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“That’s the way, uh huh, uh, huh. I like it, uh huh, uh huh!” I LOST 30 POUNDS in less than 3 months! That’s the equivalent of a 3-year old toddler or a medium-sized dog! It’s hard to imagine that I had that much extra body mass around me. Let me tell you – it feels amazing. I suppose my readers are starting to get a little annoyed but not me. NEVER!

At my weekly Team Meeting this morning, we each had to say one word to describe our state of mind and mine was “Empowered!” Everyone else said words like, “OK, alright, survival” but that just seems silly to me. There is this whole limitless, great big world out there! Why do people get so bogged down by their jobs, classes and circumstances? Open your eyes and imagine the possibilities! Reach out and grab a hold of all of the opportunities! You might be struggling through something right now but it is temporary. Look beyond that deadline and prepare your mind for great things to come!

This project has forced me to really look into my soul, since I am so focused on myself and am writing every day. I am learning that I kind of like this attention. OK, so I like it a lot. Since social media started, the only account I opened was with Facebook and I have not started many posts. I almost never put my picture on there unless I am covered up by someone or there is a perfect angle so as to hide my fat rolls. I have not started taking photos of myself yet, but that is my new short-term goal.

Now that I have officially started my blog, I need to start posting (ugh) selfies on Instagram so they show up in the feed that is directly linked to the homepage. I have plenty of “before” photos – well a few anyway – and now I need lots of new “after” photos that show how I am doing in different increments along the way. Seeing the photos would even help me to solidify my self-confidence and maybe incentivize me to keep pushing forward. My face has already changed so much that I cannot imagine how much more it can lose, but the scale says I am not even halfway to my goal yet! The weight keeps falling off pretty quickly, though, so that must mean that there is still a significant amount available. My body is in full fat-burning mode, though, so I am not going to let up!

Today, I followed all of the “rules” I have set for myself, which includes eating within my calorie range and working out as much as possible. I did a 50 minute strength training class at lunch and I walked 3 miles with Rhonda in the evening. We were so thankful for another beautiful, early fall evening in North Dakota because we know the nice weather will not last long. In fact, the temperatures will start to lower every day for the next week and the wind is supposed to blow like the dickens. So we also made sure to appreciate all of the fall colors because the wind will most certainly steal that beauty from us like a burglar in the night and we will wake up to dead, barren trees.

After almost 3 months of tracking, I am naturally eating the right amount of calories without even knowing it. I got through the whole day before I realized that I had not entered any of my food into my diary. I was not worried because I knew I would have plenty of exercise calories, but I was pleasantly surprised after typing in my meals and snacks that I came within 25 calories of my goal without even trying. My breakfast almost never changes and I packed a sandwich and snacks for lunch, so I knew those were good choices. Then I made a chicken quesadilla for supper, using low-carb tortillas and light sour cream, which also kept the calories lower. There was even room for me to have chocolate pudding with light whipped topping on the side! To top it off (figuratively this time), the calories I gained from walking were all extra so when I pushed that magic button, My Fitness Pal said I would weigh 198 pounds in 5 weeks!!! I just love seeing those numbers that begin with a ONE!

After my long day, I sat down at my desk to journal and made a phone call to change some flights to Florida that we will be taking in October. I had no problem getting what I wanted because most people are still not ready to leave the house, much less take trips to far away states. But that is what I am telling you – stop stressing and worrying about things you cannot control and think about your future. Make plans to do things you enjoy! Believe me, we will wear masks and wash our hands like crazy. Hopefully we will not be seated close to anyone that is coughing and sneezing, but if it happens, so be it. None of the people going on the trip have any health risks and we are all fairly young, so why not take a trip?

Plus, we planned this trip with the same family I mentioned a few weeks ago – the one with the husband/father that died in a motorcycle accident. It was my husband’s best friend. His widow and their daughter are close with our family as well. We owe it to him and them to make the most of this short life we are given. We remember how they helped us through the loss of our daughter, like many people did, and we want to return the sentiment. Frankly, it will help us to deal with our grief as well!

In fact, all of the work I have done for the last few months has filled me with empowerment. It was harder as first, of course, to convince myself that I could do it, but now after all of the amazing results, it is a natural belief. It is filtering into all the different areas of my life, giving me such a boost of self-confidence, which in turn makes me a better employee, wife, mother, friend, work-out buddy, etc. I am not going to let anyone or anything (ie Coronavirus) take that away from me. We might be the only families on those airplanes but hey – more leg room!

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