affirmation challenge

New month, new challenge

Today is September 30th, and the conclusion of the month-long Affirmation Challenge. I have quite a stack of 3×5 cards on my desk documenting all of the compliments I have paid myself this month. I am glad that I came up with this challenge, and that I stuck to it to completion (yes, I’ve already written one for today).

Tomorrow starts a new month, and for the month of October I’ve come up with a new challenge for myself.

The 1,500 minute challenge.

In the month of October I am going to spend 1,500 minutes doing some kind of exercise. That works out to about 48 minutes every day. I will accomplish this with long walks, and trips to the gym. The goal is to spend the month being active. I have a tendency to close ranks in the Fall and Winter, and this challenge will help make sure that my body stays active.

Yesterday, while fighting my diet fatigue, I went to the gym. I hadn’t been there in a few weeks, and it was good to shake off the rust. I even saw a couple of the “regulars” that I have seen there frequently in the past. I spent an hour between the treadmill and stationary bike. It felt very good. I came home, had a nice dinner with my wife and future daughter-in-law, and got some things done around the house.

During my time at the gym I realized that if I want to sustain and continue my Journey toward better health, that I need to set work out goals for myself. Over night I turned this idea over in my head until I came up with this challenge.

Join me in this challenge! Come along and spend 1,500 minutes in October being active. You can spend it all walking, running, biking, working with weights, or any other activity that suits you. You can meet the challenge by putting in time every day, or you can have days where you work more, and give yourself some time to rest. Whatever works best for you.

Who is up to the challenge?

Week 30 Weigh-in and update on the Affirmation Challenge

This morning I weighed-in at 260.2 pounds. That means I lost .6 pounds since last Friday. Considering my weekend indulgence on last week’s camping trip, and the fact that I didn’t get to the gym this week, I am very happy with the result. Down is down after all.

Other than the weekend, I stuck to my Weight Watchers points for the week. As I mentioned, I didn’t get to the gym this week, and I need to remedy that in the coming week. I also haven’t been walking as much, and need to step that back up as well.

I am now on day 26 of the affirmation challenge. So far I have kept up the pace. It has become increasingly difficult to come up with a unique affirmation each day, but not difficult to find something to affirm in my life. There are 5 days (including today), left, and I am confident that I will get in 30 in 30.

I thought I would share this one from back on September 22:

I am courageous. Sometimes I am full of fear about things, but that fear doesn’t stop me. I act in spite of my fear – that is my definition of courage.

Like everyone else, I have fears in my life. Some are quite common, like my fear of heights. Others are deeper seeded and have to do with my fears about my own mortality and whether I am living up to expectations – both my own and others’. I have struggled with depression in the past, and sometimes that depression did make me shut down. These days I have learned to cope with my fears, and to face them head on. I find that when I allow myself to worry about my fears, then the thing that scares me grows. But, when I face it head on, it shrinks before my eyes.

For the coming week my plan is to be on points for the week, and to hit the gym at least 3 times.

How are you doing on your journey? What are your goals for the week?

Week 29 weigh-in and an update on the Affirmation Challenge

Today is the last Friday of the Summer. This weekend the season officially changes to Autumn. Even if I didn’t have a calendar, my sinuses would tell me the story of the season change. It’s a camping weekend for me, so I am excited to get out and enjoy the outdoors!

This morning my weight was 260.8 pounds. That is down 3.6 pounds for the week. My total weight loss is now 84.2 pounds or 24.4% of my starting weight. I am now just 2 pounds away from the 25% mark in weight loss.

This past week I didn’t get to work out, and my walking was minimal. My project at work had me starting before 6:00am, and working until 5:00pm almost every day. At the end of the work day I was exhausted and used what little energy I had left on our home improvement project. This week may be more of the same, so I will have to find a way to schedule walks and gym visits.

I did stay within my points all week! I even remarked to my wife last night that I ended dinner still feeling slightly hungry, which made me feel really great. This is a big victory for me. With all the stress at work, and the long hours, my previous pattern would have been to have fast food for lunch. I have avoided that throughout and opted for salads on most days.

On the Daily Affirmation front, I have kept up with the challenge. I’ve written myself an affirmation for each of the first 18 days of the month. I will share yesterday’s with you.

I lead by example. Those who work in my group know that I won’t ask them to do anything I won’t do myself.

This came to mind yesterday. I had a half day of vacation scheduled and meetings were spilling into my time. I had things I needed to get done both at work and at home, so I was feeling the pressure mount. I asked him if he wanted me to cancel my vacation day. Instead of just answering, he weaseled with his words saying things like “I know you’ll make the right decision”. For who? For me it is to go on vacation and get things done at home. For him it would be for me to stay. We went around and around on this. All I wanted was a simple yes or no answer to my question, and he wouldn’t step up and just say it. This is where he and I differ. If it were someone on my team, I’d have given them a definitive answer, and most likely it would have been “NO! Go take the time you have earned and planned to take”. I’d have made sure that they left the building guilt free, not with the sword of “I know you’ll do the right thing” hanging over their head. I am a better leader than that!

Soon my wife and I will pack our things for a fun weekend of camping. Who knows, maybe there will be a progress picture along the way!

Week 28 Weigh-in, and I should have known better

Today mark 28 weeks since I started this journey. This morning I weighed in at 264.4 pounds. That has me down 2.2 pounds for the week. My total weight loss is now at 80.6 pounds, or 23.4% of my starting weight.My BMI as of today is 35.86 compared to 46.79 when I started.

The reason I said in my headline that I should have known better has to do with peeking at the scale. I know that the right thing for me to do is only weigh myself once per week, on my weigh-in day. When I do that I get a good weekly measure of my progress, and I don’t spend the week worrying about the scale. Lately I have been having a look after the weekend, just to see how I am doing. This week it turned into a daily, obsessive look. One day I was down, then I was up for several in a row. It lead to me worrying about my weight, instead of focusing on just doing the right things, and being healthy. I wasted cycles in worry, and that’s never productive.

My weight did bounce around some this week, and that should have been expected. I am under stress at work, I had some salty restaurant food, I didn’t stick to a workout schedule, and so on. But, at the end of it all I was down 2.2 pounds. So, who am I to argue with success?

For the coming week I want to stick to a good workout schedule, including trips to the gym. I had gotten away from the gym while I was doing the walking challenge, but now it is time to get back on the bike, treadmill, and the rest. While the weather is still tolerable, I am going to continue trying to walk 3 miles a day as well, in addition to workout time.

In terms of food, I just plan to stay the course. Track my points (which I honestly could be doing better at), stay hydrated, and plan ahead.

I was asked recently by a fellow blogger to talk about my food choices, especially when I was still diagnosed as diabetic. I apologize that I haven’t had a chance to do that yet. I plan to write a post about how I lost the first 50 pounds, which coincides with having my A1C drop below the diabetic level. So, stay tuned!

Finally, I am continuing on my Affirmation Challenge. Today is day 12, and I thought I would share the one from yesterday with you:

Like a mushroom that buys drinks at the bar, I’m a fun guy to be around. People enjoy spending time with me.

I enjoy being around people, and people enjoy being around me.

How are you doing on your journey? What are your ups and downs? And what’s happening with your Affirmation Challenge?

Affirmation Challenge – Day 10

Hello all. As I wrote yesterday, I have been struggling with the idea of affirming myself these past few days. Yesterday morning I made the commitment to find my affirmation for the 10th day, and to report it back here.

I turned it over in my mind yesterday whenever I had a break from the hectic meetings I was part of. Throughout the day I was knocking things off the list to do for my project, moving the needle forward, and in between thinking about what I could write for myself.

When I got home I immediately changed into my painting clothes and started working on our bedroom project. I worked on the cut in around all the walls, windows and doors. When I stopped for a dinner break I was thinking about what I could write for my affirmation. After dinner my wife and I got back to work in the room and not only finished the cut-in, but also got the walls rolled with their first coat of paint. As we were cleaning up from that I was thinking about what I could write about an affirmation for myself.

When we were finally going to bed last night, it was still on my mind. Then it hit me.

I get things done. When there is something difficult to do, I find a way to make it happen.

My project at work isn’t complete, and there will be quite a lot of long meetings coming in the next couple of months, but I will get it done. Our bedroom project is coming along, and there are still quite a lot of steps to finish before we can move back in to the freshly-remodeled room, but we will get it done. That’s what I am affirming in myself today. When something needs to get done, I find a way to do it.


Affirmation challenge struggles

I haven’t written my daily affirmations here in the blog since Sunday, and I am not sure I will write any here today. I am keeping up with the project, and writing my daily 3×5 card, but I am not feeling it for sharing them.

On my other blog I have written about how my mood has been, and some not-so-laudable actions on my part. You can read about that here and here.

The truth is that my writing of the affirmations has been somewhat half-hearted. I haven’t been digging into myself to find what is really great and worthy of affirmation. But, isn’t that what I am supposed to do in this challenge? Did I not challenge myself and those around me to dig in and affirm what is positive, rather than focus on our faults and negatives.

Today is day 10 of the challenge, the 1/3 mark. I plan to spend some time today turning over in my mind something that I want to affirm about myself, and I am committing to my readers to publish something about it by this time tomorrow.


Affirmation Challenge – 3 days worth

I have been writing my affirmations on a 3″x5″ card every day so far, but I haven’t published them all here. For those interested, here are the last 3 that I wrote, with a brief description for each.

September 5 – I am a sensitive person. I show my emotions freely and sometimes even cry at sad movies.

The fact is that I am sometimes just a ball of emotion. I do cry at sad movies, even if I elect to hide that fact from those around me. My sensitivity isn’t limited to movies though. I am usually very aware of the moods and feelings of those around me as well.

September 6 – I am observant. I notice important and subtle details and can recall them when the time is right.

At some point this month I will write about my memory. One of the things about me that I really like is that I do pick up on details. I see things that others may miss, and I store them away. This is a strength of mine for many things, most importantly with relationships

September 7 – What I lack in patience I make up for in tenacity.

I wrote this one at the end of the day yesterday. At breakfast this morning it was a topic of conversation between my wife and I. Her basic take was that it is absolutely true, but she wondered if it weren’t too much of a back handed compliment. A back handed compliment is one that has an insult built in. She asked me if I would be disappointed to read someone else writing this about themselves. Here is my take. I think that tenacity is a supreme compliment to me. I don’t give up easily.

Case in point. Yesterday we were working on a home improvement project to remodel our bedroom. I am not at all a handy person, so anything that has to do with home improvement is outside my comfort zone. There were plenty of times yesterday from the seemingly endless visit to Home Depot, to the 30 minute problem of unsticking a hole saw from the jog where my patience was tested. And when I say my patience was tested, that is a euphemism for my completely being without any patience. And, if this weren’t an affirmation challenge the story would end there.

But, here is the thing. I refused to give up. The fact is that I don’t give up easily, if ever. Just because I was outside my comfort zone, and just because my stomach acids were churning, never was it an option to give up. I stuck with all of the tasks in the project that were holding me up until I was able to find my way through them. And THAT is what I mean when I say I am tenacious. I don’t quit.


So, those are the affirmations for the last few days. For those of you following along on this challenge, how are you doing? Have you been writing an affirmation for yourself daily? Have you needed to phone a friend? Remember, this is about us being just a little selfish, and reminding ourselves that we are special, we are important, we are valued, and we are good. This all is about balance. Even on those days or weeks when the scale doesn’t tell the tale, I will still be a lovable person. For me to continue and be successful on the Journey toward better health, I must be healthy in all aspects of my life.



Affirmation Challenge Day 4 – Wit

I have a disarming wit that can defuse a tense situation.

I have been blessed with a gift for making people laugh. I have good timing, and I have a sense for knowing just the right time to say something that will ease the tension in the room. I do my best to either make myself or no one the object of the joke. My goal is just to get people to smile, or even have a short laugh, so the tension is broken and we can move on.


This post is not just a random boast. I am publishing this as part of my 30 Day Affirmation Challenge. You can read more about the challenge here.

Affirmation Challenge – Day 3

“I hold myself to a high standard of accountability. I take responsibility for my actions, no matter the consequences.”

I have made mistakes in my life. I have made decisions that I have come to regret, and I have judged things incorrectly. One thing I have not done is tried to make excuses or alibis. When I have done wrong, I have faced the music. And when I have made decisions and taken actions, I stand behind them. If I am wrong, then I deal with it.


This post is not just a random boast. I am publishing this as part of my 30 Day Affirmation Challenge. You can read more about the challenge here.

Affirmation Challenge – Day 1

Before I start I want to just say that publishing the affirmations I write to myself is a bit awkward. I was raised on the idea that “self praise stinks”, and so it is hard for me to write the affirmations, let alone publish them (hence why it is a challenge!). I do want to follow on the commitment to write mine down every day, and today is no exception. As I said in the original post on this challenge, I may not publish them all. And, if you are along for the challenge you may not either, but I will publish some as a way to set the example.


“I tend to spark the flame of enthusiasm in people.”

I am taking this one from a fortune cookie that I opened back in July. I do spark enthusiasm in the people around me. I have a natural gift for rallying people up, and getting them excited to join in. Whether it is at work, at home, or in my years of volunteer work, I have always been one that could appeal to that “God within” everyone and stoke their fire of enthusiasm.