"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 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!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Changing Routines

Note:  This is a photo-less post, because I'm squeezing some blogging in between packing boxes. :)

Hi!  I'm alive and the girls are moved and settled at their colleges! :)

It continues to be quite busy around here, because we are also now moving.  However, it's working out pretty good -- the second college student move ended and we came home with perfect time to focus on our own move.

I also feel more ready to focus on my health.  One of the things I am working on is making sure to get some exercise in daily.  To make it as regular to me as my morning devotions; so necessary that I feel lost if I skip it.  

To be honest, exercising is easy for me when I don't have a lot going on, but when I get busy it's the first thing to go.  I don't always regret that, as it is sometimes what my schedule requires, but I know intentional exercise is key for me to be healthier.

Making sure to get exercise in has required me to rethink my days a little and I'm finding that it works out nicely if I get it done directly after taking my son to school.  This means I come home and do my devotions after exercise, which I was hesitant to do because I like to start my day with devotions before any distractions set in.  

When I'm at the gym, or walking, my mind begins to think about the day and it takes a bit of focus to block it all out for just a little longer to spend some time in prayer.  However, I've followed this new schedule for a few days and it's gone just fine.

Changing up my routine is a little uncomfortable, but I think as I really think about what's important to me and make decisions to take care of those priorities I will be a better person for it.