Elf for Health 2013 – Day One!

Last week I found out about the Elf for Health Challenge, thanks to one of my favorite blogs, The Lean Green Bean, and I immediately decided to join. It basically involves daily challenges improve physical, mental and emotional health, while keeping in touch with an “Elf” – essentially an accountability partner. Today is day one! I just sent my first email to my elf, and told her a little about myself and what made me decide to take this challenge. I hope I haven’t scared her off, but I thought it was important that she know where I’m coming from.

It is difficult for me to admit and verbalize to myself how far off track I’ve gotten with my health, let alone to admit it to another person. But I believe I’m going to need to be transparent and vulnerable if I want to overcome the denial that has allowed me to continue on this path for so long. So it is in that spirit that I am sharing with you the message I just sent to my Elf:

Good morning! My name is Sarah Hushbeck, and I am your match in the Elf4Health Challenge! Let me just start by saying that I am excited, and a little apprehensive about beginning this challenge. A little about me and why I’m doing this…

I am 33 years old, and in the worst shape of my life. I’ve wanted for a long time to try to adopt a healthier lifestyle, but have struggled with finding the motivation and discipline to put it into practice. Since my early teens, I’ve never been “slender”, but I started to really put on some serious weight after a divorce in 2008. Last year I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and this year I’ve been struggling with a lot of back pain, due to some bulging discs and arthritis. I’m now at least 100 pounds overweight and find simple activities like walking through the grocery store to be painful and difficult.

I’m so tired of being sick and in pain all the time, and I know I’ve got to do something about it. So when I found out about the Elf4Health Challenge last week, I decided it’s exactly what I need to jump start a change in my life.

From visiting your website, it looks like you are light years ahead of me in fitness and health, so I don’t know how much help I’ll be to you, but I believe that being albe to check in with you and share with you the changes I’m trying to make will help me to stick with this commitment. I work full time and have a pretty busy schedule, so apart from the regular challenges of motivation & discipline, I have to find ways to work around that.

So for Meatless Monday…I’m going to try out a couple of salad recipes I found online. For lunch I’m going to have this Chickpea, Cherry Tomato & Feta Salad, over a bed of baby spinach. I work in a tiny town where the only places to get anything to eat are either a gas station across the street, or junk food from the office vending machine. A big part of getting healthy at work is going to involve planning ahead. I’ve never been very good at packing a lunch, but I’m going to have to start if I want to be successful. Starting now, I will eat no more gas station pizza! 🙂

Well, I’ll shut up now, but I hope you have a great day! I’m on Facebook if you want to find me at facebook.com/semily1980.

Looking forward to hearing from you,


“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
~Robert Louis Stevenson