Dedicated December Challenge!


I begin this post with gratitude. This is the life where I strive for progress, not perfection. This is the life where I’ve learned that trusting my heart is what I need to do more of, and unplugging (time alone) allows me to really listen to my heart. In situations where I feel anxiety, frustration, life’s struggles…..I “breathe” to reframe, calm down and restore. Prior to this mindset, I’d “get busy” or “stuck” with the situation. God has brought me to the last month of the year where I know with certainty, that I am right where I’m supposed to be. And so blessed to wake up each day praying that my work will encourage and inspire, as well help us all embrace the sometimes difficult journeys, trusting God to do His best work.

I hope you’re as excited about this month’s challenge as I am because there are a few surprises along the way. Be sure to follow @mellanee_harmon for daily updates <3

Dedicated December is challenge for you to stay purposeful in your fitness, intentional with self-care, and simply stick to a healthy habit each day. Here are some ideas to get you fired on all cylinders and feeling your best!

  1. “Crowding Out” – deprivation is not a healthy approach to the holidays, but neither is going “all in” with junky food. Crowding out means to drink more water, eat healthier foods just prior to your holiday party or meal, and plan ahead. But remember, you can indulge on occasion, and guilt-free!
  2. Take your multi-vitamin and fish oil supplement every day. The state of inflammation in our body is at the core of wellness. So why supplement? Because our bodies are constantly faced with daily stressors leading to free radicals, including everyday stress, lack of sleep, processed foods, and strenuous exercise. I take USANA Health Sciences CellSentials and BiOmega Fish Oil. Taking this daily multivitamin is one of the easiest things you can do for your health. It’s never a replacement for a poor diet, but taking the CellSentials + BiOmega fills in any nutrient deficiency gaps and can elevate your nutrient levels to an optimal state.
  3. Move your body! Ease into your workout routine with what works best for you. For me, a cardio sesh with a group of like-minded women instantly lifts my mood and opens my heart. I also love, love a mix of Pilates and yoga to allow more breathing space within each movement. Make a fun playlist and aim for 20-30 minutes each day. I’ve got plenty of HIIT, Pilates and low-impact workouts on the blog to choose from, have at it!
  4. Self-care – if you’re already setting healthy boundaries, listening or reading to inspirational podcasts or books, connecting with nature, saying “no” to things that don’t excite you, then kudos, keep doing that! If this is an area in which you feel uneasy or self-care is a foreign concept, I want to encourage you that it’s almost impossible to be where you want to be physically if your emotional and spiritual states are not aligned. Research shows that when you connect to your breath, be still, you will become more calm. This practice requires consistency with an open heart and work, but will result in more fun, play, joy and laughter. 

How to participate in the challenge:

  1. Each day in December, leave your comment below (every day!) or on your social media account (be sure to tag @mellanee_harmon on Insta), with the workout you did or healthy habit you killed that day!
  2. You will receive one point for each post or comment! It’s that easy and super fun to build hype around being so healthy in mind, body and spirit!  Woohoo!!

Examples of posts or comments: “I went to a relaxation yoga class today!” >> “I got in my water intake for the day!” >> “I listened to the best podcast this morning!” (tell us the podcast and how it inspired you!) >> “I did some “crowding out” at lunch by eating a great big mixed green, veggie salad with my turkey wrap!” >> “I took my vitamins along with a big bowl of vegetable soup over getting “takeout” “!  Take pictures on your social media account or comment here on the blog, just share the love.

Winners will be tallied and announced the week of January 8th! Good luck and I can’t wait to hear from each of you beginning December 1!

PC: Pete Harmon, Simsbury, Connecticut

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60 Responses to “Dedicated December Challenge!”

  1. Kristi Barnett

    Beginning this Saturday morning with a healthier version of our favorite breakfast made at home instead of going to a drive thru! Enjoying much needed rest and relaxation with my loved ones after a long week!

    • Mellanee

      Beautiful Kristi! A leisurely, healthy breakfast so good! Enjoy your weekend, friend <3

  2. Kristi Barnett

    Monday morning Barre to get me going!

  3. Jamie Lee Watson

    Hit a milestone today! Went from a size XL scrub top and bottom to a size M! It has been a long road, but oh so satisfying 🙂 40 lbs down and going!! Thank you Mellanee for all your work with me in the floor workouts, barre, cycle and the amazing trampolines we tried tonight!

    • Mellanee

      Whoop! Whoop! Incredible transformation Jamie! You are a light beam of inspiration my friend. You are so welcome, but YOU put in all the work. Proud to be a part of your beautiful journey. See you soon 🙂

  4. Traci

    My husband and I just finished the 5 Day Reset. The weeks building up to Thanksgiving were filled with lots of travel and hectic schedules. That meant too much fast food and too many exercise classes missed. Add Thanksgiving foods to the mix and… well, you know. So the Monday after Thanksgiving I emptied the kitchen of all the rich foods and committed to five days of healthy choices. Day 1 was exciting. Day 2 was AWFUL. For real!! But Day 3-5 were a steady climb toward feeling so much better. I lost 7 pounds which was my original goal. However, the greatest accomplishment was finally kissing goodbye artificial sweetener and soda. I didn’t think I could enjoy coffee without that bit of sweetness. Wrong. My original plan was to splurge when the 5 days ended. It’s day 8 and I am committed to consistently making healthy choices. Thanks so much for your help!

    • Mellanee

      Love your truth Traci! Who knew just 5 days of stepping away from sodas, sweeteners and processed foods could bring about amazing changes. Losing the bloat, change in taste buds and increased clarity to the power of foods on our body and brain! Lovvveee!!

      • Traci Smith

        Update and Drum Roll please!!
        30+ years of sleeping 5 hours on a GOOD night has been my story. Today marks 2 weeks with zero artificial sweetener or diet soda. I can’t believe this seemingly small change in my lifestyle has done this, but I am sleeping like a baby. I have consistently been sleeping uninterrupted for over 7 hours for the past 5 days. This has NEVER happened. The 5 day reset was just what I needed to get my head and heart motivated to end this addiction. Thanks so much for your help!

        • Mellanee

          Ahhh! Cue the music and dance!! This is so incredible and a true testimony to the crazy effects artificial sweeteners have on our brain and body. Good news, we can absolutely kick it to the curb, even after 30 years! SO excited for you and love the RESET!! 💗💗💗

  5. Jamie Lee Watson

    Great workout day! Spin/sculpt this am and a 45 minute walk this afternoon 🙂 It is amazing on just how good you feel after a good workout! Hope you all had a wonderful day!

    • Mellanee

      Awesome Jamie, and thank you! I’m partial to early morning workouts 😉
      And you know, a cool, brisk walk in the afternoon does wonders for our mood! Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your evening!

  6. Kristi Barnett

    Have to admit this day was a tough one but, I’m headed to bed early with determination to make tomorrow better.

    • Mellanee

      I’m thrilled you shared this Kristi. Here’s the deal, some days stink and timing is just, off. Going to bed early and waking up with fresh eyes and remembering when your head comes off your pillow, you have everything you need to make it a good day. Proud of you for checking in tonight. Love and prayers 🙂

  7. Kristi Barnett

    Thankful to report today has gotten off to a great start! Cycled with Morgan this morning and has a healthy breakfast. Dedicated to having a great day.

    • Mellanee

      Fantastic way to start the day 🙂 It’s all about staying the path, navigating around and through the challenges. Loving your dedication Kristi!

  8. Kristi Barnett

    Made it workout this morning (even if it was an abbreviated one)!

    • Mellanee

      And that is what makes you stand out from the crowd my friend! You made the choice for YOU, way to go Kristi!

  9. Jamie Lee Watson

    What a whirlwind last few days!!! Lots of drama and emergencies, but at least I got in a few balanced meals in with LOTS of water. I do swear by a nice brisk jog for stress relief which is just what I did these past 2 days 🙂 Looking forward to my hot zenyasa tomorrow to unwind. Yall have a wonderful rest of the weekend!

    • Mellanee

      Nice Jamie! I love how you are committing to the time, setting your goals and working at achieving them. We have to be consciously and physically aware every day. Proud of you! 🙂 I will be at Zenyasa this afternoon, can’t wait!

  10. Jamie Lee Watson

    Had a nice morning jog with my brothers beautiful miniature aussie! lol she is about the only one who can actually do more than one lap! I will see you at Zenyasa Mellanee!

    • Mellanee

      Super excited for this week ladies! First part of our dedicated December challenge ends December 17th. Second half begins December 18-31st! Whoop! Whoop!! Giveaway details and winners Will be announced throughout the month!
      Y’all are incredible!!!

  11. Kristi Barnett

    Spent the day doing things that were good for the soul. Meaningful church service, time spent preparing a meal for my family and a Christmas gathering with friends. Reminds me of all I have to be grateful for!

  12. Kristi Barnett

    Monday morning barre- nothing like it to get you going!

    • Mellanee

      Yes!! I never thought I’d be an early morning workout girl, but it really does set the tone for the day! So happy you enjoyed it 🙂

  13. Jamie Lee Watson

    Great sculpt night! My legs and abs are on fire!!! Can’t wait for cycle/sculpt in am 🙂 Good night friends

    • Mellanee

      You must have taken a Nikki sculpt 😉 Good to see your smiling face in class this morning Jamie! Enjoy your day!!

  14. Kristi Barnett

    I’m trying something new this week. I am getting up about 30 minutes earlier to drink more water, move around and read my Bible before workout. I usually roll out of bed in time to get dressed and go, but I can tell the extra time is great for preparing my body and mind for my workout and my day!

    • Mellanee

      Ohhh, love this routine! I started doing this early last summer and it’s become a sacred part of my day. Self-care in this way is often neglected because of time, but with small steps (even just 10 minutes earlier) we can do it 🙂

  15. Jamie Watson

    I am soooooo sore today!! Had a great sculpt/cycle class yesterday and sculpt the day before that and it kicked my bootie lol. Amazing workouts though!! After oversleeping this morning, ( 😶 ) I had my protein shake and looks of water. I plan to do some running this afternoon at home so wish me and my achy legs good luck! Have a great day friends 😃

    • Mellanee

      Funny how our body knows when we need the rest. 😉 Sounds like Epsom salt bath might be tonight’s treat! Have a good day Jamie!!

  16. Kristi Barnett

    My dedication today was not in something I did but in something I resisted. I was today and I really wanted a peppermint mocha. Then I thought about how I would be having a potluck on Friday and dinner with family on Saturday and decided to stick with my water! I’m so glad I did!

    • Mellanee

      Yes Kristi! This time of year we’re hit from all sides with quick lattes, foods, etc especially when we’re super busy. Good choice my friend. 🙂

  17. Kristi Barnett

    Morning cycle with Morgan made it a lot easier to make it through this busy day!

    • Mellanee

      Woohoo for a Thursday workout and productive day in the books, yes?! Love your dedication! Enjoy your night!

  18. Jamie Lee Watson

    Wonderful day!!! Other than the early start to the work day, I had quite an amazing day today 🙂 Fantastic yoga class with Mellanee at 1630 and a tough cycle/sculpt class with Nikki at 1800. Looots of water was needed today. Hope everyones day was blessed!

    • Mellanee

      Thank you Jamie 🙂 Love the positive vibes you bring into the studio. Keep shining my friend! Sleep well 😉

  19. Kristi Barnett

    After a fun day of shopping with the family I got a chance to enjoy a wonderful, healthy dinner of salmon, greens and sweet potatoes. It felt great to make a healthy choice in between the holiday celebrations.

  20. Kristi Barnett

    Trying to stay hydrated today! Getting in as much water as possible!

    • Mellanee

      Yes! This time of year is especially important to get at least 1/2 your body weight in ounces each day (more if you are exercising). Way to go girl! Enjoy your day!

  21. Jamie Watson

    Just got home after a long case on Sunday that went into Monday. Tried to get in as much water as I could afterwards and will try my best to make it to sculpt this afternoon! I have another case layer this morning. Y’all have a great day!

    • Mellanee

      Sounds like a long day, and I thank you for checking in!! You are remaining tuned in to what your body needs, I love that. Wishing you a fabulous day Jamie!

  22. Kristi Barnett

    Cycle with Rachel…enough said!

    • Mellanee

      🙂 what a way to jumpstart the day! What’s on tap for Tuesday?!

  23. Kristi Barnett

    Barre with Lindsay! Slower paced, but a great workout (my legs are going to hate me later!). Now back home enjoying doing things with and for my family! I love the slower pace of being on holiday break!

    • Mellanee

      Sounds lovely Kristi! And Lindsay’s barre sneaks up on you, lol. I admire your dedication lady….enjoy your family time 🙂

  24. Kristi Barnett

    Alright friend, I made it this far so I am not planning to skip a day! Didn’t make it to a class today, but I did manage to do a few good things. My exercise came from cleaning house and I carried a water bottle around while I cleaned to make sure I got close to my daily amount (still got a little ways to go). Showed love to a friend tonight whose husband just had surgery by taking them dinner. On my way out the door, I decided to have my 17 tag along on the delivery. So glad I did, it’s never a bad idea to let them see you practice doing good to others. When we left, Avery even mentioned that she might offer to take my friend’s children to the mall while we are on break. So tonight I am dedicated to setting a good example and raising Godly people.

    • Mellanee

      Wow girl. To say your goals are much deeper and wider than just this month is an understatement. God knows once we commit our plan to Him that we will give and receive more joy. You’re an incredible example for your family. Thank you, thank you for sharing! You’re a rockstar my friend. 💜

  25. Kristi Barnett

    Barre with Lanai today!

  26. Kristi Barnett

    My last “organized” workout before the Christmas festivities begin for our family. Leah did not disappoint with cycle/sculpt!

  27. Kristi Barnett

    Don’t know how I would have made it today without taking little time outs for myself. Not super long breaks, but just a moment here and there to read, enjoy a cup of coffee or just be alone. It has helped me enjoy the busyness of the day (and the days to come).

    • Mellanee

      Amen Kristi 🙂 It’s crucial to take time outs to recharge. Thank you for sharing and blessings to you and your family! Merry Christmas friend. <3

  28. Jamie Lee Watson

    Merry Christmas friends! It sure has been a while since I have been able to post! Even through all the sickness from myself and my family, I have been trying to stay good in what I have ate and drank this holiday season. Relaxation, meditation and lots of water intake do a body good!

    • Mellanee

      Merry Christmas Jamie! I’m so sorry to hear you and your family have been sick 🙁 You are so awesome for checking in and sharing what has been serving you well. We’d love to hear about your relaxation and meditation techniques!

  29. Kristi Barnett

    Merry Christmas! I knew yesterday and today would be the toughest when trying to eat right and get enough rest. I have tried to pace myself and fit in glasses of water throughout each day. It’s been a wonderful time with family and I am now looking forward to transitioning from Christmas to a cozy, but healthy winter time!

    • Mellanee

      Yes!!! You are there girl! 2018 looks to be your year to encourage and inspire others as you move forward!

  30. Jamie Watson

    Back to the grind to eat right again! I do have to say I didn’t do very bad at all this holiday season! Absolutely no desserts, but had an extra spoonful of broccoli and cheese casserole 😀 mmmmmm. What I like to do every night is to take 30 minutes to turn off all the lights and sounds right before bed and sit down and just meditate on my day. This relaxes me just about as much as a good workout does! I feel so relaxed afterwards and can fall asleep much quicker than if I skipped it. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

    • Mellanee

      Love your beautiful act of self care Jamie! I can see how meditating at night would ease you into a restful nights sleep. Rock on sweet friend! Can’t wait to see you next week 🙂

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