Challenge yourself next month


Last year I took part in a fitness challenge. I joined full of excitement and ready to take on the challenge and smash my objectives. Previously, I had been having a bad time with my health and my fitness and self- esteem had suffered (because of my health), which meant when I joined the challenge I was at my worst.

The challenge was part of the Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle brand and community and it was forum based. It was quite simple, set up objectives for the next 49 days and keep a progress log on the forum.

In reality, it wasn't as simple to accomplish, especially when I went back to Spain for Christmas (for the first time in three years!). As you can imagine, I didn't smash my goals, but I made a dent on them. Halfway through the challenge I decided that I was going to take it as a kickstart for the new year.

When the challenge ended in January, I was already doing Whole30 to get my diet (in the nutrition meaning of the word, not as a temporary fix) back on track and slowly worked at my objectives.

This week, BFFM have created a new challenge! Actually, last week, but I only found out recently. Since they challenge was born around Valentine's Day, they wittingly named it the Love Your Body Challenge. It's again 49 days and I'm taking part on it again.

This is again a before & after photo challenge. Last time I was very discouraged when I saw my before pictures. Man, had I let myself go... It's quite incredible the amount of damage our psychological health can do to our physical health! I have yet to take my before pictures, and I'm dreading it a bit... Because.

I lost my (office) job recently. A job I was relying on to help me launch the personal training business without the risk of failing and missing payments on my bills. This situation has added a new layer of stress into my daily life, and a new layer of self-doubt. Just when I was getting back up!

Why am I telling you this?

Because no life is perfect. Things happen to us and many times those things are negative ones (we wouldn't complain about positive stuff, would we?). We can't help life happening. You lose your job. You get a divorce. You suffer an accident. You get sick. You lose money. Things happen.

The key is not to prevent things from happening but to have an effective way of getting back on track. I haven't been that great at it for the past couple of weeks, if I'm completely honest about it.

That's why I'm so excited about this new challenge! Sometimes it's too easy to get stuck in a rut (even for us, personal trainers, we're human after all) and too difficult to take the steps we all know are necessary. If you suffer from depression or any mental illness, this becomes even more difficult.

Sometimes signing up for challenges, alone or with your friends, is a great way to start, to take that step that will keep you going. If there are forums or groups, then it's even better because everyone is usually happy to help out and give encouragement, and sometimes it's easier when surrounded by people who don't know you personally.

So I signed up for the challenge. I will be taking photos tonight or tomorrow morning and will be logging regularly (they call it journaling). I am using some of my 2017 objectives as goals for the challenge and I will try to keep you guys updated.

I'll let you know how it goes, but I want to leave you with this thought: keep challenging yourself, no matter how small the test, how insignificant it might look, do it. Many times it's not about completing the challenge (although that's also good, of course!) but about the feeling that you can do it, that anything is possible if you work for it.

Try it, set (or join) a challenge for yourself in March. If you need encouragement or help, let me know in the comments below (or if you're shy, get in touch via the contact page) and I'll be your very own cheerleader!