Week 1 of the 30 Day Challenge

Week 1 of the 30 Day Challenge

So, I totally forgot to post this on Friday (being out of school makes me forget what day it is!) After 10 days on the challenge, I am down 3 pounds!  Here’s how my first week went:

June 2nd: Start a Food Diary- If you bite it, write it!

I use the My Fitness Pal app (semi) regularly, but Jenna suggests not counting calories, protein or fat intake. She says to just write down everything you eat and share with a friend. The point is to hold yourself accountable. To do this, I had to be super honest with myself (and my husband). Every time I wanted to eat something that wasn’t too good for my body, I thought about my goals- losing weight and having a baby. Those two things were way more important than that piece of delicious warm Italian bread. She also suggests snapping a picture of what you eat and sharing it. I started my fitness Instagram account (semi_healthy_housewife) to hold myself accountable (and to not bombard my friends and family with my food and workout pics ?)

June 3rd: Walk 10,000 Steps a Day

I have a FitBit and I’m currently aiming at getting 10,000 steps 5 days a week. My husband even made me sign a contract saying that I would. So, bumping it up to everyday seemed doable. Now that I’m on summer break, I work out first thing in the morning (after doing my 20 sips of water ?). I usually go to a park and walk for an hour, getting between 6,000 to 7,000 steps. On rainy days, I’ll go to the gym or a store and walk around. I also walk around my house, straightening it up my house or doing laundry in the basement. By getting most of my steps out of the way in the morning, it’s a great mood booster and makes it mentally easier for me to get to 10,000 (or even more).  I listen to music while walking and this helps to keep me motivated. I love music, it’s a great coping skill for me, so pairing it with walking helps me to

June 4th: Stop Eating Simple Carbs after 6:00 p.m.

This was easy since I don’t eat after 7:00 p.m. anyway.  I’ve recently started doing something called “intermittent fasting” where I only eat between the hours of 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. I eat lunch, a snack (either a piece of fruit or nuts) and dinner.  I don’t beat myself up if I have a dinner after 7 p.m. but I make sure that I don’t eat too much before bed due to issues with heartburn.

However, on this day, we went to a graduation party that started at 8:00 p.m. There was a beautiful, delicious cake and I had to have a piece! I had a small piece and it was delightful. It had fresh strawberries on top, so it was sort of healthy.  ?  I had a few sips of a mojito, but spent the rest of the night drinking cold cucumber infused water (it was heavenly).

Jenna doesn’t advise cutting out any food groups, but does suggest limiting your simple carb intake later in the day, to make healthier eating choices.  She challenges you to move the time from 6:00 to 5:00 then to 4:00. She doesn’t suggest that you stop eating at 4:00, but to fill your plate with lean protein, healthy fats and vegetables. The reasoning? Simple carbs (packed with extra calories and sugar and lack nutrients) are absorbed quickly by your body. Examples include bread and pasta, i.e. some of my favorite foods. Complex carbs (vegetables, oatmeal, nuts and whole grain products) are harder for your body to break down. They contain lower amounts of sugars and are released from at a steadier rate. They typically contain fiber, which helps keep you fuller longer. She gives some notable examples in the book of what you can eat to make the change easier.

For a while, my husband and I cut down on bread at meals. If we had a piece of toast with breakfast, we didn’t have any of the rest of the day, instead focusing on adding more vegetables to our plates. After a while, this became a habit. If we do pasta, it’s whole grain and I add grated carrots to the sauce (it gives the sauce some sweetness) plus pair it with a salad loaded with veggies.

June 5th:  Pick 2 Exercises and Do Them 50 Times Throughout the Day

It’s Monday! A fresh week is starting and I’m ready. Today’s challenge is to pick 2 exercises from the book and do them 50 times throughout the day. Jenna stresses the importance of strength training as the key to losing weight.  Strength training burns calories, works your muscles, as well as to help your core and flexibility- all things I need in my life.

The 8 moves to choose from can be completed indoors or outdoors and no equipment is needed (except a wall).  For the rest of the challenge, I will complete 2 of the 8 exercises and perform them for 50 reps each. She suggests mixing and matching the exercises so I’m not doing the same ones each day and I’ll be able to target more muscles. I also don’t need to complete the 50 reps in one shot, I can spread them out during my day, I just need to complete them before bedtime.

For today, I choose to do the Apple Picker exercise and the Toy Solder (which my husband called “the punt a football” move). I did 25 in the morning before my walk and 25 when I arrived home. These exercises left me breathless but I could feel it in my thighs and core, so I pushed through. When I felt like giving up, I didn’t. When I thought to myself, “no one will know if only do 15 reps” I continued until I reached 25. I realize I can’t take the easy way out anymore. I need to complete these exercises. And I did. ?

June 6th: Redo How You Chew

Due to my Achalasia, I’m pretty good at taking smaller bites. Putting my fork down between bites, helps too! I got into the bad habit of eating too fast when I was a teacher. Sometimes I only had 20 minutes to eat and that’s if there wasn’t a need with a student or parent. When I started working at my new school, I had 45 minutes to eat. I mostly ate in my classroom to work on school stuff, so this allowed me to sit and eat plus stop in-between to do some work and drink some water. This mindful eating can be difficult when I eat with certain people because if they eat fast, so do I. It’s an unconscious thing, but I still do it.  Jenna also gives different ways to help with portion control, like using smaller dishes and waiting 20 minutes before going back for seconds.

Another great tip- brush your teeth after you eat!

*I was so busy working on my blog that I almost forgot about getting my 10,000 steps in today! It was 10:30 and I was at 9,131 steps.  Yup, I stopped what I was doing and walked the house. I even folded a basket of towels that was calling my name since yesterday. I earned my steps in no time!

June 7th: Adjust Your Expectations

One week down, or as Jenna calls it “quitting time.” This is the time most people give up, she writes. Now is the time I need to remind myself why I am doing what I’m doing. I want to lead a healthier life. I want to start a family with my husband. I want to shed my past and focus on my future. I’ve been good so far with this challenge.

However, today, I did not reach 10.000 steps. I had 5,000. I’m not proud of myself and I totally could have fit in the time to get 5,000 more. I had a busy day with appointments and meeting a friend for lunch. I ordered grilled chicken with veggies and drank tons of water. For dinner, I had an egg and tomato sandwich, along with an orange and strawberries. So, food wise, I made good choices.  But I didn’t exercise like I should have. I didn’t do my 2 exercises that I’m supposed do from day 5. So I had a slip up. Jenna says not to beat yourself up and to move on.

Jenna suggested to write a list of all the things you accomplished that took time and was worth the time and effort. She also says to remind yourself to count the weeks that you’ve been at your current weight and think about how those weeks represent a week you could have lost a pound. She also recommends that you to think of the future you, all the things you can accomplish when you’re a healthier version of yourself. Visualization is very important in this journey. That’s why I have post it notes on my mirror reminding me that this isn’t that difficult (I’ve been through much worse and survived) and different quotes that reminds me that I can do this.

As I write this, I remind that I deserve to be healthy. I am worthy of this.  So tomorrow, it’s game on.

June 8th: Eat Your Fast Food (not that Fast Food)

Jenna suggests that you cut up all the fruits and vegetables you purchase and place them into bowls for the fridge for easy access.

 

Since cherries are in season, my husband always washes a bowl of cherries for us to eat. It’s been so nice just grabbing the bowl and tossing a few cherries on my plate (or in my mouth).  He does this with grapes, too.

I’ve been doing meal prep for a while now and I must say, it’s a life saver, especially during the school year. After I grocery shop, I slice and dice veggies and fruit for the week. I place them into glass dishes and Ziploc bags. I’ll also dice peppers and onions for omelets. I slice hard blocks of cheese and hard boil eggs, either for our salads or just eat whole.  When I’m hungry, it’s nice having everything sliced and diced and ready to eat. My mom had a saying growing up, “if you’re hungry, eat fruit.” With meal prep, that’s very easy to do!

June 9th: Stop, Sit and Disengage for at Least Five minutes a Day

Jenna talks about the importance of disengaging for 5 minutes to help deal with stress. Meditation is hard for me. My mind always wonders and I start to create lists of things I need to do. I created a meditation room and we bought a hammock for the back yard. It’s easier for me to disengage in nature, so the hammock is perfect. It still isn’t’ easy for me. Stress is a big part of my life.

Nature’s Meditation Room

However, stress plays a crucial role on your path to wellness. Jenna states in her book, “when you let yourself stay stressed, your body takes it out on you in countless ways. Headaches, bad skin, digestion problems and insomnia are at one end of that spectrum, while heart issues, premature aging, a lower sex drive, and chronic back pain sit on the other.”

I sometimes get these chest spasms, partly due to a disease called Achalasia, but also due to stress and anxiety. I was diagnosed with PTSD last summer and slowly, everything is falling into places with why I am the way I am. Sometimes I need a 20-minute nap to recharge my body and mind.  I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2010, making weight loss difficult (but not impossible). With all these issues going on inside of me, I feel my adrenal glands are working overtime. Cortisol, which makes your fat cells bigger and causes your body to store more body fat, is taking over my body. This can’t happen anymore. So, I am making the most of my dealing with stress, including having a regular sleep schedule and taking 5 minutes to myself every day. Jenna gives some terrific tips on how to tune out and unwind!

 

Stay tuned for Week 2! 🙂 

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