Susan’s & Her Team’s Health Challenge Update: Down 8.1 lbs and dare we say, she’s starting to like exercise?!!

What’s the best way to get into an exercise routine?

Start with 5 minutes a day, get your heart rate up, work your muscles, incorporate many movements and direct your thoughts, all components of my 5 Minutes to Fitness+ workout, which Susan is not in love with, yet. The Irony is Susan gave me a book, Spark, that supports the 5 Minutes to Fitness+ routine, completely.  It talks about the connection between simple, effective exercise and how it increases motivation, decreases stress, and improves self esteem and self mastery, as well as makes you look good.

If you pay attention to Susan’s updates, this is exactly what Susan is experiencing when she says, “Am a bit disappointed that the pool won’t be an option for me anymore after Labor Day.” Did Susan ever think she would miss her exercise routine? I think she’s slowly making the connection that eating better and exercise makes her feel better. Most of us can intellectualize this, but when we “feel” it, it’s real.

We heard from Elizabeth, Elana, Mary, & Peter. We didn’t hear from Ann Marie, Karen, Lori or Jane.

Here is Susan’s update followed by her team’s update:

The info below is my week at a glance.  I had a decent week.  I had a loss this week of 2.3 pounds.  My goal was to lose a minimum of 2 pounds per week which I accomplished.

(8/11 – 8/17) 7 days, 35 points possible per category, 105 points maximum score:

  • Eat 3 -5 healthy meals per day: 30/35
  • Exercise 5 times this week, minimum of 5 minutes per day: 35 / 35
  • Journal all meals, exercise, & stressors per day: 25 / 35

Total Score Earned: 90 points

Special Personal Goal: Do not eat crap from the snack bar while at the pool: Achieved this goal 3 out of 3 days.

Here are the positive things/changes that occurred this week:

  • The accountability of this 7 week Challenge- It’s keeping me honest, and it is strengthening my resolve to permanently shed my excess weight and become physically fit.
  • I won’t say I like exercise per say, but I must grudgingly admit that I am beginning to look forward to swimming laps in the afternoon.  I think this is because it’s “my time”- a break in my day without the kids, and it’s refreshing in the sweltering summer heat- but its exercise none the less and I am enjoying it.

Stressors for the week:

  • Exhaustion: 12 to 14 hour work days- looking forward to September and the more leisurely days to come.
  • Difficulty in falling asleep early and waking up on time. Needing to wake up and start my day before the light of day, existing on 4 to 6 hours of sleep per night on average- this is getting old.
  • Frustration in regard to not being home enough to get anything done in my own house, or see enough of my family.
  • Feeling badly about not responding promptly and more thoroughly to my challenge team members.

Weight on 8/10:  270.4 lbs /  Weight on 8/17:  268.1 lbs

Loss this week:  2.3 lbs – Week 5 of Challenge

Total Challenge Loss:  8.1 lbs

Total Loss to Date:  62.9 lbs

Short and sweet this week.  I spent my time trying to lower my stress level.  I still haven’t gotten as much rest as I need, but I can see light at the end of the tunnel.  More balanced days are in sight when school begins again.  I have tried to focus on eating right, and have been swimming regularly and can feel my stamina and endurance increasing.  Am a bit disappointed that the pool won’t be an option for me anymore after Labor Day- I have been thinking about joining a gym or the Y to possibly continue swimming throughout the fall and winter. Still not in love with my resistance bands, but we are a work in progress.  I have a 4 day weekend this week- am looking forward to getting stuff done around the house, resting up, getting to the pool minus the kids, and catching up with e-mail.  Stole 2 hours for myself this morning and let Agata @ Balayage in Hillsdale work her magic on my hair. Amazing how good a trip to the hair salon can make you feel.  Hope everyone has a great week.

Susan’s Team Update:


  • Eat at LEAST one serving of DARK greens every day- Done, with ease and enjoyment! This week’s intake included kale and spinach- steamed and/or sauteed (as a bed for homemade ratatouille/grilled branzino, as part of an egg-white vege scramble, and mixed with olive oil/garlic). YUM :)
  • Smile during my bands workouts- Done


  • Drink 60 oz of water … easily done, especially when I ate too many fried clams!
  • Record all meals in a journal during or at end of day. Better than anticipated, particularly given that I am on vacation and my snacking was not as “clean” as usual :) and my vegetables were limited on some days
  • Do bands and physical therapy workout daily.  Great workouts and I ran 3 times with minimal knee pain! 
Short term Goals
  1. Lose 10 pounds by 9/1/12 - Lost 9 lbs total – I maintained this week
  2. Food Journal Daily - Journaled every day via Fitbit Foodlog
  3. Read in bed at night instead of Netflix-watching on laptop – helps me sleep better and cuts down on stress/anxiety - Achieved 5 out of 7 nights.  The only nights I watched Netflix in bed, I didn’t have to get up for work the next morning.  Sleeping really well with all of the working out I’m doing!
  4. Just ordered a Fitbit and will follow my progress with this device - and become ”connected” with family/colleagues/friends who have the same device for added accountability. Monitored/used Fitbit every day.  I took 15,000 steps yesterday just commuting, walking around to client meetings, etc.
Daily plan:
  • Take a regular lunch, away from my desk, at least 2 times a week – do something non-work related during this lunch - I can’t even remember if I did this or not this week….
  • When entertaining for work or out socially, substitute at least one round of drinks with seltzer - I’ve gotten into the habit of just having one drink.  So, that solves the “rounds” of drinks problem!
  • Bands three days a week - Check – heading to the gym now to get the elliptical and band workout in
  • Work out with a friend at least once a week – plan ahead and get it on the calendar! Another goal that hasn’t seem to pan out.  Have to find someone who goes to my same gym, similar workout schedule, etc.  It’s fun to have someone to work out with, but I’m religious about going on my own.
  • Mix up work outs – spin, elliptical, ride bike outside, and what else?  Focus on the fun in these varied work-outs. Check.  One day this week I got to the gym and wasn’t feeling excited about the Elliptical.  I saw that a spin class already started so I hopped on a bike about 10 minutes into the class.  Super boring teacher, so I stuck with it for 30 min (the time I spend on the elliptical) then jumped off and did the band workout.  I did give myself one day off this week, but otherwise stuck with the exercising daily plan.
  • Take cold shower for 30 seconds every day (strengthens immune system and wakes your ass up :-) Missed 2 days while on vacation.
  • Contact one friend or business contact everyday.  not everyday because on vacation but did connect with 3 potential business contacts
  • Work out with 2 friends every week to add fun to band workouts. done- great workouts! worked out everyday, but alone since on vacation
  • Continue daily food journal and gratitude journal. Done! even on vacation.
See you guys next week! Thanks for being here.
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