Sandra’s Journey to 5K

A huge thank to my inspirational Bestie for all of her encouragement and for writing this sweet and supportive blog entry! Throughout the last several years she had encouraged me to find something physical that I loved and would challenge me so I might find an exercise routine easier to maintain. Running sure looked good on her, so she convinced me to try it. I was once 232 lbs and have found ways to maintain a 50 lb weight loss for several years but I have struggled to stay below a size 14. Through running I am now maintaining a size 12 and loving facing new challenges.


It’s not my story to tell, certainly not the whole story any way.  But I can share my experience… watching my first friend from childhood (we’ve been friends for nearly 40 years) set off on the journey to a fitter, healthier lifestyle.  She thanks me frequently… but it has been her hard work, focus, refocus, dedication and sweat that got her across the finish line of her first 5K.  All I did was cheer.

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Sandra would say that she was never an athletic person and probably confirm that physical activity was miserable.  It wasn’t something she enjoyed or gravitated toward.  In fact I believe that exercise was quite painful for Sandra – especially in the years that followed high school into our working life.

Somewhere in her late 30’s, Sandra began a journey of fitness and healthy living that has been truly motivation beyond belief.  You can read about her…

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Eat The Same Thing Every Day To Keep Your Health Goals


One of my fit friends has a habit of eating pretty much the same thing for every meal each day. I began to  think maybe the fitness and the routine were related. As I looked around online I saw several different health and weight loss articles supporting this theory and some good reasons why it works.

Many of us have trouble meeting our goals or maintaining weight loss because the planning and prep can become pretty complicated and time consuming depending on the plans you follow. Eating the same thing makes it easy to track nutrition and thus know our goals are being met. Planing once instead of re-planning every day also saves time and energy. If you chose three healthy and balanced meal choices and stick to them the complication factor goes out the window and the time involved in shopping, planning, and prep goes way down because you soon know exactly what you need and how much of it. You might even find that you save money by not over buying or buying lots of “extras”. In addition Those who eat the same thing every day become accustomed to the flavors and amounts and scientific studies show they are less willing to over indulge.

Those who have long term success in meeting their health goals or maintaining weight loss often live by this basic principle. They may not literally eat the same meals every day but they at least have a “pattern” of sameness”. For instance a breakfast of fruit and protein – an apple and peanut butter, one serving of grapes and a cheese stick, strawberries and yogurt. Try eating the same food every day for breakfast to start with. If you get bored you can always vary it like the choices above sticking to a limited number of options. When you are feeling comfortable add a lunch option that you think you could enjoy every day and that packs nutrition. Maybe a vegetable filled salad or soup would be a good choice. Then consider making every night’s dinner 8 oz of lean meat or fish (grilled or baked not fried) and a baked potato and steamed green veggie. Here’s to keeping it simple!



I was recently teaching a kid’s group at church and asked one of my fifth grade students to say a prayer over our snack. Head bowed and eyes closed he began, “Thank you Lord for this food and….” He paused, I opened my eyes to find him opening his. He shrugged, and said…”well?” I got what he wasn’t saying. He could not in good conscience ask God to use marshmallows and cookies to “nourish his body”.

This made me think. Am I being hypocritical when I say grace over my meals? Am I really eating the foods that God would wish for me to be given energy, vitality, and health. I have begun as I go to plan a meal, grab a snack, shop for grocery, or order in a restaurant to pray first and with real “attention” and “intention”.  “Lord help me to choose to fill my body with foods that you created for its health and well-being. Foods that will allow me to function well, think well, and serve you well.

When I begin this way I feel more accountable and more appreciative of the real purpose of eating. I still pick things I enjoy but I gravitate toward fruits, vegetables, unprocessed lean meats, and water very frequently. These foods will do my body good and were created for my well-being and my pleasure. What an awesome God to use a small child to help me better understand his will for my body, and my need to be intentional in taking even better care of it.


Downsizing Your Sweet Tooth

fun size

At lunch I said NO to the ice cream. I had eaten a healthy meal and didn’t need the extra calories. I also had no “calorie counts” for what was available and didn’t want to have to “guess-timate”. At dinner with family ice cream appeared again and again I said no. This evening however, I rewarded myself my picking up this tiny 5.8 fl oz container of mint chocolate chip at the grocery store. It was just 190 calories and boasts half the fat of regular ice cream. You don’t have to eliminate the good stuff in order to lose weight but do make educated choices. Keep portion control in mind and calories within your daily recommended range. This was very yummy and I didn’t miss the fat at all. Buying only a small container kept me from being tempted to over do. I consider that a win.

Get Fit With Netflix


Try using your video source for more than just entertainment. I have started a rotation of workout videos in my Netflix queue. In addition to the workouts they have in their streaming selection they have quite a few of the more popular fitness videos available by mail. Of the three videos we receive at a time I have chosen to make one always be a new workout. This keeps me excited about having something new to try. If you have Netflix, maybe you would like to do the same. Don’t have it? Schedule a once a week new workout session using YouTube videos or even check out options at the local library. These are great ways to keep things fresh and find new favorites.

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New Favorite Salad

I’ve really been enjoying Lean Cuisine’s new Salad Additions. Today for lunch I tried the Cranberry Chicken for the first time and I it I must have instinctively saved the best for last. When I make salads from scratch or order in a restaurant I frequently opt for cranberry and chicken combinations with a raspberry vinaigrette. This salad takes those basics to a new level with the addition of broccoli, red onion, yellow carrots, and a blend of whole grains.  The highlight is the wonderful flavor and crunch of the sesame sticks that top the salad. Yummy. This makes a great lunch that allows you to easily get lots of veggies and enjoy every one.


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“Or” Instead Of “And”

Consider substituting the word “or” for “and” in menu planning.  Soup “or” a sandwich.  A salad “or” a baked potato.  Save the second item for a snack later in the day.


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