Let’s give this health thing another shot: The FFC ‘Lose to Win’ Challenge starts MONDAY and you should do it with me

Remember that time I participated in my own 30-day challenge, but failed miserably and ditched the gym in favor of pizza? Of course you do, because I never shut up about it and have linked to it at least 500 times.

But what you may not know is that the summer before, just one year earlier, I participated in a 30-day challenge contest at my gym and actually followed through. I got my shit together (to be fair, I needed to get it together because I was super broke, newly single and full of sads) and went to the gym as often as I could, sometimes twice a day. I tried my first spin class, almost died, tried my first full-body shred class, almost died again.

I absolutely hated the gym, but I kept going because I was too broke to do much else and happy hour-ing with friends is expensive, but it eventually got better. My class teachers eventually learned my name, and soon after, so did some gym members.

By the end of the month, I still kind of hated working out, but I liked being a part of the community. I ended up winning that contest, dropping 10 pounds and (kind of, sometimes) seeing the shadow of a tricep muscle, so what did I do immediately following my great victory? I promptly quit working out because I WAS A WINNER WHO DIDN’T NEED THE GYM.

I know this picture is kind of hard to see in this old-timey mirror, but it’s a shirt and shorts that I loved that don’t fit me now. Also to blame is the fact that this old-timey mirror is in the bathroom of my favorite bar, and I most likely ate something fried immediately before/after taking the selfie.

The best shape I’ve been in, possibly in my entire life, thanks to the gym challenge. Also, getting into that dress now? FORGET ABOUT IT, LOLOLOL.

Quitting was so, so stupid. I mean, I’ve dabbled with classes and gym memberships since then and briefly got obsessed with spinning at Flywheel and Full Psycle (neither of which I can afford beyond the new member trials), but it was never as regular or dedicated as that one magical month. Also, we love pizza so much that James wore these socks at our nuptials:


Enter my current gym, Fitness Formula Clubs in Chicago , which I’ve been a member at for about a year. A lazy member, sure, but that’s all about to change, thanks to a gym-sponsored fitness challenge starting MONDAY, JAN. 19. And the best part is that you Chicago folks can join in the fun, even if you’re not a member!

FFC logo FFC lose to win contest

NOTE: This is a super kick-ass deal for people who are interested in FFC but aren’t so interested in FFC’s notoriously high enrollment fees, which are discounted or waived at certain times of the year, but aren’t now :(

FFC’s Lose to Win is a six-week weight loss challenge from January 19 to February 28. Sign up and attend weekly strength and cardio classes, nutrition lectures and weigh-ins for the chance to win oodles of prizes, which is – in my opinion – the best part about these things. The male and female participant who lose the highest percentage of weight at each FFC location will be entered to win MORE GOODIES, including free training sessions and a bunch of other crap that I don’t know about yet.

COST: $49 for members and $99 for non-members. Keep in mind this includes six weeks’ access to the FFC facilities (the locker rooms are nicer than my entire apartment, basically), exclusive Lose to Win workouts and the chance to win PRIZES. You can read more about the contest rules and conditions here.

I’m planning on doing some stuff like watching what I eat and holding myself accountable by sharing weekly updates on my Friday Five posts. There are bound to be a few cheat days – my 30th birthday and Chicago Restaurant Week come to mind, which will be nearly impossible to ignore – but hopefully this challenge will have a better outcome than my last.

Well, Chicago friends, what do you think? Anybody with me?


  • missladyj

    I don’t live in Chicago but I’m in…I’m going canyoneering 16-19th…which I’m going to count as exercise because it’s effin hard! The PBR might counteract it but it’s the desert…gotta hydrate somehow! For reals I would like to lose 14lbs and plan on doing so with yoga, running (melticeandsnowdammit), portion control, and more salads! Look forward to your updates!

    Also could you do a post on your hair and hair products! :)

    • http://www.fancykins.com/ Hollie

      CANYONEERING. And suddenly, my gym goals seem super lame and entirely too easy! That is amazing, I wish I was in the kind of shape to be able to do that (and imbibe PBR IN A CANYON). That is going to be absolutely fantastic. Would love updates and to hear how it went! Is this something you do often?

      Hair product post coming up, are you a curly gal too? I tell ya what, there are lots of BS products out there that cost entirely too much money, agreed?

      Thanks for the comment! Have a fun weekend :)

      • missladyj

        Hahaha! This was only my second trip and 2nd and 3rd canyons. The first one was incredibly hard and we had terrible information on it….basically what we found out after the fact was that beginners should not do it because they might die…well I didn’t die but it was hard and I had terrible nightmares for months! This trip was AMAZEBALLSTOTHEMAX! I am terrified of heights but managed to do a 140ft rappel with minimal whining but a whole lot of cursing! My arms and legs are so incredibly sore! But that feel good sore. :)

        I have “swavy” hair…it’s short right now and I live in Colorado so it’s less curly than normal. Curly hair products are often times bogus in my opinion!

  • Ashlee

    GAH! I am in this to win it, Hollie! Challenge has been accepted, good luck!!

    • http://www.fancykins.com/ Hollie

      We got this!!!!!!!!!! GOOD LUCK and keep me posted!

  • Johanna

    You are hilarious – I love your writing. We should meet up over coffee one day. I feel you on the gym. I like to work out once a month say…see! I tried!

  • juliasinnott

    Haha I feel you on this one! So hard to get back into the groove of working out. Those endorphins are worth it though (or so I hear!) good luck and enjoy!

  • http://letsjustbuildahouse.blogspot.com LetsJustBuildaHouse

    so this is why you had Vday candy for bfast?! gotta get that last weeknd of crappy foods in before the challenge good luck bb.