If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you may have read the things I learned during my first time doing a 100 Day workout challenge. I completed the first challenge in 2018 a little less than a year into my weight loss journey. I’m currently in my 4th year of my journey, with another 20 pounds I would like to lose (ish…I’m not set on a number because I know there are more factors that go into being healthy).
I started off 2020 strong with weight loss. I was happy to be home and able to wake up early to work out without having to accommodate an hour long commute. When we purchased our house at the end of the year we had to fix on it up, and move everything in – all in a month’s time frame. During this time, I fell off the wagon. Especially once we caught COVID in the midst of our time-sensitive work on the house. We ate out nearly every day, and I had fallen off my regular workout wagon.
New year, new me…or something like that.
I was feeling incredibly unmotivated and unenergetic after all of the chaos. I was struggling to get back into a routine after it all. So, in 2021 I really needed a fresh start. I needed to kickstart myself back into good habits. My close friend Jess had always wanted to try a 100 day challenge, so we decided to do one together.
It was admittedly a rough start in January when the challenge began. I felt sluggish, exhausted, and frankly was burned out on home workouts. My beloved boxing classes still required masks, and while I’m not opposed to wearing masks, driving 45 minutes to work out in one while wearing boxing gloves the entire time wasn’t ideal for me. I think the first couple of weeks were a warm up to get myself back into regular exercise. While I may not have given it my all in the beginning, I still worked out daily.
In mid-January, I decided to step it up and took advantage of a local gym’s New Years offer. It was a huge gym and I felt confident I could show up without the equipment I needed being taken. That was one of the big reasons I stopped visiting traditional gyms in the first place. It took awhile to get into the groove, and I was crazy sore, but it felt great lifting weights again!
I learned from my first challenge
One change I made during this challenge was adding a recovery workout day in each week. It has made ALL the difference, especially because my body was POOPED as it transitioned back to lifting weights. The first time I did the challenge I felt like I was sore and achy the entire time.
Another thing I did this time was fill out a blank monthly calendar to plan my workouts in advance. Yep, that’s right. I planned out EVERY SINGLE DAY a month in advance. I’m not a super social person, and many plans I have are made enough ahead of time. I made sure to have a couple shorter home workouts (20-30 minutes) included each week in case something came up and I needed to swap days around. This method has honestly been a game changer for me. Planning that far in advance made me feel like it was important, and I treated it just like a job. I showed up for myself and got it done.
Every day I shared my workouts on my weight loss Instagram to help hold myself accountable and document the journey.
This time around, I have successfully completed 100 days. Last time, I remember having one day where I missed the workout and added another day to make up for it. I decided to keep it going and am now on day 102. I plan on keeping up with the daily workouts until my niece’s wedding day in a couple of weeks! Who knows, maybe I’ll even fit one in that day 😉
Overall, I found that my second time doing this challenge went by much smoother than the first. It was easier and I found with appropriate preparation, making time wasn’t hard either. No longer having a commute to work helped tremendously with feeling like I had ample time to get my workouts in.
I didn’t see the results I was hoping to physically, which was a bit disappointing. I anticipated more progress on that front after incorporating regular weightlifting again for the first time in years. However, I learned that mentally I do SO much better with daily activity. When I’m being sedentary, it feels like my mental health is more fragile.
Daily activity does not mean doing some hard core workout every single day. Simply stretching for 30 minutes or going on a long walk counts. Even something seemingly small makes a world of difference in your mental well-being.
If I can successfully work out for 100 days straight, I wonder what else I could accomplish. Perhaps I need to make a daily challenge out of some of my other goals next!
What’s a difficult challenge you’ve taken part in? Do you feel better partaking in regular physical activity? What would you do for 100 days to improve your mental health?