Tiffany, Week #23: The Real Reason I Wanted To Slim Down


When we first began this challenge I had a pretty good idea of why I was doing it. I want the luxury of being able to go to White House Black Market, buy a dress and look amazing and then take Andy out on a date. Really, I wanted to go into any store that doesn’t sell anything larger than an XL, shop and have the clothes look good on me. I was tired of having clothes be a means to cover the excess energy–that is Lass’, my personal trainer at Gold’s Gym, term for fat.

But when I thought about it, I realized the true driving force behind our participation in the challenge was the legacy we leave. (What were we teaching Anna and Jack about how to live when they become adults?) Not to mention overall health. (There are so many illnesses that can be avoided just by being in a healthy weight range.) As I’ve shared before, my mom had a heart attack and had to have triple bypass at 60 and she’s in good physical health. Andy’s mom passed due to high blood pressure causing a stroke.  Both of these women are in a normal weight range but were not very healthy.  I’m happy to report today that my mom is very healthy, watches what she eats, works out and is living a full life.

Even if you can’t be a part of a challenge like this, think about your family health history and the legacy you want to leave your kids. Then sit down and write down some health goals.  Don’t leave anything out.  Be as vain as you want to (ie. I want to look hot for my upcoming high school reunion). But also set some practical ones that will uplift your family. Create a timeline and then get going.

What are your family’s get-healthy goals? Post a comment and tell me!

Tiffany, Week #22: Why I’m Excited To Turn 40


In January I will be celebrating a big birthday. I’ll be 40! Most women I know do not look forward to turning 40. Me, I can’t wait.

You’re probably wondering why. Well, I spent my first 40 years making a lot of mistakes and I want the next 40 of my life to be the best! I want to experience life without regret, be in peak physical health, keep on living my life to the fullest with Andy by my side and raise our kids and watch them grow into young adults, go to college, get married, etc.

What this journey has taught me is to be content. When I am content is when I’m the most happy. When I’m wanting something so bad and I have selfish motives I am not content and success is usually not on my side. However, when I think less about me and more about others, my life is far more blessed and full.

So here I am about to turn 40 and I can’t wait.  I am so excited to see what my future holds and I’m so honored to have shared my life with all of you.  Thank you for giving back to me and being so supportive. I couldn’t have done it if it were not for you knowing we have you cheering us on!

I want you to know that even though this journey is over we have only just begun.  We have so much more in front of us. Not just in health but in life and I know that there will be trials in both but I can’t wait for them because I believe in struggle is when growth and success is right around the corner.

How do you/did you feel about turning 40? Post a comment and tell me!

Tiffany, Week #22: What We Usually Forget When Setting Goals


People have asked me: “How do you do it?”  My response is: “How do you eat an elephant?” I usually get blank stares back followed by an awkward silence. Then I add: “One bite at a time.”

For me, the question isn’t “How do you do it?” but “What do you do once you’re done?” I know all too well about setting a big goal, achieving it and then finding myself in the middle of the road thinking, “Now what?” All the glory is gone and just stuck. This happened to me in a very big way last year.

Back in 2010, my good friend Jenny encouraged me to go out on a freezing cold October morning and volunteer for a marathon. My job was to take off racing chips and hand out medals to the finishers. I saw the joy and pain in the runners. I also noticed some women who I was shocked to see finishing this race. I had just started writing my own blog because this weight loss journey I’ve been on has been on track for years. So I decided shortly after the marathon I volunteered at that I was going to do a half marathon. In October 2010 I was tipping the scales somewhere on the 270 range. I’m only 5′ 3″ so all that on my frame is way too much.

In the year I trained for the race I got down to 227. In the process of training I developed what is called jumpers knee and had to cancel a lot of the races I signed up for because my sports medicine doctor was not going to let me run in the races. I was devastated and I was a crying mess but I was determined to finish the half marathon. I spent all summer in physical therapy and was released to do a run-walk routine for the half.

I completed the race and I had no other plan in front of me and just like in the past I packed the weight back on. I experienced what’s called “post race blues.” I didn’t fail, I met my goals. But where I did fall short was making a future plan. I still had all this weight to lose but no plan of how to get it off because I was tired. Training can be exhausting if you let it.

Plan for success, plan for fun, plan for work. Just like in everything if you have a plan of action, passion and a willingness to accept constructive feedback then you have no choice but to be successful. This life and my weight loss journey is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Just like being a good wife, mother and friend you have to respect, listen, seek information and be willing to do things you really don’t feel like doing but in the end you’ll look back and be so thankful for the experience.

I am so thankful for my post race blues. It taught me that how important having a plan is.

What do you need to make a plan for right now? Post a comment and tell me!

Challenge Yourself: Get Fit!


For Challenge #5, the Lehmans andAvaglianos were challenged to hit a number of fitness goals. Both teams did such a great job that they were all declared winners! If you’re looking to continue your get-healthy journey and follow our families’ leads, read on for expert tips:

Foolproof Motivators 
Never miss another workout again, thanks to these inspiring tips from Tanya Jolliffe, healthy eating expert and community moderator for

1. Forget the Scale. Judge your progress by creating fitness mini-goals: holding a plank for a minute, doing 10 boy-style push-ups, running a mile in 10 minutes. “It puts a purpose behind your routine that energizes,” says Jolliffe.

2. Make It a Date Night. Ditch dinner and drinks with your hubby for an evening of dancing or an afternoon of hiking.

3. Do It First Thing. Checking a workout off your list in the morning could improve your mood, make you more productive at work, inspire you to eat healthier and help you sleep better.

4. Find a Cause. Walk a 5K for an MS charity or do a bikeathon to raise money for cancer research. It’ll strengthen your commitment to exercise, says Jolliffe.

Eat to Win
Reaping results from your fitness regime requires paying close attention to your hand-to-mouth action.

Hold back on extra helpings. “A lot of people believe they can eat more if they exercise,” says Elizabeth Fassberg, the Avaglianos’ nutritionist. “But exercise is not a free pass to overindulge at meals.”

Practice portion control. “Vacations and holidays don’t mean you have to put on weight. I told the Avaglianos they could taste everything while they were in Italy–just don’t finish it,” says Elizabeth. And if you have one big meal, make sure your others incorporate extra fruits and vegetables.”

Pump up the protein. “I encouraged the Lehmans to include protein, such as lean meats, dairy and beans, in all meals and snacks,” says Stephanie Karpinske, the Lehmans’ nutritionist. It helps repair the body, especially muscle tissue, after intense workouts. “Protein also helps fight hunger, may reduce carb cravings and has fewer calories than fat,” explains Stephanie.

How do you stay motivated? Share your tips in the comments below.

Peggy, Week 19: What Would You Do If You Could Not Fail?

The Avagliano Family

A friend of mine once asked: “What would you do if you could not fail?” What goals would you not strive for, if you believed they were all achievable? Would you be satisfied with watching a swim meet or would you want to be in the pool? Would you be happy shopping in the women’s section, or would you want to look like the model on the cover of your favorite magazine?

If we’re honest with ourselves, most of us would change something about our current life choices. And I’m here to say: Just do it.

You want to know why my family was chosen to be a part of this contest? Because I entered the contest. You can never win a contest, if you are afraid to put yourself out there and try. The questions were basic, so why didn’t you enter? I never thought they would pick my family, but I sent in the application anyway.

Just do it, try.

You have been reading about my family and the Lehmans. Now it is your turn. Put your nickel down; become an active participant in this challenge. Commit to making the changes for your family. You can enter for next year by clicking here. Good luck!

Post a comment below and tell me one thing you promise to “just do!” this week.