Lessons and Blessings from my Second 90 Day Challenge

As my second 90 day challenge is about to finish, of course I am inspired to share my insights this time too. Many times down the line I thought I made a mistake for joining as I already got to my goal in the first challenge and I doubted that I will have the same resolve as I did in the first wave from January until April this year. Almost 90 days later, I am so very glad I did.

What was my goal? Mainly maintenance. I think I secretly wished to be ready for The Next Level, but, I knew, while I had such strong resolve in the first wave, this time I was not as hungry for results as I already got the result that satisfied me. It is true when they say – the biggest enemy of great is good. And sometimes, good will just have to be good enough, as long as the purpose remains to be happy, healthy and strong.

Have I achieved what I hoped for? Yes. And more. Not that you are interested in the numbers, but, if you are – I started with a 29.6% body fat in January (thanks to earlier Christmas holidays, otherwise, my body fat usually peaks at 27% the most). I reduced it to 24% by April and, in my maintenance phase, I managed even further and finished at 21%, which is nice and lean, it feels rather good and is exactly right for me. No more numbers, I promise.

That picture on the left was me in the swimming costume at the beginning of 2018 and pretty much how I was last summer. I did not see myself like that, but it was the pictures from the Summer holiday that got me into action. It was not the weight, but the fact that I was a Health Coach and wearing this extra fluff – it was a clear evidence that, despite all the lovely foods I was eating and nutrition my body was receiving – I was still eating in excess and that look was not good enough for me. It represented me personally being totally uninspired by my own very self, so how would others be. This is what I do, I coach people to a better health and shape and I must be the best version of myself first and foremost. So, yes, I have achieved what I hoped for. I am stronger mentally and physically as a result. It is not the weight that defines me, but the actual purpose of being healthy and staying healthy. It is who I am.

Have I been perfect? No. And I knew I would not be. I still ate clean, fully balanced and had no junk food, no simple carbs, resisted cakes, ice creams, alcohol at events (this is common sense for anyone wishing to repair their health and/or get into shape)… however, I DID eat more. I enjoyed the full range of Herbalife products, just restricted meal bars and protein bars to no more than a couple a week of each. I continued enjoying two Formula 1 meal replacements a day and I exercised more than ever. All that contributed to gaining 4 lbs of muscle in weight and reducing body fat to 21% (Oooops, number again, sorry!). We all know the story – more muscle (without excess body fat) – better shape.

Why did I do 2nd 90 day challenge?  I just felt that my job of getting into the best shape of my life was not done. It never really is done as healthy lifestyle is lived every day of our lives, for the rest of our lives. By committing myself to another 90 day plan, I had this accountability above my head, which kept me on the straight and narrow. Because I know my other nature. If I sign up for something – I was brought up to honour my word. I do not just disappear thinking no one will notice. Because I will notice. And I have to be at peace with myself. Also, when you surround yourself with the people on the same mission as you – this is very powerful. When you surround yourself with health-minded people – it is one of the best ways to stay healthy. Because, statistically, there is 50% chance you will be as healthy as people you spend time with. I talked about this before, the importance to have the right tribe around you. It also feels great being part of something that is positive and that has a capacity to inspire others.

Biggest blessing? Becoming a runner. Not again, but for the very first time ever. I have not completed a challenge of running 10 kilometres in the first nor second 90 Day Challenge, however, in the second 90 day challenge I pushed myself to go out running every few days, for few kilometres at a time. Seven months later, in July alone, I run just over 40 kilometres in total. Small runs of 3.5-5.5 kilometres at a time. In intervals most of the time – running and fast walking, 6.5 minutes on average for each kilometre. I am waking up with excitement every other day with an “itch to run”. Summer weather helped. Such beauty to be out hitting the pavement at 7AM. Not more than 25-30 minutes at a time. And always making sure I combined running with daily 10-15 minutes strength training.

Biggest lesson? Nike say it the best – just do it! If in doubt, just do it. If not sure, just do it. If hesitating, just do it. If not sure what to do, just do it (move, do something)… Because if nothing changes – nothing changes. It is easier to choose the line of less resistance and stay idle when “our head is just not in it”, but doing something is far better than doing nothing. If you do not stand for something – you will fall for anything. When you stand for nothing and do nothing, you fall for everything… and there are casualties – physical and emotional. Because falling for “everything” is where everything is anything but good news. So, yes, it has been a pain to do another challenge and keep myself accountable to others and keep showing up even when I did not feel like it, but thanks to that – I made progress.

I COULD have done better, but I still made progress. Any progress is better than not making any. And committing myself to 90 days of healthy eating made me a better coach and I am forever grateful for that.

Always protect your effort. Effort takes time, the most expensive currency there is. Time. And something that takes long time to build can be undone in a fraction of time. And that has a tendency to break our hearts. Some people keep breaking their hearts. It breaks my heart to see that. Because I know that it hurts. Believe it or not, I have been there before myself. But it must happen. Only in struggle and pain, we can rebuild ourselves stronger and as better versions of ourselves, as our awareness and standards keep getting higher.

Is 90 day challenge for everyone? Yes & No. Everyone committed to their health and ready for an exciting challenge can do it and achieve the best possible results in the shortest period of time. So, it is a clear YES for those who want that and are ready to commit. If an idea it excites you – just make the next step and join. You will not regret it. Contact me for details.

You want to do something, but you are also very clear that 90 day challenge is not for you? NO PROBLEM. I have been a coach for nearly 15 years now and have helped many achieve great results by doing our standard programme. And it works! It has been working for nearly 40 years. It is science based and always focused around healthy, balanced, clean eating and Optimum Nutrition. Have a look at the Success Stories & Testimonials of some who were inspired to share their stories. If something in you tells you to give it a try – I can promise you will not regret it. Contact me or, as a great start, check how balanced your current lifestyle is by doing an online wellness test and we can take it from there. I will give you my recommendations on how to take it further.

And, if it feels right to go ahead with it, I can guarantee you will have my full support. Here is where you can find out about the Nutrition Programmes available depending on your goals:

Weight Management Nutrition Plans & Programmes

They all come with a complete meal plan, shopping guide, recipes and my support.

Now, I am excited now to have  little break of a few weeks during Summer. I may even enjoy an ice cream. My sister-in-law has been telling me about the place in Bath that has the best ice cream. Now I can finally give it a try. And I will treat myself and family to a best Italian pizza in town this summer. Everything in balance and little bit of a occasional indulgence every now and again is the right kind of balance for me. Something to look forward to.

Wishing you all a great, happy and healthy summer. Enjoy everything life has to offer, but wishing you to know the right balance. Because you do not live only once – you only die once and you live every day, so make it count. If you want to achieve anything in life, everything starts here first – at enjoying a healthy lifestyle of a balanced diet, exercise and quality sleep.

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough!”, Mae West

Your friend in health,

Sanela

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