Sunday, October 30, 2011

Two gifts of inspiration and challenge updates

Happy Halloween!
As we enter the holiday season, I will share with you two of my favorite pieces of life inspiration, both easily accessible to the public. The first is the Stanford Commencement speech by Steve Jobs (2005). It is succinct, inspiring and profound. The second is found in Thomas Friedman's book, The World is Flat. Chapter 7 is one of the most compelling and brilliant chapters written on the "The Right Stuff," an overview of the kind of education required in our ever changing world. That book is easily available through public libraries. Neither are about getting healthy or being fit, but instead offer wisdom about living your best life that might give you the inspiration to keep moving forward on your, our, journey to better health.

Challenge Updates!!
I will begin today with my last update for the
My goals for this challenge were:

1. To aspire to 300 miles of cycling in October. I am shooting for 26/31 days on the bike. How did I do: Great! I rode 27/29 days for a total mileage of 325! We were lucky to have excellent weather for the most part fall in MN. I did not let the cold stop me (one day 28 degrees F) as I learned how to dress and cycle in cold, but clear weather.

2. Walking: I am going to strive for 10 days of walking and a total mileage of 35 miles walked. How did I do: I walked only about 20 miles all together, so I did not quite make this goal. I climbed that set of 49 stairs many times, including 14 times this week over four days. I know the walking and stair climbing will prepare me for the change in weather that is coming our way that will mean I give up cycling for a few months, at least outdoors,and do much more walking.

You all know my statement by now:
I plan to give myself a gift this holiday season. It is the gift of commitment to continue to move forward toward good health and renewed fitness by eating less and moving more. At the end of the season, my gift will be not only quantifiable in terms of pounds lost and miles cycled or walked, but will be the feeling of satisfaction and pride in my continued efforts to regain my health, even during the holiday season. To achieve my gift, I plan to adhere to the following action goals:

1. Track my food intake daily: I did this 7/7 days.

2. Stick to under 1500 calories on average a day: I came in most days at or under 1500 cals. So, I will check this one off as success, too.

3. Exercise, rigorously, at least 8 hours per week: I exercised again well over 8 hours this week. I cycled 79 miles, walked 5 and went up and down the stairs 14 times.

4. Weigh in every two weeks: I did weigh in and my new weight is 176.50; a 1/2 pound loss! That is 3.5 pounds for me for this challenge and I will take them all!

5. Plan for eating for the big holidays and other events during this challenge, including football games, Halloween, concerts, Thanksgiving and of course Christmas: I can check this one off, too. This week, I prepared for Halloween with a cookie bake with the GBS. I did not eat a single cookie, nor dough, although I had a "lick" of frosting. I also have 4 bags of treats for Halloween, two are candy. I am HAPPY to report that they are all UNOPENED for the first year ever!

6. Continue to learn about what works best for me in this journey to better health, specifically losing and maintaining weight loss as we age and our metabolism slows down: Yes, I did make progress here thanks to a prompt by a good friend (thanks, C!). I found out that I can access the New England Journal of Medicine via our public library. Although I did not find anything, yet, specific about metabolism, aging and weight loss, I did read this article: Weight Loss, Exercise, or Both and Physical Function in Obese Older Adults where the authors point out non-surprising findings: "In conclusion, our findings suggest that weight loss alone or exercise alone improves physical function and ameliorates frailty in obese older adults; however, a combination of weight loss and regular exercise may provide greater improvement in physical function and amelioration of frailty than either intervention alone. Therefore, weight loss combined with regular exercise may be beneficial in helping obese older adults maintain their functional independence."

7. Support and encourage other weight loss bloggers (including some butt kicking as needed): Yes, I checked in with all of you, at least I believe so, spreading encouragement and straight talk where needed.

In sum, I think I am doing great for the Christmas Dress Challenge, too. If I do say so myself, I am moving ahead and forward. I am a slow loser, but am losing. I did try on that dress over a week ago (it zipped up!), but will wait to closer to Thanksgiving to try it on again.

Just for fun, here is a link to a rating scale for some of the candy that will be part of Halloween from Live Strong. Thanks for reading. Stay strong and TTFN! Michele


  1. I am convinced that slow and steady is best. It allows for the emotional adjustment along the way. I read the blogs of people who just can't handle it when the weight is lost at a pretty good clip. They end up in a binge or quitting or both. Great job Michele.

  2. Congratulations on the lose and setting and meeting your goals!

  3. I have to agree with the previous comment! Slow and steady wins the race! :)

  4. Good stuff, Michele! I admire your dedication. Great job on the October challenges.

    I'm reading Friedman's new book, which has some roots in the Twin Cities. Amazing how much has changed since The World is Flat - cloud computing, Skype, IPads, etc.

  5. Consistent, focused, and achieving results. That's a real transformation program, Michele. Congrats on your weight loss and achieving so many other goals, as well as getting that dress to zip up!

  6. Great job, Michele! You inspire me yet again. With your level of activity, 1500 calories doesn't seem enough, but I know you are a slow loser and have figured out what's best for you. And I agree 100 percent with Downsizers' comment.

  7. You have done remarkably well this month. No tricks or gimmicks, just doing all the right things!

    Well done!

  8. Wow, Michelle. If I would loose so slow as you do, I would have given up looong time ago (specially as you work so hard for it). I admire you, Michelle. You don't write any complains, you just continue and you are success1ful!!! I'm really impressed, Michelle! Keep up the good work. You are a big excemple for us here!

  9. Michele, you have done so well with your slow and steady approach. Thanks for stopping by my blog and sharing your encouraging words!

  10. Slow and steady usually works better. Keep it up!

  11. Awesome job Michele - keep up the good work!! An inspiration to me everytime I read your updates. Thanks for the Steve Jobs link, been meaning to see the whole speech.

    Staying MOtivated MO

  12. You are such an awesome example of strength, wisdom and being positive! I feel that every time I visit your blog!

    Take care!

  13. Better slow than not at all! I've slowed down but I'll take a loss no matter the amount. You're doing such a fabulous job on the exercising! I'm still working on my Thanksgiving menu but I'm nearly done!

  14. I had a bit of exposure to "The World Is Flat" for an English paper my daughter was writing that I proofed. OMG personally all that Global Market stuff is scary to me. The world had truly changed. So has college English. The format and references... is a study in itself!

  15. Slow and steady is the way to go. I see all too many lose fast and regain fast.

  16. Kudos to you, if must feel so good to know you can zip that dress up!
    Keep up the great work, it's paying off.

  17. Responding to your comment on my blog, yes it is snow too and that is just too cold to walk in,lol. Guess I am a whimp.

  18. Fantastic milage, well done. Happy Halloween!

  19. YEAH!! Michele. You are doing awesome. Just think when we get together next spring we'll be fit and trim and I'll be able to ride with you. Can't wait. Hope all is well this week. Take care and have a blessed day!!

  20. You are doing so well my Friend!! Keep it up and stay focused!