Challenge Yourself Blog: Michelle Lee

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Of course, I promptly celebrated my truce (OK, not quite, but diplomatic relations *have* improved) by downing three glasses of champagne.

(Which is only 270 calories in case you are wondering).

Week 9: Uncertainty Principle

Like many others, last week's senseless tragedy left me emotionally devastated and grasping for answers. Working on a college campus, I found myself staring at the young students who surround me, and wondering if such a thing could have happened here. To them. To us.

I know what I want to believe... but I am no longer sure it's true.

What I do know is that our time here is finite, and that every moment counts. That each act of "active" living -- showing up fully mind, body and soul -- is a victory. That I and countless other women have a tendency to postpone our happiness by putting superficial parameters around when and how we will engage with the world.

We tell ourselves that we cannot travel or date or go to the gym or to the beach or take dance lessons or have dinner out alone, until we are X. Thinner. Bigger. Less this. More that. Better.

But what if this is it? Right here, right now. What then?

This week I made a list of all the things I've put off because of how I feel about my body, and decided to pledge myself to pursuing three of them:

1. I've always had a deep yearning to learn how to surf. And the sad thing is I've had many, many opportunities but retreated in fear of wearing a bathing or wet suit in public. My vacation this year will be to a women only surf camp.

2. Through the Challenge, I've discovered I actually enjoy running. Despite my former belief that running is only for the preternaturally thin and well-oiled, I have signed up for a 1 K (Bay to Breakers on May 20). Seriously? I wasn't even this excited about the prom.

3. Dating. My post-divorce ambivalence around this was what led my to enter this program in the first place. And, truth be told, I have had this fantasy that I would drop 25 lbs. (down 10 and counting) and suddenly morph into a highly confident and irresistible creature (with thin thighs). That I'd be ready. But the truth is no one is ever really "ready."

You just have to show up -- fully. And put one (unsteady) foot in front of the other.

Day 45: Notes From the Underground

We are officially at the halfway mark, and I am feeling a bit like Alice down the hole. One moment I'm big (still 16 pounds away from my goal), the next I'm small (but I'm officially down a size!), and the next I'm being slaughtered by the Queen of Hearts (don't ask).

But, thanks in no small part to the wisdom of my fellow Challengers, Bootylicious and Calphalon (who says 50-year-old women can't hop?!), I have learned a few things along the way:

1. Find your white rabbit. Some people are motivated by fear (white dress/high school reunion/bathing suit season). Others by joy (pink bike, new lease on life). Me? I'm going to go with revenge. (Just keeping it real).

2. Get your grin on. Studies have found that people are more than twice as likely to stick with a fitness program if they have fun doing it.

OK, I totally made that up, but I'm sure its true. To up the fun factor on my workouts, I switch out my playlists, and jump rope, roller skate, hula hoop, run with my puppy, or just put on music and dance up a sweat.

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