Jane Boursaw on the Trail at Old Mission State Park on the Old Mission Peninsula
Jane on the trail near Mission Point Lighthouse | Jane Boursaw Photo
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I’m doing the TC Trimdown again. Yes, that’s an announcement. So if you see me at an OMP Historical Society meeting or Pageturners Book Club or Old Mission Women’s Club, I’m asking you to slap that chocolate chip cookie right out of my hand. I’m counting on you, People.

TC Trimdown is the annual group weight-loss event where people around northern Michigan form teams and lose weight together. Here’s their Facebook page. But let’s back up with a little history of Jane’s Weight Loss Adventure…

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33.4 Pounds and 100 Miles

My first year of doing the Trimdown was two years ago in 2017. I lost a total of three pounds. Yes, three. My head was not in the game. At all. But, hey, at least I lost a bit of weight, and that’s a good thing.

Last year was more encouraging. I ended up losing 23.4 pounds, starting at 196 and dropping to 172.6. Then I continued to lose another ten pounds, ending up at 162.6 pounds, for a total weight loss of 33.4 pounds. (I do Weight Watchers, by the way, which works great when I stick to it.)

Part of that additional weight loss is thanks to another group challenge that I jumped into right after the Trimdown ended. Organized by my pal Mark Wilson, owner of Maxbauer’s in Traverse City, and Ty Schmidt, executive director of Norte, the challenge was to walk 100 miles in May, which boils down to about three miles a day. I accomplished that with a day to spare, and felt pretty good about it because that’s a lot of walking – at least an hour a day carved out of my busy entrepreneurial schedule.

The Beauty of Doing Things as a Group

There’s something about doing things as a group that propels you forward every day. I’m happy to have a great Trimdown team this year, which consists of me and my friends Marge Long, Lisa Buckley and Britney Kreiner. We’re the Gorgeous Losers. Here we are at the Trimdown Weigh-In on Jan. 7, 2020. Aren’t we cute? Honestly, we look fabulous in the “Before” photo.

TC Trimdown 2020
Jane’s TC Trimdown Team 2020, l to r, Britney Kreiner, Marge Long, Jane Boursaw and Lisa Buckley | TC Trimdown Photo

This year, I started the Trimdown at 181 pounds, so I’d gained back about 20 pounds from my lowest weight last year, but I was also ten pounds lighter than last year’s Trimdown starting weight.

Much of that 20 pounds was gained during the holidays – from Thanksgiving through New Year’s – and then during the week leading up to this year’s Trimdown, I just abandoned everything and ate whatever I wanted. In one way it was freeing (eat whatever I want!), but also confining (I’m gaining weight – ack!). What an odd little duck the brain is.

The first week of the Trimdown, I lost 9.4 pounds. Which, let’s be honest, that’s somewhat normal for any sort of weight loss program. Water weight and all that. Second week, not so much. I gained a pound. (Yes, I have good excuses – read on.) Third week, lost three pounds.

I also came up with some specific goals:

1) Lose 43 pounds, which would put me into the 130s, with an ending weight of 138. The Trimdown is 11 weeks long, so that comes out to 3.9 pounds each week. Optimistic, but doable.

2) Walk 1000 miles for the entire year of 2020. That sounds like a lot, but it comes out to 2.8 miles a day, and I’d already done that once – last May. Again, optimistic, but doable.

Colds, Colonoscopies & Losing Your Mom

Well, as so often happens, a variety of life-stuff quickly threatened to derail my goals. First, everyone in our household, including me, came down with a horrible head cold, which took me out of commission for a couple of weeks. I had to abandon the idea of walking 2.8 miles a day.

Then, after waiting a few months for my insurance to catch up, Copper Ridge called to say they could fit me in for a colonoscopy. I’d been putting this off for a few years, so it had to be done. Maybe I’ll write more about this whole process later, but the short version is that everything looks great in there, no polyps, and I’m good for ten years. Yay! Interestingly, that’s the week I gained a pound. Apparently, that gallon of mystery stuff they make you drink has electrolytes, which encourage your body to hold onto that fluid. Swell.

After I got home from the colonoscopy, I fell into a blissful sleep, but was awakened at 2:30 a.m. by a phone call from my brother Dean. It’s a big joke in our family that he never calls me, so I knew that him calling me at 2:30 a.m. meant only one thing: our Mom had passed away.

For the next week, I was consumed with everything surrounding Mom’s passing. We had to clean out her room at Orchard Creek, meet with the good folks at Reynolds-Jonkhoff, organize a funeral (including gathering photos for a slideshow and photo boards), and field calls, texts and emails. I also let everyone know about her passing by writing this tribute.

It’s Ok To Make Adjustments and Start Over

I gave myself a little break on the weight loss, because all I wanted to do was eat comfort food to, well, comfort me on the loss of Mom. Also, my walking goal went out the window. There was just no time – I still had this Gazette to run, too – and also, grief has an interesting effect on the human body. Even when you know it’s coming (Mom was 95 and lived a long and happy life), I’m still adjusting to the idea of a world with no parents (we lost Dad in 2002).

But all of that’s ok. The beauty of this life is that when things happen, we get to make adjustments and start over. Every day, if need be.

And here’s the thing. When it comes to taking care of our health, there will always be life-stuff that gets in the way. There will always be excuses for not doing it. We might get sick. We might lose loved ones. We might have bad days where all we want to do is eat a pint of mint chocolate-chip ice cream (my favorite). We just have to do the best we can, make adjustments and keep going.

My current walking goal is to walk every day, with no particular mileage goals. Just getting outside in the fresh air is super beneficial to my mental health. As for a weight-loss goal, I’m still working that out. After tomorrow’s weekly Trimdown weigh-in, there are seven weeks left in the challenge. If I lose three pounds a week, that will put me at around 150 pounds. I’d be very happy with that.

Jane’s Weight By the Numbers

  • Starting Weight: 181.0
  • Week One: 171.6 (loss of 9.4 pounds)
  • Week Two: 172.6 (gain of one pound)
  • Week Three: 169.4 (loss of 3.2 pounds)
  • Total Loss So Far: 11.6 pounds

While I’m not sure I’ll do a Trimdown post here every week – still catching up on writing OMP news from the past few weeks – I’ll probably update you a few times as we move through the next seven weeks to the final Trimdown weigh-in on March 24, 2020.

And if you’re on your own weight-loss or health journey, keep going! We can do this, even amidst all of life’s curveballs.

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

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  1. Jane, you are doing a good job. I totally understand things happening and trying to do it all, and you just can’t do it ALL. Losing your mom, even at age 95, was really difficult for you. That is normal. As an only child, when my mother died, it was that really strange feeling of ” I’m it now, parents are gone, there is no one to be there to take care of me now even though she hadn’t taken care of me in years”. It was a shock to my life as I always knew it. So just take your time, do what you can do and don’t push yourself too far. I found out a year ago that I HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF MYSELF. No one else can do that. Has been a really hard road (it didn’t include anyone dying) but I am doing better. Just have to remind myself to just take one day at a time. If something doesn’t get done, it just doesn’t get done. There is always tomorrow!!!!!!!!! I’ve really lowered my stress level by learning that I can’t do everything, can’t take care of everyone and knowing that it is time for others to take care of themselves. Been a very long haul for the past 14 months but I am happy and proud of how far I’ve come. So I hope you can still be proud of what you are accomplishing even if it is not as much as you hoped to do. I admire you for your fortitude and your desire to keep yourself healthy and happy.

  2. Jane! You are a badass inspiration. We are out of the country, otherwise I would have stopped by when your mom passed. Ah yes, the curveballs of our existence 😘

  3. Hey Jane, Your story is truly inspiring and I am excited since I too have on my own fitness journey. I was wondering if you have heard of this weight loss program before? https://cutt.ly/crH36la It looks like a great program to help people lose weight, I was just looking for some options before I made my decision. I love reading about stories like yours. It really helps me keep going and let me know that I’m not alone.


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