"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start,
anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." ~ Anonymous

Friday, October 21, 2016

Healthy Holidays Challenge - Week #4

First month of the challenge is in the books!  My weight is the same as a month ago as of last Monday's weigh-in, but I have made great strides in getting my habits back in place.  

This month has really been a time of reflecting on what I want for my health and what I can learn and change from when I started putting weight back on in the last year and a half.  

The facts of my week:
  1. I will exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes, 4-5 days a week.  Done.  After a month of getting good exercise in four mornings a week I'm feeling really good.  
  2. I will track my food at least 6 days a week.  Done.  I had a really calorie-heavy day earlier this week, but I sat down and tracked it all.  Tracking is key for me.  
  3. I will drink at least 32 ounces of pure water a day.  Done. I've switched to water with most meals and that is helping me get more than 32 ounces in.  :)
  4. I will enjoy the holidays, but not forget my new ending in life includes making the best choice for ME -- whether that's having something in moderation or saying no.  Kind of.  I really kind of overate on Monday, which has left me little wiggle room for our meal out this weekend and that has been bothering me.  So far, I'm not in the negative for my plan, but I don't like having to have lighter calorie days on the weekend and I'm having a hard time being okay with this.  

If you have a few minutes I'll expound on goal #4...

The past couple of weeks I've been falling into this kind of thinking:  "I can eat more on weigh-in day and then just stay on track all week til I weigh again."  And, honestly,  I haven't even tracked a Monday's food until this past week for the express purpose of seeing how I do sticking to the plan for 6 days.  

 A week ago I also overate on Monday, stuck to plan the rest of the time and still lost 1.6 lbs.  I kind of justified this new habit of not starting my week until Tuesday by telling myself I don't have to be on track 100% to be a success and I think "cheat days" are necessary to our health sanity.  Because I firmly believe all of that.

However, we always eat out at least once on the weekends, so I need my heavier eating days -- aka "cheat days" --  to be during the weekend.  To stick to my plan this means I need to have a good chunk of my extra points (calories) available for Friday to Sunday, because I don't like having to eat vegetables or a salad for that eating out meal.  

Some people pick their weigh-in day to be Fridays or Saturdays for this very reason, and that's what I did when I was losing weight before.  It's why I balked and hated Monday weigh-ins for the first month.  

However, going to meetings on Mondays really helps me stay on track for the week, and knowing I'm going to weigh in on Monday also helps me be conscious of not throwing my weekends out the window.  Last spring I no problem saving at lest 1/2-2/3 of my extra points for the weekend and it worked great.  

I'm glad I realized I've been doing this and while I'm trying to allow myself to be okay with it it's been bothering me.  But I have not thrown the whole week to heck because of it and I'm proud of that fact.  

I'm learning.  

I am deciding I don't like not having that wiggle room when I know we will be eating out, so I am going to work on it this next week.  

Thanks for checking in and I hope you have a good weekend!  

I'm off to do a little cleaning, get an order shipped from my store and then my daughter and I are going to see The Phantom of the Opera tonight!!!   

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

More Than a 30-Minute Workout

The above photo is a snapshot of my workout yesterday.  It may look like a simple 30 minute elliptical workout, but it was so much more than that. 

Let me go back a few years...

I lost 70 lbs on my own by exercising and eating less/better.  But when days were rough and especially when my mother passed away and my son had a major ski accident 2 1/2 years ago I wouldn't exercise if I didn't "feel like it". 

And the weight began to creep back on.  

Part of skipping exercise was a schedule conflict and I couldn't get to the gym at the same time or leave my house for a run at the same time while my son was home injured from school.  The other part was I think I felt if I couldn't do the same workouts I had been doing, whether due to a schedule conflict or highly stressed/emotional day, I would just do nothing. 

I wish I would've given myself permission to simply go for a walk.  I know my husband would've totally supported me going for walks and/or going to the gym in the evenings.  And I wish I would've told myself I needed to get at least a walk done, but honestly I pretty much just gave up any time I didn't "feel like it". 

Now, I've given myself that permission and I also remind myself I may not feel like doing an intense workout, but I need to get something done.

I never regret a workout and a brisk walk can do wonders for my emotions, but getting started can be hard.

So, yesterday to get out the door and get that 30-minute elliptical workout done was HUGE.  For the second time in two weeks I didn't let an emotional morning stop me from keeping to my exercise commitment. 

And I. Am. So. Happy. About. This. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

A Lesson Learned from Social Media

To know my frustration you have to know the story.  Sorry, it will make for a long post, but I feel better [as always] giving you the full story.  My intention is not to offend with my reaction to a social media comment, and if you read to the end you'll see there's a happy ending. 

Weight Watchers offers a social media group "Connect" in their app that you can participate in when you are paying for their program.  People post before/after photos, random thoughts and the like.  It's like FaceBook and Instagram combined.  People can "like" a post and/or comment.  I'm only on there on occasion since I'm very active in  blogging and on Instagram.  

But...Tuesday mid-morning I was upset and didn't want to bombard Instagram with my WW woes.  Instead I decided to reach out to fellow WW'ers and I posted this to Connect: 

Can I just be honest for a minute? 

Yesterday I was up 2.0 lbs for my weigh-in.  I was okay with it, because I'd had a rough PMS week and was expecting a gain.

Even after talking to a fellow loser who was sharing how she doesn't use all her points (and totally not understanding how that is possible, because I always eat my points) I was fine with my gain and confident it will come right back off.  (I also went to the state fair, ate what I wanted, and shared everything and didn't eat til stuffed at all! [celebrating emoji]

But today I am struggling.  Just emotional.

I think I know why.  Here's what happened after my meeting...

My son wanted Wendy's and I thought I'd have a chicken sandwich, but decided it was probably too high in points (deceiving by being chicken, etc.)  So, I orderd the Chicken Apple Salad.

I wanted a warm burger and fries, but was trying to be good and got a salad.  I was driving and couldn't get to checking the points safely while driving. 

A salad which was listed as 21 points!! [shocked emoji, crying profusely emoji]  I could've had the chicken sandwich and a small fry for 15, or just the sandwich for 8 and my WW snack crisps from home for another 2 and been just fine. 

Now, I know it's the sugar involved in that salad.  I only used 1 packet of the dressing (they gave me 2) and I took out the bleu cheese (I don't care for bleu cheese).  So, I calculated it for a few points less, but still ... double the points for eating something I didn't want in the first place! 

It threw my day and I'm finding myself still vexed this morning thinking I'll never get it together.  I know this isn't true, but I just needed to vent. 

I did go workout this morning and I will do my best to get through today..and then through tomorrow.
Thanks for listening.  #itsmyparty #sometimesitshard

Two people commented as I had hoped -- encouraging me that this is not about perfection, but progress and at least I had good intentions.  

And two people gave advice. 

I didn't ask for advice.  And I found myself getting offended at what what said.  

One of them suggested I sit and figure out points for all the fast food places, so I'll be better prepared.  Um yea...I know that.  I'm not new to this rodeo.  I usually check everything before I go, but I didn't have that chance this time. 

The other said this, and I quote, 

"It's happened to me too.  So, I try to check the points before ordering.  I am amazed at what my choices should be if I am committed to the program.  I am committed.  So I check first to not be disappointed."

Um... okay.  So, I'm not committed if I didn't check the points before??

Yeah, I was a little upset at that comment.  It nagged at me for a good 24 hours.  


First of all, you don't know me....I'm a name and profile on social media who needed to vent about a situation. 

Secondly, I made it clear I needed to vent and for you to tell me when you're committed you do x, y or z and then add in "I am committed." just made me feel like I must not be committed to this because I didn't do what you do. 

I wanted to get back on and reply to that last comment in defense of myself.  Instead, I decided to thank the people that were encouraging and then I decided I need to be careful how I comment.  

Then I tucked away the lesson of not giving advice when I'm not asked for it.  I realized that I may think I'm encouraging someone when I tell them what I should do, but I have to be careful or it may come as a put down because they did not do that ... or at least don't say, "Because I am committed." 

Unfortunately I couldn't let it go.  Her comment got under my skin.  It made me think. 

Into the next day I began to really think about whether I was committed or not.  I decided to see if there was any meat out of that comment that could be beneficial for my health.

Truth be told I can be better committed to this losing weight thing.  

Do I think I am not committed because of what happened at Wendy's on Monday?  No. 

Do I think the comment was appropriate for what I posted?  Not really.

Do I think the lady had a good point?  Yes.  As much as it pains me to say so....yeah.  When I am committed I plan ahead and I stop and think about what I am doing.  

So, for as much as her comment came across as self righteous to me, I was able to glean some truth out of it and apply it to my life.  I was also able to see how some "wisdom" can come across wrong and I reminded myself to be careful with the words I speak. 

Thanks for letting me share.  

Once I worked through this situation I was actually surprised how much better my week went.  The post and comment(s) were probably meant to happen all along.  And I guess I can now say I'm glad for it.  :)

End Note:  I double checked the points on that salad later and I think the app has it slightly higher than it really is.  Even with the roasted pecans, which mine didn't have, it came out around 16 points.  So, maybe I got upset for no good reason.  Who knows... LOL :P

Healthy Holidays Challenge - Week 3

Many thoughts have been going through my mind this week with regards to weight loss, but first let me get this update done for you.  I'm going to post separately about a couple sentences that threw me for an emotional loop earlier in the week...and how I was able to get some good from it after all. 

This was my week for the challenge to go a little rougher...
  1. I will exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes, 4-5 days a week.  Done.  And yesterday I had a great workout wherein I felt more hopeful about this journey than I have in a very long time.  I was all motivated all by myself.  :D
  2. I will track my food at least 6 days a week.  Um... no.  I think I tracked 100% of only 4 days.  Last weekend was our weekend at the State Fair and the football game (which we won -- Woo Hoo!!) and I was already in negative points for the week.  So, I didn't track all weekend and can't remember if I tracked Monday or not.  My weigh-in is Monday morning, so since I was in the negative by Saturday morning I decided not to take the time to track every bite I ate at the fair.  Had I actually left some points for the weekend I would've just to see where I ended up, but by that morning I didn't care to worry about it anymore.  
  3. I will drink at least 32 ounces of pure water a day.  Only part of the time.  I drink a lot of liquid, but earlier in the week I found myself having more diet soda than actual water.  Seeing as how it was TOM I wasn't too worried about it, and I've been right back on track as the week came to a close. 
  4. I will enjoy the holidays, but not forget my new ending in life includes making the best choice for ME -- whether that's having something in moderation or saying no.  Done.  I was up 2 lbs at my weigh-in Monday morning.  I know I blew it big time the week before and when I realized my cycle was starting it explained all the extra crazy cravings and subsequent eating.  However, even though I didn't save extra points up for the State Fair, like I'd hoped to, I went ahead and enjoyed myself.  
I shared everything I had and did not eat to stuffed.  I was pleasantly satisfied when we made our way home that evening and enjoyed myself immensely.  This is the "best choice for me" that I needed to make and not feel badly about.   And I'm pleased with it.  

This challenge continues to inspire me to do better and I'm grateful to all the ladies that check in weekly on Instagram and for you, Suz, in Virginia, for coming on here to check in.  I look forward to seeing how your week is going.  :)

Friday, October 7, 2016

Healthy Holidays Challenge - Check In #2

I was an OU wife for 4 years and now I'm an OU mom.
Whew!  What a busy day I've had.  One of my daughters is home for the weekend and we enjoyed lunch after she got here and then chatting has happened between this and that.  

But here I am and here is my check-in report for this past week: 
  1. I will exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes, 4-5 days a week.  4 days done!  No exercise last Saturday, but I did get 4 solid days done this week.  I'd like to say I might do something tomorrow, but it's the Red River Rivalry game tomorrow and I can only promise enjoying the day with my family cheering our Sooners on. 
  2. I will track my food at least 6 days a week.  Done.  Barely.  I almost didn't want to track one day after seeing a hot fudge sundae I was about to eat was 27 points.  What the?!?!  But I committed to tracking everything, so I tracked it and went on.  
  3. I will drink at least 32 ounces of pure water a day.  Done.  Knowing this is one of my goals has made me consciously make sure to get my water in....especially on Sundays.  :)  
  4. I will enjoy the holidays, but not forget my new ending in life includes making the best choice for ME -- whether that's having something in moderation or saying no.  Earlier this week I had a rough day.  Not the rough day I blogged about, but a different one.  Actually, it was simply a rough afternoon...and it's the day I had the sundae.  I went to bed feeling emotionally awful, but the good news is I woke up fine and I didn't allow it to push me to throw the week to the wind.  There's a good chance I won't see a loss on Monday, but I'm okay with that.  
How was your week? 

Even if you're not following along formally in the challenge feel free to share how things are going with Halloween candy and fall baking in full swing.  

I am going to go get myself ready for the high school football game tonight.  We had a lovely rain this morning and it feels chilly and cold out right now -- just like an autumn evening should in my book.  :)

And yeah...we're just a little excited about the game and proud supporters
of our Sooners!!  :D

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

My Emotions Didn't Stop Me

Monday morning I woke up in a bit of an emotional mess.  It was the kind of mess that made me want to drop my son off at school and return home to cry and pray through it.  I went to bed with it and was sad that it was still there when I woke up.  Ugh. 

Instead of giving in to my emotional distress I dressed for the gym, took my son to school and told myself I was going to exercise -- I just had to walk for 30 minutes, but I had to do something.

Why didn't I allow myself a break?  

I know that is necessary sometimes, but as I get back into the groove of losing the 35 pounds I have gained I am trying to see where I made mistakes and learn from them. 

One mistake I believe I made was when times were legitimately rough and stressful I chose to just get through my days and not exercise.  It wasn't always that I couldn't get away for a 30 minute walk, but more like I fell into a place where if I couldn't get to my class of hard core exercise, or get myself to go for a run I wouldn't do anything.  

I recently told a friend I wonder what would've happened if someone would've encouraged me to get just a nice 30-minute walk in. 

Or what if I would've given myself permission to simply go for a walk when I didn't feel like I could perform [current heavy duty exercise regimen]? 

Well, I give myself that permission now.  And I encouraged myself to simply get that walk done so as to keep the place of exercise in my daily routine. 

It wasn't easy.  I had tears even as I pulled up to the Y, but I got on the treadmill, started walking briskly and got it done.  It felt good, and interestingly enough, the advice I was so terribly wishing I could ask my mother (who passed away 2 1/2 years ago) was sort of touched on through a podcast I was listening to.  

So, not only did I feel better for having got my exercise in, but I was encouraged through a randomly selected podcast where two sentences spoke exactly to what I was stressed about.


Friday, September 30, 2016

Healthy Holidays Challenge ... CheckIn #1

This first week of the Healthy Holidays Challenge has been great!  The majority of the participants are on Instagram and there are some great goals posted.  

As for my goals...here's how my week went:

(For those who haven't followed me during a challenge before, I like to color code my update like street lights, red for no, yellow for kinda, and green for yes.  I'm visual like that. :) ) 
  1. I will exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes, 4-5 days a week.  4 days done!  I might even get a 5th day in tomorrow.  
  2. I will track my food at least 6 days a week.  This week has been a little harder for me to reign in my "extras", but I have tracked everything.  
  3. I will drink at least 32 ounces of pure water a day.  Done.  Knowing this is one of my goals has made me consciously make sure to get my water in.  
  4. I will enjoy the holidays, but not forget my new ending in life includes making the best choice for ME -- whether that's having something in moderation or saying no.  This week doing what was best for me started with setting the goals I needed to get through the holidays and possibly still see a loss on the scale, or at least not see a gain.  I don't encourage striving for weight loss during the holidays, which is why I didn't set it as an actual goal, but I know I do hope to weigh less on January 1st than I do now.  I set goals I needed and I no longer feel upset about it.  1 pt for Team Leah@My New Ending! 
I want to follow up my update with a few thoughts.  

Short Story: 
I asked Instagramers why they keep fighting for their health and it really made me think about why I do.  It's frustrating, but I was reminded again that when my health is in a better place it's a sign my mental and emotional selves are in better places.  Weight loss brought much more change to my life than buying smaller clothes.  And that's why I keep coming back to fight to do better.  (Why couldn't I have summed it up like that the other day...hmmm... lol)

Long Story:
During each week I plan on posting a thought to inspire, encourage or challenge everyone on their journey.  This week I posted this: 
Only a few actually replied and many "liked".  Regardless of whether or not people replied, I hope it made them think.  I know it made me think. 

Sometimes I get very frustrated and wonder why I care about my health "so much"??  (Because that's how some people view it, like it's excessive concern or conceited.)  So, I decided to pick the brains of other's and see what their responses are.  

Replies were varied, but there was a general agreement that we don't want to go "back there".  

It took me a good 30 minutes to figure out my real answer.  Not the pat answer I can share in a few minutes, but my real why.  The real reason deep down that makes me keep coming back to this challenge to healthier living with a desire to do better. 

I finally could sum it up like this, I was a happy overweight lady.  My weight never stopped me from making friends, joining in church and community activities or enjoying life in general.  But when my body began to ache and I knew my weight was the cause it gave me pause to seriously look at my life. 

Over the course of losing 70 pounds I realized my story is more about dealing with emotional struggles than simply calories in versus calories out.  I just felt like "that" -- being thin -- was for "them", along with having lots of money, etc. etc.  It was my lot in life.

And to some extent that is true.  My genetics will never allow me to eat whatever and however much I want. 

But as I began to lose weight I realized I was capable of something more and that I didn't have to turn to food all the time.  I learned when the scale is going up it's a sign there is something else going on inside.  

I've learned whether I'm having too much fun to care or I'm too stressed out to care I need to be aware and not throw my health and better habits to the wayside.  I've learned I'm capable of being aware and enjoying life while eating better and stay active.  And I feel better all around when I do.  

So, why do I care so much?  

Why did I start this challenge? 

Why do I try and share my story with others? 

Because I never thought I deserved anything different, but I was dead wrong.  And if I can help someone else see that they don't have to be content with "less than" and they can have a new ending in their life, then I will.  And on the flip side, if I can help somenoe realize that they NEED to care a little or it will come to bite them in the butt later, I will do that too.

This new ending I've chosen for my life is hard work at times, but it is some of the most rewarding work I've ever done.  So, as always... I will never give up trying. 

Have a great weekend everyone!