Firstly let me preface all of this “about me” stuff by telling you what I am not. I am not a doctor, a registered dietician, a vegan, a vegetarian, a nutritarian or anything else that falls under a label. As a matter of fact, I don’t like labels much. That’s the whole point. If it has a label, I try not to eat it. So here’s the deal… I am the real deal. I practice what I share with you. I am a real live 52 year old sharing tips, ideas and recipes on how to build the healthiest sexiest version of yourself. My “work” or better put, “my pleasure” is helping you to eat better, look better and feel rockin’ hot, sexy and gorgeous no matter what your age or stage.
So if that works for you, feel free to find out the rest of my story.
I am Rosie Battista, and if that box of cookies is calling you, you need to call me.
Because I was a foodie and obsessive “fat head” (which means I was always thinking and feeling fat, hating my body and tolerating my life)
Now I am a “REAL foodie” and “in love” (with my food, with my body and with my life and full of confidence in how I look, feel and perform)
These struggles with food, weight and self image sent me on a journey to become a weight loss specialist and nutrition and lifestyle coach. I have written several books, Sleeping Naked after Forty, Cooking Naked after Forty, The Naked Truth and Naked Success.
My mission is to share what I have figured out with other woman facing similar issues. At 50, I am finally comfortable in my own skin and have the confidence to say it. Confidence enables and entitles me to sleep naked! My “Sleeping Naked after Forty” idea grew out of my desire to love myself, to eat, live and be as real and authentic (hence naked) as I can. Sleeping Naked represents vision of being comfortable enough in your own skin to sleep naked – and then you can do anything, armed with that attitude and confidence.
Losing weight and gaining self confidence is the foundation of my teachings. I am the real deal. I don’t ask you to do anything I haven’t done myself. I am passionate about beautiful natural whole foods and real about the transformations that can be attained by changing your diet and your relationship with food. My approach is simple, and the results are sustainable.
I offer private coaching, woman’s groups and fun cooking classes. I love to create recipes inspired by beautiful whole natural foods and put them together in easy, simplistic ways, so that anyone can follow them. Preparing ahead, experimenting and learning in the kitchen is what I encourage my clients to do. My kitchen skills and recipe ideas are prompted by my desire to eat health promoting foods and prepare them in simple, beautiful ways. I am armed with a bag full of tricks on how to transition to healthy eating and I accept no excuses from my clients.
Falling in love with my food, so that I make every meal count, falling in love with my body, so that I make it the best that it can be has helped me create a business that I love by sharing my discoveries with woman and helping them to fall in love as well.
Come fall in love with me.. WELL, not really with me, but you get the point.
READ My Story of how I went from THEN to NOW… A “Fat Feeling, Frumpy, Fifty Year Old” to a “Fabulous, Focused, Confident Fifty Year Young” Woman…
“STRENGTH BEYOND MUSCLES”
By Rosie Battista
THE TURNING POINT:
The turning point happened in my kitchen. But it wasn’t when I was cooking, eating or washing dishes.
What happened in the kitchen actually took place in my head and changed my life forever and for the better. Here’s how it went down.
There was a huge question looming in my head. Once I articulated my thought bubble out loud, it was a friend, who assisted in reminding me of the answer I already knew. I didn’t ask if I looked fat in my dress. I already knew that I did. I didn’t ask how the weather was. I already knew that as well. It was a bright sunny spring afternoon. What I did ask was a question about possibility.
Fear and Doubt (they are nasty cousins and their job is to wreak havoc on your thoughts) had taken over my head and my ability to think clearly on an issue I had been struggling with. Was it was POSSIBLE for me to pull off a dream that I had had for 20 years…? With the understanding, of course, that I was 2 months short of turning 50 years old, 35 pounds overweight, mother of 3 and still held the dream of being a figure (bodybuilding) competitor? SO I asked my question out loud. Was this thought and dream of mine even remotely possible?
His response opened the door for me to kick those cousins out once and for all.
The answer I heard in response was, “IF YOU THINK YOU CAN, THEN YOU CAN”.
SO at that very moment…the shift happened. It was a colossal switch in my mindset. I remembered that that was the very message I had taught my children. I had a choice. I could choose to (1) listen to the nasty cousins and other naysayers, the biggest one being myself, who told me that I was too old, hormonal, and menopausal. Those who said my body would never respond, that I should accept my body as is, that I looked good for my age, that all women have fat around their waists and that I would never be able to pull this off or lose the weight that I had struggled with for so long. OR… (2) I could decide that I was going to do it, no matter what.
I decided to do it.
I put my food down; nothing was going to stop me.
With this decision came the reality of beginning a process, a process of believing, letting go, trusting and relationship building. I found inner strength, fierce determination, persistence, challenge and love.
THE PINGING ISSUES:
A big motivation for losing weight was waking up every morning with the pain of a closet filled with beautiful clothes that didn’t fit. Wearing the same outfit for over two years because nothing else fit did not bode well for this “wanna-be fashion designer/model”. Simply stated, I love clothes. But more than the clothes, my self esteem and confidence suffered. Non-existent may be the better term. Not feeling comfortable in your body does uncomfortable things to your head. Add to that the fact that I teach fitness and weight loss for a living and you’ve got the perfect storm for feeling like crap.
I came home that night and told my kids about what I wanted to do. Their response… “Mom, you’re always talking about how you want (ed) to do this… so MOM, if you want to do it; stop talking about it and just do it”. A simple, easy attitude adjustment reminder from the kids. “JUST DO IT ALREADY.” It seems like everyone was ready for me to do it, the question was…Was I ready. With a little nudge from my co-worker and kids, I finally was! (Let me interject a moment of gratitude as I appreciate that my kids did listen to me!)
The “Weighty” Story
Back up a few months to the previous November so I can give you the rest of the “weighty” story. This little interjection is crucial to understanding how weight loss actually works. Back in November I had what seemed like insurmountable pressure (I say WEIGHT) on me – the saga of having to sell my house in a bad housing market, a broken up committed relationship, a lost, messy floundering business, topped off with seemingly insurmountable life issues that were piled high and weighing heavily on my emotions and physicality. All of this toxicity evidenced itself in the most obvious symptom of a lifestyle gone awry and that was in my physical appearance and overweight uncomfortable body.
So there I was in November immersed in the weight of life, trying to diet and working out like a fiend with no results. I finally just gave up and wore those 2 tent dresses with different scarves to add a little pizzazz. I was almost resorted to the fact that I would be fat and frumpy for the rest of my life and have to get rid of my beloved collection of vintage and created clothing that would never fit me again.
But something in me was unsettled and it’s what I did next that made the difference and started my transformation process.
I became aware that I needed to make changes in my life instead of my diet, however painful and overwhelming they felt at that moment. So I muscled through. I expected that it would end at some point and I’d be through it. I accepted the best offer on my house, even at a loss (it was a bad market and not getting better), journaled my feelings about the breakup, reached out to friends for support and encouragement, had a huge garage sale and sold unused and unnecessary items that were cluttering my space, remained open to business opportunity and found a business with possibility that I could invest in that would fit the life I wanted to live. Wow… now that’s heavy stuff. Getting rid of the “heavy stuff” was the only way to lose the weight. Although the scale number never changed, this is where my weight loss started.
I am not going to pretend that any of this was easy. It was not. It was in fact one of the most difficult periods in my life. I kept in mind a quote I had read that “the only way out is through”. (I even posted it above my desk) I had to go through all of this mess to get to the good stuff and it was quite a learning process. Sometimes I would find myself on the floor, just sobbing. And sometimes all I could do was sit and breathe. But…
All of these steps brought me to the next step and moving further OUT as the quote reminded me.
THE GAIN BEGINS:
Here is where the magic began to unfold.
I simply took one day at a time. I focused on that one day only and did whatever I had to do on that day to move forward towards my goal. I did not think about the mountain of pounds or body fat that had to leave, or the amount of time I had to spend struggling through a workout, or the dinners out where I brought my own food or just drank water. I never took the time to doubt the end result. I had to learn to trust the process. Like a stairway, I took one step after the next to get to the top; sometimes I even did two steps at a time! Now that it is all said and done, looking back I realize it was a gradual approach.
On May 1, 2010, I took the first step and committed to the process by hiring a “competition coach” and taking my “before” picture and sending it to him. His initial response was, I think you may need more time, I can’t promise that you’ll be ready for the August show, why not wait till October. My response was unwavering, “NO! I will be competing in August that is my decision.”
Sending that picture was not a pretty episode for me. A 35 pound overweight woman in a bikini! I dreaded that like the plague. But I did it. Step 1 complete and the only option left was moving on to Step 2.
Step 2 was beginning the process of a meal plan that would tell me exactly what to eat and when. This competition diet changed routinely from week to week, depending on how my body was responding. I had to take pictures of my progress each week as I stepped up my game. My coach viewed my pictures, questioned how I was feeling and adjusted my meals accordingly. The once dreaded photo sessions, became an exciting event as my progress moved from internal progress to external ones.
Step 3 was about trust and letting go. I had to let go of the notion that I knew better or more than my coach and I had to trust him. That took some time and I fought him during much of the process until I finally surrendered.
The point about the food is that I did follow a “competition friendly” meal plan, but one that was chock full of nutrient rich foods: avocado, yams, spinach, kale, asparagus, almonds, Thrive Performance Protein Powder, flax – and lean animal protein (of which I was not so fond). There were no processed foods, no sugar, no wheat, and no dairy.
The point is not so much what I ate during this 16 week transformation. The point is that I was able to stick to the plan. We all know food matters, but there is no one way (diet/meal plan) that works for everyone. There are hundreds and hundreds of ways to achieve the weight loss goal. I had tried so many times before, for 2 years and nothing worked or stuck.
What made this time different?
The answer to this question is the KEY TO MY SUCCESS.
If you are an unsuccessful at losing weight like I was for so long you might think about motivation and how you have none and you may think about will power and how you have none. There was simply one reason that I was able to accomplish my desired goal this time. I was only able to focus on and follow a meal/exercise plan because I had a lifestyle that was working. A lifestyle that was working FOR ME. Once I found what worked for me, the motivation and will power arrived later to keep me on track and propel me forward.
EARNING AND LEARNING:
So here I am on August 29, the day after my figure competition, 35 pounds lighter, tanned, tighter, and brighter. I did not earn a trophy. I did not win the competition, but I earned status as a figure competitor, I stood next to my 20 year old daughter on stage, grew closer to my children and proved to them that my teaching about just do it if you want it was correct, and I look and feel amazing.
In a figure competition, you are given 60 seconds of onstage time to strut your stuff to music and show your hard work. I agonized over a song for months as it had to have meaning and beat, until I heard this one. I knew that this was it.
This song spoke to me… I immediately thought of my daughter and the rest of the woman out there who are inspiring to be their best and then I thought of myself. Loving myself through this whole process and realizing that I truly am amazing was the icing on this cake!
It sings like this:
Oh her eyes, her eyes
Make the stars look like they’re not shining
Her hair, her hair
Falls perfectly without her trying
She’s so beautiful
And I tell her every day
Yeah I know, I know
When I compliment her
She wont believe me
And its so, its so
Sad to think she don’t see what I see
But every time she asks me do I look okay
When I see your face
There’s not a thing that I would change
Cause you’re amazing
Just the way you are
And when you smile,
The whole world stops and stares for awhile
Cause girl you’re amazing
Just the way you are
Gosh, sitting back now and thinking how much I have changed and transformed in these last 9 months is mind boggling to me and some of my closest friends. It all happened seemingly quickly. My dearest friend simply put it this way. She told me that I possessed strength beyond muscles. She was right. We all do. We all possess an inner strength that if we call to action it will respond and release a power and possibility so strong that we can do whatever we decide to focus on. But remember, you have to take steps and the first step is making sure your lifestyle is working to support the life you really want.
Many women contacted me after my show to congratulate me and tell how I was an inspiration to them. I hope so. Giving that gift to others and this song as a reminder are the sprinkles on top of the icing on top of the cake.
Standing on the stage next to my daughter, lighter, tighter and tanner was one of the most magical moments of my life. Having my son Mike come backstage after our posing sequence with tears of pride in his eyes was beyond anything I have experienced. I created a most magical moment and if I savor this experience and feeling, it will propel me and keep me moving forward in a position of strength. I am ready to take on whatever life offers and approach it with grace, dignity, confidence and a new lease on life.
Did I mention that the next thing in my bucket list is to get a tattoo? I unsuccessfully tried to stop my children from getting theirs. They seem to love them. So I will join in and get one too, just to check out what all this hoopla about tattooing is all about. What will it say?
You guessed it, STRENGTH.