New Directions

| June 15, 2011
Lisa Thermen.

Lisa Thermen.

When Lisa Thermen was offered the chance to move in with a life coach who would help her lose weight, she jumped at the chance – even though that meant she’d be moving in with her sister.

“I’m excited, but I’m nervous. Very nervous,” said Thermen, though she isn’t concerned about sharing a living space for two months with her younger sibling, Stacey Vicari, a noted life coach who lives in Louisville.

“I’m worried because although I’m going down there to (Louisville) to make some changes that I know my sister can help me with … I’m really nervous about coming back,” Thermen said earlier this week on a phone conversation from her Chicago residence. “I know I can do those things with Stacey. I easily can adjust to the way she eats, but it’s coming home.”

For now, Thermen is committing to the process and focusing on the task at hand, which starts early morning on Friday, June 17, when she will leave her husband and two teenage boys and depart the Windy City for the River City.

Vicari, 42, will meet her once she lands, and at that point, the journey will begin.

For eight weeks, Thermen will receive guidance from Vicari as they tackle three key facets of her life: how Thermen eats, how she moves and her issues with body image.

Stacey Vicari (left) and Lisa Thermen – pictured here circa 1990 – have both battled eating issues. Then, Stacey decided to make a change. Now it’s Lisa’s turn, and the two will tackle the situation together.

Stacey Vicari (left) and Lisa Thermen – pictured here circa 1990 – have both battled eating issues. Then, Stacey decided to make a change. Now it’s Lisa’s turn, and the two will tackle the situation together.

“My goal isn’t to lose a weight,” Thermen said. “It’s to be able to go and shop in the regular women’s section. … My goal at first isn’t weight, it really is to be able to go shopping and not have to go to the (plus-size section) in the store.”

Thermen hopes to get healthy enough so she no longer needs the low-dose medication she must now take to control her blood pressure, and she’s counting on the increase in her health to help control her psoriasis.

She’d also like to kick a habit she’s embarrassed about: “I’m like a closet eater. Not that I will sit and eat something until it’s gone, but more or less I’ll buy something and hide it. I’ll eat a little until it’s gone and no one will know it’s in the house. I’m really good at that, and I kind of want to stop doing that. If anybody can really help me, it’s my sister.”

Vicari, who has maintained her own 50-pound weight loss for years, concurred. “Twenty-one years ago, I made a change, and twenty-one years ago she didn’t.”

The sisters grew up in a household that included four kids, a mother with perfect eating habits and a father who would sit down to watch a football game, open up a 5-pound can of cashews and eat the whole thing.  Meal times were a feeding frenzy.

Stacey Vicari.

Stacey Vicari.

“You felt like you had to eat really fast and you felt like you had to get as much as you could or you wouldn’t get any. We ate fast and we would hoard seconds. It created a feeling of scarcity around food,” Vicari recalled. “I still struggle with that, but I’m disciplined and I manage it with a perfect diet and a lot of exercise. My sister eats the standard American diet and doesn’t exercise. … I have a lot of compassion for how my sister got there, and I sort of see this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I want her to have this success story. I really want this for her.”

Vicari also wants to affect change in a community that was recently featured in The New York Times for its battle against obesity. “My greatest passion is diet and health. I eat a 90 to 95 percent raw food diet. I want to help people get healthy and stay healthy. I want to do my part in raising consciousness in one of the states that’s least healthy. I’m all over doing whatever I can to make this so that people can get excited about getting healthy.”

Thermen knows the two-month transformation isn’t going to be easy. “My sister, she has so much energy,” she said with a laugh. “We’re kind of used to that. At first it’ll be a little hard for me getting more into an exercise routine, but she’ll hold me accountable. She’s really good at helping. That’s what she does for a living and she’s good at it. Even if I’m tired, I won’t stop, I won’t give in. I just want to be healthier.”

For more on Stacey Vicari and Lisa Thermen’s journey, go to Also, check back for weekly updates that will appear in The Voice-Tribune and on Tune in to Terry Meiners’ radio show on Thursday to hear Vicari talk with the radio host on 84WHAS.

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Category: Tale of Two Sisters

About the Author (Author Profile)

Angie Fenton
Angie Fenton is Managing Editor of The Voice-Tribune, a Blue Equity company. She is also an entertainment correspondent for WHAS11′s new morning show, “Great Day Live!”, which debuted August 22 on Louisville’s ABC affiliate. Additionally, Angie is an entertainment correspondent for the Saturday Morning Show with Ron ‘n’ Mel Fisher on 84WHAS (840 AM) and has served in the same capacity for Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks; Breeders’ Cup; and Circuit of the Americas during the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix in November 2012. Angie also serves as an emcee, host, voiceover professional and on-camera commercial talent.

Angie has a bachelor’s and master’s in English from Central Michigan University and began her career as an adjunct professor at her alma mater. She is the youngest of five — four of whom were adopted, including Angie, and none of whom are biologically related. She is also a Michigan native who moved to Kentucky in June 2002. Angie is owned by two dogs — Herbie and Yoda — and feels lucky to have loved and been loved by many more, including Pooch, Jessie, Onyx, Jack and Big Bud, who took his last breath on Christmas Day 2012.

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