Crunches & Kale Shakes & Yoga, Oh My!

Another Day #1 Has Begun: #MyLeftBoob Chronicles – #LifeAfterCancer

post chemo

Last oncologist follow-up visit, always a nerve wracking time, but I did get the “all clear!”

It’s been a LONG time since I had a fitness post on this blog and I’m so happy to finally be back! For those just joining me, I’m a married mom of three and a fairly recent survivor of an extremely rare, very aggressive type of breast cancer that only occurs in 1% of women called Metaplastic Carcinoma (MpBC). It has a high recurrence rate and not much is known about because it was only just discovered in 2000, which is pretty scary.

I’m also Triple Negative (TNBC) which only occurs in 15% of women diagosed, including Joan Lunden, compared to 80% of the “normal” kinds of cancer. This means I don’t have the hormone receptors to be on any follow-up meds like Tamoxifen. Also scary. I describe life after my type of cancer like walking on a high wire in high heels without a net. Read my story from the beginning by clicking here.

Over the last two years, I endured five surgeries, 30 rounds of radiation, and tons of painful and emotional side effects. According to Living Beyond Breast Cancer, some of the short-term side effects of ACT chemo are:

I experienced 99% of these symptoms, the worst being hair loss, bone and joint pain and mouth sores. The long-term side effects are what I still deal with day in and day out two years later. describes these as:

So after dealing with all of this over the last couple of years, you might understand why it has been incredibly difficult for me to get up and get out to the gym.

Monday was a big milestone in my post-cancer life as I began yet another Day #1 of my never-ending quest to get fit. It was an emotional day as it also marked the 2-year anniversary (July 17, 2015) of finishing my arduous battle through the hell of red devil chemo.

last chemo

Last day of chemo: July 17, 2015

Doctors said the side effects of chemo could last up to 2 years or more but I naively thought I’d pop right back into shape, not get chemo brain (forgetfulness/fog brain) and have my energy back in no time. I thought wrong.

There were so many times I truly believed I was going to go to the gym and paid for a gym membership for an entire year without using it once. I even signed up for spin classes, but my body had other plans— mainly taking its own sweet time to recover and regain my strength after the harsh drugs pumped into my body, killing the good cells along with the bad. Dealing with a new lump and two painful biopsies last month didn’t help matters either.

So I almost could not believe that I was finally walking into the gym Monday morning to begin what I’d planned on starting many times since completing treatment. I joined, and paid for a membership, to the Rec Center over a year ago but never had the time or energy to go. But on Monday, I was motivated and inspired because a Facebook group I recently joined, Hello Fitness!, connected me with a trainer who organized a FitBit Step challenge.

Being somewhat competitive as the youngest of six, this was just what I needed to motivate me as I tried to keep up with the other five women in my group. It helps so much to have accountability partners cheering me on and watching my group members reaching their step goals was just what I needed to get me to get up and get moving.

I know from past experience in starting a workout program that I need to start slow, especially with my ongoing joint pain, torn rotator cuff shoulder pain, surgery scarring on my chest and other chemo side effects. In addition to that, I’ve been dealing with neck and back pain. While I was tempted to beat the rest of my team mates, I knew that if I reached 10,000 steps, that would be good enough for me.

So Monday I set out to reach my 10,000 step goal and was so pleasantly surprised when I already had 7,000 steps before noon! While doing a half hour on the treadmill and a half hour on the elliptical might not be a big deal for some people, for me it was HUGE. And that’s why halfway though my workout I had to choke back tears as I realized that I was finally doing this without feeling nauseous, tired or dizzy.

And little by little, as I set attainable goals I can reach, I get a little bit stronger.  I’m finally breaking free of the old, tired, pain-infested body and embracing the newer, stronger me, thanks in part to my new chiropractor, Dr. Nick Peterson of Peterson Chiropractic & Acupuncture.

The beginning of this Day #1 journey actually started several weeks go when I was searching for a new doctor to get back x-rays. Metaplastic Carcinoma has a tendency to recur in the back, bones, skin and/or lungs so naturally the fear crept in when I began experiencing back pain which made me fearful of that dreaded R word— recurrence.  “Metaplastic” means “change in form” which means this type is known to come back and spread to the back, the skin, the bones, the lungs and more. Every new ache, pain, lump or bump forces us to think again about our the fear of recurrence.

I began to think about two women I knew who also had Metaplastic Carcinoma and whose cancer came back to their spine. Both, sadly, passed away but they each fought their battles with dignity, positivity, grace and class.

So naturally when my back started aching in May, I couldn’t stop my mind from thinking about these two brave warriors who held my hand and inspired me since I was diagnosed in February of 2015.  I went for an x-ray at my new chiropractor’s office and it came back all clear. Thank God!

I’m so grateful to have found Dr. Nick Peterson, who got me started on a wellness plan that includes toning, stretching and strengthening. He has been working to rehabilitate me and got me to start moving and stretching several weeks ago which made Monday’s Day #1 at the gym a lot less painful.

While other chiropractors basically gave up on me and said the only way I would get relief from the neck pain (whiplash) and lower back pain was to have surgery, Dr. Nick is working with me by using a combination of massage, electromagnetic stimulation, traction, manual adjustments and acupuncture. Already in just one month I am seeing a difference in mobility and a decrease in pain levels.

I  know that if I continue on this path of a combined wellness, healthy diet and regular exercise plan, that I can finally reach my goals, gain more energy and stamina and weight loss will be a pleasant side effect. So what’s different now than all of my previous failed Day #1 attempts? Why do I think this is the time I really will stick with it? Three things:

  1. I started gearing myself up for it 3 weeks ago thanks to the new stretching and strengthening my core exercises I’ve been doing at the recommendation of Dr. Nick
  2. I have a workout buddy— my wonderful 17-year-old daughter
  3. I have an online community of cheerleaders in the Hello Fitness! group and I’m participating in a 5-day fitness step challenge

I’ve been drinking a lot more water and eating a low carb diet similar to Keto or as us old(er) folks call it, The Atkins Diet. This means so sugar, no pasta, bread, fruit or carbs. Your body goes into ketosis after the first 3 days which are BROOOOO-TUULLLLL as you go through withdrawals. You may get headaches, mood swings and cravings but just push through and after day #3 you will see the pounds melting off which will be motivation not to go back to the old way of eating.

What I learned most this week about myself is that I need to stop comparing myself, or try to keep up with other people. They have not been through what I’ve been through. Some have had it worse, some much easier and others have absolutely no idea how hard (and painful) it is sometimes just to get up and get dressed, nevermind get to the gym.

Some of the scars after my cancer battle are easy to see on the outside— like the eyebrow, eyelash and hair loss and extra weight I gained during 4 months of red devil chemo……

july 2015 post chemo

Cape Cod, the day after the last day of chemo, July 2015

……or my fried skin from 30 radiation zaps over the course of 6 weeks……


Radiation marks

…….or the pink, raised bump on my chest where my chemo port used to be.

Other scars are not so easy to see and they’re on the inside, buried under the layers of 40 extra pounds I’ve packed on that are being more stubborn than an Irishman at last call. All of these factors can take a toll on my emotions. But thankfully I am surrounded by some awesome people who love and support me no matter what.

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Cape Cod, July 2016

And now I’m counting down the days (20), looking forward to making more memories and taking more fun family photos next month on our annual trip to Cape Cod!

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Cape Cod, Summer 2013

Unfortunately (or fortunately) I will not be posting any bikini pix just yet, but I will feel good and energized since starting this wellness program. So for now I just keep on trucking and try to remember that each day is a new day to start again. And remember what matters is not how I look compared to others, but how feel I feel compared to myself at this time last year one year post chemo or the year before one day or one week post chemo. It’s been a long, hard road ut I am getting there little by little. As long as I keep moving forward.



While I would love to go to the gym every single day, lift tons of weights, do aerial yoga, hot yoga, laughing yoga, water mat yoga and headstands on the beach, the reality is that I need to do what I personally can handle, take baby steps and set goals I can reach.

Last week my goal was 10K steps a day for 5 days and 3 times going to the gym. So how did I do? I did 9K a day for 5 days and made it to the gym 3 times! That is a huge accomplishment for me. No, it’s not even close to my team-mate who had 80K steps in 5 days, but for me? It’s awesome! I’m comparing myself with myself.

The week before last I had 40,791 steps for the week. Last week I had 56,704. I increased my activity by 15,913 more steps, or 2,273 more steps a day. Here are my other accomplishments:

  • Week of July 9-15 = 27 floors, 16.99 miles
  • Week of July 16-22 = 116 floors, 23.62 miles

I’m not running any marathons yet but I am feeling more energized, eating healthier and feeling much better about myself— as long as I remember that the only person I need to try to be better than is who I was yesterday.

For anyone reading this who is in the same, or a similar boat as me, I will say this: don’t compare your behind the scenes with someone else’s highlight reel. While filters, smoke and mirrors may make them look like Greek goddesses living the best, most fun and perfect life, the real you, scarred, imperfect, raw and honest is beautiful inside and out.

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“Comparing our lives with others is foolish. But finding inspiration and learning from others is entirely wise. Work hard to learn the difference……We ought to strive to be the best possible versions of ourselves….. Work hard to take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Commit to growing a little bit each day. And learn to celebrate the little advancements you are making without comparing them to others.”

~Joshua Becker


This page has temporarily been put on hold while I do battle with an evil demon that has invaded my body called “cancer.” As soon as I get back on a regular routine I will share my diet and workout routine, but for now I am getting lots of rest, drinking plenty of water, cutting carbs and sugar and preparing for chemo which begins on April 9, 2015 for 16 weeks.

Positive vibes and prayers are always welcome!

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March 27, 2015

In case you’re just joining us, I have breast cancer. But not the type that 80% of women are diagnosed with. I have a rare and aggressive type that only 1% of women get called Metaplastic Carcinoma. It is also Triple Negative which means my only treatment is hard, long rounds of chemo for 16 weeks followed by 6 weeks of radiation..

I would have never thought I would be going through this at this stage of my life. I’m only 45. There is no history of cancer in my family and I just had a mammogram less than a year ago. I go every year since the age of 40 and every year it is clear. But here I sit, ready to fight the uninvited and unwelcome evil that has invaded my body.

My doctor said that the best workouts for me now as I go through this intense treatment is low-impact activities such as walking or yoga. The key is to stay calm and not put a strain on my cells to lower white blood counts.

As much as I loved Max’s Best Bootcamp, because of my illness, I can’t continue (for now).

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Yes, on week #3 I am still living the no-carb lifestyle.

No wine, chocolate or sugar for 26 days now. Yay me!

Wednesday & Thursday Feb. 4 & 5

On Day #26 I have realized that Max’s Best Bootcamp Challenge has to be put on hold due to unexpected health reasons. I said nothing would stop me or make me quit, and I am not quitting, just putting it on hold for now. I just found out some life-changing news yesterday and will explain tomorrow after test results are analyzed by my doctors.

I don’t feel like I can truly represent what Max’s Best Bootcamp is all about if my doctor says I can’t do the boot camp part of it, which is huge. Yes, I will still stick to the diet and I do still see weight coming off but until I can get back on board 100%, I won’t be posting my daily blogs about my progress. I will now be switching my focus to my current battle; getting my inner health on track.

Th good news is that I have made some very positive changes over the past month and it shows on the scale. I’m down 12 pounds since I started and I am sticking with the healthy eating plan. I know once I get back to the gym I will continue to kick butt and reach my 20 pound weight loss goal.

#MBBChallenge Week 3: When Your Train is Derailed and Doogie Howser is Your M.D.

 Screenshot 2015-02-03 at 2.15.49 PMIt’s pretty hard to remain calm when you find out your doctor for an important medical procedure is none other than 1980’s sitcom star Doogie Howser, M.D..

Monday & Tuesday Feb. 2 & 3

This part of my fitness journey is truly going to be a “challenge” as my original plans have changed, doctor’s orders. Yes, my uphill train has been temporarily derailed. I went from “I know I can” to “I think I can” in a matter of a week.

I had to go in for some testing yesterday which is nerve-wracking, but even more nerve-wracking was that, after waiting a week to get the appointment and waiting at the office, when my doctor finally came into the room he was none other that 80’s sitcom star Doogie Howser! Well, not really, but he was pretty darn young. Not that young automatically equals inexperienced but when health issues are on the table it would feel more comfortable knowing there is a seasoned professional rather than a cute and innocent looking young man.

He fumbled at first for his instruments and the nurse, who was calm earlier, seemed to be getting a bit frazzled.

Me: Have you done many of these before?

Doogie: Oh, yeah, tons.

Nurse: (sighs, rolls eyes)

Me: (nervous laughter) Oh, that’s good.

Doogie: Yeah, I went to Yale and then went for another year for my specialized field.

Me: Oh, that’s good. (in my mind- please God let this dude know what he is doing!)

Awkward silence.

The procedure went well and now the waiting game begins. Doctor Howser advised I should not do any strenuous activities for the next 5 days which means no boot camp.

As I wrote in my last blog, January started out by throwing me a series of curve balls:

First curve ball: On Day #2 my son was rushed to the emergency room for what we thought was “just” appendicitis. Little did we know that his appendix had a hole in it, had leaked fluid, the infection spread AND the appendix had attached to the intestine.

Next curve ball: On Day #10 came the tooth pain. I have SIX cavities and have to get 2 wisdom teeth pulled. No biggie, right? Wrong because…..

Somewhere in between: Daily headaches from losing my glasses in Providence and 3 herniated discs in my neck that need to be treated.

Current curve ball: On Day #18 I found out that I might possibly have a major health issue to deal with, as I wrote about above. And now I am waiting for test results.

So what does this all mean? It means the only thing I can control right now is my diet and my attitude and reaction to these bumps in the road. I can choose to be overwhelmed or fight the good fight. I am the conductor of my train and, even though I was temporarily derailed, I can still get on the right track as long as I am patient and do what the engineers (doctors) tell me.

Chugga chugga choo choo!

Days #22 & 24 stats:

I’ve been starting each day with a cleansing drink of warm lemon water, juice of 1/2 lemon and a pinch of Celtic Sea Salt. My diet consists of eggs for breakfast, a shake for lunch, lean protein and veggies for dinner, nuts for snacks and plenty of water. I threw out all of my Splenda and switched to Stevia. I’m still working on cutting down on the half & half.

So far in 24 days I have lost 11 pounds. I am more than halfway there! Woo hoo!

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#MBBChallenge Days 18-22: How to Deal With Curve Balls and Know Good Friends

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I’m learning to be grateful for each moment, each person and even each obstacle in my life. This photo means a lot to me because  it reminds me that back then I was unhappy with the person I was with at the time instead of enjoying and appreciating my newborn baby and all of the good things surrounding me. I was also very young and very stupid. Thankfully, I have grown since then, in inches and wisdom.

Days #18 – 22: Thursday, Jan. 28 – Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015

I’ve never been very good at baseball, or any sports for that matter. My sister was awesome at softball and put me to shame as the all-star pitcher. I was the skinny, sucky catcher and hated it but my mom required all 6 kids to take one sport and one instrument. Music to this day is my life and has been an escape for trying times, some of which I am going through right now.

January 2015 started out by throwing me a series of curve balls. Luckily my mom also taught us 6 kids to be fighters. She’s from Da Bronx, so hitting back was pretty easy at first. But now? My arm is getting sort of tired. Fortunately my friends and family have been right there by my side to help hold me up.

First curve ball: On Day #2 of Max’s Bootcamp 6-week challenge, my son was rushed to the emergency room for what we thought was “just” appendicitis. Little did we know that his appendix had a hole in it, had leaked fluid, the infection spread AND the appendix has attached to the intestine. “Normal” surgery for appendicitis is one day and they go home. We spent the next 4 days camped out by his hospital bed thanking God that he was and is still with us. Had I waited one more day he might not be here.

Next curve ball: On Day #10 came the tooth pain. Well it really came a few days earlier but I was distracted with caring for my son and for his recovery. I finally went to the dentist and found out I have SIX cavities (UGH!) and have to get my 2 wisdom teeth pulled. No biggie, right? Wrong because…..

Current curve ball: On Day #18 I found out that I might possibly have a major health issue to deal with. I was sick to my stomach all day Friday so I could not work out. And because of this health issue my doctor said I can not take my pain meds for my teeth so I have to be in pain every day until this is over.

On top of all that I have been extremely sleep deprived due to working 27/7  for my “real job” on snow coverage, breaking news alerts, snow delays, etc. Even with all of this I am proud to say that I have not cheated on my diet once, not in 22 days, one more day than the last time I cheated on the Rubber Band Diet. So that is good news.

If I can be grateful in this moment for anything it is for the great old friends and new that I have in my life. For the good friends who know that if I have been acting weird, this is why. I apologize for my moodiness and the ups and downs. This is a lot to deal with all in one month. Lack of sleep can make people emotional as well.

But if you think my Facebook status updates are directed at you specifically, don’t. I am also writing a book, loosely based on real life incidents and highly embellished. Take what I post with a grain of salt and try to put yourself in my shoes. Two major health issues to deal with in the space of just a few weeks is enough to drive any “normal” person a little crazy. Anyone who was with me when I wrote my book during the month of November has seen me go crazy but I came out the other side unscathed. I know I will this time too. My goal is to complete my current script by March 3 so if you can’t deal, hide me in your news feed until then. 🙂

Let me close by saying this- A good friend will be there to love and support me. A good friend will not say I am a horrible person or that I am crazy, even thought at times I can be. A good friend will accept apologies and move on. A good friend will be there as a support and a sounding board, stocked with plenty of positive things to say to distract and make me smile. A good friend will not drag me down, but build me up.

A most sincere thank you to all those who have been there for me this month– family, co-workers, new gym buddies, writing friends, muses, old friends and new.

I will get through this because, as one amazing family member said to me today: “You are a fighter and a very strong woman.” This is true now more than ever. And there are so many more good things to come.

Days #18 – 22 stats:

I can’t remember exactly. Mostly my diet consists of eggs for breakfast, a shake for lunch, lean protein and veggies for dinner, nuts for snacks and plenty of water.

So far in 22 days I have lost 11 pounds. I am more than halfway there! Woo hoo!

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#MBBChallenge Day 17: No More Excuses

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I’ve used all of these excuses in the past,and then some, but this is the new me and I say……

“No more excuses!” #JustDoIt

Day #17: Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015

“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.”  Jordan Belfort

With nearly every fiber of my being I did not want to go to personal training today. First of all, I only got 3 hours of sleep…again. This same cycle of  working late, not going to bed until 2 or 3 a.m., and then staying up worrying and tossing and turning has become routine.

Second, I could not find any leggings or workout clothes because I have not done laundry all week.

Third, I was soooooo sore from last night’s boot camp…. like every part of me is sore: butt, hamstrings, quads, stomach, arms, etc.

So did I go? YES.Why? Because it is too easy to fall back into the making excuses routine. And because I had an appointment I needed to keep. Jess was great as always and worked around my soreness and she is a great therapist as well without even meaning to be. We talk and talk and the time just flies by! It’s a good thing.

It’s so important to surround yourself with encouraging, positive people when going through such a tremendous lifestyle change. Thankfully I know that I have found the right place.

Here’s what we did:

  • Sandbag squats
  • Ladder criss-cross
  • Tricep rings curls
  • Sled push

We did 45 seconds for each set, 3 reps, because I was to sore to do4.

My son is still home sick.My tooth is still sore. I am going through my own health issues but I won’t give up this time. I need to prove to myself that I can finish something that started. I can make a commitment and keep it. I can follow through. It’s all about self-discipline. And if I can do this then there is so much more I know that I can accomplish in life as well.

No more excuses.

Day #17 stats:

  • Breakfast: Protein shake
  • Lunch: Protein shake
  • Dinner: Mixed green salad with grilled chicken
  • Workout: 60-minute intense boot camp!
  • Weight: 1×3 – still stuck
  • Lost: 5  pounds
  • 15 to go

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#MBBChallenge Day 8: It’s Not the SIZE of Your Hips, It’s How You USE Them

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 2014 may have been the year of the booty, but  Shakira’s 2006 classic still speaks to me.

Day #8: Monday, Jan. 19, 2015

Yes, like Shakira says, “My hips don’t lie.” Neither does my waist or my love handles. Or the scale. Well maybe Max’s scale. My scale says I lost 4 pounds but Max’s has not budged. That’s okay.

I am in the beginning of week 2 and still have not cheated on my diet OR had wine!  I got in  3 workouts last week and hope to amp that up to 4 this week. Juggling a sick child, a busy teen,work and household chores can keep a gal very busy but I know if I don’t stick to this plan this time I won’t ever do it.

You see, I never had to think about what I ate and never worked out. I hate working out! I was a teen mom before MTV made it cool and I was in a bikini within a weeks after having my son. Fast forward six years to son #2 and it was pretty much the same. Bikini bod was there without much effort. Four years later when I hit the big 3-0 it was not as easy. Over the last 14 years I have gained about 4 pounds per year. This is not good.

I have tried diet after diet and I am finding the only thing that works is…. you guessed it… diet and exercise! If you hate to workout like me, you may find boot camp fun. The gym I go to, Max’s Best Bootcamp, is a very supportive environment and the trainers and members keep pushing you to complete your sets. It’s like you have your own set of cheerleaders rooting for you.

So even though Max’s scale might be lying, or I am lying to myself, I will just keep on truckin’.

Day #8 stats:

  • Breakfast: MBB vanilla protein shake
  • Lunch: Mixed green salad with grilled chicken
  • Dinner: Grilled chicken with grilled zucchini and squash
  • Workout: Personal Training sesh w/Jess: ropes, squats, planks, and more!
  • Starting weight: 1×8 <– Max’s scale says I lost ZERO? WTH dude?!
  • Lost 0 (?)  pounds
  • (?) to go

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#MBBChallenge Day 7: Life Has its Ups and Downs, Just Keep Hopping!

Photo contributed

Life has its ups and downs. As long as you stay on your pogo stick and keep moving forward, you will be fine. And what happens if you fall off? Just get up and keep on hopping!

Day #7 Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015

Week one is done and it was a crazy one. In case you’re just joining us, my son had major surgery Tuesday night/Wednesday morning and we have been basically camped out at the hospital all week-long. Needless to say it put a hitch in my exercise mojo.  Click here to read back from Day #1.

All week we ate hospital food, take-out and other foods not exactly on Max’s Best Bootcamp plan. I didn’t eat any carbs and I did not drink wine, but I did have a few no-no’s: mainly cheese and cream. I am not going to beat myself up too bad after what we went through; two days without sleep, a very nerve-wracking week and still another week and a half until we are home free.

Next week I will kick it up a notch since my son is finally home from the hospital and I can cook and eat healthier. So starting in week 2, I will stick to the plan and add in a couple of extra workouts. Let’s DO this!

Day #7 stats:

  • Breakfast: Eggs and sausage, coffee w/half & half
  • Lunch: Protein shake
  • Dinner: Baked eggplant and salad
  • Snack: Mixed nuts
  • Workout: Have not gone to boot camp or training since Thursday.  Definitely need to amp it up next week.
  • Today’s weight: 1×4 <—-STUCK
  • Lost 4 pounds <—-STUCK
  • 16  to go <—-STUCK, What to do……….. what to do…………….

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#MBBChallenge Day 6: #IrishDance , Knobby Knees and the Bottomless Pit

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My prize-winning super-fit Irish dance teenage daughter is a bottomless pit. She can eat and eat and eat and not gain an ounce. I used to be like that too…..once….

Day #6 Saturday, Jan. 17,2015

For those of you not in the Irish dance world, a “feis” (pronounced FESH) is an Irish dance competition. Saturday my daughter competed and came home with four first place prizes in her level and one second place award. YAY! Last month she competed in the New England Regional Oireachtas held in Providence, Rhode Island and took home 8th place out of 50 dancers. Oireachtas means “gathering” and gather they do. They bring their own coolers, jam-packed with wine, beer,whiskey and whatever else will help parents get through the stress of girl drama, tears, and the ups and downs that go along with the competition.

If ever there is a place you want a drink, it is at a feis.  As much as I love my daughter’s amazing teachers and incredible school, and want to encourage her love of this sport, a feis, for someone who is borderline claustrophobic and whose mom taught her manners (thanks mom!), it is a painful experience.

Many of the other dance moms are pushy and rude, will elbow you battling to get the best “camping” or viewing spot and will practically knock you over with their huge dance dress bags. It would not be so bad if they apologized. Saturday’s viewing spot for me consisted of a 1’x1′ spot by the garbage can, where I stood for 2 hours getting pushed, shoved and knocked over more times that I can count. But she WON! So it was all worth it!

I am grateful to be a part of a dance school that teaches respect, good sportsmanship and how to be a good person in life, in addition to dance. My daughter’s teachers show the dancers how to deal with adversity by walking the walk and talking the talk. Having dealt with obstacles they have experienced personally, they are able to set a good example of how to respond when others are rude, mean and nasty. I can’t go into details about the incident her teachers went through at Oireachtas, but I will just say how impressed I was with their reaction and how they teach the students through their example.

We will be going to another feis this Sunday but I know at least at this one there are chairs to watch and I can go early barricade myself in so I don’t have to get knocked in the head with dance bags and/or sprayed in the face with hairspray.

Yes, if ever there was a place I wanted a drink, it is at a feis.  But I vowed to get through the 6 weeks of Max’s Best Bootcamp fitness challenge sticking to the plan, which means no wine. So far I have been a good girl! THIS is commitment. I brought a protein shake and nuts to this feis because I had a feeling there would not be any healthy options for me and I was correct in my assumption.

When I was little, like my daughter, I could eat and eat and eat and not gain weight. My siblings would call me “knobby knees” because my legs were so long and skinny. They’d also call me the “bottomless pit” because I could down a whole plate of fried seafood and a large pizza without flinching. My how times have changed!

Next week I will kick it up a notch since my son is finally home from the hospital and I can cook and eat healthier.

Day #6 stats:

  • Breakfast: Eggs and bacon, coffee w/half & half
  • Lunch: Protein shake, no healthy options available at the feis
  • Dinner: Baked eggplant and salad
  • Snack: Mixed nuts
  • Workout: Nothing today- still sore from Thursday’s personal training sesh. Can’t go out this weekend due to sick son needing my care. Back on track Monday.
  • Today’s weight: 1×4
  • Lost 4 pounds
  • 16  to go

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#MBBChallenge Day 5: Dreamin’ (of Chips) is Free

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“When I met you in the restaurant, you could tell I was no debutante, you asked me what’s my pleasure, a movie or a measure, I’ll have a cup of tea and tell you of my dreaming, dreaming is free.” ~Blondie

Day #5 Friday, Jan. 16,2015

Your mind can play some very weird tricks on you….especially when under the influence of painkillers and lack of sleep. I took some Advil P.M. last night due to a wicked bad toothache that my former dentist attempted to fix FIVE times, and failed miserably. I’m trying to get hooked up with a new masochist….ummmm, I mean dentist, but in the meantime I am self-medicating.

As you may or not know, part of Max’s 6-week challenge is NO CARBS. So last night I must have really wanted some starchy potato-filled goodness because  I dreamt that I was chewing up delicious, crispy, crunchy,salty potato chips, just for the flavor, and then spitting them out so as not to break my no carb diet. See? Even in my dreams I am dedicated. You can take the potatoes away from the Irish lass, but you can’t make her like it. Like Blondie said, “Dreaming is free,” and dreaming of eating chips is carb free so it’s a win-win for everyone.

Whoever said, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” clearly never tasted salt and vinegar Lay’s potato chips…. and needs to be bitch slapped from here to eternity. Yes, I may be a little cranky today. Blame it on the Bossa Nova, or the rain, or the boogie, whichever you prefer. I am blaming it on the lack of serotonin and lack of alcohol to take the edge off of this very stressful day.

We brought home my bouncing baby boy from the hospital today, all 19-year-old appendixlessness of him. He was so positive and had such a great attitude when we were at the hospital for the last 4 days…. and as soon as we got him home? BOOM! Smells like teen angst. And I also have a roller-coaster-full-of-emotions teen girl to deal with to boot. YAY ME!

But I won’t give up or give in, not on Day 5. No way. Even if my scale DID go back to her normal way-too-honest self today. Yes, today I walk in pain with every step and remind myself of an all-too-true fitness cliché: “no pain no gain.” I will get there. All in due time.

Day #5 stats:

  • Breakfast: Coffee w/half & half and a veggie omelet cooked in coconut oil
  • Lunch: Nothing- I was too full from breakfast
  • Dinner: Chicken stir fry with veggies
  • Snack: Mixed nuts
  • Workout: Nothing today- too sore from yesterday’s personal training sesh. Lots of water & lots of stretching today.
  • Today’s weight: 1×4
  • Lost 4 pounds
  • 16  to go

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#MBBChallenge Day 4: My #Scale is a #FortuneTeller and My #BFF

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My scale is better than your scale. It tells the future.

Day #4 Thursday, Jan. 15,2015

My scale is better than your scale. It tells the future. How so? Whelp! On day 4 I stepped into it’s cold white face first thing upon awakening and BOOM! It told me I was 50 pounds lighter than I actually am. My first thought was, “WOW! Only one session of Max’sBest Bootcamp and I am already at my goal weight? Awesome! That Max sure does work some magic!”  My next thought was, “This can’t be right but awwww, thank you scale for making me feel good if for only for a few seconds before my brain woke up.”

No, I didn’t lose 50 pounds in 4 days but it was a nice reminder of what I am working towards and it is more than just a number on a scale or skinnier skinny jeans. It is working towards breaking old habits of being addicted to bad things (ie: caffeine, wine, no sleep) and replacing them with good things (ie: water, healthy food/drinks, exercise and enough sleep to let my body do its thang <—- yes I said THANG.Deal with it).

A writer’s life consists of seclusion and addiction. Ernest Hemingway said, “Write drunk, edit sober” and I lived by that mantra for longer than I care to admit. But I’ve found it is really just going from one addiction to the next to keep your body going, which turns into a vicious cycle. It also causes humongous mood swings which is not good for anyone within a 3-foot radius of me.

Some of my “friends” bet me that I could not go without wine for 6 weeks and to that I say, “Watch me.” Challenge accepted. Valerie Bertinelli “after” bikini pic coming soon. Except mine will be more like Lady Gaga ’cause I’m weird like that.

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Photo credz:

Day #4 stats:

  • Breakfast: Coffee w/half & half and a protein shake
  • Lunch: Large tossed salad with oil and vinegar
  • Dinner: Grilled chicken and more salad
  • Workout: 30-minute KICKASS session with Jess, kettle bells, squats,ropes,lunges, push ups on the rings…..OUCH! But I did it!
  • Starting weight: ? My scale broke!
  • Lost 4 – ? pounds
  • 16 (?) to go

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#MBBChallenge Day 3: Out With the Old, in With the New


Max’s Best Bootcamp 6-week challenge “Luxurious” meals include 6 oz. of lean meat, in this case top sirloin, with sautéed mushrooms and onions with steamed veggies. YUM!

Day #3: Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015

After no sleep, a night and day of worry and uncomfortable surroundings, I was relieved that my son came out of appendix surgery virtually unscathed. It was finally time to go home and sleep! He will be in the hospital for another day as they monitor his infection but once I knew he’d be sleeping for a few hours I felt okay about finally getting some shuteye.

I’m on Day #3 and have only had one workout so far. My diet also is not going according to plan so I know I am going to have to kick it up a few notches to meet my goals due to these minor setbacks. My challenge is to lose 20 pounds in 6 weeks. My goal is to do three or four boot camp workouts per week plus two personal training sesisons.The end of the six weeks is Feb. 28 so I need to lose 3.33 pounds per week to make my goal.

The old me would say, “Life is too crazy right now. Put this diet/exercise plan on hold.” But the new me is saying, “Enough excuses. Life will always throw curveballs. Learn to adapt, adjust and keep moving forward.”

Dinner tonight was prepared by Chef Sheila or Bloke, or whoever cooks over there at Outback. Yes, more food to-go since we’ve been camped out at Danbury Hospital. Despite not eating as I should on “the plan” and only getting in one workout in so far this week, my scale still tells me I lost four pounds. I’m not sure if it’s lying and just trying to make me feel good about the horrible week I’ve had so far, or if it is in fact true. I will find out tomorrow afternoon when I meet Jess, AKA Personal Trainer (PT), for my 30-minute session. If I’m feeling sprite and sassy I may just get up at 9 a.m. and get in a boot camp workout in the morning to make up for missing the last two days.

My son will be in the hospital another day or two but has had constant visitors and excellent care from the doctors and nurses at Danbury Hospital so I am able to run in and out for short periods of time. Hopefully he will be home soon and life can get back to “normal.” My life “normal?” Yeaaaah right.

So how did I do today on Day #3? Check it out below.

Please note: The cream in my coffee is NOT Max approved, however, being on the run after my son was in surgery, this is my own modified version. DO NOT attempt! Max’s plan  says to drink black coffee OR coffee with half & half, NOT cream.

Day #3 stats:

  • Breakfast: Egg and sausage “sandwich” sans bagel, coffee with cream
  • Lunch: Snoozed through lunch
  • Snack: Mixed nuts from the hospital vending machine
  • Dinner: 6 oz. top sirloin with sautéed mushrooms and onions with steamed veggies
  • Workout: None – spent the day at the hospital and the afternoon in bed after going two days without sleep. I WILL get to MBB tomorrow or my name is not WendiPopRock! 😀
  • Starting weight: 1×4
  • Lost 4 pounds
  • 16 to go

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#MBBChallenge Day #2: #GirlsNightOut Foils Workflow, #Parenting Emergency Snarls #Fitness Flow

 Screen shot 2015-01-15 at 1.05.05 AMI know it’s not on Max’s Best Bootcamp 6-week challenge, but it was my best no carb option for hospital food. Don’t worry, I didn’t eat the fruit. This is not going as planned…..

Day #2: Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015

Little did I know when deciding to pull an all-nighter for my “real” job, that Day #2 would involve rushing my son to the emergency room for a ruptured appendix a few hours later. With no sleep and reaaaaaally bad pain in my calves, thighs, butt, arms, chest….. basically everywhere except my eyeballs and toes. I thought it best to cancel the personal training session I had set up with Jess for today.

I work for an online news publication and when there is bad weather we are expected to get up early and post breaking news alerts like this……

BREAKING NEWS: Ruptured Appendix Breaks Workflow, Co-workers Step In to Help

I was supposed to do that on Monday morning, but after Girl’s Night Out and being up with my sick son (who I thought had the stomach flu), I woke up at 8 a.m. instead of 5 a.m. and was subsequently placed at the top of my boss’ shit list. I didn’t dare make that same mistake twice in a week so I figured staying up late would remedy that. Only problem was it didn’t snow. And I didn’t sleep.

My son was still having pain in his side Tuesday afternoon and now had a fever, so I decided to bring him to Urgent Care after dropping off my daughter at dance. He has “cried wolf”  before which is why I delayed bringing him right away. I thought they would say he just had the stomach bug like they did last time. I thought I would drop him off, shoot over to interview people for an important news article, then quickly go back to the doctor, who I was sure hadn’t seen him yet due to the large amount of people in the waiting room. I thought wrong.

Within minutes, he called me saying we had to go straight to the emergency room– it was appendicitis. Scrambling to get my daughter a ride home and make sure she could get in the house, I got him to the ER. My husband works nights so I do Mom’s Taxi duties alone Monday-Friday.

The hubs finally arrived from work right before the doctors told us this would not be normal “routine surgery” for appendicitis where the patient is in and out in a day. No. He had a hole in his swollen appendix which caused an infection. He needed two full doses of antibiotics before they could operate. They said it would be 5 or 6 a.m.before they’d operate.

We fidgeted in our hard-as-a-rock chairs and tried not to show our son the worry clearly painted all over our faces. We ate a lovely hospital food dinner (note: sarcasm) and tried to remain calm while we waited for the surgeon to come tell us “it’s time.”

Finally, 8 1/2 hours and four nurses later, a semi-observant nurse noticed out discomfort and exhaustion and offered us recliners. She made us cozy with warm blankets and pillows at about 3:45 a.m. Aaah, sleep. FINALLY after two days without. We finally drifted off into sweet slumber when a man in a white coat woke us up literally ten minutes later telling us it was time to go.

He went under the knife at 4:30 a.m. and wasn’t finished until after 6:30 a.m. I couldn’t sleep. The worry, the noise and bright lights of the hospital waiting room were not conducive to dreamland. The hubs didn’t have this problem. When the doctor finally came to tell us  he was “okay” he gave us more bad news…. they removed the appendix but after opening him up, they saw there was also a tear in my son’s intestine that could possibly rupture over the next two weeks.

There is nothing worse than watching your child in pain and not being able to do anything about it. Despite all that he went through, and going through his third surgery in three years, my son has an amazing positive attitude and I am so very proud of him. I am so grateful he is okay and will breathe a huge sigh of relief after the two weeks are up and I know he is going to be alright.

The outpouring of support we received from family, friends, co-workers, and even my new Max’s Best Bootcamp family was also incredible. Thank you all.

Needless to say, after all the chaos and worry, bootcamp and Max’s diet was not at the top of my mind, but I did manage to stick with a modified version.

Day #2 stats:

  • Breakfast: MBB vanilla protein shake
  • Lunch: Caesar salad with grilled chicken
  • Dinner: Hospital food…ick! It was tough to choose from the many fatty high-carb options, but I did find some chicken salad and cheese squares. Not on Max’s 6-week challenge plan, but the best no-carb option I had to choose from
  • Workout: none – stretching throughout the day to relieve some pain
  • Starting weight: 1×6
  • Lost 2 pounds
  • 18 to go

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#MBBChallenge Day 1: #EatClean #TrainDirty Keep the Cray Cray Under Wraps

mbb day 1


Me and “accountability” partner, A.K.A. my new trainer, “Jess” who is as cute as a button.

Day #1: Monday, Jan. 12, 2015

Monday began Day #1 of my 6-week journey to better health, a better diet, smaller skinny jeans and kicking my no working out habit to the curb. I accepted Max’s 6-week workout challenge and that means no carbs, no booze and no fun. Juuuuust kidding. It actually is a lot of fun, despite having to give up my precious wine. WAH!

Day #1 began with my first boot camp which KICKED my butt! Kettlebells, and pushups, and ropes, oh my! No, I am not talking about the new 50 Shades of Grey movie, I am talking about what goes on during a Max’s Best Bootcamp workout.

It’s not like a regular gym where you climb steps to nowhere, “spinning” through the open road pretending to  FEEL the road, SEE the road, BE the road, or watching egomaniacs checking themselves out in the mirrors and working out in silence. Nope. This is a group atmosphere, a team environment where everyone is there to keep you going when you feel like you’re about to pass out…..or puke. It was definitely not the easiest first day after Girl’s Night Out and dealing with a sick child the night before. But it turns out I also knew four people right off the bat who were part of my workout team through the circuits.

After the hour was over it turned out that one of the ladies in my group is actually my new trainer! And we used to go to the same church, and we both work/worked at the same place. Cue Twilight Zone music. Next thing you know she will be getting me back to church! #neversaynever

The least fun part of Day #1 was getting on the scale, taking measurements and finding out the percentage of my body fat was pretty darn horrendous…. not Kirstie Alley fat but extra “curvy” to say the least. My loving husband always says he “likes a woman with meat on her bones,” which is cute, but I know it’s high time for a cool change, to quote the Little River Band.

After my ridiculous answers to Guru Max’s probing questions, I am convinced my trainer thinks I am totally crazy. Max already knows.

Here’s my Day #1 stats:

  • Breakfast: Coffee w/cream
  • Lunch: Protein shake
  • Dinner: Roasted chicken and green beans
  • Workout: 60-minute boot camp
  • Starting weight: 1×8.2
  • 6-weight loss goal –  20 lbs.

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Goodbye Sweet #Wine Hello #RockinBod – #BootCamp Starts in T-Minus 3-2-1

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“Nothing comes between me and my Levi’s.” Wendi Pop Rock circa 1988. Photo by Garrett Burdick

I know what you’re thinking, “Here she goes again with another one of her wacky diets that she will fail in a matter of weeks.” To be honest, part of me is thinking that too. But a bigger part of me is thinking, “THIS time I am really going to do it.”

Yes, I’ve tried the Rubber Band Diet, the No Carb Diet, the Captain Morgan and Cigarettes Diet and many more, but this time it will be different. Why?  Because I want to recreate the young Wendy in the photo above and below. Because I have a photo shoot scheduled in 4 weeks. Because I’ve been telling myself for 3 years when I turn age “X” I am going todo the Valerie Bertinielli bikini shot. But most of all, because we got a new bedroom set with a mirror and I caught a glimpse of myself in that way-too-honest-to-be-a-good-friend mirror and I did not like what I saw.

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A young Wendy in Atlantic City, circa 1994, photo by Mitch Crystal

I saw someone who had made up excuse after excuse. I saw someone who gave up ten too many times.  I saw someone who needs real change.

SO how will I do it? A little-known secret called…. wait for it….”Diet and Exercise!”  I re-enlisted in Max’s Best Bootcamp in Danbury, CT, where I used to go. The ever so patient and encouraging Max Barry sat down with me today and we got real. He asked me questions…. hard questions like….

  • Why do you want to lose weight?
  • When do you think you can workout?
  • And what about the wine?

GASP! The wine? MY wine? My friend and lover and solace almost every night after a long, hard stressful day of writing gory attention grabbing headlines as required by my bosses? (I’m a news editor in case you’re just joining this party). How DARE he make me break up with WINE of all things? There was an awkward pause, and a nervous laugh. And then reality set in.

If I am going to be committed to this new “relationship,” I must give the old Chard the heave-ho. I will rip it off like a Band-Aid, but first I must finish all the wine and chips and carbs in the house before boot camp starts on Friday, right? Well at least the wine….HICCUP!

Friday’s boot camp starts at 9 a.m. I will be weighed (yuck) and measured (double yuck) and given a diet and workout plan. Max tells me my new food choices will be “luxurious.” I like that word. Maybe this won’t be so bad. And he said I will have an accountability partner – A.K.A. “personal trainer” that I will meet with twice a week in addition to the boot camp sessions. Yikes.

Max challenged me to lose 20 pounds in 6 weeks. Can she doit folks? Or will she fall off the wine wagon?  I will be blogging about my progress every day,and checking in at the gym like one of those annoying people leaving inspirational hashtags and quote all over Twitterverse and Instaland. So if you hate that just unfollow me for now. I promise I won’t turn into one of those annoying fitness dorks. (or will I?!)

All these questions and more will be answered on… “As the Fat Burns.” Yep- fitness dork is already coming out. This is going to be FUN!

#Atkins #NoCarb #Diet Day 19:

I Cheated and it Felt SO Gooood……


If loving you is wrong, chocolate, I don’t wanna be right.

Oct. 23 was Day #11 of my insane, serotonin-sucking diet, so that means today must be Day #19. Two weeks in and I will admit, I cheated. I cheated and it felt soooo good. After two-and-a-half weeks of mood swings, fights with family and friends, loss of respect by some, loss of my debit card, lack of sleep and general insanity, I felt maybe the best thing to do for the sake of all those I love and hold dear, would be to eat a gosh darn piece of freakin’ chocolate for Pete’s sake! (Who is Pete? You’ve got me.)

One candy bar was not going to kill me. But maybe adding on a bag of Lay’s potato chips would. After my body has been carb-free for so long I sunk quickly into the dreul-filled carb coma I have fallen into so many times before. You see, I am not just doing this no carb diet because I want to look like J Lo, I am doing it because my doctor said I have high glucose in my blood and if I don’t regulate it now with my diet I will have Type 2 diabetes within a couple of years. No thanks, doc. I quite like my taters and hops in moderation.

The only problem is that I have not been eating healthy at all. Substituting one or two vices for another is not the best compromise, but it has been what I’ve been doing and it’s going to stop now. Can’t embark upon a 50K race to finish a novel in one month for #NaNoWriMo being all strung out on Captain Morgan and cigarettes now can I? No. I need some brain food and I need to keep my wits about me.

So it’s back to my green kelp shakes that bring all the smarts to my bod, that’s right, they’re better than yours.


So how have I done so far 19 days in?

Mood: More ups and downs that Nicki Minaj’s butt in that Anaconda video

Food: I stopped tracking at the 5th cup of coffee per day about a week ago

Weight loss: 12 pounds

Sanity loss: 40% + climbing

#NoCarb #Diet Days 6-11:

#Flashback Freaky #Feminist Photo

Giving an Imaginary F.U.

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A Flashback Freaky Feminist Photo Giving a Big Imaginary F.U. to the Effers Who Try to Bring Me Down.

(That was a lot of alliteration)


Forgive me internet, for I have sinned: It has been 5 days since my last “blog-fession.”

No, I didn’t cheat on my diet. But I did act like an insane raging lunatic, an insecure emotional puddle of crud, an angry feminist bitch ready to knock out a bunch of nasty divas and a badass empowered female who won’t take any shit from anyone who tries to bring me down— ALL in one week. There’s nothing more unattractive then an insecure, blubbering mess, which is exactly what I was.

I couldn’t understand why I have been so up and down and ready to cry at the drop of a dime upon seeing a dog food commercial on TV, or at the thought of not being important to someone I really care about, or getting upset about silly things like someone not texting me back quickly enough (or at all)…… so I Googled “no carb diet mood swings” and WHA-BAM! Apparently lack of carbs can rob your brain of serotonin, the same “feel good” part of your brain that is responsible for regulating brain functions such as mood, appetite, sleep, and memory. Yikes!

I think that, in combination with the fact I have been getting hammered with bad luck, mean people and getting my hopes crushed has once again put me on a “wild ride.” Thank God the people I hold the dearest to my heart can put up with this and put up with the good, bad and ugly.

Good:  Let me get back to you on that. This was the week from hell.

Bad: Work probs, moody kid probs, poor people probs, exfoliation scrub stuck in my eye for 3 days probs, locked out of my house for 2 hours in the rain probs, mean person mysteriously popping back into my life calling me nasty names & judging me after 6 months of not a peep probs….. etc. etc. etc.

Ugly: I said the meanest,ugliest and most hurtful things to a very dear friend, but she forgave  me anyway. God I’m such a doofus sometimes!

Despite all the things that went wrong this past week, one thing I am really proud of myself for is not going off my diet and blaming it on my miserable problems. Pom poms! Oh I just thought of anothergood thing……. another friend who I have not talked to in a while must have known something was up, called me and said the nicest things about me that I have not heard in a while.

The pep talk really helped snap me out of the slump I was in and I am saying a big imaginary F.U. to those who let me down, ignore me or don’t follow through. I am not chopped liver and refuse to play second fiddle in relationships, my career or anything else I am involved in. Nobody deserves to be made to feel bad about themselves…. especially when they’re on a no carb diet and lacking serotonin!!!!!

So thank you friend for calling me smart, beautiful, funny, creative and a good writer. You know who you are! 🙂

That’s the past week it in a nutshell.  No complaining, no bitching or moaning, just the facts sir. And here’s how I did…….



Day 11 Stats:

Weight: 1×8.2

Starting Weight: 1×7.5

Loss/Gain: 9.3

Mood: Emotional roller coaster doesn’t begin to describe it.

Food: Meat, veggies & lots of caffeine

  • Breakfast: 2 cups o’ Joe w/sugar-free Vanilla
  • Lunch: Mixed nuts
  • Dinner: Baked chicken and cheddar with salsa

Day 5 #NoCarb #Diet: Weak, Feverish and in Need of Attention

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Friday’s mood was blah, weak, feverish and in need of attention. I woke up from a 3-hour nap with the chills, sweats and a fever. (No, it’s not Ebola).

I couldn’t concentrate all day and it affected my work and my head. Distracted by social media and work CMS problems I only performed at about 50 percent. I called our tech department for help but somehow the nice young gentleman at the other end of line’s words did not quite penetrate my mush brain. Today I’m making up for it.

When kids are sick they get soup, hugs, kisses, wet washcloths, teddy bears and lots of love. When moms are sick we get to still do laundry, cook, clean and work. I know, poor me. Someone needs to create a Rent-a-Mom biz that makes house calls. Sort of like that new app where you can find local singles to cuddle with you. Come plump my pillow and bring me crackers and ginger ale please fake mom.

But for now, I trudge on. Feel free to send any virtual hugs and cuddles my way!

Day 5 Stats:

Weight: 1×1  — Starting weight 1×7.5, down 8 pounds

Mood: Weak, needy and feverish


  • Breakfast: 1 cups o’ Joe w/cream and sugar-free vanilla
  • Lunch: Zilch, zero, nada, not hungry
  • Dinner: Cobb salad with chicken
  • Snack: Mixed nuts

Today’s theme song: Fever by Peggy Lee.

#Diet Day 4:

Causing a Kerfuffle With #Cocktails at #Karaoke

Screen shot 2014-10-17 at 11.41.05 PM

Photo: Melissa Wilson Photography

Day 4 started off really good, up and at ‘em early, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Lost 5 pounds so far! WOO HOO! That means one rubber band can come off of my wrist for my Rubber Band Diet. I was invited to an arts breakfast that I attended with an old friend.  Delicious food, good company and a great networking opportunity.

Went home, cranked out a bunch of articles, then got ready for a fun night out with an old “friend,” to meet a new friend. Rushed so much to get through the work day that I forgot to eat dinner. I never understood when my skinny friend would tell me she forgot to eat but now I see how. Only problem is forgetting to eat is not good when combined with a few cocktails.

Yes, it was karaoke night, a night I was looking forward to after an Ebola-filled week of writing articles about car crashes, criminals, and some 5Ks sprinkled in for good measure.  I was also super excited to meet a really cool dude who I pitched an idea to (that I won’t discuss yet until it’s a go).

For this project I called in an old “friend.” We had been asked to do another project before this that one didn’t work out. The first producer strung us a long for 2 years and it never happened. We had to sign an NDA (Non-disclosure agreement) before I could pitch to producer #2. Casting Agent/Producer #2 was very interested. We Skyped and I was psyched! Then she got fired from the network. Back to the drawing board. Enter Producer #3 who has a lot of writing, directing and producing film credits…. about 25 more than Producer #1 so it looks good. He wanted to meet the other 2 “cast members” involved so I introduced them.

So this old friend is generally cool one-on-one, but add important and charming producers to the mix and…. WOW….. no holes barred and she shows her best Reality TV hand. Jokers. The night turned out to be all about her and I was left in the dust. Royal Flush. Without going into gory details, it just sucked on ice and I felt used and ignored….. which led to a (what I thought was) funny rum-induced Facebook rant.

Unfortunately, I often only amuse myself and some of my newer Facebook friends don’t quite “get” the weird, wacky side of Wendi Pop Rock. It’s a wild ride– there are ups and downs, twists and turns, and loop-dee-loops. Sometimes people fall off, scream, cry and maybe someone might puke a little here and there, but when the ride stops to let everyone off, life continues and we go around again.

Unlike many of my other Facebook “friends,” I only really rant maybe once a year. Last year I had a horrible day and posted an F-bomb filled rant. Soon after, I got a virtual wet noodle lashing and responded by saying “everyone else is doing it, why can’t I?” I was told that people expect more out of me. Wow. I didn’t know I had so much power!

Anyhoo, I built a bridge and got over it, and like I always do, I just keep on truckin’. Luckily Producer #3 is super nice and understanding and still wants to move forward. Fingers crossed and spoon under my pillow.

They say Day #3 is the hardest of the No-Carb diet but I have evidence Day #4 is definitely the worst.

Day 4 Stats:

Weight: 1×2  — Starting weight 1×7.5, down 5 pounds, woo hoo! I can take off 1 rubber band!

Mood: Kooky!


  • Breakfast: 2 cups o’ Joe w/cream and sugar-free vanilla, egg casserole with scallions and spicy sausage at the arts breakfast, scrumdiddlyumptious!
  • Lunch: Baked chicken with ranch dressing and veggies
  • Dinner: Whoops! I forgot!
  • Snacks: Juuuust one too many Captain n’ Diets (Don’t judge, I can’t have wine, remember?)

The night was filled with kookiness, cocktails and karaoke which left a morning of headaches, explanations and dehydration. But we’ll get to that later.

Diet Day #3:

Oh the #Horror of Life Without #Wine & #Chocolate



I had a horror-ful night…. is that a word?If not, I just made it up. The girl is moody, the boy is sleepy, the dog is moany and I can’t have any wine or chocolate!!!! Serenity now!!!!

Yep! It’s Day #3 of the no-carb rubber band diet and I have not bitten anyone’s head off yet. Except maybe a baby kitty…….


I call this “Ode to Carrie During the Loss of My Inhibitions.”

Psyche. It’s just me post-fright-fest in my shower after using Vampire Red Manic Panic hair dye. The same hair dye I’ve been using since my goth girl teen angst years. Some things never change. It did look like I just murdered a small kitten so of course I needed to document the occasion. (I know what the B is saying—> narcissist)

It is October after all. I can post scary pix like EVERY DAY if I want because there are only 16 days until Halloween!!!!! That means only 16 more days to lose 18 pounds so I can look sexy in my “Sexy Hamburger” “Sexy Mario” or “Sexy Taco” costume. HA! Juuuust kidding! (Or am I?!) The sexy Subway lady in that commercial told me I better lose some weight so I can look as good as her, so I’m listening. Except I’m eating homemade (flourless) beef stew in my brand new $400 brand Pampered Chef pots. Do they make the food taste like Wolfgang Puck or Emeril made it? I will soon find out.

Check out the video here.

I’m not really going to be sexy nurse or foxy fullback or anything cliché, but I will look good no matter what I go as dadburnit! Tomorrow is the real test of my willpower. Dinner and karaoke with friends. I can drink Captain n’ Diet still. Yeah, that’ll work.

They say Day #3 is the hardest of my Rubber Band No-Carb diet and thank peaches it’s almost over!

Day 3 Stats:

Weight: 1×5.5  — down 2 pounds, 3 more and I can take off 1 rubber band! Woo hoo!



  • Breakfast: 2 cups o’ Joe w/sugar-free Vanilla
  • Lunch: Baked & marinated chicken with zucchini, squash and one of my red hairs in the last bite. YUM!
  • Dinner: $400 pan-cooked beef stew. Tasked like $5, just sayin’

Tomorrow is going to be a looooong day with lots of fun on top, like a gooey hot fudge sundae with chocolate and peanut butter sauce, fresh whipped cream and a juicy cherry. YUM!

#Diet Day 2:

A Workaholic Weighs Pros & Cons of

Church vs. Abode


Hi, my name is Wendi and I am a workaholic.  It’s been 86 days since I last had a good night of sleep without worrying about my job responsibilities.This is what I look like when I get little to no sleep.

I love my job as a work-from-home news editor…. most of the time…. except when battling internet trolls on just 3-4 hours of shuteye. They hide behind fake names and fake photos and engage me in epic, endless warfare about nothing. Usually I can deal, but not when I’m sleep deprived.

Screen shot 2014-10-15 at 6.35.01 PM

Lack of sleep, coupled with an emotional female teen, can do a number on one’s emotions. So can working from home without any adult interaction. And starting an extreme no-carb diet.  Day 2 results at the end.

Back to working from home: For starters, it takes a phenomenal amount of self-discipline to start work when you know you don’t have to clock in at 9 a.m. Then there’s social media….. and learning to ignore all the cute puppy posts, awesome recipes, and political and religious rants when you just want to jump in and give your two cents. And I have to be on social media all day because that is where I get a lot of my info for work.

Add in the stir-crazy factor of being the only person around all day, with no one but your puppy to talk to, and there’s a recipe for disaster. But somehow, I just keep on truckin’. Not saying that to say: “Yay me!” but “Yay me!”

But despite the 12-14 hour days, it’s still way better than dealing with a judgmental and domineering boss like at one of my last job in a church. The custodian would ask me out to dinner on a regular basis (like very day) even though I told him I was married and I dropped all the hints that a short and chunky Latino with greasy hair and bad breath was not really my type (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

Then there was the secretary (as I liked to call her) who acted like she was my boss (but really wasn’t) and would find things on a daily basis to get up my butt about….. like parking in “her spot” when I didn’t know it was hers since it wasn’t labeled, not turning in receipts in the proper manner and calling her “Secretary” when her “official title” is “Administrative Assistant.” Then there’s that time she donated to a charity art auction I was running and after she got mad at me she actually stopped payment on the check for my daughter’s painting she bought. REAL Christian. I found the painting in a plastic grocery bag in my desk the next day.

And by the way, what’s with people changing their titles to make themselves seem more important these days.? Waiters are now called “food servers,” managers are called “Chief Quality Officers.” Check out these 21 hilarious job titles. I just want to know what a”Milf Commander” is and how she got the job???

Back to my last job- after all the fire alarms for the custodian leaving hot dogs on the stove, the senseless meetings, and angry, finger-pointin’ church folk, and the 90-minute commute each way, the straw that broke the camel’s back was the funeral. Yes, the funeral.

I was just about to leave for the day when I needed to run to the loo. Everyone else was gone. I was wearing a fancy churchy skirt, which meant no pockets. I don’t know what possessed me to, but I stuck my cell phone in my bra (GASP!), as I sometimes do when I am pocketless. Thank God I did because after I was done “powdering my nose” I could not get out of the bathroom. The door had locked behind me.

The Priest was conducting a funeral. I watched out the window from the second floor as the funeral procession went through the courtyard, past the fountain, and into  the church. Darn. Couldn’t call the Father now. Couldn’t climb down in a skirt from the second floor (although the firemen across the street may have gotten a kick out of that) So I watched and waited. After about 45 minutes I called his cell and he came and rescued me. It’s pretty funny now looking back at it but just goes to show you that I really should “count my blessings.” (pun intended, but I won’t make a habit of it, or I may parish, PEW!)

So how did I do on Day #2 of my Rubber Band No-Carb diet? GREAT!

Day 2 Stats:

Weight: 1×6.8  — down 1/2 pound

Mood: Tired & cranky as usual — Where’s the rum?


  • Breakfast: 2 cups o’ Joe w/sugar-free Vanilla
  • Lunch: nothing, wasn’t hungry
  • Dinner: Breadless Meatball Grinders (a girl can dream!)
  • Snack: A few tall drinks with the Captian

Maybe next week I’ll work in some Jazzrcize, or prancing, or Xanadu aerobics….. or something super cheesy. We’ll see.

Day #1 Diet:

White Noise, Rum & the Carb-Free Writer

Screen shot 2014-10-13 at 8.27.00 PM

Today begins Day #1 of the Wendi Pop Rock Rubber Band No Carb Diet. Today, coincidentally, is also no school for my daughter, no work for my son, and no night shift for the hubs, which means, no concentration for me.  Clearly, I should have thought this through.

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been distracted  and lost my train of thought today, I think I’d have $47. Then I could buy 2 more bottles of rum…. because I can’t drink the usual wine which contains the evil carbs my body will live without for as long as my willpower can take.

For those who haven’t read my work or bio, I write for a living, and a hobby, and hope one day my hobby could turn into a paid gig if I could ever finish what I started (3 books, 2 scripts and a children’s poem/play). With the afore-mentioned interruptions, I must attempt to cope by using “white noise” to drown it out.

Today, unfortunately, that “white” noise includes the following:

  • Sounds of pop music from the dancer
  • Sounds of and TV and video games from the metal drummer
  • Sounds of various house projects from the hubs, mixed in with occasional drum pad riffs
  • Sounds of Gunsmoke or Dragnet  blaring from the basement dweller
  • Moans and groans from the pup who, according to the metal drummer, is an attention whore (I think he’s right)

So I try, unsuccessfully, to drown it all out with a box fan, a stove fan and some rum. I have Misophonia. Google it. It’s real and it’s not fun. I can’tstand to hear people chew or crunch or swallow. I’m not really a bitch (okay, well maybe just a little). I just want to kill someone when I hear these things. So if you chew your ice, scrape your fork on your teeth or lick your fingers when you eat, I’m sorry, but we can’t be friends.

If you’ve ever tried the Atkins no carb diet then you know the first three days are the hardest. As your body detoxes from all the white flour and sugar it has been forced to take in, your emotions and mood becomes similar to the crankiness of Cruella de Ville. If you see me on the street this week, beware. I may just bite your head off– literally. It is meat and that is one of the things I can eat so……

Day 1 Stats:

Weight: 1×7.5  — You didn’t think I’d really put my weight on here for all the world to see did you??? 😉

Mood: Super cranky — Watch out, until I’ve had my 3rd glass of rum, then I’ll be yo ho ho and a bottle of fun.

Food: Meat, veggies & lots of caffeine

  • Breakfast: 2 cups o’ Joe w/sugar-free Vanilla
  • Lunch: Mixed nuts (nope- I didn’t eat myself silly!)
  • Dinner: Shell-less Tacos & Sal-IT (as the hubs calls it) & a Diet Coke

Plus/Minus: Goal is 0.5 lbs per day before I post my Valerie Bertinelli “After” shot.

So, if you see me up and online at 3 or 4 a.m., this is probably why. I do my best writing at night. Come say hi. I’lll be in a much better mood by then! 😀



Fad Diet #547: The Rubber Band Diet

rubb band diet

You’ve heard of yo-yo dieting but have you heard of the rubber band diet? It’s one I made up. At least I think I did. It works most of the time, or at least for as long as I can stand 10 rubber bands being on my wrist. It’s kind of like putting a ribbon on your finger, but instead of a cute red ribbon,  it’s an ugly tan rubber band…. or 10. Every time you reach for chocolate or wine or some other “evil” thing to shovel into your mouth, you’ll be reminded by the rubber bands NOT to consume the wickedness.

Like many women “of a certain age,” I’ve tried lots of diets to help me shed the “baby fat,” 14 years after the birth of my daughter: The Atkins diet, Suzanne Summers, Weight Watchers, Slim Fast, The Zone, lo-carb, Jello, kelp shakes, Special K, The Way Down, The Makers diet, the Captain Morgan and cigarettes diet and more. I can’t really call it “baby fat” anymore since my daughter is now 14, or blame anyone but myself.

Here are some excuses I’ve used in the past. Maybe you’ve used these too? (tell me in the comments)

  • I’m too busy
  • I’m too tired
  • I’m too hung over
  • My spinning instructor’s too weird
  • My back hurts
  • My knee hurts
  • My head hurts
  • My Zumba teacher’s voice is annoying
  • I hate running into people I don’t feel like seeing at the gym
  • I’ll start on Monday
  • I’ll start next week
  • I’ll start at New Year’s
  • I’ll start after my Valentine’s chocolate is gone
  • Maybe “curvy girls” will come back in style
  • I hate to exercise
  • I need new sneakers
  • I can’t afford new sneakers
  • I have nothing to wear
  • I don’t have a workout buddy
  • I don’t have an accountability partner
  • Marilyn Monroe was a size 12 (except back then that’s equivalent to today’s size 6)
  • I have no motivation because my husband always says, “I like your curves,” and “I like a woman with meat on her bones.”
  • Etc., etc. etc.

Obviously none of these are a valid or reasonable excuse so here I go, ready to embark upon many “Day 1’s” in the quest to fit into my favorite “rock star stage clothes” once again.

So basically here’s how the rubber band diet works:

  1. Decide how much weight you want to lose: Do you want a thigh gap like Beyonce or a Big Big Booty like J-Lo?
  2. Decide which diet you are going to do to go along with the rubber band diet (Atkins, Weight Watchers, etc.)
  3. Put 1 rubber band on your wrist for each weight increment you want to lost
    • Ex: If each one represents 2 pounds and you need to lose 10, put 5 bands on
    • Ex: If you want to lose 50 pounds and each represents 5 pounds put 10 bands on
  4. For each goal reached, take off one band
  5. Every time you get a craving or want to break your diet snap the band HARD
  6. You “win” the diet when all the rubber bands are off your wrist and you reach your goal

Maybe you think it’s crazy, maybe you think it’s genius, but whatever works is what’s important.

Starting tomorrow I will be blogging about my successes and failures, my losses and gains. Feel free to cyber slap me if you see me start to lose my way because from now on, YOU’RE my accountability partner! M’kay? Ready, set, and away we go!

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: #MBBChallenge Day 7: Life Has its Ups and Downs, Just Keep Hopping! | Wendipoprock's Wild Ride

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