40 Days of Fitness

40 Days of Fitness

Growing up Catholic and going to Catholic School every spring you’re faced with the inevitable question, “What are you giving up for Lent?” As a kid that varied from chocolate to candy to talking back to my mother. As a grown up I’ve given up candy (still a vice!), cursing, alcohol all with varying degrees of success. I couldn’t tell you the last time I gave something up for Lent but now that I’m raising a Catholic child, I have be somewhat consistent about the holidays and the meaning of positive sacrifice. This year, I decided to approach Lent a little differently: rather than give something up I wanted to devote more of my time to a healthy and at times painful pursuit…fitness. My challenge: from March 1st to April 15th I must do some form of exercise! Here’s my exercise diary…

Day 1: 30 minutes of cardio at the gym

Day 2: 30 minutes of cardio, I’m on a consistency streak!

Day 3: 1 hour of doubles in the morning, 1 hour weight training with MC after work

Day 4: 2 hours of doubles. This is my fitness highlight for the week. Tennis is my favorite workout and my Saturday doubles routine is something I’ve been consistent with for a long, long, looong time. It’s the kind of thing that pains me a little when I have to miss it. Imagine my joy when MC and Jack took up tennis! A weekly family event!

Day 5: I can’t bear to get myself to the gym so I do my favorite at-home workout: The 7 Minute Workout, which combines weight bearing exercises with a little cardio. I’m energized! Until…

Day 6: My body is so tired. I’ve pushed myself to be consistent which is a win, but I just can’t do it. Instead of physical exercise, I opt for mental and do 20 minutes of mindfulness meditation. I make a note to work on this because my mind was wandering for at least 5 of the 20 minutes. I know this is a loose interpretation of “fitness” but I’m going with it.

Day 7: Back at it with an hour of weight training with my honey!

Day 8: Momentum halts. I come home from work and am faced with a 9 year old whose homework is incomplete, a school function that’s starting in an hour and the sound of my workout time evaporating.

Day 9-13: I’m back on track with cardio, tennis, weights…the works!

Day 14: It happens again, momentum halts. For no real reason this time other than my feeling tired and drained. While my mind is telling me that a workout will do me good, my body is completely resistant. Even The 7 Minute Workout feels too hard.

Day 15: I recover with an hour of weight training. Quality time with my hubby!

Day 16: This is where things get really funky. We take our family trip to Florida for Spring Break and it all falls apart. Day 18 was a travel day, so it was near impossible to exercise. Or was it!?!

Day 17: MC and I play tennis. I win.

Day 18: It’s so nice sitting poolside!

Day 19: We go kicking and screaming to the hotel gym for…30 minutes of cardio

Day 20: It is supposed to rain tomorrow, so we probably should just hang by the pool today.

Day 21: We do a 1.5-mile power walk. Lame but it’s something!

Day 22: We’re traveling home to NY, there’s just no way…

Day 23: Back at it! Hitting the weight room!

Day 24: I.just.can’t.

Day 25-28: I’ve rebounded! I even managed to exercise around a weekend trip to NOLA!

Day 29: It’s April now and my challenge is almost over. No missing for the rest of Lent!

Days 30 – 37: It’s a go with my regular routine of weight training, cardio and tennis

Day 38: I so want to quit but I manage some lame cardio

Day 39: Home stretch weight training

Day 40: It’s over! I’ll celebrate with 2 hours of tennis.

The Results: I have to say, for a 40 plus year old woman, I’m pretty active BUT I do give myself a pass when it comes to really pushing myself hard. Second, I can rationalize away anything. Could I have fit workouts in on the days I missed? Of course I could have. Third, I feel badly if I break a commitment. Even though this is a self-imposed challenge AND I gave myself those passes, I regretted them and felt like I’d let myself down in a way.

40 Days of Fitness Tally: I worked out 34 out of 40 days! I’m pretty proud of myself and definitely noticed a lift in my energy level overall. There must be something to all that “body in motion stays in motion” stuff we learned in Science class.

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