Results Not Typical*


So I was in Swerve last Friday – a full-page photo thanks to the exceptionally wonderful and talented Bryce Meyer, who came and hung out and talked about Nepal and new parenthood and 80s music and skateboarding when you’re old enough to be the dad of most kids at the skate park – and there really is no way to bring it up here without coming across as HEY, CHECK ME OUT! I’M IN A MAGAZINE! Which I really don’t mean to do. But the bottom line is I’ve been getting a ton of feedback on it – about half my traffic callers yesterday and today actually had no traffic complaints and really called to tell me they loved my story (which of course I love to hear – I was a total wreck last weekend trying to write this in chunks, playing literary ping pong with the editor, and work on the Blog Aid book at the same time, and when it came out in print and was distributed throughout the city in every issue of the Herald as well as assorted coffee shops and other places where people grab reading materials it was a little like the time some kid stole my underwear in the locker room and ran through the school with it). And so I thought you might like to see it.

So here it is (although it looks like it was renamed Results May Vary*Results Not Typical is, of course, the disclaimer attached to the bottom of virtually any diet program-based weight loss success story with an asterisk.) Have a read, if you’re so inclined. (Warning: it doesn’t include any recipes. Wait, yes it does… there’s a recipe for roasted salmon over apple slaw that’s really part of another health-related piece – the story should end with: As the late, great, food writer Laurie Colwin once wrote, “It is not just the Great Works of mankind that make a culture. It’s the daily things, like what people eat and how they serve it.”) So true, don’t you think?


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49 comments on “Results Not Typical*

  1. Dandy
    February 9, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Well I haven’t read it yet but I must say you are gorgeous.

  2. Buddiegirl
    February 10, 2010 at 12:47 am

    I enjoyed reading the article on Friday and thought the picture of you and your kitchen was fabulous.

    You have such an expressive way with words mixed with great humour and I live vicariously through your culinary adventures. Not many of us will get to eat the wonderful meals that you do or meet the great chefs, so it’s nice to feel a part of it through your writing.

    My day just isn’t the same if I don’t read your blog first thing in the morning, and when I read City Palate, I usually turn to your articles first. .

    If you keep writing, I will be sure to keep reading.

  3. Staci
    February 10, 2010 at 2:37 am

    I am a huge fan of you, your writing, and the food you make. You are truly one of a kind. The article in Swerve is full of vigor and feeling – and the photo is stunning. Congrats.

  4. Mama JJ
    February 10, 2010 at 4:28 am

    Congratulations! Now I’m off to read the article.

    (I love your open shelves.)

  5. Jennifer Jo
    February 10, 2010 at 5:02 am

    I just read the article and I’m TOTALLY impressed with you. The honesty—it’s such a gift you’re giving us.

    By the way, have you ever read “Passing for Thin” by Frances Kuffel?

  6. Trissa
    February 10, 2010 at 5:49 am

    Congratulations on the feature! I just read it beautifully written as well! Losing 165 is just inspirational.

  7. Aimee
    February 10, 2010 at 6:00 am

    Holy hotness!

    You look great! Congrats on the article. I’m off to check it out now….

  8. Jen C
    February 10, 2010 at 6:22 am

    Fantastic article Julie!!! (and pic too – beautiful!) That is a huge accomplishment and one you can forever be proud of….! You get people excited about food and into to the kitchen to cook for themselves and their families and that is huge, especially in this day of convenience.

  9. Lana in South Mountain (ON)
    February 10, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Great article, Julie! And your photo is beautiful.
    I love how you write.

  10. Lori @ RecipeGirl
    February 10, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Clearly, we need to meet one of these days! Your story is so inspirational to me. Though I don’t have quite as much to lose, I could relate to a lot of what you wrote about. Reading your story sure was a great way to start my day. You’re truly an amazing person (and beautiful to boot). I hope you’re proud of what you’ve done. If it’s okay, I’m going to mention your story on my blog this weekend when I do my healthy update for the Ten in ’10 participants.

  11. Lisa Hardy
    February 10, 2010 at 7:58 am

    I just read your article and I have to tell you it’s fantastic. Your writing is wonderful and very personal. You are definetely inspirational and I am a huge fan of you as a chef, blogger and a woman 🙂

  12. June
    February 10, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Great article Julie. Very inspiring – I too can relate, particularly with your childhood and I had a very skinny twin sister. Moderation definitely is the key – that and being happy.

  13. Elaine
    February 10, 2010 at 8:28 am

    As both an editor and a fan of your website, I have to say: this was a REALLY well-written article. Huzzah for you! I agree with June–it’s very inspiring.

  14. Elaine
    February 10, 2010 at 8:30 am

    (I should say *professional editor* because the above comment makes it sound like I’m editing your website, creepily, from my home. Which is not the case.)

  15. Cheryl Arkison
    February 10, 2010 at 8:31 am

    I thought the article was great, but that picture is gorgeous. I hope they let you have it for your new glamour shot.

  16. rea
    February 10, 2010 at 8:32 am

    great article, Julie.

  17. Jan (Family Bites)
    February 10, 2010 at 9:03 am

    What an inspiring story. I don’t have as much weight to lose, but feel so hopeful today after reading your article. Hopeful and motivated, but grateful to know that you managed all while still EATING. You look fabulous in the photo and your words about life being full of birthday cake and cookie dough couldn’t be more true.

  18. Katie @ goodLife {eats}
    February 10, 2010 at 9:17 am

    What a beautifully written piece! So inspirational. I liked the part about exercise being non-negotiable. So many times I have excuses and they’re all dumb excuses. It just needs to be my routine, like brushing my teeth. I wouldn’t say I don’t have time to brush my teeth today. Nice job!!

  19. Ann
    February 10, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Thanks for all that you are and all that you do!! We love you, Julie!

  20. Erica B.
    February 10, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Ann said it best – we love you Julie! Two or so years ago your other blog was a motivator for me starting to lose the security blanket I’m wearing… this article is the kick in the behind I needed to refocus. Thank you

  21. robyn
    February 10, 2010 at 10:29 am

    You look amazing!! xo

  22. Laurie in Burnaby BC
    February 10, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Julie, I had no idea you’d ever been overweight. This was an inspiring article. I was thin my whole life, until I reached 38. Then I shot up over 100lb in two years – and have never been able to figure out why. I knew it wasn’t something I was eating – if that was true I either would have been heavy my whole life, or I would never have put on weight. All the medical profession could tell me was to ‘start to watch what I ate’ and that I ‘wasn’t being honest with myself’ – which I translated to be that if they didn’t know the answer it was my fault.

    I didn’t reach 330lb as you did, but I did get way too close to 300lb (135.2 kilos, to be exact)

    Today I weighed in at 121.3 kilos (somewhere around 267lb) I’ve got a long way to go, but at long last it is happening.

    What I did was throw away everything all of the experts told me and went back to eating when I’m hungry, only as much as I want, mostly plants.

    Thank you again for your inspiration. If you did it, I’m encouraged that I can get back to my normal weight. The salmon recipe looks wonderful, and I’m certainly going to try it.

  23. Nancy
    February 10, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Wow! That’s a fantastic, inspirational, well-written, heartfelt article! I loved it and will print out and put on my fridge. You also look fantastically beautiful in the pic – way to go!!!

  24. Pat
    February 10, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Great photo of you in your character-filled, warm and friendly kitchen! You should use this for your “About Me” photo.

  25. LisaGee
    February 10, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Love your article. I’ve got a lump in my throat!
    P.S. You look gorgeous in that picture, too! 🙂

  26. Wendy
    February 10, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    What a great article, so…simply spoken, clear, concise.

    And I’ll second what the first poster said: Gorgeous! What a great photo.

  27. jacquie
    February 10, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    “shark attack”, now wiping the latte splatter from the computer screen… Thanks for posting the link to the article. One more reason to love you (as if winning the cupcake calendar wasn’t enough incentive for me!). Going to share the inspiration with my teenage daughter tonight.

  28. Rose
    February 10, 2010 at 4:00 pm


    I first got onto this blog from reading your weight loss story on a weight loss story site. It impressed me then but this article tells so many great bits about how you did it. I’m trying to get back to where I was and it is hard, as you say, but it is do-able! You look fabulous!!!
    Julie, what did you mean in the article when you say some people said they didn’t think you were that kind of person ( I think it said something like that) and it made you feel angry. I didn’t get that it was the part just before you said you put a few ‘security pounds’ back on.


  29. Lorraine
    February 10, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Julie, Thank you for this article, you looked fab and I’m so proud of you. I felt that I could have written parts of the article myself as it paralleled my life in so many ways. I too have tried many of the mainstream weight programs (and some really weird ones…) all with the same results. I finally settled on the “EAT RIGHT, EAT LESS, AND EXERCISE MORE” mantra. So far its working slowly but surely. I draw my inspirations, from your good food recipes, and I feel good in the process. However a wake up call from a routine medical check up prompted me to speed it up, and thankfully, the Whole Health Challenge appeared when I needed it. So I’m kicking it up a notch, and in 12 weeks I WILL make the goal set by my medical and fitness team.

    Thanks for the inspiration, and good food recipes. Good luck with the challenge and I look forward to reading about your progress.


  30. molly
    February 10, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Hot damn, that is one of THE BEST stories on the subject I’ve read. Ever. Period. Kudos to you for the courage it took to share, and the great courage and chutzpah it took to DO. It’s awfully hard to be so sensible and diligent in such a crazy, black-and-white eating world. You rock (whatever the scale says — it’s all in the spirit and spunk, my girl!) Cheers, Molly

  31. Mrs. M
    February 10, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Julie….love it all! Your attitude…the awesome article..and you look fabulous!

    I have a random question for you….our household became Gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, dye free & preservative free for my son’s health reasons. It’s been an interesting adventure. However, the baking side is killing me! My GF baking sucks…to put it mildly and crassly! Do you have any tips for me? Or do you know of any GF baking classes within Calgary? Any super GF cookbooks that you recommend? I’ve thrown out my last batch of cookies…my kids will just live a deprived bake-free childhood….help please…if you can.

  32. thepinkpeppercorn
    February 10, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    So super impressive!! Pretty tough to change even the smallest of habits; so it’s some stellar changes you’ve made. And you look beautiful AND healthy.

  33. Bettina Horn
    February 10, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Hi Julie
    I was going to buy your book but on the website it says that it will be sent out on February 17th at the latest. I moving to Denmark by the end of this month and wanted some copies before to bring home and give as gifts here. Have you heard anything about how fast they get sent. Just so I get them before I go or get them sent to somebody else.
    Thanks for a great blog and the wonderful idea with the blog aid.

  34. Tara
    February 10, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    great photo Julie, you look great! – and I totally agree about your comment on Culture. I try to live by the philosophy that life is about collecting experiences – not things – which is why I would prefer to go on a food and/or wine holiday than a shopping holiday! That said – I did buy the cookbook and can’t wait to get it in mail!

  35. sue.d
    February 10, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Wow, Julie…great, great article.

    I love this picture of you! Fun and glamourous and dare I say? Grown up!

  36. Laurie
    February 11, 2010 at 7:52 am

    Thank you for your honesty about your weight loss journey. You are a beautiful person no matter what the scale says and you are an inspiration for me to start my own weight loss journey.

  37. Dana McCauley
    February 11, 2010 at 11:36 am

    nice photo! Glad you got the attention and recognition you deserve.

  38. Erin M
    February 11, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Great article and awesome photo! Very inspirational 🙂 Your amazing!

  39. Angela
    February 11, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    I find you incredibly inspiring. Amazing story!

  40. The Hungry Teacher
    February 11, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Great story!
    I ordered Blog Aid, and I must say, it looks beautiful!! The worst thing? Waiting. I’ve only been waiting 6 days. Plus the days since I first saw that you were making it. And now I have to wait even longer for it to be printed and shipped!! It’s killing me!!!
    But I’m totally excited about getting it!

  41. Natasha
    February 11, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    LOVE this article Julie – congrats, it turned out great!

  42. Natalie (GA)
    February 12, 2010 at 6:22 am

    Wonderful article. It is amazing that you are able to keep weight off in your line of work…. you look TERRIFIC. What an inspiration. I LOVE the picture.

  43. Barb
    February 12, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Iv’e been away for a few days. I just logged in and have been reading and catching up. Very touching, heartfelt article. I have missed you.

  44. Barb
    February 12, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    I’ve been away for a few days. I just logged in and have been reading and catching up. Very touching, heartfelt article. I have missed you.

  45. Kelley
    February 13, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Beautiful article Julie. Congratulations! The pic is beautiful too.

  46. marce
    February 14, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Julie, I’ve been reading your blog (off and on) for months now and I’ve always found your voice engaging. I didn’t know your story of tackling guilt and weight and I’m so impressed. It takes guts to face the worst feelings we have about ourselves and doing something is nothing short of heroic. Wow.

  47. Nishta
    February 16, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Julie, you are amazing! I didn’t know any of this back story–wow–thank you for sharing all of it with us. You are GORGEOUS and a powerful woman.

  48. Stacey
    February 16, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Hi Julie –

    Who knew that while looking for something to do with the bag of roma tomatoes I have sitting in my fridge with about a day left to live, I’d find an article that could possibly change my life? Your story is humourous, inspiring and so truthful. Thank you for sharing, and giving me the kick in the big fat butt to do something about it…I’ve got about 130lbs to lose…I’m giving up the fact that I’m “big boned” or “still working on the baby weight” (my son is 10 this year..years old, not months…) No more excuses!

    Thank you so much for sharing, your story is amazing.

  49. Julie A
    August 26, 2010 at 1:05 am

    Just came across this today….I knew you could write, but boy, can you write! Not many people are so lucky as to be gifted in more ways than one. A brilliant cook and writer? Wow! Thanks for sharing.

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