Work Life Balance

work life

I’ve been keeping a secret from most of my family and friends.  Over 7 months ago I lost my job.  It’s been a huge struggle dealing with unemployment.  I’ve never been unemployed.  I’ve been working since I was 10 years old when I got my first babysitting job, and at 37 years old I cannot find a job.  Let me tell you I’ve have countless phone interviews, in-person interviews, flown to various cities, and zero luck.

Until last week…two different recruiting companies contacted me about the same job.  I asked both of them to send me the job description and after having phone conversations with both of them I realized it was the same job at the same company.   After several more conversations I picked one of the companies to represent me.  On Friday, January 30 my resume was submitted to the company.  On Wednesday, February 5, the company extended a 4-month contract to hire offer.  Oh and did I mention I never interviewed with the company and they wanted me to start on Thursday, February 6!!  Today after 7 months of unemployment I went back to work.

I was up half the night freaking out about going back to work after 7 months of unemployment.  Traffic was crazy because we had an ice storm 2 days ago and for some reason even though the roads are clear it still causes problems.  When I left at 5:00pm I was exhausted.  I almost pulled into 2 different fast food restaurants to grab a quick dinner so I could veg-out on the couch the rest of the night.  Luckily it was before 6:00pm and the drive thru windows had long lines.  I swear my story has a healthy point….

I got home and after an hour of convincing I finally got on the elliptical.  First I did a 20 minute program.  When that was done I decided I could keep going so did a 30 minute program.  When I finished I was at 4.66 miles…I can do 5 more minutes to get to 5 miles.  I ended up getting in my 10,000 steps, 5 miles, and 55 very active minutes.  And what do you know I felt great and energized enough to fix a healthy dinner.

This was the step I needed to take tonight to remind myself I can do this and work a full-time job.  Plus it appeared that everyone brings their lunch to work so hopefully not a lot of temptation to go out to lunch.  Sunday I will spend some time planning my week and going to the grocery to make sure I have lots of snacks and healthy options to take with me.

How do you manage work life balance?  What tips can you share with me on exercising and healthy eating with your other life obligations?


Week 5 Results

dont wait until youve reached your goal

I was very nervous when I got on the scale this morning.  If you read Goals, then you know I started week 5 out pretty lazy.  My lack of setting specific goals for the week made me revert back to old behaviors, but luckily I figured that out on Saturday and corrected the problem.  I am very proud of myself for recognizing I was reverting back to old behaviors and was able to fix the situation and get back on track.

So what was the result…I lost 2 pounds.  I have lost a total of 14.1 pounds or 5.17% of my original weight.  I am not going to wait until I reach my goal to be proud of myself.  I am proud of myself with each day that passes that I am continuing on this lifestyle transformation.

Now for the fun stuff…What does the fitbit say?  My daily averages from my fitbit are as follows:  steps 9,592; distance 4.30 miles; active minutes 34; floors 15; calorie burn 2,866; calories eaten 2,140; and water 92 ounces.  These numbers are lower than week 4, but that’s ok.  I’m not going to worry about it because today starts a new week.

Week 6 goals:  According to my LoseIt! app burn 250 exercise calories 6 days a week, continue to log all food consumed, continue to wear my fitbit, and continue to drink at least 64 ounces of water.

How did you do this week?  Are you setting SMART goals?  Are you celebrating your ALL your victories?  Share your story with me.



Last week I realized the importance of setting specific goals.  The beginning of January I set a goal to walk 10,000 steps per day by the end of the month.  Each week I set goals to help me achieve my specific goal.  By the end of January I had met my goal by walking on average 10,307 steps per day for a 7 day period (Wednesday-Tuesday).

Then week 5 and February came along.  If you read Week 4 Results, then you saw I set a very general goal of keep moving and keep logging.  I was not shooting for something, I was not measuring anything, there was no time line, and it was not achievable.  So what happened?  I got lazy.   At the end of week 4 (Tuesday, January 28, 2014), I was averaging 10, 307 steps per day for a 7 day period (Wednesday-Tuesday).  By Saturday morning (3 days later), I was averaging 7,337 steps per day for a 7 day period (Saturday-Friday).  Saturday morning I realized I had lost my motivation and was getting lazy.  But why?  I lost 12.1 pounds in January.  I was starting to notice changes in my body.  Why was I suddenly self-sabotaging myself?  Then it hit me I wasn’t working towards anything.  I didn’t have anything to measure my workout success.

If you’ve ever set professional annual performance goals, then you’ve probably heard of SMART goals.

smart goals

How could I take that same practice and apply it to my lifestyle transformation?  Then I realized that’s exactly what I did in January.  Now I need to do it for February.  The first place I always look when I’m trying to figure out my eating and exercise habits is my LoseIt! and fitbit apps.  What did I do in January and how could I do better in February?

One of my LoseIt! friends invited me to participate in a LoseIt! challenge to burn 180,000 active calories through exercise in 2014.  In January I burned 4,404 calories.  I decided for February I would increase that calorie burn by 10% and burn 4,844 calories in February.  In order to achieve that goal I needed to break it down into weekly goals of 1,211 calories burned through exercise each week.

February goals:  Burn 4,844 calories through exercise and lose 4% of my weight or 10.4 pounds.

Week 5 goals:  Burn 1,211 calories through exercise, log all food consumed, wear my fitbit, and drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water per day.

Have you set your SMART goals for February?  How are you holding yourself accountable?  Share your goals with me.

Week 4 Results

Wow week 4…I cannot believe it has been a month since I started my lifestyle transformation.  There have been great and not so great moments, like yesterday when I wasn’t feeling good and had no motivation to workout.  I was so worried about not working out the day before my weigh in.  So let’s get to the important part…

…The scale has spoken and I lost 2.8 pounds in week 4!!!  And even more exciting I’ve lost 12.1 pounds since the beginning of my journey!!  If you read Rewards, then you know my first reward is when I lose 4% of my body weight and with this weigh in I’ve lost 4.44% of my body weight.  Additionally my body fat percentage has gone from 54.1% to 53.4%…I have lost 8.2 pounds of fat!!!

You all know I love my fitbit, so let’s look at my activity for the last week.  My daily averages from my fitbit are as follows:  steps 10,307; distance 4.51 miles; active minutes 34; floors 17; calorie burn 2,919; calories eaten 2,049; and water 103 ounces.

In the Shrinking Jeans Weight Loss Challenge Facebook group I’ve seen lots of questions about how much should I eat and still lose weight.  Yes, on average I eat 2,000 per day and yes, on average I burn almost 3,000 calories per day.  My goal is to keep my calorie deficit as close to 1,000 as possible.  I have done that for the last two weeks and have lost 5.2 pounds in two weeks.  It is so important to fuel your body, especially when you are working out.  I encourage you to find a gadget, like the fitbit or a heart rate monitor, that will show you how much you are burning and then eat 500 to 1,000 calories less than that number.

What have I learned during my first four weeks?  I have learned I am stronger than I think.  I have to eat in order to keep losing weight.  It is important to review what you have done and what you have eaten if you are not seeing the results you hoped to see.  Keeping up on this blog and my spiritual journal is so important to my success; it helps me sort our what’s going on in my head because my emotional, mental, and spiritual health play a huge role in my physical health.  If I can’t figure out how I got this way then I’ll never be able to keep it off.  And having a community to help me has been great!

Week 5 goals:  Keep everything up…keep logging and keep moving.

How did you do this week?

Social Media

I was never huge into social media.  Yes I had MySpace and Facebook, but I never got into Twitter, Four Square, YouTube, Google +, or blogging.  Then Pinterest came around.  I didn’t get it at first, but now I can honestly say I am addicted to Pinterest.  At the beginning of this year I joined the Shrinking Jeans Weight Loss Challenge Facebook group.  Next thing you know I am starting a blog.

Then things get wild and crazy, PoleKittens Fitness wanted to film videos of students dancing.  I agreed to film a video but it took me awhile to actually film the video.  This past Sunday the video was posted to Facebook and on the PoleKittens Fitness website.  To watch my video click here.  In less than a week my video has been viewed over 400 times on YouTube.  Additionally the video is getting positive feedback and people are saying how encouraging and inspiring the video was to them.  WHAT?!?!  I am inspiring people???

Yes, I am inspiring people.  That is very hard for me to say, but motivates me to keep going.  I don’t know the 400+ people that viewed my video, but if one person sees the video and thinks if she can pole dance then I can pole dance then I am happy.  I joked in pole class on Monday that I was going viral.  And thanks to social media I can share my story, share my video, and hopefully motivate, encourage, and inspire women to look outside the box and do something different, fun, and active.

How has social media changed your life?  Do you have friends you have never met?  Share your social media stories with me.

Week 3 Results

The results are in and I lost 2.4 pounds in week 3!!  I have lost a total of 9.3 pounds since I started this journey on January 1!

In week 2 I noticed my calorie deficit was well over 1,000 calories 4 out of the 7 days.  In week 3 I challenged myself to stay as close to a 1,000 calorie deficit as possible.  I increased my breakfast and lunch calories by approximately 200 calories each, which helped me a lot.

I love my fitbit and my fitbit friends that encourage and challenge me to keep active.  My daily averages from my fitbit are as follows:  steps 9,031; distance 3.95 miles; active minutes 31; floors 15; calorie burn 2,852; calories eaten 1,981; and water 90 ounces.

Week 4 goals:  continue wearing my fitbit, continue tracking my food via LoseIt!, continue drinking at least 64 ounces of water, increase cardio to 45 minutes 6 days a week, keep my calorie deficit close to 1,000 calories, and take 10,000 steps 6 days a week.

I have made a lot of positive lifestyle changes over the last 3 weeks.  I can tell a huge difference in how I feel each day.  I am very excited about where my life is headed and how these changes are affecting me and encouraging others to make changes in their lives.

How did you do this week?  What lifestyle changes are you making in your life?

Keep up the great work!  And remember every journey starts with one step.  What’s stopping you from taking that step?

Be Prepared

Always be prepared.  Is that the boy scout or girl scout motto?  I don’t remember, but it is my motto now and should be yours.

If you read Power to Change then you know I have made the conscience decision to make 2014 all about my physical, spiritual, and emotional health.  Making that decision and living by that decision is hard.  Let’s face it if living a healthy lifestyle was easy everyone would be doing it (that goes for pole dancing too).

The question is how do you live by your decision and eliminate the bumps in the road?  I’ll answer the second one first, you will NEVER eliminate the bumps in the road.  You will always have bad, stressful, no motivation, busy, lazy, and no will power days.  It is how you react to those situations.  Do you grab a pint of ice cream, bag of chips, or a box of chocolates?  Or do you go to the gym, call a friend, go for a walk, look at Facebook, browse Pinterest, or knit?  You make the decision.  You hold yourself accountable.  You control your destiny.

Now the first part of the question, how do you live by your decision?  For me it is always be prepared.  I always have water with me.  Before I leave the house I fill up my Tervis with cold water and take it every where.  If I am going to be gone for awhile I grab a peanut butter protein bar or a Kashi cookie to help with hunger.  I have my pantry, freezer, and refrigerator staples, so when driving home and hungry I know I have about 4-5 different options at home that I can cook up quickly.

Have you made the decision to fully commit to a healthy lifestyle?  How are you prepared to live by your decision?   What’s stopping you from fully committing?