Tag: Sara Borgstede

Faithful Finish Lines: Michele’s Journey – Week 7 – Well Done!

It is the final week of the Faithful Finish Lines challenge and that means it is race week.

This Week’s Verse

Sara’s choice of scripture for the week was interesting and it caused me to change my way of thinking.

It is from the Parable of the Talents or as the NIV calls it The Parable of the Gold Bags. (Link to entire parable.)

A servant who received 5 bags of gold from his master, turned them into 10 bags of gold.

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

Matthew 25:21

Now I always thought this applied to money and only money. But we were faithful with a few weeks (7) of challenges to our eating, exercise, faith and mission.

This verse and the parable has a whole new meaning to me. Wow! I guess God did recreate me during this program.

Getting Ran Over

I have not slept well lately and considered having someone call me at 6 a.m. this morning to make sure I was out of bed. Then I read my friend Jeff’s blog post yesterday on self-accountability.  UGH!  I felt like I got ran over by a reindeer. 

So to make sure I was self-accountable, I set 2 alarms. It took me awhile to get out of bed after the second alarm but I did it.

I was self-accountable.

Holiday Obstacle Course

A lot of group members were doing 5k’s, a 5k was out of the question due to my knee. Instead I opted to walk the local mall. My “obstacles” would be the people I have to weave in and out of during my walk, plus I might have to jump over a few elves along the way.

When I put “boots on the ground” at 8:40 this morning (alright it was tennis shoes on the pavement), the parking lot was no where near full.

"Tennis Shoes On The Pavement."
“Tennis Shoes On The Pavement.”

The only stores not open were the hair salons. There were people shopping but numerous couples and girlfriends were walking. I could tell they were mall walking pro’s and I was their “obstacle” they had to walk around.

Yap, Yap

There are several aisles off the main concourse on both levels. I walked all but one. The aisle I skipped was the one with the pet store. It just breaks my heart to see the doggies and kitties in the store wanting a nice warm home with a loving family for Christmas. I know some of them will get it and some will end up in shelters in January because they were too much work for their owners.

When I started down the aisle anchored by Dick’s Sporting Goods, I heard yap, yap. Oh no! There’s another pet store in the mall?  I saw doggies in their crates and kitties in the window as I walked by.

Bling, Bling

I stopped at the Swarovski Crystal Boutique (I am attracted to bright shiny objects) and window shopped. Santa Baby, it would be wonderful to find the the Topazy looking necklace and earrings, the golden retriever, and the leopard statue under my tree Christmas morning.      😉


As most of you know I pulled a muscle behind my left knee a couple months ago. Getting rest has been tough because I am the only one who does the housework and I was working full time in a call center. It is possible to get more rest now that the seasonal job ended.

I let Sara know about this when I started the program and it was not an issue.  Just start from where you are at and do what the knee will allow – stretch yourself but don’t push it.

The knee held up well today for 3/4 of my walk. I did rest a few minutes before proceeding down the food court aisle and made it the rest of the way through the mall.


One of the requirements on race day was to take a “selfie” of me doing my event. Well, here is my selfie.

Faithful Finish Lines Race Day Selfie
Faithful Finish Lines Race Day Selfie

This was taken as I walked down the big aisle off the lower concourse. That is my dress for New Year’s Eve. Now all I need is the figure, the man and the event to attend. I will work on the figure first as once I get it, I am sure I will have no problem getting a man.       😉

Then it is off to the opera or symphony.

Finish Line

Here is a picture of my finish line – the locker where I stored my parka.


Finish Line
Finish Line

I used the app “Map My Walk” and it stated I walked 5.55 miles in 34.41 minutes. Now I found that questionable until I spoke with my friend who said she heard when the mall was built walking each level was 1.6 miles. So walking 2 levels is 3.2 miles, plus the new aisles added on during the remodeling. I guess 5.55 is possible. I will walk it again and double check.

Oh by the way a 5k is 3.10685596 miles – and I did not think a 5k was possible. All things are possible with God.

Well Done!

Now I can say:

  • Well done being self-accountable!
  • Well done stopping the daily Pepsi!
  • Well done cutting back on the sugar!
  • Well done increasing fruits and vegetables!
  • Well done walking the Holiday Obstacle Course!
  • Well done on monitoring and increasing protein!
  • Well done eating more clean and less processed foods!
  • Well done sticking with the Faithful Finish Lines program!

Now I am off to go enjoy and share my master’s happiness!

Hopefully a steak is included! (medium, not well done.)


*Disclaimer: I was given free access to the Faithful Finish Lines program with the promise of blogging about my experience. I am not receiving payment of any other form and the opinions are mine alone.

Sign up now for the January 5th, 2015 start date. 

  • Use the code FFLJan2015 and get $10 off your registration. 
  • Also put my name or JoyReturns in the “Friend Who Referred You” box and I will receive 1 month free membership in the FFL Community Forum ($5.00 value).

Faithful Finish Lines: Michele’s Journey – Week 6 – 90/10

I feel like there is not anything to report about for week 6 as life seems so normal. However, prior to Faithful Finish Lines I was always working on making BIG changes (e.g. eliminate sugar) instead of small changes (e.g. cut back on the amount of sugar). Small changes are what makes for long lasting success.

This weeks challenge was the 90/10 principle.

90/10 means 90% clean foods and 10% treat foods.

Here is a partial list of clean foods.

  • Turkey, Chicken
  • Steak, Lean
  • Ground Beef, Lean
  • All Fruits
  • All Vegetable
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Oatmeal

Last week I mentioned using dates to deal with the sweet cravings. Dates are on the “Use Sparingly List” but I maybe had no more than 6 a day and some days not even that many. Honey and dark chocolate are also on the “Use Sparingly List.” (UGH!)

I have followed the complete list Sara sent out towards the program’s beginning. I have not been perfect, but as Sara reminded us, it is not about perfection but about progress.

If you are eating 80% processed foods, then try cutting back to 70% processed foods and 30% clean foods. Then cut back on the processed foods a little more each week. If you fail in your plans rest knowing God’ grace will catch you.

Holiday Obstacle Course

Well that’s about all I have to report for Week 6. As I write this, I am in the middle of week 7 and the post for this week will be published on Friday 12/19 – after I finish my Holiday Obstacle Course. What is a Holiday Obstacle Course?  It is walking the mall and dodging in and around or leaping over people with a single bound.     😉

So come back Friday for the Week 7 post which will also serve as a wrap up post as this is the last week of the program.

Live! From Colorado – It’s Faithful Finish Lines! 

Speaking of the program – Faithful Finish Lines website went live this week. The next program starts January 5th, 2015. Registration closes January 3rd 2015.

  • Use the code FFLJan2015 and get $10 off your registration. 
  • Also put my name or JoyReturns in the “Friend Who Referred You” box and I will receive 1 month free membership in the FFL Community Forum ($5.00 value).

You have the choice of several online programs. The one I am a part of is now known as the Faithful Finish Lines: Stepping Forward. 

I encourage you to sign up for one of the programs. Where else are you going to find a program that is filled with lots of grace and encourages you to move forward even if it is at a snails pace?

*Disclaimer: I was given free access to the Faithful Finish Lines program with the promise of blogging about my experience. I am not receiving payment of any other form and the opinions are mine alone.


Faithful Finish Lines: Michele’s Journey – Week 5 – Fresh

Week 5 of the Faithful Finish Lines program brought about a much needed fresh start after a week of overdosing on turkey and other Thanksgiving fare.

I was ready for a start fresh and looked forward to week 5 until it was announced in our weekly Facebook Chat that this week was a no sugar week.  UGH!  Say it ain’t so! I inherited my sweet tooth from both parents. However, this is where Sara’s program differs from other diet and fitness programs – adopt this and every weeks goal to your life. 

So instead of going cold turkey on sugar, just reduce it.

It’s a good thing this program is flexible because last week there was cheesecake – turtle cheesecake at the grief support group meeting.

Yes, I ate it and followed it with a cup of decaf coffee (without sugar). Both were heaven and a lovely way to end the day, a day spent back at the call center because the phone lines were busy.

I was at the call center both Monday and Tuesday and made it through both days with just cucumber water – no Pepsi (sugar).

I Had Dreams There Was Sugar In My Coffee

Wednesday morning I fixed a cup of decaf coffee and went to put sugar in it and remembered it was “no sugar” week so I put the sugar back in the container.Then I put the spoon in the mug and stirred the coffee as if I had put sugar in it. Yes, I played games with my mind. However, my taste buds were not fooled and could tell the coffee was plain black.

My taste buds and I reached a compromise – no more than 1/4 teaspoon of sugar in the coffee. Gone is the 1 teaspoon of sugar.

Instead Of Sugar

I once heard or read somewhere that when you have a craving for sugar you should eat a date instead. A packaged of Sun Maid Pitted Dates just happened to be in my kitchen cupboard. When I got a craving for something sweet, I ate 3 dates instead. By doing this I accomplished adding in more fruit to my diet in addition to not eating something sugary.

The dates did help with the sweet tooth, plus the fiber is beneficial as well.   😉

Now it is on to week 6 of this 7 week journey. Time is racing on by as it seems like just last week I started this journey. Stay tuned for week # 6 adventures and the 90/10 principle.

*Disclaimer: I was given free access to the Faithful Finish Lines program with the promise of blogging about my experience. I am not receiving payment of any other form and the opinions are mine alone.