When I look back at 2022, there are many things I am proud of, but nothing makes me prouder than deciding to take my health and well-being in my own hands! Before I share anything about this journey, I want to specify that I know that January can be a tricky month when it comes to body transformations, fitness resolutions and social pressure… So this is not a post about losing weight. I actually only weighed myself at the very beginning, to calculate how many calories I should be burning per day. Today, it might be less, it might be the same… I don’t really care. What is important to me is that I feel better, stronger, healthier and more confident.
It all started at my last mammogram, on March 28th. I was waiting for my results… so I had a few (long) hours to think. I remember how difficult these annual check-ups used to be, how I would always cry because my mind raced to the worst outcome. With time, I learned to control my thoughts a little and promised myself I would take this yearly opportunity to reflect on life. This year, I couldn’t help thinking about 2 very opposite things: how incredibly lucky I was to have always gotten good news at these appointments and how I hadn’t felt healthy for a while. So when I left the hospital cancer-free for a 12th year, I decided I was going to do everything in my power to feel good in my body. I owed it to myself and Charlie to be the healthiest version of ME.
The first step I took was to (finally) join YAMAJO, a running crew in my neighbourhood. I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t very regular at first and God I found it hard, but now I really love it! A few weeks after that, I was invited to a wellness event in Toronto where we got to do a workout with Coach Chris Smith and his wife Elle Daftarian, from The Inner Circle. I only saw them 30 minutes, but there was something about their inner joy and authenticity that really spoke to me. It’s like I immediately knew that they were the people I needed if I was going to start training again!
Chris and Elle launched The Inner Circle during the pandemic. Before that, Chris owned a gym that had to close on a day’s notice and while trying to figure out how they were going to get through this, they imagined a new way of « going to the gym » without leaving your home. That’s actually a bit reductive because they created something way greater than that… they created a community. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always felt that going to the gym was very lonely and impersonal (unless you have a personal trainer). I know some people love training on their own and thrive, but I need motivation, accountability and support. And that’s exactly what I got when I registered to their 8 Weeks Lifestyle Reset Challenge.
The Challenge is all about transforming the way we see training and nutrition… changing our eating habits (because we understand what we were doing wrong) and actually having fun working out! Now that I’ve done it, I can tell you how the FUN part is important, because I was NOT looking forward to doing 40 workouts in 60 days. I was actually scared I was going to be THE one quitting before the end because I just couldn’t do it. But something amazing happened… once I completed 15 sessions, I was looking forward to my daily rendez-vous with Elle and Chris. First of all, I don’t think there’s one single day I didn’t laugh (to Chris’ killer dance moves or Elle’s jokes about Chris) and to my great embarrassment (when my hubby was at home and overhearing me especially), I often talked back to my tv. That’s the power of their on-screen presence.
Something else I found really amazing is how available the coaches are. You can always contact them via the private group chat and you can schedule one-on-one calls to discuss any struggle or question you have. Elle and Chris are there the whole way… and so is their nutrition specialist Melissa Ieraci! As you probably know, training doesn’t mean much if you are not eating right… so the nutrition videos, the weekly coaching calls, the recipes and the shopping lists are so precious. I mentioned earlier that this wasn’t a post about losing weight, well it isn’t about dieting either! I learned so much about food, supplements, the importance of proteines and how I could continue eating the things I love, maybe just changing some ingredients or meal combinations. And that is knowledge I will forever have!
So I’ve covered the motivation and the support, but I haven’t told you about the accountability part yet… and that’s where the Apple Watch comes into play! When Chris and Elle created their program, they thought that adding a (friendly) competition aspect would make things even better. So they integrated the Activity Rings feature and the Challenges App to the experience. The idea is pretty simple, you earn points based on exercice and activity everyday and that keeps you accountable… either to yourself, if you do the Solo Challenge or to your teammates, if you compete in the Teams Challenge. Every week, there’s a winner (announced at the Saturday coaching call) as well of course as at the end of the 8 weeks! To me, this feature was so motivating because I always wanted to close my rings and earn the maximum amount of points! Some evenings, I was missing a few points, so I would go for a brisk walk, do a big clean of the kitchen (to Joe’s obvious joy) or improvise a little dance party with Charlie. He still asks me do it every few days 🙂
Remember I told you I had a hunch this was going to be THE program for me the day I met Elle and Chris… well I got my confirmation when Elle told me I had to « uncover my why » before starting my challenge. The same way you can’t launch a business just to make money, embarking on this journey can’t be only about shedding unwanted body fat, it has to be deeper than that. So I completed their « 5 Why Process » exercice (inspired by the great Simon Sinek) and uncovered something about myself that still brings tears. After the classic « I want to get back in shape, transform my post giving-birth body and feel good in my own skin », I realized I was afraid to get sick and not be there for Charlie, so I wanted to do all in my power to keep disease, and especially cancer, away. And that’s when it dawned on me… sickness and health had always just happened to me, like I had no control over my life. And I wanted to change that! That was my purpose for the challenge. And let me tell you it came in handy every single time I struggled to continue.
I wanted to keep this for the end, because it is so incredibly significative for me. Thank you Elle and Chris for your life-changing gift. I will forever be grateful for meeting you and getting to do this challenge that opened my eyes to what I can accomplish when I set my mind… and my purpose to it!
P.S. I don’t need to tell you that there’s something very addictive about working out, so I decided I was going to do a second challenge with The Inner Circle! First of all, because I want to maintain all my hard work, but also because I want to keep improving in terms of nutrition and their new January Reset Challenge is all about that! If you want to try it, don’t hesitate, I would love to share the journey with you! And I have a promo code that you can use to take 600$ off on the program: JANNEWBIE23. I’m not getting any commission on this, I just asked to share with my readers, because I think this challenge can be life-changing for everyone!!