Fat Girl Wearing Thin

Life beyond the loss.

   Jul 07

Moving Mountains Update: July 7th

We had a great turnout for last month’s Moving Mountains Challenge.  Sixteen people decided to post their goals for the month of June.  You can read their challenges below, and their results in the comments section at the bottom of this post.


As for my goals for June, I posted that I wanted to improve upon two things:  one, to be more ‘green’ conscious by using canvas bags at the grocery store.  Two:  continue to improve my plank exercises that was being hosted by Fitblog.  That particular challenge ended on June 26th, but I responded so well to this challenge that I’ve decided to continue this goal for the month of July. 

First, the grocery bags.  I am happy to say that I did MUCH better at remembering to keep them in the car within easy reach for heading into the grocery store.  I did forget a few times but overall, I am starting to develop a solid habit of eliminating the need of plastic bags altogether. 

As for plank, I’m happy to report that I am holding plank in interval form for 3 full minutes.  This has been my routine for the last 2 weeks: 

  • 30 seconds in full plank position
  • 30 seconds in modified plank (on my elbows)
  • 30 seconds of plank pushups (start in modified plank position with elbows on the floor; move up into full plank, push up by one arm, then the other.  Move back down into modified plank)
  • back into modified plank for 30 seconds
  • 30 seconds of mountain-climbers (start in elevated push-up position and bring right knee to left elbow, then left knee to right elbow – repeat). 
  • The last 30 seconds are spent in full plank position.

How are YOU doing? 


Kristen had a successful month in May with running and losing weight.  Here is what she wrote for her June goals:  To get back on track with my pushups. I am going to successfully do real push ups without dropping my hips. So this month i will be working on push ups, planks, planks to push and side planks. Along with training for my 5K on July 10th and 10K in August.


Karen reported:  I’m maintaining the status quo.  She wrote that statement right before kicking, punching and sweating it out at kickboxing class.  Would love to know what you’ve been up to since June 7th, Karen!


Sable was benching 90 pounds for 5 reps this time last month!  Here’s what she wrote for June’s goals:  My new goal — be down 7 lbs by this time next month! And therefore almost done cutting.


Michele always has clear, concise goals.  She added some really good ones for June: 

In June, I’d like to do the following:
1. limit my sugar intake to one real sugary item per week — other than that, just fruit for sweets;
2. keep exercising (I probably shouldn’t make this a goal because I’m consistent with this); and
3. most importantly, I must not catastrophize everything. I must realize that no matter what decisions I make, they’re the best ones I can make given the circumstances. I have to weigh all the factors and move forward based on what I feel deep inside… not what others think I should do or what I sometimes feel. Major life decisions must come from that tranquil, peaceful place that is our truest self. SO — I need to work very hard to make myself the Zen Zone this month so that I’m in a good place to make big choices.


Karen had some challenges while being the social butterfly at several parties early last month.  Here’s her June goals: So for June: Eat on plan every day with the one exception of an upcoming dinner out with friends. (Crossing my fingers that no more social eating comes my way but as I type this I realize that I’ll hit the 4th of July and will likely be at the lake and that needs goals all it’s own!) And work on those planks!


Sharon, who had been traveling this past month, wrote:  As you know, but maybe others don’t, we are in the midst of a six week tour of Colorado. We will return home to Tennessee somewhere around the 24th of this month. On the day we return home, I want to weigh at least one pound less than the day we left and on July 7th, at least five pounds less than the day we left. That’s not an extremely aggressive goal, but it is enough to keep me accountable.


Greg has been losing weight slowly and consistently, which as anyone will tell you is the best way to lose.  Here’s his goal for June: My goal for June is to get to my target weight of 153.6 lbs, which will mean I’ll have lost 51.2 lbs, or 1/4 of my total body weight since I started trying to get in shape. I hope to do this by my birthday, which is on the 26th of the month. Failing that, I’ll settle for being there by June 30th.


Ellie had her goals all lined up for the month of June: 

I decided to start the workout program “Insanity” this month and hope the intense cardio will help boost my athletic performance (and help with that no gain goal). It’s a 60 day program, so here goes nothing.

My first fit test results are:

Switch Kicks : 59
Power Jacks : 44
Power Knees : 55
Power Jumps : 33
Globe Jumps : 9
Suicide Jumps : 12
Push Up Jacks : 11
Low Plank Obliques : 44

I hope I can improve them by the 7th of next month!


Munchberry participated in her very first Moving Mountains Challenge last month!  She wrote: I got a pedometer and my goal is to walk 3500 steps, increasing steps by 500 each week until I reach 10,000 steps. By July 7 my goal is to be at 5500 steps per day!


Tim had been struggling with drinking enough water as many of us do.  He decided to make this one of his goals for the month of June.  He writes:  My goal this month is regularly drink at least 2 litres of liquid a day for the whole month (those that read my blog probably know that I totally suck at this!) and also to improve my strength training at the gym.


NewMe was having some back issues last month and was doing stretches to aid in healing it.  She writes:  So I guess one of my most important goals is to do this dead-easy stretch every day…and keep walking and doing yoga.

I’m also experimenting with something really simple and really off the wall. For the time being, I will say no more. I’m hoping to be very pleased next month…Stay tuned…


LauraJayne decided to make some very precise goals for June.  She writes:  For July 7, I would like to continue to not count calories, but listen to my body more and start and stop eating according to its cues. Additionally, I’d like to make sure that I am putting food that it good for me AND that I enjoy into my body instead of mindless snacking and calories!


Lynn shoots for the stars with her goals, and she most always reaches them.  Here’s hers for June:  So, my new goal is to start the P90X program on June 10 and STICK with it! I will be starting my training for the Nike Marathon at about the same time so my other goal is to complete my new training program outline so I can do P90x and running.


Marsial was having some health issues during last month’s challenge update.  She wrote:  My goal for the coming month is to get used to my new, lower dose asthma medication and see if it clears up some of the many medical problems I’m having.

My hope for her is that she reached her goal of feeling better during the month of June.  Hopefully we’ll get an update from her today.


CD completed her first 5K and was successfully walking between 5 and 8 miles a week this time last month.  For June’s goals, she wrote:  I still have the goal to do 3 miles in 45 minutes (right now I’m doing a 23 minute walking mile)… but I’m not pushing too hard with all the other things I’m trying to do right now.  I want to start adding working with bands to start toning my arms… as well as doing the Tai Chi dvd that has never been out of the package.


Hanlie posted with a great attitude last month.  She wrote:  The weather turned really nasty, so the walking on the Promenade was a wash, but then I joined a gym very close to my office and now I go there in the morning before work. It’s all about adapting!


Thanks to everyone who trusted me as Goalkeeper for June.  I can’t wait to see how your month went.  If you met or exceeded your goals, congratulations!  But remember, these challenges are really all about making improvements. So, even if you didn’t quite meet your goal but did see an improvement then I say you were successful!  (nothing like having your own personal cheerleader, is there?) 😉

If you’d like me to keep hold of YOUR goals for the month of July, just do the following: post your desired goal below, work on that goal during July and come back on August 7th to give an update.  It’s as simple as that!

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  1. Well, shoot, I can’t remember what I ate! But I think I did well up to that lake weekend:) As for my own planks, I’m going to keep at it too. I am now doing three planks, each for 2 minutes. That last one is very shaky!! You are rocking yours. One day I will have to try to keep one for as long as I can, just to see.

    • Ellen says:

      I’m so glad that you posted about that plank challenge, Karen. The strength I’m feeling has done wonders for my back. You are doing great with yours, too! I haven’t tried doing three in a day, but I probably should. I also saw a modified (harder) mountain climbers plank that looks insane: you have your feet elevated at least a foot off the ground instead of on the floor. Then bring knees up to opposite elbows. Someday, I’ll try that one. Someday. 😉

  2. Sharon says:

    Thanks for doing this!! It takes a lot of your time to update this information each month. I see some folks on here I don’t know, so I’m going to hop around and find some new blog friends!

    I am happy to report I met BOTH my Moving Mountains goals last month. On the day we returned from Colorado, I actually weighed two pounds less than the day we left. Today, I weigh six pounds less than the day we left.

    My birthday is at the end of this month. On my birthday, I’d like to weigh four pounds less than on July 1 and on August 7, I’d like to weigh five pounds less.

    • Ellen says:

      You get a huge round of applause for achieving this goal, Sharon. Just trying to maintain a current weight while traveling can be a struggle, but to have actually lost and met a goal while on vacation is wonderful!! Thank you for posting your update today – so inspiring :)

  3. Wow! June was a wild, wild month for me. How did I do? Limit sugar intake to once per week — not exactly. Continue consistent exercise — yes, I’m on top of that one. Remain in the Zen Zone — I think I did as best I could under the circumstances. I made good choices based on very good competing opportunities, and now it’s time to move forward.

    So for July — My number one priority is getting enough sleep. Number two is to avoid procrastinating. Number three is to work on limiting snacks — sometimes, my “snacks” are like additional meals – total sabotage.

    • Ellen says:

      Under the circumstances I think you did beautifully, Michele. Now, with a big sigh of relief, you can move ahead and start thinking about things you want to do instead of things you have to do. Thank you for posting your update, and as always – for participating in this.

  4. Sable@SquatLikeALady says:

    Well. I am not down 7lbs. However, I am done cutting (GASP. Post tomorrow! Or maybe this afternoon). Last summer I weighed 118lbs when I was a size 4 — this summer I weigh 128lbs and am a size 4 (same clothes, no vanity sizing here!) I know I *could* diet my way down to a size 2 but I don’t really have the desire. So, 128lbs I stay!

    On the benching front, Monday I benched 100lbs (my end-of-summer goal) for 3 reps. I’d like to get that up to 6 reps by August 7!!!

    • Ellen says:

      I can’t imagine how much muscle you must have acquired since last summer, Sable. This is living proof that your body is changing – and stronger! Congratulations on benching 100 lbs (and it’s not even the end of summer yet!!) Looking forward to next month’s progress report – thanks for your update today :)

  5. Wow. I hereby bestow upon your pretty little head the title of “Plank Princess”! Well done!

  6. Well, most of June was spent maintaining the status quo, kickboxing two or three times per week and working on getting myself out of some sort of funk. More and more I have felt the call to challenge myself physically but have felt “stuck” and “confused.” But I *think* I’ve overcome it and have started walking in the evenings with my husband (and we’re talking power walking, not just a stroll) AND I’ve set a little goal for myself (which I blogged about yesterday): being able to run up Hillside Ave. Hillside is a short (0.2 mile) but steep road that comes at the end of our walk. I used to be able to run it. I want to be able to do that again.

    AND!! I’ve added The 100 Workout to my routine (which you can also read about in yesterday’s post). I’d like to make that a regular part of my week, changing it up as necessary to hit different body parts and maybe doing it twice instead of once. My goal is to do that two or three times a week, as well as the kickboxing (which I missed this morning because I overslept).

    • Ellen says:

      Sometimes just having that constant connection with exercise is enough, until you are ready to progress once again. It is certainly that way with me. I tend to go from one extreme to the other if I don’t force myself into doing ‘something’ physical, even if it’s just a walk; at least it’s something. You and your teammate (your husband) can motivate each other – sounds like you are already a good team. Thanks for leaving your progress today, Karen.

  7. Kristen says:

    Did we skip a week how is June over already, half of 2011 is gone!! Thanks to this weeks 2.2 gain my weight loss for the month was only 5.4 but a loss is a loss! I had plans to make June my Arms month – I wanted to work on my plank and build my arm strength. After about 10 days my enthusiasm died down! Thankfully my trainer was there to step in – he has added core sessions to the start of every workout. I was able to do some real push ups without dropping my hips but it wasn’t many and it was a struggle. My training for my runs are all going well. The 5K is this weekend and I am up to almost 6 miles on my 10K training.
    So here are my July goals…..
    1) July will be learning to love your arms. Dang it, its tank top season and I’m “ARMED” with some good and bad features! I plan to keep building my strengths so I can do those real push -ups without struggling but I am also going to focus on being comfortable with them as they are!
    2) I will continue with my weight loss journey
    3) I will continue with my 10K training so that I am comfortable with a 6mile run.
    4) I hope to report a great run time for this weekend 5K!
    5) I would like to be able to run for 25 minutes without a break
    I have read some of the other comments – great job everyone!!!

    • Ellen says:

      These monthly challenge updates are making me very aware of just how quickly time passes. Your goals for July sound great, Kristen. I’m wishing you early good luck on the 5K this weekend, and thank you for being such a great participator in my monthly challenges.

  8. Tim says:

    I definitely drink a lot more water now, at least 2 litres a day, and I hope to continue to drink more until it becomes natural to drink it without forcing myself. I took a pint glass into work which definitely helps me drink more each day but I really need to improve on how much I drink at home. I think that’s where I struggle.

    I feel my strength training has improved, especially since running longer distances on C25K (starting week 8 now!) but I definitely need to improve more.

    This month’s challenge will be to do the following:

    1. Go running outside for the first time ever!
    2. Go swimming for the first time in years!
    3. Improve on how many push ups I can do in one go by practising every day. I’ve just given it a go and I did 11. In 1 month’s time, I will see how much of an improvement i’ve made.

    • Ellen says:

      I go through phases when all I drink is water. Then I go in the opposite direction for a while. Consistency is not my strong suit sometimes.
      You and your running challenge will be coming to a close by next month’s update, I think. Will Tim continue to run? Will he find that he has Running Fever? Tune in next month to find out!

  9. NewMe says:

    After two perfect weeks, my back started acting up again. I am nevertheless continuing to do my dead simple stretch almost every day. In fact, I’ll make sure I do it right after I finish my time on the computer.

    As far as the off the wall experiment, it was a resounding failure. I don’t want to embarass myself by saying anymore. Suffice to say, there’s nothing wrong with trying something crazy, as long as it does no harm. But if it seems really crazy, it probably is!

    Goals for July: just keep on keeping on. Pretty boring.

    • Ellen says:

      OK, as much as I’d like to know what this experiment was, I won’t put you on the spot and ask…the important thing is that you tried it, right? I think trying anything new is worth giving credit to, even if it doesn’t work out the way you intended.
      Nothing wrong with wanting to keep the status quo, either. Hoping your back has less flare-ups this month. Thank you for giving your update and as always, for participating in this monthly challenge :)

  10. My June challenge was the first one I’ve failed since I started challenging myself back in February. I did lose weight, but only 1.2 lbs, not the 4.6 that I was hoping for.
    I’ve decided to roll last month’s goal into July, and if need be, into August. It doesn’t really matter how fast I get there, just that I get there.

    • Ellen says:

      You are really close to goal, if I remember right. Why is it that the body always chooses those last few pounds to hang onto for dear life? I don’t know a single maintainer that has experienced anything different. Your attitude is admirable, though. Glad to see that you aren’t getting frustrated about it. Thanks for your update this month, Greg!

  11. Roz says:

    Hi Ellen, I LOVE that you are the goalkeeper!!! So inspirational to read how everyone is doing!! Have a wonderful weekend.

  12. Joy says:

    I am impressed with the plank challenge. They are hard to do!!! I can remember the first time I tried to push myself. I was in the middle of my plank and I heard and felt a snap ~ right over my right eyebrow. I was pushing too hard. Kind of scary! Anyway, I like them!

    Keep it up and stay focused!

    • Ellen says:

      Hi, Joy!
      Plank IS hard, isn’t it? Your ‘snapping’ story is scary! I hope it wasn’t anything serious! I pushed too hard in the beginning, too. I didn’t know what I was doing, really. I tend to just ‘do’ things without doing too much research. Not a good plan, I suppose. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment on this post. Hope you’re doing well :)

  13. Hanlie says:

    Canvas bags become such a habit… They’re always in my car, and when I’ve used them they stay by the front door until I go to the car again. I cringe when I have to use plastic for some reason. And they’re handy for taking my food to work.

    I did all right with the June goal, but consistency can still be improved. We’ve had some good days, and now that I live just across the road, I can walk on the Promenade in the evening before it gets dark and if the weather allows. My main exercise goals are to do more stretching/Pilates and to do at least 3 deep water workouts per week.

    • Ellen says:

      I know what you mean, Hanlie. Now, whenever I get a plastic bag I feel guilty. I need to keep those canvas bags with me everywhere I go.
      Thank you for your update. Any improvement is good; life does get in the way sometimes, and we kind of have to roll with it. Looking forward to your update next month!

  14. Sorry for the late update…I was out of town at a wedding and decided to try to remain ‘unplugged’ for a few days.

    I started off June very well, my marathon plan is set up and I hit P90X hard. But then i strained my back vacuuming of all things!! So glad it wasn’t an overuse injury but I was out of business for 8 days.

    I am back to running and actually have a half-marathon this Saturday!! And while I haven’t gone full force again with P90X, I am hitting the kettle bell workouts consistently AND my boyfriend even noticed how cut I am getting!!! Luckily he thinks it’s sexy and not bulky! Yay!

    For July, I am working on lowering my bodyfat. I am in the middle of reading Racing Weight so I don’t know exactly what a good target number will be for one month (I mean, I’d like to drop 10% BF but I don’t know if that’s doable in one month!!). I will update ASAP.

    Congrats on hitting your goals as well…I am still going strong with my canvas bags and take the EVERYWHERE including Target and the Beauty Supply store…

    • Ellen says:

      Ugh! The vacuum cleaner? Figures! I once threw out my back by throwing away a piece of mail. I ended up in the ER and was on my back for a full week. Good call to take it easy and rest it.
      Thanks for your update, Lynn. I was looking forward to seeing what you’ve been up to! Good luck on your half marathon this Saturday. I’ll look for your post about it! (hint-hint!)

  15. LauraJayne says:

    It’s been a tough month – but I think I definitely made progress towards more mindful eating. I’ve learned that I will sometimes overeat when I stressed to create a *new* thing to worry about. It sounds counter-productive – and it is – but I think this is an unconscious way of dealing with worries/stresses that I can’t do anything about. I’m definitely going to work on addressing the cause not the symptom!

    Additionally, I’d like to create a realistic budget and begin sticking to it, especially on groceries AND start regular yoga practice at least once a week!

    • Ellen says:

      You and I have this issue in common, Laura. It is a hard habit to break, and sometimes just being mindful doesn’t work as well as we’d like. I’m so glad that you participate in this monthly challenge of mine. I look forward to reading about your progress (and you ARE making progress, whether you realize it or not, because I do :)

  16. munchberry says:

    Yarg! I am a few days late. Blasted fun times and revelry getting in the way!

    My goal was to step and then step more (every week upping the steps by 500) and I think I did pretty well. I sort of had a lull after my pedometer died mid last week, but then I went on several hikes at the end of the week and I think I filled in any holes in the ped count (plus some). So I give myself an A. A real one and not a grade inflation one. Woot!

    • Ellen says:

      Yay! You made it for your update :)
      It was my fault, really. Normally I post a reminder the day before the 7th, but I neglected to do that this month. Next month, for sure!
      …and I would say that you get a triple A for the month of June – hiking is nothing to joke about, and you seem to be doing more of it, which is fantastic. Do you have an awesome place to hike? Another blogger that I read lives near Mt. St. Helens – can you imagine having access to that whenever you wanted? I’m so jealous. Mostly all I have to hike around is a bunch of corn!

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