Remember that I wanted to tell you about the fitness challenge I participated in a couple of months ago? When Susi asked me, if I would consider doing a 20-day fitness challenge with her in September, I wanted to jump on it. However, September was shaping up to be a busy month for me, so I didn’t know if it was going to be a good idea to add a fitness challenge on top of it.
But, I thought, nothing ventured, nothing gained, am I right? So, naturally, I was in.
I mean, how hard could it be? Guidance and a community of encouragement were built in and I had my accountability buddy in Susi.
The fitness challenge encompassed four parts:
STEP 1: Move
- Move every day. Do what you love: Gym, yoga, tennis, 20 minutes workouts by TMACFitness.
- Get in 10k steps a day
STEP 2: Eat Real Food
- If you can plant it, pick it, or catch then it’s probably good for you.
STEP 3: Mindright
- There was a daily #MINDRIGHT Challenge.
STEP 4: Food Prep
- Twice a week throw some veggies in the oven. (Instructions in EAT CLEAN PDF) This will give you plenty of food for snacks when you get cravings.
This challenge was for beginners and seasoned athletes alike. We had unlimited access to 60+ Beginner and Advanced workout options with a daily workout calendar to tell which workouts to do on which days. The workouts were all bodyweight exercises – no equipment needed – and each workout ended with a brief meditation.
Everyone can find 20 minutes in their day, right?
There were also a lot of information to help with meal planning and grocery shopping (if that is something you need help with) and guidance to develop a positive mindset. I loved that this challenge didn’t just focus on the workout part, but that it emphasized how exercise, nutrition, and a positive mindset are directly interconnected.
At a minimum, I tried to get the 10k steps in every single day. I ran 3 days per week and on my non-running days, I did one of the 20-minute workouts.
On days when I didn’t run, hitting 10k steps was hard. You have to be intentional with your time. There were a few days where I ended up walking laps in the backyard to finish the 10k.
For the #mindright challenges, we were supposed to meditate (for a few minutes after working out), connect with family and friends, make our beds (to start the day right) and write notes to people that are important to us (I am a big proponent of personal notes).
I did not follow the food plan 100% (I still ate dairy and grains) and I did not food prep. I am not much of a snacker and when I did get a craving, I stuck to a handful of almonds or fruit. I focused on eating lots of veggies, protein, and stick to real, unprocessed foods, but I didn’t really cut anything from my diet.
Even if you don’t stick to the challenge 100% – even though I’d encourage you to do so – there is definitely a lot you can get out of it. I realized for example that even on a busy day, when you set aside these 20-minute blocks for yourself and your self-care, it actually feels like you have MORE time in your day, not less. It’s like these focused 20 minutes slow time down somehow. I also realized that I just really do well with a routine. I am much better at sticking with something if I regularly set time aside to do it.
There will be another 20-day challenge starting Monday (November, 26) and I think – after a few weeks of a schedule gone awry – I am ready to commit to a routine again. The challenge is free to join and you get an incredible community of support. Anyone in?