Workout Challenge

For accountability purposes, I want to talk about my exercise routine and what I’ve been doing to *hopefully* achieve my 2014 health and fitness goals.

Let me preface by saying that I have tried a bunch of stuff.  I’ve tried supplements, I’ve tried diet plans, and I’ve tried going to the gym.  Several years ago, I began running 3-4 times per week with a very patient and amazing friend, who transformed me from an “I hate long-distances” runner, to someone who looked forward to the pre-dawn mornings of running up and down hills in Old Irving Park.  We have since both moved out of the neighborhood – and our current schedules, along with my irregularly-sleeping toddler, have made that type of exercise impossible … for now.  But just with that exercise alone, and keeping a balanced and portion-controlled diet, I was able to shed about 40 pounds!  And wouldn’t you know it … just as I reached a level of health and fitness that I hadn’t seen in years, I got pregnant with baby number 4.  And the weight just crept … back … on.

After 18 months of sitting around waiting for the “fitness fairy” to come and zap me back, I decided to show some discipline and self-control and do something about it.  So now, after starting my journey all over again, I’ve had to try and come up with something that I can do from home in a reasonable amount of time each day.  In my web travels, I came across Bikini Body Mommy, Briana Christine.  She is an inspirational woman, having gained and lost, and gained and lost – just like many other women out there.  She is very relatable, she has stretch marks, and she deals with real-life struggles along the way.  Periodically she starts up a “90-Day Challenge” on her website, but I opted to follow the free series of YouTube videos and her blog posts to do the challenge on my own.  Her workouts are done from home in about 20 minutes or less each day, supplemented with 2 days of cardio on your own time, and a rest day every 7th day.  So far, I’ve been doing the challenge for 9 days, and I feel great.  I’ve already lost weight, and inches.  The kids even join in, sometimes teasing me, but always making room and time for me to do my exercises!  Though I have no inclination to ever put on a bikini again in my life – I want to look and feel my best and take care of myself so much better than I have been.  Seems like a great start!

As for my diet, I’ve been sticking with calorie counting using the MyFitnessPal website and iPhone app, and keeping the carbs & starches down to the bare minimum.  Also read in a book that Mom gave me, Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, MD. about limiting the intake of fruits.  So that’s been on my list of limited items. My one vice – I usually have a glass of red wine every other night … which helps to de-stress!  Gave up sweets for Lent, too – going on 7 days without any.  I’ve definitely been craving, but nothing a little prayer can’t handle!

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