Fat Girl Wearing Thin

Life beyond the loss.

   Dec 07

Moving Mountains Monthly Update


Well, here we are in December and we’re entering the final month of this year-long challenge.  Can you believe it?  I just want to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for trusting me enough to share your goals on this blog and to allow me the privilege of being your Goalkeeper.  Since this is our last month together before retiring the Moving Mountains Challenge, I’d like to invite you to make this month count, whatever your goal is!  Just post it in the comments section and then come back on December 31st for one last update.



I have but one goal this month: to keep up with my evening yoga schedule even though it’s getting darker and colder outside. It is so hard for me to motivate myself into going back outside for any activity once I’m home from work, which is why I need this goal more than ever, otherwise I’ll just end up hibernating all winter. It’s not a big, end-the-year-with-a-bang type of goal, but one that I really need to keep me motivated this time of year. Check back at the end of the month and I’ll let you know how I did. 


How did you do?


Karen from Before and After decided to get back into the challenge after a brief hiatus.  She had very specific goals in mind.  Here is what she wrote:

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.

I am very anxious to hear how things are going with these goals.  I could relate to Karen’s decision to get back to basics.  Looking forward to reading an update!


Michele at Within Reach is a great role model when it comes to setting goals; she has participated every month, and always with very focused goals in mind.  Here are hers for November:

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.

I think a lot of people can relate to these goals, Michele.  I hope you found success and I’m looking forward to your update!


Greg over at Transformed and Scaled changed up his goal for the month of November.  I think this is was a great idea.  Here’s a reminder of what Greg posted last month:

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.

This is a fantastic goal and one that I need to focus more on, myself.  Hoping that you were successful, Greg.  If you found any tips to be particularly useful, please share!


Cindy had tremendous success last month by moving directly into ONEderland.  SO proud of her :)  In keeping with her momentum, she decided to add some new goals for November.  Here’s what she wrote: 

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.

Can’t wait to hear your report this month Cindy, and hoping that your knee is getting close to being at 100% again.


The very dear Hanlie at Ordinary Abundance stopped by to leave a new goal for November.  She wrote:

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.

I always look forward to hearing from you, Hanlie.  Here’s to hoping that you found November to be a successful month!


Jill over at Just Jill left the most heartfelt, beautiful comment last month on how this monthly challenge has helped her to achieve some of her goals (and conquer some fears as well).  For November she set some outstanding goals for herself.  Here is what she wrote:

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!!!

Jill, I can’t wait to read your update for the month.  I hope you feel more comfortable in the kitchen – I need some pointers on how to accomplish that for myself.  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Munchberry at I’m Just Puffy decided to participate with a very appropriate November challenge last month.  Here’s what she wrote:

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.

I decided to take on this challenge for myself as well, and I hope that your Thanksgiving was a calm, relaxing and satisfying one, Munchberry.  Really looking forward to hearing from you!


Laura over at LauraJayne had a great non-health related goal last month.  I was glad to see this as a reminder to anyone who’s thinking of joining for our last month that your goals are unique to you alone and can be anything that you want to work towards!  Here’s what she wrote:

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!


The ever wonderful Teresa from Good Day to Diet decided to join in last month with a great goal in mind; she wrote:

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.

Teresa, I hope you found November a huge success.  Looking forward to reading your update!


Val, from Incurable has a terrific blog and leads a very interesting life as a veterinarian.  She lost one of her precious dogs a while back and reported last month that she was beginning to feel better (so glad to hear that, Val.)  She also shared another goal which had to do with her love of horses:

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…

Val, I hope you’re continuing to feel less heartbreak these days.  I hope you stop by with an update on how your ride went.


Tim from Fat.Boy.Thin was on holiday during our update in October but has always brought a challenge to my blog every month.  He was back last month though, and with a new goal:

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

So Tim, how did you do?  Hope you had a successful month and that the weather didn’t keep you inside too much.  Looking forward to your update!


Beth left a goal last month, which I was VERY excited to see.  This was her first time participating in these monthly challenges and she chose a fantastic goal for herself.  Here’s what she had to say:

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!

Now, I have known Beth since we were around 11 years old and cannot imagine that she’s been complaining about anything, but since we don’t live near each other I’m going to have to take her word for it.  Beth, I hope you post your update for the month and let us all know whether or not you’ve been keeping this ‘attitude’ of yours in check!  lol


Kimi was also new to our Moving Mountains Challenge last month – thanks for joining, Kimi!   Here’s what she wrote:

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.

These are great goals to focus on and I hope you had a successful month, Kimi.  Please give us an update and let us know how you’re doing!


Lynn from Learning Curves is one of my great motivators.  She strives to live a a better life every single day.  She’s been great in leaving her goals with me every month, and here was hers for November:

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.

How are things going, Lynn?  I’m especially interested on how Hot Yoga has been for you.  You don’t get the luxury of stepping into a hot room from 20 degree weather outside, unfortunately.  I hope all of your goals are coming along well. 


Connie has done a fantastic job in achieving her goals over the past couple of months.  Her challenge for November happens to be a great one:

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!!

Connie, how did you do last month?  Maybe you can give me some pointers on how to get myself out of the house during these colder months (so hard to do, sometimes!)  Looking forward to your update!





Well, that’s everyone, but before closing for the day I wanted to share a comment that I received late last month from Sable over at Squat Like a Lady:

I wanted to pop by and thank you for the moving mountains challenges that you let me participate in!  You may recall my goals were to progressively increase my bench press — I don’t know if you missed it, but about two weeks ago I posted a video of myself benching *135lbs* for 2 reps (and now I can do it for 4)! I think the moving mountains goals really helped me “make it” to that point!!!

Sable, thank you for such a wonderful comment.  I’m so proud to have had you as a participant in this challenge this year and am thrilled over your success :)


OK then…..let’s get to it!  Who’s ready to post their progress or share their goal for one last round? 

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  1. Munchberry says:

    Wait. Where is your update on how you did?

    I did really well, and not so well with my goal. I did not indulge in pre-event hand wringing. Yay! And I DID go into the event INITIALLY with great joy and I DID get very determined to seek out people I enjoyed being around… BUT I did get very pissed a few times (mostly because I was hungry) and after several days of completely obnoxious behavior I devolved into grumbling (sometimes for a long time and noisily) about having to go to camp and suffer them and I did on at least one occasion prethink about what they were going to be doing that day to annoy the tar out of me (and I was RIGHT!).

    So mixed. I had great resolve that slowly crumbled. I used your sweet card to bolster me one morning. I shared it with my Number One MIL who also needed sunshine. I worked. Hug.

    • Ellen says:

      Well, that’s embarrassing. lol I completely forgot to blog about my own update!
      My goal was a success! I was put in a precarious situation regarding my brother and asked to do something that I did NOT want to do and I calmly said, ‘Sorry, but I have other plans.’ I wasn’t the most popular person in the room, but I felt in control and that was what was important. Thank you for asking.
      Now, about you!! I think you fared remarkably well considering that you were out of your element for 2 weeks. Heavens, you should get an award.

  2. Tim says:

    It’s become part of my exercise routine that I run twice a week outside and once or twice a week on the treadmill. I’ve also recently run 7k without stopping, the furthest I’ve run so maybe soon I will look at trying to hit 10k.

    My goal for next month is to focus on weights and upper body strength. I rarely include them into my routine but now i’m so close to my weightloss goal, I need to focus on toning more.

    • Ellen says:

      Amazing. You are now a runner. Who would have thought? By the way you wrote about running, I certainly never would have dreamed it! lol
      Now, here you are :)
      Here’s to a very productive December, Tim. And you’re right – especially being this close to goal, it’s good to concentrate on toning. Good luck!

  3. Unfortunately I wasn’t all that successful with my water challenge. I don’t find myself feeling thirsty all that often, so making myself drink all that water is a tough one. I don’t think I ever hit 2L in any single day for the entire month, so I’m going to try it again this month. One tip that I did find helpful (which was given to me by Tim, btw) was to make sure and have a glass of water with every meal. Having the water before the meal would also give the added bonus of making me feel full faster, reducing the risk of overeating.

    • Ellen says:

      That is a great tip, Greg. And I do get fuller more easily when I’m drinking water before a meal. You are certainly no alone with this challenge. I don’t get particularly thirsty, either. Not until I’m desperate for something to drink; then I’m told that by then, I’m already dehydrated. We’ll both keep working on it.

  4. LauraJayne says:

    I learned a lesson this month – never take a health-related goal like “healthy eating habits” off your list, because I slipped and it’ll be struggle to get back on track until the end of the holiday season! My goal, then, is to maintain healthy eating habits but, more importantly, maintain a realistic and healthy attitude no matter HOW I eat!

    I’m still in the process of applying to grad schools, but the GRE is done and my personal statement is written! Now I just have to get transcripts sent and application fees paid!

    • Ellen says:

      I completely get this, Laura. I am just trying to maintain. That’s all. If I can do that, I’ll be in great shape. I’m SO happy that your GRE is done and that your statement is finished! Yay!! Having that off of your list will surely allow you to enjoy the holiday more. Thank you so much for your update, and good luck with your VERY noble goal for December.

  5. teresa says:

    I just love reading everyone’s update here. Ellen, it’s so nice of you to take the time to post it all.
    I’d say I did accomplish my goal of re-kindling my fire. It took all month, but I’m feeling it now.
    For December, I have an actual diet goal. I want to diet!!! I know I can lose 5-10 pounds before 2012. So, that’s my goal.

    • Ellen says:

      Thank you for the kind words, tree. I’m thrilled that you considered your last goal a success!! Never mind how long it took – you got there and are feeling the warmth of it now; that’s all that counts!
      Good luck with your weight loss goal. I know you can do this. The fact that you wrote, ‘I want to diet’ says it all!

  6. So far so good!! I’ve consistently done three kettlebell workouts a week, plus walking (and I throw in some pushups and triceps dips along the way). I had three reiki sessions, saw my chiro today, and am having a massage tomorrow. The only thing I haven’t done is yoga. The place I wanted to take it isn’t offering it any more. So I have to get on that!

    • Ellen says:

      Oh my gosh, Karen!! You blew your goal right out of the water as far as I’m concerned! You had a LOT that you committed to, and you can’t count yoga as a fail because it was out of your control. HUGE congratulations to you :)

  7. Miraculously, I did meet those goals fairly well in November… some better than others. I indulged a little more than I intended, and though I didn’t lose any weight in November, I didn’t gain any either. So I consider that success. I didn’t overreact to things. In fact, I faced a very very difficult event just this week, and I responded rather than reacted. Of course, I had feelings about it, but I knew that overreacting would only take energy away from what I really need to do. I learned a big lesson in knowing my limits, my abilities, and remembering what’s required for a lot of things.

    December Goals
    1. Continue getting to the gym three times per week.
    2. Focus on staying on schedule — I have a major event coming up in February that requires major preparation. It’s crunch time.
    3. Take some time each day to reflect on my personal development progress and on the progress of those around me. Those two things bring me great joy!

    • Ellen says:

      Well done, Michele. It sounds like you are nurturing ALL of you, not just the physical you; that is so important and I think that’s why you succeed at so many goals you set for yourself; you find balance and work from there. Something I need to pay more attention to.
      Good luck with December’s goals. I know you have a busy time coming up soon and staying on schedule will be challenging. You can do this, I have no doubt!

  8. Cindy says:

    I didn’t accomplish my goals, unfortunately. But what good are goals anyway? (Juuussst kidding! Just trying to make myself feel better!) While I didn’t exercise as much as I had hoped, I still did increase the amount of exercise I normally do and I was injury free. I did not lose the 4 lbs I had planned, but I did maintain with a miniscule loss of 3/10ths of a lb. I’m new at this maintaining thing (particularly during the holidays), so I think I’ll take it. I am determined to reach my goal of 80lbs lost for the year, so my goal in December, again, is to now lose “3 and 7/10ths of a lb” by 1/1/12.

    • Ellen says:

      Cindy, you are so funny. And I mean that! You’re taking this in stride and moving on, which is exactly what you should be doing. I’m SO glad that you posted, even though you don’t feel as though you accomplished your goals. You made progress! THAT is what’s important, right? Plus, you’ve remained injury-free and that is HUGE. Thanks so much for your update and good luck with those last 3 and 7/10ths pounds! :)

  9. I really look forward to these posts and love reading everyone’s progress. Even if we slip-up it feels like we can “come clean” here and get ready for a fresh start right away.

    Insanity has been going very well and between that and the 90 Challenge I’ve dropped 5 pounds. I’ve been feeling so much better because I am eating ‘cleaner’ now including a lot of lemon water.

    Hot yoga has been amazing, especially now that the temperature has dropped. I haven’t been able to go as often as I wanted due to a wrist issue I was having though.

    Dec…well, this month I get married and will be spending 2+ weeks at Lake Tahoe. So, I know that I will have less opportunity to stick with a strict schedule. We have people dropping by our cabin so I can’t guarantee much. But, I’m going to do the best I can and take this time to learn to let things happen without freaking out. (Is that a goal?) I’ll be taking Insanity with me, skiing and hiking…enjoying nature and the company of friends and family.

    • Ellen says:

      YES!! Letting things happen without freaking out is a goal (and as GoalKeeper I get the final word!) lol I’m adding that as your official goal for the month. As a bride-to-be, that is the PERFECT goal for you, Lynn. If you master that, you’ll have the best wedding/honeymoon experience of your life.

  10. Jill says:

    It is amazing to me that after such a successful month last month with my goals and how AMAZING I felt… I could let this month “slip” by…. I did continue to track- “mostly”. Things started to slip a few days before Thanksgiving and few days after as well. As far as cooking 3 new recipes a week… that was an epic fail. I really, really want to be a better cook. I want to be more comfortable in the kitchen. I did learn 2 things. They may seem simple to some, but I learned to cook with real garlic rather than the jar stuff. It makes a slight difference to me. So I learned how to open a garlic easily. I also learned how to squeeze lemon onto into recipes without getting all the seeds in the dish! This is how pathetic my cooking is!!! LOL!!
    For December I am going to maintain my tracking ( and try and stay within my WW points) I am also going to look for a cooking class for January or February. I wish I had a better report- but it is what it is!
    I LOVED reading everyone’s updates!!!!!

    • Ellen says:

      Jill, I’m going to give you the same answer that I gave Cindy, who agreed that she didn’t meet her goals, either. No-Fail in my eyes! You took steps in becoming a better cook. You learned about garlic and lemons (OK, maybe you didn’t cook up a huge meal, but again – you took steps) and that is progress! You have all of December to practice and try different things if you choose to do that, and I think a cooking class is an awesome idea! A GREAT comfort-zone challenge, if I may say so!!
      Good luck on the tracking. Just concentrate on maintaining if the stress becomes too much. This season is already stressful enough. You don’t anything contributing to that. THANK you for reporting back. Love you for that :)

  11. Hanlie says:

    Alas, not much walking got done in the end – it’s still rather painful for me, but I did visit the pool quite a few times. For now that is where my best exercise is done and I will continue through December.

    • Ellen says:

      I’m sorry you’re having issues with pain, Hanlie. Nothing will squash any attempts for physical activity than pain. Getting to the pool despite having those issues is pretty fantastic, I think. Plus, it’s got to be easier on your joints overall. I’ve heard that so many times about swimming – how easy it is on the body. Thank you so much for your update, and I hope you’re able to swim through December :)

  12. Beth says:

    Yea, that not complaining goal was pretty good for the 1st week, but it quickly went downhill from there! It’s so hard to see so many things around you going wrong, or things that are not fair, or things that aren’t what’s best for children, and not complain! It’s hard when you and some of your fellow workers see the same stupid things happening all around you, day after day, that you can’t help but complain to each other! I wish I could just go in my classroom and shut the door and not worry about anything else but me and my kids! I still try to stay positive, but it is so hard! Luckily I do have some great co-workers who want the same thing for children, so at least our complaining is Kinda productive and in the best interest of kids (usually, sometimes we just complain about how stupid some people are, or how short thier skirts are :)

  13. Connie G. says:

    I did get to the gym like I wanted but I only took one class each week. I spent the rest of the time doing cardio and weights. I really enjoy the classes so I don’t know why I’m having such a hard time taking them. I still need to work on that.

    My goal for December is to not gain any weight!! So often I get off course during this time of the year and I hope I can do better at controlling it this year. So far so good. I sometimes find it overwhelming to think about it so much but if I don’t then I tend to go crazy with food. Wish me luck.

    • Ellen says:

      Connie, thanks so much for checking in with your update. One day a week is better than none, especially this time of the year. I think it’s important just to keep connected in any way you can so it doesn’t slip away. If that means going once a week, then that’s what it means.
      Good luck in your goal for December. I have a feeling that MANY people will be carrying that exact same goal – you will not be alone!

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