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Sometimes the trainer needs a trainer.

I can get complacent just like anyone else. I get busy with the day to day of running a business. I put a lot of time and effort into prepping workouts for client so sometimes I am a little uninspired when it’s time to work on my own program. I still workout on schedule, that commitment never wanes, but sometimes I stay with the same routine WAAAY longer than I should. Sometimes I pick and choose the exercises based on my own likes, not on what I really need to work on. (Notice there haven’t been any burpees on Instagram for a while,) Sometimes the coach needs a little coaching too.

Sometimes it’s good to let go of control.

I am naturally a take-charge person. It helps make me good at what I do. It also makes it hard for me to take instruction from others. If you’ll recall my Dailyburn Inferno experience, I like to think I know better when it comes to someone else’s workout. My adjustments led to a pretty humbling first week Inferno score. I can sometimes be a slave to my own rituals. When habits get in the way of progress, it’s time to rethink those habits.

Sometimes a woman just wants to feel strong and beautiful.

#38 on my 100 Dream List is to be in the Future of Fitness section of Oxygen Magazine. I’ve wanted to submit my entry for a long time, it just never seemed like the right time. I would look at women my same age or of similar height and weight and think, I look nothing like that! At 40, I’m ready to stop comparing and ready to say Why not me?

These are the reasons why I decided to sign up for the Ultimate Oxygen Challenge. Sponsored by Oxygen Magazine, this 90-day program is described as follows:

The Ultimate Oxygen Challenge is a 90-day training and nutrition program led by the best of the best: BSN athlete and champion IFBB Bikini pro Amanda Latona, and two-time IFBB Figure Olympia champion and Division I track star Erin Stern. These women share a collective 20-plus years of experience in training, nutrition and competition, and are ready to share their extensive knowledge exclusively with you!

You can pick one or both programs, #TeamAmanda or #TeamErin. Unable to relinquish control long enough to commit to one or the other, I have signed up to receive both programs. My inclination is to follow Amanda’s program since she is known as The Booty Queen of Fitness. After receiving the meal plan I am convinced she’s the one for me. While I’ve followed other workout programs before, I’ve never followed someone else’s meal plan. I do have to make some adjustment as a vegetarian but I am stepping out of my comfort zone and sticking to as much of the plan as my dietary guidelines will allow. To be fair, at the bottom of the plan it does say this is a “guideline”.

Those who complete the program and submit an “After” photo will be considered for the grand prize – to be an Oxygen Cover Model. My heart won’t be broken if I don’t make one of the 20 finalist spots but I think I have just as much chance as anyone else. I know my chances are slim but again I thought, Why not me?

Here is what I am hoping to accomplish:

Get comfortable with letting someone else take the lead (with only minimal questioning).

Have an “After” shot that I can be proud of and submit to Future of Fitness, regardless of whether I make the group of 20 finalists.

Learn how a program like this works (because who knows when I might want to offer my own online program).

I’ve submitted my “Before” photos, being much less self-conscious about it than I thought I would be. I’ve been following the meal plan without too much grief. (Although I do miss my pumpkin pie oatmeal). This is the first full week following the workouts.


Here is what I have learned so far:

I am not the only one with control issues.

I had to turn of notifications from the Team Amanda FB group because of the number of posts with about what I can’t eat, what I can’t do and how do I modify this because I don’t like it. The idea of a community is nice, but the chatter is too overwhelming for my inbox. I just check the group  once a day now.

I’m not the expert here.

I am purposefully lying low in the FB group. I just want to be “one of the girls” and learn like everyone else. I may chime in from time to time about my experience but not as a personal trainer.

I still have mixed feelings about Challenges.

I saw a lot of donuts, pizza and cupcakes being consumed on Instagram in the name of “one last meal” before the program began. I don’t think that way, although my motto may be  90/10 instead of the usual 80/20 during the challenge. I am training for a specific goal, which can require a different level of dedication. Yet I will still live life, including going on a vacation during the challenge. I’m approaching the challenge with a mindset of “what can I learn for the next phase of my life, not just for the next 90 days”.

I get why women have a hard time with meal plans.

I’ve had to swap a few meals due to time (a snack works better between client sessions while dinner is easier during my afternoon break for example). The recipes only make one serving so you either have to make two meals or have an understanding family who plays along. The meal plan says I can be flexible, so I am substituting a couple of dinners for recipes I normally make that follow a similar macro breakdown but make leftovers for Brian. Those are Friday and Saturday nights, the two nights of the week he and I actually get to eat together.

I suspect there will be a lot more that I learn as the weeks go on. I’ll be sure to give you an update midway through. I’m sure there will be plenty of tidbits on Twitter and Instagram so be sure to follow me – @ThriveFit – and the hash tag #OxyChallenge to see how everyone is doing. You never know what you might learn. You might find something to add to (or check off!) your 100 Dreams List too!

Want to learn how it went? Check out my results here!




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