What is the Small Changes Challenge? The Small Changes Challenge is FREE for anyone to do…at any point in your journey. You will make changes that will stick if you go slow and keep working…and if you stop or miss a day…just get back on the challenge and start up again!
Statistics show that if you make small changes towards a healthier lifestyle you will actually have better results. Fad diets with quick fixes sound like the perfect solution but usually end up with your metabolism getting messed up in some way and as a result you gain more weight after the diet fad is over and your lifestyle goes back to the way it was in the past.
Several people that follow The Journey are going right along with this free challenge…and some are even in the running for a prize at the end! We don’t have just 1 group of people…but 2 that are working on this challenge! Yep…it’s pretty cool. 😉 Free stuff AND a healthier lifestyle. Win! Win!
Small Changes Challenge Week 9:
This whole process of change is a tough one. Some weeks we are focusing on the mental stuff. Other weeks we are doing physical challenges…and sometimes both…but really this whole process is where you are working against…you.
You vs. You. This is the part of the challenge where you really need to think about what it is that you are doing now…what you want your results to be…and then see if you are challenging yourself enough to get to that point.
See, this is all you. You are the one who has a goal in mind. You are the one that has to make your body move. You are the one that decides and makes choices for what you eat. You are actually the person that probably buys most of your food too.
You vs. You…and usually it is you that is in the way.
I talk about ‘You vs. You” in my classes a lot! See…I’m not the one who is sitting on the bike and moving that resistance knob to a point where it feels like mud and quicksand. That point…when I tell the class that we are almost to the top of the hill…that mud and quicksand type of movement is what they should feel as they are moving those pedals at that point in our ride. I can help explain what it feels like and encourage them to be there…but I won’t turn that knob for them.
Why? Why won’t I turn that knob on the bike to make the ride more challenging? The person sitting on that bike has to make the choice to challenge themselves and figure out this part of their journey all on their own. If I turn that knob for them in cycling class it is similar to me doing my kids’ homework for them. If I do the work for them…if I tell them the answers for their math homework or I fill out the paper for them for a history assignment, I’m not helping them. I’m doing the hard part of the work for them and unfortunately they won’t learn how to solve this problem. I’m not setting them up to succeed when it comes time to take tests or when they are asked about this type of lesson in class.
We all have the same muscle groups. We all have the same feelings in those muscles as we are challenging them and pushing them just a bit harder. There is a line though that some won’t cross…and this is all about crossing that line. Results…the ones that you are all looking for…those are on the other side of that line. You have to cross that comfy cozy zone to get there. You vs. you.
What you have always done—————————————–Results
You have to figure out this part of your journey all on your own so you can learn from it. I can’t do this work for you…you have to know what turning that knob is like on that bike. You have to know what reading labels on the food products mean. You need to pick a workout, set aside time and do it on your own. You need to look at your schedule and figure out when that time is going to work for you…and then actually go and do it. For me, that was getting up at 4:30am because that was the only time of day I had free. You need to be standing in front of that mirror and look at yourself and love who you are at this moment. That is what “You vs. You” is all about.
One of the people I follow, Deanne from F5 Lifestyle, calls this process “Me vs. Me”. She even has t-shirts that are made with this that you can buy. Hers have a twist though and are primarily for those who are standing in a mirror…because, well, they are printed in reverse. 😉 As you look in that mirror holding the weights in your hand you see the words, “Me vs. Me”. Pretty cool, huh? You can find the link to order those shirts and tanks right here: Me vs. Me shirts.
“If you always do what you’ve always done, You’ll always get what you always got.”
When I challenge myself to do something that I have never done…I see results that I have never had before.
- When I wanted a stronger upper body, I had to do strength training that focused on my upper body…and it worked!
- I had issues with my core muscles (those in the front of the body and go in the lower back as well) not being strong enough. I had pain in my hips and back pain because of this weakness. After working on those areas and making them stronger…back pain was gone and hip pain is more controlled. My posture even got better as I got stronger.
- I wanted to join the Barbell Glute Hip Thurst 225lb club…so I had to work on it. You can read more about this “club” here: Barbell Glute Hip Thrust club.
- I wanted to do The Warrior Dash…so I started running and lifting more. (That was a BIG line to cross…fyi!)
- I wanted to learn how to deadlift and use a power rack…so I did research, watched a lot of Youtube videos, starting hitting that “like” button on other women who like to lift heavy weights. At one point I had to take that step in the direction of those weights and try…and it was amazing.
I have a comfy cozy zone just like everyone else. I have a couch that I sit on every day. I have foods that I would LOVE to buy and eat (and sometimes I do). I have times when I don’t want to workout. I have all the same stuff going on as every other person…but I know how to push myself to the point where I get results. I know where that line is.
That point of where I was proud of my results…that took a lot of trial and error and constant change…and learning. It wasn’t an easy process. It wasn’t something that was handed to me. This was something that I wanted and I had to create for myself. This was something that I had to look at and evaluate every so often and see if what I was doing was actually working. I had to also push harder at times and do things that I didn’t want to do but I knew that it was necessary in order to get the results I had in mind. I had friends that quit being my friends because of this process too and didn’t have nice things to say about my progress. I had self-doubt at times. I had moments where I was sick and had injuries to work around. I had a family to take care of and 50 hours of work on top of that.
I just had to remind myself that this was “You vs. You”. No one else. If I wanted to make change happen…I had to do this…and I could.
Part 1: What is your plan? This doesn’t have to be any huge competition or race that you want to compete in or even any specific weight that you want to hit. It is time to think though about what it is that you really want to accomplish. What goal do you have for yourself and what specific things are you going to get there? Cori wrote an article about goal setting that you can read here. Remember to set yourself up to succeed…not to fail.
Do you need to exercise more? When exactly is that going to happen and where? How much time will you take for yourself? Do you work better with other people, at home, certain activities that you like more than others, friends that you can exercise with, what areas of your body do you want to make stronger, etc.?
Write out your plan with days, times, activities…do research and spend some time on Google if you don’t know an answer to something (or send me a message and I’ll help you out) and invest some time in getting this plan laid out. Before my workouts I would often spend 30 minutes or so reading and watching videos about the exercises that I needed to do.
Part 2: Let’s Move! So far we have done squats and planks. Today we are going to move on to another exercise…which is one of my favorites! One Legged Deadlift. 🙂
The one legged deadlift is a great compound exercise that can be fun, challenging and something that you can do anywhere. This is also a great exercise for balance. Fun, fun, fun. Don’t start saying “I can’t do that” because those are those negative words that we chatted about last week that we aren’t going to do. You CAN do this!
For those just starting, go to a wall or by something that you can grab on to in case you need it. We are just using our bodyweight, which means…you are only using YOU! No weights are involved. Find a point on the floor to focus on and keep your eyes on that mark. You start by standing up tall and you will slowly and gently have your upper body bend forward as one of your legs goes out straight behind your body…just like you are forming a nice line in your body and you just have one leg holding you up. If you need to hold on to something for balance, that is ok. That is why you are standing by something. 🙂 Trust me…I have fallen doing these…you wouldn’t be the first person to stumble a bit while performing this exercise.
Those who are familiar with this exercise already…it is time to challenge yourself with weights or repetitions. If you have weights handy, put those in your both of your hands and perform the exercise. If you don’t have weights, do at least 10 to 15 reps on each leg for each set.
Do 5 of these on one leg and 5 on the other…and repeat this 3 times. Do this exercise 3 to 4 times this week. Be sure to take a moment and sit on the floor afterwards and try to touch your toes. Those hamstrings (the muscles on the back of your leg) do a lot of the work and sometimes like to share their comments with you the day after deadlifts are performed.
E-mail your homework to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 5th and include the following:
- What goal do you have for YOU and what is your plan is to reach that goal. Be realistic…look at your schedule and plan those times for you. Send your goal and what your schedule looks like for YOU next week. Are you going to the gym? Are you going to workout at home? Attending a class with a friend? Eating only salads when at a restaurant? Going to plank 1 minute 3 times a week? Going to exercise 15 minutes? 30 minutes? 1 hour?
- Move! Write down what days you did the One Legged Deadlift and what you did…bodyweight, additional weight (only do if you have done this exercise before), number of times, how it felt, how your muscles felt the next day.
Keep working on getting that water in each day, watching those amounts of sugar and lifting that body up off the floor with planks at least 3 times a week! You keep working on these small changes and stay focused on these little things…you will see results.
Thanks for being part of The Journey! I’m excited to be part of this challenge with you!
Jessica is a mom of three kids, wife to one and has an energetic puppy. Jessica has had her own journey of getting healthy using small changes…and you can read about her own journey here.