30 Day Challenge Journal

Day 30

Well today was the last day of my 30 day hiit challenge, and I took a moment to reflect on it. So turns out I did 17 new and different HIIT routines all together. I repeated 2 of them, so I did 19 in total. I did cardio on the same day as the morning HIIT only a few times, maybe 4, and did cardio alone on maybe 4 other days. All in all I worked out about 5 days a week. In terms of diet, I cut out bread (not one slice since I started) and ate about 80% only whole, unprocessed foods. It didn't feel very hard, actually, and I wonder if there are other things I can change to keep my health-kick kickin! I went to the Vitamin Shoppe today and dropped some $$ on a few ingredients to try a holistic approach to my stupid, persistent acne that I've been battling unsuccessfully for the past, oh, my whole life. The only diet change I've ever made that affected my skin was doing the Paleo diet for about a month. I just can't live like that. I need cheese. 

Anyways, I don't feel like it was really a challenge of a month. I've made some muscle gains, especially in my delts from all the pushups, and my thighs have definitely shrunk. I'm afraid to weigh myself in case I've gained weight from muscle gain, so I'll just allow myself to be happy from the changes I can see. 

I know I still have at least 5 lbs of fat to lose, especially from my lower half, and I'm excited to continue trying new things to keep myself excited about health and fitness. One thing I realized today was that I haven't lifted heavy since the first week of March, and I need to stop being so narrow with my workouts. This next month is going to be about give-and-take. I need to make sure I'm not burning my intensity-self out, and mellow out with some heavy-weight days. Also, now that Spring seems to be coming it might be nice to swap a morning HIIT with a run. 

We'll see. I think I'm just going to update this whenever I feel something interesting has occurred in my fitness journey!

Day 29

I'm pretty sore today. Which feels good because it's been a while since my glutes have been sore. I did an awesome workout yesterday with some fun balancing moves...I always like those because they make me feel like I'm doing ballet again. Ah to be young again. And to feel okay in a leotard.

Anyways I had a good workout and then I brought pizza and beer over to my boyfriend. Soooo diet was not ON POINT necessarily, but I did get a salad with the 'zah. And I only had ONE chocolate stout (sooogoodomgyouhavetotryone). 

Tonight I'm going to do some intense cardio before I go to the store to buy ingredients for an Easter pie. I haven't decided what kind to make yet, but I'll post it when I do with the recipe and a review afterwards :) It's okay that no one follows my blog because I finally feel like I'm keeping a journal. I used to try and try when I was young with images of Jane Austen trapped in her room with a feather pen writing furious emotions...then I would last about 2 days and lose interest. I'm glad to document something at least so I can look back in 20 years and have a smile at my young 22-year-old self.

Day 27

Good day today :) It was busy at work, but I met my boyfriend for lunch at my house so my dog cold romp around for an hour. Last night's workout felt pretty terrible, though. I just felt weak and like my body needed a break. Today I feel awake and invigorated, but I'm not sure if I'll work out tonight or not. I guess I'll just play it by ear :) 

Last night for dinner I made EVERY vegetable and it was so nutritious! I had roasted salty roasted brussel sprouts, cumin dusted asparagus, asian-inspirated wok-sauteed onions and green peppers with cilantro, and fresh diced tomato with basil from my plant. It was yummy :D

Day 25

Apparently it's still winter! I woke up at 6 to walk the dog, checked facebook and saw everyone bemoaning the weather. I then turned over and went back to sleep :) The gym will be closed tonight because schools were out, but I'll do my morning workout at night. And maybe an extra ab session, too. 

I feel like my eating has been pretty okay this weekend...not as binge-eate-y and drink-ey as last weekend, so that's definitely a good thing! I did take off Friday and Sunday as far as workouts, so I'm going to try and hit every day through Saturday to make these last 5 days of my challenge count. I'm not sure what I'm trying to accomplish with this "challenge" since I didn't take photos or set any quantitative goals. I think I'm going to take some after photos anyways. Maybe I'll try another challenge with something else added to my lifestyle, as well. I've been taking protein lightly, maybe 5 times in the last 25 days, but I could add it to my daily life. It might be time for another juice cleanse after Easter, too. 

Day 22

Everything is going well again:) I've been eating really clean and working out hard. I haven't been doing the two-a-days recently because I like seeing my boyfriend sometimes haha. Tonight I'll have a good workout though, and this weekend I can spend some time at the gym as well. Maybe I'll weigh myself. Hmmm. I can tell I've gained muscle, so I don't want to be discouraged by a higher number on the scale. I'll have to think about it.

Day 20

Alllllright. That was in the light of Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused. 

Anyways, I'm back on track :) I went on a run yesterday with the intention of about 3.5 miles and then a HIIT workout after, but things didn't work out. I got lost on the route and ended up having to back-track after completing about 2/3 of the loop for a total of near 4.5 miles. Good thing it didn't drop like 15 degrees and get dark while I was finishing. Oh wait, it did. It was terrible and I have blisters, and there was no time for the HIIT, but I guess it's cool that I went for such a long distance (for me it's long). This morning I woke up on time and did a nice 18 minute HIIT workout which felt good. I had Chipotle last night, but made healthy choices and saved about 1/4 of it as part of lunch today. Anyways, back on track at least for now :)

Day 19

Oh jeeze. I feel terrible and like I'm falling off the band wagon. NO. NO. NO. That was a dramatic Michael Scott-esque tantrum. I was really good Friday and Saturday with my workouts, and then Sunday I took the day off and it was St. Patrick's day....soooo....I got really drunk and then Monday I had to leave work after an hour into the morning for fear of puking all over my computer. Real maturity there. At least I wasn't on the clock and sleeping in some little corner like one of my coworkers that nobody could find... 

Anyways, I need to get back on the wagon and forge ahead for the last 11 days of my Oregon Trail (apparently with all the wagon references) that is my self-appointed 30 day challenge. 

OH OH I made a Ugi ball this weekend, too! I forgot! I haven't used it yet, but it's just as sweet as can be, and was only $30 for materials as compared to $130 + shipping that the official Ugi would cost.

I'm going to make a tutorial with the pictures I took as soon as possible :)

Day 14

This morning I couldn't wake up. I snoozed, and then my dog got mad and I bit her on the nose and said poo, poo. I emailed my boss and told her that I absolutely could not tear myself from my bed and I would be in at 10 ("Be in by 10"). I planned on getting up to workout still, but snoozed until 8:15 and got on with my morning. At work the cramps hit and I realized I am being visited 2 weeks early by the little blood-fairy (was that discreet?) I went to the gym at lunch, though, to get in a little cardio since I won't be able to do any tonight and I didn't yesterday. I only really got about 15 minutes on the treadmill before having to wipe myself down and shimmy my work clothes back on. It's extremely not worth it to go to the gym at lunch when your gym is a 10 minute drive. Oh well, some days just aren't going to work out as planned. Poo, poo. 

Also, I just need to vent the fact that I really am not seeing results like I would have liked on this plan of mine. Maybe I'm not trying hard enough, or maybe I'm trying too hard? My body could be shocked or something? Or maybe I should have taken "before" pictures and strength tests. Gah. I will continue, though, because that's the kind of person I am. Not without a little cheating tonight with my sistaz. Also I was compelled to have a huge glass of red wine and a ton of dark-chocolate-covered raisins last night. I probably should have seen the period coming.

Day 12

I woke up as normal this morning with the intention of doing a morning workout, but it just wasn't happening. It took me 6 more minutes then usual to get my body out of bed (and some harassment from my dog. She is seriously bossy in the morning) and my hamstrings are SO SORE. Like it's delayed from Sunday's workout or something. So I decided to listen to my body and go on a nice long, rainy walk and have a nice long homemade latte instead :) I'm gonna do the workout tonight, though, even though I'm still feelin' pretty hurty.

On my progress, I wish I had taken "before" photos. I should do some now, but I'm worried that I won't see much difference since I'm halfway through the 30 days and I'll be more frustrated if I don't take any. I feel stronger, and I can definitely tell my upper abs are more defined. I don't feel any slimmer, though. Oh well, it's still definitely good for me, and during my outside run yesterday I felt fantastic-er then usual. So there's some pudding proof I suppose. 

Day 6 & 7

Yesterday we were expecting a huge snow storm...and had nothing. So I hit snooze expecting no work and ended up scrambling around 15 minutes before I had to leave for work. Needless to say, I did my workout in the evening! The gym was also closed...I went over so I could run before completing the bodyrock workout and found it deserted (for no reason since we got zero snow).

This morning I woke up with the intention of doing a workout, but once I got ready and in front of the video, I decided I didn't really like the workout I had chosen, and was starting to feel burnt out. Sooo I did a 15 minute yoga/stretch video from their website instead. It wasn't at all challenging (didn't break a sweat :/ ) but it's been a while since I've done any yoga so it was a nice change.

Day 5

It seems to be getting easier to wake up and get going in the morning...I've never felt this way before about waking up when it's not for something like work or school! I guess that means I'm getting addicted to the workouts :p I'm actually starting to see a few changes since I started, and that's really exciting! My external obliques are more svelte  and I can see a little more definition in my upper rectus abdominus (ahem future doctor here, no big deal). Today I did a workout from bodyrock.tv called Sweet Nothing. I liked it a lot, because it was a change from the high impact jumping exercises to a more focused burn. Less sweating and choking, but still very hard.

I don't think I'll have time for cardio tonight because my boyfriend and I are going to Total Wine & More to stock up on beer for our trip to Deep Creek Lake this weekend. I'm very excited!

Day 4

Woke up at 6am this morning, had to turn on my light immediately to keep from rolling over and ignoring my alarm! After walking the dog (in the 23 degree temperature..what happened?) I set to work on a workout. I'm a little confused about why there hasn't been a new workout posted in the last few days, but I used an older one that only totaled 12 minutes (theoretically). It was nice because the Tabata scheme was 25 seconds on to 5 seconds off, so the moves flew by...I like it that way because I've noticed I'll go a lot harder on those moves that really kill me (ahemm here's looking at you jump switch-lunges) and I feel like I get a better workout overall. So you do 4 moves total and repeat so that you've done it all 6 times. I ended up taking about 30 second breaks between the sets, so my total workout took 15 minutes. Not shabby for a little early morning rouse. 

Day 3

Today I had to go to my parents house to file through all the stuff I wanted to keep before they pitched everything in sight to prepare the house for the market. So sad to see my childhood home being put up for sale, but my parents are super excited to move to a little beachy community and enjoy their twighlight years :) So I had to get going pretty early today, and it was quite easy with a little help from a Panera souffle and cappuccino. UGH I love espresso drinks...you don't even need sugar they're just delicious. 

So I decided that the more cardio I have in my life, the better and hopped off to the gym with a good book (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society) and my sights set on the elliptical. I did 30 min of intervals on the elliptical, and finished with a mile on the treadmill because it felt right. Bodyrock.tv did not post a new HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout today, which was disappointing, but I did one of their older ones to compensate. It was tough...do I sound like a broken record? Because they're ALL tough. I'm going to make a little breakdown now and post it to my main page. 

Anyways, day 3 down (10% done!) and feeling great. Just made some yummy quinoa with garlic, onions, and chilies in adobo sauce for lunch tomorrow, too!

Day 2

Today I was feeling sorta weird, but I had to keep up with this commitment! It was pretty cold outside so I went to the gym for a good 3 mile run and then just did 3x8 Romanian deadlifts with 45's  to make sure my hamstrings were still at attention. When I got home I set up my laptop and looked to see what I needed for the workout.

This workout was longer then the other ones at 16 min, and they wanted you to do it three times total. I make it through twice, and was PRETTY proud of that! You needed a little equipment, but I just forwent the reverse pull-ups and did a crab walk to work the chest, glutes, and triceps instead. I also didn't have a jump rope but I did the  motion and it was plenty hard :)

Anyways I definitely earned a beer tonight. And probably the beers I had last night. I'm just a sucker for a good stout or IPA.

30 day challenge commence!

So I started a 30 day challenge for myself...since it's March 1st I'm going to try and drop a little weight and recently I've felt really disgusted with processed food so I'm really trying to eat cleaner.

I'm using the bodyrock.tv website and just doing their daily workouts in the morning in addition to my regular evening workouts. When I looked up the workout for today last night, I saw that it was only 6 minutes long, so I was planning on doing that and some abs, along with my dog's 20 minute walk. Once I did the video though (HIIT reps) he says "now repeat 4 more times to complete your workout." Abuhhh!? I didn't realize they were 30 minute workouts...so I did it one more time for a total of 12 minutes of high intensity training. Now that I know they're longer then 15 minutes I'll have to wake up a little earlier, but that's fine :) 

I decided to post that I'm doing this for 30 days so I can't back out. I have an intensely difficult time waking up in the morning for a workout, when I know I have time to workout later in the evening, so a little accountability for this is definitely a good thing for my motivation! 

Hopefully by adding a little extra burn into my day, as well as eating clean, I can shed off the extra 10 lbs on my body and look like the women in the rockbody videos. (HAH!)

I'm going to make some workout art for the routine this morning on my main page in case you're interested in the workout I did this morning!

Don't you love it 

When you feel like you're going to die during a workout, but then you're not sore the next day?
It's the most amazing feeling to know that your body is ready for anything. Although sometimes it's nice to be sore, too. Today is nasty outside, so I'm planning on making some sweet treats with my significant other to beat the blah. Caramel Bacon Popcorn with homemade bacon salt to be exact. YUM. So I think it'll be a quick workout today to make sure there's time for the cooking and the eating. I'll be going to the store at lunch today to help cut back on time, but I also have to pick up my mom's DSLR so I can document my journey through bacony goodness. Here's the plan:

Walk at 3.6 at 0 incline for 3 minutes.Run 5.5 for 3 minutes. Run at 6.0 for 5 minutes. Run at 6.2 for 5 minutes. Run at 5.5 for 5 minutes. Cool down for 4 minutes.

I have the latest issue of Shape Magazine to read, so Elliptical is necessary today. I think about 15 minutes should be sufficient. All ellipticals seem to have different levels, so I usually just alternate between a little difficult to faster with less resistance over about 20 minutes.

Today feels like an abdominal workout kinda day. Let's do some circuits:

with 10 lb plate do 10 v-ups
with 10 lb plate do 15 bicycle crunches each side
with no weight do a plank while bringing in one knee at a time to the opposite arm (like a mountain climber, but slower and bringing the knee in without touching the foot to the ground). Do this for 10 reps each leg.

Repeat 3 times with 60 sec rest between.

I have also been finishing every workout with some sit-ups and pushups, since I know once I become a commissioned officer I'm going to have to be quite familiar with them.

Make sure you have a nice stretch, especially your shoulders, abs, and quads.


I am a workout fanatic. 

I workout like it's my job. I am not, however, skinny per se, because I eat in the same spirit. I wouldn't give up cooking and eating and packing lunches like a king because it makes me happy. I will definitely share some of my daily workouts, though, in case it helps anyone else who might need a little inspiration from time to time.

I usually keep the recipe the same: Run as a warm-up, do a full-body lift, isolated muscle lifting, intervals, then abs and stretching. It seems to work for me and it usually ends up being about an hour. I used to spend 2 hours at the gym, when I didn't have a full-time job, but now it's just not practical without feeling trapped in a schedule.


Walk at 3.6 mph at 0 incline for three minutes. Run at 5.5 mph for 5 minutes. Run at 6.0 mph for 5 minutes. Run at 6.2 mph for 3 minutes. Run at 6.0 mph for 3 minutes. Run at 5.5 mph for 2 minutes. Walk at 3.6 mph at 6.0 incline for 5 minutes. Cool down at an easy pace for a few minutes, or whenever there's a convenient break in Shahs of Sunset.

On the Squat Rack:
Romanian dead lifts with olympic bar and 45's on each side. I usually do 45's and I haven't really moved up in weight in a year or so...I need to start pushing a little harder! I like to do 3 sets of 5 reps each. In case you don't know, Romanian deadlifts are deadlifts, but you only lower the bar to about your knee height each time instead of close to the floor. It's a little easier, and allows for higher weight and more concentration in the hamstrings rather then engaging the quadriceps as much as regular deadlifts.

With a shorter bar:
Put 25's on each side. Squats and lunges: do 16 squats and 8 pulses. Left leg do 12 lunges and 8 pulses. Wide squat for 12 and 8 pulses. Right leg 12 lunges and 8 pulses. Repeat two more times.

Arms Circuit:
Standing dumbbell overhead press with 15 lb dumbbells for 0 reps. Standing lateral raises with 10 lb dumbbells for 10 reps. Single bentover row with 20 lb dumbells. 8 reps each side. Rest 60 seconds between sets. Do a total of 3 sets.

I like to do Tabata intervals because it makes me feel like I'm going to die, and that's the idea, right?
[Tabata intervals are a high-intensity activity pattern of 20 seconds as hard as you can, 10 seconds break. Usually I do 4 minutes at a time. So apply that pattern to the following activities.]

Mountain Climbers
Jumping Jacks
Bicycle Crunches

That's 4 minutes. Rest a minute in between sets. Don't do more than you can handle, I usually only do 2 total (for 8 minutes of glorious torture).

Feel free to message me with any questions!

This is how you're gonna feel after those intervals:

Soooo sexy. And like you're wearing that jumpsuit from the 80's I found in my mother's closet.

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