Graduated Learning: Life after College

I got my degree, I got a job…now what?

What I’m giving up for Lent: Making Excuses March 7, 2014

Filed under: Fitness,Food — Stephanie @ 10:22 pm
Tags: , , ,

That’s right.  I’m going to try my hardest to not make any more excuses when it comes to working out.  In fact, making excuses will be one of the things I’m giving up for Lent.

My excuses the past month or so were mostly that I was working longer hours at work, and since I usually hit the gym after work, there wasn’t much time to get to the gym before it closed.  Also, I’ve been sick a lot, which is something I’ve dealt with before as a barrier to working out.  My third excuse this past month has been that it’s CRAZY COLD out and there had been lots of snow on the sidewalks, so I’m not super keen on running outside.

But like I said…NO MORE EXCUSES!

This week was actually a pretty good workout week (3 times at the gym!), even though it’s been awhile since I’ve done much running.  I have been skiing a few weekends this year, which is a really good workout, but I’ve barely been running.  I came across this post recently from Shut up and Run about how quickly runners can lose their fitness, and it made my poor performance at December’s Winter Classic 5k (after not really working out much leading up to it) and my measly mileage during this week’s workouts make a lot more sense.  I didn’t have much stamina to keep up a run for a full 5k any of the times I ran this week.  Which is sad for me, since I worked so hard to get to that point.

So, now I’m back.  I know I’ve had this problem in the past.  And then I say, THIS IS IT, I PROMISE I’M BACK.  And then I disappear again (from the gym and from blogging).  Let’s see if I can keep with it.

One thing that helped me keep on top of fitness things was joining in challenges.  There were some a long time ago at work, and then some a little more recently through Lose It, and then the most recent challenge I joined in on was the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge back in 2012.  So, it’s been awhile, and I have plenty of reasons to join in a challenge once again:

  • It gives me an added incentive to working out.  If I can earn points and maybe even prizes, then why not work out and eat right?
  • There’s a community aspect in challenges, where you can support and encourage (and compete against) others!  Share ideas, advice, and encouragement!
  • I want to ramp up my training so that I can PR in my upcoming 5k, and plan ahead to longer races.
  • I want to be in tip-top shape for this year’s Walk for Hunger (my third time!)
  • I’m getting married soon, and even though I’m not in the Bridezilla “must lose 30 pounds and tone every muscle” zone, I’d like to have decent looking arms in my sleeveless dress

These all sound like good reasons to me.  So, since I found the Holiday challenge to be very motivating, I’m joining in again for Run To The Finish‘s Spring Bootie Buster Challenge.  It’s similar to the challenge I joined in 2012, and includes lots of things that should help me get back on track and off the couch.  Emails with suggested workouts, motivation, and food ideas.  Some friendly competition.  Goals for exercising, eating fruits and veggies, and drinking plenty of water.  A good facebook/twitter community to join with others.

Spring Bootie Buster Challenge 2014

Spring Bootie Buster Challenge 2014

I also like that there are different competition levels, so you can join as a relative newbie to working out, or be one of those super extreme workout fanatics.  You’ll be put into different groups, so that you wont feel overwhelmed by the marathon runners if you’re more into yoga and a quick jog.  Fun fact, last time I was in this challenge, Amanda (the woman running the challenge) emailed me to see if I’d be interested in dropping down into a lower intensity group.  Which I could have taken as an insult, but chose to take it as an honest view of my capabilities.  So I gladly took her offer to drop me down into the less intense group.  It was a smart choice, and I was then competing against people in my actual fitness level peer group.

I actually signed up for this right away, since I was on the email list from the last time I did one of these challenges.  So I managed to sign up for only $10.  It seemed like a no-brainer to pay $10 for some motivation to get myself off the couch (and have a little skin in the game).  The price has since gone up to $17, which is not too much money.  I keep convincing myself it’s money well spent if it gets me doing some healthy things!

Disclosure that is not really a disclosure:  I’ve complained in the past with friends about when people post something on their blog or twitter and don’t disclose that they’re a) getting paid b) getting free stuff or c) otherwise somehow getting something out of it.  So here’s my story:  apparently if people sign up for the challenge and mention that I referred them, I get the chance to win a few prizes.  Which is nice, but I’m not hanging my hopes and dreams on winning referral prizes.  Just wanted to leave that all in the open for you.  I mostly wanted to share this challenge because it seems like a good idea and came about at the perfect time for me.

Will I win any prizes?  I don’t know.  Will I start doing better things for my body?  I think so.  The three goals (exercise, fruits/veggies, water) are all things I very much want to keep up with.  So hopefully this gets me going back in the right direction.  No more excuses!

What about you?  Have you figured out what keeps you motivated to work out and eat healthy?  Do you need the extra motivation that a challenge provides, or have you been able to keep going on sheer willpower and awesomeness?  Do you have a workout schedule all set up, or do you just wing it?

 

Joining the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge! November 15, 2012

There’s something about entering a challenge that really gets me going.  I told you about the Hometown Wellness Showdown last month.  I found it really helpful having an incentive to tracking my healthy activities.  We earned points for everything, and every week there was a drawing for prizes.  There was also a good support system, and people shared their experiences.  While I didn’t win any prizes, I did work out a lot more, ate more fruits and veggies, and, because I was tracking what I ate, maintained awareness of what I ate and didn’t go overboard (most of the time!).  I began to gain some discipline, and I even got compliments on my improved figure!  There were over 2000 participants, and the top points earner got 888 points.  I was in 57th (or 74th, depending on what list you look at) place, with 640 points!

So, as usual, I’ve started slacking off on using LoseIt to track what I eat now that I’m not involved in any of their challenges.  But I’m still maintaining awareness of what I’m eating, and trying to get to the gym or incorporate workouts into my day as much as possible.  And I’ve kept track of my workouts on DailyMile.

So, with my love of challenges and being kept accountable, and tracking my fitness activities, I’m really excited about the new challenge I just signed up for.  It’s the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge!

Join the Holiday Challenge!

I first learned about this run from Elizabeth’s post on her blog, On Tap For Today.  She’s been an inspiration when it comes to getting in shape.  And she’s a fellow Bostonian!  I decided I’d sign up.

Details:

Cost:  $25.  Knowing I’ve got some skin in the game will be an added incentive for me.  It covers the management of the challenge, a donation to the Salvation Army, and mailing of prizes.

Prizes?!?!  YES!  There are mini-giveaways throughout the challenge, and bigger prizes awarded to top point earners.

Other good stuff:  Q&A’s with experts, and a community with a bunch of other fellow runners.

You can register here, and find out more at the main site (especially here and here)

It’s open to anyone!  And the challenge is separated by “shoe type”, i.e. what kind of shoe you use more often for the activities you’re involved in:

  • Low Profile: 5K, 10K, cardio class master (includes CrossFit)
  • Cushioned: Half marathon/marathon/distance biking
  • Stability: Half Ironman or more
  • Minimalist: Yoga/Weight lifting

I’ve signed up for the “Low Profile” group, since I’ve only ever done 5ks, and usually do less than that on a daily basis.  I suppose I could have joined the Minimalist group, since I occasionally do yoga and weight lifting, but we’ll see how I do.

I hope you consider doing this challenge!  I think it’s going to be a lot of fun, and it will keep us in shape through the holidays, and we might even win some prizes.

Let me know if you sign up!  Also, if/when you sign up, I’d love it if you mentioned that you found it through my blog.  Apparently if 5 of you sign up, I get a prize!

Have you ever joined a weight loss/fitness/healthy eating challenge?  Have you made your own personal challenge?  What are your plans for getting or staying fit through the rest of the year?

 

 
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