8-Week Health Challenge – Catching up through week 3

Image result for woman running

Week 3 of the 8-Week Health Challenge ends today. Tomorrow we start week 4. I have not been able to blog as much as I would have liked but have continued to post on my Instagram. @aprilpoynter. Feel free to follow along there.


So far we’ve reflected on why we want to participate in the 8-Week Challenge. We took some time to reflect on relationships that aren’t allowing us to grow. This past week our focus was spending time in nature. I’ve also sent some updates via social media about how you feel directly affects how successful you are during this 8-weeks.


I figured I’d break some of those topics down in this blog.




Knowing why you want to jump into the 8-week challenge is vital. What’s the point? Why do you care? What is it you are trying to accomplish over this 8-weeks? For me, it’s been about a year since I started working on my mind/body/soul. I hit a weight loss goal by my birthday this year (March). Then I just maintained until April when we started this challenge.


My what – I want to lean out. I want to burn more fat and lean out more muscle to tighten up my body composition. This requires a different approach than when you want to lose weight and feel better in your clothes.


My why – I’ve always imagined myself with toned muscle. So, I want toned muscles. I want to be strong and athletic. I want great cardio health and to continue taking care of my heart and body so that I’m being a good steward of my body, mind, soul – AND can be healthy and ready for whatever comes my way.


What is your why? Why are you doing this? What sparked your interest in it? Try to break that pattern of, “I want to lose weight.” And tap into WHY you want to do that?




Who are you around and how do they make you feel? Do they support your goals to change? Do they laugh at you or encourage you? If you want to have growth and lasting change in your life, you’ve got to take an inventory of who you let be in your life.


If you are surrounded by people who make you feel bad about yourself, it’s going to be hard to make progress for yourself with them hanging around.


I follow a few general guidelines when it comes to relationships:


When I’m with this person do I feel the same? Do I feel better? Do I feel bad?

Do I feel the same? I walk away from this person feeling the same way. Nothing gained. Nothing extracted.


Do I feel better? When I leave this person I feel energized and challenged in a great way.


Do I feel bad? I feel gross after talking to this person. Our conversation is about people. It’s negative. Or… the conversation wasn’t bad but being with this person makes me feel bad. I can’t explain it. I don’t feel heard when I’m with them. I feel that I had to defend myself a lot throughout that conversation.


You can use these three questions as a reference point in your relationships. Your personal growth can only go so far if you have people around you that don’t add to your life- but instead, take away.




For Week 3, this past week, we’ve talked about nature. Especially now that Spring has arrived, it’s a great time to get out into the land. Take some deep breaths. Listen to the sounds of nature.


You know that feeling that you get when you’ve been sitting outside on a nice, spring day? Listening to the birds and feeling the coolness of the wind break through the warmth of the sunshine?


Or after a nice rain, the smell of rain and the calmness that surrounds you. Everything smells fresh and feels nurtured.


Only nature can bring us this feeling.


You’ll notice I reference feelings a lot when it comes to this health challenge. For me, the feeling drives a lot of my success. Now, I don’t want to be swayed by my feelings when I need to get a workout in and I don’t ‘feel’ like it. No. When you’re trying to implement new disciplines to create a new lifestyle, you’re going to have to do things you don’t feel like doing.


I’m referencing feelings in a different way. When you feel good about yourself, you’re more likely to do things you don’t normally do.


When I started my first health journey last year the first thing I did was got a haircut and got a tan. These 2 small changes helped to launch me to a new level of healing.


A great haircut can make you feel and look like you’ve lost 10 pounds. A tan makes you feel better about your body. Or at least they do for me. And that’s what I’m doing here. Sharing my tips and pieces of my journey. This is not the end-all/be-all. This is just my own story that has accompanied me on my own journey.


If you’re interested in a fabulous tanning product, I recommend Loving Tan


Tomorrow starts week 4.


A friend and I were talking this past week. We were sharing about how this first 4 weeks and really this whole challenge is more about tapping into your mental health. Starting a conversation with yourself about why you do what you do. Evaluating foods that you like and don’t like. Testing out different types of physical activity. Removing thoughts that aren’t serving you or helping you get to where you need to go.


The first 4 weeks is a heavy thought time. Staring yourself in the face and not running from what you want. Making yourself sit with the feelings that you avoid when it comes to taking care of yourself.


There is no right or wrong way to do this – as long as you’re doing something every day. You get to measure the success on your own journey. But you’ve got to get very honest with yourself.


That’s a long spill, I know. But this is what happens when I skip multiple weeks of blogging during this challenge.


Let’s get prepared for week 4. Maybe it’ll be week 1 for you. Who cares? Just get going.


You’re worth it.


Talk soon.




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