Health & Fitness

STRONGER with SELF Challenge: Modifying for Our Lifestyles

As much as we’d like to follow the Stronger with SELF Challenge to the T, there were several times since the start of this challenge where both of us had to modify the challenge to fit our lifestyles. It’s okay. The only thing we care most about is to move and get your exercise in whenever you can and however you can.

Here were some of the reasons we chose to modify the challenge so far:

Listen to your body

Juliet: I have really bad pollen allergies – it’s almost to the point where I sneeze all day until I lose my voice. Spring hit me even harder this year though, and I spent an entire week of just wanting to cry but couldn’t and kept wondering, “Am I getting my period soon?” My body was crying out for sleep, and I listened to it 2 out of the 5 days I was in absolute misery. The last day I went out and bought some local honey, which is supposed to help alleviate allergy pains.

Annie: During the first week of the Stronger with SELF challenge, I wasn’t getting enough sleep and/or my sleeping schedule was off. On top of that, because I used this challenge as a finisher at the end of my workouts, it took a lot out of my muscles and body. By Saturday I felt exhausted and didn’t have the energy to workout, so I took two days off despite it being workout days in the 28 day plan. It’s important to listen to your body and know when to take a break even though you want to stick to the plan perfectly (for those perfectionists out there…). I more than made up for it by doing Day 12 and 13 after my two day break. I felt well rested and energized to tackle the next week!

Switch it up with alternative physical activities

Juliet: My friend Enya and I do personal training classes about once a week, and I usually re-arrange challenges around that day. He keeps kicking my ass, and I’m thinking of writing a post about it one day. Stay tuned!

Annie: Even though we said we wanted to take on this 28 day challenge, sometimes we just want to do something else! My friend asked if I wanted to go hiking with her and I said yes! Not only did I get to hang out with her, I got in an alternative form of cardio to make up for skipping a day in the challenge.


Juliet: Sometimes I go to Target instead of the gym because that’s what my body wants instead. There definitely is a little voice inside my head that goes, “Tsk tsk tsk” though.

I recently went to Niagara Falls with my family and friends (post coming later), and I exercised 2 out of the 5 days I was on vacation. It’s hard for me to take a break – whether it is from exercising or from work because then I get quite anxious – and that’s something I am trying to be better at. There is no hard rule that if you don’t work out at least 5 or 6 days out of the week then you’re pathetic and not as awesome as someone who does. No. Do what you can and when you can, and do not beat yourself up if you decide to go on a shopping spree instead of lifting weights for a day.

Annie: Sometimes you just have other priorities that take up your day, you know? And when that happens, it’s okay to take a day off. On Mother’s Day, I went to Taichung with family. We ate some delicious food, decorated some fridge magnets, and enjoyed each other’s company!

How was your week two of the challenge? Did you change anything to make the challenge fit your own lifestyle? Let us know in the comments!

Annie & Juliet

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