Challenge Yourself Blog: Michelle Lee

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Day 9: Objects in Mirror Closer Than They Appear

Today is my 34th birthday. As has become our tradition, my friend Toni conducted a tarot reading for me.

Laughed out loud when the first two cards pulled were burden crossed with possibility. Can't think of a better description of where I am right now. With the Challenge. With my life.

This isn't easy for me -- completely changing how I eat, making my workout time sacred when work is so demanding, sharing my very personal struggles with an audience of (mostly) strangers ... not eating cake and ice cream ...

But I am so intensely ready to morph into the woman I know myself to be inside. Strong and vital. Open to the possibilities. Ready for whatever comes next.

Day 7: Credible Threat

Yay, I made it through week one!

It wasn't perfect -- I'd give myself a B for the workouts (I know I can push harder), and a C for the diet (my generous interpretations of "120 calorie treat" did me in) -- but I did it!

Which goes to show that my friend Faith's belief in the "credible threat" theory of weight loss is pretty darn savvy. I suppose if the specter of bearing one's cellulite to millions of unsuspecting strangers doesn't motivate, nothing will.

Though, truth be told, I think I am more nervous about being the maid of honor at my sister's wedding next month. Besides, yes, wearing the dress (not too bad actually), it will be the first time since the divorce that I've seen many of the guests. And I am desperate to avoid well-intended, "So, whatever happened to you two?" queries and the "Hang in there kid" shoulder squeezes.

Mix all that in with alcohol and tulle, and toast after toast dedicated to eternal bliss, and you can see why a girl might need to do some preemptive sit-ups.

Day 4: Hotties at the Gym

Okay, so here's what I've learned so far this week:

1. Listen to the experts. Contrary to my (former) irrational belief that 400 calories of brie and crackers is no less virtuous than, say, 400 calories of vegetarian chili, couscous, cheese (!) and citrus fruit, I find myself much less hungry when I actually stick to the plan. Which means giving up my almond M & M breakfasts (hey there's protein in there), and occasionally (once I've located the stove) cooking. My mother thanks you.

2. Misery, er, joy loves company. Rather than allow my friends and colleagues the sick satisfaction of rubbernecking through my ups and downs over the next several months, I've recruited several of them into "The Program." Very happy that I am not the only one who knows that the "robo waitress" is not a bad '80s dance move!

3. The gym is a hottie buffet. Whoa! Major revelation. Why didn't anyone tell me this?!! Would have been there ages ago. Again, my mother thanks you.

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