The SKFitLife Challenge is more than just a fitness challenge. It is more than just training and diet. It is about community, support, and love. Love for fitness. Love for each other. And love for ourselves.
The SKFitLife Challenge has been a dream come true for me and my dream wouldn’t be possible without all of you. Thank you all for being so warm, kind, caring, and passionate about your wellness and life. This journey has been incredible and I can’t imagine sharing it with anyone else. Just like Kris said in the video below, we were all brought together for a reason and that reason is crystal clear with just one glance at the SKFitLife Challengers.
Please take a minute to read some of the incredible FitLife stories our challengers have shared:
“You can’t out train a bad diet.”
Oh yeah?? Watch me!!
For as long as I can remember, this was my fitness philosophy. I was not afraid of a hard work out. In fact, I worked out hard so I could eat whatever I felt like without being concerned with scales, or mirrors or clothes fitting. I was healthy and trim and it worked for me. Did I have Stephanie Keenan’s arms or abs? No, but I was relatively thin, athletic and I loved my chips and queso.
(insert screeching wheels here)….But then came the babies! (Read more…)
Finally, I have learned a lot about eating clean and that I can’t out train a bad diet (and believe me, I have TRIED!!). This was the other significant thing I learned through SKFitLife. I can see the importance of meal planning and cooking even if I don’t always do them. Diet/nutrition is my last “real” hurdle but I have made great strides in trying to make better choices each day –no matter how small– which I think is what Stephanie wants for each of us. (Read more…)
Three years ago I was put on a medicine due to my frequent migraines. The medicine cause me to start losing weight. Over two years I lost a significant amount of weight, but never bothered to work out as I was losing the weight. So I had finally lost some of the weight i wanted to, but because I did not work out, it wasn’t toned leaving me feeling uncomfortable with how my body looked.Once college started I started working out in the gym, but I could never find the results I was looking for… (Read more)
This was a typical day for me before I joined the SKFitLife:
- 8 – 10am gym time consisting of 2 cardio classes (Body step, Body combat or attack)
- 1 fiber 1 bar and water
- 2 pm – 1 44 oz. diet coke
- 4 pm when my children come home from school – many Cheese-its
- 6 pm dinner including many helpings of chicken and potatoes and a little vegetable
- 7 pm to 11 pm as many snacks as I could find, After all, I didn’t eat much all day!
This was a normal day for me, I thought I was healthy and couldn’t understand why I was overweight. I have been working out since I can remember and have always struggled with my weight. I just kept increasing the amount of time that I spent doing cardio thinking that would be the key to my weight loss. (Read more…)
Let me start by saying that I am a bit of an extremist. I was the girl who would work out six days a week and eat a minimal amount in pursuit of my “ideal“ weight, but was never satisfied. Then there was the other side of me who would barely exercise and eat a lot of unhealthy food. This cycle repeated itself over and over again.
My bad habits really began back in 2010. In August 2010, I had a beautiful baby girl but my pregnancy took a huge toll on my body. Not only had I gained 42 lbs., but I also had to have a cesarean section which I thought was permanent damage to my abs and stomach. (Read more…)
… Two of my biggest enemies (besides my own psyche) in the weight loss struggle tend to be the media and (perhaps shockingly) the mainstream medical community. Obviously, we all are inundated daily with images and impressions of how woman are supposed to appear physically, despite the fact that that image is often an airbrushed, photo shopped one that doesn’t really exist in reality. Or, as Stephanie has pointed out, no one walks around looking like they do for a photo shoot, a competition, or a movie roll EVERY day of their life…it’s just not realistic, yet, many of us strive to make that unrealistic goal our Holy Grail.
Besides the media helping to sabotage my psyche, I often feel like quite a failure when visiting my doctor. When I would complain about feeling fatigued, having sleep problems, being unable to lose weight, despite eating what I assumed was a healthy diet and doing countless hours of exercise each week, I got responses like, “well you’re a woman turning 40, get used to being tired and unable to lose weight,” or, “well, you clearly are not exercising and eating right.” Oh, and my all time favorite…”Well, I see you’ve succeeded in losing some weight…now you are in the ‘overweight’ category on the BMI chart…at least you are not in the ‘obese’ category anymore.” How uplifting. These are not responses that a person asking for help wants to hear.
I watched as a good friend of mine completed the SKFitLife Challenge with some great results…such great results, in fact, that she WON the challenge. What impressed me more than how she transformed her body was how she transformed her mindset about food, eating, and exercise. (Although, the way she transformed her body was quite impressive!) I decided that this Challenge was exactly the motivation that I needed to change my mindset about food, eating, and exercise, as well. (Read more…)
“You’re so skinny.” “You’re so little.” “You should never be on a diet!” “I can’t believe you are eating healthy, you’re already a toothpick!” These are all comments that I heard from friends, family, and fellow workers when I would be watching my calorie intake. It took this challenge to get me to rethink my fitness journey. Instead of watching my calories, I began to eat natural foods, more meals, and follow the regular workout routine for each week. Now, my friends and family say, “Wow, you’re arms are so much stronger-looking!” “Your calves are awesome! I’ve never seen them like that!” “OMG you actually have a butt!” The last comment was the best yet (Read more…)
I have learned a lot about myself these past weeks…
I have learned that I can do anything I put my mind to – especially exercises I never thought I would do…especially lift weights…and enjoy it!
I have learned (confirmed in this case) that I love routine! I have learned that relationships are what make the world go round. And I have learned that the scale doesn’t have to determine how I feel – both physically and emotionally.
This was my second challenge and I approached this one completely differently – I thought the workouts alone would be enough for me to lose weight during the last challenge but I was wrong. (Read more…)
What I didn’t realize is that by having a routine and a plan to look forward to everyday, I would cut my stress level down considerably. It has helped me deal with my mom and all that comes with being a caregiver, while working full time. I look forward to my workouts and having that time for me….I deserve it!! I really would like to thank you, Stephanie, for helping me to maintain a positive outlook. You should be very proud of yourself. I have seen how you have helped people in small ways and some big ways. I am excited to see what I can do with the SKFit Gurls Challenge!! (Read more…)
… I smoked for 15 years and after I quit, I gained weight and realized it’s a lot harder to lose then when I was younger. I have exercised induced asthma especially in humidity and it scares the hell out of me. I want to help my body heal.
With this challenge I was hoping through exercise and clean eating to improve my attitude, appearance, and overall wellness. This IS absolutely what I got out of the last 12 weeks. I made a choice to become healthier and hopefully lower my chances of heart disease from all the crap I had been eating for 34 years. (Read More…)
… Where diet was concerned, it was a huge cycle. I would buckle down Sunday night though Friday morning, and then end up in the same place when the next Sunday night rolled around. I counted points, counted calories, and then throw in the towel and say, “I just want to eat this and be happy!” I would beat myself up after making bad food choices. Add this to the stress of starting my own business where I mainly worked out of a home office with a 4 and 7 year old right in the next room, and it was all becoming too much to handle once it was all added to my regular life of being a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend.
Once I took responsibility for this diet change and did it, the eating just fell into place. I had a plan and I had food ready for when I was hungry. Foods that I used to think were gross had wonderful flavor and the junk foods I was eating suddenly tasted like chemicals. My energy was higher, my attitude was better, and I had more time to do the things I wanted to be doing (which was not inputting calories into an app!). I started thinking of food as FUEL for the hard work I was doing in the workouts and throughout the day. It was no longer my nemesis! (Read More…)
… Exactly two years later we were blessed with our little girl. Another C-section, but well worth it. I got very lucky with both my pregnancies. I only gained 23 lbs the first time and 17 lbs the second time. But having the second baby is what brought me to the FitLife Challenge.
When she was only two months old I just felt disgusted with myself. I had already lost all my weight from my pregnancy, but I was at my heaviest weight ever. That’s when I decided if I wanted to look and feel better I needed to do something about it. And it had to be for me, not to please anyone else. So of course I kept going back and forth between whether I should sign up or not. And at the last minute I submitted my form. Thank goodness I did!
I haven’t felt this great in my body since high school. I was able to lose 21 pounds and 5 1/4 inches off my waist during this challenge. Everyone kept telling me that I just had a baby and didn’t need to lose weight, I’m glad I followed my intuition and did it. (Read More…)
… Where to begin….. My transformation is so much longer than this past 12 weeks. BUT, it is, in this last 12 weeks that I have gained the most benefit and understanding. This experience has propelled me forward towards my lifetime of fitness started so long ago, which was lost somewhere along the way.
It’s not the usual story of, “I’m a mom, I have kids, my life took a backseat etc. etc.” It all starts with the 21 year old… full of energy, coaching soccer, playing recreational sports, personal training, out and about and active. Little did she know that in 2-3 years she would meet someone that would rock the foundation of everything she knew and her life would take a major detour.
I have come to realize that I missed being in a position to motivate and support others, I didn’t think I was that kind of person at all. I can truly now FEEL the change inside that has come about and look forward to the continued journey every single day. Oh and I’ve never slept better. Cue the AC/DC song…I’m back, yes I’m back, well I’m back, yes I’m baaacckk! (Read More…)
… The past 12 weeks have been such an amazing learning experience to say the least! I’ve met many motivating people, learned proper eating, completed exercises I never thought I could do and last but not least learned so much about myself!
I came into this experience just hoping to lose a few pounds, but walked away with so much more!
On March 2009 my second daughter was born. And I realized my body was just “different”. I hated hearing people tell me “well it happens when you have kids.” I loved my new family but I wanted to feel like me again and I didn’t. I wanted to work out and do something for me, but I always felt guilt ridden.
My husband’s cousin completed this challenge and while she was doing it she talked to me about it, telling me how good it was and life changing. I thought about it over and over again and finally said, “If I don’t do it now I never will” so I joined.
I really didn’t know what I was getting into. I mean I knew I had to eat better. And I figured I’d learn some new exercises. But what I actually got out of this challenge was amazing! I found myself again! I found my inner happiness. (Read More…)
… Never did I think that a conversation that took place in a small hallway at my son’s preschool would completely change the direction of my life. I had heard one of the moms talking to another mom about joining a fitness challenge. A fitness challenge was definitely not for me.
The mom began posting adds about the challenge on her wall. I checked out the website and still had my doubts that this was for me. I knew I needed something, after all it was January and everyone starts a new diet in January. I hesitantly hit the PayPal button and I was a member.
Little did I know that this was a challenge against myself that would change mine and my family’s life forever. (Read More…)
Life is seldom easy. There is no such thing as luck and I’ve learned that you get out of life what you put into it. You must work hard for what you want and changes don’t happen overnight! Thus, I was hesitant when I heard about the SK FitLife Challenge. As a wife, mother of 3, and employee, I felt I had nothing left to give and that doing something for myself was selfish. Even if I attempted this challenge, I probably wouldn’t finish, for I didn’t have any extra time for myself. I had basically given up any hope that this was feasible in my life. Then I came across this quote, which has since become my words to live by, “It’s impossible, said pride. It’s risky, said experience. It’s pointless, said reason. Give it a try, whispered the heart!” I knew that before I could accomplish anything, I needed to make the decision to try, and I decided to listen to my heart!
When I first joined the challenge, my main focus was on losing weight. I was a “scale watcher” and was more concerned with the word “skinny” than “healthy.” I had an obsession with numbers and an unhealthy mindset that the number on the scale defined my self worth as a woman. I allowed that number to control my mood. I weighed myself constantly throughout the day. Not only was this unhealthy for my body, but for my mind. Little did I know that the SK FitLife Challenge would not only change me physically, but it would change me mentally as well. Stephanie Keenan’s motto is ” Life begins when you stop chasing skinny!” It is those few simple words that have changed the way I look at weight loss and fitness. I no longer wanted to be skinny, I wanted to be healthy…and happy! (Read More…)
A couple years ago a family member fell to mental illness that caused a lot of stress for me and my husband as we are their only close family. Over that time the stress, poor eating habits and drinking more adult beverages than one should, we found ourselves with quite a bit of excess weight. For me, it was actually the heaviest I had ever been! I was always slender, never had to worry about my weight etc. I was miserable, did not like what I had become or how I looked. I knew I needed a change but going to the gym and sitting on the elliptical for an hour and doing some machines were not cutting it.
About 14 weeks ago I hesitantly signed up for SKFitLife. A friend had done the challenge and she looked great! I logged onto my workouts, read, watched videos and thought what the heck have I gotten myself into?? I panicked and sent Stephanie probably way more messages than needed to. I had a previous fall which led to me breaking my back in January of 2004. The damage had caused a lot of upper body weakness etc. I was scared and did not think I could do many of the exercises. Stephanie reassured me she would work with me and we would make alterations etc. (Read More…)
The past 12 weeks have been such an amazing journey. I have met a wonderful group of woman who also ventured on the path on obtaining a healthier lifestyle. Coming in to this I knew I needed a change in my life.
Whenever things were stressful I turned to food. It could be a whole bag of Herr’s chips or a mouthwatering jumbo bag of Skittles. I needed to make healthier choices when eating. This was not only for me, but also for my children. What I supplied in my home was what my children were also eating. My easy way of cooking was to go get fast food meals. Our Sundays now consist of cooking as a family and preparing lunches and snacks throughout our week. It is such a great feeling to see my children go for a piece of fruit rather than a handful of candy. It is nearly impossible to keep fruit in my fruit bowl anymore. What a great feeling that is! (Read More…)
My name is Angela, I’m 29, I live in Fairless Hills Pa. I did the college thing got my bachelors in accounting and then got married to the love of my life! I have 4 children…2 SETS OF TWINS…the older ones will be turing 4 in a month and the younger set will turn 2 in November! (That’s 4 kids under 4) I work part-time 25+ hours a week!! It’s the same company I’ve always worked for but given my unique situation they let me take my work home (so very fortunate!!).
As long as I can remember, I have always been one to “chase skinny” as Stephanie says. I was always the one that would OVER indulge in food and then OVER exercise it off. It was always hard for me to find balance in my life between my food and my figure. Before I would allow my weight to spiral out of control I would “fix” the problem. I was either bingeing or starving….obviously neither being healthy (both being eating disorders). Aside from that, carrying the 2 twin pregnancies caused my abdominal walls to split down the center, vertically (Diastasis Recti, four finger width gap). I couldn’t even begin to explain the emotional impact that has had on just about every step I take, every thought I think ….all day, every day. Some people might think I’m being “shallow” but when you don’t love yourself, it’s hard to accept love from others. When the Diastasis got combined to my existing food and weight problems it made my confidence even worse. (Read More…)
When I started the challenge I thought “I could do with losing a bit of belly fat, why not give it a go?”. Little did I know that the fat loss would be the least significant part of what I gained from starting my SKFitLife Journey.
I’ve always been reasonably active, had a working knowledge of nutrition etc. but ultimately I had a pretty unhealthy relationship with food. I skipped meals and fed myself cheap processed rubbish when I was busy/stressed, telling myself it didn’t matter at the moment but what I was really saying to myself was that I didn’t matter enough to look after myself in the most basic way. (Read More…)
As my 1st challenge is almost over I took a few minutes to reflect back on how things used to be. I was a weight watchers kind of guy, give me points and I’ll stick to it, I succeeded in losing weight on WW, it was easy no problem.
Looking back I was eating a ton of “lite” and fat free goodies and treats and still lost weight. How could this be wrong? Millions of people are doing it so it has to be good right! Atkins diet?? Every guys dream right?? Well we all know what the Atkins diet does and it’s just not an option. (Read More…)
As a 52 year old woman, I had convinced myself that my metabolism is now an enemy against me, that my aches and pains will only get worse if I work out too much and the list of excuses just goes on from there. Although I was not happy with myself and subconsciously knew that my relationship with food was unhealthy for many reasons, I did nothing about it. I tried to make myself believe that I am happy with my body and that my husband loves me regardless of what I look like. Besides, I had lots of co workers and friends my age who felt the same way and I actually believed they didn’t look as good as me so why should I change. (Read more…)
It is difficult to put into words the amount of growth I have made in these past few weeks. A numerous amount of emotions pour into my head as I try to compose myself as I write my journey. These past twelve weeks have gone by so quickly and I can’t believe it has come to an end. I have never joined an on-line fitness group. My expectations were to get toned and in shape by summer swimsuit season. I can totally do this; it’s going to be easy. Just do a few workouts and I will be good to go!! Boy was I so wrong on that piece of the puzzle. Not in a million years, did I ever expect this journey to become life changing. As each week passed, I have changed my course of direction, vision, and goals for myself, and with that, I have done a lot of reflecting on who I am as whole person. Read more…
Going into 2011 I found myself beginning to struggle with my workout program. I had been successful in initially transforming my body, but I had no idea how to maintain or continue seeing progress and results. I thought my only option was to just continue on with the same weight training routine and diet plan. After all, if it had worked before it should continue to work, right? My workouts consisted of 75 minutes of heavy weight training, and a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio, 6 days a week. I was low on energy and having a difficult time with the monotony of the low fat, low carb meal plan. My results began to plateau, so I increased my workouts and began to excessively cut calories. No matter how much I worked out, and how many calories I cut, the number on the scale began to rise instead of going down. I began having a difficult time sleeping, and struggled to stay focused throughout the work day. What use to bring me happiness and confidence was making me unhappy and causing me a lot of distress. I had no idea what I was doing wrong! I was adding more exercise, and subtracting more calories, so why wasn’t I progressing anymore? With each passing day I was growing increasingly obsessed with my food intake and more and more frustrated with my workouts. Read more…
January 16, 2012: Who is this person in the mirror? She looks older than 35. She looks tired. She looks worn. Her hair has lost its shine; getting straggly. She has a few pairs of pants and shirts that fit, everything else is too tight. I don’t know this woman. But I should, it’s me.
It didn’t look like me. The woman didn’t act like me. I was the person excited to graduate high school because my life was truly my own. I thought “whatever happens now is up to me. I make my life. I write my story.” Then, I lost my pen.
I was the person who traveled abroad in college. I went to Australia! And when my older sister told me that was something she never thought she could do, my response was “I never thought I couldn’t.” Somewhere the negative “nots” slipped into my life. Read more…
I joined the challenge because I was bored with workouts and wanted Stephanie to give me specific workouts. I didn’t anticipate the wonderful support and the changes that happened. With 5 kids it is hard.
It is hard to stay committed without feeling like I am taking time away from my family. So I know how important it is to me to be healthy, but its also important to my family. So I started to include them. They love it! Read more…
My transformation was about building muscle, toning up and being more consistent with my nutrition. I changed from working out between 2-3 times a week to consistently working out six days a week. I also packed my breakfast, lunch and dinner consistently five days a week. I used to eat out for breakfast and lunch all the time. I was just lazy when it came to eating right. Read more…
I’m 57 have osteoporosis, belly fat and not motivated to exercise. I knew I needed to find something to motivate me to make some changes in my life, for my health. I’ve joined gyms, took classes, watched videos and nothing lasted longer than a couple of weeks. I entered this challenge thinking “well, if i don’t do it, it’s no big deal, it’s not a big investment”! I never thought i would be so hooked on this program. I did slack off here and there but found my way back each time, mainly because of all the tremendous support from Steph and our “FB sisters”. Read more…
The SKFitlife challenge could not have come at a better time in my life! I clearly remember the day I found out Stephanie was offering this challenge. It was early January in the parking lot of a Sears, which was going out of business. I planned to buy some weight gloves and any other fitness gear that might help to motivate me to get back in shape. I happened to check my FaceBook on my phone before getting out of my car, and I saw Stephanie’s announcement that she was starting the SKFitlife challenge. It sounded like it was exactly what I needed to get back into shape, and it felt like it was meant to be! Read more…
After I had my children, I never thought that I would ever have the motivation to work out, and the dreams of having a fit body were far-fetched. I just figured this is the way I was going to looked and “OH WELL”.
Then Stephanie Keenan came into my life. For as long as I can remember, she has always looked amazing. It truly inspired me as I watched her work so hard to reach her each and every one of her goals. Over the years we had so many conversations about “Moms getting back into shape after a C-section”.
I know she told me that it was possible, but I just did not believe in myself. I never thought that I could have a body like “those girls”… When she told me that she was starting a challenge, I said if I was going to do it then it would be, “all or nothing.” I joined up not knowing what to expect, I was scared out of my mind. Being a major soda drinker, and junk food eater, I didn’t know if I would ever find foods that would taste good to me. Read more…c
When I was 18, I started having problems with my weight. The short story is due to un-diagnosed diabetes I gained almost 60 pounds in 1 month, going from 137 to 194. To say the least I was shocked. After being diagnosed with Diabetes I learned how to eat healthier and eventually lost the weight. Since getting married in 2007 I have slowly put back on a lot of it. Read more…