Twenty Questions with LISA!

Each Tuesday we feature a different success story from the Trading Cardio for Cosmos community in a new segment called “Twenty Questions With…” Young, young at heart, marathon runners and those who can’t exercise at all, vegetarians, pescatarians, working mommas, work-from-home professionals and retirees. We’re going to showcase them all, because when you read about someone like you succeeding, I think it gives you the confidence that you too can succeed!

This week I want to introduce you to Lisa, who made goal in 2015 after several prior attempts, and who truly gets what it takes to be successful and maintain that success. She has some great tips for exercise, moderation and enjoying life while losing weight! Her advice is spot on – I’m so inspired! Check her out:

The Questions:

  1. Give us the basics about you – your first name, age, region you live in, etc.

My first name is Lisa and I am 48 years-old, married with two children – a 19 year old daughter and a 15 year old son.  We live in Upstate New York.

  1. When did you start your weight-loss journey? What was the “tipping point” that made you start?

lisa-beforeI have been on my weight-loss journey almost my entire life. I have signed up for Weight Watchers more times than I would like to admit.  In the past, I would always get very close to goal and stop because it was taking me too long to lose those last 5-10 pounds and I didn’t like spending the money to see no results.  Once I quit, I would inevitably gain back most if not all the weight I lost.  The last time I signed up in the fall of 2014 I made a promise I wouldn’t quit no matter what!  I finally made goal weight in April 2015.

  1. What is one piece of advice you wish you had known when you started out?

You need to be committed to change your life. This isn’t a temporary plan.  Knowing that it’s for the rest of your life, you shouldn’t sweat the windy journey.  You don’t have to be perfect.  Celebrate your accomplishments and don’t beat yourself up when you wander but do get back on the road as fast as you can.  Okay, that may be more than one piece of advice!

  1. How much weight have you lost? If you are done losing, and are on to maintaining, how long have you been maintaining your loss?

lisa-afterI have lost 55 pounds and am in maintenance mode, although I have gone above Weight Watchers goal and had to pay for a few weeks a few times since last year.

  1. How do you keep your motivation up?

I am very motivated by fitness/exercise goals but for me, they need to be with a group.  I like the social nature of everyone reaching their goals and I also like a bit of competition.  I periodically do step challenges at work with our FitBits and currently I am in a 10k training group and running my first 10k.  I think I am going to continue with the group and train for a 1/2 marathon.  Me and running have a love/hate relationship (see comic which describes me to a tee!).lisa quote 3.jpg

I also like to try new recipes.  I find the Plan to Eat website a real help in this area.  Going through cookbooks was always a drag to me.  This site makes it super easy. It allows you to quickly plan meals and create shopping lists.

  1. How do you handle cravings?

To be perfectly honest, I am still not great about this part.  I am trying to work on the “all or nothing” behavior. Knowing that I satisfied a craving shouldn’t mean I let myself eat what I want for the next few days or week!  I will say what happens now is I get back on track much faster than I used to. When I am really focused, I handle cravings with a good substitute (Only 8 for ice cream) or allow myself to have a little of what I am craving (a few bites of cheesecake).

  1. What are your top three tips for success?

I think my two inspirational quotes really state my first two tips:









Figure out what works for you and do that!


Don’t worry about the length of the journey because the journey really is a lifetime! I was someone who always obsessed with how long it took somebody to lose weight and comparing myself to them.  If truth be told, it’s taken me 20 years become a lifetime member at Weight Watchers (within 2 pounds of goal) and on any given day, I could be above my goal weight.

Make it fun!  If you view healthy eating and exercise negatively and something you don’t want to do, it certainly is going to be very hard to be successful.  Try new recipes, find great substitutes, enjoy a new exercise.

  1. Do you exercise? If so, how often, for how long and what type of exercises do you do?

Right now I am training for a 10k and then moving to a 1/2 marathon.  This includes 4-5 days of running.  I also have a goal to do 12,000 steps a day consecutively for a year (see…I like goals!). 1/2 way there!

  1. What is your favorite breakfast?

lisa overnight oats.jpg

Overnight oats (see picture of prep for that).  It really fills me up.  I make them for me and my husband for the work week so we can just take them with us to work. On the weekends I love making scrambled eggs with 1 whole egg and 1 cup of egg whites.  I add veggies and different herbs and spices.

  1. What is your go-to lunch?

I am fortunate to work for a school that supplies lunch.  The cafeteria has homemade soups and fresh vegetables and fruit, grown locally when possible.  I will have a low-calorie soup and salad with a hard-boiled egg or some other protein and then fresh fruit for dessert.

  1. What does a typical week night dinner look like? What about a weekend dinner?

When I am on my game, I make 2 meals on Sunday for the family to have for the week. I usually make something from Emily Bites or Skinny Taste and then make something that can be versatile (on a salad, in a burrito) – buffalo chicken in the crockpot, Mexican ground turkey, pulled pork, etc.  When I am not on my game, I tend to have a bigger lunch and then have a meal replacement shake for dinner (I use Vega One).

  1. What kind of snacks do you like?

Fresh fruit, greek yogurt, cheese sticks, Quest bars.

  1. What kind of desserts do you eat?

Desserts are my downfall, especially ice cream, so I tend not to have too many since it can have me spiral out of control.  I often have 1-2 dark chocolate Hershey kisses at night.  That usually satisfies my need for dessert.

  1. What kind of adult beverages do you enjoy?

White wine.

  1. What is your favorite meal to eat in a restaurant?

A nice medium-rare filet mignon.  We never make steak at home so it’s a real treat when we go out, which isn’t too often.

  1. Do you have a favorite fast food/casual dining meal?

If we have to go out for fast food/casual dining, I usually like to go to Panera and order a cup of chicken noodle soup and 1/2 salad.

  1. Do you have a favorite weight loss blog/website/FB group that you visit for inspiration?

Trading Cardio for Cosmos, Organize Yourself Skinny, and Plan to Eat

  1. Do you have a favorite website for healthy recipes?

Emily Bites and SkinnyTaste

  1. Do you have a favorite quote, meme or thought that keeps you motivated?

I think that I covered it above with my tips!

  1. What’s one final thought you can share with someone who’s interested in losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight?

I mentioned it above but worth saying again – enjoy your life, be positive and have fun!  Know that being healthy plays a big role in enjoying life to the fullest.

Thank you so much, Lisa! Have questions for Lisa? Share them in the comments below!



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