On Monday, I mentioned that in addition to my Unclutter July project, I am also doing a mini health and fitness challenge. Over the past six months, I have used pretty much every excuse in the book and allowed myself to do only the bare minimum in taking care of myself. Honestly, the sofa and fast food became my friends. If I didn’t have an organized sport to attend, I would go home from work and relax on the sofa. If I was busy or not in the mood to cook, I hardly hesitated to go through the drive thru. I know, so not good for me. I let myself feel sorry for myself, using all the stress and change in my life as an excuse. Yes, Mom did pass away and Pops is sick (but doing so well with his treatments), but I finally realized I wasn’t doing myself (or anyone I love) any favors by not taking care of myself. So, now I am choosing to use the crap of the past few months (years really) to move myself forward - To feel better about myself, to be healthy and to hopefully insulate me from health problems in the future. A big challenge.
So, what do I do with any big challenge? I break it down into manageable parts. Manageable part one for me is my 31-day Shred Health and Fitness Challenge. Weird name huh? Well, I named it after a new fitness DVD I purchased, called the 30-Day Shred by Jillian Michaels. She is the hard core trainer from The Biggest Loser (yes, I watch The Biggest Loser - all of you already know I am a tv-aholic) and I find her style motivating. Plus, I needed something new to mix in with my softball and volleyball. Bonus was that each of three workouts includes strength, cardio and abs in less than 30 minutes. I have to make an embarrassing confession here – after I completed level one for the first time, it took a couple days for me to walk the stairs correctly again. I wasn’t expecting this, but I guess old school calisthenics like jumping jacks along with squats and lunges are pretty effective... It made me realize how drastically my fitness level had changed and how important it was for me to make some changes. This is when my challenge was born.
I sat in front of my computer and started to map out my challenge. I know from experience that having an official framework is the only way I will be accountable – this is how I lost weight and improved my fitness level a couple years ago, so I figured it would be good to try it again. I came up with a July calendar complete with a workout schedule and a set of exercise, nutrition and overall goals. I am going to share these goals with you, just to make myself feel a little more accountable.
Disclaimer: This is only month one, so I am pushing myself, but not to the point where I will burn out and not enjoy myself, so it may look a little easy to some. Oh, and also, I by no means am posting this information to influence others, I am very conscious of how this type of information can throw people into a tailspin (me included). I by no means think I am “fat” or am making any assumptions on what the health and beauty ideal is for everyone. I made this plan with only myself in mind, knowing my height, weight, build and history. Okay, cool, just had to put that out there.
- continue with team sports
- walk 1-2 times per week
- shred dvd 3 times per week
- if a team sport bye or rainout, try a new strength routine
- rescheduling is ok, as long as the numbers match up
Diet & Nutrition
- keep a food journal
- load up on veggies at meal time
- fit in more fruits
- high fiber breakfast
- bring lunch 3 times per week
- drink lots of water
- 1800-1900 calories per day
- move to shred level two
- lose 1-2 pounds per week
The unwritten goals of this is to just feel a bit better about myself, a bit stronger, a bit more comfortable sporting a tank top (I do anyway, but it would nice to have stronger, more defined arms again). Hopefully I will get there, armed with my challenge plan and my food journal... And I think I am on the right track. Yesterday was my first week weigh in and I exceeded my weekly weight loss goal (yay) and I feel empowered to just keep going. I exceeded my goal, even while allowing myself to enjoy a 4th of July bbq with my Pops – I couldn’t pass up his grilled hamburgers, I just knew to walk three miles in the morning and eat smartly the rest of the day. Balance is what I am looking for. I know it was only the first week, so it will get harder, but I think I am ready. Wish me luck :)