2014: The 4th Annual 30 for 30 Challenge

For those who have been following along with the challenge -- welcome back! And for those of you who are new, welcome to the Genuine Joy 30 for 30 Fitness Challenge!

Begin

The idea was born three years ago. I had completed my first Ironman triathlon and had stopped working out consistently.  Summer was quickly approaching and I knew that I wasn't in the shape I wanted to be in while heading into the warmer months.  Rather than waiting until after Memorial Day to get started on the program, I wanted to use April as the springboard to improve my fitness.  Why? I wasn't yet wearing shorts and I had another two months until pools opened for the summer. 

Here's the plan:

1. 30 workouts, over 30 consecutive days, to look and feel 30% better than I do right now.

2. To qualify "feel 30% better," I break that down into three sub-categories so that the measurements are a little more objective in nature:

  • 5lb weight loss: 5lbs per month is a completely sustainable weight loss rate, meaning it doesn't require crash or fad diets, nor any off the charts fitness routine, nor any type of dangerous self-deprivation. It is a moderate, yet consistent alteration of my current routine, which maintained over a long enough time line will yield consistent, lasting, healthy results.
  • 30% more energy: sometimes it's just the winter months, sometimes it's a natural side-effect of when we gain a little bit of weight, but the general lethargy that I've been feeling is starting to wear on me. As part of this 30/30 plan, I want to have 30% more energy than I currently do. The 30 days of fitness will alter my resting metabolic rate, change my fat burning/storage mechanism, and in so doing, will have a direct impact on my energy levels.
  • 30% more comfortable in my clothes: okay, let's face it, no matter what the scale says, the first thing we notice every morning, is how those clothes are fitting as we get dressed for the day. It's unavoidable. People say 'the scale doesn't lie' and while I agree with this, it's our clothes that tell the real tale of what's going on with our bodies.
  • This year, I'm cutting out the added sugars as well.  I've turned the "occasional treat" into an additional food group.  I will eat fruit, which has natural sugar and the added benefit of fiber to help us feel full, but no candy, cakes, ice cream or cookies.  My birthday was in March and it's only 30 days. I have a feeling I'll survive 30 days without giving into the sugar cravings.  I mean, it's 30 days.  We can all do something for 30 days, right?  

So today, April 1, is the first day of 30/30. Join me.  Be active for 30 days.  Plan your workouts.  Write them down and treat them as a meeting.  Make YOU and your health a priority for 30-days. Grab a friend and workout together.  Go for a walk with your kids after dinner.  Try something new and do so with the knowledge and courage that there are others just like you, all over the world, doing the same 30 for 30 Fitness Challenge.  This is a community, not a competition.  We support one another and together, we are active and strong.

For me, today is a long cardio session -- a mix between the stepper and elliptical.  I've decided that I'd like to do a half-Ironman in the next year or so, which means I need to focus on getting stronger before I add on the miles.  This year, I'll be focused on cardio circuits, resistance training and long runs.  I've decided to try out some track workouts (of which I'm not a fan) this month as well.  I'm determined to make it to the 5:30am workouts, but I know myself and think the evening sessions are more likely.  But, who knows? Maybe in May, after completing the challenge and having more energy, the morning workouts will end up working out after all.

This year, we will have interviews with athletes, nutrition tips and give-a-ways.  So, let's get started! Enjoy your workout and I'll see you back here tomorrow...

Until tomorrow...