Well guys, my Ultimate Oxygen Challenge ended a few days ago. I loved it SO MUCH, am so glad I did it, but as you know (if you’ve been reading my blog) I struggled quite a bit at the end.
But, I don’t feel bad about it at all! I don’t regret one second. I really learned so much and I feel like I did as well as I could considering the circumstances in my life right now. I’ll talk about that more in a sec…
Over the past three months, I’ve been a part of a very motivational Ultimate Oxygen Challenge Facebook group that I’ve loved! Our coach, Erin Stern is also a member of the group and she checked in from time to time to answer questions, give us tips and motivation and/or post very helpful videos. I loved it so much!
AND, now that the challenge is over, so many of the members have been posting their before and after pictures. Folks, I have been BLOWN away!!! It was only 90 days long, but the results were insane. There were a lot of ladies who were BIG, with bellies hanging out (not trying to be mean, just trying to paint a picture), who slimmed down so much and now look THIN! There were also a lot of ladies who started out thinnish, yet soft and ended up so TONED and amazing!!!
I’ve been so inspired! I can’t share the before and after pictures from my group, but the results reminded me so much of the results I’ve seen on Body for Life. Soooo, I looked on the Body for Life page and found some pictures that look JUST LIKE the results the members of my group have shared. You can also click here to see more results on the Body for Life page and/or read about their stories.
I always have to laugh at the “non-smiling, miserable looking before pictures.” Ha ha.
Ya know, I’ve seen pictures such as these many many many times, but it always seemed so unattainable and like one of those “results not typical” kind of things. However, now that I’ve completed my own 90 day Challenge (even though I crashed and burned at the end!), and have seen the results my fellow team members had, I’m here to tell y’all that YES, it DOES work AND, it can work for ANYONE!
The reason the “results aren’t typical” is because most people don’t stick to the plan! It takes a lot of hard work, commitment and consistency for 90 days! My Ultimate Oxygen Challenge was very similar to the Body for Life Challenge and I think the KEYS to finding success are….
- Consistent weight training with HEAVY weights!
- short bursts of intense cardio (sprints, Tabatas, HIIT, etc.)
- Eating a very clean diet (no sugar, no junk, healthy carbs, etc.)
- Eating LOTS of protein from various sources (protein powder, lean meats, eggs, beans, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.)
- Doing it day after day after day and NOT giving up!
It’s actually not complicated AT ALL….it just takes commitment! I believe these results can also be achieved over a longer (and less intense) period of time too. You just gotta keep pluggin’ along…eat less junk, eat more of the good stuff, move your body more, use your muscles and commit to permanent changes.
As far as my life goes right now….well I’ve been doing some serious deep thinking lately. I realized that since I’m not pregnant 🙂 and I don’t plan on having any more children 🙁 , I’ve been very, very, VERY anxious to get into the best shape of my life! It feels so liberating to know that whatever progress I make and/or results I achieve can be permanent!!! I’m sure age will take a toll on my body, but I will NOT go down without a fight! Ha ha.
I intend to stay healthy and committed to fitness my entire life.
Ya know, in the past I always knew in the back of my head that I was going to have another baby, essentially gain a bunch of weight and reset any fitness level I’d attained. Now, it feels so good to be in the next phase of life and be able to make long-term health and fitness goals!
However, I recently realized that although I’ve been technically “healthy,” checking all the boxes, eating well, exercising regularly, yada yada yada, I’ve been so hyper-focused on achieving my goals that I’ve been WEARING myself out and beating my body to a pulp in the process.
My body has seriously imploded over the past month or two.
I’ve told you guys many times that I’ve struggled with getting enough sleep pretty much my entire life. I’m a chronic busy body and I try to cram way to much into my days and sacrifice my sleep in the process! I’ve also had a so-so immune system most of my life too! If there is a bad germ within my vicinity, I always seem to catch it.
Side note: Several years ago I went to my doctor about my lame immune system. She was so understanding and started me on a bunch of vitamins and healthy supplements. I wrote all about it on the blog and you can read about it here if you so desire. Anyway, I got GREAT results from these vitamins/supplements. For a few years, I rarely got sick and I felt so strong! FYI, I now take 1,000 mg Vitamin C, 5,000 IU Vitamin D, 4,000 mg Fish Oil (2,000 in the morning, 2,000 at night) and a multi-vitamin every day.
Anyway, ever since I got pregnant and had my sweet little baby, my immune system is back into crappy status once again. It’s been extremely tough to have six very busy kids including a baby who doesn’t sleep predictably. I’ve never felt so crazy, worn out and completely maxed in my whole life. It’s really been so so hard!! BUT, it’s also been such a blessing, so much fun, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
I really don’t want to go on and on and on.
I will just sum it up by saying that I’ve now lived in my body for almost 40 years (gasp!) and I’m finally starting to recognize the cues my body gives to me when I need to CHILL!
I recently realized that although I’m very happy and live my life with gratitude every day, I’ve felt pretty much like crap for a long time now! I’ve been so sluggish, tired, feel like I’m coming down with a cold all the time, achy, and just ruuuuunnnnn down. It took me a long time to realize that I didn’t feel well because it’s become so “normal” to me!
I’ve also learned to recognize the symptoms of stress on my body. I’m not a “stressed out” type of person mentally, but I do stress my body out physically! I’m extremely headstrong and I LOVE to be productive, accomplish a lot, push myself to the max and go go go go all the time!! It really does bring me joy and I really don’t know how to reprogram myself, BUT I know I need to be more in tune with my body. I need to learn to just SIT sometimes, relax, read a book more often, spend more time just BEING with my kids, lower my expectations for myself, let things slide and just CHILL.
So, the past couple weeks I’ve done just that. I’m determined to get back to full health, to feel vibrant and strong and to be able to KILL my workouts once again.
I also read an article about stress and sleep deprivation recently that spoke right to me! I could relate to every single thing in the article! Here’s a link if you’re interested. It made me realize that stress and lack of sleep can steal your health and wreak havoc on the body even if you’re eating tons of healthy food and working out consistently! It really was so eye-opening to me!
Sooo, I’m making permanent changes in my life.
- I’ve committed to getting my sleep. For reals. I’m going to strive for a least 7 hours each night. I’m going to drop everything around 9:00 and start the “going to bed” process. If the house is messy, so be it. If I didn’t get my workout in, so what. If the blog didn’t get updated, oh well. I know it is necessary that I do this.
- I’m going to do a better job of planning my life. I’m going to schedule my workouts in earlier in the day and try to get all of the to-do’s done while the kids are at school. Each night, I’m going to make myself a plan and to-do list for the next day.
- I’ve been working up a new exercise schedule for myself and I think I’ll love it! I’ve patterned it after the workout style of the Ultimate Oxygen Challenge, but I’ve filled it full of my favorite, killer, uber effective moves! Once I get it finalized, I’ll share it on the blog. I think it will be the perfect exercise schedule that gives me the results I’m looking for, but doesn’t kill me in the process.
- For now, I’m not running. At all. I think it’s a good thing. First off, my foot is still hurting so I wouldn’t want to run on it anyway. I’m hoping if I take some time off, allow my foot to heal, allow my immune system to boost up, lower my stress levels and get my sleep, I’ll be a lot stronger runner in the future!
- I’m going to practice active stress management. I found some meditation stuff on the internet (not voodoo weird stuff, just practical calming things) and I’ve loved it. I know that my Sympathetic Nervous System (“fight or flight”) is in overdrive too often, so I’m trying to take active measures to tap into my Parasympathic System (calming, R&R) more. This is KEY to lowering my stress level and getting back to full health.
- I’m trying to identify things in my life that stress me out so I can either; cut them out, get it done (in regards to home projects and things) or let it go!
- I’m just trying to be HAPPY, remember what’s most important and live life to the fullest! Yay.
I really think these changes will be monumental for me! I can’t wait to feel strong and full of energy again.
Oh, and I think this pretty much sums up why I fell apart the last part of my OxyChallenge. My body just went kaput. It said enough is enough and reminded me that I need to take CARE of my body if it’s going to take CARE of me!
Well guys, I’ve been such a wordy rambly lady lately! So sorry! I have issues and I love to share my issues with all of you! Ha. I have more things I could share (I seriously think I could talk indefinitely), but I will save it for another time.
Since I didn’t share any pictures on this post (weird??!?), I’ll share a couple cute ones that my 5 year old took of me and my baby the other day…
Yes, these pics are mega close up, but I LOVE this little guy! He has been such a joy to me and our family. I have LOVED every single second of his life. He is my sweetie pie and I just want to eat him right up most days.
Well, I hope if any of y’all are stressed out, overwhelmed, freaking out, maxed, etc. that you can also learn to find balance, happiness and full health in your life!
Life really is all about “living and learning,” reevaluating and changing the course as necessary. Carry on!!!