My Healthy Life – Happy Life Challenge


After hitting a hard low after a harsh week (see my previous post), I have decided to embark on a challenge. For the next four weeks, I am going to push myself to 1) do a 30-minute workout four times a week and 2) meet my daily calorie goal averaged over the next month.

I have shied away from these healthy living challenges in the past because failure is a definite and definable potential outcome. You either hit your targets or you don’t. But right now, I need concrete goals to focus on. I feel like it’s the only way I can get myself back on track.

For some of you, doing a short workout four times a week and eating 1,800 calories every day probably seems pretty easy. In fact, I’m sure some of you are able to exercise far more and eat far less than that. But I already struggle to exercise twice a week. I struggle to eat right every day.

Given how my recovery has looked so far, I’m not expecting weight loss or my body to change. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I don’t think I can lose weight or drop a dress size, no matter what I do. I just want to prove to myself that I can achieve something that I set out to do.

Part of me is already thinking that I won’t last a week. That same part of me is thinking that I should give up before I start. But I’m curious to see what will happen. Will being healthy ultimately make me happy? Will this alter my eating habits for good? Will this finally get me to enjoy exercise?

I begin my healthy life – happy life challenge with a beloved quote: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

As always, I will be completely (and brutally) honest in my posts to come. I hope I won’t be writing negative post after negative post for the next four weeks. I hope something positive comes of this. But that’s what all of this comes down to, isn’t it? This is an exercise in hope.


13 thoughts on “My Healthy Life – Happy Life Challenge

  1. Go Kristen! That’s awesome.
    I really felt for you when I read about your bad week. I have been there, many a time. It’s so draining and dispiriting. But — and I remember you saying something similar to me — it’s all part of the process. It’s all a learning curve, and change is absolutely possible and achievable.
    I’m excited for you and I can’t wait to read about your journey. You can do it, you deserve it and you are worth the effort. Good luck!

  2. Always appreciate your realness Kristen! Ugh… I am so bad at exercising. I really hope to be consistent with that at some point! I just spent some time praying for you.

  3. Good luck to you! I am attempting to go this week (work week – 5 nights) with no binging. I am doubtful that this is even a possibility since I can’t remember the last night I haven’t binged…but, i’m going to give it my all regardless!

    • That’s an awesome challenge! I’ve tried that before as well and my tips for starting out are:
      1) Allow yourself to overeat if that means preventing an all-out binge (be mindful of the distinction).
      2) If you do overeat, don’t fall back into all-or-nothing thinking (exp: “I’ve already had a second/third helping, so I might as well finish the whole thing”) because that will lead to binging. You will keep eating after you finish the whole thing! Try picturing a giant STOP sign in your head and yell out “STOP!” Throw out the rest if you need to (it’s sad, I know).
      3) Most importantly, be kind to yourself. If you slip up, that’s okay! If you keep fighting, you are not failing. If you make it, celebrate it!

      • Those are all really great things to remember and I really appreciate you sharing those with me. I think they will be really helpful for me these 5 days. I am hopeful that once I do 5 days, I can try for another 5 days, and build from there. I’ve done the ‘I’ll go 30 days without binging’ thing and I know that is unrealistic, especially from going from a place of binging every night. So if I make smaller, more attainable goals, my hope is that I will be able to meet those.

      • That’s exactly the right attitude to have! There’s no way I would have attempted a 30-day challenge even a month ago. August officially marks my 7th month into recovery (omg, I’m entering over half a year!) and as you can see, things still aren’t perfect but I finally feel like I have the confidence to give this a go.

        If it’s helpful, the way I set my recovery goals was to start by binging only 5 days a week (I was binging everyday), then 4 days a week, 3 days a week, etc. until I only binged once a week or once every two weeks. I found it too difficult right off the bat to stay binge-free on consecutive days, so setting a goal like binging only 2 days a week means you’ll still have 5 days binge-free, but you don’t feel the pressure to maintain it every day for 5 days straight. So if you slip up on say Wednesday and again on Friday, you won’t feel like it’s the end of the world because you can still reach your goal by pushing yourself on the weekend.

      • I was actually thinking about that too…Maybe (for now) I will aim for reducing my binging to every other day, instead of every day. And go from there. If I can do better than that GREAT, but if not, that’s okay too. I think you’re right. Setting smaller, incremental goals will be the best for me. Otherwise I can see myself feeling defeated, which will have the opposite effect.

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