30 Day Challenge

30 Day Challenge

I highly suspect some people contact me on social media due to my size. I can’t be certain, but after a few conversations of “hey, how have you been” or “what’s new with you” things turn to “hey, you want to work on your fat ass with my (fill in the blank) program?”

Okay, so no one called me a “fat ass” but you get the idea.

I have a bad track record with weight loss and diet programs. I’d start them, but soon would lose motivation and just give up. For exercise, I once tried to do crunches before bed, marking a calendar each time I was done. I usually gave up early and would roll over on the floor to start reading a magazine.

I didn’t make it a week.

Growing up, my parents always made sure we had a protein, a fruit and a vegetable at each meal. My mom’s favorite saying was, “if you’re hungry, eat fruit.” When I was younger, I remember eating cucumber slices while watching cartoons. Lunch was eating tuna fish or PB and J sandwiches with carrot sticks while listening to music on our record player and later, CD player (man, I’m old). My dad wouldn’t let us have juice boxes if they weren’t 100% juice.  We had balance, but when you’re depressed like I was growing up, you don’t feel like taking care of yourself. I was active in elementary and middle school, but once high school hit, I quit sports and dance classes. My household was chaotic, so it was all about survival. Taking care of myself wasn’t a priority. I was an emotional eater. I literally ate my feelings because I didn’t have any way to express them.

College was a time where I was still overweight but I was curvy. I was beginning to embrace my curves (and myself) at this stage in my life.  I was active and only had to worry about myself at that time. Cafeteria food wasn’t the best, so I ate plenty of salad from the salad bar because I didn’t have to prepare anything. I did partake in the usual college go to food- pizza- but I walked to class, sometimes went to the gym in the student center and occasionally played intramural sports to balance it out.

I graduated and the real world hit.  I had a teaching career that was stressful, low paying and time consuming. I was on my own, but didn’t take the time to take care of myself properly. And no one was making salads for me anymore. ☹

I tried Weight Watchers in my twenties. I knew of some success stories and decided to give it a try.  It didn’t work for me long term because I didn’t want to go to meetings by myself and I also didn’t want to pay for the program (remember-poor teacher). I also went to a Jenny Craig office once but left before the consult was done when I found out you had to buy their food.

In December of 2015, my husband Jim told me about a dietitian program at his work. This was something different, no quick fixes, shakes or videos. We signed up and went to our first appointment. Erin was our dietitian and she was friendly, informative and not at all judgmental. We learned to check labels and not freak out if we ate a “cheat food”.

I finally started to lose weight (very slowly) when working with Erin. However, life got in the way. I was having swallowing issues (which months later would be diagnosed as Achalasia). I was waking up in the middle of the night with horrible heartburn and coughing spells. I wasn’t getting any sleep and I was throwing up my food, which meant I was not getting the proper nutrition. I still tried to eat regular food by eating slowly and taking small bites. This did not always work.

The truth is, I should have lost so much more weight having Achalasia. I didn’t though. Something deeper (and hormonal) was going on inside. I had surgery in July 2016 to fix my esophagus and dropped weight from my liquid diet. But with any restrictive diet, the effects don’t always last.

At the end of 2016, Jim’s work canceled the program. I still use the knowledge I learned in the dietitian program and apply it to my life.

As you can see from the above stories, I had zero motivation. I didn’t value myself. I had no confidence in myself to do anything. I was depressed and stressed.  My relationship with food and myself was not a good one.  Plus, I have PCOS, an endocrine disorder that can make weight loss difficult.

So, when people target me to do their specific program, I know I won’t stay with it. I’m not bashing anyone who does these programs or makes their livelihoods as coaches. I WISH I could stay with a program that I paid for, but I know myself. After almost 20 years of trying to lose weight through different programs (I also did a stint with Richard Simmons’ Deal a Meal in high school- I didn’t stick with it for very long. I forgot to do the cards most of time) I don’t have the discipline. I’m not going to pay for shakes and videos when I could get those for free (YouTube has tons of free workouts). I know myself. Even if I paid all the money in the world, which should work as motivation because you don’t want to waste your money, I’m not going to stick with it.  I’m dealing with my food issues in therapy and working on ways to help my hormones to help with weight loss.

Weight is a personal issue. It’s about finding out what works for you and your lifestyle. It’s about looking at the whole picture when losing weight- emotionally and mentally, as well as physically and financially.

Someone once told me she changed her eating habits because she was done feeling crappy and out of whack. She thought she was worth so much more and made the necessary changes to help herself along. I’m still working on my self-worth. I’m still working on the idea that I am worth so much more than I give myself credit.

Unfortunately, no program is going to help me with that.

Jenna Wolfe’s Thinner in 30 Challenge

Recently while at the library, I came across Jenna Wolfe’s book Thinner in 30. I remember seeing Jenna as a correspondent on the Today Show doing lifestyle and fitness stories. As I skimmed the pages, I noticed that the challenges Jenna set up were attainable and things that I already do.

I decided to try this Thinner in 30 challenge to make these changes in a way that was easy to incorporate into my everyday life, not no additional cost.  My life is more stable now, so being able to focus on myself won’t be hard. I finally have time to make myself a priority. I no longer need food to cope with my feelings. I have a fantastic therapist, a blog, a supportive husband and good friends and family for that.  I also continue to journal, something I’ve been doing since the age of 10, and I listen to music to help reduce stress and anxiety.

The rules of the challenge are simple. Once I do a challenge, I need to continue doing it for the rest of the month, adding it to the next day’s challenge. I also need to do the tasks in order and to move at my own pace. Honestly, I’ve wasted enough time on my weight loss journey, so my goal is to complete each challenge each day of the month. Plus, I’m on summer break now, so there’s absolutely no excuse for me not to finish in a month.

Today, June 1st is my starting day.

Today’s challenge was to drink 20 sips of water the moment you wake up (to wake up your metabolism) and to continue drinking water all day long.

Ready for the morning!

I filled my water bottle up before bed last night and left it on my nightstand. I had cold water waiting for me this morning! I was excited to do my 20 sips this morning (hoping that feeling lasts). It felt like the icy water “woke” my insides up!  ?  The goal of this challenge is to drink water all day long, too.  Jenna suggests diverse ways to jazz up your water, such as adding different fruits and herbs. We always keep a pitcher of lemon water in our refrigerator, so this was easy. I’ve tried cucumber mint and mixed berries, each was very refreshing!  I’ve been taking a few sips during commercial breaks and at each stop light when I was on the road. I carry my trusty water bottle with me everywhere, so this has been helping me with my water intake. We also started our garden today, so I easily went through my water bottle while working outside. I drank 2 water bottles full today (64 ounces).  I’ll be sipping my water during the Cavs game tonight, too!

Water bottle- don’t leave home without it!





I’ll be reporting my progress on my blog each week to hold me accountable and keep me on track.

This first week, I’ll be focusing on food diaries, walking, exercises to do throughout the day, times to eat and chewing. ?

Wish me luck!


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