It's time to stop breaking the promises you make to yourself to eat right, exercise and develop healthier habits. For the next three months, from 05 September 2011 to 05 December 2011, MISSION: INCREDIBLE focuses on getting healthier one day at a time. There is only one rule: do a little more today than you did yesterday to keep your promise of taking better physical care of yourself. Follow that one rule - EVERYDAY - and the changes you see in three months will be incredible.

We're all at very different exercise levels and we all have different weight targets, but it's always nice to know you've got company on the journey. We'll focus on three goals as part of our daily check-in: G1 - diet (the good, the bad and the ugly); G2 - exercise (your physical exercise for that day); and, G3 - healthy habits (things we adopt or learn along the way that help). Join us and leave your comments below!

Day 22

Ever notice that you don’t crave something until you can’t have it?  Today was the first day of my 2500 calorie, 30 grams of fat regimen and all I wanted all day long was chicken. Fried chicken wings, to be exact. Grrrr. My co-workers laughed at me the whole day when I kept mentioning it. As long as I was busy, I was okay. But when the lulls, o’ man!!

Anyhoo, it was actually a very successful day regarding the dietary change. The 2500 calorie limit is easy for me to achieve. I’m getting much better at portion control and I recognize when I’m eating (or desiring to eat) out of boredom or emotions. My choices also tend to be healthier – for the most part.

My REAL challenge is the 30 grams of fat limit. I love chocolate, but one bag of plain M&Ms carries 13 grams of fat. So if I eat the whole bag, I’ve blown nearly half of my daily allowance. So frustrating!

However, doing the food diary was a great wakeup call for me today, because I spent lots of time checking out the nutritional value of foods that I eat on a regular basis. Needless to say, milk chocolate and fried chicken wings are not going to be invited to the party very often for the next five weeks. A little dark chocolate here and there, however, will make all the difference.

Here’s my check in:

G1: Breakfast at 9 a.m. was an 8 oz. glass of calcium-added grapefruit juice (0g fat/90 cals) and a 4 oz. cup of Yoplait peach 99 percent fat-free yogurt (1g fat/110 cals).

I snacked on a satsuma/tangerine (0g fat/40 cals) and 15 multigrain crackers (5g fat/140 cals) around 11 a.m.

For lunch at 1:30 p.m., I had about two cups of a mixed green salad with five cherry tomatoes, two slices of cucumber, ¼ cup of shredded carrot, one ring of red bell pepper, 3 oz. of imitation crab, and 6 oz. of grilled chicken, with 2 tbsp. of Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette (6g fat/500 cals).

I snacked on a bag of plain M&M’s (13g fat/230 cals) and two more satsumas (0g fat/80 cals) around 3 pm.

For dinner at 6:30 p.m., I had about 8 oz. of grilled chicken (8g fat/400 cals), one cup of brown rice (2g fat/216 cals) and one cup of steamed broccoli (1g fat/98 cals).

The total for the day was 36 grams of fat and 1904 calories. If you take away the bag of M&M’s, I would be well under my limits and even have space for a great, light dessert.

G2: I only walked two miles today, but that is equivalent to about 40 minutes of aerobic exercise since my pace is still around 20 minutes per mile. I did my four basic upper body exercises (bicep curls, tricep dips, shoulder bridge and pushups), and the soreness is just starting to kick in as I write this. 

Remember, you can go to for descriptions of these exercises and many others if you are unfamiliar with them. I used the benches along my walking trail for the pushups and dips, and I did the bicep curls and shoulder bridge at home. You don’t necessarily need a gym to get fit.

G3: When I posted the alarming statistics about diabetes and obesity among African-American women on Facebook yesterday, I got only one response. One. I’ve got hundreds of Facebook friends and lots of folks who follow me as Facebook subscribers, but there was no lively discussion about the epidemic of unhealthiness in our community – especially among our women. I wasn’t surprised, but I have to admit that I was disappointed.

If four out of five black women are overweight or obese, that’s a BIG deal. According to the standard Body Mass Index (BMI), my BMI measurement is 35, which means I am obese – not “overweight,” not “heavy,” not “big fine,” not “big-boned,” but OBESE.

The higher your BMI, the higher your risk for chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.  I think of myself as an attractive woman, but attractiveness and health go hand in hand.

We know better. Now, we’ve got to do better. Learn more about the Body Mass Index here:

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