If you’ve been trying to lose weight for a while now, but can’t commit to spending HOURS at the gym and thinking about every single bite you eat, because you want more from life – this challenge is for you.
Last week, you might have read my kinda dramatic post about how this Monday I’m starting a 30-days challenge to get healthy and fit. I meant every single word in that post and held back to put it on any social media, so if you’ve missed it – read here.
And tadaaaa! The 30 Days challenge starts now!!! (I know, there are never enough exclamation points)
Well, actually the challenge started already yesterday and I didn’t have time to write this post, so here it is on Tuesday. And since I’m waaaaay behind, today I have one more post coming up later: The workout schedule for this week. It will be quite awesome and fun. You can start the challenge any time you want – I will do my best to post updates daily.
What’s this challenge about?
Getting healthy and fit is not about eating protein powder and doing workouts you hate. It’s about living an active life, that you enjoy.
Even though there’s healthy eating & exercise involved in this challenge, it’s essentially about creating a lifestyle that makes you feel so good, that you want to continue living this way, even AFTER the challenge is done.
Some of the beautiful side effects of living this kind of life are:
- improving your health
- losing weight and getting in shape
- improving your skin
- minimizing stress
- becoming more confident and courageous in all areas of life
- reducing depression
- increasing happiness
- becoming more creative
- quitting overthinking and starting DOING
Why I decided to Start THIS challenge
For the past 6 months I’ve been trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle unsuccessfully by setting up a 21-day challenge on what feels like almost every day of the week.
First it was a quitting-all-sugar-challenge, then it was gluten-free challenge, eat-only-raw-foods challenge, quit coffee challenge, exercise-for-one-hour-every-single-day challenge…ANYTHING you could imagine.
I’ve been really busy and it’s no surprise none of these challenges worked. In fact I’d crap out THE VERY FIRST DAY and then in the evening I’d be super pumped because TOMORROW is a new day and I will be perfect and not wanna eat any of that crap. After all it made me feel bad today. Guess what happened next. Same thing all over again.
Well, after quite a LOT of guilt trips I realized that all these challenges failed because I can’t commit to them. They’re no fun. And I like fun. More importantly: I need fun in my life right now.
I like to feel good, not deprived, guilty or like I’m being punished for something I KNOW I didn’t do. So my response to all these challenges is always to rebel against this injustice and break all these stupid rules (even if they were mine). Big time.
Why Is This Challenge Different?
Instead of having rules here, let’s just set a few goals for the day. Goals that will challenge you at first, but bring big rewards RIGHT AWAY, and even bigger later. These are goals we can commit to, long-term. Goals that will make you – your body, mind AND spirit happy. When you commit to these goals, getting back on track will be easy, even if you fall off the wagon.
So what if you can’t quit coffee or gluten? Maybe right now you’re not ready for that step yet. Does it mean you shouldn’t live healthy altogether? Of course not. Do whatever you can and keep going and progressing.
1. Making vegetables a priority. This part is so underestimated in every weight loss plan I’ve seen. Probably because it sounds super basic and boring. And it’s no secret. Kids know this. It’s not a mind-blowing weight loss HACK (hate that word as much as I hate old bananas).
But the fact is, vegetables are not just important to help you lose weight – they’re the food your body is best equipped for biologically. Vegetables bring tons of antioxidants to protect body molecules from free radical damage, help build new healthy cells in the body and can even improve your mood.
My personal goal is having vegetables with every meal, and at least one salad and one smoothie every day.
2. Choosing the healthier option (at least most of the time). The one option that has more in store for you. For example – instead of refined grains, you choose whole grains. Instead of sugar, you eat fruits and nuts. It’s no secret what’s healthy and what isn’t, right? As long as you stick to real food, this goal shouldn’t be hard to achieve. Keep in mind that just because something is healthy, it’s not a free pass to overeat. Overeating is never good. Which brings me to the next goal.
3. Allow yourself to indulge once a day, but do not torture yourself by bingeing. Probably the hardest part of the challenge. Because this part requires moderation. One of my biggest goals for the challenge is to learn to LOVE moderation. I struggle with it a lot. Find the beauty in this. The beauty in saying – “I had a really delicious meal and it’s enough. I’m satisfied.” Don’t know how to do that. Yet.
While I’m not saying you need to stop eating gluten, fat, meat, or drinking coffee, or you shouldn’t eat after 7pm – I’m saying maybe you’ll be happy with one slice of pizza instead of 4 and 1 coffee in the morning instead of 3. When you do indulge – be really mindful. Enjoy your food and let yourself be happy with what you have.
4. Move your WHOLE body for 30 min. Do whatever you can and whatever makes you happy. I like dancing (even though I have two left feet) and pilates – so that’s what I’ll do. Other people like HIIT and strength training. Others like swimming or running.
If you have no other option – you can always walk. If you have some space in your home to work out – go on youtube and find some workouts you think you’ll enjoy. Or take a look at these lists here:
5. Take a walking/moving break at work every 45min. I blame sitting at a desk for ALL my fat rolls. Seriously. ALL OF THEM. So what I’m gonna do is take walking breaks more often. I might not be able to take a walking break every 30 min at work (as suggested by research), but 45min are a lot better than 4 straight hours of not moving at all.
6. Get active in other areas of life: Do one thing you’ve been putting off for a while now. In my opinion – the most important part for living a healthy and fit life. This is the part that will help you develop self-discipline, courage, reduce stress and increase happiness.
This step is about doing the things that can greatly improve your life, but you’re kinda scared or lazy to do. You know you need to do it, but you just don’t.
It could be something you actually REALLY enjoy, but always make an excuse for – it’s never the right time, my family doesn’t support me, I need to do this first…
Maybe it’s signing up for a class or language lessons, maybe it’s starting a new hobby, maybe it’s making new friends and it may be something even simpler like getting a massage, going to a hairdresser, or even cleaning your home (that’s me). Do this every single day, it doesn’t have to take a long time – 20 min/day. If it’s a big thing: take it one step at a time.
7. Spend at least 1 hour outdoors, preferably in nature. Being in nature will help you relax and if you go on your own, you might experience that you’re able to find solutions to many of your problems and worries. Weather is beautiful right now, so it’s really a perfect time for this.
8. Get 8 hours of sleep, without feeling guilty that you’re finally rested. No need for instructions here – go to bed early and set up your alarm for 8h afterwards.
Okay, now off to the fun part (right now also known as the depressing part): Measurements.
Currently I am 63.5kg (140lbs), waist: 72cm (28.3inches), hips: 102cm (40.1 inches), chest: 95cm (37.4 inches).
What can you expect in this challenge?
- delicious healthy recipes
- a fun weekly workout schedule
- Sample what I eat in a day report
- Tips on how to change your behavior
- Weekly reports and updates
I would really love if you join me on this challenge, improve your life and get healthy and fit along with me! Stick around and follow the steps above the best way you can. During the next days I will be sharing recipes, super important tips and great weekly workout plans that will include cardio dance routines and toning exercises. And of course my own progress. You don’t wanna miss it.