I KNOW, I KNOW - I am late on the Summer Sizzle Slim Down - but I have decided that since there are a few people doing another challenge that ends June 3, I'll start the new challenge then. Hope that works for everyone...
I just returned from vacation anyway and it was difficult for me to blog the details from the beach, so I figured this mini-delay would be for the best. However, with that said, I thought I would set up the guidelines of the challenge for your to peruse this week so you can decide if you want to hop on board.
So, the official guidelines for the 2012 Summer Sizzle Slim Down are listed below. Keep in mind, I'm not a Diet & Exercise Dictator so if you are uncomfortable with any of the components of the challenge, I'm obviously not going to DRIVE to your house and MAKE you participate. These guidelines are to challenge you, maybe make you step out of your comfort zone a bit and focus on getting fit and healthy by incorporating or trying different things each week. I know personally, I need a good swift kick in the fat pants and am excited to be setting some goals and challenging myself as I have never done before. The reasoning for many of the weekly challenges that I have chosen are both personally driven (things I really struggle with) but also address common themes and issues/hurdles I have been reading about throughout the weight loss blog community as of late.
One of the reasons I am so gung-ho about the challenge is that my training sessions at the gym the past few weeks have made me realize that my body is capable of doing far more than I thought it could. Yes, some of the exercise really hurts (it's called being severely out of shape) and the last session I had with my trainer left me feeling like the most unfit person on the face of the Earth and my legs were in pain for days. But, I made it through the work out - and I signed up for a weekly personal training session for the next three months (it was all I can afford, but I am committed). I NEED someone to kick my ass....I realize I have never worked harder than when someone is standing over me expecting me to give it my all. Call it not wanting to look like a whiny idiot or whatever - I just know I work harder when a trainer is asking me to do the work.
This challenge will hopefully act as a "trainer" for you - pushing you to do things that may be uncomfortable at first, but in the end, leave you feeling like a superstar!
Anyhoo - back to the Summer Sizzle Slim-Down Challenge. Here's the deets:
Posts regarding the challenge should be published each Sunday. I will also provide details about the upcoming week's challenge that day as well as report on the challenge from last week. If you are in the challenge be sure to leave a comment on my blog with your url link so that we can all go visit yor blog to see your challenge update. These are the other guidelines:
1. PICTURES ARE WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS - Before the challenge begins, take a current full body-length picture (front, back and side view) and a close up picture of your face. You may post them if you'd like ( I will be - and I have plenty of other full body shots on this blog). I find that once you get it out there, the motivation MAY increase (ignore the fact that it obviously didn't do it for me the last time I took those awful pictures - but I still have hope for this summer). Even if you are not comfortable posting your pics on the blog, please take the pictures anyway, and keep them for your own benefit, even if it's only your eyes that see them. Hopefully in September we can all look back and see just how far we've come. :-)
2. MEASUREMENTS - Taking measurements may keep you focused when the scale doesn't seem to budge. I encourage you to take your measurements at the start of the challenge - even if it's just the basics - upper arms, calf, thigh, waist, hips and bust. I may throw "neck" in there just because I know some of my necklaces are tight and I am curious how much I can lose in that area.
I will do measurement updates once a month on the following days: (June 3, July 1, August 5, Sept 2).
If you choose to post measurements, those would be the posting dates for all of us.
3. WEIGHT - I will be weighing in weekly. I'll weigh in on Fridays but will post my progress and weight each Sunday. If you are posting weekly, you can pick whatever day you wish to weigh in, but all updates should be posted on Sunday. Just let us know what day is your actual weigh-in day.
WEEKLY CHALLENGES - I have set up a list of weekly challenges that are meant to encourage forming good habits. The goal is to firmly stick with the weekly challenge posted - it is up to you whether or not you feel you can commit to keeping up with that challenge going forward (hopefully we all will!). Not EVERY weekly challenge will require "continuation" - but the goal is to get into the mindset of doing these things and proving to yourself that you CAN do them. And if you can do them for one week - why not two weeks? Why not three? And so on...you get the picture.
I'm listing the goals up front so that you can mentally prepare and also see what I mean when I say not all weekly challenges need continuation. You can also see the ones that can be continued, if you should so desire.
Week 1 - (begin June 3) - "WRITE IT ALL DOWN" (and post pics/measurements if doing so)
Week one is all about honesty and being accountable to yourself about what goes in the old gullet. The goal is to keep a daily record for 7 days straight of EVERY morsel (bevvies included) you put in your mouth so that you may look at the calories consumed for one week. I know I am QUEEN of denial - I have a bad case of the Handful Here, Bite of That There Syndrome where I apparently think my mini-indulgences are calorie-free. My ample ass tells me otherwise.
Trust me - I know that tracking is a real pain in the rear-end to many people, myself included - but I also know that when people DO track, they are more inclined to not eat crap because who wants to write 5 Snickers on their log? At least this is what the literature tells me!
If you do blog, try keeping accountable through there (that's what I'll be doing) - and if you are not a blogger but doing this at home for fun, keep a food journal. Loseit.com has a good FREE phone app and helps track calories, and caloriecount.com is another good online site to help with tracking - so perhaps those tools will make it easier to keep track.
Week 2 - (begin June 10) - "SIX HOURS OF EXERCISE"
I don't care if you are dancing around your house or lifting weights or walking or ice skating. The goal for this week is to simply get moving for at least 6 hours throughout the week. You can break it into smaller increments throughout the day if needed, but try to track your exercise so you can reach that weekly goal. Those of you that have long hours at work, this may be tough but the operative word for this challenge is TRY! Making time when you think there is NO time in the day will be an added challenge, but I have faith we can all do this one!
If you are so inclined, share your stat goals - like that you intend to walk 24 miles or whatever goal you have that will coincide with your 6 hours of exercise. I'll be here to cheer you on!
Week 3 - (begin June 17) - TRY A NEW FITNESS ACTIVITY OR PIECE OF EQUIPMENT
I don't know about you but there are plenty of pieces of equipment at the gym that I eye up plenty enough but never give them a try (hello Jacob's Ladder, I'm looking specifically at you). For example, I have always wanted to try aqua aerobics but never have....I have also wanted to try working out with kettlebells but never have. (WHY???) This challenge is meant to get us out of any fitness ruts we may be experiencing, and to embrace the beauty of change starting on a small scale. Change is hard, and scary sometimes, but I do think that in order to succeed in losing weight, we can't get bored - so let's try new things and find a few new faves. This is one of those challenges you could easily do week to week. You never know - you just may become addicted to something you least expected - like lifting barbells or using the tricep machine! Go for it this week and give us your review on how you did!!!
Week 4 - (begin June 24) - 100 oz OF WATER AND SHARE A FAVORITE HEALTHY RECIPE
This week presents a big challenge for me - I don't know why, but I really struggle with drinking enough water. I aim to correct that since weight loss and water consumption go hand in hand. If you already drink copious amounts of water - kudos to you - this will be an easy week for you. For people like me, it will be interesting. Increased trips to the bathroom will at least burn extra calories!
Since I'm also always at a loss for flavorful low-cal recipes (and really am at a loss when it comes to good breakfast food that is filling), I thought we could all swap a few recipes of our go-to dishes we love while losing weight. I'm always curious to see what types of food people turn to while adjusting their lifestyle. I love stretching my culinary muscle and think it will be fun to share what our healthy eats are now that we understand that donuts are, in fact, not diet food.
Week 5 - (begin July 1) - LOSE 2 lbs THIS WEEK (and post pics/measurements if doing so)
Yep, holiday and all - this is the goal.
Don't question it - just do it. The reason this is the goal this week is to help us remember that the 4th of July doesn't give us free license to abandon all our diet and fitness goals. Yes, it's a holiday - but it's not a holiday meant to celebrate how many hot dogs and hamburgers our bodies can consume. This week will hopefully redirect us a bit - knowing the goal is a 2 pound loss, maybe we can steer clear of old habits of overindulgence during the holiday and make good on our promise to ourselves for better health ALL 365 days of the year!
Week 6 - (begin July 8) - VEGETARIAN WEEK
I've added this challenge simply because I'd like to see if I can do it. Maybe you too have always wondered what a vegetarian diet might be like? I know I love meat way too much to give it up for good, but I am willing to try for a week and see how I do and if I feel any different.
No meat of any kind. Seafood optional.
Who's with me?
Week 7 - (begin July 15) - COMMIT TO AND SIGN UP FOR A 5K
Make it official - let's commit ourselves to a 5K and go in not caring if we have to walk it, jog it or crawl it - just so long as we complete it. For those that are truly inspired to run, this week can begin the C25K running program or another 5K training system of your choice. I already know I can walk a 5K, so jogging will be my goal for this. The 5K can be anytime up through to the fall, but preferably we can complete one by the end of the summer. Just let us know you have committed and registered for it. Hopefully we can all come back after we have completed them and give a recap!
Week 8 - (begin July 22) - EMBRACE A FITNESS FEAR
Is there something you have always wanted to do that you are too afraid to try? Some irrational fear holds you back? For me, it's trying Zumba and Spinning....I long to do them but I am scared. Scared of only being able to do the activity for 2 minutes. Afraid to look like a jackass in front of people who do these activities all of the time and know the drill - and have STAMINA.
My thought is that by this time, hopefully we have been working on the stamina thing. We are ready to take on something new and maybe a little scary. Maybe it's running, or maybe it's kickboxing. Whatever your fear, this week the goal is to stare it in the eye, and then make it your bitch.
Week 9 - (begin July 29) - NO SUGAR (unless it's all natural) AND NO SNACKING AFTER DINNER
figured I may as well put these two challenges together since sometimes
snacks can be less than healthy. I am so guilty of feeling like I need
to have "dessert" all of the time. Guess what? I DON'T! If I was the type of person that reached for fruit as a snack, maybe I wouldn't be so inclined to add this challenge, but since cake, pies and ice cream are my go-to desserts, I need to get a grip on this.
If we can eliminate those nasty calories we consume after dinner, my money is on weight loss for the next week.
Week 10 - (begin August 5) - SET A FITNESS/WEIGHT LOSS GOAL FOR YOURSELF (and post pics/measurements if doing so)
Let's surprise ourselves....we can do more than we think. This week is about telling each other what fitness goals we have for ourselves, because in a week or two I'll be asking everyone (myself included) to aim to surpass those goals. Same goes for weight loss. What do you want to lose this week (think outside the box - maybe it's not just weight)? And tell us why!
Week 11 - (begin August 12) - TELL US HOW ARE YOU FEELING AND SHOW YOUR WEIGHT LOSS IN FOOD
This week focuses on how each of us are doing and what we have learned about ourselves so far during this challenge. Hopefully we will all have new insight on what our bodies are capable of and how we have held ourselves accountable these past months. Also - as a fun side bar, let's show our weight loss in food. The idea is to take a picture of how much weight you've lost on the challenge so far - but in food pounds. So if you've lost 10 lbs, show us a picture of 2 (5lb) bags of sugar or a 10lb sack of potatoes. Get the picture?
Week 12 - (begin August 19) - SURPASS YOUR FITNESS/WEIGHT GOALS FROM WEEK 10
Simple enough. Remind us what your goals were for week 10. Now go and beat them into submission!!!!
Week 13 - (begin August 26) - LOW CARB WEEK & NO EATING OUT
Skip the bread, pasta, cereal and rice this week. Stick to fruits and veggies and lean protein. While we're at it, let's ditch the restaurants, too. Make it a double challenge and hope that it pays off big next week!
Sept 2 - Final Weigh-in, Measurements, Pictures and Thoughts....
Ok - so that's about it for the weekly goals. I still would like to maybe incorporate some monthly goals. Maybe a total monthly weight loss goal or fitness goal. I will leave that up to each person on what they want to do.
I'm planning on a little incentive package too for the person who has really committed to the challenge and did us all proud. Details on that to follow.
But I think that's enough for one day. My ass needs to get to the gym!