Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Year, A New Challenge

Yep. I'm joining in yet another challenge.

I wasn't going to. I'm bored with tracking calories on every single day. I'm bored with watching every single morsel of food that goes into my mouth. I'm pissed about my knee blow out that is interfering tremendously with my running regimen.

However, I am not finished losing all the weight I need to lose and these darn challenges do help keep me accountable. SO, I'm joining another one. Plus, I've really enjoyed meeting the other challengers. Everyone is so encouraging and uplifting and honest and they try really hard and all of that motivates me.


This one is called the Spring Chick Challenge hosted by Stormy at Real Chicks Getting Fit.

Here's my intro info (haha- intro info):

I'm a 53 (crap, 54 on Friday) mom of four amazing daughters who all left the nest to explore life on their own following college. Now it's me, the husband and the cutest little dog EVER. I'm finally adjusting to having an empty nest, though I still don't love it. One of my first discoveries following the emptying of the nest was that there's WAY more to me than necessary.

It's just no fun living a mere 5 minutes from the beach and never go due to all this excess weight. I have tales of loss success and failure. But, since June 5, 2010, I believe I have finally reached the right mindset to make this journey stick once and for all. And it's challenges like this and encouragement from all of you that make the difference.

I've lost 73 pounds since June and I still have a lot yet to lose. But OMGeeOsh do I feel better or what?!

The lifestyle changes and daily diet changes have been amazing for both Hubs and myself. And not just on the weight loss front. We have seen improvements in his ADHD and I have not had a single flare up of my fibromyalgia. Both of us no longer get sluggish in the afternoons and our moods have improved dramatically (Ok, mostly it's my moods that have improved. His were not so bad to begin with).

I chose to go gluten free and somewhat vegetarian- heck, some days we eat a vegan menu. When, on occasion, we do eat meat it is grass fed beef from small farms and vegetarian fed, free range chickens from small farms. We have access to fresh seafood around here so that's never really been off the table.

I have also stopped using cow's milk. Instead, we now use coconut milk (the stuff in the dairy section is coconut drink NOT coconut milk. Actual coconut milk comes in cans). It adds a richness to everything. Olive oil is used when I'm not using high temps because it does release toxins when heated to high temps just like other oils. So, I now use coconut oil for cooking. When you mix 1/4 cup coconut oil with 1/2 tsp of lecithin, nothing sticks to the pan!

Also, we are not using refined, white sugar or artifical sweeteners. I now have us on Coconut sugar (also called palm sugar) and Turbinado (which is raw sugar- it is the sugar that you get after the very first press so there is very little processing).

And that's just some of the dietary changes. I have also switched our health and beauty products.

I could go on (and on, and on, and on) but enough is enough.

Here are my goals for the challenge:

  •  Run three miles- regardless of time. Let's take this one step at a time, shall we? LOL Seriously, I would love to be able to do this. Someone please inform my knee.
  • TRACKING: I will continue to track daily intake of calories, water (64 ozs daily) and exercise on no matter how bored or annoyed I get with it.
  • CALORIES: I will keep my daily calories at or under 1500 each and every day.
  • NIGHT TIME SNACKING: Is so awesome I will not eat after 8:00 pm every night. (I hate this one).
  • I will continue to walk every day. Tucker keeps me honest on this one for sure! Some days we walk once but, most days, we get out there twice. Some days it's 3 or 4 miles, other days it's 5. Some days it's walking, some days it's running and, other days, it's both. Regardless, I will keep track of the miles and hours each day on The hours should be at least ONE HOUR, 7 DAY/WEEK. The miles vary. 
  • I will add some form of strength training. Probably. Maybe. Hopefully?
  • I will post weekly results on the check-in day.
  • I will try to be better about visiting other challengers and encourage them.
  • Get organized
  • Write every day

LAST UPDATE FOR Give Yourself the Best Gift
  • Drink 64 oz of water daily: YES!
  • Exercise at least one hour 7 days/week: YES!
  • Keep daily calories between 1200 and 1400: YES!
  • Post daily exercise and food on YES!
  • Post weekly results: YES!
  • No food after 8:00 pm: NO! But at least is wasn't stuff that was bad for me.
  • Eat slower: RIGHT. I give up on this one.
  • Three days of strength training exercises: NO
Here's the calorie breakdown:
  • Monday: 1364
  • Tuesday: 1320
  • Wednesday: 1355
  • Thursday:1348
  • Friday:1213
  • Saturday: 1131
  • Sunday:1204
Total calories for the week: 8935

Total CARDIO for the week: 25 miles AND 8 hours

Total weight loss for Give Yourself the Best Gift : -24 lbs

A HUGE thanks to the ladies who hosted the holiday challenges! I don't know how they did it but I'm glad they did!


    1. I am still amazed at your determination, and commitment, to your lifestyle change. I am sure it was not easy to change your cooking style, go gluten free (and stick in some vegan meals) but you did it! You are an inspiration and I learned a lot in this post.
      Did you do all your own research, or did you seek the advice of a nutritionist? I find there is so much information it is a little mind boggling!
      Good luck on this new challenge.! I will be following your progress and cheering you on from the sidelines!

    2. Shawn- I did my own research. And there is an awful lot of info out there- you're quite right about that! Just read and take what makes sense to you. Generally, if it sounds crazy, it probably is. In the same way, if it sounds good, it probably is! LOL

    3. I wish you lots of luck with your new challenge, Pam. I know that you will do it! I am full of admiration for how you have turned your life around so far, both with the weight, and the dietary changes. It's good that you feel so much better. It's a pity about your knee at the moment, which is restricting your running, but you are doing so many good things, that you just cannot fail! I certainly don't mean to be patronizing, but WELL DONE YOU!!

    4. Amazing what we can do when the determination is strong...sadly, my is weak.


    5. Diane- Thank you! A big part of my success is from encouragement from such supportive friends as you!

      Gail-My determination was ZERO until this summer. I live every day not knowing when that zero level will return but hoping it will not.

    6. Good luck Pam, with your new challenge. I am sure you will pass it :) Have a lovely Day! big hugs x

    7. OMG!
      I just found you blog today and read this post and i'm hooked. My goal this year is to eat more healthfully and become more active.

      I'm 52 and need to loose weight, my body-joints have really started to ache and I need to make these changes with the hope they'll help on both fronts.

      I am encouraged with what I've read today and I find your change to gluten free interesting and have read about it myself. Who knows maybe down the road I'll try that too!

    8. I love watching you take on these challenges with such determination - and humor. You're always an inspiration...really! It's working for you and I hope to see you dipping a real toe in that beautiful ocean of yours this summer.

    9. So glad you've joined the SCC look forward to OUR continued success!

    10. I am so proud of you! When I read your stats at the end at what you did and did not do I was impressed! You go GIRLFRIEND!! I am going to try to go gluten free and see if this helps with some of my joint issues. You inspire me to be a better me! :)

    11. It has been so much fun following you in the past year! You've done great sticking with the program. My resolution for this year is to avoid wheat, corn, soy, dairy, and sugar (except for the occasional Ritter Dark Chocolate with Hazelnut) OKAY, you can see that I'm not as committed as some. BUT, you're always an inspiration. Love reading your posts. And nothing is cuter than TUCKER!

    12. Congratulations on not only the weight loss, but all of the wonderful life changes. Never take good health for granted. I am working on better health in the New Year, too!!!

    13. I am so glad you are in this challenge. You bring not only positivity but insight and hope to those who have a lot to lose. You show It can be done. I am excited to be a part of your journey to run 3miles. I will send healing vibes to your knees. Looking froward to an awesome 2012.

    14. I would be so lost with this type of diet.
      We will be back on the WW plan, but I will check into some of your suggestions.

    15. So incredible, you know what, I remember when you started and look at you now. Good job for the year.
      I was looking forward to see how you did. Did you get a little black dress?

    16. You live that close to a beach? Wow, that's a powerful motivation forgood shape!

      You're absolutely fantastic at keeping to the goals, I admire you so much. Funny, the 2 that you have difficulty with are 2 that I would find the easiest, the eat slowly (keep trying at it, I used to blot down food in lumps, now I chew,chew, chew and it's become a way of life!) and not eating after 8pm (I sometimes break this, but ginger tea is good cos it warms your tummy, and you're not tempted to eat junk with it. I use "Pooka 3 Ginger", it's gorgeous).

      Sorry for long comment, but you're awesome!

    17. Good luck with your new challenge in the new year!

    18. You have accomplished so much.
      Go to the beach!!!

    19. I am blown away at your success at loosing weight! 73 pounds is incredible! My husband & I have also tried eating healthier and even went vegan for a week (but he missed his cheese & I missed my eggs too much to continue). I've never tried coconut milk, but we do like Almond milk which I'm guessing is similar since they're both nuts. Happy New Year, Pam. I'm looking forward to another year of blogging together.

    20. Thanks for stopping by my blog. 73 lbs gone...your totally rock. I can't wait until I'm blogging about this kind of numbers.

      Thanks also for the words of encouragement :-)

    21. Eva- Thanks! I sure hope so!

      jen- So glad you stopped by! We’ve really seen some amazing benefits from the health eating- it’s a shame we didn’t do this years ago! The body aches have nearly all disappeared and, once all the weight is off, I feel that they will all be gone. Thanks!

      Stephanie-I start out determined but then get bored as time goes by. I doubt I’ll be dipping in the ocean but at least, maybe, I won’t be avoiding the beach altogether!

      skinny-I’m glad too! We’ll all be successful TOGETHER!

      melody- thanks! I’ll be interested to know how the gluten free works out for you. It’s been great around here!

      Judy-Stop talking about chocolate! LOL Thank you so much for being such a great friend! Let me know how your resolution goes! You can do it- but only if you really want to. That’s what took me so dang long!

      Robin-Thanks! I’m trying to work on not taking things like good health for granted!

      Stormy-I’m glad too! You’re just too kind! But, yes. It can be done. I hope I don’t drop the ball this time. Thanks so much for hosting the challenge!

      Shirley- I know so very many folks who have had great success with WW! I think it’s all about finding what works for each of us and then sticking to it!

      FG- It’s such a long and hard journey. It was so much easier putting it on. Sort of. LOL No little black dress yet. It would still be a plus size so, until I get out of those big sizes, no new clothes.

      Betty-I know! I know! I’m back to walking and even that hurts like hell. If it doesn’t stop soon, I’m actually going to the doctor. Which tells you that it hurts pretty bad. LOL Thanks!

      Mimi-We do. We live just over the bridge from Sullivan’s Island. I’m going to have to try that ginger tea idea. Someone mentioned that to me a long time ago and I totally forgot about it! Thanks!

      Joyce- Thanks!

      Debby-Thanks! I know! I really should just go on over. But it’s going to be FREEZING here this week! 

      Kara-Thank you! DoodleBug much prefers almond milk to coconut milk. We have such a mixed diet anymore- sometimes vegetarian, sometimes vegan, all the time gluten free…we’re nuts! LOL I’m looking forward to it too! It’s the wonderful friends like you who keep me going!

      wife-I can’t wait until I’m blogging about being finished with losing weight! LOL We’ll get through this- together. One day at a time!

    22. Pam, thanks for sharing your goals! I am also in need of shedding a few - okay - several pounds! It's nice to know that there's a chance that some of my fibromyalgia symptoms might go away with some weight loss. Great info!

      Also, thanks for stopping by my blog! Welcome! Hope you pop in from time to time - leave a comment or two or just say "hi!"


    23. I love the new profile pic, it really shows your serious personality! ;) As usual, your goals and determination are impressive. congrats. Best wishes with the new challenge!

    24. I'd heard about cooking with coconut oil but never have tried it. Thanks for the heads up. I'll try it.

    25. Sounds like you have a great system going. Keep rocking it.

    26. You absolutely rock girl!

      I'm just in awe of your grit and weight loss.

      Seems like when I made it all about health and eatin' healthy the weight loss was just an added bonus.

      God bless you on your challenge and have a marvelous 2012!!! :o)

    27. Char- I had no idea that any of it would help with the fibromyalgia but it's worth a shot, right? I think it is the combination between healthier food choices, the exercise, and the weight loss! It feels great! Thanks!

      Miss April- Thanks! Yep, we're a crazy bunch! LOL I need to hop over your way and catch up!

      Michele- I love it! It's made a big difference!

      Denise- I think so too! And I HOPE I can keep it going! No quitting, right? LOL

      Nezzy-You're so sweet! Thank you! YES! I found the very same thing to be true!


    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! It makes me feel connected to everyone even though we may live far apart! Have a wonderful day!

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