This year, I realized that I was tired of being a quitter.
I was tired of a lot of things, and frankly just felt tired most of the time.
So, through daily dedication, therapy, and support from my husband, I decided to throw myself into a program: I completed the Fit by Katy Happy New You fitness challenge.
I chose the 8-week Fit by Katy challenge for several reasons:
- It had a nutrition aspect that focused on counting macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbs). I realized that my metabolism was screwed up from years of undereating and consuming too-few calories. By trying to meet a daily marco goal, I learned that not only could restore my body’s natural balance and eat like I’m supposed to, without any kind of restriction.
- They have an at-home and a gym version, so I could do all the weight training from my basement and with my dumbbells and resistance bands.
- I love the founder, Katy Hearn! I’ve been a longtime fan of her other company Alani Nu, which sells “clean” energy drinks and supplements.
- I’ve followed Fit by Katy for a long time, and have seen the results from countless women who did the challenge. I knew that along with compositional changes, I could also really walk away with more strength and mobility than I’ve had in a long time. I wanted to feel capable and strong.
- Seasonal depression, baby! I wanted an outlet to help curb the effects of winter, that I could do inside, cranky, in my comfiest and dowdiest sweats. I knew exercise would help.
So…I did it! I did that.
Here’s the progress diary of my challenge, from week one to eight.
Week 1 (Jan 8-14)
I’ve been here before. Time and time again. I can’t say what exactly is different, except that I’m trying to approach this new challenge from a low-stakes mind of non-perfection. If I miss a day, it’s not a big deal—there’s tomorrow. I don’t have to do everything right. I just have to show up for myself, and remember the purpose:
I’m doing this for me, to take care of myself and provide longevity for my future.
With that in mind, I’m proud of week one in the books. For doing it, for sticking with it (even with a trip to the ER throwing me way off course, but not off the rails!), and for not getting discouraged before it even began.
- Well I literally got through week 1! Woo! That is a huge accomplishment itself. I’m really proud for sticking with it for the entire week. It might not sound hard, but I usually get super into something, burn myself out, miss a day, and fall off the wagon past day three.
- I have been a protein queen! Even though I’ve been short of hitting the recommended amount, this is way more than I’ve ever had in my entire life, lol. It feels good to be on track.
- I made some recipes. As a non-cook, I took some time to make a few recipes early in the week and not only was it productive and helpful, but I also didn’t allow myself to get wrecked by the typical bad mood that the kitchen usually brings (I know, that sounds horrible).
- Counting macros is hard! Also, tough to maintain a balance for me personally to not become obsessed with it (thanks, but no thanks ADHD, I really don’t need to develop an eating disorder). I have not quite hit them yet, but I’m getting there.
- Ummm, on day 3 I had an incident. I was doing triceps extensions with a resistance band and accentually pulled the pull-up bar out of the ceiling and directly into the back of my head. I had to go to the ER. Oops. Super oops.
- They recommend that you do three days of cardio for 20 minutes, separate from the Fit by Katy challenge workouts. Well, I missed all of them. Oops.
Look, I already know that next week is going to kick my ass. I have more appointments than are really manageable for me (a visit to the vet, my car is getting worked on, meeting up for beers, therapy, a work trip, Wally‘s grooming appointment, and the start of shuffle board league). It’s going to be tough to add this challenge into the mix. Hard, but not impossible.
Reminding myself: I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to show up.
Week 2 (Jan 15-21)
I’m just grinding! Making it through a hectic and busy schedule, but doing my best to stay consistent.
- The moves are getting a little easier as my body gets into better shape. The best example are the lunges on day 1: feels GOOD to go through them easier and with better mobility than last time.
- Food-wise, I’m improving. Closer to hitting protein (my main goal), even if it’s not really perfect on the rest. I’m still also tracking, which is great for me.
- No hospital trips, lol
- Speaking of which, got a door anchor for the resistance bands and that has been a game changer. Highly recommend!
- I made it through a tough week! I know that I can make time for myself when things seem overwhelming. I didn’t fall off, which is a huge victory.
- I looked at the scale and I maybe shouldn’t have, because it went up. However, reminding myself to trust the process and worry less about the rest.
- Cardio! It’s such a sneaky thing for me to add on for some reason. Only 20 minutes extra seems like a mountain. I really need to change my mindset here and just do it.
- I could do a little better when it comes to food prepping during the week, and not eating out after having a drink. It’s a balance I’m hoping to better master.
I know going into this week that the moves will be exactly the same, as they have been. Since it’s my third round doing the same exercises, hopefully I can bump up my weight or show improvement in other ways. For example, there are certain moves that kick my ass that I’ve been modifying from the start (especially on leg day); what if I could get to a point where I could do the hamstring sliders all the way? Or I could do one leg raise instead of two?
I really hope to see cardio as a focus this week. Let’s go.
Week 3 (Jan 22-28)
Mostly: I’m proud of myself for sticking with it and getting it d o n e. The routine of moving every day has been a huge help: it’s not usually that big of a deal, nothing that I dread, just something that I have to do.
However, I’m not going to lie, I don’t always feel up to it. This week had a ton of scheduling conflicts and I was exhausted and the last thing I had was motivation to exercise. However, I kept it going, knowing that falling behind would be a worse alternative. And that’s a victory for me.
Speaking of victories: I haven’t weighed myself. I haven’t yet taken any updated photos, even though I know I’m supposed to. I’m scared about not noticing any changes, so I’m moving forward a little blind. That will probably change, but for now I’m relying on feeling good and noticing how I improve the movements week to week.
- I upped my weights this week! For the first time. (Kind of worried I should’ve been doing so previously, lol.) But it feels great to feel like I can.
- Some moves are so much easier now than they were on week 1. The most obvious one for me are lunges, which I have hated for many many years. They’re a day 1 legs/core warm up and I have to do like 40 of them and the difference between now and the first time is mind blowing to me. I have better mobility and balance and even though I don’t love them, I can get through them just fine.
- We had a lot of going out type events this week (Bucks game, holiday party, shuffleboard, brewery night) and I feel like I did a pretty weak job at attempting to hit my macros. I don’t think I was over-indulgent by any means, but I could use more vegetables and protein.
- Lol, remember what I said about cardio? I still haven’t done a single cardio workout. Oops. This has been the bane of my Fit by Katy challenge. I need to figure that out.
In all honestly, my weeks are not getting easier; with a vacation on the veranda and two new clients and lots of meetings in between, things are hectic. But I am hoping that these workouts can serve as an anchor to keep me grounded and centered and act as a constant.
Also, I’m hoping for that cardio…lol. I can do it, just need to do it.
Week 4 (Jan 29-Feb 4)
I made it halfway through, baby! I am SO excited about that. I think this is the longest I’ve ever made it through any kind of program or challenge. I killed this week, by upping my weights every single program. That feels so satisfying.
I did take progress photos (finally), and I noticed some composition changes, which is really exciting to me. I’ve only lost like 2 lbs lol, which is just a reminder of how unimportant the scale is. The best thing is that I’m feeling good!
In weeks 5-8, the program changes completely. Before, it was metabolic movements (more reps, less rest time) and next will be hypertrophic (heavier weight, more rest time). I’m nervous for vacation mid-week throwing me off, but I can only do my best to adjust and stay in it.
- Lifting heavier each day! Wooo!
- I did jump on the treadmill a couple times for *some* cardio. Felt good!
- Food-wise, I think I got closer to my macros. Not a huge sweet tooth this week, which was nice.
- A big win was split squats: I upped my weight, got through them all, really felt more successful at them than ever before. (They are likely my least favorite move, ever.)
- I’ve felt more confident than usual! Feeling great in my own skin.
- Not enough cardio
- I messed up the timing by taking an extra rest day. I’m nervous about falling behind
- Meal prepping has been non-existent. Would like to get back on track!
I’m hoping I fall in love with these new sets of workouts. And though I’m nervous about our week-long vacation, I am hoping to keep myself accountable for adjusting, hopping back on the wagon, and grinding when we get back. I just want to finish strong and not be derailed.
Week 5-8 (Feb 5-March 4)
Well, here’s the deal. I’m writing this now in week 8, because I did not stay on top of this diary from vacation onward. Big oops.
But the major victory is that I did keep going.
Before I left on vacation, I crammed each day with the new workouts. I really enjoyed them! On vacation to Las Vegas and Miami, I didn’t workout a single time, I didn’t bother tracking my food, and I drank plenty of booze. We did walk a ton though, which made me wish that I had been doing cardio all along!
Once we got back, I took a few days of rest before resuming my fitness journey exactly where I left, though truthfully my macro counting never returned to quite the same level of dedication. But I did my workouts, took my allotted rest days, and caught up to where I’m exactly one week behind.
While the challenge officially ends in week 8 and I’m on week 7, I’ll submit my photos and check in the same as everyone else. Though the challenge will be over, I will still finish with an additional week to catch up. I’m bummed that my submitted photos won’t actually be a reflection of my entire progress, but I think that’s the least important part.
- I came back after vacation and continued the challenge!!
- I’ve snuck in a little bit of cardio, sparingly, on the treadmill
- I’ve been lifting heavier and increasing each week
- I’m feeling confident and happy with my choices and proud of myself
- I felt like I had to back track a little after vacation
- I really haven’t been keeping up with my macros, except for a loose idea to incorporate more protein
Now, I’m just hoping to finish strong! I’m looking into the next challenge, and Chad signed us up for a 5k in April. My birthday is coming up, so I’m hoping to ease up on drinking a little until then and see how that affects anything.
Bonus, ending week (March 5-11)
- I freaking DID it, even when it felt like enough to call it quits at the same time as everyone else
- It was the busiest work week but I still fit it in
- Chad made some delicious meals and even though I wasn’t really counting macros, I know I made small efforts to get my protein in. Also, I was very consistent with my other healthy habits
- I draggggged with this week. Honestly, it was more like a week and a half to finish all the way: I took extra rest days between because the motivation was not there
- No cardio, lol whoops
- My nutrition was not great on the weekend, in the name of #balance
I DID IT! I finished something! A long, hard, challenging, transformative something! I’m incredibly proud of myself and have seen definite changes from beginning to end, though I might keep the before and after photo to myself; I think they tend to be a little fatphobic and are really negative for people who see themselves in the “before.” If I can figure out a way to share without enforcing that damage, I’ll let you know. 🙂
Up next, I’m completing the Fit By Katy new challenge, called Level Up. It starts next week, so I’m ready to jump right in again with a new program!
Also, if this sounds up your alley at all, there’s a promotion for the next challenge where we both get $20 (if you sign up, please use my email address! It’s firstname.lastname@example.org.)
And that’s a wrap. Thank you so much for reading and checking out my journey.