I wasn't really sure what I wanted to share on the blog today. I knew it should be something Easter-related and I thought about finding a yummy, healthy Easter recipe to share, but then, I decided that focusing on JUST food seemed too small...I needed to go bigger. So I enlisted the help of my good friend, Google, and started searching around online for healthy Easter ideas. I found so many great ones, and I decided that for my post today, I would share my favorites with you!!
I'll go ahead and start with food...cause I love food and I found a couple of articles with LOTS of healthy holiday food ideas.
"For me, success did not come by way of the scale. I wanted to lose 10 pounds on this challenge and only lost 1. I was SO discouraged and depressed week after week about not losing any weight (and at times even gaining!) that I almost gave up. Thank goodness I was on the same team as family members that wouldn't let me quit. So, I don't consider that a success, BUT... and yes, my butt may have shrunk, there is still a big but here... I found success in so many other forms, even just being able to run up the stairs and not get winded was a success. I used to eat treats all day long. The first three weeks were VERY difficult for me to give up treats. I used to drool over them, dream about them and be angry if I couldn't have them. But now, I don't have ANY of those feelings anymore. In fact, tonight I turned down a root beer float (which I LOVE) even though I still have two treats left for the week. I just didn't feel like one. And that was a victory!
If you had a great start, but your resolve is faultering, know this... it's NOT too late to finish strong, even in an EPIC way! Don't let a few small setbacks become BIG setbacks. You're more capable than you know. Keep going. Keep moving forward in this FINAL STRETCH! Complete your workbook and do all you can to finish STRONG! Oh, and don't forget to gather your teams for the HEALTHY HOLIDAYS CHALLENGE and sign up before you run out of time. The deadline is September 30th.
Okay, we have one more week of results and then we'll announce the OVERALL WINNERS and send out the prizes!! I'm excited to see who took the top spots, aren't you? Okay, before I get too far ahead of myself, let's review the lineup from week 7...
We made it through another week of making healthy habits a consistent part of life! Give yourselves a great big pat on the back for all your efforts. For those of you who participated in the Tiebreaker Bonus, we hope that you enjoyed it and that it lifted your spirits this past week. I truly believe that gratitude is the key to a content, full and happy life. So, even if you don't get "points" for doing so, I encourage you to continue looking for all the things you have to be grateful for and take a moment to express that gratitude to those who need to hear it!
Many times we seem to tell ourselves that it's the BIG changes that are going to make the biggest difference in our health long-term and though that's not necessarily false, we've found that it is most often all the little things we do daily that makes the greatest impact for real, long-lasting changes to our overall health and well-being. Okay, okay.... I'll get off my stool now and announce the Week 5 Winners.
We received this success story from one of our Spring participants. Julianne worked so hard and we loved hearing that she was so close to reaching her goal, but more importantly, she felt great and was ready to take on a challenge like Trek.
We have some fun things happening this week at Lifetime Wellness Challenge. First, I get to announce our WEEK 6 SWEET POINTS WINNER! Congratulations, Christina B., for a job well done. Remember to all the Summer Shape Up Challenge participants, there's still 2 weeks left of this giveaway so make sure you keep earning all your sweet points to be included in the drawing.
Next, we have some awesome competitors who are taking charge of their health and working really hard to rise to the top of the leaderboard. We have many, many more who may not be at the the top this week are still dedicated to taking care of the body they have through developing and maintaining healthy habits. Check out this week's results below.
"I can't tell you how helpful it's been to actually have a program that holds me accountable in such a supportive way. I hit [a number on the scale this week] I haven't seen in probably 10 years. I can't describe the impact that seeing that show up on the scale did for me, my motivation and self confidence. Possibilities are opening up for me that physically were not possible two months ago. Do you have any idea how amazing that feels? I'm not just changing my weight. I'm changing how I experience life. That is much more of a change than I was expecting when I started what I initially thought was going to be my "next diet" program. Having a supportive team who motivates each other is the key to this great program. I definitely could not be doing this alone." Brian S., The All Mighty Huff & Puffs
I have been so impressed with Brian’s dedication to improving his health during the Summer Shape Up Challenge! Week after week he consistently works to build healthy habits through earning nearly all of his points each day. He’s seeing some amazing results because of his hard work!
Summer is the time of year that’s known for increased activity levels. There are trails to hike, lakes to swim, games to play and roads to be biked, but unfortunately it can also include hours of sitting on your backside. These days we just don’t tend to live close to all the summer activities we plan. The city or suburban dweller may have to travel 20 – 45 minutes before hitting a recreation area to enjoy or we may find that all the summer vacationing, road tripping, family reunion(ing) can include several days of “travel” before getting to the fun spot where we get to MOVE! So, what can we do to stay on track with our health goals and avoid losing momentum while hitting the open road? My answer?
Take Your Workouts “On the Road”
School is OUT and summer has officially begun! While I'm really enjoying not having a schedule and letting my kids stay up and sleep in a little later each day, I'm NOT loving how often they want to SNACK. Good grief! My youngest boy is a constant grazer and if I don't have something readily available that is healthy, he's just as happy to pull out the chips, squeeze cheese or popsicles (I will admit that I don't feed my kids ONLY healthy foods - especially if their father has recently been sent to the store for a few "essential" groceries). That being said, I do try to keep healthy snacks in the rotation and easy to access at all times. I was a little caught off guard last week though as I guess I just didn't realize how much the kids really ate during the day. This sent me scrambling to Pinterest for some healthy, EASY snacks that I could prepare ahead of time because although they LOVE my Energy Bites, I just can't keep them happy with those all summer long. I've found a LOT of really yummy options and wanted to share 2 of them with you today! Both of these recipes were inspired by recipes found on ChocolateCoveredKatie's website. If you love sweets and haven't checked out her recipes, I would HIGHLY recommend it. She's got soooo many delicious-looking, healthy desserts that I can't wait to try!
Remember the days of youth when summers felt long and full of free hours to fill with whatever kind of free spirited adventures you could think up before Mom called you in when it became dark? Yes, it's a distant memory for me, too. These days it feels like summer is just as busy as the holidays can be! What happened?!? Oh, that's right adulthood. All the responsibilities of work, church, children, appointments and then add in all the planning required for summer fun activities like lake visits, hiking, racing, vacations, sports, reunions, barbecues and it can get downright hectic.
You know what else can be surprisingly difficult during the summer? Earning all those sweets points each week. Let's be honest. Summer can be HARD when it comes to sweets! Maybe not as bad as say... the holidays, but pretty darn close! It seems like every activity, every barbecue, every gathering of any kind has sugary treats as the main event or at least a highlight to the shindig. I mean, really, when people think of summer, what images tend to come to mind other than sunshine and water? Ice cream and popsicles, of course!! Walking away from it all can become pretty difficult with a persistent host, but it IS possible. Something that I've found that helps me to navigate sticky situations to be vocal about my goals in casual conversation. That can make it much easier to make a good decision later when temptation is presented. These days most people can be pretty understanding and you'll find they may actually want to help you make good choices. Valerie wrote a post recently and highlighted how changing your personal dialogue from "I can't have that" to "I don't want to eat that" (or something similar) can really help overcome some of those tempting moments. If you're looking for good suggestions or a pep talk for making better choices you may find this posts helpful.
Do you sometimes wonder if those “little things” you’re doing every day such as eating 5+ fruits and vegetables, getting 30+ minutes of exercise, limiting (not forbidding) sweets, reaching out to others and all those other habits you’re working to develop, really make a difference? Let me tell you, THEY DO! The BEST part of my job is getting to hear all the wonderful successes that our participants experience and seeing those "little things" in action.
Brian S. wrote to us last week saying, “Feeling motivated and so excited that this is working and we're able to do this together with my team. It makes a huge difference. I buttoned the top button on my shirt this week and it fit. A small thing over all, but it was huge to me.” – Brian S. (The All Mighty Huff & Puffs)
He isn’t alone. There are many of you striving each week to do the “little things” and those little things are adding up and will pay off in a big way as you stay consistent.