“I always talk about the importance of work life balance and have a good handle on it, but with adding the work life gym balance - I’m feeling a little overwhelmed!

            Danielle Nault - Canning

Danielle Nault-Canning | castle downs family ymca


This week was the first week that I felt there were not enough hours left in the day for the gym, and I let that get the best of me.

I only attended the gym for my training sessions and even that was a struggle! I always talk about the importance of work life balance and have a good handle on it, but with adding the work life gym balance - I’m feeling a little overwhelmed!

I’m excited to see my progress, and love the feeling of completing something I didn’t think I could, but I have yet to find that excitement to head to the gym.

It’s amazing how the emotions and the struggles change from week to week, I can honestly say I have not had the same week twice since joining this challenge.



This has been a pretty standard week, I ate relatively well and I went to the gym regularly. I’m impressed by how ordinary this week was. Nine weeks ago I would never have believed that two group power classes and two training sessions in one week would be the normal but here am I thinking wow I didn’t do anything special this week.

I went for my first massage this week and will now add that as part of my healthy lifestyle, it really helped to relax some of those muscles that I had not used for a very long time prior to starting this challenge. Overall I am very happy with my progress and what appears to be my new normal.



On one hand I can’t believe it’s been 8 weeks and on the other I can’t believe it’s only been 8 weeks. The time has gone by so quickly I feel like the changes I expected are not happening that was starting to diminish my motivation.

I started this week out having no great expectations, figuring I would go to the trainer and maybe work out one other day, but as I sit here right now I’m actually excited for my session tomorrow - I can’t wait to see what I can do and how much further I can go.

On Tuesday, my supportive friend, my spouse and my training partner Terra all went to the group power class and it was AWESOME!! I loved this class for so many reasons, the instructor was great, the other participants were so welcoming and friendly, and best of all it opened my eyes to just how far I have come. The class is intense, physically demanding and mentally draining but I was able to finish it! I did have to modify a couple of the exercises and take a minute to just walk on the spot twice, but I participated from beginning to end and I at least attempted every exercise.  I used to get winded just going up a flight of stairs and now I can make it through an hour group power class. On Thursday I went to my group training with a way better attitude - willing to try new exercises and as funny as this may seem to some - I actually jumped! Jumping was a “hard no” for me and although my trainer has tried to get me to do it - I would not budge - so I’m not sure who was more surprised yesterday when she suggested I jump – so I jumped!   I’m so excited to see where this next 4 weeks takes me, both physically and mentally, but for right now I think Alicia Keys said it best “This girl is on fire!”



This week has been my turning point.

This week that I realized life happens and that without balance I’m never going to have long term success.

I ran into some issues this week that would have derailed me completely in the past, but I managed to navigate my way through the crisis. I need to be easier on myself, just because I didn’t meet all of the objectives I had set out for a day doesn’t mean the whole day was a complete waste, it just means that tomorrow I may have to work a little harder.

When I first started this challenge I was full steam ahead, going to the gym daily was a must but I am now realizing that sometimes you just can’t and that’s ok.

I have made it to the gym 4 of 7 days this week, I have followed WeightWatchers and I have lost another 1.8 lbs.




This week has been my biggest challenge so far!

There have been many times this week that I have mentally thrown in the towel, telling myself I can’t do this, just accept you’re going to be big and unfit forever, and all the negative thoughts that go along with that mindset. I have not followed any sort of nutrition plan and if I’m being honest I don’t think I have even stepped foot in my kitchen this week. I hadn’t been to the gym, since my return from Mexico, but yesterday was my first day back with my trainer.  All day I told myself I wasn’t going, but when the time came I went, and boy am I glad I did - it was exactly the push I needed! It was not one of my best workouts, and I complained a lot, but it served as the perfect reminder of how easy it is to slip back into the “I will start tomorrow attitude.”

I am so grateful for the opportunity the YMCA has given me.   The commitment to the challenge, to my workout partner and to my trainer serves as good motivation on days when my commitment to myself may not be enough. I love the changes I am seeing in my abilities, and most of all, I love that I now have the ability to bounce back after a truly terrible week and know that next week will be better.



I was surprised last week by the amount of pain one person could feel after an hour at the gym, but that doesn’t compare to the surprise one feels when they realize those jeans that were just a little too small 3 weeks ago now fit, and not just fit but comfortably fit!

There have been many ups and downs over the past few weeks and I’m not just talking about the squats, although there have been lots of those too!   There are days when work is stressful, my diet is non-existent and the last thing I wanted to do was head to the gym! It was tough, but I made a commitment not only to myself but to the challenge, my trainer and my training partner - so off I went!

I did not meet my objectives of trying 2 new classes this week, however I did try one. I went to the Monday night TRX class, the instructor was upbeat and you could tell she loves what she does. I did not particularly like this class, probably in part because I wasn’t very good at it, but I do plan to try it again in a few weeks to see if as I get stronger it gets more enjoyable.

Overall, I did achieve my 8000 steps a day and lost 1.8 lbs!



It’s amazing how much can change in a week, last week I felt lost and a little unsure and this week I feel pain, burning, searing, please don’t make me move pain!!

I wasn’t sure what to expect this week, this is a process so far out of my comfort zone that it’s hard to have expectations – but the expectations id did set were met and far exceeded! My week started with my first session with my trainer and I learned I am even more out of shape that I had imagined!

My heart was racing, my muscles were burning, and I didn’t even know I had some of these muscles let alone that they could burn!  However I am excited to see how far I would come in 12 weeks time.

I stayed on track this week according to my weekly goals - attending 2 classes, achieving 8000 steps a day and following WeightWatchers. I attended deep aqua size on Sunday morning, the instructor Gary was very welcoming along with the other participants, it was a great way to workout pain free the day after the personal training session. I attended shallow aqua size Tuesday night, the instructor Deb was fantastic, and it was a good workout in a fun and relaxing atmosphere.   If you were considering aqua size this class would be a great one to try it out!

This week I achieved a minimum of 8000 steps a day, and lost 4.2 lbs!!



I entered week one expecting it to be a pretty typical New Year “resolution” type week, where you join the gym, meet the trainer, start the work out’s and have the “this time it’s going to be different attitude!!”.

This week was nothing like that, I talked to my trainer on Monday and our first session wouldn’t be until Saturday, ok deep breath you got this - take some classes, walk the track and if all else fails there is always the dreaded elliptical! I have a plan: I will try two classes this week, get a minimum 8000 steps a day and stick to weight watchers.

I am ending this week disappointed, a little frustrated but also proud, confident and excited for what’s to come. I did not meet my goal of attending two classes this week, not for lack of trying but some scheduling issues. I did however get to meet the Aquasize instructor, she was friendly, funny and really excited for her class. I would recommend this class because the instructor is awesome so you will be in good company.

I tried some “new to me” machines and I lost 3lbs this week with the help of WeightWatchers, so although it may not have been what I planned it was more than the week before.



I am a wife, mother, friend and operations manager.  I am not the sum of these titles, however, these are among the most demanding hats hanging in my closet.  I am also a daughter, concerned citizen, and puzzle builder when time allows.

I struggle with my weight and am rounding the corner on 40, it is time I make some changes to improve my health and wellbeing.  It has been a challenge to feel confident about adopting changes that leave me vulnerable to failure, but I have recently realized that if I do not make these changes now I am leaving my self open to health complications among other physical complications.

I made the decision to participate in this challenge for a few reasons, first and foremost I am excited to try something new.  I am looking forward to meeting and working towards common goals with people who have been or are in my shoes.  I am excited to become a healthier and more active version of my already fabulous self.