04/11/2013 02:50 pm ET | Updated Jun 11, 2013

Healthy Living: How a Movie and a Juicer Started My Journey

"I'm up in the spotlight, oh does it feel right,
The altitude seems to really get to me.
I'm up on the tightwire linked by life and the funeral pyre,
Putting on a show for you to see." ~Leon Russell

The life of a blogger is a bit like walking a tightrope. You can choose to balance your steps toward safety, or you can take a leap of faith and blindly jump off the rope while praying you land safely.

I've decided to throw caution to the wind by jumping off the rope. I hope I land safely on my feet after writing about the one subject I never discuss: my weight.

I've never been thin or obese, yet I've never been comfortable with the way I look, whether I weighed 125 or 175 pounds. It's a matter of my perception; how I view myself and not necessarily how others view me.

I'm not looking to be on the cover of MORE magazine. I don't need to look like Christie Brinkley or Marisa Tomei. I'm enjoying the new career I've cultivated during the second chapter of my life. I simply want to be comfortable with how I look and feel.

I've always had a hate-hate relationship with dieting. I love all kinds of food; dieting has always meant the need to cut back on the love.

"The biggest seller is cookbooks and the second is diet books -- how not to eat what you've just learned how to cook." ~Andy Rooney

Today I'm not looking for a diet. I'm looking for a new way of life.

My family's genetics scares the hell out of me. That fear is the driving force behind waging an all-out war against gaining weight. It's an uphill battle, and I'm determined to win the war.

Today, I stand before you at 54 years old, going through menopause and living with Multiple Sclerosis. These two factors are enormous obstacles in my quest for better health.

"When we lose 20 pounds... we may be losing the 20 best pounds we have! We may be losing the pounds that contain our genius, our humanity, our love and honesty." ~Woody Allen

Recently, a Facebook friend told me to watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, a documentary chronicling the life of Joe Cross, a 310-pound man on a mission to get healthy. We follow his journey across America, with his juicer and camera in tow, drinking only fruits and vegetables for 60 days. His hope was to lose weight while allowing his body to heal itself from a diagnosed autoimmune disease.

I highly recommend this movie. It's educational and uplifting.

After watching the documentary, I ordered the same Breville juicer Joe used. I then took a hard look at myself by asking, "Do I want to continue sailing through life not liking the way I look and feel?"

I decided to face my fear head-on by broaching my taboo subject during dinner. Out of nowhere I proclaimed, "I want to get healthier and lose weight." I thought my husband and son would fall off of their chairs. I braced myself and waited for it. Nothing happened, except total silence.

What did happen was what I should have expected.

My husband quietly asked, "How can I help you?"

We spent time talking about healthy eating, exercises I enjoy doing and where we could buy organic fruits and vegetables in bulk. We already follow a healthy diet at home (much like Dr. Andrew Weil's book Eating Well for Optimal Health), yet I need to create my own eating plan (a.k.a portion control) according to my personal goals.

I reached out to a Facebook friend, Amanda, who I knew possessed a wealth of knowledge on healthy living. She was so inspirational (and profound) that I'd like to share her wisdom with you:

Find things you really love to do, and just do them. Don't feel you have to do 'such and such' to be fit. If you love to take walks, take walks, but don't get stuck thinking just because you can't do other things, it's useless. I think the main thing is to feel good about whatever you can do.

Then there's food. That is something you can control. So eat healthy. Consider yourself like an expensive car that only takes the best gas. Remember to tell yourself how great you are. Imagine you are an Olympic superstar, and tell yourself you can do anything. You can do anything. You can do anything.

You have to say it, read it, actually see the words. "I can do this. I can do this."

Powerful words.

I'm ready to take the next step toward creating a healthier lifestyle, while facing my personal weight demons. Like all of you, I want to live a life of quality in my fifties, sixties and many years beyond that.

Today really IS the first day of the rest of my life. Wish me luck!

I will close by offering you the advice of Dr. Christiane Northrup from her book Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom:

Nourishing yourself fully also involves understanding that your body's metabolic processes are profoundly influenced by the following eight factors:

• Emotional state
• Genetic heritage
• Cultural and family heritage
• Macronutrient intake (proteins, fats, carbohydrates)
• Micronutrient intake (vitamins and minerals)
• Environment and relationships
• Exercise habits
• Food chi

Nourishing yourself optimally means paying attention to each of these areas.

What healthy habits do you follow to feel and look good?