Tag Archives: walking

Weigh In Wednesday ~ Old Advice with a Powerful New Aha!

Yup. I know. You thought I was too full of bemoaning my revolving front door and emptying nest to think about Wednesdays.

I made a plan I didn’t stick to, promising you I’d post about weight and healthy living once a week. Heck, lately I haven’t even posted once a week, much less in a ordered fashion. For those of you who once looked to Wednesdays for that little nudge of encouragement on your journey to better health, I’m sorry I wasn’t here.

The good news is I’m bursting with stuff to share with you today. Some of it is new (to me), and some revisits what we’ve talked about before.

First off, can I just say the sunshine is absolutely glorious?

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After above average rainfall I’m loving the sunshine AND getting back outside. As my good friend Marie of I Walk Alone reminded me last week, walking is good for what ails us, including empty nest grief.

I LOVE the more active lifestyle I began in 2012 when I starting walking to help drop those unwanted pounds, and I am determined not to lose the ability to enjoy the more physical aspects of life.

Today I walked with a new friend on a new trail. Everything was fresh and green.

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Flowers bloomed.

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We even saw ducks!

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Does it get any better? My oft-repeated advice I repeat once again. Get outside! Move! Enjoy some sunshine. As Rachelle Gardner reminded me in her post, On Self Care and Being Humble, taking care of ourselves is not wasted time!

Second (and here’s the old advice with the new aha), I heard something interesting on the radio this morning. According to some study–sorry I missed which one–can you guess the WORST thing you can do for weight-related issues?

Stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself you’re fat.

Now that wasn’t earth-shattering for me, but I made some connections I hadn’t before. The DJ mentioned Zig Ziglar teaches that goal-setting should be done in front of the mirror in the form of positive affirmations. For example stand there and say, “I’m thin” or “I’m good with money” or whatever it is you want to accomplish.

My brother, who recently launched a podcast that quickly reached the “new and noteworthy” list told me to state my dreams as already reached. He says it feels weird at first but that you’re not lying, you’re simply stating future realities.

A friend had a slightly different approach. He spoke to his subconscious. He told himself that the extra weight he carried was damaging his health, and that it was imperative he the lose weight. He explained the specific health issues he faced, then he asked himself to help him exercise and resist unhealthy food choices. He dropped pounds quickly and is now–in a short space of time–more fit than I’ve ever seen him.

To be honest the above concepts sounded a little like psychological mumbo-jumbo to me, but because of my own weight loss journey and how deeply my thoughts and self-talk affected my success or lack thereof, I’ve been listening. Still . . . some of it seemed a little off the deep end.

But the DJ on the radio brought it together for me this morning when he said, “after all, isn’t this just renewing our minds like the Bible talks about? And besides, ‘As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.'”*

Whew. It all came together for me then.

Maybe that study is right. THE most powerful tool in our getting healthy journey is our mind.

So, what are you going to say to your mirror? I, for one, am trashing the trash talk and speaking future realities.

And about these Weigh In Wednesdays? Here’s my mirror words for today: I am an advocate of healthy, joyful living and sharing about it on my blog on Wednesdays is a priority!

Until Next Time,

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*Romans 12: 2; Proverbs 23:7

The Glory of a Walk in the Sunshine

1 sAfter a couple weeks of abnormal cold and snowfall, Colorado has finally been released to the blue skies and sunshine that makes much of the country covet our little neck of the wood (or plains as the case may be.) What’s especially glorious about living in Denver this time of year is the incredible views of the snow covered mountain peeks.

After curling up and ignoring the snow and grey skies for the last two weeks, I’ve finally came out of hibernation as the sun and blues skies lured me into the fresh air.

It started last Friday with walking up and down main street in a small town north of us. 1 mountainsHubby and I enjoyed exploring the little shops and sampling one of the best cups of chai we’ve ever had. (If you ever have the choice for bhakti chai vs . . .  well, any of the others, it’s bhakti all the way!)

While I got in some decent exercise, I can’t claim it helped my efforts toward a smaller summer waistline because my husband couldn’t resist the pie factory at the end of the road. I’m positive that whatever calories we walked off found their way back on as we plopped on a park bench and enjoyed a blackberry/raspberry pie. (Both our favorites–blackberry for him, raspberry for me, all in one!) Thankfully, it was a not full-sized pie. This is especially good because we ate every single last bite. He even licked the pan!

After this indulgence, however, I am happy to report that more fruits and veggies (and less unhealthy foods) have found their way into my mouth in the following days, and that I got a walk in every single day since! Those Colorado skies are simply irresistible.

As I browsed online today I found an article that made me feel even better about the walking habit. It’s called Why Steve Jobs Took Long Walks and Why You Should Too. According to this article walking not only improves health, productivity, communication, but also makes us at least 60% more creative. Need proof? Many of the creative giants like Beethoven and Charles Dickens were known walkers!

So lace up those tennies.

See you in the sunshine,

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Weigh-in Wednesday – What???

Sitting trumps fat in killing us off.

Americans buy MORE calories the first three months after the holidays than they bought during!

What?

booksandsuchlogoRather than rewrite two powerful posts by Janet Kobobel Grant, I hope to whet your appetite (pun intended!) to learn more and send you rushing on over to the Books and Such blog.

Did you know long-term sitting increases our chance of cardiovascular disease by 80 percent? According to Janet’s post even one hour of sitting can impair blood flow by as much as 50 percent! Scary stuff not only for writers but for the all of us who work on the computer. While adding a more consistent exercise routine into my day has great benefits, this article showed me that it is not the complete answer to keeping my heart safe. Check out what Janet has to say about SIMPLE ways to reverse the deadly effects of SITTING.

Then pop over to her second post, How to Combat the Negative Effects of a Sedentary Overeating Lifestyle. Remember a few posts back I admitted I found it easier to return to more consistent exercise than I did to fewer calories? Janet’s post said most Americans buy a stunning 890 MORE calories per serving from January to March! This information certainly validates my struggle to eat well, but Janet’s post doesn’t stop there. She offers sounds advice for overcoming as well as more fascinating research about how sitting affects our health.

Enjoy these great resources, and have a beautiful Wednesday, my friend. Let’s do this getting healthy thing together!

Until Next Time,

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PS . . . As an author I am represented by Books and Such. I’m grateful my agent, Rachelle Gardner, as well as all the folks at Books and Such, care about their clients–mind, body, emotions, and spirit. It’s a dream come true to be a part of this powerful and encouraging community.

Wednesday Weigh-in ~ Eating, Exercise, Excuses, and a Plan

There’s always stuff to do. Person-weighing-themselve-007

There’s always stuff that hurts.

There’s always excuses.

I wanted to start this blog whining about how hard it’s been to focus on my body while remodeling a house, grieving deaths, and adjusting to the kids leaving home. All of those reasons for my struggle are real. Emotional eating is an easy trap to fall back into when sadness or loneliness hits. It’s hard to prioritize exercise when my home feels chaotic, and I can’t stand the mess one more day.

But the truth is life happens. I’m pretty sure I will never live an entire day without more pulling at me than I can conquer in that day, and I’m also sure that however many joyful moments a day holds, there will be something that happens that wants to pull me down, stress me out, or at least irritate me.

The truth is I am no longer at the age I can live and eat without intentionality. There are consequences. Not just on the scale, but in my body, health, and energy levels. As hard as it was to lose all that weight, if I’m not intentional I will find it again. All of it.

For the first time since 2012 I didn’t pay attention to how I ate or exercised over the holidays. And it shows. I feel myself getting into old patterns–being discouraged about the weight gain and allowing that discouragement to shut me down. Emotional eating comes really easy when I’m in that state. Getting out and walking does not. I’m also lonely more often now, and those solitary walks don’t sound quite as inviting as they did when the house was constantly noisy.

Here’s the honest truth. I need to get serious about my health again. I need prayer ’cause I know I can’t do this alone.

This week I’m taking a good first step. I’m doing a BENew cleanse. When I was losing weight and doing these consistently I noticed they helped reduce my cravings for the bad foods. (That first cleanse was a rough one for me emotionally. This one isn’t quite as bad, but I’m struggling a little.)

We’re in another car transition, which has made my schedule difficult. So step 2 for me was arranging with my kids for a schedule that allows me a car two mornings a week. My plan is to visit my chiropractor then meet with a friend who lives nearby so we can walk together.

Step 3 is I’ve also returned to doing a few light exercises every morning at home–some crunches, leg lifts, push-ups, and stretching. Nothing too intense. If I start with too much at first I know I won’t continue, so I’m beginning small and seeking to be consistent.

Where I feel the greatest resistance inside is food. I’ve continued much of the healthier eating that I learned in 2012–more fresh fruits and vegetables, making the largest portion my salad instead of the carbs. But unhealthy stuff has crept back in, too, like sometimes having a snack before bed, being mindless about portions, and being less careful with sweets.

When I lost weight I talked a lot about making changes I felt I could live with long-term. I believe I did that. The problem is I grew weary of mindfulness when it came to healthy choices and wise portions. Combined with less activity and less muscle mass, the weight began slipping back on.

And so I continue the journey. Instead of maintenance, I am seeking the courage to stand up and admit I need to lose a few pounds before it gets out of hand. Honestly, it makes me sad to own that, but pretending it isn’t there doesn’t make me any happier. And as much as I would prefer to keep this a private battle, I know accountability makes a difference. I need to lose eight to ten pounds. I need to do this now before things get out-of-control again, and it’s fifty I need to drop.

There. I said it.

If you’re on this journey with me, maybe a summary of my plan can help you, too.

  • Honesty with self – choosing to admit I must deal with this problem
  • Intentionality – Making choices with intent to stay on the road of health
  • Mindfulness – Paying attention to what (and how much!) I eat and how much I move
  • Spiritual support – Asking God to help me and others to pray for me
  • Admission – Admitting I need to lose and owning exactly how many pounds
  • Accountability – Telling someone that I need to change and have chosen to do so.
  • A plan – for me it is 1) cleanse 2) exercise 3) Portion control 4) healthier foods

Anybody with me?

Until next time,

Paula another test (401x192) (2)

Weigh-in Wednesday: Let’s Get Real!

IMAG0191Let’s get real!

It isn’t that we don’t know the path to better health. While we each may have physical limitations or allergies unique to us, we know the basics: Increase activity. Decrease intake. Eat fresh.

So if we know what it takes why is it so hard to lose weight and maintain a healthier body?

It’s a bear to establish healthy habits, but it’s just as difficult to continue them once goals are met–at least for me.

Am I the only out here?

(I know I’m not.)

With all the renovations on my house the only part of my body that grew stronger were painting muscles. My walking legs aren’t quite as muscled and the middle is going soft again.

And I let it happen after all that work to drop 55 pounds and get strong after those car accidents!

So I’m trying to re-establish the healthy choices that brought much freedom and joy back into my life before the ease of movement slips away again.

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The brave and beautiful Jennifer bundled in several layers to walk with me today!

Yesterday I chose to walk while I took a phone call. Today I asked a friend to walk with me. I’m an extrovert, so being in community while I walk gives me that little extra joy I need to keep my feet moving. I know I need to return to this activity even when it’s a solitary endeavor, and I’ll get there, but for now having a friend helps!

Jennifer bundled up to stay cozy in the cold and we enjoyed the fresh (though slightly nippy) air, avoided the goose poop, and had a good long conversation uninterrupted by the real world.

Honestly, it was heavenly!

How about you? Would calling a friend make it more fun to be active today?

Weighin’ In at 49

In this place I’m better at 49 than I was at 39.

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Desert heat. High altitude. Steep terrain.

This post was birthed in my mind a couple of months ago, but I’m glad I didn’t get around to writing it until now. It seems the perfect birthday post as I enter my last year of this decade.

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One of my best friends and I went on an adventure the first week of September. It was an amazing unfolding of unplanned wandering into uncharted terrain.

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Pictures don’t do justice to the challenge we faced with steep trails and long, windy stone staircases in these hot, dusty places. But thanks to stronger bodies, we didn’t cower.

We sweated. We ached. And we conquered.

Day after day, trail after trail, we found new heights to climb. There’s no way my body could have handled the heat or the repeated assault on lungs and burning muscles before.

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The journey to health and weight loss gave me a new lease on life.

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In 365 days I’ll enter my 50’s. Who could have dreamed I’d have more stamina and thirst for adventure than I did when I entered my 40’s?

My weight loss journey continues to have its shares of triumphs and frustrations. The fight to drop the weight took plain ole hard work. Maintenance isn’t a cake walk. (Yes, I chose that old saying on purpose.) But here is the victory: Hiking. Climbing. Rafting. Even strolls through the park with my honey.

Reclaiming my love of movement, my love of adventure.

Reclaiming a piece of me, long lost.

If you’re struggling along the journey to better health, may I encourage you with this thought?

It’s worth it.

Stick to it, and find your own adventurous self!

Until Next Time,

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Weighin’ In

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Yes. A great favorite of mine. Hard to resist

You gotta know when God gives you a cool new understanding of a big concept like I talked about last week, that it will be tested.

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve caught the words, “I am overwhelmed” coming out of my mouth. When I did I tried to rephrase quickly. “I mean, I feel a bit overwhelmed, but I know God is never overwhelmed, and He’ll help me.”

It’s been a while since I’ve kept my commitment to you to post about weight loss on Wednesdays. I am determined to do so this week mostly because it is after midnight on Tuesday night, and i just made a bunch of bad choices. I figure confession is good for the soul.

After an incredibly full day I determined to keep my word to get a round of edits to a free-lance editing client. Throughout the day I’d attempted to finish this work, but it needed more germinating time than I anticipated, meaning I’d open the document, play with the structure, and feel confused about why it wasn’t working. Then I’d get frustrated and paint something (we’re doing remodeling at our house, pictures soon!) or visit Facebook.

This happened repeatedly.

It was about bedtime when the thoughts simmered enough to become cohesive, and I tackled the project, determined to finish.

It is now 12:17 a.m.

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This is good, too

I started out pretty well. When the weariness hit and I reached for energy I first chose an apple and water, such a healthy snack as my fingers flew across the laptop on my keyboard.

Unfortunately, that morphed into dark chocolate and almond milk before midnight hit. The good news is I didn’t eat an entire bar.

The good news is also that if I was going to indulge I’m glad it was my favorite brand.

The bad news is that it was two different flavors of my favorite brand and more little pieces than I care to count. (I did resist the third flavor in my cabinet, raspberries in dark chocolate, but I digress.)

And so here I am, clicking away on this blog, thinking that too many choices like this, and the weight I lost will find me again. Thinking that I want to be a writer but that sitting at my computer burns roughly 100 calories an hour, and I don’t even want to consider how many calories I just consumed, especially since I inhaled a calorie-rich supper and half a hot-fudge Sunday before beginning my midnight vigil.

I like to think there are some positive, take-away tidbits when I write about this stuff, even in my bad choices. I suppose the most profound thought I have at this moment is how very easy it is to return to old habits, even after two years of making better choices.

I comfort myself with the reminder that each day is a new beginning. One choice doesn’t undo all the good accomplished. And maybe, just maybe, admitting my step backwards in this public way will help me choose those steps forward.

And honestly? Chocolove rocks. My editing goals were accomplished. I have a soft, warm bed waiting for me. Tomorrow’s rain forecast was cancelled, and I have the opportunity to take a nice, long walk.

His mercies are new EVERY morning.

Until next time,

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I’m Okay! Really!

No major life crises, no health issues, no shocking inner journey. Just space. Time. Preparing my kids and myself for the big leap to college, then processing the empty house and cleaning out drawers. Taking time to cry a little as a the kids step into adulthood. Rejoicing in a week vacation with a best friend. Choosing to be more interior, to spend a chunk of that time I often use for blogging to be private~me, my God, and my journal.IMAG0318  Taking time to ask who He sees in this new season for me.  I’m still hitting the sidewalks and trails and caring about being healthy inside and out. Blog posts are germinating, and as soon as it feels right, you’ll hear from me . . . special thanks to those of you who sent a little note recognizing my absence here. That meant a lot.

Until the posts start appearing again know that I’m here, still stretching, growing, even being a bit adventurous!

Until Next Time,

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Walking and Weighin’ and Being Sensible

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Photo from fanpop.com

Evidently I have great timing. Twice this week I’ve started a walk under cloud cover and ended up getting soak. Like Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility I begin with a blind optimism that I won’t get caught in the rain. Then I do.

I suppose like her the truth is I haven’t minded so much. After the heat of some very hot days a little cool and wet feels like refreshment.

And no, a handsome man did not come and rescue me, though my husband did attempt to  on his way home from work. I was only a block from home by the time he caught up to me so he just grinned through his open window and followed me around the corner. I grinned back through dripping eyelashes.

I’m feeling more optimistic than I have since I decided I needed the accountability of a Weigh-In Wednesday. The scale has receded instead of continuing its rising. I’ve taken walks despite the rain, and with the exception of one day this weekend when I watched the Lord of the Rings marathon and enjoyed all the treats lining our family room counter, I’ve been mostly sensible about my food intake.

(I was very good on Monday to make up for Sunday’s indulgence! Light and healthy!)

My rainy walk last Thursday included some tiny hail pellets. Yes, I do live in Colorado. 94 degrees that morning, stifling heat, then the rain and ice. ICE.

Tuesday’s walk started with glorious reminders of the beauty of summer.

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Soon the trickles started.

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I made it half-way through my walk before the rain got heavy.

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It grew in intensity for the mile and a half back home. Me walking, the cars splashing past.

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By the time I rounded the last corner the water rushed down the street next to me.

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I was soaked (picture coming on Friday).

But I have to say my attitude rocked. It doesn’t always, so I’m celebrating this fact and hoping it shows some sort of wonderful resilience forged in the fires of life. (More on that on Friday’s post, too.)

How are you doing this fine Wednesday? What successes are spurring you on in your journey of health? Where is it raining on your parade?

The rain will come. But even if it overcomes us there is One who is good who carries us to safety.

The One who cares sees every struggle of our heart and body. He is not callous to our pain. His heart is tender. He longs for us to call upon Him, to let Him take action. To be strong for us in our time of weakness, whether in our bodies or our hearts.

Hang onto your successes. Make good choices for health one at a time. Lean on the Creator when your energy and hope wanes.

Let’s do this thing!

Until next time,

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Authentic Disclosure

Person-weighing-themselve-007Commitment. Accountability.

I sit pondering them. Good words. Good concepts. Especially for someone like me who has an over-active conscience.

Last week I committed to you to “weigh in” on Wednesdays. Part fool, part genius, this idea. It puts me back under self-scrutiny, requires me to look honestly at my choices, and then to lay them bare before you.

And as a writer I could easily pen this post to make me look better than I am. But partial disclosure doesn’t help me grow, and it doesn’t give us an authentic walk together.

Besides, I’d feel dishonest.

The temptation is to focus on yesterday’s success. Hubby needed a ride so I was out of the house earlier than usual, throwing on clothes and downing a quick glass of water. No time for anything else. (Okay, I did go to the bathroom and wash my face.)

It’s been blazing hot here (for Colorado). The string of above 90 days is exacerbated by the fact our swamp cooler bit the dust. It’s hard to force myself into the heat for exercise only to return to a stifling house. Saturday Jerry and I braved it, but when the house cools little overnight the house doesn’t recover, allowing the temperature to creep up as day after day stays hot. Even as the heat intensifies in the sun of the day, there is a slow, steady increase of base temperatures, the coolest not as cool, the hottest hotter.

I didn’t attempt a walk on Sunday or Monday.

But yesterday! After dropping hubby at work I drove with an eye for a good place to exercise, pulled into a little park with a promising pathway, and texted home. Our older son didn’t have to leave for work for a few hours, and I felt it okay to be away from Sam (still on a motion machine, crutches, and Naproxen at home).

20140722_093918 (2)The short of it is I had a glorious walk for almost an hour and a half. The path wound from a cute little park to residential areas shaded by established, towering trees, and eventually beneath the highway. Once east of the interstate that cuts our city in half, the trail followed a stream, more trees, more shade. The endpoint was glorious. Another park, one of my favorites, typically too far from home to visit by foot.

There was a moment of concern. I hadn’t taken water and my morning included less hydration than in my usual routine. I’d expected the help of a water fountain I knew was at this second park, only it didn’t work!

With parched lips I took off on a lap around the small lake, then decided to head back to the trail by a different route. There, gleaming and functional, stood a water fountain I didn’t know existed!

Gulping the liquid, then holding several sips in my dry mouth before swallowing, I thanked God for the gift. Surely His Spirit had led me to the water.

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I did really well yesterday. Exercised. Ate wisely. Fed my soul with movement, quiet, natural beauty.

Now comes that authentic part.

When the heat of the evening kicked in the swelter also carried a case of doldrums. From 6 p.m. until bedtime I simply blew it. Consumed any calories I’d burned away with my morning walk, possibly more.

The temptation as I’m “weighing in” on this Wednesday is to emphasize the choice to walk. But the reality is my good choice was followed by a lack of self-control, which has been the pattern of the last week and a half.

In my defense I’ve had a bit of an unusual hormone surge. I’m almost 49, and my body can’t decide whether it should behave pre or post menopausal. It makes it tough to recognize symptoms I’d typically track with a calendar, like PMS cravings or mood-swings. Thanks to Body Balance I no longer suffer from those awful hot flashes, but like it or not my body continues in no-man’s land, trying to figure out whether or not to gracefully release its last vestiges of child-bearing.

The fact comforts me as I always gave myself a little grace in these times. It helps me better understand the cravings and lack of self-control and gives me hope that self-control will soon be a little less difficult to come by.

Still, I know better than to put off today what I could do tomorrow in the area of health, but I’ve spent the last several days breaking one of my own rules: Make the NEXT RIGHT choice. Don’t put it off for later. Don’t push back the chance to begin anew. Every right choice is a step back on the path to reaching my goals and reclaiming health.

Not only have I put off the decision to cut the mindless eating I did last night, I have also postponed another healthy choice. When I was on my weight loss journey I religiously did the BENew detoxifying cleanse once a month. While I strongly believe in the benefits of this cleanse AND found it bepurereduced my cravings for unhealthy foods, it’s one of the things I cut once I reached my weight loss goals. (Always trying to save a penny.)

Last week I realized it has been some time since I’d done a cleanse, and it would very likely help me with my struggle with cravings. I put the cleanse in the kitchen and honestly forgot for a couple of days to start it.

Then I was going to begin on Sunday, but it was so hot we decided at the last minute to slip away to a movie theater to bring relief from the heat and to give poor Sam a break from the monotonous home routine of therapy, ice machines, and crutches. So I put off starting the cleanse again. Thought I wouldn’t waste it on a day when when I chose to have movie snacks.

Here it is Wednesday and that little jar still sits unopened.

So time to make another commitment to you–putting this stuff out there helps me make good choices–I’m starting it TODAY. No more delay.

There you have it. The good, bad, and ugly of my journey to maintain weight loss. My behavior of last week won’t shave those five pounds that have crept back on. But I’m heading in the right direction. Making the next good choice.

How about you? The ups? The downs?

Until next time,

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