Paige Hathaway Has a Five Week Fitness Challenge That Will Kick Your Butt
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” -Fred Devito
Fitness is definitely not something I know much about. Before I met my fiancé Patrick two years ago, I literally ate mostly bread, sugar and chocolate. I loved desserts, ice cream, brownies, anything that could satisfy my sweet tooth. It’s been 8 years now since I’ve had a baby, and my stomach is far from looking pre-baby-like. Also, once I turned 25, I started noticing something really strange. When I would eat a lot of bread and sugar, I would start to gain weight! Crazy right?! At first I tried ignoring it. That didn’t work. Then, I tried working out with a personal trainer at The Bridges Club gym, but that didn’t help too much. (Although it did help!) I still would gain weight if I ate terribly caloric food all day long, go figure. I had to put a stop to it somehow, so I decided that I had to learn more about nutrition, and eat healthier.
Paige Hathaway’s Fit in 5 Challenge
I turned to Instagram for inspiration, and it wasn’t long before Patrick sent me a post from Paige Hathaway, a fitness model and enthusiast. She was so gorgeous, and her body was rockin! I kept an eye out for her Instagram posts, and would always drool over each one, hoping that just staring at the photos would get me abs. Nope. Finally, Paige posted an invitation to join her Fit in 5 Challenge, where competitors follow a five week diet and exercise plan, and the winner takes home $5,000 in the end! I was intrigued to say the least, and tired of all the other ways I had attempted to get abs, so I decided you know what?! I am going to do this challenge. I am going to get fit. Here’s my video from the first week of the challenge:
I signed up (it’s a $200 entry fee) and enjoyed my final day of eating junk food and bread. Day one was intense. I took “Day 1” photos and was pretty optimistic about getting fit. The custom diet she created for me basically consisted of meat, and vegetables. No bread, no sugar, and no chocolate! The custom workout she sent me was so hard, and I struggled through it on the first couple of days. On the third day, I really wasn’t sure if I could continue in the competition. I was getting tired of meat, vegetables and going to the gym. It was getting in the way of my regular life. I couldn’t eat any of the options when I went out for happy hour at a local restaurant, and parties became something I desperately tried to avoid. I was supposed to do 20 V-ups in a row (where you lay flat on your back, arms out straight over your head and then do a crunch keeping your legs straight and touch your toes with your fingertips) and I couldn’t even do 5 without taking a break. I hadn’t lost any weight after three days, and I just wanted to quit. Then, on day 4, something really awesome happened. I did 6 V-ups in a row!!
I also started realizing how full I felt after eating meat or vegetables. Green beans actually starting tasting pretty good! I woke up every day for the rest of the first week with a determination to stick to the five week plan and succeed at trying to not eat everything in sight. When week two started, I was impressed with myself. I started really loving the way it felt to be done with my workout for the day, and eating the half of a banana Paige said I could have on the two days of the week that I did really intense workouts. I would judge everyone around me for eating bread or chocolate, telling myself how fat they would get eating that, and how fit I could get resisting. One day during the second week, I stared to compare every new food that I would eat to any food that I used to eat. Salsa had 2g of sugar, while the ketchup that I was eating before had 8g of sugar! Oatmeal had barely any sugar (I did douse it with honey though) and the sugary cereal I was eating before had outrageous amounts of sugar! I started learning about foods that actually filled me up, were good for me, AND tasted good. But the third week, really had me down.
I celebrated my birthday during the third week of the challenge, and it was the hardest few days of the challenge for me emotionally. It felt so unfair that everyone else could party and eat everything, and just because I wanted my abs to actually show, I had to miss celebrating my birthday. I wrote Paige an email explaining how I felt, and she replied something like this, “Amanda, you’re doing so great in the challenge so far! Just because you’re taking better care of your body physically, doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun with great company. You can always celebrate you birthday with cake after the challenge, but for now, try your hardest to stick to the plan.” I hated that advice. I really thought she would email saying go ahead and splurge for one day. Nope. I did eat a few bites of cheesecake for my birthday, and some cream based sauce on my meat that night, but other than that, I stuck to plan and wanted to throw a fit. The fourth week however, was the week that completely changed my life. (Well, I don’t know if I should say COMPLETELY changed my life, as I am eating a cookie right now as I type this.)
The fourth week it all kicked in. I had just 14 days left to get as fit as possible before the challenge was over, and just 10 workout days. Each day, I would go harder than I had ever before, pushing my legs, back, arms, and any other body part I was working on to the limit. I started really loving oatmeal (especially with a tiny sprinkle of cocao powder, and a sprinkle of chocolate protein powder) and craving protein. I could actually go out with people who were enjoying a night on the town, without hating everyone around me for eating and drinking. I would order a salad, knowing that I was doing it because that’s really all my body was craving. I didn’t need all of the pasta and deep fried food. It was just a temptation that I had always given into in the past. Instead of drinking, (alcohol I found out quickly has a TON of calories) I would have half orange juice half soda water. (Paige said during the challenge if you’re feeling sick, you could have some orange juice, so I figured if I felt “sick of life” when everyone around me was drinking, I could probably have some orange juice at that point.) It started to become a fun personal challenge of how many minutes of workouts I could fit in the schedule each day, and how many times I could choose healthy eating options instead. If I could succeed with not splurging on coffee, chocolate, or bread, it was a success. By the start of the fifth week, the challenge didn’t even matter anymore.
I know, that sounds crazy. Four weeks in, and I didn’t even care about the challenge anymore, seriously?! Reminds me of one of the first few days in the challenge, when I was watching Paige make something using a recipe. She weighed out some blueberries, and took just one blueberry off the scale because it was one too many. I laughed and made a joke to Patrick about how ridiculous it was that she thought she’d get fat if she ate that one blueberry too much. But seriously, I learned that everything in life is relative. I hadn’t ever cared about measuring food or getting sweaty every day before, because I didn’t want to care about my body. I wanted to give into every temptation, and enjoy every pleasure. But the truth is, unless you create balance in your life, you’ll always be chasing after things that make you feel not good enough in the end. Unless you have a goal, track your progress, and celebrate your successes, you’ll never grow and thrive. If you measure out every single blueberry, and just stick to the plan no matter what, you will have success, and it will feel incredible! The last week of the challenge I was so excited, I worked out so much, and felt great about the progress I had made.
What I Learned
Now a days, when I measure food and choose healthier options, I think back to the “Pre-Paige Hathaway” days, and laugh to myself thinking about how much fun I poked at these “fitness freaks.” Her Fit in 5 Challenge really changed my entire mindset, and allowed me to play a game with myself about will power. It built me up mentally, and I proved to myself that I could accomplish anything I put my mind to. Her challenge also gave me really great ideas for killer workouts for every part of my body, and got me really excited to workout and feel the strength build in my muscles. The challenge taught me a lot about nutrition, and the importance of finding out what I am really eating, and making sure it was something my body could thrive off of, and not just junk my body would have to store.
Life After the Challenge
Paige also has a membership website where you can join in and pay each month to get all of her greatest tips and tricks to everything fitness and health! When the challenge was over, I decided to try the Eat This Much app instead, where you put in your fitness goals, and the foods you like and don’t like to eat, and then the app sends you a grocery list and recipes based on your goals. It’s actually quite interesting, and you can even specify that you want recipes that you can make for dinner, and eat the leftovers for lunch the next day! As far as the fitness aspect of it, I still watch Paige Hathaway’s YouTube videos and follow her on Instagram for motivation, but my “free spirit” personality has a hard time following a strict workout plan. Patrick and I have been hiking around San Diego a lot more lately, so I get my workouts in different ways depending on the day, but I still love to lift heavy (well, heavy for me is like 20 lbs.) when I am at the gym. This challenge helped shape a better future for my body, and for my mind, and I couldn’t thank Paige enough for hosting a fun challenge like this. She starts a new Fit in 5 challenge every month or two, so make sure to follow her Instagram to join in and compete against 100 other people working toward their fitness goals!
If you have any advice for me on getting abs, workouts in general, or nutrition tips I would love to hear them! I am still a bit “lost” in the fitness world and trying to find my way, but at least I now have a goal in mind and have found a way to make fitness more of a fun game than hard work that’s only for the gurus. I really get excited about getting in shape and seeing my body transform. I love talking with others about their fitness journey, and what it takes to get to their goals. What’s the one piece of advice you live by to keep yourself healthy?