Susan’s & Her Team’s Health Challenge Update: She failed this week! Should we continue?

This is the point at which I struggle with my clients. I want and expect the best from them, and I’m disappointed when they don’t live up to their potential. As a coach, do I berate them, make them feel worse than they already do, and send them into an eating frenzy? Or excuse their lapse as part of the journey?  I lean toward the latter, most of the time.  But Susan has had her lapses. Do we excuse her because she’s “busy”, or demand more from her because we know she has great potential and we care about her?

Susan reveals she really let the ball drop this week and feels like she let the team down.  She let her busy life get in the way of her health goals.  She should have reached out to us, her team; that’s why we’re here.  It’s not that we care so much about her weight loss, we care that she takes care of herself, especially when she’s stressed.

Here are her goals for the week. If she does not meet them, should we consider canceling the challenge? Because I know she doesn’t want to let her team down again.  Let me know what you think:

  • Answer every email, text, or call from her team members within 1 day
  • Check in at end of day, everyday, by email to me.  I will forward to the team and the team will hold her accountable if she is losing focus, by contacting her.

Quick team update

Mary lost 5 pounds and Lori lost 4 pounds already! See more below.

Thank you to Elizabeth, Karen, Lori, Mary & Peter for checking in.

We did not hear from Jane, Ann Marie, Elana or Matt

Here’s Susan’s update below and well as her teams:

(7/27 – 8/3) 8 days, 40 points possible per category, 120 points maximum score:

  • Eat 3 -5 healthy meals per day: 20/40
  • Exercise 5 times this week, minimum of 5 minutes per day: 5 / 40
  • Journal all meals, exercise, & stressors per day: 0 / 40

Total Score Earned: 25 points

Special Personal Goal: Do not eat crap from the snack bar while at the pool –Achieved this goal 0 out of 1 day

The above info is my week at a glance.  Not surprisingly, I had a weight gain this week.  My goal was to lose a minimum of 2 pounds per week- this week I failed to meet the challenge in a big way.

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 determination to pick myself up, dust myself off, and try harder to do well in the upcoming week.

Stressors for the week:

  • Exhaustion: 12 to 14 hour work days, had one 18 hour day this week- no joke.
  • 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.

Weight on 7/26:  269.8 lbs /  Weight on 8/193:  273.8 lbs

Gain this week:  4 lbs – Week 3 of Challenge

Total Challenge Loss:  2.4 lbs

Total Loss to date:  57.2 lbs

I wanted to lie to you.  It would have been so much easier to do that, than it was to fill in the above info. Why didn’t I?  Aside from allowing me to save face, no good would come from doing so, and it would make me a hypocrite.  So, I am equating writing this blog to brutally ripping off a band-aid and just getting it over with. Let the public flogging begin.  Here is something interesting though.  Last week when I left my coaching session, I had just had a great week- I had lost over 4 lbs.  I said to Peter not to expect much from me this week, because in addition to just having had a big loss, I knew my period was about to start, and I knew I would be fighting Mother Nature in regard to my numbers. As always, he told me to do my best despite the obstacles before me.  I never did manage to shake those negative thoughts from my head during the week, and some could argue that the negative thinking helped lead me to a self fulfilling prophecy. There is probably some merit to that line of thought.

I had some issues this week that wreaked havoc on my body.  I definitely did not get enough sleep.  I have seen what happens when I consistently don’t get enough rest; without fail, it always hurts my numbers.  I also ran out of the medication that I use to control my blood pressure and went without it for 3 days.  I literally watched my ankles swell to the size of small melons as my blood pressure soared.  They are deflating as the medication has kicked back in, but not quickly enough for my liking.  Not smart on my part, I should never allow this to happen- not just because I hate the sight of kankles, but because it puts undue stress on my heart and is a dangerous and dumb thing to do. I did get my period as expected- so just add some more bloat and crankiness to the overall picture.

In addition to the biological obstacles in my path this week, I made some behavioral errors as well.  Last weekend I grocery shopped and bought a cart full of stuff that would have made Peter proud.  I lugged it home, and even made 6 different vegetables to grab and go during the course of the week.  None of that helps if they never make it into your mouth. I ate about half of them, but the rest was either left in my fridge as I bolted out to work not having had time to pack my lunch, or thrown aside and ignored  because I didn’t make time to actually eat, or chose an unhealthy option instead.

My exercise routine was disastrous as well.  My boys were sick and weren’t able to swim for most of the week.  I did venture back into the swim lanes to repeat my 25 yard laps, but only managed to get there once this week.  I was actually disappointed about this.  I seriously enjoy the swimming- my brain doesn’t view it as exercise even though it really is; it doesn’t seem like it is a chore to be endured.  Norton and I walked as well, but neither of us is enthusiastic about it in the heat of August; our efforts were half hearted at best.  My resistance bands continue to get lugged back and forth with me wherever I go, and still haven’t been utilized- no excuses here, I could and should have used them.

I spent my week feeling frazzled, over tired, hormonal, and unfocused.  The biggest mistake I made is letting those feelings get the best of me and not reaching out to the support available to me.  Regardless of how tired, busy, overwhelmed etc… I was, had I reached out to a challenge team member, I may have gotten myself back on track.  I am still having trouble getting through all the emails I have piled up; this is something that I will tackle this weekend.

So I see all the mistakes I have made above and will work on not repeating them again this week.  Sorry to have let you down.  If nothing else, this week has made me all the more determined to reach my 14 lb goal by Sept. 1st.

Susan’s Team Update


  • Drink 60 oz of water …  I have been doing really well with this.  
  • Record all meals in a journal during or at end of day.  I have not been doing as well with this.  Google doc didn’t work because I could not add to it from my phone.  I am now trying a regular notebook, but continue to struggle.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  
  • Do bands and physical therapy workout daily.  Except for one day when my knee was really sore, I have done PT and bands daily.  My day is definitely better when I start with a good workout!  


Short term Goals

  1. Lose 10 pounds by 9/1/12 - Lost 5 lbs total
  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 all 7 nights and just zipped through an great summer read:  Gone Girl.
  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 and just connected with one of my friends on their site.
Daily plan:
  • Take a regular lunch, away from my desk, at least 2 times a week – do something non-work related during this lunch - Check
  • When entertaining for work or out socially, substitute at least one round of drinks with seltzer - Check – I went out with a bunch of friends one night and I let them lap me a few times.  They wanted to take a cab right outside of the restaurant but I talked them into “walking off” dinner so I could get to 10,000 steps on my Fitbit that day…
  • Bands five days a week - we’ve decided on three days a week and I did that this week
  • Work out with a friend at least once a week – plan ahead and get it on the calendar! I planned spin w a friend but she bailed on me.  I still went!  This Tues is booked w a friend.
  • Mix up work outs – spin, elliptical, ride bike outside, and what else?  Focus on the fun in these varied work-outs. I did “mix it up” again this week.  Spin, Elliptical, work out with you, and rode my bike to the market on Sunday.


This morning I weighed 135.4 –I am going in the right direction now. I’ve weighed myself every day this week. The weight fluctuations can be frustrating. Two days in a row, my weight went up .5 pounds per day and I didn’t expect that. But, weighing in daily motivates me to think more about what I am eating.

For the second week, I’ve consistently done the bands, plus some extra core exercises, on 3 days and worked out at group fitness on two other days.  I’m on vacation next week with my husband, and my brother and his family. I’m taking the bands and plan to share my workout with everyone!


1.  Do not miss any sessions of NRI three day a week work out (20 minutes plus warm up) I attended all three sessions.

2.     2.   Increase step count on Saturday and Sunday to between 8,000 and 10,000 steps. Walked 8241 steps on Saturday and 9091 steps on Sunday

3.  Not eating after 7:00 pm - I ate before 6:30 each night except Tuesday. I was on the train from DC and did not get home until 7:40. I ate a very light meal though.


  • Take cold shower for 30 seconds every day (strengthens immune system and wakes your ass up :-) Done! Starting to like it
  • Contact one friend or business contact everyday.  done- missed one day but made up for it
  • Work out with 2 friends every week to add fun to band workouts. done- great workouts!
  • Continue daily food journal and gratitude journal. done
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