ESM Podcast: Episode #11: 170lb Weight Loss Success Story—Heather Robertson

All too often we find ourselves so busy. Whether you’re a parent, going to school, or trying to keep up with the demands of your job, many of us, at one time or another, have neglected our health and felt our weight creep up while we focused on other things in our lives. We always want to take better care of ourselves, but it can be hard to find the time and/or the energy.

If this resonates with you, I think you’ll find this episode’s interview relatable and inspiring.

Five years ago, after the birth of her first son, Heather Robertson weighed 313lbs. Her weight fluctuated as she went through two more pregnancies. In 2010, after her third child was born, Heather joined Weight Watchers, began going to weekly meetings, and started working out at a neighborhood gym.

Over the years, she lost 108lb within 18 months and the remaining 60lbs between pregnancies. Not only does she feel better physically, her confidence is higher than it’s ever been, and she has made the commitment to help other women lose weight.

Enjoy the interview.

Time: 74 minutes


Heather’s Web site news article about Heather

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Valuable Lessons (Thanks to Exercise and Injury)

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Treadmill, Tabatas, and Getting Back to It

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“You Are the Expert on You” –Danielle LaPorte

I’ve been reading a book called The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms by Danielle LaPorte.

Just before I did today’s workout, I was reading the book and came across this declaration (made in a huge font): You are the expert on you.

I thought about those words while I moving my body.

For years now, I’ve been comparing myself to other people. I would see how they got the results I wanted. I would try to do exactly as they did hoping to get the same results. More often than not, my attempts wouldn’t feel right or work the way I thought they would and I’d give up.

I remember, when I was younger, my mom had a plastic container of buttons she kept in her sewing machine cabinet. They were a mismatch of buttons either bought or taken from well-worn clothes before they were cut up and made into rags. Whenever she made anything–from clothes for my Barbie dolls to a blazer for herself–she’d always have just the right buttons on hand.

I don’t think comparing myself, and in turn, learning from, other people was a complete waste. Just like the button collection, I have accumulated a lot of information, ideas, and inspiration.

I was thinking about these long-term challenges I set for myself—how I’m so in awe of people who can stick with them and always discouraged when I can’t. I realized. It’s just not me. I don’t like doing the same thing repeatedly. I don’t like to do things in a “steady state” unless I’m tired.

Granted, often times, when you do a long-term challenge of some sort, you spend time building up to it before attempting one. Typically, I bypass the “building up” part and just dive in. Mastering the art of consistency could leave me feeling differently about things.

The point of all of this is: I don’t know myself well enough to know what works and what doesn’t. I want to change that.

I also thought about how, from here on out, I’m going to document everything I’m doing. At first the focus in mainly going to be on workouts because I’m still at odds with what food routine works best for me.

My hope is that, sometime in the future, someone who weighs as much as I do now, will find these posts, find them informative, and then go on to discover what works for them.


For the past few days, I’ve been doing tabatas and loving them.

I do five exercises for 50 seconds and take a 10-second break between each exercise. I do three rounds of all five exercises along with a one-minute warm-up and a one-minute cool-down.

I’ve been really enjoying creating my own based on how I’m feeling each day.

My first one:
bicep curls
tricep extensions
hook/upper cut

My second one:
Squat/hip abductor
Shoulder press
Wall pushups
Leg thrusts
Swimmer’s press

(This one was exhausting! I think I’m going to have to do tabatas for awhile before I’m ready to do Les Mills Pump DVDs.)

Today, I thought I’d try doing 30 seconds on, 10 seconds rest x 6 rounds. I prefer the 50/10 method.

Today’s workout:

Bicep curls
Step ups (on an aerobic step)
Bent over row
Leg lifts
Tricep extensions
Back fly
(used 7lb dumbbells)
On the treadmill:

I’m doing my (very slow) version of Couch to 5K:

My walking speed: 1.6
My “jogging” speed: 1.9

Thanks, again, to Nanette at Drop It Like It’s Hot for the inspiration and support.

Photo by: Bombardier

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Ready For Summer Challenge: Week 7 Check-In

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been neglecting this blog.

I felt like I got so off track that I just didn’t want to face the choices I had made or even think about food and exercise. I just wanted to tune out from it all.

For awhile, I didn’t want to read about anyone else’s success. I didn’t want to write honestly about my frustration and feelings of failure. I just felt stuck in this place of being really tired of being in my head so much and just wanting some peace of mind.

While in the midst of this, at the beginning, I ate a fair amount. That subsided though.

I knew this dark patch would eventually pass. Now, it has. I’m feeling more optimistic about things and ready to get back to it. The only issue is now, essentially, having to start right back at the beginning. While I haven’t gained all my weight back, my body is bloated and my sinuses congested from gluten consumption and I’m needing to go through sugar withdrawal (again).

I want to finish this challenge on a good note.

I’ve begun working out in a new way. I’m vowing to be completely honest about everything I do (or don’t do). I’m ready to document everything.

So, this week, my weight is 356.8lbs.

My goal is to move every single day (more details on that in future posts).

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Day 2-5: Leslie Sansone Workout Challenge

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve gravitated to my favorite Leslie Sansone workouts first.

I have always loved Walk & Kick.

For so many years, I’ve yearned to make it through all the hardcore kickboxing workouts I’ve ever come across.

I’ve always been drawn to shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Alias, and Nikita and movies like Hero, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and pretty much any other TV show or movie featuring a strong woman, literally, kicking ass. In my head, I aspire to be the kind of woman who could make her body come alive like that.

As I age, I’m not sure if I still have the capability to learn and master a physically demanding martial art.

Although, I have done a ton of reading about Tai Chi. I had an interest in it and then put it aside. I think it’s time for me start making time for a Tai Chi practice.

The closest I’ve come to is doing a full-out kickboxing workout is the original Tae Bo Basic workout from the late 1990’s. Sadly, those original workouts aren’t on DVD (that I know of) and I never kept the videotapes. I would love to revisit those workouts again.
The other workout I loved that had basic kicking and punching moves was Power 90. It’s truly my absolute favorite cardio workout because of the kicking and punching.

So, the thing with the L.S workout is that she does very, very basic kickboxing segments in between her walking segments. Kickboxing involves:
-bob and weave
-speed bag
-front/back kicks
-side kicks and side punches

It’s a workout I can get through with ease, but it leaves me wanting more.

On Day 3, I did High Calorie Burn from the original WATP DVD. The thing I appreciate the most about the original WATP workouts is that her gadget of choice, the weighted ball, isn’t too distracting. Dumbbells are a perfect substitute. As the years have gone on, Leslie has incorporated some annoying gadgets that I’ve never used because I feel like they slow down the workout.

The weird thing is, even though I make the choice not to use them, while I’m doing the workout I still find myself questioning whether I’m getting the best workout I can without them—like somehow I’m missing out. Of course, I know, I’m not.

Day 4 was L.S’s Walk Aerobics: 2 Mile Walk. This workout, which came out in 1999, was my very first L.S workout. I love this workout as well. This workout has her basic moves, but several more challenging ones mixed it. If there was one L.S workout I would do repeatedly, it would be this one because of the variety and the challenge.  I am so not coordinated and am very intimidated by anything involving dance choreography, but having said that, I do like varied moves. This workout has you moving all over the place and using her basic moves much more creatively than anything she did post 2001. It’s like, when she created the WATP series, she stripped away the creative floor moves and relied on annoying gadgets to substitute for creativity and variety.

By Day 5, I needed just a small dose of Leslie and went for WATP Express 1-Mile Easy Walk. This DVD uses “stretchy bands”. One band came with the DVD. It’s a very thin (and wide) resistance band that I was always afraid I would break if I pulled it too hard. I just used dumbbells for this workout.

Two other workout notes:

Nanette from Drop It Like It’s Hot suggested I try the Couch to 5K program. I’ve had the app on my phone for well over a year now. When I first got it, I felt like I was too heavy to do it and vowed to try it once I got way below 300lbs. Nanette suggested I start using it and, even though, I walk at an incredibly slow speed on the treadmill (like, under 2.0 most of the time), start at the speed I’m at and build up from there.
I haven’t done my treadmill workout yet today, but once I get on it, I’m starting the program.

A few days ago, Heather from, left a comment that lead me to her blog. I watched her video review of the new Les Mills Pump workout DVDs. I was intrigued and ended up buying them.

A few years ago, when I used to go to the gym, I’d be on the treadmill right by the room where they’d do group classes and I’d watch people do Les Mills workouts. I would have loved to join in, but would have felt awkward being the heaviest person in the room. I’m looking forward to trying them at home. My goal is to get back to the gym at some point. I’d love to walk into a Les Mills class, slimmer, and totally familiar with the workouts.

I just got the DVDs and not the barbell and plates you can also purchase. I’m going to use dumbbells for awhile and, if I stick with these workouts, I was thinking of getting some weighted bars instead of a barbell and plates.

Here’s Heather’s review:

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