Tag Archives: habits

Household Fitness Challenge

When we were kids, we didn’t exercise. We played. We ran around chasing our friends, playing tag, going across the monkey bars. We had contests to see who could jump the highest, run the fastest. We got on our bikes and rode around the neighborhood, not because we were trying to lose weight, but because it was fun.

The reason why climbing and kettlebells have stuck with me is because they’re just plain fun. Yeah, they both present challenges, and they’ve gotten me into the best shape of my life, but I wouldn’t have stuck with them in the first place if they were monotonous or just something I knew was good for me.

tally

Our pullup tally. Lookin’ good!

See the chart on the right? That’s a pullup tally for Seth and me. Every time either of us does a pullup, we make a mark on the tally sheet. Together, as a team, we’re seeing how long it takes us to get to 3000. Fun, right? We started on Dec. 5, and as of the writing of this post, we’re at 935.

Why 3000? I have no idea. It’s just the number we came up with. It’s high enough to keep us interested for a while, but not so high that it doesn’t feel attainable.

Here’s why I’m loving our household fitness challenge:

  • There’s a lot of motivation in doing the challenge together. We have a common goal, so we cheer each other on and get excited about our progress. It’s a great boost for morale, and not bad for our relationship, either.
  • Since our pullup abilities are not equal, working as a team has eliminated feelings of inequality. We’re both contributing towards the same goal, so it doesn’t matter that he’s able to put in twice as many pullups as I can. No biggie. What matters is that we’re doing pullups!
  • There’s something really rewarding about ticking off tally marks and watching them grow each day.
  • It’s healthier than an ice-cream challenge

Just doing a few pullups as I walk by

You can do a team fitness challenge, too! Just find a partner, or partners, and choose a goal. Make it something specific and measurable such as number of pushups, miles run, burpees, rows, whatever. Make a tally sheet, shake on it, and go! It’s fun. You’ll probably think so, too. And if you decide to do one, let me know in the comments. I’ll cheer you on.

Our Whole 30 Food Challenge

After finishing my Whole 30, I was pretty sure that I would want to do nothing but binge on cheese. And bread. And sugar. And chai lattes.

Instead, something wonderful has happened. I actually *want* to eat whole, unprocessed, nutrient-dense food. A plate of protein, sweet potato, and veggies is a delicious meal. And I don’t really *want* milk in my coffee. I’m not lying.

whole30 food 2

Baked sweet potato, steak, and veggies

The Whole 30 challenge is 30 days of eating whole, unprocessed foods. Protein, veggies, fruits, nuts, healthy fats, and spices. All the good stuff. 30 days of making good food choices, with no cheating. That’s right, no cheating. No 80/20 rule. Why? Because the purpose is to form new habits and recalibrate the body’s hormones and taste buds. It worked. Somewhere around week 3 I had a tangerine, and it was heavenly. I didn’t need anything sweeter. Continue reading

Derailed: Getting Back On Track

They’re getting along well.

It’s been an eventful few weeks here. My normal schedule has taken a backseat to more important things that needed our attention. Family comes first. We’ve been adjusting to some changes, one of which resulted in a new kitty cat in the house. His name is Teko, and he likes to explore. Yesterday we found him down one of our air vents. He’s fine.

I’ve managed to get out and climb a bit, but my kettlebells training has been virtually non-existent. The work I had been doing to pre-plan meals and eat well has also gone out the window. I know that the longer I don’t train and eat poorly, the more those things become habitual. Continue reading

The De-Procrastination Experiment

I’m a procrastinator. Big time. If I don’t have a specific deadline for something, there’s a good chance it won’t get done today. Or tomorrow. In the past I’ve been able to get by, because I lived a life crammed full of deadlines set by other people. But, in the past few years I’ve simplified things. A lot. I’ve opened up my time and created a lot more space. It’s been fantastic and has helped immensely with my well-being and general sanity level. But it’s been terrible for my procrastination habit.

I have long to-do lists hidden in several notebooks throughout the house, but my to-do lists can have the opposite effect than intended.

Here is how I usually operate:

  • I sit down and write up my to-do list, with everything that I want to get done. A few tasks turn into a LOT of tasks.
  • The list becomes overwhelming. Too many things, too many options, too much to do.
  • I end up finding something else to do and sometimes ignore the list altogether.

So, naturally, I’ve been procrastinating on my to-do list by trying to find a cure for my procrastination. I’ve been experimenting, and a few weeks into my latest experiment, I think I may have found something that helps.  I’m feeling cautiously optimistic, so I thought I’d share my experiment with you. Continue reading

Staying Healthy when Life Gets Weird

The blog’s been a bit quieter than usual lately. Mostly because I’ve been quieter than usual in general. I’m in the midst of a nine-month stint of overnight shifts, and my usual hermit tendencies have been amplified as a result. Numerous studies have been done on the physical effects of working at night and sleeping during the day. In addition to affecting amount and quality of sleep, it affects hormone production and very basic things about the way the body functions.

In response, I’ve been making a very conscious effort to maintain my health physically and mentally. This is always important, no matter what my situation is, but when there’s an extra item in the negative column working against me, it seems even more so.

So, here’s what I’ve been focusing on:

Continue reading

Why I Train

Every day we are bombarded with messages that exercise is about looking good. In magazines, commercials, etc. Get flatter abs, sexier legs, rockstar arms, a killer butt. Just by doing [enter specific exercise here]. It’s not about fitness, it’s about having the perfect body. Whatever that means.

A healthy body lets me see places like this (Upper Yosemite Falls Trail)

The perfect body is an illusion. No matter what you do, someone’s going to think you’re too fat, too skinny, too short, too tall, too muscular, etc. etc. That’s the world we live in. The perfect body doesn’t exist. So why spend energy chasing after it?

I don’t train to look good, or to gain some elusive perfect body. I train for fitness.

  • I train to be prepared for whatever comes my way, at any time.
  • I train to keep my body healthy.
  • I train because it makes me feel good.
  • I train for good mental health.
  • I train because I love feeling strong.
  • I train to be ready for adventure!

I only have one body, and it makes sense to me to keep it in the best working order I can, so that it stays functional for a long time to come. I want to be ready for anything, and not have my fitness level be a limitation.It’s been eight months since I began training with kettlebells. In that short time, I’m in the best cardiovascular shape I’ve ever been in, and my body feels healthy and strong. The way that I feel is the best motivation I can think of for keeping it up.

I’m training for fitness, not looks. A healthy body will look good no matter what shape it is.