Days 92 – 98 of My Fitness Challenge

Happy Sunday, friends! I’m recovering from a fun weekend with one of my best friends but I wanted to give you all an update on my fitness challenge.


This week was far more focused on being active outside of the gym. I knew that I wouldn’t have much time to hit the treadmill so I incorporated more activity into my daily life: taking the stairs whenever possible, parking further away from stores, etc.,. To be clear, I don’t think that moving a bit more will result in drastic changes. But, I hate the thought of losing ground and undoing some of the progress I’ve made, so I’ll taking any extra movement that I can get. Next week is going to more closely mimic my normal schedule, so I’ll be resuming my typical workout routine.

Now, about my eating . . . There were some good choices made. I did, however, end up eating outside of my normal window a couple of times, and I also had some foods that I don’t normally eat (pancakes, anyone?) over the past two days. I’m not beating myself up over my choices – after all, we’re all entitled to some enjoyment – but I am planning to make better choices in the weeks ahead. Part of those better choices hinge upon a grocery store run that I’ll be making in a very few moments. . .

I hope you all are hitting your goals and feeling fantastic. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!


Day 57 – 63 of My Fitness Challenge

Well, not much has gone on over the past week. On the upside, I’m still sticking to intermittent fasting (IF), and I ate a lot more fresh food over the past week. However, I still feel I could do better in this regard, so I’m heading out to the grocery store in a bit, and I’ll be making an actual EATING PLAN for the week.


Yay for eating more fresh food!

I know that I should have done this ages ago, but I really feel that preplanning my meals for the week will do wonders for improving my overall eating. So I’ll be sure to do that and I’ll share my plan in next week’s fitness challenge post.

I did ZERO gym time because I just couldn’t find any motivation. However, I did try to incorporate more movement in my daily routine. This upcoming week will be better because I’m already setting myself up for success: all of my gym clothes are washed and bagged, ready for me to throw on without any additional thought.

This week’s takeaway is the importance of PLANNING. Instead of leaving everything up to chance, I believe I’ll get better results just by taking some time to do any “pre-gym/pre-eating” action. Half of the work of sticking to a good plan is the prep work involved beforehand. With the bulk of my prep being done today and tomorrow, I’m confident that I’ll see some major improvement with sticking to my routine this week.


Day 50 – 56 of My Fitness Challenge

I continue to see results on my fitness challenge, and I am loving it! I did one gym day and just pushed myself during my at-home exercises this week: I went through an obscene number of squats and tricep dips, amongst other exercises. I made sure to rest my muscles in between session so I wouldn’t injure myself, and, while a bit sore, I still feel really good.

stability ball

I spent some time with a dear friend this week, and he noticed that my tummy is flat and I look really toned. It was good to hear that my results are noticeable to someone other than myself!

I’m still doing intermittent fasting (IF) and it’s becoming second nature to me. I don’t even begin to feel hunger until after 10 or 11 AM, and I don’t feel starved in the evening once my eating window has closed. I’m still tweaking my meals so that I can get maximum nutrition during my eating window, but it’s a process and I’m okay with that.

So, all in all, it’s been a good week and I’m loving how I’m feeling. I look forward to seeing even more results in the weeks to come!


Day 36 – 42 of My Fitness Challenge

Is it still a “challenge” if you’ve fallen off a bit?

I hope so, because I fully intend to get BACK onto the fitness bandwagon this upcoming week. This past week wasn’t as focused as I would have liked.


For starters, I got sick in the middle of the week and on one of the days, I spent all day in bed. That was really tough for me, because I prefer to be up and moving, but my body responded well to the rest so I’m not going to fret about it. I also spent a lot of time sleeping over the past few days (the biggest thing missing from my regular routine is adequate rest). I still have a cough but I’m feeling better overall. I found myself wanting to eat outside of my eating window while I’ve been under the weather, and I indulged because I believe in being gentle with myself.

I got plenty of exercise though not all of it came from gym time. I ended up doing quite a bit more walking than normal this week. During the upcoming week, I’ll be incorporating more than just cardio in my routine: I’d love to see the results that I can get from strength/resistance training.

That’s it for the week: getting back on track and changing up the exercises. I’m excited to see what this upcoming week will be like!


Days 22 – 28 of My Fitness Challenge

Happy Sunday friends! I’m delighted to say that I think I’ve FINALLY found a really good health and fitness routine for me. I incorporated the elements of this routine at the beginning of the week, and I’ve enjoyed how I’m feeling, so I think I’ll keep it up!

Last week, I mentioned that a friend recommended intermittent fasting (IF) to me, and I gave it a try. This week, I stuck to the IF plan for 6 out of 7 days. The IF routine that I’m following consists of fasting for 16 hours and limiting my food intake to an 8-hour block of time per day (16-8 plan). I usually begin eating at 10 or 10:30 AM and have my last meal before 6 or 6:30 PM. After this time, the only thing I will allow myself is water or herbal tea. Likewise, before I have my first meal, I’ll only have water or tea.


If all continues to go well, I will eventually transition to a 17-7 plan (17 fasting hours, 7 eating hours). The goal is to eat using the 18-6 plan consistently.

During my 8 hour eating window, I’ve eaten whatever I want, including some junk food. I took off my food restrictions while I tested out the eating times because I wanted to see how my body would react to “cheat day” meals while doing IF. All went well, so it’s time to really kick this into gear. Now that I’ve settled into a routine, I’ll go to the store and stock up on a bunch of good-for-you foods so that I can compound the positive effects of IF.

Speaking of positive effects, I noticed that I slept well and had more energy. I noticed less bloating and even my skin looks a little better. This could all be coincidence, but I’m pretty observant and I notice small bodily changes, so I’m thinking that I can credit all of this to IF.

I worked out five times this week and have already started to see my body beginning to tone up a bit. I used an old trick to get back into consistently working out: I wore my workout clothing to the office. You see, my gym is in the building where I work, so wearing gym clothes to the office practically forced me to go to the gym before I start working. I’ll continue to wear the workout clothes to the office so that I won’t have any excuses for not going to the gym.

Well, that’s it for this week’s update. I look forward to having some more great updates in a week. Thanks for stopping by, and talk to you all tomorrow!


Days 15 – 21 of My Fitness Challenge

Happy Sunday, friends! I’m three weeks into my fitness challenge and I’m getting additional insights with every passing day. This is going well!


One of my friends recommended that I try a version of intermittent fasting. The concept resonated with me, so I’m thinking about trying a version of it during the upcoming week. If it works for me, I’ll keep doing it. If it doesn’t, I’ll let it go. I’m not interested in torturing myself, or making myself uncomfortable, just to see the numbers shift on the scale.

I am now at the point where I’m looking for support on my health journey. A visit to my doctor during the week yielded some good ideas, including the decision to start utilizing my health app on my iPhone (I didn’t even know it was there!) and using the Blue Cross Blue Shield Wellness website to help keep me accountable. I’ll be trying those during the week and seeing if I can make those tools part of my healthcare arsenal.

That’s all for this week. During the upcoming week, I expect to report some intensified activity (both in the dietary and the exercise realms) so look out for that next week. Thanks for stopping by, and talk to you all tomorrow!


Days 8 – 14 of My Fitness Challenge

This week was so much better! More exercise, better food choices, and LOTS more water, sleep and relaxation.


You may have noticed that I haven’t been including measurements or weigh-ins. Well, to be honest with you all (and I do strive to be honest), those are good metrics if I just needed to change things for the sole purpose of hitting a weight goal. But that isn’t my plan.

Sure, this started as a “challenge”, and I plan to drastically increase the good habits and decrease the bad ones. But hitting a particular weight is no longer my only goal: now, I want to change my way of being. I’m striving to feel great and look great, so I’m concentrating more on my day-to-day “wins” and letting those accumulate. The more daily wins I experience, the closer I’ll be to hitting my weight “goal” but, more importantly, I’ll be closer to hitting the overall health goals that I’ve set for myself.

For that reason, I think I’ll extend this “challenge” beyond 31 days, and make it a weekly update until I’m inspired to stop recording any progress.I’m also not going to commit to follow the Brittne Babe plan religiously, though I think it’s great for those that are inspired to do it that way. I tried, but I didn’t enjoy it at this point: I’ll try it again, before the end of the year, and I’ll see if I’m more inspired at that time.

Anyhoo, that’s this week’s update. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!


Days 1 – 7 of My Fitness Challenge


Can I get a do-over?

Seriously though, this first week of my fitness challenge has been eye-opening. I think it’s important to remain flexible while challenging ourselves. A constant “push” energy isn’t good when accomplishing a goal, especially if we aren’t enjoying the “push”.

So I worked out just once this week. I was supposed to work out 5 times over the past 7 days (let’s all sigh together). However, it’s been an unusually busy week and the stress was much higher than normal. I was also supposed to eat fewer calories, and after two days, I was back to eating what I wanted. So both the diet and exercise portions of this week were failures (so to speak).

What happened during the past week was worth noting, and I made some mental notes. I believe in adjusting my routine to correct any issues that I’m seeing. Here are some of the things I noticed during the week.

  • I need more rest in order to undertake any physical challenge. My sleep is too sporadic for me to be effective at a fitness routine. I also notice that my eating habits are poorer when I’m tired.
  • I have no problem eating balanced breakfasts during the week, but things go downhill during the day, especially during the period between lunch and dinner. I need better snack options to satisfy my cravings but not sabotage my healthy eating goals.
  • I could stand to drink more water. I’m already “good” at it but I’d like to improve.
  • I need more accountability when it comes to working out. I’ve made an agreement with one of my friends, who will help “keep me honest” when it comes to working out.

Those are my week 1 observations. I’ll adjust, regroup, and start anew. Here’s hoping that week 2 will have more “wins” that I can report to you all!

life curation

Live Your Best Life: Hobbies to Help You Heal

Happy Friday, friends! We made it through the week, and what a week it was. The East Coast is getting some truly spring-like weather, and I’m excited for the warmer days to come!

As you all have already seen, I’ve been sharing some of the things I used to help recover after devastating life events (for me, specifically, my divorce, but also the loss of several close family members and friends). In this post, I’m going to share some of the hobbies that helped me move through my pain and heal my heart.

For starters, I want to add a disclaimer: you can and should seek professional help if you want or need a qualified individual to help you with your problems. Nothing that I’m recommending should be considered a replacement for clinical treatments and professional counseling.

That being said, here are some of the hobbies I used during my recovery and how these hobbies helped me:

  • Enjoying art: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – art saved me from my darkest moments. Spending time in museums, creating my own art, and learning more about artists and their works helped me tremendously during my lowest points. There’s something very magical about being able to mentally “escape”, transcending time and space, as you view a piece of art. Also, creating art did wonders for helping me to work out some of my frustrations and to take the “sting” out of my losses.


  • Traveling: One of my best friends advised taking a trip prior to any big decision, as the change in scenery and routine does wonders for giving you fresh perspective. During those painful years, I took several trips that helped me to clear my mind and reconnect to the joys that I experienced in years prior. Physically visiting different locations impacted me on levels that I couldn’t experience if I had stayed at home. Travel was wonderful for helping me to navigate my pain.


  • Writing: To be honest, I couldn’t always verbalize my emotions. There were a lot of days where the feeling would be in my chest, even in my throat, but I couldn’t speak the pain that I felt. When my voice failed me, my pen was ever ready to capture the emotions that I felt but couldn’t vocalize. At one point, I wanted to reread my journal entries, but I have since decided against that.  Those journals have served their highest purpose already: they were my voice’s proxy. I am thankful for the ability to give myself some relief when I felt nothing but despair.


  • Exercising: I’m not obsessive about fitness, but it was a mighty powerful tool that I used during my healing process. Aside from the physical effects (the release of endorphins that lifted my mood), the repetition of certain physical movements provided me with a rhythmic experience that required that I focus on the present moment and temporarily suspend my emotions. Exercise literally took my mind off of my problems, giving me some much needed relief.


  • Fine dining/wine tasting: I’ve already shown my love and appreciation of good food and wine on this blog numerous times. However, I’ve never mentioned how much I employed these sensory pleasures during my healing phase. I learned about different cuisines and prepared 4 and 5 course meals at home. The discipline, effort and precision involved with designing and preparing elaborate meals was a satisfying creative effort. And trying new wines, while learning to hone in on the elements that I enjoy most, enhanced my dining experience. You have to be careful with this one: restraint and knowing your personal limits are key.



Those are the hobbies that I used to help cope and heal from my pain. I hope that these may be helpful for lifting your spirits during the low times. Take care, and enjoy your weekend!