8 Lessons Learned from the 8 Week Core Challenge

Body Image, Core Challenge, Health & Fitness, Weight Loss

Eight weeks ago I never thought I’d be writing this post. Eight weeks ago I thought for sure my weight wouldn’t have budged. Eight weeks ago I thought I would be the one person who wasn’t able to be successful on this program. But, if you’ve been following my journey, you know that’s not true.
Since completing the 8 Week Core Challenge and sharing my results, I’ve taken some time to reflect on the journey. While 8 weeks seemed like forever at the onset, it turns out it wasn’t all that bad, in fact, I learned a few things along the way. When I started this challenge, I never thought I would say this, but I’m excited for the coming weeks, months, and even years ahead, continuing this journey.
For me, the 8 Week Core Challenge was the right program to see the results, and combined with Zumba, and my supportive friends and family, it was the recipe for success, but it didn’t come without some lessons learned along the way. No matter what program you choose to improve your health, lose weight, and get in shape, I believe these lessons I learned are critical for my continued success, and hopefully they’ll help you on your own personal journey as well!

  1. When you’re mentally, physically, and emotionally ready to make changes to your lifestyle, you will be successful. I can’t tell you how many diets, weight loss supplements, and exercise plans I’ve tried in my life. But every time I tried those, it was all in an attempt to quickly shed the pounds to reach the ideal body type so I’d be accepted by my peers or to hop on the bandwagon and try a new diet fad that had shown “great success”. The goal during those times was never to do it for me and my health, but to do it for others. After years of body-hate, the last 4 years or so for me have been about loving my body. And I want to make this clear: Even before starting the 8 Week Core Challenge, I loved my body. But I knew I was ready for a change, to feel better and eat healthy. I was ready for this change and finally had the support in my life that I needed to be successful. Combined with willpower and relentless will to succeed, it was a recipe for success.
  2. Success comes in multiple forms. The scale won’t always show you the results you want, you might see it more in the way your clothes fit or in the choices you’re making. Did you just say no to birthday cake in the office? Did you switch your morning cup of coffee for water? Did you opt to pack your lunch instead of eating out? Did you only have a bite of cheesecake instead of the whole piece? All of these little details are your own individual triumphs that get you one step closer to making permanent, life-altering changes. Don’t forget to celebrate your small successes; the little changes lead to bigger changes.
  3. Failing is okay and indulging is also okay. It happens to everyone. Your favorite comfort food is on the table and you can’t say no or you hit a low point in your diet and feel the need to indulge. It’s okay and it happens. What matters is what you do following that point in time – if you fall off the wagon, get right back on and pick up where you left off. Don’t continue spiraling downwards; onward and upward!
  4. Cravings may never leave you. I don’t care what they say, but some cravings may never leave you. For me, that manifests itself in anything sweet – chocolate, cookies, brownies, cupcakes. What I have learned about my cravings is how to better control them. I’ll have dessert but limit how much of it I have or only allow myself to eat dessert on weekends and special occasions. I find myself even making choices now based on the quality of the dessert presented to me. Is it a cheap cookie from the grocery store? I’ll pass, thanks. Fresh, homemade brownies? Yes please! Before now I probably would have just eaten it all.
  5. It will be hard. I literally thought I was going to die the first week four weeks of the Core Challenge. It was completely out of my comfort zone and away from what I was used to. There were many nights I cried or was upset and feeling miserable – miserable for wanting to go back to my old ways despite knowing that this was good for me overall. It gets easier. But if you’re like me and have struggled with your weight all your life, you’ll never get to take it easy. After losing the weight, you’ll need to learn what works for your body to maintain that weight loss.
  6. People will have an opinion of your new health and fitness plan. Hopefully you will encounter mostly positive, supportive people in your journey, but there’s always someone who has to make an observation on your weight or share their thoughts on how you should be eating or exercising. Take it like water to a duck and just let it roll off your back. Remember you have a great group of friends and family who are supporting who on this journey; don’t let one person’s opinion ruin it for you.
  7. Your body will always be your body. Growing up, I always envisioned that losing weight would cause me to look like Barbie overnight. For better or for worse, that isn’t what happens. I still look like me, you will still look like you; only in a smaller version. Learn to love your body instead of living your life wishing you had someone else’s.
  8. It’s a life long journey and about lifelong changes. It’s for your health and it’s for your future. The changes you make now are impacting your health in the short and long term.

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** I was provided the 8 Week Core Challenge Kit free of charge. All opinions are my own.