The Small Changes Challenge #8…”I am______”

small changes coverWeek 8 has begun!  This week we once again have two things to focus on…one that will get you moving a bit more and another that will make you think a bit about some conversations you have.

What is the Small Changes Challenge?  The Small Changes Challenge is FREE for anyone to do…at any point in your journey.  You will make changes that will stick if you go slow and keep working…and if you stop or miss a day…just get back on the challenge and start up again!

Statistics show that if you make small changes towards a healthier lifestyle you will actually have better results.  Fad diets with quick fixes sound like the perfect solution but usually end up with your metabolism getting messed up in some way and as a result you gain more weight after the diet fad is over and your lifestyle goes back to the way it was in the past.

Several people that follow The Journey are going right along with this free challenge…and some are even in the running for a prize at the end!  We don’t have just 1 group of people…but 2 that are working on this challenge!  Yep…it’s pretty cool.  😉  Free stuff AND a healthier lifestyle.  Win! Win!

Did you miss a week?  You can find the links to what we have covered so far in this challenge right here:  Week 1   Week 2   Week 3  Week 4  Week 5  Week 6  Week 7

small changes challenge week 8

Small Changes Challenge Week 8:  When I started learning more about strength training I had to do one thing that I really was avoiding…I had to watch myself in the mirrors.

I wasn’t a person who took selfies.  (Ok…I have done a few since that point)  I wasn’t a person that even wanted to be in pictures.  I pretty much avoided them for years – and I have the years of pictures without me in them to prove that.

Watching myself in a mirror…as I was wearing black yoga pants and tank tops…wasn’t high on my to-do list either.  I wasn’t going to go to the extreme and start lifting up my shirt as I was staring in the mirror looking to see if that 6 pack had shown up yet…I just needed to watch my form as I did specific exercises and make sure that I was getting it done right.  That freaked me out.

Looking…really looking and watching me…was hard to do.

All those years of being the tallest, largest, slowest and not always the smartest…and telling myself that I was all those negative things…brought me to a point where I believed it.  Today I have a hard time with saying “thank you” when I hear a compliment and also realizing that I am beautiful.  Those are my struggles…what I deal with every day.

Tearing ourselves down is easy and our society has no problem helping us with that process since models are perceived as the perfect picture.  Building ourselves back up…now that takes real work and time.

I know I’m not alone in this issue of body bashing because I hear and see the same things coming from you.

  • I see the images that you are looking at…that are basically saying that if you aren’t a size 0 you aren’t beautiful.
  • For those who are a smaller size and have issues with not having curves…I will honestly say that I don’t understand why having curves is desired by you because I have fought them for so long…but I understand that your vision to have curves is a struggle just like mine to be smaller.
  • I also see you layering those clothes…and finish sometimes with a big sweater or sweatshirt because you feel like it helps hide something.
  • Should we talk about the constant wearing of the yoga pants…or the stretchy pant?  You know the ones that don’t require you to button anything, ever.
  • Pulling that shirt over your butt.
  • Spending tons of time on makeup.
  • Having obsessions with the scale and waiting to see what number comes after the 0 is done flashing.
  • Avoiding the area with all the guys at the gym because you don’t want them to stare or see you working out…or you just aren’t exercising in public.
  • not wearing shorts…in public…or ever.
  • The word “swimsuit” is pretty much banned in all languages in your house.
  • wearing “shapewear” because it sucks things in.
  • seeing an exercise and saying “I can’t do that”.

Any of those relate to you?

I’ve written a lot about Body Bashing, from how I feel in the gym at times to how I feel about society and the images that they flash across the screen and billboards.  You can find those topics in some previous posts here at The Journey:  Body Bashing Part 1 and Body Bashing Part 2.

This week is all about recognizing when you are actually bashing who

you are, what your body is and figuring out how to stop this negative talk.

This body…the one that you see in the mirror is…YOUR genetics.

These curves or lack of curves…are how you are supposed to be.

You have areas where you are strong and areas that you just have to work harder.  We all do!

You might find that you really enjoy some things…and others are just pure torture.  For me…I love boxing, cycling and lifting heavy stuff.  Running is just not that exciting for me and I just don’t have much joy doing that type of exercise.  *I would usually rather clean a toilet*  We all have stuff we like and don’t like and you just have to figure out what it is that you like to do and focus on those things.

We may not like certain parts of our body and think that someone else who appears to have it all together is perfect…but that person has a story too.  The picture on the outside doesn’t always mean that it is a pretty picture on the inside.

Homework:  This week is about taking a moment and really looking at YOU in that mirror and starting to love the person that you see.  You need to be moving just a tad more too and get those muscles going.  In other words…you will be doing some mental stuff and some physical stuff this week.

#1 SQUAT!  Every other day this week, starting either today or tomorrow, you need to start doing squats. Squats aren’t hard but they will help you get moving and make those legs and pelvic area stronger (if you have issues with peeing your pants while jumping or running…start squatting!  We will be writing more about this issue soon.)  You should have at least 3 days of squats and here is how many you should do on each day. Day 1: 40 (break it down in 10’s if you need to). Day 2: rest Day 3: 50 squats Day 4: rest Day 5: 60 squats Day 6: rest Day 7: 70 squats *if these numbers are not challenging…find that number where you hit that edge of your comfy cozy zone and have that be your starting number.

person outline#2 I Love Me!  Use the picture as a tool and either print it out or find a similar one online. You can even draw a person yourself on a piece of paper. Look at yourself in the mirror…as big of a mirror that you can find and find all the things that you love about your body. Write down or circle all the areas of your body that you like. Here is the twist though…If you think or say something negative about your body while doing this exercise you need to put a tally mark at the top of your paper.

E-mail to by January 29th the following:

  • 10 things about YOU that you love
  • How many tally marks you put on the paper (be honest!)
  • The number of squats that you did on day 1, day 3 and day 5.
  • Are you sticking with doing planks 3 times a week (at least)?  Drinking your water?  Eating greens?  Yes, no, sometimes…whatever your answer is, figure out why you are making it happen or not happening.

Keep working on getting that water in each day, watching those amounts of sugar and lifting that body up off the floor with planks at least 3 times a week!  You keep working on these small changes and stay focused on these little things…you will see results.

Thanks for being part of The Journey!  I’m excited to be part of this challenge with you!


Jessica is a mom of three kids, wife to one and has an energetic puppy.  Jessica has had her own journey of getting healthy using small changes…and you can read about her own journey here.


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