Tag Archives: exercise

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,


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.


Guest Blog by December’s #1 Fan of “Finding Thin”, Joanne Greene

ImageJoanne has been gracious enough to share her successful weight loss story.  Thank you so much Joanne!  We are very proud of you and appreciative of your efforts in becoming our #1 Fan!

Because Joanne was such a great fan, and because we’re so proud of her, she has won two tickets to the Red Carpet Premiere of “Finding Thin” in Los Angeles!  If you want to be the #1 fan of January and win two tickets as well join the Fanzy app on the left hand side of the “Finding Thin” fanpage to compete.  Though Joanne has set the bar pretty high 😉

“Joanne’s Personal Weight Loss Story”

By Joanne Greene

I was not overweight as a child.  I ate normal size portions of food, ran around playing tag, rode bikes, played hopscotch, and other active things girls did in the 60’s and 70’s. We didn’t eat at restaurants all that often, mostly if it was someone’s birthday or on vacation.  My favorite foods were sugary cereals and dessert, but my mom made sure I didn’t get an unlimited amount and they were balanced with healthy food.

When I got married at age 20, we moved 3000 miles from home and our families to Los Angeles, California. My husband and I both worked full time and would often stop and grab a burger, fries, and a shake for dinner. When we went to the movies we’d always get the jumbo popcorn with butter and the supersized soda.  This marked the beginning of our slow and steady weight gain.

During my pregnancy, I took the phrase “eating for two” literally. My sweet tooth was out of control and I became a “junk food junkie”.  I gained 42 pounds, waddled into the hospital at 202 pounds, and had a 9 lb. 6oz, 23-inch baby. I lost a little bit after the baby was born, but the weight crept back on. Before long I had gained over 100 pounds since my high school graduation weight and so had my husband!  Ugh!

Over the years I’ve tried various diets, including Medifast, Overeaters Anonymous, Weight Watchers, 3D, Cabbage Soup, and other such diets printed in women’s magazines.  The last diet I tried was in 1993.  I was so tired of going up and down the scale like a yo-yo.  I wanted to stay where I was and not gain anymore. Unfortunately that proved harder than I expected.  The highest I ever weighed was 267, but I was at around 255 for about 15 years.

In 2010, my husband and I knew we didn’t want to risk a barrage of health problems going into old age at this weight.  We started educating ourselves a bit about healthy eating, exercise, and psyching ourselves up for “THE BIG DIET”. We started looking at food labels, reading diet books, and visiting some “get healthy” websites. Our 50th birthdays were approaching and we wanted to give it one last try, to get at least some of this excess weight off.  Knowing that anything was better than being stuck at 250+ lbs.

I’d always been a great admirer of Richard Simmons and saw that he had a website, http://www.RichardSimmons.com.  He’s dedicated his life to helping people learn how to get healthy, so I figured he knows what he’s talking about. I started reading his Daily Message and the Success Stories section on his site and they were very inspiring. Over the years I’d gathered a collection of his workout videos (though some were still in shrink-wrap) and decided to pull one out and try it in my living room. After about 20 minutes I stopped because I am easily distracted, was out of breathe, and my dogs were looking at me funny. I read on Richard’s site that he taught classes three times a week, and I’d always wanted to meet him in person, so I decided to drive the hour to his studio and take a class.

If anyone had told me this work out would be fun and show results, I would have told them they were crazy!  But the combination of Richard Simmons’s smiling face in the front of the class, the peppy music, fun dance moves, and the results have all added up to a fun and affective weight loss routine.  There is a wonderful group of people from ages 19 to 90 who attend and I’ve made some great friendships. It’s great to surround yourself with a community of kind and caring people who are on the same journey as you. Several of my new friends have lost between 70 and 170 pounds!  The class is inspiring and shows me that big weight loss IS possible.  Two of my new friends have blogs that I read often and they share their own weight loss journey, healthy eating tips, and their ups and downs along the way.  www.KeepItUpDavid.com and www.Heidi-Finishing-The-Hat.blogspot.com.

For so many years, I thought I was being kind to myself by eating whatever I wanted and not engaging myself with exercise. But I found out that true kindness is taking care of myself, and sticking with a food and exercise plan that allows me to be the best me I can be.

Most of the diet advice says to “Eat Less”, “Move More” and that is the only thing that works.  But I think another, possibly more important, key to success is to “Change The Way You Think”.  Don’t think of this as something you do until “X” amount of pounds come off. It has to be a new way of eating, exercising and thinking for life. You are not depriving yourself by doing these things, you are giving yourself a gift and setting yourself up for success.  Educate yourself about food ingredients, what your body needs to be healthy, and what fun exercises you can choose. For me, I’ve found my favorites to be doing aerobics classes at Slimmons, the elliptical, water aerobics, recumbent bike, wii fit games, and walking. When I first started I could barely walk a mile.  Now most of my walks are 3 miles.

Break up your large weight loss goal into smaller more manageable goals and set up rewards for yourself. I’m not going to lose those 100 pounds in 100 days! For me, I decided I would shoot for 10 pounds the first month and 5 pounds each month after that and I’ve been sticking to it all year.  A goal I had for Christmas, the gift I wanted to give to myself, was to be under 200 and Ho, Ho, Ho, I did it! First time since the late 80’s that I’ve been on the 100’s side of the scale!  Some of the things that have helped me towards my goal are switching my diet to mostly whole grains, vegetables, and fruit while eating much less processed foods. The “junk food junkie” comes out every once in awhile and I still have pizza, ice cream, chips and candy, but I eat a more reasonable amount, far less often.  I’ve decided I will not drink soda or eat at fast food restaurants.  I got an iPod and loaded it with lots of great, upbeat music to listen to during my workouts.  I have a notebook where I log in my exercise and weigh-ins. I load the dates into the notebook ahead of time, made the plan to work out 6 days a week and really hate to draw a line thru any days where I skipped exercising, so I don’t do it often. Weigh-ins are posted once a week, but I do weigh myself every day.

The weight loss journey is not a fast, straight, or down-hill course.  It’s more like a zig-zag.  If you put in a good effort you will achieve good results.  Not every day or week is going to be smooth sailing.  If you get off course, deal with it and than get right back on it and keep going towards your goal.  Since last February I have lost 62 pounds, my husband has lost 47.  We still have a ways to go, but I am confident we will reach our goals.  If we can do it so can you!

Thanks for reading and good luck on your weight loss journey.  Don’t forget it can be fun too 🙂


Does Exercise Really Produce Weight Loss?

By Barry Roskin Blake

While traveling all over the country filming ‘Finding Thin’, I learned a thing or two about diet and exercise. Yet even with this extensive knowledge I am surprised to say that I still feel confused on the importance of exercise.

The answers I receive sound as though they are telling me to read between the lines. If that were the case, these lines would not be nearly wide enough. Would a straight yes or no be so hard?  Even if exercise just helps, that’s a perfect answer to me. I just don’t want to constantly be questioning myself when it comes to exercise. Image

“Well if you are only exercising for weight loss, then you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.”  This seems to be the “correct” answer from some health professionals. While it definitely is an answer, it doesn’t exactly give me what I am looking for.

What I would like is fact. It is not like I expect to eat a box of donuts or a pizza and work that off with an hour of cardio. But I would like to know if exercise could help keep your metabolism burning those calories? It almost seem like an age-old myth to some, I can overeat one day and burn off the weight the next. That’s foolishness and I understand that. What I don’t understand is the benefits of exercise other than physical health and stamina.  

While moderate cardio every day will help in achieving better weight loss. This still is not clear enough.  I want more details!  

So are my efforts worthy of five days a week? Do I need to push up the days or time?

Do I really have to question my motives? Am I suddenly going to find five times as many people besides me after the holidays with some notion of burning off all those extra pounds with over exercising?

Someone, please help set the record straight.

Thanks for reading,





When Emotional Eating Changes Form

Since I moved out to L.A. to finish the film and start a new life, I have found it a bit stressful.  You are hit with so many things at once. New friends you need to make. So much stuff to buy and learn about.  I began to wonder if I could take this personally or professionally.

Luckily, I am very good at what I do and will let nothing deter me from my true mission of making this film.

Fortunately during this trying time I have not turned to food for comfort.  This new dieting strategy has brought about major weight loss and resulted in a much better state of personal health.

I was very happy with this result.   Made me wonder if I had finally beaten those demons that had been pestering me my whole life?  Well the answer actually is yes and no.

Even though I had put away my anger and emotions towards past issues in my life, there were still stressors.  With emotional eating gone, I really had no way to deal with them now.

Suddenly though, I found myself in a very new situation.  I was actually not hungry anymore.  I wasn’t even eating during most of the day. There were times that I would eat less than a thousand calories a day.

I have always known emotional eating is about using food as a tool to deal with your emotions. What I did not realize is that by not eating when I am stressed or emotional, this was also using food as a tool.

Emotional eating could be both the consumption and lack of consumption of food.

I was blown away. There were truly two sides to this coin.

Well, as with everything in life and especially this documentary… I have more to learn and more to share.

If anyone else has gone down this road, I would really like to hear your stories or thoughts. So feel free to post in the comments section, facebook.com/findingthin, or anywhere I can read/watch it!

Sharing is the best part of getting through this and helping others.

I will report back more often now that I am settled out here in California.

Thank you for reading.


How To Start Exercising Again After Weight Gain

How To Start Exercising Again After Putting On Weight

I used to be able to walk two miles in under thirty minutes. This was when I weighed about two hundred pounds.
Now of course I am quite a bit heavier and have not walked any significant distance in over four years. Most of it was spent in a car traveling the country shooting the documentary ‘Finding Thin’. Probably would have been good to get out and do some activity somewhere.
Now when I go out for a walk, I can go a couple blocks but then give out with heavy breathing. If going up hill, I am really in trouble.
There must be a way to make it back.
The weight has finally started to come off over the last few months but as I know so well, there is a major component missing. I have got to get out there and walk.
I think back to the days when I was well over four hundred pounds and just started two houses at a time. I then built up house by house until I was really down in weight and kicking butt.
This time around though, I am out here in the hills of L.A. and that does make it more interesting and a heck of a lot tougher. Though when I get to the easier parts I get to walk past Warner Brothers and I love their studio lot.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to walk for weight loss as much as just the endorphin rush feeling better.
It is just a struggle to do that I am wondering if there are other exercises that I should to until more of the weight comes off first.
Every pound down makes it even easier to walk up.
I am sure that others of you heavy and thin have gone through this. It is so discouraging at times to be starting over but I am the most stubborn person who will not give up. The word no does not exist in my vocabulary. I like to find a way around walls.
So if any of you have been through this and have any suggestions, I really could use the help.

Eating Less Can Cause Weight Gain

When Eating Less Causes Weight Gain

Ever since the last month, I have found my self not eating emotionally anymore. This was one of my biggest problems and I was so glad to get past it. A wish come true. Yet with ever road I pass, there is always a speed bump or two. The latest one came to me while working ten hour days cutting ‘Finding Thin’ and taking meetings. I discovered I was eating far less then I should be. There was just so much to do that I was neglecting to eat enough. It was slowing down my metabolism and causing me to tire easily and for my weight loss to slow. Who would have though that would be even be possible? I would have dreamed for a problem like that. Well… maybe not.
When growing up I was always thought that less was more. If you went lower on the calories, you would lose more weight. That is so not the case. It really is a game of balance. Not too much and not too little. Finding that sense of balance is not easy by any way but imaginable. Yet it is actually enjoyable since I get to eat more of the foods that I enjoy and do now feel stronger. This was one of the things that I liked about the new Weight Watchers program. It did not deprive me. It made it much easer then counting calories and made sense to me.
As a former dieter, I knew how to skip on the calories but that was not the answer.
Now with diabetes. it makes it even the more a bit more difficult sometimes in choices but nowhere near impossible. I am already finding that the diabetes is going down which means I can stay off the insulin. This of course thrills me. After all, who likes sticking themselves with needles. Though there are millions that are forced to every day and I pray we can beat this dreaded disease one day. I am so fortunate enough to be able to now control this through different eating substitutions. You notice I don’t say diet much since I hate the word.
There are some people out there that have ways they recommend to trick your body but that just seems wrong. My body has gone through enough and deserves to be treated better.
So as I make it past emotional eating, I just have to remind myself to eat enough and at the right times during the day.
The next obstacle is learning to start walking again without wanting to fall over.
I would love to hear from anyone who face those same challenges that I do.

Heavy People Getting Burned At the Clothing Store

Fat People Punished For Buying Cloths

Before I begin, it is true that as an obese person I do need more material then the normal person.
That could certainly make for the higher price for the plus sized cloths. Though do consider that when buying in bulk, the price does go down.

Big Sizes Mean Big Money

I have heard many argue that the bigger you are the more you should pay. Though if we go ahead with that argument, the issue becomes much larger. The truth is that big and tall stores are charging three to four times the prices.
I went looking for a 3x bathing suit and was told it would cost me over fifty dollars. This would normally be around ten dollars in a Target or Walmart.
So why do heavy people pay such large prices. It feels as though we are getting taken advantage of at the over-sized stores.
Some people say if you can’t go to the normal sized stores then that is your problem.
The reason that I take issue with the “normal” phrase may be a shock to you. Right now   over sixty percent or more of U.S.A. is overweight or obese.

That would put the heavy people in the majority and actually the normal ones.
So my question is still why we should pay more money for something that is far greater in demand.
Wait… I think I just answered my own question. Greater demand means greater profits.
It has nothing to do with discrimination or prejudice. Instead it is pure greed.
So my hat goes off to the plus size stores for getting what they can but sooner or later the Targets’ and Walmart’s are going to catch up. So watch out.

Obesity Similarities To Alcoholism







Why Can’t I Diet Alone

For years I always thought that I don’t need to go to weight loss meetings like Weight Watchers or O.A.
I thought I could do it with diet books or by having my meals prepared for me. Yet with week after week, the pounds went higher and higher. It was like a losing fight between me and the scale. Weight loss was a friend that I did not have.

It took most of my family and the rest were heavy so why try anymore.
Then after I got towards the end of making my film ‘Finding Thin’, I discovered that weight groups were not necessarily such a bad thing.
There would always be a sponsor or a Weight Watchers group that I could always go to.

Basically a support system that I could not find on my own. Books and DVD’s are great and certainly help but I really needed someone to help me in this lifelong battle.

Hiding from the scale because I was afraid of what it would say only made the bad news worse. The one person who could lie to me the most or come up with the best excuses was no one other than myself.
Obesity is such a hard battle with food being around you almost constantly. I sometimes compare it to an alcoholic with drinks around him all day. Then add to the fact that the alcoholic must drink in order to sustain him or herself.
Pretty tough. I think there really is some truth behind the term foodaholic.

I know that some people might get angry but obesity is a disease and nothing I have said is not true.
So to make things easier, the one thing I truly encourage is joining a Weight Watchers type group or something similar that works for you.
There will be no more hiding food away or eating secretly up in my room or car. Change can come with the help of others.


Why Diet Pills Will Never Work I wish the song from Julie Andrews in ‘The Sound Of Music’ was right but  it doesn’t ring true. Since the time when I was a young child, doctors used to give my mother … Continue reading