America’s Fittest Couple Challenge 3: Phase 2

Lisa and Tony Zappa turned to each other for support as they dove into Phase 2 of the Challenge.
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afcc3 phase 2

Lisa and Tony Zappa

And just like that, we are in Phase 2! It’s crazy to think that we were just getting ourselves prepared to kick off the Challenge, and now we are so far in. It’s been such a fun, crazy, challenging ride. One of the biggest hurdles for us has been the alarm clock! As we’ve mentioned before, we are both early risers, so we can get our workouts in first thing, but we’ve no doubt had our days when we just want to stay in bed, especially with the change of seasons.

On days when Tony has to fly back to work from the States, he has to leave our house by 3 to 3:30 a.m., so that means 1:30 a.m. wake-up calls for both of us. This is a couples challenge. We do as much as we can together, so of course that means I’m up at 1:30 right there with him on those days. It’s been an adjustment for us, but we are willing to put in the work no matter what it takes!

We’re definitely both in the same mindset. We had one workout during which we weren’t even together, and when we compared notes afterward, we discovered we had the same experience with the start of the workout. It was called “the 7’s”—or we like to call it “the deadly 7’s”! It’s seven rounds of seven different exercises, all seven reps each. Looks great on paper, but doing it is intense!

Another thing we’ve realized with Hannah Eden and Paulo Barreto’s workouts is that if it looks easy on paper, it’s not! The very first exercise started with seven burpee box jumps. We both just sat there staring at the box thinking, “Just push start on the dang timer to get your body moving. Just do it. Pull the trigger!” We both just stood there staring at that box in completely different countries. This was a funny coincidence, but it was also reassuring to know that we shared the same feelings and could go through them together.

We previously touched on the fact that these challenges are not only physical but also a mental game. Getting your head in the right space is absolutely key if you are going to make or break yourself. No matter how hard we think it’s going, how hard of a day we had or how tired we are, our motto has and always will be, “NO EXCUSES.”

Same goes for the people we surround ourselves with. Having a support system in place, a group around you that supports your decision to dedicate yourself to this challenge, is so important. We’ve both experienced a little negativity over the past several weeks. Thankfully, we’ve trained ourselves to just block it out or remove ourselves from the negativity to push through. It’s hard to hear from others who want to put you down for doing something so amazing for yourself.

Our solution? Walk away. Not everyone will understand your desire to live a healthy lifestyle, and that’s OK. You do this for you, nobody else. Nobody can hit your goals for you. We have another motto displayed in our gym: “Your only limit is you.” This is 100 percent true. Every time we walk into our home gym, reading it on the wall never gets old. If you surround yourself with positive people who want to see you become a better version of yourself, it sure makes it easy to keep moving toward your goals.

We have always been super-active people, so we take our days off from the Challenge each week and pick a different “active rest day.” It gives us a chance to play around with new equipment, try a new class or just get outside as a family. We both love trail running and hiking, but our newest guilty pleasure is Hotworx. Call us crazy, but stepping into a sauna for a good workout/sweat session is something we love!

afcc3 hiking

Active recovery hike

We can both say that we’d much rather use our “downtime” to do something active and healthy over anything else. Despite that, we can and do appreciate a full rest day, as well. So on days our bodies are telling us to take a break, we will, or we’ll take a nice leisurely hike as a family.

Nutrition has been on point since Day One! That’s one thing that we are both proud of. Alexa Uherek’s recipes are SO GOOD! People seem to think that we are only eating chicken and broccoli every day. That couldn’t be further from the truth. This meal plan has so much variety, we don’t feel like we are missing out on too much most of the time.

Tony’s favorite meal has been the burrito bowl and the shrimp asparagus pesto pasta, and my favorite is also the shrimp asparagus pesto pasta and the apple protein bites. This is definitely not a boring meal plan!

We both recently hit a point when we experienced some cravings, but we’re staying strong until the end. The hardest part is probably cooking for our son who loves anything “kid-friendly” — chicken fingers, fries, mac and cheese, you name it! Talk about willpower. LOL.

And the holidays … oh boy! AFCC3 fell on two of three holidays surrounded by nothing but yummy treats: Halloween and Thanksgiving! Getting through the holidays is a test in itself. We both made a commitment at the beginning, though, to give it our all. Once we make that promise to each other, it’s a little easier to stick to it. We’ve definitely been leaning on each other for support if any cravings hit. They always go away. That’s what we tell ourselves, anyway!

So far, we are loving the results of these workouts and the meal plan. It’s been great to watch our group get stronger and stronger. We’re at the point that we get to repeat what we did in Phase 2, and it’s so fun to see everyone beating their scores. We cannot wait to see everyone’s results at the end. We started off strong, so let’s finish strong!

NO EXCUSES!

With the America’s Fittest Couple Challenge 3, Hannah Eden and Paulo Barreto will bring you and your partner their unique brand of training — PumpFit — to transform your bodies and minds and get you into the best shape of your lives. Sign up today!

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