I’m so proud of myself. I did it!

I made it through the entire month of the Strongest SELF Ever Challenge with SELF Magazine! This is a HUGE accomplishment for me. Like many Americans, I am extremely busy and rarely find time to spend exercising. However, I told myself that I needed to focus on my health this month because I was noticing more of a sluggish behavior on my part lately in regards to exercising. I put 100% of my effort into this challenge and it sure did pay off. Not only did my body physically get stronger but my spirit got stronger as well. I learned a lot about myself in this process and I even lost weight!

I didn’t start this challenge to lose weight but instead my goal was to feel healthier. I have lower back pain from sitting at work all day so my goal was to get up and moving so that pain would subside. I definitely feel better and my body also looks healthier. What a perk! Yesterday when I was working out, I noticed some lower calf muscles that I have never seen. I got so excited that I actually pushed myself harder in that specific workout because I could visually see the results of all of the effort that I have been putting into this challenge.

Throughout this challenge, I learned that I love having variety in my workouts and I really enjoy high intensity cardio work. I love that feeling of my heart beating fast because I know that I am getting stronger. This challenge was a perfect starting point to boost myself into a healthier life. I would highly recommend any fitness level trying this challenge. The only note that I would like to mention is if you have weak knees, some of the exercises will be challenging. There is a lot of bending and squatting in this challenge but I say, just go for it and listen to your body. If you need to take a break or modify an exercise, then do it!

For me, side planks are extremely difficult. Instead of just giving up during that exercise, I held the plank as long as I could and then substituted another leg workout to finish the day. Listen to your body and it will tell you what you need to do. I can personally say that I can hold a plank much longer than I could before this challenge. We need to celebrate the little wins because each workout we do moves us toward our goals!

For those of you who are thinking about doing a fitness challenge, below are a few things you should consider:

  1. What is my personal fitness level and what is the fitness level of this challenge?
  2. How many days are in this challenge and how long are the workouts each day?
  3. Do I get any rest days or are the workouts flexible to substitute on days that I may be busy?
  4. Do I need any equipment to be able to complete the workouts?
  5. Do I find the potential workouts interesting or fun and exciting? (You need to have some fun in your life!)

Depending on your answers to the above questions, you will know if a certain workout challenge is right for you! I find that variety in a challenge helps me stay motivated. I know what kinds of workouts I find fun. For instance, I am not a huge fan of running challenges as I find it very boring. Now, some of you may absolutely thrive on running workouts and all power to you! However, I absolutely LOVE dance workouts and would love a dance workout challenge. Anyone remember my blog post about dance workouts back in January? If not, check it out here and you’ll see why I love dance workouts so much.

This challenge has taught me that I can do whatever I put my mind to. Our bodies are built to move and we need to embrace that. Challenge yourself because you never know what you are going to learn and you may find a new passion during the process. I hope you all have an awesome Memorial Day and spend time with those that you love. Be kind, stay confident and have fun!

Be bold to live free, xo Aimée

“The limits of the possible can only be defined by going beyond them into the impossible.” – Arthur C. Clarke

P.S. Next month, we are regrowing vegetables with our kitchen table scraps! Get excited to learn how to regrow your favorite vegetables and you’ll never throw your table scraps away again.