My true reason for making it to the gym was for my mental health.
After enduring a cold, stressful winter of twelve hour night shifts, only to have to still go work my restaurant job, get a few short hours of sleep and wake to make it to bootcamp on time, Challenge 8 showed me that I did have the strength to make my fitness a priority, despite being incredibly tired and busy. I was convinced that I had accomplished this because I had the goal of looking trim in my bikini in Hawaii after graduation and looking lean in my bridesmaid dress in San Diego as well. When Challenge 8 ended, I took nearly two weeks off to let my sore feet recover. It the second week of May, on a perfectly warm, sunny afternoon that I realized I was potentially losing my mind. I felt anxious, guilty, tired, irritable, and was loathing myself. It was then I realized that I don’t exercise because it makes my bikini look better. Although this is a perk, my true reason for making it to the gym was for my mental health. I knew I needed to accept the next challenge. Initially I doubted that I was capable of doing the challenge while taking three lengthy trips out of town. However, I learned that travel and celebration are wonderful reasons to love one’s self and take the extra time every day to do something that makes us feel good and for me, it was the feeling of accomplishing another seemingly impossible workout.
What were your successes, obstacles, life changes, etc. during the challenge?
The best 3 months of my life were during this challenge, which of course were unforgettable. However, with celebration comes indulgence. My poor conscience was faced with one fitness dilemma after another. “Do I eat that piece of cake?” “If I drink another glass of wine I’m going to be too hungover to workout tomorrow morning, but it’s still early in the night and everyone else is still drinking, plus, they’re celebrating me, right?!” At first, it was easy to make the right choice because I was staying strong with my workouts, however after being on vacation for over a month, I began to notice that I seemed to be the only person on earth that still works out and cares about their body anymore. I felt alone, and my drive to keep going began to flee. With a little over three weeks remaining in the challenge, I returned home. My goals, which I had written 9 weeks ago, were far from achievable, and my self-worth had taken a nose dive. Why wasn’t I happy after seeing all my friends and family, attending weddings, graduating…? I had let myself down, even after accomplishing what I’d dreamt of for seven years, I felt like a failure to myself. So I set out to make the most of the remainder of these 12 weeks. I began cooking again, and made it a goal to run, attend class, and drink enough water every week. I am proud to say I have finished this challenge stronger than the last because I know to never let myself down again.