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How I Got Back into My Favorite Jeans

I have a confession to make: Earlier this year I noticed that I wasn’t fitting into my clothes. (Maybe some of you know what I'm talking about.) I had taken 3 months off from my regular workout schedule, and several extra pounds had snuck up on me, which made it difficult for me to fit into my favorite pair of jeans.

I'll be honest with you, I found myself needing extra motivation and accountability to get myself back on track.

Luckily, after trying a number of new workouts and various fitness DVD programs, I found a fun and easy solution that helped me get back into my favorite jeans in just 8 weeks.

What was my secret? What did I do to lose the weight? Did I hire a fancy trainer or join an expensive gym?

I joined the Gunnar Challenge!

As my friends and coworkers at LIVESTRONG.COM will attest, I'm a fitness fanatic who generally needs little encouragement to get my workouts done, but this time, I'll be honest I needed a little help and support. I wrote a blog about it back in May when I joined the 8-Week Challenge, however, I neglected to mention what the challenge was, or how it worked out.

I had only a little knowledge about who Gunnar Peterson was before committing to his 8-week program.  Although I didn’t know much about his personality (and personality is key for me in regards to any fitness instructor!), I was familiar with his celebrity clientele (both Jennifer Lopez and Sylvester Stallone have trained with him, in addition to many others, and they credit Gunnar with their fitness success).

So I joined Gunnar's “Look Great in 8″ Challenge and immediately got access to an online daily eating and exercise plan that was easy-to-follow and customized for me.

On day one, I received a welcome video from Gunnar.  His great personality had me fired up within seconds. Gunnar also has a practical way of laying out groundwork for the 8-week challenge in a digestible format.  Watching Gunnar's video convinced I could do the program and succeed. Not only would there be an online community of participants going through this challenge with me day-by-day, Gunnar would also be there every step of the way.  Every day members of the Challenge receive a daily short video check-in from Gunnar, called a “verbal vitamin." I loved watching my daily videos from Gunnar, and they helped me stay motivated and on track. I found myself booting up my computer and instead of checking emails or Facebook, I checked in immediately to see what Gunnar had to say. Once I had watched his video, it got me ready to do my daily workout.

Another important element of Gunnar's Challenge that helped me lose the weight in 8 weeks was the easy-to-follow daily meal plan and weekly grocery shopping list. Not only were all the foods and recipes delicious, the recipes themselves were super-simple to make and didn't take much time to cook or prepare. I'm a busy person and I didn't have a ton of time available for cooking, and this meal plan made it easy for me. I could also preview all my meals for the week ahead and make substitutions, whenever needed.

The Gunnar Challenge workouts are fun, challenging, and (most importantly) doable inthe comfort of my own house - no gym or fancy equipment needed!  Each workout involved some light weights, body weight exercises, and cardio. Every Saturday there was a “Wildcard Workout” - meaning a surprise butt-kicking addition to the daily workouts - that was only revealed Friday afternoon.

Gunnar's website made it really simple for me to track my progress. With the click of one button you can add a day's or a week's worth of food and fitness activities to your tracker. Even though the challenge recommended specific recipes for me, I found myself adding food items and combos that I regularly eat as substitutions, and that process was extremely easy.

Most important of all, the Gunnar Challenge enabled me to succeed! I ended up losing 5-pounds over the course of the Challenge, and today I fit into my favorite pair of jeans!  Finishing Gunnar's Challenge helped to jump-start my fitness program which is still in motion today.

My co-workers at LIVESTRONG.COM witnessed my success at losing the weight and saw my enthusiasm for Gunnar's program. Since some of us on the team may have gained a few pounds between Thanksgiving and the December holidays, we’ve decided to commit to taking the next 8-Week Gunnar Challenge together. We're starting on Monday, Jan 21, 2013 to get the holiday weight off! We would love it if our readers who want to lose weight will join us. We even negotiated a $50 discount for all LIVESTRONG.COM readers who sign up The Gunnar Challenge before January 7, 2013. We'll be right there with you, blogging about our challenges and successes along the way. So, are you in? Sign up now to get the discounted rate.*


*If you sign up for a course, Demand Media will receive a commission.

Susy Sedano is one of the Content Managers at LIVESTRONG.COM, and a fitness enthusiast searching for a fun way to integrate food and exercise into a healthy living plan. Four years ago she lost nearly 20 pounds and has kept it off. She is always looking for new challenges, running a half marathon, practicing more yoga, or finding more time for rest. Despite her hectic non-stop fitness schedule, she is a "girl's girl" and a student of life!

Want more from me? Find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google+.


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