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Tag Archives: journaling

Fat is Not the Enemy!

Posted on September 25, 2013 by

Are some fats okay?

Are some fats okay?

Nearly every week at CFWLS, I hear a couple of comments from people just like you.  In fact, perhaps these are/were familiar to you:

“I exercise every single day and I am not losing any weight!”

“I eat a very healthy low fat diet and yet, I seem to be gaining weight!”

The reason this occurs is usually a misunderstanding of how to balance your carbohydrate, protein and fat intake.  That’s the focus of this month’s newsletter and of course, there is much more to learn but that’s the joy of your weight loss journey.  Once you understand the concepts of these macronutrients and     balance them in your life, you will find yourself less hungry, losing weight and likely resolution of some underlying metabolic problems you have.

With regards to fat, I want you to understand that Fat is not the Enemy.  If I had to pick a primary “enemy” source with regards to food, it would be insulin which is controlled primarily by your sugar intake (all carbohydrates break down into sugar).   Thus, when I am out and someone says – “Look, I am going healthy – I bought no/low fat” I cringe.  If you compare labels for whatever the item is, you will find that the manufacturer has decreased the fat but increased the carbohydrate content.  If they didn’t, you likely wouldn’t eat it because it would not taste good.  Here are a few facts about fat: P Fat is the body’s preferred and most reliable form of energy, which is why we store excess energy as fat on our bodies.  If your body has less carbohydrate (sugar) as an immediate source of energy, it can     finally get to breaking down fat for energy (which = less fat).  P Fats help keep you feeling full (less hungry = a good thing).   P Eating a controlled carb diet with adequate protein and healthy fats like those found in salmon or avocados is the easiest way to inadvertently eat less without sacrificing satiety.  It also improves your ability to access stored body fat rather than lean body mass, which is helpful for fat loss and long term success (since your lean body mass is what drives your metabolism).

So…the next time you reach for the low-fat/no–fat options, you might want to think again.  More on these power foods in this newsletter and Weight Management University™.  See you at CFWLS – we are here to help!

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The Top 3 Things You Can Do to Lose Weight Fast

Posted on September 17, 2013 by

Your weekly weight loss tips from our leading expert!  Join Dr. Clark as he reviews the ‘Top 3 Things You Can Do to Lose Weight Fast’.

Are You Ready to Lose Weight?

Posted on September 09, 2013 by


Only you have the power to change your life and improve your health so why wait?  Sounds easy enough doesn’t it?  But as you know, there’s more to it than that.

I have to ask you to answer this question honestly – “Are you ready for weight loss?”  You need to really think about this before you can expect to be successful.  Otherwise, your lack of readiness will be an obstacle that is rarely overcome.

Let’s take it another step further.  If you want to lose weight and improve your health but find that deep down you really don’t want to change your behaviors, then you must ask yourself…Why?  Is it fear of failure?  Is it fear of success?  Is it too much work?  We are all resistant to change to some degree.  We all have our own unique “barriers” that keep us from what we want.  What are yours?

You may just want a quick fix.  If so, we can help you do that.  However, why just get a quick fix when you can lose weight/improve your health and learn how to make positive changes for life?  You’ve heard it before “if you keep on doing what you’ve always done you will get the same results”.  Knowing that you need to change is one thing…doing it is another.  So what do you do?

Think about it.  You choose to make changes every day (you move, you get married, you start a family, you face challenges, change jobs and more).  Certainly these changes aren’t easy but you make them.  Why is losing weight often harder?  I think it may be that you don’t resist change…what you resist is BEING changed.  Sometimes the only way you feel in control is to resist the change.  So what do you do?

1. Freely choose (for yourself) to lose weight.  When you freely choose, you OWN your decision.

2. Define the outcome you want (important to YOU, write it down, list the reasons for changing and  review them often).

3. Design a plan to achieve your goal (often the most difficult part).  Describe what you will do to achieve your goal(s).   We are great at helping you do this and keeping you accountable.

4. Choose alternate pathways when necessary as long as they lead you to the same destination (especially as it relates to food/activity choices).  Remember that detours are a part of the journey – don’t give up on your destination just because you get a little “off track”.

5. Write down your specific goals.

6. Plan, plan, plan and plan some more.  (Write it down and leave little room for error)

7. Recruit support and make a plan for dealing with saboteurs.

Your destiny lies in your hands.  We are here to help and I can assure you the outcome is worth the journey!


Too Busy to Exercise?

Posted on August 26, 2013 by

images (1)This is the most common excuse (yes, it is an excuse, not a reason!) for not getting enough exercise. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day can make such a difference in your weight loss progress and general health.

Lunchtime workouts are a perfect fit for those who won’t exercise once they get home.  They can help you clear your mind, improve your mood and also give you a boost of energy for the afternoon. It does require a bit of planning. Pack a lunch, put your tennis shoes and/or gym bag in the car and write it on your schedule. Get creative, it can be something as simple as a walk around the parking lot or a short list of exercises you can do in your office.

If lunch-hour won’t work, but you can find small pockets of time throughout the day, try putting those 10 minute breaks to work for you! Keep it mixed up—vary your intensity and location on the cardio workouts and change the order of your strength training exercises. Pencil in something like this and see if it could work for you!

♦ Day 1: Three 10-minute cardio workouts

♦ Day 2: Two-three 10-minute strength workouts

♦ Day 3: Two-four 10-minute cardio workouts

♦ Day 4: Rest or easy walk

♦ Day 5: Two 10-minute cardio workouts, one 10-minute strength workout

♦ Day 6: Two 10-minute strength workouts, one 10-minute cardio workout

No need to visit a gym for these, exercises that use body weight or tubing would be perfect for home or office.

Run a 5K - Sign up today!

Run a 5K – Sign up today!

Is the gym on your way home from work?  It might be a great way to work out the tension that has built up during the day. We offer classes Monday through Thursday in the late afternoon/evening.  Or sign up to train for a 5 or 10K event!  Jim Bradley will be teaching a seminar on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. to help you reach that goal.

Those that take the time to schedule exercise into their busy days will be the first ones across the finish line!

MaryAnn visits the Philippines.

Posted on August 16, 2011 by

Well, I apologize; I have been MIA for a couple of months! There have been lots of things going on and lots of things that have gotten in the way of my past diligence with blogs, exercising, journaling, homework, etc. Yes, I recognize these as all excuses for the stall in my weight loss success. I must say that reading Anna’s success in her commitment to the Weight Loss University program, and reconnecting with Dawn have renewed my commitment to me and reaching my goal. As I have said before, “I’m putting my big girl panties on and dealing with it!”

Philippines- where MaryAnn visited

Philippines- where MaryAnn visited

In June Mark (hubby) and I went to the Philippines for 2 weeks to visit my mother-in-law and all of Mark’s cousins, Tita’s (aunts) and Tito’s (uncles).  The plane trip was long (13 hours total) and brutal, but it was an awesome trip! It was hot and humid, no AC except in the bedroom, so I think I sweated off any excess pounds! We did walk 1-2 miles every day early in the morning and drinking water was never an issue! The food was delicious and plentiful, especially the deserts. Dawn had good advice before we left and I was able to maintain a small weight gain (2 lbs) by portion control and eating more meat at meal than rice. Probably the weirdest food I had without knowing what it was cow brains!

I thought I could challenge Dawn by asking her the carb content for this and she wowed me when she actually knew! FYI, cow brains have 0 carbs, 10 grams of protein and 108 calories per serving. Is she good or what! I have lots of pictures on my Facebook page if anyone wants to take a look. There is just too much to tell and a picture is worth a thousand words!

When we returned home it was a slow trip back to reality. I started a new job which is more of a mental challenge than a physical one. I now do outcomes for the Emergency Dept. It’s an office job and I miss the physical activity of working on the floor. I now work 5 eight hour days instead of 3 twelve hour days a week and it has been a challenge to exercise like I used to and I find that I have lost focus.

Dawn has been very supportive in helping me get back on track. It takes so little to gain back weight and so much to lose it again. But, I have stayed below 160# which I am happy about. So I’ve reaffirmed my goals, I’m back in the game and by God, I WILL SUCCEED!

I know this was long, had a lot of catching up to do. Enjoy the rest of your summer and we’ll talk again soon. I have a cruise coming up in October and I will look and feel good!

Mary Ann vs. the Ides of March

Posted on March 05, 2011 by

Skies are gloomy, but Mary Ann reviews her goals.

Skies are gloomy, but Mary Ann reviews her goals.

The Ides of March are upon us! Ohio has been dreary and rainy and my moods have been the same. I have not been able to exercise due to knee pain and swelling. A trip to the orthopedist and an MRI next week hopefully will give me some good news or at least a recovery plan.

I also have made some poor food choices in the past week; pizza, pie and ice cream for our son’s birthday equaled 2 lbs of weight gain, add a week of horrendous work hours, drug rep lunch and overtime…if I let it, I could really get depressed and fall back in to old habits.

This is where the change occurs. Before I joined CFWLS, this would be enough for me to give up and start looking for a new diet plan after indulging myself. I remembered Claire’s words to me: positive self talk, pick up the challenge at the next meal. So I recognized these as temporary set backs; it is what it is, now get back on track! I reviewed my goals, broke down my weight loss weekly to reach my goal weight of 140 lbs. in 6 months. It is a pound of weight loss per week. This is doable!

Now some exciting news! We are planning a vacation. The end of March will find us in Virginia. I am looking forward to seeing my sister Karol and her family, visit the new weight loss center, get some exercise in, and meet the wonderful support staff in person, especially “Grandma Claire”!

I always perform best under pressure, 3 weeks to get back on track, drop a few pounds and be successful!

See you soon! Can I order some sun while we are there? I need light therapy!

UPDATE: Week Three of “Losing it CFWLS”

Posted on December 06, 2010 by

Our favorite CFWLS "Losers"!

We’re following the journey of six of our employees as they take on the challenge of losing weight over the holiday season.  Here’s an update of the first three weeks of their struggles and victories.

Cat’s Story

Three weeks ago today, we began our CFWLS “Loser’s” programs.  Since then, I must admit that overall, I feel much better, from physical AND emotional standpoints.  I’ve found that if I honestly follow the program, the weight is going to come off, and that’s the bottom line.

Week one, I emotionally “bucked” the system and was not ready to commit (I maintained my weight that week).

Week two, I was completely on board, starting the “Jump Start My Way”, I made a shopping list, to include Weight and Inches Protein Shakes” and healthy foods from the grocery store.  I incorporated exercise (I lost 2.4 lbs that week).

Week three I again, followed my program…Monday through Saturday.  On Sunday, we met a group of old friends for our annual “Kick off the Holidays” celebration.  This started with cheese and wine at a friends house, and ended at our favorite Italian Restaurant.  Again, the wine started flowing…along with the GARLIC KNOTS…SALAS…PASTA…SAUCES…MEATS…forks reaching across the table to sample “this and that”…Oh yeah, it was quite a FIASCP, and I fell right into the trap!  Even though I started the day out with good intentions, taking a 3 mile brisk walk, having protein shakes for breakfast and lunch…I know why I only maintained my weight at week three.  For some reason though, I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on this.  Today again, I feel encouraged and ready to take the “bull by the horns”.

Starkisha’s update:

I am feeling good about my weight loss.  I am down 2.2 pounds this week – yay!  I am focused and ready to meet my goal weight.  With the help of everyone at CFWLS it won’t be long.

Shawn’s news:

Week 1 Okay I weighed in today and only loss .5lbs last week . I must admit I was surprised and mad at that number. I watched what I ate last week and made better choices of what I put in my body. I even cut back on the adult beverage intake this weekend. I was excited to weigh in today I could tell in my cloths and believe it or not in my shoes that I had some changes in my body but the scale did not reflect that. Tomorrow I’m having my fitness evaluation witch will include measurements and I am also meeting with Claire at Center for Weight Loss Success ( ) for nutritional counseling I know in the long run if I keep making good food choices I will see better numbers on the scale. I need to keep reminding myself I did not put tho weight on over night and this weight loss journey will take time.

Week 2: I had a 1.3 lb loss this week, which made me very happy.  I incorporated exercising on my elliptical every other day for 15 minutes and drank lots of water.  My work week went well.  I was worried about my weekend since it was a very busy one with tailgating at Hampden-Sydney College with lots of food and adult beverages and then off to see a Duke Basketball game in Durham, NC which included fast food stops for quick meals.  I packed a cooler full of water and AnyTime Protein drinks from the CFWLS store and brought my protein bars.

I made sure to drink my breakfast each day and made good choices when it came to food.  I enjoyed the tailgating party and did not snack all day.  I did drink beer but alternated with water.  I probably would have lost more but I wanted to enjoy myself without feeling cheated!  I like the fact that I had a great time and LOST WEIGHT!!!  It’s about good choices and meal planning.  P.S. Journaling my food really kept me on track and accountable for what I put in my mouth.  I must admit, I didn’t do it every day and the days I didn’t do it, I was journaling in my mind!!!   Thanks for the great counseling Dr. Clark & Claire!

Week 3: OMG!!!!!!! 2.4lbs down. Thank you god!!!!!!! Total 3.8lb since we started this challenge at work 3 weeks ago. 10.1lbs since I started 5 weeks ago.

Journaling really works!!!! I found this awesome website to journal what I eat you register and then go to my plate. The big test is this holiday season and all that yummy food

Dani’s thoughts:

Last week I was feeling on top of things!  Never hungry!  When I weighed in on Monday (came to work at 12:30pm)I felt totally out of sorts, dreaded weighing in later in the day, not a part of the early weight in.  Surprisingly, the camaraderie is important to me.

Successful Journaling

Posted on April 23, 2010 by

Working toward weight loss is a conscious lifestyle decision; therefore the steps we take to lose weight must be carried out on a day-to-day basis. Unfortunately, incorporating these weight loss measures into our daily lives is not always easy. We count calories to maintain a healthy diet, but the numbers and facts can get mixed up with all of the other information we process throughout the day. It’s also easy to forget the next step you would like to take in your fitness schedule (for example, you may be gradually increasing the weight you lift when exercising). On top of these issues, it can be difficult to notice the progress you are making over the course of time. These are some of the reasons why keeping a weight loss journal is so important.

Your weight loss journal can be kept the same way as any journal—you can use a diary, a notebook or even a blog. One approach you can take is to plan your meals and fitness activities throughout the week and keep track of them as the days move forward. It is also helpful to include information related to your progress including how many pounds and inches you have lost. If you feel comfortable enough, include photographs of yourself as your weight loss continues. As time goes by, your journal can help you notice trends in your weight loss, which choices help you and which choices cause you to backtrack.

Your journal does not have to be merely a collection of facts, however. The path toward a healthier weight can affect us emotionally in positive and negative ways. Feel free to write about the goals you hope to reach through diet and exercise, how it feels to reach those goals and how it feels when you fall short. Journaling has been shown to relieve stress and will help you release some of the negativity you may experience.

For both practical and emotional reasons, journaling can be a valuable routine to adopt while working to lose weight. Keep in mind that you can write whatever you want as long as it is helps you along on your journey and keeps you accountable to your goals.

Get on the right track and let us help you with your weight loss goals.  Contact us today!

The Key to Weight Loss Success

Posted on April 21, 2010 by

Finally– here it is. You have been waiting to hear these words for years…or at least as long the zipper on your skinny jeans hasn’t budged. The key to weight loss success! It’s not a shake, a supplement, or an exercise gizmo. You have it already, right at your finger tips.

“I feel the most important action one can take when trying to lose weight is to keep a food diary,” says SparkPeople dietitian Becky Hand. “Yes, it takes time to write down everything consumed during the day, but this in itself can curtail overeating and be vital for self-assessment and monitoring.  Today, it is easier than ever with computer-based tools such as SparkPeople’s free Food Tracker.  A few clicks, and your results are known immediately!”

Studies show that people who keep food journals lose more weight and keep more of that weight off in the long run. The National Weight Control Registry–an ongoing research project tracking more than 3,000 people who’ve lost an average of 66 pounds and kept it off for five years–found that keeping a food journal is the one strategy used by the majority of successful dieters. In fact, in a study of 1,685 dieters conducted by a health insurance company, the best predictor of weight loss throughout the first year was the number of food records kept per week.Another recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that dieters who tracked their food intake in a “food diary” lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t track their food.

Article from

To learn more about how food journaling can help you on your weight loss journey, contact us! We’re here to help you reach your weight loss goals!

The Importance of Journaling

Posted on April 19, 2010 by

The Importance of Journaling

    • Simply put….a food journal will help you recognize why you eat the foods that you do and give you a means to analyze the nutrient content of your diet.  Listing everything you eat helps you take a critical look at your eating habits.
    • Don’t rely on memory: write down everything as you eat it.  If that’s not possible, write down what you ate at end of the day otherwise, plan your day and write down everything ahead of time.
    • Keep your journal for at least 3 days of the week:  I recommend 2 week days and 1 weekend day.  Weekends are difficult for some people. They will actually sabotage all of their week’s effort in those 2 days.
    • Let’s talk about the success rate of keeping a journal…..people who keep a journal lose twice as much weight and did you know that 90% of people that journal have long term weight loss success?

Now, how do we keep a food journal?

Start by trying to record what you eat and drink each day:

  • Start by writing down the day of the week.
  • Document all the food you eat and its portion size.   Be specific, some of us underestimate how much we’re really consuming.  I hate to tell you this but every nibble counts, yes, that also means taste-testing as you’re cooking too!
  • Write down the time and place you eat it.  What were you doing while you were eating? Were you driving or sitting on the sofa watching TV?
  • Write down your fluid intake and how you feel physically.  Are you tired or energetic and do you notice a correlation between your energy level and food consumption?  On a scale of 1-10 how hungry are you before you eat?  Do you notice any association with your hunger level and food consumption?
  • Document how you feel emotionally.  Are you angry, sad, nervous, bored or excited?  Some people eat more when they are upset and less when they are excited.  At the end of each day, examine how your emotions affected your eating.
  • Finally, document the amount and type of exercise or activity you perform.  You will notice that the more you move the faster you lose.
  • A journal is a great record of successful days and weeks.  Use your journal as a reference tool and copy successful days when you find yourself “slipping”.
  • Be honest.  Remember, it’s a journal not a newsletter.

Attend one of our Support Group meetings today to share ideas and learn more about tips for success.  Click here for more information.