Saturday, November 16, 2013
Melissa Bender Fitness: 17 Lbs and Counting: One Woman's Journey in Weight...
Melissa Bender Fitness: 17 Lbs and Counting: One Woman's Journey in Weight...: Hi Everyone! Today I am happy to share with you an inspiring weight loss success story. This summer my friend Rose started her jou...
When I moved to California I felt myself feeling more connected to the universe and felt more of an overall sense of well being. I am one with nature and all creatures of the planet. I decided I wanted to help with charities as much as possible to give back and share my love of life. In 2012 I planned Downward Dog For Cats, a Yoga event in Griffith Park in Los Angeles to raise funds for a local animal shelter. At the same time my weight had become a lingering issue, and I was losing and gaining the same ten pounds for one year. I realized when I do something for charity I always follow through, but I did not have the same success with my weight loss. I am a former dancer and it had been my wish to return to my former shape and embrace turning 47 on the most positive note. I am also a poet writer, so in July 2013 I came up with the idea if I were to combine my love of making a difference with my weight loss and fitness goals I would not have any excuses, and I could write about my journey and the charities in a blog. When I decided to take on this venture my co-worker Mike who is now a good friend offered to be my personal trainer and help me with the charities. The first week of my blog I was cast in a Richard Simmons video, all of these things came together at the exact time and I was so inspired and ready to take on my new challenge. Of course my best friend Melissa Bender has always been such an inspiration. Her journey is awe inspiring and she always looks to help people be a better version of who they are. I could not have started this without the help of my friends.
Today I am happy to share with you an inspiring weight loss success story. This summer my friend Rose started her journey to lose weight and make a difference in the world. For every ten pounds she loses she is making charitable donations to different causes, and blogging about her journey/experiences along the way.
You can find her blog here: My Change for a Ten and her facebook page here: My Change For a Ten Facebook.
Rose's first charity included a donation of time and food to the homeless people of Skid Row and the Monday Night Mission.
Since starting her blog Rose has successfully lost and kept off 17 pounds, and she is going strong and getting healthier along the way.
Check out my interview with Rose below,
Congratulations on losing your first 10 lbs! What made you decide to celebrate your success by donating to charity?
What have you been doing to achieve your fitness/health goals?
In the beginning I walked daily, and went to Richard Simmons classes following the video. He is very inspiring. I have been working out with my trainer Mike once a week since July, and I attend Yogaworks in West Hollywood three to five times a week. I attend yoga at Pink Iron with Nicole once a week. I am now running with Mike, and on my own. I am a beginner runner but I am determined to take on this new challenge and he thinks I can do a 5k soon. When at home I do Melissa Bender videos and her yoga videos. I plan to return to ballet classes eventually. I eat extremely healthy, and I watch my sodium, fat , cholesterol and portion sizes. In three months I have not allowed myself a cheat day, but come Thanksgiving I will cheat with a little abandon.
What is your first charity?
My first charity is The Monday Night Mission. They are a group who feeds the homeless at Skid Row in Los Angeles Monday through Friday evenings. I donated food and also donated dinner courtesy of my employers at Seasons 52 in Century City California. When I told Seasons 52 what I was doing they offered to donate food on my behalf. Chef Jessica prepared an amazing pasta and chicken dish with baguettes. I am so grateful to Chef Jessica and the whole management team for their support. I also donated my time and service to the cause. Helping the homeless has always been a goal for me. I wrote a poem about the subject when I lived in NYC. https://www.facebook.com/mondaynightmission
What made you choose them?
I have been following their Facebook Page and I have wanted to help them for some time. The work they do is truly selfless and beautiful. No soul forgotten.
What was your favorite part of the experience?
The way everyone comes together for the better of mankind. No egos, no judgement. We are all the same, connected to the core that is our humanity. The people who serve and donate are selfless angels.
Most difficult part?
The reality of the injustices that occur right under our noses. Skid Row is tragic, and Mel from The Monday Night Mission took us on a tour of Skid Row after our service and it was terribly disturbing and sad. Afterwards I was emotionally numb until the middle of the night. At that point the emotions and tears flowed and I was able to write about my experience. I plan to assist them again in the near future.
Who helped you on your first mission?
Mike was on board since the beginning, so it was Mike, his girlfriend Maria, my friend Courtney, her boyfriend Danny and of course myself. Chef Jessica and Seasons 52 helped with the amazing donated dinner.
What is your next charity?
I am currently searching for a 20 pound charity. My original twenty pound charity is now my thirty pound charity since it is going to take more planning. Since the holidays are approaching I was thinking about spending some time at a Nursing Home during December as my 20 pound goal. I am researching at the moment.
How close are you to your next weight loss goal?
I am 3 pounds away from my 20 pound weight loss goal and charity but I do not do the charity until I am five pounds past the weight milestone. That way I know the weight is off for good even if my weight fluctuates.
Has your fitness program changed at all along the way?
It has evolved. Mike changes up our workouts always, and I have excelled at some of the exercise moves that were so difficult in the beginning. My yoga practice is evolving as well, I am so much stronger and I can now do wheel pose on my head and I did my first shoulder stand. I am now running, something I thought I would never attempt.
What inspires you to keep going on days you don't feel like it?
I am truly enjoying the process as well as the results and I love to exercise and do yoga. Knowing I am able to help with charities and in the meantime become healthier and stronger keeps me moving forward. I have people telling my that my journey is inspiring them. I believe we all are here to motivate and inspire each other. My saying is to remove the letter e from the word ego and just go for it.
Favorite healthy food:
I am obsessed with Think Thin Bars, Brownie Crunch. They are sugar free, gluten free and at six am in the morning I enjoy one with my cup of coffee. I am also great at making healthy vegetarian soups and chili. Just tonight I made a Lentil and Black bean Chili with sweet potatoes and assorted vegetables. My husband James loves my soups and has become healthier as well and is also starting his own fitness journey. He has lost 16 pounds since I began my mission. I am rubbing off on him and he is extremely grateful. He now speed walks over an hour a day and has an extra pep in his step.
Favorite Workout Move:
Balance poses, I have amazing balance.
Favorite moment on your journey:
I have a few and it is all about the people that have touched me along the way. The Richard Simmons video was amazing. Getting to know Mr Simmons has been a blessing and he is so inspiring. At the video I made three new friends. Francie who I have become very close with, and Susan and Joanne who I will see in November when they visit Los Angeles. Getting to know Mike, who went from being a co-worker who I did not know at all, to becoming my inspiring trainer and good friend. The Monday Night Mission and all the people who give so much of themselves. I am humbled by the beauty of humanity. I have become so liberated, and I am conquering my fears along the way.
I was 197 pounds when I began and I am now 180 pounds. I hope to reach 130-140. That gives me a lot of time to help more charities and I am up for the challenge. I also plan to improve on my running, and do a few 5k's in the future. I want to eventually take ballet classes and ballroom/latin classes again. To improve and evolve in my yoga practice, and eventually to get certified so I can help others as I have been helped.
Love and Light