Week 2 of the 30-Day Challenge

Week 2 of the 30-Day Challenge

Week 2 and I’m down 1 pound (4 total in 2 weeks). At the end of this post, I included a printable for you that I use to help plan my meals and workouts. Here’s how my second week went:

June 10th: Perform a 20 Minute Workout 3X a Week

                The 20 minutes full body workout Jenna designed is comprised of five circuits. She had a few rules, such as warm up for five minutes before the circuits, take one day off in-between sessions to give your muscles some recovery time and work out in the morning, which I do anyway because it helps set the tone for the rest of the day.

Some of the exercises included shoulder circles, jumping jacks, toe touches and upper cuts. The last circuit consisted of front kicks and squats, and I could feel it! Strength training is a fantastic way to stay healthy and is a great way to exercise when you have no equipment. Your bodyweight is used as resistance in all the moves that Jenna recommends.

To be honest, these workouts (done at home with no equipment) kicked my behind.  However, I stuck with them for the sake of the challenge. Jenna reminds you in the book to follow the proper form so that you don’t cheat yourself out of a full body workout. Every time my legs would shake, I reminded myself why I was doing this and how great I’ll feel. Positive mental attitude is so important when working out.

June 11th: Consider Your Wardrobe Carefully

                Last summer, I invested in some workout clothes. I had never purchased workout clothes, instead using sweatpants and old T-shirts. I decided that my job would be to get fit, so I needed the proper attire.  I felt good about myself in my new workout clothes and motivated to get to the gym. I refuse to buy any new clothes until I get to a healthy weight. Jenna suggests buying one outfit in your target size and use that as motivation.  I have a pair of pants that are super tight and I’m working towards fitting into those again.

Jenna also suggests buying workout clothes that hug your frame instead of hiding it. Her thinking is the more you can see your shape, the less often you’ll exercise incorrectly. However, make sure you can move in the clothes. It shouldn’t be tight in places where your body bends.

One more important tip: wear good shoes! Wearing the proper shoes for a specific workout helps reduce the risk of injury plus improve your performance.

June 12th: Covertly Work Your Core Throughout the Day

                Today is about building core strength. Having strong abdominal and lower back muscles is key for living a strong, balanced and healthy life Jenna says.  To do this, Jenna asks you to imagine if you were about to be punched. What would you do? You’d tighten your midsection and brace yourself. It’s not about sucking in your gut but squeezing your stomach muscles.  One tip Jenna gives is to pretend you’re a flamingo. Bend one knee slightly and lift your foot at least an inch of the ground, either behind or in front of you. Start by doing thirty seconds on each foot and then increase to a minute. I first tried this while I was brushing teeth. It was nice to be able to work on my core while brushing my teeth.  ?

 June 13th: Aim for a 500 Calorie Deficit Every Day

                  Today is where I’m supposed to either eat 500 calories fewer each day or burn an extra 500 calories each day. You can do a combination of both until I hit the 500-calorie deficit.  Doing this helps to lose one pound a week, which is the recommended weight loss per week.

By making the changes in the previous challenges, like walking 10,000 steps a day (which burns around 250 calories) and no carbs after 6:00 (which can be 300 calories less if making smarter choices) you can help hit the 500-calorie mark. Jenna gives a list of exercises and the number of calories it burns. She also gives some food suggestions, like replacing butter, sour cream and dressing with salsa, lemon juice or nonfat Greek yogurt. Also, you can use less of what you normally use. If you stick to the serving size of the things like mayo or dressing, you can save some precious calories. A trick I do with dressing is that I always get it on the side. I fill my fork my salad and then lightly dip my fork into the dressing. Your tongue tastes the first thing you put in your mouth, so you get the taste of the dressing without all the extra calories.

June 14th: Reward Yourself

Today is our 4th wedding anniversary, so it’s super fitting that today is Reward Yourself Day! The past few anniversaries we’ve been out of town to celebrate, but this year we are taking our vacation later this summer. So today, I went back to the bakery where we ordered our delicious cake and picked up a mini cake to celebrate. I did my work out before we went out for the evening.  We went to one of our favorite local Italian restaurants and ordered the most delightful gnocchi. It was literally like eating little pillows of heaven.  We drank water and after dinner, we walked around downtown.  To finish the evening, we came home to enjoy the cake. It was nice to have a day to enjoy tasty food.

The couple that sweats together, stays together!

Now, Jenna does not suggest using food as a reward. While I understand this thinking and normally would go along with this because it does make sense, it was a special occasion. It’s not something we do all the time but we were smart about the choices we made today and still managed to work out. She says if you do choose to do a food reward, make it a meal and not a junk food fest. We went to a farm to table Italian restaurant that only uses the freshest and best local ingredients. Everything is homemade and handmade, so you know it’s going to be amazing. Since the gnocchi was homemade, it was a small portion size, but the perfect amount to make my taste buds dance. It was amazing food! Plus, I did my work out and got my 10,000 steps for the day.

Jenna recommends setting up your own special incentive plan and doing it at the end of the week. It can be a pedicure, massage, new shoes or whatever else you feel motivates you. While working out, I always tell myself that once I’m done, I can do whatever I want, like read a book or sit in my hammock. It doesn’t have to be at the end of the week, either. If you want to save it for the end of the month or when you feel at a low point in your journey, use your reward then.

June 15th: Prepare Your Meals and Workouts for the Day/Week

                This is basically meal prepping and scheduling workouts rolled into one. My husband and I already do meal plans for each week, making a of lunches, dinners and snacks. While doing this, I make a list of groceries as my husband goes through the kitchen to see what we need. Once I do the grocery shopping, I come home and slice, dice and chop all the fruits and veggies for the week. Jenna also suggests cooking your meals and placing them into containers for the week. This only works for me with vegetarian options. I HATE reheated meat. I know that sounds picky, but it just tastes different to me. Unless the meat is cooked into something (like a meat sauce), I can’t eat it. My husband can sometimes eat reheated meat if it was grilled or if it’s in soup, which makes meal planning easy for him. If we grill, he’ll grill extra meat for his lunches the next day. If dinner is something that requires leftover meat, my husband will eat that meal and I’ll make myself eggs.  When I grocery shop, I stick to the outside perimeters of the store, hitting the produce aisle, meat and dairy aisles. I’ll occasionally go into the middle for Triscuit crackers, brown rice, quinoa, nuts and whole wheat bread. Currently, our refrigerator is neatly stacked with glassware full of fruit and veggies.

As for exercise, I plan what I’m doing for the next few days, mostly due to the weather. Now that it’s summer, I’ve been working outdoors more, but I need to have a backup for when it decides to rain. I do my circuit training on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays and kick boxing on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If I can’t get outside to walk in the park or a local monument where I can walk up and down 96 steps, I’ll go to the gym or walk the stairs in my house. I can also do a work out video on YouTube if the weather isn’t cooperating. I’ve also been known to walk around Target or the mall to get more steps in.

See the end of this post for my my free weekly meal and workout plan printable!

June 16th: Befriend Fiber

You need between 25-30 grams of fiber a day.  In this section, Jenna gives examples of where you can find fiber and it’s not from

Blueberries and strawberries with whipped cream!

supplements. Fiber needs to be a part of every meal. By eating a fruit or veggie with each meal and having nuts for a snack, you can meet your daily requirement for fiber. I’ve been adding chia seeds to my smoothies and recently made baked chicken fingers with panko bread crumbs, Italian seasonings and ground flaxseeds. If I have toast or an English muffin, I’ll add peanut butter or avocado instead of butter. For dessert, I’ve been eating berries with some whipped cream on top. Sometimes when we make pasta sauce, we’ll add mushrooms instead of meat as a great meat substitute.

Fiber has many benefits, like filling you up faster and keeping you full longer. Fiber helps to curb your appetite so you don’t overeat. And of course, fiber helps to keep you regular. Just make sure to drink plenty of water to help move things along!

June 17th: Switch to a 30 Minute Workout 3X a Week

Today is the day that I added ten minutes to my 3X a week workout. Jenna is changing things up to help my body and muscles. According to Jenna’s book, when you start a new workout routine, your muscles work as hard as possible because they don’t know what they need to do yet. This confusion causes them to burn more calories trying to figure out what it’s doing.  This new workout includes 8 mini circuits, resting only 60-90 seconds in-between circuits. Again, form means everything, so I had to focus on doing the moves properly, even if that meant my whole body shaking. Let’s just say, it’s not my favorite half hour, but it gets the job done and it’s only 30 minutes of my day.


I created a free printable meal and workout schedule, which you can download here: Weekly Meal and Work out Plan printable

You can print it off and laminate it for use each week!

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