Gina: Where to send your dollars

So here we are...one step closer to the start of getting ourselves in gear and achieving our weight loss goals.

If you want to participate in the monetary portion of the challenge, you can find information on where to send in your entry fee by clicking the photo at the start of this post.

If you don't wish to use the PayIt2 format, please contact us for alternative payment options.

We can't wait and we certainly hope you'll join us.

Shellie: Getting Healthy

I've felt really ick lately.  I know that it's because of a bad diet and too much weight.  Also no exercise and not enough water.  So I'm trying to work on these areas.  I'm looking forward to our weight loss challenge - What Would Stew Do?? 

I'm trying to go ahead and get into the spirit.  I'm really, really tired of feeling and looking so bad and so unhealthy.  This has been a part of my life for so long now and on my goals list forever and I want to be able to put a check mark next to it and move on with my life.

My "year of 40" is going to be great.  I'm determined.  And when it's over, I'm going to move into 41 as a new person.  I'm so excited for that day.

Are you going to join us?

Gina: The Devil is in the Details

So here they are, the details of our weight loss challenge and let me just give credit where it is due, I completely stole these requirements from Stew's friend Bill.  You see in January, Bill put together a weight loss challenge.  It was a $25 buy in and there were about 15 people who joined in.  The challenge started on January 4, 2016 and ended on Memorial Day.  Over that period of time, Stew lost 50 pounds and won the challenge.  He has a check coming in the mail with his winnings and let me tell you, I'm typically a what's mine is mine and what's yours is mine kind of person (no worries about Stew, he's the one who made me a spoiled brat.) - but with this money, he so earned it and I really hope that for once, he'll actually take that money and do something for himself.  He probably won't - but one can hope.  I told him he should buy new clothes.  He said he's not done yet, so the close can wait.

If you don't want to participate in the part of the challenge which has a monetary reward, that's not a problem, we still want you to participate.  There will still be chances for you to win things.  You will receive the same support and content that everyone will, only thing is, when we close this challenge on December 15th, you won't be eligible for the monetary reward.  If that's the case for you, we want you to know just a few things, then you can ignore the rest of this post (after you join the Facebook group, of course!):

The official challenge starts on July 1.
The challenge will end on December 16th.  I'm not a complete monster, we're not going to have the final official weigh in after the holidays!
The Facebook group is ready, come join us here: 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1086539388102851/

Anyway....for those participating in the chance for the monetary reward (because who doesn't want to have money for new clothes after they shed these pounds), I'm completely stealing these requirements from Bill.  Here they are:

  1. To participate in this portion of the challenge will be $20.  I don't want it to be cost prohibitive, but I do want to make sure that we have a nice reward for the winner.
  2. 90% of the buy in money will be awarded to the person who loses the greatest percentage of weight.  10% will go to the second place winner.
  3. How to contribute your $20 will be released shortly.  No money will be sent directly to me.
  4. Weigh In Days will be on Fridays (gives us enough time to recover from the weekend and get back on board if we slip, I think).
  5. The first official weigh in will be July 1, 2016.
  6. For the first official weigh in to be valid, you must send me a before picture of yourself and a picture of your weight on your scale.  Both pictures must include something that will verify the date the photo was taken.  Most people use a newspaper, or if you don't have access to a newspaper - just something that will verify that the photo was taken on or around July 1st.  Your photos will be sent to me directly, but will not be shared.  Since there is money involved, we have to validate the results and this is the best way to do that.
  7. The final photo will have the same requirements as the first one.  The photos must be able to be date verified.
  8. I will be sharing my before and after photos in the Facebook group - since you must share yours with me, I think it's only fair that I do the same.
  9. As stated above, the final weigh in will be December 16.
  10. Each week on Friday, you must send me an email with a picture of your scale showing your current weight.  (Don't stress if for some reason you can't get to a scale on a Friday.  As long as I have a check in from you weekly, we're all good.  Please just email if there will be a reason why that won't be possible.)
  11. Please remember that we're all in this together.  Your personal photos and numbers will not be shared by me anywhere.  I'm only collecting this information to verify the results.  This is a non-judgemental group.  We're all going to have ups and downs.  That's just the way it is.  Don't get discouraged if your weight goes up.  Just try for better the next week.  If this was easy, none of us would need this challenge.
  12. Weight loss will be calculated as percentage lost from beginning weight.  Stew will be doing that math, blinded, of course, because I can't do math to save my life.  Use it or lose it, they say and it's true.  The most math I'm able to do is to make sure that drug accountability on my trials is accurate and really, what else do I need?

I think that's it for the rules.  As I said, I'll be releasing the process for sending money in the next few days.  I encourage you to join the Facebook group as we will be sharing a lot of stuff over there.

It's a well known fact that when people have accountability partners and a support group more weight is lost and the weight lost is sustained.

Are you ready to take the challenge?  I know I am.  I'm excited.  Let's all get excited about being healthier!

 

Gina: The Half Year Mark

Image Credit: 123rf.com

Image Credit: 123rf.com

This post could have easily been titled..."All of those resolutions I haven't started."

It seems as the holiday season comes to an end and we look forward to a new year, we think of all of the things that we want to be different in our lives, all the changes we want to make, over the 365 days before us.  It seems as though with the changing of the year on the calendar, we feel as though we get a fresh start.

The truth is, every second of our lives that go by, each moment when we look forward, we have a chance to take a breath and start again.  So, as we head into the final days of the first six months of this year, it's time for me to reflect on all of those huge goals I had when the calendar changed and think about what goals I want to set as we move into the latter part of this year.  

This time, I'm going to make it doable.  I'm going to make it realistic. I'm going to make it objective.  I'm going to make it quantifiable.  It's not, "oh, I want to lose weight."  Nope, it's as simple as this one statement:

On December 31, 2016, I'm going to ring in 2017 weighing 170 pounds.  

So that's the goal, but you can't make a goal and leave it at that....you have to set the plan, as well and that's what this post is all about.  As you read in the previous post, we'll be starting the RED weight loss challenge on July 1st and I just want to make clear that posts that start with my name are my thoughts, my opinions, my sharing with you.....Shellie and I don't agree on everything - and so I want you to know that what follows here are my thoughts as we move toward the next six months of the year....

Please, listen to me when I say this...yes, being healthy is the ultimate goal and I have had periods of time in my life when I've said, I'm not going to focus on losing weight - I'm going to focus on being healthy.  Well, my friends, that just doesn't work for me.  In order for me to be healthy, I need to change my relationship with food, my relationship with exercise and in some ways, my relationship with myself; but, the quantifiable goal in all of that is, at its very core, is weighing less tomorrow than I do today.  

We'll be moving toward health, but first we need to move toward lowering that number on the scale and I know what you're saying, it can't only be about that number, and you're right.  There are so many factors that you must consider when you think about the number and there are so many non-scale victories that you can celebrate on this journey, but I'm going to be very frank with you here, and if you're like me and you've tried to walk this path toward health so many times in the past, you know that everything besides that number is lip service.  

Yes, believe me...

I'm going to celebrate with you when you fit into a size 20 and not a size 22.  

I'm going to celebrate with you when you can walk up the steps without feeling as though you're going to die.  

I'm going to celebrate with you when you can walk around in the summer, in your bathing suit and not feel as though you're the biggest thing on the beach.  

I'm going to celebrate with you when you say no to that third brownie.  

I'm going to celebrate with you when you go to put on your tights and you don't feel like you're stuffing sausage.  

I'm going to celebrate with you when you can paint your toenails without feeling like a circus acrobat because you're gut is in the way.  

I'm going to celebrate with you when your kids ask you to run around and play with them and you can mostly keep up with them.  I say mostly because let's be real, there isn't a one of us that have the energy of a five year old.

I'm going to celebrate with you when you fit in your airplane seat and don't need an extender belt.

I'm going to celebrate with you when you can go on any amusement park ride you want without having to worry if you're going to fit.

I'm going to celebrate with you when you can shave your legs in a tiny cubicle shower at your hotel without having it be like an Olympic event.

I'm going to celebrate with you when you look in the mirror and see yourself becoming the healthy person that has been hiding inside you.

I will be there to celebrate all of these things with you because I'm going to celebrate each of those milestones for myself.

But the bottom line in all of that - is this:  the number one factor we look at when we are trying to lose weight is the scale.  I've read all of the books and the blogs and everything else that says that you need to ignore that number, but hey, you've been there.  That's all fluff.  It's that "we're all winner" mentality that seems to be permeating everywhere today that drives me insane.  We know ourselves, we know we focus on that damn number above all else and if we ignore that and try to tell ourselves that all of those moments I outlined above mean more, we're lying to ourselves, at least, I know I am.

Another thing I want to say because I think it's important for you to know is this:  I do think you can be happy with yourself at any size, I don't buy into the thinking though, that you're healthy at any size.  I'm sorry, I just don't believe that.  I've seen too many x-rays and read too many medical records to believe for a minute that carrying around 100 extra pounds is healthy.  If that opinion bothers you, then I hope you'll just bypass my posts on the subject of weight loss.  Believe me, I'll never mention it again.  It's not something that I'll harp on, but I thought it was important to make sure that I'm completely transparent in my opinions on this so that you know ahead of time and can make a personal decision if you want to read further.

I look forward to taking this journey and hope that you'll join us.  You can expect: blog posts; a dedicated Facebook group; group accountability; encouragement; support; camaraderie; and for those interested, there will be a money buy in and a monetary reward for the person that losing the biggest percentage of weight.

We're excited!  I hope you can tell!

(Here's my disclaimer, folks:  I'm in no way a medical professional with the training it takes to be an expert on weight loss and healthy living.  I don't profess to be and anything I say here is for the sake of trying to motivate myself (and hopefully, in the process, motivate you) to lose weight.  Everything express here, unless it is otherwise credited are my own thoughts and opinions.  You may not agree with what I say.  You may have lost weight using a different mind set than I have - and if you have, I think that's awesome, but what I share here is me.  Open and honest, me.  Use the words however they are best suited for you.)

2016 RED Weight Loss Challenge

Photo Credit: 123rf.com

Photo Credit: 123rf.com

Was losing weight and being healthy on your list of 2016 resolutions.  I think that one goal has been on Shellie and my goal list every year since....well, let's just say it's been on there for awhile and you know something, we're both pretty tired of seeing it there.  Are you tired of seeing it on your list, too?  If you are, then we hope you'll read ahead....

We decided that it's time that we move losing weight from "to do" to "done".  Stew and I dubbed 2016: "get sexy 16" and while he's done great with it (see a post later this week about his journey), I have not.  Losing weight is something that Shellie and I discuss several times a week and we both agree that it's time that we move that goal from "to do" to "done."

One of the ways we thought would help us stay on track is to share our journey with you, but we know that a lot of our community have the same goal and so we wanted to take it a step further than that.  We didn't want to just tell you what we're doing, we want you to join us on this path.  As we close in on the midpoint of the year, there's no better time to start than now and so it's with that in mind that we will be launching the RED Weight Loss Challenge.

Here's what you can expect:

*A variety of blog posts, including, but not limited to: weekly status updates; victories and defeats; challenges; encouraging quotes; recipe shares; links to articles we found interesting or motivating
* A dedicated Facebook group where we can interact and share all of those things mentioned above and more in an encouraging, supportive, non-judgmental environment.
*Group accountability
*For those interested, a money buy in which will lead to a monetary reward for the person that lost the biggest percentage of weight

Details on how you can be a part of this special journey will be released over the next week and we'll plan to start July 1st.  Nope, not July 5th - let's get through that first holiday gathering while our motivation is at its highest!!

We both hope that you'll join us in taking this journey to achieve this goal for yourself.

 

Shellie: Okay...alright...confession time.

So I did some big talking.  I was going to jump in with both feet on the FitGirl challenge and it was going to be awesome.  I meant it.  I really did.  But since lying here would make this whole experience pretty pointless I'm going to tell the truth.  I totally failed.  I'm not proud but that's the reality.  I failed and right away.

I know that there are a million excuses and probably what I'm saying here is just that.  Whatcha gonna do?

I pulled out my Fitgirl book and read it cover to cover.  It has some good information in it although the "fluff" in there can be a bit overwhelming.  They can take one sentence and turn it into a page and a half and add in some random photos of puppies and unicorns and mermaids.  I'm not joking.  But the one sentence is still a good sentence so I'm not hating on this program.

I bought the food on my grocery list and did my meal prep for the first week.  This was part one of my issue.  Because of some stupidness at my house and with my landlord, I don't have any gas to run my stove at the moment.  There's possibly a leak so the tank has to be tested and that's taking way longer than it should.  Anyway.  I am doing all of my cooking with a toaster oven and a stand alone plug in skillet and a microwave.  So everything takes about 10 times as long and it made meal prep long and painful.  But I did it.

Week one I had my breakfasts and my lunches and a few of my dinners as I should.  I had to do another session of meal prep on Wednesday so again with the pain.

Then it came time for week 2 and it was all about the Kale and Quinoa and pumpkin lasagna and it just left me with a big batch of eh.  I know that those things are good for you.  And maybe I should eat them but facts are facts and I don't.  And what I want out of a healthy eating regimen is something I can stick to for the rest of my life.  Kale is not that.  And what in the ever lovin' heck is a quinoa??  So I was bitter.  And didn't shop.  Which makes prepping for a week's worth of meals... well..... impossible.

So I didn't have food for week 2 and all the good intentions came to a screeching halt.

Did I mention that I didn't do a single exercise during week one?  sigh. 

Failure.

However, I'm not giving up.  I'm working on a plan now on how to adapt this program to work in my life and I'll post about it soon.

Thanks for sticking through this awful post of not winning.  LOLWish me luck.

How are your new year resolutions about health and fitness going?  Please share!!

New and HEALTHY times ahead in 2016

Gina and I are excited (I swear) to get healthy in 2016 once and for all.  On January 4th we are starting the FitGirl program together with their 28 Day Jumpstart program. 

Since getting healthy is our February focus and this entire year is about encouraging ourselves and each other and all of you to live our best healthy and happy lives, we've decided to create this separate blog on the web site for this.

Starting in January we will be documenting that journey on these pages - the good, the bad and the ugly.  Yikes.

Wish us luck! Or better yet, join in...