The Last 20 Lbs Part 4

Yesterday started out tough.  I woke feeling tired, puffy and frustrated. the numbers on the scale wouldn’t seem to budge and all I could think was that  time was running out and I was failing. I have not touched a drop of alcahol in two weeks. I have even managed to fight of chocolate cravings so don’t my skinny jeans fit yet!

I called Scott and told him I was having a bad day. He called me back and offered to train me that night at 8pm. 8pm?  I can’t remember the last time I worked out that late.  But beggars can’t be choosers and I am willing to do whatever it takes to take the weight off. I agreed.

Scott was very supportive and he gave me a blast of a workout! Kickboxing! A total body workout  and a great way to blow off a little steam. Then we did some yoga to cool down. I left floating!

I slept so well and woke up this morning, energized, calm and centered. I want to feel like this every morning. Best of all. I lost another pound!

For lunch today I sautéed, asparagus, brocklie, grape tomatoes and garlick with a drizzle of live oil, a splash of white wine and fresh hewith that I tosses with whole weat pasta and mini langoustineo tails. (shrimp works too) I arranged my plate sprinkled it with SENSA  and sat down to enjoy lunch.

Today is a good day.

Fashion Week Recap & Interview with Clarence de Vil

Fashion Week came and went and finally I have come up for air to report that I was for the most part uninspired.

Colorful Custom Designer Jacket (Exclusive)

I attended a pathetic party, for Tsemaye Binitie, that on the coldest day imaginable was an hour late opening it’s doors to anyone.  Finally, we were greeted by slightly flat, luke-cold prosseco and a plate of stale bread with a very poor presentation of Brie, followed by clothes that were mostly uninteresting, carried on the backs of under-eye-bag laden models who looked exhausted standing there clumped together in a little room.

All this after sending out invitations that made the event sound chic and making a big deal about the RSVPs, which demanded all kinds of contact information.

For me, the most interesting part of fashion week was participating in the F.A.B. event and meeting this emerging young designer, Clarence de Vil, simply because he radiates positive energy and is passionate about doing his own thing in regards to fashion. The moment I saw him I just had to ask the question I always ask:

“What are you wearing and why are you wearing it?”

“To make someone dream, to take a person to another place,” he replied.


Below is the audio of my interview with Clarence.

Clarence de Vil Interview






You can follow Clarence on Twitter.


Written by Samantha von Sperling.

The Last 20 Lbs – Part 3

Great news! I’ve lost 5 Lbs!

Today, February 23rd is also the first day that I am adding SENSA Weight-Loss System to my program curtesy of SENSA.

Just the encouragement I need!

Today I am a little stiff and a little tired but happy!

This afternoon I am going to make some cabbage and vegetable soup with fresh vegetables.

– Tip: For those of you that would like to do the cabbage and vegetable soup diet but your also cooking for someone, make some whole west or lentil pasta separately and put them in his soup.
Now you are both happy : )

Scott Bitterman’s recipe for Vegetable Soup

Stew 4 large tomatoes (boil until skin starts peeling) and let cool.
Squeeze tomatoes into soup pot. This will be the base.

1/2 cup sliced yellow onion
1/2 clove garlic sliced very thin
2 chopped celery sticks
1 chopped carrot
1 chopped branch of scallion
1 cup chopped broccoli
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon fresh basil
(Optional. One cup chopped spinach)

Add enough water to cover the ingredients completely. Cook over medium flame for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. The vegetables aside from the tomatoes should be partially softened but still have some crunch. Don’t overcook as this will release too many nutrients from the vegetables.

Black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon cream

Stir and let sit for another 5 minutes.

This is a low calorie and nutrient dense meal which is quick and easy to make and reheat.
It takes the same amount of time to prepare whether you make one serving or ten so do the work once once and make enough to last throughout the week.

This recipe is not too far off from the original cabbage soup recipe that we all know and hate minus the broccoli and the table spoon of cream. I will add my own brand of magic to this by also using fresh herbs including parsley and perhaps another soup worthy veg.

The Last 20 Lbs – Part 2

Wow what a week! A Battle of will and belief.

The week started with stepping on the scale Monday morning 2/20 with the scale telling me I had gained all I thought I had lost last Friday when I came to the end of week one.

With only 5 more weeks to lose 20Lbs I felt I had already lost the battle and I had barely started.

Was I about to humiliate myself publicly? Would I ever feel like myself again? Had it become impossible to lose weight? Was something wrong with me?

I called Scott and told him how I was feeling. I was so upset I think I made him uncomfortable.
He told me that his plan had me in a priming faze that would lead to faster results in the competing weeks.

Don’t look at the scale. Concentrate on how your body will be looking and feeling.

I reluctantly agreed, knowing that a sane person would agree with him.
Still, I was demoralized. But then I realized, with 6 weeks of diet and exercise was bound to have some positive effect. Even if I lose I win! no failure is not an option.

Then Scott told me that if I was going to be number obsessed, I was to cut out my wine allowance all together. No alcohol. Also, I would go vegetarian for a week. I agreed.

Yesterday was workout #4 with Scott and he killed me. I loved it!
– Dynamic stretching
– Intervals on the treadmill (that had me sucking wind)
– Jump rope
– Plank, sideways plank
– Kickboxing (big fun!)

The rest of the day was a a blur. I was taking part in an event I had helped plan and Promote and the whole day into the rest of the evening is a blur. I was so busy I didn’t even notice that was starving when all was said and done around 9pm

It’s so important to be able to eat at regular intervals to keep from wanting to eat everything in path.

Ate leftover vegetables from lunch, an Asian pear and thought about all the things I need to do.

Scott’s right, I do need to learn to relax.

Relax, it’s win win!

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At The Movies


Ask Sam: At The Movies
The historical Paradise Theater on Grand Concourse, The Bronx.

Here we are, altogether in the darkness with our suspended disbelief and our emotions being played by the director like a conductor leads an orchestra.

I love watching films. Romance, adventure, documentaries, action, animation… I love it all! It’s the stuff dreams are made of. Cinema has incredible power.

We buy our tickets and popcorn, take a seat in the dark, and are collectively transported into another world, place or time. It’s magic.

There are a million reasons we love the movies. Film is the liveliest and most all encompassing of the arts. Writing, acting, special effects, cinematography, music, art direction, set design, wardrobe, hair and make up, sometimes exotic destinations, it’s such a mammoth undertaking!  Big pictures usually involve large groups of people all with different specialties, coming together under one direction to bring us a story to escape into, for a relatively short period of time. When you consider it took months, even years to make a movie, the hour and forty minutes or so of running time deserves our respect.

As New Yorkers we have an extra special relationship with the movies. New York is  home to the Tribeca film festival, launching pad and birthplace to some of the greatest acting talent and a place where movies are made.

So why is it that my recent experiences at the movie theatre have become unbearable?

If I want to be a couch potato, curl up in bed, put my feet on the sofa, make my own snacks and rent a movie so I can press pause every time I want to refill my glass of wine or comment to my viewing companions that’s fine, I’m at home.

A trip to the cinema is not the cheep thrill it once was. I can go to hundreds of little places in the big apple and get dinner for two for almost the same price. And with home theatre technology becoming cheaper by the year and more accessible to the masses Movie Cinemas will have to make more of an effort to compete for our dollar. It is urgent. The movie going experience is becoming increasingly unpleasant.

My last trip to the movies was at the Regal Union Square Stadium 14, to see HUGO  3D, a beautifully told story about our dreams, longing, and the birth of cinema, watched through the lenses of the latest in 3D technology. Unfortunately the movie was spoiled by the guy sitting behind me with running commentary to his wife and kid. I felt like turning around and telling him to shut the @#$! up, but I couldn’t because I’m the ‘etiquette lady.’  Even my best ‘look of death’ seamed to go ignored. Not only was he ruining my experience, but revealed himself as a wind bag to the woman with him and taught his kid that other people don’t matter and he can be as rude as he wants in public. As my mother would say, “no finishing school.”

Between, the loud crunching because people don’t know how to eat with their mouth closed, the feet next to my head wresting on the chair next to me, the cell phones, buzzing, texting, whispering, even talking out loud, it has become increasingly  disagreeable to go to the picture show.

When you look at some of the country’s most famous cinema houses like the Loews Paradise on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx or The Ziegfeld Theatre in Manhattan, it is evident that a trip to the cinema was heaven for masses of people, old, young, rich, broke, almost everyone could go to the movies for a short escape and a big Hollywood production of an experience. If you were lucky, maybe even a double feature with a cartoon and a newsreel to boot.

Now the newsreels are left to my taxi ride (which is about the same price as a movie ticket). Instead of a pre- show cartoon there is a wealth of advertisements and coming attractions, most of which also leave something to be desired.

There used to be uniformed ushers with flashlights that would escort you to your seat or throw out people who couldn’t behave themselves.

Tickets are now around 12 dollars, 15 dollars for 3D and IMAX. Cinemas are struggling to stay open. Today, with the world economic crisis, we  need  the cinema escape  more than ever. What’s my solution? Charge a dollar more, hire people that would be thrilled to have a job as an usher, like film students or senior citizens. Serve fresh popcorn and post the rules of conduct in the lobby, at the ticket counter and on the screen.

Rules of Conduct:

–  Feet on the floor, this is not your living room

–  No loud crunching, chew with your mouth closed you are a person not a cow.

–  No talking during the film, it’s beyond rude

–  No electronics; It’s selfish and makes you seem like you were raised by the wolves being featured in “The Grey”

-No littering and do not abandon your chewing gum.

Note: You’re still allowed to hold hands.

This new, clean environment is now perfect for a romantic date night out.


Written by Samantha von Sperling for T2C

The Last 20 Lbs


The Last 20Lbs
Life events, holidays, unforeseen stresses, there are a host of circumstances that lead us into a down word spiral of weight gain and self loathing. We have no one to blame but ourselves and I’m sure most of us, especially women can identify with a ten pound fluctuation. We all have our “skinny jeans and are black ‘fat pants’ that we wear alternatively.”

Two years ago I experienced a series of events – divorce, surgery, the recession and a few other nasty surprises that resulted in complete upheaval in every aspect of my life. Leaving me alone in a stormy sea to rebuild everything from scratch. To say it has been stressful would be a british understatement. sometimes life throws us challenges that require us to put on our boxing gloves and fight for lives.
I came out of the battle strong, bullet proof, with a new life and new possibilities, except that my war wounds included a 20 pound stress and comfort carbs induced weight gain.

In the past. I was able to use my experience as a dancer to implement the daily modifications necessary to take the weight off. I was younger, unattached to the gamut of electronics now necessary to keep business going. I’d go dancing, run around town or get a coach. The demons of Body Image Dismorphia that plague many women, would raise their voices in my head and I would fall off the wagon into starving, binging and doing all kinds of bad things to be thin.

With new clients and media projects of very public proportions looming. I knew that to win the final battle and give both my clients and projects the best new version of myself with my mind and body in balance I was going to need a . How can I solve other peoples problems if I can’t tackle my own? Failure has never been an option and I’m not about to change that policy.

Older, wiser and saner, I knew this time, I was going to have to ask for help.

Enter Scott Bittermen of Emerge Athletics. Who agreed to help me get back into fighting shape for my new life on and off camera. For the next 6 weeks I’m going to chronicle my journey to the new version of the old me.

Tuesday, February 14th my 1st day with Scott. A long and detailed assessment during the course of a gradual and thorough workout. I left the first session feeling that I was now in the hands of a man with the intelligence, expertise and genuine caring to make my plan a success.

The DivaGals Remember Whitney Houston

The DivaGals are shocked and saddened by the death of Whitney Houston. We share our fondest memories of the iconic singer.

TV DivaGal. “I have always loved… Whitney Houston. I remember watching her “How Will I Know” video as a teen and grooving to its catchy beat as I admired her beauty, and not-so-secretly envied her voice. As an adult, her music of the eighties and nineties became my go to Karaoke songs  — my little tribute to one of my most favorites singers. She truly will be missed.”

Music Gal. “”I Will Always Love You,” my favorite song. I hope that Bobbi Kristina carries the positive aspects of her mom’s legacy well into the future.

Image Gal. “My favorite song is “Give Me One Moment In Time.” She had a voice that was other-worldy, a voice that could lift you up and inspire you. She was the Billy Holiday of our time. It’s a sad loss for the world. What else might have she moved us with had she conquered her demons?”

DigiGal. “I remember seeing The Bodyguard with TV DivaGal in an old, local movie theater, and it was magical, even if I did get sick of hearing “I Will Always Love You” on the radio every five minutes. Kids today don’t realize how big she was in the eighties; they just know of her troubled life in recent years. But she truly was one of the greats. So talented, it’s sad.”

Fitness Gal. “She was an absolute beauty and she will truly be missed. When she was good, she was great!”

Courtesy of

Hospitality and Linguistics

Here we are, melting pot of the universe.  Walk down the street, hop the train, attend a function at the UN and count the number of languages you hear.

As the world becomes smaller, our communication technology like SKYPE has made things we once only watched on cartoons like the Jetsons a reality. More than ever before in the history of the world, just to be able to have a chance to compete and function on an international level we must speak at least three languages.  This is a new concept for most Americans whose Americentric education has given us a worldwide reputation for being bad tourists. We have always imposed that everyone else learns to speak English for our benefit. That no longer flies. Today, most decent schools around the world do their best to produce generations of people that can compete in the global market place by speaking three or more languages. The Swiss, for example, are known for this benefit to their educational system.

Protocol dictates that at gatherings, the chosen language be the one understood by the majority. On the other hand, if one person is left out, the polite thing to do is to translate from time to time, so everyone is included in the conversation.

Recently I found myself in South America so I could practice my French.

Like Americans, francophiles tend to flock together no matter where they are in the world, and so I found myself at the most sophisticated lunch with my family, where, although everyone at the table spoke three languages in common, French was the language at the table. French is technically my second language but in practice my third.  My command of Spanish is far greater than my French, which although fully comprehensible, is not eloquent.  So ashamed by my poor handle of my mother’s tongue, I reserve it for when I must; whereas with Spanish, I feel totally comfortable from habitual use and forgiveness by others for my small grammatical errors.

Immediately, I was transported back to the family reunions of my childhood where meals consisted of smiling politely, dying to be included, yet being seen but not heard.

Following the topics of Swiss private banking and the price of vacation properties in the south of France or Florida versus Colombia, were not difficult to understand, just simply out of my realm.

It makes one appreciate the language of pets, where depending on the intonation, a woof, growl, meow or purr is universal.

Communication is the key to everything.  If you find yourself in a situation where someone is not communicating with you I suggest making the effort to find out why.

If you are in a group, try to make sure everyone is included so nobody feels ignored, especially if you are the host.  When you ignore someone’s presence you minimize their existence. Ultimately we are our words; it’s what makes us human, humorous, interesting, boring, a prick, or just kind.

New York is the great social experiment of the planet. We are the example of how eight million people from all over can share this small piece of real estate peacefully.

We are now 9 billion people that share this finite space called earth.  We had better start communicating.


Written by Samantha von Sperling for T2C.

Appears in an edited form on DivaGalsDaily.