About my journey

Join the weight loss and dieting journey towards a lifestyle plan!

This site is about our weight loss journey; on the many  challenges we face, the hurdles we overcome daily (sometimes hourly), the not so easy decisions, the discussions that need to take place, and most importantly-  the food to sustain weight loss and optimal health! I’ve cooked since my teens, Portuguese cuisine is my specialty and where I draw much influence from.  I look forward to sharing this site with you and having you be part of the journey as well. 
  When the words don’t matter…
            I’ve been called fat, or in portuguese “mais forte”, which is a polite term for  “gorda” or fat in english. Neither of these are complimentary phrases .  “Mais forte” literally means stronger, when someone says this to you, you are one step from being  “gorda”, or have also gained weight.   So, I’ve struggled with being “mais forte”  and “gorda” for over 25 years.  I have yo-yo’d with my weight  over the years and tried many “diets”, so much that  I’ve come to consider myself a Professional Dieter.
         As a preteen I was slightly overweight and this followed me to high school.  I started following a regiment in my freshman year, it was from a book written in the late 80’s. It may have been called, “Live for Life”  or something like that, it was written by a PhD. On this diet, I would eat fruit for breakfast and snack, then at lunch vegetables with some white meat or carbohydrate. You would have to wait two hours before mixing fruit with vegetables, protein or carbohydrates.  Dinner was more vegetables with a carbohydrate or a protein. The carbohyrate could not be eaten with the protein/meat.  I was an active  teenager and going to the gym wasn’t a routine.  In retrospect,  relative to all the “diets” over the rest of my life, this was the most easiest for me and kept me at my healthiest weight. It was a clean diet – I avoided preservatives.  Then again,  I was a teenager too in a size 2/4! It was forgiving on days that I didn’t eat all the fruit and vegetables.  It helped that my mom would buy fruits and vegetables and cooked mediterranean style, so it was easy to follow.
    I would go to college and all of that healthy eating would go to the wayside. Fast food was easier.   This was also before salad bars and the proliferation of health food stores.
    After college,  I found myself becoming more of an emotional eater.  Dieting started again in my mid-20’s because of other female  co-workers. This time, I was wearing a size 11!  I would follow  a few lifestyle diets –  Body for Life, Atkins, Blood Type  and then Suzanne Summers. Protein shakes were flowing, food and coffee with no sugar, I was eating tons of meat (red and white),  and wait for it…I WORKED OUT! I was at the gym almost 3-5 days a week. I pulled my tendon in my ankle working out and this would eventually set me back.   It was a very bad injury and I would have to go to physical therapy to walk (I will discuss this in another post about exercise).  I would not return to the gym after this injury  and yo-yo’d again with my weight.
    In my late 20’s, back at size 11, this was a few years after my injury.   I would be forced to diet – this time it was an allergy  elimination diet.  Food was triggering allergies, my asthma flared up  to the point that  I couldn’t walk from one end of my apartment to the other without wheezing.  I would wheeze after eating food and drinking beverages. This was very serious, I had never needed to be on a diet per se. This was the most strict and restrictive diets I had done.  I went off gluten and dairy. I would take supplements (tons of them), protein shakes were replaced with fruit and vegetable juices.   This was a raw diet and pseudo “Live for Life” plan, no mixing carbs with meats, restriction of red meat, white meats like chicken, turkey and fish could be eaten only every other day.  Foods were now categorized as acidic or alkalizing and I had to eat as much alkalizing as possible. My pant size dropped down to a size 8, and my asthma went away once I cleansed my body.
            The raw elimination diet/lifestyle was very difficult to maintain long term.  Eventually, the pounds crept back on, I was at a size 10 this time and I would be pregnant at the age of 32.   I followed the raw diet plan as much as possible and was able to only gain 20 pounds during my pregnancy putting me back to a size 12.   I have not moved the pendulum in almost 9 years.


Paula Soares – Founder

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Weightloss is a Journey