Category Archives: challenge

Social dieting – do you participate?

Do you share your fitness journey on social media?  I do.  I share the good and bad, and have found a tribe of like-minded folks who support and share as well.  My feed is full of people at all stages of the fitness journey and it helps me keep motivated and focused. Note:   I compete with myself and see other’s journeys as theirs alone.  My progress is mine and where I am is directly related to me and former versions of me. 

Support and challenge groups are not new, but a new type of challenge is on the rise.  If you follow fitness accounts on social media, you’re sure to run across calls for challenges or bets that award prizes to the biggest loser.  Some challenges call for pledges of  $5, $10, $25 or more and the winners get to split the pot at challenge end.  I haven’t participated in this sort of challenge, but they are many.  Studies show that incentive-based challenges may increase motivation and success.  A Mayo Clinic study on “Individual- Versus Group-Based Financial Incentives for Weight Loss” not only found that “sustained weight loss can be achieved by financial incentives” and that “financial incentives can improve results, and improve compliance and adherence,” but lead author, Jeffrey T. Kullgren, M.D., M.S., M.P.H., also cited the advantages of social dynamics for employers offering such awards to help control health care costs while also improving the health of employees, noting, “We found that these incentives were substantially more powerful when delivered in groups…” The study concluded that “A group-based financial incentive was more effective than an individual incentive.”  A Brown University suggests that shedding pounds can have a “contagious” ripple effect and concluded that social networks and teamwork play a significant role in enhancing weight loss outcomes in weight loss interventions.

If you want to start or join a cash prize challenge to kick off 2016 with a bang, consider signing up with HealthyWageHealthyWage provides cash incentives, social and expert-based support, tools and resources, and goal-setting and tracking technologies to address our nation’s obesity epidemic and improve America’s collective health.  How does a $10,000 top prize sound to you?  One top winner, Kristin Westerfield of Indianapolis, IN lost 114 pounds and won $4,000.

Are you a social dieter?  Which platform do you use?  Does it keep you motivated?

 

Sources: 

N.A. Christakis and J.H. Fowler, “The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network Over 32 Years,” New England Journal of Medicine 357(4): 370-79 (July 2007)
Teamwork Makes Weight Loss More Fun & Successful

Leahey, T.M., Kumar, R., Weinberg, B., Wing, R.R., “Teammates and Social Influence Affect Weight Loss Outcomes in a Team-based Weight Loss Competition,” Obesity, 20 7, 1413-18 (2012)

http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1671710

August is here!

Yes, it’s a new month complete with a new tropical storm (hi, Bertha).  Kids are heading back to school, tax-free shopping weekend sales are starting,  and the thought of a quiet house between 8 and 3 pm is making parents giddy.

Sorry, kids.  Well, no, not really.

To me, the start of a new month is time to reflect on the gains of the previous month and set new targets for the current month.  Notice I said gains?  It’s my way of focusing on the positive.  In July I increased resistance, speed, and strength.  I hit a smaller size.  I wanted to shop for clothing instead of just grabbing whatever I thought would fit.  It sunk in that I need to eat if I’m going to succeed.  No more drastic cuts to calorie intake.   For August I want to increase my aquatic therapy sessions.  I want to wear a certain top and have it look good.  I want to improve on July’s fitness targets.  See, all positive and also realistic and attainable.   It took years to fall apart and it takes time to fully recover, heal, and thrive.

What are your August targets?  You can reach them.  I’ll be right here, cheering you on.

June already? What’s your plan?

Can you believe 2014 is already six months old?  June is already 11 days old?  Where did the time go?  Are you on track?  Anywhere close to where you wanted to be?  I’ll admit it,  I’m not.   And I won’t let it throw me much.  I’ll tweak my plans and go month to month.

My plan was in part inspired by a dream.  I’ve been back and forth to the doc and specialists (yes, plural) trying to finally figure out what all ails me.   It’s exhausting and frustrating and frightening if I K et my mind wander too much.  More so if I consult Dr. Google instead of waiting to for a specific diagnosis.   According to Google,  cold symptoms could be anything from a cold to a rare syndrome that would put someone just outside death’s door.  No one needs that kind of stress or fear without knowing what’s going on inside them.

So, back to this dream.  Of course I dreamed about a doctor visit.  I mean, it’s been at least 33% of my focus for a while now.  So, I’m waiting for the doc to walk in, and it’s Kris Carr!   You know, the woman behind Crazy, Sexy Cancer.  Her.

I was so in awe and blown away.  I think seeing her was a sign.  Not that a cancer diagnosis is looming, but that I’m doing the right thing by following up with the docs and working on healing.  Another round of physical therapy starts next today   My diet is cleaning up and even more greens are coming in.  My healthier cookbooks are my main kitchen inspiration and I’m eating to live.

There they are, two of my inspirations!
There they are, two of my inspirations!
One of my go-to's for healthy vegan eats.
One of my go-to’s for healthy vegan eats. Lindsay Nixon photo.
A fav dish from Crazy Sexy Kitchen.  Sherrie Thompson photo.
A fav dish from Crazy Sexy Kitchen.  This and the tahini dressing that is.
I'll hit the library more often than the bookstore for new inspiration.
I’ll hit the library more often than the bookstore for new inspiration.

I don’t want to just survive anymore.  I want to thrive, glow, and kick ass.

So, what’s happening with you?  Have any good dreams lately?

I’m working toward a stronger, healthier me. Join me?


You all know that I’m semi-broken and in pain 95% of the time.  What you might not know is I’m not going to let that stop me from reaching my goals.  It might take a little longer than others on the same path, but it’s not a race.  I’ll get there when I get there; without making things worse for myself like I have in the past.

Yoga and Pilates are good for my flexibility, building some strength, and helping me handle pain better.  But I need more.  I need to get in more exercise (a mix of fun cardio and strength training) and to eat better.  I’m learning as I go along.  The veggie path isn’t enough on its own; it has to have more veggies and less veggie junk food.  More water and less veggie junk food.  Notice I said ‘less’ and not ‘no,’ lol. Balanced meals that give me everything I need are on the menu, whether at home or out.   


From now through July 31, there is a killer deal on Beachbody.com – challenge yourself for 30 days for just the cost of shipping.   You can try P90X, Brazil Butt Lift, or Turbo Fire, a month of Shakeology in your choice of flavor, and a 30 day membership in Team Beachbody’s Club for $14.95.  If you decide you don’t like them or want to go a different route, just cancel and return the DVDs.  But if you like how you feel and what you see, stick with it.  Then you’ll be charged the full price for the challenge pack.  Interested?  Visit http://beachbodycoach.com/WAHMinSCor email me. 

I’m not alone in this and neither are you. Slow, steady, consistent progress is what I’m going for.  What about you?


Feel free to ask anything about my routine (a mix), my menu (gluten-free veggie), my mood, and/or progress.  I’m all in and not scared of questions.  

I miss being vegetarian

I do. I miss the challenge of making veg an vegan meals work for the carnivore hubby & son. I miss the shorter clean up time after making dinner. I miss how I felt.

So far I’ve been able to easily drop pork from my menu. It’s very easy because hubby keeps referring to puppy Fred as a pig. Eggs and cheese may always stay on my plate, but I did just fine when I removed the other things. I just got a little lazy and wanted to make things easier. I knew that DD would happily ignore meat, but my boys are a different story. DS even requested steak for his birthday dinner next week.

Yep, my boy (S actually) will be 11 next week. Time flies! In no time I’ll be the shortest one in the house, and I’m 5′ 6.”

What else to share this time. Oh, I’ve dropped another pound, but am down more inches. I’m still trying to figure that out, but I’m not going to complain. I’m hitting my target on the Women’s Challenge of 150 minutes minimum and 2 days of muscle building. I’m ahead of hubby in the hubby v. wife weight loss challenge. Weigh in is on 6/28 – wish me luck! He’s falling back into his bad habits when I’m not around. Bad for him, and me, but good as far as the challenge is concerned.

It’s late and I have an interesting Saturday planned, so I need to call it a night. I may start posting my weekly menus; at least lunch and dinners. I keep track offline, so why shouldn’t I share with you?

Happy Father’s Day weekend! I miss you, daddy.

Be well, all.

Another 2 pounds gone, another inch here and there

Yep, I’m getting smaller and Hubby says my butt is higher. Neato! I’m still watching my portions, keeping my protein and simple carbs in check, and going ballistic on fruit and veggies. I like how I’ve been feeling!

The kids are out of school now, so it will be just loads of fun to exercise around them. Really – no sarcasm there. We bought a Wii Fit last week after Hubby & the kids argued over who would rule supreme on a snowboard and I’ve been on it 4 times so far. It’s addicting and it is possible to work out a sweat on that thing. Today I hit Super Hula Hoop, a run, a few strength training exercises, a little soccer, and hit the snowboard, all in 31 minutes. I loved it! Hubby was blown away by my score on the plank position (he can’t remember ever seeing me do it, sigh) and feels the need to beat my scores. Snort! Ain’t happening!

On the food front, my fav breakfast these days is a fruit salad topped with a dollop of fat free plain yogurt, flax seeds, oatmeal, and a tsp. of local honey. It’s really good! DS has been snacking on it and DD just goes from her fruit plain. In general we’ve all been eating a lot cleaner. Both of the inlaws are diabetic, so Hubster wants to do whatever he can to avoid that diagnosis. He’s pre-diabetic now, so changing the family’s way of eating has become more of a priority.

On the exercise front, in addition to the new game, I’ve again signed up for the Woman Challenge. So far, I’ve met or exceeded my goals for the past 4 weeks and am going strong. Swing by, take a look, and join me.

The Woman Challenge - May 10-July 4, 2009 - womenshealth.gov - Join

Until next time, see ya!

The next 4 weeks

…will consist of final exams, a huge IT Networking project, new house stuff (cleaning, painting, ripping up carpet & finishing hardwood floors, reglazing bathroom tiles, work, school stuff for the kiddos, snuggling with hubster, being knocked over by dogs (as usual), and following the routine that helped me when I started on a weigh loss journey a few years back. This will be my typical weekday routine:

  • Get hubster off to work
  • 15-20 minute walk with the dogs (well, hobble for me until my knee is back to 100%)
  • 8 Minutes in the Morning
  • Breakfast and supplements (multi+iron, GLA, CoQ10, joint formula, flaxseed oil, magnesium + calcium, something for pain if needed)
  • School & work
  • Family stuff – lunch with the kids, torturing them with my ‘uncoolness,’ dinner with my three favorite people
  • Afternoon or evening walk or yoga; meditation

On weekends I’ll get to skip the am dog walking cause hubster & the kids take over, and I may not have work, but everything else stays the same.

Program and personal goals

  • Start 7/14
  • 6-8 pounds down by 8/10 (218-220 the goal weight)
  • 190 by 12/31

Overall goals

  • 150 pounds
  • 45 minute to 1 hour karate or kickboxing class (or video) at least twice a week

I will look at myself the way hubby sees me.

When this 4 weeks is over, I’ll start a new cycle. I can eat what I want; nothing’s forbidden. I will play with my food as always, but will try new things more often. I’ll weigh in weekly, but will stay away from the tape measure for at least 2 weeks.