The first big change I noticed happened after the second week of committing to the challenge. I attended the 5:30am workout, followed by a 10 hour clinical day in Emmett, and ended with a two hour lecture. I remember thinking how exhausted I should be and realized my energy levels had increased substantially. Not only had my energy levels increased, but it was much easier to pay attention during my lectures. My food habits also changed dramatically during the challenge. I committed to making all my meals while removing sugar and processed foods from my diet. At first, I tried incorporating seasonings and herbs into my cooking, but it seemed to taste either bland or pungent. A month into the program I noticed that the herbs I was using actually tasted good, and I started to crave healthy food combinations. I looked forward to trying new seasonings, and cooking my dinners became an exciting journey.
Then my fiancé broke up with me, I had always fought to keep us together, and agreed to his demands. For the first time, I wanted total control of my life. My workouts started feeling like therapy sessions, and soon I was struggling to break down the mental walls surrounding my unhappiness while pushing my physical limits. I felt like a failure after he broke up with me, but soon, I started seeing myself differently. Two weeks later my car broke down, which would have been an excuse to skip class or quit going to the gym. But this time, I didn’t let it affect me. I bundled up, rode my bike, and maintained composure and control while I worked through this difficult time. I didn’t allow myself any excuses. For the first time in the nursing program, I received a 4.0 and was asked to take on additional projects throughout winter break and next semester. Not only do I feel better about myself, but others see me in a different light. I am more confident, competent, and generally a lot happier. Looking in the mirror I see a different person, and not just because of how my body has changed. I am constantly improving my life now. As I go forward from this challenge I know my personal improvement journey has just started, and I know all this has all been possible because of Fitmania.
If I could inspire anyone to experience the benefits of the Lean for Life Challenge it would be my father. He lives alone in a trailer and drinks on nights he doesn’t have to work. He has been through multiple treatment programs for his drinking, and is on his final chance at work because of his addictions. I feel he needs to become active and stop his destructive behavior before it kills him. I would be at his door every day making sure he made it to every workout, and encourage him throughout the workouts.