Eat. Live. Be. – January Update and My Favorite Healthy Change

When Eat. Live. Be. kicked off four weeks ago, I expected that this update would be filled with awesome tales of loss and amazing numeric progress. I thought I would be writing triumphantly about how much I lost over the last month. I thought I would be celebrating, and cautiously continuing to month 2. Something different has happened though.

See, while I’ve felt the results in the form of more energy and a trimming, less flabby body, the scale isn’t telling the same story. Not at all. Hell, I think the scale might have its own mystery plot happening, because what I am feeling and seeing are mysteriously unconnected to the number on the scale.

Well, maybe they aren’t such a mystery. I mean seriously. Have I been perfect with my eating choices? No, and some bad choices have certainly taken their toll on my weight. Although we cut back on takeout, we didn’t cut it out entirely. Have I been perfectly disciplined about exercising? No, I exercised a lot — way, way, way more than in previous months — but I didn’t do organized exercise every single day. I skipped the days where I was sick (I think that was 3 this month), and also when I had to shovel us out (at least once a week). I wasn’t perfect, and the scale is showing the imperfection.


Despite all of that, despite the fact that I didn’t do enough to make the scale slide down, I feel so much better today than I did just four weeks ago. My energy level has increased exponentially. My midsection feels tighter than it has in a long time. My legs feel stronger, and even look a little thinner. I see some changes — just not the huge changes I was anticipating.

You know what? While I am disappointed, I don’t feel that bad about how I did. I’ve made sweeping changes in my lifestyle and improved how I eat. I look at my photo from one month ago and compare it to today’s photo and I see the difference. There are a million little reasons that the scale isn’t budging, but ultimately, the number isn’t as important as what I see. All that said, I want to see more. A lot more.

So here are my month 1 results:

January 2011 weight loss: -1.8 lbs
Total ELB 2011 weight loss: -1.8 lbs

Overall feeling: more fit, more energy, happier

So, that’s that. I will continue working on this. I will exercise more, and at greater intensities. I will eat better. I will try harder to make the changes necessary to make my scale go down and my body look fitter. Please stick with me. I know I can do this.

My Favorite Healthy Change

Now, onto something happier. My favorite healthy change has been the addition of regular exercise into my life. It makes me feel great — like I can do anything. My body is getting stronger, which is absolutely awesome too. But the thing that’s made the greatest impact is that I have found a way to exercise that I adore and can get excited about.

Here’s what I do: I fill up a big bottle of water and head to the home gym. Once there, I put on my iPod and listen to music with a great beat. But by listen I really mean drown everything else out. Then I read on my Kindle while I walk. I’ve read 13 or so books this month — many of them while walking on the treadmill. When doing this, I completely lose myself in the music and the book and before I know it, it’s been 30 or 40 minutes — sometimes more. Awesome.

Alright, now give me some brutal honesty: Do you see any changes in my body? Or am I deluding myself?


  1. says

    But weigh in is NEXT week. It’s still JANUARY. Check-in is first Monday of the month! (I’m whining because I’m sick and refuse to step on the scale as I didn’t workout at ALL this past week due to the Viral Ick. This has nothing to do with you and everything to do with me. LOL Ignore me. )

    That said, you look FABULOUS. Wonderful! And yes, you CAN do this!

    • says

      Wait, it is? Oops! The email that Cate sent said ‘last Monday of each month’ and the Doc says first … our mistake. I’ll probably do a mini update next week again then… And you should hold out for next week. Definitely. 😉

  2. says

    Congrats on your lifestyle improvements! I think I see a difference in your hips. You’re right — don’t let the scale be the ultimate gauge of how you’re doing.

  3. says

    You attitude is awesome! Stick with it because the little changes add up and will continue to reap benefits in the months to come. I do notice a difference. Your core and hips look more toned. Yeah!

  4. says

    I’ve had a pretty rough first month too Sarah, so I TOTALLY understand. Coming off of the holiday sweet binge definitely left me craving MASS amounts of chocolate…that I couldn’t help but give into. Sigh. Next month.

    I do think your face looks thinner and your hips too. I would keep doing what you’re doing and go with how you feel. The scale doesn’t tell all. Ever.

  5. says

    Way to go, Sarah! I definitely can see progress in the picture, so it must be the exercising – you definitely look thinner and I see it mainly in your mid section and hips. Great job! I need to get on the exercise kick. Just started scheduling it into my day, so I’m hoping that works.

  6. says

    Alison, 6 lbs is awesome! Way to go. Keep at it!

    Allison, thank you!! I am going to stick with it because I love how I feel and I figure sooner or later I will reach my goals.

  7. says

    I noticed a difference right away in your arms and torso – I like how in your one month pic you’re adding personality to the pose (bigger smile, hair down, slight twist). I take that to mean that you’re gaining confidence, too. :)

    We don’t own a scale since I would become obsessed with it, so I always look at what my body is telling me about my weight and exercise.

  8. says

    You’re doing GREAT! Keep working. I am with you on the scale. It is driving me CRAZY. I have been pretty stagnant for over a month. But, working out is helping.

    Way to go! Love the pictures…looking great!

  9. says

    I think you’re being too hard on yourself. It will be hard to lose pounds initially as you gain more muscle, whicih weighs more than fat. But over time, that muscle burns more calories and you will lose weight. Best, though would be to toss out the scale and just keep track of inches and how you feel.

  10. says

    Definitely see the difference AND I have a little secret for you. As your body gets stronger, as you mentioned, you lose fat and gain muscle. That muscle is more dense and therefore takes up less space (slimmer look) but can impact the number you see on the scale. Also, muscle mass burns more calories so that equals a slimmer you and more calories burned!
    I have a scale that tells water weight % and body fat % and I love it for that very reason :)

  11. says

    Sarah, good for you for sticking with the program. I lost weight really slowly too (we’re talking 1/4-1/2 a pound a week) but I stuck with it and lost my 25 pounds in a little over a year. The hard work will pay off! (Also, you may have gained some muscle now that you are exercising. How you look – and feel – is definitely more important than what the scale tells you.)
    PS Follow my advice and buy nice produce! You shouldn’t have passed up those leeks!! If they help you stay healthy, they are well worth the $5!!

  12. says

    I think the photo tells the story! I definitely see some changes from your starting photo… and the positive changes you feel are telling you that you are on the right track!

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