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 102014
 

Its late on my first full day here in Cancun and you might wonder why the heck am I blogging? Well, its not like I’m a daily or even weekly blogger anymore, I blog when I’m inspired by something to talk about. Tonight, I am inspired to talk about my progress with The Emily Program and how it has taken a huge chunk of anxiety out of my life. I know I’ve already talked about how much better my anxiety and my eating habits are, but holy cow I can really tell now that I’m on vacation.

When we are in our day to day life at home there are healthy decisions that need to be made all day….what to eat, what to wear, what’s on my schedule today, feed the cats, feed the husband (teehee), hit the showers, scheduled exercise, blah blah blah.

But, here in Cancun at an all-inclusive resort, everything is in slow-mo….hardly any decisions and I can take my time to make them, plus they aren’t that hard…..pina colada or a mojito? Heehee

In the past, I would have really noticed my tendency towards compulsive eating and my anxiety when on vacation. I would have been saying to myself all the time, “Well, I’m on vacation I might as well eat this and this and this and that and that and that……..” which would trigger guilt and anxiety afterwards OR I might have been on the other side, before I learned intuitive eating, and I could on vacation while on a “diet” Oy…that would have sucked, there are so many wonderful foods here…fresh tropical fruits, fun drinks, outstanding traditional style tacos, room service, gourmet restaurants in the hotel etc etc……being on a “diet” would have thrown my darn anxiety off the charts.

But after today, I feel fantastic.  I had more than your average number of adult beverages on the beach today, not that I was counting.  We ate every few hours when we were hungry, a nosh of tacos here, a bit of fruit there, some happy hour veggies and dip, some yummy salad and steak for dinner…..no worries, no woes, just yummy fuel on a magnificent day at the beach.

Small aside…I was finally able to go back to regular exercise after 3 months of physical therapy. I’m happy to say that after 1 month of Megan K’s Fit Body Boot Camp I’m down 3 inches off my body. No diet food, just 3-5 days a week of 30 minute boot camp sessions and intuitive eating with the instruction of my dietitian at the Emily Program (its not a food plan or a diet) 🙂 I know some people progress faster, but this is just perfect for me 🙂

<3

Merbear

Oct 092013
 

Two weeks ago I couldn’t fall asleep, I was distraught, uncomfortable and crying. I knew that the Emily Program and overcoming an eating disorder would be a long process.  A process that had to start with abolishing all food rules and learning to listen to my body. Then, I slowly learned to listen to my body and I learned the guidelines for fueling my body with what I need…and without judgement.

I spent about 2 months eating what my body craved and wanted, learning to be comfortable with not worrying about food.  That worry slowly subsided and my brain felt so much clearer, I felt so much better with everything day to day. My general anxiety lightened up….but my body didn’t…I went up about 2-3 sizes.  I had to go back to shopping at Lane Bryant, I had to put away all the cute clothes that I got in 2012 when I lost all that weight…

Now, I don’t hate myself for  that, I love myself for getting over an eating disorder and for doing what my brain needs. I could have continued on with diets…and lost weight, not gained weight…but I would have just yo-yo’ed again, its inevitable with my eating disorder history. But, even though I’m happy about the progress in my head, I was incredibly sad about what it did to my body….I was ready to just quit the Emily Program and go back to Weight Watchers…or something…..I wanted the blob attached to me to go away!!

My husband recommended that I tell exactly that to my dietitian, that I was done with putting on and maintaining weight, I needed to start working towards a weight loss goal immediately or I’d have to leave therapy.  At first I was so nervous, I didn’t want to lose my therapy or my dietitian, I had come so far.  I did it though, I kinda teared up as I told her what I needed, fearing she’d tell me that we weren’t done with learning to live without rules and learning about food exchanges and portion sizes..that it would be awhile longer. That I’d have to make the decision to leave when I wasn’t done….

But…she told me I was definitely ready to utilize my success in clearing my head of food rules and food anxiety and move forward with sculpting all the food exchange guidelines into portions/servings that had a weight loss goal.  YIPPEE!!!

Besides the fact that I have to keep a bit of a closer eye on my portions and I have specific servings a day of the different food exchange groups, this isn’t hard to do.  I have been learning and building my way up to this.  If I make a mistake…have too little or too much…its just a mistake, and because of dropping my emotional attachments to food..and my anxiety about food…I don’t obsess, I don’t blow the day or the week…I just move on.  Not that I’ve messed up really. Its only been 2 weeks and the food plan is just real food….all real food…any type of food..and lots of flexibility and exchanges….yes, I”ve been hungry a couple nights…but I realized that some of the food combinations I chose may not have been the best to satisfy me, so I adjusted…and it was okay.

The best part…I’m not craving some big snack attack, some big binge, a whole pizza or a mountain of ice cream….because I know…all those things are there…and will always be there…and I can have them whenever I want.  When I do have them, I don’t have to eat a ton, because again..I can always come back later, the next day or the next week and have it again.

Nothing is forbidden, nothing is wrong, nothing is bad…food is fuel and I use it to make my body healthy.

Some day in the future…like a special occasion…the goal of “weight loss” may not be my #1 priority..instead it might be to relax on vacation, enjoy new foods, have a drink…etc….well that’s okay…I have to go by what my priority is. But right now, my priority is the goal of weight loss..so I’m focusing on the Emily Program guidelines to obtain that.

If you are interested here they are:

6 – 8 servings of protein a day (1 oz of cooked meat is a typical protein, this also includes nuts and vegetarian proteins in other amounts)

2 servings of milk a day (a serving is 1 cup of milk, 1 oz of cheese etc)

5 servings of grain a day (a serving is 1/2 cup of cereal or rice, 3/4 cup of yogurt, a few ozs of crackers etc)

2 servings or more of veggies a day at a minimum, more is always welcome (1 cup of raw vegetables is a serving)

3 servings of fruit a day (handfruit, fruit in yogurt, applesauce, etc)

3 servings of fat a day (1 tsp of butter, 1 TBS heavy cream, 3 TBS hummus, etc)

1/2 Dessert a day (think of this as half of a premium dessert or a WHOLE lighter dessert like a Skinny Cow cone or 1 cup of light ice cream)

 

This is extremely manageable and gives me more than enough food, plus there are a lot of foods that fall in more than one category and so they can be exchanged around….like 1 oz of cheese can be a protein OR a milk..whee!

 

Alright this post has gotten long and I wanted to let you all know how I’m doing.  I’m open to answering any questions and also hearing what you guys think about what I’m doing and how I ‘m doing!

Soon, I will learn if I can actually look at the scale again, I haven’t since March!! MARCH!! It feels kinda good, but now I want to see how my weight loss goal efforts are panning out, 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

 

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

Oct 032012
 

Okay this is kinda of a mish mash post of updates and this ‘n that.

Don’t forget, through Thursday, WIN A CASE OF POPCHIPS!

Since I came home from Fitbloggin I came down with a bit of a cough/cold, so while I have been doing my strength training 2x a week, the cardio has been a no…even a brisk walk was kinda making me hack up a lung. I plan to get back into running today…woo! I think I’ll be able to walk/run…my nose is still a bit stuffy, but its basically nothing.

I’m excited to run in the Moster Dash 5K here in Minneapolis at the end of the month, I’m going to run as super girl! Even with missing a week of running due to being sick…I hope to PR in this one! I’ve heard this is a pretty crowded run, and I definitely want to have fun, so if “PR”ing isn’t in the works due to the fun factor, I won’t be disappointed. I’m excited to do a halloween run!

Anyone else doing a Halloween theme costume run? What are you dressing as?

I’ve also been re-focusing as I posted earlier this week!  While in one week a person may not lose a lot of weight, (I have lost, just check out my widget on the left), I feel so much better. I love this kinda “de-tox” feeling….cravings go away or are easy to push aside, my tummy feels happy, I feel more ready to go.  Eating healthy is just so good for us all around, right?

Speaking of food….I have something to share AND a question:

This is my favorite fall salad to have, yup pretty basic because of Slimgenics, but tasty and easy!

Chicken, Apple, & Celery Salad

Umm…YUM!!  Chop up celery, cooked chicken, your favorite apple…mix it up with some heart healthy olive oil mayo…..I like to make some toast to scoop some of it up with.  My FAVORITE apple in the fall is honeycrisp!!!

Now for the question….arugula.  My grocery store was out of plain old bags of spinach….so I got a bag of spinach & arugula mixed together.  Normally I use bagged spinach to make green monster shakes. Well, sadly….arugula is way too bitter to go in shakes…I ruined a shake with it…boo.

What should I use this with?

 

What do I do with arugula or more specifically a spinach & arugula mix? (I know I could just have salad, so not that please)

That’s about it for me today! Thanks for reading, I love your comments, too!

<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

Jun 172012
 

Alright running shoes……

Meet biking jersey and biking shorts…..   

Now that I’m done with the Minneapolis Marathon Relay I am elated to #1 FIT into my old bike shorts and #2 start training for the Minneapolis Duathlon on Sunday, August 26th!

The Du is a 5K, an 18 mile bike ride, then another 5K.   My friend Kelly, who just finished the GRANDMA’S MARATHON this weekend will be riding in the Du as a veteran. I also have some other friends that are running/biking for the first time like me! I’m super excited for what is supposed to be a fun event.

But, what I’m MORE excited for is to mix in BIKING with my running. Since the running is 6.2 miles total, which I have experience with…(crazy that I can say that!)..since I did the Get Lucky 7K and my portion of the Minneapolis Marathon was 5.5 miles….I can do maintenance on the running front and really get into re-honing my biking skillz.

MS 150 2009

Now, why do I say “re”honing..(as if that’s a word)…because I used to be an AVID biker.  Notice the blue jersey I’m wearing in the 2nd picture?  That’s a National Multiple Sclerosis Society Lifetime Rider jersey. That means that I participated in MS rides for at least 7 years.  Which I did…7 years in a row I did the MS-150 in Minnesota. Which is 2 days, 150 miles of bike riding. I stopped for a couple reasons, #1 my team broke up and #2 my bike was stolen 🙁

Last year I got a new bike and so did my fiancee (teehee, love saying that)…and now I can USE IT!

My first real bike ride back in the saddle is today…with my dad for Father’s Day…we’re going to ride the Greenway to Lake Calhoun…I’m really looking forward to it!

So be prepared to see my stats on Dailymile include running AND biking.

A few other tidbits..

….I’m back full force on my Slimgenics…I didn’t really stop doing it, I just let a few non-plan foods slip in during my engagement and birthday celebrations (only a few days)….I’m down 46 lbs and counting….I want to lose a total of 65 for now (based on how I feel as I get there)…so 19 left!!

In another post I’ll show you the cute new outfits I got from Ann Taylor Loft, I’m so proud to be a size 12 and a Medium there! My favorite store (I kid you not!) It had been so long since I could shop there that my store credit card had deactivated…but now…I’m going to be a regular customer. I used to buy lots of capris and tops from them…but, for the first time in my life…I *love* skirts and dresses! So, watch out world…cute Merbear is coming ‘atcha!

<3 Merbear

May 272012
 

I’m getting married!!!!!!

I have 15 lbs or so left to lose on Slimgenics, I’m running in a marathon relay on June 3rd and I’m getting married!

I’m not going to post all about getting married or making this a wedding blog or anything like that here…but, its a big life change and obviously affects me so here and there you guys will definitely hear about how my wedding plans tie in with my weight loss, future weight maintenance, running, food, etc etc!

So first…here’s some engagement pics from Ryan proposing to me last night (May 25th):

 

My love

Happy Girl!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Engagement Ring

 

Wedding Band

 

Other than this amazing development in my life..

….I’m going to run 5 miles on Memorial Day with Kelly she brought my Minneapolis Marathon Relay team together! She is such an amazing friend and an inspiration in determination to achieve goals. She’s been training since 2011 for the Grandma’s Marathon this summer. I am so proud of her, Follow the link and check out her blog!

My other relay team friends are Amanda and Corryn!

Who’s legs are those?

 awesome, nsv, progress, Successes  Comments Off on Who’s legs are those?
May 142012
 

On Sunday afternoon, I was waiting in the car at the mall while Ryan ran an errand. I was sleepy from the warm sun and a tasty, healthy ahi tuna salad lunch.

I was in the passenger seat in the front of the car. I kicked off my shoes, moved the seat back and put my feet up on the dash….Aaah naptime.

I opened my eyes in the middle of my dozing and looked up….Uuh, aré those MY skinny legs? Well, I can feel when I touch them. They have familiar scars, definitely my pale color.

Dang! I HAVE SKINNY LEGS!

image