Project Louise: With Two Months To Go, Where Are We?

Tick, tick, tick. Two months to go before the official end of Project Louise – though of course I’m now seeing that improving my health is a lifelong project. In any case, Coach Allison Rimm suggested it was time for a checkup. With her, not my doctors.

So we got together last week and reviewed my progress toward the goals I originally laid out for the year. Here’s how that went:

Goal: Reach 145 pounds and feel comfortable in size 10-12 clothing.

Status: I’ve lost 15 pounds, putting me at 174. Clearly, since I am not going to do a crazy fasting thing, I will not reach 145 by the end of the year. On the plus side, however, I am now solidly a size 12, rather than the tight-14-oh-help-please-no-I-won’t-buy-16s I was in January.

More important (since, as all women know, clothing sizes are pretty crazy, arbitrary and variable anyway), I truly believe that the 15 pounds I’ve lost this year are gone forever. This is a huge shift from my previous attempts at weight loss, when I would lose 15 or 20 pounds, then bounce right back up again as soon as I stopped “dieting.” Now, I don’t feel as if I’m on a diet every day; I’m just generally making better choices, eating smaller portions of more nutritious foods, and the scale is heading in the right direction. Slowly, slowly, but I’ll take it.

Goal: Eat healthfully at least five days a week.

Status: Generally, yes. I have “bad” foods once in a while – French fries are my weakness – but I find that I don’t crave them as I used to, I don’t eat as much of them when I have them, and I eat them only when I really, really want to. The random office cakes, cheap Halloween candies, and fast-food burgers have lost their power over me.

In part this is because I make more effort to pack a healthy lunch every day and buy more vegetables for dinner; in part it’s because, I promise, if you can just wean yourself off the junk for a little while, you will start preferring the good stuff. And I have a secret weapon: avocados. I put them in salads all the time now and feel like I’m getting a real treat – but it’s a healthy treat. And don’t forget to eat great chocolate.

Goal: Lower my cholesterol and triglycerides.

Status: I’ve been procrastinating about getting these checked. I promised Allison that I’d make an apppointment. What’s getting in my way is not wanting to have another argument about statins, but I need to get over that and just see where the numbers are – and then have a sensible discussion about what to do next.

Goal: Create and follow a regular, sustainable exercise plan.

Status: Nope.

This is painful to admit, but I am just not getting it done. I’ve dabbled in all kinds of different approaches, but dabbling is pretty much the exact opposite of “regular” and “sustainable,” no? Maybe if I did any one of these things – to recap, they include swimming, biking, hot yoga, high-intensity interval training, walking, weights and the zombie workout – on any given day, the combination would add up to something real, but so far, I regret to say, I seem to dive with great enthusiasm into the latest idea, then abandon it shortly thereafter.

We will now pause as I reflect on the fact that this is how I conduct too much of the rest of my life, too.

We will now pause again as I remember that I have ADD, and that perhaps these two facts might be related. More on that in a couple of weeks, because I’m working on it.

Meanwhile, what can I say? I know I need to exercise, and ideally, I know, I should do it every day. But what is it going to take to make me actually do it? This is the key question I’m still facing – and, therefore, the key goal I need to focus on for the remaining two months of Project Louise.


Goal: Feel at home with myself.

Status: This may sound like a vague goal that’s not clearly related to health and fitness – but I’ve come to see over the year that it’s the foundation of everything else. And I’d say I’ve made great strides in this area.

At Allison’s urging, I’ve cut way down on negative self-talk; it still crops up, but I’m better at telling that mean little voice to be quiet. I’ve also done a lot of work on improving relationships, dealing with some financial issues, and generally working to create a more stable and happier home. All this is a work in progress – but then, as all of these status updates make clear, so am I.

Headshot of Louise Kennedy

Louise Kennedy Contributor
Louise Kennedy previously worked with The ARTery and as editor of Edify.



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