Category Archives: Moving Mountains Updates

Final Farewell to Moving Mountains 2011

Was this the longest challenge in the history of challenges? Too funny, because I have never even been a challenge-girl in general. They’ve always felt too restrictive and since I’m so free-spirited (ha) I never imagined I’d join a challenge, much less host one for an entire year.

 

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But Moving Mountains was different.  Heck, all of my challenges are kind of different.  You rarely see them with rules that are set in stone.  I happen to like some wiggle room to move around in.  This challenge was originally intended to allow participants the opportunity to work on one specific thing over a long period of time, or change things up and try something new and different once a month, while coming back to my blog on the 7th to post a progress report of how their goal was coming along.  Since New Year’s Resolutions tend to fade after the first few weeks of a new year I figured, ‘Why not make this available all year long?’  So, that’s what I did.  

Actually, I was honored to host this challenge.  There were faithful readers who contributed a goal almost every single month and it was always exciting to connect with them as they worked through struggles, plateaus, and ultimately for many – successes!  It was just as exciting building relationships with newcomers throughout the year as they dedicated a month or two to working on a specific goal. 

Whether you visited one time or left your goal every month of the year – thank you; while I hope it allowed you to get one step closer to realizing what you can accomplish in a month, six months, or all twelve, what this challenge was really about was allowing yourself to begin.  So often we have goals in mind that we don’t even bother attempting because something always seems to get in the way.  If nothing else, this challenge has taught us that It’s never too late to start a new habit. Each one of you reinforced that this year. 

My final goal for this last month of the year was to continue going to my yoga class despite the fact that I have a very difficult time getting my rear in gear when it gets dark outside.  I wanted to keep my commitments to attending yoga at least twice a week.  I was very mindful of this goal, especially since I’d posted it for everyone to see (and knew that I’d have to write about it here, today).  While I did not make every single class that I wanted to, it wasn’t because of the weather or because of laziness; I had a couple of days when I just didn’t feel well.  Technically, I didn’t fully succeed, however I only missed two days.  I’m pretty happy with that. 

 

 

…and now, one last time:  How Did You Do?

 

Tim, who has left a goal here almost every month this year, didn’t let December dwindle by without pushing towards another goal to round off his rock-star year:

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 weight loss goal, I need to focus on toning more.

Tim has worked so hard this year and I’m looking forward to reading his final update.

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Laura has been very diligent in leaving her goals with me every month and is always very focused on what she wants to work on.  Here’s what she left for December:

My goal is to maintain healthy eating habits but, more importantly, maintain a realistic and healthy attitude no matter HOW I eat!

What a great goal for a maintainer.  This is one that I should always concentrate on, myself.  I hope you had a successful month, Laura!

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Teresa decided to contribute a very precise goal for the month – one that I greatly admire, considering that December can be filled with many temptations, as we all know.  Here is what she wrote:

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.

I hope you had a great month, Teresa.  Looking forward to reading your update!

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Karen worked hard on her goals during the month of November.  The only one she wasn’t able to achieve was her desire to attend yoga, but that was by circumstance.  Even though she didn’t officially leave a goal for December, I know that she wanted to try and find a new place to practice; here’s to hoping she found one that she enjoys!

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Michele has been so faithful in leaving both physically and emotionally healthy goals this whole year.  Here is what she decided to work on during December:

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!

I hope December brought you much success and joy, Michele.  Looking forward to reading your last update!

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Cindy was one of those readers who popped in like a breath of fresh air.  She had specific goals in mind, and despite some obstacles along the way she persevered.  She also left some quality goals for December:

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.

Okay, Cindy.  Don’t keep us waiting any longer – How did you do??

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Lynn has been a warrior all year long.  She is very dedicated to the goals she decides to share here every month, and if you’ve been reading them then you know how hard she can push that tiny yet strong body of hers!  I was glad to see that for the month of December, she had some exciting, less structured goals to focus on:

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.

Congratulations to Lynn and her new husband.  I can’t wait to read about this final goal for the year.  I hope everything went beautifully!

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Jill was another one of those readers who flew into this challenge, grabbed it and showed it who was boss!  She had successes that were amazing to read.  The most admirable thing though, was her attitude.  If something didn’t go according to plan she didn’t let it get her down, but instead kept right on trying.  Here was her goal for December:

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!!!!!

Thank you Jill, for your participation this year and for being a wonderful addition to this Challenge.  Can’t wait to read your update!

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Hanlie is always very mindful about the things that she wants to do.  She is a great participant!  Here’s her goal for December:

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.

I hope you enjoyed your pool time this month, Hanlie.  Looking forward to reading your final update!

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Connie always has fantastic goals in mind whenever she comes to this challenge.  She left this one for December:

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.

I’ve been thinking about you this month, Connie.  I hope you felt at peace this month and am looking forward to your final update!

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Thanks again to everyone who trusted me as their Goalkeeper and congratulations to all of you for a great year!

Ellen

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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!!!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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

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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!

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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. 

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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!

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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? 

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.

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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!

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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.

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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 :)

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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!

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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 :)

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

 

XO,

~ Ellen

Moving Mountains Update: October 7th

I can hardly believe it’s October.   We’ve been celebrating our Indian Summer this week with temperatures that feel like early summer.  It’s been a nice distraction from the fact that winter is indeed on the way.  Thank goodness we have Autumn as a buffer season, right? 

 

Well then, enough chit-chat about the weather – let’s get to it!!  I always start out Moving Mountains updates by posting my update first.  I thought long and hard about whether anyone would notice if I just skipped my update altogether and moved straight to everyone else.  But then I thought, Well, that wouldn’t look very good if the host for these challenges intentionally left herself out.  Even if no one else noticed, I would know.  Well then, I’d best get on with it (are you sensing the vibe that September goals may not have gone very well for me?)

 

My goal for September was to move on to Yoga 1.5 and try Hot Yoga for the first time.  I have done neither of these two things.  I’ve been wanting to move on to the next class but it’s only offered at one time, on one certain day of the week.  Honestly, there’s nothing stopping me from making this class; it’s just that it happens to be on a Sunday morning and that is one of only two quiet moments that my husband and I have together during the week, so I’ve chosen not to go.  Hot Yoga is still on my list of things to do, but I want to wait until the weather gets colder before locking myself in a 105 degree room for an hour. 

This doesn’t mean that I’ve been only going to Beginners Yoga since August, though.  I’ve been attending other all-level classes which I am very excited to be posting about next week.  My goal for October will stay the same.  My instructor said that new classes are added all of the time, so I will get to my next level class, and by this time in November, I can guarantee that Hot Yoga will be a great addition as well.

This is a good lesson to remember: don’t feel embarrassed if you didn’t meet or exceed your posted goal.  These monthly updates are to remind you of where you were a month ago and to reflect on where you are now.  Any improvement is considered progress, even if it was an unexpected one.

Would you like to participate in next 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 November 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.

How Did Our Participants Do Last Month?

Michele continues to have a busy schedule ahead of her, but hopefully that will soon come to an end.  For her September goals, she wrote: 

I have a new plan of action for what I’m eating during the day, which could be helpful. I’ll let you know how that goes. I’m also going to start attending some Zumba classes this month — a little hesitant, but it could be fun.

Michele has been on hiatus from her blog to concentrate on her studies, so I’m not sure how her Zumba classes have been going.  Looking forward to reading an update, Michele!

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Jules had a very successful August when she stuck to her food plan and dropped some pounds.  With her momentum going at full swing, here’s what she decided for September:

For September my focus is on exercise – sticking to my plan of cardio six days a week and two strength focused classes a week.

Jules, hope you feel like you’re moving in the right direction – looking forward to your update!

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Greg has a LOT going on right now with a new baby on the way, so he switched up his goals a bit for September.  Here’s a recap of what he wrote:

My goal for this month is to get back to the gym on a regular basis. I’m not going to set a specific number of times I have to go, but my aim is to hit the gym 3-4 times a week. We have a lot going on right now, so hopefully I can meet this challenge.

Being a reader of Greg’s blog, I know that he’s made progress in some areas that he didn’t specifically list; looking forward to hearing about how the rest of your month went, Greg.

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Sharon lives in the midst of the beautiful Smoky Mountains, and those of you who read her blog know that she’s an avid hiker.  Here were her goals for September:

My September goal is going to move from numbers to exercise. The cooler days are already making me itch to hike and because of our horrid summer temps, I’m neither in the hiking nor biking shape that I want to be entering into prime season. So my goal is to work diligently, deliberately and decisively toward that end so that by October 7 I’m ready. The added benefit is that diligence will pay off at the scale.

Here’s to hoping you had some cooler days to spend hiking on those gorgeous trails, Sharon.  Can’t wait to read about your update.

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Teresa had very specific goals for the month of September:

My new goal is to track calories all month. I have NEVER committed to this before and only feel confident to do it now because I’ve already started. It’s sort of like a running start at the month. It’s super important for me this month.

This was an impressive goal, especially for someone whose never committed to counting calories before.  Teresa, hope you stop by and let us know how things went!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

LauraJayne was hugely successful in her August challenge – yay, Laura!  Here’s her goals for September:

My goal for September is much more abstract. I want to achieve a realistic level of fitness (gym + yoga) while still controlling/staying on top of the new work and school opportunities (including my first-ever college teaching position) that have presented myself! Maintaining means so much more for me this month than weight – it means maintaining my positive attitude, managing my stress, achieving what I’ve CHOSEN to take on AND keeping a healthy lifestyle!

Laura, you and I have the same goals as far as maintaining a positive attitude and managing stress. I can’t wait to read about how you juggled everything.  Maybe you can give me some pointers!

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Ali has had a comfort zone challenge year, it seems.  She had a period where she tried a bunch of new things (things I never would have even considered, so I greatly admire her fearlessness!)  Here are her thoughts for September’s goals:

My goal for September is to try 4 new classes at my gym! It’s definitely do-able, it’s just a matter of getting up the courage!

Knowing Ali, I’m sure she achieved at least part of this goal.  Looking forward to her update!

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Marsial decided to rejoin the MM Challenge last month.  Here’s her goal for September:

My goal this month will be modest — just return to blogging on a regular basis. I find that when I am blogging, I am much more aware of what I’m eating and I work harder at trying to do some exercise each day. Additionally, I not only learn from other bloggers, I’m often entertained by them — it just makes my day more cheerful.

Well, I happen to know how this goal turned out because I read her blog, but I’ll let her tell you if she felt like she succeeded last month. Looking forward to you checking in, Marsial!

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Hanlie has stuck with me during these monthly challenges since the beginning.  She is always trying to improve upon herself and last month, her goals were short but to the point:

My goals are to at least exercise a few times per week.

Hanlie, I hope the weather has been cooperating more for you lately, and that you feel you’ve had some successes in this area.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

 

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Connie had some very impressive goals for September.  She sounds like a Wonder Woman, to me!  Here’s what she had to offer-up for the MM Challenge:

My goal in September is to stick with the half marathon training that I’m doing. I’m walking 2 half marathons in October and the training times are getting longer and harder (due to knee problems). On the 17th I have to do 9 miles and on the 24th I have to do 10. The first half is on 10/2 and the second on 10/23.

Connie, I sure hope you circled today on your calendar, because I can’t wait to hear how your 9 and 10 mile walks went, not to mention the first half marathon! 

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As always, many thanks to all of my participants.  I hope you see just how much you can accomplish in 30 days.  Post your updates and any new comments below, add a new goal, or just stop by and give some encouragement.  Can’t wait to hear from all of you and have a great weekend!

Ellen

 

Moving Mountains Update: September 7th

 

 

Moving Mountains, September

The weather is getting cooler and the leaves are beginning to paint the ground – a gentle reminder that Fall is settling in with only three months left in the year. We are in to our 9th month of the Moving Mountains challenge updates, here on FGWT.  Before getting on with the challenge updates, I want to repost a comment that a participant had during her last progress report.  She wrote:

I have to say, when I read my goals from July I was thinking, dang I don’t think I lost anything – maybe 1 pound. Then I looked back at my weigh-in sheet and realized that even with vacation, b-day parties, and camping I lost 5 pounds. You lose track of your success when you analyze your work weekly vs. monthly!

Thank you Kristen, for summing up one of the main reasons for hosting these monthly challenges.  Sometimes it’s hard to see progress when we’re analyzing it day to day, or even week to week.  Many times viewing goals month to month is a better way to notice the bigger picture and see how far we’ve come!

 

 

First, my goal for August: I wanted to keep up with my plank poses and attend 6 yoga classes, which I am happy to report I did!  In fact, I’ve gone to yoga 7 times and my plan is to make yoga a priority two to three times per week.  Working on plank really helped when I started yoga because even though I’m still in the beginning class I can hold plank for a long period of time.  This is an area I’d never been able to do if I hadn’t worked on it through this challenge. 

 

For September my goal is to move on to the Yoga 1.5 Class where I’ll learn to hold poses for longer periods of time and work on the benefits of meditation.  I’m contemplating whether to try Hot Yoga for the first time. 

How Did You Do In August?

Sharon’s reason for not meeting her goals during the month of July was a very good one: the heat proved to be too oppressive to battle without becoming ill.  For August’s goals, she wrote:

I did not meet my goals for July and I’m not sure why. Actually, I think the oppressive heat we’ve suffered in the south just turned July into a blah month in which I accomplished practically nothing. So we’ll turn the same goals over into August and go for losing the same five pounds between now and September 7.

Sharon, I hope you had a period of cooler weather these past few weeks.  Looking forward to your update.

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Kristen has been transforming herself all summer.  Her recent before/after photos show just how hard she’s been working.  She’s even working those tank tops she’s been wearing (yay!)  Here’s what she wrote last month: 

My August goals are:
1)To survive my 10K and keep up my regular 5mile runs.
2)Continue my weight loss journey of the upcoming big camping trips.
3)Climb a mountain in the ADK that I haven’t before
4)Start lifting weights at night with hubby in our basement gym.

Can’t wait to hear about your 10K, Kristen!

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The lovely Sable is still working hard in her area of expertise: weightlifting.  Here’s what she wrote last month:

My goal is to bench press my bodyweight (135) cleanly once by Sept. 7. I’d also like to get up to 4 wide grip pull-ups from a dead hang (I’m at 3 now!)

How was your August, Sable?  Were you able to master your pull-ups?

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Tim achieved a goal in August that he didn’t even list during last month’s update so I’m going to share it with you on his behalf:  He entered into ONEderland!  Way to go, Tim!!  Here’s where Tim’s focus was for the month of August:

By 7th September I will only work on my push ups (so I don’t forget). I will practice every day and try and get as close to 50 as I can.

Give us an update on your push ups, Tim (and whether or not you’ve been able to keep up your efforts while in Scotland!)

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Greg didn’t officially list a goal for August, but he always checks in during our Moving Mountains updates so I’m posting for him here just to let him know that we’re still rooting for him to complete his challenge, which is to get to his goal weight – as of this writing he’s only three pounds away.  Just remember Greg, the last 5 – 10 are the hardest to get off, so don’t be discouraged.  You’ll get there.

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Michele has had one heck of a busy summer.  She’s taking it in stride though, and taking good care of herself.  Here’s what she had to say last month:

This month I hope to just kind of stick to my eating plan and time schedule as best I can. I’m striving for balance here — I know I won’t eat perfectly all the time, and I know I won’t stick to the schedule all the time. The most important thing is to keep in mind that it’s okay to deviate a bit. It’s what we do routinely that matters most of all — not what we do on occasion.

I hope you’ve been able to maintain a healthy schedule this past month, Michele.  Give us an update on how you’ve been doing :)

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Laura, my virtual yoga buddy decided to make it her priority during the month of August, too.  She’s been dealing with some challenging new eating habits, also.  Here’s what she wrote last month:

For August, I’d like to complete the yoga challenge, and start to figure out my new “diet” and how it affects how, what, when and where I eat!

How have you been doing with your gluten-free diet, Laura?  Would love to hear an update on that as well as how yoga has been going. 

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Teresa joined our Moving Mountains update challenge for the first time last month.  Here’s what she wrote for her goal:

For the rest of August, I am working on consistency with my exercise. I need to keep it kind of light right now, but that doesn’t mean doing nothing. So, I’m doing 5 days a week of walking (or equivalent level on elliptical) for 30-60 minutes.

Can’t wait to read about how the month of August went for you, Teresa!

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Jules was also a first timer in leaving a goal last month.  She had a huge challenge before her, too.  Here’s what she wrote:

This is my first time goal setting with you – my goal is to stick to my food plan this month. We have family staying with us all month so just doing that will be challenging enough.

Jules, I am hoping that you were able to maintain a solid eating pattern while company was at your home.  I know how difficult a challenge that can be.  Looking forward to reading all about it!

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Hanlie is in the middle of wintertime where she lives, so she doesn’t have the luxury of the warmer climate for outdoor motivation just yet.  This is what she wrote last month.

My goals for August: Exercise every day – be it dancing, stretching, walking or water aerobics.

Hanlie, whether you’ve been working on an exercise goal or a healthy living goal, here’s to hoping that you feel like you’ve made great strides since last month!

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Lynn had been working on the Insanity program when her scale decided to break, last month.  After a few revisions, she decided this about August’s goals:

Aug goals: Begin a food log and follow my eating plan (adapted from the Insanity program).

Stay on track with combined Insanity workouts and runs (working out 6 times per week).

Get a new scale so I can track my progress!!

Always look forward to your monthly goal updates, Lynn.  I hope you had a fantastic August :)

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Would you like to participate in next 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 October 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 improvement.

 

Thanks to everyone who participated.  Now, get busy and fill us in on what you’ve been up to since last month :)

 

XO,

 

Ellen

Moving Mountains: It’s August, Already!!

 

 

Can someone please show me where the brakes are so I can slow this month down a bit?  This is our LAST Moving Mountains Update before Fall!  Pick your goals carefully, this month.  If you’re like me, you’ll want to go out with a bang!

 

 

A big thanks to the twelve dedicated people who decided to post their goals here on FGWT for the month of July.  You can read their challenges below, and their results in the comments section at the bottom of this post.  Remember: if YOU want to work on any kind of improvement for the month of July, just post your goal in the comment section of today’s post, work on your goal, and then come back here on September 7th to give the group your update.  Easy Peasy!

My goals for July were to continue doing plank for 3 minutes while incorporating within that time, different intervals such as mountain climbers and plank pushups.  I have been holding steady at this goal.  I thought about increasing my time, but anything after three minutes turns my arms to jelly, and then I don’t feel like doing anything else; therefore, plank time will stay the same for the month of August. 

Adding another challenge for this month:  Focusing on yoga.  I would like to go to a minimum of 6 yoga classes by September 7th.  This truly will be a challenge for me, but I’m laying it out here so I’m reminded that I made a commitment to DO IT!

That’s it for me this month.  Now, on to bigger and better things……..

 

 

How did YOU do last month?  As the Official Goalkeeper, I have all of last month’s participants goals listed below.  Hope to hear from each of you (and from anyone just joining in) within the comments section below!

Karen from Waisting Time was still working on doing plank, even though the official challenge for it ended back in June.  Last month she was up to doing 3 planks a day for 2 minutes each (a very admirable goal to maintain, btw!)  Her goal was to keep doing plank for July. 

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Sharon returned from vacation last month meeting her goals!  For July, she wrote:   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.

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Michele is living an incredibly busy life right now and is adjusting her goals accordingly, so that she can keep herself balanced during this stressful time.  She wrote:  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.

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Sable has been doing beautifully with her goals, despite having a very busy summer.  On July 7th, she wrote:  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!!!

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Karen from Before and After started a new kind of exercise program in July.  She wrote: 

I 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.

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Kristen has had a very successful summer so far.  For her July goals, she wrote: 
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

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Tim, who is still walking strong towards his 15 Million Steps, wrote some additional challenges for July: 

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.

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NewMe has back problems like I do.  She is smart in gauging what kind of activities will help, not hinder her progress.  Stretching was her goal for June.  For July, she writes: Goals for July: just keep on keeping on.  I hope to hear all is well with the back this month, and that stretching continues to help!

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Greg has been moving steadily toward his goal weight.  For his July goals, he writes: 

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.

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Hanlie  had a definite plan for July’s goals.  She writes:  My main exercise goals are to do more stretching/Pilates and to do at least 3 deep water workouts per week.

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Lynn, who has been doing lots of training these past few months, writes:  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.

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Laura has had a busy summer, and has been doing a lot of reflective thinking.  For July’s goals, she writes: 

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!

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Thanks to everyone who participated.  September is just around the corner, so let’s keep focused on our efforts to make 2011 a productive year.  Work on those goals and I’ll see you back here to Celebrate Your Strength next month!

 

Ellen

Reminder for Moving Mountains Update

Good Friday, everyone.  This is a post-free day, because I am feeling a bit under the weather. I just wanted to wish you all a great weekend.  There’s not many summer weekends left (where did this summer GO?) so enjoy, enjoy!! 

Some information for those of you who posted your goals last month for our monthly Moving Mountains Update: normally we post updates on the 7th of every month.  Since the 7th falls on a Sunday, and not everyone reads blogs on the weekend, this month our update will be on Monday, August 8th.  Please stop by and let everyone know what you’ve been up to since last month! 

If you’re new to our Moving Mountains Updates, you can read about it here or click on the blog button in my sidebar.

 

See you all on Monday!

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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…

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

June 7th: Moving Mountains Update

It’s June 7th, which means it’s time for another Moving Mountains Update!  For those of you just coming across this series for the first time, I post on the 7th of every month with a reminder to participating readers of the goals they set for themselves the prior month. 

On the 7th of each month, you are welcome to comment on an improvement you’d like to work on.  I will be your goalkeeper for the month, and on the 7th day of the following month, I’ll remind you of your goal and you can give an update on your progress.  No goal is too big or too small, and it does not have to be weight related.  Got it?  Good!  Now, on to this month’s update!

Last month I decided that I would keep more focused on continuing my running program; more specifically, C25K.  I am proud to say that I have seen great improvement in my stamina.  I noticed this by accident one day as I was walking the dogs and it suddenly started raining – hard!  We turned back around and ran the entire way back to the car and I wasn’t even out of breath.  It wasn’t a terribly long distance but to me, that was an amazing feeling. 

I have decided to add a couple of other areas that I’d like to see improvements in, thanks to reading recent posts by Lynn at Learning Curves and Karen at Waisting Time.  Lynn is making an effort at reducing her carbon footprint and it gave me the idea to spend this month getting  into the habit of using canvas bags at the grocery store instead of plastic ones.  I’ve got my bags lined up and in the car already, and hopefully by this time next month I’ll be fully into the habit of bringing them with me into the grocery store every single time I shop.

Karen is going to be participating in the Planks Challenge over at Fitblog Chats and I’m going to work on this as well.  I firmly believe that strengthening my core has greatly decreased my lower back pain, so adding this challenge was a no-brainer. 

How are You Doing?

Karen from Before and After was able to get back to her kickboxing and kettlebell workouts last month after a little time off due to health issues. 

Her goal for June 7th?  I’m planning on plenty of walks to the beach, kayaking and other fun stuff this summer. I’d like to walk a half-marathon in October but not sure I can do it without formal training…and I don’t like formal training. So not sure yet. 

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Karen from Waisting Time had a busy month, what with her son’s graduation as well as lots of parties to attend. 

Her goal for June 7th? I have a lot of food obstacles this month. Holidays and birthday and tons of graduation parties and tons of baking and son home from college. So I am just trying to keep my head above water and stay on track with my eating.

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Hanlie from Ordinary Abundance was doing a lot of hula hooping last month (one of my favorite pastimes!)  and she started a new job!

Her goal for June 7th? I will be walking in the month to come, because I am starting my new job on Tuesday and the Promenade is right there, so instead of sitting in rush hour traffic, I will don my walking shoes, grab the iPod and, unless it’s pouring with rain, take a walk after work.

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Sable at Squat Like a Lady has been the poster child for Moving Mountains.  She’s recently posted some before and after pics that show how hard she’s been working. 

Her goal for June 7th?  This month I want to press 80lbs for 8 reps!

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Marsial from Eyes of the Sun was dreaming of her upcoming mini vacation last month. 

Her June 7th goal? I would dearly love to break my old, low weight record of 183 pounds before I go. My eating is very much on track, so I am hoping that the 3 pounds I need to lose (I was 185-1/2 this AM) should be achievable — it would be a bonus if I could get there by your next update.

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Tim from Fat.Boy.Thin has been achieving goals left and right and I am a big fan of his. 

For his June 7th goal, he writes:  My next challenge is going to be to continue C25K because I am only half way through it at the moment. I am also aiming to hit 2 million steps with my walking.

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Kristen from Hot Mama in Hiding had been working on pushups last month and was kind enough to give me some pointers that her trainer shared with her (and it’s working, Kristen – thank you!!)

Her goal for June 7th:  Going forward I am staying focused on push ups! Also, training more for my 5K. I would like to improve my March 5K time of 33:19 when I run on May 21st!

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CD from Walk to Sing submitted a comment for her first challenge last month.  She wrote: I start a new job on Monday ~ my challenge (first time participant) will be to walk between 10 and 13 miles this week… minimum 2 miles a day, at least 5 days each week. Yes, 10 – 13 miles per week – this month… working up to a 15-17 minute walking mile is my goal… to walk 3 miles in 45 minutes.  Would love an update, CD, and hope the job is going well!!

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Greg from Transformed and Scaled completed his last challenge with flying colors: no meat for a month!  Not an easy task but he pulled it off rather well, I think! 

His goal for June 7th: This month my goal is to get back to my gym routine, since I kind of slacked off a bit in April. My goal is 18 gym workouts, 5 floor hockey games and 5 other physical activities in the month.

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Laura from LauraJayne has had one BUSY month.  She has been a powerhouse of achievements. 

For her June 7th goal, she writes:  My goal for June 7 is to have made progress in my goal to stop counting calories (without gaining a ton of weight)!

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Michele from Healthy Cultivations has had a difficult month and I hope her main goal ended up being to lovingly care for herself.  Here’s what she wrote last month for her June 7th goals: 

1. return to a vegetarian eating plan and severely limit processed foods;
2. continue walking as planned since I registered for the Air Force Half Marathon in September in Dayton, Ohio (HOORAY!) — planning to get back into serious weight loss mode because getting smaller is the only way to get faster in my walking — I have goals for the future and can’t achieve them at my current weight;
3. jump on that strength training wagon;
4. fully commit myself to my life — sometimes, I kind of hang out on the outskirts of it without participating fully — each day requires attention to every area of my life; and
5. return to blogging without an overly ambitious schedule — I need room for inspiration rather than a schedule to keep me going — I have several ideas floating around.

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New Me from NewMe: A Fresh Start brought out her walking sticks last month and broke them in – yay!! 

Her goal for this month:  I suppose this month I should aim for at least four walking-pole days. The back is touch and go, but I think the urban walking doesn’t make it any worse, so I’ll keep going.

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Ellie from Ellie Unzipped has been continuing her goals of increased speed in soccer, and writes:  I think this month I will try some timed sprints and see if I am actually making any progress on my speed.  Also, I’m going to be working hard this month on making sure I don’t gain.

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And Lynn, from Learning Curves is improving many areas of her life, and many of them are not weight related; it was her post that lit a fire under my behind to make a goad of being more accountable for our environment.  Her focus for June:  Anyway, my goal for next month is of course to complete my marathon on Jun 5. Also, to maintain my 8 pull-ups from another challenge.

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Thanks to every single one of you who participated by allowing me to hold onto your goals this month.  Now, let’s see how you did! 

Tomorrow is Moving Mountains Update

A quick reminder to those of you who participated in last month’s Moving Mountain’s Challenge, tomorrow is the 7th, which means I’ll be having my monthly update post, so bring on your progress reports!

I am in one of those moods where I have a lot to say, but having difficulties trying to put my thoughts together; don’t you just hate that? I have 3 posts in draft but none of them makes much sense even to me at the moment, so there they’ll sit until I have more time to tweak them into more coherent sentences.  In the meantime, please accept this Dumping Ground post where you’ll quickly notice that I’m jumping from topic to topic in record speed.

Do any of you remember that episode of Seinfeld when George’s father used a mantra to help him calm down?  Every time he felt like he was going to blow his top he’d scream out from the top of his lungs Serenity Now!  I am feeling a bit like Frank, lately.  I am off the anxiety meds that I was taking and am a bit discouraged to try anything else at the moment, so I’m attempting to use some calming techniques until I feel prepared enough to give miracle drug number 6 a whirl. 

My husband’s mother’s house finally sold after almost 10 months on the market. The new owners want occupancy on July 1st, which doesn’t give us much time to clear out the house. Serenity Now!  While his job will be to team up with his sister and move things out, my job will be trying to make room for the things that will inevitably end up making their way over here until he has time to go through them. I’ve already taken 2 (yes, two) truckloads of items to Goodwill.   Most of the items were furniture I’d retrieved from dumpsters over the years that have been waiting to be made beautiful.  It was tough letting those things go, but I made a vow: anything that hadn’t been touched in 2 years was heading out the door. 

I am happy to report that my weekend was a good one; I spent time with my Mom at the rehabilitation center; she is finally beginning to feel better after a rough couple of weeks.   Her first post-surgery doctor’s appointment is on the 13th where they will take an x-ray to see if there have been any changes.  We could potentially see some bone growth in the x-ray but the doctor said that we could wait for up to 3 full months before seeing any progress.  Still, we’re hopeful. 

Have a good Monday, everyone. Please forgive me if you don’t see me commenting as much on your blogs these next couple of weeks; rest assured that I am reading though, and if there’s anything you think I would find particularly interesting please let me know.  I don’t like the idea of being out of touch with you all but must remember this is temporary.  Serenity Now!