Ready for an August Challenge???

I am a little late on sharing this, but who is in for an August challenge? In July, we had the #MyJuly30Miles. Now in August we have been challenged to #MyAugustFit50 – 50 miles in August: running, walking, biking, rollerblading, etc… …(no, driving your car/truck does not count :-)   ). I’m going to take the challenge; anyone want to join me?? I figure even if I don’t hit the full 50 miles, I will be closer to 50 miles than if I hadn’t done anything at all!  :-)

June 2014 Recap

Here’s a recap of my progress and struggles for June 2014.  Overall it has been a good month.  I think I have a good momentum going and am enjoying the process.  I am also enjoying feeling healthier!!  My family is being encouraging each night when I take my walk as well as when I do my floor exercises (except the dogs who think I am on the floor to play with and pet them).  They are also patient with me when I can’t sit down with them at the start of a meal because I am weighing and measuring my food as well as when I sit at the table logging my food so that I don’t forget anything.  My sweet hubby, has even mentioned that he’s noticed that I am carrying myself differently (that I am standing straighter, walking taller).  I also feel very blessed by the encouragement I have received from all my friends.  Many, many thanks to all of you for making my journey that much nicer!!  :-)

So, here we go with the nitty gritty details (I still can’t believe I am sharing these facts on the internet for all to see)…  First, I am down a total of 5 lbs. for the month.  Here’s a summary of my measurements:

June 11, 2014   July 1, 2014    Net difference
Weight:                            217 lbs.         212 lbs.            -5 lbs.
Upper arm                        15″                    15″               none
Abs (at fullest point)   45.5″                  42″               – 3.5″
Waist                               44″                    43″               -1″
Hips                                 50.5″                 49″               -1.5″
Thigh                               27.5″                 27″               -0.5″

And here is my official picture for July 1, 2014:

I am the most amazed by the 3.5″ lost off my upper abdomen.  I know that I have been much more mindful of holding my abs in while walking (both just in general as well as when I am on my walks).  So, perhaps that is helping to tone up those muscles.  Also, my daily floor exercises focus on my core so that is likely helping as well.  I am going to keep working on this area because it is my biggest problem area in my opinion.  (I will feel a lot better in my clothes when this area is slimmed down!)

Things that appear to be working for me:
1.  As you may have read on my FB page, I have been eating more good protein, healthy fats and more veggies.  I have found that I feel better when I limit my carbs and sugars.  (I have also learned a lot about insulin and hormone-sensitive lipase, but I will share that in more detail later in a whole separate post.)
2.  I have been walking and exercising more.  Thanks to the MapMyWalk app on my phone, I have been logging all of my walking and exercising.  Since June 14th I have logged 21.25 miles walked (11 walks) and 2 hrs, 41 minutes of exercising (10 workouts).  Funny, I really do feel better since exercising more.  I never would have thought that.
3.  My sugar cravings are down.  It has been 5 weeks since I’ve had any pop/soda!  That is amazing for me!!  This has been a continual struggle for me; I was always craving sugar and pop.  I had a hard time making it through lunch time and the afternoon without a glass of pop (or two).  I have tried a variety of things in the past without success.  This time I did one thing differently:  each day I drink 1 ounce of Young Living’s Ningxia Red and take 2 drops of Ocotea essential oil.  The Ningxia Red is made from wolfberry puree from China’s Ningxia province as well as other super fruits and is good for a variety of health issues. (If you want to know more, click here. ) As far as the ocotea essential oil, it comes from a tree in Ecuador and is beneficial in maintaining blood sugar levels.  (You can read more about it here, if you are interested.)  Can I prove beyond a reasonable doubt that these two things are what has cured my sugar addiction?  No, I most certainly cannot; but this is the only thing I have done differently regarding sugar and it seems to be working… and I am going to keep doing it!!

But, all isn’t rosy, there are still some things I struggle with:
1.  I have a hard time getting enough water.  I have tried a variety of things but I am still falling short of 107 oz. per day (that is half my body weight in ounces).  I know that I need more water, I am just having a hard time with it.  I’ll keep trying though!!
2.  The other day we had a family afternoon at the beach and on the way home we stopped for an ice cream cone.  I had a luscious scoop of double chocolate almond  (yum!), however, since then I am craving that ice cream; not all sweets, just this particular ice cream (there are other kinds in the freezer for the kids and I have no temptation for any of those  – go figure!).
3.  I need to work on finding local, affordable sources for grass-fed/pastured meat. I know that grocery-store meat is full of lots of hormones and other yuck that is not good for us, so I need to get better quality meat… that actually fits my budget.  I also need to commit to shopping more at the local farmers’ markets, especially for produce that is grown organically and not sprayed with chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
4.   I’m having a hard time getting to sleep at night.  I wonder if my nightly walk is too late in the day and my body is having a hard time settling in.  I need to do some research on this.

Well, that’s my update!!  I am making progress and that feels great!! Thanks again for all the wonderful encouragement; it means the world to me!!!

Stay healthy my friends…

Here’s a fun challenge – let’s do 30 miles in July!!

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Who’s up for a challenge?!?  A sweet friend in Texas (big wave to Colleen!) was telling me that her trainer (Tiffani Findley Allamon) has challenged her bootcampers to do 30 miles in July – that is 30 miles of walking, running, hiking, biking, swimming, rollerblading or whatever other exercising you do that can be tallied in miles (no, driving does NOT count – LOL!). CHALLENGE starts Tuesday (today!)!  Let’s see how many people we can get moving in July.All you have to do is give a shout out on FB or Twitter that you are joining the challenge; be sure to use #MyJuly30Miles for tracking!  You can also search #MyJuly30Miles to see who else has accepted the challenge as well as to give (and get) encouragement!!

I’m in; how about you??

‪#‎letsgetfit #challengeyourself  ‪#‎letsgethealthy  ‪#‎healthy ‪#‎motivation ‪#‎inspiration ‪#‎determined


Motivation!

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Let’s talk about motivation for just a moment…I just finished logging my daily food intake into my MyFitnessPal app. I was under my calorie goal quite substantially today (actually two days in a row).  Not sure why though – I ate when I was hungry and I felt satisfied all day; I am not starving myself (just in case anyone was worried :-)  ).  For some reason I have just not felt hungry lately… not complaining though… :-)  :-)

Well, when I completed my entry today it told me at the bottom of the page that if every day were like today, I’d weigh 199.7 lbs in 5 weeks!!  (It is still hard actually sharing that number… sigh…)  That will be down 16 lbs from what I weigh now!!  Holy crap!!  WHOOP  WHOOP!!


That is awesome!!  Now I know that not every day will be like today – I am realistic.  HOWEVER, this does mean that what I am doing could actually work and that was very motivating!  That one sentence will keep me watching what I eat and will keep me exercising twice a day!!HAPPY DANCE!!  HAPPY DANCE!!  But it will be an even happier dance when my scale actually reads 199.7 lbs!!

Quick side note:
I do have to say though, that if you or anyone you know are trying to be healthier and/or lose weight, I highly recommend logging your food intake and exercise into an app such as MyFitnessPal or one similar to it.  I have been watching what I eat and making healthier food choices the past several weeks, but when you have to actually look at how many calories, sugar, carbs, etc. are in a food item and see how those items all add up at the end of the day, you truly do look at your food differently.  I am much more mindful to not finish Bekah’s sandwich or nibble a little of the macaroni and cheese sitting on the counter when I know that I have to log those items (yes, I am being that careful and actual with what I log).  It is also motivating to see how your exercise adjusts the amount of calories you can consume as well.  So, apps like MyFitnessPal get two very enthusiastic thumbs up from me.  (No, this is not any kind of affiliate endorsement – it’s a free app or you can use it for free online as well – I actually use both all day long.)

That’s all for now…
Stay healthy my friends…

And So My Journey Begins…

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My name is Amy.  I am a wife to my wonderful hubby, Eric!  This year we celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary!!  WOW!!  I am also a mommy to six (yes, 6!) awesome kiddos – 4 girls, 2 boys, ages 3 to almost 13!!  Again, WOW!!   We live in beautiful, lovely Western Michigan with our two dogs, two cats and two birds!!  I am very blessed!

I am 44 years old, and here’s the less than “wow” part… and I weighed 221 lbs. a week ago!  :-/  I am currently healthy (other than my weight); I do not have diabetes or high cholesterol or any other serious chronic health issues that plague our society.  HOWEVER, I know that if I continue down this path of drinking pop/soda, eating food that is not especially healthy, and not exercising, that I will certainly succumb to diabetes or worse (the dreaded “c” word – cancer!  EEK!!).

For quite some time I have been regularly following blogs through my FB page where I have learned so much about the problems with our food system today – GMOs, meat full of antibiotics and raised in less than humane conditions, artificial sweeteners, chemical additives, etc… I have learned so much yet have only taken some of the easier changes:  eliminating a lot of prepackaged foods, cutting down on pop/soda, making many more items at home from scratch,  eliminating chemical cleaners, etc.. BUT there is still so much more that can be done.

I have recently felt very convicted by the verse, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” – Luke 12:48b  Because I have learned so much, I know that I need to act on it but also need to share it.  I am getting much more serious about my health partly because I want to be healthier but mostly so that I can make a positive impact on my children’s health by modeling and teaching healthier choices; I want to be have a good quality of life as I age.  So, this blog will chronicle my journey to health – Strait to Health (I love the play on words!).

My primary goal here is to share what I am doing, what I am learning, and how I am progressing; this is mostly for accountability, but I also hope that maybe I can inspire just one person to make changes that they need to make as well or maybe just motivate them to keep going with their own journey.  I don’t have any particular weight loss goals; although right now I would just like to lose enough weight that my Wii no longer says, “Oh, that’s obese!” when I weigh myself!  :-)

So, if you would like to follow me on my journey, I would love that!  Share your tips and ideas for things that you know/do, send along a message of encouragement if you feel led, and scold me if you see me drinking pop or see me in a drive thru at a fast food restaurant  (no, seriously, you have my permission). :-)