Monday, September 5, 2011

98 Day Summer Transformation Challenge complete!

Wrapped up the Summer Challenge and the judges are hard at work! Some impressive and very inspiring entries! 98 days/the summer went by far too quickly! But I am proud to say I am stronger, leaner and more focused on my goals than I was 98 days ago! Again, learned a tremendous amount about life and myself during this challenge. I made steady progress towards the goals I set at the start of the Challenge but did not quite reach those goals. I allowed life to get in the way rather than compliment the compliance level I needed for reaching the goals in the 98 days. The good news, I have realized that slow and steady progress is maintainable..."challenge mode" is fleeting.  I love the motivation, inspiration, accountability and support during the Challenges but ultimately I am making lifestyle changes to support long term improvements in me. THIS is my goal, steady improvements, not the roller coaster!

My Results/The Numbers: Scale weight only dropped 2 pounds but we all know the scale doesn't tell the whole tale. After photos revealed a leaner physique, the BF% dropped almost 3%  and LBM was up more than 2 pounds. End of this challenge, yes, but I continue to challenge myself to sculpt a leaner physique.

Lessons Learned:
Quite a few! I entered with Challenge with a partner in crime, (along with all the online "Burners" ) while support is incredibly important, my experience during the Challenge reinforced my belief that true motivation and dedication must come from deep within yourself, you have to want it bad enough to hold yourself accountable, outside support is your source for reinforcement, it does not hold a candle to the power of your own desires.
Next lesson: As BF% decreases so does the room for error in nutrition if you expect to make steady improvements. The calorie deficit for continued fat loss gets steadily smaller...smaller deficit is much easier to close in on and limit progress. Everything is more "fine tuned", what used to be subtle changes in the nutrition plan suddenly result in noticeable changes in physique.
Life lesson regarding balance: Honestly, I could have been more strict with my nutrition plan during the Challenge, I had the spreadsheets, the macros and calories all planned out...and for the most part I stuck with the plan but sometimes you just need to sit on the front steps and eat an ice cream sandwich with the kids. And you can... but with body transformation challenges you know the one who will win probably didn't have that ice cream sandwich. But, in my opinion, I win, I have enjoyed and created memories with my kids this summer. I have realized that while the Challenges I enter are great for motivation, inspiration and surrounding myself with 'like-minded' people, what I really want is to continue to sculpt a health lifestyle that I can and desire to live long term. Balance! Difficult to live in Challenge mode!
The Plan: I continue to train hard and consistent. Looking to mixing up the program again to shock the system for more gains as well as stimulate the brain and renew inspiration. I am moving forward outside the gym as well. I have submitted an article for consideration for publication in a fitness magazine and just yesterday sent a submission to another magazine for a section highlighting fit moms!
The journey continues.....gotta keep challenging myself and pushing outside the comfort zone...
How are you challenging yourself to be a better you?

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