I’ve basically given up on numbering these updates, particularly since I can’t seem to stick to a regular posting schedule. Some weeks, I just don’t have much to say. (*shrug*)
Anyway, as I’ve mentioned before (in a post about habits and another about “food freedom”), I haven’t had a lot of success with dietary “challenges” or programs, so if you’d told me six months ago that I would be signing up for an 80 day health and fitness challenge, I would have laughed in your face. But here I am. Day One.
I’ve had a pretty big mindset shift leading up to this point, though. For one thing, I’m not trying to change the way I eat temporarily so that I can hit a certain number on the scale. I’m not really eating for weight loss (though I need some of that too!), I’m eating for health and, even though the “challenge” is 80 days, I’m working on habits that I hope to continue for the rest of my life.
In the last month or so, I’ve jumped back in to a fitness routine, and I LOVE how much better I feel. The workouts have been a huge blessing. I’m sleeping better, have more energy, and fit into my jeans more comfortably. Still, my nutrition has been a bit of a mess. On some days, I avoid added sugar with ease, but on other days I’ve had to talk myself out of eating all the cookies in the house (with varying degrees of success, I might add).
That’s why, when I heard about 80 Day Obsession, I was intrigued. I need accountability and motivation to change, and 80 Day Obsession has absolutely given me those things. Here’s what I think about it so far:
First of all, I hate the name. The whole concept is that taking care of your health is a “healthy obsession,” but to me, the word “obsession” still has a negative connotation. Not a fan. I’m not “OBSESSED” about health and fitness; I’m just prioritizing health and fitness. In the grand scheme of things, though, this is an AMAZING program.
The workouts are completely one-of-a-kind. Workouts range from 30-60 minutes, and they never repeat. Some of the moves will recur, of course, but each of the 80 videos was filmed individually, so I won’t have to hear the same jokes, the same pep talks, and the same complaints from the background cast week after week. Even more importantly, the workouts will build on each other so that they continue to be challenging throughout the program. There are other perks, too. The workouts are available via streaming video, so I’m able to work out at home. Plus, the equipment is simple: a few sets of dumbbells, resistance loops (basically just giant rubber bands), and plastic “strength sliders” that give me flashbacks to the mat pilates classes I took in college. The trainer–who also created the insanely popular 21 Day Fix–is likable, funny, and incredibly motivating.
The eating plan has been carefully designed by a team of nutritionists to support the workouts. It is NOT a starvation diet, and it is NOT dependent upon heavily processed, packaged food. Using a color-coded container system to help balance my macronutrients, I get to design a meal plan that I won’t dread. I’m a picky eater, and I don’t like most salads or raw veggies, but this plan makes it possible to eat well without activating my gag reflex. (I’m being 100% serious about that, by the way. The struggle is real.) I am pushing myself slightly out of my comfort zone, but only because I have chosen to do so. Every afternoon this week, for example, I’ll be eating raw baby carrots and snow peas with hummus. That might not seem like a stretch for most people, but for a lifelong raw veggie hater and salad avoider, it feels like an important step. The meals are simple, whole-food based, and low in sugar. The plan calls for some performance supplements (protein, BCAAs, etc.) that do contain sugar, but because those supplements are the only source of added sugar that I’m consuming, the total for the entire day comes to about 15 grams. The World Health Organization and American Heart Association recommend limiting added sugar to 25 grams, so I feel comfortable with that amount, especially since I’m eating so much other nutrient-dense food. For more info about what I’m eating, check out this post.
Best of all, there are tens of thousands of real people doing this program with me. Not only am I watching other people’s public posts on social media, I am actually connecting and building relationships with other challengers through our private Facebook group. We are sharing struggles, victories, meal prep ideas, and more. I feel incredibly blessed to have fallen into such a supportive, genuine group.
As I continue through the program, I will post updates about my progress. If you ever have questions (or want to join me in this adventure), please feel free to drop a comment below, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact me via social media! I’d be happy to fill you in on all the details to help you see if this program would be a good fit for you!
Until then, take care!