28 day challenge Begins NOW!
Today I’m going for something new! A 28 day challenge. I’m not quite sure what this 28 day challenge entails, but I’m starting one. Maybe it’s because in 28 days I will be running my first 5 mile race: the annual Austin Turkey Trot! It is also 28 days until Thanksgiving. YAY! Turkey and LOTS of food and Friends!! Each day I’ll post ideas and thoughts and tips on how I’m challenging myself.
Why a 28 day challenge?
It’s good round number! Attainable! Within Sight! Within Reach! Long enough to face challenges and discover new things about yourself and short enough to make such a crazy commitment that takes you away from your daily sluggish, mopy, lazy, whimpy, boring, sour, moody, hum drum, such a fun way to live life, yeah right kind of days. So come on in and make yourself welcome, have a get up – stand up and DECIDE, COMMIT and SUCCEED in your very own 28 day challenge! Wouldn’t you like a glass of water with that?
I’ve been inspired by some 28 day challenges in the past. One was a diet challenge to eat a combination of whole grains, legumes, and a mixture of vegetables each day for 28 days. This was quite attainable and was a great success! One year later I came across that same challenge and realized it was part of the Engine 2 diet program. I did that again, but with all of my meals instead of just one meal per day. That was much more challenging. I was successful for the first two weeks while following the engine 2 diet 28 day challenge and then I hit some emotional hurdles.
I suppose any challenge and commitment can stir things up. I softened up on the challenge and opted to follow it at 65% instead of a full blown 100%. Part of me wishes that I stuck with it and pushed myself harder, but I made the choice to listen to that urgent cry within, “Cookies!! Sugar!! Burgers!! Meat!! Help Me!! Feed ME!!!” Okay, so maybe it wasn’t that dramatic. I didn’t crave sweets, and I don’t think my body and brain was being deprived of important minerals and nutrients by not having meat for just one month. I do feel however that if you choose to abide by a restrictive diet and eat only a vegetarian or vegan diet, that you do your research and learn to listen to your body and your brains’ needs.
Bottom line, I decided to take on a challenge. Better to make a decision than to just think about it. You can always modify or start over; but you won’t succeed if you don’t ever take action and begin. So find that cheerleader within and GO! GO! GO YOU!!!
So how do you know what 28 day challenge is right for you?
I guess that all depends on your goals. If weight and diet are issues for you or if you suffer from digestive issues, then a food diet challenge could be a great start. In my opinion, The engine 2 28 day challenge is a good choice. There is another food cleanse program that a friend of mine just finished. The love cleanse. I’ve heard some great things about this program and though I have not followed it myself, I have explored a variety of gentle cleanses and dietary modifications to wean myself from addictions of sweets and processed foods. I’m an advocate of gradual dietary cleanses rather than strict fasting or shocking juice and water cleanses. Ultimately, MODERATION is a win win way of living!! These cleanses or challenges can be an excellent way for you to discover your relationship to food and how it effects not only your body but also your mood.
What if food is not the issue, but rather the issue is that you feel like a weenie? Do you find yourself asking, “WHERE’S MY MUSCLE”? In all regards, where IS your muscle? Sometimes I feel like a weenie and am shocked to discover that when I don’t use it I really do lose it! So maybe your 28 day challenge is a body moving, muscle pumping, shake it and move it routine. I have tons of advice on this! Keep connected to our fitness articles for exercise routines and tips. Or just ask me directly! I’d love to help.
Now, what if you pump enough iron and your muscles are strong and you eat right? Then what? How’s your attitude muscle or your heart muscle or your energetic level muscle? Maybe you need a 28 day challenge for your attitude. Have you smiled and laughed today? Or have you been a cranky pants? So what gives? Don’t just imagine a 28 day challenge. DO IT! Look at it as a 28 day challenge character development program.
28 Day Challenge Ideas and Tips ~Food and Diet:
- Introduce fresh vegetables into your daily diet (whole or juiced)
- Say NO to the cookie (just for today and say that for the next 28 days)
- Put down the processed foods
- Each day eat at least one meal that has a combination of vegetables, whole grains and legumes.
- Kale!! Because it’s not going to Kale you.
- Cut the cheese! (I couldn’t resist) Seriously though. Cut the dairy out and know that you can always go back to it at the end of the challenge. Dare to discover if you notice a difference.
28 Day Challenge Ideas and Tips ~ Fitness and Exercise:
- Bike to work or the grocery store instead of driving
- Go for a long run
- sign up for a month pass at a gym or yoga studio… and GO! What better way than to challenge yourself with your peers.
- Practice your push ups
- Find a fitness enthusiast that inspires you and follow their videos online (Zuzana Light is one example)
28 Day Challenge Ideas and Tips ~ Attitude:
- Gratitude attitude ~ Develop it.
- Write 5 things you are grateful for each day.
- Show AND Tell your spouse, your family, friends, co-workers that you appreciate them.
- Find something to laugh at! Go online and research “funny jokes” or watch a comedy show. Laughter IS medicine!
- Express yourself! Write your feelings out in a journal, talk to a friend.
- Listen! Take a moment before you ramble. Listen to what others are saying as well as to what you are saying.
YOU CAN DO IT! 28 Day Challenge Begins!
Give it a go and document your progress. Keep a journal, take time to reflect, push yourself and have fun with it. On Thanksgiving you can have much to celebrate when you start your 28 day challenge today! Make everyday your thanksgiving day.