Over the past couple of years in my weight loss journey, I’ve done a couple challenges where I’ve worked out for “x” amount of days straight. The largest number of these challenges was 100 days. I participated mainly to see if this was something I could do, and to see if the challenge itself was enough to help keep my motivation up.
I didn’t expect to learn as much as I did during this challenge! Read on to see some of the things I learned while working out for 100 days in a row.
You Have More Time Than You Think…
Time is one of my biggest excuses when it comes to getting enough activity. What I learned is that most of us have the time, we simply need to learn to be wiser with it. I consistently scroll on my phone for 20+ minutes in the morning before I physically get out of bed, and who knows how long mindlessly throughout the day afterwards.
Eliminate time wasters like that, and it’s not hard at all to carve out at least ten minutes a day for some sort of activity. Even if it’s a particularly busy day, 10-15 minutes is easy to squeeze in.
Your Rest Day Does Not Have To Be a Non-Workout Day
Since sitting on my butt and doing nothing all day was out of the question, I had to get creative on the days when I felt like my body needed a rest. I’d find a pilates workout, longer ab routine, a stretching based program, or even something as simple as a walk.
(Unfortunately, I cannot get into yoga much, despite my valiant efforts)
It felt great to remain active in a low impact way while still giving my sore muscles a break from the more difficult activities.
It’s Easier When You Schedule Your Workouts Like A Job
This one may not work for everyone, depending on your personality type, but it was a big one for me. I’m naturally a hard worker and hate calling into work even if it’s a job I don’t particularly like.
I try to treat my workouts the same way. I schedule them into my planner after going over my schedule and working out which time is the best to do them, then I treat them like something I have to show up to. Penciling them in really helps on days you know will be crazier for you, because otherwise it’s so easy to throw in the towel after an exhausting day. If it’s written down in a planner or schedule, it’s easier to keep the commitment.
I Wasn’t Stressing About What I Ate As Much
When I started my weight loss journey, it was important to me that I did it without any fad diets and without giving up the foods that I love. On days I don’t exercise, I notice that my mental relationship with food is much worse. I often find myself stressing more over eating certain foods, which is not a healthy mindset to have.
Getting daily movement/exercise helped alleviate this stress and made me crave healthy choices more consistently, as well as moderation when having the things I love!
It DOES Become a Habit
Like anything, the more you show up and do it, the more habitual the action becomes. I had to convince myself to be active less and less as the days passed until it became a regular part of my days. There were still days where I wasn’t feeling it, but it was easier to find the motivation.
Getting Enough Protein is Important!
At some point in this process, my weight loss stalled and I didn’t understand why. I was working out every day, afterall. I started wondering if I was eating enough and started sneaking more protein into my meals. My body must have needed it with the extra activity, because I began feeling more recovered AND making it past my plateau.
Diet culture leads you to believe that you need to eat much less and that there is some magic number for progress, when in reality, it is different for everyone. Don’t be afraid to eat more of something. Chances are your body is trying to tell you something.
Having People to Cheer You On is a Great Motivator
This is one of the reasons I started my weight loss Instagram as a sort of work out diary. I wanted a log for myself to stay accountable and I thought encouragement from others would be a great help. I told my page I was participating in the challenge and clueing people in on what I was doing honestly helped me see it through to the end.
Life Happens and You Don’t Have to Workout Every Day to Stay Healthy and Strong!
In the end, life is all about balance. A healthy mind is just as important to a healthy body as it is the other way around. If you’re going out and having fun after work, and don’t want to worry about working out…don’t! If you’re feeling extra tired, get some rest instead. You don’t need the “perfect body” (whatever the hell that is). You only need a happy, healthy one!
I’m glad I participated in this challenge and felt accomplished when it was over. My body didn’t encounter any huge changes, but I felt better overall. I discovered the impact working out has on my mental well-being as much as the physical. Will I do it again? Maybe! Right now I’m just working on keeping the balance and chugging along.
What’s your favorite thing about staying active? Do you notice a difference when you skip days? Have you ever participated in a challenge like this one?
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