My Prom Dress Cost $23.99

(From archived blog, circa December 2014.)

Hey gang!

Today I'm giving you a sneak preview of a new product I have been working hard on the last couple of months. It's called 6 Weeks to Skinny, Sexy, Strong, and it wil be on sale hopefully before December 31st, fingers crossed :) 

In the meantime I wanted to share this snippet with you, it's in the "About Me" section. This is where I share a story about how I first became passionate about fitness and nutrition, back in high school.

By the way, don't worry every other part of 6 Weeks to Skinny, Sexy, Strong is a done-for-you, easy-to-implement program that helps you lose fat, tone up, and create a sustainable lifestyle so you can stay skinny, sexy and strong for life, not just for 2 weeks!

However, I thought it was important to include one small section with a some personal background info, so people can understand more of the mindset that went into creating this program.

So here it is, let me know what you think! Talk soon and happy Thursday! :)


It was the month of May my senior year of high school. I was sitting at the kitchen table with my mom, and I remember the conversation like it was yesterday. 


“Lian, we just don’t have the money for an expensive prom dress.” 


I let my mother know that all of my friends had bought prom dresses at trendy boutique shops that cost hundreds of dollars. Further, they were all getting them tailored to fit perfectly for the big night, and let’s not even mention the new heels bought just to match, or the hair and makeup services being paid for either. I implored my mother: Why do I have to be the only one, again, wearing a cheap, out–of–place dress? After all, it was my senior year! I was a 3–Sport varsity athlete, captain of my basketball team, my GPA was decent… didn’t all this count for something?


“No,” my mother said. “That’s all great, but those accomplishments don’t pay the bills.”


So I went shopping. I drove to the Jersey Gardens Mall in Jersey City, NJ and found a dress there for $23.99. Sweet. But something happened to me as I stood in line waiting to purchase that dress. I was thinking about all the pictures that would be taken before and during the event, and how I was going to have to stand there in my cheap Jersey Gardens get–up and smile next to all my friends in their designer dresses. How was I going to pull this off? Then the answer hit me. If someone could be in great shape, have healthy, glowing skin, fabulous hair, and could walk and move with total confidence, then it didn’t matter what they were wearing; they could look just as good someone who paid a fortune for their attire. 


Suddenly, I didn’t care anymore. Honestly, I wouldn’t have cared if my prom dress cost $2. My little epiphany flipped on a light switch in my brain. In that moment, I decided to stop focusing on myfamily’s bleak financial situation. I was done being so self–conscious about. I instantly shifted myfocus: the state of my health became my first priority, and I never looked back.  All I had to do was focus on being healthy and fit, eating nourishing food and staying hydrated, and my body would return the favor with radiant skin and hair, and a lean, athletic figure. If I did this, I would look just fine no matter what. I may not have had control over much back then, but I knew one thing I could control was how well I treated my body. 


My realization shed light on a greater scope than just prom: I realized I did not have to have the expensive first car some of my classmates were getting as their graduation present. I didn’t have to have possession of my mom’s credit card for weekend shopping sprees. This may sound crazy, but I didn’t need to have a bed to sleep on (at the time, I slept on a mattress on the floor) It was OKAY. It didn’t matter anymore. No more feeling ashamed. 


This stuck with me on into adulthood. It made me want to reach out and tell every woman I knew to save their money on the designer stuff and just go exercise. “Let’s collectively put an end to this madness!” I would say to my wary friends. The $5,000 bags, the exquisitely painful heels, the fancy dresses draped onto emaciated runway models…aren’t we putting the cart before the horse here? Shouldn’t we conquer the fundamentals of beauty first? Why not nourish our innately gorgeous bodies, instead of just ornamenting them with expensive items to mask our deeper frustrations, our dwindling self-confidence, and our lack of self–respect, much of which is the product of our junk food addictions?


Today, I truly believe this: that it doesn’t matter how much a woman spends on her clothes, her handbags, or her jewelry: if she is healthy, slim and toned and has an air of sexy, charismatic confidence about her (because she is super comfortable in her own skin,) she will outshine everyone in the room, every time.


Of course I know now that at 17 years old, I was probably being unfoundedly cocky, or naïve, or both. Mix these together with my aforementioned economical insecurities and a desperate need that I (like most high schoolers,) had to fit in, and you have quite the rebellious teen/sensitive ego cocktail.  Since that fateful shopping trip, I now regard clothing differently in my adult years. I do realize, being in my 30’s, that a well-designed suit, a pair of tailored jeans, or some smart heels paired with a well–fitted pencil dress can take you from sexy to drop-dead, stunner status for sure!


I do believe elegance, sophistication and class are important. Thank goodness for the talented, adept designers out there who make women’s apparel emulate these characteristics and make them functional as well. I know too, that age plays a huge factor. For most, being a tight and toned 17 year old at the prom was a breeze! Oh, what we all used to get away with in our youth! Being Skinny, Sexy and Strong in our 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s certainly requires a bit more focus. 

I am still so thankful for that quiet but pivotal moment in the shopping mall checkout line, as I stood there holding my $23.99 dress. It has stuck with me all of these years, and it has driven me to help so many women transform their bodies and create their own, customized healthy lifestyle, so that they could become the fittest and most confident version of themselves. Everyday I wake up I feel so honored and SO grateful to have such a rewarding profession.

So for this “About Lian” section, could I have written about a time in my life when I gained 12 lbs. and decided to lose it? Sure. Could I have shown you before and after pictures of myself onstage at bikini competitions, pointed to my well–defined abs and attempted to inspire you with my level of discipline and superb choice of glittery bikinis? Yes, sure. Whatever.


Honestly? WHO CARES. Your and my work here over the next 6 weeks is so much more important than that. We are going to establish your lean, healthy lifestyle foundation and get you set up for a lifetime of being the Skinny, Sexy, Strongest version of you. This is so much deeper than simply losing fat and gaining muscle tone! It is about changing your thinking, changing the way you see yourself in the world and the way you talk to yourself when you are all alone and no one’s looking. What are you saying? Do you tell yourself that you are capable of moving mountains? 


Trust me, losing weight is the easiest part of this process. Keeping it off for life– by abandoning the destructive body fat fluctuation rollercoaster– is what is truly going to set you up for long–term success. Having peace of mind that your lean, sexy body is here to stay is the real and truest reward. You will enjoy this peace of mind, because you are going to lay down the right foundation to stay lean and healthy for life, instead of putting your body through the harsh cycle of another trendy diet pill gimmick. So together, let’s put an end to the madness and let’s make these next 6 weeks the new chapter to a life of Skinny, Sexy, Strength...