I’m happy to see you are as curious about the background and birth of the lifestyle challenge as I was determined to write about it!  If you are wondering what the lifestyle challenge is; why you should attempt it and how it works – click right here for more info.

The lifestyle challenge is a challenge designed to change your lifestyle to consciously find or rediscover yourself after a trauma, nervous breakdown or divorce.

Background and Birth of the Lifestyle challenge

Background + My Story

Divorce is not a decision I take lightly and for months I tried to give my ex the space to change his life.  One day he told me that living together was too hard for him.  He wanted us to try a trial separation.  Two months after this conversation, the kids and I moved into our own two bedroom garden flat.  It is not very glamorous and definitely not what I had envisioned at the age of 31, but we are safe – physically, emotionally and free from the exhaustion of the roller-coaster ride that was our reality.

The end of my marriage was the cherry on top for me, but there were a couple of key moments that shaped who I am, that would ultimately lead to my decision to get out of our marriage:
  • My ex’s career moved that forced him to work 15 hour days
  • My son cancer diagnosed at the beginning of 2015
  • The traumatic loss of my beloved dog, Chutney
  • My ex’s bout of unemployment, followed by his new found inspiration to become a millionaire selling ozone machines in a pyramid scheme.
  • The impact of the lies that he told
  • The inability to change to find a workable solution for our marriage

What happens after you get out of the destructive nature of your marriage?

I needed to get out of my destructive marriage for both my kids and I.  Admitting that was what I needed make me feel incredibly guilty and ashamed like I was forsaking my wedding vows.  Here are some words I wrote a couple of months ago to explain my feelings:

I think the hardest part of this separation has been coming to terms with what is happening.  The disappointment has been hard, the betrayal has been more than I’ve felt I could handle at times.  It has been tough to love someone and accept them for who they are.  It has been harder to accept the fact that they are not where you want or expect them to be.  It’s more than just failure, it is accepting that you cannot, despite your best efforts make decisions and fight on behalf of another person.

  • While my guilt overwhelmed me, I felt an enormous amount of anxiety at over the logistical aspects of my separation – would we cope financially?  Can I raise my kids on my ‘own‘?  How will I manage on my own?  Will I survive emotionally?
  • I also felt stupid, I felt like the carpet was pulled out from underneath me.  The fact that I hadn’t ‘seen’ it coming made me feel like an idiot!  I am a psychology major, for goodness sake – shouldn’t I be good at reading people?
  • I was angry that I had to go through this!  My plans were being disrupted, my comfortable routine was being shaken and I really didn’t have the capacity or energy to go through a divorce or separation. Although this was no reason to stay, it didn’t help to ease the angry either.

Before my ex and I separated my aim was to figure out how to get out while keeping my marbles and surviving both emotionally and financially.  Not once had I considered anything beyond my need to “get out”.

Overcoming Emotional eating

Three years ago, I started a Banting and gym lifestyle like no other.  Banting is the new low carb-high fat revolution that has taken the diet world by storm. It works and it’s relatively easy to follow.  I went to the gym 4 times a week, practicing what I referred to as Boot-camp Pilates.  Pilates is normally seen as a low impact, joke of a form of exercise, but my instructor was a machine – and I’d easily called it the best Pilates workout around.  I lost 17 kilos in six months with this formula.  And I was totally obsessed with all things Pilates and Banting.
When my ex made a career changed that forced him to work 15 hour days, Monday to Sunday, I was forced to quit my Pilates.  Slowly my lifestyle went back to a staple of carbs and chocolate out of sheer frustration.
Circumstances that lead to the separation, as well as the chaos, guilt and anxiety now that I was separated, lead me further down the deep dark hole of emotional eating and feeling sorry for myself.  The destruction on its own lead to even more frustrations and feelings of failure.
Brave and Broken Lifestyle challenge

 The Lifestyle Challenge

The Lifestyle Challenge was birthed out of a need for change.  I needed to rediscover who I am when I am not someone’s wife or mom.  The only way I could do that was by getting out of my comfort zone as often as possible and in as many different ways as possible.

my lifestyle challenge:

My lifestyle challenge will in all probability look very different from yours.  We are different – we have different talents, passions and ambitions in life.  Our fears may be the same, but our approach may differ.

The lifestyle challenge for me is about:

  1. Loving myself + finding my identity
  2. Healing my broken heart and coming to terms with my destructive marriage
  3. Developing a healthy relationship with food
What does it look like for you?
If you are wondering what the lifestyle challenge is; why you should attempt it and how it works – click right here for more info.
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