Tag Archive: fitness


Why Diets Fail

diet

Well, it’s February 13th which means you just realized your New Year’s diet failed. It’s okay, blame it on the 87 feet of snow we got or Obama. It’s not your fault. Everyone fails at diets. We’ve all said, “That’s it! This is the year I lose this weight!” And, then 2 weeks later (if you’re lucky) you fall off the wagon and roll around in pizza naked while doing a beer bong. (Just me???) Next thing you know, there’s money missing off the dresser and your daughter’s knocked up. I’ve seen it a hundred times…

Diets themselves are doomed for failure and I’m going to tell you why.

1. Diets are a temporary sacrifice to get us to an imaginary ‘Happy Place’. Diets should never be temporary. In fact, let’s take back the word ‘diet’. It should simply mean- what we eat. I don’t like how it has come to imply weight loss. What makes us think that a few months of cutting back to lose weight is going to work? Even if you do lose the weight, you return to normal eating habits and go back to where you started. This leads to years of dieting, yo-yo weight, and multiple cats. IT WILL NOT WORK.

2. Diets imply deprivation. You immediately start to think of hunger, sacrifice, boring foods, and sobriety. Blarg. It sounds depressing. You say things like, “it’s going to be hard but worth it” and “whenever I’m hungry I’ll just picture myself in a bikini and suck it up”. That’s inspiring!

3. Diets rarely factor in long term health. We are all just trying to look good naked, right? Most diets are about calorie restriction and ‘diet foods’ without factoring in yourself years from now. Will eating Lean Cuisines help you lose weight? Probably. Are those sodium and chemical filled foods good for your long term health? Nope.

4. Diets set you up for the binge. As I alluded to before, 2 weeks into a restricted diet, you will likely give in to the cravings. This is because your brain wants nutrients. You were already probably not giving your body what it needed, but now your brain is starving. And your brain, very much like Ivan Drago, will break you.

5. Diets have no END. There is no magic destination. There is no ‘once I get HERE, I’ll be happy’. If you are not happy with yourself +15 pounds, you will not be happy -15 pounds. No one has ever gotten into their skinny jeans and been like, “Great, I made it. Now I’ll just be satisfied right here and maintain this forever and eat rainbows and poop butterflies.”

So what is the alternative? F-it? No, the answer is no more diets.

This does not mean you don’t try to eat better and exercise more. It simply means you aren’t going hungry for weight loss. It means you no longer buy diet foods. If you have weight to lose, eat whole/real foods 95% of the time, and move your ass occasionally, you will lose weight. Your body will stabilize; find it’s sweet-spot if you will. After that, you can certainly transform your shape thru weight lifting and training, but you will stay around that weight. Warning, there is a good chance your ‘normal’ weight is different than Gwenyth Paltrow. But, it will be healthy. You know like a little curvy, healthy body fat percentage, pooping and ovulating… healthy.

Instead of focusing on what you can’t eat, focus on what you can. Trust me, those crappy bagels in the break room at work are not worth it. Don’t be sad that you can’t eat those. Be happy about the delicious options you do have and how good you feel after you eat. We all know how you feel after eating fast food or other crap. Everything you eat is either making you more healthy and feeling good, or less healthy and feeling bad.

Instead of thinking 2 months from now, think 10, 20, 30 years from now. What kind of old person do you want to be? Overweight, 55, and going for your first knee replacement? Or, do you want to be the fun grandma that’s chasing her grandkids around and having sex with your husband? Do you want to be the 60 year old man with the big ol’ belly and the sleep apnea machine? Or do you want to be that old guy that’s doing yard work without his shirt on and all the women in the neighborhood are like ‘he’s kind of hot for 60’? Think Hellen Miren and Liam Neison. That’s your new goal.

Quit thinking ‘if I just lost 10 pounds…’. Goals are important, but make them meaningful. Have goals of increasing your energy, running a 5k, maintaining a healthy body fat percentage, getting rid of IBS/indigestion/anxiety/depression/acne, etc. ‘Skinny’ is no longer a goal. ‘Skinny’ means nothing.

Think positive. Changing your life by taking control of your health should be exciting and fun and wonderful. It’s not sacrifice; it’s awesome. That doesn’t mean it’s not going to be hard. Easy is laying on the couch with ice cream and facebook. But hard doesn’t have to mean bad. Each positive step in the right direction is a feather in your frickin’ happy cap. When you wake up without pain and exhaustion, when you run 3 miles without wanting to kill yourself, when you choose exercise over The Voice, you’ll realize hard can be very very good indeed.

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me will tennisThe other day I posted on my candysbrain blog facebook page that I was in a bit of a work-out-rut. To snap out of it, I went to the local sled hill and did sprints. It was hard and I am sore but it was also great. In 20 min. I did a great work out that made me feel strong and powerful. I felt like I was doing some much need strengthening of my legs, glutes, abs, etc. I made the joke that ‘this ass is not going to lift itself!’ It made me realize that I had high-hopes for this summer and I am not where I pictured myself for the end of July. I had more of a Jessica-biel-type-image in my mind. (What can I say, I dream big) It is almost fricking August and I’m barely different than when I started (fitness wise, the weight is a food thing). I wanted to get some sort of ‘abs’ this summer. NOT achieved. I wanted to do a 5k in under 29 min. NOT achieved. I wanted to break a sweat 4-5 times a week (sitting on my porch drinking in the sun doesn’t count). NOT achieved.

So what is a goal failure like myself to do? Re-commit! That is right, start now. I don’t want to be the person with the mind set, well I blew June/July so might as well wait until next summer. That’s like having McDonalds for lunch and saying ‘oh well, today is shot. I’ll have ice cream for dinner.’

But, the hardest part of all fitness plans is the accountability part. How can I stay honest during the next 30 days or so?

That’s where all of you come in. I was hoping I could recruit some of you to join me in a fitness challenge. Logistically this gets tricky. I don’t want to and don’t have the time to blog every day about what my exercise plan is. Too time consuming and repetitive. BUT- I can post stuff to the Candysbrain blog facebook page! AND- I don’t want to do this alone and have it be all about me. I would love it if you joined me and posted stuff to the page, commented on my posts, share your tips, ask questions, etc. Any and all fitness levels are welcome. I realize not everyone is ready for sprints or extreme sports, go at your own pace. And, to be clear, this is for women AND men. Here are the little guidelines I thought we could use to keep us moving to. This is what I came up with but I would love to hear your ideas:

1. Minimum of 3 workouts per week

2. At least 1 workout each week has to be something other than running

3. At least 1 workout each week has to be something other than cardio (run, elliptical, bike, etc.)

4. At least 2 workouts during the month have to be something ‘new’ (something you normally don’t do: yoga, hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, etc.)

5. Have some sort of objective measurement system. This could be weight, measurements (waist, hips,etc.), time for a mile or 5k, number of push-ups you can do, etc. It is good to have stats that you can measure yourself against.

And, depending on how involved all of you are… Wouldn’t it be fun to sign up for a 5k together?! If you’re not local, we can do it around the same time. If you are local, we can all run together! I might be a little optimistic here that you guys are going to join me, but here’s hopin’….

If you want to follow along and you haven’t ‘liked’ Candysbrain blog on facebook, please do so to stay informed. If you are “IN” for the challenge either comment below or on facebook. I am really excited and motivated right now.

Let’s do the damn thing!

Bi-Polar Body Image

Like most women I know, I have a jacked up body image. It makes me mad because I should know better. Like I have said before, I am not that weird shaped! I wonder why I am not more enlightened. Should I blame the media? Should I blame the fashion magazines or hollywood? Sure, they’re jerks, but they just put out what we buy. If we stopped buying into that crap, they would have to adjust. Honestly, I am the only one to blame. I am smart, I am mature, and I am surrounded by people that love me for the whole me regardless of my weight or waist. So, what’s my deal?!

To give you a little background, I don’t always feel bad about myself. In fact, I am bi-polar. I either think I am Sophia Vergara or the Stay-puft marshmallow man (Seriously, ghostbusters 1 and 2 were some of the best comedies ever! Under-rated, but I digress). There are days when I look into the mirror and I’m all like, “Damn girl, you look good!” There are other days when I want to drape my self in velvet-if it were socially acceptable- or some other kind of loose, warm, comfy fabric that I can disappear into. (If you got that velvet reference, give yourself a high five for being awesome.) Overall, though I would say I have a high level of confidence. I usually walk into a room like I own it.

bi-polar body image

With that said, why do I let myself talk down to myself? Why do I torture my poor husband by brushing off his compliments? You know how we do that ladies, “Oh, I love that dress on you.” and then we reply, “Just think of how good it would look if I lost 10 pounds!” That’s really annoying. I know it’s annoying and I still do it.

I think we all have a ‘story’ about ourselves that we have made up. Something that sticks with you for years. Maybe you used to be 30 pounds over weight, and now you still think of yourself as ‘that chubby girl’. My ‘story’ is that I am the big girl out of all my friends. Every single one of my friends is smaller than me and always has been. I’ve never been truly big, but always biggest. I have tiny little girl friends and a tiny little sister; they’re the worst! 🙂 So, my ‘story’ is that people look at me and think I am the big one. This is probably (hopefully) crazy. I doubt people care enough to even notice something like that. But, the point is, I am technically a healthy weight. My BMI is within the normal range. I clean up good. Why do I care so much? Why does my logical brain who knows I should be proud of my appearance disappear and let my stupid emotional brain insult me? My logical brain shouldn’t stand for that! And that is exactly what I am going to try to do from now on.

All compliments will be accepted with grace. From now on, when I get a compliment, I am going to say “thank you”. Simple as that, no qualifiers. “Hey that’s a nice shirt” will not be followed with “Oh, this thing? It’s super cheap; got it at Target.” It will now be followed with “thank you”.

I will not insult myself. I will no longer judge myself in a negative way. I will not allow ME to hurt ME out loud or in my head.

I will no longer compare myself to others. This is tough, but I will not compare myself to friends or strangers or celebrities or manequins. It’s funny how we only see the areas where we lose in comparisons.

I will no longer put thoughts into strangers heads. In other words, I will not make up stories about the way the world sees me. I am no longer the ‘big girl’ in my mind.

Ladies, let’s let go of our baggage and just enjoy our bodies for what they can do. This doesn’t mean we don’t try to improve by eating right and exercising, but it does mean no more obsessing. No more worrying about what others think. No more looking in the mirror and seeing anything but your true reflection. No more holding on to old stories or issues that are haunting us. Go give yourself a compliment. Be proud of yourself.

I’ll start right now: My butt has been looking really good lately since I started working out again!

Use the comments section to compliment yourself. Come on, you deserve it. It feels good.

Lately my focus has greatly been on my health and fitness. I have started working out more, I signed up for the Tough Mudder, and I completely changed the way I eat. When I think about the ‘why’ behind the changes, I come up with a lot of really good answers! Here is a small sampling:

-Overall health
-Heart Disease
-Longevity
-Energy
-Setting a good example for my children
-Yada yada yada

Good answers right?! And, technically they are all true. I think all of these things are incredibly important. But if doesn’t really tell the whole story. When I think about my REAL motivation, it’s not on that list. In fact, it’s a little less ‘evolved’. If I am completely honest, the thing that makes me say YES to the treadmil and NO to the pasta is just that I want to look good naked. There, I said it. That is the #1 thing that motivates me. If I were a trainer, that would be my go-to. “Oh, you don’t want to lift weights? Do you want to look good naked?” Hell, if I was a doctor, that would be my go-to. It’s hard to motivate a 30 year old to do what is good for their 65 year old self. It is NOT hard to remind people of how they look every morning when they are getting out of the shower!

I know that this probably shouldn’t be my #1 motivator, but I am guessing I am not alone. I don’t know if this will always work for me; I might evolve. But, don’t hold your breath.

cave woman

But, isn’t this our most primal and natural desire? Haven’t we always wanted to be the cave woman that can attract the sexy cave man? Doesn’t looking good naked, usually mean that we are healthy? (Now please notice I am not using the word skinny. Skinny does not always equal sexy or healthy. Let’s be very clear on that.) We do this because we know that we need to look good naked if we want to have sex with other people that also look good naked. You have to be fit or rich- one or the other.

With that said, I do have more energy and my heart is healthier and I AM setting a good example for my kids. That stuff is all great. It’s ‘gravy’ as they say. My 65 year old self will be very grateful (especially because my 65 year old self is going to look good naked like Helen Miren)!

Diets for the New Year

First of all, I apologize for being away so long. I have not had stupid internet service for almost a week. I didn’t think I was going to make it, but we survived and I’m back.

diet

 

With a new year upon us, we are all looking to improve ourselves. People all around you want to lose weight, exercise, quit smoking, be nicer to their parents, etc. Here is my contribution to your resolutions. These are diets designed specifically by yours truly to help you take off those extra pounds. I have developed a couple of different options so you can pick the one that suits you best.

1. The Eat At Home Diet: This one is so simple, the only thing you have to do is prepare every meal at home. Breakfast, you make at home before you leave! Lunch, you make at home and bring to work. Dinner, you prepare and eat at home. Simple as pie. (but no pie allowed) The catch is, making dinner at home does not mean you can make a frozen pizza. Nothing out of a box or plastic wrapping. You will save yourself hundreds of calories, grams of sugar, and mg. of sodium. Not only will you lose weight, you will be infinitely healthier.

2. The Facebook Diet: Imagine if you had to admit to the world everything that went in your mouth for the day. (well….almost everything, wink wink) If you had to admit that you need 5 sugars in your coffee, or if you had to tell everyone about the entire bag of doritos you ate in shame while watching the Biggest Loser, you would probably eat less. You would certainly think twice about that pint of Ben and Jerry’s you ate on Saturday night while watching Harry Met Sally for the 93rd time. Before something goes in your mouth, simply ask yourself, “would I want to post this for the world to see?”

3. The Nothing Changes Diet: When I say nothing changes, I am referring to your diet specifically. You’ve heard that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is insanity. Well, it’s true. But, if you are determined to keep eating the foods you eat, you will need to work out 8x more than you did last year. Can’t give up the junk? Fine. Just get an  amazing workout in everyday. You’ll never look like Jessica Biel without a healthy diet, but you will lose weight.

4. The Whiskey and No Dessert Diet: This diet was developed for those of you who eat out or go out all the time. It is hard to make the right choices while out and the calories can add up fast. From now on, when you are out, drink whiskey on the rocks and never order dessert. I know, whiskey?! But, do you know how fast margaritas, chocolate martinis, rum and cokes, etc add up? Really fast. If you dine out a lot, or party too much, you need to make changes. And dessert sucks any way. You don’t need it. No nutrition, all calories.

5. The Common Sense Diet: This might be the easiest of all. I have stolen these ideas from Jillian Michaels and Michael Pollan, but pretty much on this diet you eat FOOD. Actual food. Nothing created in a lab. Nothing with chemicals. Tell yourself, “If it doesn’t come out of the ground and it doesn’t have a mother, I am not eating it.” Cheetos and diet Coke don’t come from the ground, therefore they don’t go in your mouth. Don’t fool yourself either. You’ll think of breakfast cereal and say, well wheat and flour and …. come from the ground…False! Cheerios don’t grow out of the ground. They have to do a lot of work to turn those ingredients into cheerios. Also think ‘if there are more than 5 ingredients they are off limits’ and ‘if your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize it’ walk past it. “Eat food, mostly plants, not too much” (Get Food Rules by Michael Pollan and Mastering Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels)

6. That Skinny Girl From Work Diet: We all have that one co-worker who is crazy fit and thin. You know who you are (Lisa). They can be a big inspiration for your diet. Before you eat anything, ask yourself “would that skinny b*tch from work eat this?” I say b*tch with love and jealousy, not with anger. I can tell you right now, she would not eat 7 pieces of pizza, or eat that candy bar, or drink that 20 oz mountain dew. That skinny girl at work has worked way too hard on her health to blow it over something as yucky as a mountain dew.

 

So there it is. Guaranteed to work or your money back!

 

What are your resolutions? What is your plan of action for 2013? Like ‘Candysbrain blog’ on Facebook to get more 2013 inspiration throughout the year.

1. Your Job: The latest research shows that if you sit all day at work, and spend most of your evening sedentary as well, working out 3x/week at a gym is not enough! That’s right, those (few) of you that actually get in 3 workouts per week- it’s not enough. We have to find more ways to move every day. Walk on your lunch break, pace while on conference calls, do jumping jacks in the bathroom, do push ups before you get in the shower, etc. Move that ass!

2. Your gym membership: Okay, this might not be making you fat, but it is likely keeping you fat. A large majority of people have no idea what to do while they are at the gym. FYI, hopping on the elliptical for 20 mins while reading a magazine and then doing a couple weight machines followed by a steam room is getting you nowhere fast! If you are trying to LOSE weight you probably need a professional. Maybe this is a personal trainer, maybe this is a boot camp (I recommend Lake County Boot Camps, maybe this is a group exercise class, or maybe it is a high intensity DVD in your living room. You need high intensity and someone who is going to push you. Any of these is certainly is better than dickin’ around for an hour at the gym clueless.

3. Your kids: That’s right, your kids are making you fat. You probably made your mom fat (I just called your mom fat) and now your kids are returning the favor. You have no time, you can’t find a sitter, and you steal their french fries- I get it. You have to find away to get away from those monsters.

4. Your fake food diet: This may be the worst offender! You think you are making smart choices with your diet pop or by using splenda in your coffee. False! Artificial sweeteners are bad for you. Period. They are nothing but chemicals and convince your body to crave more sweet food because it is not satisfied. Low fat cookies? Low calorie bread? That translates to full of fake non-food created in a lab. Michael Pollan: Eat food, mostly plants, not too much. Jillian Michaels: If it doesn’t come from the ground, and it doesn’t have a mother, you shouldn’t eat it!

5. Your sleep: Or should I say ‘lack-there-of’? We are not sleeping enough. It’s almost like a sick badge of honor. “I’m such a hard worker and I’m so dedicated that I only get 4-5 hours of sleep a night.” BS! You need sleep. You heal when you sleep. Your body releases growth hormone when you sleep. Without this sleepy goodness, you get fat! Also, more sleep=less stress=better sleep=better health. Do it.

I’m sorry baby, I didn’t mean that. I just get so mad sometimes when I have to do something I don’t want to do. I tell you, the middle class gets screwed! My husband and I both have to work full-time which means we have no time, but we also never have any extra money so I can’t hire anyone to do my chores for me. It’s just not fair! (feet stomping)

Okay, I had to get that off my chest. I know that there are real people with real problems. I know that when your ‘big’ problem is clutter from mail and school projects, that you really don’t have a big problem. Yes, universe, I get the message. Instead of focusing on the tiny insignificant things in my life, I should focus on every single blessing I have. (contented smiling face)

So, back to my project.

Date: 10/29/2012

Weight: 149 (oh screw it!)

Successes:

  • I organized a food drive at my work and it went really well. I gathered two big boxes of food to bring to the pantry which I will do this week.
  • I gave blood. I really should do this more often, it’s so easy. If you don’t give blood, please consider doing it. There are constantly shortages and the world needs you!
  • I did go thru most of my mail/papers and got rid of the old. The problem is that it never stops. Remember from Seinfeld when Newman spoke of why mailmen go crazy b/c the mail never stops. That is how I feel.

Challenges:

  • This was the first time I didn’t get my 3 workouts in. As the weather gets colder it is going to be harder and harder for me to get this in. I need to recommit and come up with a game plan. You know how you do better with your dinners when you plan a menu for the week? I need to start doing this with workouts (Oh, that could be a whole separate blog post).
  • Fricken Halloween Candy!!!

Plan for the coming week:

  • Re-focus on fitness! I need to start making plans for myself and squeezing in mini-workouts every morning and evening. We might not all have an hour every day, but everyone can find 10 mins in the morning and 15 mins in the evening. I may have to turn into one of those people that does jumping jacks during commercials.
  • I still have to find my good deed. I did 2 last week so I could slack off and skip, but then it’s not a challenge. Open to suggestions. Anyone have a good idea of how I can make the world a better place?
  • I do have a friend doing a coat/clothes drive for some kids in need. Here is the link: http://www.facebook.com/#!/CaringForKidsClothingDrive If you have any desire to help out some very deserving kids in need, you can check out this non for profit and make a donation.

Thanks for reading as usual. How are all of you doing?

*Coming this week: a post on Having It All and one about America by the Numbers

 

It is Tuesday October 9th. I know that seems like a weird day for starting a month of improvement, but I’ve always thought the idea of ‘the diet starting Monday’ was dumb. When you decide you want to make a change, why wait? So, here I am on a random Tuesday making a commitment to the world. Ha, world. Yeah right. More like a commitment to the 75 people that may read this post.

Lately I have felt like a ‘light’ version of myself. And, let me tell you, I do not mean ‘light’ as in ‘skinny’. I mean like I am not living my full life to all it’s potential. I am here to break the cycle!

The point of all this is to try and do 30 days of the ‘best me’ that I can be. I will lay out my goals and ideas below. But first I want to lay down the ground rules/details. The end of my 30 days will be on Thursday November 8th. At that point I can go back to my old ways of procrastination, binge drinking, and stuffing my face with bread! I also committ to full-disclosure. I cannot promise I will perfect during this time- that is just crazy. But I can promise to be honest.

Full-Disclosure– I am eating a fun-size Snicker candy bar as I am writing this. 🙂

Here are my improvements for myself:

1. Diet: My diet has been a night-mare lately. Football season and a little extra stress has really taken a toll on my eating. I am getting back on the wagon (or is it off the wagon, I can never remember).

  • One soda per week- tops!
  • Big time decrease in carbs. I don’t support a no-carb diet, but I support everyone eating less of them than I do.
  • No bingeing on Sundays during football. Now this doesn’t mean I will not eat wings or spinach dip, it just means I’ll eat a helluva-lot less.
  • Stop eating when full. This will need to be something I remind myself of every night at dinner. I love to cook and I love to eat what I cook. I need to somehow convince myself that I will be satisfied with the dinner even if I don’t make myself sick by eating too much.

2. No drinking: Yes, you heard me correctly. No drinking. This will be very hard for me! Now normally I don’t think there is a problem with drinking a glass of wine every night, or having a couple drinks on the weeked. The reason I decided to do this is…

  • I am trying to lose weight and booze is full of empty calories
  • I am more likely to eat junk when I am drinking (i.e. the cheese puffs that disappeared on Saturday night; and again back to football Sundays)
  • I am less likely to work out if I drink. Hangovers really put a damper on my work out plans

3. Exercise: I will work out 3X per week! I had a little anxiety while I typed that. This will be very hard for me; I am pretty good at getting in 2 but 3 will be tough. I don’t have a gym membership, I have a full-time job, I have 2 kids, and it is getting cold outside. These are not excuses, these I hope will help prove the point that anyone can find time to workout. Or, I’ll crash and burn and give every woman in America the excuse they are looking for.

  • I want to try to run a 5k in the next 30 days, but haven’t figured out the logistics. Also, I really hate being cold.

4. Organization: I did not want to say something vague here like, “I will become more organized” because that literally means jack shit. I wanted to make it a measurable, actionable goal. So, I decided that I will organize 1 thing per week. Here is my schedule:

  • Week 1- Bedroom (My room is so crazy right now, I would literally not let my mother in there)
  • Week 2- Mail/papers/newspaper/coupon clutter. This is kind of spread out every where and will suck!

Full-disclosure: I started typing ‘furnace room’ which is our catch-all room, it’s like a big closet but it sounded way too hard and I don’t want to do it so I deleted it. Don’t judge, baby steps.

  • Week 3-Junk drawers (puke!)
  • Week 4- Kids rooms

5. Reading: I don’t know why I always fall of the horse when it comes to reading. I LOVE to read and I usually have a couple books waiting on my Kindle for me. I guess I get lazy and it’s easier to fall asleep to a re-run of Big Bang Theory than to pick up a book and use my brain. In the next 30 days I will finish the 2 books I am currently reading, and finish 1 more. I haven’t picked it yet but it will be a non-fiction based on my rotation system (I do Novel- Personal/Professional Development- Nonfiction).

6. Giving Back: This is really important to me and it makes me feel so good when I do it, but I lose track of it all the time. I want to really try to make a difference in other peoples lives over the next month. I don’t know what I am going to do yet for follow up weeks, but this week I am going to go through all of our shoes and pick some to donate. My work is doing a shoe drive right now and I want to get involved. I figure a household with 4 people should be able to easily donate 6 pairs of shoes.

Wom, I’m getting tired just thinking about that list! My goal is to post weekly on this topic. It will be like the format below.

Date: October 9th

Weight: 150 (I said full-disclosure, I still can’t believe I am sharing that but that’s how you make a change)

Thoughts/Opinions: I am half pumped to get moving and get improving, and I am half terrified I am going to fail miserably. I am half excited to share this with those of you who read this blog regularly and I am half worried that this topic will bore you.

Successes/Challenges: The challenges at this point are obvious. The success right now is that I am willing to address my weaknesses and that I am brave enough to share them with all of you. Yikes.