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Day Two of the Challenge – An Amendment

I’ve had a great two days. The supplements I’m taking taste good. I successfully handled the plan during a work day. I always worry about whether I can adapt while I’m at work so when I actually do it, I’m relieved. It helped that I have a little single serving smoothie blender at the office that a friend gave me for my birthday. This makes it easy for me to mix up a protein shake at lunch.

Everyone in my office is supportive of my efforts, so I never feel strange about doing something like breaking out a blender. Oh sure, if it was 5 o’clock and I was blending margaritas nobody would look twice at any office :-), but I know that not all work environments are friendly and supportive. I feel lucky.

I’ve made one adjustment to my challenge. I redid my chart for the donyus. When I shared my original chart, that called for me working up to 200 donyus by Day 31, my instructor didn’t quite ask, “Are you crazy?” but I sensed some concern that I might not have considered this plan as much as I should. After thinking about it some more, and remembered the interesting creaking noises that sometimes come from my right knee, I surmised that super high numbers of donyus might do me more harm than good. So, tonight I scaled down the 31 Days of Donyus plan to one that will work me up to 70 per day. I believe this is doable in a non-harmful way, particularly because around the 45-50 mark, I’ll break the daily goal into two sets – one each in the morning and evening.

Having an overall challenge plan in place helped with my thinking and attitude today. For example, I stopped into another department’s office to check on something for a moment. One co-worker always brings in a small tub of home baked chocolate chip cookies. Seeing that tub on the counter, I could hear the big blue Muppet in my head saying, “Coookieee!” I automatically approached thinking one cookie wouldn’t hurt, but I stopped myself with a mental, “Remember the Challenge”, turned around and left the office. Mary-1 / Chocolate Chip Cookies-0. Booyah!

The dogs and I walked this morning and again this evening. I wasn’t hungry when I got home from the post-work/early-evening dog walk, so I hopped on my bike and did a quick five mile ride.

I know I sound all fired up and confident right now. I need to remember that it’s only been two days. At the same time, it’s good to remember and reinforce myself for two days of adhering to the challenge plan which, in program terms, means two days of abstinence from compulsive eating. Every time that I stay on track brings benefits that are physical, of course, but also mental and emotional. I feel good that I’m taking positive action. Positive action breeds more positive action. I need to string some days and weeks together and keep moving forward.

Over the weekend I was going through some old bags and papers and found a notepad on which I’d scribbled a quote that someone else used in a presentation I attended. I found it at the right time because it is serving as a well-timed, great reminder as I progress through the early days and shore up my foundations. The quote is:

Obstacles are the frightful things that appear when you take your eyes off of the goal – Henry Ford

I know he was most likely talking cars and, definitely, not about diets. Doesn’t matter. I’ll take my inspirational reminders where I find ’em.

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31 Day Self-Challenge

Today is Day One of a challenge that I’ve designed for myself. I’m tapping into my competitive side to kick start my body and rev up my efforts. I’ve hit a summer lull. I feel sluggish in body and attitude. I’m maintaining but not losing weight and I’m getting a little lazy with my fitness. I talked about avoiding the diet mentality but I also recognize my current need to provide more structure for myself.

Hence, the 31 Day Motivational Challenge. I’m beginning with a 7 Day Cleanse using a product by a company called Arbonne. The nutritionist has checked out all of their products and likes their components. I checked them out too. I also have friends who use them and like them. As long as nobody tries to sign me up to sell them – I have no interest in network sales/multi-level marketing stuff – I’m good. Since I regularly drink protein shakes, I’m always interested in trying new products for taste variety. The ones offered by this company meet my guidelines for calories, carbs, protein, and sugar content. Interesting to me is that they’re vegan and use a pea protein instead of soy or dairy-whey. I made my first one this morning and it was one of the best tasting protein shakes I’ve had – and I’ve tried a lot. The consistency was also more filling than the ones I’ve been using.

For the next 31 days, I’m drinking two protein shakes a day for breakfast and lunch. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks will be either fruit, veggie with a bit of hummus or yogurt dip, or a little yogurt. Dinner will be lean protein, veggies, and the occasional brown rice or sweet potato.

Besides paying attention to fat, protein, carbs and calories, I want to eat as clean and unprocessed as possible.

To keep myself from going completely mental, I’m giving myself permission to have a square of quality dark chocolate when I really feel the need for a chocolate treat.

During these 31 days, I’ll maintain walking, bike riding and Tai Chi. I’m adding a little extra challenge effort from the Tai Chi. One of the foundation exercises is something called a donyu. To most people this looks like a squat, but there are some differences in the form. However, the exercise is similar to squats in that it’s great for leg strength and, I’m pretty sure it helps shape the back end too.

I looked at the popular 30 Day Squat Challenges and modified the numbers a little for the Donyu challenge. I started with 30 donyus today and will be up to 200 by Day 31. No, I will not do 200 at one time. I predict I will break them into four 50-donyu sets.

This morning I weighed myself and made a note of it. I’ve purchased what I need for the next few days and then can replenish mid-week so that I’m using fresh foods.

I’m excited about my challenge. I woke up this morning eager to start. I also took advantage of beautiful weather to take a 12 mile bike ride – before the donyus. I won’t bore you every day with recaps, but will update my progress at least once a week on this blog. Hopefully, I’ll have lots of positive progress to share but, no doubt, will also have some instances of minimal whining if I run into a difficult day.

To help my effort, I’m focusing positive energy and attitude. I need those to build the foundation for any success. To large extent, setting myself on a challenge like this is a mind game, but if it rejuvenates me and helps me reset my goals and efforts, I’ll count it as a good thing.

Stay tuned!

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