MOMSTRONG

MOMSTRONG

I had the opportunity this month to join a group of moms for a fitness challenge. The idea behind it was that we pick our own diet and exercise plans and stick to it for the month of May. We would send in pictures and measurements to our coach every ten days, and support and encourage each other the rest of the time.

I had always gone it alone when it came to diet and exercise. I had no one but myself to keep me accountable for the choices I made. I used instagram to keep a record of my progress, but in the end, just getting a few likes and follows here and there isn’t really all that motivational. That’s why the idea of joining a group of similar people with the same goals sounded so appealing.

I started out the month by sending in pictures of myself at different angles. Nothing professional, just a couple of snap shots with my phone.

I also weighed myself took measurements of different parts of my body to track scale and non-scale progress:

MayFirst

  • Chest: 36.5 inches
  • Waist: 30 inches
  • Hips: 38.5 inches
  • Thighs: 24 inches
  • Biceps: 11 inches
  • Weight: 163

I made mini goals to follow during each week. For the first week my goals included walking for 30 minutes every day, completing 40 minutes of Pilates at least three days, and I could only have one serving of each of my favorite types of snacks (Ice cream, cake, chips, Twizzlers) and only one of those snacks in a 24 hour period. It sounds a little more complicated writing it down…

I started out with the mindset “Only 10 days.” This was a whole lot less intimidating than “Only one month.”

The first ten days were the hardest. Not the whole “I can’t do this!” kind of hard. More like I had a hard time controlling myself. It didn’t help that my In-laws feed us really well on Sundays. They always make the best food and I just want to eat everything. I was really embarrassed telling them I was trying to watch what and how much I eat. They already think I’m too skinny. Also my Mother-in-Law made a giant cherry pie. That wasn’t on my list of things I could only have one serving of, so I ate half of it over the next two days. Whoops.

As far as exercise went, I did pretty good. I fit in more than three pilates workouts, and only missed walking for one night. I’m not perfect, okay?

May 10th rolled around painfully slow, and it was time for us to send in our updates. I thought at best that I was just going to measure in the same. I was pleasantly surprised to find what a difference ten days of trying did for me.

MayTenth

  • Chest: 35.5
  • Waist: 29
  • Hips: 37.5
  • Thighs: 24
  • Biceps: 11
  • Weight: 157

My new goals were to limit my sweet snack consumption to a certain amount of days. My aim was only 5 out of the 10. My exercise goals were pretty similar, except I changed my walk time from 30 minutes to 2 miles, and added one more day of Pilates to my schedule.

It didn’t feel as bad as the first week and a half. It rained a lot too, so I didn’t feel like leaving the house. That helped my from making impulse buys to satisfy cravings. I started reading books in my spare time to keep my mind off of snacking or whether or not I needed to exercise still. I posted pictures of everything I ate to my fitness group chat and we oohed and ahhed together over what a good job we were doing. Our coach kept us all motivated with lots of pictures of herself exercising or with quotes, and shared plenty of healthy recipes we could use. We also shared our meal plans to give each other ideas of what to eat.

I missed a couple days of walking, but also pushed myself to do Pilates more days than I had scheduled to make up for it. I finally let my husband know about my fitness group and goals. He’s been pretty encouraging himself.

Mother’s day came right in the middle of that week and a half. I told myself “Screw it, you’re a mom and a darn good one. You deserve a treat.” I ate brownies and ice cream. But we made the brownies with coconut oil instead of butter, so that makes them healthy, right? Yes? No?

Probably not, but they sure were good. My husband tried to get me a fancy little cupcake decorated in white chocolate swirls, but my two year old decided that was his and it was all over his face and the floor by the time I even found out about it. At least you tried, honey. I still love you.

Day 20 arrived. We all sent in pictures and measurements again. I was down a full 7 pounds from my starting weight, and about 4.5 in combined inches down from day one.

MayTwentieth

  • Chest: 34.5
  • Waist: 28
  • Hips: 37.5
  • Thighs: 23.5
  • Biceps: 11
  • Weight: 155

I started the new stretch off with some celebratory cookie dough. It was totally necessary. Also it was premade and Toll-house brand. Don’t judge me. I spent two days cleaning my house because it was still raining and I was tired of reading books. I deserved it.

My goals for the week were no extra snacks at all aside from the mandatory cookie dough and desert at my In-laws house that Sunday. It’s part of the meal every week so I just plan for it. I kept my 2 miles a day rule, but modified it slightly so at least half the time was done on a 10% grade. (Thank goodness for treadmills.) I changed my Pilates goal to every other day.

Halfway through the week I got a Fitbit. By that I mean I made my husband buy me one for mother’s day. I felt suddenly SUPER motivated, and upped my fitness game a little. I used the FitStar app for workouts, and aimed for at least 10,000 steps a day. I also stopped worrying about macros and went with my husband’s “Calories in, calories out” motto. I was drinking about 80 ounces of water a day, too. By this point I was having a lot of fun!

Finally, the last day of the challenge arrived. I was feeling more energized and excited. I sent in my results, but I’m still waiting on the end results. (There was supposed to be a prize, you know. I can dream.)

MayThirtieth

  • Chest: 34.5
  • Waist: 28
  • Hips: 37.5
  • Thighs: 24
  • Biceps: 11
  • Weight: 151.5

Comparing all the pictures, I’d say I’m pretty proud of how far I’ve come already. My group is kicking off another round for June, So I’ll be writing about that one in time. The takeaway from this challenge is that you can accomplish so much more when you’re not trying to go it alone. I had 20 or so other ladies all cheering me on and sharing goals with me.

I can’t wait to see what comes next!

OneToThirty.jpg

 

 

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