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Five Pound Challenge Update

It was May 12th that I first opened the 5 Pound Challenge up to everyone and quite a few of you signed on board. It all started with my friends Lucy and Cheryl and I, then Rich, Heidi and Brenda jumped on board and many of my friends and readers as well. We’ve all had mixed results but everyone has been successful on some level. The challenge just gave us all a reason to work a little harder.

My first five pounds, which we gave ourselves a month to lose, was pretty easy and I am very pleased that I have managed to keep that weight off. However, the second five pounds has been a bigger challenge. Actually, I’ve lost it and gained it back a dozen times but now I am holding steady at just two pounds to go for my second five pounds. Rich takes the prize and has reached the 10# mark already, but is barely hovering on that line. He’s much more self-disciplined than I am when it comes to food, but I am more religious about working out.

I was inspired by the second five pound challenge to increase my workout routine. I’ve been walking 2.6 miles every day for some time but in the last couple months I started running the 2.6 miles one day, then doing another 2.6 mile hill climb the next (we fondly refer to this as “Butt Hill”, it’s a 600 feet altitude gain  in 1.3 miles, ending at 8500’ above sea level), then I run downhill. I also added a half hour evening workout three days/week (10 minute dance workouts—I love them!). While the increase in exercise hasn’t helped me lose much more weight yet, I am definitely getting fitter and I see the results in the mirror and the way my jeans fit, so I am pretty happy with that. If I can just find the right amount of exercise that would let me eat whatever I wanted (within reason), I’d be happy. Anyone found that magic formula yet?

So that’s how I am doing, how about you? Many of you have asked me about the five pound challenge over the past weeks, so now you know the scoop on me. I’d like to know how YOU are doing—those of you that joined on– back from your honeymoon, or getting more summer exercise or staying disciplined at parties or not trying to lose weight but just get in better shape. What tricks have you found work for you and what pitfalls have you been unable to avoid?

I have to say, I feel pretty good for just turning 50. Yes, I’d like to shed a few more pounds and you can always be in better shape, but I am happy where I am and I hope  you are too. But losing weight (if you need to) and getting in better shape makes us all feel better about ourselves and gives us a goal to strive for. I hope you agree!


February 2016

My husband reminded me that we are going on a beach vacation soon— Yikes! The double whammy! Vacation calories plus skimpy clothing and bathing suits. If that doesn’t motivate me to lose weight, then what will? What was I thinking planning a beach vacation in the middle of winter? After the beach trip, I am headed to Arizona for the TV shoot and it’s true what they say about TV—it is not flattering to the figure (hence, the most common comment I get about the TV show—wow, you sure are smaller in real life!). So now I have incentive to keep trim; and lots of it! But seriously, I am way more concerned about how I feel about myself and my own health than I am about what others may think of me. I want to feel good about myself when I look I the mirror and I like the personal satisfaction that I feel from self-improvement, whether it be in the form of eating better, working out more or even reading a self-help book. What motivates you to skip that dessert, eat the salad instead of the lasagna or run the extra mile?   Does internal pressure get you motivated or are external pressures more effective? Are you good at calorie deprivation and self-control or do other kinds of diets work well for you?


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  1. Julie,

    Sandy Denarski just started a new blog for Horse & Rider magazine regarding weight loss and fitness. Sandy had an article in H&R years ago and lost a significant amount of weight and renewed her “horse life.” She is very specific about what kinds of foods and exercise work well for her, and her approach is very natural. She inspires as she writes in a style horse people can really relate to. According to H&R, her blog will provide lots of tips and tricks for people wanting or needing to lose weight.

  2. Hi Julie,
    Great going on the weight loss and exercise. My sister who lives in PA and I (I live in AZ) are on Weight Watchers (WW) and we both have lost at least 10 lbs. She’s really into running and walking. I’m just getting started on walking since I have been inactive for a while. There are a lot of good tips from WW on how to lose but one thing I wasn’t aware of that I learned last week was that if you are losing weight you usually not losing inches and vice versa, when you are losing inches you are not losing weight.

    If you can write everything down that you eat and assign a nutritional value to it (calories, fats, etc.) you would see what you are eating. They did a study on people writing down what they ate and the most successful dieters are writers!

    Also, when you are traveling and eating in restaurants, don’t hesitate to ask for low calorie versions, butter and salad dressing on the side. They put a LOT of high calorie stuff in food, you would be amazed. Don’t be embarrassed to ask. One trick I learned that really works, if you cannot get a fat free or low calorie dressing, use your fork and dip your fork into the dressing and then stab your salad. You will be amazed at how much dressing is left when you are done. GOOD LUCK and you’re doing great!
    Janet Baca

  3. I signed on for the 5 pound challenge earlier this summer and I must tell you of my lifestyle change that has come of it. It all began when I saw a recent picture of myself…I was not happy to see the 189 lb gal that stood next to her horse. No wonder my asthma was giving me fits. The farthest distance I could run was to the fridge and back…and it was beginning to show!
    My mother was also very concerned about the amount of belly fat that had overtaken my mid-section. She suggested that I try Medical Weight Loss as she has been on the program for years. So, I bit the bullet. I went in to see the doctor and after an exam and bloodwork learned that I was a perfect candidate for not only type 2 diabetes, but also heart disease. (See what a lifetime of iced coffee and cupcakes REALLY does to you????) After the loss of my father in August of 08, I was not about to follow him so quickly.
    I began the program on June 16, 2009 and to date, have lost not only pounds, but INCHES! I went from 189 lbs to 172 lbs from June 16-August 7, 2009. The Wrangler sizes are coming down and I feel better than I have in many, many years.
    How did I do it? By learning that water is my friend and eating a balanced meal that is measured out and placed throughout my day. It was hard in the beginning, but I now have the hang of eating fresh veggies, full meals, never eating fruit past 6 pm and drinking over 60 oz of water per day.
    Thank you for your inspiration! I have found the old me buried under all of those pounds. Even my horse is happy!;) So, best of luck to all those folks out there trying to get healthy. Keep up the good work, it is so very worth it!

  4. Julie,
    Its great that you are doing more to get in shape. I think its important for everyone to realize, though, its the amount of fat on your body, that the number of pounds on that are showing on the scale. As you said, you can see and feel the difference in your body, even though the pounds aren’t coming off on the scale. There is a simple type of non-invasive test you can take, called a Bio Impedence Analysis. This test takes just a few minutes, tests the electical resistance of your tissues, and provides alot of info. It will tell you how much fat you carry, how much lean tissue, how much water, where it is located (inside/outside the cells) Just a thought.

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