Tag Archives: Courtney Mueller

The End of Weight Loss And Diet As We Know It

By Barry Roskin Blake

With the frightening statistics just announced that we are only just a little bit away from the majority of the country being overweight and over forty percent obese, it seems like the end is near.

Just a decade ago we really started to wake up and push films and initiatives in school and at home to change things. Michelle Obama even started that garden in her back yard in Washington. So what the heck happened? Is it some sort of conspiracy, a way to make more jobs or just plain bad luck? I mean there has to be somebody to blame doesn’t there? In every good story you have the hero and his nemesis. Yet people are dying every day. I just lost my youngest cousin who was a year younger then me at age forty or so. She had become very large, had a diabetic stroke and died a day later.

Is this the future that we all have to look forward too? This disease has taken the majority of the family I love. Most of my friends who are overweight suffer from illnesses that are all either caused or contributed to by obesity. There are resources out there and that do present hope. I just think we are letting time pass us by and not getting down to the root of why we are all having this happen to us.  The thing I am tired of is hearing everyday is that someone who has taken off two hundred pounds in six months and has the answer. I hate to say it, but you’re part of the problem. Chances are in another year or less you will have put the weight back on and more. It is not that I am jealous, it is the sad fact that 98 percent of people who go on these type of diets will fail. Those are undeniable facts.

We as a people have to look at the situation very differently.  Our responsibility has to be to our own health first. Then we can focus on the ones we love or who will look out after them. It is time for a change and I am not sure that there is one particular answer. Yet, if we do not try, just imagine what the next twenty years can bring back. Maybe a]we’re heading back to a time when the average lifespan was fifty. We are a great body of people and together, I’m sure we can find our way.  It may be time to stop depending on the experts alone and start depending on each other.  I welcome everyone’s thought and feedback at such a crucial time.

Thanks for checking in,

Barry

New Diet Pills: Our Friend or Enemy?

Well here we go again. It’s been a decade or so since the last medical fiasco with diet pills. One went off the market and one is still around. Yet people in our country are getting heavier with each passing second. I should know.  I’m one of those people.

Now comes the FDA’s probable approval of another new diet pill. This new one is a mix of two older drugs put together to give you a nice kick-start. Yet what happens after the first few months? Will all my temptations be gone? Will they stop all those yummy looking food commercials and take away all the cookies and ice cream from the end of the store isles?  The answer is, no way! So then what is going to be different this time?

If I am no longer hungry, will I never want another pizza or piece of cake for dessert?  Will I stop eating out of emotion or stalking the kitchen at night? I really don’t see any indications that this is going to help me think any differently. Just because you tie my mouth closed, staple my stomach, or make me very feel ill if I eat too much, does not mean that I will start feeling differently towards those foods. Its almost as bad as sending someone for aversion therapy. It has never been shown to be effective and it is just cruel torture. Our country has to stop looking at ways to control our hunger and instead control the much bigger problem. Obesity is crawling up the front lawns of almost half our country.

Think about all your friends and family. Is there anyone in that group who could stand to lose some weight?  Is it more then one person?  It’s time to find a cure. So I encourage anyone considering diet pills to think long term about how you will feel if it does not work out. All of the money you will have spent and the many side effects to probably experience for nothing, just makes me wonder if it’s even worth going through.

Lets not rely on a magical cure and instead stick together to help each other. That’s where hope begins and the cure starts to arise.

-Barry

Team Treat Party

A Special Guest Blog By:

Courtney Mueller, Co-Producer of “Finding Thin”

It was 9AM on a Tuesday and the workday had just begun. I started sifting through my emails and came upon one of the most difficult tasks I was going to have to fulfill at work.

The email read:

Happy Tuesday,

Just wanted to remind everyone that tomorrow, Wednesday is our first TEAM TREAT PARTY on the 3rd floor.

Everyone will bring in their favorite treat/nosh/baked item..etc. of their choice to share with the team and we can munch all day!

Did I just read, “TREAT PARTY”? Cookies, candy, donuts, home made cupcakes…Oh my… I was screwed.

I’d been watching what I’d been eating and steering clear of said sweets.  I was quite proud of myself for having the ability to choose healthier foods. My current diet was comparable to the D.A.R.E program back in the 80’s; when it came to the cravings of my sweet tooth, I just said “no”.

Monday night felt like the dress rehearsal to Wednesday’s Greatest Show on Earth… entitled “Courtney’s Will Power.”

Cut to Wednesday- I walked in with home made cookies to at least contribute to the party  I was dreading.  Hey, I’m still a team player.   I end up placing my cookies next to a table filled with treats. It was like the land of the unhealthy, and I have visited that land quite a few times…

Worst of all, this table was set right next to my desk.

The smells of deliciousness were haunting.

The sights of icing, chocolate chips, and sprinkles were daunting.

The odds of making healthy choices were not in my favor but my determination stayed strong. As each co-worker walked up to the table-o-treats raving about every flavor they tasted, I found myself tuning out and turning their praises of one another’s baked goods into my own white noise.  I simply turned my head the opposite way. I kept calm and carried on.  I just said “no”.

As enticing as Wednesday’s Team Treat Party was, my will power surpassed my cravings. I was at peace with myself without eating a piece of a treat. Sure it would’ve been enjoyable to join in on taste-testing like the rest, but I had a change of heart. Having a moment of euphoric sweetness couldn’t outweigh the moments of euphoria from a healthy lifestyle.

I started this journey and I intend on it being a never-ending adventure. I’ll have my treats from time to time, sure. But now I have proven to myself that I can just say no.

And that is a treat in of itself.

Say Yes To The Dress: Big Bliss

Every girl dreams about her wedding dress. Whether starting to walk down that aisle as a flower girl or swooning over the latest celebrity wedding dress, girls inevitably become dreamers. They compare, draw opinions, and imagine what they are going to look like on their special day.

This is especially apparent when it comes to the women that travel from all over the world to Kleinfeld’s.

Kleinfeld is one of the most famous bridal stores, located in Manhattan, New York. It is also the location where TLC’s “Say Yes To The Dress” television series takes place. Women flock here to have a personalized, one-on-one experience with a professional bridal consultant in order to discuss and find their dream wedding dress. In hopes of saying “yes to the dress” for their day of I do’s, Kleinfeld’s is comparable to the mecca of the bridal gown experience.

Recently, TLC added an additional show “Say Yes To The Dress: Big Bliss” featuring plus-size brides in search of finding their dream dress at the same store.

The big girls got their own big show.

It felt like night and day when comparing the two shows. The original features all types of brides, whereas “Big Bliss” concentrates on only the plus-sized. The biggest hurdle for the original show’s brides was picking and choosing between lace, satin, blingy and A-line or mermaid shaped dresses.

The biggest hurdle for Big Bliss, was just that… being big. Every story consisted of women battling to find a dress that fit, made her look thin, show off her curves, and make her feel like the princess that she wanted to be. One woman in particular wanted to simply buy the first dress because it had fit…and she hadn’t been able to fit into a new piece of clothing-let alone a wedding dress- in years. It was disheartening, but the Kleinfeld professionals worked extremely hard at finding her the right fit for her body size and made her feel comfortable while doing so. But the reality still is that there are fewer sizes to choose from for the plus-size bride.

To some, people would say “Big Bliss” is doing a service to help plus-size brides feel as glamorous as possible on her wedding day. To others, “Big Bliss” is glorifying the struggle that these women have had to deal with throughout their lives.

Can’t one show size fit all?

 

We’ll Figure It Out Tomorrow…

A Special Guest Blog By: Courtney Mueller,Co-Producer of
“Finding Thin”

What is it about tomorrow? We always say:

Well, tomorrow’s a brand new day.

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow, you’re only a day away.

Just sleep on it and figure it out tomorrow.

Tomorrow has become a coping concept within our lifestyles. Instead of living in the moment, we settle for tomorrow to have the answer we are looking for. We’ll figure it all out tomorrow.

Especially when it comes to taking initiative on our health.

We always say:

Tomorrow I will start working out.

Tomorrow I will start that diet.

Tomorrow I will start living a healthy lifestyle.

We use tomorrow as a crutch for the inevitable necessities in our life. We’ll hold off just a little bit longer, even by just a minute, in order to put off life’s decisions.

In all reality, tomorrow isn’t just a day away. We will do anything to wait and see what happens, even though life is happening right now.

John Lennon famously said, “Life happens while you’re busy making other plans.” This concept is especially applicable to the decisions we make about our health as we get older, and hopefully wiser, the necessity of making a conscientious decision becomes more imperative. We choose to eat the candy instead of the apple. We choose to take the elevator instead of the stairs. We are constantly choosing the way we want to live and the route we want to take in every present moment, yet our mindset tends to drift off into the future.

Sure I’ll treat myself to a 7-course meal tonight, but tomorrow I’ll be sure to work it off at the gym.

Today needs to be the day where we make the change. We need to stop waiting. We need to stop counting on the unknown and instead stay present in what we know right here, right now.

Empowering yourself to make the small decisions everyday will create many more tomorrows.

Here’s The Skinny On Shopping, Part 2.

A Special Guest Post By: Courtney Mueller, Co-Producer of “Finding Thin”

I went back to therapy.  And by that I mean I went shopping again.  I thought I’d give Nordstrom a chance to make me feel better.

This time I didn’t go alone. I brought a friend for support.  It was a good idea but ended up going awry.

We were working our way through every department- from shoes, to jewelry, to makeup, our joint therapy session seemed to be heading off to a promising start.

Then we ended at clothing.

It was regular sized woman and super thin person tackling the sometimes torturous world of fashion.

I am generally comfortable in my skin and love to use my retail therapy to show myself off. But as soon as we entered the dressing room, my confidence waned. Each shirt or pair of pants was modeled to get the other person’s approval. We trust each other’s opinions and usually can usually tell what the other is thinking as soon as we stepped out of our private rooms.  Every time I tried on a new piece I smiled at myself at the mirror and then walked out for the friendly review. We stepped out and gave the look, the thumbs up or down, or gushed over how fantastic or hideous the clothes were.

This time though, I found myself suddenly self-conscious. While I would try multiple sizes in search of the perfect fit, every piece my friend tried on fit her perfectly or (even worse) was too big on her. I felt like her only problem was trying to pick what to buy from her stash while I was trying to pick out one or two items from my stash that would fit. I was jealous.

Regardless of our sizes, the retail therapy modeling session remained the same for the both of us; some tops looked great, others didn’t. And even though I was self-conscious, in a way, so was she. She didn’t love how she looked in every single thing she tried on, even if I thought she looked great.

She disproved my theory that the size zero girl didn’t existent. She existed alright, and she had the same problems as a size regular like me. She experienced the same issues, just at a smaller size. Our experience together made me realize that regardless the size, every one has their own body type issues.

Here’s The Skinny On Shopping, Part 1.

A Special Guest Blog By: Courtney Mueller, Co-Producer of “Finding Thin”

I love shopping. Shopping can is sometimes little addiction for me in fact.

Heading over to the department stores to check out the latest fashions and perhaps treat myself to a new shirt or pair of pants is both an adrenaline rush and a release for me. It truly is retail therapy.

But lately my therapy sessions are ending poorly.

It feels as if clothing designers are unaware or uninspired by the realistic size of the average American woman.

I’m a real woman with curves. I’m not a twig, not obese- just
regular when it comes to size. But when I’m trying clothes on, I
feel as if I’m squeezing into what my normal size should be. I’m not trying to fit into a smaller size for the vanity of a tag with a smaller number; I’m just constantly battling my standard sizes thinning down.

I wonder what Michael Kors or Diane von Furstenberg would do if they traveled the same locations as “Finding Thin” and really took note at what Americans really look like. Not everyone is a size two… let alone a size zero (what I refer to as “size non-existent”). The average American woman can’t squeeze into the unrealistic expectations that clothing designers create…

and I can assure you that she doesn’t feel beautiful when she tries.

Of course designers design for all sizes, but as soon as we reach a
select size we go from model material to plus-size clothing. There’s a reason why the racks are always full of smalls and extra smalls; the larger sizes are selling out.

Dear Designers-If all the larger sizes sell out first, doesn’t that give you an indication of what the public wants?

As for me, where is the regular? Why is there no in between?

I think everyone should occasionally indulge a little retail therapy.

Go ahead and buy that new shirt or skirt to show off whatever you are
proud of, even at that “regularly plus size”.

Maybe I need a new form of therapy.

So She Thinks She Can Dance?

 

 

A Special Guest Blog By: Courtney Mueller, Co-Producer of “Finding Thin”

The pressure was on for Natalia Mallory. 18-year-old Natalia and her sister Sasha made it through the first round of auditions and headed to Las Vegas to compete on the television show, “So You Think You Can Dance?. For their primary
and perhaps most important audition the sisters performed a duet.

Upon initial review, you wouldn’t think these two were actual sisters.

Natalia and Sasha MallorySasha Mallory was thin, very fit, and had a traditional dancer’s body. She represented the energy and beauty that an audience has come to expect from a dancer.

But Natalia was not typical. She was tall and stocky with a big personality. She was the bigger sister. She was the bigger dancer.

Her size was further emphasized when she had to switch partners- the first, more slight partner could not lift her during a jive routine.  Natalia persevered with the grace and smile her audience had already come to expect of her.

After the jive, Natalia became dizzy, felt chills, and ended up being
hospitalized for blood sugar issues.  Instead of speculating about whether or not her size played a role in her health problems, her fans just rooted for a quick recovery.

She rallied, and came back to the auditions where she performed once more before the next cut.

It was down to the last dance. Her sister had already made it, but
Natalia’s future was at stake and the odds were stacked against her. She was
already being compared to her sister as well as the rest of the traditional dancers.

The truth is, Natalia was more than just your typical dancer. She was
bigger in size, but she was fit, talented, and had an essence that
captured the music and the hearts of the judges and fans. She broke barriers. She broke the stereotype of what a dancer looks like.

Natalia showed that a larger sized woman can dance just as well as the skinny willowy girls we’re used to seeing.  She showed there was more to performing than a dancer’s body type.

She made it through to the next round.

We look at people like Natalie and are often quick to judge. We think
they are overweight instead of built. We think they are weak instead
of strong. We think the thin dancer has more talent than the thick
one. We judge the book by its cover.

Surely Natalie doesn’t look like the typical dancer; but her strong
technique, passion, and talent speaks for itself. Forget the cover,
open up the book and read the pages.

The first chapter title reads: Real Women Can Dance Too.

Cheatos

A Special Guest Blog By: Courtney Mueller, Co-Producer of “Finding Thin”

It was one of THOSE days at the office: the phone rang off the hook, I had back to back meetings, and emails ding my inbox like a typewriter.  I was forced to sit in my office chair all day and couldn’t find time to plan a proper meal.  I went to Plan B: The Vending Machine.  The Vending Machine glows eerily with an invitation to be self-indulgent.  My “lunch” cost 80 cents and mocked my attempts at healthy eating: I chose the Cheetos.

In minutes I had eaten the whole bag.  I threw the bag in the waste can and went back to pounding at the keyboard.  The evidence of my unhealthy choice was soon all too obvious: my keyboard was stained orange.  Suddenly, I flashed back to my uncle sitting me down last weekend reminding me for the 50th time about the summer when I was three years old.

It was the CCC- the Classic Cheetos Courtney story.  My Uncle had a pool in his backyard where my family would gather to soak up the sun.  I had wrangled up a pool floaty where I would kick my little legs around towards the staircase,  and grab a jumbo-sized bag of Cheetos and run back in the pool. My Uncle said that they never worried about me in the pool as they always knew where I was, as I left an orange-colored trail wherever I had float.

He blames me to this day for clogging up the pool with Cheeto reminance.

I realized while I was cleaning up my keyboard that I resorted to an emotional food choice- one that made me think of simpler times- instead of a heathly choice. Cheetos were always my favorite go-to food to snack on. Back then I would just wipe off my orange stained fingers on my bathing suit and paddle away in my float with a smile on my face. But now, I can see that Cheetos are a junk food, a go to food if I want to make a poor decision.

It is time to be an adult. I need to make time for my health and not falling through the Cheeto-sized cracks.

I cheated myself out of a healthy choice…Cheetos should now be spelled “Cheatos”.

Cele-cake.

A Special Guest Blog By: Courtney Mueller, Co-Producer of “Finding Thin”

Another milestone happened in my life; Sunday I turned 25 years old. My quarter life crisis. Naturally I celebrated the entire Memorial Day weekend surrounded by friends and family. The parties varied with the people, location, and overall birthday feel, but there was one particular element that was present in every event… cake.

For me, it’s not a birthday until there’s birthday cake. The birthday song followed by making a wish while blowing out the candles inevitably turns into slicing into the first (and biggest) piece of cake to devour. It’s part of the tradition, it’s the birthday food, it’s the celebratory meal.

And regardless of the caloric count, we always justify our poor food choices “because it’s a special occasion”.

Valentine’s Day chocolate, summer barbeques, Halloween candy, Thanksgiving stuffing, and Christmas… a little-or a lotta- bit of everything. Food is a part of our journey and the unhealthy choices is the highway we use to take.

Food is not only part of our culture, but it is often a reward.

Get a promotion at work? Go out to dinner.

Breakup with a boyfriend? Put your face in a pint of ice cream.

Turn a year older? Let ’em eat cake.

While I don’t think giving your sweetheart Tofu candy is going to be the up and coming tradition, I do think better or (gasp) healthier choices can be made when celebrating.

Make your health “a special occasion” everyday.