If you’ve been around since the inception of the tasra365 photo challenge (started after a dinner conversation with master photographer Scott Bourne and later watching Julie & Julia in the theater) then you know that our time is coming to an end. (Cue sad music.)

There is something exciting, liberating, and also saddening about nearing the end of a challenge. So instead of just sitting back and meeting status quo on this challenge, I’m taking it up a notch for myself (and you if you’re up for it).

Yesterday I announced that I’m launching a full campaign and challenge to take better care of myself. I also confessed that the time I’ve spent reading my camera manual (nearly 3 times from start to finish), looking at others images, and taking my own images every day is time that I haven’t spent focused on improving or at least maintaining my health and weight.


Starting tomorrow, I am giving myself the remaining ten weeks of this challenge to get myself and my body back.

In practical terms… I’m committed to losing 30 pounds in 10 weeks.

It’s a challenge, to be sure, but so is tasra365. I didn’t know if I could really do that and I’ve surprised myself. So why not do it again? I’ve broken it down in manageable pieces. I know exactly what I’m eating (based on Detox for Women by Natalia Rose and Winning by Losing by Jillian Michaels). And I know exactly how many calories I need to burn every day.

I’ve been inspired by the new Biggest Loser spinoff, Losing It with Jillian. Have you seen it? Seriously inspiring and seems more realistic because she only works with the families for one week then they are left on their own for the remaining 7 weeks before she checks up on them again. In the latest episode, one woman lost 78 pounds in eight weeks. I know Jillian is a bit much, but you have to give her credit for the results her clients have.


You may not need to lose weight, maybe you just need to exercise more or sleep more. Maybe it’s as simple as drinking more water. I’d like to challenge you to pick something you’d like to change and focus on making it happen over the next 75 days. It’s a sprint to the finish… the finish of tasra365, the end of summer, and for me… almost right up to my birthday.


  1. Define your goal. For me, that’s 30 pounds lost in 10 weeks.
  2. Break down your goal. 30 pounds = 105,000 calories = 10500 cal/wk = 1500 cal/day. I need to create a 1500 cal deficit every single day. Make it daily like the 365 challenge… one image, one page in manual, viewing other images. You can do anything for a day.
  3. Do the math. Even if you just need to increase your water intake, do the math of how many times you need to refill your water bottle. For me I had to get my BMR, which I had tested about 18 months ago. You can use an online calculator to figure it out too. My personal BMR is 300 calories less than the calculators say which is important to know… otherwise I’d be eating an extra 300 calories a day and wondering why I can’t lose the weight (but it’s a good base number to start with if you haven’t had yours tested). Based on my BMR, I need to eat 1200 calories a day, which means to create a calorie deficit, I’m going to have to rely on exercise and burning calories not starvation.
  4. Set the timing. Now that I know exercise is key to my success, I have set a schedule for when I am going to work out, how long and what I’ll be doing. I even joined a gym for the first time in two years and already went for the first time today.
  5. Get buy-in from key stakeholders. My husband is a key stakeholder in this process. It’s going to mean strict adherence to eating and exercising, not to mention extra time working out. Making sure he’s committed to the plan as well will go a long way toward my success. Think about who can help and who can sabotage you and work to get their buy-in, help them see the benefit of them supporting you.
  6. Find a buddy and accountability. My daughter is joining me in the healthy eating portion of the plan (not the weight loss). It helps to have a friend along. I’m also enrolling you as support too! Please feel free to check in on me daily via the blog, twitter or facebook.
  7. Prepare for setbacks. I know 75 days of complete commitment will be hard. I know I’m going to be sore, tired, and may even want to give up at some point. That’s why having buy-in from key stakeholders, having a buddy and accountability, and planning all need to be done ahead of time. But even then, when the setbacks come it’s crucial to be flexible and roll with the punches instead of giving up altogether.

So… what do you think? Let me hear your thoughts, your goals and whether or not you think you might join me… even if just in some small way!


There are things I would like to have to make it easier… a Body Bugg to accurately track my calories eaten and burned, a Foam Roller to ease my aching muscles, weighlifting gloves so I don’t get calluses… BUT I’m going to start anyway. Maybe the stars will align and someone will send me a Body Bugg they aren’t using or the company will send me one to review. Perhaps I’ll run across a clearance sale on foam rollers. Until then, I’m going to make it work with what I have… and trust that what I need will show up.

Today’s images are a result of our grocery run to Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheck). We stocked up on healthy food for the entire week and have a clear plan. The eggplant will be part of our evening stir fry. The butter is straight from an Amish farm! How cool is that. Butter will be used to cook instead of oils… you may think that’s weird since I’m losing weight, but it’s about eating whole food, not processed and the butter will be used sparingly.

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  • Terri Jacobson

    I'm in. In January I had 50 lbs. lose, so far, I have lost 30 lbs. I'd love to see that last 20 gone in 10 weeks.

  • dijea

    I'd love to lose 30 lbs in 10 weeks, I've lost 25 over the past year. I have found that setting a weight loss goal is always my downfall. SO…I am setting the goal to exercise 5 days a week. Works off the fat & the stress without having a number goal down the way. Walking, running, biking, whatever. Just do it 5 days a week.

  • Ingridew

    I'm in. I will commit eating more healthy meals, exercising at least 5 times a week.

  • Srmarek

    I'm in. I commit to eating healthier meals, working out 4 times a week AND getting to bed at a decent time. Wow, it's a life change for me. I can do it one day at a time.

  • http://my3rdi.org/ Sasi S

    Count me in too.
    My 365 project has kept me real busy this year – so my goal is to exercise 6 times a week and get to bed at a reasonable time ;)

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  • Abra Michelle

    That is awesome sweetie. I am so proud of you. You have this take charge personality that I envy. I know you will probably think that sounds silly but it's true from my point of view.

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  • Videoguy

    That's awesome Tasra! I had put on some weight from eating poorly, but I was getting a lot of physical activity in (played sports about 3 times a week)… needless to say I though I would lose weight if I was just exercising (terrible thought process). Like anything else, there is a formula that is tried and true, but it's hard to figure it out on your own with all the bad information that goes around.

    Just thought I would share a tip that worked for me and a few other people that tried it with me…

    1. Monitor your calorie intake vs. calories burned (use a calorie calculator found online to find out how many you burn just being awake as a good starting point.).
    2. Monitor your nutritional value intake. Read the labels and see what the recommended daily value is and try and stay at/or below it.
    3. Change the way you eat. Instead of eating 3 bigger meals a day, eat 6 smaller meals a day. When you eat big meals, your body has a hard time processing all of that food at once and slows down your metabolism drastically. If you eat 6 times a day with smaller portions, your metabolism will increase and burn things easier. VERY IMPORTANT: if you eat once or twice a day, STOP. Eating more food, but less times a day will destroy your metabolism!
    4. Portion size is very important as is point #3 above. Your main meals shouldn't be much bigger than the size of your fist. If your main meals are breakfast, lunch, and dinner, each of those should be around a fist size. in between breakfast, lunch, and dinner you should be eating healthy snacks. Nuts, fruits, and other things like that… but keep in mind, these snacks should be smaller than your meals. These little snacks will get you through until the next meal and keep your metabolism pumping.
    5. Eat better food. This doesn't mean replace regular ice cream with non-fat ice cream. This means replace your normal sugar cravings with natural sweets like fruits or yogurts or the like. Fruit also helps increase metabolism. Eat more veggies… yah it sucks, but you get used to it if you force yourself. Stop dousing everything in butter, sour cream, and frying it. If you love fried food like I did, this will be the hardest part… stop eating it at all costs. You don't need it, explore other options out there… there is tons of good food, you just gotta find it.
    6. Fast food and restaurants vs. eating at home. The cost vs. benefit ratio of eating out is no where near as good as eating at home. Eating out you get high sodium, fat, calorie, etc… meals that are way out of the portion size you should be eating and it will cost you about the same if not more money than eating a fancy meal at home. Once or twice a month you could treat yourself, but don't let it get out of control and start happening more than once a week. Prepare your meals the night before for the next days snacks and lunch and spend an hour cooking dinner when you get home. It's a routine and it's very doable.

    If you have read this far, that's awesome! If all you do is the above you will lose inches off your body over time and keep it off. You have to break the bad habits and that's not something a magic pill or crash diet will do for you. Your body needs certain nutrients and it can only handle a certain amount as well. If you can ease into a new lifestyle of eating, your body will thank your for it with more energy, healthier weight, etc… which in turn will make you have a much better attitude about everything! If you can start adding in exercising as well, that will only make things better.

    Congrats and good luck! I hope this helps! It sure helped me and my close friends!

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