DenaJune 8, 2011


First & foremost, I apologize that this post is 7 days late and that I bombed out on Weeks 7 & 8. You won’t find any excuses here. I take full responsibility for the fact that I messed up. I let myself down & more importantly, I let my fellow challenge participants down.

Ugh, this sounds like one of those ridiculous affair apologies from the likes of Tiger Woods/Arnold Schwarzenegger/Anthony Weiner/etc. That’s not what this is! I actually AM sorry and well, I didn’t have an affair! Except maybe with food… but… anyway! 😐

One Rainy Week
Apology out of the way, here’s what happened.


Obviously everything unraveled during Week 7. (Before I go any further let me repeat, this is not an excuse. It’s what happened and why I failed.)

The crux of my entire Fitness Challenge were my morning power walks/hikes. They were my primary source of physical activity and the catalyst that put me in game-mode every day. I was up with the sunrise & out the door. I was seeing results, feeling great, and getting fit!

Then came Week 7. See that picture up above? Yes, the one with just about 7 straight days of rain. That was Week 7.

Every morning my alarm went off. I was ready to go. Then I looked out the window and BAM! Storm clouds, dark, & wet. I buckled.

I was sad, angry, and disappointed. I rolled over in bed, silenced my alarm, and slept in. Day, after day, after day.

There was so much that I could have done. I could have thrown my work clothes into a bag, put on my sweats, and headed to the gym for an early-morning workout. I could have picked up my free weights and done some arm work, squats, and push-ups. I could have done a million things, but I didn’t. Instead, I rolled over. Every morning. For 7 days. And then 8 days, 9 days, 10 days…

Yea. Eventually the sun came out again, but it wasn’t enough to pull me out of my rut. Slowly the 4.5 pounds that I had lost over the course of the challenge started to creep back on. That threw me over the edge and I spiraled. I just gave up.

Right Now
Now here I am, six days after what should have been the end of the challenge and my big reveal. Instead, the challenge end date (June 1) has passed and I’ve got nothing. Or do I…

The Bright Side
Oh, come on, you knew it was going to come to this. You guys know better than to think that I’d leave it like that! 😉 Although I am disappointed, there is still a great big bright side to all of this. I learned SO MUCH over the course of the 6 weeks that I did participate in the challenge.

You guys shared tons of incredibly useful information with me—from recipes, to exercises, to fitness & nutrition advice. I am infinitely wiser as a result of your support & encouragement! I also tried things that I’ve never tried before like Intermittent Daily Fasting (IDF) during Week 2, which was a great jump start to my program and something I will definitely do again for short periods of time (a few days here & there). IDF really altered my eating patterns in a positive way—teaching me to eat when my body needs nutrition and not just because the clock says it’s time.

The most exciting positive change that came from the challenge has been my switch back to 99% vegetarianism/pescetarianism! I am so excited about this. I’ve been wanting to do it for a long time, but kept putting it off. After the chicken fiasco in Week 6, it was the obvious choice.

For as much as it has been a challenge, and for all of the disappointment, I am still incredibly grateful that I did this!

Moving Forward
I do not harbor regret. I have faith that everything happens for a reason. This is no exception. It didn’t turn out how I had planned, but then, life rarely does.

fitness challenge results

I am not backing down and I am not giving up. The Spring Fitness Challenge was a baby step in my journey toward optimal health & wellness. Five years ago I set out on a journey to change my life. I overcame anxiety & depression. I lost seventy pounds. Nothing can take those victories away from me — and nothing will stop me from continuing on my path!

While this is the BITTERsweet end for the Spring Fitness Challenge, it is only the beginning of my Life Fitness Challenge. And yes—I will be blogging about it, too. 😀 So keep your eyes open for posts tagged Fitness because they are a-comin’ and you can bet that you’ll be seeing more accountability pictures, fitness tips, recipes, and more from this gal!

Thanks for joining me on the journey.

In love & light,

Comments (4)

  • Mark Robertson

    June 8, 2011 at 9:39 am

    luv the story an reflectuin aesthetic…your knack for narratives w/integrity have power to inspire we the proud imperfctionists

    1. Dena

      June 9, 2011 at 1:12 pm

      @ Mark – Thank you kindly, sir. I’m in good company. 🙂

  • Lou Mello

    June 9, 2011 at 6:52 am

    Glad to see you’re back on track. It’s a funny thing about “challenges”, if you miss the target, it tends to be frustrating and sometimes a reason to give up on the quest. For example, when you successfully complete an 8 week challenge, what’s next?? It’s almost a letdown whether your challenge is successful or not.

    Now you have the right idea, it is indeed a life challenge to stay fit, healthy and happy. When you approach it over a life plan, it’s actually easier to do since little setbacks are just so small relative to the life plan. Sure, once in a while you want to challenge yourself with a special fitness plan for a week or two, but, just think of it as part of the long range plan and don’t worry about nailing it 100%.

    Welcome back!

    1. Dena

      June 9, 2011 at 1:12 pm

      @ Lou – Thank you so very much & thanks for all of your support, encouragement, and advice throughout the challenge. YOU really made my experience so much better. I love your theory about the life plan — so incredibly wise. I’m happy to be back!

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