DenaMay 14, 2011

Bonjour, Dear Fitness Challengers! I hope that you’ve had a successful Week 6. Mine flew by as I’ve been super-busy spreading love & light at conferences & speaking engagements; but not to worry I’ve still got lots of fitness news to share! 🙂

Making Choices: Good & Bad
This week has been a whirlwind. It’s been fun bouncing around the Metro NYC area for a few days. I’ve made some fantastic new contacts & even secured a couple more speaking gigs as a result of Thursday’s presentation. All of this makes me a happy (and tired!) lady. And while I’ve been having a great time, I’ve also been faced with some tough decisions.

Traveling into the city requires a 5 a.m. wake-up and a full-day of running around. This left little time for my morning hikes this week. To make up for it, I did my best to squeeze in mini-workouts whenever possible. That often meant simply taking the stairs instead of the elevator or using my legs instead of hailing a cab. It’s the small choices that lead to great victories!

I also tried to be very conscious of my food choices. Traveling, conferences, and dinners-out lead to lots of less-than-healthy scenarios. But I stuck to my guns as much as I could. I always ate my salads first & loaded up my plate with fruit rather than pastries. (Okay, I had one pastry, but mostly fruit!) Still, there were two situations in which I was really tested. In one, I failed miserably. And in the other, I swept a victory.

First, the failure. The afternoon luncheon was a sit down, plated affair. These things are typically difficult because you aren’t presented with options. You sit down to a tiny salad and a little while later you are presented with your entree. This time was no exception. I devoured the salad but was still quite hungry while awaiting the entree. When it arrived, it was a big plate of chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans. Well, it’s no secret that I stopped eating meat (except for fish & cage-free organic eggs) a few weeks ago.

Unfortunately, however, I let my hunger get the best of me. I wanted to ask if there was a vegetarian option, but I didn’t want to be annoying. In hindsight, that is an excuse. I should have manned up and asked. Or, alternatively, I should have just abstained from eating the chicken.

I felt absolutely disgusted with myself afterward. While the chicken was tasty, it was by no means worth it. I have no idea where that meat came from or how that chicken was treated. I really struggled after making that poor decision. It was more of a personal/emotional failure than a fitness failure. But, the two go hand-in-hand. I’ve forgiven myself for my poor decision. There is no sense in beating myself up over it. The important thing is that I truly learn from this lesson. A few minutes of “satisfaction” are absolutely not worth the crummy feeling that a poor choice leaves me with.

Now, for the sweeping victory. To anyone who has wandered around NYC for a day, you already know the true meaning of the word temptation. Lunch had been early in the day and by the time I was headed back to the Port Authority to catch my bus, it was late in the afternoon. My walk took me past street food vendors and pizza shops offering all manners of delicious distractions from gyros to thick pizza slices to sweet & salty roasted nuts.

I was so tempted by the time I got to Port Authority. I even walked into a shop & browsed the selection of potato chips! I even stared longingly at the ice cream scoops being served in Baskin-Robbins! But… I held my ground. I knew that in a little more than an hour I would be back home with my kitchen full of delicious & nutritious goodies at my fingertips. I stayed strong, I took a big swig of water, and I didn’t give in. 😀 Very proud of myself.

Accountability Pictures
Despite a couple of less-than-stellar decisions and a hectic schedule—Week 6 was a great week. I am proud of my decisions for the most part and I even saw some positive change on the scale—another ½ pound down, bringing my total weight loss for the challenge to 4.5 pounds. But the results that really made me happy this week were my Accountability Pictures! This week I can really see the positive change that I have been working for.

I’ve got two weeks left and I am going to BRING IT for the next 14 days and do everything in my power to reach my goal! Here are my Accountability Pictures for Week 6:

fitness challenge

fitness challenge

fitness challenge

Week 7 Goals
This week will be much more standard as I won’t be on the road again until Friday. Here’s the plan:

  • Morning hike every morning Monday – Thursday
  • Breakfast at home every morning Monday – Thursday
  • Bring lunch from home every day Monday – Thursday
  • Arm workouts (5 lb free-weights) Tuesday & Thursday evening

Call to Action

Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true. —Unknown

It’s pretty incredible to think that we’ve only got two weeks left in this challenge. When we started, June seemed so far away. Now, it’s right around the corner. Today, I want you to really ask yourself:

  • How have I changed in these past 6 weeks?
  • What am I proud of? What am I ashamed of?
  • What am I going to do next to make my dreams a reality?

Take some time to reflect on these questions. It’s now or never, my friends! Let’s get healthy & happy!

Leave a comment and let me know what I can do to make the last two weeks of the challenge your best weeks yet!

In love & light,

Comments (6)


    May 14, 2011 at 12:51 pm


    How awesome that you’ve created some significant and visible changes in just 6 weeks. I am proud of you and encourage you full on for weeks 7 & 8. Thank you for having the courage to do it and sharing your before pics too. Leading by example is the only true way to lead.

    Looking forward to your final update.


    1. Dena

      May 14, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      @ Bernardo – Thank you so much for your kind words & encouragement. It means the world to me to know that you are out there, thinking of me, and wishing me well!

      I can’t wait to post my final set of pictures, hopefully the results will be truly inspirational! 🙂


  • Lou Mello

    May 14, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    What a challenging week for you and I think you just did great all in all. A little chicken is absolutely no big deal, it’s only an issue because you challenged yourself to only do fish as an exception. Most folks on a diet and fitness regimen would include a chicken selection as part of the deal. Your pics are looking really amazing, hard to believe the very positive changes you’ve made and I know you are going to be really ambitious these last 2 weeks. Just remember, the effort and the journey are just as important as the end goal and it will be a success no matter what. If you reach your weight goal, great; if not, then it was still an outstanding success.

    The lovely Miss Teresa and I will be challenged the next 2 weeks as we are heading off to New Orleans for a 10 day visit. All any of my friends have talked about is the fabulous restaurants and especially the beignets at Cafe du Monde. I will be taking my workout stuff with me, of course, but expect that I will be eating some fairly rich and sweet foods over the 10 days. Bottom line, I know I won’t gain weight because I’ll limit the portions and work it off so I won’t worry about it one little bit.

    The 80-20 rule applies…watch very carefully what you eat 8o% of the time and don’t even worry about the other 20%.

    Looking forward to your posts this week and know it will be a good one. Take care and Happy Weekend.

    1. Dena

      May 18, 2011 at 10:12 am

      @ Lou – I am so jealous to hear that you are headed to New Orleans! I have long-dreamed of visiting that place. It looks magical in all of the photographs that I have seen from friends’ visits. 🙂 I hope you have a most wonderful time. Can’t wait to hear about it.

      Thanks for your kind words & support. It was indeed a difficult week but I am proud of myself for the most part. This week is… another story. =/ I love the 80/20 rule. I think it will help me to cope with my disappointments in a much more positive way. 🙂

  • Andrew

    May 15, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Week 6 = too much cheese and only visiting the gym twice..

    Your weekly updates are a great kick in the arse reminder though Dena, and you’ve guilted me into tying to go to the gym everyday this week.

    Keep it up!

    For some very light weight exercises (and great fat burning) with your lighter dumbells, have a google of ‘lunges’ either using your body weight or the dumbells, leg resistance exercises really burn.

    Best of luck for week 7.

    1. Dena

      May 18, 2011 at 10:15 am

      @ Andrew – Ah, so happy to hear that my posts are giving you some motivation. That’s the kind of thing that I LOVE to hear.

      Yes, lunges! Great stuff. I’ve found them very beneficial and have not been doing them lately. Need to re-start. Also, squats. What a great, simple exercise. Huh? Thanks much for the ideas. 🙂

      So far I’ve been doing terrible in Week 7… Today is the day to turn it around!

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