Oh no! It’s only Jan. 1st and I’m already sick of salad!

Just kidding about the title. But seriously, isn’t this how we usually feel about 1 week into a New Year? Or maybe it takes us until February or March, but we get there eventually. And every year we say, ” this year will be different.” Is that ever true? So don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Make a few goals. Plan some events you’ve always wanted to do. Do 1 thing at a time. Make a plan.

I have a few goals. Nothing special but things I want to work toward this year. You know what’s going to make this possible? There is no PRESSURE! None. I’m excited about accomplishing a few goals. I’m looking forward to the changes that 2013 will bring. And I plan to ENJOY the MOMENTS.

I hope you join me πŸ™‚

Health:

  1. Maintain current weight (weigh myself weekly).
  2. Run 1000 miles.
  3. 3 half marathons and 2 triathlons (at least! you’ll notice no marathons on the goal sheet this year πŸ™‚ and I’m not upset!)
  4. Try 1 new meal per week (or maybe 2/month… I need this to be achievable).

Financial:

  1. Stick to the budget for entire year.
  2. Save for new car and vacation.

Spiritual:

  1. Be thankful. List of 1000 things. (inspired by the book One Thousand Gifts)
  2. Have an open heart for new lessons I need to learn.

Intellectual:

  1. Read 12 books (1 per month)
  2. Start and complete 1 year of grad school.

This list will surely grow as the year passes by. Goals may change. This is my start.

Excited about ditching my shopping "lists" and condensing into my new shopping booklet with pockets for coupons!

Excited about ditching my shopping “lists” and condensing into my new shopping booklet with pockets for coupons!

What are your goals?

Challenge Recap and Looking Ahead

My 6 in 6 challenge is over. Total weight loss after 5 weeks: 6.4 lbs. (Honestly, I didn’t get a chance to weight myself after the final week because my scale is at work, and I have several vacay days off. πŸ˜‰ But I met my goal! ) At the end of a challenge there all always mixed emotions. On one side, I’m thrilled that I did what I set out to do. On the other hand, my brain is still in challenge mode and wants to know what’s next. That will have to take a little thought.

I hope you were able to gain some encouragement and motivation from my journey and hope that maybe you joined in as well. Maybe this will inspire you to start your own challenge (maybe with the help of a dietitian?)…? You may be thinking that you have more than 6 pounds to lose. The task seems daunting. But challenges like my 6 in 6, or a 30 day, or 60 day, can help break that weight loss into smaller chunks that are more reasonable to think about and easier to achieve.

Hopefully, this will be good motivator for you to pick your own challenge and start in the New Year. I’m excited for what 2013 will bring and the many changes that we go through as people as each day passes. I need to do some thinking about New Year’s resolutions andΒ  reflections on 2012. I plan to do that in the next few days and share my goals with you for the start of the New Year.

I hope your Christmas was Merry and Bright πŸ™‚

Candied pecans!

Homemade candied pecans!

Me and the hubs ready for Doles family Christmas

Me and the hubs ready for Doles family Christmas

Homemade caramel corn

Homemade caramel corn

Sadie in dog toy bliss

Sadie in dog toy bliss

6 in 6: Final Week Plan

Can you believe it? Week 6 is here!! That’s how quickly you can either make big changes or continue on the path you are on. Time flies. There is no time like the present. Make a change.

This is the final week. Keep pushing hard. This will be a tough week week for me because it’s my birthday week… but I’m not going to let that stand in the way of a strong finish. Balance. Moderation. A perfect time to practice this.

Week 6 plan:

12-16

Life

Learning through the Journey

Going through this experience has given me a much better understanding of what my weight loss clients must deal with on a daily basis. To be perfectly honest, this is the first time that I have purposefully set out to lose weight. The best method is prevention. That is what I strive for… I stay active and eat well. But weight gain doesn’t usually happen quickly. Americans gain an average of 1-2# a year during the holidays (just the holidays). 1-2# doesn’t seem like a big deal until 10 years later and you’re”suddenly” 20#’s overweight. This challenge as well as working with a dietitian regularly will help you lose those extra pounds that you’ve gained over the years… AND help you develop great habits that will PREVENT further weight gain.

I’ve been thinking a lot about “pearls” of wisdom I can take from this journey. With only 1.5 weeks left, I’ve now had plenty of time to reflect on the challenges and victories that come with trying to lose weight. This is surely an ever-growing list, but I think this is a good start.

1. Weight loss takes dedication and discipline.

  • It is NOT easy to break bad habits AND make new ones at the same time. If anyone tells you differently, they are lying.

2. I will be hungry if I don’t eat the right foods.

3. I will be hungry if I don’t eat often enough.

  • See a theme in 2 and 3? Yes, eating less calories than you are burning can lead to hunger. The trick is to eat by day and fast by night. Plan 3 meals and 2 snacks to get through the day, and then stop eating after dinner (or 2 hours before bed). And choose satisfying snacks!

4. Vegetables ARE actually filling while not taking up that many calories.

5. Food tracking becomes easier as it becomes habit.

  • It’s tough to start, but it is such a great tool to facilitate weight loss.

6. Food tracking is easier if I put the food in right before I eat or right after.

7. Meal planning is essential to staying within my calorie budget and not depriving myself.

  • Tip: take one day of the week to plan at least 5 dinners, and make your grocery list. Leave yourself a back-up plan if a night doesn’t work out how you planned (e.g. have sub stuff on hand for a quick meal).

8. Eating out makes sticking to my calorie plan extremely difficult and even harder when eating healthily at the same time.

  • Tip: PLAN AHEAD. If you know you are going out to eat, check out the nutrition facts from the restaurant ahead of time and choose options that will fit into your meal plan.

9. Thinking about food all day can lead to “false hunger.”

  • Let me explain this. Planning my meals and snacks and accounting for every calorie can be overwhelming. It can start to consume your time to where all you can think about is the next time you eat. This is false hunger. You think you’re hungry, but your food diary says that you’ve had enough. This is tough for me. I’m thinking about my next meals not to mention that my job is centered around food. The best way I have learned to overcome this obstacle is to distract myself. After writing this article I’m heading straight out to take the dog for a walk. At work when I’m thinking about eating but know that I don’t need to, I walk around the store, go chat with a friend, find a new project to start working on, chew gum, etc. Whatever it takes to distract yourself, do it. I recommend physical activity for sure!

10. Lastly… Reward yourself!

  • Not with food. Losing weight? Excellent. Don’t sabotage yourself with a food reward or night out. Plan a massage or pedicure for the end of the challenge. Buy yourself a new outfit. Purchase new workout songs on Itunes. This is the fun part!

I hope these thoughts encourage you. I hope they help you see that you’re not alone. Most people experience the same challenges. The key is finding your perfect solution to get through the obstacles.

Stay with it. We’re almost there!

(love this logo from a government site in utah)

(love this logo from a government site in utah)

6 in 6: Week 5 Plan

Can anyone else believe how fast these last week 4 weeks have flown by? We only have 2 weeks left in our 6 in 6 challenge! Crazy!This week rushed by so quickly that I didn’t get a chance to get my journey thoughts out to you all… (apologies)… look for those this week! Maybe they will give you a 2nd wind to get to the end πŸ™‚

Have you been as successful as you hoped?

What obstacles have stood in your way?

What are ways that you got around those obstacles?

What can you do to improve in the last 2 weeks?

At this point in the challenge our bodies can start to get used to the new routine. We may need to push ourselves a little harder than we did previously. My push will be a little bit more cardio and to make sure I actually get myself to the gym on the days planned.

Here you go!

12-9 Plan

I ended this past week with a fun Christmas get-together with some of my best friends πŸ™‚ I did some splurging on pizza and cookies… not gonna lie. BUT I got back on the train today with an intense sweat session of yoga. It’s all about balance πŸ™‚

Anyone who knows my husband knows which cookie was his favorite of mine :)

Anyone who knows my husband knows which cookie was his favorite of mine πŸ™‚

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