Life won't get in this Get Fit contestant's way

Ten professionals and 10 teams are competing in the 2015 Get Fit Challenge. Who will earn the healthiest marks? Follow along on Facebook and then find out at the In Business Expo & Conference on Oct. 21. This week, IB checks in with Karen Hodgkiss, owner of KLH freelance, who is competing in the individual challenge.

When I applied to be part of the Get Fit Challenge, my schedule looked pretty clear for 2015 and I felt confident that I would be able to devote a significant amount of time and effort to improving my health. By the time I was selected for the program things had changed, to the point where I questioned my ability to participate. One significant event that arose was the decision to move out of our home of the past 21 years. No small undertaking.

After wrestling with the decision, I finally realized that this is life — it’s never smooth sailing. Whether it’s illness, travel, an injury, or any one of countless other events, there are always challenges that could pull me away from my goals if I let them.

Immediately after starting the program, I was out of town for several days. Since I love to dine out when travelling, I had to figure out when to splurge and how to balance it with low calorie meals and extra activity. One day, my mom and I went to South Haven, Mich., to walk on the pier and enjoy the spring sunshine. Part of the adventure was going to a restaurant known for its onion rings. I had a small, protein-heavy breakfast and planned to have shrimp cocktail and salad for dinner. At the restaurant, we split a small order of rings and also split a grilled chicken sandwich. I met my caloric goal for the day and didn’t feel deprived. Win–win.

Now, I’m modifying my exercise plan to accommodate an injury. After experiencing heel pain for four months, I finally went to the doctor and got a diagnosis of plantar fasciitis. The primary methods of treatment are rest, ice, and stretching. No high impact exercises and limited fitness walking. It would be easy to give up on my program, but instead I’m going to find a way to stick with it. Being more strict with my diet, increasing strength training, replacing walking and group training sessions with biking and swimming, etc. — there are ways to make it work.

My success will depend on how well I can anticipate and plan for obstacles while also being flexible to adapt to the unexpected. Every day there are countless decisions to make regarding food and exercise that can either support or hinder my progress. I keep reminding myself of the well-known Harvey MacKay quote: “Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.”

Meet all of the competitors here and see who wins at the In Business Expo & Conference.

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