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Challenge Accepted: Treat Yo’ Self

Challenge Accepted: Treat Yo’ Self

dec_blog_image1_2018This month was all about me! It was the best month ever. I managed to get an accountability partner this month too without even asking. My husband was very happy to thrust himself into this challenge and treat himself too. (See this photo? We’re treating ourselves to delicious NYC ramen. Yeah, that sums up my month pretty well.)


  • take time to appreciate all my hard work this year
  • try a new restaurant
  • indulge in more things that I usually deny myself


IT WENT GREAT! I mean how could a month that’s all about me and doing whatever I wanted be bad? I may have gone a little crazy with the shopping though… I happened to come across a lot of great deals when holiday shopping for other people and I couldn’t pass up those sales! Plus, I am a huge sucker for anything plaid and December is the best time of year to stock up on plaid blankets, coats, sweaters, dog sweaters, dog leashes, tote bags, candles, etc.

Before I get ahead of myself, let me tell you that this month was not just about buying myself stuff – It was about taking time to appreciate myself. I wanted to acknowledge all the ways I put myself out there for this blog (and all of you who tried new things too!). It’s been a little scary to take on a new challenge each month, especially when I had to do the Whole30 or work out with a Personal Trainer. But I learned a lot by taking myself out of my comfort zone, some of it I even enjoyed and will continue to do in the future. It’s not always fun to try new things, but it’s something I want to always do for myself, and this month I am appreciating myself for it.

I also wanted to let go of some of the stress I have about not keeping in as good shape as I would like and instead be proud of my body because I am strong and capable, even when it doesn’t seem like it. My body can do amazing things like walk 3 miles in heels or eat a box of mac and cheese and an entire pint of ice cream without throwing up. My body can beat my 5-year-old niece at arm wrestling, and I am gifted with strong nails to claw at my husband when he overpowers me for the TV remote. All of these things my body can do. It is amazing, even if I forget that and am hard on myself sometimes for not being able to do a perfect push-up off my knees yet. I wanted to give myself a little vacation from feeling guilty about all the things I should be doing more or less of and rejoice in the fact that I can do/eat whatever I want because I don’t have to fit into my wedding dress anymore!

So yes, I did eat a lot of delicious food this month. I usually am very strict about eating healthy during the weekdays but this month I allowed myself some delicious joy in the form of cookies every single day. (I am eating one now as I write this!) My husband and I started a list of the restaurants we wanted to eat at in Baltimore and have been working our way down the list each weekend. But we got into a few cooking shows and saw a ton of places in New York City that we wanted to eat at also. So, we decided to go!

We took a long weekend to drive there and do nothing but eat. We bought so many delicious things, we couldn’t even eat them all at the restaurants, so we ordered half the menu at some places and took the leftovers back to our hotel and ate them in bed. It was magical. Sort of like a second honeymoon, but instead of celebrating each other, we celebrated food.

During all this gorging, I realized I was losing energy from poor eating and lack of exercise, so I started getting on myself about going to the gym again and eating healthier. I was really stressed out about going to the gym each night because I was so exhausted, and I realized that stressing myself out about it was not keeping with the spirit of Treat Yo’ Self month! So, I gave myself a break and went to the gym only once or twice a week. I know this routine isn’t healthy and I will need to get back into my exercise routine again in soon, but for now, I am not going to beat myself up about it and let myself enjoy the junk food/early nights at home.

I hope all of you decide to take a little time for yourselves with all this holiday craziness, whatever that means to you. Whether it’s going to more Group Fitness classes, meditating before you go to bed, drinking the New Years Eve bottle of champagne early by yourself in bed while watching Friends and making your husband go buy another bottle for actual NYE (well, that’s my plan anyway). Also, I plan to remember all I have learned this year and that I need to be thankful for everyone, including myself. It’s been a wonderful year with you all, and I hope you continue this mantra into next year: “This year, I will be stronger, braver, kinder and unstoppable!” Because you are. Your fitness matters, and so do you.



This is my favorite Whole30 recipe, but I don’t usually make it because it’s fairly high in sugar. Hey, it’s Treat Yo’ Self month though, so go for it!



  • 1 cup almonds
  • 2 cups dates
  • 1 1/2cup coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • water (as needed)


Put the almonds in a food processor and grind them until they are a small, crumbly texture (or just use slivered almonds.) Add the remaining ingredients (except water) and process until it’s smooth. Add in water slowly while processing until it sticks together but isn’t too moist.

Line an 8×8” baking pan with parchment paper. Press mixture into baking pan and use your fingertips to smooth out. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before eating.

This blog post was prepared and accomplished by the author in her own personal capacity. The opinions expressed are solely of the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of Merritt Clubs.