12 in 12

Blogging was the last thing I thought I would ever do until I had a revelation at the gym a few weeks ago. There I was, huffing and puffing at 2.8 on the treadmill, berating myself for gaining back nearly all of the 70 lbs I lost two years ago. I was jogging at 5.5 then, and now I’m struggling at a snail’s pace. How did I let myself get here again?

Then: September 2012 (179 lbs)  Now: August 2014 (245 lbs)
Then: September 2012 (179 lbs)
Now: August 2014 (245 lbs)

I replayed my entire dieting career in my mind and realized, I’d been gaining and losing for more years than Baskin Robbins has flavours! I’ve tried nearly every program, bought every video, and joined dozens of gyms. You’d think I’d look like a svelte Victoria Secret model, but sadly I look more like a spongie old Queen Victoria. How does someone lose and gain over 500 lbs in their life time? It takes skill and talent that’s for sure!

Why can’t I figure this out? Why is it that sometimes I have the motivation to stick to a program for several months straight, and other times, only a single Monday? And worse still, have a year worth of Mondays come and go without regard to my health and fitness?

Clearly I haven’t found a plan that resonates with my lifestyle and one I’m willing to commit to. There are so many plans out there: paleo, vegan, juicing, points, no carbs, shakes, prepared meals, food combining, clean eating, and the list goes on and on. Each plan has a claim, and each claim discredits the other. Claims! Claims! Claims! Who’s right? And then it came to me – 12 in 12.

12 Diets in 12 Months

I’m going to go diet shopping over the next year and test drive each of these claims. I will commit an entire month to a single plan, which I will reveal to you a week before I start.

Claims! Claims! Claims!
Claims! Claims! Claims!

On the first of every month I will:

  • Weigh myself
  • Take my measurements
  • Take photos – front, back and side-views

On a daily basis, I will:

  • Track my food intake
  • Track my steps and any exercise
  • Record how I’m feeling on the plan
  • Look forward to your comments, tips, and suggestions – especially if you are on, or have ever been on, the plan I’m testing

At the end of the month I will summarize the pros and cons of the plan.


  • Interactions, Allergies, Sensitivities – I will only deviate from the plan if a food affects my health. For example, I cannot digest raw bananas. If the plan calls for them, I will find a substitute and will note it in my daily food diary.
  • Illness – I will continue if I have a cold, but will take a break if I get the flu, if I’m am hospitalized, or if an existing condition is triggered.
  • Holidays and Special Events – I will do my utmost to pass on desserts, unless (1) the plan allows it, (2) it’s my birthday, (3) it’s my immediate family member’s birthday, (4) eating no more than 3 of my mother’s homemade zeppole (anchovy stuffed timbit) which she only makes at Easter, Christmas, and New Year.
  • Life’s curve balls – Jury duty. Natural disasters. If I’m held hostage by George Clooney or Jamie from Outlander, in which case – DO NOT COME LOOKING FOR ME!

Stupid Is as Stupid Does

I AM NOT conducting this experiment for quick weight loss, that’s not safe or wise. I’m aiming for 1 to 2 lbs per week, although I suspect I will have a higher weight loss in the first month – likely water weight. The purpose of this experiment is to test the claims and determine which of these plans work best for MY body and lifestyle, and ultimately one I can sustain for the long term. And as such, I WILL NOT test a program where I eat fewer than 1,200 calories a day, require injections, or drink more than one meal a day (i.e. protein shake).


So, when will I start this epic trial? January is so cliché, so I’m committing to this year long experiment on December 1st, 2014… how’s that for committed?! Okay, okay, some of you think I should be committed – why torture myself, right? I figure my resolve will be strongest at the beginning of this journey, so why not start during the year’s most tempting month!

Doing my homework
Doing my homework

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

Over the next month I will be doing research on the plans I will test, and learn how to work a blog (how the heck do you add a comment section?) – I can hear my kids laughing as I write this. They are my I.T. department and I know they are already dreading my calls for technical support! I will also be sharing more about who I am and my life long battle with food and weight. And obviously, squeezing in as many last suppers as I can!

Each month will have it’s own tab under 12 in 12, where I will review the featured diet/claim/plan, and post my weekly food journal.

5 thoughts on “12 in 12

  1. Hi Marilena!

    …and kudos for this inspiring blog!

    I wish you much strength in this pursuit as I know from experience how tough this journey can be. I also know how rewarding it is to be in the right space to gain control over this important aspect of your life… I will be following along, gaining inspiration as I read.

    In the meantime, please reach out for support as you need it. I am sure there are a lot of us who are in your corner and will help you succeed. It takes a village for much of life’s successes!

    Enjoy the holidays and best wishes for the coming year!

    Jo Anne


  2. i am so impressed with what you are doing and how you are presenting this. glad to hear you didn’t have xmas cake but i hope people don’t keep commenting every time you look at something. i would find that friggin annoying not encouraging. you’ll do it your mind is in the right place…keep on trucking girl!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s