

Obesity is a tricky little beastie.  (Yes we just saw the movie Maleficent) We all know the obvious.  There is not one single cause of it or one single treatment option that is right for all.  We also know enough to know that for many, there is an addiction factor.  For anyone who does not believe we can be addicted to food, (carbs), then please Google and read the published medical studies showing how sugar is more addictive than heroin.   It is out there.  And I say carb addiction over food addiction many times because lets face it, can you think of a food you binge on or eat too much of that hinders you getting to or staying at a healthy weight that is not a form of empty or processed carb? Not really.  I have never heard anyone say they binged on lettuce or strawberries and gained 100 pounds over the years.  I remember my friend and colleague Yvonne McCarthy saying on my radio show and in many talks- “We don’t binge on broccoli.” She is correct!

If you have never read the book Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss, GET IT NOW.  Trust me, there is a reason most of the foods we love to eat that taste so good and make us gain weight have that combination of  salt, sugar, and fat.  Sugar is addictive enough on it’s own, but when you make the triple whammy effect by adding the salt and fat, you have a perfect storm of taste, flavor, and triggering of pleasure sensors in the brain all raging at once.  There is a reason I was addicted to Doritos and could eat a whole bag, or would plan to eat 3 Oreos and would eat a whole sleeve.  Take a minute and think of every food you tend to eat too much of at a sitting or that you eat often that you know is not really giving your body good nutrition- (basically junk).  Does it have fat?  Sugar?  Salt?  Yep, thought so.

The point is we do not need these things in our bodies.  Yet I keep hearing many people say that after they have lost 25 pounds they reward themselves by having donuts or cake or nachos or whatever food it was they stayed away from while trying to get healthy and lose weight. NOOOOOO!  This is why we use Plexus!  To stop the craving for those icky things we do not need.  So why then after getting healthier would we celebrate by eating those things we tend to have no control over?  If we had control over them we would not need things like Plexus, bariatric surgery, therapy, etc.

Many others will tell me of taking their kids for ice cream or donuts or to a fast food place as a treat or reward for a good report card or winning the soccer game etc.  Wait what?


Let’s start with our kids.  We need to try and get them out of the frame of mind of food being a reward.  Food is fuel.  Repeat after me- FOOD IS FUEL.  We have turned food into such a sport in this country and such a hobby and obsession, that it is the first thing we think of as a treat or reward for good behavior, good grades, or anything else GOOD.  Try taking your child to the dollar store and let them pick a trinket or toy, or find other ways to reward them so that food is not so closely associated with accomplishment or pleasure or rewards.

Now for those of us adults who struggle with weight and obesity, we tend to use a similar reward system.  Who has not done this?

“I have dropped 25 pounds so I deserve that piece of cake and ice cream!”

“I went to the gym four times this week and so I am going to treat myself with a big batch of nachos and cheese and a margarita!”

“I am so excited to be able to wear those size ten jeans!  Let’s celebrate with a trip to Krispy Kreme!”

This may seem totally normal to some, but for those who are really struggling with weight and food (carb) addiction, this is the same logic as an alcoholic saying that since they have stayed sober for 6 months they deserve a beer, or a drug addict saying that since they have been clean for three months it is time to celebrate with some pills. It just doesn’t make sense to reward healthy behavior with unhealthy behavior?

FIND NEW WAYS to reward and celebrate progress!  Your body and mind will thank you for it later!




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Want to know the secret of how to lose weight permanently?

Before we talk about how to lose weight permanently, let’s get one thing straight.  DIETS DO NOT WORK.  Period.  I do not care what diet you try, you may in fact lose 10-20-40-50-even 100 pounds.  The problem?  Once you come off that DIET and just go back to living life, the weight creeps back up and sometimes you gain back more than you lost.  SO, forget diets.


So, now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about the SECRET to losing weight permanently.  I have it for you!  You have been waiting your whole life for this, trust me!  The one MAGIC KEY to not just losing weight, but to keeping it off FOREVER is here ready for you to grab it and head out on this AMAZING journey towards optimal health and fitness.

I know I know, you have tried it all and nothing seems to work.  Trust me I have been there and done that myself, this is why I am so excited to have discovered this INCREDIBLE secret!  I am going to share it and not keep it to myself.  This is THE THING!  It makes me so excited to FINALLY know THE SECRET that I am almost giddy!

Okay- so are you ready?  Here it is……


You SURE you are ready?…….


Wait….here it is one more time…..


YEP, that is the secret!  To have long-term success in keeping the weight off and being at a healthy weight, you have to make permanent lifestyle changes.  We have to start living healthy.  That is the simple key.  We have to trade in our old unhealthy habits, that contributed to our weight issues, in for new healthier habits that will allow us to lose or maintain a healthy weight for life.

The problem with this simple secret is that it is easier said than done. If we could all just put the fork down and stop at exactly enough for our bodies and get just the right amount of exercise and do all of this on our own, there would be no obesity epidemic in this country like the one we have currently. So then, what is the solution?


This is really where the key lies.  And the best part is that there are so many wonderful healthy tools.  Now- they may not all be right for you, so you have to check into them, do your research and use what you believe in and what you feel can best help you.  As a professional in the fitness and nutrition industry, there are a few tools I firmly believe in.

I recently had someone ask me if I just say I love the things that are part of my Winning Against Obesity Challenge tour and Fit Living radio show because they are my sponsors.  In reality- you could go to EVERY sponsor I have and they can tell you I approached THEM because I was a customer first and loved their product.  The exception to that is LapBand– I do not have a LapBand, I had gastric bypass.  I am a person who went in for a LapBand and was talked into a RNY gastric bypass by a surgeon who is no longer practicing.  I am a staunch proponent of finding a surgeon who does all of the various procedures and will do the one you feel is best for you, not the one they feel is easiest for them or will make them the quickest buck.  Again this is where research comes in really handy.  In the long term studies- at 10 years out they all have virtually the same rate of success and this is related to patient compliance. If you want to know why I am a FIRM believer in the LapBand as a great tool, check out this interview I did with Dr. Scott Robbins who is a wonderful surgeon who does all of the procedures.  BUT I DIGRESS…..

These are some of the tools I have used along my journey to get healthy and stay that way.  If I talk about it here, I use it in my home.


I FIRMLY believe in bariatric surgery as a viable tool in the treatment of obesity.   I do not think it is the right choice for all though.  A person has to be ready and willing to make permanent changes to their lifestyle and how and what they eat in order for this tool to work long term.  LIFESTYLE change is the key.  There is a reason so many people tend to regain a lot of weight they shed with weight loss surgery.  As time goes on and complacency sets in and life happens, old habits can start to creep back in.  OR for some, the bad habits may never have left.  If this person is a bypass or sleeve patient who did not make lifestyle changes during that initial “honeymoon” phase where it is almost impossible NOT to lose weight, once the honeymoon is over, here comes the weight back.  If this person was a LapBand patient who did not start making the lifestyle changes from day one- they did not have the luxury of that honeymoon and likely did not lose the amount they wanted to lose and will often say the band didn’t work, when really they didn’t work the band.  I love how Dr. Robbins pointed out the difference in which bypass and sleeve and a LapBand patient address this.  The bypass or sleeve patient is very quick to say they “messed up” and had regain and know it is their fault, while a LapBand patient will often blame the band and not themselves for not being compliant.  BOTTOM LINE- if you are not ready to make permanent changes- these procedures are not for you.  They require a huge commitment and also a lot of education into the possible long-term side effects of the more invasive procedures like bypass. I do not regret my bypass one single bit and have learned to live with things like sugar intolerance, reactive hypoglycemia, and not being allowed to have NSAIDS because they are a practical guarantee of an ulcer, just to name a few.  However these procedures save lives and change lives and are WONDERFUL when both surgeon and patient have a strong commitment to the long term lifestyle.


IF we get really super honest with ourselves, I think most of us realize our weight issues almost always come with emotional issues.  Sugar and carb addiction for some, past hurts in life that caused us to binge eat, stress eating, body image issues, bad relationships, etc.  The list could go on for miles.  The point is, if we do not fix the things in our heads, then our weight issues will usually come back to haunt us.  I am so glad that I realized through my sweet friends who are now together and called A Post-Op and a Doc, that I needed therapy for my carb addiction and emotional eating.  I am so glad I did that for my health.  I am a staunch proponent of therapy as a tool to treat obesity.


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So here is the deal- our bodies were made to move, not to be sedentary.  SO MOVE!  You can pick anything you enjoy for physical activity and just do it!  Plus working out makes you feel energized and happy and this is always helpful when we are trying to make healthy choices as far as food goes. We do a whole session in the Winning Against Obesity Challenge called MADE TO MOVE!  This is a critical piece in long term health.  This does not mean intense workouts five time a week- or expensive equipment. It means finding an activity you enjoy even it is just dancing around your living room to your favorite music and doing it at least 3 times a week for 20-30 minutes and working up from there.  And YES you have time, if you think you do not, email me and I will show you where you do have time.


I have a few nutritional products that I LOVE LOVE LOVE.  These things are consumed in my home DAILY.

First off- Plexus Slim – This is a wonderful tool that MANY medical professionals are using with their patients who are struggling with weight loss and for bariatric patients- weight regain and reactive hypoglycemia in RNY gastric bypass patients.   What is it?  Well first let’s talk about what it is NOT.  It is NOT a diet pill, diet drink, or magic potion.  It is a natural caffeine and stimulant free blend of plant extracts and fiber that aids in helping to regulate blood sugar (the main reason I tried it after being told about it my my bariatric coordinator friend for a year) and also helps cut appetite and cravings for sugar and carbs.  No it does not magically make you lose weight, but it helps you SAY NO to sugar, chips, popcorn, etc. and make the GOOD choices you need to make to be healthy and to lose weight.  It also gives you great energy and so you often find yourself exercising more. It is a drink packet that you mix into a bottle of water.  I regained 35 pounds when I broke my back in May of 2012 and was devastated.  I was on steroids and wanted to eat everything in sight and was also unable to exercise because of the injury.  Once I started drinking the Plexus, I was able to shed that plus another 13 and am now 11 pounds lower than the lowest I ever got after my gastric bypass.  In the picture below, the one on left was right after I had gained all of my weight- this was taken in June (I actually gained 8 more pounds before starting Plexus and avoided the camera) – Then I started Plexus in September and the photo on right was taken after my loss of 44 pounds.  Yes it works, and only because I choose to work it.

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Plexus SLim drink is a great tool for someone who is struggling with sugar and carbs and appetite and who truly wants to make good choices.  If you want a quick fix or magic potion, this is not for you.  There is no magic pill period.  Just healthy tools like these.

Two more nutritional tools I LOVE are Chike Nutrition and Quest Nutrition.  I am not a fan of most protein shakes, but Chike is amazing and their numbers are awesome.  Super healthy and super yummy for those mornings where I am in a rush and need a good fast option for breakfast.  Less than 200 calories regardless of flavor and always at least 28 grams of protein and only 2-3 grams of sugar.  LOVE LOVE my Chike.  In fact, my granddaughter’s first word was “chikeee”  She loves it too.  She could even recognize the canister at 15 months old.

Same goes for Quest Bars.  I have never found a protein bar I like this much.  The flavors are amazing and I really like baking with them and making my own little creations. All are 160-200 calories and always at least 20 grams of protein and 17 grams of fiber in a bar and YUM YUM YUM!

There are so many more things we can list as good tools to help us fight our weight issues.  The bottom line is it is a very personal thing.  What worked for me may not work for you and vice versa.  The key is to find what works for you and embrace it and use it as best as you can.  If a friend or loved-one chooses a tool that you do not particularly know a lot about or that maybe was not the right choice for you, have respect for their journey and choices and be supportive! You never know when you too may need that same support one day!



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