Wednesday, December 29, 2010

30-Day Challenge - Mission Successful!!!

Christmas was the last day of the 30-day challenge and I'm happy to say I completed all three components for the entire 30 days.

Yet I'm not saying it was easy and each of the three parts had their own difficult times.

No fast food or carry out was the hardest the first two weeks, when I was craving Jets Pizza and again the last few days, when I had already proven I could do it and just wanted to eat normal again. I had Jets for lunch on the 26th....and I discovered a new Thai restaurant in Southgate that is really good! (In the little plaza at the intersection of Dix and Eureka).

No alcohol was only an issue on Christmas when I had dinner with friends and they had no fewer than 15 bottles of wine, all of which smelled delicious. Fresca was almost as good. I had a beer with my pizza the next day and the man at 7-11 told me to not drink and drive :D

Exercising was really only difficult the few days I was sick. Otherwise it was sometimes a little hectic to exercise while working a day job and a night job, but it was a great addition to my life. So great, in fact, that I haven't stopped and as of this writing, completed 34 consecutive days of exercising. I'm going to keep going as long as I can, with the ultimate goal of 100 days, which will take me to March 5. I can do this!!!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Done! Paid for a stranger's meal

On Christmas morning, my first - and only - item on the agenda was to go out for breakfast. There's something about greasy diner breakfast that I really like. A good number of places were open and rather than support a chain, I went to Charlie's Diner in Lincoln Park.

Had a delicious breakfast then decided that I wanted to buy someone's breakfast. At the booth opposite me, an older man was eating alone and I decided he was the one. When Pam came by to refill my coffee, I asked her to bring me his check as well. "He takes something home to his wife," she said. "That's even better," I replied.

I finished my meal then paid both checks before slipping out the door. Merry Christmas!

Buying a stranger's meal is not an item on the Bucket List, but belongs on the "Cool things I've already done before I had a bucket list" list.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Joining the craze

Every year at this time the Y offers two weeks of free classes. I try to take as many as possible and last night joined in the Zumba craze. I can see why people like it!

When I first saw the instructor was Maria, however, I cringed. Last year I did her New Year's Resolution fitness class and she had us do so many squats I couldn't walk right for three days! This was completely different though. I hopped in the front row and caught on quickly. It was a 45 minute class and it went fast. Maybe not so good for helping me prepare for the half, but it was cardio and it was fun. I can see why Zumba is such a huge trend!

Up next: a BOSU fitness class. It may or may not be immediately followed by kickboxing fusion. The kickboxing I understand but what is the fusion component???

By the way, today is day 27 and I feel great!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Know what else is exercise? Shoveling!

For some reason I will surely never understand I woke up at 6:00 am on a snow day!!! Rather than lay in bed and hope for more sleep, I just got it over with and shoveled the sidewalk and driveway and I'm ruling that my exercise for the day! It was heavy snow, so I was lifting with my arms, legs and back; I was all bundled up so I was sweating and I think I may have breathed a little hard at one point. Therefore I exercised!

Day 18 - done!

The longer the 30 days go, it's definitely getting progressively easier :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Paying it forward

In the week I thought I was doing the half, I got the following email from a woman I work with:

Hi Michelle,
I want to wish you the best on your 1/2 marathon. You really have been a great inspiration to me. I haven't done much walking let alone running in years due to my poor knees and hips. In June 2009 I had my left hip replaced. I had already in previous years had my other hip and my knees replaced. I had started walking better but not any distance. After reading your blog, I decided that even if I couldn't run (the doctor said that was not an option for me with my fake knees and hips) I needed to start walking. At the beginning of September I started walking with my husband ( he has always walked several miles on his own). the first week we just walked around the block (.43 mile). Over the weeks I have slowly increased my mileage and am now at a mile. I did my first walk around Elizabeth Park on Sunday. I have been trying to get my walk in 4 to 5 times a week. You would laugh at my time. It takes me about 22 minutes to walk a mile but since a month and a half ago, I couldn't even walk a half mile, I feel good about it. Keep up your blog. I am sure that you have inspired others too.
(reprinted with permission)

My response:
Thanks for your email! I'm so happy to hear I inspired you. I think we're all capable of great things, sometimes we just need a little nudge to get started. The guy last year did it for me, I paid it forward to you, the possibilities are endless! Awesome about walking a mile! Good for you :) and don't give the time a second thought. You're completing it, which is all that matters. Keep it up!!!!!

I think we're all capable of great things, if only we believe we can. So often we limit ourselves because we think we can't do something then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Open your mind and everything is possible! (Look at me - I completed a marathon!!! if that doesn't say the impossible is only an illusion, I don't know what does!)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Survey Says: Nyquil is not alcohol

Minutes after writing that the no-alcohol component hasn't been a problem whatsoever, I got ready for bed and took a big swig of Nyquil. Before I could swallow, I realized Nyquil has a 10% alcohol content! Of course it does! I got carded buying it, for crying out loud!

Yet this is my challenge and therefore my rules and I don't think Nyquil counts as alcohol. Reason #1 I'm certainly not drinking it for the taste; Reason #2 I'm not consuming it socially; Reason #3 if not for this unexpected cold, I wouldn't have had a single sip of it.

With that ruling, I'm now 14 days complete and I think it's finally getting easier :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

30 days is a long time!

The 30-day challenge is continuing, now 12 days complete. Friday will be halfway. Whee!!! How's it going? It's hard! It doesn't help one iota that I picked up another cold. How is it that I went well over a year without a cold and I've had two since the marathon? Anyway the cold made working out really difficult for a few days. I'm not doing anything that would jar my body (running) or force me to have my head upside down (yoga) so it's been all biking or lifting weights.

Saturday in particular was interesting. In an effort to combat this cold, I turned on the Abc Family Harry Potter marathon and spent the entire day sleeping on and off. I finally dragged myself onto a stationary bike, but my mind was still at home vegging with Harry, Hermoine and the gang. Somehow my legs were moving but I would have put down my head and closed my eyes if I could.

Getting to the gym is the hardest part, until I leave, then while driving home, not eating out is the hardest. Stopping at Jets or Subway would be so easy! The irony is that I gave myself one cheat - it was ok to go to Panera, but only if I was working on my graduate thesis. I never exercised this option, however, because I finished the thesis while working for my friend.

The no alcohol inclusion has barely crossed my mind.

Through it all, I just keep thinking to keep going. If I stop, everything I already did will have to be repeated. Funny, that's the same thought I had at mile 14 of the marathon. It's easier to keep going than to restart. Besides I have other 30-day challenges to get to!