Annnnd she’s back!

I have to confess that last night after turning on Worst Cooks in America (freakin hilarious BTW – I mean, Eric Estrada cooking badly! And how does he still look 30? Major crush on him when I was, like, 7) I did a search online for “Rachael Ray weight gain” and when I read what’s out there about this poor celeb “gaining weight after impressive weight loss” I realized why I have been  SO hard on myself for so long and how most of us feel who are in the public eye.    It’s no secret that I’ve been struggling for a while. And I always tell the truth because my goal is to help others who go through the same pain that I’ve been through. I never profess to be perfect or to have conquered this weight/body/food thing. What I say is that I manage it every day. And boy oh boy am I trying to manage it now. (Lost my dad/fire/remodel/ STRESS!!!/no time to self-care)   But… when I read about Rachael Ray and “menopause” taking her down at 48 – holy cow I pretty much freaked out! (I’ll be 47 in October) And the worst was the part where they said, “she’s trying to stick to a strict diet”. UGH. People. Diets don’t work. And neither does judgement of each other or expecting all bodies to be skinny or the same.    We should all strive to be healthy and happy and kind to ourselves and others. THAT is the message we should be giving to our daughters.    I’m ashamed that I even searched Rachael Ray’s weight in the first place, but you know – it was an attempt to make myself feel better.    And it lead me to this post.    We are NOT defined by our weight. Or how we look. Or what shallow, unkind people think of us.    I will NOT be ashamed of my “before” or even more, of my “after” photo, or the fact that I shared my photos or my story. All of my photos and words are simply part of me and my story and have made me who I am today. (Okay – maybe it’s time to get rid of the hoaky “Learn My Secret” part which was a marketing ploy. No more marketing either. Just authentic me, by me.)   I am opening up my heart to all of you out there who need to hear that we ALL feel the same pain and some of us are brave enough to wear it in public. And it’s messy. But it’s real.    Love life....

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I learned a lesson!

Actually, we can ALL learn a great lesson from ice skating! When you’re sitting at home all cozy and comfy, it seems like such a mission to go out in the freezing cold. Then you get there and put giant skates on that feel like you’ll never be able to move your feet. It’s beyond terrifying to take your first step on that ice, fearing for your life as kids go whizzing by with plastic walkers. But… then you get into the swing of things and push past your fears. What an exhilarating feeling! It makes you feel good about yourself as a parent (especially if you don’t go tumbling down and make a complete idiot of yourself), and makes you feel good to move your body in the open air. No, GREAT! And just think: you could’ve taken the easy way and stayed home in pajamas, and watched a movie. (That sounds pretty good too, doesn’t it?!) But look what you would’ve missed out on! http://www.ornabakes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/IMG_3973.m4v It’s not too late. Take someone you love ice skating this winter!!   Xoxo...

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I couldn’t have shared my weight loss journey if…
May06

I couldn’t have shared my weight loss journey if…

OK, so I’m about to share some very personal things and I hope it isn’t too personal or makes anyone feel uncomfortable. You might have seen me on CNN or even read my book. But there’s something that I didn’t say in my book and I think it’s time to say it here. It’s true that I have completely changed my life and my relationship with food and that I am actually a different person now than the unconfident young girl that I used to be. But a lot of people don’t know just how hard it was for me to share my story with others. In fact, I hid it for years. I wouldn’t have dreamed of sharing my old photos with anyone, even my dear husband, Sam. But, what I didn’t say in my book (mostly because I didn’t want to get too personal and alienate anyone) was that the full story of me sharing my journey and weight loss wouldn’t have been possible without the unconditional love and support of Sam. It doesn’t mean that you can’t reach your goals without finding the love of your life. But it does mean that it’s imperative to have the help and support of someone who believes in you and can help you see yourself through loving eyes. If you did read my book you already know that growing up heavy was incredibly painful for me, and I started this life with low self esteem and deep sadness. When I met Sam, I had already lost most of the weight. But I was still fearful of food, and my head was still in a diet mentality. But in the eleven years that we have been together, he has enabled me to work out my food issues in the open, without any judgement. He has helped me to love my body. He was such a strength for me through years of struggling with infertility. He was also there through the pregnancy with my darling Aja. He still thinks I am beautiful if I gain a few pounds and he understands that sometimes I need alone time with a pizza! He encouraged me to shout my story from the rooftops, even though it might be difficult for some members of his family to really understand why I would do such a thing. I don’t think either of us ever realized how cathartic it would be, or how many people would be able to relate to my story and reach out to me. Whenever I wrote how amazing he has been, I was advised that people don’t want to hear about that. And...

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Bikini Blues plus FIRST TEN get Summer Coaching Deal
Jul11

Bikini Blues plus FIRST TEN get Summer Coaching Deal

In two weeks (yikes!) we’re off for a three night mini-vacay with five other couples and our littles. It’s interesting what fear and panic three little days has instilled in me. The fact that Palm Springs will be like an oven, and we’ll basically be parking in the pool, isn’t helping. Plus, said friends are all a) gorgeous and b) much younger than me. After wasting hours and energy discussing this (with sister, trainer, friends, and—I know I’m not supposed to, but yes—hubby too), I’ve come to the conclusion that: Everyone feels self-conscious in a bathing suit. (Or “costume”—as we called it in South Africa. Took me a while to stop saying that one!) I mean, obviously I’m not referring to the godly workout freaks who count the days (with joy) until they get to bare their bods to the rest of us mere mortals. But even the skinny minnies beat up on themselves and feel scrutinized. (Why, oh why is that?!)   Do you feel self-conscious in a bathing suit? Has it stopped you from having the summer fun you deserve?   I decided that the first step to feeling better about the trip was to get a brand new bikini, because: a) I’m sick of squeezing the water out of the Vic Sec “Bombshell” bikini tops I already own—not to mention the extreme neck ache (and occasional bruising) from all that padding—especially once they’re saturated with water. (Though I’m pretty good at discreetly squeezing them out with my inner arms.) b) You know how they say getting brand new, cute workout outfit will inspire you to work out? Well, it’s the same with a bathing suit. If you have one that you love—that’s comfortable and flattering—you’ll feel better, hold yourself proudly, and look less self-conscious. And people will be attracted to your positive aura instead of staring at your body parts.   Bikini Buying I must say that Diane’s Beachwear at the Calabasas Commons made it far more bearable. (They have 21 branches nationwide) I’m thinking they probably (no definitely) have some special lighting that hides the lumps, bumps, and bulges. With the encouragement of sweet and sassy Mara, I didn’t even try on one black thing. And a one-piece? Not for me. Here I am attempting to take a selfie of a flirty, fun two-piece to send to hubby.  Unfortunately, when I pulled the cover-up over my head, I revealed more of myself than planned, so went with the safer orange bandeau—way less chance of a wardrobe malfunction when I pick up my four-year-old. Plus it reminds me of the “boob-tube” orange bikini that I had when I was a little girl. (And brings me the same joy.)...

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OMG! Did I really just sing for David Foster?

  Orna Sings! from Orna on Vimeo. If you saw my last post, you’ll know that we went to see Yamaha’s 125th Anniversary Show on Friday night. What an unbelievable show! Elton John’s incredible performance was preceded by Earth Wind & Fire, Chaka Kahn, Toto, Sarah McLachlan, Amy Grant, Michael McDonald, Dave Grusin, and more. The show went on for almost four hours! Our friend, Nathan East, did a fabulous job as Musical Director, as did our friend, Randy Waldman, conducting the 70-piece orchestra. Sinbad kept us in fits of laughter during the many set changes. Then he and David Foster (16x Grammy winner, 4x Oscar winner, Producer/Composer for Celine Dion, Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire, Al Jarreau, Josh Groban, Seal) asked the audience, “who can sing?” My little ears pricked up; but I would never be crazy enough to get up in front of a) David Foster, b) 2000 people in the audience, and c) a live broadcast feed around the world. Right? Wrong! World’s-most-supportive-hubby said you should do it! And despite the pounding of my heart—literally out of my chest—I decided to face my fears and JUST DO IT! A few people had already gotten up to sing and Foster said, there’s time for one more. I had to squeeze past half a v e r  y    l o n g  and shallow row of people—suddenly the fantastic seats we had scored right in the middle didn’t seem so great! Everyone was cheering me on, so I walked up to the front of the stage, told him my name, reminded Sinbad that I used to teach his daughter piano, and proceeded to sing “The Very Thought of You.” A cappella! This seemed the safest bet because I didn’t have to hit any really high notes without knowing that I had picked the right key and would definitely make it, nerves and all. I was ecstatic that I managed to get through my 30 second time slot without my voice quivering or my face belying the absolute panic and terror that was going on inside me. I am just proud of myself that even though I hadn’t performed in front of an audience for about four years (my daughter is almost 3 1/2) and I was painfully sober, and this was totally impromptu—with no idea what to sing or how it would come out, I just did it! After doing that, my impending performance as Queen Esther in the Purim Play at Temple Aliyah should be cake! I feel inspired by watching all those incredibly talented artists sharing their gift. I will push myself to do the best I...

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