Challenge Met, Pounds Dropped 

Posted: 2:52 pm Sunday, November 26th, 2017

By Ann Kelly


The workout stations in Alderman’s Ford Park make it seem like play!

This is working! I’ve visited four parks so far for the Hillsborough County Hiking Spree (more on that in Ann-Ventures) and all the extra exercise is paying off. It’s the perfect complement to my workouts with Jim at the BayCare Fitness Center and the hard work of my nutritionist Charlotte. Thanks to the program she has set up for me I can happily say there are sixteen pounds no longer a part of my life. And with the Hiking Spree challenge added to that I have the chance to not only get to know more of the county parks I enjoy so much, I get to show them off to you in Ann-Ventures.

But of course there will always be those “triggers” that pop up just about every day. You have to know them all to well yourself. Anyone who deals with a disease like Lupus as I do knows that overdoing can lead to a lot of problems.  The newest and most recent is yet another change in medication so I’ll let you know how that works out soon. But not getting enough rest is a major issue for anyone that works the kind of hours I do. Think about this; I found that rearranging my meal schedule was a necessity. Breakfast will always be first and that’s around 3 am. The next meal is really my dinner around 7:30 am which provides plenty of energy for the rest of the day and anything from my workout with Jim to another walk in the park. The last meal will be the lightest to accommodate a bedtime of around 6:30 pm to try to get in those precious eight hours of sleep. For more on dealing with holiday stress and any one of the more than one hundred forms of arthritis, the Florida Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation is a wonderful resource. We have the Jingle Bell Run coming up soon, so why not join me for that? You don’t have to run, walking is just fine.

Darn mirror – it never lies!

In between all of that, just like your day, can come those triggers that can mess with all our hard work. If its lack of sleep, stress from work and home, and my biggest one of  fatigue from the Fibromyalgia, what’s the first thing I want? Comfort food of course and that’s not always the healthiest option is it! That’s where meal planning and advance prep make a world of difference especially during the holidays. A healthy snack before dinner can help with avoiding those items I want – but also want to avoid. Always staying hydrated with plenty of water or sparkling water also fill me up, and not with needless calories. I’ve stayed away from any diet sodas for almost two years now and sparkling water fills that void. I did get some very good advice on those by the way – I love LaCroix since there are no artificial sweeteners. But my dentist said it’s a good idea to use a straw since many of those natural flavors are citrus which can be tough on the teeth.

So with four weeks to go until I head home to Cleveland for the holidays I feel confident that I can handle it! Tell me what you might be doing to head off the holiday caloriefest and if you’d like to share a few recipes I’d love that. Just send it to me at



We elves try to stick to the four main food groups; candy, candy canes,  candy corns and syrup – “Elf”