Managing Weight Loss: Jenny’s Method- #5 NO FAD DIETS


This is Jenny.  She’s my mom and she’s pretty awesome.

She is also the woman that has taught me A LOT about weight loss and most importantly, weight management.  Over the next 5 weeks, I am going to be taking the best nuggets of advice that she has ever given me and putting those nuggets to good use. Some of these are not things she has told me- but things that she just does that make this whole weight management thing make sense.  So today- we start with #5.  The least important of the most important things to do and that is: NO FAD DIETS.

Over the 25+ years of my life- I have watched this woman eat and be merry on more occasions than I can count.  I have also watched her carefully choose what she is going to eat and make sure that her portions are right on track.  Throughout all of that- I can say one thing- she has NEVER done a fad diet (or if she has…it didn’t last long enough for me to notice).  What she has always focused on in the lifestyle changes that are necessary for continued weight management success.

While I have a few diets in mind that just scream ‘fad diet’ to me- that is not how I wish to define a fad diet.  Here I wish to define a fad diet as follows: A fad diet is ANY diet that is used for the sole purpose of losing weight quickly, but does not provide the necessary tools to continue a healthy lifestyle after the initial weight loss is over.  Sadly, there are plenty of diets out there that can fall into this frame.  When I began this lifestyle change it was just that- a lifestyle change.  I knew that every thing that I chose had to be something I could live with for the rest of my life.  I learned this important lesson- from mom. Mom’s method for weight management starts with the fact that how she lost the weight was not in some way that was unattainable in the long term.

Some times people mess up the weight loss management before they even get to that point.  We mess it up when we start off with something that we are completely unable to maintain in the long term.  So take a look at what you are doing now.  Is it something you can do forever?  Or is it something that you can only do for a few weeks or months?  If the answer to question number two is yes- then you are in FAD DIET land and you need to get out of there.  You need to find something that works for you, something that you can reliably do.

That is where things truly get tricky.  No other person can tell you what is right for you. You may have to go out and try a lot of things to find the path that works for you.  What works for me, may not work for you.  People can give you advice and can help you with your journey, but ultimately you have to sit down and figure out what is actually feasible in your life.  Is it weight watchers?  Is it 21 day fix and beachbody programs?  Is it paleo?  Is it Whole30?  Is it being a vegetarian? For each person out there- one of these lifestyles might work and another may seem unattainable.  For some people- none of these work and something else does.  What you have to do is go find the eating habits and exercise that is not a fad for YOU.  Once you’ve done that a lot of the other stuff falls into place.

If you’re interested in finding your path and want to talk- let me know.  You can reach me here.  Let’s find something that works for YOU together!

April to Now: Catching Up on My Fitness Journey

Start of My Journey

Start of My Journey

Hi guys and gals!  I realized a few weeks ago that is has been WAAAAY too long since I’ve done a blog post talking about the current program I am working on.  I completely skipped Max30 and T25 round #2 for pete’s sake.  Up front- none of that was purposeful, but I can also say that during those two exercises I was struggling to find a way to break a plateau.  I was struggling with the idea that being at around 165 was as good as I could do.  Essentially- I was backsliding a bit.  And I’ll let you in on a little secret- almost EVERYONE on a fitness journey has moments where they take steps back instead of steps forward.  It’s not all that purposeful, but you lose a bit of motivation or even get cocky about how you’ll just bust out losing the last 15 or so pounds.  Yeah- life has definitely humbled me about that and I’ve had to take on a new approach with all of this.  What is that new approach?  It’s not really rocket science- it’s nutrition.

I listened to EVERY instructor that I’ve used for the last year and a half talk about nutrition.  I also didn’t really pay attention to that.  I was getting my Shakeology, so why should I worry about the rest of my nutrition?  Needless to day, after several months of weight creep- I decided that I needed to get my butt in gear about nutrition.  You see- this working out thing isn’t hard for me anymore.  Let me clarify that, the moves may challenge me, but working out each day is non-negotiable.  It will happen unless it is an off day or I’m sick.  Nutrition- well- I’d kinda do good during the week- but I am 100% one of those blow it on the weekend people.  I want Qdoba.  I want fried EVERYTHING.  I want stuff smothered in cheese and wrapped in bacon.

But in the last few months I realized that those ‘treats’ that I allowed myself didn’t really taste all that good anymore.  And that when I ate them, I’d feel kinda bleh for days afterwards.  This is not something you really want to have happen when you eat food and it just started to click that maybe I should actually look at this nutrition thing a bit harder.

About 6 weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to try portion fix and really work on my nutrition in the weeks leading up to my 10 year high school reunion.  Last week was my first full week of doing the fix and although it was difficult at times to just get everything that I needed to eat, eaten, I definitely have seen and felt the difference and it’s just been one week.  Admittedly, I’ve got two more weeks to go- but I’m super excited and really want to keep at this.  So, as my friends, please excuse me if I talk about food and portions A LOT over the next few weeks.  I have to do it to keep myself accountable- which I absolutely know is important.

Also 4 weeks ago, I started doing TurboFire- which I love.  This is not the come sing cumbaya version of Chalene Johnson that is featured in Piyo, but she’s absolutely awesome nonetheless.  There are so many reminders of just common sense things that we need to do with our fitness in order to make it work.  From making appointments with ourselves to writing down our nutrition.  The first month is a bit repetitive, but I still had a lot of fun with it and once I got used to a routine- I like that I was able to completely zone out and really work hard during those workouts.  It was complete therapy.  Now for the fun part- where I am now!  Seriously looking at where I began and where I am now is amazing for me!



I know that this journey isn’t done yet, because I am not where I want to be yet.  My goals may have changed and my timeline for those goals may have changed as well, but they are still totally attainable!  That is what I have to focus on!

Do you want help reaching your own fitness goals?  Do you need daily motivation to keep going?  Join me here to get daily motivation from me!

My goal is to get some sort of post out on here at least once a week- hopefully I’ll be able to stick with that.  Until next time- keep working people!

Nine Years Old- The Beginning of My Weight Struggle

Over the last few weeks, I’ve struggled with myself, done some deep soul searching and decided to share the FULL story (or at least what I remember) that got me to where I am now.  This is not going to be light, fluffy stuff- but these parts of your life rarely are.  All I ask, is that you please respect that these are my experiences.  They do still effect me, but I am working on getting better at all of this.


I believe that most people who have had a bad relationship with their weight remember the first time they were told they need to lose weight- I happened to be 9.  If you look at my family tree- it should have been expected that I would go through what we all lovingly call ‘the Baker chunky phase’- almost everyone with Baker genes goes through this.  And *yes* it seems to normally be in those pre-pubescent years.  Almost everyone in my family was a bit chubby at this age.

But at 9 years old- I can still remember the doctor talking to me about how I needed to ‘watch what I eat’ and ‘lose weight’.  And my 9 year old self TRIED, tried so hard to lose weight and I did, but what I did never stuck. The weight would not stay off- because the deeper problem was not really addressed.  There is still a part of me that is that 9 year old who tried, but never really understood why my weight suddenly was a big deal.  Why was this something that people cared about? Why was me, as I was, not good enough?

For a little kid who was struggling to fit in, this was just another thing that made me different from everyone else in my mind.  My parents were, and are, wonderful and supportive, but there were other things that even their support could not completely combat.  During fourth grade, I can remember being a very lonely little kid.  I was constantly made fun of because I was not the same as everyone else.  I was not ‘country’ enough.  I was too smart.  I was too weird.   I did not cave to what other kids wanted me to do.  I was just not what all the other little girls in my class were.  My one friend  decided that she wanted to be friends with the little kids that tormented me.  She never joined in on it, but that was my first taste of what it was like to lose a friend to peer pressure.  To lose a friend because I was not the same as everyone else.

This was the year that I also gained 10 pounds in a month and that lead to the doctor conversation, mentioned above.  Looking back on it, I was eating because of how miserable I was.  I was eating because at 9, I did not know how to voice all of these feelings and emotions and I was not the kind of kid to tell someone off for treating me poorly.  I was the kid who silently took it at school and cried at home.

I couldn’t understand why I was picked on for being different.  I couldn’t understand why people were mean to me when I was not mean to them. At 9- these were all things that I could not understand and I turned to food to help me.  My parents helped and held me as I cried about losing friend and being picked on, but food was my fill in for when they weren’t there or when, at the grand old age of 9, I wanted to deal with it myself.  Food made me feel good.

It made me feel good when I was told that I could not join the ‘club’ that was going on in the playground jungle gym tree house.  It made me feel good when my one friend started to ignore me. It made me feel good when I was not invited to sleepovers and other parties.  It made me feel good when I was made fun of because I liked wearing my hear in a bun, not a ponytail. It made me feel good when all the other little girls had their first ‘boyfriend’ and no one was even remotely interested in me.  FOOD MADE ME FEEL GOOD.

That was 9 year old me.  And that little 9 year old in me still gets upset about all of this.  That little 9 year old still wants to know why.  That little 9 year old still wants to be good enough in the eyes of the kids that tormented me.  And the REALLY sad part is- most of them remember none of this- they do not know how they have shaped the rest of my life.  So the adult in me, has to remind the 9 year old, that I grew stronger because of all of this.  I grew into a better person because of this.  I grew into the person that tries very hard to NEVER make someone feel the way I felt. I grew into someone that can acknowledge how bad this was- but knows that it no longer defines me.  That food is not my pick me up anymore.  But the story of how THAT happened- is for another time.

Interested in my day to day struggles of today? Be sure to like my facebook page here.

Fitness Challenges: Piyo

For the last two months-  I have been working out with a program called Piyo and it has been great!  It is a complete departure from T25 and many of the other programs that I have enjoyed over the last several months of this journey.  The big thing that I found myself focusing on (besides the wonderful low impact workouts that it has) was nutrition. Chalean Johnson talks about how important nutrition is throughout the entire program and I FINALLY started listening to this sage advice in the second half of the program.  Before I go into the whole nutrition thing, I’ll give a little bit more about the program itself.

This is not a high impact program, it is a program that people getting back into fitness would love and people who need a break from high impact programs.  My body NEEDED this program.  It needed a break and I feel like I will be able to go back to Insanity MAX 30 and kill it.  That is the point of these kinds of programs- it lets you workout and also look after your body at the same time. Everyone needs a break from the hard pounding workouts, which is why even during those workouts stretching is super important. Overall- I love this program and I will absolutely continue to go back to it for stretch days each week.

Now, let’s talk about the nutrition piece.  This is something that I have taken seriously off and on, but no where near as consistently as I should. I have been doing Shakeology every day for months, but that only helps so much.  For the most part I tried to do well during Christmas, but that was not the easiest thing to do. So what I really vowed to do during the last three weeks of piyo- was to focus on my nutrition and that helped so much!  If you look at my little hand drawn, weigh in chart, you’ll see how things went for me.  And also- how they may work out for you too.  Weight loss is not a line that goes straight down at a nice angle and is always consistent.  There are ups and downs, things change and life happens and the scale jumps up and down.  Do not get discouraged!  At the end if you are still working hard, the scale will eventually start to play nice.

2015-01-24 08.58.34

The other big thing that happened during Piyo was that I was placed on thyroid medication again. I had managed to lose 19 pounds before I was put back on the medication and now the weight is starting to come off again.  Honestly, I am thankful for the medicine (and I really hate going to the doctor, but this is something I refuse to take lightly).  In 2010, I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and had my thyroid irradiated.  For most people these leads to being put on medication immediately, for me- it took 4 years for my thyroid function to fall off enough for the medication to be needed.  I am still in the stages where we are trying to get the medicine to  be at the right level for my body, but after this last check up- it looks like me and the doctor are on the right path to getting this under control.  If you are like me and have a thyroid condition- trust me when I say that you CAN get the weight off- you just have to put in the work and find a doctor that will work with you.  I know this is not going to be an easy road and for the rest of my life I’ll be going in to get the dosage adjusted as things change, but it is completely doable.

Now for the fun part- before and after pictures and measurements!

2014-11-22 08.09.39

Beginning of Piyo


Chest: 34.5

Waist: 29.5

Hips: 37.5

Right Thigh: 19.75

Left Thigh: 19.5

Right Upper Arm: 11

Left Upper Arm: 11.25

Pounds Left to Lose: 25.2

Pounds Lost: 19.8 

2015-01-24 08.39.05

End of Piyo


Chest: 35.25

Waist: 29.5

Hips: 37.75

Right Thigh: 20.75

Left Thigh: 20.75

Right Upper Arm: 11.5

Left Upper Arm: 11.5

Pounds Left to Lose: 22

Pounds Lost: 23

And this time- I actually gained inches in some places.  Not sure if this is from toning or that I just pulled the band tighter at the beginning than I did now- but I am okay with it.  For the first time- the number on the bottom, is bigger than the number on the top and THAT is absolutely awesome in my books.  Also- when I take a look at the pictures I can SEE a huge difference in various areas and that makes me really happy- sometimes the measurements don’t show it, so the photos really help.

Want to know more about this journey and follow along on a daily basis with what I’m doing- feel free to like Bailey Holladay- Building My Best Body and also feel free to message me if this seems like something you’d want to do.

London 2014: Touring the Town

So- I ended 2014 with a bit of a bang- with a trip to London!  This is something that came about over the summer and I jumped at the chance to go.  As some of my friends asked what to do while over there- I thought it would just be easier to write it up.  We hit so many things while we were over there and there was so much more to do.  Honestly- everything I did was a ton of fun and you really can’t go wrong with what you choose to do (at least as far as I can tell). Here are some of the big things that I think people should give a try while in London.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

Where We Went

1.) Tower of London and Tower Bridge

We were lucky enough to stay near the Tower and Tower Bridge and that definitely had its advantages- we were close to so many things, including the Tube (i.e. the subway) and bus stops.  Both of these landmarks include tours and it was absolutely worth the money to go to through the Tower tour.  We tried to go on Monday, but were told that we did not have enough time to go through the Tower.  They generally say that you need between 2 and 4 hours to go through the Tower.  We wound up going on Wednesday and got there first thing in the morning- which is absolutely worth it.  There is next to no line for the Crown Jewels and you can make it through in less time and see everything you want.

The Tower- Near the Crowned Jewels

The Tower- Near the Crowned Jewels

2.) Buckingham Palace

We took a walk down The Mall and ended up at Buckingham Palace.  The building is absolutely gorgeous and there is so much to see near the palace.  If you catch it just right, you’ll be able to catch the changing of the guard, which happens every other day at the palace.  Be warned- get there early if you want to get a good view of what is going on.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

3.) Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus

Shopping!  There is tons of shopping on these two streets and they actually aren’t too far of a walk from each other.  It goes from very pricey to very reasonable on these streets- so just keep that in mind. There are plenty of places to buy reasonable souvenirs and not pay an arm and a leg.

4.) Windsor and Windsor Castle

It is about a 40 minute drive from the heart of London- but this is absolutely worth it.  The town of Windsor also has a great deal of shopping and Windsor Castle is absolutely gorgeous.  It is a bit of a hike up from the parking, but it is worth it.  There is an audio guide to talk to you about the history of the pieces within castle and many different levels to enjoy.

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle

5.) Westminster Abbey

The church is absolutely gorgeous again- if you want to see it, it is better to get there early.  There is an audio recording for here as well and you are able to see many of the things that you only see in pictures.  However- no pictures are allowed in Westminster Abbey- so you will have to take your memories with you.

6) Platform 9 3/4

If you are a Harry Potter fan- this is a must- you can take as many pictures as you need near.  There is a bit of a line for it, but it is worth it.  There is a shop nearby that is solely Harry Potter and you can look at a professional picture there (it comes in a cute frame, but we opted for the cell phone version).  This is a fairly popular place to visit, so the earlier the better (are you catching on to the theme that there really is no sleeping in?). Even if you have to wait in line- the pictures are to die for.

2014-12-31 12.14.20

Platform 9 3/4

7.) Eat Fish and Chips

This is a signature dish in England and can be found anywhere from street vendors to upscale restaurants.  We had it a couple times while I was there and both renditions were good (the second was better).  I am still on the search for the best fish and chips I have ever had, but both of these were really good.

8.) Ride a Double Decker Bus

Pay the 10 pounds to get an oyster card and go on a double decker bus (route 15).  The buses stop throughout the city and you can even just ride for a few stops and get off.  The experience from the top of the bus is great and you get to see London from a different view point.  The driving there is a bit crazy, but watching it from a bus is great.

9.) Thames Cruise

There is so much to see along the Thames and a river cruise is a wonderful way to see it, especially at night when a lot of things were lit up.  I am not sure how long the lines will be on this, but it should be easy enough to look up and book.

10.) Museums

There are museums everywhere- absolutely everywhere- we visited the Victoria and Albert Museum, which had everything from clothing through the centuries to cultural items.  There are two other museums near the Victoria and Albert Museum and they are completely worth your time (plus- entrance is free!).

Wrought Iron Work at the Victoria and Albert Museum

Wrought Iron Work at the Victoria and Albert Museum

Other sites like Big Ben and Parliament can be seen easily while walking to other places.  Some places you can go in and other places are photo only from outside.

Things We Didn’t Get To But Sounded Fun

1.) Churchill’s War Room

As a history buff- this is one thing I wish we had time to do, but we were not able to make it around to it. Located near 10 Downing Street (the prime minister’s house) and Buckingham Palace- it is just a short walk from many other attractions.

2.) St. Paul’s Cathedral

We heard that St. Pauls’ Cathedral is equally beautiful, but did not have time to go see it.  Much like many of the other places- there will be a bit of a line and getting there early is worth it.

3.) Harry Potter’s London Tour

Grrrrrr- the tour was filled up by the day we wanted to go on it, but we were able to go around and see Gringotts and Platform 9 3/4.  While we weren’t able to see it, it is something that is still on my ‘to do’ list.

4.) The London Eye

I am terrified of heights, so this was a ‘no’ for me, but many people loved going on this attraction because you get such a great view of the rest of the city.  So- if you can deal with heights- this is a great place to go.

The London Eye at Night

The London Eye at Night

Other Things to Know

– Look right-left-right when walking across roads- they drive on the other side!

– Split meals with family members in order to save money and shop around for places that are a bit cheaper.  I would personally avoid American restaurants, because of the experience (and your American restaurants WILL taste different).

– Your drinks will not come with ice most of the time- so ask for it if you like it.

-Be prepared to walk!  I guestimate that we did between 4 and 5 miles a day to see all the different venues.  Walking is the cheapest (and healthiest) way to make it around the city.

Whew- 2014 was a great year and I am just hoping that 2015 will be that much better!

Fitness Challenge: Hip Hop Abs

Yet another month and yet another bit of progress.  Hip Hop Abs was something that I had a ton of fun with- that I ABsolutely enjoyed every minute of.  It is definitely not as high intensity as T25 or Insanity, but it does get the job done and it does help you with core.  Besides the fact that my nutrition went to crap (and it did…I’m human and we all make mistakes/have set backs)- I was able to see definite improvement in my core and feel the improvement in my clothing- that is always the most important thing to me- how are my clothes fitting.  Weight may not change, but clothing and the inches are wonderful to see off.

I would say that many people would lose a lot of weight if you start with Hip Hop Abs, this is my fourth program, so it definitely took a different angle for me.  For me- it was important to do work on my body and if weight came off- that was great, if I could maintain- that was just as important.  So for, this worked out to maintenance, if I had not trashed my nutrition- that would probably be a bit different.

So, the thing that we all like to see- before, after and measurements.

Beginning of Hip Hop Abs

Beginning Measurements

Chest: 35

Waist: 29.75

Hips: 38.25

Right Thigh: 18.5

Left Thigh: 19

Right Upper Arm: 11.25

Left Upper Arm: 11.5

Pounds Left to Lose: 25.2

Pounds Lost: 19.8



2014-11-22 08.09.39

End of Hip Hop Abs

Ending Measurements

Chest: 34.5

Waist: 29.5

Hips: 37.5

Right Thigh: 19.75

Left Thigh: 19.5

Right Upper Arm: 11

Left Upper Arm: 11.25

Pounds Left to Lose: 25.2

Pounds Lost: 19.8 (no change from Rockin’ Body)

Inches Lost: 0.25 (overall I notice that my thighs yoyo more than any other part of my body)

So what is up next- Piyo!  I’m super excited to do this low impact workout and give my body a break.  So, until that is over- keep at it!


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