FAQ

  1. I’m new to the firm, and I’m finding it almost impossible at my fitness level, how do you do it?
  2. You have lost quite a bit of weight, do you have loose skin or any skin issues?
  3. Do you have any advice on how to avoid the skin issue?
  4. How do you stay motivated? Any advice that will keep me going?
  5. Your skin looks really good, what kind of make up are you using?
  6. Where do I buy the glycolic peel? Does it hurt?
  7. What kind of scale are you using? Would you recommend it?
  8. Do you love to exercise now?
  9. Did you plan meals on Flex? & Did you weigh food?
  10. What workout videos do you own? Which would you recommend?
  11. Why did you switch to core? Wasn’t flex working well for you?
  12. Is Core hard? Can you tell me about it?
  13. Does Core + Core = Core?
  14. Are you still tweaking? Do you recommend it?
  15. Do you use your Activity Points & you Weekly Point Allowance?
  16. Is whole wheat bread Core? What about multi-grain bread?
  17. Wait, I thought you just said you made Core cornbread??
  18. What is your goal weight and how will you decide when you are at goal?


  1. I’m new to the firm, and I’m finding it almost impossible at my fitness level, how do you do it?

    First of all, you should never feel discouraged for finding The Firm hard! It’s a killer work out, and people of any fitness level often find it challenging! What makes The Firm different from other work outs, in my opinion, is that this tape is hard.. it isn’t going to be something you can master within a few weeks and need to move on. It is something you can do long term and stick with, and THAT makes it more valuable to me than any other videos I have purchased.

    Look, don’t sweat it if you cannot complete the work outs at first, I have seen people 105 pounds not be able to finish it. Do what you can when the video is running, work out hard, keep moving.. if you absolutely cannot make it through the video, turn it off, cool down, stretch, and start again on your next rotation day. Your ultimate goal should be to increase your time by 1-5mins each time you work out, and before you know it, you too will be finishing up those work outs!! I wasn’t able to finish Ultimate Calorie Blaster or Aerobic Body Shaping the first 2 times I tried, but by the 3rd time for each I was feeling stronger and was able to finish them. I had already been running on my elliptical for about 45-60mins with a resistance of 3-5. I was already in pretty good cardiovascular shape when I began The Firm. I think that has a great deal to do with my success.

  2. You have lost quite a bit of weight, do you have loose skin or any skin issues?

    No. I have about 100lbs to go before I am at goal so I will be holding my breath until then. Because I am quite young and I have pretty good genetics, and I am a fanatic about drinking water & taking calcium, I am hoping that I have done every thing I can to avoid the loose skin problem. I do have some stretch marks (mine were always white, I don’t know what difference this makes but some people have asked) and I know I may never wear a bikini to the beach.. but hey, if I look awesome with my clothes on, the only person who needs to think I look awesome with my clothes off is my husband. ;)

  3. Do you have any advice on how to avoid the skin issue?

    Even Dr’s aren’t going to be able to tell you how to 100% avoid it. Sometimes it just happens. Here are some things you can do to try and reduce the skin factor. Please remember your skin will continue to shrink even up to 3yrs after you loose weight.. allow proper time for your skin to firm and tone up! While you are dieting moisturize your skin 2 times a day with a lotion that contains both Shea & Cocoa butters. (I use Lubriderm: Skin Nourishing Lotion, but really — any will do as long as you do it 2 times a day) Drink at least 64oz of pure water daily, take a multi-vitamin & calcium supplement, and exercise. Beyond that.. its up to your age, genetics, and if you have ever given birth to children. I wasn’t too concerned with getting loose skin when I started gaining my weight — people just never think about those things as they let their weight creep up.. I do think its kind of silly to expect your body to look like Cindy Crawford’s when you reach goal when you have been 100+ pounds over weight.. Keep a realistic goal, do everything you can to avoid loose skin, exercise, and don’t let the fear of loose skin keep you from loosing weight! Good luck!

  4. How do you stay motivated? Any advice that will keep me going?

    This answer isn’t really an easy one to say or hear and I know that a lot of you probably won’t like what I have to say.. but I am asked this question probably more than the loose skin one! The answer is this — I don’t stay motivated. I, like you, often stumble and get off track, forget to jot down a point or two, see a temporary gain.. I don’t let it discourage me. You HAVE to just DO IT! The plan and work outs DO work.. you just have to DO IT! The longer you make excuses or continue to follow your bad habits, the longer you are going to live in a fat, unhealthy body. Excuses do not equal results, but hard work does. Coming from over 300 pounds, I often thought that this would be impossible. Even loosing over 60lbs seemed like it would take decades , loosing almost 200 pounds was unheard of! I had NO motivation when I started Weight Watchers. Yes, NONE. I didn’t exercise but I did follow points.. I lost even when not working out.. once I saw pictures of what the loose skin looked like, I got scared and began working out. I have noticed my body shape is changing, I have more energy, I sleep better, I look better, and I FEEL 110% better. I like that I can wear smaller sizes, I like how I am looking and feeling, and that alone is enough to keep pushing me forward!

  5. Your skin looks really good, what kind of make up are you using?

    I have really sensitive skin and any thing that contains oil will cause break outs and/or irritation to the skin. My husband has oily skin and mine is sensitive so even the oils in his skin cause skin problems for me. (See my before pictures for how my skin used to look without make up!) I started using glycolic peels to keep my skin both looking fresh, clear, and bright.. I noticed a difference after about 3 peels. I do once a week (1-10min) peels with 30% glycolic acid and I moisturize twice daily. As for make up, I use no foundation (causes break outs!), but occasionally a tinted moisturizer followed up with an oil free powder. I prefer Mac make up, Clinique lip glosses, & Estee Lauder lipsticks.

  6. Where do I buy the glycolic peel? Does it hurt?

    Avon has a much lighter version that you use daily and its in a cream form.. If you are looking for what I use, click here. Start with the 30%.. any thing above that could be painful! It doesn’t really hurt but will most likely leave your skin red for the first few treatments (if your thinking of Samantha from Sex & The City!) but it isn’t going to leave your skin raw. I peel at night (before I go to bed) and follow up with a good cleanser and moisturizer and head to sleep. The next morning my skin looks good as new.

  7. What kind of scale are you using? Would you recommend it?

    I use a digital weight watcher’s scale. It measures by 0.2lbs. I think any scale that records consistent weight is fine. Your simply measuring how many pounds you loose, and if you weigh in at meetings — not even necessary.

  8. Do you love to exercise now?

    In one word, No. I don’t like doing it, but at the same time I know that I have to. Its healthy for my heart, my body, my mind, and my soul. I often physically feel really bad when I don’t exercise and for that alone — I do it.

  9. Did you plan meals on Flex? & Did you weigh food?

    No. I don’t like having to plan menus a week in advance. I despise weighing food.. I did measure portions by size (1/2 cup, 1/4 cup, etc) and you have information in your getting started books to tell you how to choose meat portion sizes.. I followed those rules. I didn’t waste time weighing. If it works better for you when you weigh, then by all means — do it!

  10. What workout videos do you own? Which would you recommend?

    I own quite a lot of them.. some I use and some collect dust. I mostly use The FIRM. My dvd collection includes:

    The Firm: Cardio Weights System: Cardio Inferno
    The Firm: Cardio Weights System: Burn & Shape
    The Firm: Cardio Weights System: Total Body Time Crunch
    The Firm: Cardio Weights System: Total Body Lite
    The Firm: Cardio Weights System: Total Body Toner
    The Firm: Cardio Weights System: Hi-Def Sculpt
    The Firm: Cardio Weights System: Cardio Party
    The Firm: Cardio Weights System: Cardio Overdrive
    The Firm: Cardio Weights System: Hard Core Fusion
    The Firm: Cardio Weights System: Tight Buns & Killer Legs
    The Firm: Cardio Weights System: Core Solutions
    The Firm: The TransFIRMer Series: Supercharged Sculpting
    The Firm: The TransFIRMer Series: Ultimate Calorie Blaster
    The Firm: The TransFIRMer Series: Aerobic Body Shaping
    The Firm: Jiggle Free Arms
    The Firm: Jiggle Free Abs
    The Firm: Jiggle Free Buns
    The Firm: Body Sculpting System 1: Cardio Sculpt
    The Firm: Body Sculpting System 1: Boby Sculpt
    The Firm: Body Sculpting System 1: Ab Sculpt
    The Firm: Body Sculpting System 2: Maximum Cardio Burn
    The Firm: Body Sculpting System 2: Upper Body Sculpt
    The Firm: Body Sculpting System 2: Total Sculpt plus Abs
    The Firm: Body Sculpting System 2: Complete Aerobics & Weight Training
    The Firm: Body Sculpting System 2: Firm Abs
    The Firm: Body Sculpting System 3: Total Muscle Shaping
    The Firm: Body Sculpting System 3: Complete Body Sculpting
    The Firm: Body Sculpting System 3: Fat Blasting Cardio
    The Firm: Body Sculpting System 3: Firm Hips Thighs and Abs
    The Firm: Super Body Sculpt
    The Firm: Fast & Firm: Calorie Killer
    The Firm: Fast & Firm: Lower Body Sculpt 1
    The Firm: Fast & Firm: Express Cardio
    The Firm: Power Yoga
    The Firm: Bootcamp Maximum Calorie Burn
    The Firm: Ultimate Fat Burning Workout
    The Firm: Cross Trainers Lower Body Split
    The Firm: Tough Tape 2 / 5-Day Abs
    The Firm: Upper Body / Standing Legs
    The Firm: Maximum Body Shaping
    Turbo Jam: 20 Minute Work Out
    Hip Hop Abs: Hips, Buns, & Thighs
    Hip Hop Abs: Fat Burning Cardio
    Hip Hop Abs: Last Minute Abs
    Tae Bo Original
    Tae Bo Cardio
    FitPrime 4: Steamin’ Cardio
    Denise Austin’s Personal Training System
    Denise Austin Ultimate Fat Burner
    Carmen Electra’s Aerobic Striptease 1-5 (set)
    10 Best Fitness DVD’s (some random ebay find)

    I would honestly recommend all of them except the last. The last dvd set has a ton of old aerobic videos. I have seen some great results with The Firm, so you might want to start there. The basic key to exercise isn’t the dvd that you use, the show that you watch.. its really that you keep moving! To tone you will need to use some weights to trim and define muscle. What ever will get your body moving is what you should try!

  11. Why did you switch to core? Wasn’t flex working well for you?

    I get this question a lot! When I started flex I got 32 points.. thats a LOT of food to eat, I never could get all 32 points down unless I made unhealthy food choices so I cut my points (which I do NOT recommend anyone else do!) to about 26-28 per day and even tried the Wendie Plan.. I lost about 25lbs in 6 months on Flex.. when Thanksgiving came around, and seeing 2 very successful friends loosing on core, I decided to give it a try. It’s a much more healthy lifestyle than flex, and you KNOW exactly what you are putting in your body.. that thought alone appealed to me.

  12. Is Core hard? Can you tell me about it?

    I find on Core, I still do not have to plan meals in advance.. as long as I have core foods in my home. I am able to convert almost any recipe (yes even those in cookbooks) into Core items. When you go to a meeting or join WW online, you have all the information you need about starting the core plan.

  13. Does Core + Core = Core?

    This is a LONG debate and the simple answer — no one really knows. I have made Core cornbread and called it core.. I lost that week, it worked for me. Others who are “Hard Core” will tell you NO baked items are core — including baked oatmeal. Its a personal decision and you cannot be swayed by others opinions. Some leaders will say Core + Core = Core but others will say as long as it isn’t baked goods…. make your own choice.. try both, do what works.

  14. Are you still tweaking? Do you recommend it?

    The ONLY tweak I have ever used is for cocawheats. I don’t eat it every morning but on the rare cases I do.. I don’t count it. No, I don’t recommend tweaking, follow the plan as its written.

  15. Do you use your Activity Points & you Weekly Point Allowance?

    I don’t always need to use my AP or WPA.. I use a lot of them, but never all. I don’t eat them at scheduled times either.. such as 3pts on Monday, 10pts on Tuesday, etc.. I eat what I want and when I want.. and if it isnt a core food, then I count. Simple enough :) And remember, your activity points are not limited to use, but be sure your recording them accurately.. you do not get 2AP’s for folding laundry.

  16. Is whole wheat bread Core? What about multi-grain bread?

    No. No bread, tortillas, shells, etc are core. No flour is core so this zeros out any bread type of product. You can still have bread! I do almost every day, just count your points for them. Many breads and tortillas are 1-2pts.

  17. Wait, I thought you just said you made Core cornbread??

    Yes I did.. its a recipe that is made from cornmeal & yogurt. Its rather odd but tastes surprisingly like cornbread.. and as long as you dont eat the whole pan in 1 setting, Could be counted as 0pts.

  18. What is your goal weight and how will you decide when you are at goal?

    I have set my goal weight at 154lbs, which is still slightly over weight by about 14lbs for me.. but my goal is to be healthy — not supermodel skinny. I would like to see a size 10.. but as I said, it all depends on how I look and feel at certain weights.