Trying a 30-day fitness challenge

Trying a 30-day fitness challenge

There are quite a few 30-day challenges out there. Some are for photography, others for cooking and there are a large number of fitness ones. There are those that look easy, while others seem quite challenging. But I am going to focus on the 30-day fitness challenge ones. We have all seen those before and after photos. Where the before picture if a person with plenty of fat on their body. Then 30 days later they are not only slim but have a killer six-pack to boot. However, the kicker is when they claim that no diet change is necessary. All that is required is a 30-day workout and you go from fat to fit. I’m fairly skeptical of this. However, I decided to put one to the test. Starting on July 1, I will be following the fitness challenge shown below.

The 30-day fitness challenge

I took a lot of time looking through all of the various challenges out there to find the right one. It had to be one that required little to no equipment. I needed to be able to do it in the privacy of my own home. And most importantly, it had to say no diet change required. Because let’s face it, we all know that suddenly eating healthy and exercising regularly would do the trick. However, I wanted to do this as an exercise only challenge, to find out if they worked or not. It took a few weeks of searching to find one that looks doable but wouldn’t kill me.

Exercise plan
The 30-day fitness challenge that I choose. Difficult but not impossible.

As you can see, each day, or sometimes every other day, the number of reps increases for each exercise. This means I hopefully won’t be overwhelmed in the beginning. It should also mean that by the end of the month that I have built up some decent muscle and increased my endurance.

The starting point

This is the part I’m not happy to share. Yet I know it’s an important step in showing whether these kinds of challenges truly work or not. To say I’m out of shape is an understatement. For years I have led a sedentary lifestyle. Most of my time is sitting in front of my computer, often playing video games. But I have also lost track of the number of hours spent watching YouTube and TV. Tack on the countless hours I have spent reading and I certainly have been inactive for too long.

As it stands now, I weight 150 pounds. I am not happy with this at all. I normally weigh between 125 and 130 pounds. So I’ve obviously let myself go a bit. The crazy thing is, that according to charts at my doctor’s office, for my height and age, 150 is my ideal weight. I don’t believe that one bit. How can this be a healthy and ideal weight when my stomach sticks out past my boobs? Even if the weight was more evenly distributed I don’t see how this is a good weight for me. But I digress. As you can see, most of my extra weight is focused around my waist. I have always had a bit of a gut, but never this much. I have, in the past, been fit but not skinny. No matter what I have done, I have always had a little extra on my belly. Despite this, the excess pudge in my belly has gotten to be too much. I’m not happy with how I look and I do my best to hide it all behind baggy clothes. But there are times when I can’t ignore it. When I change my clothes or have a shower, there it is.

The roadblocks

As I stated above, I haven’t always been this heavy. In fact, the last time I remember weighing this much is when I was pregnant with my son 12 years ago. After he was born, I struggled a bit to get back to where I had been, but eventually, I made it there. However, this last year has thrown a few roadblocks in my way that may have contributed to my rapid weight gain. To be perfectly honest, I know 90-95% of this extra weight came on during 2017.

Stress

I experienced a large amount of stress in the latter half of 2017. Long story short, there was a giant episode of family drama that really cranked up the stress levels. Now stress alone didn’t pack on the pounds, but the stress eating certainly did. I don’t know about you, but when I am feeling super stressed I am more apt to grab a chocolate bar over a carrot stick any day. And trust me, I put away my fair share of chocolate bars in a couple of months. Not to mention the cookies, bags of chips and other junk food. And what does one wash all of those goodies down with? Pop of course. Or soda as some people call it. Clearly, this was a bad combination for my waistline as a whole. Toss in a buttload of inactivity and it’s no wonder my weight went up.

Early menopause

I am ‘lucky’ enough to have early menopause run in my family. We hit 35 and boom we hit menopause. Well, guess what? Last year, 2017, was my 35th birthday and you know what that means. Yup, within a month of my birthday I was dealing with the first signs of menopause. Now menopause is not a guaranteed to cause weight gain, but it can affect it in some cases. It can also affect how easily one loses weight, so that is another factor to consider. Now, I don’t know if any of the weight gained was caused by menopause or not, but it’s a possibility.

Eating habits

As mentioned above, I picked a challenge that stated no diet change was required. I feel that doing this will better prove whether this challenge actually works or not. Because of this, I will not be changing my eating habits. I will still drink pop. Chocolate and junk food will be consumed. I will still eat carbs because to be honest, I can’t see my life without bread and pasta. And yes, I may even eat take-out. We rarely have take-out as is, but I’m not going to avoid it.

To show what I am eating throughout the challenge, I will be posting on my Instagram each day what I ate and drank. I will be posting this under #insecurehousewifeeats for those who are interested to see what I eat in a day.

Extras

I’m not completely void of exercise. At least not in the summer months. As such, I felt that I needed to mention these things that I have been doing and will continue to do during the challenge.

  • I currently walk our dog for an hour each day. This is as much for her benefit as my own. I will be continuing to do so throughout the challenge. Suddenly stopping this bit of exercise would likely affect the results – even if it was likely small.
  • I have been doing 15 minutes of yoga one to two times a week. It’s pretty low impact and I feel will be even more beneficial as I work muscles I have ignored for years. As such, I will be continuing to do yoga on a weekly basis.
  • Gardening. You’d honestly be surprised at how good of a workout this is. Carrying bags of soil or compost. Pulling weeds. Turning the soil by hand. It all helps to keep me somewhat active. I live for the gardening season, so I will continue to work in the garden throughout this challenge.
  • Stretching. Seriously, why is it that none of these challenges ever mention stretching before you start? The last thing you want to do is jump into exercising without properly stretching. Thus, I will be spending a couple minutes stretching out my muscles before each day’s exercise. Don’t skip this, as it can lead to injury.

The ultimate goal

While I have doubts about how effective this challenge will be, I know it will get me that much closer to my ultimate goal, which is to finally get back into shape. I would love to be at or below 130 pounds eventually. So even if this challenge isn’t a complete success, it will surely start me on the road to reaching that point again.

If this fitness challenge does turn out to be semi-successful, then I will continue with it until I reach my weight and fitness goal. Though I will eventually likely need to add in a few different exercises to get a full body workout.

20 Comments

  1. Avatar

    This is great! I’am so excited to see where it goes and though, like you, I am kind of skeptical about the whole no changing the diet thing I still hope you see some good results for all your effort!

    Getting healthy is hard but it’s generally a step by step process and this seems like a great first step. I know you can get to where you want to be, I have total faith in you and will be following along eagerly!

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Glad to see I’m not the only one who is skeptical about it. But hey, no matter what I will be making some progress, so that’s always good. I agree that this is going to be a great first step. I’m only a couple days in right now, and while I’m sore, I also feel pretty darn good. Looking forward to sharing the end result after the 30 days. Thanks, your support means a lot to me.

  2. Avatar

    Have you tried using MyFitness Pal? It is a free app that tracks your daily calories, calculates how long it will take to get to your goal weight, etc… It is a very good tool. I use it and love it. Regardless, I look forward to seeing your post 30 day workout post! Keep us posted!!

    1. Avatar
      Author

      I haven’t tried that one, but it sounds really good. I will probably hold off using it until after this challenge is over, just so I don’t skew the results any. Thanks for the tip.

  3. Avatar

    Way to be motivated to get moving and make some changes!
    I think you will see results. Even though nutrition is a huge part of health and fitness, exercise still makes a huge difference. In fact I know some people who exercise so that they can eat MORE junk.

    One thing, have you ever heard of diastasis recti? (It’s a separation of the abdominal wall) Many women after pregnancy have it (including myself) and if we don’t take the time and precautions to heal it, our gut will continue to stick out no matter how skinny we get.

    The reason I mention it is that your routine has a lot of crunches which could make it worse. (And your picture reminds me of how my diastasis has looked in the past) You might benefit more from some modified abdominal exercises to heal your diastasis first. (Just an idea… YouTube diastasis recti exercises for a crutch substitute)

    All that being said, keep on going! You’ll see results as long as you do the challenge. ?

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Thanks. I definitely think it’s a balance between diet and exercise, but the exercise will certainly help. I couldn’t imagine working out so that I could eat more junk food, well actually now that I think about it I guess I could, haha.
      I haven’t previously heard of diastasis recti. Thank you for letting me know about this. I will definitely have to look into this some. Always happy to have information like this shared with me, because it may very well be beneficial down the road to myself or someone else.

  4. Avatar

    Well done for challenging yourself. Wishing you the best of luck with the fitness challenge – I’m sure you’ll do great!

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Thanks. I’m looking forward to sharing them.

  5. Avatar

    Oh wow best of luck! I’m so rubbish at doing these things, I get to about day 10 and just give up!

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Thanks. I have tried exercise programs before and rarely make it past a week as well, but this time I’m determined to stick with it until the end.

  6. Avatar

    This is a really great post, you should be proud of yourself for even committing to start this and sharing this! It’s a very personal thing at time so you should be proud – I must say though, that’s an awful lot of jumping jacks!! X

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Thanks. It definitely was tough to share, especially my starting point, but I felt it was the only way to do it. It honestly is a lot of jumping jacks but so far the part I’m not a fan of is the wall sit.

  7. Avatar

    I wish you the best on your journey! I definitely need to get myself back as well. I lost all my baby weight but I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be before I got pregnant. It always seems the last 10-15 pounds are the hardest! I’m excited to read about your progress ?

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Thank you. I agree it’s always the last bit of weight that seems to be the hardest to lose. So far I’m really enjoying the challenge, even with the sore muscles I have every day.

  8. Avatar

    I get you with the middle section fat accumulations. That’s where I store mine as well.

    I am looking at those exercise regimen numbers and I am rooting for you because I know squats are not easy, for me at least. Looking forward to the results. Like you said, whether it works or not, the least is that you will be in better physical shape than you were 30 days prior.

    Keep us posted. Will be checking your progress on Twitter/Instagram.

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Quite a few women I know have the mid-section pudge. The squats are certainly challenging, especially when you have bad knees like I do. I need to do them slowly to not aggravate old injuries. Though I have to say my least favorite is the wall squat, that one really is a struggle for me. I have definitely noticed a difference already, not while looking in the mirror but just in overall endurance and feeling.

  9. Avatar

    Way to go!! I just got back in the gym after 3 years of doing absolutely nothing (back to back pregnancies). It helps that my husband works there, otherwise, I am not certain if I would be doing anything. It is so hard to find the time with my babies being so small. I plan to keep it up, as long as I don’t get pregnant again… AHHH!! Keep working hard, getting started is the biggest battle of all.

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Thank you! I agree that getting started is by far the biggest challenge, but once you get going it gets easier. Good luck with keeping up with it. I’m sure that you will see changes quickly and start to find it easier to find the time and get into the routine of it.

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