Jen Mangum

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Monday, August 30, 2010

60 Day Fitness With An Altitude Get Fit Challenge


60 Day Fitness With An Altitude Get Fit Challenge

Beginning Monday Sept. 13th until Friday Nov. 19th I will be hosting a 60 Fitness challenge. Anybody can be apart of this. You don't have to live in Colorado. You can do this from the comfort of your own home or you may join me for my fitness classes or purchase beachbody programs from me to help you along the way!

The holiday season is not that far away!! As much as I love it, we all know that our time, energy, diet, exercise routine and a million other things tend to get pushed to the side during the holidays! That is why I thought NOW would be the best time to host a fitness challenge!

For 60 days all of us as a team will work together to eat right and exercise. I think team work and accountability are key in succeeding in ANYTHING! You will be amazed at how much harder you will work knowing that others are doing all of this right along with you. The knowing that you have to sign in everyday and let people know what workout you did and how well you are following your routine in taking care of yourself, will help you stay on track. Accountability is HUGE in helping you to follow through each day towards your goals! Plus doing this challenge before the holidays will help you develop healthy habits and come Thanksgiving and Christmas, maybe just maybe your good habits will take over and you won't let all the extra food get in your way of your results and goals!!

You will be able to do ANY kind of workouts that you want to do!! Be it walking everyday, running, going to the gym...whatever! Or you may purchase a Beachbody program through me that is designed for you! Beachbody programs have everything you need in one package to follow for 60 days, including nutrition and calendars. So if you need a program just let me know and we will get you started before the challenge begins. For those of you that live in the Gunnison area you may also join me at my weekly classes at the Rec Center! I will be teaching 5 days a week down there, so you will have plenty of chances to workout with me everyday! Things like TurboKick, TurboSwim, Weight Resistance training, Kickboxing...and much more! Plus I will have a separate accountabilty board down there that you can use to keep track of your workouts. If you can't make it to my classes or do not live in Gunnison we will use this page for accountability. More to come on this soon! Lets all work together for 60 days!!! It will be life changing!! Sign up NOW...

To register at the Rec Center go to
www.gunnisonrec.com

To order Beachbody products through me:
www.beachbodycoach.com/jenmangum

P.S. For those of you wanting to make this a college credit, I will also be teaching at Western State Tues and Thurs evenings through extended studies!
www.western.edu/extendedstudies

I'll have more info coming soon! Good stuff like weekly newsletters with recipes, health tips, diet tips, and much more! Sign up TODAY! Don't forget if you bring TWO friends to my classes you will get ONE FREE CLASS!!!

Please let me know if you have any questions or need anything! I can't wait to get in shape and workout with all of you!

Beachbody Coach Jen Mangum
beachbodyjen@yahoo.com
970-209-4053 or 970-641-2186
www.fitnesswithandaltitude.com
www.facebook.com/jenmangum

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Finding Happiness Isn't That Hard If You Know Where to Look!



Its been awhile since I've blogged. I don't really have any good excuse, except that I've been busy and have been pursuing many different things. That being said, I've missed blogging and sharing my little personal experiences with life. Plus it feels amazing when I have others ask me why I haven't blogged or that they've missed reading my blogs and that something I said helped them in some way or another. Makes me realize I need to focus on this more than I do. After all if something silly that I say helps someone or helps someone to feel better, than I need to keep doing that! After all every time I help someone else out, I feel that much better about myself, and it ends up helping me out. Its a win win situation all the way around. I guess for all of us, things just come up and keep us from doing some of the little things we like to or want to do. Although honestly I think its ourselves that keep us from doing those things. Its just easier to blame it on life then it is to blame it our ourselves. Sometimes I have to kick my own butt and slap myself in the face, when I know I let this or that slide and put it on the back burner, simply because I don't use my time wisely.

I've been doing a lot of reflecting over the last month about what I want and where I'm going. I've had so many blessings just fall into my lap as well as disappointments, here lately, its been kinda crazy. Funny how that works. I guess if we felt satisfied in every part of our life, we might just stop and do nothing and that wouldn't get us anywhere. I believe though, that finding happiness isn't all that hard, if you know where to look! I think sometimes if we focus on the dark, it makes its really tough to see the light. So this last month I've been working on that more and its been life altering. Not only do I feel happier with me, I feel happier with everyone around me. Judgement, jealousy, and all those terrible things are really the route of all evil. When you find true comfort with who you are and what you want out of life, is when the real happiness and success begins. If you are not grateful for who you are and what you have, you will miss out on all of it and wake up with a lot of regrets one day. You will wake up and realize that maybe you didn't have it so bad and should've spent a little more time being thankful for all of it.

Do I want more money? Do I want to lose more weight? Do I want to have nicer clothes? Do I want a bigger house? Do I want to change this and that about myself or others? You are damn right I do! LOL :) Its only natural to always want to fix, change, alter,...something. Its human nature. We always think we know what's best or how we think something should be. We also think that if all those things we want come true we will finally be completely happy! When in fact, we all need to find ways to be happy now, or it will be too late and true happiness will never happen. The only thing we can control is our attitude and outlook on every situation. Things are always gonna come along that we have no control over and there won't be anything we can do about it. But if we take each and every moment and we handle it in a more grateful, focused, loving, open, ....way, then it will not seem as bad! I'm learning more and more how the little things are really the great things! When I look around at what I have, its makes what I don't have seem so small. I wake everyday to a wonderful husband and two beautiful kids. That in itself is all I need! Yet I will always want more and I plan on having more and thats ok! But its the not having it now that isn't something that should be viewed as bad or negative. Change, growth and success take time! All the wants and needs we have take work, focus, failure, and a whole lot of heart to accomplish. If you aren't happy with yourself now, then you very well may never be. Its ok to want to change this or that, but true happiness comes from finding ways to be happy now and being grateful. Trust me the happier you feel inside NOW, the happier you will be later and more grateful you will be, when something else you want comes true. The work and learning is never done, not with ourselves or with our lives. Each step you take each day takes you towards or away from where you want to be or who you want to be.

Make a to-do list of your life and a grateful list. Write down what you want and who you want to be, along with what you already have and what you are already grateful for. Its so helpful to not only focus on where you want to go, but where you've already been and the good that has handed you. Don't go a day without a smile or sharing a smile with someone else. Don't go a day without telling someone you love them! Don't go a day without looking in the mirror and finding satisfaction with who you are now! Keep working hard and chasing your dreams, but don't let the chase take you away from all the good you have now, that you may not even realize you have! Deep breath in and out! Life is truly what we make it....

Beachbody Coach Jen
www.beachbodycoach.com/jenmangum
www.facebook.com/jenmangum
beachbodyjen@yahoo.com

Register now for Turbokick at Western State College Extended Studies...
www.western.edu/extendedstudies

And soon you will be able to register for a 60 Day Get Fit Challenge and all kinds of Fitness With An Altitude workouts at www.gunnisonrec.com

"Attitude determines ones altitude in life"

Monday, June 7, 2010

If you died tomorrow, what would people remember about you?



Do you ever go through a day, a week, or maybe even years... and wish you could have that time back to start all over again? Ever do something you regret, a mistake you made, didn't say something you should've said, spent precious time being lazy and complacent,...? Boy I know I have. I've spent my time doing each and every one of those things. I know that I'll do one or more of them again at some point too. I have so many moments in my life, I'd love to have back. I've let time slip by that I didn't use wisely and done things I'm not proud of. Don't get me wrong I've also lived right and done things right. I guess that's what makes us human? You live some, you learn some, you lose some, you win some...! But I've come to a place inside of myself where I want to live more and regret less! I want to come to the end of my life and know that I used up all my talents, my dreams, my desires, and that there truly isn't anything left to give or accomplish. I did it ALL!

So if you died tomorrow, what would people remember about you? What would you want them to remember? Have you accomplished a good portion of what you want to accomplish? I know I haven't. I have a long way to go before I'll feel that way. But the one thing I do know, is that I'm using my time more wisely, trying to be more giving, less judgemental, and more focused than ever! I'm a long way from where I want to be, but at least I'm doing all I can to find more direction in where I want to be going.

Do you have a gift inside of you, you are not letting the world see? Do you have a dream you have given up on? If so, maybe now is the time to change your focus and start working towards all the things you want. Life happens and things will always get in the way. We all can come up with a million excuses as to why we can't do this or that. Its just so much easier to say "I can't" than "I can or I should"! Those feelings you get way down in the pit of your stomach that tell you how you feel about things or remind you of things you want to do...are not something you should ignore! Those little, quiet reminders are there to tell you why you are on this earth and what you are supposed to be doing. Those talents you were born with are meant to be used. Not everyone can do what you do or be who you are. Only you can do that! If there is something you've always wanted to do, but keep putting it off, you will never feel completely satisfied. You will always be looking for ways to fill that void and sometimes you might do things that aren't good for you, just to fill it! Listen to what your gut is telling you and do whatever you can to satisfy it, so you really feel whats its like to be ALIVE!

When you leave this earth, leave it with a smile, and that in turn will leave everyone else with a smile. Everyone will remember that you did all you could to LIVE and that you shared your talents and knowledge with everyone around you. Take care of yourself, so you can better take care of others. It may sound cliche, but we all really should be living every moment. After all we just don't know if that moment is our last one!

So I challenge you today to dig up an old dream, past want, hidden talent/gift you know have and share it with the world and start working towards it. If you feel unsatisfied its because you haven't done something you are supposed to do. If you start working on all the things you know you are meant to do, you will feel a state of satisfaction like you've never known. You are here for a reason and you have something none of us have. Don't leave this earth, not letting people see it or denying yourself of what it feels like to truly accomplish something you've always wanted to accomplish. You will hit walls and face challenges, but the baby steps you take to reach your full potential will lead you too a life of fulfillment and fill those voids that suck the life right out of you! If tomorrow doesn't come, make sure you make the most out of today...

Beachbody Coach Jen Mangum
beachbodyjen@yahoo.com
www.facebook.com/jenmangum
www.fitnesswithanaltitude.com

Monday, May 24, 2010

I'm a little left of living RIGHT



Perfection and doing everything right all the time does not exist in my life and I'm so ok with that! I've mentioned perfection before in my blogs, but it seems to be one topic that keeps presenting itself to me in my life. Whether its me taking the foolish way around or someone I know hating themselves for not doing everything right...Perfection is a constant problem for all of us it seems!

We all start out with a BANG and then usually end up rolling back down the hill and wondering what the heck happened. We set out to reach our goals, dreams, jobs, weight loss...whatever and when things don't go just right we quit and give up, or we at least think about giving up! We blame ourselves for not being good at something, not being capable, not having enough resources, not having any luck...and we do this over and over again. Its like walking through a revolving door and wishing like hell we could just stop for a moment and breathe. You get so dizzy going in circles, sometimes even the simpliest things seem the most impossible.

Health really is simple, yet really is hard! Doesn't make sense does it? I honestly think if we looked at health as being as easy as brushing our teeth, it would be no big deal at all. You know you get up every day, put your clothes on, brush your teeth and on to the rest of your normal day in, day out activities. Yet for some reason being thin, eating right, looking good, proving yourself, over coming insecurities, feeling happy...just aren't as easy as brushing your teeth! Dang IT!! And God forbid you have those things they call obstacles in the way! Ya know what I'm talking about. Those little things that just come up out of the blue, that throws you off schedule and the first thing to be thrown out the window that day is YOUR HEALTH!

SO when I say "I'm a little left of living right" what I'm saying is...I no longer do every little thing right and it actually helps me to do more things right. The more I try to be perfect, the more I fail. But when I allow myself some breathing room, accept my body and myself for who I am, the more effort I put in, in taking care of myself. I find if I stress all the time over all the insulin I have to take, over weight I want to lose, over not getting my house spotless clean, over my next job, the next project, the next need....whatever the less I get done and the less results I get!

Excuses are killer and they will hault your results everytime, but allowing yourself some breathing room is NOT the same as making excuses! When you allow yourself to be human, you will actually realize just how important you are. When you accept the fact that taking care of YOU, is just part of your daily routine, it won't be as hard to do. Just as when you allow yourself to let your hair down and have a little fun now and then, you won't feel guilty each time you slip up a little bit! It will be so much easier to get up the next day and get back to your routine. The stress of being perfect won't be there and there won't be any reason to quit. Taking care of yourself will just be something you do and not something you have to do, to be RIGHT! You will WANT to do it and it won't feel near as hard! The straight and narrow will only add to the stress and heartache it requires to believe perfection is possible! Imperfection is my kind of perfect! I wouldn't erase my flaws now if I could. I want to feel good and look good, but I'm not going to kill myself and beat myself down to do it! We all want to be a size two, be successful, be happy, healthy, and a million other things, but if we don't enjoy the ride to the top, once we get to the top, we are gonna just wanna fall back down!

So I challenge you today to enjoy YOU! Make taking care of you as easy as brushing your teeth! Don't over think it, don't adjust your diet to that of a super models, don't kill yourself in the gym,...don't set yourself up for failure! Write down your goals and enjoy the trip to getting them! Because if you don't, you'll just keep walking in circles and you'll never be happy with who you are and you'll never see just what you are capable of! Yes you have to exercise, eat right, get regular check ups, and blah, blah, blah :) But don't make it a bigger deal than it is! Just breathe and know that its ok to live a little left of living right now and then :)

Beachbody Coach Jen Mangum
beachbodyjen@yahoo.com
www.fitnesswithanaltitude.com
www.facebook.com/jenmangum
www.beachbodycoach.com/jenmangum

Register for Turbo Kick at
www.gunnisonrec.com
COME KICK IT WITH ME! :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Nobody said commitment was easy!


“There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.”

I'm as guilty as anybody at seeing something and saying "I'd sure like to try that out." For example seeing the Insanity or P90X infomercial on TV and thinking WOW that looks cool, I'll have to try that sometime. So you order the program, you get it in, it clearly states its a 60 or 90 day program, has the calendar and workouts all scheduled for you, and tells you what you have to do to complete the program. So you start the first week out with a bang. You don't skip one workout, you follow the nutrition plan, and the end of your first week comes, you don't see results on the scale, and so you automatically think it doesn't work and you start trying to change things the next week. What happens? Well usually you do some of the workouts, then you add in some of your own, then you don't do any at all, and before you know it that 60 day program has turned into a 2 yr program and you never know if it worked or not! After all if you don't see life changing results immediately something has to be wrong with the program and its easier to give up, change things, or not follow directions because you are convinced you know better. Trust me I've done this thousands of times. I hate reading directions! I mean can you imagine if marriage or parenting came with a manual you had to follow day in and day out? Eventually you'd stop doing it their way and start doing it your way, right? Its human nature to think we know whats best and at times we do. I've always said listen to your body and do what feels right to you. BUT when it comes to following a workout plan or nutrition plan, you will NEVER know if it works or not if you don't commit to the PLAN!

Goal setting can help commitment and you following through more than you might realize! I'll just use P90X as my example here and repeat that this is a 90 day program. If you begin a program like P90X without that 90 day commitment in mind, chances are you won't do the 90 days. You'll spread them out and before you know it, you'll never have completed P90X. There are a million different workout videos, classes, weight loss plans,...you can buy and take, but if you don't do what they ask you to, you will never know if they work. If you buy a 30 day gym membership and only go 10 days, you will never see the results of what the gym membership would've done for you. You'll end up saying things like "well I went to the gym for two weeks nonstop and nothing happened, oh life got in the way but I got a few workouts in, the gym life just isn't for me, I'm not seeing results...and on and on! You will come up with every excuse in the book as to why the GYM doesn't work for you. You will tell yourself P90X, Insanity, Zumba,...whatever just aren't for you, they just don't give you results for some reason! Yet you'll never admit that you didn't follow directions will you? Life does happen, things do get in the way, you won't be able to get every workout in, blah blah blah...I know! BUT if you sign up, purchase, or get involved in a 30, 60, or 90 day program, in order to see results you have to COMMIT to the 90 days without question!!! Meaning if the first two weeks aren't blowing your mind, OH WELL, you have a lot more days to go and you have to COMMIT to them! I'm not saying every program out there works, but I can tell you that most programs have been tested over and over again and trust me folks if you follow directions you will see results of what that program claims to give YOU! So what if the weight isn't falling off the scale or you're NOT getting immediate inch loss results...if you signed up for 90 days then give it 90 days! You will never know what that program might do for you if you don't commit to it and give it a solid go. 90 days isn't that much time out of your life and its worth it to see if what you are doing is working. After all you might get to the end of 90 days and have this huge confidence boost because you actually completed something! That alone will help you complete even more things! In 90 days you might learn what kinds of exercise you like, what kinds you don't, what you want to do next or for the rest of your life! But if you keep quitting before you get to the finish line YOU WILL NEVER KNOW IF IT WORKS OR NOT!

If you have to, start small. Meaning purchase some classes at your local gym and commit to 8 of them to be completed in 4 weeks. Notice how I said 4 weeks! You have to set a schedule and line up your workouts, so that your body is given the chance to build its self up! Or if you purchase a program for 90 days, write a start date and an end date! Don't question the time in between, commit yourself to those 90 days. If you miss one workout, get up the next day and do it! Don't wait 5 days to get started again, because that will be like starting over. Before you know it you will have started over 30 times and you will not have finished ONCE! Or if videos, classes, gyms...aren't your cup of tea, then set a goal for 4 weeks to walk 2 miles a day, 5 days a week. Sure you can add to that as you need to, but bottom line is make sure you are doing all you can to get those 2 miles/5 days a week in. Write it all out, make it part of your daily "to do" list, and always set a start and end date, then commit to it! I'm telling you if you follow directions every now and then, put your ego to the side, give something the time it tells you to give it, and just follow through...each and every challenge after that will get easier. You will get better, you will grow, learn more about yourself, and you will realize that commitment equals positive change! No matter what form of exercise you take on, if you stick to it, you will see change! Don't give up half way through, don't talk yourself into thinking it doesn't work, take a long look in the mirror and ask yourself are you REALLY doing what is asked of you, are you following directions and setting a plan to see what the end result might be...?!

I challenge you today to set a small plan together. It can be anything physical that you will commit to at least 5 to 6 days a week. It can be anywhere from 30 min to 60 min long or more. Write a start date and end date. Don't question it two weeks from now, just focus on each day and the day you will have accomplished all the work you are required to put in. Follow directions and stick to it for at least 4 weeks. This isn't so much about losing weight, this is about programming yourself into committing to something and setting goals. You have to start somewhere and discipline and commit are key if you ever want to see any real results. You can't just kinda take care of yourself. Commit to yourself as you would your marriage, your children, your job, or anything else that matters to you. The results and body you want will come, but you first have to learn how to follow through with what you set up for yourself to do! Come on guys, lets not just kinda give it go, lets actually finish what we start! Go for it! You will NOT be disappointed!

Beachbody Coach Jen Mangum
www.facebook.com/jenmangum
http://jenmangum.blogspot.com

Monday, April 26, 2010

So you screwed up yesterday, thank God you've got today!


"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start now and make a brand new ending." Carl Bard

So though I hate to admit it, I've been a roller coaster since last Wednesday! Life just happens sometimes and comes along and knocks you on your butt! You know how it is... one kid gets sick, then the other one gets sick, then you get sick, then you run out of food and can't wait til pay day, you feel like crap so you eat crap, you look like crap so you just get down on yourself...blah blah blah! I could go on and on with emotions and feelings that tend to find a way into our lives and screw us all up despite our efforts to keep them out! That is exactly what I've allowed to happen in my life over the last few days! Is it just a woman thing? LOL! Seriously! Just when I think I have it all together, I'm always reminded about how far I still have to go! Honestly I think we sabotage ourselves sometimes out of fear we might actually get where we think we wanna be! That might not make sense, but what I'm trying to say is, it just seems when you get headed in the right direction and feel all good about everything, is right when you find yourself running into a wall! At least for me that seems to happen! Although sometimes, like I said, I sabotage myself and that is something I'm still working on and working through!

Isn't fear a bitch? There are two things in this life that I think are the root of all evil and some our biggest downfalls! FEAR AND JEALOUSLY! When we allow either of them to enter our lives, we face big time struggles and failures! For example I'm working my butt off here lately trying to get my turbokick class up and running, but I'm terrified I'm not any good! I get so worked up about it sometimes that I think that's when I sabotage myself and say the hell with it. Like I did this last week. Granted life was all over the place and nobody around me was feeling good, including myself, I allowed it to be the reason I stopped doing what needed to be done! I found ways to push my goals and hard work to the side and make excuses as to why I can't do something. Or how about feeling insecure because you think someone might be better than you? I know for me if I let jealously or insecurities sneak in, then I lose focus and find more excuses to hold myself back. Like how many times have you gone, oh say a solid month of working out, eating right, feeling good, getting your shit all together,...and wham you stop! Just stop! You simply find ways and reasons you just can't keep going. Doesn't that make you feel like crap? You put all this work and effort out there, just to sabotage yourself and have to start over!

So what is the positive in all of this? Where am I going with it? Well slowly but surely over time I'm being honest to myself about my weaknesses. So instead of giving up completely, when I mess up or have a rough week, I don't let that week turn into a year anymore! I'm finding ways to pick myself up and get back to it. Its a process. Taking care of yourself is a process. I think though that's why so many people start out with good intentions when it comes to diet and working out, all to fall off the wagon and not get back up for a very long time! We let fear, insecurities, life, and anything else we can think of stop us from being who we are meant to be. After all if you became everything you know you could be become, it would require a lot of work right? If you got your body, mind, success, dreams, goals...and all the things your really want to fall into place happen, your entire life would change wouldn't it? You would have to do so much just to stay where you are at and you wouldn't have anymore excuses because you would prove to yourself you are actually capable of anything. Its so much easier to stay one step behind isn't it? Its so much easier to find excuses to not workout then to be able to handle a fit and trim body that takes work to keep? Sounds dumb to me, but its true! We get too comfortable with our problems, excuses, fears, jealousy's, doubts...that to not have them around makes us feel uncomfortable! Basically we cling on to our security blanket of living a life of mediocrity and avoid a life of success and happiness! Its not as easy as it looks to be completely satisfied and happy with yourself or is it easy to get to where you know you can be and who you can be!

That's where I'm at anyways. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I know what I want and where I want to be. I'm just slowly but surely finding more and more ways to knock down the hurdles and not settle! I'm tired of the old me and old ways. I'm tired of allowing myself to sabotage my success and quit. I'm tired of being jealous of others or things I don't have. And the more I remind myself to keep pushing these negative feelings out of my life, the more I keep moving forward. I've messed up a lot of yesterdays by being lazy and stupid, but it sure is nice to keep waking up to a new day and hopefully getting less and less stupid LOL!

So I challenge you today to kick that self doubt and do something that's hard. It can be anything. Maybe you've been a complete ass to someone because they make you feel insecure, so nows the time to put on a smile and get over yourself and just treat that person with respect. Maybe you can go day in and day out without a drink of alcohol, but come the night you can't help yourself so you drink, drink, drink! Well go one week without any liquor and force yourself to just deal. You'll be fine! Maybe you are one of those people who just can't get up early enough to workout, so for ONE week get up earlier than you need to and workout anyways! Adding in a little pain now and then can actually discipline us and make us better for it in the end! 7 days of not sabotaging yourself and your results, might sound like an impossible task, but just think of how much further along you will be if you just do it! So jump off that roller coaster you've been on lately and just walk at a steady pace until you start breaking some of those bad habits! Treat yourself good! You're worth it! I'm talking to myself as much as I'm talking to you. We really are worth it and we need to treat ourselves damn good! You've got something nobody else has and you are just as important as the next person. So forget about yesterday and start over today and for the rest of your life!

Beachbody Coach Jen Mangum
www.facebook.com/jenmangum
http://jenmangum.blogspot.com

Friday, April 16, 2010

Dave Johel-Jen Mangums 90 Day Holiday Fitness Challenge WINNER!


Congrats Dave! This challenge turned out to be everything I could've imagined and then some! Awesome! Way to go to EVERY ONE that was involved!!!

Dave Johel Story...
You can find Dave at
http://teambeachbody.com/davejohel


Dave Johel (davejohel)
Vienna, Va.
Age: 48
Coach: joycecherrier
Holiday Fitness Challenge 2009-2010

Leading up to the challenge…
October 2009: I was celebrating my one year anniversary with Beachbody workouts. During the past year, I had completed 3 rounds of P90X and was finishing up my first round of Insanity. I had great results over the past year, losing almost 15 pounds and getting below my goal weight. My definition was good, better than I had ever had in my life…and I was 47 years old.

Before P90X, I had done little exercise for the past 20 years. I was active, coaching my son’s basketball and baseball teams. I played softball and windsurfed as often as I could, which was not that often anymore. My nutrition was not good but it was not terrible either. I never let myself get too heavy. Over the years I had purchased dumbbells and a home gym. But I didn’t know HOW to work out, so it never lasted more than a month and I never got results.

A co-worker started P90X and I did not want to be looking back in three months at his results and my more of the same. When I started P90X I did not immediately join the beachbody online community. I tried to get my own group going at work. We encouraged each other and we kept a shared workout log. A few more in the office joined us. After a few months, however, the novelty of a workout routine wore off for the others.

I started slowly getting results, so I kept going. If I had good nutrition, the results would have come much quicker. By the third round I was still working out 5 days a week. I ordered Insanity after reading more and more about Interval workouts and really enjoying P90X Interval Plus. I finally joined beachbody.com in August for two reasons. I wanted support during Insanity, but I also wanted to ‘Pay It Forward’ with my workout commitment, enthusiasm and tips for success. I had started to become obsessed with working out. What a change from 10 months before. I initially found a great message board, ‘Insane Motivation’, and became hooked on the Beachbody Community. I also learned how to push even harder in my workouts because of Insanity.

Once Insanity was complete, I searched the message boards to see if I could find some additional motivation to keep going. Some of the boards had thousands of posts but I wanted something a little more personal, where you got to know the people. I don’t remember exactly how I stumbled onto the ‘Holiday Fitness Challenge’ thread, but I liked the idea to stay accountable and motivated through the holidays, so I jumped in. And how could you deny the enthusiasm that Jen Mangum (jenmangum) brought to the message board.

The Holiday Challenge…
I remember when I started, I told Jen that I had just finished Insanity and was planning on only working out 4-5 days a week, just to maintain my results. Jen said that the accountability chart may change that for me. It sure did. I wanted to see that symbol next to my name every single day. So I started my quest of no scheduled rest days. If I was sick, injured or just could not fit it in, OK. But I would not schedule ahead for a rest day.

I started the challenge with my first round of a P90X/Insanity hybrid. Chris Bush (ChrisBush) had posted a hybrid workout. It looked like there was some real thought put into the workout sequence. Great! That sure saved me some time. I really started to like the accountability and charts kept by Chris. It was also great to start to get to know many of the other challengers who helped me along the way.

Chris Jolley (Xformation) had posted pictures of his dinner plate and refrigerator of ‘clean food’. It really got me thinking about my nutrition. I was good, and each round I got better. But he helped me realize that I needed to keep pushing myself toward better nutrition. Then, with the conference calls with Mark Briggs and Missy Costello, it really got me thinking about how important nutrition is to achieving my overall goals. They were a big help. And although I’m still struggling at times, I can hear them giving me encouragement to make the right choices.

I think it was Jen who asked us all what our goals were for the challenge. I put mine out there to do 100 consecutive push-ups (at the time I could do about 50). I was going to start in about a month, but 2 weeks later, Dale (coachazgremlin) said he was ready to start the 100 push-up challenge so it meant that I had to start, too. I have to admit, I was nervous about it. Posting my results each day for everyone to see, whether I was doing good or bad as I went through the weeks of training scared me. I was afraid about failing. But Dale kept me going and we pushed each other along. In the end, I was able to do 98 consecutive pushups. I just couldn’t get 2 more. I was having too much shoulder pain to continue the work so I had to quit there. Still a good accomplishment I thought. I learned that it was OK to be scared. You push through, do your best. And even if you don’t meet your goals completely, you may just do more than you had ever thought you could.

Throughout the challenge, I was looking for additional DVD for Yoga to put into my schedule. So I asked for help with suggestions. Sandy (sandy429) came back with recommendations almost instantly. I noticed that she did yoga nearly every single day, and looking at the pictures of her handstands on her profile, I could tell she knew what she was talking about. Throughout the challenge when someone would ask a question, Sandy and I would respond with nearly identical answers. She also works out every single day as I try to. I’m really lucky that I had the chance to meet her on this challenge. She motivates me on those days where struggle to push play.

One of my goals now is to increase the number of pull-ups I can do. I’m somewhere in the low teens (12-14). When I hear of Joel (biffman) doing pull-ups with a 20 pound weight vest and Dave (bronze508) increasing his reps from 15 to 20, it really gives me the encouragement that I can get better and stronger and to challenge myself to do more.

I finished my first round of my P90X/Insanity hybrid during the challenge. Now my goal for the rest of the challenge was to increase size in my arms and chest. I was not getting this done with the hybrid workout, so I needed something different. Valerie (dimndntheruf1) had mentioned that she was doing a P90X Muscle Blast routine. Muscle Blast is doing the two P90X resistance workouts twice a week. I modified the workout she posted a little and have been doing this for the past 60 days. I’ve started to see increases in my weights, reps and size. So this has been really helpful. Valerie was the October 2009 Million Dollar Body winner. She knows how to Bring It!

Around January 20th during the challenge (I wrote down the date), it hit me... workouts were no longer a chore. I look forward to them every morning and if I miss a morning, I am worried all day that I will miss it later in the day. It’s become a natural part of my morning and my new lifestyle.

Once March came around and we were into our fourth month of the challenge, getting motivated to workout became a little challenging for me. I don’t know if it was the daylight savings change, spring in the air, little league baseball practice most evenings or what. But what got me through those few weeks was the constant motivation I got from the Fitness Challenge message board, Chris Bush ‘s accountability chart and my posted goal of working out every single day during the challenge.

The Results…
I ended up with over 150 consecutive workouts. I know I’ll miss some coming up. But I also know I’m going to feel better the more I work out and the more I put into those workouts. Intensity is one of the keys. During the challenge, I liked to post my accountability early so that if someone was struggling to get going that day, they could log on and see that ‘davejohel’ was already done, or currently in the ‘supergym’, so they had better get going too.

During the past five months, I’ve had about 10 people ask my advice on one topic or another, for weight loss, finding your abs, gaining muscle or staying motivation. It feels great to be able to share my success (and my failures) so that they can also learn and improve their health, body image and self confidence.

I made not have had dramatic gains physically during the Holiday Challenge, but I do feel that I had gains mentally and emotionally on my fitness journey. I look forward to ‘Pushing Play’ and encouraging others to do the same. I’ve really enjoyed the Challenge and know that it, and the members who contributed to it, made a big difference in my life and I hope I have in theirs.

Day 1 (10/20/08)
Goal: Lose weight and get in shape Day 375 - Fitness Challenge start (11/3/09)
Goal: Gain chest and arm size (strength) Day 520 - Fitness Challenge end (3/31/10)
Weight 184 170.5 172.5
Waist NA 32.5 32.5
Chest NA 38.5 39
Biceps NA 14.25 14.75
Pullups 8 12 14
Pushups 45 50 70 (max=98)
Body Fat % NA 13.4% 9.6%

Holiday Fitness Challenge between Insanity and Holiday Challenge Photos: