Posts Tagged ‘exercise


No heart rate monitor, use this method to stay in the “fat burning zone”

 Not everyone has the extra cash around to blow on a heart rate monitor type watch.  Also, not everyone wants to have to observe and check a heart rate monitor while they are battling through a workout.  So are they to just stay home.  Heck no.  There is another method that can be used to determine if you are working hard enough, too hard, or not hard enough.  It is called the perceived exertion method. Since I have lost the HR strap for my watch, I have resorted to using this method along with running pace to determine my current workload.  You can do it too and I will teach you how today.  This post is in response to a comment I received on my little article about using heart rate monitors.  It brings up a valid and beneficial question.  Here is the comment:

“A fantastic article, very informative and useful. I don’t think I can afford to purchase a heart rate monitor right now, is there any other way that I can gauge heart rate? I’ve heard a little about perceived rates of exertion, but I’m not very familiar with this. Perhaps you could fill us in, maybe in a follow up post?”

So if you don’t want to watch a heart rate monitor or manually monitor your heart rate with you fingers, here is what you can do instead.  It is not a perfect science, but over time you will get the hang of it and be on your way to better health and fitness.



Here are the run4change how-to’s of perceived exertion:

  • The common talk test:  If you can talk to an exercise partner while you exercise.  You will be breating harder but you can carry on a conversation.  This is the level that I call endurance training.  It isn’t the most comfortable thing to be talking like this, but you definitely CAN talk.  I think your HR is aroun 60-70% if you can talk comfortably.
  • Singing test:  If you can sing along with you Ipod, you may not be working hard enough.  Singing takes more oxygen so if you can do it comfortably then you should pick up the pace.
  • Burn test:  If your legs are buring during your cardio, you are working harder than you need to.  Anyway, if you legs buring, you probably can’t carry on a conversation.  You legs only burn when your muscles have no more sugar left to burn which means you are getting anaerobic.  You want to stay aerobic with you exertion.
  • Huffing and puffing is a sign that your exertion is high.  That’s no problem but you don’t need to be exerting yourself that intensely to lose weight, but it will increase your fitness.

Also keep in mind that as your fitness level increases, the percieved exertion method is not as useful.  It is always useful for normal cardiovascular exercise, but if you are wanting to work more intensely (example: speed and hill training for runners, etc) toward a time specific goal it may not be the proper method.

Short percieved exertion explanation: this link has a more down to earth chart and explanation.

How to use the percieved exertion method by sports medicine.


Weight loss and exercise with your heart rate in mind


My friend over at  posted a comment on one of my posts regarding different heart rate zones. I thought it would interesting to do a post on it. When we exercise, it makes our hearts work harder to get blood (which holds oxygen and nutrients) to our muscles so that we can do what we are doing.  That is why we breathe hard.  Muscles need oxygen to do what they do so we huff and puff to get more oxygen into our blood so that the blood can in turn supply the muscles.  Different heart rates produce different training and weight loss effects in our bodies. Here is a simple little break down:

  • Recovery/Easy= Your heart rate should be between 60%-70% of your maximum heart rate.  This would put you at a nice and easy pace running.  Absolutely no huffing and puffing.  In this zone, you will primarily burn fat as well as developing your endurance and aerobic capacity (the ability for your muscles to use oxygen to burn fat for energy).
  • Aerobic/Getting harder= Your heart rate should be between 70%-80% of your maximum heart rate.  In this zone, you will be breathing harder but still able to carry on an intelligible conversation.  Not just one word sentences.  When your heart rate is between 70% & 80%,  you are still burning primarily fat after about 45 minutes as well as getting your lungs and heart stronger.  Aerobic training conditions your heart to be able to pump more blood with each stroke and trains your muscles to use what they get more effeciently.
  •  Anaerobic/Now it’s really getting hard= Your heart rate will be between 80%-90% of your maximum heart rate.  At this level, your heart is really going for it.  Your muscles are also going to forego using fat for energy (fat produces energy slower) and starts using the glycogen (sugar) as the primary source of energy.  Although this is exercise, you don’t really need to work this hard to burn fat and lose weight.  Also, at this level, your muscles will use up all the sugar pretty quickly.  As the muscles eat the sugar, they produce the evil pain the *ss, lactic acid.  Lactic acid is the chemical that you feel burning in your muscles.  Lifting weights is anaerobic, and you always feel the burn in the last reps.  When running at an easy pace, it can take many many hours before the lactic acid comes because you are burning fat instead of the sugar.
  • 90% and beyond= Don’t even go here.  In fact, running at a heart rate of over 85% for to long could increase your chance of injury.  

Hopefully this is useful for everyone.  I do almost all of my exercise with a heart rate between 65%-75%.  That is the “zone” in which I lost all my weight, got several PR’s in marathons, and finished the 50 miler.  There are many companies who make watches that will take your heart rate for you.  They have alarms even that will tell you if you are to low or to high.  I used one from the start of my running, but I lost the heart rate monitor part of the watch after a while.  I am pretty good at knowing how hard I am running now though.  Below is a link to the company who made my watch.

Polar USA.  They make a nice watch for many different types of exercise, not just for running.

You can get more detailed information and maximum heart rate calculations at this coaches website.


Long runs, eating out, and laziness. Staying on my weight loss journey for today.

Caped MaxToday is the day for my first long run in a while.  I am going to go out for 4 hours.  After that I am going to go out to eat with my wife somewhere.  Sunday is the last day of my WW week so I think I will be sitting pretty good as far as points and think I will stay the same or lose when I weigh-in on Tuesday.  I am looking forward to doing my run.  Not sure how it will feel going this far, it has been about 2 months I think.  I am sure I will be tired, but as you all know, my theory is just one foot in front of the other.  Doing that I should be getting home in 4 hr at about 22-23 miles run.  Sunday is hard for me to stay on track.  It is a lazy day for my.  Since I went skiing last night and got home around 12 a.m., I could not run first thing in the morning.  This will take a big chunk out of my day later so today should be pretty easy to stay on track.  Thanks for reading, you guys are the best.  Best of Sunday’s to you.


believe it or not! I had some pie and it was good.

turtle_pumpkin_pieHello everyone.  So far there are 15 votes that I would eat some pie, 9 votes that I would have no pie, and 2 votes that I would eat the whole pie.  Well guess what, last night I went skiing again with my beautiful wife Audrey.  Guess what I took with me and left in the trunk.  Oh yeah, the pie.  It waited patiently for our return.  When I opened the trunk up I could smell the crust.  Anyway, my wife and I shared a piece.  We traded the pie for the going out to dinner.  So I had a very small amount of pie which I am pretty sure amounted to 8 points.  The dinner we had last weekend after skiing put me out 20 something points.  Although not as filling, the pie was very good and it was very satisfying.  Thanks for participating and voting.  That was really fun to me and I hope you enjoyed it too.  The great part is that I still managed to stay within all necessary points even though I ate the pie.  Not to bad I guess.  I also got 4 points for the skiing that I did, had a great time with my wife, and lived a little on the wild side flying down the mountain.  I guess, all in all the “PIE EVENT” went well.  The cool thing about this journey and this life is that we can live a little you know.  We can enjoy.  The real truth is that I would have eaten the whole thing or at least more than half just 2 years ago.  And that would have been after my dinner :).  So victory is in hand still.  Thanks for your support. You guys are great and I thank you for reading this blog.  You are a great comfort and inspiration to me.  Muchas Gracias.


Can you win the daily battle? Of course you can!

food-and-dinner-001We can win the battle of the bulge on daily basis.  We won’t win everyday, but we will and can win most days.  As you know, at the end of yesterdays workday I was feeling that it was a bit unlikely that I would gain victory.  What happened you ask?  I did what most of you did last night.  Won that days battle.  I wasn’t perfect oh no.  About ten minutes before I left, all the employees were gone and on my way to the restroom I saw a mostly eaten bag of fire spicy fritos in the lunch room.  I smoothly walk over and grabbed it.  Oh yeah, I ate ’em.  Not many left in it, but I did count it as three points.  That was the only messy part of the night.  I went to my sisters after work and walked for 30 minutes with her.  I made the dinner in the pic when I got home.  Chicken (3 oz), potatoes (9.75 oz), and veggies (5 pts).  That is a pretty good amount of food for 5 points.  I was pretty happy with it.

So just remember that it’s possible to do a good job even when it seems like you won’t.  It was not the funnest Dinner # 2or most creative stuff to eat, but it was healthy and it kept me on track very well.  Oh and by the way, this meal is a go-to for me all the time.  This is my favorite thing to eat at night.  I replace the chicken with tilapia sometimes or the potatoes with noodles.


Go home strong and healthy tonight with these 3 tips

strong-and-healthyDo you worry that your crazy day at work might have just put you over the edge enough for you to say “screw my weight loss program”.   Well that is how I feel today a little.  Not overly bad,  but my wife won’t be home and I am feeling tired.  Lonely and tired, good reasons for the “fat mind” to try and take control.  We don’t have to let it though.  So although in the back of my mind this big fat guy is saying, “No one will be at home.  Eat whatever you want.  You deserve it!”; I am going to be able to withstand because of a few small things I did prior.  We can all try these things it they may just give us that little edge we need to hold on when our resolve is down.  Here they are;

  1. I ate every two hours today.  I only had two large carrots left towards the end, but I still ate.  This keeps you in a safe realm of hunger.  I do this everyday and it helps.
  2. I have made a plan to at least do some exercise when I get home even though today is my “day off” from running.  This will burn some lonely time up and it will make me feel stronger with my plan.
  3. I have already decided what I am going to eat as soon as I get home in order to stay on track.  I will eat some pickles right away and this will fight off any lingering hunger from the last two hours.

That’s it for this little post.  I was struggling and I wanted to think of why I was going to make the right choices tonight.  Well, now you get to read my thoughts.  See ya later.


Huge victory: Post workout pic of a 40 miler finished!


Post workout pic dedicate to katschisfitcetera. Just finished running 41 miles

 This post is in response to a request from another Journeyer.  She is a great person and you can check the post out here 

So I thought I would be a good sport and post a post-workout pic for all to see.  Red face and tired (but elated), here I am just after finishing my favorite ultra marathon, The 2008 Strolling Jim 40 miler.  The first 20 miles was pouring down rain with thunder and lightning.  The second half was 80 degrees.  Anyway, it was an experience.


You don’t have to be perfect to lose weight!

Caped MaxThank God for that.  You don’t have to be perfect to lose weight.  If that were the case, I never would have lost 130 lbs.  If that were the case, I never would have even started.  Last night I did great but I wasn’t perfect.  This is fine, it was ok.  I got home and ran for 35 minutes.  After that I made a big thing of popcorn (5 points) and started doing some blogging.  Oh yeah, I ate a lot of pickles too.  I eat a lot of pickles.  They are free (no  points).  My wife finally got home and she pulled here special blend of healthy nuts out of the pantry.  I couldn’t resist.  I ate some and did not count them.  I guess I could count them today, but I did not count them last night for what they really were.  I put like 4 points to them but I am sure they were more since nuts are pretty expensive points wise.  Then she wanted to go running and it was dark so I went with her for another 30  minutes.  Activity good, eating not perfect, the day was pretty successful.  Tonight I go to my weigh-in.  I am looking forward to it this time and I think that the result on the scale will be a minus or an even.  I hope anyway.


May your dreams come true!


Well, here I go again.  I am going to go for it this year too.  I am putting my goal schedule up on the blog as a way to motivate me to achieve these finishes.  I have no time goals for these races.  I just want to finish comfortably and safely.  I believe I can do that.  It is not as crazy as last year, and I won’t be training as much either; but this is a good thing since I am trying to learn balance.  Oh and by the way, the pic to the right is the logo for my favorite of all races: The Strolling Jim 40 miler. It is in a tiny town called Wartrace, Tennessee.  It usually has from 50-70 runners in all and it is done on the back asphalt roads in the country. 

So at the request of a fellow ultra runner who lives in my area, I am going to display my schedule of events.  I will keep you posted on the results and if I accomplish these goals.  I will probably not do the races labeled maybe, but if I am feeling extra good and time permits I might do them.

There you have it.  Also, check out this runner.  She is pretty cool.


Q&A post 6: Music while running? What to eat for pre-race meal?

power-barWell Sir, I thank you for joining in on the fun with this Q&A post. Your question has been a topic of thought for hours upon hours for me as I learned more about running and race preparation.  At the present time, pretty much all races that are sanctioned by USA Track & Field require that the racers do not wear ipods, head phones, etc.  It is a safety issue for them.  This is a serious issue of debate and some marathons refuse to abide by the rule (Portland Marathon being one of them).  Most people who listen to music during races hide it somehow anyway.  Now to your questions:

“Do you listen to music while you train and/or in a race and if so, what do you listen to. Second: What do you recommend eating the night before a race, specifically a 5k, and the morning of.”

  • I listen to music quite a bit when I do my weekday runs.  It helps me to get going, get excited, and stay at it.  It breaks up any boredom that may attack my runs.  I only listen to music sometimes when I do my long runs on the weekend.  These runs are from 3-6 hours long.  I try not to bring music on these so that I train myself to just get into the rhythm of running where you are almost like a machine.  I listen to a wide variety of music on my ipod.  I have a lot of 80’s stuff, I like Led Zep. and Pink Floyd a lot when I run.  Also, 311 is a great band for me when I run.  I never listen to music in my races.  I just take in the brute reality of running the race.  A lot of people do though.
  • What I ate the night before and the hours prior to a race was something I worked really hard at perfecting.  I think I got it just right for how my body works.  Honestly, there are many theories and ideas out there, but I think that there is ONE TRUTH TO STAND BY FOR YOUR PRE-RACE MEAL (Night before).  Don’t change a thing.  Never, ever, ever change your normal routine for a race.  You know what you like to eat at night, you know how it makes you feel, and you know how you will react to it.  At marathons there is always a big spaghetti dinner the night before, and in the morning you see people throwing up because that changed their routine for the race.  Do your normal thing.  You are smart and healthy, you know what works.  As for just prior to a race, I always ate the power bar that you see in the pic. around one hour before.  It was a mild snack of about 200 calories, but it hard both complex and simple carbs.  One hour prior worked best for me, but I have read that around 3 hours prior is optimal and that the meal/snack should be around 300 calories.  One thing about a 5K is that in the amount of time it would take you to finish, you would be fine not eating anything just prior.  As the races get longer, fueling prior and during becomes more important.  For your 5K though, eating a nice healthy snack that won’t upset your stomach and that you have tried before training runs would be perfect.

Q&A post 4: Runners block and staying motivated

Peterson ridge 60K

Running questions are popular!  Thanks for submitting this question.  I believe that so many of us struggle with these thoughts before or during a run/jog.  Especially when we are just getting started with running in general, but thoughts like these are not reserved for only the beginner.  Oh no, we all get these thoughts.  Good insight.  Here is your question:

“I have some sort of mental thing going where — WHILE I’m jogging — I’m talking myself out of doing it. Did that ever happen to you – how do you stay motivated during the run/jog?”

I am going to answer this question in two very different ways.  One answer will be from the “I am just starting running” view point where there may be no confidence and the other answer will be from the “ultra runner” view point where you talk yourself into keeping on even though it hurts.

  • When I first started running, I did try and talk myself out of doing it.  Sometimes I succeed other times I didn’t.  So much of that “internal conversation” was due to the discomfort that I experienced physically.  This discomfort then brought about that “internal conversation” where I told myself, “See, I am not in good enough shape to do this.  I can’t do this. It is not supposed to feel like this is it.”  This is especially true on a treadmill, track, or other venue that uses loops.  Every time you get to the start you want to stop.  On a treadmill, you are so close to comfort that it is also easy to talk yourself into stopping.  (Nothing against treadmills by the way.  I like them)  The best way to overcome this sort of situation is walking.  Let’s say you are getting ready to go for a jog.  Prepare yourself ahead of time (you already know that you will probably try and talk yourself out of it) for the moment you talk to yourself, and decide before hand that you will tell yourself, “Hey, I can always just walk.  I am getting out there and if I can’t or really don’t feel like running, I will walk.”  This change it all for me.  I realized that staying out there longer burned more fat, and that if I was going to talk myself into stopping, I should just walk until I felt better instead and in turn burn more fat.
  • From the ultra running perspective, you absolutely must prepare yourself for this “internal conversation”.  It is going to happen no matter how good of a runner you are and no matter how fit you are.  There will come a point that you want to quit, a point where it hurts to much, a point where you think you made a huge mistake by trying to run that far.  What did I do.  I told myself again, “Ok, I am just going to walk.  Then I will just make it to the next tree, and then the next tree, etc.”  That is how you do it.  After a while you just learn that you can keep going regardless of your feelings.
  • I stayed motivated during a run by running in a place I like to be or with a person I like to be with (my wife).  Sometimes I use music when I run, but I never do for my long runs because I just want the run to be a run.  I stay motivated also by thinking about my goal that I am training for and by thinking about how much better I feel while running now as compared to when I started.  It does get easier.

How an obese, over weight man started running

Timberline Marathon 2008I hate running!  I can’t breathe when I run!  Running hurts!  Running is just too boring!  Running is just too darn hard!  I can’t run fast nor far enough to start running!

Do these thoughts sound familiar?  They sure do to me.  These thoughts and more filled my mind as a fat guy who was just starting to get more activity into his life.  So many people believe these things.  It took me some time, but I was able to conquer all of these pessimistic thoughts. 

I just started out slow and put no pressure on myself to go fast or far.  My first run was for about 20 minutes.  During that 20 minutes, I walked every 4 minutes for 60 seconds.  That seemed to make it more manageable.  As time passed and my physical and mental fitness improved, I was able to go further although not much faster.  Running became a wonderful outlet for me to relieve stress and figure out my thoughts.  It was a creative time for me.

Continue reading ‘How an obese, over weight man started running’


A Weight Loss and Weight Watchers Victory

Winter runnerI finally got outside and ran.  I was very thankful to have the privilege to run yesterday.  I ran for 35 minutes with my wife and got 4 WW activity points.  We had to stay in the ruts of the snow on our road but we were out there nonetheless.  In a way though, looking back at it today, I am a little depressed about it.  I know that any activity is great, but I am a little tiny bit sore from the run.  Only three months ago I could run 30 miles and not be sore.  So I am a little scared that I have lost all my fitness.  I know for a fact that it’s not true, but I still get freaked out about it.  So here I am after my run.  Feeling refreshed and alive.  It sure did feel good to get outside.  I am glad that the snow is for the most part gone.  Back to normal life again.


Not all calorie burning activity is “Exercise”

I recently built about 250 feet of flagstone path in my backyard.  My wife was going to be gone for several days and I wanted to surprise her by building this path.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to get my exercise in during this time because I work a lot and would have to do the path after work.  Well I was in for a big surprise, but I learned a pretty good lesson too.

Not all calorie burning activity needs to be “exercise”.  I found out that working in the yard (especially building a flagstone path) is a great way to burn some calories.  It is also a way to break up the monotony of the normal exercise routine.  It took me 42 hours to finish the path.  I worked until 10pm every night my wife was gone.  

Here is how it started:  

No points for this part.  I got the rock delivered.

 Yard work is exercise 2









Here is step two, excavation: 

WW Activity= Gardening/digging  13 hours= 52 points or around 3100 calories.

 Yard work is exercise













 Here is step three, stones to the finish:  WW Activity= Gardening/digging

29 hours= 116 points or around 6900 calories.

Yard work is exercise 3

I accomplished this over a 12 day period.  I did no other exercise other than work on this path everyday after work.  It was WAY harder than I ever thought it would be, but my wife loved it and that made everything worth it.  And it was an eye opener learning that other things, things that actually need to be done or I just want to do, can help keep me fit and strong.

I may not be exact on the points.  Gardening/digging doesn’t exactly fit what I was doing, but that was the only thing I could find on my online WW stuff.  These points are also based on me being a guy at my weight.  Hopefully this post wasn’t too boring.  I just wanted to share the insight that I got that not all good calorie burning activities have to be “Exercise”.


10 ways a skinny spouse can help their over weight partner lose.


My naturally thin wife

My naturally thin wife

A lot of us who are trying to lose weight or maintain our losses have spouses that are different than us.  I am sure that a few of those differences may have just popped into your mind right now.


One of those differences, as you can see from the picture, is sometimes our spouse is naturally thin.  Don’t get me wrong, my wife makes great food choices most of the time and she exercises, but she has never really had a problem like me.  Not sure if it is because she isn’t addict to the comfort of food or genetics or what.  The reality is that it is up to each person to make a decision to lose weight and keep it off.  But hey, a little help never hurt.  Anyways, here are a few things that my wife did during and after my weight loss that helped me reach  my goal. 

  1. She loved me and never made fun of me when I was fat
  2. She never tried to force me to lose weight.  She did tell me her concerns regarding my health, but never emphasized the fattness.
  3. She gave me lots of  positive encouragement about going to weight watchers.
  4. She stopped buying the foods that really, really tempted me
  5. She hid the foods that she loved that I was trying not to eat.
  6. She exercised with me at least a couple of times per week
  7. Until I gained enough experience and strength, she allowed me to pick resturants that were “safe”
  8. She participated in my journey by going to my 10%, goal, and lifetime meetings.
  9. She reminded me that I was attractive to her before and after.
  10. She never gave up on me.

You can’t run too slow!!!!!!!!!!!!

Slow running

My friend over at brought a totally important running topic to my mind today.  In fact, I think it is one of the most important running topics that we can blog about.  Especially for normal people like us.  Basically, she made a comment that I hear ALL the time, “….trying to make an effort to start running again (well jogging because I am really slow).”

This is very common talk among people who want to start running. I’ve thought like this millions of times.  As I have learned from my readings of Jeff Galloway and others, running “slow” is a good thing.  From the start of my little running career, I decided that I would be the captain of my own running ship and not care if people passed me by.  I was tired of feeling inferior because my run was some peoples walk.  Hey, I was out there wasn’t I?  Even during a marathon I don’t care anymore.  I just run on at a pace where I am comfortable and can enjoy the process of getting to the finish line.  I have seen many people yelling and screaming in pain at the finish line because they let others be the captain of their running ship.  They tried to keep up with others who were faster.

Just starting a running program is huge.  You don’t need to worry about how fast you run.  You’re still running all the same.  Don’t let anyone tell you different.  We may not be the next marathon world record holder, but we can run, run at a pace that picks us up physically and emotionally.

Here are several reasons why running “slow” is such a good thing! Continue reading ‘You can’t run too slow!!!!!!!!!!!!’


Exercise: Tips on getting out of bed and out the door

Snow on my deck at 4 am

Snow on my deck at 4 am

I am having a very tough time getting out the door for my runs.  We are having a record setting snow fall here.  I have not seen snow like this since I was building snow forts in my backyard in the 5th grade.  These days, the snow tends to keep me inside rather than drawing me outside.  So for a week now I haven’t done any activity.  This is very unlike me.  Activity is usually a priority in my life and weight loss/maintenance efforts, as it should be.  BUT IT’S SO YUCKY OUTSIDE!! Even my dog didn’t want to get up today

Oh it is so warm!

Oh it is so warm!

Here are some tips that we can take to heart to help us get the activity we need to stay healthy:

Continue reading ‘Exercise: Tips on getting out of bed and out the door’


Getting to the starting line! What a victory.


Getting to the starting line is the greatest victory of all.  It does not matter what the goal, just starting to move towards the attainment of that goal is the hugest step.  For me, I was always going to start my weight loss, exercise, quitting bad habits, etc. on Monday.  Well, Monday just never seemed to come around.  It is funny and sick to think that I went for YEARS waiting for that Monday to come around.

After I lost about 60lbs, I started to train for a marathon.  Since then, I have finished many marathons.  During this whole process of becoming healthy and fit, I learned that making it to the starting line of a marathon is so much bigger than people realize.  It takes a lot of preparation to get to the starting line.  It is the same for weight loss.  I needed to overcome many hurdles just to get started.  Nobody wants to start because that is where they have to face the demons that hold them back.  The things that they fear will prevent them from finishing or reaching their goal weight.  The things that they fear they won’t be able to change.  Thoughts like “Maybe I can lose the weight, but I probably won’t keep it off, so why start.”  In my 50 mile race that I finished in around 12 hours, I was scared to death at the starting line, but I was there.  I could never have finished running 50 miles if I hadn’t been at the starting line.  Now I understand that a 50 miler is extreme, but the lesson is the same.  You have to overcome to get to the starting line, and then you take one step after another until you reach the goal.  For Weight Watchers, my sister talked me into going for the first time.  I did not want to start on a Wednesday, I wanted to start on Monday.  We both knew that Monday would not come though, so we started on Wednesday.  Thank God for that.  I was afraid, I was embarrased to get my fat self on the scale in front of  people, I thought I was too fat to go, I had all kinds of hurdles that I had to get over.  I did make it to that first weigh in.  After that I just kept taking one step at a time until I lost 133lbs and totally changed my health and body.

I know it can be scary to start a new life when you have so many doubts about making it to the finish line.  I want to encourage everyone that is starting a new life of health that the place you are right now is such a big win for you.  You have overcome so much junk in order to finally start.  Hey, just deciding not to wait until Monday is huge. Keep it up, even if you doubt making it to goal, just keep it up.  Don’t think too far ahead.  Make the small choice today and put one foot in front of the other.  You are on the road to a new life.