"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, 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!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

This Kid Has Inspired Me

Enjoying National Coffee Day today!
This is my son.  He has just turned 16 and I'll never forget just over a month ago when we were ordering Sonic slushes for the family and he declined.


"How am I supposed to enjoy my treat if he doesn't eat one?", I thought to myself.  I think I even commented to him, half joking and deep down knowing he was doing better with his healthier eating than I was. 

And I was convicted. 

I didn't start losing weight to "be a better mom" like many others do, but I have noticed that my change in eating habits and weight loss have been noticed by my kids.  

When my son began to be a bit vexed about getting a little heavy I encouraged him to eat only when hungry and stop when he's satisfied.  I also encouraged him to stay active.  

He had a bad ski accident 2 1/2 years ago that messed up his knee and hasn't been able to play organized sports since then, but as the manager of the high school football team he has full access to the gym daily.

On his own he began cutting out extra desserts, eating smaller portions and making sure to exercise to the best of his ability.  He is now able to run a mile and works on that and his weights 5 days a week. 

And I'm so proud of him.  I told him he's one of the biggest reasons I was inspired to get with the program in recent weeks.  

Now instead of feeling bad for having a treat when he won't we enjoy talking about the treats we do enjoy once in a while and about how much better we feel when we skip the unnecessary extras.  

Pre-Meeting Panic Thoughts

Since going back to Weight Watchers I've been weighing in on Monday mornings and my routine has been exactly the same every Monday morning. 

  1. Take my son to school.
  2. Come home and do devotions, drinking a cup of coffee and having my breakfast protein bar.
  3. Get dressed, in the same outfit every week, and go to the meeting. 

Well, I'm trying to make it a habit to go to the gym right after taking my son to school at least 4 mornings a week.  Often on Mondays I would go exercise after my meeting before going home again;  or I would skip my workout so I could go straight to running errands before returning home. 

This week I decided to change it up and get my workout done before the meeting so I could shower and be ready to run errands afterwards AND not have to skip exercise.  (I hope that makes sense..)

And let me tell you... it took me a few minutes to decide if I'd be okay exercising and showering before my weigh-in, because..

...What if my muscles swell up from exercising [and it makes me weigh more]?


...What if my hair is halfway damp [and it makes me weigh more]? 

It was pathetic, but the slight panic was so real also.  

I finally opted for going ahead with the exercise.  I decided to not worry too much about what the scale said and make this my new morning habit.  If it had an effect on the scale, then so be it, but it would even out over the coming weeks. 

Of course, my week had gone well and getting in a workout and shower prior to weighing didn't make me gain weight.  My prior week's worth showed up as a 2.8 lb. loss.  

All was fine.  

Before the meeting started I just sat there grinning to myself about how paranoid I was about changing my pre-meeting routine.  

Sometimes those little negative thoughts can be so paralyzing, and I'm grateful I got over it and got the exercise done.  We had a beautiful autumn day and after my WW meeting I loved running my errands and knowing my workout was already done.  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Here We Go! - Healthy Holidays Challenge 2016!! (and why I am hostessing this)

Today marks the beginning of the last 100 days of the year and you know what that means around here... the beginning of the Healthy Holidays Challenge 2016!  Woo Hoo! 

As of a few minutes ago there are now 14 of us signed up for this challenge.  I'm pleased.  It's a little nerve wrecking for me, because I personally know at least half of them.  [insert scared eyes emoji] (I need to figure out where those are for blogs??)

I have no problem sharing my story with perfect strangers, but when people I know or people who know people I know start finding out about my "secret life with weight issues" I get a little nervous.  

I know I can't be the only one who feels like that, but I do. 

Those as slightly embarrassed as I get I also get excited, because I haven't given up.  

There's no need to be ashamed or even embarrassed, because my story hasn't ended.  It's had bumps in the road, but it's not over.  It's become something I'm passionate about, because if I can change anyone can and that's the message I try and share. 

My desire to share this message is why I decided to hostess this challenge and it's what helped me post this photo comparison to Instagram this week.  My type A personality likes to follow rules and be honest, so I decided I would show everyone exactly where I'm at.  If they are going to follow me on a challenge then they deserve to know I'm honest and I'm right there with them on this journey. 

It was hard. 

I didn't like showing that I'm not the girl in the middle photo anymore.  This is silly since most people already know that.  However, it's one thing to have everyone know, and even to know yourself, it's another thing to actually admit to it and be okay with it.

Only really in the last week or two have I finally come to a place where I am okay with the 35-pound gain I'm carrying.  I'm finally able to see that these past 2 1/2 years back have taught me a few things about myself and how I handle stress.  

Funny, but I'm ultimately coming to a place where I am okay with the fact that we will always keep learning as we age.  I didn't realize how hard I fought with being a perfectionist until I faced some struggles and couldn't grasp the fact that "at least I am learning it now".   

Before I go on with that thought, suffice it to say I'm okay with that now.  I'm beginning to feel at peace with what I've gone through, that my way of handling things was how I handle things and whether it was the best way to handle it or not it's okay.  

I've taken note and I'll keep working on it.  

And I will continue to strive to inspire others with my journey and encourage them not to give up on their health during busy seasons or stressful times.  Thus, the challenge.  

But one more thing... even if the challenge ended today, the response I've had to my honesty about where I'm at has been so inspiring back to myself.  I'm challenged to be a hostess/leader that this group deserves, and I am looking forward to sticking to my own goals and seeing what this season brings to all of us. 

Have a good weekend folks!  Thanks for stopping by and thanks for indulging me in my long-winded posts.  [insert heart emoji]  Yeah...gotta go figure that emoji thing out... LOL  :P

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I Had to Ignore the Scale

Sunday as I was getting ready for church I was feeling slim.  No bloating going on and just generally feeling good about getting regular exercise in all week and not eating 'til I felt stuffed at any meal.  

Monday morning I felt pretty much the same.  I hadn't tracked my food all week, so I really didn't know if I'd done well on the food front, but I felt like I'd had a good week. 

Then I stepped on the scale at my Weight Watchers meeting.  

+1.4 lbs.


Hhmm... I know I had a little too much food some days, point wise, but I didn't expect a gain after getting regular exercise in.  I even started using weights. 

Oh yeah.  I started using weights.  [lightbulb]

As I gathered up my things and headed to my seat I made a choice.  I chose to ignore the scale and instead be grateful for what I did well. 

I decided I would fix what needed fixing (I need to track consistently again.) and I would keep exercising like I have been.  My exercise has been cardio in a "heart rate zone" for 30 minutes at a time -- nothing drastic -- and I did start adding in weights 3 days a week.   

It wasn't easy to let go of that frustrating "gain", but I know better.  I've been at this long enough to know exercise isn't out to hurt me and I know the benefits will eventually show up on the scale.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Healthy Holidays 2016 Sign-Up

This is the official blog sign-up for the Healthy Holidays Challenge being hosted by myself, Leah, of "My New Ending".  :) 

Information and guidelines for this challenge are on this post:  Introducing ... Healthy Holidays Challenge 2016.  There are a few guidelines since there will be a drawing for a prize box at the end of the challenge.  

If you have signed up on my Instagram account (@mynewnending) you do not have to set your goals here, but you may if you'd like.  I'll have check-in posts every Friday, beginning September 23, both here and on Instagram.  

My goals this season are as follows: 

  1. I will exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes, 4-5 days a week.  No specific type, just something intentional that gets my blood moving.  
  2. I will track my food at least 6 days a week.  I am currently following Weight Watchers to help me stick to some boundaries and get this extra weight back off.  However, I originally lost 70 pounds by learning to eat better and eat less of higher calorie foods.  No matter what I ate I just tracked it, and that's my goal for this season.  No matter if I'm over my points (calories) I will track it.  
  3. I will drink at least 32 ounces of pure water a day.  I LOVE coffee, and even hot tea in the winter, and I can easily get sidetracked by diet sodas, but I've been feeling the lack of water hydration lately.  So, this goal needs to be set.  I have a 32-ounce water bottle I love to use and my goal is to empty it at least once daily.  
  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.  Holidays are emotional times and I need to remember to do what's best for me;  and not fall into people-pleasing mode.
The more I think about it, the last goal is probably the most important for me.  I have thoughts I'd like to share another time about why that is so important.  

If you're unsure about what goals to set, or think any goal will seem crazy to someone else...well, check out my previous post on how nervous I was about the goals I set -  Setting My Challenge Goals. 

But if you're ready, comment below and let me know if you'd like to join the challenge and what your goal(s) are for this holiday season. 

Setting My Challenge Goals

Today is the day.  Today I posted my goals for the Healthy Holidays Challenge on my Instagram account.  To be honest, I would have posted them on Monday, but I had to take a minute to seriously think about what I could realistically commit to.  

Interestingly enough, this week's Weight Watchers meeting was about planning for success.  Talk about perfect timing.  I wanted to share with everyone at the meeting about my challenge in case anyone locally wanted to join me, but I didn't have the opportunity, and since it's not promoted by WW it may not have been welcome without prior permission anyway.

Buuut....I digress. 

Setting goals for myself was hard, because I didn't want to (A) set goals I couldn't stick to and/or (B) set goals that might make others think I was being too strict.

Yeah.  Let's repeat that. 

"I didn't want to .... (B) set goals that might make others think I was being too strict." 

What?!  Isn't that crazy?  But it's true. 

I found myself worrying I would set goals that would make others think, "During the holidays??  You want to make sure to track your food?? "  etc. etc. 

But in actuality this completely contradicts the whole reason for this challenge.  

The point of a challenge is to challenge ones self and to work hard; for me it is also about accountability, encouragement and supporting one another.  

So, setting goals to challenge myself and then worrying I would be criticized for said goals is crazy thinking. 

In years past I have observed this challenge, and others before it, challenge myself and others to keep somewhat of a focus on living a healthier life while still enjoying the goodie-laden, full-scheduled holiday season. 

And not once did that support ever include shaming.  

Instead every week was about accountability and encouragement to do better.  That encouragement helped me to keep focus and I look forward to it doing the same this year.  

Maybe on another Instagram post I'll share how I came to set my goals, how I have made the decision that focusing on the basics is what helped me lose weight and maintain it in the past and how I personally can't put off what's best for my body just because Christmas is coming.  Some years I can, but not this time.  

That's probably my people-pleasing self writing the above paragraph.  While editing this post I realized I most likely do not need to write a post explaining why I chose the goals I made, do I? 



I feel challenged, as the hostess of this challenge, to be a leader and set an example.

I want others to know that I'm here to work hard next to them, but also to encourage them to enjoy this season without added guilt.  

So, now that I've gotten over my [apparently still lurking] insecurities about being honest I shall proceed with an official blog sign-up post next.

Oh, and because I know you're probably curious.... 

I hope you can join me in this challenge, but if not... keep checking in here and hopefully you'll find some encouragement from my journey.  

NOTE:  If you don't need/want the pressure to sign-up officially I will be posting a free printable by the end of the week that you can use to write out your goals and check in on them yourself as these final months of 2016 progress.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Introducing ... Healthy Holidays Challenge 2016

It's that time of year again!  With fall barely beginning to peak out in some parts of the country, the Halloween candy is filling the aisles, the fall (and even Christmas) decor is stacked in the craft stores and men and women who worry about their health are already beginning to talk about how they will make it past the mounds of candy, baked goods and food gatherings. 

Well, if I may offer a suggestion... 

But first a little back story:  For a few years in the beginning of my weight loss journey a blogger did a "Hot 100" challenge to help us focus on our health during the last 100 days of the year.  Then it stopped as life took over. 

Because it was so motivating for me, last year I thought it would be nice to revive that concept and I hosted my own challenge.  It seemed to go over real well with the participants (you'll hear from a couple next week) and helping others enjoy the holidays without throwing caution to the wind in turn helped me as well. 

Plus, all participants, who stick with it, will be entered to win a healthy prize package at the end of the challenge! Woot!  Free stuff! [grin]

Here are the details: 
Challenge begins:  Friday, September 23, 2016
Signup:  Here on the blog or on my Instagram account @mynewending on the "Commitment/Goal Announcing" Post. 

Challenge Guidelines:

  1. You must set at least one health-related goal for yourself.  It is your choice if you'd like to pick a goal that challenges you for the seasons or that will help you simply stay on track throughout the season.  
  2. Feel free to pick more than one goal.  One year I picked a physical goal and and emotional goal.  Be creative, really think about what YOU need to help yourself stay healthy while you enjoy your holiday season. 
  3. Check in every Friday with an update to how you are doing with your goal(s).  I will have a Friday post up both here and on Instagram for you to comment with your update. 
  4. You may miss up to 3 check-ins/updates to be eligible for the drawing at the end.  So, three weeks you can skip an update and still be in the challenge.  (This helps especially during Thanksgiving weekend and Christmas weekend and any traveling)
  5.  No shaming of others, including yourself.  If you need to challenge yourself, fine, but please let's be civil and remember we are all in this together. 
So, think about it and look for a formal "commitment" post next week to sign up.  I hope you can join me! 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

My Current Views

 Well, hello there! 

You know it's been a while since you blogged when you can't remember what you last talked about. [grin]

Our girls are moved, safe and sound and appear to be having the time of their lives.  Someone asked me if they have commented on the levels of homework or class work and no, they haven't.  I think the Advanced Placement classes they took last year prepared them well for hard classes and lots of homework;  either that or it's too early to tell. 

Instead I hear stories about things like the kid who read ever. single. label. on his clothing while sorting in the washers at the dorm laundromat and how fun it is to get together with friends on the weekends.  I'm getting good at using SnapChat too.  lol
Books are on the shelves now, just need to hang wall decor. Woot!
Meanwhile we have also moved and are done with that stressful mess, well...done cleaning the old place.   I'm about 75% settled in the new one.  Yeah, if I can help it I like to move in and make a place home asap.   

In case you care why it was stressful (I don't think I've ever been as stressed in a move as I was this time.) An apartment became available early, so we could move by the end of August (versus by September 15th), but it put us in a stressful state trying to pack and move and clean all in about 10 days, with my husband not having a weekend day off.  

I'd say we shouldn't have done that, but when we got our full deposit back and we've saved on extra rent from an overlap that would've occurred this month... I guess it was worth it.  
I was walking so fast my camera was shaky. Ha!
Now that the move (or moves..) is (are) done I feel settled and more focused on my health.  We only moved 5 minutes from our old house, which thankfully still leaves me close to my gym.  Yay!  So, I've been back there and today I went for a walk at a park down the street from my house.  I ran into many walkers and a runner or two.  It's still very warm and humid here in the mornings, but being outside is so refreshing.  

I'll leave you with this quote that was on the display during my Weight Watchers meeting this week.  We were to look over our summer and see what we could change or would do the same.  

It gave me some things to think about and hopefully I'll share them along the way, until then..I'm doing better. I'm alive and now I need to fold laundry and maybe hang up some wall decor.  :)

Thanks for stopping by!