Lessons Learned: Our 60-Day Fitness Challenge

In December 2023, my husband and I decided that we were going to get a head start on our New Years’ resolution with a 60-day fitness challenge. We were tired of feeling sluggish and unhappy with our bodies, so we committed to making healthy lifestyle changes for two months. In the two months, together we lost 60 lbs and gained a new perspective on life. In this article, I’ll share exactly how we did it and the lessons we learned from our 60-day fitness challenge.

Why We Chose a 60-Day Challenge

The decision to make a change came in November, just after Thanksgiving. We were reminiscing on our wedding in which we were both much smaller and had more energy. We talked about how neither of us can fit into the clothes we wore on our special day and how we’re just not happy with how we both look and feel. We knew something had to change. That’s when we decided to take up the 60-day challenge together.

We chose to do a 60-day challenge because it seemed like the perfect amount of time to create new habits and see results. It was enough time to make real changes but not too long that we would lose motivation and give up. We also liked the idea of having a specific goal and deadline to work towards.

The Changes We Made

Our plan entailed exercising five days per week for 45 minutes each day and simply make smarter, healthier food choices. Our fitness challenge consisted of three main components: exercise, diet, and mindset.

Exercise

We started by incorporating daily walks into our routine. We’d find time for a quick lap or two around our block between meetings since we both work from home.

We also made use of our home gym equipped with four Nordictrack machines featuring iFit technology: rower, treadmill, elliptical and bike.

Want to see pictures of our gym? Check out How I Set Up My Small Home Gym.

Diet

We opted for a flexible approach to eating rather than a rigid diet regimen. Prioritizing healthier choices, we reduced our intake of processed foods, sugar, and carbs while increasing our consumption of lean proteins, plant-based options, fruits, and veggies.

Hydration was key, with a focus on drinking ample water each day. To cut back on dining out, we committed to cooking more meals at home.

Mindset

One of the most important aspects of our challenge was changing our mindset. This time around, the goal wasn’t about weight loss, it was about movement and making better food choices. We wanted to focus on feeling strong, energized, and healthy instead of just a target weight goal.

Our Results

After 60 Days, my husband lost 40 lbs and I lost 20 lbs. But more importantly, we both felt stronger and more confident. We noticed significant changes in our energy levels, mood, and overall well-being. We were motivated to continue our healthy habits even after the challenge was over.

Lessons Learned Throughout our Fitness Journey

#8 Small Steps Lead to Big Changes

Throughout our 60-day fitness challenge, we learned the importance of taking small steps towards our goals. It can be overwhelming to try and change your entire lifestyle overnight, so instead, we focused on making small changes each day.

My husband was starting from ground zero. He hadn’t worked out in years so he began his exercise regimin by taking a lap around our neighborhood for 15-30 minutes each day and using our home gym for 20 minutes at a beginner level. By the end of 60 days, he’d worked his way up to exercising 7 days per week for 1 hour a day.

For me, I already lead a more active lifestyle but realized the importance of focusing on intensity and consistency. I attended yoga classes 2-3 times a week and used my home gym 3 days a week. Despite this routine, I lacked consistency and remained at a beginner’s level for years without truly challenging myself. So, within the 60 days, I pushed myself to increase the intensity and frequency of my workouts, resulting in significant improvements in my strength and endurance.

#7 The Power of Accountability

By doing this fitness challenge together, we were each other’s support system and motivation. We made a commitment to hold each other accountable for our actions and kept track of our progress together. This added an extra level of motivation and helped us push through when we were feeling tired or discouraged.

We also found that sharing our journey with friends and family gave us even more accountability. By publicly announcing our fitness challenge, we felt a sense of responsibility to stick to it and show that we were committed to making positive changes in our lives. This external accountability helped us stay on track and motivated us to continue pushing ourselves.

Keeping a fitness journal of exercises and meals also served as a form of accountability. We were able to track our progress and see how far we had come, which motivated us to keep going and strive for even more progress.

#6 Incorporating Strength Training was a Game Changer

One of the biggest changes we made during this fitness challenge was incorporating strength training into our workouts. Midway through our challenge, we got an adjustable dumbell set and started incorporating weight lifting exercises into our routine. Additionally, we incorporated push ups and sit ups into our daily routine as well. This is when the weight really started to come off and our bodies began to change. Our clothes were fitting differently and we could see muscle definition in areas we hadn’t before.

Not only did this help us build muscle and increase our metabolism, but it also gave us a new sense of confidence and strength. Watching ourselves get stronger each week was incredibly motivating and reminded us that fitness is about more than just the number on the scale.

#5 Workouts Should Be Fun Yet Challenging

For years, I made a mistake by sticking to the same workouts – same intensity, same duration. And unsurprisingly, I ended up with the same results… no progress at all!

It’s easy to quit if you’re bored or not pushing yourself enough. So this time around, we found exercises and routines that were both enjoyable and challenging.

My husband and I love traveling, which was a big draw of iFit. With iFit’s trainers, we could virtually explore destinations worldwide from home. Workouts felt like adventures, not chores, from hikes through the Rocky Mountains to walks along Australian beaches. It kept us engaged and motivated to continue our fitness journey.

Additionally, taking it up a notch in intensity and different exercises from week to week kept our bodies challenged and constantly adapting. It was exciting to see what we were capable of each week and it helped us avoid plateaus in our progress.

#4 Unique Bodies, Unique Diets

Our transformation didn’t just stop with adjusting our workouts; it extended into the kitchen. We embraced the idea that eating should be personal and intuitive. Instead of blindly following the latest diet trends, we started listening to our bodies, experimenting with different kinds of foods that made us feel strong and energized. From protein-packed meals that fueled our workout recovery to the vibrant fruits and vegetables that filled our plates with color and nutrients, we learned the value of variety.

Boosting water intake and consuming metabolism-boosting foods like green tea, mushroom coffee, and avocado helped me push through my weight loss plateau. I relied on fruits, veggies, chia seeds, dairy-free yogurt, and hummus as satisfying snacks to stay energized all day. My husband focused on adding lean proteins and complex carbs for muscle growth and strength.

Our diets were not about restriction or deprivation; they focused on nourishment and fulfillment. Similar to our exercise routines, we discovered ways to relish healthy eating by exploring new recipes together and opting for healthier alternatives to our beloved dishes, such as air-fried fresh cut potatoes instead of traditional restaurant fries.

We also discovered the magic of balance and moderation. Indulging in our favorite treats now and then didn’t derail our progress; it made the journey more joyful and sustainable. When we had a treat, we earned it and for some reason it seamed to taste even better.

#3 Weight Doesn’t Define Your Success

Throughout this journey, we’ve learned that weight shouldn’t be the sole measure of our success. While it’s natural to want to see physical changes and lose weight during a fitness challenge, it’s important to remember that there are other factors at play.

We purchased a scale that measures body fat percentage, muscle mass, bone mass, body water, protein and metabolic age in addition to weight. This allowed us to track our progress more accurately and not get discouraged by the number on the scale. The scale also had an app where we can track and share progress with one another. This really helped us focus on the bigger picture and not get too fixated on the wrong numbers.

#2 Consistency is Key

There were some weeks where I only lost a pound and others where I lost three pounds. But no matter the number on the scale, I was proud of myself for staying consistent and sticking to my workout routine.

Consistency is key when it comes to reaching your fitness goals. It’s not about perfection, but rather showing up and putting in the effort each day. Even on days when I didn’t feel like exercising, I reminded myself of the bigger picture and how far I had come already.

On days when motivation was lacking, we reminded ourselves of our why. Whether it’s to feel more confident, improve our health, or set a positive example for our kids, having a clear reason behind our fitness journey helped us stay motivated and focused.

#1 Celebrate Small Victories

While we often focus on big, long-term goals, it’s important to recognize and celebrate small victories along the way.

My husband and I celebrated the little wins such as being able to do one more push-up, increasing our weights an additional five pounds or running for an extra minute without stopping, these small achievements are proof of our progress and should be acknowledged and celebrated.

Final Thoughts

Fitness is not just about the physical changes, but also the mental and emotional growth that comes with it. It’s a lifestyle, not a quick fix. It requires dedication, consistency, and patience. But the rewards are worth it.

We learned to push through our limits, to trust in ourselves and our abilities, and to make better choices. We also learned to be kinder to ourselves and not beat ourselves up over setbacks or slip-ups. Even when I had to take almost three weeks off from exercising after having surgery, I didn’t let it discourage me. Instead, I focused on healing and came back even stronger.

We now have more energy, feel stronger and more confident in our bodies, and most importantly, we’ve developed a positive mindset that carries over into other areas of our lives. The 60-day challenge was just the start of our fitness journey, and we can’t wait to see where it takes us next.

So if you’re just starting your fitness journey or struggling to stay on track, remember to be patient with yourself, celebrate your wins big or small, and keep your why in mind.

You are capable of achieving great things, so never give up on yourself. Keep pushing towards a healthier and happier you! Let’s continue to inspire and empower each other along the way.

Watch our fitness journey on Instagram.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *