Metamorphosis: The Website and I

Lisa in her first shoot!

25 Mar Metamorphosis: The Website and I

Lisa in her first shoot!

Lisa in her first Magazine shoot!

“Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over,

she became a butterfly.”

I have always felt connected to science, transformation, and especially to the process by which fuzzy caterpillars become butterflies. Butterflies and their metamorphosis were even the focus of my Bat Mitzvah speech at the age of thirteen. I just did not realize it would take me three more decades to fill my own wings!

Change has been good to me. I have been evolving from having a fixed mindset to a more growth-based model, and from a heavy, single girl unsure of what to do next, to a sassy skinny married one who is a traveler, teacher, blogger, now appearing in a major women’s magazine!

Lisa getting Styled with Kristina Van Dyk

Styled with Kristina Van Dyk

Not only have I changed; now our blog has undergone a shift. We have joined our two web sites and left both Weebly and Blogger for the widely used WordPress. I hope you enjoy our new and improved site. Please send us your comments as we continue to finalize all the parts and pieces.

This transformation requires support. I must personally thank many of my friends, family members and mentors and would like to publicly recognize our website Advisory Council, including: Kit Herring of The Backpacker’s Handbook, Dave Thompson, Dave’s Travel Corner, and Dr. JessieVoigts and Ed Forteau from Wandering Educators. Also the technical wizard on our team, Ateeq Khan. Without them we would not be ready for this next step!

I also want to thank First for Women Magazine for including me in their story and the capable team that prepared me for my first Magazine photo shoot!

How fun!

My First for Women Magazine Photo Shoot Team:

Photographers: Amy and Stuart

Stylist: Krystina Van Dyk  (Banana Republic Gemma Wrap Dress, Laura Elizabeth Jewelry )

Hair : Stefanie Cuesta for Fiore Beauty

Make-up: Phoebe Ogan for Fiore Beauty

Hair Color: Mark LaRocco at the Beauty Collection

Thank you for joining us on our travels and for your enthusiastic support of our blogging journey!

First for Women Magazine

Please comment below and enjoy these related articles

  • wandering educators
    Posted at 18:42h, 25 March Reply

    brava, lisa – on your new looks, and your hard work and perseverance! looking forward to more from this new site! :)

    • admin
      Posted at 23:29h, 25 March Reply

      Thanks so much for reading, commenting and for all your support. I really appreciate it! Lisa

  • mia
    Posted at 23:58h, 25 March Reply

    Lisa, You rock on so many levels! I’m so impressed!

    • admin
      Posted at 00:22h, 26 March Reply

      Thanks so much! I appreciate it! Lisa

  • cormoraunt
    Posted at 04:13h, 26 March Reply

    Congrats, Lisa! You are such an inspiration in so many ways!

    • admin
      Posted at 07:38h, 26 March Reply

      Judy, Thanks so much for reading and commenting! Lisa

  • Stacey Zolt Hara
    Posted at 04:20h, 26 March Reply

    So proud of you Lisa — an enormous accomplishment and yet another reason you’re a great role model for your students.

    • admin
      Posted at 07:37h, 26 March Reply

      Stacey, Thank you so much! I really appreciate your comments!!
      I cannot wait to write up our interview and share your books with more students around the globe! Lisa

  • Rainer
    Posted at 21:28h, 26 March Reply

    Lisa – I’m very impressed with the before and after shots . . . especially the AFTER! Also think the website looks great. Keep up the great work . . .

    • admin
      Posted at 21:55h, 26 March Reply

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting! That is a big compliment from you–your site is incredible!! Cant wait to see where both our adventures take us next!! Enjoy the big apple! Lisa

  • Carl Law
    Posted at 14:56h, 27 March Reply

    What an amazing transformation! It goes to show that eating well+exercise+determination =successful weight loss.

    • admin
      Posted at 15:10h, 27 March Reply

      Carl, Thanks so much!! I agree you have to eat well, exercise and BE DETERMINED!!! Hope to see you soon! Lisa

  • Julie
    Posted at 12:10h, 28 March Reply


    You look GREAT what a fantastic article!!!!

    You ROCK!

    • admin
      Posted at 14:02h, 28 March Reply

      Julie, Thank you so much for all your support on my weight loss journey. You really made a difference! Thanks! Lisa

  • Havi Wolfson Hall
    Posted at 20:07h, 18 April Reply

    Wow Lisa!!! You are incredible!!! I love following your journey!!! :-)

    Looks like you are living and loving the life you both have created too! Take care, Havi,

  • Abbie
    Posted at 20:37h, 02 May Reply

    Congrats on the mag and the new website design!

    • admin
      Posted at 10:20h, 06 May Reply

      Thanks Abbie! What is the news from Denver?

  • Tisha Marina
    Posted at 23:40h, 05 May Reply

    Congrats Lisa! Your story should be heard world wide. You are an inspiration and deserve the very best. Enjoy your travels and journeys. Much love

    • admin
      Posted at 10:20h, 06 May Reply

      Tisha, Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind words. Cannot wait to HOOP with you! Lisa

  • Paul
    Posted at 21:07h, 19 February Reply

    Great work on the website transformation. I never saw the old one, but it’s only been 3 weeks since my blog underwent a complete revamp and it takes a lot of work and dedication. Keep up the good work :)
    Paul recently posted..The Real Downton Abbey: Highclere CastleMy Profile

  • Gloria
    Posted at 04:52h, 26 March Reply

    Great looking. I am just in the process of learning WordPress. Currently my site is on Intuit but WordPress gets much better reviews. Now I am looking for some sort of reference guide (yes, a real old-fashioned book that I can hold in my hands) to learn all the intricacies of the program.

  • Danielle
    Posted at 07:30h, 05 August Reply

    Hi Lisa, I am so inspired by your story of transformation! In January my husband and I are setting out on our own around-the-world-trip. As we get prepared I realize that my out of shape, 170lb frame will hold me back and limit the experiences I can have on the trip. At only 5’4″ I know that 20-30lbs will make a huge difference and I am trying to make that happen. As you know though, it’s hard to just start and stick to it. Any tips or suggestions you have would be great! I have already eliminated all added sugars and have limited my natural sugars and carbs, but hearing what worked for you would be a great help. Also, did any of the weight loss happen while you were traveling?

    • Lisa Niver Rajna
      Posted at 07:47h, 05 August Reply

      Danielle, Hello! It is great to hear from you! I wish you a fantastic journey! YES I did lose much of the weight on the trip. You mentioned changes in your diet. Have you added more exercise? I highly recommend checking in with a medical professional that you trust for great suggestions but honestly for me, I ate less and walked more. Our memoir, Traveling in Sin, just launched on Amazon and may offer more ideas about our trip and my weight loss! Enjoy the trip! We will be waiting to hear more about it! Lisa

  • Amy
    Posted at 09:09h, 04 June Reply

    Smashing beauty! Beautifully dictated story and you can feel your soul glowing!

  • Lisa Niver Rajna
    Posted at 09:12h, 04 June Reply

    Amy, Thank you so much for your comment! I cannot wait to catch up before we leave for Indonesia! Lisa

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