6 Weeks Into the Ultimate Challenge!

***It is now halfway through week 11. I didn’t finish this and just got busy, but here is how I was feeling halfway through the challenge.

Here I am, 6 weeks into the Oxygen Magazine Ultimate 90 Day Challenge, and a mere 6 weeks to go. I really thought I would post more blogs (typical of me to think I can do all of it, all of the time). Difference is, I haven’t gotten down on myself like I would have in the past. I am sharing a lot of pictures on Instagram (@amyrxbaker) of my progress, of recipes, of food prep…. so many of food prep.

A reminder of why I started this challenge: to get strong again, so that I could pursue other interests without instantly injuring myself; and to get disciplined and find a way to get fitness and good eating into my life so that I could better tackle the other big ticket items I have pending in my life.

So, let me see if I can recap some of what has happened to me in the past six weeks:

  1. I have rediscovered my love of cooking and trying new foods. So, when I started this challenge, I heard the quote “abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym”. I had poo-poo’d how I used to eat when I was working out every day and looking AMAZING 13 years ago. I had something going, though, if it weren’t for the underlying eating disorder. Now, I am realizing how easy clean eating is, one recipe at a time. I am finding new food items not even suggested by the coaches. Protein anyone? I will probably post separately on some of my nutrition finds, which are super exciting to me. Seriously, I could go on for pages about the things I am learning and trying.
  2. I spend what feels like half of my day in the kitchen. Holy cow! Am I glad I have TONS of small tupperware containers. Food prep is king in this world of bodybuilders and bikini models. Be prepared or go home, basically. With 3 meals a day, plus 2-3 planned snacks, you need to be armed with good food at all times. Most of my time spent on this challenge has been trying new recipes, food prep, dish washing….every day….so.many.dishes.
  3. I am inspired again to learn all about the foods and supplements I put into my body. I have always been interested in Sports Medicine, metabolism, supplementation, and now I have created yet another chance in my life to experiment on myself. One thing I want to know is WHY I didn’t know about supplementing with glutamine when I was doing 5-hour long rides every week. I need to talk to my ex-coach about that one. Try it. It’s good for a lot more than building muscle mass.
  4. I am unashamed of my body and am posting before and weekly pictures on Instagram and Facebook. Yep, my butt is officially out there for the world to see! (Covered, of course) I am not doing it for the compliments or attention, although compliments are always welcomed. I am not doing it for any other reason than I am sharing what is important and exciting to me. Yes, my weekly progress pictures are exciting and they are teaching me patience. When I think I haven’t made progress and I want to get down on myself, I look closely and can see changes from Day 1 to Day 41. I also remind myself that changes come gradually, with consistent hard work.
  5. I am focused on my growth and making no excuses to anyone. I am not drinking, although I may have a beer or glass of wine once a week. I am not staying out late, because I need my sleep so I can get up at 4:30am to be in the gym at 5am. I love what I am doing, and I feel no need to justify any of what I do, which is a shift for me. I used to feel guilty and selfish for taking care of myself. Now, it is self love that fuels me. The intent is soooo different than it was before. This time, I am doing it for ME, not so I can have the perfect ass to impress others. I am doing it because I can, and because it lights me up.
  6. I am trusting the process despite not becoming cover model material in just 6 short weeks. Patience is not my strongest virtue, but thankfully I spent many years, day in and day out, in the dance room studying ballet. I know it takes consistency and hard work, and I am rediscovering that fortitude I thought I had lost.
  7. I spend way too much time on Instagram and Facebook, and that’s OK. I find myself trolling Instagram, admiring all the IFBB pros and their amazing physiques.¬† I especially love to see their “before” shots. It shows me how far I can go, too. It’s fuel for the fire. On Facebook, there is a group for each of the coaches, and since I paid to have both coaches, I get access to 2 private groups where women share their struggles, triumphs, questions, and pictures. I can’t say how amazing it is to be a part of a group of women that post pictures of themselves in their underwear, showing off their new muscles, their perkier rears, and their overall pride in what they are doing for themselves. SELF LOVE. There is no shame in loving your body. Don’t tell me you have never looked at yourself and thought, “Dang, that looks good” and then went and took a selfie. Imagine sharing that to everyone on Facebook.
  8. I am finding a stability in myself that I haven’t felt in a long time.
    I like being alone. I love doing MY thing, and focusing on bettering myself. I love setting my own schedule, being clear about my priorities and not making any excuses for what I am doing. I love treating myself right, and I love my own company.