The challenge was tough, but the results have exceeded my expectations. I am stronger than I have ever been.
I hardly recognize myself anymore! The 90 day challenge has been a phenomenal experience. I considered myself to be in decent shape when I joined Fitmania. However within the first week I knew this program could get me where I always wanted to be. The challenge was tough, but the results have exceeded my expectations. I am stronger than I have ever been. My posture has improved dramatically and I think I’m actually taller. I had done P90X and Insanity so I felt like I knew how to work out hard. However this program has taught me to push further than I ever dreamed possible. I instantly loved the FitMania workouts. I haven’t missed a single class since my first one on August 26th. I’ve never been pushed through so many limits. While completing the advanced fitness test at the beginning of the challenge I ran the fastest mile I’ve run in many years at 8:26. My goal for the end was to run it in less than 8. I shocked myself when I finished it in 7:21. I found push-ups to be a big challenge. They were just plain hard. I struggled to get 10 push-ups at the beginning of the challenge. Mid-way during the special fit failure workout I was impressed with my power to push through 11 before failing. By the end I was able to get 21 on my toes before dropping to my knees to finish out the minute. I feel strong in the very center of my body and anything not strong is slowly getting pushed out of the way. I felt the benefits of foam rolling especially in my tight hamstrings. I have continued to foam roll almost every day and my flexibility has improved tremendously.
While all of those improvements have been fun and empowering, the real change for me came in the kitchen. I knew I needed to spend all my extra energy and attention figuring out how to eat like a fit person should. I took advantage of a food consultation with Chad and the FitFood class with Katie. I also watched all the FitMania classes I could find on YouTube. I’ve never done any meal prep prior to FitMania. Besides a handful of recipes, I didn’t know how to cook if it didn’t come from a box. My healthiest food of the day was my lunch Lean Cuisine. I loved the challenge recipe book. Everything I tried was delicious. My kitchen has been under a complete overhaul. My spice cupboard, which was overloaded even though I had hardly used anything in years, was the first to go. I even found and threw out some bouillon cubes that expired in 1999! After the spice cupboard, came the pantry, the cupboards, the fridge and the freezer. All processed foods were thrown out. Slowly over the 13 weeks of the challenge, I have filled in many of the empty spots with raw ingredients and homemade prepped meals. The most powerful thing I learned was how to balance the macronutrients with every meal. It became clearer how each food was categorized and it has become much easier to put well balanced meals together. I didn’t know healthy food could taste so good. I planned out all my meals using the FitMania challenge book and started shopping weekly for exactly what I needed. I found it interesting that I shopped differently now. I shopped the perimeter of the store, only entering the middle aisles for specific items. I have become much more comfortable reading labels. I eat at least five cups of fresh veggies every day. That is more than I was eating in a whole month before. I completely gave up wheat. I thought I would miss it, but I didn’t. I found the meals I ate to be so satisfying. With all the veggies and the extra protein, I ate enough to make me full. I began to love adding spice to my food. I also gave up sugar. This was the most difficult for me, but I am amazed that it doesn’t have the power over me that it once did.
I’ve met so many supportive people at FitMania. It is truly a wonderful place to belong. I’ve learned to dream big again. I didn’t realize how many walls I had built up around myself. I’m slowly breaking down those walls. I always wanted to do a free standing handstand, but it just seemed unattainable. I know I can do it now and plan to video myself doing a 10 second handstand with my daughter on my 40th birthday in April. Thanks so much to my friend Bryon Leinberger. His gentle persistent nudging got me to try FitMania and it has forever changed my life.