I Did Lauren Gleisberg's ConfidenceKini Challenge and This Is What Happened

At the end of April, I decided to participate in a 5 week fitness challenge created by fitness enthusiast Lauren Gleisberg. This challenge was to prep you for Summer and was titled the ConfidenceKini challenge. This is what happened during those 5 weeks.

First off, let me start by saying I have "dabbled" in health and fitness for years now, (by dabbled I mean I would work out a little, eat healthy a VERY little, do it because I wanted to look different not because I wanted to be healthy), but didn't really buckle down until last Spring. I have been a Tone It Up member (if you don't know who/what that is, PLEASE do yourself a favor and go check them out, I HIGHLY recommend them) for years now, but last Spring I decided to participate in their bikini challenge and ended up losing 22 pounds. It was awesome. Unfortunately, I couldn't manage to convert this success into a lifestyle, because the nutrition side of the program just didn't make me happy enough to sustain. Could I do it for 8 weeks, which is the length of the bikini series, and lose weight? Yes. Could I do it for the rest of my life? No. That is the difference in a diet and a lifestyle. A diet I do not recommend. Sure, you lose weight, but if you don't keep it up (turn it into your lifestyle) the weight just comes back. Until you diet again. And it's this never-ending yoyo of weight loss and gain, self esteem loss and gain, until you end up so frustrated you quit entirely, or do it for the rest of your life to no avail. 

So, inevitably, after the 8 week challenge, I went RIGHT back to eating how I wanted. I did however, keep up with the working out, because what I found through Tone It Up is that I absolutely loved working out! Who knew? Due to this, I only put 8 pounds of the weight I'd lost back on throughout the course of a year, which leads me to my before picture, taken April 28th of this year, one week into my ConfidenceKini challenge-skinny fat. 130 pounds in the picture, not toned, and absolutely depressed about it. Picture on the upper left. (Which is obvious, I hope).

So how did I get to Lauren's program? Well I fully intended on doing Tone It Up's bikini challenge again, knowing that it worked for me last time, and this time telling myself I would just have to bite the bullet and eat whatever until I could make myself enjoy it. Unfortunately, the bikini series was starting late this year. It wasn't starting until mid-May. In my opinion, Summer was way too close for comfort by then, and I wanted to feel good enough to go out in a bikini the first warm weekend we got. This led me to searching, and googling, and instagramming, until I stumbled across LG. I saw she had a challenge coming in a week, I saw that it utilized weights (yikes) and I saw an opportunity. So I bought her membership program, bought her recipes and workout plan, and jumped right in. 
This is what happened. Actually, let me start by saying what didn't happen. I didn't lose any weight. Not a single pound. That's right, in the picture at the top I weigh the same amount. Actually, I think in my after picture I'm 130.4, so .4 pounds heavier. This. Scared. Me. To. Death.

When I started Tone It up last year, I was losing 1.5 to 2 pounds a WEEK. After TWO weeks into this program, I had lost ZERO and was FREAKING. OUT. I got on LG's instagram (@laurengleisberg) commented on a photo in hysterics, asking why in the world it wasn't working. What was I doing wrong?! She commented back and said, STAY OFF THE SCALE. Just like that. She also said she doesn't focus on weight loss, she focuses on fat loss, which was a totally separate thing. She then reiterated to STAY OFF THE SCALE. As a result, I googled weight loss versus fat loss. I was clueless. I read up on it, discovering that fat loss is what I was desiring this whole time, not even knowing it. So I decided to trust the process, and keep on keepin' on. 

A lot happened in that five weeks. I felt discouraged. I would look at my body, see no change, feel helpless, and then keep going. I would have more than I should have for "treat" meals, feel angry, and then keep going. I would get on the scale (yeah, I don't listen real well) see it staying the same, be upset, and KEEP GOING. 

More than anything through this five week challenge, what I discovered about myself was that as long as I trust the process, am open and willing, who I am as a person will always keep going. 
I discovered that I'm strong. Really strong, actually. I started incorporating heavier and heavier weights into my workouts, sprinting 7 minute HIIT cycles (and LOVING it) <---they're my fav thing now- and holding planks for longer and l o n g e r.

My boyfriend told me he didn't think 5 weeks was enough time to see a lot of change. pfft. But I didn't see it either. It was so gradual. And I was studying my body every day almost. Looking for any sign of an ab, a muscle, a hope. I didn't see it. But I could FEEL it.

I started noticing first that in the evenings when I got home from work, my cognitive ability was WAYY better. I could focus. I could have conversations. I had ENERGY. I could do ANOTHER WORKOUT. This was new. I have always, always, always came home from work and crashed. Mentally and physically. 

Then I started noticing the way my body felt throughout the day. Strong. Energetic. I couldn't sit still while teaching in my groups, I couldn't wait to get home and workout, I felt like I was ready for a race at any given moment.
The emotional change was the best. I felt so positive. I started becoming unbothered by things. Like a weight had been lifted. If there was a rough day I felt okay, knowing I could go burn it out in the weight room or on the track, or on the mat. And I would. 

The food is the best thing LG's program did for me. It was healthy, but it was normal food made healthy. It wasn't fancy, it didn't look real pretty, it wasn't difficult to make. But it was delicious. It was meals I looked forward to eating. It's been sustainable. 

Over the course of 5 weeks, I lost zero pounds. But my mind changed. It went from being HARD for me to stick to my meal plan, to HABIT for me to turn down ice cream. My mood changed. It went from dreading the morning, the day, the night, to determined every morning, day, and night. And my body changed. I didn't take measurements beforehand (Lord, I wish I would've), and I didn't see it on the scale, but man am I glad for those progress photos. My body toned up. And it will keep on toning because I finally found something I can stick with. 

I know this all sounds like I was paid to say it. I wasn't. I'm not dishonest by nature, I wouldn't just bullshit for a good post, those are my REAL results, and those are REAL changes I found in five weeks. My after pictures were taken this past weekend (May 28, 2018). What I have to say about the past five weeks is this: Lauren's program changed my life. I changed my life. She has a summer challenge coming up soon... are you in? I sure as hell am. 

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