Wednesday, October 14, 2015

My 30 Day Challenge

Having access to social media sites like Pinterest and Facebook makes it incredibly easy to look up exercise and food plans.  It can also lead to us (especially as women) playing the comparison game.  After months of doing Zumba a couple of times a week, my body craved a change in routine.  I was seeing no results.  My daughter was 18 months old and I was still carrying around 8 pounds of her!  The whole, "I just had a baby!" excuse had expired long before.  When I stepped on the scale every couple of weeks, I usually saw no change in the number—or worse, an increase!  I couldn't figure out what was going on and became incredibly frustrated!

When I would casually mention this to others, there was a few times that I was met with eye rolls.  "Yeah, Giana, you really struggle with weight issues," they seemed to say.  At just under 5 feet tall, I am petite.   However, since the tender age of 11, I have also been curvy.  And since then, like the average woman, my weight has fluctuated.

I knew something needed to change because I wasn't feeling good about myself and lacked energy.  My eating habits are never perfect, but my family and I do strive to eat and snack on healthy food (most of the time).  I decided towards the beginning of September that I would make up my own 30 Day Challenge.  My goal was to do something active for at least 30 minutes each day.  Using the notes app on my phone, I diligently recorded my exercise (see below).  

30 Day Challenge

Day 1- 3.7 mile walk with small group
Day 2- 2.4 mile walk
Day 3- 6.3 mile bike ride
Day 4- 1 hour Zumba class with mother
Day 5- 2.4 mile walk with Laura
Day 6- 30 minutes of yard work
Day 7- no exercise
Day 8- walked 2 miles with small group 
Day 9- no exercise
Day 10- no exercise- still sick
Day 11- walked 1.38 miles pushing Ceci in stroller
Day 12- 15 minutes of arm exercises
Day 13- no exercise
Day 14- 1 hour of Zumba
Day 15- walked 3.39 miles with small group
Day 16- 15 minutes of arm exercises
Day 17- 1 hour of Zumba
Day 18- no exercise
Day 19- no exercise/ still sore from Zumba
Day 20- nothin/super busy week
Day 21- walked one mile with small group
Day 22- no exercise/ day 3 of tummy trouble
Day 23- biked 5.91 miles
Day 24-no exercise/ are you kidding me?! Crazy week!
Day 25- 15 minutes of arm exercises
Day 26- nothing
Day 27-walked 1.4 miles
Day 28- nothing
Day 29- walked 4.08 miles with small group
Day 30- nothing

Exercised 18/30 days

The first 6 days, as you can see, I was highly motivated!  My mistake:  I had no real accountability.  Sure, I told my husband about what I was doing, but I didn't share with anyone else.  At least, not in the beginning.  Later in the month, I found out that a dear friend was wanting to get in shape and needed accountability.  Texting one another helped me tremendously.

I read an article, years ago, on the success of dieting programs like Weight Watchers.  The number one factor researchers said contributed to participants losing weight was simply writing down what they ate.  I wasn't ready for that kind of commitment!  Instead, I wrote down what I did each day.  This helped to encourage me and see, at the end of the 30 days, that I spent more time being active than not.

Time.  This is often the deciding factor in whether or not something happens in my life.  While being healthy is a priority of mine, I'm not willing to sacrifice quality family time for exercise.  On average, my family and I do something active together once a week (usually a bike ride).  Thus, most of the activities I participate in happen before the children wake up, or are done with them (ex: going on walks).  The exception to this rule is Zumba; that's my time.  My exercise routine may not always look like this, but it does during this particular season of life.

It wasn't until I got rid of our scale and quit concerning myself so much with that number that I began to see true change.  After about 3 weeks, a few people began commenting on differences they saw in me.  "You look really good," they would say, or, "Wow, you've lost weight!"  To which I would simply reply, "Thank you, I'm trying."  While losing inches (and receiving compliments) has certainly been a plus, I was reminded that it is not where I find my worth.

Whether you are a size 00, 4, 18 or anything in between, the most attractive thing you can wear is confidence.  Knowing your beauty and your worth, regardless of what the current societal standard is.  So how do we get and maintain this positive self-image in a world that is constantly telling us we fall short?  That, my friends, is another post.


  1. It's always so nice to read your honest sharing. It's encouraging. And I like the idea of writing down your movement/exercise vs foods.