Fat Girl Wearing Thin

Life beyond the loss.

   Nov 07

Moving Mountains, November 7

‘Tis the Season for saying, ‘It’s too late in the season for thinking about challenges.’  I know this because my participation level has dropped off as the end of the year gets closer.  Believe me, I completely understand this.  It’s November; the holidays are upon us; we have baking and hosting and shopping to do.  Who has time to think about themselves right now?  Well, I’m just going to say it:  WE SHOULD.


Would you like to participate in this month’s Moving Mountains Update Challenge?  It’s easy to do:  just post a comment below with a goal you’d like to begin working on or a goal you’d like to improve on, and then mark your calendar for December 7th, where we will all meet back here and share our updates with each other.  Remember, it does NOT have to be an exercise goal.  It can be ANY goal upon which you’d like to see an improvement.  We have exactly 2 updates left before I retire the Moving Mountains Challenge forever, and I think this is the perfect time for you consider thinking about participating.  Need some ideas?

For the month of November, your challenge could be to:

~ steal a few moments every day solely for yourself.

~ refuse to be everything to everyone and concentrate on those who really matter.

~ allow yourself to eat in moderation during the holiday and not feel guilty about it.

~vow to get along with that one annoying family member who always thinks he/she knows everything!

~ wear a pedometer and commit to an extra 1,000 steps a day.

~substitute a Starbucks latte with hot tea for a month.


If this time of year gets too tempting, vow to just concentrate on maintaining.  That’s still something to be proud of, considering most people gain between 4-8 pounds during the holidays.   I, for one, am going to make that my challenge for this month.  November and December are busy months for me and can get pretty stressful.  My challenge this month will be to keep myself from feeling overwhelmed and bullied by the holidays and use the mantra: maintain and keep sane!


How Did Our Participants Do Last Month?

Michele T started Weight Watchers and by this time last month had already lost 10 pounds.  Way to go, Michele!!  She had concrete challenges for the month of October. Here’s what she wrote:

October Goals
1. continue on the food path I’m on — there’s been a fundamental shift in my views on this, and it’s nothing short of a miracle
2. continue getting to the gym three times per week
3. continue decreasing procrastination

She also added that she liked the idea that all of her goals involved continuing something she was already working on.  I agree that focus can really help push us along even further.  I always look forward to Michele’s updates.


Jill is one of the best reasons for hosting this challenge, and the thing is, she just offered up her first one last month.  I have to say though – when she entered her goal it was as though her determination was burning through the computer screen.  In it’s entirety, here’s what she wrote:

I have not joined Moving Mountains yet as I tend to fear failure. I did not want to put out there any goals that I didn’t think I would accomplish. Reading your post this morning gave me the strength and courage I needed to join. This is just what I need- so THANK YOU Ellen for inspiring me to step out of my comfort zone and put myself out there.

I have been struggling with these last 10 pounds of my weight loss journey. I go up a little and then down. Yo-yoing. I am ready to get these last 10 off and move into the scary world of maintenance. My goal for the month of October is to go back to following Weight Watchers and track my points. I am really looking forward to November 7th now to see where I will be.

Jill, I have been thinking about you all month.  The platform is yours!  Let us know how your challenge went!


Greg has been working on losing those stubborn last few pounds during the past few months, and has been quite the role model in my mind, because he’s not letting it get him down, he’s not giving up; he has a very healthy attitude about it and knows it will come off when it comes off.  Here’s what he wrote last month:

Well, I have been getting to the gym more than I was, but life still seems to get in the way. Only twice a week for the last couple of weeks, but it’s still something. I’m mostly back to the strength levels I was at before August went to hell, workout-wise, I just need to keep at it. I think my goal for this month will be more of the same, plus trying to concentrate more on my portion control. That seems to be creeping up a bit, so I should watch it.

Looking forward to your update this month, Greg.


Marsial has had on-and-off health problems which sometimes keeps her from feeling up to blogging, but she felt pretty successful when giving her update last month.  She decided to put forth another month’s goals.  Here they are, in her words:

For the coming month, I’m going to pledge to continue blogging and to resume weighing myself daily. I was doing very well about daily weighing and recording. but in the past six days, I haven’t gotten on the scale. It wasn’t that I was purposely avoiding it — mostly I just got up VERY early each day and planned to weigh a little later — and then forgot about it. Daily weighing keeps me “honest” about my portions.

Marsial, I’m just looking forward to hearing from you to see how you are doing these days.  Hope you come back with an update :)


Connie had some extremely focused goals when she first posted her challenge a couple of months ago.  I was so proud to read that she achieved the first part last month by training for and completing a first half marathon!  Here’s what she wrote for her challenge last month:

Yesterday I continued training for the 2nd half marathon which is on the 23rd. I walked 9 miles yesterday and should walk 10 miles next weekend. So, my goal is to finish the training and finish the 2nd half marathon. I know this one will be slower because I’m walking with a friend who has major knee problems but it will still be a lot of fun!!

Connie, I can’t wait to read about how the 23rd went for you.  Looking forward to your update!


Teresa has been doing beautifully with her goals, and just celebrated a birthday this month!  She figures things out as she goes along, and last month’s challenge was no different.  Here’s what she wrote:

Well… I did great the first half of the month and I’m really proud of that. I also learned definitively that I stopped tracking exactly when I started going off plan. Going off plan started first and then not tracking. I suspect if I’d forced myself to push through with tracking, I might have gotten back on track sooner. I am starting again today in fact. I’ll post soon with new update and new goal to add to this.

Looking forward to your new update AND your new goal, if you decide to add one, Teresa :)


Cindy is new to the challenge and I think it’s great to have someone join by realizing that any month is a good month to make a change – not just when New Year’s Resolutions are the ‘in’ thing.  Here is what Cindy’s challenge was:

Okay, I’m joining in! Goals for October:

1) Lose five pounds such that my weight starts with a “1″ and not a “2.” (“Onederland” has been out of my reach for 10 years, but I’m almost there!)
2) Complete the first month of C25k training program.

Cindy, I can’t wait to read about how your month went.  Looking forward to your update!


Julie didn’t quite reach her previous goal to her satisfaction last month, but it didn’t stop her from noticing that she succeeded in another area, and actually lost three pounds!  Here was her goal for October:

For October my goal is to continue staying with my eating plan which I have tweaked this month. We go on holiday mid-November and I want to stay calm and not be tempted to crash diet off a few extra pounds before then. For me that tends to rebound and lead to overeating later.

Here’s to hoping you achieved what you set out to for the month of October, Jules.  Can’t wait for your update!


Laura achieved her last goal of feeling more in control of her eating habits, even though she has been incredibly busy.  For the month of October, she chose this as her new goal:

I’m so busy that I’m managing stress by ignoring it! I resolve to take ONE WHOLE DAY weekly in the next month where I do nothing “productive!”

I am totally on board with this goal, Laura.  I hope you were able to do JUST THAT!


Well done, everyone.  Many, many thanks to my dwindling crew for sticking out these challenges month to month, and a special thanks to the new faces that joined last month.  Have a fantastic Monday, and I’ll see you back here on Wednesday!



~ Ellen

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  1. I’d like to jump back in to this challenge…and it has to do with fitness. My kickboxing career is about to end and I’ve started going to kettlebell/fitness classes two or three days a week (these are different than when I had a personal trainer teaching me kettlebells), and I walk a few times a week, as well. But I struggle with pain (not the normal muscle aches that come with pushing myself).

    Back in 2005 when I started out to get myself healthier and slimmer, I did all my workouts on my own and now I have weights, kettlebells, videos, a beautiful area in which to walk/run…I have everything I need! And so I want to get back to basics…I want to trust myself and listen to my body and guide it using my own internal/intuitive wisdom. My goal isn’t to have a certain type of body or to lose a certain amount of body fat, it’s to be as fit AND in as little pain as possible.

    So that end, I will pay to practice gentle yoga twice a week (in a class), get a massage and/or reiki once a month, see my chiropractor once a month, but I will stop paying for fitness classes/trainers and rely on myself to get my body moving four or five days a week.

    • Ellen says:

      I think this is an excellent goal, and your agenda sounds perfect. Lots of balance. SO glad to see you back in the challenge, and hope for a good, pain-free month for you, Karen!

  2. I’ve had some interesting successes and life lessons this month. I only went to the gym twice per week all month, but hey, that’s better than not going at all.

    During November, I plan to: 1. work on not overreacting to anything; 2. getting to the gym three times per week; and 3. only overindulging ON Thanksgiving and not on several days of the month.

    • Ellen says:

      My goal is to let myself eat normally and without guilt on Thanksgiving as well – good goal!
      I should get on board with your number 1 as well. Overreacting seems to be anxiety’s best friend. Good luck, Michele, and thank you for being so diligent with your challenges :)

  3. Still haven’t lost those last few pounds, and life still keeps getting in the way, but at least I’m still basically maintaining. My goal for this month is more modest, but still seems to be challenging me. I’m trying to drink 2L of water every day (so far with limited success) in an effort to be better hydrated.

    • Ellen says:

      You know, I don’t know why this is, but the challenge of drinking water can be one of the hardest things for some people to do (including me). I generally don’t realize I’m dehydrated until it’s too late. Good luck on this goal, Greg. It’s an admirable one (if you end up with any tips, looking forward to you sharing those as well next month) and thanks for always being one of my participants!

  4. Cindy says:

    I do have some ONEderful news, which I for ONE am very happy about. By now, you may be ONEdering what ONE thing could have me or anyONE so happy about. I’m in ONEDERLAND! Goal ONE was met…barely. I lost exactly five pounds and am now in the 190’s.
    Goal 2, not so great. I decided I needed to do everything to insure I got through injury free. I bought some great new running shoes and I visited my orthopedist to make sure my previous ankle injuries wouldn’t be a problem. Suprisingly, he wasn’t worried about my ankles, he wanted to check out my knees. He took xrays and found them to be in remarkably good condition, especically for a woman my age. (Ouch!) He expected to find arthritis, but didn’t find a trace of it. He then told me that my knees could comfortably carry me for the rest of my life if I didn’t subject them to running (and a few other exercises he listed for me). He said I was extremely lucky…soooo, I didn’t do it. Here are my goals for November:
    1) Lose 4 lbs to get me to my goal for the year of 80 lbs total.
    2) Do orthopedist sanctioned, knee safe exercise at the gym 4x per week.
    Thank you Ellen! Accountability really makes a difference.

    • teresa says:

      oooh, I just had to jump in here too and say Congratulations!!!!!! Onederland is a special milestone and I’m so happy for you!! Woo hoo!!!! (cue confetti and music and, if you’re like me, some presents)

      • Cindy says:

        Thank you so much, Teresa! Support from you and Ellen today really made a difference. I feel re-inspired to keep going! All the best to you!

    • Ellen says:

      Cindy, you are unable to tell how excited I am, so you’re just going to have to trust me, when I say: WOOOO-HOOOO!! What a terrific update! You should be beaming with pride right about now (and I know you are!!). Thank you for participating, for trying, and for achieving the goal you set out to tackle. Can’t wait till next month – GOOD LUCK!!

  5. Hanlie says:

    I’ve been missing in action (or inaction, more accurately!) for a while, but am also jumping back in. I started today by taking the stairs at work instead of the lift.

    And I will walk at least 4 times per week in the next month.

    • Ellen says:

      Hanlie, you are such a trooper! And I know how hectic things are for you right now, so this is why I’m especially grateful that you’re jumping back in for this month. So wonderful to have you, and I’ll be sending good mojo your way all month long so that those walks will sound more and more appealing 😉

  6. Jill says:

    Moving Mountains has changed my life! I know that is a very dramatic statement, but it is the truth. Perhaps it is the combination of having a goal, putting it out there for the world to see and then having the support of friends who really want you to succeed. Friends who truly have your back. Friends who are not jealous of your successes. Friends who will high five you if you meet your goal or hug you if you fall short. Friends who remind you that even if you did fall short- you tried and should continue to try.

    I was afraid of committing to a goal if I was not 100% sure I would be successful. I am not afraid of failure. I am afraid of admitting failure. Moving Mountains challenged me to have to potentially admit to failure. At first this scared me too much to join in on the challenge. Month after month I would read everyone else’s updates. Some met there goals. Some did not. I was happy for the people who achieved their goals. It was the people who did not meet their goals that inspired me. The people who tried. I felt such awe and respect. I saw how everyone commented. The love and support touched me. I wanted to be a part of that yet- allowed my fear of admitting failure stop me.

    Through reading Ellen’s posts about leaving her comfort zone and reading everyone’s updates, I gained just enough courage to hit “send” when I commented that I wanted to join in on Moving
    I am so thankful I did. Although I was fully prepared to admit failure if I needed to, I am thrilled to report that I have been successful! I started tracking and am happy to report that I have lost 5 pounds this months. That puts me at 5 pounds away from my ultimate goal weight!
    The interesting thing is, while I am thrilled that I lost 5 pounds I am more proud of myself for signing up for this challenge. This month I truly learned that I do not have to be perfect to be successful. Did I track every single bite, every single day?? NO! In the past that would have made me quit. I have realized that I can set a challenging goal, try my best and see that I am still better off- even if I fall short. I am not looking at the days here and there when I did not track. I am looking at the majority of the days that I did track! In my eyes I had a successful month!
    Now that I am more comfortable setting goals that in the past I may have been too afraid to commit to- I have so many ideas in my head. Going back to school, painting classes, cooking classes, starting my own business… So as you can see…. Moving Mountains has really changed my life. I don’t know exactly how yet- but my path has been forever changed for the better- so Ellen- from the bottom of my heart- I thank you for giving me this gift!
    November goals??? I will continue to track and work on the last 5 pounds. My new goal will be small this month. As we approach the holidays- things get crazy- but I would like to commit to trying and cooking 3 new recipes a week. I am not a comfortable cook. (again with the fear of failure) I would like to prepare more interesting, healthy meals for my family. This goal should gently push me in the right direction! I can’t wait to see what we are eating, and if I feel more confident in the kitchen by December 7th!!!

    • Munchberry says:

      Hug. I love this comment.

    • Ellen says:

      Jill, I have to say that reading your goal update made tears just well up in my eyes. This is precisely the reason why I wanted to start this monthly challenge back in January. So that people could see that there was no need to feel like they’ve failed because a goal wasn’t fulfilled in a few days or in a week’s time; that looking month to month can really make the difference. And here on this blog, there is no judgment, only support – because all any of us can do is ‘try’. I can’t tell you how much your comment means to me, but want you to know that it’s a team effort – I supported the platform, but you did all of the work, and now the sky is the limit!! I can’t wait to see what the future brings for you, Jill. A huge congratulations and a great big (((HUG))) for putting yourself out there. You are awesome!!

  7. Munchberry says:

    I wanna do it this month!

    I want to go into my Thanksgiving trip with happiness and joy and stop negativity at the doorstep – “like offer no admittance to the vampire” stop. Because those negative thoughts are happiness suckers that bring on happiness anemia.

    So: No prethinking about what bad things MIGHT happen and how I will not like that. That goes for people or food. I have tools to be graceful under both circumstances come what may! Time to lock and load.

    Yeah, I really need to lay off the military channel.

    I am going to be open and positive about Thanksgiving and will enjoy myself, participate and be loving. Whether I like it or not. LOL OK scratch the last part. Teehaw.

    • Ellen says:

      I love it, and I am totally in on this one with you. These holidays are usually big balls of stress for me for many reasons, but I’m going to go into Thanksgiving with a glad heart and just be thankful that I have the choice to be thankful!

  8. LauraJayne says:

    I didn’t do so well on taking a full day’s break weekly, but I’m hoping the upcoming holidays will force it!

    However, I finally feel like I have my eating patterns in a good place – it probably has a lot to do with finally figuring out what I can and cannot eat, but I’d like to maintain that pattern throughout the holidays!

    My non-health related goal for November is to apply to three different schools complete with letters of recommendation, a completed GRE, and personal statement!

    • Ellen says:

      Wow! You have a busy, busy month ahead of you, Laura. I hope you succeed in all of these goals and am glad that you’re rolling your last goal over to this month (on taking a break when needed) because that one is super important. Good luck, and thank you for checking in!

  9. teresa says:

    Wow, I just loved reading everyone’s comments. And, thank you Ellen for putting this all together every month. I know how much work it is to pull all the info from everyone.
    My goal for this month, which I came to after rambling for a while on my post… is to re-kindle my fire to do this, to finish this journey to health and to enjoy it! It’s fun to get thinner. It’s hard too, but damn, it’s fun. I forgot that for a while.

    • Ellen says:

      You’re always a ray of sunshine, Teresa. Thank you for posting on your own blog, and for these words here on mine today. Sometimes we just need a little fire lit underneath to help keep us going, and sometimes that fire is our support group, which you have – right here!!

  10. Val says:

    Heh heh… I had to go back & read Oct’s post – I didn’t REMEMBER committing myself to anything in particular (since such challenges tend to set off my most stubborn anti-social streak), but I DID say I would try to be “less sad”.
    Actually I have been – thanks to Buddy-dog & successfully completing our 50-mi ride last month. I skimmed a Chihuahua-rescue website yesterday w/the tears running down my face, as my husband remarked: “Maybe it’s a bit too soon!” I recognize that sounds like complete repudiation of what I just typed, but overall my mood IS better.
    This month we’ve got one more ride to complete, & that should put Z in 2nd place Junior riders while probably leaving me in 5th place in my division…

    • Ellen says:

      Val, I hesitated; I read and re-read your comment from last month and wasn’t sure if you had posted a goal or not – please accept my apologies and THANK YOU for posting, as I’ve been thinking about you so often since losing your sweet girl. I am going to add you to next months roster because of your ride and would love an update on that (and an overall check on how you’re feeling, too, OK?) Big hugs to you, and I’m glad the pain is a little bit easier to bear.

  11. Tim says:

    Hey, i’m back!

    I kinda stopped doing this whilst on holiday in Scotland and never got round to re-starting.

    My challenge this month is to run at least 3 times a week outside.

    • Ellen says:

      SO glad to see you back, Tim. Missed you!!! I hope you are able to run at that place where you took those photos. Running there would be inspiring all by itself!

  12. Beth says:

    Hey Ellen, I feel so bad that I have not been following your blog for a while…I’m glad that I picked tonite to start up again. I have had some stress and frustration at work and feel like all I have been doing is complaining to anyone that will listen (well, we’ve been complaining together, it’s not just me). With the holidays coming up, I KNOW it’s just going to get more stressful at work….so I would like to try to be pleasant at work for the next month. I want to try NOT to complain about anything and just keep my negativity to myself! Maybe if I keep smiling and being pleasant it will rub off on others! Wouldn’t it be great if we worked together Ellen? I know I could do it if I could see you every day for a month…that is probably how long it would take us to run out of things to say…LOL
    Love you Ellen!

    • Ellen says:

      I completely understand frustration at work, Beth. I think everyone has been in this situation at least once. And, everyone knows its easier to complain than to find good things to say, sometimes. Which is why this WILL be a challenge – and a good one! Funny, but I can’t see you as a complainer at all, so it must be pretty bad over there. My advice, start out small and if you can find nothing good to say, just smile and nod! lol
      It’s SO not fair that so many of the people we love the most live so far away. Thank you for joining this month. I’ll be sending good mojo your way so your good attitude an rub off on everyone else :)

  13. Kimi says:

    I am excited to start this challenge! My goals for this month are to…
    -Stick with weight watchers and continue going to meetings each week no matter what.
    -Limit daily tv time
    -Get back into exercising regularly

    • Ellen says:

      Kimi, thank you for joining in on this challenge!! It is wonderful having you with us, and I’m looking forward to reading your update – don’t forget to mark your calendar for December 7th and I’ll see you back here then!

  14. I’m back! I meant to get back to the Moving Mountains Challenge last month but got sidetracked when my mom came to visit. I’ve been ‘secretly’ doing a 90 Day Clean Eating Challenge so for November sticking to that plan will be my # 1 goal. #2: Restart Insanity (which I had to stop during marathon training, too much cardio was destroying my legs) starting Wed. Nov 9th. and #3 Continue practicing Hot Yoga 2 times a week.

    Good luck to everyone, whether you are posting your goals publicly or keeping them to yourselves!! =)

    • Ellen says:

      Yay!! Great to see you back, Lynn :) I have yet to appear in Hot Yoga, but after today’s 40 degree, rainy day I have a feeling it won’t be long before I’m begging to go.
      Your challenges look great. Good luck with Insanity (don’t know HOW you do it!) and I’ll see you back here next month!

  15. Vickie says:

    you have been doing a very good job with this all year. Very glad it worked out for you and I think it is a real service in blog land.

    my Chai Tea post runs tomorrow, please let me know if there are any corrections. . .

    • Ellen says:

      Thank you, Vickie. I greatly appreciate your support all year with this. It’s really helped keep me accountable as well (I just can’t believe it’s been almost a whole year!)
      Looking forward to your tea post.

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  17. Connie G. says:

    My goal for October was to finish training for and complete two half marathons. I finished both and I have to say that I felt much better after the second one than I did the first. I was worried that my body wouldn’t like doing the second one (I think it was tired)!!

    Since I was training for the half marathons I was not going to the gym and taking classes like I really like (spent most of my time training outside). In November I want to get to the gym at least 4 times a week and that includes taking Yoga at least once a week and Zumba once a week. I really enjoy both of those classes so I want to make time to do that. I wouldn’t mind taking a Spinning class once a week as well. I just have to make myself go. As it gets colder outside I find that it’s harder for me to make myself leave the warmth of the house!!

    • Ellen says:

      Connie, this is exactly what happens to me, too. Wintertime is a huge adjustment and getting back out in the cold is something I must force myself to do.
      Congratulations on finishing BOTH marathons! Outstanding :)
      Thank you for your update and I’m looking forward to seeing how you’re coming along with your other classes on Dec. 7th. We’ll REALLY be in the throes of winter by then!

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