[by Marcie Beshears]
Have you ever wondered what you could accomplish in 7 weeks?! Well, I now know, in these past 7 weeks I have had an opportunity to experience personal growth, the start of mommy friendships and overall a sense of setting goals and accomplishing them. As this is my final blog for this challenge, I wanted to share with you my progress so far. I set a few goals for myself in this Fresh Start Challenge and here is a recap of how it has gone.

During this program, we received a daily email from Aric Reidemann, who is the Kroc Center’s Sports and Fitness Supervisor. I included a few of the tips in each of my goals. Personally, I found the daily emails helped me feel more connected to the challenge.

Goal 1: Walk/Jog a 5K every 2 months.

  • A quote Aric shared with us in a Monday Morning Motivation email was “You don’t find motivation, you create it!”. So, with this in mind, I completed my first 5k at the Seroogy’s Valentines 5k on Saturday February 10th. I was lucky enough to have a co-worker walk it with me and we had a lot of fun. It was so cold, but honestly, we barely noticed. The walk felt very refreshing and how can you beat getting Seroogy’s hot chocolate afterward!? I also plan to do an Extreme Dirty 30 run in April, which is an 8 mile race through the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin with one of my best friends.

Goal 2: Eat 3 healthy meals, 5 days a week.

  • I’ve found food prepping has become my new normal. Each weekend and occasionally on the weeknights, I find a few recipes to food prep and make my lunches and snacks for work. I also plan what to eat for dinner each night. On the weekends I lean more on my protein meal replacement shakes to make sure I’m staying on track.
  • A healthy cooking tip shared during the challenge was this ‘Fit Tip’: When trying to spice up your chicken or lean meat, use seasonings on your food instead of sauces. The calories you save can translate into fat loss.

Goal 3: Going to the gym 3-4 days a week.

  • Almost got this one down!! Some weeks I make it 5 times, others I barely get there one time a week. I find this one the hardest to accomplish, mostly due to my work schedule and kids! The Kroc Center has given us a few ‘tools’ that will help us continue to exercise, whether in the gym or at home. If the free childcare while working out isn’t enough, here is a workout Aric shared with us that can be done anywhere! I found this helpful for when I was traveling for work in February and I plan to use it on my travels in March as well.

Run: 3 minutes 
Squat Jumps: 25 
Run: 3 minutes 
Push-ups: 15 
Run: 3 minutes 
Sit-ups: 25 
Run: 3 minutes 
Jumping Jacks: 50 
Run: 3 minutes 
Walk: 5 minutes (cool-down) 

Ok, I’ve been waiting to share this with you–I’d like to share my results so far on my personal weight loss and inches down! I’ve even included a before and during (not after because I’m not done yet!) photo, which was taken today as well. I’m excited about my results and I am very excited to keep on going even when the Fresh Start Challenge ends. Drum Roll…as of today, I’ve lost 21 pounds and 21.25 inches since January 9th!!

As this challenge comes to an end, I’d like to thank Lindy Bethke with Let’s Go Mommy and Aric Reidemann & the Kroc Center, for the amazing opportunity to find myself again and providing me the chance to get a ‘fresh start’. I’d like to thank my fellow mommies–Carrie Nowak and Stephanie Ziegler for their support, laughter and for helping me get my confidence back. It’s been invigorating and I’m a lot happier every day because I’m making healthier choices and feeling great about it!!