Well here it is -- March 31st. The end of Mandy's Monthly Challenge for March - my first attempt at adding more meaning to my life with regular goals.
So, how did I do? Well, I give myself a B+ rating. I started off really motivated, did excellent at my 5k race; but then I slacked off during the last ten days of the month, as far as my fitness goes. Then I ended it last night (and this morning) with a trip to the emergency room. Soooo..... not exactly the way I would like to conclude my "stronger, healthier" me month. Still, some of it was out of my hands.
As it turns out, so far, I have a urinary tract infection and that somewhat explains why I've been having so many stomach and intestinal issues. For now, I'm fine. Just a little tired and weak from being up half the night. I'm just glad they found "something" and I'm not crazy. And that I'm not pregnant either.
But anyway, back to the month in review --
Now I didn't say I would complete the Jillian Michaels workout EVERY single day. I said "ALMOST" every day. And I did perform her routine for 23 days out of the 31 days of this month. So not bad, I suppose? But I wish I had done better.
I do recommend Jillian Michaels' 30-day shred DVD though to anyone wanting to shape up. Her workout is tough but it's only twenty minutes and you really can fit that into your day, no matter how busy you are. What I like best about this particular workout is that she moves around from strength to cardio to abs. So you never get bored with one thing. Also, Jillian looks like a real person, not an airbrushed bimbo. Her hair is in a pony tail and you hear her panting hard from her own moves. She's also not that flexible in the cool down / stretching part. Neither am I so that makes me feel good. Now I don't know if I want to continue doing this particular workout every day but I will try to keep doing it twice a week along with other DVD's I have, plus my treadmill and running routine (that is.... when and if my treadmill will EVER be fixed and the parts come in!)
Doing anything consistently every day for a whole month takes strict dedication, work and no stomach viruses like I seem to keep having. A more attainable goal would be to exercise in some manner 4-5 times per week: three to four times during the week and once on the weekends. That fits better with my lifestyle as I like a lazy day to relax to do yardwork, chase a two year old, and vacuum the floors. (Ha!)
One tip that helps me is that I keep a calendar in front of me when I'm on the computer or sitting at my desk. Each day I write out what activity I've done. Here's what my month of March looked like:
March 1 - No exercise. Stomach virus.
March 2 - No exercise. Stomach virus.
March 3 - 30 day shred
March 4 - 30 day shred
March 5 - 30 day shred and jogged two miles
March 6 - 30 day shred
March 7 - 30 day shred and jogged two miles
March 8 - 30 day shred
March 9 - 30 day shred
March 10 - Jogged 3 miles
March 11 - 30 day shred -- did it twice, levels 1 and 2
March 12 - 30 day shred and jogged two miles
March 13 - 30 day shred and jogged one mile
March 14 - 30 day shred
March 15 - 30 day shred
March 16 - 30 day shred
March 17 - 30 day shred and jogged two miles
March 18 - 30 day shred and walked for thirty minutes at the park
March 19 - Day of rest before race
March 20 - Completed the 5k race. And did the 30-day shred that afternoon.
March 21 - 30 day shred
March 22 - 30 day shred
March 23 - No exercise. Stayed busy (and lazy).
March 24 - No exercise. Stayed busy (and lazy).
March 25 - 30 day shred
March 26 - 30 day shred
March 27 - 30 day shred and one-hour of step aerobics
March 28 - No exercise. Lazy.
March 29 - 30 day shred
March 30 - 30 day shred
March 31 - No exercise. A trip to the ER and a diagnosis of a urinary tract infection.
Now I can look back and actually see what I've accomplished because I took three seconds each day to write it down. Not bad!
The best thing about getting healthy and fit for my first monthly challenge is that I do feel stronger. I can hold up my body weight in a plank position without breaking a sweat. Okay, maybe a small sweat but I can do it. My abs are a little toner and I just have more energy. That's a good feeling. Sure I've lost a few pounds and a few inches. But for me, I like feeling that I can complete an activity without passing out (Well, except for last night..... but that's a story for another day.... I'm okay now). Picking up my 32 pound toddler is a little easier and that is the coolest part.
Speaking of that 32 pound wacky toddler of mine, Vivian has also been a great workout buddy for me. She has also performed Jillian Michaels' workout routine with me on several occasions.
Check her out -- she's got the moves at only 2.5 years old:
The below list is what helped me to complete the March Monthly Challenge. It is also the advice I'd give others who decide to embark on a fitness journey --
(1) Write down your progress. Track it on a calendar and put it where you'll see it every day.
(2) Stay motivated but allow yourself a slacker day here and again. Your body may need a rest.
(3) Find a workout buddy (even if it's just your kid(s). Encouragement is important. You can't be self-motivated all the time.
So that's it. One monthly challenge down.... Nine more to go in 2010. My hope is that I will continue to do some form of each challenge as the months continue on. In other words, I'll continue to incorporate fitness and running in April, May, June and beyond. As each month passes, I plan to keep the challenges going but on a smaller scale other than the one I'm mainly focused on.
My next post will reveal my challenge for April. Since I have completed a month's worth of physical work, I am ready to move on to something new. I have mapped out a way to challenge my mind next. After all, my body is telling me it needs a rest. More details will be posted soon.
Thanks to all of you who are reading, commenting and encouraging me with these monthly challenges! I greatly appreciate it. I wish you the same success and determination with the obstacles you are encountering in your lives as well. Don't give up! Keep working toward your dreams.
(And as I've said before -- don't ignore the signs of your body telling you something --- like you might be trying to fight off an infection!) All the best to you!
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