Welcome to my lab. I set up this space in early 2011, shortly after I lost 90 pounds in nine months, to try to identify the key mental factors that worked for me in taking the weight off. (The short answer, of course, is diet and exercise. In my case, jogging and Weight Watchers.)

I’m still experimenting with diet and fitness, though these days I’m increasingly interested in improving my performance as a runner and triathlete — even as I continue to come to terms with my inner pig.

Before: Coaching T-ball in 2009 with my sister, Traci, who later became my “personal trainer”

Projects of interest:

  • “Normal People” interviews. How do some people manage to live in modern-day America without getting fat? I asked a bunch of thin friends and family members how they eat. (Click on “interviews” above). Now I’m incorporating their ideas into my dietary toolbox and writing up my conclusions. Stay posted.
  • Mental tools to build will power. I’m working on setting up a page specifically devoted to weight loss, but in the meantime try clicking on “mind games,” “tips” or “Weight Watchers.” Or better yet spend all of 99 cents for my ebook, Declutter Your Diet: Buffet Goggles, Infinite Pie and Other Imaginary Devices that Helped Me Cut 90 Pounds in Nine Months. (It’s not so much a how-to manual as a framework of evolving ideas and nutty tricks that worked for me.)
  • After: Traci and I finishing our first half-marathon, Labor Day weekend 2011

    Family fitness strategies. I wish I’d learned dietary discipline in time to help our four kids form healthy eating habits, but all we can do now is work together to re-engineer our family lifestyle. Click on “Fitness Protection Program” for posts relating to our family team’s experience participating in a county weight loss contest. (We came in 5th out of 101 teams.)

  • Alternative fuel. Recipes tested in the Caylor Family Kitchen aren’t always pretty. As former homeschoolers, we emphasis learning and creativity over presentation. Nutritional data tends to be presented in the form of Weight Watchers points, not because I think you should try that program but simply because that’s the scoring system I use.
  • Questions, comments, or ideas you‘d like to discuss? Shoot me an e-mail at tischcaylor@gmail.com.

Posting schedule

Usually (unless something hijacks my brain), it looks like this: running on Mondays, interviews on Tuesdays, dietary tools on Wednesdays, cross training/triathlon stuff on Thursdays and food on Fridays.

Bio in brief

My name is Tanya Isch Caylor,  I’m a copy editor and diet/fitness columnist at The News-Sentinel in Fort Wayne, Ind., and I live near the small town of Ossian with my husband, Bob; four kids — Rowan (off at college), Ben, Cassie, and Colleen — and our dog, Buddy, a Great Pyrenees-Newfoundland mix who now weighs more than I do.

On spring break in Gatlinburg, Tenn., earlier this year.

11 Responses to About

  1. daniel santana says:


    i came accross your blog via an interview you did with jon hauser. i too came across the value of diet and exercise however approached from a diferent angle i suppose. i had gone from 240 lbs to 160 lbs in one month. not a good way to loose. diabetes took its toll but quick. ended up on insulin, and after about 5 months of treatment i was getting better. one evening after getting back from a trip to see my daughter, about a 5 hr. drive, i realized i had left my insulin there at her house. i panicked, it was late night and i had already eaten and had no insulin. i was able to check my glucose levels and it was high. i recalled a information bit on the hospitol tv about the effects of exercise and diet, so i blwe off the dust from the old weight bench and got after it, letting my mild panic be my motivation. after 30 min of constant exercise, comming to a heavy sweat and breathing twice, i checked my numbers and was schocked. the numbers dropped 15 points in that 30 min. i rested 15 min or so and did it again. this time they fell 20 points. so over an hour and a half, i droped my numbers 35 points. i was hooked. added diet and, enevitibly, a routien of a realistic excerise. 2 months later i was told by the dr. that i no longer needed insulin, and that it was remarkable. from the evening that i left my insulin behind, till now, it has been a journey of ups and downs and the learning of all kinds of new stuff. one very important point, it has been crucial that i find and contact like minded folks, the encouragement is most invaluable. i cannot over emphicise [ or spell ] the value in that.
    deal is i have no insurance, and was unemployed, cant buy that latest gadgets, or supplements, so i had to become creative and innovative, especially in setting goals. i have to say that the short term goals were the toughest.
    as of this writting, i try to hold my weight at about 205 to 210 lbs. it feels comfortable. and has its chalanges. funny thing, that i never thought i would be happy that i have to struggle to keep my weight down. but considering where i was…

    thanks for your time and best to all who have the great fortune of self re-discovery


  2. debbrunson says:

    This is such an inspiring story and blog altogether Tanya! You have put in so much work and discipline, and I love that you’re sharing a lifetime of learning with the rest of us. Really well done 😀

  3. debbrunson says:

    I love your ‘hovel’ silly 🙂 It’s really interesting how you decide to use your points. I haven’t actually been part of weight watchers before, but I do understand to some degree how it works. And I often notice I actually do better when I just have a limited amount of something I want rather than trying multiple small things trying to substitute… 🙂 So far, your research is coordinating with mine quite well 😉

  4. Sandra says:

    Nice job! I only hope I can be successful in my weight loss too. So far, not good. :-(. I am a work in progress, that’s for certain.

  5. canadiankate says:

    I love your blog! I find your writing really inspiring and honest – especially your posts on running.

  6. gpcox says:

    It’s a pleasure to meet you.

  7. Tony says:

    Thanks for the follow and congratulations on your weight loss success thus far. When I was struggling with my weight before finally winning the battle of the bulge, I found it was my mind not my body that did the work. Exercise is a must, but you must have your head in the right place. Don’t eat things just because they taste so good. Ask yourself what your body is getting from them, Do you want to saddle your system with extra fats just because it is a good pizza? Once I got my head on straight the pounds melted away. I have been in the 150 pound area for five years now after wandering up over 220. You can do it, too.

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