I’ve been on many fitness journeys since I began this blog. In college, I woke up at 5:00 a.m. nearly every morning and forced myself to go to the gym. I looked great, I felt great (if not a little tired), but looking back I also recognize that it was a bit of an obsession.

“A bit of an obsession?” I can hear my former roommate laughing at that understatement.

After graduation, I was thrown into a job that worked me long hours and left me exhausted. The obsession quickly deteriorated, and I was lucky to get in a couple of workouts per week. No longer was I the dutiful daily exerciser. You can probably guess what happened next.

I put on a few pounds, felt generally lethargic and hated every minute.

Since I made the leap and began working for myself, I’ve been able to make exercise more of a priority again. But I’m no longer the girl who forces herself to workout on 4-5 hours sleep. The “obsessive” part of me never came back, and I’m a lot happier for it. I’ve realized that in order to truly enjoy my life, I need to give myself permission to occasionally skip a workout in favor of curling up with a good book or wonderful husband – and (always) a glass of wine.

There’s always tomorrow. Thanks to these great workout challenges, it’s easy to get back on track. Hopefully they will help inspire you and your fitness goals, whatever they may be!

Current Training Plan

Self-Created Workouts

These workouts are based off of others I found in magazines.

P90X Workouts

Video: P90X – 90 Days Later

Insanity Workouts

Workout Successes

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 GlidingCalm December 30, 2008 at 6:48 am

dang… i’d be scared to get in a ring with you!

love it Bender. you are my hero.


2 Julz December 30, 2008 at 7:55 am



3 eatingbirdfood December 30, 2008 at 10:49 am

Love the picture.


4 Karla December 30, 2008 at 11:29 am

That picture is awesome! You sure are buff :)


5 Halie December 30, 2008 at 12:12 pm

I’m excited for your new workout experiment!

And I love the pic!


6 Vani January 5, 2009 at 2:53 pm

It’s so easy to just go through the motions and not make the most of a workout. I hope I’ll find some good tips here on taking it to a new level :-)


7 fitforfree January 5, 2009 at 2:54 pm

It’s so easy to just go through the motions when you’re working outβ€”it’s great that you’re trying to “take it to a new level” :-) I’ll look forward to reading!


8 eatingbender January 8, 2009 at 7:56 pm

Thanks everyone! You all are too kind :) I’m excited to share the workouts with you!


9 Judy January 13, 2009 at 11:44 am

Good luck on the P90X!! I am starting a similar program also produce by BeachBody: ChaLEAN Extreme. Very similar but marketed more toward chicks! :)
Stock up on heavy weights!!


10 eatingbender January 13, 2009 at 11:08 pm

Judy ~ Thanks! Please let me know what you think of ChaLEAN. I might try that next πŸ˜‰


11 eatingbirdfood January 27, 2009 at 9:45 pm

Look at those guns!


12 Jenn (eating bender) March 13, 2009 at 8:50 am

Brittany ~ Haha your comment reminded me of one of my professors who always dressed in t-shirts that had his students saying, “we’re going to the gun show!” :)


13 foodsthatfit February 25, 2009 at 8:01 am

Look at those biceps! You are beautiful!


14 Jenn (eating bender) March 13, 2009 at 8:49 am

foodsthatfit ~ Thank you so much :)


15 Kristin March 11, 2009 at 11:57 pm

Wow, you look like one of those girls everyone hates because she can go strapless and look fantastic!


16 Jenn (eating bender) March 13, 2009 at 8:48 am

Kristin ~ Haha I don’t know about that, but thank you so much for being so sweet :)


17 Erika August 10, 2009 at 8:25 pm

Oh my god, your arms are my goal! I need to start following your workouts!


18 jqlee February 20, 2010 at 2:42 am

Hey Jenn, I just found your blog and I am in love for so many reasons:

1) you did p90x
2) you have awesome recipes
3) you are from chicago!!!! – i have been on the search for chicago food/health bloggers :)
4) we’re close in age. i’m in my last year of college at u of i.

Well, just wanted to say hi and I look forward to keep reading your blog!


19 Jenn (eating bender) February 21, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Hi there! Thank you so much for the sweet comment :) I just checked out your blog – AWESOME! You want to run the marathon? I hope to do that…someday, haha! I’m totally going to keep reading and would love to meet up with you next time you’re in the city. There are quite a few of us Chicago food/health bloggers, so it would be a lot of fun!


20 Carly Frances October 21, 2011 at 9:35 am

Yep, impressive muscles there. I’d be really interested to know your thoughts on the various workouts because I’ve just reviewed a whole bunch of them. I’m getting ready to move to the country where there is no gym, so I have to resort to my own motivation and devices. So I looked at what info there was on the web to help me decide which program to go for. So I’m definitely interested to know which program rocks your boat!


21 The Caffiene Blogger November 5, 2011 at 4:42 pm

I’m currently on day 12 of 90 for the P90X Challenge! How are things working out for you? No pun there!


22 Tracey April 13, 2013 at 7:31 am

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