I have a confession. Since I am hiding in the shadows of cyber space, chances are none of you would ever find out that...I am not currently in the best shape of my life. Insert every excuse you've ever used to fool yourself, and you'll have the reason. Work got hectic, life got stressful, and who got put on the back-burner? Before you start envisioning an obese woman, eating donuts in a dark room while typing away fitness advice, let me explain that the change is marginal. I have not thrown nutrition to the wind, in favor of burgers and cheesecake. I still train, hard and heavy, at least 5 days a week. And I still have a pretty darn good figure. But lately my own jeans have gotten just a little too snug for comfort, so I've got some work to do. Until now, I have been able to diet for 2 weeks, and be exactly where I want to be. All it ever took was a cycle of carb depletion, and I was right back in business, no harm done. You can imagine my dismay when I wrapped up the last cycle, weak and dizzy, to find that I was not too far from where I started. I have to admit, I was more than a little surprised; this method has been foolproof. Surprise quickly turned to panic, so I set up an appointment with a nutritionist to find out what was wrong. Sometimes, even the experts need a fresh pair of eyes, and another perspective. Not surprisingly, the first thing she asked to see was my food log. Having spent the past several years studying nutrition religiously, I figured I had this in the bag. As she perused my journal, her eyebrows raised more than once. She informed me that my seemingly virtuous choices would have to go, if I want to drop the weight. She also commended all the things I'm doing right. Though meant to comfort, this actually just confirmed what I was beginning to suspect. My age bracket changed, and so did my metabolism. This in NO WAY means that I am doomed, that these extra 5 pounds will be a permanent fixture. What it means is that I'll have to work a little harder. Since my training program is solid, we scrutinized my diet with a fine tooth, making any adjustments possible, without compromising health. Six meals became five, and starchy carbs are were replaced with low-glycemic fruit. I even -gasp!- gave up my nighttime protein shake, a sweet treat I've relied on for years. Friends and co-workers say I'm crazy; I look great, why deprive myself, etc. I had to ask myself the same questions. Was it really worth it, to work so hard for such a relatively small difference? These few pounds will not cost me my job. My husband will not leave me, and my family won't love me any less. They are not even significant enough to pose a health risk. So is it worth it? You better believe it! Mediocrity was never my color; I thrive as much on the challenge, as I do the result. And the confidence that comes from hitting a goal that only matters to me, well, that stuff can't be bought. As I navigate a new program, I'll be sure to keep you posted on what's working now. Be sure to let me know how you're doing too! Erin stays busy pursuing her own fitness goals, and helping to educate and inspire those she loves to live healthier lives. A hair stylist by trade, she manages a salon, and is chipping away at a degree, ultimately in dietetics and kinesiology. She lives in South Florida with her husband and a “pound puppy” named Pedro.