How I MOVE!

This month, I am participating in the Move Nourish Believe Blogger challenge sponsored by Lorna Jane with #SweatPink ambassadors.  The first week focused on different ways to MOVE!  This new challenge was a good way for me to transition from #SexyShred back into my normal healthy eating and exercise routine while up with my fitness and weight loss goals.  Each week day from February 3-21 there is a different challenge to do and then post your progress on Instagram and Twitter.  The first week challenged us to MOVE in different ways.  Here’s my recap.

Day 1 – 2/3: Sweat It Out

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My new favorite way to sweat is doing my ab work as I rebuild my core.  Here’s a pic in the middle of my crunch time with the exercise ball at the gym.

Day 2 – 2/4: Change it up!

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I kept my body guessing that night.  First off, the last #SexyShred circuit followed by an easy neighborhood run with the Twilight Tuesday crew. Then, I came home to do some boxing burpees courtesy of Shauna Harrison and ended with a post-run yoga series suggested by the #MNBChallenge crew.

Day 3 – 2/5: Let’s get planking!

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This was by far my most proud moment of the week.  I have hated planks for a while.  30 seconds at a time is usually my limit.  The challenge was to do 5 minutes of planks throughout the day.  I got 2 minutes done in 30 second intervals.  Then, I got on the exercise ball to attempt a few more planks.  Soon after I began, I got a call which I answered.  I talked and planked.  When I hung up, I had surpassed my goal! Longest planks ever! AWESOME!

Day 4 – 2/6: Buddy up!

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Workout with a fitness buddy! Woohoo! Dawn & I both did a circuit on Tuesday and did speed work together on the track on Thursday. (Side note, I am so tired of frozen finger runs! Spring, please come soon!)

Day 5 – 2/7: Fave Friday!

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again! The Fab 4 is instrumental for my fitness progress.  We hold each other accountable.  They are but one of my five fitness favorites.  You can read more about my Running Ingredients here.

I ended the week still moving by participating in the Baltimore Road Runner’s Club Valentine’s 10K Race.  It wasn’t my best race but it was definitely fun!

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The second week is all about how you can NOURISH your body.  I’m looking forward to some yummy challenges.

How did you MOVE last week? What is your favorite way to sweat?

Thank You #SexyShred!

Over the past 4 weeks, I have been participating in an awesome challenge. Started by @FeministaJones, it is a social media-based community Health and Fitness challenge.  It was created as a way for her to get off a serious plateau.  Now in its 5th and final cycle, I was happy to be able to participate as I have been firmly on a plateau for a few months now.

Very Clean Eating + Awesome Exercise Challenges = #SexyShredlifes short eat clean exercise

Clean Eating

Each week besides adhering to the clean eating diet, we were encouraged to do additional food challenges in the hope that these swaps would become lifestyle changes.  I have been eating clean for a while but I benefitted from being more mindful of my food choices and paying attention to portion sizes.  My personal challenge as I did this was to actually track what I ate and how much. I suffer from – Rungryitis. I run, I’m hungry, I eat like a bottomless pit.  This is a new issue for me.  But no matter how clean you eat, overeating is still overeating!

Thanks to #SexyShred, I have not had an overeating day and there have actually been days where I still had room to eat more yet felt full.  I think it’s because I was more mindful of what I was eating. The other benefit has been completely detoxing my body of sugar. The only sweeteners allowed are raw local honey and maple syrup.  So I’ve had honey but even that I’ve had sparingly.

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Here are some examples of foods that I ate on the challenge – Honey Oat Muffins, Zucchini with Eggs & Chicken Sausage for Post-Run Breakfast, and Pumpkin Blueberry Coconut Jars for afternoon snacks. Check out my Pinterest Healthy Recipes board for more ideas!

Exercise Challenges

So you all know that I am a Hysterrunner and that ever since my surgery I have been aiming to add more strength training into my routine.  Bikram Yoga and Aqua Zumba have been good to me for cross training.  But strength training and focused core work has been hit or miss.

#SexyShred had us aim for 240 minutes of exercise this week which is doable with my running schedule.  It also had weekly exercise challenges which pushed us to do things outside of our comfort zone – burpees, push-ups, crunches, wall sits.  All exercises which I hadn’t been incorporating regularly have been re-introduced into my routine.  One day we had to do 15 Russian twists every hour we were awake; another day was a 3-exercise circuit done as many times as possible in 20 minutes.  Being accountable to my fellow shredders was the motivation I needed to keep up with the challenges.

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Russian Twists with a 13lb weight!

Dealing with the Winter weather we have had over the past few weeks here in Maryland has made keeping up with my running hard.  As I wanted to not only hit the 240 minute mark but exceed it, I found other ways to exercise when running wasn’t possible.

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One Saturday morning the snow and ice derailed my long run plans but instead of sleeping in I did 3 workouts in one day – Yoga for Runners at Charm City Run and the circuit at Curves followed by a class at Xpose Fitness as a part of the #SexyShred group workout day.  Other days, I worked out in my basement.  I’ve finally started working on my upper body strength!

Results:

I have definitely seen improvements in my overall fitness levels in the past few weeks. Weekly 1-minute tests have improved for me – 0 Burpees in week 1 are now 15; 63 jumping jacks to 72! Today I will be completing the post-tests as well as my last workouts of the challenge and I can’t wait to see my progress.

Have I left the weight loss plateau? Sort of. After weeks of the scale not moving, I lost 1 pound on #SexyShred. My clothes are falling off as my body is changing from the strength training.  I’ll take that! It’s still Progress!

Did you do #SexyShred? Have you done any exercise or weight loss challenges for this year? Tell us about your progress in the comments.

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Rock N Roll Philly Half Marathon

Race # 10September 15th, 2013
Aiming for a PR!