All Challenged Out

I’m the lamest blogger ever. How many other bloggers do you know who start a new blog, barely post at all, and then disappear for weeks at a time? And yet I just can’t stay away. Blogging helps me process things, and even if no one is reading, it’s cathartic for me to write.

The last time we met, I was 2 weeks into my 30 day challenge. Well, my 30 day challenge has come and gone, and I was honestly so relieved when it was over. It was harder than I thought it was going to be, and I approached it very halfheartedly some days. I did finish it, sort of. If you’ll recall, I had 3 goals for the duration of the challenge:

1. Exercise a minimum of 10 minutes each day.
2. Drink NO soda.
3. Eat sweets only on the weekends.

I am proud to say that I went the entire 30 days without a drop of soda, but it nearly did me in. Y’all, I am clearly an addict because going without my Coke or Coke Zero fix was HARD.

Me love you long time.

Me love you long time.

At the beginning of the challenge, I didn’t think that goal would be the hardest, but it was definitely the hardest to fight mentally. I found myself wanting to give in on a daily basis.

However, I did really well with the exercise part of my challenge, until day 28, when I realized it was 9 pm and I hadn’t exercised and decided I was too tired to do it, so I didn’t. I fully own the fact that throwing in the towel on DAY TWENTY-EIGHT of a 30 day challenge is the height of lameness, but this is coming from the blogger who never blogs, so it’s kind of apropos, right? 🙂

As for the sweets part of the challenge, I stuck to this, except that I did cave on Valentine’s Day (which was a Friday, so almost the weekend, right?). Stephen and I recreated the meal we had on our first date (pulled pork sandwiches, Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips, grapes, and cheesecake). I could have skipped the cheesecake, but I opted to indulge, and it was tasty. And for the record, that meal also originally included Cherry Coke, my favorite beverage, but I decided to forgo so I could keep my streak alive.

So my 30 day challenge wasn’t a rousing success, but it definitely helped me reestablish the habit of exercising, for which I am grateful. I exercised more in those 30 days than I did over the past several months, and that’s a win for me!

I had lots of other things to say, but this post is already too long, so I guess it will have to wait. See you in 2 weeks. 😉

30 Day Streak: Week Two

I may as well call it the “Weak Week Two” because that’s what it was. I stuck to all my goals, but I felt like every day was a struggle. Here’s the breakdown of my exercise:

Monday: 10 minute ab workout on YouTube
Tuesday: 10 minutes of marching in place while watching Parenthood
Wednesday: 20 minutes of “dancing” in my living room
Thursday: 25 minutes of YouTube workouts (Zumba and lower body toning)
Friday: 20 minutes walking around the track at the gym
Saturday: 10 minutes of walking
Sunday: 10 minutes of marching in place along with ab work
Total for Week 2: 105

This total is not even half of what I exercised last week, but honestly, if I hadn’t been working on this 30 day streak, I wouldn’t have exercised at ALL several of those days. But I have identified the problem, and it’s this: I didn’t wake up early to exercise (except for one day), which meant that I was having to exercise in the evenings after Charlotte was in bed (after 8:00 p.m.). I don’t know about you guys, but my energy levels are virtually tapped out by the time 8:00 p.m. rolls around, so it’s no wonder I could only manage to eke out pitiful numbers each day. Today I got up earlier and did a 20 minute Jillian Michaels kickboxing workout, and I felt great and so glad that I had already completed my exercise for the day.

Jillian doesn't mess around, y'all.

Jillian doesn’t mess around, y’all.

I hate getting up early in the mornings because I am not a morning person and probably never will be, but I have seen time and again that it’s the best way for me to make sure I have time to get done the most important things, like exercising or reading the Bible. My goal is to wake up by 6:00 a.m. every day, which isn’t even that early. I may not get in tons more exercise minutes with this plan, but I feel like the quality of my workouts will be much better because I will feel more energetic and will therefore be more compelled to work harder at a workout.

I hope you all have a great week and are working on your goals as well. Now tell me, are you a morning person or a night owl?

30 Day Streak: Week One Update

I’ve officially completed 7 out of 30 days in my challenge. I am happy to say they’ve gone well. Surprisingly (at least to me), the hardest part of my challenge has been avoiding soda. I didn’t really consider myself addicted to soda, but after doing this for only 7 days, I definitely was addicted. I have craved it so much, every day. I keep hoping that after a while I won’t want it as much, and that by the end of the 30 days I won’t even care about having a Coke. For that nonchalant attitude to occur, however, a whole lot of mental change is going to have to take place in the next 23 days!

Here’s a breakdown of my exercise over the last week:

Monday: One hour of dancing with Just Dance 2014 on the Wii
Tuesday: 10 minutes of a kickboxing DVD
Wednesday: 30 minutes at the gym (treadmill, rowing machine, stair master)
Thursday: 10 minute YouTube video from SparkPeople
Friday: 10 minutes of a walking DVD
Saturday: 32 minutes at the gym (treadmill, rowing machine, elliptical)
Sunday: 30 minutes walking/running with Charlotte in the stroller, 40 minutes of walking DVD (4.7 miles total)

Total for the week: 222 minutes

That is by FAR the most exercise I have gotten in a week in probably a year! I am really proud of myself, and even though I only did the 10 minute minimum on 3 of the days, I made up for it on the other days.

As far as sweets are concerned, I stayed true to my goal and only had some over the weekend. However, I am now revising my goal to say that I will only have ONE sweet per day on the weekend. Not limiting the amount of sweets for the weekend led me to go a little bit off the deep end with the sweets, so I am going to be smarter about that in the future.

Overall I consider it a successful week and am looking forward to keeping my streak alive this coming week!

Make It New

Since I decided I was going to be exercising for 30 days in a row, I figured it was a good idea to try some new types of exercise so I wouldn’t end up in a treadmill rut. However, I’m not exactly brave when it comes to the unknown, especially as it relates to anything fitness-related, so I wasn’t sure I would actually try anything new. (I know, I’m so inspirational.)

BUT last night, I went to the gym after church (after 8 p.m.-who am I??), and there was hardly anyone there. I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to test out some new gym equipment. I first warmed up on Old Faithful (aka the treadmill) for 15 minutes then went for the machine that intimidated yet fascinated me the most-the rowing machine. I have wanted to try this machine for a while, but there were usually people either on it or around it, and I wasn’t about to embarrass myself in a gym full of people. Last night, though, the rowing machine and I were going to get acquainted. I told myself I would give it 5 minutes, and while I got off to a rocky start and soon my arms and back were burning, I made it 10 minutes instead!

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I have no idea what the numbers after 10:06 mean. Ha!

I have to say, I felt pretty awesome after I finished rowing. 10 minutes isn’t much, but I am going to keep working at it and maybe one day I can do 30 minutes. After that I thought I’d try the stair master, too, and so I did! I only lasted 5 minutes on that, which is kind of pitiful, but I will keep at it.

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26 floors. Say what?!

I am really glad I decided to venture outside of my comfort zone. I am going to look around the gym the next time I am there and see what other new things I can try.

Sweaty but happy

Sweaty but happy

If you go to the gym, what’s your favorite exercise equipment? And for anyone, what is something new you’d like to try? Figure out how you can make it happen!