TWLC2: What Are You Going to Change?

I’m not sure I believe it myself, but somehow I managed to convince over 75 of you to send me your before picture. 75!!! If I manage to collect money from everyone who pledged the $10 AND sent in a picture, the winner of TWLC2 is going to come away from this challenge feeling very, very happy. I don’t want this round to be like last time though, with dozens of people signing up but only a handful sending me a results picture at the end.

Unrelated picture from Poland. I needed something to break up the text. 🙂

The key to lasting change, is going to be vocalizing the changes you want to make right from the get-go. Here are the changes I’m committing to over the next few months:

1. I will only have sweetened foods (that means any type of sweetener, excluding fruit) one day per month. Thanksgiving day, Christmas, Halloween, New Years Day, Valentines Day, etc. Once I use up my day, I have to wait until the next month for candy or pastries or almonds dipped in honey or whatever it may be. (One exception to this is eating over at someone’s house as a guest for dinner. I will accept dessert whenever it is personally offered by my host.)

2. I will only have white flour once per month. Same rules as above.

3. I will strength train on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If I fail to train at least once a week for the next three months I will go through the work of finding a friend to work out with (and coordinate babysitting somehow).

4. I will run/do-some-sort-of-cardio on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday/Saturday.

5. I will start the B210K program.

6. Measure myself for inches lost every 8 weeks, instead of focusing solely on the scale.

7. Start recording pictures of what I eat on a daily basis on the food blog again. This one is very important because it helps me practice “mindful eating”, something I always need to work on.

8. Re-evaluate everything in 3 months. Adjust.

Those are my goals, and now it’s your turn. You won’t make any changes unless you verbalize them! You can write them in the comment section below, print them out on your refrigerator, write a post on your own blog, whatever works for you so that you know the changes you are going to make and can refer back to them as needed.

Remember that some of the keys to setting good goals include being specific (I not only said I would run, I noted the days I would do so), and I think most importantly not intending to overhaul your entire life in a day. The things I cited above are small shifts in my way of life, but important ones. If you’re coming from a completely different place, don’t set yourself up for failure by writing down monstrous changes that you’ll never stick with. Pick a handful of things, work on them for a month, or two, or three, and then re-evaluate in a pre-determined amount of time to give yourself a chance to analyze your progress and see how you can continue to improve.

41 thoughts on “TWLC2: What Are You Going to Change?

  1. 1. I will only have sweetened foods one day per month. I like this idea and will do this. I have got to get my sweet tooth under control. It’s ridiculous and a major cause of consuming too many calories.

    2. I will go to the gym 3 days a week. During those days I will strengthen my knee by the exercises provided to me by the doctor and one Zumba class. I will also go to the gym one day during the weekend and follow a cross training program.

    3. I will use my friend, who is also loosing a large amount of weight, as a support.

    4. My weight loss friend and I will have weekly weigh ins together. This will provide me with some accountability, as I do not like to publicly weigh in but will because I need the added pressure to lose weight.

    5. I will record what I eat every day using and update TWLC doc. once every other day.

    6.Re-evaluate everything in 3 months. Adjust.

  2. I’m a recovering anorexic/bulimic so my goals are a little different but I’ve recently recommitted myself to recovery so here it goes:

    1. Commit to 1,500 calories a day. At least 3 servings of fruits and veggies.

    2. Re-commit to cooking at home. Making time is important.

    3. Let husband help in cooking. And remember he really is trying to help, even though it seems like he’s trying to be annoying.

    4. My daily servings of carbs should all be whole grain. Not for losing weight necessarily but for health reasons.

    Danielle Reply:

    Good for you!

    During a bout of serious anxiety I could barely get myself to eat the 1300 ish calories I had committed to in my food plan. It was a lot more than the 500 or less I had been eating. Anxiety is obviously a different animal than anorexia or bulimia, but I know how hard it can be some days to eat when everything in your brain and sometimes your body says you don’t want it/can’t do it. I don’t know where you are in your recovery, but I hope you’re doing well.

    Ellie Reply:

    Do you have a crockpot? They are great for helping you make time, and you always come home to a hot meal. I find it so much easier to throw something in before work than to cook after I come home.

  3. I would like to workout during one of Baby Max’s naps 3x per week starting Monday. I have resistance bands and want to do lunges, squats, push-ups, and sit-ups.

  4. I have to start with significantly less stringent rules than all of you. I have some VERY bad eating habits right now. VERY BAD. Shame shame!

    I’m going to do a couple of things:

    1) I’m not buying any more soda after I finish the case that is currently in my house. That means that if I go out to eat, I need to drink water. I am addicted to diet soda – it doesn’t even need to have caffeine to satisfy my craving. It’s expensive, it’s full of chemicals, it’s bad for my teeth, etc, etc, etc.

    2) I will limit myself to sweet treats once a week. I’ve been eating candy after every meal, so this will be a big change. After 3 months, I will re-evaluate.

    3) I will make a concerted effort to include 3 servings of fruit and vegetables at every meal. I will re-evaluate this at month 3.

    4) During month one, I will walk a total of 35,000 steps a week. I will work up to 10,000 steps a day by the end of month 2. I plan to add additional exercise during month 3, though I haven’t worked that out quite yet.

    5) I will track my food and water consumption, as well as my exercise at this new blog: I am not linking it to my other blog right now because, frankly I’m ashamed. Soon, though. I will privately track weekly weigh-ins and monthly measurements and photos at the same blog. I may make those public as I progress or…not.

    We can do this!

    Senora H-B Reply:

    3) 3 servings of fruits and vegetables each DAY not at each meal – although that wouldn’t be impossible and would be awesome!

    Kate Reply:

    I’ve found at restaurants, a glass of water with a few limes is a nice substitute for diet soda. Unsweetened tea is good, too.

    Senora H-B Reply:

    Kate – I love this suggestion. Back in my days of bar crawling with my grad school friends, I would get soda water with lime (since I don’t drink). It is still one of my favorites. Water with lime is even better than bubbly water with lime. Perfect! (Guess who’s buying a bag o’ limes on the way home from work tonight…)

    Kate Reply:

    The limes really are great! I think it’s something about the “bite” of the lime — it’s almost like the carbonated “bite” of diet coke for me.

    I also challenged myself to go one week without any diet soda — just a week, and I promised myself I could have as much as I wanted when the week was up. Well, the week was up on Monday and I’ve re-upped my challenge to the end of the month. I was a hard core diet coke addict, too (actually Diet Dr Pepper was my “drug of choice”) It helped because it was a short length of time with a close end in sight. But by the end of the mini challenge, I found I didn’t want the diet soda as much anymore. It can be done, I think it just takes time.

    There really should be a support group for recovering soda lovers!

    Senora H-B Reply:

    Kate – I’m so glad to hear that you’ve found success! I’ve given it up before, but I’ve been using grad school as an excuse lately. Truthfully, I think I’d just feel better if I didn’t drink it at all. Of course, not enough to just get rid of the case I already have…. 😉

    Alisha Reply:

    I used to drink two large Dr. Peppers a day. I gave it up cold turkey (the easiest way for me) and I haven’t had any in 3 years! You can do it!

    Rachel Reply:

    I’m addicted to adding lemon/lime to pretty much anything I drink – but especially nasty tap water as I try to use my nalgene instead of relying on plastic water bottles. Y’all might want to try carrying a few packets of “True Lemon” ( because it is all natural – literally just freeze dried lemon. My mom found a shaker of the stuff in the spices aisle and now I keep it next to my sink. Much easier/cheaper than buying lemons and limes AND it helped me kick a pretty nasty Dr. Pepper habit.

  5. 1. I will drink 8 glasses of water a day, and not have more than one Diet Coke a day. (Right now, I have a serious DC addiction.)

    2. I will make and eat a serving of vegetables with every meal I cook at home.

    3. I will eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day.

    4. I will do some sort of exercise 3 times a week.

    4. I will only use half of my Weekly Point Allowance each week. (This is Weight Watchers speak for about 980 “bonus” calories on top of the 1200-ish calories I have per day.)

  6. Thanks for writing this post. It gave me the push I needed to write what was in my head on my blog. I have been afraid to write down how much weight I gained in college, especially in a public place. Thanks to your honesty I felt it was about time I join the honesty band wagon.

  7. 1. Follow a low carb diet (this is the best way of eating for my body and medical condition).
    2. Drink the water requirement for my weight (.5oz x Weight in Pounds)
    3. Make exercise a habit and part of my life!
    4. Learn to love vegetables (cook a serving at every meal and learn new recipes to make them more enjoyable but still healthy).
    5. Continue my good eating habits through the holidays, one day isn’t an excuse to overeat!
    6. Don’t lose sight of my goals. Take time every day to envision my goals and see myself how I want to be in 6 months from now.

  8. I just recently posted about my plan for TWLC2 on my blog but also want to reiterate them here.

    1. I will do some sort of cardio 5 days a week. Hot yoga counts too!
    2. I will strength train 3 times per week
    3. I will continue to make healthy choices regarding my meals and grocery shopping. I know how to do this, I just have to remind myself (especially when I go out to eat) to practice what I know.
    4. I will NOT eat past 10pm. Late night snacking is a problem for me, and might also be a result of not eating enough throughout the day.
    5. I will keep myself accountable by posting my workouts and a general idea of what I’ve been eating on my blog as well as weigh myself once a week on the scale at my gym.
    6. I will NOT give up even if I mess up on a few of these points. My main focus for this challenge is to KEEP GOING.

    Do you have an idea of when we will get access to the google docs?

  9. I’m not participating in TWLC2 because of some health issues but I am making healthy changes to my diet/habits.

    1) Always eat at the table. If I’m not hungry enough to eat at the table, I’m not hungry enough to eat.
    2) If it comes with more than 5 ingredients, no thanks. (Homemade meals or things prepared with fresh, whole ingredients are fine.)
    3) I will thoroughly enjoy every thing I eat. If I’m not excited about eating it, why bother? There are so many delicious and healthy meals out there.
    4) If it’s marketed as “healthy” it’s also probably in a package and therefore not as healthy (or as tasty) as it pretends to be. Don’t get sucked in by “meal replacements”.
    5) Eat as many fruits and vegetables as I provide my children (6-8 servings/day).
    6) Eat at least 3 meals a day except for Fast Sundays.

    Jenna Reply:

    I love your first one. I might need to ad that in to mine if I’m not seeing results

  10. Okay here we go!

    1 – drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. I’m nursing my son and need to really be sure to get plenty of water. Luckily, I love water but sometimes don’t drink enough.

    2 – daily walks with the baby in the sling or ergo carrier or work out at home if the weather stinks. train for the shamrock shuffle in april.

    3 – journaling what I eat everyday. This really helps me keep track of what eat as I tend to over eat.

    4 – eat meals at home. We eat out way to often and it’s both bad for me and our budget.

    5 – weigh in and take measurements every other week

    6 – eliminating white flour and white sugar, I’m building up to this

  11. My changes that I am committing to are:

    1. Be aware of what I eat!

    2. Eat smaller portions throughout the day.

    3. More good snacks.

    4. More fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.

    5. Less ice cream, candy, chips, cookies, and brownies.

    6. No snacks after dinner.

    7. Exercise at least 4x a week.

    8. Do my own daily weigh in every Saturday morning.

    I wrote in more detail on paper what I plan do to. I listed the fruits and vegetable options that I have so I will know that I can turn to those things to eat when I am hungry. I also get bored of the same old exercise routine so I wrote down the different kinds of exercise I can do. My darling husband eats huge platefuls and I have gotten into the habit of that since being married. I want to make my meals smaller and more manageable so that I am coming away from a meal content but not so stuffed! I love the things listed on #5 and plan on trying really hard to resist buying them and having my husband buy them. I plan on working extra hard so that every Saturday when I weigh-in the number will be smaller on the scale each time.
    I do plan on re-evaluating in a month.

  12. Log every bite at mynetdiary
    Giant salad for lunch
    Freezer meals to limit evening what’s for dinner (40 home made meals in the freezer)
    Stick to budgeted calories 1600-1800
    Increase mileage every week
    Fitbit continue to increase daily steps to hit 10k/ day by 1/1/12 and 15k by end of TWLC2
    Fitbit get 45 hours of sleep a week

  13. A David’s Bridal consultant recently insisted I would need a size 10-12 instead of the 4-6 I actually fit into, so I’m not feeling too great about how I look. What good is being able to wear a smaller size if you don’t LOOK small?! Being yelled at about how my “fata$$ should keep running” by some boys in their junky car hasn’t really helped me self image either. I’m going to use this as motivation to really commit to a strong workout plan – this way I’ll be fast and strong enough to run mean boys down and beat them up 😉

    1. Follow the half marathon training plan. Using the elliptical is OK if the weather prevents me from running outside. (Please please please let us have a mild winter.)
    2. Don’t eat after 10pm. EVER.
    3. Restrict alcoholic beverages to 2x a month.
    4. Only eat lunch out 2x a month.
    5. Only purchase coffee 2x a month. (I’m pretty sure I’ve had a tab going at Starbucks.)
    6. Post my miles/times/calories to my blog (
    7. Encourage, bride, and blackmail friends and family to work out with me whenever possible.
    8. Not get into bed until my pedometer reads 12,000 steps. I usually get over 10,000 now so this will be a good increase.

    Maia Reply:

    Don’t feel bad about that — my David’s Bridal gown was 2 sizes larger than I normally wear. I read somewhere that bridal gowns tend to be sized small… because of course, that’s one more thing you need to be stressed out about before your wedding!

  14. It was difficult for me to decide on which changes I thought were reasonable; I want to be able to say “no sweets whatsoever” but that’s just setting myself up to fail. So instead I chose these things:

    1. I may eat a normal portion of desserts only ONE day per week. If I make a mistake and eat two portions in one week, I don’t get a portion the next week. I’ll have 4 portions per month.

    2. Complete the Couch to 5k program. Run every other day.

    3. Maintain calorie accountability with Weight Watchers. Do NOT eat points I don’t have.

    4. No more than 3 servings of juice or soda per week.

    5. Drink 64oz of water per day.

    6. Eat only fruits or veggies from dinner time until 10pm.

    7. After 10pm I may only drink water.

  15. Love this idea. Here are my goals:

    1. No more soda. I drink way too much soda. This includes drinking more water. I am trying to shoot for 8 cups a day.
    2. Exercise three days a week. I will evaluate this after three months.
    3. Cook at home at least five days a week. We eat out way too often.
    4. Eat breakfast!
    5. Bring lunch and snacks from home. I need to start having healthy options on hand for when I get hungry and need a snack.

  16. Here goes 🙂

    1. I will cut all gluten from my diet. Not only will these help me lose weight, it will have a big impact on my mood as well.

    2. I will do an at home strength based workout on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

    3. I will do a card workout on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

    4. I will complete the c25k by the end of TWLC2.

    5. I will cut out all soft drink (soda) from my diet.

    Thanks for having a post about goals Jenna, writing them out makes me feel a lot more accountable!

  17. I’m also recovering from an eating disorder — binge eating/bulimia. Making strict rules for myself is something my nutrition counselor discouraged me from doing, but I am comfortable setting some general guidelines for good eating behaviors:

    1. Pack my lunch every day for work — preferably the night before so I can just grab it and go. I eat really well when I make it easy for myself. I have a Laptop Lunches bento box that I love when I take the time to pack it thoughtfully with lots of interesting foods:

    2. Plan dinner menus over the weekend and do shopping and prep work so it’s easy to cook healthy dinners during the week. If I don’t do this, it’s too easy to pick up a pizza or something else on the way home, and that’s money we don’t need to spend on food we don’t need to make a habit of eating.

    3. Make sure the table or kitchen island is clear and available for us to eat at every evening. My husband and I have a terrible habit of eating in front of the TV or while we work/Internet/etc.

    4. Stop bringing sweets into the house. I do it thinking we’ll enjoy them in moderation over a long period of time, but really we just gobble them up.

    5. Use the 1-10 hunger scale my nutritionist recommends. When I think of eating something, I’m supposed to stop and assess where my hunger level really is on a scale of 1 (uncomfortably full) to 10 (dangerously hungry). If I’m around a 7, it’s time to eat.

    I also told my husband he needs to prepare to see more vegetables and fewer meats and starches. It’s how I used to cook when I cooked just for myself, but I found myself catering more to his palate when we moved in together because it was easier than trying to figure out new ways to cook the four veggies he actually likes. It’s time for me to help us both get back into healthier eating habits.

  18. Those of you who a measuring inches, where are you measuring? Around the belly, of course, but what else?

    cait Reply:

    I’m measuring, around my waist, thighs, hips, bust and arms.

  19. 1. I will only have fries twice a week. (right now i could have them everyday with every meal :S)

    2. I will prepare my breakfast/lunch/snacks at home for at least 3 days per week.

    3. I will cut down on carbs with my dinner (i could easily eat 4-5 large potatoes in one sitting), so no more than two potatoes max.

    4. I will go to the gym 3 days a week

    5. I will attend at least one fitness class per week eg. yoga/kickboxing/ dance class/ fitness dvd

    6. I will walk my dog twice a week

    7. I will log all food intake on myfitnesspal and have a weekly weigh in to keep myself in check, as well as measurements

    8. I will cut down on fizzy drinks

    9. I will not eat past 10pm

    Revaluate everything in 3 months time!

    on a side note, anyone on MFP want to add each other as friends for extra support? 🙂

  20. I’m not participating in TWLC2, BUT this post made me realize something: small changes lead to bigger ones.

    SO, since I have found it so difficult to get back into the right frame of mind for diet and exercise, I’m going to start small.

    Start with one little change and add to it when I feel like it won’t turn me into a lunatic.

    Today, I’m going to start by limiting soda. Soda is officially only allowed once a week.

    Once I can ween myself back off the sugary crack called soda, I’ll start cutting out more sugar and carbs. Eventually I’ll get back to a healthier state of mind and body. One day, one step at a time.

  21. My major goal for TWLC 2 is to get a permanent, full time job, which will hopefully involve an office which doesn’t provide free soda. I try to limit myself to one per day, but it doesn’t always happen.

    I’m going to start small by saying that I will start by trying to go one day per week where I only eat whole grains and do not eat white flour. Then hopefully I will move up to two days per week, then three, and so on. I’m not sure it’s ever really realistic for me to cut out white flour entirely, but I would really like to try and starting with the small amount is going to help me get in the habit more as well.

    I’m also training for my very first marathon (it’s in March), so I will be running 3 times a week to get my body in shape for that. One of those runs will be a long run on the weekend, but I’m hoping to make one of those runs a weeknight run with a running group so I can get out, make new friends, and hopefully push my pace a little bit and get faster.

    I also am going to go back to doing yoga twice a week. I feel so much better when I do regular yoga.

  22. 1. I will pack my lunch 3x’s a week (not only will this save me from eating the junk food at the take-out places, it will also save me money.

    2. I will “run” 3x’s a week. That always me to use the “I’m tired” or “it’s raining” excuse a finite number of times a week. (Run is in quotes, becuase its a combination of walk/run – my version of couch to 5k).

    3. Every two weeks I will decrease the amount of walking between my running or increase run distance (to help this make sense: right now I can run 1/4 mile and walk 1/4 on repeat. Next week I hope to either run 1/4 mile then walk 1/8 -or- run 1/2 mile with the 1/4 miles in between).

    4. I will limit myself to one 8oz cup of juice a day for breakfast (OJ or Cranberry are my go-to’s as opposed to being a soda girl).

    5. I will only weight myself every 3 weeks.

    6. Every three weeks I will reevaluate and perhaps add to my list.

  23. Love this! Jenna, you are so right to make a specific list of goals. Thanks for being an inspiration.

    Here’s mine:

    1. Go to the gym on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays: exercise at least one hour.
    2. Do yoga at home on Tuesdays and Thursdays: work up to completing the entire one hour video.
    3. Walk at least 30 minutes every day.
    4. Dessert twice a week or less (this includes candy snacks).
    5. No more than 2 Frappucinos a month (having one almost every day probably accounts for 5 pounds all by itself).
    6. Record what I eat every day: I have no idea exactly how healthy/unhealthy my diet even is!
    7. Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day.
    8. Re-evaluate in 3 months (Jan. 15th, 2012).

  24. Starting small because too many just overwhelms me and makes me FAIL immediately!

    1. I need to start drinking water 90% of the time. Right now, I reach for the milk, or stop for a sweet tea WAY too often.

    2. Stop overindulging in sweets. When I want sweets, I put it off forever and ever and then just dive in. If I want some chocolate, each something small and move forward.

    We’ll see where I am in a few months!

  25. I definitely need to set myself some goals other than “lose weight.” I’m a new working mom and life is so crazy right now that I often lose sight of what I really want for myself.

    1) Limit my intake of sweets to once per week (compared to several times a day right now). If I have 2 sweet treats in a week, I will cut out my sweet treat the next week.

    2) Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

    3) Get some form of aerobic exercise 3x per week for at least 45 minutes.

    4) Strength train 2x per week (Tuesdays and Thursdays)

    5) Insist that my husband to be there to help with the baby when I need to be exercising (or getting housework done so that I can exercise later). This is a big one for me because right now I am letting him get away with working extra (which we don’t need, he just loves his job) or hanging out in the man-cave while I take care of the baby. As a result, I spend all my time with the baby (not that I don’t love her, too), and my weight and self-image have really taken a hit.

  26. is it too late to join this? i just realized that i NEED it. i don’t have the cash right now, but i’d love to be entered for the photos. more than that though, i need to be healthier. i want to have a baby next year, and i’m in no shape for that.

  27. – I will play tennis 2x/week
    – I will do the C25K program 3 days a week
    – I will limit my carb intake & up my veggie/fruit/water intake.
    – I will get my husband to do the C25k program
    – I will weigh myself 1x/week & track it

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