9-Week Control Freak lessons

9-Week: Freelance Friday

9-Week Control Freak. When I first heard of the newest program from Beachbody on Demand and Super Trainer Autumn Calabrese, I was excited, but only because it came with a TRX-style track system, a step, and a ball. It totally rounded out my home gym that’s located in my laundry room/pantry/office, and the timing hit right at New Year’s, so it was a WHOLE New Year New Me thing, which is the kind of shit that I just LIVE for. I mean, working out has always saved my mental health, but I also like to switch it up fairly often, and streaming programs check all the boxes.

Anyway, so my husband Josh, my kid Hunter, and his lady Shelby busted it with me to transform the room from a beat-up mud room to a crisp and white space (because it’s like, a really small area, so it NEEDED that lightness). Josh installed the track system on the wall, tightened it so I didn’t pull it loose and fall, and I was set to go.

In the beginning, I eagerly/not-so-eagerly took my “Before” photos, reminded myself that it was a whole New Year, New Me thing, imagined how ripped I would be at the end, and dove right in.

And…9-Week Phase One (there are three total phases, three weeks each) was not so bad. I even did a couple short side workouts several times because it felt like I wasn’t doing enough. I came out of it a few pounds lighter and felt good enough to take post-phase-one photos.

In 9-Week Phase Two, I ate like human garbage for the first two weeks, quickly rocketing back up to my pre-program weight. The workouts were definitely getting harder, and my side workouts slowed to a trickle. In week three (six), I did a 3-Day Refresh to try to salvage the weeks of junk. See, the thing is, I just really love sugar, and I really love bedtime snacks. While I spend 90% of my day focused-ish and locked in on nutrition, something about after-dark time makes me think of the times I was a small child and would cover my eyes and think that meant nobody could see me.

I wasn’t a smart kid in many ways, particularly in this line of thinking that somehow carried on to present-day.

But I digress. Before I knew it, I was starting…9-Week Phase Three. It was the final stretch, and I had not lost any weight. I had, however, lost like, 1.5 inches, so I decided to graciously accept that as a win and get my shit together for the end.

With this new determination, I went ahead and gained the post-3-Day Refresh weight back in Week Seven. The workouts were DEFINITELY hard, and I was additionally finishing up a February Squat Challenge, but aside from that, I was sitting a whole, whole lot. I was mostly eating sanely, but every three or four days I’d attack the granola bar/sweet and salty bar drawer, and be right back at square one the next day.

Like, why do we even do that? Why do we sabotage ourselves when we’re just trying to #selfcare and #selflove and #healthyliving and every other damn buzzword that comes up? Why do we hold onto something negative to obsess over when we could just get into a good habit, spend way less time on trying to fight our ghrelin levels, and more time on, I don’t know, leisure or family time or on ways to work smarter, not harder?

Listen, who knows.

And then we were in March, I went home to see my parents for the weekend, and my mom baked a cake with my stepsons and then sent the whole thing home with us. They were, of course, going back to their mom’s for a week the very next day, which left almost the entire cake with me and Josh. A red velvet bundt cake covered with a thick frosting/vanilla gaze and topped with red, white, and pink sprinkles, it was physically beautiful and tasted even more beautiful. We piled it on that next night, and I was in 9-Week Week Nine at my pre-program weight once again.

So then I had this whole moment. I’m a coach, and had several one-on-one Zooms with my clients that day, but couldn’t even master my own urges. To make things worse, I was staring down the barrel of those “After” photos.

I think it was at that point I snapped. While I had gotten gradually stronger and more disciplined the past nine weeks, I had also pretended like it was only a workout, and not a jump-start to late-pandemic healthiness. I wanted to get back to my pre-shutdown health, and I was instead just moping around the house feeling super sorry for myself. Ever happen to you?

So I kicked in. I asked for help. I bought veggies that I liked – snap peas and carrots and then salad mix and cabbage and fruit – and I planned and maintained said plan. I fought the urge to eat too early or too late. It was sunny a couple of days, so I took a couple of walks.

And now, with one workout remaining, I’m at my lowest weight since I bought my scale. But I also feel less foggy in my brain. More hopeful. My jeans don’t physically hurt my body. I still have about 8-10 pounds to go, but I feel like I can make it.

And so can you.

Whatever your mission, whatever your goals, whatever your wishes to achieve personal happiness, we can do this together. Reach out to me – let’s motivate each other.

And after tomorrow? I bid farewell to 9-Week, and Monday, I’m going back to boxing. There’s just something about rage-punching the air that GETS me.

9-Week: One day from the end.


I start every day vowing to become healthier and end every day by zeroing out my fridge.
That's the kind of self-sabotage that forms the core of my being.
You know what I'm good at, though? Spinning words into a magical skein that envelopes you in success. Let's talk about that first, and if snacks end up happening, so be it.

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