365 Days of Sweat

One woman's year-long quest to the ultimate fitness lifestyle

By Allessia—If you were to look up the words “inspiration” and “possibility” in the dictionary we’re quite certain you’d find our former educator, Betsy’s, name listed in their descriptions (hey Oxford, we’re proposing a rewrite). Not only did she find the courage to leave an unfulfilling career in HR to follow her dreams of being a life coach, she also recently crushed a jaw-dropping goal: 365 days of sweat (which is exactly what it sounds like it is).

Rumor has it you set a BHAG to sweat for 365 days. True?
Yes. I am a firm believer of the statement, "you have to live it to give it." As a life coach, I wanted to make sure that I was living a healthy life that had a consistent workout ritual (which I preach often). Not only were my workouts inconsistent, I also knew I was capable of a whole lot more. Last October (2011) I was on a run in a park and the idea popped up in my head. After the run, I came up with a name for the adventure and started blogging that evening. Initially the blog was a way that my friends and family could help hold me accountable to my goal but it transitioned into a beautiful space of inspiration for others.

So did you really sweat 365 days in a row?
Yes and no. I worked out for 365 days in a row but sometimes my body needed a break and I listened. Those days I would walk for 45 minutes in my neighborhood or go to a slower paced yoga class. I did not sweat (much), I just moved. It is important to listen to what your body needs no matter what your fitness goals are. When you are able to truly listen, you will be able to complete the goal a lot easier than if you push it so hard that it breaks.

What did achieving the goal mean to you?
The most important thing that it taught me is how powerful I can be when I fully commit myself to something. Everyone has self doubt and for me it kept coming back to, "you cannot complete anything!" By finishing this goal I was able to prove myself oh-so wrong. Now that I know that I am capable of completing things, my world seems endlessly full of possibilities. That's a pretty wonderful feeling.

Was there ever a point where you wanted to throw in the towel?
There were a few times when I felt like throwing the towel in my husband’s face! However his patience and soft encouraging words helped to keep me going. I have to admit that working out while you have the flu is one of the worst feelings around!

Favourite ways to sweat?
Good ole' fashioned running outside and yoga. Right before my wedding I became addicted to Yoga Sculpt (a power yoga class with weights and cardio) because of the high-intensity it helped lower my stress levels. My advice to future brides? Find a class similar to this and thank me later!

So does this mean you had to workout on your wedding day?
Yes! My bridesmaids and I ran a mile to a local park, where another one of my friends met us to lead 45 minutes of yoga. A few family members also came along for the ride. It was a beautiful way to start a day that celebrated love!

Did you try a bunch of different ways to sweat to change it up?
I did but I kept coming back to my favorites. I found that it was easiest to stick to my goal by doing the tried and true workouts most of the time. The strangest thing I did was going to a fitness concert in Denver called "OMG Fitness!" There were over 1,000 people wearing all white covered with glow in the dark paint, while completing a bootcamp class. I sweated my butt off, danced like a maniac and walked out of the event with my friend in hysterics. It completely pushed me out of my comfort zone and I am always thankful for that - primarily when I am done!

Hit us with some words of wisdom—what else did you learn?
Like anything in life, you make the things that are important to you a priority. If you do not have your health, then you have no life. Deep, right? Take care of your health and cultivate it by providing yourself with a healthy lifestyle. You will thank yourself a thousand times over for all of the benefits that continue to unfold.

Also, let go of the expectations that you have for what your body should look like. I thought that by the end of this my love handles would be non-existent. Nope, although they are smaller, they still linger around like that last guest at a dinner party. Once I was able to let go of what I thought my body should look like, I began to love my body as it is. Same goes with what my body is capable of during workouts. No hefty expectations means less pain. Try it, it feels so much better than hankering for a life of six-pack abs.

Anyone else out there attempt something like this before? 

This story originally appeared on the lululemon blogRead more related posts: just let go: bhag accomplished!fresh faces friday – meet the gec!my life as a dj…meet our ivivva athletica team