Healthy Holidays Challenge … CheckIn #1

This first week of the Healthy Holidays Challenge has been great!  The majority of the participants are on Instagram and there are some great goals posted.  

As for my goals…here’s how my week went:
(For those who haven’t followed me during a challenge before, I like to color code my update like street lights, red for no, yellow for kinda, and green for yes.  I’m visual like that. 🙂 ) 
  1. I will exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes, 4-5 days a week.  4 days done!  I might even get a 5th day in tomorrow.  
  2. I will track my food at least 6 days a week.  This week has been a little harder for me to reign in my “extras”, but I have tracked everything.  
  3. I will drink at least 32 ounces of pure water a day.  Done.  Knowing this is one of my goals has made me consciously make sure to get my water in.  
  4. I will enjoy the holidays, but not forget my new ending in life includes making the best choice for ME — whether that’s having something in moderation or saying no.  This week doing what was best for me started with setting the goals I needed to get through the holidays and possibly still see a loss on the scale, or at least not see a gain.  I don’t encourage striving for weight loss during the holidays, which is why I didn’t set it as an actual goal, but I know I do hope to weigh less on January 1st than I do now.  I set goals I needed and I no longer feel upset about it.  1 pt for Team Leah@My New Ending! 
I want to follow up my update with a few thoughts.  
Short Story: 
I asked Instagramers why they keep fighting for their health and it really made me think about why I do.  It’s frustrating, but I was reminded again that when my health is in a better place it’s a sign my mental and emotional selves are in better places.  Weight loss brought much more change to my life than buying smaller clothes.  And that’s why I keep coming back to fight to do better.  (Why couldn’t I have summed it up like that the other day…hmmm… lol)
Long Story:
During each week I plan on posting a thought to inspire, encourage or challenge everyone on their journey.  This week I posted this: 
Only a few actually replied and many “liked”.  Regardless of whether or not people replied, I hope it made them think.  I know it made me think. 
Sometimes I get very frustrated and wonder why I care about my health “so much”??  (Because that’s how some people view it, like it’s excessive concern or conceited.)  So, I decided to pick the brains of other’s and see what their responses are.  
Replies were varied, but there was a general agreement that we don’t want to go “back there”.  
It took me a good 30 minutes to figure out my real answer.  Not the pat answer I can share in a few minutes, but my real why.  The real reason deep down that makes me keep coming back to this challenge to healthier living with a desire to do better. 
I finally could sum it up like this, I was a happy overweight lady.  My weight never stopped me from making friends, joining in church and community activities or enjoying life in general.  But when my body began to ache and I knew my weight was the cause it gave me pause to seriously look at my life. 
Over the course of losing 70 pounds I realized my story is more about dealing with emotional struggles than simply calories in versus calories out.  I just felt like “that” — being thin — was for “them”, along with having lots of money, etc. etc.  It was my lot in life.
And to some extent that is true.  My genetics will never allow me to eat whatever and however much I want. 
But as I began to lose weight I realized I was capable of something more and that I didn’t have to turn to food all the time.  I learned when the scale is going up it’s a sign there is something else going on inside.  
I’ve learned whether I’m having too much fun to care or I’m too stressed out to care I need to be aware and not throw my health and better habits to the wayside.  I’ve learned I’m capable of being aware and enjoying life while eating better and stay active.  And I feel better all around when I do.  
So, why do I care so much?  
Why did I start this challenge? 
Why do I try and share my story with others? 
Because I never thought I deserved anything different, but I was dead wrong.  And if I can help someone else see that they don’t have to be content with “less than” and they can have a new ending in their life, then I will.  And on the flip side, if I can help somenoe realize that they NEED to care a little or it will come to bite them in the butt later, I will do that too.
This new ending I’ve chosen for my life is hard work at times, but it is some of the most rewarding work I’ve ever done.  So, as always… I will never give up trying. 
Have a great weekend everyone!
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2 Responses to Healthy Holidays Challenge … CheckIn #1

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Leah! I saw your question on Instagram – I didn't answer because the truth is the weight I'm losing is vanity weight, and I don't want to pretend that my journey is as profound as those trying to conquer more significant amounts. But if I had to answer why I strive to improve my habits, it's because I have now seen firsthand how taking care of yourself consistently can put you in a good position to handle a major health event. My mom (about to turn 70) had open heart surgery this spring to repair a valve defect that had been monitored for years but had started to worsen significantly. Although of course it was tough on her, she flew through her hospital recovery because she had been in such good shape to start with. She stays active and eats a balanced diet, and the doctors released her 4.5 DAYS after surgery because she was healing so well and as her doctor said, they needed to free up a bed for actual sick people! 🙂

    Anyway, my week went well. I fought off some afternoon junk food cravings (which are the source of my extra pounds) and made healthier substitutions. Three workouts this week, so check that one off. Lost about 0.6 pounds but my first goal of being one pound lighter on Oct. 1st has been achieved (unless I fall into a bucket of Chinese food tonight!) Holiday treats are still mercifully a few weeks away, but I didn't eat a single one of the double stuf Oreos my husband has been snacking on all week.
    Suz, Northern Virginia

    Like

  2. Leah says:

    Hi Suz,
    You're answer is a very honest one as well and I'm glad you shared it. Funny, but I'm on the opposite side where I have to remind myself that for some it truly is just a matter of “vanity weight” as you've called it. That's actually why I asked; I wanted to see where people are. It helps me to understand the health needs from various backgrounds.

    I also want to be like your mom. My paternal grandmother is very sturdy and active at age 81, and one of my health goals is to be like her. 🙂

    Like

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