Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Shredding Summary and a New Challenge

When I signed up to complete the 30 Day Shred challenge I didn't exactly commit to it wholeheartedly. I knew that committing to do something 30 days in a row would be difficult, so I gave myself some outs. I set a personal goal to do the Shred at least 4 days a week instead of committing to a straight 30 days. I doubted that I would succeed at completing the challenge, and my altered goal seemed much more do-able with my schedule.

The first two and a half weeks were near-perfect. I was motivated and energized, excited to be doing so well. I shredded 10 out of the first 15 days of the month. But then things started going down hill. In the last half of March my schedule became a bit more hectic and I only shredded 5 of 15 days. Unfortunately, I lived up to my own expectations and failed to complete the challenge (using the official "rules" or my own), and my results reflect that. The changes I can see from the 30 Day Shred Challenge were minimal. I lost 4 pounds and my measurements barely changed. In fact, I think any changes in my measurements were probably due to differences in where I took the measurements rather than actual changes in size.

I'm disappointed in my performance, but I'm not surprised at the results. I have a tendency to give myself too much flexibility when it comes to goal setting. I think this comes from a desire to avoid failure. If my requirements are lax, then I can't fail to reach my goal. If I don't really care about the results, then it doesn't matter so much when I don't see any. But I want to change this. I want to be able to make a commitment to myself and stick with it. I want to be realistic in my goals, but I want to challenge myself, as well. I want to recognize that so long as I make an effort (a REAL effort), I can be satisfied with whatever results I see in the end.

Despite my limited participation in the challenge, I was able to see some clear indicators that I'm stronger and fitter: both the cardio and strength portions of Levels 1 are much easier than they were on March 1st; I've been able to increase the weight I use during most of the strength exercises from 2 lbs. to 5 lbs.; my muscles are a bit more visible; my waist has a bit more definition. While I didn't shed the pounds and inches I was hoping to, these results encourage me to keep trying, to keep challenging myself.

So with that, I'm starting a new personal challenge for the month of April. I am committing to...

  • Shred OR 
  • Do some other form of moderate cardio exercise for at least 30 minutes OR
  • Practice yoga for at least 45 minutes
...on at least 25 of the next 30 days.

It's going to take planning and purposeful dedication, but I want to prove to myself that I can set a goal and achieve it. I can do this. I'm going to have an active April! Anyone want to join me?


Rebecca said...

oohhh... how exciting!

I haven't mentioned it yet but I plan on Shredding in April! somewhat late on the bandwagon but I'm thinking April will be the perfect month with school coming to an end and then a wedding on May 1st.

hell, if that isn't motivation, well, then I should just quit then! =)

can't wait to hear about your success in April!

Alexis Grant said...

Cheering for you! I need my own plan/goal.

Unknown said...

Alright ... I'll bite. I need some accountability, so I'll do my workouts and come back and post here. If you don't hear from me, hunt me down on Twitter ...


hokie30sgirl said...

i'll join ya!!! i need accountability... my goal is to workout 6 out of 7 days!

Ami said...

Rebecca - Yay! I really am a fan of the Shred, I'm just not one to do the same workout every day. I need a little variety in my routine! ;)

Alexis - Join in once you have a plan. We can all keep each other accountable.

RLibby - You can count on me to hunt you down!

hokie30sgirl - Excellent goal. Thanks for joining in. Hope you'll report back here on your success (or challenges) throughout the month.

Natasha Fondren said...

Hey, Ami, don't sneeze at 4 pounds! That's definitely a respectable achievement to be proud of, considering how hard it is to get 1 pound off!

I feel a big difference from the Shred, too, although I fell off. It killed my knees and ankles, but I really want to get back to it. I just bought Jillian's Yoga DVD, so I have no joint excuses!

Ami said...

Thanks, Natasha. You're so right about the weight loss. It is a success, even if I was hoping for a bigger loss. I think that doing the Shred several days in a row was rough on my knees, too. But I know that even doing it a few days a week made a difference, so whether we do it 30 days in a row or not, it's worth sticking with it! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

My goal for April is to be able to do 100 consecutive pushups by the end of the month. I'm doing the modified version ("girl" pushups) and I started yesterday. I'm doing 100 per day and spread them out throughout the day.

Good luck Ladies!

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