So I never really talked about it on the blog, but I started the Oxygen Challenge 3 back in June. OC3 is a 90 day program hosted by Oxygen Magazine. It includes a 3 month nutrition plan, exercise program and access to a private FB group. If you follow my IG stories (and if you don’t, you should), you’ve seen me posting pics and videos of my workouts.
I participated in the Oxygen Challenge the last two years, with Team Erin and Team Ashley K. The first year, I started strong but my nutrition fell apart after about 6 weeks and I never finished the program. Last year, I was super motivated and felt like I stuck to the program about 80%. Although I finished the 12 week weight training program about two weeks late, I was happy with my before and after pictures.
Oxygen Challenge 3 (OC3)
When I saw that the Oxygen Magazine was back for a 3rd year, I had no plans to sign up. I kind felt like, “Been There, Done That.” Then I saw a name that caught my eye, Jamie Eason was one of the trainers! Jamie is a certified trainer, fitness model , former NFL cheerleader and mom of two young boys. She is often featured in Oxygen Magazine and I’ve followed her on social media for years, because she KNOWS how to get in shape.
The OC3 program started the day after I got back from our girls weekend in Oklahoma. Which was perfect timing, because we had indulged in several amazing restaurants in Norman and OKC. In addition to following the 90 day OC3 program, I had the option to compete in the Cover Girl challenge for Oxygen Magazine. That involves taking before and after full body pictures, measurements and weight. After the challenge is complete, participants and Oxygen picks finalists that could win a photo shoot and end up on the magazine cover!
Monday night after my girls trip, I put on my bikini and took selfies in the only spot in the house that has the good lighting (by the back door in the kitchen). Then I took my measurements, weighed myself and sent my entry off to Oxygen Magazine to be approved. The next day, I got an email saying my entry was accepted.
- Starting Weight: 130 lbs
- Starting Body Fat: 25.5%
- Starting Measurements:
- Bust 36 1/2″
- Waist 29 3/4″
- Hips 38 3/4″
- Thigh 22″
Month 1What should you expect from Month 1 of the @OxygenMagazine Challenge? Click To Tweet
When I purchased the Oxygen Challenge on Aim Fitness Network, I received a 3 month nutrition plan. With Jamie’s OC3 program, the first 6 weeks are focused on building muscle so I had to actually increase my daily calorie intake. The program included videos that explained the nutrition and calorie goals. Jamie also did several Facebook Live videos the first few weeks, which were shared on our private FB group. Her videos gave additional explanation and formulas to help us determine our personal calorie goals and micronutrients breakdown. I’m not going to go into all the details here because it can get confusing. However I will tell you for the first 6 weeks, my calories goal is 1500 – 1700 calories (rest days – workout days). Also, my macro breakdown is 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat.
My favorite breakfast is oatmeal with blueberries and a side of scrambled egg whites. Jamie’s 3 bean turkey chili recipe is an easy one pot meal that I make almost every Sunday. For an afternoon snack at work, I eat a Siggi’s yogurt topped with fresh fruit and granola. For dinner, I like whole wheat chicken quesadillas and Teriyaki Beef with brown rice.
Surprisingly, it is difficult for me to eat 1700 CLEAN calories a day. So I also ordered some Lean Body for Her protein powder and have at least one shake a day to reach my protein goal.
As I mentioned, the first 6 weeks of OC3 are focused on building muscle. Which means lifting weights, heavy weights. The first month challenged me to choose heavier weights than my usual 5 – 10 lb dumbbells and I was surprised that I was stronger than I realized.
During the first month, I lifted weights 4 times a week and cardio was limited to 20 minutes or HIIT workouts, 3 times a week. All of the workouts were designed to be able to complete at home. However I usually go to Planet Fitness near my office during lunch and can complete the workouts in about 45 -50 minutes.
For OC3, I went into the program without doubts or fear that I would complete the 90 day challenge. With two years of experience on my side, I knew that the first two weeks would be easy. Everyone in the FB group is excited, supportive and motivated to get in shape. However after the first month, I know that sticking to the challenge can be more difficult.
Mentally, diet is usually the hardest for me. Because I LOVE food. I know from the past two challenges that as long as I prep my food on the weekend, I can easily make healthy choices during the week. Weekends are more of a challenge, but I allow myself to have ONE indulgence. Not one a day, one the entire weekend. However I have noticed towards the end of the month, I am starting to slide back into the habit of going to the pantry for a snack, like crackers or pretzels. My sweet cravings have been replaced by crunchy, salty cravings.
I started this challenge around the same weight as last year, but I was less critical of my body. As a 42 year old mom of two who works full time in an office, I feel like I am in pretty good shape. I’ve also put on muscle the last few years, which is apparent in my upper body.
Hopefully you can tell the BEFORE pics are on the left and the MONTH 1 progress pictures are on the right. I did not take measurements but I did weigh myself and I lost 2 lbs. However I know that weight is not the best indicator, these pictures show that the program is working. My clothes also fit better and I feel stronger from lifting weights.
My biggest challenge is when my routine is interrupted – like a work trip to Italy last week and our family cruise next week. However I will make the best choices, exercise when I can and return to the program 100% when i get back from vacation!