February check in

2019 started so well and I made good progress in January. Then February hit, and I developed a massive case of the fuck-its. I don’t know if it was all the rainy days, which always make me want to hunker down and hibernate with tea and books, or what, but my motivation was nearly non-existent this past month. I made poor food choices and chose sleep over working out, more often than not, and because of that I gained the four pounds I lost in January. While I also gained more muscle, and my endurance is a little better, I didn’t lose any inches anywhere and I’m back where I started in the beginning of the year.

March hasn’t exactly started with a bang, but I love a new beginning and fresh start, so this month I’m trying to push myself more. I got 11 miles in the first weekend which kicked my ass, but I got them done. And I’ve been adding the letter workouts, that I meant to do in February, to my workouts this month, and I’m already feeling them. Motivation or not, it all comes down to that Nike slogan: Just do it. I’m not going to feel motivated. Do it anyway. I’m going to be tired and sore. Do it anyway. The only workout I’ve ever regretted was the one I didn’t do. So that’s my plan this month: Just do it.

My challenge for the month is Darebee’s Iron Glutes and my program is Combat HIIT.

I’m also aiming to do more letter/alphabet workouts like following below as there’s always burpees involved and they always kick my ass for the better.

I’m also in the long run portion of my ramp up half marathon training plan for the year so I’ll be hitting 12.5 and 14 miles in the coming weeks which, combined with more workouts, will get me ready for my second half marathon training plan focusing on speed work.

So that’s me for February and the start of March. What do you do when you get a case of the fuck-its? How do you break the inertia when you’re stuck in a funk? I’m always on the look out for new motivation.

January Check In

My mantra going into February

The first month of 2019 is almost over and so is the first month of my journey back to better physical shape and wellness.

Let’s start with the not so great first:
I didn’t push myself as much as I could have. When I started at the beginning of the month I was truly starting from the beginning, but I allowed that to color my view of what I was capable of doing. It turns out I could have been doing a lot more.

I didn’t get up early as often as I should have so that meant less time for working out. I barely practiced any yoga in this month because of it.

I didn’t make the best food choices. I didn’t do as terrible as I could have, but I gave in to cravings more times than I’m happy about. Other than one particularly bad night, I didn’t go crazy with the less than healthy choices, but it was a little something here or there, all those little somethings eventually added up, and the scale didn’t move as much as I’d hoped.

Truth

The Good:
I’m down 3.7 pounds from December 31st.
I’ve lost 1 ½ inches from my hips, and 1 inch from my waist.
My BMI is down 1.1 points

When I started lifting weights, I had to start small using light weights. After about 2 weeks, I was regularly using the heaviest weights I have.

Other than missing one day due to illness, I managed to do a 5K or more every day, rain or shine.

I finished Darebee’s 30 day squat challenge with an extra one for the 31st, and completed all 30days of Darebee’s Iron Born program.

I got one round of “Wake Up’ in every other day.

I went out for an event and indulged sensibly. I enjoyed myself, but also made smart choices for the bigger meals. I didn’t deprive myself and felt totally satisfied, and it showed next day when the scale said I’d lost some weight.

What I Learned:

Part of the not so great food choices stemmed from not seeing any changes on the scale or in the way my clothes fit. Usually I see some results fairly quickly when I start to work out and eat clean after not having done so for a bit. So I got frustrated when scale wasn’t moving and my clothes didn’t seem to fit any better. The only thing that was encouraging was that my BMI was lowering fairly regularly, so I knew something was working, even though I couldn’t see it. I’d forgotten, though, that when I haven’t taken care of myself in a while, my body holds onto the weight desperately. Even though I wasn’t seeing what I thought was progress, I was in fact making some. The weights, for example, were a big indication that I was building muscle, and that doesn’t necessarily show on the scale.

I know I would have seen more progress if I hadn’t indulged as often as I did, but part of this journey is creating a new lifestyle, and it’s not going to be perfect all the time. When I DID indulge, it was in small ways, and I tried not to do that thing where I figure, “oh well, since I’ve already been bad with my food choices, I might as well keep eating more crap” and then go crazy eating whatever I want. So, some progress there, but definitely room for more.

I logged in over 100 dedicated miles this month for Run the Year. Consistency is key. Every day I did SOMETHING. Sometimes it was just walking a 5k. Other times it was just lifting weights. But it was something every single day.

Also, if I skipped my daily challenge or daily Iron Born workout, I made myself make it up the next day, or days, in addition to that day’s planned workout. If I missed two days of doing 50 squats a day, then when I finally got back to it on the third day I had 150 total squats to do. This is also where I learned I could and should have been pushing harder. On the days I had to make up workouts, yes, I was tired, but I got through them and realized I could do more than I was giving myself credit for.

Going forward in February

I need to get up early if I want to get a full yoga class, run, and workout in. That’s the main focus for my workouts, just getting out of bed at 4:45 every morning, no matter what. The extra time I’ll have means I have zero excuses not to get a yoga practice in, as well as everything else.

I’ll be continuing my 5k a day challenge, plus I have my first race of 2019 this coming weekend. I’m using that to set the bar for other races later in the year. I’m also getting into the middle of a half marathon training program, so I’ll be getting in even more miles and working on my endurance.

I’ll also be continuing my daily challenge and strength workouts with Darebee’s 30 day challenge: Squats & Punches and various Darebee weight workouts, and continuing to aim to do one round of “Wake Up” a day.

To push myself further, I’m adding:
Darebee’s 30 Days of HIIT program,
At least one alphabet workout a week.

I’m curbing the indulgences. I’ve stocked my freezer and fridge with healthy food so I have plenty to eat and with several events this month, I’ll have opportunities to indulge, in moderation. But if I want to see more progress, I have to stop with the little indulgences, so that’s my food focus for the month.

It may be a short month, but I’m looking forward to ramping up the workouts and hopefully seeing a ramp up in progress, too.
What about you? How did January go for you? What are you changing or continuing for February?

Red Reads February Book Challenge

I adore book challenge. I tend to fall into ruts when reading and book challenges are a great way to break out of my comfort zone and discover new authors and subjects. Last year I did a Spooky Reads challenge for October where I tried to read as many books as I could that had some element of either horror or supernatural. I managed to get through 14 books and 4 graphic novels, and I had such a blast reading all those spooky stories as it set the mood for the month. It was also a really great way to get through my never ending pile of To Be Read books.

This February I’m taking on a Red Reads book challenge. The books can be of any genre or subject matter, but whatever book I choose must have a red cover or have “red” in the title. Using this criteria, here’s my stack I’m aiming to make a dent in for the challenge.

February 2019 Red Reads book challenge pile I’m hoping to make a dent in.

What book challenges are you working on this year or this month? What challenges from the past you really enjoyed? Let me know in the comments!