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Getting (and Staying) Healthy: Finding What Works for You

I know you all must be tired of this topic … and I’m probably beating a really dead horse, but I just can’t seem to help myself. The health and weight loss battle has been a practically life-long struggle for me, and I’m sure many of you too. And maybe that’s why I keep coming back to it – it’s important to me and it also seems to resonate with so many of you. 

My goal in all of this isn’t to tell you what you should do, but rather inspire you to commit to doing SOMETHING. To finding your own path and whatever works best for you. 

As I’ve shared, over the years I’ve tried nearly every diet under the sun (and most of the fitness trends too). I’ve had successes and setbacks. I’ve found things that work, many that don’t and some that I just can’t seem to make last. Ultimately I’ve decided that we’re all on our own journey in this. What works for me may not be your thing. And that’s okay! The idea is to share our stories and tips, inspire one another and hopefully find something that works for each of us.

I’ve recently had a little success and was finally able to drop the extra pounds I’ve been hanging onto for the last 6-8 years. So, I thought I’d share a little more about my journey, but more importantly open the floor for you all to share your stories too. Here’s my story … add yours in the comments!

25 Comments

  1. Anita Cole-Smith

    “I go to my moms assisted living…everyone’s a mess”, LOL…That cracked me up! But, I know what you mean…
    Thanks for sharing your health and diet ideas…Gonna try the broth.
    Your friendly fans forever, Anita & Brittany…
    …from the Nashville Meet and Greet Aug 2016

  2. Hi Mary Beth! My friend just shared with me this article about fasting which made me think of this post. I thought you might like to read it : )
    https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/11/intermittent-fasting-may-be-center-of-increasing-lifespan/

  3. Kelly Good

    I’m 37, I’ve struggled with that last pesky 10-12lbs. I know weight isn’t everything but it’s about feeling healthy. I think your post is great, I NEED portion control. Olives are a great snack, but never thought of them as a full snack. I always thought fruit was good. But you make it clear, it’s just sticking to it. I have a busy schedule running kids and working too. But consistent exercise is my main goal. I enjoy the HIIT program but also get bored. So I try to mix it up. Thank you for sharing Mary Beth. I enjoyed your story. It’s worth a fight to try and I’m excited to lose those last few pounds.

  4. Georgia L

    Two words are my current enemy. Menopause and Plateau! I have mixed up my exercise routine with more weights and interval training. No luck!

    But then I watched your blog and had a lightbulb moment. So my new plan of attack is less fruit (and here I was thinking I was being healthy!) and portion control. Could this be my turning point?

    And you are so right Mary Beth. Portion control is tough! I know chewing gum ain’t lady like. But it has become my new friend.

    So good luck to us all on this long, hard road to feeling great and enjoying life well past our 50s.

    • Kay Buchanan

      I’m doing weight watchers for the 2nd time. I love it because it’s easy and you can eat almost anything, but cutting chocolate and even fruit, like you mentioned, is hard for me. Add that to running three kids (who love the bad food) aeound, and drive throughs are dinner for us about twice a week. It’s hard, but I try to make good choices when I can.

  5. Christie

    I got braces (with 4 extractions the prior week) and lost 20lb. Not only did I have a forced fast, but also lived on purée for the first four months! Afterward, I stayed with 6-8 snacks of 60-100 calories per day with a small dinner (just because I was full with a smaller stomach). I’ve kept it off for two years. I’d like to get another 20. MB’s method isn’t too far off…hmmm…
    Thanks for your continued efforts to keep yourself and US healthy, MB.

  6. Cindy Nelson

    Mary Beth thank you so much for this motivation to get on the health band wagon. My daughter came in last evening and sat down and said watch this blog…we watched and she said we are doing this! I have to LOOSE weight, I’m tired of not liking how I look and having kids at school make comments like, “You are really pretty but you are fat” and I want to change this. So, after tears and laughter because we have to laugh with our tears. We have committed to a plan. It is one of moving more and eating less. She is going to journal her adventure through the eyes of a chubby kid and I told her I would journal also, but not just my journey to health and fitness but about her journey through my eyes. We had already started smaller portions at our meals, and lost a few pounds, but no where near what we need to loose. So now we are looking at intermittent fasting and how to incorporate that into our lives. Thank you!! For you have been the first positive I have seen in her wanting to make a change, and no matter how much I or anyone else harped this change wouldn’t even be discussed until she was ready to make the commitment. She loves Mandy and knowing that Mandy is doing some intermittent fasting is a bonus. Wish us luck on our journey as we log our way to a better future.

  7. Catherine Fuentes

    I loved this and I think this discussion never gets old. It is true we all go through the same thing and if we don’t share we will always feel like it’s just us who are having a hard time. So please don’t stop with your topics 🙂 My story is long but I’ll cut it short. I too have a mother in a long term care facility. She retired at 68 and gave up on life and now can barely walk at 75. She too would buy nothing of nutrition at the store and I would say “excuse me but are you having a 5 year olds birthday party” but the truth is she never learned to cook and therefore I never learned to eat properly. I’ve done every diet as well from Lindora to WW to Whole30 and they all worked until I stopped working them. So with that said I have re-joined WW today and I too watch the others at my Mom’s facility and I’m scared, scared to be like that so wish me luck and I will keep reading your posts and I’ve watched you on TV for decades. Feel like we are friends LOL

  8. Catherine

    I loved this and I think this discussion never gets old. It is true we all go through the same thing and if we don’t share we will always feel like it’s just us who are having a hard time. So please don’t stop with your topics 🙂 My story is long but I’ll cut it short. I too have a mother in a long term care facility. She retired at 68 and gave up on life and now can barely walk at 75. She too would buy nothing of nutrition at the store and I would say “excuse me but are you having a 5 year olds birthday party” but the truth is she never learned to cook and therefore I never learned to eat properly. I’ve done every diet as well from Lindora to WW to Whole30 and they all worked until I stopped working them. So with that said I have re-joined WW today and I too watch the others at my Mom’s facility and I’m scared, scared to be like that so wish me luck and I will keep reading your posts and I’ve watched you on TV for decades. Feel like we are friends LOL

  9. These never get old. I struggle with caring about my health. I get so caught up in the stress and rush of work that I lose focus and fall into that food for comfort pit. I have to mentally slap myself and yell “snap out of it”. I’ll just marinate in your suggestions and keep on keeping on Right?!?

  10. Linda Sigsworth

    I am also a woman in my 50s and it is so hard to lose weight. I didn’t have a weight problem until about 8 years ago and I found that you have to find what you really want to do in order to lose weight. I agree wth Mary Beth, we eat too much too often.

  11. Ugh!! That’s my go to word when it comes to this topic! I’m married to a Chef, we like to entertain (and drink), and it seems like every time I start, I stop. I know what I should be doing, but I can’t seem to get over the hurdle. I don’t know how to incorporate that type of living and mindset into my world and still feel like I’m not missing out. It’s an ongoing challenge. You always look so healthy and amazing. I realize it’s how you feel inside though. This is definitely a good reminder to keep in check. I have a parent in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s, and ways to possibly prevent that have become a true obsession. A lot does have to do with diet. I will take this blog to heart and definitely try…..again! (I think I’ll just have to take your word on the chicken feet broth though)! 😅

  12. You can make a great bone broth in the insta pot and it doesn’t take as much time as it traditionally does. I add onions and carrots for seasoning.

  13. I first want to let you and your readers know that I went from around 120 pounds to 179 pounds when I quit smoking, because instead of smoking, I ate. Anything I wanted. I did quit smoking, but then had the weight to deal with. Over about a year, I lost all that excess weight, by using my treadmill 5 days a week for 30 minutes per day, and by calorie counting – 1200 calories a day. Then I went to weight maintenance – about 1400 to 1450 calories a day, along with those 5 days a week on the treadmill (30 minutes a day still).
    Well, breast cancer happened, and all the busyness that goes with that. For two years or more, I was too busy and then too tired to bother with watching calories or exercise.
    I am back to using that treadmill, at 139 pounds, and want to get back to about 125 because I feel good at that weight. I am not counting calories at this point – not yet. I am consciously eating healthy and careful with food intake. I lost two pounds in the last two weeks, since starting this.
    Ladies, all of us, we can do this. Let’s all resolve to keep at it and not give up. A lifestyle change, not a one time only thing.

  14. Patty Yocom

    Loved your video and know exactly how you feel. Have always had a problem losing weight and keeping any I lose off. Am trying a protein shake program that encourages clean eating and exercise. Need to clean out my pantry and buy only good protein meats, more green veggies and the best fruits with the least amount of sugar. Use only Stevia in my coffee now. My problem is staying on tract but this program has a great private FB Page with lots of support. Going to give it a good try and see what happens. Thanks for your encouragement.

  15. Great post and yes so many of us are struggling with the weight thing. I swear the scale gets stuck. It just doesn’t come off quickly. I am trying Weight Watchers, on about week 4 and lost approx 5 pounds. I also have the Whole 30 mindset. Eating eggs, lean meats, no sugar. I think that makes WW a bit easier. Trying to find an exercise regime. I am not an exercise lover and I live where its cold. Love to have people weigh in on that – what exercise works for you?

  16. Linda Sigsworth

    I am also a woman in my 50s. I have never had a weight problem until about the last 8 years. What i have discovered is it is now so hard to lose that weight. I also think that we tend to eat to much and too often. I believe that to lose that weight we have to find something to do that we really love in order to succeed.

  17. Traci Whiting

    I’ve lost 12 pounds on the divorce diet and I hope none of you ever use this diet! ☹️

  18. I noticed in a recent video you posted that you had lost weight. Congratulations! You’ve inspired me to make some changes to my eating habits

  19. Pam Mills

    Never tired, I am also on a journey to improve my health, I could use help with the food aspect I am scared to try new things on a low budget so I generally stick with what I know which happens to be all the wrong choices!

    • Mary Beth you are such an inspiration to me , I never get tired of hearing about your journey or what’s worked for you. It does get me thinking. For me personally, I’ve also been up and down with my weight my whole life. I’ve found things that work for me, for a long time, but then get back to old habits. I use food as a “friend” , and comfort, and also…I love food lol. All of the cliches apply. But I know for me it’s mental/emotional and I always have to start there. From what I’ve seen in my circle, the lack of motivation to lose weight starts with mental/emotional need to fill a void, and also a past history of not finding success (making you less likely to try). I’ve fallen off the health wagon due to injury or health issues before and then the blame comes in & yhe shame etc. it’s a cycle of events. It sounds like excuses and maybe it is- but what I mean to say is starting a healthy lifestyle has to start with an emotional/mental reset.

      That’s what worked for me in the past and what I have to get to again-Believing in yourself and that you’re worth it. It doesn’t have to be a huge leap, it can be small steps. A longer walk twice a week. Cut out soda. Small meals throughout the day instead of 3 huge ones. Use an app. like my fitness pal to keep track of calories and learn how many you should be eating.

      The little bit of feeling better gets you pumped to do more to feel better. It can start anywhere and as you build confidence you can aim for bigger goals. And the end goal is feeling better in all aspects and being healthier (not just to see a number on the scale).

      I’m working on small steps right now. But wow the holidays were tough.

      • I❤️mysnk

        Liz- I completely agree with what you said. You have to be there emotionally. You have to be mentally and emotionally ready. I tried WW – the cycle is ending. I lost a few pounds early on but then got very discouraged when I followed the program but gained wait – more than once. I then, emotionally, the my hands in the air and said wth. Now I’m trying again. W/O WW for now. I need to get my exercise routine and equipment ready and I’m there. I posted on IG it’ll most likely be very freaking early and I hate waking early and exercising. It will be a challenge for sure. I hope I’m up to it this time. We’ll see.

        • Jennifer

          We need to do this together. IDK how but we used to walk all the time. How do we get back there thousands of miles apart? I’ve managed to lose about 3 of the nonofyour business pounds I regained but still exercise is key. And it DOES make you feel better-AFTER. The emotional/stress eating will always always always be my downfall. I recognize it, see it, accept it and now must learn to counter it. Fist bump Sis- we can do this

          • I❤️mysnk

            👊🏻
            There’s a really large brokerage form that could always use a well qualified CPA. Change of scenery could be good for you- Just sayin’ 😁

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