Jessyca’s Guest Post about the Gunnar Challenge

Hi Friends! Today I’m thrilled to share a post with you from my friend Jessyca. Jessyca and I met in journalism school in college and bonded over our love of sarcasm, witty writing and good books. Read her thoughts about the Gunnar Challenge and don’t forget to check out her blog 76 and Sunny.

I am so hungry. Pretty much the only reason I’m writing right now is to keep from shoving my fingers into the jar of Gummy Vitamins on my desk and housing the whole thing. Fingers—stay busy! Type faster!

You see, I did something dumb. Well, kinda dumb but mostly courageous. I agreed to do this thing called The Gunnar Challenge, with personal trainer Gunnar Peterson through LIVESTRONG, which is owned by my company. About 30 of my co-workers and I are working out together for an hour or so six days a week. Oh, and we’re also following a meal plan and eating limited calories. For two months.

And now here it is, Day Three, and I am so, so hungry.

I really shouldn’t be. The calorie limit is really not that bad. But tonight, I want to enjoy two glasses of wine (238 calories) with my friends and so I’ve sacrificed snacking. Lord knows those two joyous glasses of red wine will be worth it.
But right now? Right now I’m thinking about how I just finished a crazy hour-long workout and all I want is a big, fat smoothie or some jalapeno chips (let’s be real: mmm, chips). Either of those would be too many calories, so here I am, writing.

This is what I want to be doing.

This is what I want to be doing.

The name of the program, The Gunnar Challenge, is fitting for me. I lost a lot of weight in high school and since I’ve come to accept my body to a large degree, no pun intended. I generally eat fairly well, but I wanted and I’ve embraced the challenge.

I have no big revelations to share here about Day Three. There’s nothing I can say about my sore muscles and empty stomach that hasn’t already been said millions of times before. I can only hope that at the end of these two months, I will have plenty of revelations for myself, even if they’re not revelatory to anyone else.

Here’s what I’ve figured out so far:

Self-doubt is my worst enemy. I start out thinking, “Yes! I can do this! I will do this!” and it gets harder. Even though it’s not so hard I can’t do it anymore, I worry and worry turns to doubt. And I feel myself fighting the urge to quit. I’m not going to quit. Doubt is a very good, very real feeling, and I will fight past it.


This may not be what I want to be doing, but I'm doing it!

This may not be what I want to be doing, but I’m doing it!

There is a lot of vulnerability in group workouts. Working out with the same people every day reveals a lot about those people’s weaknesses, physically, mentally and socially. Though I’m not among the strongest physically (yet!), I can be strong in other ways. I can contribute to the group by being upbeat, encouraging, understanding and nonjudgmental. Ideally, I’ll be stronger in many ways by the end.

That’s it. Oh yeah, and …

Foam-rolling is important. Very important.

4 thoughts on “Jessyca’s Guest Post about the Gunnar Challenge

  1. I’m interesting in hearing more about foam rolling. I have a lot of babysitting clients who have that prop in their house and I always wonder what they use it for.

    Good job on your challenge, I’m sure you’ll succeed!

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