Wednesday, June 16, 2010

10 + 3 Challenge

I am of course behind due to the interruption in computer access but I thought I should address the 10 + 3 challenge.

Jen the one who inspired this challenge stopped a few weeks ago, without me really noticing. Actually I stopped on my own around the same time. It seems as though the point of the challenge was to live a more healthy life and in the end it was actually getting in the way of being healthy so I stopped.

2x 8kg kettlebells new for my birthday.
It opens up a whole new world of 2 handed exercises.
I am still going to aim for 3 kettlebell workouts a week. Last week with R's birthday party and our family trip I *GASP* didn't do kettlebells at all. That was the first week since early February that I skipped. It is all good though, I feel like it was a nice break for my body. The week before that I only got in 2 workouts, but besides these 2 blips I have worked out 3 times a week since this whole thing started.

Drinking water as a goal has not been a priority. I find if it is busy at home, I just don't think of it. The funny thing is I have become very aware of how crummy my body feels when I am dehydrated. So I won't be letting this goal slide anytime soon. I will still aim for 6-8 glasses a day. In fact it's 7 am and I have already had 2!

Food journalling was the real last straw. It is what made me stop the official challenge. It was great for a while, don't get me wrong, I was fascinated to see how quickly the calories add up and identify some foods that just don't fit with my goal of being healthy. I was surprised to see that if I ate healthy choices for every meal, I could even have a small chocolatey snack and stay easily in the range I was aiming for. I also discovered that I didn't loose a ton of weight on very restrictive calories (1200 a day, don't worry, not crazy low, just the minimum recommended number). When I aimed for 1500 a day I lost more weight and when I tried calorie cycling I did even better. So the ongoing plan is to do a version of calorie cycling but not to record calories every day, just if I want to see what is going on with my diet. The modified plan is this: 2 days a week very healthy and low carb, 3 days a week moderately healthy, and 2 days of more liberal diet.

But how did the challenge benefit me in the weeks I was sticking to it? Have I noticed any differences from when I started exercising regularly (February remember)?
Well, I have triceps. That is a first for these little arms. I have much better posture, I really notice this and my shoulders are hardly ever sore anymore. My legs and hamstrings in particular are very solid. My tummy, especially lower abs, is improved, probably more flat than it has ever been, at least since before the 3 pregnancies. I am in pants that have been untouched for a year and just bought my favorite jeans 1 size smaller. And the numbers? I am down 10 lbs. Not bad I think.

So that is the update and the plan.

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