A Christmas Challenge

I’m starting to become one of those people I can’t stand—someone who makes big noise about setting goals and then never accomplishes them.

Traveling so much this year has been hard on me, as has being in a financial crunch for most of the year, meaning that I’m either having to eat whatever’s put in front of me (or fast food when I’m not being reimbursed for travel expenses) when I’m on all these trips or that I’m having to buy the cheapest foods available to eat at home—and those are never the healthiest choices in the store.

But, I am now going to be home for the longest stretch of time in 2010—almost nine weeks at home without as much as an overnight trip anywhere. Then, it’s a week with my parents at Thanksgiving (where my mom and I can egg each other on to make healthy choices together) and back home until I go back to see them the week of Christmas. So I have three goals for the last quarter of 2010 (at least as far as this blog is concerned):

  • At least 30 minutes of activity every day of the week. This can be walking on the treadmill or swimming at the gym (and I just ordered a pair of the Danskin toners from Walmart—only $20!), walking in the neighborhood (the weather’s supposed to be absolutely perfect this week), or getting out my Shimmy (belly dancing) exercise DVD and using it.
  • Make healthy food choices every day—and document it on FitDay.com. I’m going to be sticking to a healthy low-carb diet: basically leaner proteins, veggies, limited whole grains and dairy, and fruit after I break the sugar addiction a few weeks into it. (And if you’d like to check in and make sure I’m doing this, sign up for a free account of Fit Day and become my “friend” so you can access my Journal.)
  • Lose FIFTEEN pounds by Christmas. I made this commitment verbally to Jeane Wynn, my publicist, at the ACFW conference, so now I’m putting it in writing. I’d love to rejoin Weight Watchers, but it just isn’t in the finances right now. So I’ll weigh myself on Wednesday mornings and report it here.

Obviously, the main reason I need to do this is for my health. I’m tired of feeling tired; I’m tired of my back hurting when I wake up in the mornings. But I also need to do this because I need to fit back into all of my clothes. After regaining twenty pounds of the fifty I’d lost by this time last year, none of my size 22 clothes fit, which is most of what was in my closet, as I’d been getting rid of clothes as I got too small for them (I almost said as they got too big for me). I’ve had to spend far more money than I should have on larger size clothes this year—mostly stuff I could wear to all these events/meetings/conferences/speaking engagements, since I couldn’t just show up in stretchy knit pants—and I’m not wanting to have to buy more larger-size clothes for the winter. I want to wear all the cute stuff I already have: sweaters and tops and skirts and pants and jeans and jackets. Mostly, I want to regain the confidence I’d started feeling when the numbers on the scale started inching down toward 260—and then broke to 258, the least I’d weighed in I don’t know how long.

It’s sad . . . two years ago at the ACFW conference, when I’d been losing weight (working out and eating right) successfully for nine months, I jumped into group pictures and handed people my camera so I could have pictures of me with everyone I know. This year, even though I wasn’t consciously avoiding cameras, I didn’t make an effort to get pictures taken with anyone—and I only ended up with one photo on my camera of me with anyone else . . . with a member of my local writing group, Jodie Bailey, before the banquet:

I was so uncomfortable in that dress and in those heels that I ended up leaving before the actual awards portion of the evening started, went back up to my room to change into comfy (larger-sized) jeans and a (larger-sized) T-shirt, then took my laptop back down to the lobby where I sprawled on the sofa and read the live blog of the awards presentations.

So, Monday morning, I’m taking my whiteboard back into the kitchen and going through the relatively well-stocked fridge and freezer and making a food plan for the week. Wednesday, I’ll weigh in for my baseline/starting weight for this fifteen-pound challenge.


About Kaye Dacus

Kaye Dacus Academic Editor (at NCU). Published Author (11 novels, dozens of articles, essays, poems). Prolific Procrastinator. www.kayedacus.com
This entry was posted in Activity Report, Food Journal, Weekly Weigh-In, Weight Loss Journal. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A Christmas Challenge

  1. PatriciaW says:

    Kaye, we have the same goals. Only I didn’t tell anyone…yet. I’m telling you. 15 lbs by Christmas.


  2. Aubrey says:

    You can do it!

    I’m not sure how you feel about it, but Alli has really helped me, as has the whole plan, making a lifestyle change, and exercising. When you can afford one, or if you find a good deal on Craig’s List, I highly recommend getting a bicycle. It’s low-impact, but GREAT exercise, and you work far more muscles than you would think (seriously, I used to think it would only work the legs–boy was I wrong). Plus, you don’t have to pay a gym membership to use it. πŸ™‚


    • Kaye Dacus says:

      I do have Alli and it does seem to help—and it can also serve as a great reminder to stick to my healthy food plan. πŸ˜‰

      I can’t do the bike thing—I had back surgery for a ruptured disc (L4) in 2003 and one of the things they told me to avoid is riding a bike, because it puts too much strain on the lower back. Also, I don’t have anywhere to store a bike other than in my living room. No garage, no storage building, no mudroom. That’s why I decided to join the gym instead of purchasing a treadmill for at home. I just don’t have the room for it.


  3. Carla Gade says:

    Fabulous by 50 would be a good goal for me. Gives me a little over a year.

    I like your goal of losing 15 pounds by Christmas. I might be able to do that. I do agree with you that losing, and even maintaining weight, is hard with budget and time constraints.

    A friend of mine makes her meals for the week on Sundays and it makes sure she and her family eat healthy during the week when she’s so busy. Not a bad idea.

    I hope you meet your goal!!



    • Kaye Dacus says:

      Carla–I think Fabulous by Fifty is a great idea! (And if you start blogging it, be sure to send me the link so I can link to it here!)

      When I was working full-time, especially when I was finishing my undergraduate degree, which meant being out of the house until after 9 p.m. almost every day of the week, I tried to do the cooking for the week on Sundays. My problem is that I have this weird hangup about leftovers. Even if it’s a dish I loved when I first made it, after it’s sat in the fridge a couple of days, I’ll turn up my nose at it. That’s why the daily meal plan works for me—because when I go into the kitchen first thing to make coffee and breakfast, I can look to see what needs to be taken out of the freezer for fix for supper that night (and when I get meat home, I automatically repackage it into single pieces/servings before putting it in the freezer).

      The funny thing is, I can eat pretty much the exact same thing for breakfast and lunch every day for weeks without it bothering me at all. But sometimes supper stymies me, because I get really tired of the 1 protein plus 2 veggies formula, even if it’s a different protein and different veggies every day.


  4. Carla Gade says:

    By the way, Kaye, I did the same thing at the Women’s retreat I was at the same weekend as the ACFW conference. Hid from cameras. I must say, that you ALWAYS look beautiful.


    • Kaye Dacus says:

      You’re too sweet.

      And if you’re able to make it to ACFW next year, we’re DEFINITELY getting a picture of us together, both in regular clothes and all decked out for the awards banquet. Because we’re going to look (and better yet, FEEL) fabulous by then!


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