AUTUMNROSE1207   13,177
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30 Straight Days of Exercise...and Counting

Friday, February 24, 2012

At the beginning of the year I started with the 30-day Jumpstart Challenge, which I could not finish. I realized I wasn't conditioned to exercising daily, so I decided to get in the habit. I started with seeing how many days I could go with just 10 minutes of exercise. To hold me accountable, I posted a sign on my door at work. Each morning that I changed that number I smiled, knowing I was doing something good for myself.

Some people tell me, "You can't exercise EVERY day." Yes, you can. And you should. If you do it right, it will only help you. How do you think athletic people stay athletic? No, they may not run 5Ks every day, but they train, work hard, and stay active in other ways all the time.

The first week was hard. Harder than it should be. I found a lot of excuses, but I ignored them. After two weeks, it got easier. The excuses were fewer. The "just do it" mentality was starting to sink in. Co-workers started to ask about my streak. After about 20 days, a co-worker put a sign up on his door. People started making friendly bets to see who would quit first. After 4 weeks, people started to compliment me on my changing figure.

Every day is different and exciting. Some days I run intervals or do 45 minutes on the elliptical; other days I weight lift followed by pilates; sometimes I do kickboxing or Jillian Michaels' 30 day shred. Many days I get home from work and I'm tired, but I spend 15-20 minutes in front of the TV doing lunges, squats, jumping jacks, core work, or lifting weights. Most days my 10-minute minimum turned into much more. On days that I only did the bare minimum, I still did *something*.

Last night I got home from a business trip at 10:00. I had not done any activity except walking quickly through an airport. I decided that I would follow a yoga video to help me sleep. Before I knew it, I had spent 40 minutes in relaxing yoga poses and was extremely glad I didn't break my streak. I slept better last night than I have in several weeks.

A few days ago I decided that every 30 days I will increase the "minimum" activity minutes by 5. By the end of the year, I will be exercising or doing something active for an hour a day. It seems like a lot, but really, what's another 5 minutes?

Today I posted day 33, which is day 3 of a 15-minute daily streak. I actually look forward to the exercise now. It's a time I can decompress, de-stress from the day, and do something good for me. I love the after-exercise glow. I look forward to challenging my body in new ways.

This streak is the only thing that has kept me going. The streak is now a habit. I enjoy breaking my own record -- daily. This is a lifestyle. You either want it, or you don't. No excuses!

How many days can you go?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITBY40-2015 2/24/2012 10:19PM

    good for u!! the funny thing is, i was doing good with my exercising for months and then last month I slacked off and then stopped. so, i said tonight (here in bed) that i will start doing at least 10 mins. a day to hold myself accountable . Good luck with yours and that was an excellent idea to add 5 min. on every 30 days. emoticon

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What am I doing wrong?

Monday, January 30, 2012

A few weeks ago I entered the January Jumpstart Challenge, which I didn't finish, and here it is at the end of the month and I've only lost 3 pounds with no change in the way my clothes fit.

Yes, it's 3 pounds lighter than I was in December, but it's not even 10% of what I need to lose. I keep feeling like a failure when I hear of others losing 8, 10, 12 pounds in the same amount of time.

Every time I see that Gatorade commercial where the basic premise is "What You Put In = What You Get Out," I truly wonder if I'm not putting in enough effort.

So, first, let's talk about what I'm doing right.

* I'm active every day. I do at least 10-20 minutes of strength, cardio, or other heart-pumping activity. I switch it up so I don't get bored. I sweat. A lot.
* I'm very careful about what I eat and stay within my calorie range 6 out of 7 days.
* I'm eating more fruits and veggies and fewer carbs.

Okay, so here's what I doing "wrong" and may be contributing to the minimal loss:
* I may have portion distortion and/or I'm choosing foods entered by others that are not 100% accurate.
* I don't drink 8 cups of water every day (more like 4-6 cups).
* I may not be doing enough cardio every week.

Basically, the deficit is too small. It's possible I'm not eating enough based on my activity, but I highly doubt it. Today I reset my goals and my calorie range changed because I decided to follow my own workout plan instead of SparkPeople's. I never followed their strength exercises as I know how to weight lift correctly.

So, this week I'm going to:
* Up my water intake to 8 cups.
* Do 3 days of cardio (30 minutes minimum) in addition to strength training.
* Eat 1500 calories every day (right in the middle of my range).

Hopefully I will see a loss next week and be more happy about my successes. I don't plan on giving up that easily, but I at least thought January would really be the kick in the tush I needed.

Okay, that's enough complaining for one day. Feel free to leave your advice in the comments.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    3 pounds is awesome!!! I've lost two pounds this month, and my husband reminded me that I'm heading in the right direction, and that's what counts.

Your plan sounds great - I think adding cardio will really help, as well as the water.

Have you considered measuring other things, like pushups or crunches? That might be a good motivator, especially since you're doing so much strength training.

Good luck!!!

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GOLFGMA 1/30/2012 10:13PM

    I think you have a good plan and I feel sure you will see results if you do this with consistency. emoticon emoticon

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Trying Something New

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Welcome to my first blog post. If you're reading this, you have too much time on your hands. emoticon

I have read a few blogs on SparkPeople, and I've noticed that many people use this space as a personal journal that happens to be public. As a professional writer, I know that content is king and I should write what people want to read. However, this blog serves a different purpose: to reflect and learn from mistakes, successes, and the tough journey that is losing weight.

I plan most of my meals and tack my food, but I fear that it's not enough. Which is why I decided to blog about it. Hopefully the reflection on what I do right, what I do wrong, and what I'm learning will help me a year from now when I hit yet another wall.

So, here goes nothing.

SPARKGUY told us in The Spark that goals should be at the forefront of our minds. My computer's desktop has my vision collage so I see motivational photos and words every time I'm on my home laptop. I also have three goals, which are:

1. Run a 5K - I can't run. No, really. I. Cannot. Run. Physically, yes I can run and I am grateful for legs that work. But since my elementary days, a quarter mile is a huge feat for me and I have yet to run it all the way. 3.1 miles is a lot to walk, and my first goal is to run a mile straight. I will cry on that day.

2. Lose 50 pounds - According to the charts, I am more than 100 pounds overweight. I don't know if I will ever see under 175, but if I can get there, I will have accomplished something greater than getting my master's degree.

3. Tropical New Years - My best friend and I have promised each other that we will spend New Years 2012-2013 somewhere warm and tropical, like the Bahamas or Mexico. We haven't decided were we're going, exactly (which makes it hard to save), but it's REAL motivation to help me lose 50 pounds this year, or, roughly, 1 pound per week.

Some other goals I have for this year and beyond are:
1. Drink more water.
2. Eat more fruits and veggies.
3. Get up when the alarm goes off (aka get better sleep).
4. Exercise 4-5 times a week consistently.
5. Be "that" person -- the healthy, HOT one you love to hate but secretly look up to.

Mostly carbs, with a little fish, which was not as tasty as I was expecting. I must have been craving them, as I've had a pretty good Irish red beer and too much delicious custard from Goodberrys.

Nothing today, but I plan on doing 10-15 minutes of calisthenics (pushups, sit-ups, leg lifts, etc.). I am on a 10-minute-per-day streak. I started at the beginning of the year with the January Jumpstart Challenge, got 5 days in and then travelled, then did 11 days, and one day I just didn't feel like it, so I broke my streak. I'm now on day 3 of attempt #3. I WILL do something tonight! I hope to get to 30 days so I can form a habit. I'm also posting my progress on my door at work, which is extra incentive to not break the streak.

::Mental Health::
Work is challenging, but wrongly so. The actual work is easy, but the people are trying my last nerves. Watching Grey's Anatomy reruns helps me realize that my job is so insignificant as the only thing remotely important is other people's training records when it comes to the Department of Transportation and other government agencies (yes, I'm yawning too).

None whatsoever right now. I guess it's just one of those days.

That's it for now. I can't seem to think of anything else. Thanks for reading!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AUTUMNROSE1207 1/24/2012 9:59PM

    Thanks for the advice and encouragement, everyone! I'm looking forward to seeing what this journey has in store for me. emoticonjavascript:void(0);

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OBIESMOM2 1/24/2012 9:26PM

    yeah...what Linda said emoticon

guess CAN run. Find a couch to 5k program (lots of free ones on the internet) and sign up for you first race. I say sign up NOW to motivate you to stick to your training. has tons of great articles for starting to run and training as you progress. I'm sure Spark does too!

I've tried running off and on since I was a teen, and I thought I would NEVER be able to run. I felt like I should be able to run a mile from the start.

the last time I ran regularly was in the late 90s. I trained for The Peachtree Road race (a 10k on July 4th). I was in the best shape of my life!

I got away from running, but I did continue to workout (walking, weight training, cycling), but sometimes I would go for a week or two without working out at all. Slowly the lbs crept back up.

I got really ticked about what I saw in the mirror, so I joined WW with a friend from work. We also walked together a few times each week and joined the YMCA together. I made some progress, but still had a ways to go.

I decided to sign up for a Boot Camp class to shake up my workout routine. The first class I couldn't even run one lap around the track (3 laps = 1 mile). One of the ladies in the class started running with me and helping me pace myself. We started running together a couple of times every week in addition to Boot Camp. I told her that I'd never been able to run a 10 minute mile. She didn't really say anything. On one of our Saturday morning runs, I could tell she was really pushing me. We kicked it up to finish our mile and I looked at my HRM...just under TEN MINUTES!!!

I don't know how she tricked me into that, but I sure am glad I met her! We still run together once or twice a week. She casually mentioned that she was on the Jamaican Olympic track team twice in her younger days! The only reason I can run along side her is that she's in her 60s now and she's a sprinter. She helps me work on speed, and I do longer runs by myself to work on endurance. I know she could still kick my butt easily!

I thought I was going to be 'healthy but overweight' for the rest of my life. Running has changed that. I've dropped 2 sizes. I'm not at my goal weight yet, but I am in my goal clothing size.

my running goal for 2012 is to finish a 5k in 30 minutes or less. In the late 90s, my best 5k time was 35:17. The greatest running partner in the world has gotten me to a personal best time of 30:51 (that was last Oct).

I never thought I'd be running so much faster than I did when I was 12 years younger!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RAINA413 1/24/2012 9:03PM

    Welcome to Spark People!! I am so glad you are here!

This is a great place to begin your weight loss journey. There are so many amazing resources to benefit from. From the fitness and nutrition trackers, to the teams and groups where you can get endless amounts of support, motivation, and advice to the articles which will make you fitness and health smart!

My best advice for you since you are new would be to set a goal for each day. It really helps give you focus and a sense of accomplishment. Also, I have to say I never used to be much for exercising, but it really is key! Use both your nutrition tracker and fitness tracker properly and accurately and you are guaranteed results!!

I started off slow. Best advice I can give you is to buy a decent pedometer. If you can reach 10,000 steps a day then you are considered to have a very active lifestyle. That is one big step towards a healthier you and it is an attainable fitness goal you can reach every day! From there walk on the treadmill or in your neighborhood. This is how I started off. Just walking. Slowly I began to go a bit faster then a bit faster. Before I knew it I was walking one minute jogging the next. This "break" between jogs soon became shorter and shorter the more often I trained. Now I am running 5 miles a day! Just take it slow. Baby steps. Focus on one goal at a time and before you know it you will be well on your way!!

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BLACKBIRDSING 1/24/2012 8:58PM

    I blog my progress to keep me accountable, and so far so good! It really does help. I, too, want to run a 5k - when I started, I could only run 0.1 mile at a time, but I have made progress. You will too! Good luck with your goals!

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LINDABENEDICT 1/24/2012 8:54PM

    I do NOT have too much time on my hands....but I am reading your blog anyway !!!! Good luck !!!! I like your style !

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