My 84-day-journey - challenge 1 complete

  • Ok are the pictures.  First of all, let me just say that it takes a lot of courage for anyone to post their pictures!  Especially the before ones.  I have begun to post this and cleared it out several times, but am sending it on through this time in hopes to encourage others to keep up the discipline, even when it's tough and you are not into it one little bit, even when you want to cry because you're working out so diligently and you feel that NOTHING is happening - just make yourself do it! 

    I wish I had taken my measurements before and had someone check my body fat %.   I have lost 11 lbs of weight, have no idea how much muscle I gained  or how much body fat I lost.   I know for a fact I lost inches because I had been able to get back into clothes I hadn't been able to wear in quite a while and I know I weighed much less at that time than I do now.   I will be going for a round 2 in a few weeks and you can bet I will have those two baselines secured.  Most of all, I feel like a completely different person.  The love of my life tells me he sees a tremendous difference and has been very supportive and encouraging of my efforts. 

    My goals were to lose fat, gain muscle and tone, gain strength and endurance, gain confidence, clarity and self-trust.    I made the decision to change because I did not like the person I saw in the mirror, or in pictures.  I was unhappy that I felt so overwhelmed with life and my responsibilities.  That overwhelming feeling led me to push exercise to the back burner and caused me to feel emotionally paralyzed and lost the energy to do more than whatever I needed to "get throught the day".   I came to the realization that at 43 years old, if I continue on like I was that I would lose who I really am.  My health would suffer and most likely so would my children and my career because I was not operating at my fullest.  I wanted so much more from my life and decided to make more over what I have control over.  I needed to get out of the cage I had put myself in.  I wanted to energy and motivation to be vivacious and happy and gain the ability to accomplish what I need and want to do like I once did.  I missed the old me, but wanted a better me.  I want a better me for the future, also.   I want to be a very fit senior citizen one day! 

    I am a 43 year old single mother with a very demanding job, 5" 6", starting weight 160#, ending wt 149#.  Dropped 2 pants sizes.  I stuck to the plan "by the book" with the exception that I exercised on Saturday, but used that day as my free eating day and did NOT exercise on Sunday, but ate like I was supposed to.  I went through Valentine's Day, 4 loved one's b-day celebrations, 2 overnight work trips lasting several days, and Mother's day - which were challenging for one reason or another to stick to the plan but I did it.  I only missed 2 workouts and that was on one of my work trips because I was so exhausted after being on my feet all day (in heels!) but I picked right up where I left off upon returning home.  I got up and went to the gym at 5:00 a.m. because that was the only time I could work it into my schedule, I had to go to bed earlier and plan my meals ahead of time.  I explained to my children (13 and 11) that this was important to me and that I needed their support and that meant that when I said we were not going out to eat unless it was my free day and they were going to eat what I did for supper.  (I did vary on this, but they were great!  I was hoping to use this as a healthy example for them, also).  I feel much more energetic and feel the cloud over my head has lifted!  I am not finished with my journey - I have only just begun. 

    Before - Starting Date 2/14/11  Weight 160#, wearing size 8 slacks

    After - Ending Date 5/9/11 -- Weight 149#, wearing size 4 slacks



  • You look great! Your arms are awesome. Thanks for posting it, it is an encouragement!

  • Brilliant, well one!

  • You look fabulous!!!

    We have the rest of our lives to perfect your best and forget the rest!

  • thanks, Y'all :)

    Hot Sauce - your transformation is well done, also!  

    Alchemistress - what week are you on?  Keep it up, Sister!

    I forgot to mention  --- Throughout my 12 weeks, I would continuously try to hit my 10's.  Somewhere along the way my knees began to hurt so I listened to my body and lightened up just enough to not make my knees scream for days.  I stopped doing lunges and squats because that seemed to aggravate my knees the most.   I also did my HIIT on the elliptical instead of running, to ease up on the impact.  Well, somewhere along the way my knees stopped hurting, but I don't think I really pushed the limit on the 10's (maybe subconsciously held back???) but during my 12th week, I upped the weights and really impressed myself that the strength was there.  Looking back, I wish I had consciously done that earlier - but that's a lesson learned for challenge 2!

    I also went mountain bike riding at the end of week 11 and hadn't done so since early in the challenge.  This particular trail is 12 miles and tough with a ton of climbing.  I was so happy because I felt so strong and took those hills with much greater ease than before.  I am definitely stronger.  I kept up with my Sweetheart  (which is not easy!) and we only stopped on the trail once.  I've NEVER been able to make it through that trail without several stops along the way.   It was a great feeling!

  • Great Job CatLinder!!!! What an accomplishment, you should be and feel very proud of yourself.

  • you look incredible :)

  • Well done!! Arms and legs look much improved. Keep up the great attitude.

  • Wow…you look terrific : ) Amazing job! At 42 I am truly inspired by your dedication and the changes you made! It’s been really difficult for my wife and I to successfully complete a challenge. Everything from injuries to personal reasons seems to keep derailing us. You show how perseverance and dedication can pay off!

    We are in week 2 now and I hope we have the same results as you…GREAT job!

    You should be very proud!!!


  • Well done, you look fab! I don't think we have to push ourselves nearly as hard as week think - sometimes a 'little' less is really more, I have the same problem with my knees and squats. But I started doing shallower squats against the wall and it actually works my quads a lot harder - since before I suspect my knees were taking too much of the strain.

  • Thanks Pattymelt and Roddysc -- I appreciate the kind words!  Sanfit -- thanks for sharing that!  I am going to try that next because I need to switch up the exercise and I still feel the need to "protect" my knees.

    @Mads1393 and Rob & Jen -

    If you are persistent in your efforts and do not give up, you WILL succeed.  For me, it really helped to be very honest with myself and come to terms with the REASONS I was committing to this challenge.  One of the big reasons was that I do not want to fall victim to osteoporosis like my grandmother and mother.  My mother is 30 years older than me and is now hunched over, shuffles her feet when she walks and relies on a cane.  Five short years ago, she could run circles around me.  Weight bearing exercises build bone density and I do not want to be limiited like my sweet mother is in 30 years.  I was also tired of being thick and feeling like a fat slug.  If you haven't done so, write your reasons down along with your self promises of what you'll have to do in order to make it through the 12 weeks (for instance, I had to promise myself I would go to bed earlier and get up earlier and plan my meals ahead of time).  Eating according to plan was not my biggest hurdle, it was all the birthday cake, out of town work trips with hectic schedules, dinners with clients with delicious wine and desserts, my children wanting macaroni and cheese and leaving half of it on their plates and me scrapping it without eating most of it myself, having friends give me a hard time for not drinking a beer or two with them when it wasn't my "free day" and probably most of all - sticking to my promises even when I saw absolutely no change in my clothes or on the scale.   I stuck to the belief and kept the faith that this program has worked for thousands of others and there was not reason it shouldn't work for me.  And learning how to gracefully skate around the obstacles is what will keep us going "for life".  

    Sometimes, you have to have some inspiration to keep you going.   I gained a lot of that here on this forum.   Reading others' stories of their challenges helped me with my own.  Just before I began 12 weeks ago, my ex-husband told me how fat I had become with this look of disgust on his face - he meant it to hurt me, but what it did was INSPIRE ME and gave me a passion to move forward.  This has not been the first time he has caused me to excel because of his criticism.   You have to take whatever curve ball is coming at you and hit a home run with it.  Sometimes it's the crap that makes you realize what kind of strength you have deep down inside.  

  • simply amazing catlinder your arms and legs look great!! and that tummy i see abs peeking through!! Your story is real inspiration.. congratulations to you!!

  • Well done CatLinda!  Great results.  You are in the habit now, so it's only going to get better from here. You are right too, this forum is very motivating, and helps keep you on track.  Good work!

    Kia Kaha - Be Strong

  • Thank you for your encouraging words! You truly are inspiring!!! I love the way you took comments that were meant to cause you pain and turned it into motivation! Can’t wait to see your next challenge results!!! : )))


  • You look great! I just started the challenge yesterday and looking at your pictures is VERY inspiring for me. Thank you and great work!