Getting Back on Track after Divorce and Weight Gain: Simone Thomas Shares Her Story on How She Regained Herself

We have seen each other in passing for quite some time — what prompted you to become a Pure Joy Wellness client?
Right, I have seen you for years [in the dental office that I manage]. I had no idea that you were a professional in fitness though.  About 2 months ago, I had actually asked my boss for a referral for a plastic surgeon, because I was ready and set to get lipo.  He said, “Are you out of your mind?”


After my consultation session, I was hooked. I said, “This sister is going to whip me back into shape!” A month after we had gotten started, which was just a few weeks ago, I walked into my office and someone said, “Have you been working out?” I said, “Yes, why?” And she said, “Because I can really see the difference.” I could have kissed her! [laughs]

I was shocked at how quickly I started getting results. My clothes are fitting differently. I actually think before I eat a meal now. I think, “Is this what Renata would say I should have?” My nutrition had been bad. You said to me, “Just start off small. Just change the first meal of the day.” So, I changed breakfast. What that did was make me think about my meals ahead of time. I have started doing this mental meal planning. Working with you has started to transform not just my body, but my mind.

So you were all ready to go to a plastic surgeon.  What did you come to me hoping to accomplish since lipo was really going to be your plan?
I came to you with the desire to lose 30 pounds. I fell off track a few years ago after a divorce. I used to run a lot and do hot yoga all the time; but after my divorce, I kind of let myself go and then I got lazy. I got into a routine where I would just come home, eat, and lay on the couch. I was really just sort of existing. I would get up, go to work, then come home, and just lay on the couch until it was time to go to bed. I really didn’t like how I felt. I hated how I looked.

I had always been a really thin person. My biggest size until that point was a size 4, but I was really usually a size 2. After that phase, I ballooned to a size 8, which really doesn’t sound that big but when you go from a size 2 to a size 8 it is a huge difference. None of my clothes fit and everyone who saw me said, “Oh Simone, you have put on a little weight.” And I would say, “Uh huh, I know.” I just knew I didn’t have the discipline or motivation to do something about this on my own. I was looking for a quick fix or someone who could light a fire under me. I decided to not go for the quick fix — I decided to call you instead.

I am really glad I did not go under the knife. This is a bigger and better change for me. It’s a lifestyle change. I never really cared about how and what I ate before. Now I am eating kale and avocado. These are things I never bought before. I don’t even think you realize how much of an impact you have had on me in a short period of time. Not only in fitness, but as a woman…how I think of myself and loving myself. In addition to the things I learn when we workout, I love all the things you post on Facebook. Those things stay in my brain and I think back on them. So, it has been a profound change in a short time.

You were stuck in a rut and had fallen off track. What have you noticed since you got back on track?
I am handling stress at work a lot better. My job is not easy. I manage [a busy New York City dental office] and I have to take care of everybody and everything. I take care of patients and overseeing administration of their care and payments. I manage employee payroll. I assist the two doctors who are my bosses and they have strong personalities.  Helping the doctors, patients and staff can get overwhelming sometimes. I used to have a candy draw in my desk. When I would get stressed, I would go to the store and stock up on all kinds of candy — M&Ms, Snickers, Starbursts, everything.  Since I started working with you, I have gotten rid of that. My bosses used to say, “I wish you were a real dental patient so we could make some money off of you.” My teeth would just fall apart.  They have done root canals, extractions, implants, the whole bit on me.  I literally used to eat candy all day.  All day.  But no more.

What are you doing now instead of the sugar, when you have  those stressful moments?
I pick myself and I go outside. I let everyone know, “I need a few minutes, I will be back.” I take 10 minutes, walk around the block, calm myself down, and then I go back upstairs. I have to do that because some days I wish I was working with insects. [laughs]

How did you come up with that stress management strategy?
When you had me do the food log, you had me write down when I was “stressed” when I was eating something. When I did that, I saw in black and white what I was doing to myself and how damaging it had to be. So when I would see, “Pint of Haagen Dazs – stressful day.” I would say to myself, “Simone, you need to do something different.” Also, you told me to let you know when I my day or week had been stressful so we could do more aggressive exercises that day so I could work it out, like the punching bag. That really helps too.

Also, I went ahead and faced that I have a hair trigger temper and I asked those around me to allow me to handle situations in a way that is better for me. So I told one of the doctors I work with to not try to make me deal with a stressful situation right on the spot. If I need to walk and calm down before I discuss or handle something, then that’s what I need to do.  Now I don’t have to explode or go home and eat ice cream. Working out 3 days a week with you has been so helpful, not just at work but in my personal life too.

How so in your personal life?
Well, you talked to me about doing things to make me happy and make me feel good. I have always neglected myself. I thought about that and how it was affecting my life.  One day when I got home, I sat down and started writing and weighing the pros and cons of a relationship that I was in that I knew deep down inside was not working for me. When I did that, the cons totally outweighed the pros. So I ended it. I had ended it before but this time was different.  I thought, I am doing all these other things that are great for my life. I am eating right for the first time, exercising and doing everything right…why would I want to continue to carry around this sack of potatoes on my back?  I do want to get married again but I am going to wait for the right person.

Also, I have started doing more for myself in general. I never spent money on myself, never shopped, never did anything. I always only did it for others. Now I am doing a little more for me.