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weighing in

Jenny Craig food

Marne from Jenny Craig sets me up for Week 2.

Last week at this time, I was lying on the couch, enjoying my last donut before starting Jenny Craig and Jazzercise on Friday.

Now, here we are, a week later, and I’m not even cranky. Okay, maybe a little.

Today was the big weigh-in and – drum roll please – I lost three pounds! (*Legal note: Clients following the Jenny Craig program, on average, lose 1-2 lbs per week.) The Jenny scale is three pounds higher than the one in my house (doesn’t that always seem to be the case?) but three pounds is three pounds.  I’m looking at it as half a pound a day, which feels like more of an accomplishment and more doable for the future.

It was actually a pretty easy first week because the Jenny Craig food is surprisingly delicious. Not delicious for a weight management system, but just plain delicious.

Jenny Craig mesquite chicken

OMG! Look which part of my table is showing up in this picture. That may be my problem right there.

I start the day with things like cinnamon rolls or omelettes. I move on to turkey burgers, stuffed shells or broccoli and cheese potatoes for lunch and enjoy dinners that have included mesquite chicken, parmesan crusted fish and, yes, macaroni and cheese. The portions are way smaller than what I’m used to, which has been eye-opening, but there are plenty of add-on vegetables, snacks and soups and, honestly, I haven’t been hungry at all because I’m eating six times a day.

Am I still having cravings? Sometimes, but knowing I can end the day with desserts like triple chocolate cheesecake or chocolate cakes (two in a package, and I can have both) makes all the difference to me. So do regular doses of this throughout the day:

starbucks iced tea

Trenta black iced tea, unsweetened with no water and extra ice.

I’m also finally getting out of my chair, stepping away from the computer and going to Jazzercise every weekday. My friend, Barbara Cargill, has been raving about it for years and I want to give her a shout-out for helping me find a workout I really enjoy.

Jazzercise La Costa center

This has become my home away from home.

The minute I walked into the La Costa center, which happens to be the flagship, I was greeted like a long-lost family member. Everyone, from the administrators to the instructors to the class members who I can’t wait to go out with, has been so welcoming and so supportive even when I’m falling over my feet trying to learn the steps. I am blown away – and grateful.

Jazzercise instructor Kristen Penk

The awesome Kristen Penk.

The classes themselves – I’m sticking to low-impact for now – are so much fun even though I leave them dripping sweat. The music is great, and the enthusiasm of my two teachers, Kristen Penk and Dawn Washington, is infectious. They stay after class to offer tips and encouragement, and are just really special people who I’m looking forward to getting to know better. Note to both of them: my scrunched-up face means I’m concentrating, not miserable!

So week two starts now. Triple chocolate cheesecake awaits.

*I received a free month on the program in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.


  1. Barbara Cargill says:

    Oh my dear dear Lois…I am so so proud of you! Jenny Craig is a terrific company and you will only see wonderful results! And hurray a thousand times for loving jazzercise! I knew you would absolutely fall in love with this dance/exercise program. Its addicting and it works! I’m just so happy for your continuing success!

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      All because of you that I started Jazzercise, Barbara! We’ll have to take a class together when I come to Boston! Love you.

      • Marybeth Crum says:

        Hi Lois,
        I did the same thing, mid-life later (at 59). I lost 20 pounds with Jenny in a year….note I said a YEAR. It came off slowly. Now I’ve been on maintenance for 3 years and have lost 3 more pounds past my original goal and tons of inches. I have been doing Jazzercise for 27 years. I love it! But the combination of Jazzercise and Jenny works terrifically!!! My portion sizes are small, I do not eat any salt (thanks to Jenny I can taste salt in everything) and I feel so much better. At age 62 I look 10 years younger. Keep up the good work. It changes your whole outlook on food and portions.

  2. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    Good for you, Lois! Three pounds is great!

  3. Lois!! You are one tenacious woman and I know whatever you set your mind to, you will accomplish in wild Lois style! Someday in your future you might find yourself teaching a Jazzercise class! C’mon, dear! You made friends with an elephant, traveled to Australia with Oprah, and successfully transplanted yourself from NYC to San Diego!!! You can do it, girlfriend!!

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      Ha ha! I love you, Sally, but will not be teaching a Jazzercise class any time soon as my very patient instructors can attest!! xo

  4. Fantastic progress! Congratulations. Half a pound per day *does* seem doable.

    You’ve got me thinking “hmmm…” on the Jazzercise. Maybe that is something I could (and could want) to do.

    I look forward to more! Keep up the great work!

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      Thanks, Lisa! Honestly, Jazzercise is so much fun — and I am (obviously) not an exercise person at all. I love the music and the routines, even though I can’t follow half of them! Wish we could do it together! xo

  5. YEA YOU! I’m seriously thinking of committing to a 30 day challenge of no wine and some kind of exercise every day. I just to jump start some healthy changes. But first I’m going to New Orleans this weekend to eat and drink way more than I should!

  6. Good for your Lois. Dieting is tough, but getting fit is so important for overall health. Yea You!!

  7. Lois, alway wanted to know if Jenny Craig food was tasty and how the program works. will be following your progress – good luck!!!

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      I am shocked by how good the food is. You wouldn’t know it was “diet” food except for the portions — which would look normal if restaurants didn’t supersize everything. Thanks for the good wishes!

  8. HI, Lois! You’re motivating me! I attend….well, attended Dawn and Kristen’s classes at LaCosta. They are dolls! Need to get back there. Hope to meet you……soon. And, hope to see your Mom this afternoon. Good luck with your journey!

  9. That’s so terrific! Good for you, Lois! And btw, whenever Christina, the amazing instructor at my gym in Cali, would spot us scrunching up our faces, she would say, “Ladies, stop with the frowning, you’re ruining your Botox!”

  10. You are so inspiring! I need to lose 5 pounds and more importantly, get healthy so that I have more energy.

  11. What a great job! Keep up the great work. Jazzercise is super fun!

  12. Congrats on your progress so far. The food looks delicious!

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      Thanks so much! The food is so good, I haven’t felt like I’ve been missing out. (Well, except for the cronut!)

  13. I would like to try this too, looks like a lot of fun!

  14. Thanks for the kick in the pants. I am on a break from Jenny as my son finished camp and we head out for vacation.
    I can still watch myself, that;s what I keep forgetting!
    Cause I will be back in September and don’t want to break their scales!

  15. Lois, good for your weight loss and exercise. I am curious how much this costs you each month. It is not an option for everyone but with moderation and walking and discipline it can work. But I spend a fortune on trainers but have learned to manage my food on my own.Good luck.

  16. I think I’m burned out on Weight Watchers. I don’t seem to be able to get myself obsessed about keeping track of points and also blogging. I’m sure that doesn’t make sense. Because of you I’m thinking of doing Jenny Craig. You seem to be enjoying. What do you do when you’ve lost your weight. How do you stay at you best weight? Do you recomemd it?

  17. The food really does look delicious. Good luck on the weight loss!

  18. So happy for you! I have lost almost 20 lbs. on Jenny so far. I am so glad they brought back the Key Lime Pie. It is one of my favorite items!

    Best of luck on Week 2!

  19. You already look amazing- Keep up the good work! I secretly have always wanted to take a Jazzercise class!

  20. Congratulations! It takes a lot of willpower to make the changes you’re making! Kudos!

  21. Very impressive, sounds like you are doing great. I am glad to hear the food is tasty too!

  22. Ohkayohkay says:

    Oh Lois, I go to the same Jenny Craig as you ! It’s a great place, and really lots of success with weight loss, recommend the BodyMedia weight management arm band weight management device ! check it out! It’s a great motivator and really keeps track of all intake calories and out put as well as REM sleep, etc. Purchased mine from Jenny Craig 100! It comes with 6 months of free monitoring syn with computer! It’s the best thing…. loved the food and it’s really tasty and lots of menu choices….. Thanks for taking over with a new website as I was really at a loss at first announcement.

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      Ooh, maybe I’ll see you at Jenny one of these days! How long have you been doing it? Would love to hear your story. Email me if you want to write about it: lois@midlifeattheoasis.com. Thanks so much for the nice words about the site. I’m so glad you’re here!

  23. I go to that same Jazzercise studio! Its incredible, hope to sweat with you there soon! 🙂

  24. Congratulations on a great start! I too love Jazzercise, and you know you’ve found a good place to get your sweat on when you feel like you will be missed, AND miss something good, if you’re not there. From your pic I judge you don’t have a huge amount of weight to lose, and from someone who did, a small piece of advice: 3 pounds per week is not going to happen over time. Remember to reward yourself not for your weight, but for being true to your plan. When you plateau in weight, don’t punish yourself. Ask yourself, “have I been faithful?” not “have I been perfect?” It will help you keep from sabotaging yourself for not being a perfect fuel-burning machine. Best of luck!

  25. TheJazzerChick says:

    I just started a Jazzercise Journey too! Good luck to you!


  26. Well conGRATulations on your healthy choices. The Jazzercise looks fun although I am not sure there are any classes in my neck of the woods. Well, I am not actually in the *woods*, but close :). Hope you find continued success on your healthy life endeavor!

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      Ha ha! I’m trying some Jazzercise DVDs this week, too — maybe those would be a good option if there are no classes near you. Will let you know!

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