28 Day Challenge

I’m almost a little afraid to write this post because the last time I promised myself to commit to a 21 day challenge, something crappy happened to me and threw me off balance, so I never got around to actually starting the challenge.

Then work exploded and I couldn’t even find the time to breathe, let alone work out.

I’ve let excuses take up enough real estate. It’s time to stop moaning and buckle down.

The only person who loses out on my lack of commitment is me.

I decided I would just wait until after vacation and start fresh, so the beginning of April is signifying a whole world of change for me. A new blog, new eating habits, rebooting my fitness routine, work challenges (post to come) and a new emotional patterns (posts to come) are all kicking into high gear this month.

I’m ready for a change. Spring is in the air here and being uncomfortable in a bathing suit and summer clothes on vacation really helped me to regain the focus I only had tenuous hold on in February and March.

The good news is that by the time you read this, I will be almost one week into my new routine, so it’s no longer just smoke and mirrors.

What have I committed myself to?


Isagenix. There is no alternative for me. I know this program works for me and it’s hard core. But it’s 30 days and I can do anything for 30 days that I set my mind to.

What does it consist of? Basically shakes for 2 meals and then 1 healthy balanced meal each evening. 5 days on and then 2 days fasting. I enjoyed the fasting so much when I did it the first time. It’s not for everyone but it does give great results. I’m going to reduce my alcohol and coffee intake as well. You’re really supposed to eliminate them entirely but I don’t want to ruin my life. 😂😂😂

I found that one month of Isagenix really reminds me how good my body feels when it’s healthy.

The fact is, I lost a bunch of weight due to illness and I managed to put it all back on plus some.  I have a clear weight goal in mind – but the fact that I am starting at a number I haven’t seen in a year is actually motivating because it’s nothing more than stupidity and laziness that put me here.

My first week I eased into the Isagenix routine because I was at home more than not.  It’s very easy to conform to Isagenix when I’m working because the routine requires little to no thought.

My weigh in day will be Wednesdays so this is the first day to get weighed and Isagenix starts today full throttle.  I still have to set my fast days as they cannot be exercise days and preferably not my free nights…so there is still some thought going into the days I will commit to fasting.

I also started taking vitamins.  This has been a  lifelong struggle for me as all vitamins make me nauseous.  My friend introduced me to gummies and I can tolerate these well enough to get in some fish oil and a mega vitamin.  My hair and nails could use the help.

I would like to start doing B12 injections, and will need to either do this myself or find a doctor who is willing to do them monthly.



Exercise is like getting on the strugglebus for me. Everyone claims that if you do something long enough it becomes a habit but I am living proof that’s a lie! I have worked out on and off with consistency for the past 2 years and it never becomes a habit. It never becomes something I want to spend time doing.

Yes, I feel great after I exercise. I sleep better, I feel better and my skin glows. Nothing really motivates me in the end to get my ass in gear. I just don’t like it. Period. Stop trying to convince me. I know I look better with exercise. Doesn’t change how I feel about it.

Further, the most stable routine requires me getting up at 4:45 am at least 3 days a week. Urgh. That’s the only way I can guarantee time to work out without my job or any attempt at a social life getting in the way.

Ok, enough complaining. I have committed to 3 days of morning walking/running and 2 days of strength routines. If all goes well with the breathing, I’m going to step it up by adding a class back into my routine.

And, if all goes well, my goal is to run a 5k in June with my workmates.  I started the couch to 5k (and I hate it, just hate it) and hope that I can stick with it until I am running.  I even hate the word running.  I don’t want to run anywhere.  Who needs to be in such a hurry anyways?


Emotional Well Being:

I plan to go to the Opera twice this month with a girlfriend. This entails fancy dress, dinner out and then a fun festive evening after the opera while we are all dolled up. The music and the companionship are good for the soul and it’s something I haven’t done since college.

I’m also going to a Depeche Mode night at a city club which should be tons of fun.

And, of course, I have therapy sessions scheduled.  Continued therapy to explore family relationships, dating behaviors and ultimate acceptance of my heartbreak. Sorry to disappoint, but I am far from over him.

My biggest challenge this month will be work. There are massive layoffs expected again and this time around I’m quite worried. I’m trying to lie low, head down, do my job well and hope for the best.

Self-guided meditation: I’m going to give this a try and just downloaded an app.

Lunch with an old work contact to brush up on the resume and networking.  I am terrible at networking and I know I need to do this.

A dating break.  Yep.  You read that right.  Finally.  I haven’t actually been out on a date or focusing all my time on the dating apps for 3 weeks.  Imagine that.  Just for clarification, as I have mentioned before, a break to me means dating does not drive me…yes, I look at the apps and start some conversations, but it’s quite limited – limited enough not to have been on a date in 3 weeks.

So there it is – my official plan of action.  28 days, and 1 week down already.

I got this.





Author: Madeline Harper

My journey through divorce and an emotional and sexual reawakening. Love, laughter, friendships, family and heartbreak included. And there is sex, lots of it, so close your eyes and turn the page if that's not for you! While I started this blog as an endeavor to journal my thoughts and feelings in an attempt to better understand myself, it has become an amazing platform from which I have met some of the most interesting and wonderful people in my life. My path is often crooked, but I hope you will share in the journey with me.

23 thoughts on “28 Day Challenge”

  1. That’s all awesome! ( except for the possible lay off bit..that blows).

    I will say that as I have been regularly working out for four years the part that I have come to love is the friends I have made at the gym. The social aspect is what helps me go. Lol.

    Early mornings totally suck. I am NOT a morning person but I get up at 430 am 4-5 mornings a week to go or else I will never get to the gym. 7:30 am wake up is just as hard for me as 4:30 am..so I figure I might as well just go early since I hate waking either way. I won’t tell you that in time you will love it…it’s really a decision you make. Once you get your body where you want it to be it becomes about your commitment to keep it there…it’s a lifelong decision. I like to keep in mind that weight training helps prevent osteoporosis….which helps keep me motivated for the long term. I do it not to be a bikini model but so that I am not some brittle elderly person down the road. And I get to be skinny now. Bonus!

    I’ve never tried the Isagenix, I didn’t change my eating until a year into my working out. I could never start off doing both because when i tried it felt overwhelming. Jay chose to work on his eating before committing back to his workouts…one change is easier to tackle than an all over change at once…but I know others who need to do it all at once like you are….it’s so individual.

    I do wish you the greatest success with your challenge and i look forward to hearing how you progress! It’s going to be great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea, that layoff bit is a killer and I think it’s actually contributing to my low energy levels this month. While we all try not to think of it and talk about it, it’s a pretty big elephant in the room to avoid.

      I agree it’s best to do one thing at a time – and when I started, that’s how I did it. This time, the food and exercise can go together because I am familiar with both and don’t feel like it’s as much of a struggle when you know what to expect. The only thing really different is the type of exercise. I did realize I have to cut back as my body isn’t ready so I am only going to do the 5k this month and have to wait for strength to be incorporated next month.

      I love how you frame the waking up – I am EXACTLY the same!!! That is brilliant!!


  2. Wow so much good stuff! I do the 5:2 diet (intermittent fasting). This week 4:3. It helps me keep my weight off. I e been doing it for over a year. I would never not do it.
    Can u tell me more about the B12 shots? I’ve occasionally seen it on Groupon and have been very curious about it. Have u tried it? Does it work?
    Also would love to hear about the opera.
    These are some awesome plans. I felt so happy for u just reading this.


    1. Yes, when I find out more about the B12 I will let you know – you can buy them on Amazon – they are not hard to find. I haven’t done any research on dosage yet though.

      I agree on the intermittent fasting but have to admit – I have no idea how you do 3 days?? I haven’t started the fasting yet as my doctor wants me to wait now for 2 weeks so this is just another shake week, which is fine by me.

      Thanks so much for your support!


  3. Sounds fantastic. This all just re-inspired me to up my game. I’ve worked out on and off all my life, and, like you, I just can’t “love” it. I’ve been running, which I always swore I hated but it does make me feel great. Never had trouble with weight until my 40s, and now at almost 47 I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been. I need a plan that produces results, otherwise I end up saying fuck it and go back to my old ways. Therapy is also on my list, as I feel like I just fell off some stupid emotional wagon and need to stop the self destructive behavior. Keep us posted. Maybe I’ll start my own 28 days. Power in numbers, right?


    1. For women 40+ and really anyone I HIGHLY recommend weight lifting. Cardiovascular work, like running, is great but it’s not going to really have major impact on the scale or waist line. In all my running groups a lot of people complain about weight gain. Weights (not even heavy ones) make a major impact on increasing metabolism and shaving off the weight. My best friend hates working out with weights but has always said that when she wants to lose the pounds and tighten things up the weights does it quicker (weights plus cardio is obviously ideal!!)

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Strength in numbers is right!! But this is where I wish all of you lived closer so we could be encouraging each other in person! And getting out to the track together!

      I did have a great plan that produced results 2 years ago and this is a modified version of that plan…so I don’t know what my block is for NOT getting back into it more easily when I have seen first hand how well it works!


  4. What positive steps, thoughts and most importantly ACTIONS! I like food too much for the shake/fast stuff although I need to like food less.

    As for the exercise, I was reading a book on cold calling and the author said something that fits to many things in life (especially cold calling and exercise). He said you just need to accept that it sucks, but you have to do it to be successful. Of course, there is a lot more, but his advice is to realize there is no magic bullet and the only thing that works is hard work and self-discipline. Shit, I dream of the magic bullet….

    But you are making so many positive steps, that it will lead to great things for you. As for work- it is what it is and use the Serenity prayer because ain’t nothing you can do there except all the things you are already doing.


    1. There is no liking food less – it just means that I have to leave my treats to real treats and I can’t be treating myself every day (which I tend to do, maybe not every day, but much too often).

      It does suck and I like the comparison to cold calling – it’s so darn accurate.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Very impressive M! I know you can do it. When you set your mind to a goal, and focus on it, I know you get it done. Yep, lots on your plate … and they’re all priorities. Dating is the least of your issues, so you’re right to shove that down the list


      1. Hmmm … given where your head’s at I’m not sure dating is gonna help much. I think you need to develop a more positive vibe before you try to jump on that horse again. If you need to ask yourself (about dating), I’d guess you’re not ready.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m with you on the exercise thing — it’s so difficult for me to get to the gym or start that walk. I know that if I exercise I’ll feel so much better, be stronger, more toned, and my mind is sharper, but I still can’t motivate myself to get there! I’m trying to look at it like it’s a doctor’s Rx for meds — I have to take them, even if I don’t like them, because the alternative is sickness and/or death. Exercise needs to be taken once daily (at least walking if I’m not lifting weights or doing intense cardio).


    1. Yea – what is that? The mind really plays funny tricks! If it feels so great – where is the motivation to do more of it??? That makes me nuts.

      I like the idea of thinking of it as a prescription for the long run. I will try any type of conviction!!


  7. Kudos to you for such a positive set of goals and objectives. On the exercise, up until very recently I hated it too, and sometimes I still do. However, I did find the incremental adjustments to my attitude made getting up so early every single day to get to the gym a lot more bearable, and now it’s just part of the fabric of my days. This is a very personal thing, though, and you do not necessarily have to like exercise to reap the benefits of a regular, consistent program.


  8. Love this, and feeling totally inspired to get off my butt and join you!!

    Some great advice in the comments above, the only thing I’d add is to keep focused on the end result. You’ve got this! ❤ x

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Way to go, moving on up. The fasting days are tough, trying one fasting and one with juicing for the second day, then back. It does help cleanse and provide some energy during the low period. I am sure you will be trying different things, some of which are suggested in the comments. The main thing is you are trying and working at it. Keep it up.


    1. Tomorrow is going to be my first fasting day. I can’t drink juice (or have any fruit) on Isagenix but they have good supplements for the day of the fast. I had to choose a day I wasn’t’ working out or having to feed the kids or going out with friends! So it seems 1 day will work for me this week and maybe next week I will do 2 days.


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