Challenge Yourself Blog: Michelle Lee

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Michelle Lee is 5 feet 4 inches and weighs 156 pounds. Her goal is to lose 25 pounds and regain her confidence. Michelle tells Self: "This past year has been a year of reinvention for me. I got divorced, moved to a new town and started an amazing new job. And I am loving my life! But I am, at 34, suddenly single again and feeling behind the curve physically and emotionally."

Click here to meet all three Self dieters. For daily diet and exercise tips visit www.self.com.

The Final Day

I can't thank Self, GMA, and my Gold's trainer Osa enough for the opportunity to live Self's motto: "You at your best."

As I was walking along the beach with my dog Rumi last week, there was a moment in which I looked out across the ocean and realized how very far I had come. And I don't mean in inches and pounds.

The last time I stood in that spot was with my ex-husband on our coastal California honeymoon several years earlier. I remember us holding hands and daydreaming about a future together. A future that I've spent the better part of the past year mourning.

How very wonderful, then, to find myself drifting toward the same spot, once again able to cast my heart and mind forward to a life that I previously though unimaginable.

A life full of health and fitness and adventure. A life where neither push-ups nor love are frightening prospects, and the only thing certain is my ability to surprise myself.

Which is to say...this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

The deepest of gratitude,
Michelle

Week 12: B-A-N-A-N-A-S

I must have heard that a million times as I walked alongside Elvis, smurfs, nevernudes, and reallyshouldn'tbenudes in the annual Bay to Breakers race through the streets of San Francisco this past Sunday.

Had NO idea that this 95-year-old tribute to the city's trademark irreverence is essentially a 7.46 mile block party/masquerade complete with outlaw folk bands, "salmon" swimming upstream, and lots and lots of beer (I won't even get into the flying tortillas).

Oh, and real runners. Which I, clearly, was not.

I was contemplating lying to you all and telling you how glorious it felt to finally cross the finish line ... but you deserve better. (Plus there is photographic evidence to the contrary somewhere.)

The truth is I and the rest of the funky bunch split (ha!) at mile five for kegs and eggs.

Which was an altogether different kind of glorious.

Four bananas walk into a bar...

Week 9 Part Deux: Proof Is in the (Low-Fat) Pudding

Back from my sister's wedding where I *rocked* (and won a limbo contest in) the size 8 maid of honor gown that I couldn't even squeeze into just two months ago!

Instead of the merciless pity party I was anticipating, I am pleased to report that quite a few friends and family members made mention of how much better I look and happier I seem post-divorce. Which, to be perfectly honest, took me completely by surprise.

I guess I spent so much energy bracing myself for the worse -- I packed an emergency kit that included a Xanax, a copy of Laura Kipnis' "Against Love," and a few squares of Scharfenberger chocolate -- that it never occurred to me that I could actually experience something other than post-traumatic shock syndrome.

But when my gorgeous, glowing sister walked down the aisle on my father's arm, and when her charming groom serenaded her, I bawled like a baby! Made my peace right then and there with love, marriage, and other natural disasters.

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