A very grateful thanks to my fellow bloggers Sherri Ross and Jennifer Dome who both gave me an Inspiring Blog Award this week!  These ladies are not only friends of mine, but a huge inspiration to the community on so many levels.  They are both funny, smart, strong, independent, passionate women.  Add their blogs to your daily reading, you won’t regret it.

This morning was my first official weigh-in in my mini quest to lose some weight, and I am happy to report that I’ve lost 3 pounds!  The first week of any healthy eating program is usually the most successful weight-loss wise, but I hope to maintain a 2 pound weekly loss until I reach my goal.  James was also successful in week 1, so we are on the right track!  We have been tracking our calories in MyPlate on Livestrong.com, based on our  height, weight, gender and age (on the light activity setting, b/c you can add exercise as you do it).  Of all the “diets” and lifestyle changes I’ve tried in the past (and I’ve tried them ALL), calorie counting is the easiest and most reliable thing to do.  And… it’s free!!  As for the foods we try to eat, I always try to include at least 15 grams of fiber per day (to keep you full) and opt for a well-balanced diet.  I try to eat things that I look forward to having, and build in a treat every now and then like a glass of wine.  If I exercise, I allow myself half of those additional burned calories.  It’s such an easy formula, and will work for almost anyone.  An important thing to remember too is that you don’t want to lose more than 2 pounds a week (with the exception of your first and possibly second week) as statistically you are more likely to gain it back.

I know what is termed as yo-yo dieting, gaining and losing weight repeatedly within a certain amount of time, is hard on your body.  In my lifetime I have certainly fluctuated within ranges that would fall in this category.  I know ideally I would stay a certain weight for the rest of my life.  But somehow I can’t seem to shake the feeling of gratitude in my confidence to return to a certain size.  I know how to lose weight, I know how to be healthy.  I may go on sabbatical from time to time, but I know I can get back to my happy place.  Sometimes I even wonder if I get a thrill from the challenge…almost setting myself up to do it all again.  I don’t think that is the truth though… I just think that I find happiness in being able to let go sometimes, and I also find happiness in snapping back into a routine with proven results.  Whatever the case, I am very grateful to not have to lose too much.  My goal should be reached by the end of February/early March.  I think the real weight-loss heroes are the ones with a significant amount to lose – because their focus has to be on target for a longer amount of time.  I find people with passionate determination, for any personal initiative, the most inspiring of them all.

Speaking of passionate initiatives, I feel like I have so many things that light a fire in me right now.  There is nothing more rewarding that working on things that make you feel excited inside.  Between working on Twelve with James (which has some exciting future prospects), writing my book, and other creative ideas in the works – I feel fulfilled.  Funny how none of these things are monetary, isn’t it?  I find great joy in a plan… figuring out how to make things work.  A lot of my free time is spent dreaming or developing a course of action for goals large and small.  If the key to happiness is as simple as working on things that make you feel alive, then by George… what are we waiting for?