Two of my pals, Jess and Jolene (yes, they are sisters) took on a 60-day challenge last year. They did it in conjunction with a core fusion workout that they now teach out in the Boston area. With their incredible success as inspiration, I’ve decided to take on my own 60-day challenge (here’s more on it from Jess, and more on it from Jo). If you met these fabulous women, you too would be in awe and wonder with how good they look and how they’re able to maintain it.
After having a baby it has been so hard to get back to pre-baby weight. No matter what I do, or what I cut out, I’ve had a hard time getting to that number, let alone getting to the number I really want to be (which is just a tad below my pre-baby weight). Aside from the number, I also want to be healthy, toned and fit. But, kicking off my third week of this 60-day challenge I’ve been able to achieve my pre-baby weight! Seeing this number on the scale is only more motivation to keep charging forward.
Even though I’m not doing a barre workout to compliment my efforts, I’ve decided to take a modified approach with my own 60-day challenge, and here’s how:
- Keeping an active lifestyle. I’m making sure that I workout 5 days a week. On my “off days” I’m making sure that I still take the dogs and kiddo on our evening walk (2.5 miles). My main workouts include a mixture of running, interval training on the stationary bike, and Nike Training Club workouts. I usually make sure I work out for at least 45-60 minutes a day, plus the evening walks.
- Interval training at least 2 times a week (three is better!). Recently, To the Best of Our Knowledge ran a show asking the question, are we really born to run? (It also discusses about a million other interesting things, and I highly recommend it!) Without giving away the conclusion, one of the expert guests basically said that to be in optimal health you should run 4-5 times a week at a 10-11 mph pace (yes, you read that right. That is super, super slow). If you want to be healthy AND be fit, then you should run intervals 3-5 times a week. Warming up for about 5 mins, then running intervals for 20 mins, 1 min at 90% speed (not a full out sprint), and 1 min at a jog. Doing this will get you in optimal shape. Again, check out the podcast to learn more (especially if you love running), because it’s so interesting.
- Keeping my eye on the number. Not just the number I want to be on the scale, but the number of calories I take in every day. Yes, I’m a calorie counter and the only time I give this up is when pregnant or breastfeeding. One of the biggest theories that people maintain is that in order to loose weight, you need to eat a certain amount of calories to get there and adding in more calories to adjust for how many you’ve burned with workouts. However, there is another theory that you should eat for the weight you want to be. So based on this theory, I am now eating for the weight I want to be, regardless of how much I’m working out in any given day. Even if I burn 900 calories one day, or 450 the next day, I always eat the same amount of calories to maintain my active lifestyle. I firmly believe that this concept is what has helped me achieve my pre-pregnancy weight. This also means that I can throw out any limitations on what I eat (sans being mostly vegan, of course). If I want to have that glass of wine at night, then I can. I just have to plan for it and make sure I don’t have french fries on the side for dinner or lunch.
- Food as fuel (vs. pleasure). I think the biggest concept here to also understand is that food is fuel. All too often people eat for pleasure. Don’t get me wrong, I still eat yummy things, but I also make choices each time I eat. Yes I still give in to more “sinful” eats once in a while, but bottom line is that food needs to fuel me for the next activity and keep me moving. You’d be surprised, but so many people don’t think this way and make convenient/pleasurable choices vs. wise/healthy choices (just look at the country’s ever-expanding waist-line if you need more proof). Jo did a great post on this concept as well.
While I’m two weeks and counting into this challenge, I can say I feel great and am impressed with the results thus far — even with a vacation at the start of week two! Which, for the record, I thought I would come back and be devastated on the scale. But I supposed hammering out 17.5 miles in a week could only help the cause.
Stay tuned for my 30-day update in a few weeks!