At the end of March, I found myself feeling exhausted from dieting, working out less to “put less stress on myself” and then feeling bad afterwards for talking myself out of doing what I knew was good for my body. I wanted to challenge myself to be consistent, because that’s what I lacked the most.
Everyday was a toss up on how often I’d workout that week, what I’d do each day, etc. I workout at night, and was leaving too many important decisions to be made at the end of the day, when I felt the least motivated. I could feel myself slipping into a restrictive mindset to overcorrect for the days where I gave myself a break. I was on a cycle of rest – guilt – under-eating – over exercising – repeat. I knew what the right thing to do was, but needed to have a set schedule to stop making excuses for myself last minute. A “bright line” as @syattfitness calls it.
Instead of focusing on finding the best way to diet, best way to exercise, I focused on doing what I already knew each day. If I was eating a little more each day, but including a higher volume exercise schedule, I could have more mental clarity and energy to do it every day over and over again. I saw the 75 Hard challenge and liked it, but it was not realistic for me. I have two children under two and am still going into the office, working full time, no breaks from C19. So I created my own challenge.
—For background: I started this in October 2019. This is after two back to back pregnancies. Before I got pregnant, I was around 90lbs overweight, lost 40 lbs but created disordered eating/exercising habits along the way. Checked myself into therapy after that, then got pregnant a few months later. —
I want to be on this journey in a healthy way, for the right reasons. I set goals or targets for myself, and gave each a level of priority. Some were absolute, where I could not go outside of the guidelines. The rest I did about 80% or more of the time. I did this for 8 weeks and my last day was yesterday.
Track calories every day with a set calorie goal, the same for weekdays/weekends. I picked a number I knew was doable but still created a large deficit. I gave myself a 99 calorie “grace period” in case it went over a few, but I absolutely could not go 100 over the goal.
Workout every single day, at the same time in the same place (8:15 PM, my basement) even if it’s a scheduled “active rest” day
Set the weekly workout schedule on Saturday. Pick between strength/resistance workouts, cardio, or yoga. The first two weeks a played around with what days/splits I would do, and settled in at doing 3 strength workouts, 2 cardio days that were usually a 5K on the treadmill, and yoga on Wed/Sat.
Wake up at 6:15 every weekday, and gave myself a count to 5 to get out of bed.
I could have 3 days where I didn’t follow these guidelines, but had to journal about my feelings at the end of the day.
Weighed my self every day. For data, not for emotional sense of worth or value.
“Most of the time” goals
- Journal once per week.
- 100 oz of water per day
- 100 g of protein per day
- Go to bed at 10:15
- Take pictures each day
What I learned:
Through disciple we can find true freedom. By knowing what to expect each day, I was able follow the guidelines I set for myself more easily. This gave me more peace because I didn’t have to decide ever day what to do, what I was going to do tomorrow, etc.
Using yoga as an active rest day helps give me more awareness of the way certain muscles move and support me through my other types of workouts. It’s also an amazing mental break/release.
There’s so much to learn in health/fitness, but a lot of the information out there is also made with a marketing sale in mind. I don’t have to constantly be researching and putting pressure on myself to do it the “best” or “most efficient” way. I first had to practice doing it every single day without changing the plan. Chipping away at myself, keeping my focus on that day’s work instead of the end goal and how fast can I reach it.
Every exercise can be a core exercise if you engage it before your rep.
In March, I picked a goal that seemed unreachable (15 pounds) and a goal I thought would be more attainable (10-12 pounds)
I ended up losing 14.8 in 8 weeks. Overall, I am down 54.2 lbs since October. These aren’t numbers that grab your attention or make you want to buy something. But, I have nothing to sell you. No wraps or pills or promo codes. I just have my own, real experience to share. I hope my little science experiment on myself was interesting for you to read.
TLDR: Wanted to continue losing weight while creating daily habits that I could sustain. Set a 8 week challenge for myself & stuck to it.
I started this challenge in the middle of my weight loss journey on 3/28/20.
Photos are from 3/20/20 – 5/23/20: