Me, Mommy

My 30 Day Feel Better Challenge

I did it!

Please excuse me while I happy dance!

Ok, I’m back. 

Wait, let’s back up a bit so I can explain. 

And before I explain, let’s sidestep and let me say I’m not an expert on any of this. Just a person with an experience to share and hopefully motivate others along the way. 

Ok, back to it. I needed a change. I needed it quick. I felt terrible. I didn’t look so great. My brain was foggy and there was a bit more daily frustration than I liked. 

That’s a nice way of saying I was cranky.

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I decided to let January 1 be my start date. It just seemed logical. I printed a blank calendar with 30 days. That was my goal. To incorporate 30 minutes of physical activity into my day for 30 days. I added in relaxation breathing and drinking recommended water amounts, just for good measure. 

I needed a challenge to feel better. Losing weight would just be a bonus.

I’ve tried running. It’s been great in the past, but lately with running, the scale did not move at all. Plus it became monotonous to run day after day. Then we started using the treadmill as Christmas Gift Central and everything just came to an abrupt stop. 

Within a few weeks of no activity, I could really tell my body and mind were already starting to loudly protest this new lifestyle. I didn’t consider what I ate. I didn’t exercise at all. With the busyness of the Christmas season,  I just pushed it away time and time again. By New Years, I couldn’t wait to start this challenge. 

Summary, I felt awful. 

Instead of just running, I decided to switch things up. Incorporating weights one day, running the next, a fun cardio, weights again, I also attempted a few Hip Hop workouts and even Zumba…more on that later. Towards the end I tossed in some yoga. It was great to do different things each day and adding in the weights really helped. 

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I found different videos on YouTube to help with this journey. My favorite has been HASfit. (Heart and Soul Fitness) They’re a married couple and they’ve made so many different workouts. Cardio, weights, abs, HIIT, beginners, advanced. They’re relatable and motivational. I can do all this in my living room, bonus. It’s definitely been my top pick!  

Let’s get to it, it’s day 30 and here’s what I found. 

Getting started
The first two days were hard. I had not exercised in a while. The movements were hard. I was getting over a nasty cold. By day three I almost gave up.

Really, day 3…I was going to quit. My husband motivated me. He knew I would regret not completing my goal. That third day, I finished the workout, felt amazing, marked off the calendar and there was no stopping me.

No excuses. No quitting. 

Scale
The scale hasn’t moved as much as I wanted. This really annoyed me at first. Not that I was expecting to drop 20 pounds in 30 days, but I did hope for more than what happened. I also discovered something…

The way I feel can’t be measured by a number on a scale!

While I still weigh myself regularly, I don’t let the number consume me. Instead, I’m focusing on how much energy I have now, how my clothes fit better and how much stronger I feel! 

The transition
Ok, so if you’ve gained weight and lost it you might relate here. Weight creeps up slowly and one day your pants won’t zip. One day you notice things that bump and lump that didn’t yesterday. You quietly ask, “who invited you to the party?”, but nobody answers.

It’s a whole thing. 

It’s also a transition to get back to a healthier place. It’s like everywhere on my body doesn’t get the memo. Everyone in section H row 3 left the building, but section R row 8 is sticking around for an encore. So, there’s that. The whole patiently waiting for all parts to catch on. 

It will happen. No giving up here. 

Workouts
By far my favorite has been strength training. After I took a weightlifting class in college and quickly bulked up to a scary level, I vowed to never do such a thing again. This is different. It’s lighter weight with more repetition.

I love it.

Next would be cardio. While I’m certain death is imminent every single time, the second it’s over I feel amazing. I’ve even cut out the afternoon coffee. The cup I once needed to survive the day.

Now, the energy my workout creates is even greater than the coffee!

I attempted Zumba. I attempted hip hop dancing. It wasn’t great. While I could dance as a child and young adult, my body and mind no longer work in partnership. They must have quarreled years ago and still hold a grudge against each other. I try to stay out of it. I see the moves. I eventually do the moves. The process between the two is a disaster. 

Moving on.

Finally, yoga. Oh, yoga. There’s just things that aren’t meant for everyone. I’ve realized I can’t do most of the yoga moves. It’s ok, I’m not mad. The relaxing voice on the TV is telling me to breathe and relax through a pose. I’ve got more of  a puffing, contorted face, wobbly, pain thing going on. I tried. 

Moving on.

Nutrition matters
I’m not a nutrition expert. Not at all. I know things are bad, things are good and there’s a balance. I also know I feel a huge difference in how my body performs when that balance is off. That’s motivation. I also still have dessert now and then.

I’m not stopping
My goal is complete. That feels great. That also means it’s time to start another. I’m not stopping here. This time I’m incorporating a few rest days, those are really important too.

Yes, it’s been hard to find time to fit this in. Sometimes during lunch or while dinner is in the oven or asking the hubs to go solo on operation clean the kids (bathtime) so I can work it in. Does anyone still say hubs? 

It’s also been worth it.

That 30 minutes gets the funk out. That icky, built-up stress and gunk that clogs up our mind and body. It just flows right on out and leaves behind sparkling energy. I think we could all use that! 

Goal 2 starts tomorrow. Who is with me? 

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