If you follow me on Instagram then you saw that last week I challenged myself to not only do my normal gym workouts M-F but to add a mile+ run each day.  I love giving myself little mini challenges on a weekly basis because they are more attainable than lengthy challenges (and I get bored). Last week I accomplished my fitness goals – and while I didn’t drop any weight I did lose a total of 5 inches from my thighs. SUCCESS!  And let me just state – this isn’t about the number on the scale for me.  This is about being as healthy as I can be and about how I feel in my own skin.  I used to say I want to lose 20 pounds and now I realize that I was indirectly shaming myself, as if I am not beautiful and worthy until I’m 20 pounds less than I am now.  No more of that.  Instead, when I think about my goals I remind myself that I want to be as physically healthy as possible so that I can run with my kids at the park and keep up, climb up the stairs in our home without being winded, and because I want to be around to help my children plan their own weddings in future.  That is so much more motivating.  That being said, I only check the scale once a week because I am a curious person and I like to know the whole picture.  I was not discouraged at all when I weighed in Sunday and didn’t see the scale move because I knew I had lost inches.  That is progress.

This week’s challenge is below, but let me stress that I am sharing this with you only because I’ve been asked to do so by friends on IG and Facebook.  I am not a nutritionist or fitness expert and am sharing my own routine this week as a source of (possible) inspiration.

First things first:  I was asked what I actually do at the gym.  Right now I’m doing classes and love it. Working from home can be isolating and lonely and I always look forward to being around other women who are working hard at being their very best; I leave encouraged and inspired everyday.  My class schedule:

Monday – Spin (Les Mills RPM)
Tuesday – BodyPump (Les Mills) This is a barbell class and is all about building muscle and toning. Tons of squats and lunges using the barbell.  Kills me.  I love it.
Wednesday – Cardio Kick
Thursday – HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Love this class because its 20 seconds of really hard work and a 10 second break over and over and over again, for an hour.  I can do anything for 20 seconds! (This is what I tell myself – ha!)
Friday – BodyPump (again)

My fitness challenge this week is to add 30 minutes of cardio daily via my buddy, the elliptical.
This week’s nutrition challenge is to drink 70 ounces of water daily and to…this is gonna sound a tad lame, but whatever ; ) …only use ONE tablespoon of balsamic vinaigrette on my lunchtime salad versus two.  I’m also keeping track of my food in a journal and trying to count calories, which I hate doing, but I’m trying.

I’ll be honest, I love food and I’m a good cook, so eating small portions and as clean as possible is really challenging for me.  I literally pray before every meal.  Mark comes home for lunch most days and today there was leftover teppanyaki and fried rice in the fridge.  I really wanted that – like desperately wanted it – because Asian food is my weakness.  If I could eat sushi with spicy mayo every day I would.  So, I prayed for self-control, heated up the leftovers for him, and made myself a lovely salad with my one tablespoon of balsamic vinaigrette.  And God is so good, because I didn’t even think about it again.  True story, friends.  Just to paint a lil’ picture of how real that struggle is for me. ; )

Hope you all are well and blessed today.  I’ll be sharing some home cookin’ goodness tomorrow that is totally contradictory to everything I shared today, but I’ll explain that then. : )

Shine On,