Excellence… not Perfection

Hello out there!

So here we are, my first update since starting the 31 pound challenge… and so far, it’s GOOD!

As of this morning, I am actually down 5 pounds! Yes, that was fast, and it should tell you just how bad my eating has been. There was a LOT of crapola going into my mouth… and since I was acting like every day was a super bowl party, the food apparently decided to just hang around on my body and wait for the fun to begin. So am I more than happy to be getting rid of that garbage! But more important than what the scale says, I am feeling a huge difference in my energy, mood and general health.

It’s been easier than I expected to jump back into better eating. The key is clearly that I was ready to do it. I’ve been halfheartedly trying to do this for months, but it’s just like quitting smoking. You have to go all in, or you aren’t really getting anywhere. Sure, you can drink a diet protein shake for breakfast and lunch every day, but if you are eating nachos between the shakes, you just don’t lose weight. (Yes, folks that’s first hand knowledge. We will just consider that to have been a scientific experiment, repeated several times, ahem.)

Another bonus is the weather! The cooler temps of fall have hit and that has made a WORLD of difference in my outside activity. I love being out when the air is crisp, so I actually look forward to heading outside instead of finding every reason in the book to stay in the air conditioning.

First the pros:

I feel good. My body is definitely happier when I don’t eat junk. You would think this would always be a motivator to eat well… sadly it’s not.

We have been super active as a family- I took both boys on a run this am, which ended up being a total fiasco. Anthony complained the entire time we were running, everything from “My legs hurt” to “I hate running” to “We took a wrong turn and will never make it to the playground!”

Of course the minute we rounded the corner, (WALKING at this point) to the playground, he takes off like he’s the anchor leg in an Olympic relay. Grrrrrr.

Then Jack thought it would be fun to try to grab the grass next to the sidewalk as we ran past by leaning as far out of the side of the stroller as possible. When that didn’t work he decided to start chucking things out of the stroller as we were on the move. Helped me get some squats and lunges in while picking up the trail of nonsense we were leaving behind. Of course Anthony wanted to help push the stroller, which turned out to be more of a massive pull against it, thus increasing the weight and resistance for me… Such helpers!

Don’t worry, we DID actually make it to the playground!

We have also gone on family bike rides the past few nights which is not only fun, but I am really trying to teach the boys to be active and to learn about nutrition as they grow up. I don’t want them to go through this battle, so I figure the more they know (and move) now, the better!

Not a problem for Jack, he would join the circus tomorrow if they were in town and would be on the flying trapeze by the end of the day. More of a challenge for AJ as he has his father’s love of sitting and playing video games, and he would do so for HOURS on end if allowed. The good news is I don’t allow this. The bad news is, because it is also Curtis’ idea of a great day, he would allow it. So much fun to always have to be the bad guy!!!

(moving on)

Almost everyone in the house is eating healthier food … because that’s what I am buying. Lots of fruit, chicken and low fat dairy. My husband, not a big fan of anything that doesn’t fortify the wall building up inside his arteries, has become the hot dog master and is regularly scarfing down two of them a day for lunch. (PS he will still lose weight if he decides to only have one hot dog tomorrow instead of two. Feel free to stop by the house and slap him).

Support and camaraderie- I have gotten some fantastic messages ranging from kindergarten friends, to high school coaches, to mom friends. It’s been so cool to see how we all have such similar issues and to be able to support each other! I LOVE hearing from everyone! (So please keep on sending me messages!)

And of course, a few Cons:

Over Zealous- You may have noticed a trend if you have been with me for a while, I have a tendency to THROW myself into whatever idea I am excited about, much in the way one would throw themselves out of an airplane when sky diving.

It doesn’t leave a lot of time to focus on anything else… (“hmmm, where’s that parachute cord- did I feed the fish-should I pull the cord now-I think it’s time to get the oil changed in the car- That ground sure is coming up fast…”-)
Basically I am trying to keep from dropping the ball on the other 4,532 things I have happening.

Waiting for the other shoe to drop. There’s a little tiny voice that nags at me saying, “why will this time be any different… sure you lost 5 pounds but everyone knows that’s water weight. This success can’t go on forever!” Fortunately, most of the time I can tell this voice to stuff it, but every now and then I wonder if it’s right.

Zero patience for my lazy husband. Ok, so maybe he’s not really lazy. When I am up and running around and doing a million things, I lose my patience very quickly when everyone else in the house is not on board with my crazy plans and being as productive as I am. Fortunately, at some point self preservation kicks in and he goes and hides in the man cave in the basement. (If I can’t see him actively not doing anything, it actually helps, it’s when I see it that I come unglued.)

These aching bones: The biggest problem with making sure I get a productive workout in almost daily is that I push my time limits even further. When I get back to the house, I jump right back into life with the kids, which means I am clearly not stretching enough. My legs are sore, my back is a disaster, and I need to keep moving… SO I need to figure out a little more time to take care of myself. A big challenge for someone with no concept of time, space or distance.

So this is what I have been doing so far that seems to be working:

The # on my hand is helping me, not just as a visual cue, but as a glaring marker of my progress. I’ve had to explain to a few people why I have a number written on my hand (shame on them for not reading this blog!). This of course means everyone that knows what it is will be able to tell at a glance if I am on track or not! If the number is decreasing… HOORAY! If not…. well, we won’t go there, unless we have to. I will say, it’s been a kick to be able to write a smaller number each day. I KNOW that won’t always be the case, but I’m enjoying it for now!


I bought a TON of chicken breasts, then seasoned them with a little bit of olive oil and spicy seasonings and grilled them all up. Freezing most of them. It’s a great go to food when I am starving and just not sure what else to eat. I’ve been slicing it up and tossing it over some lettuce with salsa. TONS of flavor, good bulk and not a lot of calories. WINNING! Plus the kids love it. Hello, healthy food… MOMVICTORY!

I’ve been staying true to tracking with the myfitnesspal. It’s helping me plan out my day, and keeping me from blowing it out of the water at meal time.

And now a parting thought:

I was chatting with one of my mom friends at our sons’ baseball game Saturday and we were talking about how many decisions we have to make on a day to day basis. Everything from what to feed the kids to whether to send them to private school to what we are putting in our own mouths, and she shared with me some wisdom from her mom: “Strive for excellence, not perfection.” I love this. I think we all try to be perfect and it’s unrealistic. If we set a goal to be perfect, we will always fail on some level, but aiming to be excellent, now that’s a plan! (Thanks, B!)

An EXCELLENT example of cuteness! 🙂

So I am off to bed, tomorrow is another chance to try to be excellent and I’m going to need some sleep to get there!



Tara is a stay at home mom to two sons. She is a lover of family, friends, food and laughter. Her life is a roller coaster ride full of hilarity, diapers, exercise and fun.

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2 Responses

  1. Cherilyn says:

    I know a lot of people hate yoga because you feel like it isn’t burning enough calories for the time but if you can even just do 30 minutes and stretch your entire body you will feel so much better! See you in 10 months – your soon to be running buddy that you never asked for! ha ha.

    • Tara says:

      Great idea Cherilyn! I could use the stretching… I’ll see if they have a class going today, if not I have a few of the DVDs here. Then I can fall over in private! (Yoga is tough for the balance-challenged like me!) Looking forward to running with you!

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