Weekly Wellness Challenge + Check-in No. 6!

these new balance leggings are the best.

Happy Friday! This week was SO MUCH BETTER!!! There were two minor setbacks. 1) I missed a class at Equinox while I was sick, which was my “third strike,” so I was locked out of the booking system. (They have a strict 3 strike rule and will lock you out of the system for 30 days if you miss 3 classes.) I felt like such an idiot. I emailed the group fitness manager and she nicely let me back in. At the same time, my Aaptiv app was broken, so I had to do regular old treadmill workouts. I tried to replicate their workouts on my own but it wasn’t the same. Luckily both things are now fixed and I’m back on track. I got in three great runs and three yoga classes. The BEST.

We’re six weeks in and I feel a noticeable difference in how my body looks. There’s a pair of high-waisted non-stretchy jeans that used to give me a stomachache – and now they are loose + comfy! Such a good feeling. PS – If you missed Krista’s guest post about body confidence and self-love, definitely give it a read. It’s a must!!!


Friday – Still sick – took it easy.

Saturday – 25 minute treadmill run + stretch.

Sunday – Sky Ting Yoga Class

Monday – 25 minute treadmill run + stretch.

Tuesday – Y7 Yoga Class. I LOVE their classes as the room is hot so I get in a good sweat. This is probably the hardest yoga class I take and it’s always such a challenge for me.

Wednesday – 25 minute treadmill run (Just Push It on Aaptiv) + stretch (Lower Body Lengthen).

Thursday – Y7 Yoga Class. So hard. I’ve talked a little bit about my frustration with not sweating when I exercise and this always does the job… hot yoga in a dark room with great music? It’s the best.

Meditation, Protein Packed Breakfasts: For breakfast this week, I made these pumpkin pie overnight oats. They’re seriously delicious!!!! I meditated every night before bed and also took a 30 minute intention setting meditation class at MNDFL on Monday morning. It was a really nice way to start out the week.

Trying Something New: My something new this week was going to Premier57 on Saturday with my girlfriends. It was really, really cool and a fun way to unwind. There are several different pools and sauna rooms (and a salt cave!) I can’t recommend it enough, especially with a group of friends.

This week’s healthy links!

This week’s challenge!

  1. Get to the gym five times between now and Friday’s check-in. This is going to be our ongoing goal; 5 workouts a week. We can do it!!!
  2. Try something new (this is going to be an ongoing thing!) It can be a new class, a new wellness treatment, a new face mask… even a new recipe! Don’t stress, this one is meant to be fun.
  3. Meditate every day, eat a protein packed breakfast, and add to your gratitude jar.
  4. This is optional BUT if you are a night person, try working out in the morning all week. I switched to morning workouts this week and feel so much more productive. My personal goal is to do all morning workouts next week except Monday which is a travel day… I’ll do yoga when I get home.

photography by Trent Bailey.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment


  1. I’m so happy things are going so well for you, Grace. You deserve it! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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  2. Kellie:

    I really want to try a salt cave! Did you love it?! Ps loving following along with all the check ins.

    2.9.18 Reply
    • I did! It was really awesome – super warm so you sweat a bunch, and salt is supposed to be really good for your respiratory system + sleep.

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  3. Erika:

    I was such a flop this week – what was bronchitis last week, turned into an allergic rxn to my antibiotics this week = no workouts. I started back up yesterday, finally & feel a million times better. Hoping to get back into the groove of things this weekend/next week.

    Great job on getting back into it (despite a few setbacks) after being sick last week! Glad you’re feeling better.

    I also just tried a baked oats recipe that is to die for. Great for an on the go, and protein packed breakfast option.

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    • Oh no! That was totally me last week. The good news is, as someone who has been there, once you are back to normal you won’t lose too much ground!!! And YUM – would love to see the recipe!!

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    • Ugh, being sick is the worst! I’ve had something similar happen with meds and it’s scary. Hope you’re feeling 100% again asap. My trainer reminded me today not to beat myself up too much over things I can’t control! A new week lies ahead 🙂

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  4. So glad you are feeling better! I was able to get in 5 Aaptiv treadmill runs this week. 🙂 also the pumpkin overnight oats sound dreamy!!

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  5. Katie:

    Yay for morning workouts! Also, very interested in the natural deodorant you posted from freepeople, thanks for the link!

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  6. Christina:

    So glad you are feeling better! It’s awesome that you jumped right back in and didn’t let being down for a week upset your routine – that’s a huge accomplishment in itself!

    I’ve been really wanting to try Y7! I’m struggling with breaking out of my usual gym routine – I typically stick to the StairMaster and elliptical and some weights, but I need to branch out a little bit. I’m going to start BBG in the next few weeks, which I am super nervous about…fingers crossed!

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    • Try Y7 for me! We don’t have it in Chicago and I have FOMO 😉 The stairmaster is intense in the best way – get it girrrl 🙂

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    • DEF give Y7 a try! I love it! It’s really hard but such a good (and fun!) workout.

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  7. Lucia:

    Happy Friday, Grace! This was the first week where I really felt like I was owning the wellness challenge rather than forcing myself! I worked out six times, doing a combo of BBG, cardio, and yoga. I’m feeling really strong for the first time in my life!

    My something new this week was taking a new route to work. I live in DC and walk to work, so I added two blocks to my route and no longer walk by the White House every morning. The extra steps are good for my physical health, but it’s amazing for my mental health because I don’t have to walk by the WH and think of the occupant 🙂

    I’ve been using headspace every day and love it! I also have been buying fresh eucalyptus every week in place of a flower bouquet and it’s amazing. I put a branch in my shower and it smells like a spa. I’m excited for another week of the challenge, def going to try to wake up early every day!

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    • I love the idea of taking a new route to work! I’m getting ready to start a new job and once all this snow melts in Chicago, I plan to walk as much as I can. 🙂

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    • That’s amazing!!! So happy to hear it, congrats.

      And you are making me want to go buy fresh eucalyptus for the shower – what a smart idea!!!

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  8. Brianna:

    I did TERRIBLE this week! The Eagles won the super bowl and between being tired, addicted to watching coverage and hosting people for the parade, workouts weren’t in the game plan! But ya know, all the cheering I did burned some calories for sure.

    Not beating myself up over it, sometimes you need football, beer & pizza!

    have a good weekend!

    2.9.18 Reply
    • All about the balance! New week = fresh start!

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    • Emily:

      fly Eagles fly!!! It is great to celebrate an awesome and well-deserved win!!!

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    • Oh no!! Well, seems like the football game is a good excuse to fall off the wagon. It was pizza and wine for me this weekend in charleston!!

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  9. Jess:

    You look so good and glowy!!!!!

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  10. KMF:

    Enjoying the wellness posts! Would love to see some commentary (or guest post) on wellness content from someone with a more corporate job. I work 80-100 hours a week and would love to hear from others about how they keep up with wellness goals without the flexibility of a non-traditional workplace. Thanks!

    2.9.18 Reply
    • I’m getting ready to head back into corporate america after freelancing for the last year and this is one of my biggest worries! Previously, I’ve made sure to get as many workouts as possible out of the way in the early morning hours before work so that the temptation of last minute HH and other plans don’t derail me completely. I also always try and add little ways to sneak in extra work, like taking the stairs if possible or making it a point to get outside for a walk on my lunch break. Oh, and another thing! I’ve been focusing on making weekend plans with friends center around sweating…then brunching or whatever we normally do 😉

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    • Thank you for the suggestion! I will think about who I can ask. It is really hard when you work that much. That used to be my situation… though my job wasn’t so corporate, I worked at a start-up about 60-70 hours a week and then on my blog another 20-30. The ONLY way I could do it was to get up super super early in the morning, squeeze in a 45 minute workout, (SoulCycle was my favorite back then), shower at the gym, and head into the office. It’s tough.

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  11. Catherine:

    This was a good week, though lots of work-related travel and events meant making compromises on food choices. I’m happy for a weekend at home to cook for myself and plan for next week.
    I’ve started weightlifting again, and I’m so sore! I made the mistake of jumping in where I left off two months ago, which was a terrible idea. I need to focus on conditioning rather than weight for now, till my body gets used to this again!
    One thing I need to better prioritize is sleep. I’m up at 5:45 most days, either working out or having some quiet time before work. But I routinely stay up past 11, which is not working well. So I’m trying to develop a routine that puts me in bed by 10, even if I read a book for a while. We’ll see how it goes.

    2.9.18 Reply
    • I feel like that may be this week… it really does make such a difference when you have a weekend to meal prep and get ahead for the week!!!

      Good luck getting to bed early – it is a huge help!

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  12. Kaia:

    Congrats on getting back into it this week, Grace! I wish I could say I did as well as you–our pup had surgery 3 weeks ago, and having to watch him 24/7 for two weeks drastically threw off my routine. Thankfully I was able to fit in a Daily Burn workout and 2 yoga classes toward the end of this week. I feel so much better when I can take that time for myself. Hoping to get to the same place with my tight highwaisted jeans!!

    Happy Friday!

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  13. Catherine:

    Doesn’t it feel so good to get back into the swing of things after being sick?

    This week was good – I got my 5 workouts in, doing well with meditation and breakfasts. Cooked some good new recipes, including some bahn mi meatballs over rice and lot of veggies.

    Ugh, unfortunately my gym access in my office is now gone. I was on-site at a client for 6 months, but now I’m back at my employer’s (less awesome) office. I downloaded Aaptiv and really liked their gym machine workouts, but for their strength training (only thing I can do without access to a gym for now) – they are really hard without videos! I have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing half the time. I’m going to have to figure out how to get in those 2-3 workouts (I do reformer Pilates and yoga at studios to cover my other workouts) without a gym for now. Any suggestions are welcome!

    2.9.18 Reply
    • Yes, it really does just feel so good! Great job (that bahn mi sounds sooooo good!!!)

      I only use Aaptiv for runs and stretches as I would imagine having the same experience as you – I need a visual!

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  14. Courtney:

    I made it to 4 classes this week, we ended up being home so little this weekend that I couldn’t make 5, unfortunately! I think I will make it this week though. We are having friends over tonight, so I am going to try a new recipe! We will see how it goes.

    Before Christmas I was doing so well with meditation, I think I had a 45/50 day streak going. It was so incredibly helpful, but on vacation I fell off the wagon and have been bad about getting back into it. I really need to though because I can completely tell the difference between then and now.

    This challenge has been good for keeping in mind the beneficial practices I can incorporate into my everyday life. Thanks for doing this! I am also enjoying following along and seeing what you’re doing 🙂

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  15. Erin Tenneson:

    This week wasn’t the best. Zoomed by in the blink of an eye. How is it the weekend again already?! In the process of finding someone to move into my 3-bedroom apartment as one girl is moving out. Such a struggle. Meeting with girls this week to see if my and my current roomie vibe with any of them and none are a match yet 🙁

    I worked out every day but Tuesday (happy hour with friend after work instead) and Wednesday (potential new roomie “interview”). Would have loved to work out everyday, but I’m quick to write it off if I can’t do my workout immediately after I get home from work. I just get too tired and lose motivation.

    Tried some yummy new recipes this week for lunches and meditated everyday. Want to start doing longer meditations.

    Working on being the best me I can be, but it is definitely tough sometimes. All I can do is try my best though, right?!

    2.9.18 Reply
    • I feel the same way about the week flying by! It’s like I blinked and BAM…Friday. I’m good at finding ways to get out of my evening workouts, so I’m really going to focus on getting there before work in the coming weeks!

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    • It’s funny how quickly that happens!!!!

      And yes, all you can do is try! I found myself being the same with you with working out after work.. switching to morning workouts has REALLY helped me.

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  16. Melissa:

    I only got 4 workouts this week, but I’m ok with that. Working on listening to my body! I did try a TRX class and I really enjoyed doing something different.

    I have been a morning workout person for the last several years, but for some reason I CANNOT get out of bed lately. It’s so unlike me, and I’m frustrated. Trying to give myself some grace with that … but also want to get back to the am workouts this week 😉

    2.9.18 Reply
    • 4 workouts is still SO good! I’m working on listening to my body, too. I pulled a muscle in my lower back Tuesday morning during class and it was the little wake up call I needed to make rest and recovery an even bigger part of my wellness/fitness plan. Good luck getting back to morning workouts…I’m right there with you!

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      • Katie:

        It’s good to hear from you again, Jess! I miss your posts on your blog but glad to get a little, albeit unexpected, update on you in these comments! What a great surprise!

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    • Yeah, give yourself a bit of grace but that really is the worst when you want to so badly and just can’t motivate!!

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  17. Katie:

    A big “win” for me was moving last weekend, and I set up an area in my bedroom for working out! I used to workout outside at my old place, but it won’t work at the new place 🙁 But after setting up a nice space, I’m excited! It’s also so nice to be able to watch what I want on TV!

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  18. This was my get back on track week. My goal is to work out 3-4 times a week because I think that’s more manageable for me at this point. And I’m slowly but surely working out in the mornings, which means 5:30am. I use the Kiwake app to force me out of bed- it’s literally the only thing that gets me up!

    My eating went a little haywire (someone brought homemade cookies into work) but I’ve started to drink a protein smoothie each morning and find healthier snacks like Rx Bars that also keep me full.

    Nothing too crazy but small changes that I can actually stick with!

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    • Avoiding snacks in the office is next to impossible! Have you had the chocolate peanut butter RXBAR? It satisfies my sweet tooth!

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    • Great job Kellie! This challenge is all about small things that will add up to make a big difference! xo

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  19. I made it to my arm & abs class on Monday, but then on Tuesday during class something terrible happened while I was doing squats with an overhead press and I felt something pop in my lower back. I have a really high pain tolerance, but I couldn’t even finish the class…I just walked very slowly on the treadmill trying to figure out what happened. Luckily I got with the trainer after class and he showed me some stretches to do and told me I needed to keep it moving (by walking) the next few days but no class. I woke up Wednesday morning and was unsure if I was going to be able to crawl out of bed. Lots of ibuprofen, rest, deep stretches, and rest later I’m almost feeling 100%. I went to cardio & core this morning and the trainer gave me strict orders not to workout past 70% of my capacity. It’s hard when you feel like your body is failing you in a way (and even worse when half the reason you workout is for your sanity lol), but it was a huge reminder for me that I need to make it a point to stretch more and really focus on doing the moves the right way to prevent further injury. Whew, sorry for the novel! I’m sure my friends are sick of me venting to them about it. Lots of eggs and smoothies with vital proteins collagen for breakfasts. For my something new I tried Siete’s cassava and chia tortillas, but sadly, I didn’t like them! I’m hoping I can track down the ones made with coconut because everyone raves about them (I’m addicted to their chips). I’ve been journaling for a few months now and writing down things I’m grateful for there and it’s been so great for me. So glad you’re feeling better!

    2.9.18 Reply
    • Oh my gosh you poor thing!!! That is the worst. I have a lot of lower back problems and it really is the worst.

      Have you ever tried acupuncture? That could help – I did something to my soaz (not the right spelling) a couple years ago and it fixed me!!!!

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  20. MarciaMarciaMarcia:

    I feel like I only did okay this week. Work has been crazy, including an overnight work trip with a 16 hour workday that completely messed with my workout schedule. I did get in a few good runs, but nothing else. I’ve now tried Apptiv a few times, and while I like the handful of workouts I’ve done, I think I prefer to just have my own music or nothing at all. But I’m glad I tried it – that’s what new things are for, to figure out what works for each of us! I also only meditated maybe twice this week. And I can’t even think whether I tried anything new or not. I did however, go for my first wellness checkup since 2014. For someone with two autoimmune diseases, having all my bloodwork turn out perfectly feels kind of miraculous! Maybe that can be my new thing for this week – it’s definitely what I’m feeling grateful for. 🙂

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    • Congrats on the clean bill of health – that is amazing! Definitely counts as something new!!!

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  21. Betsy:

    I added Emergen-C into my routine this week – anything to try to stay healthy! My new earbuds arrived today so I have to try the rowing machine this week – wish me luck! It looks really hard so I keep delaying trying it. And mani-pedi tonight after waiting for the total effects of my BabyFoot peel to disappear.

    Have a great weekend!

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  22. Emily:

    I have completed four workouts this week and #5 is scheduled for tomorrow am! I can’t believe I have made it this far and am very proud of myself to be honest. I will say I am getting tired! I break up my off days but my muscles are still tired. I try to do yoga for one of my workouts a week to help. Perhaps I should try to do that on my “off” days too but I sort of just want a break when I am off!

    I did ACV all week! I put a cap-full in my water bottle each morning and haven’t hated it! The water dilutes it and, even though it is not as good as regular water, I remember how good it is for me when I drink it. I think it helping to regulate my blood sugar better.

    How did you do with ACV this week? Also, excellent job getting back on track! You are so lucky that Equinox was understanding of your situation. Sometimes fitness studios can be such sticklers, even when you have a legitimate excuse like being sick! I am also trying to get my friends in NYC to try Shapehouse because I wish I could but don’t live there! Keep up the great work! I love this challenge!

    2.9.18 Reply
    • Great job!!
      I did well with ACV – forgot to share that. I put a cap in a shot of water and just drink it straight!!!!

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  23. Kate:

    Way to get back at it Grace! I really need to try yoga ( the week I signed up for it, I never made it. Maybe I will this weekend!)

    Friday HIIT with my trainer. Burpees/inclined sprints/squat jumps..booty blasters
    Saturday – Aaptiv 30-45-60 & lower body lengthening
    Sunday – Seventh Heaven…this endurance run is no joke guys…i ended up doing half the sprints at half pace towards the end…
    Monday – this work week translated to my no run week. So I did aaptiv’s Rock & Stride Elliptical work out which was awesome!
    Tuesday – Intentional rest day but scored over 12K steps
    Wednesday – Full Body weights with my trainer
    Thursday – Unintentional rest day – but still put up over 12K steps
    Friday – HIIT tabata workout!

    I kind of fell off the wagon with my healthy eating this week. Forgot about the morning protein breakfast most days, and didn’t pick up ACV (which I love btw). Work has been so stressful the last two weeks (my boss just quit) so I’ve been trying to balance everything. I’ll get back at it this coming week!

    Im treating myself to Credo after work and I cannot wait to stock up on some goodies! I also looked into the saunas’ you wrote about this week – there’s one in Boston! Maybe I’ll check it out this weekend!
    Thanks for this challenge, Grace!

    2.9.18 Reply
    • Thanks Kate!!! Awesome job getting in all those workouts. And hope you got some good things at Credo – love it there!

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  24. Bridget:

    Darn you are making me so jealous there is no Y7 in my city! It sounds amazing!

    Last week I started to feel fatigued, low motivation, craving really high calorie rich foods, so I figured I’m probably over-exercising and/or under-eating. So this week I cut back a little – 2 short runs, an Aaptiv spin class + a couple stretching classes, and one OTF (the only REALLY tough workout of the week!). And luckily after Super Bowl weekend feasting the food cravings went away 🙂 I haven’t been super focused on trying new things the last couple weeks but I am still really enjoying my new night routine of writing down something I’m grateful for, running a diffuser, meditating, and reading before bed – and no phone between the hours of 9 pm and 7 am!

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    • Aw, hopefully they will expand at some point – I love it!!!

      Love your bedtime routine!

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  25. Sharona:

    So glad you were able to bounce back after being sick. I hope the exercise made you feel more yourself again! Also, your pumpkin overnight oats sound SO good — I might have to add that to my rotation this week!

    Re: my exercise, I did pretty well this week, but it didn’t *feel* as good because of some scheduling snafus. I was able to swim twice, go to yoga in-studio twice, and did a pilates video one day…I was planning to swim a third time, but it didn’t work out so I just walked my commute instead of taking the train — better than nothing, right??

    My new thing this week came in the form of a new soup recipe. I made this and LOVED it: https://www.howsweeteats.com/2017/01/30-minute-asian-chicken-soup/ I added soy sauce and sriracha on top and it was essentially like a quick homemade pho. Perfect for the cold weather, and super filling. I highly recommend!!

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    • It makes such a difference!!! And I hope you try the overnight oats – truly SO YUMMY!

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  26. Betsie:

    I finished strong this week with 6 workouts and clean eating. We finally had some nice weather in New England on Saturday which allowed me to resume my walking route in addition. It involves many steep hills in which I formally would be huffing and puffing through. It felt so great to be outside in the sunshine. I was able to get through the hills with ease and no leg fatigue. It felt amazing to see the endurance and strength I’ve built from my workouts. I’m so grateful for this challenge and the motivation you and your readers have provided that have helped me achieve this. I feel stronger, leaner and more confident (and happier)!

    2.12.18 Reply