Archives For 30-Day Challenges

April 30-Day Challenge

April 1, 2014 — 2 Comments

My oh my time is flying! Does anyone else think someone gave the month of March a red bull? (It does after all, give you wings!) OK, bad joke — I know. I’m still laughing though!

As I look at March in the rear view mirror, I’m loving the results of my March challenge — down seven pounds and a whole clothing size since mid-February. The goal for April? Keep it off — because birthday preparations are under way and I’m less than 60 days from thirty! (Again, where has time gone?)

And so, for the month of April, I’ll be focusing on the mid-section, because even though I’m down in pounds, I still have that lingering mid-section BLAH. [You know what I’m talking about–don’t deny it!]

I’m not going to do fancy ab workouts 7 days a week — goodness, that just sounds like torture! But, I am going to focus my workouts to hit the abs a little harder. Hear that Jillian Michaels? I’m going to modify your 30-day shred and intensify it so that my abs feel the burn!

And of course, amazing abs have a lot to do with food consumption as well, so, guess what? I’m focusing my diet a bit more as well. More greens, more super foods, and less baguettes/bagels/wraps.

Abs - Waste Basket

It’s not the greens or the super foods that bother me. Giving up the bread that is so delicious and down right yummy on this side of the world is going to be sheer torture! But that picture? I’M GOING TO LOOK LIKE THAT PICTURE! (In my own, unique, awesome way of course)

If you want to join me in my fitness journey, I’m part of an extra motivational and absolutely amazing Facebook group and can easily get you set up and on your way in no time! Where will YOU be in thirty days?

Desires Differentiate!

You CAN reach your potential.

Until later, XOXO – K

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February came rolling in with a bang and brought with it a lot of turmoil — good turmoil, if such a thing exists. I got my long-awaited job offer, started a new side business venture, made great personal strides in the blog world, and still managed to stick to my workout routine.  It was such a busy month that it almost passed me by!

If I didn’t have a calendar tracking my miles, I probably would’ve forgotten about the 5K-a-day February Challenge. But alas, it is the last day of the month and the results have been tallied! If you whip out your calculator and do a little simple math, a 5K a day for 28 days comes out to 86.8 miles. I’ll go ahead and admit I missed three days and if I didn’t make-up the miles on another day the target would be 77.5 miles with this information.

5 Miler

 

I love SMASHING goals! This month, my total distance is right at 100 miles. ONE HUNDRED MILES IN 28 DAYS! I’m feeling like a rockstar! The last two weeks distance has been mostly running whereas the first two was mostly walking. My legs are thanking me for slow progress because the next 8 months of running/training/and races is a wee bit daunting…

And with this awesome record under my belt, I wave buh-bye to February and get ready to welcome in March. I enjoy torturing myself, so, March is another 30-day shred month. I’ve purchased proper weights for this go, as one can only shred with full wine bottles so many times before the muscles just don’t find it challenging anymore!

March 30-Day Shred

Of course I’ll be colour-coordinated for my workouts and future races. Have you met me? Bring it on March; Bring it on Jillian Michaels! I’m relying on the Facebook Group I’m a member of to keep me going and motivated and shredding. I’m only 3 months out from my birthday now, so, it’s a battle of the mind and body until then!

And of course, I have the Great Ireland Run April 6th so the runs and mileage will continue. Didn’t you know I’m aiming to hit 2,014K this year? It’s a lofty goal, but I’m a determined gal.

What’s your March challenge? We’re only about 100 days away from summer: What body will you be wearing?

XOXO – K

I had such amazing results with the November 30-Day Shred Challenge, that I attempted it again during January. As I was in the USA for a chunk of January, I actually got a late start, and thus Jillian and I are carrying over into February to wrap-up that challenge. I’m still amazed with the level of results I’m achieving from it, even on the second go!

But here we are, in February finally! (January seemed to drag itself out, didn’t it?) My running buddy back in Nashville is once again training for the Country Music Half Marathon and once again I’m not actually there to train/run with her. But never fear Amy, this is my year of running!

I’m committing myself to the Dublin Race Series this year, from start to finish, which will include a 5K, 10K, 10-miler, half marathon, and (Drum roll, please!) FULL MARATHON. In addition to this, my running buddy here in Dublin and I will be doing the Great Ireland Run and the Women’s Mini Marathon as well.

Dublin Race Series - 2014

Great Ireland Run

Women's Mini Marathon

SO. MUCH. RUNNING! 

Run Hard

Guess you know what direction I’m headed with my February 30-day challenge then, eh? We have a winner! February is a dedicated month of distance. And the challenge? A 5K a day. It can be running or walking, because all that really matters to me is the distance. This will help me prepare myself for the training that will begin in March for all of these races and maybe even help me reach my goal of a sub-30 minute 5K this year! Besides, how great would it be if I could do a full 10K in an hour too?

You might think this is a non-challenge, even cheating, given I live in a city in which I walk everywhere. But I assure you, especially this time of year, there are days I don’t even want to drag myself out of my bed, let alone outside for a 5K. So, this challenge really is a challenge due to weather conditions and my sheer winter laziness.

Rock on runners. I have new shoes, my watch is charged, and I have an amazing support group here in Dublin to help me along the way! Now, if only the weather would cooperate…

Are you rocking a 30-day challenge this month? I would LOVE to hear about it. Tweet me and let’s chat! XOXO – K

Ah, November. You were a fantastic month for me! What can I say? I worked my butt off, literally, and the results have been ever in my favor. And because today is #MotivationMonday, I thought I’d share that with you.

So here’s the saying:

Work for it

And how true it is! For the month of November, my 30-day challenge was the Jillian Michael’s 30-day shred: I promised myself thirty days of exercise to both feel and look better. I took measurements (not photos) before I embarked on this journey and those measurements looked something like this:

Bust: 89 cm
Waist: 81.5 cm
Hips: 95 cm
Thigh: 57 cm
Bicep: 28.5 cm

Now, this shred consisted of a Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 video, each of which was 20 minutes of workout that alternated strength, abs, and cardio to maximize calorie burn & muscle toning.

30-day shredEach level was completed daily for 10 days before moving up a level–and by level three you realized this workout is no joke! When I started this workout challenge, I had nothing other than resistance bands, and so for five days I used those as my weights before I upgraded to full wine bottles. YES! You can work out at home without any equipment at all — simply by using what you have in your house. Tins of beans, full water bottles, whatever you have that you feel comfortable using.

Fifteen days in to this shred I was already seeing results–and that was having missed two days here and there. My hips were slimming down, my arms were toned, and I all around felt more amazing. I actually enjoyed looking in the mirror for once — and I’m not ashamed to tell you right now that I did a few “runway” walks in my various outfits because I felt so amazing!

Progress

You can imagine if I felt so great after fifteen days how I would feel after 30 right? Well, I sadly slacked off for five days at one point, so I’m a little behind in my endeavor, but I will be making up those five days this week! But, after 30 days (if you are counting I’ve missed 7 total days at this point) my end measurements look like this:

Bust: 87 cm
Waist: 79 cm
Hips: 90 cm
Thigh: 53 cm
Bicep: 29 cm

And THAT is progress. (You might not think it’s a lot considering, but NONE of my clothes fit, so to me it’s just HUGE) JUST DO IT!

Harder

I know a lot of you know you need to focus on health — on eating habits and exercise– and you think to yourself, I just don’t have time. Well, I assure you with this workout, all you need is to get out of your head and just do it! It is 20 minutes a day. Twenty minutes a day to become the you you’ve always wanted to be — the one who isn’t afraid to strut in front of the mirror; the one who needs to buy new jeans because nothing in her closet fits any more.

Do the video while dinner is simmering on the stove. Do the video right after you put your kids to bed before you cram yourself on the couch to catch up on the DVR. If you want it, you’ll make the tie; And I promise you, if you dedicate those 20 minutes, you will feel better and you will see results you never even dreamed possible.

Don't be upsetThis would absolutely be a great challenge to jump-start your New Year’s Resolutions! And hey, you don’t even need to join a gym, let alone leave the comfort of your own home, to achieve results! As Charlie Sheen would say, “Winning!” I hope I’ve encouraged you…Trust me, YOU CAN DO IT.

XOXO – K

Maybe there is something to be said for fads–they are catchy, gimmicky, & well, EVERYONE seems to be doing it (at the moment). But then again, maybe there simply isn’t. Maybe we are best left to our own devices, devoid of what others attempt to push onto us for the sake of ABC.

As an adult, I’ve never been one to buy into the notion of a fad–not in fashion, my lifestyle, or otherwise. Why on earth would I need to have/to participate in something that would be short-lived and abandoned for “the next big thing”? Are you now thinking to yourself, “But you signed on for this 5 day juice cleanse?” Right, thought you might be, and that was my point. Somehow I convinced myself this juice reboot wasn’t a fad and I needed to do it for my health. I fell into the trap! Here is my story, and I assure you it is not wrapped in shiny paper with a perfectly neat little bow. The title of this post says it all: challenged, tortured, & failed.

Before I post my journal here, let’s recap a few things & make sure you have all the facts:

  • A 5-day juice reboot meant that for five straight days I would consume nothing other than water, herbal tea, and juiced fruit/vegetables in order to jumpstart healthier habits.
  • In addition to healthier habits, a juice reboot is supposed to ease digestion and promote healthier, more radiant skin (from the Vitamin influx)
  • On my Sunday shop, I purchased enough produce to complete all five days of my juice reboot and my total landed somewhere in the ballpark of 65 Euro. (Most people can’t eat 5x a day for that, so, I considered it a win.)
    Grocery Shop

Now that we’ve sorted the details of the reboot, let’s actually talk through it. Here is my journal — pasted word for word, moment by moment:

Day 1:

  • I’ve decided I prefer carrot juice to tomato juice.  Probably why I always liked V8 Splash best.
  • I should probably wear gloves while peeling beets, otherwise it’ll look like I murdered Joe in my sleep… and I should definitely lay off the ginger root on the next round!
  • I’m 9 hours in and I’m STARVING. My stomach is growling from lack of food to digest and my head is starting to hurt from lack of caffeine. But I suppose I’m hydrated? Why am I doing this again?
  • After a trip to/from the grocery store, I’ve learned what true self-control is because I only bought the items on the list and somehow manage to pick-up and put-down that donut three times! WINNING. I might’ve even felt slightly lighter on my walk home—but it’s entirely possible it was all in my head.

Day 2:

  • Struggled to get out of bed today – feeling really sluggish. Even after breakfast & coconut water still feeling BLEH.
  • 2PM – made lunch & afternoon snack and stomach will NOT stop GROWLING. Feeling off my game and drained.
  • Gave in and ate a vegetarian dinner; feeling immediately better and full of energy. Decided to modify the reboot to juice until dinner then eat a meal.
  • Still off caffeine and still have a headache, but it is mild & tolerable

Day 3:

  • Slept in, but had trouble getting out of bed again. Still not feeling energized
  • Headache finally gone but now stuck in the bathroom
  • Stomach growling again by lunch and feeling completely drained.
  • Got off my bum and cleaned the house & did a 20 minute workout. Used what little energy I had doing that.
  • Seeing no noticeable positive results! I kinda feel like I’m having nothing but the OPPOSITE impact. Maybe I ate healthier than I thought so this isn’t doing anything for me?
  • By dinner time I’m delirious, grumpy, and over everything. SCREW THIS.

CALLING IT QUITS ON THIS JUICE CHALLENGE.

Lesson learned: Juicing is NOT for me and I have no idea why anyone would choose to torture themselves in this way, “for the sake of their health”. I’m going back to my normal routine & going to focus on health in the ways that work for ME.

keep-calm-and-forget-fad-diets

If any of you are contemplating a juice reboot, I challenge you to seriously consider your motives as well as your goals. I ate three solid meals Thursday and I instantly felt 120% better. A week later, I’m feeling normal again finally. [Side note: I’m doing great with the 30-day shred and have only missed two days!] I still have produce leftover, but I’ve been finding productive ways to incorporate it — be it into dinners, snacks, or fresh juice for breakfast. I’m not a fan of wasting what I spend money on! I won’t be embracing any more fads, and that’s a promise.

 Have any of you done a juice reboot in the past? If you have, I would love to talk to you about it! 

XOXO – K