Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Where we ended up:

Congrats to all those who stuck it out for the entire TWELVE WEEKS - and GREAT JOB everyone - Linda proved to be "practically perfect in every way" and pushed me to be perfect as well. Man, I'm tired - but so glad I did this again this year. Thanks everyone for participating. I hope you were able to develop lots of great habits and that you'll be able to maintain them and reach your goals, if you haven't already. Peace out!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mystery Point...

for the VERY LAST WEEK was "Read the Sunday School or RS lesson before church".  If you did this this last week, then add that point to your total.

Man, I wish this would have come up the first week instead of the last... I read a whole lot of gospel doctrine lessons for nothing... Just kiddin' - I have to assume I read the right lesson this week; being over in Primary I'm kind of out of the loop!  Job did give me a bit to think about... sometimes I think I have it rough...wow.

(My husband wishes that the "yardwork" point wouldn't have come up 'til the end  - he barely had to touch our yard the first few weeks of the challenge, lol. I DID mow and trim yesterday afternoon, though, before the monsoon hit! You're welcome honey!)

ANYWAY - I digress. I hope everyone enjoyed the mystery points. I know I'm conscious of it, and regularly wearing sunscreen now, I'm more often looking for opportunities to serve others, digging in and cleaning/organizing more often in my home than I used to, (versus trying to half-shut my eyes and ignore those spaces), shunning fast food more often than not, I've read almost every conference talk from the last year (usually all I get out of general conferences are really good naps), and I've got a semi-regular pedicure date with a friend now - which is an excuse for some good-old fashioned girl talk every couple of weeks.  How about you?

That's what this challenge was all about - DEVELOPING GOOD HABITS. If these mystery points have lodged themselves in the back of your brain somewhere, then that's what they were supposed to do - be reminders that we should be taking care of ourselves and others, plus exercising our minds along with our bodies!  Congrats everyone!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Oops - don't mind the "8" points on my last week there, it's just where I'm keeping track of my miles.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mystery Point...

this week was "Do a service for someone outside your household."  When we're helping, we're happy...

I have a fellow challenger to thank for my mystery point this week - Rachel and Julie are in the process of moving and I went and helped pack up their house! Hooray!  (Er, not hooray that their moving, but hooray for me and boxes, I mean) 

Think back to what you did this week - did you give someone a ride? Take a meal to another family? Jump start anyone's car? Babysit someone's kids, who needed help?  I think going to the temple should count for this particular mystery point, too, don't you?

If you did some kind of service and gave of your time this week, add that mystery point to your total and please get me your points by tomorrow (Mon) night!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hip hip hooray!

So how is everyone doing with the "5 small meals"? I love it, of course, because I feel like I'm eating all day long, and I have a deep love affair going on with food. (It goes way, way back. Believe me.)  Even though some of my meals probably haven't been as small as they should have been, I've already lost 1.4 pounds this week - amazing, considering I'm usually squeaking in with barely a pound lost on Monday mornings.   How about you?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

1/2 Marathon.

Okay - after taking everyone's comments into consideration, this is what we'll do next week:

You'll get a point for every mile you propel yourself (run, walk, elliptical) with a max of 13 earnable points. You can do it all in one day if you like, or you can split it among the 6 days. Whatever. So instead of that weekly challenge being worth 7 points, it will be worth 13.  I think we definitely DO need to put a cap on it, or else I literally might kill myself trying to run 100s of miles.  : )  And if I'm dead, there won't be anyone to send you your winning check!

Every other weekly challenge we've done has been in ADDITION to the "Exercise 30 minutes" point. So, as much as I dread how much TIME this will take, we should keep it the same. Otherwise you'd be getting double points for running/walking each day. If you've truly been exercising for at least half an hour each day, for six days straight, for 11 weeks, pushing it up to an hour shouldn't be difficult - your body can handle it. There have been lots and LOTS of days when I exercise twice anyway, and I'm sure I haven't been the only one.

Plus, this will be a good, strong finish to our entire fitness challenge!  So say you run for an hour - the first 30 minutes will count toward your "exercise" point, then the rest of the mileage will count toward your "marathon" miles point. Get it?  I'm planning to break it up a lot and do, say, 30 minutes of a DVD workout, then run for 3 miles each day.

Good luck!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Week #11 Challenge: Eat 5 Small Meals a Day

The point of this week's challenge is to learn to control our PORTION SIZES. This is a HUGE, WONDERFUL HABIT to learn, that I absolutely suck at. But I'm not the only one. Us pudgy Costco-loving Americans are used to supersizing everything and seeing ginormous portions served to us at restaurants, so it's difficult to even understand what "a serving size" should be - instead we usually end up eating muffins that are the size of our head! Instead of just looking at calories, carbs or fat grams on package labels, check out the SERVING SIZES. You'll find that what you may have thought to be a "serving" is actually two or three in a lot of cases.

Take this week to contemplate how much you're serving yourself. Eat slowly. Stop when you are FULL, not when your plate is clean.  Five small meals each day should keep you satisfied and not hungry, so you do NOT overeat.  "Meals" is kind of a misnomer I think here - grabbing a piece of fruit, a piece of string cheese, or a few carrots, to give some examples, for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack is ideal - and hopefully will keep you from binging at lunch or dinner.  I found this online:

Instead of trying to memorize lists of ounces, cups, and tablespoons, simply compare the serving sizes of particular foods to familiar physical objects. For example, a single serving of:
  • Vegetables or fruit is about the size of your fist.
  • Pasta is about the size of one scoop of ice cream.
  • Meat, fish, or poultry is the size of a deck of cards or the size of your palm (minus the fingers).
  • Snacks such as pretzels and chips is about the size of a cupped handful.
  • Apple is the size of a baseball.
  • Potato is the size of a computer mouse.
  • Bagel is the size of a hockey puck.
  • Pancake is the size of a compact disc.
  • Steamed rice is the size of a cupcake wrapper.
  • Cheese is the size of a pair of dice or the size of your whole thumb (from the tip to the base).

Good luck!

Mystery Point...

this week was "Go get (or give yourself) a manicure or pedicure" - Now that we all should be at least slightly skinnier and most certainly in better shape, let's stay well-groomed too! Nothing's worse than nasty cracked, dry heels in my book...   For the men in our challenge, I'd say the equivalent for this mystery point would be earned if you trimmed your nails or got a haircut this week.  : )

How did everybody do with push-ups?  I'm a WIMP, but I only had soreness the first three days, and then I was fine. How about you?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Taking comments...

as to how we should do Week #12's challenge. Our last week's challenge is supposed to be "Run/walk a 1/2 marathon".

I guess when I planned this I was thinking about the way I exercise personally, and how I would chip away at that 13.2 miles a little each day.  However, I didn't consider that particular challenge being a "weekly" versus a "daily" challenge. Because really, our marathon types could do that in one day! Should this be in ADDITION to the 30 minutes of exercise we're doing per day? (shudder, please no - I don't have time or the stamina to do both!)

Should we just make that challenge worth 7 points, and if you get there, you get all 7 points? Should we change it to be "Run/walk at least 2.5 miles per day"  ?  Should we change that week's challenge altogether? Should we throw it up in the air and say you get a point for every mile you propel yourself that week? Ooh, wouldn't that make for an awesome finale - I wonder how many dozens of miles I could run that week... hee hee...


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Point Tallies - we're 3/4 done!

How is everyone feeling about this here shindig? I had no idea I'd have to be so PERFECT in order to win - and I'm TIRED! Since Feb. 1st, though, I have lost more than 25 pounds, and it's awesome to feel strong and thinner than I have since before I had kids. (Remember this is my SECOND fitness challenge for this year, I haven't lost all 25 since we started this second round) There are still a few items of clothing that I can't fit into yet, but I'm no longer discouraged that I'll never get there. How about you? How much weight have you lost? Or inches? Or body fat percentage? Are you fitting into your "skinny" clothes yet?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Week #10 Challenge: 50 Push-ups per day!

UGH - this week might be the death of me! Split them up so you don't kill yourself! Sit-up week didn't make me sore at all, but I guarantee in a couple of days I won't be able to pick up my little boy for the pain in my arms...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Mystery Point...

this week was "Take time to wash & moisturize your face 2 times a day" - yeah! This was an easy one for me because I am constantly trying to clear my face. I even had a facial on Friday - can I get a bonus point for that?

If you did this mystery point every day this week, give yourself the point and make sure you get your point total to me by tomorrow night (Mon) 10pm at the latest!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Don't hate me,

but I lost the latest version of the spreadsheet in my hard drive debacle. I am missing LAST week's points for everyone  (from Week 7 - Melissa I need 6 & 7 from you) - send them over to me and I'll get the latest point tallies posted on the blog ASAP

Monday, August 2, 2010

fruit serving sizes:

The goal is to consume five servings of fruit daily this week. Google has varying opinions on what constitutes a serving, so use your best judgement. I've seen anywhere from a half to a cup of berries listed as a serving and generally one small to medium piece of fruit.

•one banana
•six strawberries
•two plums
•fifteen grapes
•one apple
•one peach
•one half cup of orange or other fruit juice

I, for one, will be enjoying many smoothies this week!

Don't forget to get your points turned in today! to me... not shellie.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

mystery point and a new week!

Shellie drew our point this morning and called to report...

Play a group sport with a team - or attend a group exercise class

If you did this, add your point and send them in tomorrow! I went swimming with my kids, but we didn't really play a game... we went on a bike ride, can that count?? hmm, maybe I'm stretching it!

Fruit week begins tomorrow. Shout out your ideas for getting all your servings in and any questions you might have. Either comment here so we can all share, or email me (amberly) at amberly.robinson@gmail.com

Enjoy your Sunday!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Technical Difficulties.

Everyone, please take a moment and shed a tear for my computer - my hard drive FRIED yesterday morning. I had just updated all the point tallies for last week and was getting ready to post them on the blog, and now, well, NOPE.  Mac is now in the shop, and a new hard drive has been ordered. Good news is, the hard drive is under warranty and will be replaced for free. Bad news is, I have to pay for my data to be recovered. More bad news is, I will have a blank slate of a computer and have to reinstall EVERYTHING next week. Worse news is, a bunch of my data was corrupted in this process, including my entire email database, and who knows what else.  SIGH. What does this mean to you? I won't be able to get a hold of my spreadsheets or receive any emails or make any blog posts the next few days.  :  (  
On that note, Amberly will be taking the reins for a few days. Please emaiil her at amberly.robinson at gmail dot com with your point tally for the week, etc. You can still call me with questions if you like!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Point Tallies

Sorry I never got around to posting the tallies last week - there are a few people who I hadn't received totals for, who I am still holding out hope that they haven't quit on us yet! 

Unfortunately, this week it ain't gonna happen either - until the weekend - because I am out of town - but please still email me your points by the 10pm deadline Monday night. I will know if you're late!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Week #8 Challenge: Drink 64 ounces of Water Daily

Water, water everywhere! This week is EASY PEASY, consider yourself rewarded for all the hard work you've done so far (and for all those veggies you ate last week!)   64 ounces per day might sound like a lot, until you line up just FOUR of my Costco water bottles and see how little it really is. I could do this by lunchtime every day!  Amberly, munching on ice does NOT count toward your water ounces. You actually have to drink it!  And for this week, Crystal Light and Vitamin water and other such "flavored" waters do not count toward your daily ounces.  The point here is develop a TASTE for plain  ol' WATER, if you don't have it already!  Good luck!

Mystery Point...

for this last week was "No Fast Food".  So, if you found yourself unprepared and grabbing a meal in a drive-thru or convenience store then no point for you!  If you're trying to pass off Sonic onion rings as one of your vegetable servings, sorry, you lose on that one too!   If you resisted, planned ahead, and made healthy choices, then congrats - add that point to your total this week.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I thought I was a goner...

For the last couple of weeks one of my legs has felt very, very tight - and no matter how much I stretched before or after I exercised, the feeling wouldn't go away. When I was playing volleyball on Thursday night, I ran for a ball and felt an awful POP deep within my calf muscle. I don't know what the heck I did, but I fell to the ground in pain, obviously ending all volleyball that night.  Seriously, I could hardly limp out to my car. I was hoping and praying I hadn't torn something, or else my fitness challenge aspirations were finished... My husband was so annoyed with me when I got home and tried to hop into the house... he tends to get irritated when I push myself too hard, and I already had a sore throat that day, and probably had no business going to play volleyball in the first place....
The next day, I had the worst time trying to go up and down my stairs, walking, cleaning, you name it - I didn't get hardly anything accomplished all day. I pulled myself onto the treadmill and was only able to walk a pitiful 2 miles in 36 minutes. Barely enough to call it "getting my heart rate up".
I started getting nervous not only about my fitness challenge goals, but our upcoming vacation - how can I keep up with my kids at Disneyland next week if I can't walk? Ugh.

Well, I'm happy to report that the fitness gods must be smiling at me, because I am MUCH better off today. It still hurts, definitely, but I was able to jog a respectable speed today at least. Looking forward to a day off of exercise tomorrow! Send all your good vibes to me so I can be as good as new on Monday, please!

I wanted to post this because it seems I never talk to ANYONE, and I don't know what kind of struggles and successes you're having. The point of this is to support and encourage eachother!  Please feel free to share as well!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Week #7 Challenge: 4 Servings of Vegetables Daily

Q:  Okay - so we're supposed to be eating vegetables this week - but how much is a serving? 

A:  Generally, 1/2 cup, except for fresh greens, which is 1 cup.  Please read the following:

The United States Department of Agriculture sets a serving size for fruit or vegetables to be equal to about one-half cup. Greens like spinach and lettuce have a serving size equal to one full cup. One serving of sliced fruit is equal to one-half cup; however a single piece of fruit, such as an apple or an orange counts as one serving. How did the USDA decide that one-half cup is a serving size? The decision was based on the portion sizes that people typically eat, ease of use and nutritional content of fruits and vegetables.
Many experts suggest we need from five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day. That is a total. Older or inactive women and smaller children need at least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit. Growing kids, teen girls, most men and active women would eat at least four servings of vegetables and three servings of fruit everyday. Teen boys and active men should eat at least five servings of vegetables and four servings of fruit. Unfortunately many people fail to eat even five servings each day.
Here are some typical serving sizes for fruits and vegetables:

  • one banana
  • six strawberries
  • two plums
  • fifteen grapes
  • one apple
  • one peach
  • one half cup of orange or other fruit juice
  • five broccoli florets
  • ten baby carrots
  • one roma tomato
  • 3/4 cup tomato juice
  • half of a baked sweet potato
  • one ear of corn
  • four slices of an onion 

One serving of a fruit or vegetable juice is four ounces. V8 Fusion claims to meet one serving of fruit and one serving of vegetables in one eight ounce glass. A large glass may hold about 12 ounces, which would give you three servings of fruits and vegetables. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mystery Point...

this week was "Work on your church calling on a day other than Sunday" - This can include visiting or home teaching! If you did this in the past week, congrats, please add that one point to your week's total.....

and get me your points by 10pm tomorrow night! Please email to shelliedesign at q dot com... thanks!

How did everyone do on sit-up week?  Suzette, Rachel - I'm most curious about you guys!  It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be (I hadn't done any to get ready in weeks prior, oops) But man, that last 50 last night I thought would kill me!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Point Tallies - week 5!

I squeaked in my pound-weight loss at the last second this week- this is getting tougher for me!  I can't believe how well everyone is doing - good job!  Does anyone want to post and share a success story or pontificate about their love of fiber?? Anyone? Bueller? ? ? ? I'll make you a blog author if you want, I'm sure everyone's sick of hearing from me.....

Monday, July 12, 2010

Abs of Steel

The question has been brought up - do all 100 have to be full sit-ups, or can we do crunches, or what??? What say ye? Anyone care or have an opinion here?

Week #6 Challenge: 100 sit-ups per day

Don't kill yourself trying to do them all at once - best to split them up throughout the day - think about form - concentrate on breathing - I don't know what else to say...!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mystery Point...

This week was "Yardwork" - so if you spent time mowing, pulling weeds, etc, add that one mystery point to last week's total.

Please remember to email me your points (or comment here) by tomorrow (Mon) evening at 10pm!  shelliedesign at q dot com .....

Monday, July 5, 2010

Tick Tock -

There are several people who haven't turned in their points yet... just 1 1/2 hours left til the deadline...

Benefits of Eating Fiber

Dietary fiber, also known as roughage or bulk, includes all parts of plant foods that your body can't digest or absorb. Unlike other food components such as fats, proteins or carbohydrates — which your body breaks down and absorbs — fiber isn't digested by your body. Therefore, it passes relatively intact through your stomach, small intestine, colon and out of your body. It might seem like fiber doesn't do much, but it has several important roles in maintaining health.
Fiber is commonly classified into two categories: those that don't dissolve in water (insoluble fiber) and those that do (soluble fiber).

*** We are not going to worry about the differences between soluble and insoluble fiber for this week's challenge - we're just shooting for 25-30 total grams here - but if you'd like to research this topic more and share your insights with the rest of us, please feel free. ***

Fiber improves large intestine function and keeps the muscles of the large intestine strong. It speeds up the transit time of food and thereby helps prevent constipation. Fiber also lowers blood cholesterol, helps control diabetes, and plays a role in the prevention of colon cancer. Fiber is a very important component in weight control as well. Foods that contain fiber are typically low in fat, and one recent study showed that fiber may also block some of the digestion of fat and protein. In this study, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) researchers fed a certain number of calories to all participants, but altered the fiber content of the meals. The results? Fewer calories were absorbed with increased fiber intake. When a man increased his fiber intake from 18 to 36 grams per day, he absorbed 130 fewer calories daily. When a woman increased her fiber intake from 12 to 24 grams per day, she absorbed 90 fewer calories daily. Over a year's time, this could add up to nine to ten pounds.

You must go slowly to give your GI tract time to adapt and drink lots of fluids to keep the fiber soft. Also, choose a variety of soluble and insoluble fiber-rich food sources: fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals, and legumes (beans and peas). Remember that brown rice and 100% whole wheat bread have more fiber than white rice or white bread. Eating the skins of your fruits and vegetables whenever possible can also help increase fiber intake.

Week #5 Challenge: Eat your Recommended Daily Fiber

I have to admit, in my last challenge I kind of dreaded fiber week - but this time I'm totally looking forward to it! I just feel SO much better when I eat more fiber - and there are yummy ways to do it, too! No, you don't have to eat bran flakes and drink Benefiber all day long - GAG, seriously. Speaking of fiber drinks, our goal this week is to EAT our fiber, not just drink it, so we get into the HABIT of being aware of, and choosing, high-fiber foods as part of our regular diet.   *** Suzette is our whole-grain guru - - do you want to help us with this fiber thing and offer some suggestions???? ***

First, please go here


and figure out how much fiber is recommended for you.  Then please keep track of your fiber and write it down as you go throughout each day.

(Or if someone finds a better calculator, let me know - I'd like to find one where you actually enter your weight, instead of your "frame size")  Mine is 25 grams per day, I believe. Men's recommended fiber is always higher. I know my husband's is 31 or 32??

I suggest you google and print out a list of high-fiber foods along with their #s and try to incorporate some into each meal.  My #1, hands-down favorite food is the all-perfect avocado, which has a whopping 11 grams in it!   Other high-fiber foods include artichokes, raspberries, blackberries, apples, lentils, black beans.....   See? I told you there was yummy ways to eat fiber!

I'd love it if people shared some recipes this week that are high in fiber - - - hint, hint - - - Good luck!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Mystery Point...

this week was "Spend an hour outside each day" - - if you did this, congrats and please add that point to your total this week. I'm in a hurry now, but will post about this week's challenge later tonight. Stay tuned...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Week #4 Challenge: Count Your Calories

Do you have ANY idea how many calories you eat per day? I sure don't! How many calories SHOULD you be eating every day to attain your goals?  This will be an eye-opening challenge for many, I think. This particular challenge will also get easier for most people as the week goes on, because typically people eat the same things over and over again. Once you've figured out how many calories are in "x" and "y" the first time you eat them, it's easier to plug those numbers in again later when you repeat-eat!  It's very good to be aware of the calorie content of your favorite foods... "Hmmm... is that handful of trail mix worth another whole MILE on the treadmill????"

***NOTE***  Those of you who are more techy and gadget-y than me probably have an IPhone or an Ipod Touch of some sort.  There is an app called "Lose It" that is awesome that will help you track your calories.  Those of us (most of us) who are trying to lose weight on this here challenge can input your stats and weight loss goal (whether it be 1 or 2 pounds, or whatever, per week). The app will give you a calorie "budget" that will do all the math for you each day, and tell you how many calories you have left, etc. after you input each item you eat. (plus you can look up calorie contents of everything on there) You can even input your exercise each day which ups your calorie budget.  Pretty cool.   I'm sure there's a website out there that does the same thing... does someone want to go find it for me?  Heather??


Mystery Point....

***  MYSTERY POINT last week was "Read a book/story to a child (doesn't have to be your own)"   Hopefully this was an easy one for most of you, and you're adding a quick easy point to your week 3 total!  

***  Please get your points to me as soon as possible tomorrow (Monday) - I'm going to be in and out the next four days, and probably off of email for most of that time.

Sorry this post is SO incredibly late tonight, y'all - we were out of town all weekend, and just got back a half hour ago. Whew. I feel my summer activities ramping up... hopefully I can stay on track with my own exercise and eating goals, and still be around enough to support y'all too in this challenge!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Jaime has posted about this experience so far... if the rest of you have too, let us know! The point of doing this together is to keep in touch about it!

Point Tallies

Here we go - if I typed anything in wrong, please let me know! Good job everyone!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Technical Difficulties.

My lovely 8-yr-old was playing on my computer this morning, and when I came back to it today to input everybody's weekly points... guess what... my spreadsheet I'd been fiddling with the format on all week was completely GONE. Can't find the file anywhere. DANGIT!  I have rebuilt the spreadsheet and input everyone's points as best as I can remember from last week, but if you can please re-send me last week's points along with this week's when you do I'd love you forever. (Since I did delete most everyone's point emails from last week)  Goodness, if I'd just POSTED them on the blog like I intended to last week, then I wouldn't have to do this - lesson learned!  Thanks in advance for your patience.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Week #3 Challenge: 7 Hours of Sleep Per Night!

The goal is to get seven consecutive hours of sleep here. If something comes up (puking kids, earthquake, whatever) then it's okay to try and play catchup with a nap the next day, but this isn't ideal.

I know when I stay up late and miss out on sleep it's usually because of a CHOICE I've made, like staying up to watch a movie, etc, not generally because of something I HAVE to do. So let's make a conscious effort this week to get the rest we need!  This is an easy one! We all know how to sleep! And if you can't count to seven, well, I just can't help you.

**Reminder** Please weigh yourself in the morning and get your points to me by 10pm tomorrow night (Monday) please!

Mystery Point.....

Sorry my camera isn't upstairs at the moment to take a picture, but the mystery point drawn for last week is "Go to the library and check out a book for yourself  (or buy one) "  I would say that if you borrowed a book from a friend to read for yourself in the last week, then that counts too! 

Please remember to send me your points by tomorrow evening, 10pm - sorry I never got the spreadsheet listed on the blog last week, but look for everyone's point totals by Tuesday to see where you stand! EVERYONE is doing really well!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fun. And Sweets.

Is everyone having a good time with this challenge, I hope? I have to admit I've been pretty miserable the last couple of days being sick with a sore throat, coughing... and STILL having to get on my treadmill and run. Ugh. I passed a QT today and longingly wanted a nice vanilla DC to make my throat feel better.....

BUT HEY - no complaining, right????

Amberly brought up the subject of sweets versus desserts - and honestly I'm surprised no one else has. To be clear, a little sweet is okay - desserts are NOT.  Any time of day. You can't have a piece of chocolate cake at 7am and call it breakfast!   Let's approach this with a series of Q & A - so we're all on the same page, huh??

Q:  Trader Joe's Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds - - - dessert or sweet treat?

A: I say 2 or 3 is okay, as a sweet - having 20 would be a dessert. Once these are in MY house, I cannot resist at all, (honestly have to be my VERY FAVORITE TREAT) so personally I'm choosing to abstain from ALL this kind of stuff for the next 11 weeks. Don't tempt fate, and all that.

Q:  Doughnuts - dessert, or if I have one alongside orange juice can I call it breakfast?

A:  Absolutely not. Doughnuts = dessert, no matter the time of day.  That goes for doughnut holes too!

Q:  Muffins vs. Cupcakes - - both desserts?

A:  This is a fine line, methinks, but here's where I would draw it.  Frosting = always a dessert. Whole wheat banana muffins with SOME chocolate chips????? ummmm, probably okay. What do you think?

Q: Nutella with bananas - - dessert or snack?

A:  Again, fine line - - Nutella might as well be melted chocolate chips, in my book!

Q:  Is Trail Mix okay?

A: Yes, in moderation.   Like, a handful of trail mix w/M&Ms -  NOT A DESSERT.   Handful of M&Ms that you’ve picked out of trail mix??  DESSERT.   : )

Honestly, the point is to NOT be treating yourself with sweets every time you have a craving, so instead of finding a bunch of "replacement" sweets, go eat an apple! Take a bubble bath! Take a walk! Drink a bottle of water!

Please share your thoughts, if you got 'em!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Push Yourself.

I'm sure everyone's weight fluctuates from day to day, just like mine - and on Monday mornings you might not be at your lowest weight of the week. If you want to choose your lowest weight during the week prior and use that number as your start for the next week, you may. That way, you will be working harder to get at least 1 pound lower than your LOWEST weight from the last week, versus where you happen to be on Monday morning. Does that make sense?

If you still want to just weigh yourself once a week, on Mondays, that's fine too. Your choice!

Monday, June 14, 2010

it's time to share!

This is Amberly. I was bugging Shellie too much about stuff I wanted posted, so she gave me rights to do it myself! There are two things I think are worth sharing:

1. Share with us one success that you had last week. Be it weight loss, body fat, or perhaps your exercise regimen got easier as the week went on... whatever you feel great about!

2. Share one of your favorite healthy snacks or fun new food finds. We're all always looking for new ideas, so share away!

And since I'm writing, I will take the liberty of going first. Last week I maintained current weight, but I lowered my body fat percentage by 2 points! I feel great about that. And let's just put it out there that since I have zero breast to lose from, we're hoping it's coming off the back side!!

We have recently discovered almond butter at our house. My kids devoured almond butter and raspberry jam sandwiches for lunch today. It is yummy to dip apple slices into and have a snack that includes both a carb and a protein. I've also purchased greek yogurt to try with a few fruit mix-ins. I'm hesitant because I'm not a big yogurt fan, but I'm retraining myself!

One more thing... a fun fitness friend introduced me to www.livestrong.com It has a great tool for tracking calories and a ton of other fun stuff. If you're interested, take a look and become familiar with it before counting calorie week is upon us!

Your turn! success and fav snacks... go!

( I kind of promise that I won't abuse this power and post too often. kind of.)

Gold Star Award

Just wanted to give a shout out to my girl RACHEL AUSTIN who lost a whopping TEN POUNDS  this week - wow!  In her words "Didn’t think that was possible to do! I checked my weight six times moving the scale to different parts of the house just to be sure. Can’t believe it!"

Awesome job Rach! 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Week #2 Challenge: Keep a Food Journal

I think this week's challenge is pretty self-explanatory - this is just making us all aware of what we consume on a daily basis, plus getting in the habit of writing things down. When I did my previous challenge, I was surprised at how many bites or handfuls of this or that I actually ate all day long, being at home - and being accountable, even to a notebook on my counter that no one else would ever see, was good for me!

This can be as simple or as detailed as you like - For instance, if you want to list "Cheerios for breakfast, Taco Bell for lunch, snack, Casserole for dinner" that's great - but look how much more information you could learn about your habits and portion sizes if you wrote "3/4 cup Honey Nut Cheerios, 1/2 cup skim milk, 1 slice toast with 1 T butter, Chicken burrito with 2 T cheese and 1/2 cup refried beans, 12 potato chips, 1 cup noodles, 1/2 breast chicken, 3 T pasta sauce, ....."  you get the picture.

If you want to make it more of a "journal" you can do that as well - why did you choose to eat what you did, did you stop eating when you were full, did you plan healthy meals ahead of time or find yourself scrambling for something crappy and fast because you didn't plan ahead? Did you find yourself eating "emotionally" at all? Were you thinking about calories or vegetable servings or fiber at all? One of my concerns is making sure I'm SITTING DOWN while I eat (uh, not in a drive thru)!

There are no hard and fast rules about this challenge, but like everything, you'll get as much out of it as you put into it! Good luck!


Does anyone want to be emailed when there's a new post/comment on this blog? If so I'll add your email to the list, thanks!

Drumroll please...

Hooray - you survived the first week!  Have you been recording your points each day, I hope? Remember they need to be emailed to me (or leave a comment on this post) by 10pm tomorrow night - Monday! There will be penalties for not getting your points to me on time! 
I know you're all awaiting the mystery point suggestion from the last week - so without further ado, let me draw one out of my jar here

and there it is! Give yourself a point if you wrote in your journal, or scrapbook or blog this week. No, you can't hurry and do it today to get the point - remember Sunday is free day, no points can be earned today.  I would say Facebook or Twitter probably don't count - if it's not something you'd consider a "journal entry".  This suggestion will be thrown out and not come back to the jar in the future - no repeats with mystery points.

Friday, June 11, 2010

It's Finally Friday!

Exercise, exercise, exercise - how is everyone doing? Please share how you're getting your 30 minutes in each day - are you changing it up?  What is your biggest struggle this week? I'm finding "avoiding sweets" much easier than I did a few days ago - how about you?  It makes it easier knowing I can treat myself on Sunday - I'm so going to have a Coke Zero in the fridge Saturday night, so it can be cold and ready!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


People are way too worried about mystery points, methinks!  Just to set your mind at ease - it is only ONE POINT per week. ONE point, out of a possible 45 per week. Don't stress yourself out about it too much - really!  See previous post for all the "possibilities" - this will be added to after Sunday.

I will draw the mystery point suggestion out of a can each Sunday, and post it - if you DID the mystery the week prior, add that point to your total. 

You will need to report your points to me EACH WEEK by MONDAY 10PM - if you are late, there will be point penalties!  I will put together some kind of list with everyone's points to show how everyone is doing, comparatively...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day Two is Through!

You think I can come up with a rhyme every day? hmmm... no, I won't try.  How is everyone doing?? Afternoon sweet cravings are the worst, aren't they?  I'm surprised I haven't had anyone contacting me with questions, etc.... hello? Bueller?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Day One is DONE!

How did everybody do?? I found myself eating way too many tortilla chips for snacks today, because I couldn't eat the sweet granola bar I really wanted.,,,! Time to start drinking more water, I think!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Let's be friends, if we're not already. Request me, Shellie Carter, please!

Week #1 Challenge: No Sweets/Treats!

Week #1's weekly challenge is no sweets/treats!  This is not quite the same as "No Desserts" - but doing this the first week will greatly help you avoid desserts for the rest of the challenge by knocking out those sugar cravings!  No sweets means absolutely no candy, no jam on your peanut butter sandwich, no pancakes with syrup, no 1/2 cup of brown sugar dumped on your oatmeal, etc - if you're gonna have cold cereal, make it Total and not Fruity Pebbles this week, you know?  I say if you question it, then don't eat it! 



Each of the following will earn you ONE point per day, plus ONE bonus point per week if you don't miss a day:

No Desserts  (6 points possible, plus 1 point bonus = 7 possible per week)
No Soda  (6, plus 1 = 7 possible per week)
No Eating after 7:30pm (6, plus 1 = 7 possible per week)
Exercising (30 minutes, elevated heart rate)  (6, plus 1 = 7 possible per week)
Scriptures (at least 1 chapter)  (6, plus 1 = 7 possible per week)
Weekly Challenge (6, plus 1 = 7 possible per week)


There are THREE more points possible each week for the following:

ONE point per week for Weight Loss - if you've lost at least one pound, or maintained your ideal weight, you get a point.

ONE point per week for Family Home Evening - that's right - doesn't matter which night you hold it on, just as long as you organize and carry it out! One point if you do!

ONE point per week will be a Mystery Point - I will take suggestions from all of you and then draw one per week.


Mystery Point Possibilities.

Wear Sunscreen daily

Clean out and organize a neglected area of your home (or car, or garage, or office)
Attend all your church meetings
Read a Conference Talk
Read the Sunday School or RS Lesson before church

Exercise with a Friend or Family Member
Write a letter to, and/or pray for a missionary


Shellie Carter
I’m Shellie, a 35-year-old mom fighting against genes, and wanting to wear a much smaller size of jeans! My affinity (not addiction! Really!) for Coke Zero has not been kind to my teeth enamel, and I need something to keep me from making excuses for not reading my scriptures. This challenge will help me be consistent on all fronts, and I intend to win it!

Amberly Robinson
I'm Amberly, a 31-year-old mother to three little busy ones who has a desire to stay in shape but lacks motivation on my own!  I want to provide a healthy role model for my children as well as feel comfortable in the swimming suit I will be wearing all summer.   I am looking forward to sharing our successes and challenges through this process.  I have been in the habit of eating dinner with Denten after he gets home from work which is usually after the kids are in bed.  I'll have to switch that one up, as well as find time each day to fit in productive exercise. 

Rachel Austin
I'm Rachel, 33 and single. I am a foodie! I am participating in the challenge to break a few terrible habits (such as eating before bedtime) and begin living my life with better and healthier habits and attitude.

Julie Austin
Hi, I'm Julie and I am nearly 30 years old.  In March, my sister Rachel and I made the commitment to live a healthier lifestyle and this challenge has a lot of the same goals. It seems like a great way to stay on track and to give us some additional motivation.  I think my biggest challenge will be my slight (read - huge) chocolate addiction, but as my sponsor says, one day at a time.

Heather Evans

Amanda Mitsuda
Hi, I am Amanda Mitsuda. I am a mother of four. I have two very helpful girls that are 6 and 3 and twin 9 month olds. We are having a busy summer of swimming and working out at the YMCA. I love being part of the fitness challenge because even if I don't feel like a serious contender I am still creating awesome habits and losing weight. I changed my diet to mostly plant based in April. I lost 20 lbs quickly but hit a rut. The fitness challenge has helped me continue to my fitness goals. My biggest struggle has been keeping focused, planning, and avoiding silly slip ups. "Is it really past 7:30? Dang it" :)

Michelle Sherman
My name is Michelle Sherman.  I am a 35-year-old mother of 5 children.  My weight gain has been a result of having five kids and not taking care of myself in the mean time.  I am finally DONE having babies and I am ready to get myself back.  I have A LONG ROAD in this whole weigh loss thing and accountability is a huge factor for me in being successful in accomplishing my goals.  I also need the motivation to stay on course with the most important things in life, such as scripture reading and FHE.  I am excited to get started!

Melissa Goodman

Suzette Haynie
I am 40 years old.  I have five children:  Abbie (15), Sarah (13), Max (10), Elizabeth (8) and Mary (almost 6).  I am excited for the challenge.  I love working with others and it motivates me to know that I have "sisters" out there striving to meet the challenges of the day!  I know that taking this opportunity to establish routines and better habits will help me physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritulally.  My husband is cheering me on...he's not ready to give up the soda yet but he was up getting his exercise in this morning!  I hope to shed those 15 pounds that make me feel sluggish but mostly hope to lose the mental baggage that prevents me from sticking to it! 
On a side note, I love learning about nutrition and have studied about and taught cooking classes on whole grains.  When the fiber week is up remember that you can munch on veggies all day and still might not hit the 30 grams.  Whole grains will help us reach this goal.  (Brown rice, wheat, quinoa, millet, teff, spelt etc.)

Monica Lunt
My name is Monica Lunt and I am a 32 year old mother of 4.  I have never had much trouble with my weight (some would protest my belief that I do now), until recently.  Since I had my last baby 2 1/2 years ago I began to notice that I was slowly gaining a few unwanted pounds.  I started back to school a year and a half ago and my many hours in front of the computer have added few more.  I deal with stress and sleepiness while studying by eating sweets (mostly peanut M&M's)and I have a weakness for Coke (full strength please, not diet!)I am in this challenge because I love a good competition and I know this will push me to be consistent and meet my goals which are to kick the bad habits and make some good ones...and to fit back into some of the clothes in my closet that have gotten more than a little too snug.   Bring It!!
Christi Poulsen
I am a 34-year-old wife and mother to four terrific kids.  In the last year or so I have started running a lot and for some reason I really enjoy it, but I often need a reason to get up early each morning.  I also want to get in some better habits and help my kids see the right way to eat and enjoy life.  I want to stay young and healthy so I can play with my kids for a very long time.  I also love a good competition and who doesn't need money for new clothes!!!!!       

Linda Abegg
My name is Linda Abegg.  I'm a 25 year old stay at home, work part time from home, mom of one. Weight management always has and always will be a focus for me, but since losing 40lbs in high school, I've been able to keep myself at a decent weight.  I lost the weight I wanted to after my son was born and was able to maintain it for about 8 months.  Lately I've been lazy and gained a few pounds.  I'm mostly in this to motivate myself back into better habits.  I love ice cream and am addicted to eating sweets throughout the day.

Monica Adair
My name is Monica.  I am a 38 year old mom of three in Mesa, Arizona.  I teach Yoga and Pilates classes a few times a week and absolutely love them.  I stay reasonably tone but I've been a bit lazy about doing cardio this year.  I know I need to be better about this!  I'm very busy trying to keep hubby, children, fitness classes and home-based advertising job all chugging along.  It's a daily workout!  I'm pretty careful about what I eat.  I love to read my scriptures but could use a little more motivation.  I love the idea of having to report to other women in the same boat as me.  I am absolutely going to give this my best shot!!  Good luck to all of you!

Jessica Kern
I'm Jessica, a soon-to-be-30 (I still have 3 more weeks of being 29!) mother to two little girls, ages 3 and 1. I like to exercise, but lack consistency from week to week. I am also trying to get rid of the evening munchies--I stopped nursing a couple of months ago, though I still find myself snacking extra out of habit rather than actual hunger. I'm looking forward to the fitness challange to help me with motivation and to change some of my bad habits into good ones.

Jaime Rasmussen
Hi! I'm a 32-yr old wife and mama to three energetic kiddos in New York City; and given all the walking we do, I should be in better shape. I would really love to lose the last stubborn 10 lbs of twin pregnancy weight the right way and permanently. I am ready to change a big nasty habit that holds me back from exercising in the morning - the luxurious afternoon nap! I end up staying up all hours and barely able to peel myself out of bed as my husbands walks out the door. I consider myself a former-athlete and, sadly, my arm gets sore when I brush my teeth. There is so much room for improvement. All too often I look to clothes to hide what I don't like about my physique. I am so ready to tackle my squishy parts head on and put the credit card down. I know that I will be a better me, wife and mama by making exercise and good eating a priority every day. I especially like doing this arm-in-arm with friends!

Maren Bigney
I'm Maren,  32-year-old mom from Houston, TX.  I'm looking forward to forming new healthy habits, especially no eating after 7:30.  I'm 
hoping to lose a few pounds, and rejuvenate my spirit. I have Achilles tendonitis that I just can't shake so I'm going to have to figure out 
a way to work around it to do the cardio.  I am happy to have buddies on my way to healing.

Kristina King
My name is Kristina and I am a 34-year-old mother of 2 and have always struggled with my weight. I have a major sweet tooth and unfortunately my 2 year old daughter seems to have inherited my insatiable appetite for sweets, especially chocolate. Food is the way I deal with stress. I hope this challenge will help me (and my family) to find better ways to deal with stress and to break my terrible habit of needing endless supplies of chocolate.

Tom King
Hi, I'm Tom.  I am 32 years old and married to Kristina.  I am an attorney working in the Bay Area in the field of patent litigation.  I am mostly doing this to support Kristina.

Rosanna Crain
My name is Rosanna and I am a 57-year-old mother of 8 and grandmother of 12. I've let myself get out of shape and haven't been eating right and I hope this challenge will help me do better.

Sharon Beesley
I'm Sharon, 28-year-old mother of three children. I am signed up to run in the Nike Women's Marathon this October and I’m hoping that this will motivate me to eat healthier, which will make my runs more enjoyable. Last year I lost 12 pounds and felt fabulous. But then my scale’s battery died and the weight crept back up. I still haven't replaced the battery. But I will be June 7th! I am looking forward to fitting into my skinny clothes again and buying new clothes with the money I win from this contest. Watch out for me!

Lara Goold
My name is Lara Goold and I’ve lived in the DC area for the last 13 years.  I’m a 37-year-old mother of 5 kids, ages 5-15.  Between all of their activities, the arrival of early morning seminary into our house this year, and trying to get one too many things done at a time I’m struggling to stay in the shape I’d like to be in.  I’ve already cut down my sweet intake to only once a week, but I’m excited for the challenge of taking it a step further with more consistent exercise. 

Glen Goold
I am Lara’s husband, Glen, and like her I have lived in the DC area for 13 years. I am 38 years old with the same 5 great children Lara mentioned.  For the last year, I have been working much more strenuously on my health with measured progress.  I am excited for this challenge to maintain consistency in my physical and spiritual exercise routines.  I am particularly looking forward to the weekly challenges as they look to be things I have wanted to incorporate into my regiment for some time.