Apr 152014
 

I joined two challenges one is 8 weeks and one is 6.

They are both awesome for different reasons!

I’m doing Dacia’s Mother’s Day Healthy Living Challenge with Dacia’s blog My Roots to Grow and a Facebook support group. Dacia is a friend of mine that attends the annual Fitbloggin’ conference! Man, I’m so pumped for this year and being part of this challenge makes me even more excited!

I also joined a “Spring Body Transformation Challenge” with my local Fit Body Boot Camp in St Louis Park, MN.  This challenge is monetarily driven….if I don’t succeed at my goals, then the check I wrote at the beginning of the challenge will be cashed. We also have a Facebook support group,  motivational emails and personal texts/calls/assessments with the trainers.

Why I like both of these challenges:

#1 We created our OWN realistic challenges for Fit Body Bootcamp they are for the whole 6 weeks, for Dacia’s challenge they are weekly

#2 We have weekly check ins, daily encouraging posts or emails, and an online and/or in person support group made up of the leaders and the participants in the challege

#3 We determine whether or not we feel we’ve succeeded in our challenges…do we feel like we pushed ourselves, do we feel like we learned something or earned something mentally or physically…..then we succeeded and that’s what these challenges want!

#4 These are make yourself feel good using positive methods challenges!!!!

Progress Report:

Dacia’s challenge – week 4:

  • I have improved my pacing when I’m eating, thus my mindfulness and hearing my full signals
  • I have set the goal of 8,000 steps a day, and while I haven’t accomplished that everyday I have made a drastic improvement in my daily steps…it used to be around 3,000 now its around 5,000 on the days that I don’t make it to 8,000. I also do make up days where I get to 9,000 or 10,000 steps, so overall very good for me!
  • I have improved with eating a fruit or vegetable with every meal
  •  I now make sure and eat breakfast within an hour of waking up to get my metabolism moving

 Fit Body Boot Camp – Spring Body Transformation Challenge – Day 15

  • I regularly attend boot camp 3x a week and I’m on schedule to get there 4x a week starting next week!
  • I have lost 6.75″ off my body in the first 15 days of the challenge and I’ve lost 3 lbs (others have lost more, but this is the pace that is good for me, and that is OK for this challenge, I’m hitting MY goals)
  • I have learned that putting in that bit of extra effort….getting my butt to the gym, my feet moving a few more steps and being honest and diligent with a food journal will help me succeed in getting fit and healthy!

This is why group challenges and goals that are realistic yet challenging are GOOD for you!

What have you challenged yourself to do?

Are you in a group challenge?

Have you been in one in the past, what did you like or not like about it?  

Tell me! 🙂

<3 Merbear

Feb 252013
 

hmm

Food planning, food prepping, eating food, shopping for food, reading menus, reading nutrition labels…thinking about food when I’m not hungry, thinking about food when I am hungry.  Worried about what I eat before I eat it. Tracking every bite that goes into my mouth. Researching nutrition of every bite that goes in my mouth in order to track it.

I’m so sick of food! I want it out of my brain!  I hate having to constantly think about it!

I did a tracking challenge for the last 8 weeks and I succeeded. It was called “Progress not Perfection” and it was put on by Dani Holmes-Kirk..she is a friend of mine, a Weight Watchers leader and a blogger on “Weight Off My Shoulders”

The challenge was to track at least 5 out of 7 days a week for 8 weeks. Well, I tracked 7/7 most of those weeks. One week I was 5/7 and another I was 6/7, but I succeeded. It was January and February. Guess what? I didn’t lose weight. Nope, I never lied on my tracker…but I was constantly over points.

In the last two weeks I’ve made a push to get more activity in daily, its the focus of the month for Weight Watchers and I saw I need a minimum of 12 points of activity a week, which I wasn’t getting. So I walk more/run more I made a plan to do that in order to pump it up.  But guess what? I’m eating all those points…and still going over. BUT, at least its WAY less over than it was before.

I reset my “start” weight at WW last week hoping it would help motivate me only see the scale go down, but I fear I’ve failed again and the scale is going to go up on Wednesday. I’m exercising my butt off today and Tuesday in hopes to at least come out at a maintain…ugh, I hate food!

I’m hungry right now and I’m afraid to eat something because I’m afraid that its going to be the wrong thing to satiate my hunger and then I just wasted points on something that didn’t work on making me feel full. I will eat don’t worry, obviously I eat. But ugh, every day this is a challenge.

Then, if I go enough days without filling myself with what I”m craving, I finally bust out and eat a cheeseburger on the weekend or something. Which technically its fine, but I tried so hard to fill a craving all week that I really don’t have enough points for it.

Thanks for listening to me complain, I would LOVE if you guys have any ideas for staying within my points (if its calorie limits or food choice goals for you guys, that’s cool, too)!!

<3 Merbear

Jan 062013
 

I figured out my key to staying on track. Accountability.

Accountability to myself *and* accountability to the people who make up my support group.

Accountability to myself is *so* important, but its not always enough to keep me on track in challenging situations or when I’m feeling unmotivated or even wanting to give up for the meal/day/week etc.

Sometimes telling myself the reasons why I’m doing this and staying committed isn’t enough.

So how do I get that other support I need?  All of you wonderful people out there in the social media world as well as my awesome healthy friends locally, too.  Reaching out for help, sharing my journey and looking for other people that are sharing has been key to keeping me on track.

Whenever I think I’m not doing well and keeping it all in, kinda hiding my struggles instead of sharing them with my supportive people…it just gets worse until I really hit bottom.

If I get on my blog, or Facebook or Twitter and I share my challenges, ask for advice or just ask for a cheer when I do feel accomplished…it is just so much easier to get back on track and stay on track.

This week I found some truly awesome support groups to add on to the ones I have.

The first group I found is a challenge to track five out of seven days of the week. Its called Progress Not Perfection Trackstar. I *so* needed this group, it has over a hundred people and Dani Holmes-Kirk keeps us updated and motivated. Heck the whole group motivates each other with our tracking successes. Its for anyone who want so track…whether its points, calories, whatever. Its all about tracking. Dani blogs at Weight Off My Shoulders, and if you want…I’m sure she will accept more!

The second group I joined is actually a challenge on the Diet Bet website. This particular challenge already started and its been going about a week. The challenge is to lose 4% of your body weight in 4 weeks. To join a challenge you invite people to “bet” that they’ll get to the goal. If you get to the goal, you can win part of the pot. The plot is split amongst all the people that get to the goal.  So it isn’t about losing the most, its about getting to the goal.  The group is active with weigh-ins, status updates and, well I have $20 in the pot..so I want to succeed!

Also, over the years I’ve been following healthy bloggers and tweeters on Facebook, Twitter and in my RSS readers. I’ve taken the time to post on their blogs and get to know people. It totally helps when I know there are people out there reading what I have to say and caring about what happens. I care about them, too!

I want all my readers and friends out there to know how much I appreciate you and how I totally need you all as my support group and I’m here for you, too! Let me know if I can ever do anything for YOU!

*HUGS*
<3 Merbear

 

Dec 172012
 

I just need to get it out!

Last week, after a month at weight watchers, not only did I not lose, I gained back everything plus some that I lost in the last month! Whaaaat?  I’m so mad!

And now…its Monday….I have tomorrow and another weigh in coming up on Wednesday, and I do not want to go. I’m 50 points over..no, not 50 points over daily points…50 points over even if you count in my weeklies and my activity points! (not like I got many of those, that’s a whole different story).

I was going to turn it all around today….I ate a healthy breakfast, I packed a good lunch, I was all ready to go…and then…I got a fever on my way to work, hacking cough….could barely think….I basically got sent home…fine..ok…sick

I took some work home with me to occupy my time….but my feelings got in the way, I felt sick, mopey, blah…and I kept picking at the kitchen. Doesn’t it suck when you are too sick to go to work, but not sick enough to be stuck in bed sleeping…so you just, “mope”? I know you guys know where I’m coming from.

Oh but also too sick to walk on the treadmill, or go outside in the crummy/snowy/freezing rainy weather, or exercise…yeah my throat is bad…so all I can do is sit here, pouting, watching TV, and fighting every single second to not go into the kitchen.

Then I get home and hubby hides in the basement, totally not his fault, he doesn’t want to get sick, and I agree…but, I also don’t have a diversion from being BORED and feeling bad for myself.

So I’m hoping this complaining, whiny, feeling guilty about eating anything in my face post…helps me just sit here and be a grown up and quit eating…

Sigh….I just want to at least stay the same weight on Friday..please WW, be nice to me…

I think I will go to my WW meeting, even though I’m freaked as to what it’ll say 🙁

<3 Merbear

 

P.S. I need to look at this more maybe….

August 2011

August 2012

 

 

March 2012

 

Nov 2012

Nov 2012

Running Mojo & Internet Family – Pile On The Miles!

 awesome, C25K, friends, goals, Pile On The Miles, running, support, weight, Weight Loss Plans  Comments Off on Running Mojo & Internet Family – Pile On The Miles!
Oct 252012
 

I actually feel like running again! I figured out what makes me want to run….kinda obvious, but..I guess not for me til now. I need a race or a challenge to train for AND I need my online support system!

I do so much better when I have a plan…yeah, duh, Mer!

I’ve been kinda flopping around the last month or so in life in general and with running. Thank goodness I didn’t stop exercising because I have 2 days I week scheduled with a trainer…but until this week I only went running maybe TWICE in the last month and a half. I didn’t have any particular goal or any races.

Now, I have daily goals for self-improvement in my social media planning and writing, a running goal of re-doing all of C25K for SPEED vs. the distance, and the awesome Twitter #exerciseclub motivating each other daily with a workout move to achieve that day! I love reporting my results of workouts & runs to my social media family! Many of you I know personally and many I don’t, but I know you’re out there rooting for me. Its so wonderful when I hear from someone who found my blog or twitter account and learned something or could identify with me.

So my Internet Family….join a November challenge with me! The link is right over there on the left side of the blog! Pile on The Miles! This challenge is put on by Run, Eat, Repeat, on of my favorite blogs!  Here’s the link to all the info, sign up by Nov 1st!!!

Pile On The Miles

I’m back to consistently losing a little bit of weight every week (its slow, but at least its go!), so that is keeping me on plan..heck if I can manage 2 lbs a week I should be done by Thanksgiving, which I really really really want!! Eye on the prize!

What are YOU doing to stay motivated and fit as the holidays approach?

Do you think you’re going to join Pile On The Miles?

<3 Merbear

Refocus…eye on the prize

 control, Food, goals, guilty, lifestyle, popchips, progress, Setbacks, slimgenics, weight  Comments Off on Refocus…eye on the prize
Sep 282012
 

First…popchips, win them til Oct 5.

So, I may have not done the “stopped posting cause I’m not seeing results” thing that does happen to many bloggers….but I did do that “leeeeet’s keep it to myself that I gained weight back” thing. I didn’t go onto MyFitnessPal, like I had been, religiously, after every weigh in at Slimgenics..and update my gains. I was kinda embarrassed…everyone was so proud of me for losing 50 lbs…and at first I kinda just yo-yo’d…you know…down 50 lbs, down 48 lbs, down 49 lbs, down 47 lbs…then…it kinda went more like down 45 lbs, down 43 lbs…and yup…I’m down 38 lbs..even though I was 2 lbs away from 50 before my birthday.

Guys…summer is hard. Its not an excuse…its just a share…cuz I know the rest of you sometimes feel this way, too.

I actually don’t feel like winter holidays are as challenging as fun, spontaneous, bbq, boat ride, camping, fair, and concert filled summers. There are SO MANY freaking guides and tools for winter…the best foods to eat for holidays…how to avoid halloween candy, what’s the best way to fill your plate on thanksgiving. Plus, seriously, those holidays, at least to me are A DAY. I can hunker down and get tough on myself for A DAY..and do the positive self talk and food prep and planning.

BUT A WHOLE SUMMER…oh goodness, its been hard. Thank the bejeezus I only gained 10 lbs. Fortunately I didn’t have to go back to fat pants or something like that..but I noticed a little more annoying “flub” hanging over the waist line…my little tshirts that were finally super cute were looking a bit too floppy..you know the drill.

It also didn’t help that Ryan (my fiance), had hit maintenance…and while its still hard…he got to switch to just watching his balance of food groups and counting calories..he had no more “no-no” foods that Slimgenics blocks while you are in weight loss mode. I wasn’t eating out of spite that I was still on plan or something…I just was a little to “lax” with the rules…and it bit me in the butt! Until I reach a good lean body mass…my body isn’t as good at maintaining fat loss..and we all know fat attracts fat!

So NOW…I am going to buckle down….I’m going to get to goal by Thanksgiving…EYES ON THE PRIZE…I have to fight through Oktoberfest this weekend, Renaissance Festival, too. Some birthdays, some family events…even BEER SCHOOL…but I will DO THIS. Who’s with me?

I’m totally on board for #DontEatTheTreat on Twitter with @Tidbits_of_Tara and @redstar5 coming up next month through the holidays, too! Follow them on Twitter and/or their blogs to get in on the mindset!

What do you guys think? Is summer harder? Is winter harder?

<3 Merbear

Sep 162012
 

 

Do you ever have one of those days where you don’t want to start eating? Not because you’re afraid of food, or you’re wanting to starve yourself, but you just don’t want to do the work of planning the meal, making the meal, and recording the meal. It just,  once in awhile…feels like too much?

This happens to me…and its not because I want to be *bad*…its not because I want to eat foods that are off my healthy eating plan or something….I just, ugh, I’m feeling lazy…that’s all, plain and simple.

You folks know I’m finishing up Slimgenics now, but I’ve done Weight Watchers, My Fitness Pal, Sparkpeople, Ediets…all those things…and none of the eating plans really have a….”do whatever” type of plan.  Its obvious why, if I’m not conscious of what I’m eating…then the eating *can* go bad, so why would any plan want that to happen.

I always end up eating on these days, because like I said I’m not for starving myself or anything.  But, I usually do it when I am quite hungry and I’m annoyed at being hungry because it doesn’t feel good. Then I begrudgingly write down what I ate, which is usually an apple, or peach or something that is easy for me….and I move on..throughout the day, being annoyed at recording my food.  Again, not because I’d rather be eating bad for me food, just kinda, meh, about forever having to think about what I eat.

Usually by the next day I’m over the feeling and it goes away for at least a week if not more. Most of the time if it happens its on a weekend…when I want to turn my brain off.

Will I ever be able to turn my brain off about this stuff? I mean I remember to breathe, to blink, to look both ways before crossing the street..how much longer til I can just eat right? Ever?

I don’t really have a solution besides the fact that to survive, I eat…so don’t worry about me not doing that..

Thoughts?

<3 Merbear

Aug 212012
 

A few things have happened in the last couple of months!

I visited Cleveland with my fiance and ran an impromptu 5K with his cousins, I’m proud that I can just “run a 5K’ and be able to finish it without much planning.  If I train ahead then I can maybe PR or something, but if someone just asks me about running 5K or a 3 mile run around the lake…I can just do it…which is so nice.

I’ve been training for the Minneapolis Duathlon which is coming up this Sunday, the 26th.  Then I’m following that up with the Women’ Rock 10K the following Saturday..I’m very excited to be rounding out my summer with these challenging races!

I’ve been back to getting used to riding long distances on my bike and its like old hat. My body remembers and loves doing it.  So, I’m very much looking forward to the 15 mile biking portion of the Duathlon this week! It is a little challenging to move from the bike to the 2nd run…your legs are just kinda stuck in the biking mode…and you already just ran 3 miles before the bike ride, too.

I’ve been practicing my transitions and while my 2nd runs have been slow, they are doable and I know I will finish the Du and be extremely proud!

Another kinda bummer item that happened last week is I lost my full time job.  I think that this is a good change for me, its scary not having a job, but I’m ready to move into a career in social media, web content production, copywriting, white papers, and/or community management. I’ve been seeing a bunch of opportunities pop up, but if any of you blog followers out there want to send a recommendation or referral my way, that would be fantastic!

I need to be able to work to support my healthy habits!! 🙂  Yes, running technically is free….but as serious runners know…I need to make sure I have good shoes, healthy fuel, and the right running clothes and necessary accessories.  I also want to be able to keep going to my personal trainer, she keeps me well rounded and my muscles willing and able to run and bike!

With the summer there have been many eating challenges for me. I feel like there are so many lovely, fresh, tempting foods out there in the summer that just more easily tempt me. There are also many more social gatherings! Lots more strategizing, planning, and preparing for challenging eating situations all summer. Sometimes is really hard to stay focused and afloat.

This summer I have maintained my Slimgenics loss, lots of ups and downs, but maintaining.  I have another 20ish pounds to lose though, I want and need to be done with the weight loss portion. I thought I was focused again and then losing my job didn’t help. I’m not eating to fill emotions, I know this….but I’m just at home and lazy. I need to do like what I did for work….quick, filling breakfast…snack…lunch…snack…dinner. Almost like I should pack myself a lunch in the morning even though I’m not going anywhere. Hmm, this sounds like a good idea that I thought of while I was typing to you guys…I might just do that! At least “plan” my lunch, I don’t have to put it in a bag…haha!

That’s about it for now, I’m very happy to be back to blogging and connecting with all of you!

<3 Merbear

Apr 272012
 

image

So I haven’t run since Sunday…I did 4 miles that day, it went really well. Then on Monday night I was tired, on Tuesday I did pilates in the morning and got too busy at home. Wednesday morning my hips were super tight and hurt, I stretched but no running. Wednesday night, still ouchie. Thursday morning dentist, Thursday night lots of stretching and yoga cuz I was still super tight.

Since I missed two training runs Smart Coach downgraded me back to 3 mile practice ones. A decent time for 6 miles on Jun 3 is still predicted in my training plan, but I really need to get my butt in gear and run EVERY training run no matter what!

I think one of the reasons I was so tired this week is cuz LAST week was a high protein extremely low carb week on Slimgenics and I got so sick of eating meat that I didn’t eat even when I was hungry and had more food available for the day. I ate all my allowed carb things and then stopped eating. So that 4 mile run really drained me, oops.

Here’s to running this weekend AND my two runs this week! (I hope)

Jan 222012
 

The sucky:

Weighed in on Saturday afternoon and I was UP 1/2 lb from Friday afternoon.

The good:

I’m down 9 lbs in less than 2 weeks. I was probably UP because it was a different time of day than normal weigh in and my tummy wasn’t empty at weigh in like it normally is. Plus, <ahem> that girl thing.

The awesome:

I went to a birthday party last night.  There was GOOD beer being served and a taco bar that smelled amazing. Ryan and I ate dinner before hand and I cut up lots of on plan veggies and made a Tzatziki dip (sans cucumbers) that everyone (including Ry and I) LOVED.

I sliced red peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet baby broccoli and celery to bring along.

This is the yummy recipe (which I doubled)

This is from a member of the Slimgenics website:

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • garlic powder to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Morton’s light salt
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon dried dill and 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard

To make:

Stir together, chill in refrigerator at least 30 minutes, the longer the better though!