Tuesday, December 31, 2013


I am a poet and a writer, and I love to blog. I had started two previous blogs before but I seemed to lack a direction or theme. At the same time I was unhappy with my weight, and I questioned why I lacked commitment with losing weight. I lost and gained the same ten pounds over and over. When I do something for charity I follow through. I needed to give myself the same care and respect that I gave to others, I needed to learn to follow through and make a promise to myself. 

In beginning of the summer 2013 it was time to begin anew. The year had a rocky start and I was ready to pick up the pieces. I had an idea and it was like I was hit by a virtual lightning bolt, what if  I sponsored a charity with every ten pounds I lost. I could blog about my experiences of weight loss and fitness and also blog about the charities. I could make a difference in my life as well as the life of others. It would be about making a difference in the world with the added bonus of losing weight and finally getting healthy. I loved my idea and was excited to share it with others and get started. I decided to name my blog MY CHANGE FOR A TEN. I set up a Facebook page so I could link my blog, 

The minute I started to tell people they were incredibly supportive and motivating. My best friend Melissa Bender from Melissa Bender Fitness has been my number one cheerleader and inspiration all along. She loved the idea. 

The first week of my blog I was in a Richard Simmons video. I started to attend his classes and now I am a member at Slimmons Studio in Beverly Hills. Richard Simmons is a fireball of inspiration and fun and I am honored to know him. I have made many dear friends from my experiences of the video and Slimmons classes. 

I used to do his dvd's and tapes, and I was in his video.

New bestie Francie, day of video shoot

I started to tell people at work, and I met a new yet unlikely friend named Mike. He knows how grateful I am to him for the training, support and friendship.
Mike and I worked together at Seasons 52, but I did not know him personally.  He was a bartender and worked nights, and I worked days. One afternoon he was working a lunch and I happen to mention my new idea.  He offered to train me and help if he could with my charities. It seemed that everything was coming together at the exact time and place. There was no way I could fail, I was extremely motivated and inspired and thankful for the support coming my way.

I started to take Yoga classes with Nicole at Pink Iron, and I join Yogaworks West Hollywood. I worked out with my new inspiring friend and trainer Mike once a week, went to yoga 3-5 times a week. I speed walked, and I even began running and now I am training for a 5k. I cleaned up my diet and my attitude and I was able to lose that 10 lbs plus 20 lbs more since July. I have fed the Homeless at Skid Row, and I planned a toy drive for Alexandria House, a transitional home for women and children. I did all this with the support and help of amazing friends, mentors, and the management and staff at Seasons 52. I could not have done any of these things alone, and I am full of gratitude and love for all those who have helped and inspired me. I have made so many new beloved friends.  My husband James has been my biggest fan all along, and I thank him for believing in me always. I am a better version of 
myself now. James and I stole another get away in Palms Springs. We definitely decided life is too short not to live. As the New Year approaches, I am so grateful for all of the people in my 

Yogi and teacher Nicole

Mike looks on making sandwiches

With Mike, Maria, Courtney, Danny and The selfless souls of The Monday Night Mission

My friend Meagan, Judy and Carlita
With the young residents of Alexandria House. Thank you to Judy Vaughan for all that you do.

This Birthday on December 21st was an amazing day. I decided to always chase my dreams and take the time to make a difference by giving back to others. I have decided no number will ever define me. Not my age, weight, or size. I attended Richard Simmons holiday bash class in the morning. Later that evening we had dinner at the Hollywood landmark Musso and Frank's and we took a ton of photos. My husband lost 16 lbs and I am down 30, so we were excited to finally take some new photos together and feel good in the process.  Musso and Frank's was on our LA bucket list. We were not only celebrating my Birthday and the holidays, but life and all of its endless possibilities.

Richard, me and my wonderful friend Dawn

My girls Susan and Joanne

Best Birthday experience ever

Jamesy and me

In July when I began this project I promised if I would follow through with everything I say I plan to do. I have kept that commitment and more. 2013 started off with a sad start, but I did not wallow in my woes. It may have taken me six months to pick up the pieces and follow through with my goals, but better late than never. I have only just begun, I am not even half way done. Bring on the beauty and possibilities 2014. My dreams precede my steps, but I need both to get me to where I am going and I am not looking back. 

Love and Light
Happy Happy 2014


As the end of the year dawns I find myself lamenting on all of the moments, good and bad. At the start of 2013 I was not in a happy place. I started working for the first time at Seasons 52 in Century City CA, and while this job would later prove to be an instrument in many of my positive changes that were to come later in the year; at the time it created a time management problem. I ceased all yoga and working out and let myself go.  At the start of the New Year my weight had risen to an all time high, I was 207 lbs. I refused to let anyone take a picture of me that was full body. I had tried to hide my weight gain to everyone, especially to myself. Denial is common with weight gain.

For me, confidence and weight go hand in hand. My confidence was at an all time low. In NYC I had attended poetry readings and open mics frequently and I loved reading my poetry in front of an audience. Here in California I refused to read publicly, I did not feel like myself and did not wish to put myself out there. As a former dancer I mourned my dancing days, and I felt full of regret. I had taken a self esteem dive, and I was drowning in the after affects of the tsunami that my overweight sense of self had created. I did attend one poetry reading with my wonderful friend Xiomara, and this photograph above would help me take a long hard look at myself. It would be months before I had the courage to make positive changes, A storm was literally about to brew.

The last weekend of January I noticed our beloved tabby cat Stormy was not eating. I immediately took her to the veterinarian, and within a day she was diagnosed with renal failure. James and I were walking zombies, but we made the decision to try to give her a chance with home fluids. She deteriorated fast, and on that Thursday she passed away in our bed. It was a surreal moment, we heard a cat rustling around in the living room and a meow come from that direction and minutes later she was gone. We believe she was telling us that she was ok and it was time to go. 2013 had a cruel beginning. We were completely crushed, to us pets are family. Our family unit was broken, and we were truly devastated. Picking up the pieces would take a few months of healing and love.

A lot of the love came from our friends and family. The out pour of support was so comforting. The staff at Trader Joe's in West Hollywood gave us a Dragon Plant for healing. We burned sage, had the apartment professionally cleaned and bought new bedding. We were told to do all of these things to clear out the sickness and negativity that lingered. It did seem to lighten up the space. 

Our other cat Rascal was grieving too, so in April we decided to adopt our second Siamese cat Spanky. Spanky was found by a wonderful couple in Long Beach, and we made the trek to bring him to his forever home. We would always love and miss Stormy but we felt Rascal needed a companion.  We love Spanky with all of our hearts, he is a quirky yet loving cat. We were finally starting to see some light again.

In May we decided a get-a-way was badly needed, so we booked a weekend in San Diego at the Grand Hyatt Regency. Trains are my favorite way to see the country, so we took Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner all the way to San Diego. The Grand Hyatt Regency was an amazing experience.  We received the best service and a room with a beautiful view of the bay. We took the ferry over to Coronado Island and visited the famous Hotel Del Coronado, where the film Some Like It Hot with Marilyn Monroe was filmed. Getting away was just what I needed to inspire me to move forward with my goals. Sometimes you need to get away to see your life from a different vantage point. You relax, rejuvenate and are able to see the possibilities that await back home..... 

My New Year's resolutions for 2013 would take six months to begin, but better late than never.

Sunday, December 29, 2013


Buckle up, the journey continues.

I had my first cheat days in months, I splurged on Christmas Eve and Christmas. Now I find myself fighting off sugar cravings. That is why I worry about letting myself have cheat days, or maybe I have been too strict for too long. Either way I am finding my center again, with the help of some healthy staples. Headed to Whole Foods now, it is a process as I pick up the pieces of my holiday splurge. This time around I am debating having a few cheat days a month, or maybe once a month. Once a week seems like it would be too frequent.

Did you indulge a little this December? Just a day or two or for a whole month? Do you have cheat days, and if so do you allow yourself once a week or once a month? I am pondering my all or nothing attitude and wondering if I should lighten up just a tiny bit.

In the meantime, lots of exercise and fresh air helps me get back on track. I look forward to 2014 and all of my New Year's Resolutions. One thing is for sure, my health is number one and I will never see my weight hit 207 lbs ever again. As the end of this year approaches, I can say I am exactly where I need to be, and I know where I am going. I have enjoyed the journey as well as the destination, even if the destination is miles away. The journey continues with the wind in my hair and the sun on my face.  I am buckled up and ready for the trip of a lifetime.

Love and Light


I have been a a little off kilter this week due to Christmas and the holiday season. It has been a wonderful way to end the year, by doing a toy drive and gift drive for the residents at Alexandria House in Los Angeles. Alexandria House is a transitional home for women and children, and it was a home of hope to me. I felt like I had time traveled back to my childhood, to the times before the age of ten when everything seemed so idyllic. I could see the promise of those four walls, and the dedication Judy Vaughan has to keeping the place buzzing with optimism. She is a worker bee, and the nucleus of the home along with all of the other beautiful souls who work so hard to make this house a home for so many that need it. I was so honored to be able to visit and tour the beautiful 1920's craftsman home and meet the young residents, and I plan on going back to volunteer in 2014.  Within those four walls I felt safe and welcome, it was a magical feeling.

I thank my friend Meagan for the generosity of her time, we had fun.  I would also like to thank everyone at Seasons 52 for their support and generosity, from the management to the staff. No one can go it alone, and I am very grateful for the help they gave to make this gift drive a reality. Thanks to the Management at Seasons 52 in Century City CA. Monica Challingsworth, Isbhak Vasquez, Laura Dennis, Jessica Koine, Veronica Bonnely,Shane Jagow and Lee Velasco. 

To quote my favorite Christmas movie It's a Wonderful Life, " No man is a failure who has friends. 
Happy Holidays to all.

Here is a little something about Alexandria House, and all of the good they do for the community.
 Response to the compelling needs of the women and

 children living in the house, as well as the 

 neighborhood needs before us each day, the goal of

 Alexandria House is to be a community-oriented

 transitional house and neighborhood center which is

 intentionally multicultural, antiracist and where the

 needs of women who are economically poor are


 We are supported by a community of caring

 individuals and groups who share our mission.
 Company Overview
 Founded in 1996, Alexandria House is a non-profit 

 transitional residence and house of hospitality

 providing safe and supportive housing for women and

 children in the process of moving from emergency

 shelter to permanent housing. Located in the densely

 populated and ethnically diverse Mid-Wilshire area,

 Alexandria House also serves its broader 

 neighborhood community by providing educational 

 and enrichment opportunities for residents and

 neighbors alike.

Saturday, December 28, 2013


Richard, me and my inspiring friend Dawn.

Dawn, me and Geri.

Richard, me and Dawn.

Richard Simmons

The one and only and me

With Dawn

Dawn, me and Geri

Dawn, me and Geri

Me with my friend from the video Susan

My friend from the video Joanne,

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013