I have interviewed I'd say well over 1,000 people in my 10 years as a journalist, and only two people have ever hugged me as a greeting the first time we met. One of those people was , the former drummer for Guns N' Roses. The other was Terri Jackson, the owner of in the NoHo Arts District. But I was soon to learn that I wasn't that special — they hug everyone they meet, and they mean it. Both are two of the most incredibly positive personalities I have ever encountered while on the job.
On March 2, I walked into Envy Nutrition for a meeting and interview with Terri. Terri had blogged for North Hollywood-Toluca Lake Patch over the summer a few times and had expressed an interest in starting up again, so I was there for us to discuss the approach we should take.
But I was also there for a second reason, and that was to possibly receive some help getting back into shape. Today will be the 14th day since that meeting, and I have so far lost nine pounds — and it wasn't even that hard.
I love my job at Patch and it is extremely rewarding on all levels, but I have packed on around 20 pounds since I began 18 months ago. As with everyone, this had happened slowly and gradually, one pound at a time. Covering the news of North Hollywood, Toluca Lake and Valley Village doesn't always leave enough time for exercise.
To be honest, before I had even walked in the door, I had decided that I was going to buy whatever it was Terri was selling at Envy.
The morning before, at a , we went around the room and everyone stood up and spoke for a minute or two about their business. Terri stood up, and in a voice that carried through the room and into the next, said, "Hi, I'm Terri Jackson! I'm 54 years old and I have more energy than all of you combined!"
This got a great laugh from the crowd.
Aside from her contagiously-positive energy, Terri is also in amazing shape. So by the time she was done speaking, shaking everyone awake with her voice, I decided that Terri would be a very good place to start a quest to get back in shape. In the immortal words of When Harry Met Sally, I thought, "I'll have what she's having."
What Terri is having, or selling, actually, is Herbalife products, along with a fun, energetic nutrition club where one can drop in during regular hours and get coaching, inspiration, a delicious shake and, well, a hug, when you need it.
By the time of the networking breakfast, I had been toying with the idea of visiting different healthy food locations and exercise facilities in the North Hollywood-Toluca Lake area and writing about them. I figured everyone would win — my readers, myself and the places I visited. I also figured making my quest public might actually motivate me to finally lose the extra poundage, so here goes.
If you want to know more about Herbalife, go to or drop in on Envy to learn more.
But put simply, the Herbalife system involves two healthy shakes a day, one healthy meal, a few healthy snacks, calorie counting and a lineup of vitamins, pills and potions. I bought the full Advanced Package from Terri for about $250 to get me started — there are cheaper and more expensive starter packages — ready to do as I was told.
I've stuck with it very closely so far. Like all weight programs it does take discipline and work, but for me so far it has taken less discipline and work than others. The shakes really take a lot of the worry, work and stress out of keeping your calorie intake down. One healthy meal a day is pretty easy to plan and execute no matter how busy you are.
So I will be following Terri's nutritional guidelines, as well as trying out some exercise facilities and healthy restaurants around town. This weekend I will be visiting for a class, stay tuned ....