I got my mojo back!

And I’m happy to say it isn’t because I lost 5 pounds… or stopped eating sugar… or gave up carbs… or started some rigid exercise regimen.   What I did do, was: – focus on and appreciate all the GOOD I have in my life – try to take better care of myself by being mindful about what I eat and drink (only eat things that are “worthy”!) – went a little blonder 😉 – made “play dates” with a few close girlfriends whom I love and know love me unconditionally just because I am who I am—not because of how I look or what I weigh or how successful or popular I am – ran on the beach, ran to the park, just ran! (Because I can!) – focus on activities that bring me joy and make me feel STRONG (Hardcore Pilates!/ Santa Monica Stairs/ running with my daughter to the park)  – tried two new (HARD!!) exercise classes with friends (Nicole’s H.I.I.T Asana at Woodland Hills Athletic Club – WOW you’ve never known such inspiration—and PAIN and TORTURE! LOVE IT!!!)  – got some cool new jeans and workout gear because you know what, I deserve to look and feel good TODAY – spend quality time with my daughter and enjoy every precious moment because seven won’t last forever – had a date night with my lovely hubby  – And I BAKED! Because baking brings my heart joy and is my creative outlet. And giving people I care about something I baked is my way of showing love.   So find something that brings you joy and feeds your soul and do it!   I truly wish for you a wonderful, happy holiday season and hope you can find the love and happiness you need inside of yourself so that you can feel good about yourself exactly as you are TODAY!   Love,  ...

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I just had an epiphany

I know that my favorite thing to do is to watch TV whilst eating a huge bowl of something and drinking a huge glass (or two) of something. And I always knew that it was some kind of soothing thing. I mean I would literally prefer to come home and have alone-time with my popcorn than sleep over at my adorable boyfriend (now loving husband’s) house. (I know, kinda weird) But I finally broke that habit. Well now here I am, stuck in this emotional-eating phase again, and I find myself going back for the restaurant leftovers that I managed not to eat at dinner (noodles/pizza/fill-in-the-blank) at 11pm and craving carbs and a show in the middle of the afternoon. (Things I haven’t done in literally YEARS) And the stress and anxiety that I’ve been feeling has of course rubbed off on my 7-year-old daughter too. Yesterday when she weighed in at 80th percentile for weight (30th for height) and I quietly asked my pediatrician if I should be concerned, she said, “that’s the last thing you need to worry about right now.” She also said that my daughter’s constant humming and singing—which we thought was attention-seeking (and which adds to my anxiety)—was a “self-soothing” behavior. And then it hit me.   OMG!   My parents divorced when I was 5. That’s coincidentally when my love affair with food began. But I’m suddenly seeing myself as a young girl sitting all by myself on the couch and getting all my love and soothing from a bag or bowl of something and my favorite TV show. So it’s no wonder that when my life feels out of control, I seek that same old comfort that I was used to.   I’m also remembering our visit to the GI doctor when Aja was just a baby and wasn’t nursing well. The poor little thing had probably been starving for four months while I stubbornly insisted on nursing her, and then understandably she gorged on formula and we went from worrying that she was too skinny to worrying that she was too chubby. (You know I blame myself for all that and wonder if that’s where her love-affair with food started) But what stuck in my mind was when he said that if weight ever does become an issue there are things we can teach her like “not eating in front of the TV.” (Bingo)   Well, I guess I never really learned that lesson. So the best I can do for my daughter—and myself—is to limit TV-watching-and-eating and break the cycle of self-soothing old habits. Not easy but I’m going to try it....

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Guess where I went today?

I’ll give you a clue: It’s not Joey or PF Chang’s or Brent’s Deli or Rosti or any of the other 40 restaurants I’ve eaten at almost every day for the last 42 days since the fire.   I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and dragged my f-t ass—tail between my legs—to a Weight Watchers meeting. And you know what? It wasn’t SO bad. (Remember, it can always be worse!) I spent way too much of my life hiding and feeling ashamed and sad. And I’m not going to do that to myself again. Ever.   Ironically, this week I was approached by a company interested in casting me as one of the “real” people who have successfully lost weight on the Weight Watchers “Beyond the Scale” program. Problem is that I got to my goal weight a long time ago (well, problem for them, not problem for me!) and not on this specific program. (BTW – My WW goal weight is higher than my own personal goal weight anyway so that I don’t have to stress out if I gain a few pounds and worry about paying $15 because I’m 2 pounds over my goal weight! You have to check in once a month and be within 2 pounds of your goal weight to stay a free Lifetime member)   But anyway… as I was filling out the questionnaire and listing how Weight Watchers has completely changed my life and how I now don’t measure my self worth by my weight and I’m not so hard on myself, I thought, “uh oh, but isn’t that exactly what I’ve been doing to myself in these last few weeks since the fire?”   I have to say I felt like a bit of a fraud.   So here I am coming out to you all. And I am promising you and myself that I will set a good example by being extra kind to myself and not beating myself up for what has happened.   Let’s see: Eating out almost every day for 42 days vs eating out once a week zero walking vs walking the dog/running with kid from car to school 5 days a week (everything counts peeps!) no weekly training session (miss you Kellie Fit!) pilates 0 – 1 times a week (thank G-d for Hardcore Pilates!!) vs pilates 2 times a week   How could any “body” stay the same?   When you eat out every day (way more calories/sodium/fat) and you get out of your regular physical exercise routine, how could your body stay in the same place? And more importantly, I NEED the physical...

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I will forgive (not forget or regret)

I’m not gonna lie—2015 was hard for me. I lost my dad on October 1st and besides the obvious sadness, it brought up all kinds of emotions for me. Flying to South Africa three times in 13 months also put me out of whack: out of my routine; out of my exercise routine; out of my food routine.  I started to fall back to my old habits and have been self-medicating with food and wine. And it’s time to stop. I feel like I’ve been on a roller coaster since my book was released in January and then I was on CNN in February. I started questioning why I do what I do and just feeling completely burnt out. Somehow I lost my direction and stopped following my passion (hello—my blog is called Orna“Bakes”!) and got on the marketing/promotion/social media train. I hate social media. I think it brings out the worst in all of us. It’s all about instant gratification and comparison and looking to others for approval. Everything I’ve spent my life trying to get away from.  Why am I telling you all this? Because as always my goal is to be the best me that I can be and to help anyone along the way who is experiencing the same kind of pain.  I’m excited to bring in the new year  and get a fresh start. I will forgive myself for not living my best life and I will be compassionate, because when you go through a major life change or lose someone dear to you it’s bound to affect you profoundly. I won’t regret doing the book or the blog or anything else I’ve done, because it’s what got me to this point and we learn and grow with every experience.  What about you? Can you forgive yourself? Are you ready for a fresh start? I’m sending my warmest and most sincere wishes your way for a happy, healthy, kind, and compassionate new year. ...

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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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How low should you go?
Mar19

How low should you go?

I was chatting with a girlfriend at boot camp today (between squats and lunges) about how annoyed we are with ourselves that our bodies are not where they were at a couple of months ago. She had gotten down to a super-skinny, tight and toned size 4 for her son’s Bar Mitzvah. And even though she’s still diligently going to boot camp and working out regularly, her food intake has relaxed since she doesn’t have the red sequin dress and people flying in from far and wide to motivate her. I, on the other hand, had to get my super-skinny on for the photo shoot for my book cover. (Obviously I had to look great for my “after” shot!) So now here we are. Both of us look pretty good. (If I say so myself 😉 ) I might not be at my all-time super-skinny, all-my-clothes-feel-AWESOME weight. (I don’t ever seem to be at that incredibly happy place for longer than one day!) But should I even be striving for that number? Isn’t it better to have balance in my life and be able to enjoy the delicious things I make and bake (okay, I know it wasn’t necessary to “taste” FOUR Crunchies yesterday!), and go for a family walk with the puppy instead of killing myself to get to Pilates on a Saturday. If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know I’m a bonafide foodie. Should I really be eating chicken and salad when we go out instead of trying the dishes that sound most interesting—even if not the “healthiest” choices? For me, it’s not at all about the number on the scale, but how my clothes feel. Nothing makes me crankier than feeling my “schmaltz” (translation: chicken fat) rolling over my pants!!! Perhaps the solution is to never go clothes-shopping on a super-skinny day…?!  Staying in shape takes hard work, and a huge time commitment. And you have to be consistent. The next time you see someone who is “naturally thin” and is toned and tanned—don’t for one minute think that this came “naturally.” And if she’s over forty chances are she has to work even harder at it! So what do you think…? Should we be listening to our bodies? Or society? Should we be doing what it takes to get to that magic number, or rather be accepting ourselves where our bodies are more comfortable? Or is that just an excuse? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Please leave a comment at the bottom of this post or on OrnaBakes on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, LinkedIn. (You’re already following me, right?)...

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