Week in Review: April 30th – May 6th


Monday again? Sigh. Actually, I don’t feel the Monday blues so acutely this morning.


Today marks the first day of a 6-week weight loss challenge I’m starting. I was up at 5:30 am this morning doing my fasting cardio.

Life can bring on its hustle and it won’t phase me today. I already finished the hardest part of my day. Now that’s a great feeling.

If you’re interested in following along or doing the 6-week challenge as well here’s a link to the original post with more information about it.




This morning I posted my first “Mind Mapping Minutes” post. I hope you have had a chance to read it. Three days a week from now on I’m going to post these mind mapping minutes. For every one I post, my intent is to share with you some insight into how your mind works – either to derail your progress or to help it – and give you some tools to understand how you can use or circumnavigate your mind to help you along your health and wellness journey.

The world of positive psychology is vast and deep and there’s a lot of information there that can help you harness the power of your mind instead of allowing it to get in the way.

There are three different kinds of ‘Mind Mapping Minute’ posts that you’ll see. The first is mapping the mind for you. These posts contain a few paragraphs on how your mind works and how to use or work around it.

The next kind of post will be “Mindfulness Moments” where I use the practice of mindfulness to help you be present in the here and now.

Why is mindfulness useful?

When you’re not focusing on a task, your brain shifts into “default mode.” Default mode activates the parts of your brain related to the future, the past, and awareness of what other people are doing. What doesn’t it activate? Awareness of the present.

Psychologists have discovered that people who’s minds stay in default mode more often are less happy. To be more happy, you need to be more present as being so shuts off the default mode in your brain. Mindfulness meditations do that for you. And a bonus? The positive effects of mindfulness practices and meditations don’t just make you happier in the moment, the effects are shown to last all day. You literally train your mind out of default mode.

The last type of “Mind Mapping Minutes” will be Habit Releasers. I took that name from the Mindfulness book by Dan Gilbert I talk so much about. It’s the perfect name. Those posts will be challenges for you to try to snap you out of automatic pilot. You will live more consciously moment-to-moment and get a new perspective on life.

I hope you enjoy the Mind Mapping Minute posts as much as I do. I truly believe the most powerful tool in the universe lays between our ears. Psychologists are really getting a grasp on how our minds work, and ways to harness that power for good. My goal is to present that information to you in easy and understandable ways.



Today is day seven of the “31 Days of Self-Love Challenge.” Self-love is the foundation of all self-care. Every relationship you’ll have will be influenced and predicated by the relationship you have with yourself first. The benefits of a challenge like this, and thinking of ways you can improve your relationship with yourself are myriad.

I hope everyone is participating and enjoying the challenge. If you’re new to the WOOP method, you’re in for a treat. It uses the automatic processes of the mind to help you achieve your goals. By now you’ve set the intention in your mind to achieve 7 different self-loving goals, and I couldn’t be prouder of you!

Don’t forget you can find more information, testimonials and tutorials on the WOOP method on woopmylife.org.


The needle on my scale is stuck. It doesn’t want to move, and it’s driving me nuts. I feel like every single pound I’m losing is as effortful as a climb up Everest. On paper, I’m doing everything right. I even did a week of eating half portion sizes to see if it made a difference.

Yesterday I did some real soul searching about this. It’s not a plateau, I’m not drinking or eating too many calories. I honestly believe my scale’s trek southward has stalled out because I have something to learn. And that’s…

That we only truly value that which is earned – specifically that which we earned through the process of becoming.   I have gained and lost weight over and over through the years. Sometimes it melts like butter, and sometimes I can gain weight just thinking about eating.

But never before has my weight been so completely under my control in an effortful, balanced and intentional way. And it hit me. This time my weight loss has to be this way. I’m earning every single pound I lose (at an average of about 2 lbs a week), and because of that effort I value their loss so much more than if they’d just shed away.

Because I value their loss, and the work it took to lose them, I will value keeping them off forever.

This isn’t a fad, a diet, or an experiment. I’m on a journey to regain control of all of my life, including and especially the weight. When I look back on these pounds, the ones that want to stick, I’m going to remember this struggle and it will help keep me on goal for the REST OF MY DAYS.


THE 1% RULE by Tommy Baker


Part of why I started this website and Vital Living is because it’s a vehicle for my own personal development. I’m a teacher at heart, and am on a journey to regain my health and well-being. I wanted a format where I could share my journey and what I’m learning with others.

So you can imagine my frustration after I finished the mindfulness program and Yale’s Science of Well-being course and couldn’t figure out how to both apply their principals to my own life in active real ways, and also how to convey them to others.

I started working on an article on habits, that I believe is going to be so beneficial to others and my own life so that I can turn knowledge into action.

I also started reading “The 1% Rule” by Tommy Baker. Already, just a few chapters in, and the serendipity of me searching for a way to put knowledge into action and finding his book is amazing. He literally has a formula to move information from knowledge, into doing and finally into being in our lives. As my understanding of his principals and the chapters unfold I promise to share with you here.

He also talks about pushing the needle on the various facets of our lives by 1% every day. And I can’t help but think that if I pair his technique with my Lifebook, I’m going to be unstoppable. There is a match made in Heaven! As always, as I learn new and better ways to improve my health and well-being, I’ll pass them along here.



I finally got my Fitbit! It was an early Mother’s Day present.

I’ve been saving up for one for ages. I briefly considered buying a cheap knock-off on Amazon but the reviews consistently talked about the inaccuracy of the readouts.

So I waited for my Fitbit and am thrilled I did! I am constantly referencing it to watch my step count for the days and to monitor my heart rate. I’m excited to have learned about the different heart rate zones (fat burn vs cardio vs max heart rate), and I reference them every time I exercise to see how effective my workouts are. I even love the sleep monitor and its graphs.

If you’re on the fence about a Fitbit, can afford one, and are working on improving your fitness levels I highly suggest one.


The weekend before last we built our own running trail around the perimeter of our property. I have been on it every single day since. Sometimes I take the dog for a walk, sometimes the kids walk with me, sometimes it’s just me.

I haven’t worked up to running it yet, but love the challenge of the drastic ups and downs of our property. My husband tracked it on the GPS and it said we had something like a 700 ft elevation loss and gain.

My Fitbit tracked me going twice around and it’s 0.62 miles or just over 1400 steps. I love it!



Last week my new Tara Lee yoga videos came. I haven’t done her Lunar flow yet, but I LOVE her Solar flow. It’s her take on the sun salutations. As always, my body feels so much better after I do her workouts.

Her flows are self-care, and resonate with my body on so many levels.

Her flows are suitable for any level, beginner and on.

If you’re new to yoga and want a place to start, you won’t go wrong with this flow. However, I will always recommend her Elements flows first. They’re still my favorite. I’ll let you know what I think of her Lunar flows once I’ve had the chance to try them. I’m working on creating a yoga every day habit. So I’ll have plenty of time to try them all.


My heavy metal detox ends this coming Wednesday. I’m relieved. I never thought I’d be unhappy about getting a smoothie every day, but honestly they have not been my favorite.

I’m looking forward to being able to make whatever kind of healthy smoothie I want instead of blueberries, spirulina, barley grass powder and cilantro. Blek.

Having said that, I have noticed a great deal of changes in my body since I started, particularly in my mind. My mind is sharper, less tired, and my memory has drastically improved. Also, my ongoing digestive issues haven’t made an appearance in weeks. That has got to be a record.

Full disclosure, I’ve been doing a full anti-inflammatory diet and have been eating primarily fresh whole fruits and vegetables for months now. So I can’t attribute the reprieve from my symptoms wholly at the feet of the heavy metal detox. However, the timing is right and I’ve definitely seen a change.

Next Monday marks the beginning of the THYROID REHAB PROGRAM – CHOICE C.

I’ll get the write up on what to expect posted this week for anyone who is following along or participating. Choice C ramps up the number and types of drinks we have to drink or eat over the next 30 days. If you’ve struggled with the celery juice/lemon water/ginger water/heavy metal smoothie/cucumber juice daily regime, we’re about to take it up another level. Get ready!


Last week was a productive one where I managed to meet a lot of my fitness goals. That’s always a good feeling. So what does this week hold?

In addition to some great fitness goals I’ll talk about shortly, this coming week I’ve got some fun articles that I’m working on that will be posted. I hope they’re as useful to you on your journey back to health and wellness as they have been to me.


This week I’m starting the 6-Week Weight Loss Challenge as mentioned earlier, and also I’m restarting the 30-day Plank Challenge. The benefits from the last one were really surprising to me, and I want to go around again.

I’m going to continue working on creating my ‘yoga every day’ habit. I truly love yoga. It’s not for lack of motivation, just a shortage of time that gets me every time. I’m shuffling things around in my days to make more room for the things I love – like yoga!


Thank you for your support of me on this journey. It’s been epic, and will continue to be so. I hope that I’m providing support and benefit back to you. Especially the personal development information. For so long so many of us have just floundered in an unhealthy mediocre lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be that way. We CAN do better. We will. Just stick with me.

xo Becky xo




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