“febYOUary” Re-Cap: What I Learned and What I’m Doing About It

Thanks to all of you who joined me in the “febYOUary”  challenge this month! I told you before that I was wanting to do the challenge because I was curious about a few things in my life. Here are some notes I made!

febYOUary: an 18 day guide to connecting YOU with your health: www.claresmith.me

1.) I eat WAY too much sugar!

You know how you KNOW something, but you just need to see it down on paper to really believe it? Well, that was me. Of course it didn’t help that I started this during Valentine’s week, but who am I kidding. I know what I eat and I know enough that I needed to cut back.

2.) I drank more water on days I worked out early morning.

You may think that this is a no brainer since I am probably more thirsty since I’m exercising, BUT, I still exercised other days and it was still harder for me to get the water in the later in the day I exercised. I get what I need every day for the most part so I don’t need to do any major change, but I thought it was an interesting observation.

3.) My eating got sloppier towards the end of the night

I start out each day pretty good. I have a well thought out breakfast, snack, and even lunch. It’s after lunch where things go crazy. I’m not sure if it’s because my day gets crazier and i pay less attention, or because Im not as planned about it. My guess is it’s a mix of both.

4.) Food journaling is hard for me because of all the homemade food I make/eat

I eat a lot. And often during the day. I also make most everything I eat out of scratch, so it was really hard to figure out what to enter for the soup I made one night and the stir fry another. So that got exhausting and it was really hard for me to keep it accurate.

5.) I take lots of little bites here and there.

Having 2 kids doesn’t really help this (as you moms out there know!) This is one area that I tell moms to be careful of because you can have an extra 100+ calories added to your day without even realizing it. So trying to account for 2 bites of mac & cheese, or an apple slice, or one fruit gummy was hard. :)

You may note that I didn’t have anything up there about weeks 2 and 3–our personality and spiritual assessment. Why? Because I feel that I am constantly reviewing/assessing those areas and its what spurs me to write what I write here on the site! So I don’t have any new “ah ha” moments now—but I guarantee more will come!

Now that I have a better idea of what my day looks like, I can make a better plan. Wanna know what I’m doing?

1.) Sugar Detox!

I’ve been a tad bit sloppy (to put it lightly) with my sugar amounts. So because of it, I’m only having it on Wednesdays and Sundays. (This doens’t include my chocoalte protein shakes, nut butters, or sugar found naturally in fruit) But all those tiny butterfinger hearts, fruit snacks, bites of cookie here and there—outta here. Since I am a 0-60 girl (Personality assessment!) I can’t seem to control “bites” so I’m better off not going there. I’ve been on this for a week now and it’s going well. Feel much more controlled now!

2.) Inserting my 6am workouts 1 or 2x per week

I used to be a die hard 6am workout gal. I did it for 7 years when I worked full time outside of the home and now that I’ve been inside the home working for 7 years, it’s hit or miss. My husband took a new job this year and has to leave pretty early so I can only get in about 45 minutes, which is a bummer, but I’m finding that it still is good for me. It jump starts my day and I’m off to drinking and eating with focus. It’s a positive thing for my mental state! :)

3.) I’ve given myself a 12 hour cut-off at night.

To eat. This always works well for me (not everyone) but because I definitely get all my calories I need in the day, most calorires that I consume after dinner are just boredom or craving calories. (I would think differently about this if I really needed to eat!) So I work well with hard stops. It doesn’t play mental games with me (It may for some of you) so knowing I need to close the kitchen around 7 is good for me. And no–it doesn’t mean I can stuff in 4 oreos at 6:58!

4.) I’m becoming a night tea drinker.

But the the 12 hour fast doesn’t mean that I still don’t’ want something! I have been inserting a cup of hot tea every night. Does 2 things. 1.) Gives me something to look forward to 2.) Fills the need to “eat” Plus I’m sure there has to be something healthy in there!

If you missed out on this and want to go through the assessment, then here is the info with the free printables!


Week 1: Physical

Week 2: Personality

Week 3: Spiritual

If you participated in this, I would love to get your feedback. Leave what you learned in the comments below, or write a post about it if you have a blog!



  1. Alyssa says

    I’m with you on the sugar. This helped me remind myself not to buy those sugary snacks because I can’t just have a little bit. Also, with a kid, the snacks abound, and I realized if it was out, I ate it. Those Goldfish crackers were a killer :)

    In the personality assessment, I realized that my competitive nature helps me succeed in group classes. I’m pushing myself to get lower or work harder. This was great to discover. It also helps to have someone instructing me.

    For the spiritual, I was reminded how great it is that I can serve God with my health, but my relationship with Him needs to come first. It’s not right that I can spend an hour exercising, but I didn’t have enough time study the Bible that day. While I think sometimes these can be connected, I need to remember to love Jesus first all the time.

    I really enjoyed this different challenge. It was nice to reflect and learn more about myself instead of just running and jumping into something crazy :) Thanks Clare!

  2. Shonda says

    Thank you for helping us think about the reasons and ways we do things so we can figure out what direction to go. I just did my last two assessments today.

  3. says

    Great Advise. This is my first time commenting. But I really appreciate the encouragement. i’m over fifty with some hip issues from years of running, so keeping weight off has become difficult. I appreciate you blog.

  4. Angie says

    Awareness is always the first step to change. An honest look at one’s life habits and caloric intake/output like this is a great place to start! Not doing so before attempting change is a bit like planning a road trip and trying to estimate the mileage midway, but only having a vague idea where you are going, and not even being sure where you started! These are nice evaluation tools. Thanks!

    Getting healthier is never about diet and deprivation, those are frustrating words of failure and shame. It’s about making lifestyle changes that you can do for the rest of your life. Small steps, done consistently, over time, leading to big results. That will motivate anyone to stick with whatever works for them. I definately think it’s important to address body, mind(especially stress)AND spirit!

    Btw: I refer to those little tastes from your #4 as sneaky “BLT’s”, or Bites, Licks and Tastes!;) It’s so easy to mindlessly pop extra tidbits in your mouth while cooking, grazing or cleaning up isn’t it? Many of us were raised to be clean platers and not waste!

    I cook from scratch mostly, so although I appreciated having myfitnesspal available, I find daily journaling to be a challenge too. However, last year at this time, I was trying to lose about 15 pounds. I succeeded, and the journal helped me stay on track each day; to make informed and better decisions about what to have for lunch, and later in the day. If I had done well and had 100 calories to spare, then I had a treat at the end of the day, if not, it was only tea. A 3500 calorie deficit per week=one pound loss. It didn’t happen overnight for me, but it was steady, thanks to my awareness of calories in and out, as well as burned, each day.

    Great site! LOVE your bright, cheery colors! :)

  5. says

    Clare, I just want to thank you for doing this challenge. I NEEDED to use the food journal because it had been a long time since I had done that and I definitely saw areas that need tightened up.
    I appreciated the opportunity to take a deeper look into my emotional and spiritual health as well.

    Like you, my eating tends to get sloppy in the afternoon and evenings. I have decided to close my kitchen at 7pm. This used to be a discipline in my life, but I just had gotten relaxed about it.

    Hot tea is also my treat and I love peach green tea, chai spice, caramel chai, and sleepytime. It is warm and gives me a full feeling and I don’t even want to eat when I have a warm cup of tea in my hands.

    Thanks again for all the teaching and encouragement you give!


  6. Wendy says

    Hi Clare, I have never done a challenge like this before. I finally had a chance to review my food journal, the physical and spiritual surveys and it has been very enlightening. I am planning on using this information to make changes in the year ahead.

    I too make most of our meals from scratch and find myself sneaking bites here and there that when I sit at the table and think what I age for dinner, it isn’t really that much, but I have already had part of my dinner before I sat down to the table with my family :-) I am thinking I will try chewing gum or sucking on a piece of candy to keep my mouth busy while I am cooking so I don’t take those extra bites of food.

    As for the exercise portion, I am learning I need some kind of ‘carrot’ hanging out in front of me to keep me motivated…..a monthly challenge, race to train for (I am just starting to train for a sprint triathlon for this summer) and I need accountability.

    Spiritually, I also have found I need that motivation and accountability….you are right, struggles in one area definitely carry over to other areas.

    Thanks for challenging me to take a closer look at why and how I do life so I can make some educated changes for the long haul :-)

    God bless you and thank you for your time, effort and encouragement, Wendy

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