Tag Archives: fitness

New Year, New Goals

Standard


As we begin a new year, I am reviewing the goals I set at this time last year and setting new goals for myself for 2017.  I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions because those just beg to be broken.  I prefer to set goals that are attainable yet challenging.  

I’m happy to report that flossing my teeth became a daily habit for me in 2016.  I only missed two days the whole year!  My dental hygienist even noticed that I have been taking better care of my teeth and gums.  Unfortunately, I did not fulfill my 2016 goal of working out for at least five minutes a day every day.  I did work out more in 2016 than 2015, so at least I am making progress.  Another goal I had for 2016 was to memorize the book of Ephesians.  I’m happy to report that I completed this scripture memorization challenge in October.  I had planned to memorize half a chapter each month, and I was doing well until school started. Then I ran out of books to read while working out, so I spent about a week studying verses from Ephesians for 20 minutes to an hour each day while on the elliptical.  I memorized most of chapter five and all of chapter six in record time that week!  The whole book of Ephesians is now on my weekly review ring, but I’ve been trying to review more than once a week because we will be studying Ephesians at church this spring, and I want to keep it fresh in my mind.

For 2017, I want to lose a few more pounds and then maintain that weight.  I did not reach my goal weight by the end of November, but I had made tremendous progress.  Between Christmas and New Year’s, I put on a several pounds, but those came off quickly this week.  I weighed 129.8 this morning, and that’s where my weight has hovered for a few months.  It’s time to shed those last five pounds!  I have been working out every day this week, and I am keeping a log of my workouts.  Along with my cardio exercise on our elliptical, I do two sets of my age in crunches each day and one set of 15 squats.  (I’ve learned that my knees can only handle 15 squats a day.)  I want to tone my arms and build muscle because I arm-wrestled my son last week, and he won!  He’s not quite eleven years old.  I need to stay stronger than him for a few more years at least, so I have been doing bicep curls, tricep extensions, and tricep kickbacks in addition to push-ups each day (except rest days).  I have researched types of push-ups and why you should do your age in push-ups each day, and I have been working towards doing a set of 38 full push-ups for a few months now.  I have gotten so much stronger and faster, my feet are close together now (not several inches apart, which was easier), and I’m getting closer to the floor on my push-ups.  Many people say they can’t do push-ups, but anyone can do a wall push-up and progressively reduce the incline as they get stronger. I challenge you to get to your age (or at least half if you are over 50) in push-ups by the end of 2017.  


I am now memorizing Psalm 119, which contains 176 verses, making it the longest chapter in the Bible!  The whole book of Ephesians only has 155 verses, so it will definitely be a challenge to completely memorize the whole chapter this year.  This acrostic poem is divided into 22 stanzas, one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet, so I will need to memorize approximately two stanzas a month.  Fortunately, I started several weeks ago and have already memorized 12 verses.  I only have 154 to go!

What goals have you made for 2017?

Setbacks & Holdups

Standard

On October 25th, I weighed myself in the morning and just stood there grinning.  I hadn’t seen a number under 130 since early 2011, and there it was on the screen of my digital scales.  I had lost 17 pounds since July 26th, but I had only lost four pounds for the month of October.  Then I encountered setbacks in the form of increased stress with my husband out of town for two weeks, hormone-induced cravings that conquered my self-control, and exhaustion that prevented me from waking up early enough to work out before school.

I have been too busy with school and the kids’ activities that I haven’t had time to write this post for the past two weeks.  I took all my measurements and photos on the first, and they’ve been sitting in my phone, waiting for me to share them.  I don’t really have time to do this right now, but I am in need of accountability to get me through the next two weeks of this month.  I am holding steady between 129.5 and 130.5.  I knew this leveling-off would happen eventually, but I have also been eating too much.  We have too many sweets in the house, but I think I have finished off just about everything that I enjoy, so it’s time to get back on track. 

My official weight on November 1st was 130.4, only three pounds less than on October 1st.  However, I lost just over an inch each on my waist and my hips, almost an inch on my thigh, and a half-inch on my arm.  Below are my photos from July 26th and November 1st.  

Week 5 Progress

Standard

Since school started, I have not been able to work out at least five days each week.  I need to get up at 5:00 am just to get myself and my four kids ready to leave the house by 7:15, and I have been staying up late almost every night to work on school things, so getting up earlier than 5:00 am hasn’t been an option until today.  I worked hard all weekend on lesson plans, worksheets, doodle notes, grading, etc., so that I was able to go to bed at 9:30 last night and wake up at 4:30 this morning.  I enjoy starting my day with a workout.  It wakes me up and makes me feel productive. 

Last Tuesday, I adjusted my calorie goal because I am not exercising as frequently as I had been, and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to shed another two and a half pounds by the end of this month if I continued with my 1800 calorie limit.  I ate between 1400 and 1500 calories everyday (except Friday) this past week, and I only have one pound remaining to reach my goal for August.  I will update on September 1st to let you know if I reached my goal or not. 

The yellow on the graph means I ate over 500 calories less than what I expended, which is fine because the other option on my app was 700 calories below, and I didn’t want to be that limited. My previous goal was to eat less than 1800 calories a day, so this has been a big change.  I am hungry often, but I will drink water and remind myself not to give in because I will reward myself with a fun size Snickers at the end of the day.  This has worked for a whole week.  I will continue with this reward system.  

I have lost 5.6 pounds since July 26th, but I would like to lose another 15 pounds.  My goal for September is another five pounds.  If you committed to going on this journey with me, let me know how you have done this month.  I’d love to hear from others what is working for you. 

Whew!  & Week 4 Progress

Standard
Whew!  & Week 4 Progress

I can not believe it has been three weeks since my last post!  Things have been more chaotic than usual around here with school starting and me teaching three different classes–Math 7 (seventh graders), Algebra II (tenth and eleventh graders), and Pre-AP Algebra II (tenth and eleventh graders).  Even though I taught Pre-Algebra last year, I did not experience the first week of school as a teacher because I was hired in mid-October to fill an unexpected vacancy.  I have not decorated a classroom, planned the start of a school year, or endured that grueling first week since before I had children.  It is a completely different experience as a mom!  I forgot to take first day of school photos of my children before we left the house.  I almost forgot to take photos entirely!  I snapped a couple of all of them together in my classroom just before we left to walk the little girls to their classroom. 


I have been wanting to share a little about my weight loss journey, but I haven’t had time to blog.  (This post has taken me three days to put together!)  I lost 1.6 pounds before August started, but my goal remains to lose five pounds this month.  With the stress and busyness of school starting, I haven’t lost much since the first week of August when I dropped another 1.6 pounds.  Since August 8th, I have only lost 0.8 pounds.  I’m just happy I haven’t gained anything because I have definitely been stress eating.  As of August 22nd, I have lost an even four pounds, but I’m only down 2.4 pounds for August.  I need to lose 2.6 pounds by the end of August to meet my goal.  I’m determined to do it. 

It has been difficult to find time for working out and taking enough steps.  I have not taken the time to enter my food in my calorie counter, so I have just been guesstimating until yesterday and today when I decided I have to take time to track everything I eat.  I have only started back with push-ups and crunches this week too.  I’m struggling to fit it all in my day, and I’m working on things for school until almost midnight half the time, which makes it hard to wake up and work out in the mornings.  Excuses, I know, but I want to be honest and let you know I don’t have it all together–not even close.  Please let me know if you are struggling too, so we can encourage one another.


I love Snickers.  I think they are the perfect combination of chewy, crunchy, gooey, chocolate-y deliciousness.  I can’t buy the minis because I will eat too many, but the fun size bar is enough to satisfy my craving and only contains 80 calories.  I bought a large bag of these yesterday and put them in the refrigerator because I like them cold and to keep them from being a constant temptation.  I lowered my daily calorie goal and told myself that I could have one fun-sized Snickers each evening if, and only if, I have enough calories left. I ate one yesterday evening and another one tonight.  I’m hoping to continue my reward streak and eat one every night.  I have found that I won’t give in to cravings throughout the day if I have a Snickers to look forward to at the end of the day.  What motivates you?

Weekends, Working Out, and Weighing In

Standard


Our family calendar is set up with weeks beginning on Sunday and ending on Saturday, but I prefer to think of Monday as the beginning of my week.  My kids have Daily Checklists that start on Monday, I start reciting my weekly Bible verses on Monday, the workweek begins on Monday, etc.  I think of the weekend as a unit, not as Saturday belonging to the past week and Sunday belonging to the next week.  Therefore, I usually plan to start new things on Monday.  However, I weighed and posted my weight-loss goals last Tuesday and started working out on Wednesday.  I’m looking forward to beginning August on a Monday and continuing to work on my goals.  I have resisted weighing myself since Tuesday because I know weight fluctuates, and I don’t want to be discouraged by weighing too often.  I plan to weigh every Monday morning and share my progress.

Many of you replied here or on Facebook that you were committing to get in shape with me, and I hope you will share what you are doing to get healthy and your success stories as they come.  The scale isn’t the only measuring tool for success, so be sure to take some measurements to compare later.  I measured my waist at its narrowest, my waist at my belly button, my hips, my right thigh, my right calf, and my right upper arm.  These are the areas in which I am hoping to lose significant inches.

I challenged a few friends to a “Weekend Warrior” competition on Fitbit to see who could take the most steps this weekend.  Without this challenge, I doubt I would have gotten up to work out this morning, but my competitive streak won.  I’m currently in the lead, but my friend Sherry and I have been neck and neck all weekend.  She has pushed me to keep moving all day!  I hope your weekend is going well.  If not, tomorrow starts a new week.  Set some goals and track your progress. 

A Minor Setback

Standard

I’m thankful for my new support system and accountability that had me up by 6:00 this morning and on the elliptical before the kids were awake.  Sissy told me she didn’t feel well around 8:00 am, and Little Sister followed suit a few minutes later.  I was able to get them to the doctor this morning, and they both have strep yet again.  Sissy seems worse this time because she is vomiting and doesn’t usually have that symptom.  


So I’m reading a book while the girls watch a Thomas DVD we got at the library earlier this week.  It’s a good thing I worked out before I found out they were sick.  I should still be able to meet my step goal for the day, and I completed my 30 Days challenges, so I can just hold my babies until they feel better.  

Please say a prayer for them.  They have had strep several times in the past year and probably should have their tonsils removed, but I’m hesitant to do so.  Let me know if you have been in this situation and found a way to avoid surgery and prevent recurring strep infections.  Thank you! 

Support = Success

Standard
Support = Success

I’m overwhelmed by the positive responses from my post yesterday.  Thank you for all the advice and support!  It’s wonderful to know I’m not alone in this struggle.  I’m thankful for those of you who have said you will work on losing weight with me.  


I wrote that my goal was to lose five pounds in August, but I started eating less and moving more yesterday.  With your support, I was able to keep my calories under 1800 and meet my step goal of 10,000 steps.  I got up at 5:15 this morning and worked out on the elliptical and started four 30 Day challenges (push-ups, planks, leg raises, and crunches).  I wore my Fitbit on the elliptical, so I’ve already met my step goal for today.  Woohoo!


I made more zucchini bread this afternoon, and it was difficult for me not to eat some bread fresh from the oven, but I wanted to make sure I have enough calories after I eat dinner.  Speaking of dinner, I have been working on my meal plan for August to make sure I’m prepared for dinner each evening because eating out is not only high in calories but terribly expensive for our family of six.  I will share my meal plan once I have it ready, but I want to encourage you to plan ahead too.  

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

http://bible.com/111/gal.6.9.niv

A Weighty Matter

Standard
A Weighty Matter

I have been debating whether or not to share this with everyone, but I need some accountability, and I think being honest with you about my weight will push me to finally lose the extra pounds I have put on over the last five years.


I have never before in my life weighed this much unless I was pregnant or postpartum, but I have been stuck at this weight for a few months now, and the twins are three years old.  I used to run or work out on our elliptical several days a week and got down to my lowest adult weight of 122 pounds in late 2010, but I let the weight sneak back on until I weighed 135 pounds in 2012.  Then I found out I was expecting twins, and I had to stop all exercise except walking.  I grew lazy, and then having twins changed everything.  I am a stress eater, and having four kids is stressful.  A trip to the store with all of them warrants a treat, right?  I’m trying to work out and lose weight, but I don’t have the motivation to get out of bed at 5:00 am or the self-control to eat less.   I need a challenge, competition, and/or accountability, so here I am laying it all out there.  Someone, please challenge me or hold me accountable.  My goal is to lose five pounds a month in August, September, October, and November.  Would any of you like to join me?

My fitness plan:

  • work out on our elliptical at least three days a week
  • use my 30 Days app to challenge myself to complete crunches, push-ups, leg raises, and planks
  • wear my Fitbit and take at least 10,000 steps a day

My nutrition plan:

  • eat less than 1800 calories a day
  • track food eaten throughout the day
  • drink at least 72 ounces of water a day


I had my oldest daughter take photos of me this morning in tighter clothing than I feel comfortable in, but I’m hoping they will show the changes in my body as I lose weight and get in shape.  My main complaint is my belly, but I need to slim down everywhere and tone my muscles.  I will post photos to show my progress as I change my lifestyle to become healthier.   
If you would like to join me on this journey, please comment and let me know.  It will help me stay motivated if I know I’m not alone.

My Starting Weight ~ July 26, 2016

New Year, New You?

Standard

Do you make New Year’s resolutions?  I never have before, but I decided that I would floss my teeth every day in 2016.  I know that’s a seemingly small thing, but it makes my bedtime routine that much longer.  However, I know it’s good for my health, so I’m working on consistency and haven’t missed a day so far.  

I also decided that I would work out every day, even if it was just for five to ten minutes.  I must admit that I have already failed at this one, but I have been much more active this month.  My mom gave me a Fitbit for Christmas, and we have been challenging each other to meet our step goals.  This past week, I challenged the four friends on my list who always have the most steps for the past seven days to a “Workweek Hustle”.  I amazed myself by taking over 18,000 steps on Monday and again on Tuesday!  Obviously, I am highly motivated by competition.  

  
I woke up at 4:30 or 5:00 am each morning to work out on our elliptical, and I tried to stay moving throughout the day.  I had gained a pound earlier in the month and lost that pound this past week, so I am challenging those same friends to another “Workweek Hustle” and hope to lose another pound this coming week.

  

Yesterday, I completed a burpee challenge and a sit-ups (crunches) challenge using a free 30 Days app.  I had never done burpees before, but I ended the challenge with a set of 29!  Crunches are easier for me, and I ended that challenge with 126.   I have already completed the starting tests for my February challenges:   push-ups and sit-ups (crunches).

As this first month of the new year comes to a close, I have been reflecting on what I have accomplished in January. I have been trying to eat less and move more, but the scale doesn’t show any weight loss. Fortunately, I don’t rely solely on my weight to determine my progress. In the last month, I have lost an inch on my waist and 3/4 of an inch on my hips. I know I could have lost more if I would have eaten less, and that will be my focus in February. It will be difficult with four birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and two banquets, but I am determined to lose at least four pounds in the month of February.   

What are you doing to be healthy?