You Too Can Lose 120lbs in 7 Thousand Easy Steps…


The title of this post is just a way to get your attention. We’ve all fallen into some rabbit hole of “10 weeks to a slimmer you” or “8 days to less belly fat” or fill in whatever blank you like. What they don’t tell you is that you can do any of those things if you wanna touch the surface and lose the weight only to gain it back at a later date.

500 days ago, I started on this incredible, horrible, eye opening, jaw dropping, painstaking, uncomfortable journey to better health. How do I know it was 500 days ago? Don’t worry, I haven’t been counting. My Fitness Pal has been doing that for me. (If you don’t know what My Fitness Pal is, I highly recommend it as the best tool for weight loss and staying accountable to yourself by tracking everything that goes into your mouth. If you’re ready to do that.)Capture1

As you can see in the top right corner of the picture above 500 day streak. Every single meal, every single day, for 500 days. That’s huge isn’t it? 500 days is a lot of days. I ate things that didn’t really work for me but I logged them. I didn’t hide anything. If I had a glass of wine, I logged that too. If I didn’t eat for half the day, my diary showed that. Me and MFP have become bffs. It works for me. It’s become a game. I log my food every single day because I like the game of it. i want to see how many days I can do it. And since I am the one who’s been taking cold showers for over 6 years every single day without ever missing a day, I can be pretty competitive…with myself. It’s just one tool I’ve been using for the past 500 days. That, and the scale I bought about 4 months in. I hated scales, but I did it. And now, I weigh myself every 2 weeks or so and that’s it. I don’t step on the scale unless it’s weigh in day and I no longer obsess about the number.

Here’s the thing, losing 120lbs hasn’t been easy. In fact, it’s been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Truthfully. I’ve turned myself inside out as I went through the process of making a promise to my health coach to stop emotionally eating. I’m pretty sure I cried off most of the weight in that first 6 months. I got uncomfortable. More uncomfortable than I’d ever been in my entire life. More uncomfortable than I ever thought possible. Losing 120lbs has changed who I am. I’m not the same person I was last January when I started and I’m pretty sure when I get to the end of this year when i hope to have lost another 73lbs, I won’t be who I am today.

I’m becoming very aware of how much people want to talk about health and wellness in a whole new way. Maybe take on the practice spiritually rather than beat yourself up in the gym. Maybe deal with why you eat the way you eat when you eat instead of going straight to salads every single day. Or maybe there’s the mother/daughter relationship you could look at to get started. OR…maybe you were sexually abused when you were little and you could never bring yourself to talk to anyone about it and now the only way you can cope is to eat to drown out the noise.

Weight loss isn’t a physical phenomenon. Yes, it manifests that way. But it’s actually much bigger than that. I only work out twice a week. I think about working out  more. And my life is full. So I don’t necessarily want to be one of those people who races to the gym after work right after work just so I can say I went. That isn’t the approach I wanted to take this time around.

I hired a health coach. i got a buddy. I worked my a** off. Literally. January 9th, 2017, I started the practice of being proud. Even though I wasn’t where i wanted to be. I practiced. I woke up in the morning and I reminded myself that I was going to show up proud of who I was. I hated much of who I was, but I had made myself a promise to see what life would be like if I was proud. of who I was.

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I hated this photo of myself. But…I was practicing being proud.  I was unhappy and basically waiting to die because I thought that’s all there was….but I was practicing being proud. I was living like all the good things had already happened…but…i was practicing being proud.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, selfie, closeup and indoor 7 weeks in I was struggling but I was starting to notice I had a wee bit more energy and my skin was starting to look pretty good.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, closeup 3 months into it I was noticing happiness was becoming a regular thing for me. My eyes were much more shiny. I think even my smile was bigger. and I was starting to get cheekbones. And I was more uncomfortable than I’d been. I started to confront things that happened when I was a kid that impacted my life as an adult. I started to remember things that I had shoved down with food. When one stops emotionally eating, one has to deal with all of the emotions stuffed under all those years of bad foods and suppressing of feelings. I had to start having conversations that I never in a million years thought I’d have. In particular, with my mom. But each time I had one of those, I swear, I lost 5lbs. So as much as I dreaded them, the more I wanted to have them. I started to notice that people were starting to notice. things were transforming over here where i was. People were making comments. Men were checking me out. I was very uncomfortable with that.

Then, at 5 months, I realized I couldn’t stop taking photos of myself because I was so darn proud of who I was becoming. Being proud stopped being a practice and became a part of me.  And it still is. (I highly recommend taking a lot of photos when you get started. Believe me, you’re gonna wanna do these side by side photos all the time to see what’s happening when you convince yourself nothing is happening.)

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I gained some courage to get a haircut. I tried new hair colour. I bought a fun pair of funky reading glasses. I started to have some pep in my step. I stood in front of the mirror naked every day for 3 months and practiced appreciating the hell out of myself every single f**king day. Even on the days when I didn’t see anything worth appreciating. When I couldn’t see my feet because my belly was in the way and when I noticed my ankles were swollen or that I couldn’t stand the sight of my inner thighs. I made myself do it. And with each day, i started to notice that I had less to say about what I didn’t like and more to say about what I did.

I started sharing every single messy bit of it on Instagram (@lolaspeaking) including all of the horrible half naked photos that I’d never want anyone to see. Ever. Like this one, when I was 44lbs down and still wasn’t sure I could see a difference.

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But I shared it. And I didn’t die. So. I kept going. and I kept doing what I said I would do long after the desire to do it left me. I stayed committed some days because I knew people were watching. And some days I stayed committed because my buddy was struggling too and it wouldn’t work for me to fall off rails too. And mostly, i stayed committed because I was starting to fall in love with myself, and somehow it seemed wrong to drown myself in a sea of excuses like I’d done in the past. This didn’t feel like it had ever felt. I wasn’t going to be done in 10 weeks. I had no 12 week program to finish. I wasn’t waiting until i finished that bottle of pills or that package of protein powder. I had entered the arena where the long game exists. I was ready. I was willing and it was time.

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I started showing up for myself. I discovered new make up that had me show up differently. That made me even that much more confident. My face started shrinking. My hair started growing and I started referring to myself as a total smoke show. All the while, turning myself inside out, dealing with all the baggage that had been there my entire 47 years. From the age of 8. or 9 when I was made to stand on a scale in front of all of my family members during some kind of reunion because everyone wanted to know how much i weighed and I didn’t want to do it. And someone grabbed me and pulled me onto the scale and when they saw the number I remember one person in my family exclaiming that I weighed more than him – a grown adult man. And that was the beginning of it for me.  A lifetime of humiliating moments. A lifetime of making myself feel better by sneaking multiple cheese slices and hiding the wrappers at the bottom of the garbage can.

I started working with a trainer. And spent countless hours crying at the gym during my sessions because I couldn’t move and I was embarrassed and i had such horrible and humiliating experiences with trainers in the past that I had to work through all that sh*t before I could commit to working with the trainer I now have and have had for a year. He’s amazing and he lets me workout and cry on days when I need to. And he believes that weight loss is more emotional than physical, so we deal with the sh*t when it comes up. And sometimes it’s excruciating. Because, as you’d imagine, turning yourself inside out would be painful.

I didn’t want anywhere to hide out anymore. I wanted to take this sh*t on. I wanted to become the best version of myself EVER. I shared with everyone who’d listen. And when I couldn’t find someone to listen, I shared on social media. Everywhere. About everything. It’s a great way to stay accountable. I started a youtube series called Chasing Wellness where I shared the good, the bad and the ugly.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, closeupAnd it was starting to happen. I was starting to see it for myself.  I was SHOWING up in the world. I was willing to be seen. i was willing to be messy and turn myself inside out and be uncomfortable and deal with the sh*t and tell people about it. I was willing to do it all. As the weight started to come off, and the baggage started to fall away, i started to notice I had room in my life for other things. things that mattered to me. Like disappearing the diet industry (but that’s a whole other blog post). I started getting invited to speak at events about my journey and what it’s been like and how it’s possible to transform yourself in such a way that it becomes less about the weight and more about what kind of contribution one can be to the world.

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I don’t have a goal weight in mind. I’m just stripping away all the unnecessary bits…kinda like Michelangelo did with his Statue of David…Once you start to lay down the armour that’s been keeping you from being seen…life occurs very differently. i started waking up happy. I started to want to be around people. i started to crave healthy foods. i started eating rice and potatoes again. I stopped beating myself up if I ate chocolate. I started noticing I’d shaved about 10 years off my face. Others started noticing it too. I started to notice that it wasn’t so much that people looked at me differently…but that I was started to relate to people differently. I no longer sought approval every where I went. I no longer cared if someone approved or didn’t of who I was. Because all that mattered, was that I approved of who I was and who i was becoming. I knew I was no longer looking for a band-aid for something that I thought needed fixing. I was transforming something that had never seemed possible for me before.

And most recently, I hit another milestone. -120lbs. Since I’ve documented so much of my journey through photos it made sense to find someone who weighed 120lbs and take a photo to show what that is. It’s not only one of the funnest photos I’ve ever taken, because the person across the hall who agreed to be in it, and the co-worker who took the photo, but because I’ve lost an entire petite adult woman. And I started out losing toddlers. 🙂

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I never thought this journey would be fun. But I also never expected this journey to be as mindblowingly astonishing and extraordinary as it’s been. by the end of this year, I hope to be half my size and plan to have a big party to celebrate. And even if I don’t get there…I know that I’ll be working through a whole lotta stuff along the way, AND I can tell…I’ll already never have been prouder of who I am standing there on December 31, 2018.

I also think it’s worth mentioning, I spent the first 6 months crying and focusing on the food aspect. i took out all the things that weren’t working for my body and I put in all the things that would and are. Food is a big one. And I took that on while doing all this other stuff. The food was easy. To be honest, getting the food down was simple. I kinda wish I could tell you that was the hardest part, but nope. Once you’re ready to make those shifts, the food just gets easy.

if anything in this post inspires you, I hope you’ll share with me. If you’re strugging and you’re uncertain of where to start and you’re afraid of being uncomfortable, send me a message. This journey is not one that should be taken alone. I have an entire team of people along with me and I couldn’t have done any of it without them and their support. My health coach, my trainers, my health buddies, my co-workers, my friends, my family…none of this would be possible if I hadn’t shared it all with them along the way.

And i’m not even done yet…

rita xo



Do you think you know who you are? Like really know? Like who you know yourself is the absolute truth in who you really are, and that’s who you be? And you tell people that’s who you are and you live like that’s real?

I have spent my entire life thinking I knew who I was. Overweight. Single. Mostly fulfilled. In a job I didn’t like, but was okay. I was a good friend. I had great hair. I knew myself to be all of those things. Especially the first three. I figured that’s just how my life would go. I’d always be those things. By some fluke, I might “end up” in a relationship, mostly by accident, and then that would end.

Because that’s what happens.

Because it never works out for me anyway.

Because everyone else deserves it.

Because I haven’t earned it.

Because it’s easier not to.

Because it’s never going to work out anyway.

Because has ruled my life. I’m never going to lose weight, meet a guy, fall in love, get a new job, find what I want, have what I want, be able to x, y and z because…BECAUSE. The word because is a f**ker. The word because thinks it knows everything. We use the word because to string sentences together and everything that comes after the word because is generally a reason or an excuse, or something we really truly believe to be true.

I have lived my life by the because – It’s never going to work out for me anyway.

So, I applied on jobs I wanted but never got them. Because it never works out anyway. 

I went on dates, but they never turned into anything. Because it never works out anyway.

I never lost weight, no matter how hard I tried and how many times I tried. Because it never works out anyway. 

Can you imagine if we lived a life without “because”?

Imagine if we stopped giving ourselves reasons not to do something, not to go for something, not to stand for something. Not to apply for the job. Or ask the girl out. Or go on a date with the guy? Or ask for a raise? Imagine if we stopped thinking up reasons and excuses? Imagine if because was no longer followed by what we don’t think is possible, and we just did it for no reason?

What if we lost weight for no reason?

What if we got a new job for no reason?

What if we fell in love for NO reason?

I bet you’re having a hard time thinking that’s possible, aren’t you? It’s tough to wrap your head around it isn’t it? Why? Because that’s just how it’s always been? What if it wasn’t that way? What if I wasn’t meant to be over weight, and single and mostly unfulfilled?

Last year, I did something that never ever seemed possible for me to do. I lost 100lbs in a year. Yep. I sure did. I went through quiet a mish-mash roller coaster ride while I did it, but never did I utter a because. I committed to something, a new way of doing something, a new way of being and I knocked because on it’s a**.

Last year, I did something else that never ever seemed possible for me to do. I got a new job. After 16 years and endless applications, I got what I can only describe as my dream job doing what I love and helping people in a way I’ve always wanted to help them and I get paid to do it. And how did I do that? I took because out of the equation.

I’m also no longer unfulfilled. I have never been happier. And I look FANTASTIC. Seriously. AND…I’m out to turn because on it’s a** one more time.


I’m still single. And I know that I’ll fall in love this year.

Do you know how I know that?  The logical response here would be to say “because I’m ready.”

Instead, what I’m going to say is, if I can knock because on it’s a** in areas I never EVER considered seeing something else possible before…THIS is an area I can kick some a** in as well.

Watch me. I promise you. It’s happening.

So do me a favour. Pay attention to the because’s in your day. How often do you use that word? how often to you listen to it? How often do you justify letting the because get you out of doing something that matters to you? How often does because derail your life?

Let’s talk about it.

We don’t have much time left. Free yourself from “because” and go out and get what you want.

I dare you.

Rita xo

‘Tis the Season – metaphorically speaking


Did you know that only 8% of people who make resolutions actually keep them? That’s kinda sad isn’t it? While the intention is there, it’s not really the way to go.

I have had many  many conversations lately about “willpower” and “stick-to-it-ivness” and also, the word resolution has been thrown around. But here’s the thing. My year hasn’t been about any of those things. Willpower is simply something we say. “I have no willpower” as a way to not be responsible for the choices we are making.

I didn’t say to myself at the beginning of 2017 that i would have a lot of willpower and be strong so i could stick to my goals. No. I got committed to something. And that something was my health and wellness. I created wellness as a possibility in my life. And then…I took actions to support that commitment. i wanted to be well. i wanted to feel good. i wanted to have strength, not just physically but in all other ways too. I wanted to be proud of who I was.

I focused on creating new patterns, and altering who I was, and changing my environment to support what I was committed to. I beat myself up sometimes when I ate something I maybe shouldn’t have. And then I called my buddy and she reminded me that I am human and sometimes, that happens. She was dealing with her own resentments about the foods she could no longer eat. it was a process. it took a lot of baby steps to get where I am now.


“Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one.” ~ Rich Warren

My journey started out being all about me. I wanted to get healthy. I wanted to get off the blood pressure medication. I wanted to be hot. I wanted to feel good. As I went through the process and started to create actual transformation in my life, I started to realize I was having an impact on those around me. And what I also started to realize is that I was more and more enraged by the diet industry. Personal transformation, be it physically or emotionally is about so much more than an 8 week diet. It’s about so much more than pre-packed meals and so much more than counting points. It’s a journey of discovery.

People keep wanting me to tell them that I gave up sugar and BAM! I woke up and I weighed almost 100lbs less. But it isn’t that. I have had people get pissed at me because I don’t have a quick answer. it IS a lot of work. it’s a constant ebb and flow of moments of deep valleys and despair. It’s moments of celebration only to wake up feeling like you’re a giant failure and you’ll never get ‘there’. It’s about mentally staying committed to what you really want. it’s about emotionally not letting the voices in your head win.

Back in Feburary, only a month or so after I started my journey, a friend shared an article with me. It’s called “Extinction Burst – You Are Not So Smart”  and it completely changed my life. I started to see my inner voice as my nephew when he was 4 and wanted to crawl into bed with his parents, and my brother wouldn’t let him. So he started to sleep on his pillow in their doorway in the hall. It was an adorable visual and it made me realize that my inner voice was just a child having a tantrum. And I could give into that tantrum or I could stay committed and create a new pattern.

I highly recommend reading the article over and over again. I did. And it helped.

I know you want a quick answer. I know you want the fastest, quickest route to waking up thin and healthy. I wanted that too. And now I don’t. Now i want the process. Now, i want to have the conversations and I want to transform something. I want to know what it’s like to create myself newly and to have new conversations with friends and family knowing that they are inspired by what I’m doing. i want the ebbs and the flows and the tears and the cheers. I want the hard stuff. i want the tough stuff. I want to cry the weight away. I want to cold shower my way through the unhealthy stuff. I want to have tantrums and not succumb to them. I want to be uncomfortable.

You might be thinking why the heck would I want that?

Well. I can tell you that I want that because on the other side of all of those things is where the transformation is. On the other side of that is where the pride is. On the other side of that is the mindblowingness of being inspired by  my own damn self.

More of that please. More and more.

Rita xo

One Small Step…

I have been asked on numerous occasions why this time is so different. How was I able to make it stick this time? How many times have you tried and failed? How can you keep going? How do you stay so committed? What’s your secret? What pill/potion/protein powder are you taking/drinking? How do you keep going?

What everyone is referring to is my ability to stay committed to what I said I would do in regards to my health and wellness.

I have spent my whole entire life trying and continuously failing to take that one small step. That one small step that leads into another small step and another…that would have me alter my health and my wellness and my weight, quite frankly. Literally, my whole entire life. My weight has been an “issue” for me and my family forEVER. I come from an Indian background so it was just assumed that no one would want to marry me if I didn’t lose weight. So that became the focus of my life, even if I didn’t want it to be.

For me, all I wanted to do was be proud of myself. I wanted to walk down the street and feel good about me. But that was never going to happen. I had a running conversation in the background that kept telling me I wasn’t allowed to be proud “until…” Until I got married. Until I lost weight. Until I got healthy. Until…until…Until.

2015 and 2016 were tough years for me. I gained a lot of weight. I started to ache all over. And I started to not care. I noticed sometime mid-2016 that I had lost my zest for life. I think it happened far sooner than that, I just didn’t notice. Because it just became my life. I wore my hair up more often, which made me look older. I started to use makeup that wasn’t really great for my skin, because “who cares…?” I started to have a conversation about “why bother…?”

The latter part of 2016, I had the RADDEST year of my life. From August until December, it was amazing! So many wonderful things happened, I took many trips, I crossed things off my list, I met some great people. I did some new things. All the while, hating every single photo I took of myself. I looked in the mirror and noticed that I had dark circles under my eyes, and I started to have heart palpitations in the middle of the night, and I found it hard to breathe a lot of the time. I didn’t have a lot of energy, and I found myself with high blood pressure and resisting taking the medication because I had never had high blood pressure before, so why would I take it? I also started to notice that my body didn’t feel good…ever. I never had a day where I wasn’t tired, or it didn’t take effort to walk from my desk to the bathroom every day.

I started to have panic attacks at night, thinking I was going to die in my sleep. My dad died of a massive heart attack, and we didn’t even know he had a heart condition. My mom had open heart surgery not long after to repair a defect in her heart, and I could see that my life was going to end…like…soon. And I didn’t want it to. But I didn’t know where to start. What step to take first…

Then, a friend suggested we might hire a health coach and start our lives again in the area of health and wellness. I said yes right away, despite thinking it was a really bad idea. It didn’t seem like a small step. It seemed like a big giant one. But I said yes. And in my very first real conversation with my health coach she asked me “What is one thing you never get to do or feel or be right now, no matter what your weight is?”

“Proud.” I said.

It still brings a tear to my eye when I think about that. I remember sitting across from her in a diner while having breakfast and she just smiled. And I started to sob. Right there. At the table. Full on sobbing. I remember saying “I’m the best kind of human being and I don’t get to be proud of myself because everyone keeps telling me that I can’t be until I lose the weight.”

We had a big long conversation about it, and right after, I remember thinking to myself, I feel different. I woke up in the morning and coloured my hair and then went and bought myself all of the make up that I love. And I got rid of excess facial hair and I went through my underwear drawer and I cleaned up some of my closet and got my room cleaned. That doesn’t sound like much but believe me when I tell was like I was a new person. I felt proud. For the first time in my life, I felt proud of who I was. For no other reason than because of who I was.

It was the beginning of the most amazing, and transformative year of my life.

I promise to share all about it here, and in the meantime, if this helps you take one small step…that’s all that really matters to me.

Email me. Using whatever platform you want. If I can support you in anyway…I am here. I have made many changes in my life this year, including and not limited to, losing 42.5 inches and 88.8lbs. I’m hoping to be at -100lbs by December 31st and it might not happen, but it sure is a fun game to play.

Love yourself this holiday season. Be mindful of what you’re putting into your mouth, but even more importantly…be mindful of what you’re feeling before it goes into your mouth. It will make a difference. I promise.

xo Rita


There’s An Excuse Around Every Corner…


Five years ago, I was a hot mess. I had a double quad injury I was dealing with and it went on for ten long months, and the longer it went on, the worse things got. The longer the injury dragged on, the less I took care of myself.  The worse it got, the worse I ate and drank. It’s entirely possible I did a lot of binge-eating back then too. It’s hard to believe, looking back that I let myself go like that.

I know it sounds like I’m being hard on myself, but I’m not. I’m just stating facts. Do you know why I’m doing that?

Because the world is full of excuses. There is always an excuse for everything. I always had an excuse at the ready. And then…a friend came over one day and said to me “Rita…this could go either way. How do YOU want it go?” So, no matter how hopeless I was feeling about my injury and how incredibly resigned I was to life being the way it was…I signed up for a very strict nutrition (all natural) program that helped heal my legs in 8 days! it was incredible. And then…life started for me. I made a lot of changes, and then BAM! 3 years later…my relationship ended and I was right back on the couch, crying myself to sleep at night, and slowly but surely, eating poorly, going back to processed foods…all the things I had spent the last 3 years correcting in my life.

I feel like I have no idea how to be successful in this area of my life. Like I’m always finding ways to f**k it up. Like I’m just always going to fail and no one will be very surprised, because this is just how it’s always been. I try. I fail. I try again. I fail again. Over and over the cycle goes. Until I die.

2017 is meant to be the year….wait. Let me rephrase that. 2017 is meant to be THE YEAR. THE YEAR that I conquer all the bullsh*t excuses and move on with my life in a way that makes me feel good. And there’s a lot that goes along with that. A lot of emotional ups and downs. It’s a roller coaster of emotion to be sure. I swear some of the weight I’ve lost is from all the tears I’ve shed.

But as I’ve said before…I promised to give up emotionally eating, so now when those emotions emerge…or surface..I gotta get ’em out. And there’s usually a lot of tears involved. The other day, I was SO angry, after spending the entire day listening to people’s excuses. For everything. One excuse after another. I didn’t even know what to do with myself. i wanted to get into a fight with someone. And I didn’t want to talk to anyone.  So around 7pm I decided I would just put myself out of my own misery and go to bed and start again the next day. But…I talked it out. I cried it out. I felt better.

Eighteen years ago, I stopped smoking for good. I have never looked back. Five years ago, I stopped any and all alcohol. I wasn’t ever that much of a drinker, but whatever I was drinking, I stopped doing that, and never really took to it again. Four months ago, I stopped eating processed foods and sugar (mostly), and also, I was born a vegetarian and have remained one my entire life. So…truthfully, I’ve basically stripped myself of all of my excuses and bad habits. (I’m sure if I looked in the corners I’d find some). And I was really mad about that. I don’t have excuses to hide behind. Why? Because when I started this weight loss journey, I promised to share the in between. All of it. The good, the bad and the ugly. I’m here to tell you, there’s a whole lotta ugly.

Life is ugly. Life is beautiful and it’s also ugly. There’s a lot of sh*t we keep inside, that we don’t say and we don’t share, or even acknowledge and that takes away from the quality of our lives. Someone hurts our feelings and we don’t say anything. So that’s a few pounds. We get into a fight with our mom and we don’t say what we need to say. So that’s a few more pounds. Our man breaks up with us. That probably accounts for 20 or so pounds. We lose our job. Well, that’s gotta be worth 30lbs. And it goes on and on. The world isn’t just full of excuses y’know? The world is also filled with circumstances. Some beyond our control and some that happen and it’s entirely up to us how we choose to handle it. Do we fall off whatever wagon we’re on or do we keep going and stay committed to what it is we want?

You can see from the photo below what life looks like when we choose to fall off the wagon. Thankfully…getting back on the wagon and staying put…looks much better on me.

I’m totally gonna do this. Just you wait.




PS Ditch the excuses in whatever area of you life you’re using ’em and see what happens.


The Redesign


“The level at which i am willing to participate in life, is equal to the level of ALIVEness I experience.” ~ my words, in my head


Ever have your heart broken? Ever not get a job that you really wanted? Ever had a fight with a friend? Get fired? Lose weight, only to gain back twice as much? Fail at something? Not attempt something even though you really wanted to? Lose a parent? A baby? Yourself?

I think we’ve all had variations of all of those I’ve mentioned. What do you think happens as you take one fall after another? I know, all the pundits tell us that we should get back up, and get up more times than you fall down, and all that other stuff. But the reality is, we may stand up again, but we stand up just a little bit shorter than we were before we fell. And then each time we fall, we stand up just the tiniest bit shorter again. I know that’s been the case for me. I’ve fallen more times than I’ve been able to count. After awhile…it didn’t seem worth it. Standing up…didn’t seem worth it.

I was only going to get knocked down again. Why not just stay there. Shave off all the important things that make me, Me.  I stopped being who I knew I was, and became a watered down version of something else. Someone who, on the surface made it look good.  I did stuff. I made it look great at times, in fact. But I wasn’t taking any risks? Not like I know to take risks. I wasn’t putting myself out there. Not like I know to put myself out there.

Someone pokes a hole. Someone says something. Someone looks at you the wrong way. You hear someone was talking about you. The guy you like doesn’t like you. The girl you like doesn’t like you. Someone breaks up with you. Someone betrays you. Someone rips you off. Someone steals from you. Someone notices you fell and rather than help you up…stomps on your foot as they walk away.

We get shorter…

and shorter…

and shorter…

We keep shrinking until someone, one day, someday says “hey…what happened to you?”

Well. That or you decide it’s time to take on your health and get right with everything that’s ever happened in your life that made you shorter, and you promise to stop stuffing all those feelings down by piling more crap on top of the already giant pile of crap you’ve worked so hard at perfecting, just so you never have to look in all the dark corners, at all the places you failed. Or all the relationships that didn’t work out. Or all the men who didn’t love you back. Or all the mean things people said. Or all the times someone poked you to see if your skin would bounce back.

For all those times that you looked at yourself in the mirror and told yourself you weren’t worthy…or enough, or beautiful. Or rather, all those times you looked at yourself in the mirror and simply said “blech!” All those times you’ve beaten yourself up for not doing what you know to do. All those things that you keep saying you’re going to do because you know it’ll make you feel better. All of those things. All of those things happened. All of those things were real. AND…All of those things…are no longer happening to me.

All there is for me to do now is to be willing to “trim the fat” (ha! see what I did there? That’s courtesy of my friend + health buddy) from my life…the taller I stand. This is no longer about chasing a number on a scale. F**K no. The scale doesn’t own me. The scale can suck it. This is about standing up tall, and being ready and beautiful now. This is about not waiting for something to happen, for me to be at x# of weight before I can have what I want. This is about having it now. All of it.

But first…I gotta stand up. And I gotta put my shoulders back, and smile at the world and take on this redesign like a mother f**king force to be reckoned with. There ain’t no stopping me now. Every time I go through the eye of some f**king needle, I think “that’s it…this was the big one…” and then something else comes up. And I can’t stuff it back down now. So…I let it come up, and vomit itself out in the form of anger or tears or rage or sadness or whatever…and I swear it’s like =2lbs every time I do that.

If it’s a conversation I need to have. I’m having it. If it’s a memory I need to get right with. I’m gettin’ right with it. If it’s a course I want to register for but don’t think I belong, or I don’t think I can handle it…well. F**k it. I’m doing it. Cause quite frankly, falling and failing are easy. It’s the standing up that’s hard.

And right now,  I consider standing up, my cardio.

Rita xo

PS…if you fell and you need some help standing up, tell me . I’m here for you.

Cold Shower Therapyaversary – 5 Years Strong

Five years ago, on April 1st, I did something I NEVER, in a million years would’ve thought I’d do. I had a cold shower, in my own bathroom, in a first world country, where I have hot water, on a Sunday afternoon. FIVE years ago! I did that. I still remember it like it was yesterday. I paced, I fretted, I talked myself out of it over and over and over again, I psyched myself out, I did the dishes, I paced some more…until I finally just climbed into the shower and prayed. The moment I turned that water to cold, I shrieked and I made funny noises for the next 5 minutes. I did set a timer, because I figured I had no way of knowing what 5 minutes would be when I’m in the cold water. I knew I couldn’t trust myself. I also remember climbing out of the cold shower, still unable to catch my breath, and laughing uncontrollably. I do that when I get uncomfortable. I laugh. I was hysterical. Between laughing and not being able to catch my breath I was pretty close to having to breathe into a paper bag.

I was proud of myself. I did something I never thought I’d have to do. No wait. Scratch that. I did something I never thought I would do. I got myself uncomfortable. I took on the original cold shower therapy challenge and have never looked back. Half way through the first challenge, I knew I was onto something. So…I accidentally, on purpose, tweeted Joel and told him I was in for the full 3-6-5. I immediately regretted it but knew I wouldn’t back down now.

And I haven’t. Saturday is my 5 year cold shower therapy anniversary and I can tell you, it’s still the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.  First of all, I’m 47 years old and look at me. I don’t look 47 years old. I don’t want you to think I’m bragging or anything. I’m being totally honest here. LOOK AT ME. My skin alone is worth the cold water.  20170322_133444

I purposely left the photo this big, and should let you know, I did not use a single filter on this photo. This photo is as it came out on my phone. No photo shopping necessary. I cross my heart. That’s not to say I don’t deal with skin stuff. I do. My scalp is horribly dry from the exceptionally long and cold winter we had. I get some dry patches behind my ears and such. But never on my face. I have had many people ask me why i do it? And also how i could keep doing it for this long? And what the benefits have been for me.

So I’ll answer those below:

When did you start? 5 years ago, April 1st, 2012.

Isn’t the water really cold in Canada? When you turn the tap to cold…all the way to cold it does let matter where you are. Cold is cold. So no, the water isn’t colder in Canada.

Why? Because why not? When I read the original post, I got nauseous and excited and goose-bumpy. So i decided to give it a shot. At worst, I figured, I could stop. You can always stop.

Why did you continue after the 30 days?  Because you can’t know how amazing it is for you, mentally, physically, even spiritually. Not until you do it. You can’t have a 1 minute cold shower and call it a cold shower. 5 minutes, cold showers. That’s where the juice is. And then when I started washing my hair, and soaping up, and also, cleansing my face…it was then that I realized how amazing it was. I have some of my BEST ideas in my cold showers. I cry in my cold showers. Not because they make me cry. But because I process stuff while I’m in there. If I have to be in there, I might as well make the best use of my time. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in 5 minutes. My hot water bill also went down. Which was an added bonus. I noticed a few days in what a difference it was making to my life. I was happier, my mental state was clearer, I was afraid of less. I lost weight. I mean…it was a win/win all around. So why not?

Why didn’t you stop after the first year?  Are you crazy? I’m already 365 days in! Why on earth would I stop? I saw the benefits for myself. I knew the mental clarity. To be honest, I got my heart broken in 2013 and were it not for my cold showers…I’m pretty sure it would’ve taken longer for me to heal that sucker. When I heard there was an app coming out for iOS, I was choked. I bugged Joel endlessly. Gimme my Android app! And you know what? He did. He eventually did. But what’s funny about that, when I started using it, I didn’t really care about the competition part. I was already in a competition with myself. And after awhile, it became a part of my morning routine. I brush my teeth, I wash my hair, I pee, I put on make up, I have a cold shower. (Not in that order). I couldn’t stop after the first year, because it gave me so much to keep taking them.

What have the benefits been? Well I mentioned a few already above, but the main one, is it taught me discipline like nothing else ever has. I have often been the one who starts something, goes on vacation, or away for the weekend, or has friends visit, or family comes to town, or have a bad day, and I fall off whatever wagon I happen to be on. I think we’ve all experienced that. It’s easy to not go to the gym, or put gas in the car until tomorrow. But one thing I never compromised was my cold showers. I know Joel was just in Antarctica and he said the cold water was unlike anything he’s ever experienced. I’ve not been there, so i can’t speak to that, but I can tell you that the coldest waters I’ve showered in was in Ireland. And it was DAMN cold. Some of those showers are really small too so you can’t even move to the side for a second or turn your body…you’re just under it. And it’s damn cold. There were a couple of times where I was more miserable than I wasn’t…and yet…I had a cold shower every single day. I have never missed one single day. Not one single shower. No matter where I am. I’ve cold showered away hang overs,. headaches, fevers, sore muscles, aching joints, heartache, bad days, etc. About 2 years in, I knew I was reliable to take a cold shower every morning. I knew that’s just who I was.

Three months ago, I started working with a health coach. There’s a level of discipline that’s required to eat right, and food prep every Sunday, and to track my food. Every single day (for the past 81 so far). Just like with #CST, there are great rewards. I don’t need to tell anyone that I take cold showers every day. BUT…when I do…I get to feel like a bada**. And nothing beats that feeling.

Will I continue? Heck yes I will. Look. I can’t even wash dishes in hot water anymore. My tolerance level for hot water is not what it used to be. I also can’t warm up as quickly in the mornings, but that’s good for you. I also put heated floors in the bathroom which makes it easier to warm up after the shower in the winter. Let me just tell you, turning that tap to cold at 615 every morning…it’s like cranking the dial on my favorite song…I can smile and sing through it, or I can grin and bear it. I prefer singing and smiling. Much like how I go through life.

If you are looking for an accountability buddy for your cold shower therapy challenge…I’m it. I’m here for you. Just know…I won’t let you get away with anything. If you miss a day, I’m making you start over. If you only did 4 minutes, it doesn’t count and you’ll have to start over. If I can do it. ANYBODY can do it. Don’t talk to me about not giving up your hot water. You don’t have to give it up entirely. I don’t care if after your 5 minutes, you switch it over to hot. I switch mine to warm so I can shave my legs and wash the conditioner out of my hair. I have to. I can’t shave my legs in cold water. And conditioner doesn’t wash out in cold water. But if you wanna take it on…I’m throwing down… think of it as an anniversary present to me.

Just like Joel says…if you’ve got something you’ve been wanting to complete…some goal you’ve wanted to reach but you’ve been lazy/procrastinating at getting it done…now’s your chance.

Take me up on it…

I promise…you’ll end up loving it. And even if you don’t…you’ll be awesome-er for it.

Who’s in?

xoxo Rita

So now what…?


When I was 8 years old, I got pneumonia and landed in the hospital for about a month. Back in the day when they used to treat pneumonia and much of everything with glucose IVs…I was hooked up to one for the duration of my stay. I drank a lot of pop because the doctor’s said I had to drink a lot of fluids, and pop was recommended. I put on some weight while I was in hospital and when I came out…it was like…something was wrong. I could tell my parents were looking at me differently. My mom was having conversations I couldn’t ever remember her having.

One in particular I remember is when I walked into the room and she was on the phone with my aunt and she was talking about how difficult it would be to marry me off if I didn’t lose the weight. I was 9. All I wanted was some cheese slices for my snack…and I heard her say that. In hindsight, I know my mom was worried about me. She wanted me to have the fullest life. I get that now. But man…at 8,9,10,11 years old. I SO did not get that.

Of course, it got much worse…Weight Watchers at 14/15yo. Diuretics that my mom ordered for me from a magazine that she saw. I didn’t take them like I was supposed to. I used to hide them. I’m not sure where. Or why, but I never took them. Remember those silver, plastic, space suit looking heavy duty sauna work out suits you could buy in the 80s? My mom and dad bought me one when I was in my teens. They’d make me wear it at night while we’d watch TV and I’d have to sit in front of the wood stove…y’know…to sweat it all off. Then on the commercial breaks, I would have to run up and down the stairs while everyone else sat and ate their snacks…I was going up and down the stairs in my noisy, uncomfortable, heavy duty plastic suit. Or I’d have to put the suit on and run around a track in the middle of town, while my dad sat in the truck listening to the news. I hated that chip trail. I hated that track suit. I hated that my dad would check to make sure I was sweating when I got back in the truck. Don’t worry, I got smart. I used to splash myself with water before going back…Kinda like my big f**k you to the whole thing.

These were my parents. They were just doing what they thought was best for me. So that I could live the fullest life. And because it looked bad for me to look this way. And they cared a lot about that. Especially my mom. She still does, but she can’t help it. It’s cultural. She was born into it. She loved me. She wanted me to be great in my life. And she didn’t think extra weight would provide me with that. She also worried that men wouldn’t love me if I was big. Parents don’t come with a manual. They do the best they can, and they f**k up all the time. And fingers crossed, they raise some pretty good kids.

I am the best kind of human being. I grew up to be a good person. AND…through all of those horrible and humiliating things that used to happen, I have lived a damn fine life thus far, despite what I looked like.  I’m well traveled, and I have great friends, a good job, a home i love, friends all over the world, a good job, etc. etc. etc. I’m thriving. I’m living. I’m loving. And I’ve done all that on top of, my mom only loves me 85%. She’ll love me 100% when…

Imagine, going through life thinking your mom only loves you 85%. How horrible is that? My mom never said that to me. She only did what she thought was best for me, 100% of the time. I kept telling myself that my mom didn’t love me because I was overweight and i was embarrassing her. I stated telling myself that at 9 years old. I’m 47 years old now. And about 2 weeks ago, I realized that conversation I’ve had in the back of my mind, always and forever, always there. Forever impacting my life. In the work I’ve been doing with my health coach and two of my besties, not only have I dropped some weight effortlessly and easily, I have also been digging really deep into some of this crap that keeps me here. Holds me in this place. Keeps me from having 100% relationships with the people in my life.

If you’ve never struggled with your weight, you may not get this…but the truth is, we all struggle somewhere in life. We all have some story we made up about some area in our life, and we have stayed committed to that story. I have spent my ENTIRE life looking for ways to lose the weight. To get healthy. To make my mom proud. Etc. Every thing I’ve tried…and believe me, I’ve tried them all, (with the exception of Atkins which is not a vegetarian friendly diet), to no avail. I’ll lose some weight only to gain it all back. Why? Because in the background of my life…I have this soundtrack playing that I am going to live the greatest life no matter what my mom says and I’m going to prove to her that she’s wrong. All the while, convinced that there’s something wrong with my body the way it is.

Ironically, i’m the only one suffering. I’m the one who puts on more weight and feels unhappier when I look at myself. Sure. I have a level of confidence that maybe not everyone has. Sure, I have traveled the world unafraid of the seat belt extenders and the judgments. Although that’s not entirely true. I’m afraid of the judgments…but my desire to see the world is far greater than what people think of me wandering around the world. I have seen and done SO much and I have contributed a great deal. I have opened my heart, I have made a difference, I have reached out. I have loved. I have lost. I have done all of it.

Except for the one thing that matters the most to me…I have not allowed the world to see the me that is 100% me. The me that isn’t living life with a niggling buzzing in the back of my mind that has me wonder what people are thinking about me, or discounting myself as a love interest for someone simply because I would rather head that rejection off at the pass. Better for me to take myself out of the running before they tell me they aren’t interested because they don’t date big girls. I know there’s more. I know I’m meant for something bigger in life…and yet…I have let the weight hold me back. From living the fullest life. I know I could say that I AM living the fullest life. Sure. It even looks like I am. But if you look closely…peer in through the door, turn on the lights, and shine some flashlights in the corners…you’d see that all I’m doing is living my life on top of “my mom only loves me 85% and there’s something wrong with me.”

There has always been something wrong with me. And recently…I realized that my mom is not to blame. My dad isn’t either. They just did what they did. I made up the rest. Cause that’s what we do. Someone says something and we make it mean…xyz. We can’t help it. My parents had a problem with my weight. I didn’t. They did. But it slowly became my problem. And it’s been a problem for me ever since.

So why now am I sharing all this? Well. To be honest…I only got this for myself about 2 weeks ago. Like a giant light bulb going on over my head. Suddenly, my life flashes before my eyes and I remember all that stuff. And then I remember why I used to cry at boot-camp every time we had an outdoor workout. I didn’t know it at the time. But I do now. I used to cry at outdoor boot-camp because of the stupid chip trail behind the rec centre in the middle of town and that stupid space suit. I called my mom and I shared all this with her. The impact on me, I cried and shared and told her all the stuff I remembered. She filled in some blanks. She apologized. She told me that she loved me 100%. I took responsibility for all the stuff I’d made up. I apologized to her for saying she only loved me 85%. She forgave me. I forgave her.

So now what? Now that I can’t blame my mom for my life going the way it did, and I’m doing some great work with my health coach and having some amazing results (as seen in the photo above)…now what do I do? Now WHO AM I? That pit in my stomach…that’s the pit of uncertainty. That’s the pit of what kind of life do I want now that I’m making myself a new mixed tape for the new soundtrack of my life?

Now what indeed…

We all have stories that hold us back from living the fullest possible life. I’m grateful, to have finally seen mine. Realistically, I don’t know how much time I have left on this world. None of us do.  Do I really want to waste it believing that my mom and the people in my life don’t love me? Hell no. You know what “they” say don’t you?  Allowing the experience of love is the elixir to life.  (I totally just made that up, but I do believe it’s true).

I think I’d like to try that. Starting right now…


A Needle in a Giant Mess of a Haystack…(Part I)

I just got back from having lunch with a friend. She’s someone I have known for many years and who I love and who would be considered a “good catch” in terms of her eligibility. She comes from a good family, she has a good circle of friends, she’s a good mum, she knows how to have fun. She loves to have someone to love. She’s good people. And she’s been single awhile. A few short lived relationships. Some a year or so long. And today, she talked about possibly wanting to have another baby. To give her already 5 year old a sibling to count on…no matter what.

She isn’t in a relationship right now, and while there are a lot of viable options for her, including adoption, she wants to have a baby. But not with some anonymous sperm. She wants a baby to co-parent with someone she loves. Not necessarily someone she is in love with, but who she has a relationship with. Someone she cares about. She has 2 men in her life who she has known a long time who she has asked, and they both said that they are in love with her, so would absolutely do it but only if she were willing to be in a relationship with them. They both would love to be parents, but they are choosing no kids over this “opportunity”.

I think this is such a mind blowing idea. Both of those men are willing to forego having a family, because they are committed to something else. I get it. I wouldn’t want to be a parent on my own. I’ve thought about it. Over the past few years especially, as I inch my closer to the no-go zone. Sometimes, I find myself wondering what would’ve happened if I’d just gone ahead and stayed in the arranged marriage. I would’ve maybe had some kids by now so I wouldn’t have to spend my time thinking about who’ll take care of me when I can’t take care of myself.


Here’s what my lunch time conversation made me realize. There was a time when the statement “These times, they are a’changing” would’ve been accurate. But I realized that they are no longer a’changing. They’ve a’changed. And nothing looks as it should. At the encouragement of a friend, I have now started having conversations with friends who aren’t necessarily in my closest circle, to see if they might know some fabulous single men they might like to introduce me to. I’m calling it Rita’s Referral Program. What didn’t occur to me until just this minute is, isn’t that kinda the same thing as how an arranged marriage gets started? Someone’s parents knows someone who has a boy of marrying age…Okay. So, maybe a little bit.

So my friend and I were joking that she might start a referral program of her own, to see if she can find someone who would like to have a child and co-parent with her. Not someone completely anonymous, someone who is clear he wants to be a father, but not full time and maybe without all the commitment.

Then, there’s the whole online dating phenomenon. I have spent the majority of my adult life dating online, or otherwise. When I first moved here, 20something years ago, the internet wasn’t a thing, so it was newspaper personals. That was fun. Talk about blind dates. Total randoms. But I sure did have fun, and I met some really great men. I remember there was a plethora of men to choose from back then. Men were single, and not jaded or cynical. They hadn’t had their guts punched out by their last marriage, or the ex who cheated on them. So they were still fun and caring and were considering relationship options.

This morning, I received an email from someone on Plenty of Fish, who has a profile claiming to want to meet someone to marry. Yet he sends me an email and says “Gee you sure are pretty but I’m only looking for friends with benefits.” And when I politely said that perhaps he could change his profile so women would know clearly what he was after, and that perhaps he should look elsewhere…” he swore at me in his response. Because I rejected him I suppose. But here’s the thing, men reject me online all the time. By either not responding or by giving me some lame a** excuse. I get it. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. But 20something years ago when I first started dating, the haystack was just that. A haystack, filled with hay. And somewhere in there, there was a needle. NOW that haystack is laced with all kinds of other “my girlfriend cheated on me and I don’t trust women”, “i’m not taking care of you” “you better not be looking for a sugar daddy” “i’m mostly just looking to get laid even though my profile says i want to get married” bullsh*t, that the needle has become virtually impossible to find.

I sure do miss the days when a haystack was just a haystack.

So what are fabulous, single amazing women like myself and my friend supposed to do? I suppose writing about it helps. But mostly, I’ll be honest…I’m a little perplexed. Especially given I know that the majority of the men (and women) who claim to be looking to get laid, actually want nothing more than to have someone to come home to. So why can’t we just admit that to ourselves and then to each other?

I’m not yet sure why I’m writing this yet. I’m not sure what my next move is. I’m not even sure what my next sentence is…but I think there’ll be a part II. Just let me leave this with you for now…

Rita xo

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