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Friday, February 1, 2013

Be Healthy Challenge

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Maybe you are like me and work better under pressure, the good kind of pressure called a "challenge."  Without challenging ourselves, it is easy to get stuck in a rut.  In order to avoid complacency, we need something to work toward and accomplish, especially when it comes to our health.  My favorite challenges are short-term because the results are quick.  Plus these small attainable challenges help us reach our long-term goals.
Starting next week, I will introduce:
These weekly challenges are meant to take us beyond what we tell ourselves we can or cannot accomplish.  They will challenge us physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Notice, I keep saying "us" and "we" and "our" because we will most definitely be doing these challenges together.
In order to prepare for next week's be healthy challenge, I will give you a little hint.  Actually a big hint.  This will give you all weekend to build enough courage to join me and commit to these weekly challenges, and to go out and buy the ingredients. 
I bought my Kale today (the vegetable, not the husband)!
And speaking of challenges, I'm finally getting around to posting the results of my 6-week body challenge.  I was having a difficult time shedding those last few pounds of baby weight so came up with a plan and worked HARD to shed those last stubborn pounds.  Even though I lost those five pounds, I'm still not to my pre-pregnancy fitness level or muscle tone yet.  Getting there, slowly but surely. 
I worked really hard for those six weeks, and didn't miss a day.  It was long. and. argues.  But it paid off, and I said goodbye to those last five pounds.  I haven't missed them since! 
Once you get to those last 5-10 pounds before your goal weight, the fat becomes stubborn and you may need to step it up even more (both exercise and nutrition).  And keep in mind, losing these last five pounds was definitely more challenging now that I am well into my thirties and have had four children.  I am not looking forward to what happens in my 40s and 50s...and then menopause...aaaahhhh!  Even more work I imagine. 
{I did not edit these pictures, nor did I suck in.  Just tried to have good posture in both before and after pictures.  Look closely and you will see significant changes.} 

One of these days I'll do a post combining all 6 weeks.  


Nichole Critchfield said...

Sis! You look amazing! So happy for you loosing the baby weight! So exhausting yet exhilarating at the same time right? Love you and just wanted to let you know I will be participating in your challenge as well now! Love ya!

Byers said...

Hi! I'm a friend of Marcie's. I will be joining you in the 6 week challenge too(minus the cleanse)! I was wondering if you had any suggestions for strengthening your core? I have bulging discs(degenerative discs) and when I run they cause me a lot of pain. Just wondering what exercises you might suggest:)

Suzette said...

I'm very excited that you are doing the challenge! I think if you follow it closely, you will see great results. :)

So there are a few things that can help with bulging and degenerative discs. Not knowing you personally, I will just let you know what I would tell my post-rehab clients who struggled with this issue:

1) Exercise is an important part in treating almost all back pain. And even more important is weight loss. Losing weight will put less pressure on your back.

2) Walking (speedy) can actually be one of the very best helps. The rhythmic movement encourages mobility in the back. I may discourage you from intense running at this point. Try a light jog and see how that feels.

3) Be careful with jarring motions (there are some exercises in the 6 week challenge that would qualify as "jarring." For example: jump squats, jump rope, etc. You will really need to listen to your body, and if you feel pain, modify the exercise.

4) Be sure to warm-up for at least 5 minutes before doing any exercises. A warm up would be speed walking or jogging. You don't want to begin your exercise with cole muscles and joints! Also, don't stretch a cold muscle. Be sure to warm up first.

5) Exercise balls are great in rehabiling lower back discs, they are cheap to buy! Sit on an exercise ball with feet flat and straight back. Gently bounce for 5 minutes.

6) Stregthening the core will most definitely help. Here's a few of my favorite: supermans (lie facing down and lift upper body, like a crunch), planks (any kind), and reverse crunches. I think all of these are pictured in the challenge.

7) Here's a great video resource for some physical therapy that would be hard for me to explain via writing:

Hope this helps in some way! Listen to your body, there is a difference between "feeling the burn" and "injury." :)

Byers said...

Great! Thanks so much:) I am already doing some of these things but I am excited to try the others(and watch the video). I appreciate any advice I can get because these discs can be so painful, especially if I'm not stretching correctly! I also thought the advice you gave Casey, about sleeping, was great and can help me too:)