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I’m turning 30 in just over a month. *gulp*

For the last few months, I’ve been totally freaked out over the thought of turning 30. Why? I don’t really know.

There was always that next big milestone to look forward to – 16 & driving a car; 18 & graduation; 21 & drinking (legally).

What’s  to look forward to at 30? Being a grown up? I feel like I should have accomplished more. You know, those things that society tells you that you should have – husband, 2.5 kids, a house & a career on the up & up.

What do I have? A divorce (finalized a mere month before my birthday), two cats and a corporate job that seems more like quicksand than anything else.

But hold on a minute …. Focusing on those things is exactly why I’ve been freaking out. Negative thinking will get you nowhere. I realized last night it’s time to shift my focus and realize all the wonderful things I have accomplished.

Since the last big milestone birthday (21), I have:

  • Earned my bachelors degree – in 4 years.
  • Successfully moved 3 times. Once completely by myself and in a snowstorm. (Double points for that, right?)
  • Adopted the best cats ever.
  • Officially quit caffeine & soda. (After about 10 tries!)
  • Started running and am consistently logging 2-4 miles each run.
  • Followed a dream & am becoming certified as a holistic health counselor.
  • Started my own health counseling practice.
  • Lost 28 lbs (so far!) and am finally feeling healthy.

Plus, by my birthday, I will have:

  • Run 4 races – #4 is on May 22.
  • Completely paid off my student loan.
  • Be debt-free (other than my car).

I’d say that’s quite a bit to be proud of, right?

Now, I’m not so afraid of 30. In fact, I want to use this birthday as a reason to be my healthiest yet. Over the next month, I’m going to step up my workouts and really focus on being the healthiest me possible. (Plus, I’ve got to get ready for hanging on the beach and rockin’ a bikini!)

My 20’s weren’t that bad, but I’m determined to make my 30’s the best yet.

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I’m way pumped about the results, so here they are:

Starting:
High waist (smallest point): 33 inches
Waist: 37 inches
Hips: 39.5 inches

Ending:
High waist (smallest point): 30.5 inches
Waist: 36 inches
Hips: 37.5 inches

Total loss: 5.5 inches.

Um, is my math correct, cause that sounds freakin’ awesome!!!! Here are some photo comparisons. The before photo was taken in October/November when the first whittle my middle challenge happened. (Sorry the photos are terrible – it’s hard to take pics of yourself in the mirror!)

Before whittle my middle

After whittle my middle

Before whittle my middle

After whittle my middle (like my jammie pants?)

I’m definitely not sporting the “oh my god, I could grate cheese on your abs” abs, but I’m totally pumped with these results. I love that I’ve still got curves and a little bit of  softness – makes me feel like a woman. I do feel like there’s definition now and I certainly feel stronger! It’s amazing what 30 days will do to your body. I’ll keep doing some kind of ab workout – esp. planks & side planks, I feel like those were the most useful. Thank you Angela for doing this challenge again!

(P.S.: The scale said 134.4 today!)

Day 29: The day totally got away from me, so I’m adding a day to my challenge.

Day 30:

  • Front plank: 2 min
  • Side plank:  1 min each side
  • Torso twists: 40 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 15 reps
  • Boat pose: 1 min
  • Bicycle: 50 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  15 reps each side

Day 31:

  • Front plank: 2 min
  • Side plank:  1 min 30 sec. each side
  • Torso twists: 50 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 15 reps
  • Boat pose: 1 min
  • Bicycle: 50 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  15 reps each side

Day 22:

  • Front plank: 2 min
  • Side plank:  1 min each side
  • Torso twists: 35 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 15 reps
  • Boat pose: 1 min
  • Bicycle: 50 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  15 reps each side

Day 23: 2.6 mile run +abs

  • Front plank: 2 min – This was REALLY hard today.
  • Side plank:  1 min each side
  • Torso twists: 35 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 15 reps
  • Boat pose: 1 min
  • Bicycle: 50 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  15 reps each side

Day 24: rest

Day 25:

  • Front plank: 2 min
  • Side plank:  1 min each side
  • Torso twists: 35 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 15 reps
  • Boat pose: 1 min
  • Bicycle: 50 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  15 reps each side

Day 26:

  • Front plank: 2 min
  • Side plank:  1 min each side
  • Torso twists: 40 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 15 reps
  • Boat pose: 1 min
  • Bicycle: 50 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  15 reps each side

Day 27:

  • Front plank: 2 min
  • Side plank:  1 min each side
  • Torso twists: 40 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 15 reps
  • Boat pose: 1 min
  • Bicycle: 50 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  15 reps each side

Day 28: 2.8 mile run. & rest day

Three days to go in this challenge!!

Day 15:

  • Front plank: 1 min 30 seconds
  • Side plank:  45 seconds each side
  • Torso twists: 30 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 12 reps
  • Boat pose: 45 seconds
  • Bicycle: 50 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  12 reps each side

Day 16:

  • Front plank: 1 min 45 seconds
  • Side plank:  1 min each side
  • Torso twists: 30 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 15 reps
  • Boat pose: 1 min (KILLER! I hate this one)
  • Bicycle: 50 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  15 reps each side

Day 17: Run 2.1 miles (abs rest)

Day 18:

  • Front plank: 1 min 45 seconds
  • Side plank:  1 min each side
  • Torso twists: 30 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 15 reps
  • Boat pose: 1 min
  • Bicycle: 50 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  15 reps each side

Day 19:

  • Front plank: 1 min 45 seconds
  • Side plank:  1 min each side
  • Torso twists: 30 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 15 reps
  • Boat pose: 1 min
  • Bicycle: 50 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  15 reps each side

Day 20: abbreviated version as it was SUPER late when I got to this.

  • Front plank: 1 min 45 seconds
  • Side plank:  1 min each side
  • Torso twists: 30 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 15 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  15 reps each side

Day 21: Took a 2-hour belly dancing class! SO much fun. I decided I could skip the WMM routine after that. 🙂

Day 8: Accidental rest day (oops)

Day 9:

  • Front plank: 1 min 15 seconds
  • Side plank:  45 seconds each side
  • Torso twists: 25 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 12 reps
  • Boat pose: 45 seconds
  • Bicycle: 40 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  10 reps each side

Day 10:

  • Front plank: 1 min 15 seconds
  • Side plank:  45 seconds each side
  • Torso twists: 25 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 12 reps
  • Boat pose: 45 seconds
  • Bicycle: 40 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  10 reps each side

Day 11: 1.5 miles run outside.
Almost didn’t get my ab workout done today, but I squeezed it in before bed. Those plank ups are KILLER!

  • Front plank: 1 min 15 seconds
  • Side plank:  45 seconds each side
  • Torso twists: 25 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 12 reps
  • Boat pose: 45 seconds
  • Bicycle: 40 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  12 reps each side

Day 12:

  • Front plank: 1 min 15 seconds
  • Side plank:  45 seconds each side
  • Torso twists: 25 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 12 reps
  • Boat pose: 45 seconds
  • Bicycle: 50 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  12 reps each side

Day 13: Rest day

Day 14: Accidental rest day – I realized as I was falling asleep that I forgot to do my workout! oops.

Definitely not a great week on the running front, but overall I’m not that disappointed. Half-way there!

Ok, I have more than one pair, but I’m talking about a specific pair.

They’re cargo pants from Old Navy that I bought about 3-4 years ago. At the time, they were a little too big – as in, I could pull them on/off without unbuttoning them.

Then life happened and I seemed to balloon …. At my heaviest (158ish), I tossed the pants in the back corner of the closet, knowing I’d never get back into them.

Then, I changed my attitude, my eating habits, my activity level and kept thinking about those pants. I knew that if I ever got to the point where I could pull them on/off without unbuttoning them again, I’d be successful in this fitness endeavor.

Well, the day has come, and I’m happy to say those kahki cargos I love so much are falling off! Sweet success!!

Bonus: The scale this morning (and yesterday morning) said 135.6 … Officially 20+ pounds lighter than I was 10 months ago when I decided enough was enough.

Was it hard, yeah. Was it worth it, hell yeah! Not only do I feel great & think I look pretty darn good, I’m learning to love my body and nourish it in all the right ways – good food, exercise, & positive thoughts.

Can you do it too? HELL YES! And I’ll be here cheering you on as you do it. 🙂

I only got through about a week of the first whittle my middle challenge by Angela at Oh She Glows. This time, I’m determined to go the distance. I’m going to be posting my workouts here in order to keep myself accountable and see my progress.

Here are my starting stats:

High waist (smallest point): 33 inches
Waist: 37 inches
Hips: 39.5 inches

Day 1:

  • Front plank: 60 seconds
  • Side plank:  30 seconds each side
  • Torso twists: 15 reps each side
  • Plank ups: 10 reps
  • Boat pose: 30 seconds
  • Bicycle: 30 reps
  • Side plank w/ twists:  8 reps each side

Anyone else realize that it’s really Day 15 of my 30 days of running and I haven’t updated since Day 6?

Um, yeah, well … lets just call this project a big, fat, failure. *hanging head in shame* Here’s the truth – I’m completely afraid of hurting myself. And hobbling around for 4 days with minor shin splints was enough for me to take a step back and re-evaluate what I’m doing.

One of the things I love about goals is that they’re always open to revisions and tweaks. We’ve all had to revise goals – either making them more or less challenging. And, for a while there, I was really disappointed in my inability to stick with this particular goal. But, then I read these quotes:

“It is on our failures that we base a new and different and better success.” – Havelock Ellis

“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely.” – Henry Ford

“There is no failure except in no longer trying.” – Elbert Hubbard

“What we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down.” – Mary Pickford

So, with those inspirational messages, I’m revising my goal … I’ve signed up for the Festival Foods Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day. My goal is to run the 2-mile course in under 30 minutes. A modest goal, yes, but I know myself, and this is something that isn’t totally unattainable – like the 30 days of running, which I seriously questioned right from the beginning.

I think from now on my running goals will be in milage for the month. Life seems to get extremely complicated whenever I try to do a goal that requires everyday activity. Plus, I really want to start focusing on some other activities too – yoga and maybe Jillian Michael’s 30 day Shred. I think it’s the cooler weather that has me wanting to stay indoors more. (Though I do plan to try getting outdoors more this winter as part of Angela’s Project Snow – thankfully snow shoveling counts!)

So, here’s my question for you: Have you ever had to revise a goal and how did that make you feel?


I’ve slacked off for too long … specifically, since the race. It’s time to get back on track. Here’s my plan:

Workouts this week:

Tuesday – run (at least a mile)
Wednesday – off
Thursday – yoga/wii fit/video (pick one)
Friday  – run (at least a mile)
Saturday –  yoga/wii fit/video (pick one)

As for food, I’ve been doing VERY badly lately. Mostly in the aspect of not eating enough throughout the day and then being famished around 9 p.m. NOT cool. Here are a few things I’m gonna focus on:

– eating breakfast as soon as I get up (this morning, I didn’t eat anything ‘real’ until almost 1 p.m. – and I was up at 10.)
– green smoothie in the afternoon.
– salad with dinner
– pay attention to my protein intake – my uncle (a retired doctor) told me I might not be getting enough.
– lay off the sweet carbs. I’ve been craving breads/muffins/cookies/cakes lately.

On a separate, but related note, I’ve got good news!! I enrolled with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition for their distance learning program. I’m so excited to be focusing on something positive and learning more about nutrition and how to live a healthier life. Plus, I can’t wait to share all my knowledge and help others become healthier. I finally feel like I’m doing something good for myself and my future!

Wow. 20 weeks. Can you believe it? Some days I really can’t! Here are a few things I’ve learned over the last 20 weeks:

  • No matter what happens, you have to stay positive! Some days will be harder than others, and you’ll fall off the wagon, but the important thing is to realize you’re doing it, forgive yourself for making a mistake and recommit to being healthy. As Jenna, a fellow blogger, said in a recent article: You will not gain weight from one indulgent night on the town. It’s OK.
  • You can’t expect to get healthy if you’re not doing it for yourself. In addition, you can’t force anyone else to become healthy. When you want it for YOU is when it will happen.
  • Start with small changes. No one says the only way to get in the pool is to jump into the deep end with both feet. It’s TOTALLY OK to wade in from zero-depth entrance. If cutting out all soda is too much, try cutting out one a day. If trying a new fruit/vegetable a week is too much, try one a month. Go at your own pace. And don’t let anyone else tell you how you should be doing things – only YOU know what is best for YOU.
  • LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! It’s the only one you’ve got – so be nice. Everything you feel is your body’s way of telling you what’s going on. It may take a while to decipher what it’s telling you, but it will happen.
  • Numbers on the scale are just that – numbers. They don’t mean anything. Base your weight-loss on how you FEEL.
  • Celebrate your accomplishments – no matter how small. Set up a reward system and stick to it. Find inexpensive things (nail polish, new magazine, new book, CD, etc.) to reward yourself for accomplishments. It will make you feel good and keep you motivated.
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things – you never know what you may find you like. Try yoga, or a spinning class, or running (the C25K program is awesome for beginners). Try new, healthy foods like lentils, millet, almond butter, a green monster/smoothie, chia seeds, quinoa, etc.

Here are a few photos I had Scott take of me today. I couldn’t decide which I liked better – I see flaws in each – but at the same time, I have to compare that to the photos I took 20 weeks ago (bottom). Even though I didn’t reach the 20 lb. loss mark, I’m still extremely proud of the 15.6 lbs I have lost.

Jess at end of 20/20 challenge

Jess at end of 20/20 challenge

Jess at end of 20/20 challenge - 15.6 lbs. lighter

Jess at end of 20/20 challenge

Jess at end of 20/20 challenge

Jess at end of 20/20 challenge

Jess at end of 20/20 challenge

Jess at end of 20/20 challenge

Jess before 20/20 challenge at 156 lbs.

Jess before 20/20 challenge at 156 lbs.

Jess before 20/20 challenge at 156 lbs.

Jess before 20/20 challenge at 156 lbs.