Category: Weight Loss

My Goals for 2014 – Let it go! Let it GO!!

Let it Go, let it go, that perfect girl is gone. Here I stand, in the light of day, let the storm rage on. The cold never bothered me anyway. (Lyrics from the song Let it Go from the Movie FrozenIt is now the beginning of 2014 and I took my kids to see Frozen last week. “Let it go, Let it go!” is my mantra. It’s time to stop hanging on to the things, beliefs and behaviors that are not supporting me, not serving me. I’ve come to the conclusion that no one is holding me back but me.

I started by going from 5 drawers full of paper to 3 drawers. I signed up for e-statements from any merchant that offered them. I emptied my office of clutter and finished off a pile of tasks that have been hanging over my head for some time.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that have a tendency to bend over backwards to make things easier for other people (especially my kids). Then, I get frustrated when I’m at my wits end because I’m overwhelmed and doing things for other people but not finishing my own tasks. I’m terrible about asking for help until I’m at my breaking point. I’ve been making a effort to look at my weekly to do list and identify things that can be handed off to others. This also requires me to let go of my flawed perception that my way is the BEST way. I keep reminding myself that DONE is the best.

After the Christmas vacation that wouldn’t end (thank you Mother Nature for that little temper tantrum) I spent some time evaluating where I am and where I want to be. Now I’m working on how to get there. It’s a commonly held belief that sharing your goals publicly makes you more accountable. Gahhh that’s scary. I mean what if I fail? On the other hand, if I make my goals public, perhaps people will better understand why I have to regretfully say no when they ask me to do something. I tend to reflexively say “yes” or “I’ll do it.” I’m a firm believer that you don’t get to complain about the problem if you aren’t actively trying to be part of the solution. This year, I’m trying to narrow the focus of problems I’m trying to solve and as for the rest of them? “Let it go! Let it go!”

They are definitely still works in progress, but here are my goals for 2014:

  • I will devote 5 hours a week to non-contracted writing. Non-contracted writing is fiction, essays, blog posts for which I’m not paid. Yet.
  • I will find one more regular writing gig. No someone looking for a writer? Please visit my freelance writing web site.
  • I will place one essay in a new publication.
  • I will drop 10 pounds by 12/31/14 I have tried this in the past and had some success, but I suspect there are some physiological reasons why I’m not as successful as I’d like to be. I have an appointment to address this issue this week. I also have co-conspirator in exercise this time around and we share similar goals.
  • I will make a profit of $500 from Choffy sales (more on this in future blog posts).

What about you? What are your goals 2014? Don’t have any? Check out my post on Live to Write, Write to LiveI talk about several goal setting worksheets (Hint: Some of them are even free!).

It's time to see what I can do. To Test the limits and break through. No Right, no wrong, no rules for me, I'm free! Lyrics from Let it Go from the Movie Frozen






Maximum Opportunity for Advancement.

MOA Maximum Opportunity for Advancement Summer 2012 Red writing on a gray t-shirt.

Back in the days when we were DINKS (double income, no kids). I STRUGGLED to fit exercise into my daily routine. It was much easier to take off on a Sunday and ride into Boston to the Museum of Science (and back) on a 25 mile bike ride.

These days, I’ve still got the husband, but have added two kids and their activity schedules, and a fledgling writing career. Now? Now I REALLY don’t have time to exercise. I’ve made some attempts along the way, but have not been consistent. I don’t mind exercise and I truly do feel better when I’m exercising regularly, but it honestly has to be in my way to happen. If I have to make room for it, no way, no how it’s gonna happen. Sad, but true.

Last spring, Fish was promoted in karate, so our time at the dojo went from 45 minutes twice a week to 90 minutes, twice, sometimes three times a week. As I waited for her class to finish, I watched the BagFit class going on in the second dojo. BagFit is part cardio and part boxing, and from what I saw it also included a lot of sweat and laughs. The class was made up of women around my age, many of them karate moms. They finally razzed me enough about being a lurker that I decided to give it a try. I have zero upper body strength and am prone to tendonitis in my shoulders (I’d just come off 3 months of PT for my left shoulder when, with permission, I started BagFit). No problem. The instructor (one of the co-owners of the dojo), modified the workouts so I didn’t strain anything. After my two demo classes, I was hooked.

I tell people, I hate it when I start but by the time I’m done, I love it. I sweat like crazy, I get my heart rate up and I truly have a lot of fun. There is a lot of camaraderie in the class and we cheer each other on. I love that I can burn some calories rather than warming a seat. Like other martial arts programs, there is a belt system to keep you challenged and motivated. I started as a white belt and worked my way to a yellow belt by the end of the summer. I’m now working towards my orange belt.

My kids are into karate but with summer comes camps and vacations and other schedule busters. To keep attendance up over the summer, The dojo ran a program called MOA, Maximum Opportunity for Advancement, for all their classes. Any student that attended 18 classes June 25th and August 25th earned the opportunity to test early for their next belt promotion and they got a special t-shirt. My kids were into MOA. I was regularly quizzed about how many classes they had in the MOA count and if we missed a karate class on a given week they wanted to know when they were going to make it up.

When we were getting close to the August 25th cut off, the kids had more than enough classes, but it was unclear if I would make the 18 classes. Since, I’m a newly minted yellow belt, I wasn’t interested in testing, I just wanted the shirt! A miracle came through and I did indeed get the t-shirt. The belt tells my peers in the class I’m progressing, but the t-shirt? The t-shirt tells the world hey! I kicked some butt and took some names this summer, what did you do?


Here we go!

Well, hello there! How are you?

Sorry to have been away for so long. Christmas was great and we had a great New Year’s Eve with friends. My 2012 began with a  7 year old sobbing my arms “I’m going to MISS 2011!! There are too many good memories.”

Santa brought me a new iMac and I spend much of last week getting that set up and my office cleaned out. It was one of the few rooms passed over in the great purge of 2011.

I took about an hour last Tuesday and completed this worksheet from Susannah Conway (Hat Tip to Jennifer Louden for the link on Facebook)  I found it provided a valuable perspective on 2011 and allowed me to plan for 2012. My word is commitment.

I have make three commitments to myself for 2012.

  1. I will lose ten pounds.
  2. I will build a writing practice (that will ultimately lead to a book). I did a good job in 2011 posting here regularly and I have several snippets of books in play. It is time to commit the time to finish the first drafts so there is something to edit.
  3. I will find a financial planner and get our retirement funds in order.

One week in I’ve made some progress. I’ve signed up for Sparks People, downloaded the app to my phone and started tracking my intake and exercise. tracking what I ate worked before, it is time to commit and do it again. I’ve also sent inquiries to a few people looking for recommendations for a fee-for-service financial planner. I don’t have a lot of leads yet, but it’s a start.

Today, I’m starting to build my writing practice. I’m trying to carve out the mornings for writing and afternoon for life management activities. Everyone knows that a mom’s life is not her own from 3pm until 8pm weeknights. It’s going to take some work on my part to put my writing first, but it is important to me so it’s time to make it happen.

That’s what’s new from here.

What are you plans for 2012?




Me Gusta Zumba!

In my quest to lose weight, I’ve dropped about 14 pounds and so far managed to keep it off more or less. This is remarkable since I fell of the wagon when it came to regular exercise over the summer. Now that the kids are back in school and we are back from our cruise, I’m trying to get back on track with exercise and stepped up my efforts to eat healthier.

Zumba Instructor Tammy GrayOur town recreation committee sent out a flyer for a Zumba class. After several Facebook friends said they were signing up I gave it serious consideration. The timing was good, the price was reasonable and there is something to be said for exercising with friends. I figured I had nothing to lose but the weight.

According to the website Zumba Fitness® is an “. . . effective, easy-to-follow, Latin-inspired, calorie-burning dance fitness-party™.” Zumba was created by mistake by aerobics instructor Alberto “Beto” Perez in his native Columbia. The story goes that Perez forgot his traditional music one day and improvised his aerobics class using dance moves inspired by latin music from his personal cassette collection.

The emphasis in Zumba is on letting the music move you, there are no verbal commands or counting of reps. This is a challenge for a former band geek who had it drummed into her (almost literally) to hold her upper body rigid. My instructor Tammy Gray says “People learn faster when they are just copying.” I have to agree with her. I’ve tried aerobic classes and even videos, but I get lost. Still, there is a bit of a learning curve, so she teaches the same routine for an entire eight week session, but don’t for a minute think it gets boring. The music is lively without being obnoxious and while it is a challenge is to keep up with the choreography it isn’t overwhelming. It’s fun even for someone like me who is notoriously uncoordinated (I wore sneakers under my wedding dress).

Zumba Instructor Tammy GrayAfter a while the moves start to come naturally. “The first few weeks people are focused on getting the movements down.” Tammy says as participants get the hang of it, the intensity of the workout picks up and the health benefits increase. Why yes, yes it does. “I want people to feel like they accomplished something at the end.” Oh I do! It is an active workout, but I don’t ever feel over taxed. I sweat A LOT, but the time zips by and when I’m done I feel great.


Our rec committee class has been such a success that they’ve committed to offering it through 2012 and are trying to add a second class each week. This will be a great way to burn calories as the temperature plummets.


To find a class near you visit

Weight Loss Update -2.5

elevator going downphoto © 2006 Alessandra Cimatti | more info (via: Wylio)Well, things have been moving along. I am enjoying being more active and I find I miss the exercise on the days I can’t fit it in. I’m also starting to see some results. I stepped on the scale this morning to discover that I’m down two-and-a-half pounds. YEAH!! Clearly, I have a ways to go, but I’m headed in the correct direction.

I’ve been using the Lose-It app on my phone to track calories in and calories out. It has been very enlightening.

I knew that olive oil is the “better” fat, but I didn’t know that two tablespoons of EVOO is 252 calories! Yeowch! Especially since I really could have gotten away with much less on my tortellini and broccoli.

I knew that exercise is good for you, but I didn’t know that an hour of rollerskating will burn 533 calories! Whoo Hoo, Laconia Skate Escape, here I come!

I knew that I had a sweet tooth that wasn’t going to magically disappear, but I didn’t know that most of the time I can fulfill my need for chocolate with a tablespoon of chocolate chips to the tune of 50 calories.

Given my history of PCOS, and insulin resistance, I think it is time to see a nutritionist. I’m eating better than I have been, but I think with some tweaking, I could shed the pounds more efficiently. I have a call into a highly recommended nutritionist to set up an initial consultation. I’m looking forward to the next step.

Speaking of steps, I’ve been exercising relatively regularly, anywhere from three to five times per week. I was hindered slightly by a heel injury, but I transferred my workouts to a local pool and was able to burn without further aggravating things. I’ve also dusted off my bike now that spring has sprung, here in New England. I’ve been out for a few rides (the longest of which was eight-and-a-half miles in an hour). I’m also excited because a friend recently purchased a bike and we’re hoping to hit the trails with the kids.

Sailor crawls through the mud of Guantanamo Bay during 1st annual Seabee mud run. annualphoto © 2010 Official Navy Page | more info (via: Wylio) I’ve kept up with Couch 2 5K at least once a week and I’ve learned the hard way that even if you are doing other forms of exercise, you regress if you aren’t running at least a couple of days a week. The first few runs in a C25K session are always tough, but even when I get warmed up and into a groove, I find that I really don’t like running. It is jostling and I get more of an endorphin rush from biking or water aerobics. I’m enjoying the camaraderie of training for The Renegade Playground Challenge, but I don’t see myself continuing to run much after that.

So that’s the update for now. Basically, I’m feeling good, and making progress.

Weight Loss Check-In

Bathroom Scalephoto © 2010 Paul H | more info (via: Wylio)Thank you to everyone commented on my this post both here and on Facebook. I appreciate your support and I liked hearing your stories. If I am to believe my scale, I’ve already lost five pounds. I think my scale is fudging just a little. First off, no two scales will ever give the same reading, even if you step off of one and immediately step on to the other. I’ve weighted myself on three different scales in the last ten days (only once by my own choice, long story). The other component of this weight loss is most definitely attributable to monthly water loss if you know what I mean. I do think I’ve lost some “real” weight, but I’d guess it is closer to a pound or a pound an a half. Either way, I’ll take it.

Exercisewise, this week was rough. It was a combination of things, Daylight Savings Time kicking my butt, a sore throat bug and stress. Since I’m thinking all three of these things will continue to occur on a regular basis, I need to find ways to overcome.

On the bright side, I’ve been good about my food journal but I haven’t eaten as well as I could have. One night I ate four Do-Si-Dos (Peanut Butter Sandwich Girl Scout Cookies) because I was so hungry and it was the only snack I that “appealed” to me. At times it is as if a part of me is fighting this new way of thinking and I sabotage myself. It is as if, that part of me realizes I’m serious this time and change is imminent and that part is pouting with fists full of chocolate bars and stamping it’s feet like a child saying “HELL NO I WON’T GO”!

20070928 thai wraps 02photo © 2007 Jennifer | more info (via: Wylio) Odd, because overall, I’m feeling positive about exercising more and finding ways to feed my cravings without completely depriving myself of the foods I love. To the latter point, I ordered myself some Choffy this week (an awesome low cal caffeine free way to fulfill my “need” for chocolate) and I’ve discovered that lettuce makes a pretty good holder for sandwich stuffin’ like tunafish with veggies.

I had a major epiphany this morning while updating a friend on a family member’s health. I say of the family member, “he talks a good game, but she is just making excuses” (pronouns changed to protect the guilty :)). It hit me like a board in the face this morning, OMG, am I doing the same thing? At times, yes. I should have skipped the !#%@ cookies and had some almonds. There is no law on the books that says you can’t have the same healthy snack two times in one day and seriously six almonds would have most assuredly been better for me than the four cookies.

On the bright side, I have run three days of Couch to 5K and enjoyed it every time. I love being outside again. I found a few videos on Netflix that I like and I have one of Leslie Sansone’s walking DVDs waiting to be tested (Hat Tip to The Blog Antagonist for the Leslie Sansone reco). I rode my bike for 3 muddy miles with my daughter last weekend too.  Can’t wait to do more of that!

In case you hadn’t guessed, I am an impatient perfectionist. If I read this like a friend wrote it, I want to hug her and cheer her on and say “Great start! Good realization, do something constructive with it! Keep up the good work”, and yet here I sit annoyed that I ate four cookies the other night. Sometimes I guess I’m my own worst enemy! One battle at a time I guess.