life changes hurting my challenge

  • Hi everyone,

    I'm looking for some guidance/support here.  I just completed my first challenge the second week of May and would like to start a second challenge.  I lost about 18 pounds and gained visible muscle.  My only problem is that since the end of my challenge, I have moved to a new state, started a new job, had my mom re-diagnosed with cancer and require radiation and am working clinical, overnight hours.  Needless to say, I've given up on exercise in these past 3 weeks and eaten everything in sight to help cope with this stress.  I felt great and healthy on this program and would love to get back onboard.  Any advice, especially about eating on night shifts, would be greatly appreciated.  I would like to get this under control before it's too late and I ruin all my previous hard work.

    Thank you in advance for your help!

  • Hi B,

    I can relate. I started my first challenge and when I was mid-way, I lost my dad, work was all over the place,and had to cope with the new family responsibilities. I restarted the challenge to be plagued by several injuries I brought upon myself because I was exercising like crazy to make up for the lost time. several weeks later I started all over again, only to break up with my fiance and the headache of moving out around week 4. It became my private joke that there is a BFL curse following me every time I do it lol.

    The good news is: Now I am in the middle of week 2, (after a month and a half setback) but I already see results. A month ago I could not put my jeans on as it was too tight (again!!), yesterday after I took it out of the drier, I tried it on and zipped it up easily. There was nearly half an inch loose around the upper thighs and on my upper arm I can see a "dent" defining the beginning of my shoulder muscles. Your muscles are there waiting for you to start again. Plan and make your plans flexible, and come up with plan B in case the workout time you planned for doesn't happen on the time you set for it.  Do not be discouraged by your inability to exercise. Your muscles will not forget about you.

    If it is absolutely impossible for you to work out in a gym, a simple set of dumbbells will do just fine, and you can do your cardio by alternating walking, running, sprinting then an all out sprint on the street. Most mobiles have stop watches and/or timers.

    It is normal that people cope with trauma/hardships by overeating (or starving themselves altogether). In hard times, I eat like crazy and don't feel calm unless I do.  I found the solution that worked for me:

    1- Keyword: (quoting you) "In sight"... Don't buy it. If it is not in sight, it's easy to resist.

    2- To be able to resist a binge, you need to be feeling satisfied. When I can't beat the emotional need to overeat to cope with something, I simply binge on near-zero-calorie foods. Lettuce, unpeeled cucumbers, mushrooms, shiratake, and onion and celery soups. It was a very successful strategy  developed by nutritionist Anne Louise Gittleman (

    I would love to help you with meal idea for eating on night shifts but I don't know what you have access to, like a fridge, a microwave, etc.

    Let me know and I will do my best to come up with something.

    Courage isn't lack of fear. It's our ability to carry on despite our fear

  • I can relate - but life will ALWAYS ALWAYS throw challenges your way...

    Here's a suggestion for the night especially if your at the hospital where there are goodies everywhere.  Have ample bottled water ready at hand.  

    Say there is a tray of donuts.  Grab one, eat one forth of it (slowly and nibble on it) then however long it takes drink the liter of water, then eat one more forth of the donut.  If anyone is around offer the other have and say you're so full, that you ate earlier that day.  

    No one is the wiser, your body will feel full and your tastebuds will be satisfied!

     Try it and play with the results, it's so hard to just quit something so slowly ease out of it!  Just keep eating properly

    Remember the idea is no stress and to have play with it.

  • oops just realized I spelled 1/4 one fourth and 1/2  One-Half wrong!  (jst pet peeve of mine!)

  • Hi B, I can relate as your story sounds very similar to what I went through last year (lost job, mom had cancer, relocated to a new city, the works!) My lesson was to be kind to myself, so I would encourage you to be kind to yourself :) Do what you can,plan accordingly, and then be OK if the plan doesn't pan out for the day.  Don't  beat yourself up, give yourself credit for everything you have done AND all of the support you are offering to others right now.

    A good strategy for me during that time was learning to just be with the feelings that would come up.  When I would be tempted to go off plan I would just ask myself, "why?". More often than not it was because there was a feeling I was trying to avoid (sadness, fear, anxiety...) Instead of acting on it right away ( by diving headfirst into a bag of chips!) I would try to just let that feeling come.  It was not easy at first but it has been a critical step in dealing with my own emotional eating habit.  A book I found really helpful with this was Geneen Roth's "Women, Food and God." (not a "religious" book.) There is an inquiry practice in the back of the book that walks you through the steps.

    Hope that is helpful and we're all here to support each other so reach out whenever you need to!

  • Thank you all for your advice and support.  I'm sorry to hear that some of you have been through such difficult situations as well however I feel encouraged through your stories.  I realize that I may have setbacks during this program, and in life, but I need to keep pushing through.

    Thank you again! This definitely helped to put things in perspective.