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 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.