Television Feed

Coming to a teevee near you (maybe) -- me!

A few months ago, a TV crew visited my sister and I to do a story on weight loss. We basically talked their ears off (as I am wont to do), but the story was ultimately boiled down to a 2-minute healthy living segment for local news.

I knew it would be airing in February but wasn't sure when. Then I got an email that some people had signed up for updates through Mailchimp and figured the segment was starting to air around the country. 

I don't know exactly where or when it'll air on any given station because TV stations throughout the country subscribe to this syndicate (Ivanhoe). 

But you're in luck! Here's a link to the piece from a station in upper Michigan. My sister (and my dog) are in the piece, and my sis is down more than 60 pounds since April.

The producer had asked me for "before" photos, and to be honest, it was kinda hard to find any. As most "fat moms" know, we're the family photographer, always volunteering to take photos and grudgingly appearing in a few, hiding behind the kids. But I found a few. 



I got my bloodwork back for my big one-year bariatric checkup, and once again my blood kicks butt. My total cholesterol is a swanky 146 with an HDL (good stuff) of 55, LDL (bad stuff) of 71 and a ratio of 1.3, which supposedly gives me half the risk of heart disease of the average person. My triglycerides are 100, which is big news for me because they've always been a little high (hello, carbs!). 

And, no, my eating is not particularly stellar. It's kinda boring, still pretty toddler sized, but the occasional fistful of tortilla chips or square of dark chocolate makes it into my day. 

Did I mention I joined WW before Thanksgiving?

I wanted to see what the hubbub was all about with its new focus on wellness, and I'm really enjoying it. There's not that old focus on weird low-point dessert recipes and overprocessed snack foods. It really does get more into activity and mindset, and WW has teamed up with the fitness app Aaptiv and the meditation app Headspace, and offers abbreviated selections on the WW app. I've lost 14 pounds with WW's help and I like the accountability of having someone other than myself weigh me once a week, because this weight is NOT. COMING. BACK.

As for the number on the scale, last Saturday I was at 174, which is nine pounds away from an even hundred.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd ever be able to lose 100 pounds -- even after having gastric bypass. The amount just seemed so overwhelming. I didn't think I needed to lose 100 pounds, and to be honest, I probably could stop here and be fine. 

But, c'mon! Who doesn't want to hit a hundy? 

I'll fill you in next week on how the one-year anniversary checkup goes.

New South Florida fitness show to bring a sweaty start to 2013

Miami fitness tv
Trainer Roberta Rachkovsky has been involved in fitness since she was 5.
Miami Fitness TV photo

Got an email the other day from Calibe Thompson. In addition to being an "electro-reggae" artist, she's also co-executive producer of a morning fitness show that will premiere on South Florida TV station WSFL just in time for your New Year's resolution.

 "Miami Fitness TV" will air Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 5 a.m. on Channel 39 starting Jan. 2. If you're not up at the crack o' dawn, then set your DVR to workout later.

Yep, it's an old-school free, over-the-air morning exercise show. 

The workouts include:

  • CCX-Treme (Cardio Core Xtreme): Plyometrics with core emphasis.
  • Power Cardio: Light weights and body weight resistance training.
  • Vinyasa Flow: A relaxing style of yoga, heavy on stretching and breathing.
  • Yoga X (Xtreme): Yoga poses are held longer for maximum strength and sweat.

After hunting around for fitness shows ("I noticed I couldn't find Gilad or Denise Austin on local cable!" she said), Calibe brought the idea to some partners.

Roberta Rachkovsky will lead the show's workouts.

"(Roberta) cares deeply about fitness and about making sure people take care of their bodies (she calls it your machine) the right way for a long and healthy life," Calibe said. "Her regular gym classes are like a fitness DVD. She's very charismatic and good at verbal instruction, and coming from an entertainment background myself, I knew her energy and personality would translate well on camera."

"We're very excited about the whole thing, and grateful to have the support, especially of women in the South Florida community," she said. 

Here's a sneak peek at what to expect:


Life lessons from Stan of 'South Park'

Comedy Central

While watching a rerun of the sublime and profane cartoon South Park, I came across a provocative speech on self-discipline from Stan, probably the most level-headed of the Colorado kiddies on the Peabody-winning (yep!) Comedy Central series.

The plot: People in town were flocking to a miraculous statue of the Virgin Mary to be cured of their maladies. Randy, Stan's dad, a social drinker, was told he was an alcoholic and sought out the statue to be cured of his disease (a controversial label for many). When the pope decried that the statue was not indeed miraculous (please, don't ask me why), Randy felt that he had to start drinking again because he wasn't being helped by a higher power (yes, it goes there, but stay with me). Here's a snippet of dialogue (with emphasis where most awesome):

Randy: I'm sorry, son! I'm off the wagon! 

Stan: Dad, you don't have to do this! You have the power. You haven't drank since seeing the statue. 

Randy: But the statue wasn't a miracle!

Stan: Yeah. The statue wasn't a miracle, Dad. So that means you did it. That means you didn't have a drink for five days all on your own. 

Randy: You're right, Stan. If God didn't make me stop drinking then... I did. Maybe... Maybe I can force myself to never drink again.

Stan: No! 

Randy: No?? 

Stan: Dad, you like to drink. So have a drink once in a while. Have two. If you devote your whole life to completely avoiding something you like, then that thing still controls your life and you've never learned any discipline at all. 

Randy: But, maybe... I'm just the kind of person who needs to have it all or nothing. 

Stan: Naw. All or nothing is easy. But learning to drink a little bit, responsibly, that's a disclipine. Discipline comes from within.

Aaaand scene.

Stan's right, you know (perhaps not about alcohol, depending on your attitudes, but about discipline). And his analogy fits right in with losing weight. If you banish any and all ice cream or pizza or french fries from your life forever, they'll dance around in your head like sugarplums on Christmas Eve. But if you find ways to fit in small, sensible amounts occasionally or come up with lighter versions of your favorites, the foods won't have any power over you.

You have the power.

Tonight's dinner plans come from Sesame Street

Vegetables I'm so old that when Sesame Street made its premiere in 1969, I was 7 years old and technically too old for the educational value. But my younger brother and sister watched it, and I have one video burned into my memory.

The film clip, which I found on YouTube, is about Jennifer, a city girl who goes to visit Mrs. Wilson, one of her mom's friends. (The point of Sesame Street way back in the day was to expose apartment-dwelling city kids to the world around them). Jennifer and Mrs. Wilson go out back and harvest vegetables from Mrs. Wilson's garden.

What struck me about the video was how darn yummy it made veggies. C'mon, it was the 1970s and most of the vegetables I ate came from a can or were pushed out of a square frozen box and boiled until gray. I didn't eat fresh broccoli until I went away to college.

So when I made my grocery list this weekend and saw that fresh corn on the cob was a quarter apiece, I put it on the Labor Day menu along with turkey sausage. To that I added whole portobello mushroom caps and halved chayote squash. The chayote was a mistake -- I had intended to buy jicama for a recipe but had a brain fart and picked up chayote.

Since the air conditioner is broken (again!) I enlisted my husband to put everything on the grill (he is Grill King) so as not to heat up the house. All the veggies were drizzled with olive oil and dusted with garlic salt and wrapped in foil and cooked indirectly over the coals (Propane? Perish the thought!).

So, as you bask in the afterglow of your Labor Day celebration, take a look at what inspired my love of fresh produce:

What's on TV? Lots of weight loss incentive

Vintage Fitness With the dawn of a new year, comes the dawn of a new crop of diet/weight loss shows.  I have added the following to my TiVo library to record:

  • Diet Tribe: on Lifetime, follows a group of overweight female friends on their weight loss journey
  • Bulging Brides: on Fine Living Network, follows soon-to-be brides on their way to getting in shape for their big day
  • National Body Challenge: on Discovery Health free, comprehensive fitness and weight-loss challenge that provides the tools and inspiration - online, on television and beyond - to get in shape, shed pounds and find the real, healthier you inside
  • Fat-Free Fiances: on the Style Network, follows couples on the road to healthier lifestyles while on their way down the aisle
  • You Are What You Eat: on BBC America, one of my personal favorites - Gillian McKeith shocks pudgy Brits by showing them a weeks worth of the food that they eat on one giant table (usually greasy fried food), and has them switch cold turkey to a high fiber, lean protein and produce heavy diet
  • Ruby: on the Style Network -- who DOESN'T love Ruby, y'all? The show chronicles a once nearly 500 lb woman on her diet and exercise routine.  She has an amazing cast of friends who support her through it all -- microwavin' her hourglass (pre-portioned meals) while they chow-down on funnel cakes ("those are my favorite, y'all) and pizza.  She's a beautiful woman with a beautiful spirit and you can't help but to root for her to win the battle. And here's some breaking news directly from Ruby on her Facebook page:


  • Biggest Loser - Couples which premieres Tuesday, January 6th on NBC. Need I say more.  The gold standard for what all diet shows hope to measure up to.