The Small Changes Challenge #11

Jessica photo for The JourneyThe Small Changes Challenge started 11 weeks ago and we just have one more to go.  If you are just joining us…you can start at any time!  Just click on one of the weeks below to find out what small change you can work on this week:

small changes cover

The Small Changes Challenge is now on WEEK 11!  You have 1 more week of challenges that will be coming to you and then…the WINNER will be announced!  

This week we are focusing on an exercise to stick in your routine and then one other thing that we really should pay a bit more attention to…

The Exercise

One of my favorite exercises is called the 1/2 Turkish Get-up.  Why do I love it so?  Let me count the ways…

  1. it uses more than one muscle group at one time (like…a lot!).
  2. it is challenging.
  3. you feel really strong when you are done…like you could climb a mountain and shout from the top the words “I DID IT!”

1/2 Turkish Get Up

There is a full turkish get-up, which you may know about already…but our focus is small changes…and for many people that are starting out with exercising (or even those who have been exercising awhile), the 1/2 turkish get-up is enough.

A little background…I started doing this particular exercise about 2 years ago.  I didn’t truly understand the concept at that point what I was doing and how I was moving my body but I did know that what I was attempting was hard.  I also knew that no one else in the gym was doing this exercise.  It was just me, my mat and the mirrors.  My first attempt…pretty sure I landed right back on my butt and I know I felt defeated.  It was hard…but I tried again.

As long as you keep getting up each time you fall…you will keep progressing.  If you keep your body on the ground and quit…you will stay exactly where you are.  Progress is not made by doing the same things you did the day before, or the week before…or even the year before.  Progress is made by getting up and trying again.  I remind everyone that is starting this for the first time to remember that this exercise is going to challenge you but just dig in and try.  If you fall down, try again.  You will get stronger…and better…and will succeed.

How to perform this exercise:  I could tell you all about it but there are already so many people describing it on their own sites…so today we are going to have you check out the page over at Robertson Training Systems.  He has pictures, descriptions and does a great job explaining this exercise:  1/2 Turkish Get-Up  (do exercises #1 through #4…beyond that is a full turkish get-up)

I also wanted you to see this in action…so check out this video of Neghar Fonooni doing the full turkish get-up with some weight in her hands.  *as you are working on these…remember you are starting with the half turkish get-up and will be doing these without weight in your hand.*

And The Other Thing…

My kids the other night decided that when mommy said “It’s time for bed” that it really meant “Let’s play Monopoly until 10:48pm”.

I did what all moms do (ok, maybe not) and let them finish their game until they were really, really tired.  I could hear them.  They thought they were being secretive…but I knew what they were doing.  So, I had something up my sleeve as well…that they didn’t know about…but something they were earning all on their own.

I know it is kindof the “bad mom” thing to do at the moment…posting your kids’ punishments on social media…but guess what…this is how us moms learn new tricks and ways to stay in this thing called parenting.  My kids seem to figure things out pretty well and I need to be one step ahead of them…and this idea just happened to come about…and it worked.  Moms, feel free to take some notes and tweak to make it work for your family:

My kids were all nested in their sleeping bags, cause that is what they do on the weekends.  They love having sleepovers and I am letting them have as many as they want because at some point soon…these will stop since they are all getting older.  I knew the kids were ready to sleep…so I called them all downstairs.  🙂  Our conversation went a little bit like this…

  • Me:  Oh darling children, can you share with me what you have been doing until 10:48pm?
  • Kids:  We were playing Monopoly
  • Me:  Is that what “go to bed” means?
  • Kids:  No (basically in unison)
  • Me:  Are you listening and obeying or disobeying me?
  • Kids:  Disobeying (still pretty much in unison and now with very tired…sad faces)
  • Me:  Since you think that it is a good time to be awake, you can stay up for 8 more minutes…standing right where you are, not talking and not moving. Tomorrow, you will wake up early and take care of the dog.  You will do your chores without complaining.  You will not be cranky with anyone in this house.  You made the decision to stay up late and now you are going to deal with the consequences of staying up late…but you will not be cranky all day long and you will still be responsible for what you need to take care of.  The 3 baskets of laundry that I was going to fold is now your responsibility tomorrow too.

sleep quote 1My kids learned a lesson that night…and is one that we can learn from too.  Sleep is important and lack of sleep does change us…and it usually isn’t for the good.

My kids did have cranky moments the following day and in fact…my oldest told me that I needed to hurry up while we were at church because she had to get home and do her homework.  My response…”Oh darling daughter, we are not being cranky today.  If you had homework to do you should have thought about that at 10:48pm last night.  Right now, this is what we are doing and you will not tell me to hurry up.” – or something very similar to that.  I may not have said “darling daughter”.  😉

Sleep is important and we need to listen to our bodies when it is telling us that we are tired.  So, how much sleep are we supposed to be getting?  This chart from Mayo Clinic helps us understand how many hours are recommended:


Age group Recommended amount of sleep
Infants 9-10 hours at night, plus 3 or more hours of naps
Toddlers 9-10 hours at night, plus 2-3 hours of naps
School-age children 9-11 hours
Adults 7-8 hours

What happens when we don’t get enough sleep?  Well, we already learned from my kiddos that we tend to be a little bit more cranky when we don’t have enough sleep.  Here are a just few other things from that might happen as a result of not getting enough zzz’s:

  • Depression
  • Ages Your Skin
  • Makes You Forgetful
  • Causes Accidents
  • Can Lead to Serious Health Problems and…
  • Losing Sleep Can Make You Gain Weight:  When it comes to body weight, it may be that if you snooze, you lose. Lack of sleep seems to be related to an increase in hunger and appetite, and possibly to obesity. According to a 2004 study, people who sleep less than six hours a day were almost 30 percent more likely to become obese than those who slept seven to nine hours.  Not only does sleep loss appear to stimulate appetite. It also stimulates cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods. Ongoing studies are considering whether adequate sleep should be a standard part of weight loss programs.  

Homework this week:

  1. Perform the 1/2 Turkish Get-Up.  Do this at least 3 different days and do 2 to 5 on each side of your body (finish one side…then do the other).  If you aren’t able to do 2…send us an e-mail at for another modification that might work for you.
  2. Monitor your sleep for 5 days.  Each morning write down the following:  – How many hours of sleep you got.  – How you felt when you woke up (alert, still tired, wanted to sleep more, etc.) – How you felt throughout the day (alert, hard to focus, happy, wanted a nap in the afternoon, etc.)

Thanks for being part of The Journey!

20130717-222549.jpg– Jessica

Jessica is a mom to three kids, wife to one and a fitness instructor at two locations in Rochester, MN.  She has also opened up a gym for women in her home where she works one-on-one with her clients.

*Always work with a doctor before starting any exercise program*


...and your thoughts are...go ahead, type away!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s