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June 2020 CalendarToday is the first day of June, and it falls on a Monday. What do I like about that fact? For me and my personality, I like to start a new fitness/diet routine on a Monday. I like the fact that it is a brand new month, a blank slate, which makes it mentally great for me to keep track of my progress. And, my summer break officially begins today. This summer I want to settle into a routine that encompasses several goals that I have set for myself. I am ready to make changes in different areas of my life which I have been ready to make for some time. Some changes have already been put into motion, some need action steps to set changes into motion while other changes need more time to come to fruition. Basically, I want to reboot some old routines and establish some new ones.

First order of business is rebooting my diet routine. Dear readers, I fell off the wagon hard during the mandated stay-at-home period due to COVID-19. I am an emotional eater and addicted to sugar. Therefore, it is no huge surprise that I ate my feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, and restlessness throughout the last two months in lockdown, and many of my food choices contained sugar. I lost 13.5 pounds before the new year and have gained 10 pounds back. Today, I weighed in at 159 pounds. It is what it is, and I do NOT plan to cry about it, dwell on it, or shame myself.

What is the goal? My goal is to lose 20 pounds (#5 on my 20 for 2020) this year starting TODAY. What is the plan? Increase my water intake, complete The Clean 20 program, replace emotional eating, and rev up my fitness routine. Thankfully, I have been walking daily since March 23rd. I need to add some strength training, cardio workouts, more stretching, and eventually running to my exercise regimen.

Mind Over WeightI recently finished reading Mind Over Weight written by Dr. Ian K. Smith, who is the author of The Clean 20. It is a wonderful little book that gave me a much-needed pep talk. I will be referring to this book for motivation throughout my weight loss journey. It has some terrific questions to reflect upon, tips on curbing cravings, and suggestions on dealing with emotional eating. Journaling and tracking my progress is also part of the plan.

The excitement of a new beginning energizes me, dear reader. There are so many avenues that I want to traverse this summer, and I invite you to tag along. I can always use encouragement and support from you, my tribe, since my mind likes to play tricks on me, inviting doubt and fear to put up roadblocks. Any routines that you want to reboot this summer or new ones that you want to establish? If so, please share, and we can encourage each other. Happiness!

“A daily routine built on good habits and disciplines separates the most successful among us from everyone else. The routine is exceptionally powerful.” ~ Darren Hardy

 

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I have officially completed the clean eating portion of The Clean 20 program. I lost a total of seven pounds in the 20 days. Was I perfect? No, of course not. Nonetheless, I am extremely proud of the accomplishments that I have made during the last 20 days. My biggest accomplishment which has given me the biggest payoff is quitting added sugar. Except for the small slice of chocolate cake that I had at my mother-in-law’s house a couple of weeks ago, I have not eaten anything sweet. No candy, no cupcakes, no Happy Tracks ice cream, no cookie cake. These were all offered to me during the program, and I turned them all down. No sweets coupled with eliminating soda or eating products with a high sugar content (ketchup, BBQ sauce, juice, etc.) has made a huge difference. I can think more clearly, my joints feel better, and I don’t feel as tired throughout the day. The other accomplishment worth mentioning is my increase in eating more natural foods, especially vegetables. I’ve never had a problem eating fresh fruit on a daily basis, but eating fresh vegetables daily is another story. Now, I eat them every day.

Salmon

Baked Salmon with sautéed spinach and mushrooms

One of my favorite meals is baked salmon with sautéed spinach and mushrooms. It is very easy to make. I spray a baking dish with olive oil cooking spray. Then I place a piece of salmon in the dish, top it with a pat of butter, and sprinkle it with Tony Chachere’s seasoning. I bake it at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. While the fish is baking, I put some light olive oil in a pan with some minced garlic. I add fresh spinach and fresh mushrooms. I add some salt while it is cooking. That’s it! The meal is quick, easy, and tastes yummy.

During this last week, I did drink more water. Except for yesterday and today, I drank between 9 and 11 glasses per day. Drinking cold water seems to help me drink more of it. I also exercised more this week. I walked three days after work. Each day, I walked for an hour. According to the program, my total number of steps to reach was 86,000. I walked 59,855. I was also suppose to climb 27 flights of steps. I climbed a total of 29 flights of steps. My classroom is on the second floor, so meeting this goal is relatively easy. I had several other exercises to complete (jumping jacks, squats, planks, jog punches, ice skaters, high knees) throughout the week. I did NOT complete any of these exercises. There is only so much time in a day. And, with after-school meetings and play practice for two hours in the evening, as well as taking care of personal tasks at home, fitting everything in each day can be a challenge. It’s not perfect, but a good start in the right direction. In my opinion, anything is better than nothing.

So, what’s next? The next part of The Clean 20 program is the reemergence period which is also 20 days. This period of time is where you can reintroduce some of the foods that were eliminated during the 20 days of clean eating. However, it is definitely not adding back the sugar, soda, potato ships, fried foods, etc. that can be harmful to your body when consumed on a regular basis. Dr. Ian K. Smith recommends creating a list of banned foods and a list of reintroduced foods. He also recommends reintroducing foods slowly. My goal is to continue eating pretty much like I have been eating for the last three weeks. One item that I have missed while eating clean is Blue Plate mayonnaise, so I will probably sneak in a little here and there.

Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and Grits Cake

I must admit that yesterday I ate perfectly clean for breakfast and lunch, but for dinner, I did treat myself. My hubby and I stayed in New Orleans last night to attend a play. We ate dinner at Café at the Square in the Blake Hotel. I ordered the Shrimp and Grits Cake with a salad. It was happy hour, so I ordered a glass of red wine. My hubby and I also split an appetizer which was Mozzarella Croquettes. The meal was fantastic! Since I could not eat all of my entrée, and we did not finish the appetizer, we took it back to our room. We happily split the leftovers for breakfast this morning.

I’m feeling positive about my health and fitness goals, dear reader. Eating clean these last couple of weeks has gotten me closer to my goal of losing 19 pounds by the end of the year. It is doable. It is important to my health. And, it is necessary for me to live my best life. Happiness!

“To keep the body in good health is a duty; otherwise, we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” ~ Buddha

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Kale Chips

Kale Chips

I completed Week 2 of The Clean 20. Overall, I am feeling successful even though I am still a work in progress, for sure. The good news is I have lost an additional three pounds this week which brings me to a total of six pounds lost since I started eating clean. I have stuck to my plan of eating clean 98% of the time. Last night for dinner, I ate a thinly cut piece of steak with no condiments and a baked sweet potato. There is no beef on Smith’s plan, yet there are health benefits from incorporating it in your diet. For example, he mentions that beef is among the best sources of foods that contain zinc which is important for our brains. So, I am not going to beat myself up too much for having my beef. The victory is that I did not eat it with BBQ sauce which is laden with sugar. Also, during the week, I did eat a frozen organic meal for dinner. It was one of Amy’s Bowls (Mexican Casserole made with organic corn and beans topped with enchilada sauce and cheese). I liked it! It was quite tasty and convenient. The meal is gluten free, contains no GMOs, includes 12 grams of protein and only 4 grams of sugar. It does have 780mg of sodium, so if sodium intake is an issue, this may not be a good food option. Nevertheless, it is a processed food that is not listed on The Clean 20.

Let’s talk about processed foods for a minute because not all processed foods are equal. When a food is processed, it is undergoing a deliberate change to the food before it is eaten. Freezing, drying, cooking, and canning are ways that foods can be processed. Some processed foods go through minimal processing (bagged spinach) while others go through heavier processing (granola bars). Therefore, it is imperative to read labels on any foods that are processed to discern if these foods can be a part of a clean eating diet.

Processed FoodsSome processed foods that I have incorporated in my clean eating repertoire include: Wholly Chunky Avocado minis (only one ingredient, Hass Avocados), Sabra Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Fage Total 2% Greek Yogurt (terrific substitute for sour cream), Sargento Balanced Breaks snack pack (not thrilled with the 8g of sugar that comes from the golden raisin medley), Gorgonzola cheese crumbles, Primal Kitchen Ketchup (organic and unsweetened; no added sugar); Amy’s Organic Soup: Black Bean Vegetable (does contain 5g sugar; organic and gluten free; I get two servings (3/4 cup each) out of a can and pair it with a sandwich), Amy’s Bowls (Mexican Casserole), Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat Bread. I also made kale chips this week. It was interesting. I burned my first batch even though I followed the directions carefully. I received confirmation from co-workers that my second batch was successful. So, I can add kale chips to my clean eating list and add a little more crunch to my life.

I’m sure you are wondering, dear reader, how well did Kat do this week with meeting her water intake and exercise goals. Both were still challenging. On average, I am drinking about 6 glasses of water per day. As for exercise, I did none beyond my walking and climbing stairs at work. I am NOT meeting the exercise goals outlined in The Clean 20. Planning and prioritizing are the key with both of these challenges. Smith writes on Day 9 of The Clean 20, “As you embark on a journey to better health, you need to understand that making perfect decisions in what you eat and how you move is not a requirement and, in fact, could be a self-defeating goal. Try your best to remain true to your purpose, but remember that there’s more to life than what’s on your plate or in your cup” (122). Sometimes, we need to make decisions that can be hard because of our circumstances. Surprisingly, I passed on pepperoni pizza at the staff meeting on Tuesday afternoon. I LOVE pepperoni pizza! I planned accordingly and ate my carrots with hummus instead. And, it was fine. Does this mean that I will never eat pepperoni pizza again? Of course not! It means that I made a commitment to eat clean for 20 days to improve my health.

That’s a wrap, dear reader. Since starting my clean eating journey, I am feeling better both physically and mentally. And, I need to feel my best because I start play practice tomorrow afternoon which means my life is about to get crazy…in an exciting way. Happiness!

“The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results.” ~ Anthony Robbins

 

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Clean 20This week I decreased added sugar, reduced process food, reduced consuming unnecessary additives, and incorporated most of the foods recommended in The Clean 20 by Dr. Ian K. Smith. I lost 3 pounds. One of the main observations that I have made so far is that I do not feel as bloated as I have been after eating meals. Surprisingly, I do not miss the added sugar; however, I do miss the convenience of processed food. Thankfully, I like the foods on the clean eating list because I eat many of them already.

While I am following The Clean 20 rules and taking suggestions from the program’s menus about what to eat, I am not eating the meals in the exact order that Smith has outlined in the book. It is just not realistic for me. I do not like to cook, so preparing Baked Apple Oatmeal Cups for breakfast and Herb-encrusted grilled skinless chicken breast with salad greens for lunch is not going to work for me. However, I will eat my cup of oatmeal with blueberries mixed with a 1/4 cup of reduced fat milk for breakfast and a turkey sandwich on 100% whole wheat bread with 5 ounces of turkey, a slice of pepper jack cheese, a tomato, and mustard with a 3/4 cup of black bean vegetable soup.

Let’s discuss coffee for a moment. I LOVE coffee! What I do not love is drinking black coffee. Therefore, when I prepare my 10 ounce cup of coffee in the morning, it includes the coffee (K cup), one packet of Truvia, a 1/4 teaspoon of sugar (cuts the aftertaste of the Truvia), and 1 tablespoon of half & half. My coffee contains about two grams of sugar. According to Jackie Warner, who wrote This is Why You’re Fat, “Choose foods with five grams of sugar per serving or less. The body doesn’t register anything five grams and under, so that is optimal” (35). Many afternoons, I enjoy a second 10 ounce cup of coffee. Even with my miniscule amount of sugar that I add, I am within my sugar limits.

The clean eating challenges that I faced this week included not drinking enough water, not being able to eat perfectly on a schedule, and eating dinner at my mother-in-law’s house. When I am home, I come close to consuming the recommended amount of water (between 8 and 10 cups per day) suggested on the program. When I am at work, not so much. I have always struggled with consistently drinking enough water during the work day. I’m not sure how to solve this issue; however, I’m not giving up. As for my eating schedule, I had a couple of long meetings this week that interfered with me eating my morning snack or lunch on time, and I attended an afternoon swim meet with no afternoon snack and eating a late dinner. Being overly hungry can lead to overeating or reaching for the wrong food choices. I prevailed, but there was a time or two this week that I wanted to consume something extra and not so clean or take a trip through a fast food drive-thru. Also, eating out or having someone cook for you can be a challenge on any clean eating program. On Friday evenings, my mother-in-law is kind enough to cook dinner for my family. And, she cooks well. Unfortunately for me, dinner this week was fried catfish, mashed potatoes, carrots, and chocolate cake. I ate it all in moderation.

As for exercise, I failed miserably this week. I only walked on Monday (off). I do walk a bunch around the school’s campus and climb a fair amount of stairs while working, but I am not hitting the recommended amount of steps or completing the exercises in the program. All excuses, but here it goes: too hot, tired (probably from not drinking enough water), no working earbuds for phone, lack of motivation.

I am a work in progress, dear reader. Even though I did not follow the program this week to the letter, I did make more positive than negative choices to improve my health. And, I’m not giving up because my desire to be healthier outweighs my desire for eating bowls of Blue Bell’s “Happy Tracks” ice cream. Happiness!

“What’s important is that you make the leap. Jump high and hard with intention and heart.” ~ Cheryl Strayed

 

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I have good news and bad news. IMG_3340The GOOD NEWS: I reached one of my Health & Fitness resolutions which was to run a 5K. On Saturday, 16 March, I ran the Hammond Rotary Shamrock Run. The start and finish were on SLU’s campus. Despite the temps being in the forties, it was a gorgeous sunshiny “perfect for a run” day. I had set three goals for myself: finish the race, run the entire way, and complete in 30 minutes. I accomplished ALL three goals. Actually, I surpassed one goal by finishing the race in 28:55. I’m SUPER proud of myself. My hubby and Comet tagged along to cheer me on throughout the race course.

The BAD NEWS: I have NOT exercised since the race. I could give you my list of excuses, but I won’t. Frankly, I wanted to take a break.  I’ll be back on track Monday, 1 April.

There are three upcoming races I plan to run:

  • Holy Ghost Parish Spirit Run (20 April)
  • Mi5Ke Run (11 May)
  • Zombie Run (23 June)

My hubby and I are already registered for the Zombie Run.

I started reading Jackie Warner’s current fitness book called 10 Pounds in 10 Days. I don’t believe I will lose ten pounds in ten days; however, I do believe it will motivate me to finally drop the holiday weight.

Getting back on track can be tough, especially if you are not living in the NOW. I wish I could master living in the NOW. It seems like such a simple concept; however, it’s a very difficult thing to do. I may have to consider rereading A New Earth or The Power of Now again. In the meantime, I’ll have to do my best. Happiness!

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

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MC900432635[1]Don’t forget to set your clocks forward one hour before going to bed tonight. Daylight Saving Time is FINALLY here (rock music plays with confetti spewing everywhere)! I’m just a little excited thinking about everything I plan to accomplish in the upcoming months.

For the past ten days, I have been setting my clock 5 minutes earlier each day so I can get up earlier in the mornings (even weekends). Today, I woke up at 4:30AM. Hopefully, by Saturday (16 March), I’ll be up at 4:00AM. Before it got cold, I was getting up at 4:00AM. This allowed me the time to run/workout before my day got started.  I didn’t have to worry about unexpected stuff happening in the afternoons, getting out of work late, or shutting down because it got dark early interfering with me exercising. Also, the weather is warming up which means I’m able to run outside more often. Soon, I’ll be enjoying my early morning runs again. I can’t wait! I’m already energized just thinking about it.

Mon frere, Moonius Maximus and I completed the Healthier Lifestyle 8-Week Challenge. My week #8 total was 156 points. I earned 156 points for making healthy choices and 0 points for weight loss. Our points for exercise were doubled this week. My final weigh-in was 134 pounds. Moonius Maximus earned 92 points. He earned 92 for making healthy choices and 5 points for maintaining his weight loss. His final weigh-in was 184 pounds. Despite the fact that neither one of us reached our initial weight loss goals (Kat: 125 pounds/Moonius: 175), we are not treating ourselves as failures. Moonius won the challenge of losing the most weight. I won the challenge of earning the most points for healthy choices. Both of us have developed better habits because of the challenge and will continue striving for a healthier lifestyle.

Now, it is time for me to lace up my running shoes and head over to the gym for my run on the treadmill. I have plenty to do today, and I want to start my day off on the right foot, so to speak. Wishing my readers a SUPER weekend. Happiness!

“Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to think about different areas of my life (health & fitness, home, acting, family, finances) and wrote down a few goals I’d like to work on in each of these areas this year and beyond. One would think after losing weight, exercising on a regular basis, and eating clean 90% of the time there wouldn’t be a need for more health and fitness goals. This couldn’t be further from the truth for me. While I like routine, I also like variety.  And, I like challenges. My challenge has been to drop the 7 pounds I gained from the Christmas holidays. Unfortunately, I haven’t been too successful. Not sure exactly why. However, I have my suspicions it has something to do with the weather and getting dark early. Daylight savings time is just around the corner (10 March), and spring isn’t far behind. I’m hoping the combination of warmer weather and longer daylight hours is the answer to shedding these unwanted pounds.

This is my list of Health & Fitness resolutions:

  • Continue to exercise on a regular basis (shoot for 5 days a week).
  • Try new classes/exercises to challenge muscles and keep it fresh.
  • Run a 5K.
  • Run a 5K with zombies in it. (June 2013)
  • Continue to eat clean, and shoot for 95% of the time. More veggies and 8 glasses a water each day.
  • Try new recipes even though cooking is not my favorite thing (shoot for 3 new recipes a month).
  • Make the time to prep food/plan meals ahead of time (shoot for 3 days a week).
  • When the weather gets nicer, walk my dog (Comet aka Tooty) on a more regular basis (shoot for 4 times a week).

On Saturday, I registered for the Hammond Rotary 5K Shamrock Run being held on the SLU Campus on Saturday, 16 March. Of course, my main goal is to finish; however, I want to run the entire race in 30 minutes. Pray for good weather.

Here is an interesting blog post from Leo Babauta of zenhabits about health & fitness: Create the Habits of Being Lean, in 7 Years

Healthier Lifestyle 8-Week Challenge Update

My week #7 total was 169 points. I earned 169 points for making healthy choices and 0 points for weight loss. Our points for not eating after 9PM was doubled this week. According to my scale Monday, I gained 3.5 pounds (REALLY!) which makes my weight 135.5 pounds. I weighed myself again this morning with 133 pounds. Still a pound gain! I want to kick that scale to the curb. Moonius Maximus earned 105 points. He earned 100 for making healthy choices and 5 points for maintaining his weight loss. His weight is still 184 pounds. We have one more week to complete this challenge. Moonius and I will NOT give up. We are determined to finish this challenge with a positive attitude. Happiness!

“It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.” ~ Andy Warhol

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I’m on Day 9 of the North Cypress 14-Day Challenge, and I’m actually having a terrific time. This challenge, like the T-Shirt Challenge, has given me the opportunity to try new classes. On the first day of the challenge, I let Shelly talk me into taking a P.U.R.E. class. Intense! The class reminds me of the Insanity DVD program/Jackie Warner’s Power Circuits. You go through a series of stations led by personal trainers. Each station has a different exercise that is performed for about a minute or two depending on the exercise. I left the class thinking “I’ll never take that class again.” WRONG! I took it again  Monday night, as well as last night. On Friday evening I had my training session with a personal trainer. One trainer session is included in the challenge. My trainer worked me hard. My body felt it the next day. After my run on Saturday morning, I took a Barre class with Shelly who had just finished a spin class. The Barre class is a combination of principles of ballet, Pilates, and yoga. It targets the core, hips, thighs, buttocks, and arms. Out of all of the classes I have tried since joining North Cypress, this is my least favorite. In all fairness, I plan on taking the class again; however, it will be on a day or night separate from any other activity and not after a trainer session. Shelly and I both went into that class sore AND after just working out for 45 minutes. Also, Shelly had her trainer session on Friday morning. We’re NUTS! I was stiff, sore, and uncomfortable. It even hurt to sit. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to walk Sunday morning. I did take Sunday as a rest day. Alas, Shelly and I prevailed, and we are both back at it for another week  of the challenge.

In addition to new classes, I’m trying new foods. I’ve added raw spinach to my salads. I’ve incorporated balsamic vinegar into a few of my meals (salads/pasta). The eating plan calls for Caramel Corn Rice Cakes by Quaker Oats. One rice cake is 0 fat grams; 50 calories, 3g of sugar, and 1g of protein. They are pretty good. The plan calls for spreading some Almond Butter on it; however, I’ve been eating them plain or with peanut butter. I haven’t tried Almond butter, yet. It is something I plan to try very soon.

For anyone interested in the Meal Plan for the 14-Day Challenge:  Meal Plan   (This is 1,550 calories per day.)

For anyone interested in the Workout Plan for the 14-Day Challenge: Workout Plan

Healthier Lifestyle 8-Week Challenge Update

My week #6 total was 156 points. I earned 181 points for making healthy choices and 0 points for weight loss. Our points for no sweets or sugary treats were doubled this week. I lost 2.5 pounds (YAY!) which makes my weight 132 pounds; however, I earned 0 points for weight loss because my lowest weight was 131.5 pounds.  Moonius Maximus earned 112 points. He earned 107 for making healthy choices and 5 points for maintaining his weight loss. His weight is still 184 pounds. We have two more weeks to complete this challenge.

Recently, I had the opportunity to write down some goals for different areas of my life. I’m hoping to write a post or two about them soon. Some of the goals are for 2013 while others are something I would like to accomplish in the future. Every day brings opportunity. Sometimes, the opportunities enrich the journey you’re presently on. Sometimes, the opportunities open new doors and lead you in another direction…a direction that may bring you more fulfillment, define your purpose, or  just make your life flow smoothly. Whatever the day brings, be PRESENT so you don’t miss the opportunities.  Happiness!

“You know. Life’s short. If you don’t try new things, you’ll never know what you’re best at. And you can only make time for new things by quitting the things you know don’t work for you.” ~Meg Cabot, Teen Idol

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Commitment Tomorrow, I will start a 14-Day Challenge sponsored by my health club.  The timing is perfect since tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. It will also coincide with the last three weeks of the Healthier Lifestyle 8-Week Challenge I’m doing with Moonius Maximus. The 14-Day Challenge is not much different from the program I was following by Jackie Warner. You need to eat clean and exercise regularly. There are NO treat meals/sugary treats for 14 days. Since the Christmas holidays, I have been abusing sugar again and my weight is slowly creeping back up. Unacceptable! I need to not only make the commitment to lose the holiday weight, but also to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Healthier Lifestyle 8-Week Challenge Update

My week #5 total was 104 points. I earned 104 points for making healthy choices and 0 points for weight loss. Our points to eat three vegetable servings daily were doubled this week. I lost 0 pounds and gained 1.5 pounds which makes my weight 134.5 pounds. No excuses. I’m backsliding and NOT proud of it. Moonius Maximus earned 139 points. He earned 134 for making healthy choices and 5 points for maintaining his weight loss. His weight is still 184 pounds. We have three more weeks to complete this challenge. I MUST be committed these last three weeks. Happiness!

“At the moment of commitment the entire universe conspires to assist you.”           ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Happy Hump Day! It’s Wednesday, and we are all inching our way closer to the weekend. I’m especially looking forward to this weekend. Why? No special plans; however, it has holidays attached to it. Yes, it’s Mardi Gras time! I get two days off of work next week, and Andrew gets the whole week off. My goal for this weekend….set some resolutions for the remainder of this year. I need a makeover in quite a few areas of my life, so I’m thinking the theme will have something to do with CHANGE.

Healthier Lifestyle 8-Week Challenge Update

My week #4 total was 126 points. I earned 126 points for making healthy choices and 0 points for weight loss. Our points to stop eating before 9pm were doubled this week. I lost 0 pounds and gained 0 pounds which makes my weight still 133 pounds. This is a result of being female. HA! Moonius Maximus earned 98 points. He earned 73 for making healthy choices and 25 points for weight loss. Yes, you read that right. He lost 2 pounds which makes his weight 184 pounds. Despite mon frere’s challenge with exercising, he had a loss this week because of eating better. I’m joining another challenge (14-Day Challenge) at my health club with my BFF since the third grade, Shelly. She talked me into it. It begins on Wednesday, 13 February. What a wonderful way to begin Lent!  My informational meeting is tonight. Of course everything I learn, I will share with YOU, my awesome readers. Happiness!

“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.” ~ Louisa May Alcott

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