The Skinny – Amy Brunell

Closeup of apple wrapped with measuring tape and weights in background. Conceptual of fitness and dieting.

Closeup of apple wrapped with measuring tape and weights in background. Conceptual of fitness and dieting.

What Am I Willing To Do? What Am I Not?

Look, we come into a professional weight management program because we feel unhappy with ourselves. I get it. But the thing is that we don’t suddenly love ourselves once we get to goal. Perhaps if we did truly love ourselves we wouldn’t gain all the weight back?

I’m not sure. I’m one of those people who lost all her weight and then gained it all back plus 15 pounds more. I don’t remember hating myself. But my level of self-love wasn’t sufficient perhaps? My level of “survival” was very high, but my love levels? It is an act of love to survive certainly. In the several year period I gained all my weight back, I don’t think I was clear about where I began and ended in relationship to all my needs and other’s needs around me.

Now, all these years later, really frustrated at my weight not changing, doing all that I can to feel better, and not having a tangible long lasting result in terms of losing weight, even some weight. But wait a minute Amy…

Set points are funny things. When you lose weight, being a long-term dieter, your body SCREAMS at you to gain the weight back. It simply likes its own set point and to move that downward is so damn difficult. Scientists (Traci Mann-Secrets of an Eating Lab) are writing about how it may be healthier to stay at your set point instead of losing and gaining the same weight over and over. Believe me, even to stay at my set point, I can’t go off the rails in managing my program. I still have to be conscious.

Suffering to lose weight is different. Last year when I lost weight, I gave up sugar, alcohol, fruit, grains and ate only vegetables and protein. It was the first time in forever that my body responded with losing weight. Not quickly. 1 pound a week on average. I was walking 10,000 to 12,000 steps a day. I was truly dieting, not this so called “lifestyle” change that is touted so easily. No, for this body, I had to diet to lose weight. “Lifestyle” is how I am able to maintain, but I have to restrict my intake further for my body to respond.  I have to change and keep changing to accept what is and be more in the flow of whatever process I’m trying to incorporate.

Recently I saw a friend-of-a-friend post on Facebook. She is an avid athlete. She is one of those people that I would say has a beautiful body. It’s not just that she works out, she’s able to stretch and bend in ways I can’t even imagine for myself. She is strong. So strong. She’s a gymnast really.

So I was thinking about what does it take to get that kind of ability in a body? Frankly it takes loads, and I mean loads of time and commitment. I imagine it is a consistent part-time job. And I could do that. I mean, I might not be able to do all the things she can do, but I bet, if I put 20+ hours a week into exercise, I might in 6 months, really be able to do so many cool things.

So with my schedule, what would I have to give up to squeeze in a new part time job?

Being with Family
De-cluttering my house
Furthering my professional goals
Meditation groups

So is it worth it? I’m not judging my choices or someone else’s choices here. I’m simply reflecting on my choices and what I would have to give up to schedule my 20 hours to exercise. And I still have responsibilities to family to get dinner on a table, groceries, laundry, dogs cared for, older children and aging parents cared for with doctors, school appointments and other responsibilities.

When I look at this and analyze my choices, I don’t want to spend 20 hours a week trying to get my body to lose weight. Honestly.

Making changes to my lifestyle and my schedule is a process. So slowly, slowly I make the changes I can and keep changing forward to love myself to the fullest, as I am right now.

The Actors' Gang


  1. Amy,

    You’re the best. Don’t ever think differently about yourself. For most of us, slow and steady is the only way to achieve where we want to be whether it is with weight loss or changing our lifestyle for a healthier life.

    Slow and steady can be very challenging at times and maybe a little depressing because life is not moving fast enough for us. But this will get us to where we want to be. We just need a lot of patience and love for ourselves. That is where the learning curve will come in and that can be a very big challenge for some or most. Once that is in place things may get easier.

    Learning to put all those tapes in our minds on mute is also a process. So patience, love and timing with ourselves is very important. There really is no Evelyn Woods way to weight loss. As you have always said, weight loss is so much more than just a number on the scale.

    Love you and miss you already.

    Candice Silverstein

  2. Amy:

    You’re so inspiring! I love that you’re so authentic and real!!

    I don’t think it would take 20 hours to have a body that you love…I do believe that it’s consistent exercise, over the long haul, that makes the difference. But the key is, as you probably know, to love what it is that you’re doing…Mixing it up, staying committed and just moving..however it moves you to do so…You know it was the Greeks who realized that moving our bodies produces well-being..
    I’m currently loving the water aerobics at the “Y”.

    Thanks for all that you do for us!
    marcy craig

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