I can’t believe that I am finally done the Fall Fitness Challenge! For the past 14 weeks have been a really eye opener to how I needed to improve my health. At the beginning of this challenge, I laid out some goals and here is how I made out with them.
1. Increase endurance and strength: Get back to biking and swimming. Keep up the running to improve my time and distance.
At the beginning of the challenge, I really focused on increasing my endurance. I kept it up and was able to complete my first 5km!
|At the ZooRun in October
For the second half of the challenege, my focus switched over to increasing my strength. I started taking weekly BodyPump classes (love it!) and unofficially added “Learn to do Pushups” to my goals. When I first started out I was unable to do ANY. I mean, I’d fall and not be able to push back up. It was pathetic. Now, I can do 20 girlie or 5 traditional in a row. For me, this feels amazing. Every time I do them, I feel a huge sense of accomplishment. I tried to fit them in whenever I can: right before bed, waiting for the dog to finish eating, etc. I definitely want to keep this up and see how many I can work up to.
2. Healthier Food Choices: Lose the processed foods. Focus on fresh homemade meals and portion control.
This has been one of the hardest parts of the challenge. I’m not a huge processed food fan by any means. I rarely eat takeout and when I do go out for dinner, I try to pick healthier options. However, I have a real weakness for baked goods and chocolate. When I make cookies, I always end up eating way too many. So how did I try to curb this? By packaging them up and giving them away when I can. My poor boyfriend has had to take one for the team sometimes and eat up the extras.
The good news is that I still eat plenty of fruits, veggies, lean proteins and whole grains, which conveniently are all foods that I like. I plan to keep this up and hopefully learn to wean off the baked goods.
3. Increase Flexibility: More pilates and yoga. Remember to stretch regularly.
This is probably where I’ve seen the most improvement. When I started out, I had been pretty lax about stretching and my Pilates classes at been on hiatus of the past 3 months, so almost all the flexibility I had gained there was gone. This is about as far as I could touch my toes:
Now, I can do this:
I feel much more limber and on the days that I don’t stretch or do some form of yoga or pilates, I crave it. I try to do Bedtime Yoga as much as possible and I ALWAYS stretch after any form of exercise. It makes a huge difference in how my body feels.
4. Lower my BMI and Body Fat Percentage
My results aren’t incredibly dramatic, but considering I was already in okay shape, this is pretty good. Here are how my stats have changed in the past 14 weeks:
Lowered by Body Fat Percentage by 4.2%
I gained 7.3 lbs in muscle mass (I told you I was getting stronger!)
Lost 6.1 lbs in fat.
I’m really pleased with how things turned out. I want to keep trying to lower my BMI and maintain my muscle mass where it is right now. (This week’s stats at the bottom)
5. Consistent Dedication: Try new classes to keep motivation up. Keep track of progress right here on Small Home Big Start with weekly posts about the Fall Fitness Challenge.
Trying new things was one of the funnest parts of the challenge. I tried Hot Yoga, Bootcamp, BodyPump, participated in a Bike Race and ran a 5km.
I have faithfully posted every week about my progress and I have to admit that this was HUGE in motivating me to keep going. I didn’t want to let you guys down, and most of all I didn’t want to let myself down.
I’m glad that I took the time to do this. Its been an eye opener and helped me focus on lifelong changes, not quick fixes. I’ve added an Exercise Log to keep my accountable (to myself) and I’ll link up to that on the blog soon. I’m going to continue working on this through the holidays and lets see where I am come New Years. I’m going to run, swim, bike and push my way through all the holiday indulgences, while still enjoying them 🙂
Wed, Dec 1: Day Off + Lots of Walking
Thurs, Dec 2: BodyPump
Fri, Dec 3: Bowling with the family
Sat, Dec 4: Bootcamp
Sun, Dec 5: Day Off
Mon, Dec 6: Pilates
Tues, Dec 7: BodyPump