Tag Archives: food and beverage

January Fitness Challenge

Thanks to my girl Heidi with Train To Live, I joined a fitness challenge for January. The challenge consisted of a three-day cleanse and then two-weeks of workouts. I started January 5 and am proud to say I completed as of this Wednesday, January 21. I lost 2.875 inches total and feel more toned and energized than I have in a long time. Here’s the skinny on getting skinny…

CleanseJanuary fitness challenge
First let me say that this was not a cleanse like most of you are instantly thinking, intaking only lemon juice and cayenne for three days. It was a clean-eating plan with actual good-for-you foods that another health specialist created with Heidi specifically for this challenge. Participants had a meal plan to repeat each day, including tons of hearty vegetables, lean protein and this dank-ass flax granola we were all required to make. We were not allowed to have fast food, fried food, red meat, alcohol, caffeine, refined sugar or white flour. The toughest part for me was caffeine. Cleanse Day 1 was categorized by a lingering headache. I was very happy to discover that green tea had just enough caf to take the edge off and was allowed as an herbal tea, full of antioxidants.

Workouts
The exercise plan spanned two weeks. It was composed of 6 Fit Day routines. Basically, over the course, we performed each of those twice (total of 12 days) and incorporated two rest days (Sundays). Fit Days 1 to 5 were pretty high-intensity endurance workouts. One day focused on cardio; one day focused on legs; etc. Fit Day 6 was a stretch day, with 10 minutes of warm-up prior. Amazingly, each day’s routine was designed to be done with zero equipment – and anywhere with roughly five-by-five feet of space. I did use a mat for floor stuff, because I had one handy. The rest of the workouts I did in my bedroom, in the driveway, in the hall at the YMCA or even while out of town.

Things I loved about this challenge
1) I am currently undergoing what I’m considering an incubator phase for my new journey into a health and fitness career (as a personal trainer, plus), and this was the perfect opportunity to try something new. That’s where I am right now – learning as much as possible to shape my interests and path. Now I’ve done a sanctioned fitness challenge. Now I’ve done a cleanse. Experience is power, baby.

2) I was greatly surprised with my own personal results. I had already been eating relatively clean – watching sodium, fat and calories. I was working out regularly too – with a goal of three days per week.  But, alas, we are in the winter season and the holidays just past. So I guess, I wasn’t doing all that I could. I am thrilled to see positive changes in my body and can’t wait to enlist in something else for February that pushes me. (Note: Lost 2.875 inches were sum of total measured at 11 sites – neck, upper arms L/R, chest, waist, hips, thighs L/R, calves L/R and butt.)

3) Sparked by a newfound enthusiasm, I recruited several friends to also participate in the challenge. Shout out to Erin and her bridal party for agreeing! This was a whole other angle, to lead a group through the process, to serve as a good example. I have found fulfillment in sharing, motivating and holding accountability.

4) This challenge encompassed 17 days, a short-term commitment. And all the exercises were extremely user-friendly. I am thoroughly impressed with this approach. People lead incredibly busy lives. Got it. But often they are excuse-laden. Don’t have time to exercise? Don’t have a gym membership? Don’t have a finish line so you never start the race? Let’s give ‘em a solution. Workouts 30 to 45 minutes. That you can do at home (hell, in a broom closet). That require no equipment. That only lasts two weeks.

Worst Sugar Crash Ever

Now this is going to be a fun one, the story of the worst sugar crash in my life (at least since I was a kid, where I probably binged on Easter candy and then promptly passed out after a series of destructive acts – running in the house, hitting my little brother, sobbing uncontrollably, etc.).

Last fall us Epsilon Sigma Alpha alumni got together per the blossoming annual tradition at a University of South Carolina football game. This is the girls-only gathering of the season where all the favs/the cool folks/those bringing the ruckus (eh?) relive our history together with a tailgate and observing a feat of athleticism. We love our men (the patent-pending ESA Fan Club), but sometimes we just have to thrive in our sisterhood.

This is a full weekend of events: dinners, drinks, late night gab-fests. But the day my demise came was Saturday, game day, as you likely imagined.

I want to paint this picture clearly.  I took the lead organizing the event this year. I coordinated the schedule, the invites, the parking spot, the food and beverage checklist. I facilitated the pop-up tent and supply of chairs. This was my baby, and after months of planning, I was so happy it was all finally happening.

I was celebrating in proper form, with my beloved ladies on a beautiful sunny day in our old stomping grounds awaiting the hype of Gamecocks potentially kicking ass. Hugs. Drink. Cheer. Drink. Chat. Drink. Photos. Drink. Eat. Drink.

Among the girly vibes, I had a couple Bud Light Straw-Ber-Ritas. And when the countdown began for game time and we had to rush into the stadium and other peeps couldn’t finish their Ritas that quickly, I downed those. Must not alcohol abuse! (Feeling that ole college spirit…)

The game was good. We won. We all had many laughs and uproars over the course. Then came the disembarkment.

We barreled through the herds of football fans on tired tootsies, over the fairgrounds and through the woods. We piled into the SUV. We waited in the car in line for our chance to leave the parking area. We scooched along in heavy traffic for hours.

I was not myself by this point. As the sweetness of those Ritas depleted from my system, I got angry. I went from sugar-high happy-go-lucky lover of life to sugar-low snapping at friends biotch. One minute I have my head leaned against the window pouting, fully out of it. The next minute I’m threatening to escape the vehicle and yell at a cop. It really was like being a child, when you’re overcome with emotions and don’t know how to deal with them.

We finally made it back to the house where we were all sleeping over, and even had a few other girls meet us.

Getting out of the car, someone slammed the door into my head and leg, closing it because she thought everyone was already out. I think I hung my head and laugh-cried here. I was too downtrodden to attempt a McDonald’s run and instead ate leftovers from the refrigerator immediately. I felt sane again but couldn’t keep my eyes open. There I was, a lump on the couch fading in and out of sleep while my friends carried on splendidly.

I knew I had been a total brat, so the next day I groveled a bit. Bless those girls. They understood. After the worst sugar crash ever, I vowed that I would never again drink the straight glucose alcohol combo of Straw-Ber-Rita again. No Lime either, Bud Light!