Oxygen Challenge 4

On July 16th I started a 90 day challenge that is being sponsored by Oxygen Magazine. This challenge had two teams you could choose from, #teamjen (Jen Widerstrom) or #teamkarina (Karina Smirnoff). Of course when I signed up there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to be on Jen’s team. Over the last year and half that I have personally known Jen, and even before doing her dietbets, she has never steered me wrong. I have seen the kind of progress I can make with her coaching and it’s pretty incredible.

I’m doing this 90 day challenge as a late birthday present to myself and to show myself that I can be consistent, make changes and stick to something. I always seem to get to a point where I’m scare to move forward and I start to revert back to my old habits for one reason or another. I find myself trying to make sure everyone else okay instead of taking care of myself because of having to transition from being daughter first to my dad to being his caregiver first. I also get to a point where I hear my mom’s voice in my head. Before she passed she embarked on her own weight loss journey and was super successful. I was super proud of her, but it got to the point where she would tell me every day or ever week that she was down x number of pounds and was now in x size pants and tops. I know she didn’t mean to make me feel bad and insecure about myself, but it really messed with me mentally and when I get to a certain point I hear those comments and give up. I’m working on not letting that happen this time.

This 90 day challenge is me starting over, yet again, but also proving to myself that I can do whatever I set my mind to. I’ve done it before with other things in my life. Thinking back to all the IMEA music competitions I performed in playing solos on my violin or duos and trios and being ecstatic when all of my hard work and persistence paid off and I would get a medal, or even moving up from the second violin section to the first violin section. None of those things happened over night. It took years of practice and hard work to get to that place. I know I can do this. 90 days seems like a long time, but I know it will be over in the blink of an eye. Part of this challenge also allows you to potentially be on the cover of Oxygen Magazine for the January/February issue. I submitted before pictures for this. With the thousands of women who have signed up for this challenge, I know it will be a long shot for me to win being on the cover of a magazine, but it’s something I wanted to do for me and if nothing else, allow me to create my own before and after story for myself.

Below is proof of what I was able to accomplish in just 28 days doing one of Jen’s dietbets below. The weight loss was only about eight pounds but the inches I lost were amazing. I wish I would have done before and after measurements. I’m also posting my before pictures below at the start of the Oxygen Challenge and will post progress photos along the way, not only to keep myself accountable, but to see the changes even if I can’t feel them, because let’s be honest when you are in your own skin it’s hard to see the changes when you look in the mirror. You tend to still see the person you were before and photos are proof that what you are doing is working. There are 85 days left in the challenge and I’m excited for the road ahead.

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Taking Care of Myself

For the first time in almost 7 years I have the opportunity to focus on myself and my needs. Being a caregiver to my father who had many health issues was so hard, but I would do it all over again if I had to. My dad was my rock and I can’t believe that it has been a month today since he passed. It doesn’t feel like it has been a full 30 days. I remember vividly the week before he passed when I asked him one day how he was doing he told me he felt like he was dying. I told him he wasn’t and that his infection and other labs were getting better. By 11/28 he could tell it was his time to go. I was in the waiting room with a couple of friends because they were going to get my dad cleaned up. During that time he ended up getting sick and was really agitated, so the nurse called me and asked me to come back to his room. When I did, I could just tell he looked different than he had before and he was more alert. I walked over to his hospital bed and held his hand. He looked at me and said “Remember what we talked about last week baby, I think it’s time”. Hearing those words were heartbreaking. I gave him a big hug and then because I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to my mom, I was able to get video of my dad telling me he loved me. I’m grateful I was able to get that and I still have several voicemails from him, but something else special that I have is songs that he sang. My dad sung pretty much all his life, and loved Elvis. Once I was done taking care of his arrangements and other running around that needed to be done, I sat down at his computer and pulled up his music. I found a folder that had several songs he recorded and also found a record in the spare bedroom that he was on when his high school choir recorded a Christmas album. I’m so grateful to have these things.

Since my dad’s passing I have been having a hard time with cooking at home. Until last night I had been stopping on my way home to get something through a drive thru or a microwavable dinner. I know those aren’t good for me, so last night I went shopping and actually got some healthy stuff. Yesterday I started a 40 day challenge called ShapeGoal40 being hosted by Jen Widerstrom and Shape magazine. Back in February this year I met Jen after the release of her book Diet Right For Your Personality Type. We talked for a few minutes and she remembered me from one of her DietBet’s I did. She and I have kept in touch since then and I knew that this would be the perfect time to tackle this challenge head on. I have my goals written down and posted to my Instagram (cubbie_87). I convinced a friend to sign up and I’m super excited for these next 40 days. Life has a crazy way of timing sometimes. Part of my goal is to lose weight because I have put on at least 30 pounds since meeting Jen. But there is so much more to my goal than the weight loss, so if you are interested go check out my Instagram and while you’re at it go follow Jen on their as well (@jenwiderstrom). She’s had such an impact on my life and I love that she and I have been able to keep in touch.

As time goes on I will share more about my life as being a caregiver and more of my story, but I felt like today these are the things I really needed to share. It hit me pretty hard this afternoon and needed to get it out so it doesn’t eat away at me inside. If you are interested on doing the ShapeGoal40 with me, you can search for Shape’s page on Facebook and all the information you need is there. I also have a Planet Fitness membership that allows me to take a guest, so if you want to join me at the gym, let me know!