Recommitting to Me!

This week, I recommitted myself to healthy eating and regular exercise. Again.

I think I’m safe to assume that many of us have faced weeks like this – where we wake up not feeling our best, look in the mirror and say “What happened?” or “No more.”

Over the years, my weight has fluctuated a lot. Yes, I've never had a huge weight problem, but in my line of work, an extra 10-15 pounds is a huge deal. I know I have better pictures to demonstrate this point, but they're piled high in boxes in the back of my closet (Ugh on the family photo albums I have always planned to do). Here are a few pictures to prove my point.
Over the years, my weight has fluctuated a lot. Yes, I’ve never had a huge weight problem, but my goal is to be trim … because skinny has never been me. And because I’m not tall, an extra 10-15 pounds is a huge deal. I know I have better pictures to demonstrate this, but they’re piled high in boxes in the back of my closet (Ugh on the family photo albums I have always planned to do). Here are a few pictures to prove my point.

It seems this is how my cycle of weight and fitness is destined to go. I get fired up and commit, do really well for a while (sometimes longer than others) and then work happens or I get caught up with other things. Exercise is the first to go. Then I fall back into old habits of eating whatever, because for me it’s all in or all out.

blog30_5This time last year I committed to going to Cardio Barre. I was eating well and really seeing and feeling the difference. And I stayed committed for a long time. But as work and life picked up, my attendance at class fell off. And before I knew I couldn’t even force myself to go for a walk. So now here I sit, boobs on belly, asking myself “Why? Why do I let it slip?” Especially when I know that I like the trimmer, more active version of me.

So I am recommitting myself today … and maybe 100 more times in my life. I know how hard it is to get back to it, but for me, I just have to pick a day and say “This is it – Day 1.”  I’ve stocked my refrigerator with ready to go healthy food; I’ve made a big pot of healthy soup; and I’ve packed my lunch for work tomorrow. The bonus is I know what’s on the other side of this commitment – looking, and more importantly, feeling better. So why did it take me so long to get here? Who knows, but I’m not beating myself up about it. Instead, I’m grabbing my water bottle and heading to Cardio Barre.

And that’s really what it is for me, and for many of you too, I bet. We just have to get going (No matter how many roses I could be trimming instead). Those first few times in exercise class will take super human strength, but I also know that soon I’ll crave it and won’t be able to not go.

So if you’re feeling like I do, let’s recommit together for Pete’s sake! And to kick off my new healthy start, I made a green drink in my blender this morning and I thought I’d share it with you. Trust me, it’s good – give it a try! And as always, I want to hear from you – What do you do to get moving? What tips, tricks and recipes can you share with me? Let’s motivate each other!!

Green Drink

Green Drink


  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup kale leaves
  • 1 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 coconut covered date
  • 1 tbsp grand flax seed
  • Cinnamon (to taste)


  1. Put everything in the blender
  2. Blend until smooth
  3. Enjoy!


  1. What do I do to stay motivated? A good, long, hard look in the mirror…naked! yuck! I’m a runner, so I’m always signing up for races to keep me training. I am currently training for my first half-marathon. It’s really tough, but my goal is to not walk any of it! So, that’s a good motivation to get my butt up and go for a run.

    • Christina Ivey

      My neighbor is a personal trainer and I have reached out to him for some motivation and guidance. (I’m a single mom with 2 professions – Health Ins Claims Auditor full-time and Medical Assisting Instructor in the evenings- and very limited time. Not to mention, I could use all the motivation I can get!!) He gave me some very good words of encouragement and advise. He said that the most important thing is to do this…remove the phrase “I DON’T FEEL LIKE IT” from your vocabulary. I’m still working on that! 🙂

  2. I was looking for a good green smoothie. Now to find a coconut covered date….. Ive committed to a weekly hike up Signal Hill with co-workers. I will try and be kind to myself about the speed of my trek and enjoy the view from the top.(hopefully standing and not on a stretcher)LOL

  3. Lorraine (dramamamanot)

    Marybeth, I too need to commit myself to exercising back at the gym. I felt great when I was going 4 or 5 days a week. I was going consistently for the longest time. Then I stopped almost a year ago. I don’t know why. Just one thing led to the other and days turned to weeks then months. And now here we are. I at least continued to walk several days a week but I felt much better about myself when I was going to the gym. I weigh 135 at 5 ft 4 so I am in the range I should be but I just felt better when going to the gym. I need a push. Good luck to you. You got your push. Keep me posted.

  4. Hi Mary Beth,

    I am over the moon to have found your blog. I was on the #Days50 and followed a trail and found Planked!

    I’m a 50 year Days watcher (started when I was 8) and although I couldn’t watch all the time when I was in school (pre-VCR) I have done a pretty good job of keeping up with the show through college, employment, marriage and 3 children. When you and Stephen were first a super couple I was VERY smitten with you guys (mid 80’s). I even wrote to your Music Producer (I was a voice major in college) to see if I could get the sheet music to “If Your Heart Comes Out Tonight” (your song at the time). I remember sending you a gift for your first born and getting a note back from you–I was thrilled. Then, in 1988 when you and Stephen did an appearance in Parsippany NJ, there was a Patch and Kayla look-a-like contest. I brought my mom and we dressed my then 3 month old baby boy like Patch….little jeans, a little leather jacket, and eye-patch !! Stephen lifted my son (Chris, who is now 27) up out of my arms and held him up for the audience to see. That was such a thrill to see you both interact with him! I still have the photos to prove it!

    Anyway, I watched your recent video with Stephen and enjoyed it thoroughly. Although your new scenes together have not yet aired, I am very excited to see what the next Chapter brings for Patch and Kayla !! In real life I am now in my later 50’s, my kids are all grown, so I fall in “real age” right between the two of you. Was SO excited to hear Stephen is a grandfather and can imagine him loving on the new little ones in his life.

    I’m so glad I found you here on Plank, and I’ll be “following” you. Very excited for the 50 year Anniversary. My parents who are now 85 watched, and video-taped DOOL, watch together every evening. My mom now has dementia, but they still often watch “together” after lunch, and Dad definitely watches every day. I wish the Show would’ve considered a contest for 50 year watchers to be “extras” in the Bicentennial in Salem shows…..that would’ve fulfilled a lifelong dream for my dad, who back in the day was in Summer stock with Charlton Heston !! He’s been involved in local theater all his life.

    Best to you and your family, and to Stephen and his family. And, good luck on your fitness journey! It is a bit too hot in FL at this time of year to walk much, but I will get out on the beach and start back to my walking as soon as it cools down a bit.

    Cindi Freeburn, Delray Beach, FL

  5. First of all I so appreciate how real & honest you are! I have been lucky enough to have been blessed with good genes so I haven’t really ever had a weight problem but I want to look good, have muscles & be able to wear sleeveless shirts!! I have a physical job & use that as my excuse not to work out but when I do decide to get the weights out & do some sit ups I feel so much better about myself. Funny how it seemed so easy before I hit 40! Now that I’m 45 it takes a little longer to feel good & feel like I look good. Thanks for the motivation! Good luck with your recommitment! You are an inspiration!

    • I’ve been doing the same thing for a long time. I used to exercise regularly, but now I don’t. However! I did find something that I love to do and that is dance! I take jazz and tap one day a week and will be starting ballet another day of the week. So fun and I love the ladies I dance with. The oldest is in her 60’s and the youngest in her mid 30’s. I am 51 and started doing this when I was 40. Never dance like this before that. We also do a recital once a year. It so worth it and the ladies provide laughs and therapy too. Keep up the good work and find something that you love to do so it doesn’t feel like exercise.

  6. Sandi Zamora

    Hi Mary Beth! I know how hard it is to get going. I started exercising after my last child was born,16 years ago. I lost a total of 36 pounds at that time. Like you said, I looked in the mirror and didn’t like what i saw. My mom had just passed away and the exercise really helped emotionally as well. What keeps me on track is how it makes me feel when I work out. I don’t cut anything completely out of my diet, but I do have it in moderation. The journey is tough to begin but so worth it when you feel great.

  7. susan blackman

    I started walking,it relaxes me and everyday I walk a little farther and it’s getting easier, and easier my husband won’t walk with me,he can’t keep up,lol.

  8. I have just recommitted to my fitness journey too. I gave up alcohol about a month ago, had my thyroid totally remove 2 weeks ago, and my mind and body are trying to unite as one to get healthy. My mind and spirit are there, but my body is seriously trying to revolt. I’ve got muscles that just want to stay forgotten begging me to sit down and read a book…they’ll thank me later, though.
    Thanks so much for your inspiration and thanks to everyone else who has commented, let’s do this thing together and be a healthy, happy, group of fabulously fit femme fatales.
    Cheering for all of you!

    • Stacey Griffith

      The thyroid evens out pretty quickly Phyllis and I ended up feeling so much better after mine was removed…

  9. I gave up wine (actually, all alcohol) for Lent one year – and put up with a whole lot of harassment from my friends- and I lost 6 pounds without even trying. But where’s the fun in that?
    I’m trying to get re motivated after vacation where I ate & drank way too much. Are you on My fitness pal?

  10. Lisa Carnevale

    Hi Marybeth! I am a friend of Cynthia Gardner here on Boston’s beautiful North Shore! She is an inspiration for sure with staying fit! I have let myself go, have gained 20 pounds and I am ready to re-commit to myself as well! Love this post, perfect timing!! A couple things that have always helped me in the past to feel better fast and help me make better eating choices is hot lemon water every morning, first thing. I use fresh organic lemons and squeeze half of one into hot water and sip that slowly. Helps digestion, immune system, keeps things moving:). Another great tip I can share is add organic chia seeds into your green smoothie. They pack a punch but most important, contain much needed magnesium! This is a nutrient most woman over 50 need more of! Good luck and have fun back at barre!! Here’s to us feeling great very soon!!

  11. Karoline

    Sounds like you have an GREAT plan! Good luck and have an awesome time! 🙂 I am a school teacher so I have just started working again after our summer break. We start a bit earlier here in Norway. Just like you, I am back to eating heathy again and working out. During our brekas I always seem to fall off the vagon, but that’s fine. I don’t mind. Because I know that when our busy everyday life starts again, I need to work out to keep my energy level up. I have one rule that I have made for my self, and that is to never go to bed wihout doing some kind of working out. It doesn’ t have to be a crazy workout every day, but it has to be something that makes my body working…Which leads to me going for a sunset run alooot. And afterwards I sleep like a baby! So, good luck to us!!

  12. Stacey Griffith

    OH YES….”boobs on belly” is my new favorite phrase girl! I’m 5′ 4″ tall, around your height, I believe. I have a serious boob situation….picture a size 8-10 with 36F…definitely not as glamorous as one would think. On me, ten pounds equals a dress size. A Doctor actually told me I have unusually big bones (every girl’s dream) and tend to carry and build muscle. The result? I weigh 178 and wear a size medium and it ain’t tight!
    Unlike you, I did have a weight problem. Before gastric banding surgery 11 years ago, I weighed 264, had pre-diabetes and rising blood pressure. Obesity and diabetes run strong with the women in my family and I wanted to be healthy for my young kids…and me. Surgery only works long term if it’s used as a tool. I lost weight and began a love affair with exercise, especially weight training. It helped me physically…blood sugar and pressure normal and helped me mentally…self esteem and mood up.
    I hit the iron hard for a couple of years and looked amazing in a solid size 6. Then, my husband died and I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease. This led to a downward spiral in both physical and mental health and two spine surgeries in the last two years. So, I’m now having to adjust my crazy woman workouts to something more reasonable: TRX, light weights, yoga, balance work, and twice-weekly PT for life. My weight fluctuates too, which serves as a reminder. I’m currently trying to get about 18 pounds off. I think my biggest realization is that I have to adjust my eating based upon my daily activity. That is a hard one!
    My best strategy is swapping out foods. I’ll try your scary green shake Mary Beth. If you have ice cream issues like I do, Try this: fill up your processor with frozen over-ripe bananas, add 1/4c or more good powdered, unsweetened cocoa and a little almond milk to get it going…..Soft serve that fills you up fast!
    Thank you, sweet lady for your refreshing honesty about beauty and body issues. We women really beat ourselves up about this stuff. I remember looking at you back in the 80s and wishing I could be as beautiful as you….using your image to tear myself down. It took a long time for me to realize that beauty is on the inside. You really are a beautiful person. Good luck and much love!

    • I am so trying that soft-serve idea! Such inspiration here.

    • Stacey Griffith

      OOPS! I just realized that I forgot an ingredient…1tbsp. natural peanut butter….Sorry if anyone tried my recipe and it didn’t turn out….

    • I did it! I made the scary green smoothie and am sipping it. I have cleared my AM schedule in case of sudden colon cleanse and had to sub out a couple of things: 1tbsp each chopped dates & natural coconut for the coconut covered date I couldn’t find and added grated nutmeg and a spoonful of unsweetened Greek yogurt (thickened it). You know, Mary Beth, it’s drinkable and pretty filling. What’s the nutritional value of this green monster? Where did you find the date?

  13. Susan Nolen

    Great blog today Mary Beth!…after reading this, it’s just the motivation I needed to help me to recommit to living a healthier lifestyle! You inspire me so much and I want to thank you!

  14. I so admire you and thank you for the motivation. It’s always encouraging to know we are not alone in this. My “ah ha” moment came yesterday when I met my precious 8 week old great niece for the first time and everyone was taking family pics,etc. I was looking at myself in the photos and thinking how much I need to work in improving how I look and how I feel. I did not feel defeated, but certainly wanted to shed some tears at that moment. Made me resolve to do better, eat better and be much more active. I have fibromyalgia so exercise is a challenge. Thankfully I can still walk, even if it is inside my own house and wear a pedometer to count my steps. I need to lose at least 50 lbs but I am determined to be the best I can be and to improve my health. Thank you for encouraging us and being in this together!! Always been your fan, never so more than now!

  15. Cindy Hardee

    I just stepped off the scale few minutes ago…ugh…and then I read this. Thanks for the push that I need. Been depressed after the “scale” incident. Just needed some motivation to get that needle going the other way.

  16. Hi honey. I love your blog and admire all the energy you put into it. It really is your voice.
    Meredith (Scott) and I have committed to going SUGAR-FREE. It is my belief that sugar is the most dangerous food we consume. We are 9 days in and it’s shockingly easy! Join us??
    Ps. You always look great to me.

    • Amen……sugar is the worst! You should never drink your calories….except for wine…It’s in the Bible and who am I to argue with God?

    • Lorraine

      Deidre, I have heard others mention they have cut out sugar. I think I would have difficulty cutting something from m yh diet completely. I just limit myself, but do not deny. I allow myself to have those 2 cookies. Good luck with your sugar-free diet. Keep us posted. Let us know if you fall off the wagon and how difficult it was.

  17. Loved your blog today. I think you look great, but understand how you feel. Thank you for being so honest. It helps the rest of us know we’re not alone in our fitness struggles. Getting motivated is always hard. There’s a track nearby and a few friends & I get together & walk it when we can. Like you said, things get in the way. I’m recommitting to get back to it, even if it’s by myself. Your blog is just the push I needed. Thanks, MaryBeth!

  18. Keep up the good work. I know that it is hard to do. To make sure I continue I exercise at 4-5 AM otherwise I find “better things” to do through the day. I am dead tired by 9PM but I sure feel better. I’m cheering you on.

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