21DFC Day 3 – Turning it into a Routine

This is Day 3 of the 21-Day Fitness Challenge (21DFC) for Feb 2012. View all posts made during the challenge: 21DFC Overview.

Day 2 of 21-Day Fitness Challenge!

Hello and welcome to Day 3 (Feb 5) of the 21-Day Fitness Challenge! :dance:

Before we get to the challenge proper, here are some quick announcements!

Quick Announcements

1. Updates will only be sent to those who are signed up

I realized not all readers on the PE newsletter are participating in 21DFC, and there’s no reason to send the 21DFC updates to those not in the challenge. It’s just cluttering up others’ mailboxes with irrelevant material (to them, anyway – not us).

So as of Day 4′s update, I will only be sending the newsletter to the official participants of 21DFC. This means only 267 of you who are officially signed up will get the updates in your inbox. For those who don’t want to participate but you want to receive the updates, well - TOUGH LUCK! :p You need to be exercising together with us to be part of the loop. We’re working out as a community – bystanders are not allowed. ;)

If you still want to join in and rock your body to fitness land, today is your FINAL CHANCE. I’m closing sign-ups after today. Sign up now: 21-Day Fitness Challenge. (Update Feb 6: Sign ups are now closed).

2. Renaming of 21-Day Fitness Challenge to 21-Day Fitness Challenge

Some of you are probably reading the new 21DFC acronym and going “Huh? Isn’t it supposed to be 21DEC? Did Celes make a typo or what?”.

Nope, after some thought, I’ve officially renamed 21DEC / 21-Day Fitness Challenge to 21DFC – 21-Day Fitness Challenge. I’ve been reading the participants’ comments for Days 1 and 2, and felt that the word “fitness” better represented the message I want to drive with this challenge. It’s all about getting fit, being healthier and rocking a stronger body at the end of the 21-days – and increased physical activity, or exercising for some of us, is what’s going to get us there.

So yes, sorry if there’s been any confusion! All the references and links on the site have been duly updated to reflect the change.

If you are using soft copy for the pre-work, simply rename 21DEC to 21DFC, and change “Exercising” to “Fitness”. If you’re blogging about the challenge and linking back to 21DFC, update the links accordingly. If you’re tweeting about the challenge, use #21DFC instead of #21DEC. When commenting, please refer to the challenge as 21DFC and not 21DEC. From now on, we’re here to rock 21 days of fitness together! ;)

3. Post your updates in the respective day’s thread

As I shared in the 21DFC announcement, please share your day’s progress in the respective day’s thread. Meaning post your day 1 (Feb 3) updates on Day 1′s thread, Day 2 (Feb 4) updates on Day 2′s thread, and so on. Some of you are posting your updates in the wrong places (some even posting updates in the announcement thread – WHY?!), and it’s making it quite painful for me to administrate the course.

If you are a latecomer to the challenge and you’re only starting today (Feb 5), you can either start from Day 1′s thread, and play catch-up with all of us, or you can join us directly in today’s thread. Doing the former will probably cause you to be out of sync with the group since you’ll always be 2 days behind in your updates, while the latter means your challenge will only be 19 days, and not 21 days, long. It’s up to you!

For the other challenges in the future, I’ll strive to correspond the days with the dates, so it’s easier for everyone.

4. Check back your previous comments

Many of you have been duly sharing your progress in the days’ threads, which is fantastic! :D However, some of you seem to be posting your comments and neglecting them thereafter – not realizing that other participants are replying to your comments and trying to engage a discussion!

Please bookmark the comments section for each day’s thread, check back regularly, and reply to the other participants who have taken time out of their schedule to write to you. Or an easier way is to subscribe for notification of new comments (the option is there whenever you post a new comment – simply tick the checkbox below the comment box). While you’re at it, drop a kind word or two for a fellow participant. Remember, we’re here to support each other.

Finally – done with the announcements! Ok, let’s now move on to Day 2′s review!

Review of Day 2

Can I say I’m so proud of all of you who have duly filed your progress update for Day 1 (and Day 2, for those in faster time zones), as you have pledged in Day 0′s pre-work? Seriously, you guys are GOLD.

Whether you did any physical activity for the day, the fact that you logged on to post your update is a HUGE sign that YOU are committed to improving the fitness aspect of your life. Give yourselves a big pat on the back for staying true to yourself and sticking to the challenge, vs. hiding / doing the fade-away/disappearing act, or abandoning the challenge altogether.

You know, reading the comments, I feel worried for some of you. I really am. You see, some of you are so friggin’ hard on yourself. I’ve seen more than one participant beat him/herself up over not doing/completing his/her desired physical activity for the day. And then for some of you, your comments open up with full-blown, lengthy explanations on why your desired activity was not done for the day, even though no one asked for any explanations to begin with.

You know what? IT D-O-E-S-N-’-T MATTER. We’re not here to police each other or laugh/scott at anyone who did not do/complete his/her desired physical activity for the day. We’re not here to play the blame game. We’re not here to cast judgment. This challenge is not about perfection. This challenge is not about competition (with each other). This challenge is about improving the fitness in our lives.

Scr*w it if you didn’t get to your desired physical activity today – simply learn why, and move on. Focus on understanding why, over justifying the occurrence. Focus on identifying the lessons learned, over turning a blind eye to the slip-up. Think in terms of how you can make it work out tomorrow onwards, over mulling “what if?” (Principle #10 of How To Be Happy). Must I remind everyone of our 21DFC Pledge? “I shall not beat myself up if I were to miss my exercises – but instead learn what got me offtrack and not let it happen again.

Let’s make the best out of our 19 days ahead, shall we? ;) With that said, here’s my progress for Day 3!

My 21DFC Progress, Day 3

Day 3 morning – I woke up at about 7:15am, and automatically thought – “It’s jogging time!” This was in spite of a sore body (still), from Day 1′s running/jogging and swimming, and Day 2′s jogging and workout at the gym. And normally I wouldn’t jog after 7am because the sun is coming up and it gets progressively warmer by the hour.

But for some reason, those didn’t seem to be of any concern to me. I just truly felt like getting my workout for my day. It almost felt like this is turning into a routine, even though it’s only Day 3! (I guess with the dual exercise sessions I’ve been doing, it feels more like today is Day 5, not Day 3!)

Again, I went to my usual jogging route, and gave myself the option to brisk walk if I wanted to. No forcing, no self-pressurizing, only a desire to increase physical activity in my life and to enjoy every moment. But nope, I felt like jogging, so off I went!

Park connector
Off we go! Seems like others are already up and getting their morning exercise before me. Next time I will be earlier!

Enjoying the sights as I slowly jogged along the path

I bet the other joggers must be wondering, “Why is this person taking a camera with her for her morning jog?”

Sun rising
The sun rising over the horizon ♥ 

At the end of it, I completed 3.6km (2.2 miles) without walking, just like yesterday! Hurray for a personal victory – jogging when I could have walked the distance! :D

Oh, because I haven’t exercised for a long time prior to 21DFC, I got a couple of blisters from my 5.5km barefoot run/jog on Day 1. Hence, I decided to go jogging with my track shoes for the time being, until they get better. It’s also more jogging-friendly as it’s the rainy season now, and the tracks are partially wet whenever I jog.

Anyway, I could have called it a day where fitness is concerned, but I decided it wasn’t enough. I knew I could do more, even though my legs were aching from all the jogging/exercising I had done in the past 2.5 days alone.

So when the evening came, I decided to go for another jog. :dance: Am I on a roll or what?! I’m telling you, this fitness thing is addictive! Once you start, you can’t stop!

Park connector at night
The park connector at night. It’s not as dangerous as it looks – there are people jogging/cycling/walking by me every 5-10 minutes

It was another 3.6km (2.2 miles) jog for me, without stopping to walk. I ended Day 3 on a fully satisfied note, knowing that I made the best of the day where fitness was concerned. :D A big “YES!” for exercising twice a day when I can only be exercising once!

For those attributing my 21DFC progress to a good fitness condition or background, I can assure you it’s definitely not. I have a non-existent fitness background. I was never an athlete in school. I hated exercise with a passion and I was so glad when I graduated from high school because it meant no more regimented exercise sessions. Prior to 21DFC, I have not exercised for 1 year (after my fast in February, I didn’t exercise since I wanted to focus on regulating my diet post-fast first, and then when I began traveling in June, it blew my fitness plans out of the water.)

If anything, this is the first time in my life I’m exercising so regularly/intensely! AND I’M LOVING IT! No self-pressurizing, just sheer enjoyment. I’m telling you, it feels awesome. I’m already seeing benefits from just a few days of proper workout, too – more on that in tomorrow (Day 4)’s update.

Also, I took the chance to link up with a friend today (whom I used to play badminton with) to let him know I’m back in Singapore. I suggested getting together/forming a group to play badminton again, like in the past. Turns out that he’s been playing badminton regularly with his work colleagues (they just played last Thursday, in fact), and he will invite me the next time they have a session (likely soon). Here’s another big “YES!” for combing fitness, fun and socializing all in one activity! :D

That’s it for my Day 3 – Stay tuned for Day 4 tomorrow! :D

How About YOUR Day 3? Share Your Progress!

How did YOUR 21DFC Day 3 go? Did you get to complete your scheduled activity? Did you achieve any personal victories? Did something unexpected crop up, which made you learn some valuable personal lessons?

Regardless of how your day went, we want to hear it all. 21DFC is not about sharing ‘flawless’ fitness progress, but about sharing everything our journey towards a healthier, fitter life – obstacles and all. Post your day’s journal in the comments section! If you have any images to share, simply upload them to Photo Bucket or Imgur first, then include the link(s) in your reply.

  1. What physical activity did you do (if any), and for how long?
  2. If you didn’t get to do any physical activity, why? And what can you do about it such that the same thing doesn’t happen again?
  3. What physical activity do you plan to do tomorrow?

Check out other participants’ responses and join in the discussions!

Looking forward to Day 4 tomorrow! ;)

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21DFC Day 4 – Loving the Sweat, the Pain, and the Aches! »

99 Responses | Share Your Results!

  1. Madhu says:

    Day 3 and I went to the gym and walked on the treadmill for 1 hour. I plan to go again this evening when husband is watching his superbowl game

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  2. LisaT says:

    Did 30 mins on an elliptical, 20 mins on stationary bike. I am fairly active to begin with, so I am using the 21 day fitness challenge as a way to add intensity to my cardio workouts, which will take me to the next level of cardiovascular fitness. :hug:

    Tomorrow I am going to walk to the Farmer’s market instead of driving. (It is about 1.25 miles from my home)

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  3. P.Callychurn says:

    Hadit not been for the 21DFC I might not have gone for the walk, particularly on a Sunday. But I said to myself I have to get through it 100%.In the mean time two more people including my brother joined the gang. And I am determined to convert this 21 day fitness exercise into an all time culture…well at my age as long as I cango.

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  4. cloudio says:

    After too much rest during the day, yesterday night I felt hyperactive, I walked around home, played some tai chi, stretched a lot and fell asleep only at 3am

    Today I was up at 9 anyway and few minutes after 10 I went for a jog-walk in the park. It was pale sunny with some very light snow, so around 0 C.

    Being Sunday morning the park was very crowded of runners and it was simply beautiful. It’s much easier exercise in such stimulating environment.

    The other good thing was I never felt cold a second, my body is fully adapted to the new climate. I run 12 minutes, then again 5′, the rest of the time I walked.

    I tracked my effort with an i-pod app called pedometro, which reported at the end: 6029 steps, 4,3km, 218 calories burned in 46,15min

    Then I weighted on my WII and today my WII age was 24 and my BMI was 22,85, that mean 0,9kg less than yesterday. While I know I should take all this datas with a grain of salt, because this apps-wii are not very precise and body weight can fluctuate around 1kg during the day, BMI without fat mass % doesn’t say a lot , etc. this was unexpected, because I have ingested really lots of fat calories in the last days.

    So I did again today at lunch, with lasagna and tiramisù. Afternoon was quiet, now I have just finished 35′of a good yoga routine. My body was a bit sore because it was at least 3 weeks I wasn’t going for a run, but overall strong. Headstand felt more stable than usual.

    I’m almost back to the routine and physical shape I lost in the last 3 weeks travelling a lot and then getting sick and readjust to the cold winter climate. Next week I just want to keep on track and find time for medidation too

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  5. Rosa says:

    Finally got to do some walking (10 minutes), Chi Gong, and Tai Chi (20 minutes). No situps, crunches, or pushups today because my body is pretty sore :(

    I’m gonna try to alternate between Chi Gong/Tai Chi on one day, and more ‘active’ stuff the other.
    Chi Gong is pretty hard, and I hope to improve as much as I can during 21DFC :)

    See you on Day 4! :clap:

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  6. Moira says:

    What physical activity did you do (if any), and for how long?

    I went to the 3pm class for 90 minutes of Bikram yoga again today. The instructor today is one of the most energetic and fun women that I’ve ever had the fortune to meet.

    Any reflections for today?

    I unfortunately had to eat right before class because the timing was off when I got off of work to get a meal in me and digested before class. Typically I like to give myself 2-3 hours to properly digest food before I go to class and I cannot have too many raw vegetables within about 5 hours of class! If I go first thing in the morning, I don’t eat at all unless it’s a smoothie. But today I had a chicken sandwich within the half hour before class. Usually I drink at least a liter of water between an hour and a half and an hour before class and then abstain from everything that last half hour so I don’t have to try to be bendy with anything in my stomach. However, I have found that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I struggled a little more than I should have during some of the balancing series but in general I kicked the class’ butt! I am thinking it may be okay, depending on what I eat, to do so about an hour before class.

    What physical activity do you plan to do tomorrow?

    The 30 day Bikram yoga challenge continues with tomorrow as my 6th day in a row. I am debating trying to make it to the 4:30 class which does not give me much downtime between work and getting home and taking off, or possibly the 6:30pm class which is the last class of the day. We shall see how I feel about it tomorrow.

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  7. VickiB says:

    Day 3: Stairs and stretches but no walking today. Being on my feet for sustained periods was difficult; the stairs didn’t feel that great either. But tomorrow I hope will be better.

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  8. Taban says:

    So today I woke up at around 9:45 am. I honestly didn’t do anything different again lol. I just love the exhilaration I get from dancing, so instead of just playing music and doing freestyle, I went to the family room, turned on Xbox kinect, and put in the Just Dance 3 game. Some of the songs are extremely fast. I first danced to Jamaican dance Mashup, then a mashup of “Promiscuous” and then “Party Rock Anthem”. I didn’t stop there though haha, I even danced to this Latina song called “Boom” ’cause it gets me tired, and I always used to get 4 stars on it… and this time I challenged myself to earn 5. I mostly got 4 stars on the other songs! After dancing to all of those songs, I had to take a few breaks because I was breathing hard. It really gets you feeling sweaty and tired.

    But I just took some water and felt better after a while. By the way, after playing Just Dance 3, I did some stretches that some of the choreographers filmed into the Michael Jackson kinect game. It felt really good!

    Total the time together and I probably did all of this in like 35 minutes. Not bad compared to yesterday.
    I’ve noticed how dancing for 30 min to an hour makes me eat less than I usually do. Whenever I wasn’t doing any activity, I would instead go to the kitchen and grab a bite of dessert or cream cheese with bread.

    As the new week begins, the real challenge is to continue staying active. I have 3 classes from 9 am to 9pm in the evening. I do have a 3 hour break between one of them, but I’m probably going to study during then. So probably after I get home tomorrow, I’ll push myself to do some yoga. I have a free yoga cd I got in the mail and haven’t bothered to even try it.

    So onto the next week! Can’t wait to share more! And I’m loving all your comments, I’m getting good ideas that I can integrate into my DFC calendar! ;)

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  9. Kate Britt says:

    I guess I’m always going to be among the last to post. Celes is a day ahead of me I think, and all around the globe we go until we get to the west coast of n.america, and here I am. If Celes is the early bird, I guess I’m the latey bird. :angel:

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    • Andi says:

      “Better late than never”! So long as you’re with us, you’re never behind, Kate! A positive spin on this is that you will always see our progress before you’ve even started, so that can motivate you to keep going. :)

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      • Kate Britt says:

        Actually, you’re absolutely right on with that observation. I check out the day’s article from Celes, read a bunch of reports, then how can I possibly slack off?! It’s quite inspirational and motivating, indeed. Running at the back of the pack is good because I can just fall in with everybody else’s pace-setting.

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        • Celes says:

          Hey Kate, what you said. :D Also, it doesn’t matter what my time zone is too – even if I live in the west coast, I’ll still be posting the progress reports in line with the earliest time zone of the participants, so that everyone gets a fair chance and experiences the challenge in line with their calendar (which was the case during the challenges from July to December last year, when I was traveling in Europe and US). For the participants in later time zones, my recommendation is to simply read the post/post their replies when it’s said date on their calendar, and not worry about anything else.

          Actually with 21DFC, you can still join in the latest post, even if the day has not arrived at your side of the world yet. Share your intended plans/activities for that day, and then when the day arrives, you can update accordingly on how you’re doing / how it’s unfolding. I think this is even better than giving a 1 final update at the end of the day. :D

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  10. Kate Britt says:

    We have a Central Park in Vancouver. It’s a 10-minute walk from where I live. I used to walk over there & around the park all the time, but I haven’t for about a year because (blush) it felt too far to bother. Oh what a lazy butt!

    So today my activity was to walk to Central Park and then walk through it and around one of the two lakes. My goal is to be doing a 2-lake walk most days this summer (from home, then all the way through the park around both lakes), so today I began working up to that. It felt really great and my legs & hip got a good workout. I find walking very meditative; got lots of thinking thought out. :p

    Bonus event! At the lake there was a class of people learning fly fishing! Photos: http://imgur.com/a/5f9qt Well I’ve always wanted to learn how! So I asked where they’re getting the lessons from, came home and googled the course list, and this week I’m going to sign up! Also I’ll take another of their classes to learn how to tie fly-fishing flies! Can’t wait! :D

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  11. Bilal Kamoon says:

    Sorry for being late, the site crashed when I was just about to post my update. So here it is now:

    Today, I went with my parents to visit my grandparents who lives in the village. And guess who lives there too? My soccer-freaks cousins! :mrgreen: A bunch of them! Enough to make two full soccer teams (if we let the girls, and the kids play).

    So after we got there, I got greeted by my cousin with a soccer ball in his hands. It has a become a tradition that we play soccer when we visit my grandparents’ village :p

    While we were playing though, we got called by our parents saying that we’re going for a picnic in a nearby place. So we packed food (and two soccer balls), and got into the car.

    After 20 minutes we arrived into THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE I HAVE EVER SEEN!! It was a beautiful landscape, with no end in sight, except for the ice-covered mountains. And what made it more beautiful is that it’s a 360 degrees landscape, I mean wherever you turn there’s nothing but land and the far horizon. The only thing that interfered with the view is the long electricity towers all over the place (but even those are beautiful from a certain angle)

    Luckily, I had my phone camera with me so I took some photos to share them with you (quality has been a bit downgraded for sharing):

    Arriving at the place and unpacking the food: http://imgur.com/KThHv

    Landscape photos: http://imgur.com/0mEAK http://imgur.com/W0Vis http://imgur.com/Zr9Vs

    Ice-covered mountains: http://imgur.com/1Vj5N

    Electricity towers: http://imgur.com/SQazG http://imgur.com/pCApY

    Some of my young cousins playing with the ball: http://imgur.com/byXyV

    Group Photo! (I’m the one with the hat): http://imgur.com/cIpJW

    Today was a very exciting day and I haven’t had so much physical activity since months! :D

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    • Celes says:

      Aw, the group photo is so cute, Bilal! Thanks for sharing the pictures with us. :D And that looks like an amazing spot for having a picnic! Where is it?

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    • Bette says:

      Especially like the one with the snow-covered mountains in the distance.
      Don’t you just love it when you get the benefit of a beautiful landscape along with the benefit of being active and getting more fit! Thanks for sharing this, Bilal.

      For now, just imagine the blue ocean, the moon rising over the small mountain, and the sun setting, as I was getting in the privilege of a workout(swimming) in such an landscape. (Just haven’t learned to post photos yet)

      May the beauty of nature continue to grace the times when you are active, as well as other times too!

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  12. Mike says:

    What physical activity did you do (if any), and for how long?
    My brother and I did intervals of 1 minute run/1 minute walk. My brother was sore from the workout the day before, so he walked for some of the ones that we were supposed to run, but I’m just glad he’s out and doing something. I did the intervals hard-core for 20 minutes and then we walked back to the apartment and stretched.
    Any reflections for today?
    I was really nice doing a hard workout. I felt like puking after the last rep of the workout, which means I pushed myself hard. It feels great to be actually exercising again.
    What physical activity do you plan to do tomorrow?
    I plan to try and do something with body weight; ie. pushups, pullups, squats, lunges, maybe some ab stuff.

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  13. Kristen says:

    Sunday was good. I woke up at 10:30am (only so late because I had difficulty sleeping and didn’t get to sleep until 4:30am) and immediately I went downstairs to go swimming. I spent about an hour in the pool. After that, I went on my dad’s exercise bike and decided that I really like it. I didn’t feel tired after it said I’d gone 5km. It felt really good. I think I got in an hour and a half of exercise total.

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  14. Komal says:

    On Sunday, I had helped my mother in household works…some cleaning. In evening I did Surya namaskar for 20 minutes and few other exercises.

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  15. Andi says:

    Spend the entire day out — first celebrating my Daddy’s birthday & spending time with my parents & my sister & her family, which was lovely — then watched the Super Bowl at my fabulous in-laws’, which was a lot of fun. Great day all together.

    By the time we got home for the night I was terribly tired but knew I needed to fit in a quick workout. My running shoes are in the dryer, so a jog on the treadmill was out (Celes, how on EARTH do you jog barefooted??? *ouch*).

    Instead I did some stretches, which felt very nice on my achy muscles. Am thinking that perhaps Sunday should be a yoga / stretching / ease on my muscles day… but am not tying myself down to this as a stone-cold plan, since next weekend may bode entirely differently.

    One thing I would like to do is gain back my flexibility, so I am aiming for being able to do the splits with as much ease as I was able in my younger days. I would also love to be able to painlessly perform a back-bend, so walked myself down a wall as far as I could go. Today was less about aerobic exercise as it was about feeling out my body’s limitations and sizing up my potential for grace. Toward this end, I fully appreciated the change of title from “Exercise” to “Fitness”, because I feel today fell more appropriately into the second category.

    Regardless, I’m happy I was able to put in 20 minutes of activity I wouldn’t normally perform.

    Tomorrow is back to the treadmill, hopefully with a tad bit of jogging, but at the very least I will do more walking since I know at my age and size I do need to get my heart rate up to par. Am looking for growth in stamina if nothing else.

    This challenge is so, so, so good for me — I love that I want to be able to check in with a positive message. The idea of “productivity” over “perfection” strikes me just right. I don’t have to get it right on the mark. Just shooting the arrow is good enough, and hitting the target may come with time, but that’s not the goal right now. My perfectionist tendencies have always managed to hold me back; it’s nice to toss that out the window like yesterday’s left-over fish dinner.

    An additional unexpected positive: My husband hopped on the treadmill today & put in a nice 15 minute jog, for no reason other than that we were standing next to it talking about my workouts. So I am being a positive influence & encouraging him into being more healthy as well. Thank you, Celes. You are now officially my hero! :)

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