I challenged myself to workout for 21 days in a row. The idea as explained in my previous post is that it takes 21 days to create or break a habit. I wanted to use this time to create a new habit, or better yet recreate an old habit, of working out. I decided to take to my blog and social media to challenge myself and hold myself accountable. I am sure 95% of the people on my timeline didn’t pay it any attention, and that is okay. But if you paid attention and are curious about what happened, then thank you for the support and please continue reading.
So here’s what happened. I did it!
Haha… just kidding.
I also made it a priority to drink at least 150 ounces of water each day and eat healthy. Spoiler alert: I didn’t lose any weight during this process, but I did see some changes in the way my clothes fit.
So what happened?
The first week was hard but fun. I was motivated! I was pumped! I really wanted to work out in the morning before work, but I know myself and I am not always morning person. Some mornings I was able to wake up easily, and other mornings it was not so easy so I would exercise after work. I usually have issues falling asleep at night, and on some nights insomnia pays me a visit to chit chat for a few hours.
As I moved into week two it was easier to wake up earlier and workout. I also wanted to exercise before work. I noticed that when I accomplished my workout before work I had a better day. I was energized earlier in the day, and without coffee (gasps). I also had so much time to take care of personal affairs when I got home from work. I was even less anxious while sitting in traffic on my commute home.
I had a weekend trip planned to North Carolina during the second weekend of my challenge. It was important to me to make sure I stayed extremely hydrated, kept up with my fitness goals and tried to eat as healthy and clean as possible. Whenever I travel I have to be mindful to stay on top of drinking my slated amount of water each day. Sometimes that alone is my health and fitness victory on trips. Thankfully I was able to stay on track during the trip. I did an in-home H.I.I.T workout one day, danced at the CIC powwow the next day and then I had a rest day on my trip home. Yes, you read that right I had a rest day during my 21 day challenge.
To be completely honest, it was hard for me to accept taking a rest day. I really started to beat myself up mentally about not doing something physical that Sunday, but during those 21 days I was really reminded about the importance of listening to my body. Sometimes that means allowing your body to time to rest and recover. I ended up having a total of 3 rest days. Day 2 and 3 were back to back, and the product of lack of sleep(remember I mentioned that my great friend insomnia likes to pay me random visits).
During my last week my husband made an observation that really was a reality check for me. I think I was complaining about not seeing the scale move and he made the comment that I didn’t look like I was really into my workouts. My initial reactions (inside my head) were ‘rude’ and ‘something is better than nothing.’ But he was completely right. If I am being completely honest with myself I wasn’t really ‘in to’ my workouts most days. Part of my mind would be focused on the moves and the other part would be thinking about what I needed to check off next on my To Do List. There were days when I was completely in the zone and worked myself hard as I could, but even then I had credited a lot of it to my playlist or a desire to see my calorie burn break 300. The fact was simply that I was bored.
Exercising consistently isn’t always easy, so you should at least find a way to make it fun. There will be days when it is easy to win the mental battle, show up and go HAM. There will also be days when it is hard to mentally show up, and just physically being there is the win. However being BORED is never a good thing, and will lead you to not pushing yourself, or even finding ways to deflect. Let’s be real, I would procrastinate on working out and fold the laundry. Not, I am going to fold the laundry while my pre-workout kicks in. Rather, let’s fold the laundry and clean the bathroom and oh… it’s almost 8pm I guess I should work out now.
How bad is that? For me that is beyond bad. I genuinely like working out and on most days I love it. I love knowing I am changing and strengthening my body. It’s also a great stress reliever.
As I closed out my 21 days I really started to reflect on my fitness history and when I really felt motivated and challenged. So I decided to set some new goals for myself. My first goal is to regain my running pace. I am using a couch to 5k app and slowly working my way back up to running consistently for 3 miles. My second goal is to step outside of my comfort zone and maybe try out a few classes at different gyms.
Lessons learned from this challenge:
1. Working out should challenge you and it should be fun.
2. It is important to listen to your body, even if that means giving yourself time to rest and recover.
3. Be kind to yourself.
4. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, including yourself.
Thank you for taking the time to catch up with me. I am excited to continue my journey with you to becoming the best version of myself.