challenge yourself

Thinking Out Loud: Challenge Yourself

Remember the other day when we talked about saying yes? Sometimes it’s easier said than done. Saying yes is easy when it’s “Wanna meet at Portillos after work?” or “Wanna stay in, curl up on the couch and watch a Chopped marathon?” But what about things that push you out of your comfort zone?

It sucks. Saying “yes” when you’re happier opting out can be uncomfortable, awkward, and downright risky. But what kind of life lesson would it be if we just said yes to the things that were easy?

So today I’m thinking about the things I’ve done lately that have pushed past my comfort zone.


Group workout + Networking event

On Tuesday night I attended a group workout and networking event held on the west side of the city. Now, usually anything west of the highway means I won’t go. I’m a bit of a hobbit in this way — I have my “zone,” and I won’t venture out by myself. Not only was it a hike via public transportation, but it was a workout followed by a networking event (drinks/appetizers/cool new health products). Networking is not my strong suit. Contrary to what it might seem like on this blog, I don’t like talking about myself, and sometimes I psych myself out when meeting new people and get nervous. But it was a wonderful opportunity to support a lululemon ambassador from Shred415 and I knew the store was looking to have presence there, so I said yes.

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I basically faked it til I made it but it was awesome! The workout was held in a giant warehouse/studio space and even though it was only 20-30 minutes it was great. As you know I love group fitness in any form and this was like group fitness on steroids! We did a Shred415-inspired workout so you can imagine it was sweaty as all get out.

I said yes, got my sweat on, networked a bit after the workout, and, what do you know, I came out alive! I even got to meet some of the higher-up ladies for lululemon so that in and of itself made this challenge worth it.

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#diningin challenge

In terms of food, I thrive on “going with the flow” of my cravings. As I’ve shared before with my own health journey, years back I struggled with strict rules and consequences if I didn’t follow those eating rules. Nowadays I think I’ve completely thrown myself at the other end of the spectrum, almost as if to prove to myself just how “healthy” I am. And while I’m not saying I should go back to serious food structure, there’s something to be said about self-control, listening to your gut (literally and figuratively), and making food choices based on things other than “oooo that looks good! I’ll take it!” So I decided to challenge myself this week and see if I have the mental game to spend money on food only in the grocery store, and nothing outside those walls.

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I hit every food group, made pulled BBQ chicken in the crockpot as a good protein base to use throughout the week, and made sure to include some sweet/saltiness. Let’s be realistic: this isn’t Whole30 this is “don’t run to the 7/11 at 10pm for a bag of tortilla chips.” And you know what? It hasn’t been tough at all. Now, granted, when Friday rolls around and I can’t spend any money on food or drinks I’m going to have to come up with some pretty creative ways to get my drink on at the bars, but that’s neither here nor there. For now, this is a success story.

So far so good:

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Overnight Oats: 1/2 cup oats, 1 cup almond milk, chia seeds, millet, cinnamon, stevia, slivered almonds, and a scoop of pb

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Grilled cheese: havarti cheese, tomato, and (of course) another slice of bread on top

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“Homemade” trail mix for quick energy bursts in the afternoon (plus unpictured almonds)

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Pulled chicken sandwich, roasted crispy sweet potatoes, roasted cauliflower and broccoli

lulu photoshoot

I guess calling this a photoshoot is a stretch, but I took some photos for our store’s social media pages and it was one of the most uncomfortable things I’ve done in awhile. I am about as awkward as it gets when it comes to any kind of “candid posing”. So when my manager asked if I’d be willing to do showcase some of our new spring pieces, I almost said no, as I’ve said no in the past. But hey, I have to practice what I preach, right? So I said yes. And, once again, I survived (and had a lot of fun doing it).

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We even got a hilarious shot out of it. I was trying to do a stretching pose and ended up looking like George Washington crossing the Delaware (minus the sword, sadly). I knew the second I saw it I had to get the two side by side. My coworkers and I were in stitches.

unnamed (15)Moral of the story, saying “yes” isn’t always easy. And it might not always turn out great. But I like to think that the consequences of missing out on a fun opportunity outweigh actually saying yes and it not going well. I’d rather have the latter and know I at least gave it a try! Why be scared of taking chances?


  • How did you last challenge yourself?
  • Have you ever said yes when you didn’t want to? How did it turn out?
  • Best meal you cooked this week with ingredients from the grocery store….go!