My New Year’s Resolution {150 Miles Later!}

by | Feb 5, 2013 | 17 Day Diet, Exercise | 39 comments

“We may schedule time to exercise and pray, to truly be open to hearing the word of God, to remove all noises from our minds and to carefully listen to the language of the heart, but change, true change in the direction that God has planned for you, will not happen unless you take action now and live the opportunities that God has placed before you.”  ~ The Catholic Workout, pg. 35

One of my resolutions, or rather challenges for myself, this new year was to do my best to improve my health and make time for exercising.   It is one of the areas in my life where I have been really procrastinating.    I made some great progress early last year, when I had the scare with my liver, but after I lost some weight (10% of my body weight at the time) and the problems cleared up, I lost my motivation.   I’ve been struggling to keep up in many areas of my life (blogging, paperwork, emails, laundry, housecleaning, homeschooling, exercising, pretty much everything… there is just not enough hours in the day to do it all!) and my husband keeps gently reminding me that I need to stop procrastinating and JUST DO THE WORK!

I had to laugh when I found this on my nightstand one night!

Not only do I still have plenty of weight to lose (from the last five pregnancies), I’ve also found that exercising greatly lowers my stress levels (along with my angio edema reactions) and helps me be a much happier person in general.   This time of year, with all the dark and gloomy days, can be especially challenging, so I started by deciding to stop procrastinating (with exercising at least) and try and get on the treadmill every day during January.

That first week I was able to walk/jog a total of 30 miles!

The next week I decided to try and match that… then again… and again…

 … and my five miles last night completed my 5th 30 mile week in a row – 
for a total of 150 miles so far this year
 In fact, I’ve already walked more miles this year, than I did all of last year combined!  

However, even though all the exercise was helping me feel great and cope with all sorts of stressful situations, especially with my husband out of town most of January, I didn’t start losing weight until I really started dieting as well.  

A typical breakfast of mine on the 17 Day Diet – 2 eggs with mixed greens, onion, and tomatoes with green tea and/or coffee

I figured that with Sean gone, and being able to make simple meals for the kids, January was a great time to try and attempt the 17 Day Diet again!   I started on January 18th (I had to wait until after my birthday!) and yesterday was day 17!!   I followed Cycle 1 almost completely, with just a few little cheats over the last couple days (some rice and beans on Friday, some spaghetti squash last night, and two little Dove chocolates and a bite of apple fritter yesterday) which is most likely why my weight loss stopped over the weekend.    I also allowed myself to have the sweetened Chobani yogurts (for my probiotic servings) and coffee with fat-free half and half each day.  

2 pounds lost from Jan 1-Jan 18th, then I started recording my weight daily while on Cycle 1 of The 17 Day Diet

I started the year with 32-42 pounds to lose and am already down a total of 13 pounds, with 11 of those pounds lost during my 17 day diet! Unfortunately I didn’t take my measurements, but I’ve also gone from barely fitting into my size 12’s to being able to button my 8’s!  It’s definitely an encouraging and motivating start!  

This week I am moving on to Cycle 2 of the 17 Day Diet, which will start incorporating a greater variety of foods and some grains.   I’m hoping that by Easter I can hit my first goal, which is to weigh the same or less than my husband!  (We are the same height and he spends most of his days hiking mountains… How can this homeschooling and blogging momma compete with that?! lol) 

“Allow me to make another comment.  While it promotes physical fitness and strengthens character, sport must never distract those who practice and appreciate it from their spiritual duties.  It would be as though one ran, as St. Paul writes, only ‘for a perishable wreath’. forgetting that Christians must never lose sight of “the imperishable one” (11 Cor 9: 25).  The spiritual dimension must be cultivated and harmonized with various recreational activities, which include sport.” ~ Bl.  John Paul II

It has been difficult to force myself to get on the treadmill each day, but I have found that it is the perfect time to pray a daily rosary for various special intentions and then spend the rest of the time listening to sermons, audio books, watching movies, or talking huffing and puffing on the phone with friends! 😉   And the days when I still don’t want to do the work, I just offer it up for special intentions.  Now that it has been over a month hopefully I’ve finally established a new habit and won’t be derailed too badly when something (sickness, etc) comes up!   

“Health is God’s great gift, and we must spend it entirely for Him. Our eyes should see only for God, our feet walk only for Him, our hands labor for Him alone; in short, our entire body should serve God while we still have the time. Then, when He shall take our health and we shall near our last day, our conscience will not reproach us for having misused it.” ~ St. John Bosco


  1. Sarah

    Good for you, Jessica! I can relate to the procrastination! It is hard to "just do the work." But you have had some wonderful success, and I hope that keeps you going! I have followed the "17-Day Diet," and I liked it. I need to get back on track, too. Sometimes, something like that is a good "kick start." Keep it going! You're doing fabulously!! 🙂

  2. Anonymous

    Congratulations!! Down 13? That is awesome!! Really impressive, considering the incredible work load you have. You are an encouragement to us all. Green tea…I used to drink it. I want to start again, but I'd like a solid resource on its benefits and what type/brand is any good (as in chemical free.) Great post! – Genevieve

  3. Jennifer @ Conversion Diary

    Thanks for this inspiring post! I share a lot of these goals and can't wait to follow your progress.

  4. Lena

    prayers for your perseverance as you seek to better glorify Him with the gift of your body and optimal health. ALL FOR!

  5. Anonymous

    Congratulations! This is wonderful progress and very inspiring. I've been eying treadmills for a while, as it seems my only hope of getting regular exercise (I just can't STAND exercise videos). Would you mind sharing what kind you have? Prayers for continued success!

  6. Robina

    I am so proud of you. Starting is always the toughest. I am so all the over the place with my diet and exercise, sometimes good and sometimes not, but I try to find a balance between the two. I bet once you it your goal you'll find the same or otherwise at the rate you're going you'll be wasting away to nothing. someone once told me "you can't out run a bad diet." best advice I ever got. keep up the good work. It feels so good to feel good, you sound hooked on the exercise train already. continued prayers for your health and success.

  7. Julie

    I need to eat better and exercise. I haven't done any real exercise since fall…and with all the holiday foods….my clothes are a little uncomfortable!
    I really should do this. You inspire me not to use am excuse that I am too busy….you have WAY more on your schedule than me!!

  8. Lori N from MN

    So happy for you Jessica! Keep it up.

    What an inspiration – and thank you for sharing your insight.
    Now, I've just got to quit procrastinating and do the work!! 🙂

  9. Marie

    So I am not going to ask how you possibly do everything you do… LOL

    BUT, I would love a few more details! 😉 I, too, would love more info on what type of treadmill you are using. I'd also love to know what time of day you usually exercise, how fast you walk/jog, what foods a typical day on your diet includes, and whether or not you are still nursing Bud. Sorry for all the questions! You've just really inspired me!

    I need to order that book and do the work! (Thanks for the link to that article by the way… Awesome!)

  10. Erin

    This is very inspiring, as I see that I am just a few pounds above where you were when you started! The weight from the last pregnancy is just hanging on. Except I'd never be able to fit in size 8, even when I was down to 135 before my third pregnancy, I still could only fit in 10s because my hips are so wide, I guess. My goal is also to lose about 35 lbs… I did it before on the Flat Belly Diet, just need to get back on it. It is so hard when you have any little ones, but it is worth it. Congrats to you on your progress so far, and thanks for the motivation!!

  11. Blair

    Great job, Jessica! I hope I can maybe get on the ball with my health during Lent! Thanks for the motivation!

  12. Lindsay Boever

    Wow. That is fabulous and motivating. Please keep posting your efforts, goals, trials, etc.

  13. Sarah

    Way to go Jessica! Thank you for inspiring and sharing. 150 miles is A LOT in a month, that's awesome! For me getting motivated and started was the toughest after babies. Now though, if I miss a day or two I kick myself for it and actually miss it. I'm just doing 2-3 miles a day usually, 5 days a week, however, I've had such good results. I'm weighing less than I ever remember (even way back prior to my 4 kids) and wearing the smallest size I ever recall and it feels so good 🙂
    I'm interest on those first couple of graphs that show the total miles. Is that an app? Or is that on the same app as the last graph showing your weight loss? Would love to know since I like to track my miles as well. Thanks! Keep up the good work and keep us posted on your progress!

  14. Anonymous

    Sounds like you are on a roll (and extremely disciplined.) The funny thing for me is, while I don't struggle much with weight, I do frequently use the treadmill as a metaphor for my life, as in I'm on a treadmill that's set just a little too fast! I'm always falling off.

    So I really relate to that feeling of struggling to keep up, with dishes, laundry, clutter, finances, etc. The priest said I should consult one of the wise women of the parish for practical advice on seeking balance, but somehow I always find myself back here on your blog, marveling at just how well you do keep up! I admire how you tackle your challenges head on! I'm sure the results will be so worth the effort. -Colby

  15. Jamie Jo

    Yay Jessica!! Super job! I just started back on Weight Watchers and told my husband that I'm focusing on the diet first then will add exercise…almost done pumping completely. Is there a certain time of day you exercise that makes it easier with all the kiddos? A couple years ago, (before Simeon) I was getting up every day at 5-5:30 to exercise and it worked great, by the time they were up (by7am) I was ready for the day, and things seemed to get done…all the things that I so need to catch up on. (laundry, and the stuff you mentioned)

    Again, Congratulations–God bless you and your efforts!

  16. kristi

    Good luck Jessica!!! You are amazing!

  17. Anonymous

    Go Jessica! I am in this with you! I started this year needing to lose 20lbs I had accumulated over 8 pregnancies. I have lost nine so far and I feel great! Starting is the hardest part and you've done that!! Praying for you!

  18. mayoung

    Great work Jessica!
    I am so happy to see this post today! I could have written most of it! I too have been having trouble feeling overwhelmed with all aspects of life and am struggling with extra weight from 9 babies in 14 years! I am using our elliptical and weight watchers and have lost 12 pounds since the new year. Only about 35 to go…but I will be thrilled with 15 more!!!
    Keep us posted on how its going. It is very motivating to see others progress,struggles,ect.

  19. Jennifer Elia

    Good for you, Jessica! Can I hire Sean to be my motivational coach? I have no motivation and am falling behind in everything. At this rate, by the time the baby comes, I will be at least 6 months behind on evrything–lol.

    God bless you, keep it up. If I ever get it together again, I will email you.

  20. Anonymous

    Well done! Bless you for your honesty. I particularly like the quotes you have selected, very inspiring and thought-provoking.
    I see I'm one of many who are joining you in this 🙂
    Good health to you – you will be revelling in your regained form and well-being.

  21. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you all so much for your kindness and support! 🙂 This wasn't the easiest post for me to share, especially with my weight chart… How's that for "keeping it real?" 😉 I'll try my best to start answering your questions as I have a little time. Thanks again!

  22. Jessica Gordon

    In the book I've been using the doctor talks about how "certain chemicals called catechins in green tea increase fat-burning and stimulate thermogenesis, the calorie burning process that occurs as a result of digesting and metabolizing food." and that "Green tea is also one of the foods that may block angiogenesis" (something to do with supplying blood flow to the fat tissue so it can grow). He does add that this hasn't been confirmed, but for now he suggests drinking three cups a day.

    I've been buying the Yogi Green Teas from our health food store, which I really like, but it looks like they are much cheaper from Amazon (Guess I should have checked there before now!) I really like the Super Antioxidant Green Tea, the Green Tea Pomegranate, and I have also tried (but don't love) the Green Tea Blueberry Slim Life. Next I want to try the Green Tea Muscle Recovery. I just ordered some of it today!

  23. Jessica Gordon

    We purchased our treadmill, the ProForm 850 T during the online Black Friday Sale in 2011 for only $550 delivered, and then made interest free payments over 6 months with Bill Me Later. It has been a very good investment for us. The 300 pound box was dropped off at the base of our driveway but somehow my husband managed to get it up the driveway in the van and into our bedroom to assemble! What a job!!! (I was pregnant at the time and wasn't much help.) Anyways, it just barely fit into the corner we had hoped to put it, but it did and has really been great! I've used videos in the past, but sometimes they just take too much thought! 😉 I really love that I am able to distract myself with other things while exercising on the treadmill. 🙂

  24. Jessica Gordon

    Yes, I am definitely small boned (though maybe not as small boned as my mom and most of my sisters). When I was in my best shape (when I got married I weighed 125 and after I had Rascal I got back to 128) I wore size 6's depending on the brand. Now that I am 10+ years older I would be thrilled to get back to 130, which is what the 17 Day Diet book suggests as a "mid-point" for my height (5'6") but I would be very happy to just get down to 140. (The lowest I've been in 10 years was 148 following my miscarriage in 2008.)

    It is definitely not all about the weight (though fitting back into the clothes in my closet would be nice)… I just really want to be able to start the next pregnancy (if God blesses us with another) healthier and stronger, since the last couple have been so physically difficult. Especially since I am not getting any younger! 😉

  25. Jessica Gordon

    That is so great Sarah!

    The first couple graphs are just screen shots from Daily Mile! It is an online website that I've been using to chart my exercise. I really love it! You can find my profile here, and I just added a widget to my sidebar for now. If you create an account, be sure to add me as a friend!

    I've been using the Target Weight app to track my weight, which was recommended by a friend and I really like it as well!

  26. Angela

    Thank you for sharing this Jessica, it was so inspiring! I have baby weight that I need to drop and I have been feeling so lethargic lately, but I think it's probably because I am overweight and not eating right that I am feeling that way. It's a rather vicious cycle. I think about exercising and eating right often, if only thinking about it had the same affect as doing it, lol! 🙂 I'm curious about the diet, so I am getting the book from the library. Keep up the great work!!

  27. Jessica Gordon

    Let's see… I answered the treadmill question above, so you can find the link there. I don't know much at all about treadmills, but I have been happy with ours. I don't use all the nifty little features, other then plugging in my iPad or iTouch, since I just adjust the speeds on my own depending on how I am feeling.

    I started out the month just walking and as I got a bit stronger would add in some sprinting. Now I do a mix of walking, jogging and sprinting. It is different every day. For example: Last night I completed 6 miles in 1:17 (12:50 a mile pace) which went like this – 1 mile at 4mph (while praying my rosary), 1 mile with walking and sprinting (each .1 of a mile I would switch from 4mph to 7mph), 1/2 mile of jogging at 5.5 mph, 1/2 mile walking at 4mph, another two miles of my walking (4mph) and sprinting (4mph).

    Bud is down to just nursing twice a day, and I have a feeling he will be finishing up soon. I've always stopped nursing my babies when I find out I am expecting again (since nursing causes complications for me when pregnant) but he just might be the first that stops nursing before that happens… We'll see!

    As for the foods I was eating during cycle 1 of the 17 day diet… It was pretty much Hot Water with 1/2 of a Lemon (juice) when I wake up; up to 2 eggs a day; 2 servings of Low-Sugar Fruits before 2pm; 2 servings of Probiotics (I pretty much had Greek Yogurt for this every day); Unlimited cleansing Veggies (from a list of options); Unlimited Lean Proteins (Chicken, Fish, Turkey) and 3 cups of Green Tea; 8 cups of Water There are also a few condiments allowed in moderation (I loved using salsa on my eggs and marinara with my veggies and chicken, and low-fat sour cream and salsa on my turkey tacos with lettuce leaf "shells."

    The things I was looking forward to the most for Cycle 2 was the addition of some nuts, rice, oats, and beans (2 servings of starchy veggies or grains every other day) along with a few other additions. The changes are suppose to help prevent hitting a plateau and keep your metabolism guessing. We'll see!

    Hope that helps! Check your local library… They might have a copy of the book for you to take a look at.

  28. My beautiful ordinary life

    Great Job, Jessica. I went on a similar journey after baby number 4. Weight Watchers helped me along my journey. I learned a lot about myself in the process and found out I really enjoy group motivation…having a "meeting" to go to helped and having group exercise classes helped. It took me about 6-7 months to lose the 40 lbs, but I have been able to keep it off with two more pregnancies since then. At this point I work out, watch my food intake (especially Mon-Friday) and have a group of ladies that help hold me accountable. We will work out together about 1 time a week and weigh in together. We support each other through good weeks, bad weeks, emotional strife that makes us want to grab the wrong food…we really try to "be there" for each other and our kids. We each have different family sizes and needs, but the core support is there. I am really excited for you and will pray for you. I think the hardest part is not getting discouraged. Blessings!

  29. Momma Holmes

    Last winter when I was sidelined from the treadmill and replaced it with laps due to wearing a boot for ripped ligaments in my ankle, I discovered that saying the Rosary was a wonderful way to push through the hard times (I'd been using my IPOD on the treadmill). I cannot wait to check out the 17 day diet! Thanks for the tip and KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! Blessings!

  30. Julie

    I believe that fungus is a large cause of weight gain as well as the cause of many diseases, including cancer. Antibiotics are made from fungus and our food supply is frequently contaminated with fungus, especially corn and peanuts. When a person has a fungal overgrowth in their body, they tend to crave foods that feed the fungus. In order to restore health a person needs to starve the fungus. If you (or anyone else reading this comment) are interested in this approach I would love to explain it more to you and send you some of my recipes.

  31. Jessica Gordon

    Thanks Jamie! It is so hard to find the time to exercise with a house full of kiddos, isn't it?! It is never the same time of day, for me, but it is also NEVER in the early morning! 😉 My little guy isn't nursing nearly as much, but he still does most nights and by morning I am wiped out. I usually try to get breakfast done and the kids started on their school work and then try to get on the treadmill. If that doesn't happen I then try for the afternoon when they are done with school (but then dinner usually ends up being late), and worst case scenario (which is what usually happens!) I'm exercising after everyone is in bed (which is why my blogging has dropped, since that use to be my blogging time). Some nights, while Sean was gone, I'd be finishing up just before midnight (haven't exercised later than that). Last night I was on the treadmill from 9-10 pm, then today it was 11-12. I'm hoping to figure out a better schedule soon!

  32. Jamie Jo

    That's even more amazing that you've done it so consistantly then, because when I found was, when I'd not do it right away in the morning, (like today) I'd be in my workout clothes all day waiting for that "perfect" time to go workout, and then it would never come, and in the mean time, I'd not go out (because I was in my workout clothes) and get more and more impatient with the kids, because I was getting more and more frustrated with myself and taking it out on them…vicious cycle!!

    Simeon just this week started sleeping all night, but his morning time is different, sometimes 5:30, 6 or 7. Hard to get up and get my workout….has to always be challenges, doesn't there?

    Thanks for answering!! Oh, and great Hobbit cake…my son, said "It looks great, well, all cakes look good, but they don't taste as good as pie!" Kids!! He's like his daddy, loves pie. My daughter, who will be turning 11 in July just requested your cake for HER birthday!! Hmmmmmm have to start planning now…

  33. Amber

    Wow, congratulations! And thanks for those quotes – very interesting!

  34. Anonymous

    Could you please share some tips on what do to with the kids while trying to run on the treadmill? I find

  35. Anonymous

    … Sorry re: above 😉

    Anyway… I find it next to impossible to work out with all of them around me! I'm so impressed and inspired by you! I have 6 children and its hard! God bless!!

  36. Catholicfitmom

    That is just wonderful Jessica. If you could just take a moment and check out some of my post and give you me your thoughts: (this one is about a give away of catholic items)

    and this one is about Pray and Fast lenten plan:

    and last this one is about Fast and the health benefits to it: . I admire your hard work and your thoughts. Have a Blessed Lent.

  37. Jessica Gordon

    If my husband isn't home my oldest children help with the younger ones. They will read them stories or play games. We've also had a few nice days lately and they will take the baby(s) out to the swing set. It is such a blessing to have their help. I don't think I'd be nearly as successful without it!

  38. Anonymous

    Hi there! Curious if you've been able to lose any more weight… I am also trying to get down 10# this summer. Have you seen "Lick the Sugar Habit"? Sounds like that may also be a great way to lose weight and also I learned that sugar really ruins the immune system. I am going to try to see if I can get rid of my habit! Mary


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Hi! I'm Jessica, a Roman Catholic wife and home educating mother to our nine children. I was home educated myself, along with my eleven younger siblings. I have a special devotion to St. Therese, through whom I have been given much help and many blessings--the beautiful "Shower of Roses" that she has sent my way! Here I will record a few of the blessings I treasure. Please remember that what you see here is just a little glimpse at our lives, so please say a prayer for us, as we continue to strive for holiness.

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