40-Day Challenge Recap

After being in New York, it feels like 100 days ago I started my 40-Day Challenge, trying to kick my booty into shape after baby.  Our darling is 7 1/2 months old now (6 month update here) and I definitely feel like ‘myself’ again if that makes sense.   I’m happy to report that we CAN still make significant progress in a short time if we stick to our diet and exercise, even after age 40! #thereshopeforus! I’m less excited to report that our progress is finicky.  It doesn’t stick if you don’t stick to the program, as you’ll see below. 
Moving Comfort sports bra (so good for running, especially for larger chests) | shorts (black) | similar shorts | similar watch | similar Nike bra 

To recap, I started the challenge weighing 111 pounds with 22.7% body fat.  I’m about 5’1. My goals were:
1.  Macros: 1400 calories, 35% carbs, 35% protein, 30% fat which equals 123g carbs, 123g protein, and 47g fat to get to 19% body fat. Go here to read why I set my macros that way. 
2.  Exercise 5 days a week.  
3.  Drink at least 64 oz water.  
4.  Get 8 hours of sleep.  

8/22/16:  Weight 111, Body Fat 22.7% (starting stats)
8/29/16:  Weight 108, Body Fat 21.7% (Wow! Lost one whole point in a week, fantastic!)
9/07/16:  Weight 106, Body Fat 19.1% (OMG! I’m at my goal already! I thought it would take longer!)
9/26/16:  Weight 106.4, Body Fat 21.0% (better than I started, but worse than mid-challenge)

Ultimately, I lost 4.6 pounds and 1.7% body fat.

1.  Macros: 

I tracked my macros in My Fitness Pal and it helped tremendously! I found that it was kind of a game and puzzle to see what I could eat that would fit my macro goals.  And it was interesting to see that, at the beginning, I wasn’t getting enough fat, so I got to add in things like whole egg, peanut butter, avocado, and coconut oil.  You can see the meals I ate and the macro breakdown here
You can clearly see the correlation between when I was strict with my macros during the first half of the challenge, that my results were awesome.  I went to Austin for Labor Day and had a couple cheat meals, but it didn’t hurt my progress. 
However, during the last half of the challenge, I lost steam and was satisfied with that 19.1% number that I started indulging in ice cream and chocolate.  You can eat those things, but I didn’t exercise self restraint and would eat a whole pint of ice cream or half a bag of Bark Thins!  #badgirl
2.  Exercise 5 days a week.  
It was similar with the exercise.  I started strong and then slacked off.  I still trained twice a week with my trainer.  Now, my mom trains too and we bring Jordan and just take turns holding her since this gym doesn’t have a daycare.  You might have seen on Snap (@honeywerehome) or Instastories
For cardio, I usually just run about 3 miles (30 minutes) outside, after Jordan goes to bed around 6pm.  But then our son started sports which means several evenings of practice where my husband isn’t home, so I wouldn’t be able to do it until after 7:30 and I didn’t make that effort. 
3.  Drink at least 64 oz water.  
With my YETI or RTIC cup in tow everywhere I go and keeping one upstairs and one downstairs, I easily met my water goal.
4.  Get 8 hours of sleep.  
This one was a struggle for me.  I easily get my sleep out of whack if I’m not very intentional about it. I’m also prone to be so tired in the afternoon that I cave and grab a coffee, then have trouble falling asleep at night.  It’s a vicious cycle! 
I do find that when I exercise during the day, I’m better able to fall asleep at night and wake up refreshed in the morning.

This 40-Day Challenge experiment proved to me that it’s so important to stick to your diet and exercise to get the best results possible the quickest.  Now that I’m back from NYC and have eaten all.the.foods (see our Food Tour here), I’m actually ready to get back on board with my challenge again until right before Thanksgiving break.

I’m changing my exercise goal to 4 times a week because 5 felt like too much pressure.  I am getting back to running, even if I have to go in the evening and I’ll start running on weekends too- which I always took off before.

I’ve got my Mom on board with me and she wants to get in shape for my brother’s wedding, so it’s good that we can do this together.  And I think Jordan is rooting us on!

Regarding running, I’m asked often about which sports bras I recommend and I’m pretty passionate about having a good one! Y’all know I’m busty and run, so having a great bra is key to a comfortable run.  The Moving Comfort sports bras I always run in and this one by Nike is good too.  They are sized by your bra size, so you can get an accurate fit.  For lifting weights, I usually opt for my Under Armour because they are comfortable, have good support, and I never feel like they are choking me.

This sports bra I sometimes wear as a regular racerback bra with tank tops just for running around or being at home because it’s so comfy and hides the straps. (I wear size Medium and am 34D).

Quality running shoes (and socks!) are important too.  I’ve tried several brands and styles and the running shoes I’ve found to be the most comfortable and lightest on my feet, while keeping them dry are the Nike Free Flyknit . I swear by them!

Finally, let me end by mentioning that even though I’ve made good progress on ‘body after baby’ I do struggle with loose tummy skin.  It’s hard to see in pics unless I pull it, but I showed a pretty up close and personal video on Snapchat and Instastories before I went to NY.  I try to accept it, but it doesn’t mean I love it!  And, I know from having James that my skin did tighten up after training for my first fitness contest.

Tomorrow, I’ll share some shapewear secrets that will help us camoflauge that area and I figured I’d make it a series and finish up with my favorite t-shirt bras. No one wants lumps and bumps showing through their shirts!

Were you with me on this 40-Day Challenge? How did you do? Isn’t it amazing what our bodies can do?!


keep in touch! 

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Meet Megan

Hi! I’m Megan, mom to a thoughtful teenager and spunky young girl. We call Houston home and recently moved into our dream home. I traded my lawyer hat to become a full-time blogger in 2010. I love sharing my passion for affordable fashion, home decor, organization, & fitness to help inspire you to take care of you!


  1. First of all – you look amazing!! I had a couple questions for you as I am really trying to fine tune my diet. First, what are some go to snacks you would suggest for someone at work that are high in protein and have some fat? (I tried protein shakes but just cant to do it. I am going to try your protein waffles). Also, when you do your fitness pal calorie tracking do you include any calories you burned during your workout and adjust your daily caloric intake or do you keep it at the same each day regardless or a workout? I ask because I noticed the app does it for you…

    Thank you!!

    1. Or you can do Greek yogurt. I try to always eat 'meals' instead of snacks, but it's hard at first when you're not used to eating that much food. I don't track my calories burned through exercise and always aim for 1400 calories a day, whether I'm exercising or not.

  2. You look incredible, lady! How do you stay motivated? I'll do a really great job with what I eat for a day, and then I'm housing pasta and ice cream.

    1. Thanks Alyssa! If I need extra motivation, I'll look at some IG fitness accounts – Amanda Bucci is my fave and she also has You Tube videos I'll watch about her bikini prep.

  3. I really enjoy these posts. You are so inspiring, and I appreciate your honesty about how you get tired of chicken. You are also proof that you can be fit and look fabulous after 40 and that we don't have to believe and accept that we are just going to gain weight as we age. I hear that so much. I enjoy reading your blog. 🙂 Thank you!

    1. I want the 40s to be awesome and I truly believe they can be! You're more secure in your skin and who you are by 40 I find. It might take more diligence on the fitness front than it did in your 20s, but we can still rock it!

  4. Great post! I was wondering if you would do a follow-up on your diastasis recti correction. I am 4 months postpartum and was just recently diagnosed with this condition. I'd love to hear how you managed to continue exercising and how you reintroduced ab work into your routine.

  5. I rarely comment, but just wanted to say THANK YOU!!! I love you and your blog. You are so inspiring, genuine, and seem like an all around sweet person. I really appreciate the fitness motivation and all of your clothing options for petite gals. + the darling kiddo pics and ideas 🙂 Keep 'em coming!! xoxoxo

    1. Ah, thanks for taking the time to write Aubrey. I really appreciate hearing from you! It means so much to me to know that my words are reaching people out there! Big hugs from Houston!

  6. You looked good before you started the 40 day challenge and amazing after! Did you get hungry at all? I'm in for your next challenge – you are so motivating. When are you starting?

    1. Oh gosh, not hungry at all. It's actually hard to eat so much food at first, but then your body adjusts and it's perfect. I might be hungry right before it's time to eat again. I'm on now!

  7. Hey Megan do you know how many calories you burn a day? My Fitness Pal is telling me that I should only eat 1400 calories a day but then with workouts it's allowing me up to 1800. I try not to eat them all back but i do get hungry at 1400 calories. Just wondering what your typical calorie deficit is and if its affected by weight. I'm 5'4" and 158 lbs. Trying to get down to 140 lbs.

    1. I eat 1400 calories a day regardless of what I burn in exercise. When I run, I burn about 200 calories and maybe 300 or so during a training session.

  8. Megan: Thanks for this update. I admire your ability to stick to a plan so diligently! And you look fabulous!!!! Your hard work and dedication show! Will be so fun going forward to have your mom join in with you – that always makes fitness more fun.

  9. I loved following your 40 day challenge. Thanks for all the clean meal ideas. It would be great to hear more details about the workouts you are doing.

  10. Way to go!! At first I was looking at your abs, but your arm…great progress!! After your post on pictures of your meals, I got my body fat down to 19.5% down 2.2%! So thank you. Love these inspiring posts!

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