Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Out with the old...


...in with the New! New Year that is!!!

Good bye 2013; Hello 2014!

2013 was a year of progress for me.  I made it to the end of the year actually sticking to my main "resolution", which was to lose weight and get healthy.  It is the first time I set a weight loss goal (resolution) and really stuck with it.  Now as I enter 2014 I reflect on my accomplishment of the past year, and look forward to keep it going in the new year.

I learned a lot this past year about eating healthy, exercise, and making being healthy a lifestyle, but more than anything I learned a lot about myself, and my abilities, and learned that "I can't" shouldn't be in my vocabulary, except if I am saying "I can't right now".

Part of my personal transformation included starting to exercise regularly.  In the past I did "dabble" in exercise but never made it a real part of my lifestyle. That changed in 2013, and I know I'll keep it going in 2014 (and beyond), because while exercise was an important part of the change process, I have now made it part of my lifestyle, which is the only way to keep it going.   I look forward to achieving new personal records in 2014, and doing some of the things that "I can't (do) right now". (I will do an unassisted pull-up in 2014!!! And maybe even a handstand.)


One thing I hope I did in 2013 is showed that we can make successful life changes at any point in our lives, and I hope that I inspired at least one other person to take the first steps.



Traditionally, I am one who resolves to not resolve in the new year, but I feel that making resolutions (or setting goals) as we enter the new year is a good way to have a gauge of where we've been and where we are going.  You could do this at any time in the year, but the new year gives us a clean slate to start with.

Last year, I didn't write my goals and resolutions down; I didn't want to get caught not completing them.  In hindsight I realized that writing things down not only keeps me accountable, but also gives me something to reference back to so I can make sure I am keeping on track.  So this year I will write them down here, and I will reference back throughout the year to keep on track. (If you read this blog regularly, feel free to drop me a note to check up on me.)

So here are my 2014 resolutions:


One thing not on that list, because it is not a "resolution", but will be happening in 2014 is becoming a GRANDMA in May!!! This is a major life change for my family that we are all looking forward to, and I pray that the Lord will give me the ability to be a great grandmother, helping to shape this little one into a beautiful young man that will make the world a better place!


I hope you will join me regularly in my blog posts!

I wish you all a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year!!!



Monday, December 9, 2013

Motivational Monday - December 9, 2013

OK folks feel free to call me a slacker...
...I missed last week's Motivational Monday, and now here it is nearly the end of the day and I haven't gotten this to you...
...so sorry, hope these will make up for it; its a two for one Motivational Monday!


I try my best to live life with little to no regrets; I truly believe that even when things don't go quite the way I thought they were supposed to, they went exactly as God planned.   I'm human, regrets come with the territory but ultimately He is in control!  I will take the lesson and move on!


It will soon be a full year since I started on my weight loss journey, along the way there were plenty of times when I wanted to throw in the towel, but I reminded myself that this was a forever journey and I was just at the beginning.  When those moments came come, I allowed allow myself the moment to consider quitting, remembered where I was when I started and how far I have come.  In the end quitting is not an option, I've come too far; hope you have too!


Monday, November 25, 2013

Motivational Monday - November 25, 2013 (RE-DO!!!)

So it looks like I just needed that motivation one more time, I sent out the same picture for this week's Motivational Monday that I did last week!!!


Just wanted to see if you were checking...

...so here is another for you.


Happy Monday Everyone!




Motivational Monday - November 24, 2013

Keeping up the motivation to continue the journey can sometimes get difficult during the holidays; there are just too many distractions (most of which are unhealthy).  Now is the time to focus on how far we've come and know that we can make it through the next few weeks healthy and happy!!!


I for one cannot believe that the holidays are upon us and we will soon be greeting a new year.  What a difference a year has made in my life; I hope the same for you.  I will be taking the next few weeks to enjoy the holidays, while still continuing my journey.  I will be reviewing my 2013 goals to see how well I did with them, refocusing some to finish the year strong, and I will start planning for 2014.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Re-Committed to Team In Training!


After contemplating it for over two years (4/2/11 post) I have finally committed to do it!!!  I will be running my first (hopefully not last) half-marathon on April 27th, 2014 in Washington, DC.  I will be doing this as part of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Team In Training.  Like the other members of TNT, not only have I committed to running 13.1 miles but I have also committed to raising funds to help find cures and better treatments for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma.  To accomplish that mission, I'm improving the quality of my life by participating in TNT and with your support I can help improve the quality of life for patients and their families as well. 

You know me as an outspoken advocate and fundraiser for breast and ovarian cancer so while this commitment is a little different it is also near and dear to my heart.  This time I am raising funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and I'm asking you to help by making a donation to my fundraising campaign.


My family has been blessed with many supporters through the years while my sisters' (two of them pictured) and my brother faced their cancer battles. At times those same supporters needed support themselves. One of those supporters is my brother-in-law (pictured) who faced his own battle with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). Through this commitment, I have made it a mission to support him and to help find cures and more effective treatments for blood cancers. The research that has been conducted on blood cancer patient benefit patients of all cancers, including breast cancer patients.

As I've done in the past (LLS Team in Training), I will keep you all up to date on my training progress.  While official training doesn't start until January, I've been running already and will start training ahead of January.

If anyone out there could make a donation in support of my efforts with TNT and help advance the research for cures you could do by visiting my fundraising website: http://pages.teamintraining.org/pb/nikewhlf14/mrsvega919DCHalf

Thank you!

P.S. I would appreciate it if you would pass the word to as many people as you can to encourage them to donate as well. Thanks again.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Motivational Monday - November 18, 2013

Sorry this is coming so late in the day!


I have to give thanks to From Fat to Fit Chick for her Facebook post for this one!


Monday, November 11, 2013

Motivational Monday - November 11, 2013 - Veteran's Day 2013

Today I take the time to say THANK YOU to all those who have served in the US Military, my fellow veterans.

I am proud to live in a country that affords me the freedoms that I have, but I know that FREEdom did not come free; it was paid for with the blood of many who fought from the American Revolution to today.


God Bless our military, our veterans and their families, especially those who paid the ultimate price.

Thank you for your service!!!

Just sharing...


Monday, October 28, 2013

Motivational Monday - October 28, 2013

Monday's are a great time to reset and leave last week's negativity behind; start the week off on a positive!


YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH!


Monday, October 21, 2013

Motivational Monday - October 21, 2013

Happy Monday!!!

Let's get this week off to a good start by making good choices!



Monday, October 14, 2013

Motivational Monday - October 14, 2013

Good Morning!!!  Here is your "Motivational Monday"...


...but today, I would also like to "add" to this by introducing you someone who, one could say, epitomizes the words in this picture.

Heather Von St. James, was just 36 years old when she received news that changed her life forever, definitely one of those "other times rough..." moments in her life.  At the time she was a new mom, her daughter just over 3 months old, and she received a life changing diagnosis of Pleural Mesothelioma.  She beat the odds she was given, and is now a cancer survivor for over seven years, her daughter recently turned 8, and she has gone on to be an outspoken advocate for those affected with mesothelioma.  She has made it her mission to use her story to raise awareness of mesothelioma, and to provide a sense of hope for other's facing difficult challenges in their lives.

While I have heard of mesothelioma, I know very little about it, but I welcome the chance to learn about it and share with all of you about it.  When Heather reached out to me she told me how she held on to hope during her journey, as "hope makes the battle easier".  Life isn't always easy, and sometimes we go through our own "other times rough..." moments, Heather faced hers with faith, love and courage and came out strong.  I hope that you will find inspiration in Heather's story, as I have.

This is Heather's Story:



Monday, October 7, 2013

Motivational Monday - October 7, 2013



There's no better person to compete against than yourself. Be better than yesterday!!!


Sunday, October 6, 2013

GOAL!

On October 2, 2013 I entered the next step of my weight loss journey.


After a long 9 months (to the date) I finally reached my weight goal with Weight Watchers.  As I have shared, this has been quite a process.  I had been down this road before, but this time I was determined to get to goal and not turn back; after all, I'm not getting any younger.  For the past month and a half the goal I set seemed to elude me, I even asked my doctor to write a note for Weight Watchers so that I could change my goal weight to stay at the weight I was at (which was outside of their recommended weight for my height), it just seemed like I wasn't going to get there.  For the record, he said no, he felt confident that I could get to goal, and from a health perspective, he wanted me at the lower weight; now I'm happy for the push it gave me.


I've said before everyone's weight loss journey is personal, and while there are basic similarities, it is different for everyone because everyone's struggles and triggers are different. Many have asked me what was my secret.  To tell you all the truth, there was no secret, and there is no secret when it comes to losing weight. You have to decide to do it, stick with it, and be patient; the results are worth it.  I hope it is the same when it comes to maintaining weight.


For me the process came down to following the PointsPlus® Program, counting my points, exercising regularly, and making healthier choices.  If there is a secret in the process, it is to just do it and not quit. There were plenty of times when it wasn't easy, and there were plenty of things that could have derailed my progress, but in the end I just kept going because the goal was that important to me.


I know that there are plenty of programs that work and get people to their weight loss goals.  Weight Watchers was the best program for me because I din't have to deprive myself of anything. I just learned to adjust so that I could indulge at times.  In my opinion this helped so much to keep me on track because I didn't dwell on the moments that I wasn't successful, I learned to forgive myself and move on.


The main reason I have chosen to share my journey here is because I consider this a place of accountability.  Keeping myself accountable here will help to keep me on track, and I hope that I will inspire others to start their own journey.  Please let me know if my journey has helped to get you started, I would love to help you along the way any way I can; and you could use me as a point of accountability as well.  My journey started in January 2013, and will continue for the rest of my life.  I started and will continue this journey with my best friend, my hubby.  I've also had great mentors and coaches to help me along the way, all of whom I am happy to refer to as friends.  I've learned so much from all of them, I look forward to sharing and helping others going forward.


Knee Strength Workout

I found this video very informative, so I thought I would share with all of you.

As I have started to run more and longer distances, I am always concerned about the pressure I am placing on my knees and ankles.  I would have never thought that strengthening my hips would help to prevent future knee problems.  I will be incorporating these exercises into my routine going forward.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Motivational Monday - September 23, 2013

One thing I have learned in this journey is that while there are many changes that need to be made to be successful at weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 

Its common sense that you have to change your eating and your exercise habits to be successful.  But the first thing that needs to change (and IMHO the most important change), is your mind.

You have to decide to make the necessary changes in your diet, exercise and daily living; and you have to continue changing your mind as you reach goals, surpass them, and set new ones.


We are often guilty of limiting ourselves because of how we think, or because of perceived limitations. We should instead, get out of our own way, and allow ourselves to reach our goals. We just may surprise someone with what we can achieve ~ ourselves!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A Diet, a Lifestyle Change, or Maybe Just an Edit

I saw this picture on Facebook today (thank you prima) and while it gave me a chuckle, it also got me thinking; diet vs. lifestyle change.


You want to lose weight, are you going to go on a diet or making a lifestyle change?  Or, as I once heard Patsy Clairmont say, while speaking at a Women of Faith Conference, are you going on an Edit. (She said she didn't lie "diet", because it contained the word "die" in it, who wants that).



I asked myself this question when I started this journey back in January.  So which is it?  For the most part I could say I went on a diet, but I always have a hard time with diets because to me "diet" means temporary change.  However when I started this journey, I was determined to make this a permanent change; so I didn't want to think of myself as being on a diet; I was definitely making a lifestyle change.  A change that would not only benefit me, but, I pray, will also benefit my whole family.

One of the most important things I realized early on in this process is that I had to make all of these changes habits, not just temporary changes, so that these changes would become second nature; my norm.

The basic formula to lose weight is not hard; calories in - calories out.


Burn more calories than what you take in and you will lose weight.  The hard part is sticking to these changes until you get to your goal weight, and then (even harder) learning to balance your calorie intake with the calories you burn so that you will stay at your desired weight.  As I am approaching the end of the weight loss portion of my journey, I am quickly learning that the next chapter, the weight maintenance portion of my journey (which will be forever), is really where the work begins.


The reality is that it is easy to gain weight, just stop watching what you eat; the pounds will add up before you know it. This is how I got to be 40+ lbs. overweight; yes for the record that is officially obese in ranges; I wasn't watching what I ate.  But now I have to find a way to ensure that the progress I have made, was not made in vain.  Keeping the weight off will take just as much determination as getting it off took, but it is so worth it!



My plan going forward is still a plan in progress.  I plan to continue to what I am doing, tapering only to balance the calories and exercise so that I can continue to tone my muscles, but not necessarily lose more weight.


So now I ask you, do you have weight loss goals, what have you started?  Is it a Diet, a Lifestyle Change, or Maybe Just an Edit?  Whatever you have started, keep going.  Your goals are attainable, keep them in sight, you will get there!  Check back here whenever you need some inspiration.  As I said my journey continues to be a work in progress, and I plan to continue to share my journey, even after I reach goal, in hopes that I can inspire someone else to start or continue their journey.

 






  


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