by Melanie Chisnall

26 week challenge
27 week challenge
Committed to getting stronger & healthier by 1 January 2022.
26 week challenge


Behind this challenge

Before the pandemic, life was great. I felt healthy, happy, and confident. But, after months without parkruns and baking endless chocolate muffins, I started feeling uncomfortable. Like many of us, I picked up a bit of “lockdown weight” and I’ve been struggling to lose it ever since.

I lost my Dad very suddenly earlier this year, and it’s been a harsh wake-up call to take better care of my health.

Enter this personal challenge.

This challenge is as much a mental one, as it is a physical one. When I feel physically comfortable and strong (and my jeans fit properly), my mental health improves and so does my confidence.

I was in two minds about sharing this challenge so openly. But I know I’m not the only one struggling with motivation to exercise and keep at it. Accountability and seeing progress along the way is where it’s at!

Weekly progress updates: (Starting July 2021)


  • WEEK 6: 2-8 Aug: Got the vaccine which brought exercising to a frustrating halt. Happy to report that since I started this challenge a month ago, I have maintained a weight loss of 1.4kg. That’s pretty amazing when I think of how much takeout and dessert I’ve indulged in. It’s slow, but I’m still winning!

July in review

Month one of six done DONE. All in all, I’m really happy with how this month went. I tried some new things, got into (mostly) better eating habits, got back up after a few inevitable setbacks, and gave myself permission to tweak things in order to make this a lifestyle challenge that’s sustainable. This was the month for starting habits and routines, from next month, it’s all about maintenance.

  • WEEK 5: 26 July – 1 Aug: I finally made it back to Zumba classes! Stocked up on some green rooibos chai tea, made more salads, ate a little lemon meringue pie, and made 7-minute morning workouts a thing again.
  • WEEK 4: 19-25 July: This wasn’t a great week for healthy eating… Or working out every day. Never mind, I’m READY for this week ahead – workouts planned and healthy goodies ordered. Reminding myself –  it’s not about falling off the bandwagon, it’s about getting back up and not giving up! #letsgo
  • WEEK 3: 12-18 July: Invested in a yoga ball and ventured out for a few extra walks and a trip to the gym to shake things up. Continued with Daily Burn and weekday morning 7-minute workouts. Even with the odd take-out, I’ve finally managed to lose that first kilo. YAY!
  • WEEK 2: 5-11 July: I’m already starting to see and feel progress. Replaced my morning coffee with a warm drink (apple cider vinegar, molasses, honey, and lemon juice) – really good. Still had takeout, but ordered a small pizza instead of a large. This was a good week!
  • WEEK 1: 28 June – 2 July: I committed to doing 30 minutes of Daily Burn workouts five days a week. Found myself looking forward to the kickboxing and dancing workouts. Made the mistake of looking at the scale, which inspired this challenge.