On challenges and making lifestyle changes that stick

There’s just something about a challenge. A goal with the end in sight. The lure of accomplishment. The feeling that you are joining the ranks of others who have accepted the challenge. The camaraderie amongst those who have achieved the same goal.

At the beginning of January, I decided that I wanted to dive right into some of those goals that I talked about. So I took on some month-long challenges.

These 30-day challenges are supposed to help us jumpstart something hard. If we can make a change for 30 days, then that change is likely to stick with us beyond one month. 30 days can make an impact, even if we can’t stick with it long-term.

While there are lots of month-long, 30-day challenges out there, I ended up dabbling in three that I felt were priority for me. I decided on an Uber Frugal Month, a month of yoga and a month of 5 daily workout moves.  Continue reading


Back in the Gym

me_swimmingI am an athlete. Regardless of whether I’m on any sort of team, regardless of whether I’ve practiced recently, and regardless of the fact that I haven’t been in a pool in months, I will always call myself an athlete. I have the mentality that comes from twelve years of swimming. It’s the attitude and the drive and the determination that can only come from practicing six days a week, two, three, four, or five hours a day for half of your life.

So when I stopped working out for about six months straight, I started going crazy. Not at first- at first I enjoyed myself and my free time. I had just moved in to my new apartment, I was living in a new place, trying new things, hanging out with my boyfriend, meeting new people. I was starting a new job, which was stressful. I thought I was too busy to go to a gym after work, because after working all day, then cooking and eating dinner and cleaning up afterwords, when would I have time to unwind if I tried to throw a workout in the mix?

So for six months, I chose to relax. Looking back, I probably watched too much dumb TV and drank too much wine. But I enjoyed it for a time. I slowly started to feel sluggish though. I felt winded going up two flights of stairs. I felt slow and tired and saggy, if you will. My weight was the same, I generally looked the same as I always had, but I felt terrible about myself.

So starting in January, I bit the financial bullet and joined a gym. I made sure it was a gym I could walk to, that was open at the times when I needed it to be open. And I signed up for three months of personal training.

Continue reading