FED UP? DO IT ANYWAY! Marla’s 40 Day Health and Wellness Challenge


A number of years ago I caught a glimpse of a very overweight woman in a mirror. To my horror I realized it was me! It turned out I was carrying around at least thirty pounds of unnecessary fat, mostly around my middle. I knew I had to do something. I started by eliminating high starch like potatoes, rice, pasta and bread. All my favourite things 😦


That same summer I discovered The Eat Clean Diet (Tosca Reno). Six months later I stepped on the scale and realized I had lost a total of thirty pounds 🙂  That same year during Spring Break we took a vacation to Maui and I had enough confidence to wear a bikini. I hadn’t worn a bikini since, well, I actually can’t remember. It was a very liberating experience. I felt like I was twenty-five again.

I maintained my new body weight within five pounds for about four years and then, the year prior to retiring, I started to gradually gain the weight back.


I really want to be realistic and although I’m not 25 there is nothing wrong with wanting to feel like I am. I also consider myself to be a foodie. I love to cook and experiment with food and I love to eat. So how can I feel like I’m 25, be successful in health, wellness and weight loss and still be a foodie? Well, I have a plan and having a plan is when it all starts to get better.

Currently, I power walk an average of thirty kilometers per week, although I haven’t lost an ounce. What’s important is that I feel good. Really, really good and the walking has motivated me to get back on track but also to be realistic. The honest truth is that I will enjoy all my favourite foods again, on special occasions. Defining special occasions becomes relative here because I can create a special occasion at the drop of a TBSP of real butter! For example, if I check out any guide of events and festivals around town I could literally have a ‘special occasion’ on a daily basis. You get the idea.

So, here it is. Here’s my ‘FED UP and DO IT ANYWAY’ plan:

As a retired teacher I find September a great time for new beginnings, it’s what I’m used to. I’ve made a conscious decision to lose ten to fifteen pounds by Thanksgiving weekend and will implement my plan on Tuesday, September 3rd. That makes this a 40 Day Challenge of improving health and well-being.

1.     I have found the best way to get things rolling is to treat myself to something that represents change. I have a hair appointment the first day of my challenge, also the first day of school. I hope to come out with something new and spunky.

2.     Sometimes when I try to talk myself out of my power walk I like to use a phrase that gets me out the door; DO IT ANYWAY!  I give myself permission to be grumpy as I lace up my runners and plug in my audio, then head out the door and do it anyway. Within seconds I’m in a happy place. I’m going to use, DO IT ANYWAY so that I no longer feel FED UP.

3.     As the weather changes I will need to incorporate an indoor plan. I have created a professional looking workout room so that there are no excuses. I have everything I need in this room to succeed, so I will.

4.     I will eat clean but also allow myself weekend treats (within reason). There are many recipe ideas online and in Tosca Reno’s cookbooks which are available at amazon.ca.

5.     I will incorporate weight training. Past experience has taught me that this in itself boosts metabolism to continue to burn (fat) calories even after your workout for several hours, not to mention tones the body. I will do this 2-3 times per week, slowly building in repetitions and sets. (It is important to start slow and light to begin with to prevent injury and build success. I like to begin with five, and later increase to eight pound weights in my routines).

6.     I will continue to meditate daily. My favourite’s are with davidji.com, deepackchopra.com and also, just on my own with some soothing soft music that includes the sounds of nature. I find anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes a day leaves me feeling peaceful and focused.

7.     Exercise for the brain is equally important so I will be using my Fit Brains app daily to work on memory, concentration, problem solving, etc. (fitbrains.com).

Often, my biggest downfall is that I get bored with the same ongoing routine. When this happens, I will switch it up. I will swim, I will dance, I will do yoga, play tennis and hike, and sometimes, I will sit in the stillness of myself and be grateful for all that I have and all that I am. These are all affirmations of the best kind.

I am excited to challenge myself as well as to announce it on my blog. I also hope to inspire any of you out there that may feel as FED UP as I do with this seemingly endless struggle.

It all begins TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3RD. I feel newly inspired and hope you’ll post your comments, ideas, and recipes along with mine and of course, I welcome your support.

I’m done with being FED UP!

And I will,



Marla O’Brien

(Looking forward to Thanksgiving! Gobble, gobble).



15 thoughts on “FED UP? DO IT ANYWAY! Marla’s 40 Day Health and Wellness Challenge

  1. I’m starting too and will introduce theYoung and Raw 30 day green smoothie challenge back in to my routine….because I’m FED UP!

  2. Reblogged this on The Lotus Blooms Again and commented:
    I want to do a varitation of Marlaobrien’s 40 day challenge. Forty days is definitely a reaasonable amount of time to get things done (health wise). I am going to take some time to plan my rules for my challenge but starting September 3rd until Thanksgiving I am challenging myself to get fit!

  3. I love you and I’m with you! Thank you for such great inspiring ideas and lets keep each other posted on our progress! We can do this. What better time to start than on Kelly’s 29th Birthday – Tuesday, September 3rd. x0x0x0x0

    Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2013 03:27:41 +0000 To: julieonthacker@hotmail.com

  4. I am not even walking long miles, I just walk, lost weight in hospital and rehab/physio, yet I am on new foods ,Kale, greens, vegetables, fruits, turkey, chicken, fish, I was a big bread eater, now, not so much,lol,lol, rice dishes now. I am 71 and a half, Sept,3rd is your neices Birthday, she says” Go Auntie, Good for you,” she runs and builds as well.,lol.Lean bodies / loving hearts! You do it anyway girls! I support you all!

    1. Doing what you are able to do is the first step in the right direction. Given all you’ve been through, YOU are a super star in my eyes! 71 and always moving forward. Much Love to you.

  5. I’m on it, Marla. I have been thinking about this as well. I don’t know whether I can lose 15 lbs. by Thanksgiving. I love my pasta and my lattes!! I’d be happy with 7-10 lbs. and anything else would be a gift. I love to walk and wish we were “neighbours” so that we could do it together as part of the process.

    I believe it involves exercise and healthy eating (I didn’t say “diet” because that word evokes anxiety and unattainable goals for me.)

    You are an inspiration….as always.

    Cheers and hugs your way!

    1. Oh Josie, I so hear you. I’ll also be happy with 7 – 10 lbs. I also love my pasta, lattes and wine! So, the message is to keep it REAL for you. Do what you feel is realistic and if you don’t like it… Do It Anyway!
      And just so you know, I’m a neighbor anytime and YOU are a gift. Thank you for participating.

      1. Yes..I may contact you sometime to walk. After work may be an option, what do you think? I am in Maple Ridge then.

        I also do Rocky Point in Pt. Moody, which is just over 5 Ks. Although, that may be too far for you to drive.

        Cheers and Hugs!

  6. If you need another indoor exercise option…come do my R.I.P.P.E.D. class at Latin Flavours on Thursday at 5:30. I am doing throwback Thursdays and feature some of my older hits from season 6. Miss you Marla.

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