First of all I wanted to say thank you so much for the opportunity to participate in such an amazing/challenging/life-changing challenge!
Easy is not a word that I would use to describe it. The words that come to my mind are challenging and tough, but along with those words also comes motivation, growth, adapting and gratitude.
WHAT I LOVED
Part of the 55TUFF Challenge was writing daily gratitude into my journal. From being grateful for little things such as internet to big things like my supportive family, this journey has taught me that there is so much in this life taken for granted. 55 days means 55 different things I'm grateful for. If you asked me before this challenge, I would have struggled to name five.
In training, I was able to up my training each week. I attended more Strength classes during the 8-week challenge than I had all year. Focusing on things I don't particularly like and areas that needed improvement (e.g. upper body) really helped change my mindset. I knew those things were not going to change on their own.
Weirdly enough, I really enjoyed sleeping on the floor for a week! It taught me how much I take my bed for granted and also got me away from Daly's snoring 😅We were also committed to preparing our meals for the week. This meant not having to think about it everyday!
Vale Tudo's support and the support of other participants during the challenge was also invaluable. Reading about everyone else's journey, their struggles and their achievements really helped with my motivation. I'm not one to post a lot on social media but reading everyone's posts was super inspiring.
I also loved how helpful the resources and materials provided to us. Reading, listening and watching these provided so much insight and I will definitely be seeking out more books and podcasts like them.
Finally, without tooting my own horn, it was so nice getting positive compliments from people saying that I look good — TOOT TOOT!!!
MY BIGGEST CHALLENGES
One of the hardest things during the challenge was eating the same foods for weeks. I get bored of food incredibly easily so this was one my biggest hurdles.
Another challenge for me were the cold showers. The first few weeks were quite nice and refreshing were we had to finish our regular showers with cold water. But as the challenge went on, we needed to gradually take colder and colder showers until it was just entirely cold water. I really struggled, but through this process I've also learned to appreciate hot water and to take shorter showers, especially in this time of drought.
THINGS I've LEARNED
Some of the best takeaways from the 55TUFF Challenge was that a strong routine is everything! If you don't have a good routine and healthy habits, everything goes wrong. Through this journey, I've built a routine for myself that works for me 99% of the time.
I've learned that motivation isn't something that's guaranteed to be there all the time, and that you need to push through even on the days you don't feel like it. Those are the days you feel the best afterwards!
I've learned how important recovery is. It's essential to help my body repair and improve. I never used to actively think about recovery until this challenge. It's also important to listen to your body and not push too hard when things don't feel right.
I've learned to be grateful for everything in my life and to not take anything for granted. I have become more generous and loved helping those less fortunate that I am.
I've learned that mindset is ultimately the key to success. Pushing through my comfort zone was tricky but was so worth it. My mindset needed a complete reset in order to complete this challenge and it pushed me to where I needed to be. Not to keep going further!
I have taken so much away from the past 8 weeks, and will continue so many of the habits I have embedded into my everyday life. I have so much gratitude for all the trainers at Vale Tudo and everything they have done for me and the members. I feel so much stronger, healthier, happier and motivated than I did before this challenge.