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Dawn Kaestner of Snohomish (Alternate)

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Week Twelve - FINAL

Starting Goal: My goals were to lose weight, cut down on sugar consumption and lower my cholesterol levels. Do you feel that you accomplished your goal? I didn't lose as much weight as I wanted to but I feel stronger and have a lot more energy than before. My change in diet and exercise routine have positively affected all aspects of my life. My cholesterol levels are now in the healthy range and I am eating a more balanced diet of healthy foods. What are your goals for the future? Just keeping on this path in order to enjoy a healthier, happier life!

Week Eleven

What did you find most challenging this week? Motivation! I was hoping the school-year structure would serve me well but with classes and kid's sports 6 days a week, I haven't taken the time for me this week. What accomplishment were you most proud of this week? I did make it to the Y for water aerobics but am missing my canceled cardio class:( What are your goals for next week? Re-assessing my personal goals and getting ready for the next 12 weeks. As an alternate, not being in the running to win takes a lot of pressure off...but it also makes me less accountable. Sum up your thoughts for this week of Healthy Challenge. Great opportunity and I am happy for all the others!

Week Ten

What did you find most challenging this week? Very busy with end of summer/back to school stuff so exercise was low on my priority list! What accomplishment were you most proud of this week? Not much to be proud of this week--I could have done better:( What are your goals for next week? More trips to the Y and exercising each and every day. Sum up your thoughts for this week of Healthy Challenge. Just can't believe it's almost done but am grateful to have more months at the Y so I can keep going til the end of the year!

Week Nine

What did you find most challenging this week? The YMCA has canceled the step class I loved:( And just so busy with back-to-school prep, I had a hard time sticking to routine. What accomplishment were you most proud of this week? Tried some home work-out tapes--I prefer the peer pressure of being in a class but I enjoyed doing them! What are your goals for next week? Back to a stricter routine now that my mornings will be free with the kid's in school. I still work but will have a little more schedule flexibility. Sum up your thoughts for this week of Healthy Challenge. Nearing the end of the 12 weeks! I don't know that I'm going to make my weight goal as soon as I'd hoped but I feel better and will continue on:)

Week Eight

What did you find most challenging this week? Staying motivated! I am craving the back-to-school structure at home so I can have more structure as well. What accomplishment were you most proud of this week? Trying not to stress out that the scale isn't moving as fast as I'd like it to. What are your goals for next week? I really need to work on meal planning ahead of time. It is my biggest obstacle right now. With sport season beginning for the kids we will have practice during the week and games on the weekends so it's essential to have a plan! Sum up your thoughts for this week of Healthy Challenge. Just looking forward to an easy wind-down of summer and having September be more productive than my August. Provide a healthy tip that you've learned during this challenge: Frozen blueberries! Pick or buy the great seasonal fruit and save it in the freezer. You will always have healthy options without breaking the bank to purchase off-season goodies.

Week Seven

What did you find most challenging this week? After two weeks of missing step class (one on vacation, one due to injury) I went to the Y on Monday only to find out the class had been suspended for a month due to August being a slow month? This is not the first time I have shown for a class on the schedule to find it canceled so it was quite frustrating! I also missed an important event happening for my children that day to be at the class so I felt even worse. I count on the structure of a class to keep me motivated but I may have to change that outlook and try to do more outside of the club to avoid that scenario again. What accomplishment were you most proud of this week? Not much this week--I let the frustration get the better of me and used it as an excuse to not give it my all. What are your goals for next week? I might try some workout videos at home and want to dust off that jump rope of mine. Sum up your thoughts for this week of Healthy Challenge. I'm enjoying reading everyone's logs each week and look forward to hearing of positive results come the end of September:)

Week Six

What did you find most challenging this week? The change in routine felt weird to me. I spent more time in the pool this week to take the weight off my injured foot.\ What accomplishment were you most proud of this week? The same, really. Just continuing on this journey despite temptations. What are your goals for next week? I'm going to try step class at the Y again and see how my foot feels. Hoping to get back on track. Sum up your thoughts for the sixth week of Healthy Challenge. I can't believe we are halfway done! But, also, it feels more like a lifelong change than a 12 week challenge. :)

Week Five

What did you find most challenging this week? My mobility has been put to the test! I damaged a nerve in my right heel and have been given doctor's orders to stay off it as much as possible to allow it to heal. What accomplishment were you most proud of this week? Not freaking out about the frustrating diagnosis. I've made a plan to concentrate more on my eating plan while my exercise plan has gone awry. What are your goals for next week? I am going to change things up and focus on upper-body exercise to avoid using my foot as much. Sum up your thoughts for the fifth week of Healthy Challenge. Not what I expected to have to deal with this week but I'm glad the injury came a ways into the competition because I feel more confident to deal with it and not give up.

Week Four

What did you find most challenging this week? Being away from home on vacation most of the week made my food/exercise plan far from routine. I missed the comfort zone of my kitchen and my YMCA. What accomplishment were you most proud of this week? Trying some different activities. We were camping so the dogs got lots of walks, we rode bikes with the kids and walked a couple of miles into the Ape Caves near Mount St. Helens and I even crawled through the mold of an ancient tree without getting my butt stuck!. What are your goals for next week? Start the month of August with a bang and pick up some new healthy habits in the coming weeks. Sum up your thoughts for the fourth week of Healthy Challenge. I proved to myself that I am in control of my life, good choices and bad. I am not perfect, not infallible and am strong enough to take care of myself.

Week Three

What did you find most challenging this week? I had the flu for several days that messed with my food plan but will be back on track next week. What accomplishment were you most proud of this week? The variety of new things I've tried! Some I love, some I don't...but I definitely reached outside my box and comfort level. There are a few more things yet to try and then I will focus more on repeating the things I truly enjoyed. What are your goals for next week? We have a camping trip coming up and my goal is to stay on track with my food choices. Sum up your thoughts for the third week of Healthy Challenge. Can't believe it's already nearing the end of the month. I like that some of my healthy habits are becoming the new norm and look forward to continuing.

Week Two

What did you find most challenging this week? I was so tempted to eat the wrong things out of convenience. It was such a busy week with no time to plan meals out ahead of time so I need to be prepared and have the right stuff on hand to better my chances for success. Money is an issue too because the healthy foods are so often the more expensive ones. What accomplishment were you most proud of this week? The step-class that literally kicked my butt. Not being able to walk without feeling the muscle pain was actually very satisfying and reminded me of my accomplishments. What are your goals for next week? I have lost about 8 pounds thus far and, though I love that motivation, I know it will eventually taper off each week as my body adjusts to the healthy eating and exercise. My goal is just to maintain the level of activity and not get frustrated if the progress isn't as noticeable further down the road. Sum up your thoughts for the second week of Healthy Challenge. I feel good! Knowing that I'm the tortoise in this race, who prefers to make slow but permanent changes, is helping me along.

Week One

What did you find most challenging this week? Time management! The kids are out of school, I was working extra hours and trying to get to the YMCA to try different classes and activities. What accomplishment were you most proud of this week? See above! I'm so grateful my family is being so helpful and understanding. Also, I cut my sugar consumption by roughly 75% this week. I felt light-headed and crabby the first day but it actually got easier. I don't have the patience for detailed calorie counting but I am reading labels with more scrutiny and spending my self-allotted sugar budget responsibly and without guilt. What are your goals for next week? Keep going to the YMCA and take family/dog walks several times a week. Also, I'm starting a vitamin regime and trying to get to bed earlier. My goals for the 12 week period are to lose 24 pounds and get my high cholesterol into a healthy range. Sum up your thoughts for the first week of Healthy Challenge. This is such a great opportunity to change my life and being accountable to the public and my family is very motivating. I will make permanent, healthy changes for myself.

Beginning of Challenge:


Age: 38
Weight: 213 lbs
Height: 5' 6''

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