Like so many other people, my health journey hasn’t been a straight path. In many ways, it became an even bigger struggle during the pandemic when we weren’t able to go to gyms or have in-person fitness classes. I’ve had to learn from past successes and failures in order to truly grasp what works for my body.
I recently participated in the 10-week Grand InBody Challenge, and this process has not only changed my physical appearance but finally helped me regain control of my health. It was all accomplished virtually due to the limitations the pandemic has placed upon us. The truth is, this wasn’t my first or even my second attempt at the Grand InBody Challenge—it was my third. I say that to let others know that although it may take a couple of attempts, keep going and trust the process! Not only did I complete it, but I was the second-place challenge winner!
Grand InBody Challenge
Before I get into my story, I want to briefly explain what to expect during a Grand InBody Challenge. This challenge is a community-based event to promote health and wellness awareness. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Grand InBody Challenge transitioned to a virtual national competition that focuses on improving your body composition over the span of 10-weeks. The challenge is measured by an at-home body composition scale at the start, middle, and end of the challenge. The virtual challenge includes the use of the InBody mobile app, weekly email reminders, educational content, as well as two virtual experiences to help stay motivated!
To learn more about the Grand InBody Challenge, click here.
My Fitness Background
I first started my journey in fitness in 2018 by doing CrossFit with my friends. What I didn’t take into account was how important nutrition is. Needless to say, it wasn’t the success that I wanted. I was dedicated to getting results, but I wasn’t quite lost on how exactly to get there.
That’s when I started my first InBody Challenge, I was excited to start a new program that will keep me accountable. But again I wasn’t sure what type of nutrition was best to fuel my body or even what type of exercise program was best for my goals. Not having this foundation of understanding definitely played a role in the lack of results I got from the first go-around I had with the program.
After not doing as well in my first challenge, I decided to try again in 2019 and that’s when the pieces started to come together. I finally understood which exercise plan worked for me and what type of nutrition was best for me. I took everything I learned and the progress I made thus far from the past few challenges and fully invested it into the 2021 InBody Challenge.
For the first time in my life, I had a real understanding of what my body needed to thrive. Not only did I come into this challenge better prepared, but I was working off the momentum of achieving some results.
My Health Goals
There are a few key things that really came together for me that helped me shape my health goals. For one, I realized that nutritional intake is absolutely key. The food that you put in your body will definitely have an impact on how fast you get results.
However, it’s not just the nutritional knowledge that’s helpful. It’s also very important to have a support group of people who can motivate and encourage you on your harder days. I really excelled by having people in my corner who helped me believe that I could be stronger and do better. Finally, it’s absolutely critical that you learn what works best for your body.
Everybody is different, but gaining a peak understanding of your body allows you to manipulate your goals and ultimately achieve them. It doesn’t work to create a goal without having a complete understanding of what your body needs to feel and look its best. This was absolutely critical for me, and ultimately made all the difference for me when it came to completing the challenge and actually winning it.
The health goal that I created for myself centered around having fitness and wellness be part of my everyday lifestyle. Fitness can’t be something that I choose to do every so often whenever I felt like it. I wanted to start the habit of exercising as part of my regular routine. After all, I’m not getting any younger! The key things that mattered to me were to feel healthier, toned, and confident in my body.
If I have this body forever, then I need to treat it right. That was my mentality as I worked throughout my fitness journey, and it’s what I fell back on as I worked to complete the challenge and win it.
My Initial Assessment
We all start from somewhere, and the initial assessment has so much valuable information. For me, my weight was about the same that it had always been in previous years, but my fat mass was higher than I wanted it to be. Knowing this information helped me understand what I needed to work on and gave me that baseline to reference as I start the Grand InBody Challenge. The initial results may feel like a lot, but don’t let it freak you out or discourage you. Let it fuel you to push harder and get the results you’ve always wanted.
The testing experience was really simple for me. I appreciated how easy it was to use the home scale. In fact, it was so simple that my entire family could use it! You don’t have to have any outside knowledge to understand the scale, so that’s definitely a plus for people who are new to the challenge or body composition in general.
My overall goal was to improve my body composition and tone my body. I discovered right away that nutritional intake was key and I cut out a lot of carbs in my diet. I also took into account the level of sugar in my diet and how it affected my appetite and cravings.
During Covid, I was diligent to schedule in my home workouts since the gyms were closed. I used an alarm on my phone to remind me to work out at least 15-30 minutes each day. I tracked my workouts in order to gauge how much I could push myself in the program to achieve my results. I committed to using the scale every 90 days, or when the challenge called for it, to ensure I was monitoring my progress but not getting caught up in the numbers. My approach was to remain diligent with tracking and holding myself accountable without relying completely on the scale.
Keys to My Success
The game-changer for me was really focusing on my nutrition. As mentioned, I cut carbs and sugar to help reduce cravings. I committed to not snacking while working from home in order to avoid those unnecessary temptations. The truth is, I was less active than I was in previous challenges, but I was able to remain successful because of the impact of changing up my diet. Don’t underestimate the importance of a good nutritional plan!
It was also critical for me to give myself grace and understanding. I had to understand that Covid put stress on my life in ways that I had never experienced before. Even though I may have felt down or depressed at different times, I refused to let food be the solution.
Instead, I relied on exercise to help relieve stress. I transferred my external stress to the stress of not being able to lift a heavy during an exercise or focus on holding a pull-up position. These were some of the ways that I was able to take control of my mental approach to exercise and changing how I coped with stress.
When I Knew I Was Making Progress
Everybody wants to know that they are making progress in their fitness journey. For me, it was when I saw that I was still at the same weight, but I lost body fat percentage and gained muscle mass. I would have never known that by stepping on a traditional scale and relying on weight alone. I would have assumed I was stagnant, but in reality, I was losing fat and gaining muscle.
Seeing those results on the InBody motivated me to keep going and allowed me to feel proud of how far I had come. While I didn’t necessarily see all of the changes on the outside, seeing the internal changes in my body when I measured my body composition was even more important to me.
I appreciated the accountability of the challenge. It was important to me to be reminded to stay motivated and to enjoy my fitness journey.
The Final Test
The results of my final test really helped shape how I will continue to make more progress. I gained muscle and lost a lot of fat. The two metrics that I focused the most on were Body Fat Mass and Skeletal Muscle Mass. When I saw those results, I immediately felt so proud of myself for really pushing through and how far I had come.
InBody helped contribute to my success by helping me understand my body composition so that I could have a better understanding of what success looks like for me. I’ve learned that weight isn’t the tell-all measurement of progress or health. Also, nutrition plays a huge role in your fitness journey. It’s critical to know what exercise and diet work for you since we are all different. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach. I am proud of the progress that I have made and especially happy that I am now equipped with a better understanding of my body. My advice to anyone ready to start on their fitness journey:
As long as you know your goal and what you want to do, it will happen. Once you see progress, it will click. And I don’t think I’ll ever see results this well unless I was checking my progress with the InBody H20N.