Susan’s & Her Team’s Health Challenge Results: She has a request for you; How do you handle stress…

First, Susan has a favor to ask. She wants to know how you handle stress. Please send her your ideas by commenting below. She’s waiting for ideas to help change her life. Thank you!

Well, Susan’s 7 week challenge has ended, and unfortunately she had bad week.  But overall, did she lose weight, learn anything, or get any healthier? the answer is YES.  It’s not about the weight, it’s about educating yourself and changing behaviors, and along the way meeting new friends and finding your fighting spirit. Susan has done all that, and so has most of her team. She even learned she likes to swim, exercise, pardon me while I wipe away proud tears of joy from my eyes ;-)

She did lose 8.3 pounds in 7 weeks, short of her goal of 14, but still on track for 1 pound lost per week, which is recommended.  She also identified her biggest challenge, and this may effect you too, stress sends her searching for food, but now she owns it.

I want to say I’m proud of Susan, and also, Lori, Mary, Elizabeth, Karen, Jane, Elana, and Ann Marie for stepping up and supporting Susan, and making changes themselves! Susan has already signed up for the next 6 week health challenge starting in September.

Lori lost 10 pounds and Mary lost 9 pounds!

Heres the final update:


The above below is my week at a glance.  I had a spectacularly bad week;

(8/25 – 9/01)  8 days, 40 points possible per category, 120 points maximum score:

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

**I did eat healthy meals and exercised some days- didn’t journal- week ended in a blur.

Total Score Earned: ?  points

Special Personal Goal: Do not eat crap from the snack bar while at the pool: Didn’t get to the pool- NA.

Added Goal- No salt or processed food- this went out the window mid week- did well first half of week.

Weight on 8/24:  266.9 lbs /  Weight on 9/1:  267.9 lbs

Gain this week:  1 lb – Week 7 of Challenge

Total Challenge Loss:  8.3 lbs

Total Loss to Date:  63 lbs

This is one of the most difficult blogs I’ve had to sit down and write. I have had a gut wrenching, soul crushing, terrible week.  The sort of week in fact, that makes you step back and question every decision and aspect of your life and take stock.  The kind of week that makes you actually wonder if it’s all really worth the effort of going on.  The start of the week wasn’t stellar, but it was nothing out of the ordinary.  The normal, everyday stuff that irritates everyone; arguing with your spouse, kids acting up, hectic schedules etc… On Thursday morning, life changed on a dime.  An idyllic summer day, the kids were playing happily in the backyard; I was cleaning up the breakfast dishes, and then came the blood curdling scream that shattered everything.  Daredevil Andy, (Age 7) had decided to climb a tree in the backyard; his 9 yr old brother stood below telling him that he better get down because he knew they weren’t allowed to climb that tree.  Andy wasn’t climbing long, and he wasn’t climbing high- he just happened to pick a wrong branch to put his weight on, and it snapped, sending him down with a crash.  If he had landed on grass, it would have been a non event, but of course he didn’t, he handed on a boulder.  He appeared to be fine, just shaken up from the scare of unexpected rapid descent.  No crying after the first 5 minutes, 3 tiny scratches- none of which required a band-aid, and a complaint of sore ribs.  After lying on the couch for a few minutes, he was down on the floor playing Legos with his brother and a friend.  It bothered me that he fell onto the boulder, and despite seeing no abrasions, bruising, or swelling, I didn’t like that he complained about his ribs.  I thought I was being neurotic and smothering when I called the pediatrician to make an appointment to have him checked out.  I’d rather be accused of being over-cautious for no reason, than miss a potential problem.   What happened next is a blur.  Take me out, buy me a bottle of wine and ply me with lots of alcohol and I will tell you the whole sordid tale, it still makes me sick to even think of it now.  The doctor’s appointment was uneventful.  The pediatrician didn’t see anything alarming either, but wanted a chest x-ray just to ensure there were no cracked ribs.  They were so non-plussed about his condition, they let him climb on and off the exam table unassisted, and we spent quite a few minutes making jokes about his tree climbing exploits.  The trip to the ER was just a formality to ensure all was well.

As I am sitting here writing this, it is in the wee hours of Sunday morning. It has been 3 days since Andy fell. He has spent 2 full days in the Pediatric ICU, and will probably spend another 3 days in a regular room until he is released. After that, he needs a minimum of at least 6 weeks where he can do nothing more than walk and chew gum. His final diagnosis was an internal injury; a significant tear on the inside of his spleen. Since Andy’s fall, I have been a zombie, and my emotions are all over the place.  50% of the time I feel like a neglectful monster because I took my eyes off of him long enough for him to put himself in harm’s way.  The rest of the time I remember that kids will be kids, and you can’t put them in bubble wrap and smother them with non-stop monitoring.  I know in my heart I do the best job I can, and sometimes accidents just happen. When I told the story to my mother who is a nurse, she and I had one of our typical dysfunctional conversations.  Her first reaction was to berate at me for taking my eyes off the kid (mind you, this is the same woman who used to send me out to play and tell me I had to be back in the house when the street lights came on), and then pointed out that I probably saved the kid’s life by making the decision to take him to the doctor even when I felt it wasn’t necessary to do so. So what does that make me? A neglectful hero?  Perhaps she’s right on both counts. The week ended on a final ugly note on Friday evening when my car turned into “Christine” while I was driving to Toys R Us to get Andy a present. The dashboard controls just flipped out and showed that I had the car in Park, Reverse, Neutral and Drive simultaneously while I was riding down the highway, and a bit later, the speedometer was stuck firmly at zero while I was sailing along at roughly 40 mph.  I felt like I was in a Twilight Zone episode.  Mechanic’s diagnosis this morning?  $1,000 for to replace the car’s main computer.  Just awesome, thanks!

OK- So you have heard my tale of woe- what does it all mean?  For starters, in turned my final week of the challenge into a disaster.  I didn’t nail the 14 lbs as I had hoped, this week, everything went out the window when chaos struck.  Does this mean the challenge was a failure?  For me, it wasn’t, and here’s why.  I have made some great friends on my challenge team- what an amazingly supportive group of people.  I realized I like to swim, so I can no longer say I loathe all exercise.  I have even begun to use the bands with regularity, so Peter has apparently killed the last of my rebellious streak on that count as well.  I already know how to eat;  now I know I can and will exercise without dreading it like root canal.  That being said, I am still going to be fat and miserable until I fix my final issue.  I don’t know how to manage my stress properly, and I am a pessimistic person.  If I can learn to fix these 2 things about myself, everything else will just click.  These are the 2 bad habits that f*ck me up again and again, despite whatever positive momentum I have going.  So, I am asking a favor- tell me- what do you do to combat stress in your life?  I’d love to see some comments, because at this point, I need as many ideas as I can get.  As for the pessimism- the gratitude journal is what is supposed to help turn this negativity around.  So here’s what I am grateful for:

I am grateful for my partner, even when we bicker.  It means we love each other and that he is a constant in my life, no matter what.

I am grateful that Andy only injured his spleen.  When I stop and think that it could have been far worse, I shudder. He is incredibly lucky not to have landed on his head, or broken his neck etc… The outcome could have been far worse.

I am grateful I had the presence of mind to take him to the doctor and not just brush off his fall as a run of the mill thing.  Lack of action could have had terrible consequences.

I am grateful that I have a car to drive, some people aren’t as fortunate.  I need to remember that.

Huge car repair bills, bad septic systems, missed days work have left me stressed financially.  I need to get over myself and realize how much abundance I truly have in my life.  The financial stuff will work itself out.

I am grateful to finally realize what is standing in the way of my weight issue, and that I am feeling open enough to tackle it head on.

I am grateful Peter is starting his next challenge on Monday.  I am in and this time around I expect to kick ass.

Susan’s team update:


Short term Goals
  1. Lose 10 pounds by 9/1/12 - Lost 9 lbs total – I got past one hurdle/number on the scale now I will keep working hard to get to the next goal.  10 more lbs by late Oct.
  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 6 out of 7 nights. 
  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. 
Daily plan:
  • Take a regular lunch, away from my desk, at least 2 times a week – do something non-work related during this lunch - Found a little spot to sit outside yesterday and read during lunch.
  • When entertaining for work or out socially, substitute at least one round of drinks with seltzer - This was a little challenging this week.  Will focus more on this goal.
  • Bands three days a week - Check 
  • Work out with a friend at least once a week – plan ahead and get it on the calendar! Not this week.
  • Mix up work outs – spin, elliptical, ride bike outside, and what else?  Focus on the fun in these varied work-outs. Check.  Even went bike riding in the pouring rain one morning to get the work out in.  I think this morning I might try a bike at the gym that has a monitor on it that leads you through a “spin class”.  Something new to keep exercise “exciting”.

  • Drink 60 oz of water … yes
  • Record all meals in a journal during or at end of day …. Yes!  I did a combination of planning and also recording at the end of the day.  
  • Do bands and physical therapy workout daily … Definitely
Thanks for organizing this challenge.  It was great! 
  • Do not miss any sessions of NRI three day a week work out (20 minutes plus warm up) I attended all three sessions.
  • Increase step count on Saturday and Sunday to between 8,000 and 10,000 steps. Walked 9263 steps on Saturday and 9048 steps on  Sunday
  • Not eating after 7:00 pm - I ate before 6:30 each night.

Ann Marie

Hurt her foot. No update yet.


  • Eat AT LEAST one serving of DARK GREENS every day: Done, happily :)
  • Smile while doing band workout: DONE- even (actually, especially) when using heavy bands!


  • 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, except when traveling for business
  • Work out with 2 friends every week to add fun to band workout. done
  • Continue daily food journal and gratitude journal. Done! Love this
Thanks to everyone who participated! See you next challenge.  We already started working out. Are you going to join us this time?
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