Monday, August 15, 2011

Getting Healthier by Christmas

It's a big week in loopchange-land.  Another mission hit it's 21 day mark.  Paula has now been encouraging and inspiring us for 21 days and her positive outlook on life has been a refreshing reminder that life is good for each of those 21 days.  
She's shared great (and healthy) recipes, she's been honest about her stumbles and she's shown us what character is all about by staring down temptations and making right choices.  She hasn't quite reached her goal yet, but I have absolutely no doubt that she will and I hope she continues updating her mission because I will be celebrating with her when she does!  

I hope you're as inspired by Paula as I have been.  I think she's honest, genuine, open and committed.  I hope you think so too.

Hi! My name is Paula.  I am 48 years old and have struggled with my weight ever since I married right out of high school. Fifty pounds is what I have put on since that wonderful day when I married my high school sweetheart almost 30 years ago....and he is  still my sweetheart, and we have two children; a son 27 and a daughter 17.  Life has been GOOD, GOD IS GREAT! I have always wanted to loose the weight. I have never dieted seriously, but have always lost about 15 to 20, then gain it back.....and each time I would loose , I would say this feels so good, I am never going to put this weight back on, GUESS WHAT ...I did. I have never been really depressed over my weight.....but knew that I needed to lose it, and wanted to, and wanted to eat healthier and be healthier.
WHAT GOT ME ON THE RIGHT TRACK - My husband and I headed out this past May for our Annual Trip on our Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra. The trip this year was to Tennessee and North Carolina…to see the Smokey Mountains. They have some beautiful Waterfalls, and many of them have to be accessed by trails…which YOU GUESSED IT…are straight up the hills and mountains.  Many times I found myself waiting at the bottom of the trails for my husband and friends to return to bring back their stories and pictures. I WAS SO OUT OF SHAPE….my heart had to pump really hard, and it was beating loudly in my ears, and when I did decided to hike up the mountains I was having to stop so often that I was keeping everyone else from getting on up there in a timely manner.  I felt so bad for my husband, because he was having to go with out me.  I could go on more about the trip, and how it affected me, but I think that the point has already been made….lol. I NEEDED TO DO SOMETHING! SO I DID. 
We arrived back home on May 31st, and on June 1st I started my diet, and started to the gym.  I knew I didn’t just need to be a diet, but needed a healthier way of eating for a life time.  I asked my husband if he was ready to diet, told him I was going to be ready for next years trip…..he agreed and we both are doing it together.
LOOPCHANGE…….I accidently ran on to this site……I was searching for some place to record my daily struggles and my daily excitement (when things were going good)  a place to talk to other’s and to share our experiences, our ideas, our recipes  etc. At the time I joined LOOPCHANGE, I had already lost 27 pounds….and was on my way.  I just today made it to my 21st day,  I have lost another 6 pounds since LOOPCHANGE came into my every day schedule. I am pretty sure that I would not have lost 6 pounds as fast as I did, If it had not been for the encouragement, help, advice and recipes that I got from the nice folks here.  I looked forward each morning to getting online , signing in , and seeing all the comments that had been made on my post….BECAUSE I knew that it would give me strength, encouragement and would just let me know that there are others out their dealing with weight problems and other things just as myself.
MY REGRET……is that I have not been able to reply to as many as their post as I would like…my time is limited do to work …..but my thoughts and well wishes were each and everyone of them…no matter what their mission was.
I will continue to update my mission, and I am sure there will be other missions that I will start as well.   I have about 17 pounds to lose to get to my goal of losing 50.  Part of my mission is to lose it before Christmas….I’m certainly going to try…but if not by Christmas….I know that I will lose it not to far from that. 

So there you have it.  If you're reading this, why haven't YOU started a mission yet?  You can do whatever it is that you want to do.  There is no better day to start than today!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Lost 10 Pounds in 21 Days!

One of our users has just completed her first 21 days on the site.  And though her journey isn't complete yet, she's truly been an inspiration.  She has a heart for encouragement and is a born leader.  Reading through her mission again, these two quotes sum it up pretty well for me:

Day 1:  Worked out on the treadmill.  I was "aiming for 30 minutes, but could only do 25"
Day 22:   "Thinking about buying one of those recumbent exercise bike's this weekend, I notice that I am getting stronger and now want more options during my workouts, I think before too long my whole living room will be turned into a gym"

If that's not inspiring, I don't know what is!  You can read Sarah's full journey here:
Without further ado, here's Sarah!

Hello, I'm Sarah and I have begun a weight loss journey.  I was very blessed the day I happened to stumble upon loopchange because it has changed my life in more ways than one.  I am 29 year's old and my starting weight was 322 pounds.  I have attempted many times to lose weight and I never stuck with it.  I always just gave up and told myself I might as well face it, I'll always be over weight. I finally woke up and decided I was making losing weight harder than it actually was.  Why not try and start small? So I did.  I began giving up sodas and sweets.  That was not an easy task.  I struggled with it because I loved my soda more than I did water and it felt like an addiction.  I went through withdraws and I fell off that wagon many times but I picked myself back up and continued with it.  Then I began feeling guilty every time I would drink a soda and I learned a trick with water: I hated tap water and didn't really care for bottled water either; I realized I loved my sodas ice cold, so I decided to just start pouring a cup of ice in my water and I fell in love with it. I started giving the soda and sweets up back in April.  It took me at least until June before I knew I finally kicked the habit. I loved cheesecake, Reese's cups and many more but for me, I was very lucky they were not as hard as I thought they would be to give up.
  I started watching my weight drop on the scale.  By July I had already dropped 20 pounds by just giving up the sweets and sodas and drinking nothing but water. I realized I can do this and it was time to kick it up a notch.  I decided I wanted to purchase a treadmill and happened to stumble on a very nice treadmill at Walmart and made the purchase.  I got it home and set it up over the weekend.  The week of July 20th, starting that Monday I got online and did a lot of research on treadmill routine's.  I asked a question on yahoo questions and found replies to other people's question that was similar to mine, (I cant remember what question it was I asked now).  Well I read one person's reply to the question and it said to try  It was a website to break habit's in 21 days and you pick a mission (a habit) you want to break and you begin your mission by writing what you want to accomplish and change; what are your fears and so on, and you update it daily, and others can see it and post encouraging words along the way, and you are held accountable when you mess up.  I figured why not give it a try, So I did.  I started a mission July 20th to lose 15 pounds in one month by eating healthy, learning to count calories and daily exercise. The first day started out great, I stuck to my diet and did my exercise for the day.  As the week progressed I stumbled with days of just not wanting to get up and exercise, or over sleeping and not getting up in time for breakfast, or just flat out not wanting to eat breakfast, or skipping lunch here and there.  I fought through the bumps and the temptations. I never gave up though, I kept fighting.

I found myself one night pulling into Whataburger's parking lot fighting a temptation.  I had skipped lunch that day and figured I could splurge a little at Whataburger, so when I pulled in I saw two cars in front of me and changed my mind and pulled away.  My husband looked at me and said "I am so proud of you", that just completely made my night when he said that and began to change my way of thinking when it comes to food. My husband is my biggest supporter.  We are both in this together.  He still struggles with eating healthier foods and I never force him to change his habit's.  If I cook dinner and its something healthy he'll eat it and be ok with it.  If we swing by subway, I'm ordering a turkey on wheat and he's ordering an Italian BMT.  He has lost a lot of weight so far the way he's been working at his job and especially in this heat and drinking less soda's as well.  Total so far we are about even he's lost 30 pounds and I have lost 30 pounds! Crossing that finish line together as a team!!!!!

My weight loss is not over.  I may have crossed that 21 day milestone, and I still have a long way to go, but with loopchange, I am able to log my daily doings, and it has helped me set a routine for myself, getting up and eating breakfast in the morning, a quick snack a few hours later, then have lunch, then another quick snack a bit later and then supper. It's made me more aware of what I am eating everyday and what I am lacking in eating. I have never liked veggies, so I never eat them.  Someone suggested just having a taste test with them and see which one's you can do and start with that, well I did, so far pea's are pretty good, and I love corn, I am still working on the others and I know I will get there I just have to be patient. I was a major couch potato, I hated doing anything strenuous and just never had the motivation, so i began working out on the treadmill.  I had to start out slow so I wouldnt get frustrated and just give up.  I began doing just 15 minute walks on the treadmill.  I aimed for an hour total at first and decided to break them down. Four 15 minute walks on the treadmill a day, then I would change it to 3 20 minute walks on the treadmill.  I was getting better at the treadmill and ventured on to other things. One day I just decided to get up turn the music on and dance, I really enjoyed that!  It gave me a good workout and it was something different. then I decided to buy zumba for the wii.  Now I really enjoy zumba on the wii and it is very difficult to keep up with but fun at the same time, but I started noticing a little pain in my knees when i would walk on the treadmill and figured maybe with the zumba I was putting a lot of pressure on my knees.  I have two bad knees.  My right knee has pins in it holding my knee cap in place.  My left knee cap goes out of place too but I have not had surgery for it yet. So I have kind of slacked off on Zumba, but have continued on with the other exercises I have been doing.  When I started loopchange, my starting weight was 302 within 3 weeks, 21 day's I have lost 10 pounds and I notice a difference in myself, in my confidence and strength. I never thought I would be one to exercise daily, nor eat healthy, or be able to give up sodas. I have broken so many bad habits in 21 days as well as start good habit's. My weight loss journey is no where near done, but I am on the right track and have accomplished so much already in just 21 day's!

No more excuses I dont want to anymore, this is my time!! My time to make that change I've wanted for so many years~
Thank you Sarah! I can't wait to see where you go from here!!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Introducing: loopGroups

Today is a big day for  We are introducing our latest feature (absolutely free, just like everything else on the site).  I think this tool has the potential to be tremendously useful to many, many different types of groups (work out partners, friends, families, church groups, trainers, support groups and just about anything else!)

loopGroup FAQ
  1. What is a loopGroup?
     A loopGroup is a private group that can be created on loopchange.  Missions and comments made within a loopGroup are visible only to members of that loopGroup.  Be aware, all terms of service still apply and loopchange administrators can see all content submitted into a loopGroup.

  1. How do I form a loopGroup?
     On the right side of the ‘Mission List’ page, you will see a link that says ‘join/form a loopGroup’.  Click that link.  Find the section for forming a group and fill out the form.  You will need to name your group; assign a password and then briefly describe the purpose of your group.  All loopGroups must be approved by an administrator.  If your application is denied, you will receive a message explaining why as soon as is possible.

  1. How do I find members for my loopGroup?
      loopGroups are for you and your real-life friends/co-workers/work out partners/church members/family/team/neighborhood/etc.  Before forming a loopGroup, you should already have people in mind who you’d like to invite.  Upon forming your loopGroup, you will receive an email with the name and password associated with your loopGroup.  You can then forward that email to those folks who you’d like to share missions with.

  1. How do I join a loopGroup?
     If you’ve gotten an email invitation from a group leader, just follow the instructions there.  You will need to set up a loopchange account; validate the account and join the loopGroup using the name and password provided to you by your group leader. 

  1. Is there a limit to the number of members a loopGroup can have?
     At this time there is no limit. 

  1. Can I be a member of more than one loopGroup?
      At this time, there will be no limit placed on the number of loopGroups you can join.

  1. If I join a loopGroup, can I still post in the ‘public’ missions?
      Absolutely!  We believe that much of the benefit users get at loopchange is from encouraging others.  loopGroup members are encouraged to continue to support all users in the public domain.  A loopGroup member can also have both private and public missions going at the same time.  We want you to continue to be involved members in all aspects of the site, not only their loopGroups.
Have a question that wasn’t addressed here?  Send an email to and you’ll hear back as soon as possible.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Keeping a Journal for Wife and Kids

Loopchanger - Woody - has done what I think is an amazingly awesome thing.  I asked him here to tell you about it.  Heeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrreeeee's Woody:

Thanks!  I'm really happy to be given the opportunity to share what I've learned through this process that is currently 55 days old (and counting).  It has been an absolutely amazing experience and I believe it has enriched my life tremendously.  Even if the Journals were never read or enjoyed by my Wife and Kids, the benefit that I've gotten is mind boggling.

So awhile back, I was at a conference and one of the speakers was discussing that he keeps a small journal for each of his children.  In this journal, he generally writes a sentence or two every so often when something neat or funny happens.  The amazing thing was that he has 6 kids!!  I can't even imagine.  Anyway, I had actually kept a journal for my first born with sporadic entries through my Wife's pregnancy and into baby/toddler life.  I was probably writing once a month or so.

Unfortunately, when my second child was born, I found that my writing completely dried up.  I think I felt a lot of guilt over the fact that my first born had gotten a lot more entries and at their current age (5 and 2) there was an awful lot more 'interesting' going on with the 5 year old than the 2 year old.  Anyway, this fear of in-equality led to me abandoning the project completely which is horribly sad.  But anyway, this speaker inspired me to begin keeping separate journals for each child with an entry of some kind written every day. 

As sort of an add-on, I decided, why not add my Wife to the mix as well?  And so it was that I decided that I would commit a small part of each morning to write SOMETHING to each member of my family that I got, enjoyed, laughed at or regretted about the previous day.  This was a daunting and scary commitment, but with the help of loopchange and a belief that there was a lot of good that could come from such a project, I committed to a 21 day trial.

It turned out that with practice, I was able to complete my journal entries in just about 15 minutes.  Quite a small price to pay for such a (potentially) meaningful project.  In just the first few days, I experienced some absolutely amazing realizations.  Before this project if I were asked "how are things", my response would have been "nothing new, same old stuff".  But with only 15 minutes of focus each morning, my eyes were suddenly opened. 

Every single day, awesome, inspiring, lump in your throat inducing, hilarious things were happening in my life but somehow I wasn't taking notice of them.  I wasn't dwelling on them.  I wasn't allowing myself any moments to reflect on them and store them away in my memory.  They were very literally passing before my eyes and disappearing from my mind forever.  In retrospect, I find it horribly sad that so many wonderful memories are just lost.  Forever!

As time has gone by, the sense of wonder I get when I reflect on the previous day hasn't diminished at all.  Sure, over the 50+ days there have been plenty of entries where I've phoned it in (normally because of some distraction in my life that is preventing me from getting 'peaceful' before beginning my 15 minutes.  But all in all, it has been wondrous.  Sometimes I write a single sentence.  Sometimes I write a full page.  Some things that I've recorded that stand out in my mind (it will be incredibly difficult to limit this to 5 each):

With my Oldest:
-  first time riding a two wheel bike without training wheels
-  coming to me to talk it over when I'd accidentally hurt her feelings
-  collecting roly-poly's in the yard and researching on the internet what they eat so she could keep them
-  first run-in with some girls at school who didn't like her
-  reading a book by herself for the first time

With the youngest:
  -  first time he said "i yuv you"
  -  first time playing with a baseball and bat
  -  first time he said "I'm Daddy's boy!"
  -  first injury - a little cut over his eye
  -  first trip to Disneyworld (complete with kisses from all the princesses)

And many more, just as good about my Wife.  My only 'rule' is to keep it positive.  I don't re-hash arguments or use the journal as a means of getting in the last word or re-hashing arguments.  All in all, this mission has very literally changed my life. It has also given me an entirely new 'approach' to parenting and marriage.

If I don't have SOMETHING interesting to write each morning, some interaction, something to laugh about, something interesting, something touching, etc then I'm not doing it right (it being parenting and being a husband). 

To sum up - EVERYONE should be doing this.  It will absolutely change your life.