As I mentioned in some of my recent blog posts, I’ve been working hard to get back into shape after pregnancy. But it’s not just about shedding the baby weight; it’s about getting back into the habit of practicing discipline and working toward a goal.
As part of my weight loss pursuit, I recently completed a month-long strength-training regimen through the 30 Day Fitness Challenge app. It was tough, and I was tempted to give up multiple times; but I powered through and completed the challenge!
I realized there were a lot of techniques and other learnings from the fitness challenge that can carry over to my sabbatical journey and, ultimately, my next career:
Break your project up into smaller pieces
The workout plan was comprised of a number of strength-training exercises that you would complete a certain number of sets of. And when it came to doing, say, 40 sets of knee-hop lunges, the task could be daunting. But I found that breaking it up into four sets of ten helped me mentally tackle the workout more easily. It was easy to tell myself, “Ok, just 10 sets. Oh, how about another 10 sets,” and so on, rather than be faced with “30 more sets to go.”
Focus on quality
For a lot of the exercises, the app would remind you how to use proper form. While in the past, I have found myself just rushing to get a workout routine done, this time, I really wanted to focus on doing each exercise correctly. While this slowed me down and was a lot more work, the results, obviously, were a lot better. I felt a lot stronger at the end of these 30 days than previous workout routines where I had subpar form.
Accept uncontrollable delays
Each day’s routine was made up of a number of exercises with 30 seconds of rest in between. Of course, with a baby, it was nearly impossible to complete the workout plan as scheduled. I would often need to pause mid-routine to take care of a fussing baby. Sometimes a half-hour regimen would take me a full hour to get through. At these times, it was tempting just to give up. But even if it meant stopping ten times throughout the workout, I made sure to complete each day’s routine.
Don’t give up on the parts you hate
Let me just say — I hate side planks. Throughout the 30 days, I found them so difficult to do, and they were always the exercise I dreaded doing. I wanted to skip the exercise each time they came up, but I forced myself to complete them. I had to remind myself that the reason I found them so hard to do was because these were the muscles I needed to work and build up the most. For me, the most difficult things to do are most often the things I hate doing the most. But these are also the areas where I need the most growth, and keeping that in mind helps give me the motivation to complete the task.
I am proud to say that I completed that 30 day fitness challenge! Not only did it help get me started on my weight loss journey and made me physically stronger, but I also gained such a sense of accomplishment from setting a goal and seeing it through.