My goal was to prove that I, a 56 year-old woman, could lose weight and maintain a healthy level of fitness without spending a ton of money on a gimmick, pills, pre-packaged food, extreme diets or (shudder!) surgery.

After years of searching, a few months ago, around mid June 2010, I finally found a healthy lifestyle that works for me. Maybe it would work for you, too.

I love the Mediterranean diet. Not a diet, but more like a way of eating that suits my entire family. The Mediterranean diet is full of juicy, colorful fruits and vegetables. I also use Michael Pollan's Food Rules as an eating guide. In this little book is the wisdom of a thousand grandmothers and the findings of laboratories full of scientists. Also, my husband and I meal plan and grocery shop together which helps a ton! 

For food and calorie journalling I use the Lose It! app on my iPod Touch. It's free. I love, love, LOVE that little app! As my daughter would say, I want to marry it, I love this app so much! Lose It (check it out on Facebook) makes counting calories super easy, so easy there is no excuse to cheat, none, and that makes a world of difference.

For exercise I do what I love, whatever feels good on that particular day. My favorites are yoga, run/walking on my treadmill and horseback riding. For you it might be gardening, bike riding, tennis, golf, walking the dog, it doesn't matter. What matters is movement every day. Choose activities you love. It will keep you young.

Finally, I, a psychologist, am learning that my mind can be devious and I need to keep an eye on its tricks that keep me lazy and overweight. To help me with this process I faithfully follow Our Lady of Weight Loss, Janice Taylor, and others who advocate mindful eating and loving yourself thin. I've always been an advocate of using the carrot rather than the stick to influence behavior. It just took a freaking village to get me to apply this loving, creative, divine philosophy to my own weight loss journey.

It is a journey – never ending, forever challenging. And that's a good thing! Now that I'm on this path the weight is coming off and I am in awe.

See more on My Weight Loss Journey page. Your comments are most welcome!