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The Challenger Experience | Reina H.

What motivated you to join the challenge?

I needed some extra accountability to continue getting back in shape after Evan's birth. I had started training with Mesha in February and got back into the gym right before the pandemic. I didn't want all that hard work to go to waste and I knew that I needed a little extra push to keep up with the workouts at home so the challenge seemed like the perfect opportunity.

What were some of the goals you had for the challenge?

To be honest I did not set any firm goals in terms of weight loss because I wasn't sure what to expect and how this would go with new routines at home, breastfeeding, change in diet, etc. However, I did set some goals for myself in terms of daily activity levels. I always tried to hit my daily cardio and calorie goal which I tracked with my apple watch. And no alcohol at all during the challenge.

What was your experience with working out, doing challenges, fitness? What did you do?

It's not easy to work out at home and get the motivation to get up and do the WODs alone. However, I did find that as soon I started making it a routine and working out at the same time every morning for a minimum of 4 days per week that it was much easier to get motivated. We also set up a corner in the garage with mats, dumbbells, equipment, etc. and writing the workouts on a board the night before also prepped me mentally.

What’s your favorite memory?

Seeing my 5 year old, Aiden, be inspired to workout as well and copying both Calvin and I when we're working out at home. Yeah, he gets in the way sometimes but it's also great to see him look up to us and model our healthy habits. Start them young!

Did you have a low point? How did you overcome it?

During the first week I struggled a bit with hunger in between meals and wanting to reach for my usual (unhealthy) snacks because that was the easiest thing to do. I ended up reevaluating what I was eating for my meals and counting out the calories. Turned out I needed to add a bit more protein and healthy snacks because I didn't really take into account the extra calories I was burning while also nursing.

What did a day in your life look like while in the challenge?

Not that exciting lol! Typically I'd wake up between 5:30 and 6am to pump, then I'd do the Sugar WOD (or weekly challenge) and Armor WOD if I had time. Then breakfast. Mid mornings I'd usually head out for a walk/run with Evan in the stroller or I'd save that for later in the afternoon. We prepped our lunches on Sundays so we'd have them handy to just grab out of the fridge during the week. Aside from that I also planned out most of my snacks so I wouldn't derail during the week. Dinner at 6pm-ish and then I'd try to be in bed by 10pm every night.

What or who helped you be successful?

My hubs, Calvin. We kept each other accountable. And weekly meal prepping and planning helped me go a long way. Every weekend we planned out all of our meals for the week and wrote them on a dry erase board on the fridge so we wouldn't lose track.

Favorite Recipe?

Albert will probably frown on this one because it's technically a treat but at least it's not paleo oreo vegan ice cream sandwiches :)

I found a super simple recipe for Avocado Mousse and it was amazing! Blend together 1 avocado, 1/4 cup almond butter, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 2 tbsp honey and 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk (add more milk for thinner consistency). Chill in the fridge and enjoy!

What was the most challenging?

Honestly, the very last bit of the challenge was the hardest. I think because the finish line was in sight it was easier to be tempted by non-compliant foods and "treats". We also had a major kink thrown into our daily routine towards the end due to changes in Calvin's work schedule and having to deal with some unknowns and work stressors. That made the last couple of days feel like a struggle.

What was your favorite memory from the challenge?

Is this the same question as #4? Aside from my answer above I also really enjoyed the online community and seeing people post their workout results. Even though we couldn't get together to do the Murph it was awesome to see everyone out there doing it on their own and sharing their results. It definitely gets you motivated to get your butt moving when you know that others are out there doing the same.

If your challenge experience was going to be written as a book, what would the title of the book be?

I have no idea! Plan, Prepare, Perform? Kind of cliche :)

What is your advice for someone looking to start their journey or join a challenge?

Anyone can do it! Take the extra bit of time every week to plan out your meals and workouts, meal prep, lay out your workout clothes, write up your workouts (I find writing on a dry erase board super satisfying lol). Do whatever it is that you consider planning ahead for yourself because it'll help you hold yourself accountable.

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