Category Archives: Motivation

Try..Tri…

I want to compete in a triathlon.  Is that a weird thing for me to say while my weight is still in the upper 200’s?  I know I can finish.  Does it matter that I’m quite sure I would finish last?

My friend, Brad, has decided to coach me through my first (and second) tri, and I’m ready to do what it takes.  I’m not sure what this means for me today, but I’m ready to face it and find out.  Check out this message from Brad.  It’s so powerful! He truly believes that we can accomplish the goals we set because he’s done it.  Check out his blog, http://bradgansberg.wordpress.com, if you feel like being encouraged and inspired..

Wish me luck…training begins now.

*****

And check out this beautifully delicious looking salad made by Zepherine!  She’s doing great with this challenge!  Wow..I wish I had one of these in front of me right now!

 I’d love to see your pics too!

Inquiring Minds?

I’ve been asked about the #7DayChip and #30DayChip a few times today and a few times prior so I think it’s time to share more information about it.  My friend and fellow blogger, Brad, designed the chip as a motivational challenge to eat well (without binging – whatever the means to us individually.)

I tried several times last month to complete seven days of healthy, mindful eating.  And after several attempts, I received my #7DayChip on January 5.  You can see the details of my chip here.  Now, a couple of weeks later, I’m chasing the #30DayChip!  I’m currently on Day 23, and while Day 30 seems far off in the distance, it does seem attainable!

Several twitter friends have already earned their #7DayChip.  And in our attempts – the restarts and the achievements we’ve found support in each other.  You can find all of the information about the #7DayChip and the #30DayChip on Brad’s blog: http://bradgansberg.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/7-days-without-a-binge-time-for-a-chip/!  I usually ask before sharing a link, but I’m confident that Brad will be thrilled to add new-comers to the mix.

The #7DayChip is a motivational tool…a challenge for yourself, with yourself..that comes with a lot of support from folks who are attempting to make healthier, more controlled choices too. If you want to work toward your own #7DayChip, let @BradGansberg know on his blog or via twitter.   And follow these #7DayChip -ers too:  @loosing_it, @EMRUK, @violettfem, @DaleLambert and more.

It’s always a good day to make healthy decisions…so let’s do it together..

Am I Really Saying This Again?

I enjoyed every minute of the holidays. And while I didn’t eat everything I in sight, I ate much more than I should have eaten. I don’t feel guilt as much as disappointment in myself…and I feel bloated.

But today is a new day. I know I’ve said this a million times, but today is a new day full of opportunities to make good choices. And I’m determined to make that happen.

One of my heroes, SeattleRunnerGirl, said something that has resonated with me since I read it yesterday. She said, “My body is satisfied with far less food than my mind.” And while that probably isn’t a new realization for me, it’s definitely food for thought. And I’m determined to win this battle within myself.

Right now I’m hungry. I’ve eaten well today, and as the evening continues I find it hard not to snack myself into the late hours. This has always been true, but in the first year of my weight-loss I prepared for it by eating healthy, whole foods during the day.

And another thing that helped me as I lost the first 100 pounds was reminding myself that I can eat again tomorrow. I don’t have to eat everything in one day because the food will still be here tomorrow.

I had some solid workouts last week, but I haven’t exercised since arriving for holiday fun with my family. I committed to doing 30-Day Shred six days a week for a month, and I am recommitting to working out today.

This inner struggle is getting old my friends. I’m frustrated with myself, but I won’t give up. I am going to keep trying and keep admitting my faults and weaknesses until those weaknesses no longer exist. Maybe I’ll regain the control I had in the first year…or perhaps it will be a battle for the rest of my life. Either way, I will fight to succeed…to lose weight…and to take pride in myself for doing my best.

It’s not easy today, but I’m going to do it and hope that tomorrow is a little better.

What Motivates You Today?

I am rarely motivated to eat well or exercise by negativity. Okay, I’m never motivated by negativity. But there are days in which I don’t feel like working out. On those days, I have to look at where I’ve come from to remind myself where I want to go, and that is what I did today.

After looking at a few “before” photos there was no question that I needed to walk to the gym so I did. Never again do I want to be the girl who hides behind the table in the hopes that I won’t look so huge.


Nor do I want to be the girl who is satisfied wearing pants that are too long with a sweater that doesn’t fully cover my abdomen.
I know now that it doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve proven it to myself! And I’m going to continue to do what it takes to be a healthier version of me.

Is my “no going back” approach negative? What motivates you to do what you need to do when you don’t feel like doing it?

Getting Serious

I have begun to get back into a serious groove over the last couple of weeks, but I’m still not completely secure in my standing. And now that it is (unofficially) the holiday season, it’s time for me to ramp up my efforts even more.

I’m not a big fan of Halloween so I managed to get through the holiday without consuming much candy again this year. But this is the time of year in which I begin baking tasty treats, making enough homemade hot cocoa mix to last through Winter (actually, that’s already done) and asking Mom for her homemade secret candy recipes.

Saturday I made 11 mini-loaves of pumpkin bread, and it was delicious! I brought a few loaves to the church hayride that Dad and I went to over the weekend and froze a few loaves to take home too.

It would be easy to say “It’s just one slice of pumpkin bread” or “It’s just one cup of cocoa with whipped cream.” You get the idea…but it’s far more important to me to make choices that will leave me feeling confident and healthy going into the new year.

Life will be full of tempting treats for most of us in the next 60 days, and I plan to enjoy some myself. But I’ll remind myself to look at the bigger picture, just as I did last year.
Here’s an excerpt from a post about holiday eating last year:

I also post status updates on Facebook almost religiously. (Yes…I am that person. hehe) And over the the last week or so, I’ve posted messages about standing over the stove preparing this stuff, and I’ve heard the same question from several people, including the woman at the market:

“How do you make that stuff and still lose weight?”

My answer is pretty simple…I don’t eat much of it. I have a piece here and there, but I plan for it first. When I make any dish (dessert, dinner, hot chocolate) I use the recipe builder on WW e-tools to figure out point values of each piece. And believe me, when a tiny piece of peanut butter fudge is valued at 3 points, it’s much easier to say no. I also store the goodies in air tight containers rather than leaving them on platters because it takes more effort to nibble. 😉


When I get the urge, I remind myself that I already know how it tastes. I picture it then I picture how I’ll feel when I step of the scale showing a loss, and that seals it for me. I would rather lose weight than eat junk — even if it is quality junk food. 😉

There is so much more to the holidays that rich foods and decadent treats. And while it’s absolutely okay to indulge in a bit of that, I choose to indulge in the fun and excitement that surrounds this holiday. It worked at Thanksgiving, and it will work again.
So my plan going into the holidays will be to embrace the season and my loved ones rather than focusing on the dinners, the treats and the decadent desserts. Life is about so much more than food! And if I go into this time of year prepared, I think I can come out of them healthier and happier than I was going in.
Do you have a plan of attack for the holidays? Am I ridiculous for thinking about this early?!

So Close…

I spent the evening with Dad tonight. We enjoyed dinner at one of our favorite quick dinner spots, Charlie’s Chicken, before heading to the grocery store. We also went to Old Navy to window shop for coats. I can’t believe it’s almost coat weather, but we experienced a light freeze last night which is a reminder that Winter is on it’s way. And while I don’t own a coat yet, I’m happy to know that if I did own one I could button it again this year!

Knowing that I might not be small enough to wear a coat off the rack at Old Navy, we looked anyway. I like having little goals, and I knew it wouldn’t be too long so I tried a coat on. It was snug, just as I thought it would be, but it won’t be long at all until I can comfortably wear it.


Dad smiled as I tried to button it – again, I just wanted to see how close I was to being able to button it. And to my surprise, it did button! Seriously friends, it’s snug, but it’s so close. I am so close! I honestly can’t express how happy I felt when I realized that I’ll be able to fit into this coat soon. This little moment makes me feel accomplished, and it also makes me look forward to the day it will be too big.

My weight-loss efforts slowed over the summer, but I’m determined to get back into full swing so I went to the gym with Dad today and rocked the elliptical machine for 30 minutes. I burned 348 calories, and that was enough today. I kept my heart rate elevated and felt like a champion when I left. Being on the elliptical made me crave being there again so I’ll do a repeat tomorrow.


This journey is filled with little moments that remind me of how far I’ve come and how far I want to go, and today I experienced more than one of those moments. I’m moving forward, and days like today remind me that I’m worth the effort.

Putting It Out There in Black and White

I’ve been spending time catching up and commenting on some of my favorite blogs, and wow..there are so many incredible blogs out there! Thanks to each of you who shared a link with me last week! I’ll get to every blog, but it’s going to take some time because there’s so much to see and read and learn.

As I was reading tonight, I came across Christina’s post on Never The Skinny Girl, and I decided I HAD to post this questionnaire on my blog as well. My reason for posting it is that it’s not always easy to share things like this in black and white, but it’s such an important part of this journey!

I hope you’ll take the time to answer these questions too in a comment or in your own blog post. If you do, let me know so I can read your answers even though our answers are really most important to us individually.

1. What was your highest weight, what do you weigh right now and what is your goal weight?

My highest recorded weight was 393.6. I am currently about 112 pounds down putting me at around 281. I still have a long journey ahead, but I’m a lot closer than I was when I started…:)

2. What is your #1 motivation for losing weight?

I want to be considered normal…I want to be pretty in the eyes of our shallow society. I want to walk down the street or the isle at the supermarket without being judged by strangers…

3. Have you always been overweight?

My mom and I were looking at old photos just a few nights ago, and while I always felt fat I really wasn’t. I was a chubby kid, but as we looked at pictures we were astonished by how small I was…it’s not as far off as it seems now!

4. When you want to give up what inspires you to keep going?

I think about how much easier it is to walk when my feet are not aching, how much more fun it is to shop for clothes now and how it all just keeps getting better. I already feel incredible..I seriously cannot imagine how amazing I’ll feel 100 pounds from now, but you can be sure I’m going to find out!

5. What is the #1 thing you look forward to when you hit your goal weight?

I’m looking forward to the day that I can wear my teal Pearl Jam shirt with the avocado on the front from their performance at Irving Plaza in 2005. 🙂

6. Do you have support on your weight loss journey?

Yes…from my family, my friends, my bloggin’ buddies, tweeps, etc. I’m thankful for the support..always. Just saying.

7. What is your favorite exercise?

When I’m doing cardio, I love the elliptical machine. I love the way I own it now because it felt impossible at the beginning. And in weight training, I love side lunges with a shoulder raise. I feel like a rock star every time I do those!

8. What is the most important thing you have learned on your weight loss journey?

I’m learning (still in progress) that who I am today is okay. I am a person who is actively changing for the better…to become who I want to be rather than living in the rut of who I was. And for that reason alone, I should be damn proud of myself. Like I said, still working on it…but it seems crystal clear these days.

9. What is one thing you have given up that you miss the most?

I’m so happy to say that I haven’t given anything up. Nothing is off-limits. And I truly believe that this is the only way to maintain life-long success. I don’t eat everything I crave every time I crave it, but there’s no reason I can’t enjoy a cupcake or ice cream from time to time. And I do..

10. What is your strategy for losing weight?

I eat proper portions and exercise…Funny how that works, huh? 😉

I was really struggling before this post. I’ve eaten enough today, but I feel like snacking. My stomach is growling a little, but I should be sleeping! And for the last few hours I’ve been dealing with an inner struggle, but I’ve reminded myself that I would rather continue losing weight than eat a slice of pecan pie that I could eat tomorrow with a little planning.

After posting such candid answers to the questions above, I’m reminded that I’ll feel so awesome when I wake up tomorrow knowing I made good choices all day today. So on that note, I’m going to sleep! And perhaps it’s strange to feel a little excited that I can eat again when I wake up, but that’s what I’m thinking right now. Just keeping it real…;)

Goodnight lovies!

Thankful Thoughts and Things I Need To Remember

I spent a big part of the summer writing about my sad, lonely feelings, and you all listened and supported me. You guys rock! And now it’s time to share some of the reasons I’m thankful. Even through the heartache I faced recently, I know that I am blessed. And I’ve never been more sure that God is real and that He loves me.

Today I’m thankful for my family and the opportunity to spend time with them this week. I know I’ve already mentioned how happy I am to be here, but I can’t say it enough…I love my mom more than words can describe. It’s so wonderful to be surrounded by people who care about me so much. And I’m enjoying every moment…

Earlier this evening, I made a list of things I need to remember in order to refocus completely. I’m trying to settle into a healthier eating and workout mode, and notes have helped me several times along this journey. So tonight I wrote this list, and now it’s hanging where I’ll see it several times a day. I’m counting on the things I know to help me bounce back, and I’d like to share those things with you.

You can click on the photo to make it bigger. Just saying…


I’m taking it one day at a time, and I can honestly say that I’m happy with myself when I consider the things I listed above. How do you motivate yourself when you’ve been out of your routine? What helps you keep your eye on the prize?

And one more thing…I will not go to sleep tonight without working out first. I’m telling you because it’s a good way to stay accountable, and I need that right now…just saying.

Motivation v. Determination

If you’ve read my blog, you might know that SeattleRunnerGirl is one of my favorite bloggers. She writes thought-provoking posts and leaves comments that make me look within myself so I’m thrilled that she’s writing a guest post for me today. Please welcome Val and check out her blog, www.seattlerunnergirl.com if you don’t already read it.

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I’m so honored to write this post! I have long admired Kenz’s commitment to what feels
like (and often is) a long, hard road to getting healthy and staying that way. Not many
of us, me included, can be so honest when we are struggling. (I wonder why that is? I
guess that’s a different topic for another day.)

Today I want to share with you what I believe the difference is between determination
and motivation, and how I think that difference matters to you and me. You can hardly
go a day following healthy living blogs or surfing the twitter-net without hearing the word
motivation. “How do you stay motivated?” “I’m soooo not motivated today!” “I lost my
motivation.” “I don’t know where she finds the motivation to _____ (fill in the blank with
some wonderfully motivated activity)!”

Reference.com defines motivation, in part, as “the intention of achieving a goal, leading
to goal-directed behavior.” But the way we commonly use the word motivation, I think,
is quite different. Most of us use “motivation” to describe an emotion that makes
us want to make good choices. We feel motivated to run or to eat healthy or…well,
you know. Boiled down even further, motivation is what we feel when we want to
do so something. We feel a desire to do it, so we follow-through on that desire.

Motivation = emotion = desire/want.

What’s my point? The challenge of using motivation as the foundation for our healthy
living journey is that emotions are fleeting and change so quickly it can leave you
breathless. Who among us hasn’t had a day when we feel amazing one minute, and
exhausted the next? Can you honestly say that your emotions aren’t affected by a
myriad of influences; from sleep to diet to exercise to blood sugar to your day at work
to whatsideofthebeddidyougetupon?! I can’t, and I’m pretty sure you can’t either.

Emotions are ever-changing and unpredictable. So when we rely on them to fuel our
fire, the result of that reliance is going to be as ever-changing as unpredictable as our
emotions! And I don’t know about you, but me? I think this healthy living stuff is hard
enough without choosing to rely on something unpredictable to help me reach my goals.

Determination, on the other hand, is defined by Dictionary.com as “the act of coming to
a decision or of fixing or settling a purpose.” It’s also defined as “the quality of being
resolute; firmness of purpose.” That is not emotion. To me, determination is this:
you sit down and figure out what’s important to you. Maybe that includes making a list
of reasons why you want to lose weight. Then you make a decision to do what it takes
to achieve that goal.

Speaking of goals, I’ve heard it said that the difference between a dream and a goal is
a timeline. So you don’t just set a goal and make a decision to pursue it; you then stay
seated and formulate a plan to reach that goal. Break it down into mini goals. Identify
the choices you’ll have to make each month, week, day, and meal or workout in order

to make that goal happen. Schedule the workouts, the shopping trips, the time to wash,
chop, and prep healthy foods. You get the idea. That’s determination, friends.

To say it another way (really, how much longer am I going to talk?!), determination is
what happens when you identify your goals, make a decision to achieve them, and
formulate a realistic, specific, and achievable plan to get you from here to there. No
reliance on emotions. No being buffeted by the winds of ohmygoshmyperiodishere or
ididntgetenoughsleeplastnightsoimmakingpoorchoices.

I’ll wrap this up because I think the true value of posts like these is the conversation
that follows in the comments. So, what do you think? Am I totally wrong? Is this just
a matter of semantics and really the words aren’t that different? What words do you
use to describe the spark that keeps your flame lit? Do you struggle to find motivation
and does this idea that determination is where it’s at speak to you? Please to share
your thoughts. And thank you, Kenz, and Kenz’s readers, for letting me share this
conversation with you!

I Did What I Said I’d Do!

In my last post I said I would exercise hard, and I did. It’s almost laughable (except that it’s really not) that it took me so long to remember how good I feel after a good workout. And I do feel good. My body needed to feel the burn, and just as I imagined, I’m ready to face the new day with a renewed energy.

Stretching after doing way too many bicycle crunches. 🙂


Yesterday was a struggle. I forced myself to do what I didn’t want to do, and I am so glad I did because one good choice often leads to another good choice. I exercised, ate well and now it’s time to do it again.

Dinner tonight was a turkey burger, baked sweet potato fries and steamed zucchini. It was relatively low in sodium, high in protein and fiber and delicious!


I may not like what the scale says Thursday because we get what we give. But I know that if I’m diligent I’ll like what I see a week from now. We can spend our entire lives wallowing in regret, or we can do our best to make today better than yesterday. The choice is clear even when it isn’t easy. Yesterday I made the choice to be better, and I’m going to do it again today.