30-day workout challenge – What it taught me

In August, I took part in a 30-day workout challenge to improve my fitness. But that’s not the only benefit that I got from participating. It also taught me a few things about myself that have helped me improve other aspects of my life. 30-day workout challenge trainers dumbbell planner measuring tape headphones

A little background

I’m not a big fan of exercise as a rule. It’s always been something that other people do – I’m much happier sitting on the sofa or at my desk. Sadly, since the birth of my second child, the fact that I do little to no exercise has begun to be glaringly apparent. Over the last 18 months, I have been a member of Slimming World Online. Unfortunately, I seem to yo-yo between sticking to it and seeing results, and then falling off the wagon and ending up back where I started, vowing that I’ll get back on plan and shift the weight again. In May, my partner’s sister and her significant other tied the knot. I reluctantly bought a dress, and while I wasn’t particularly comfortable wearing it (I have a severe dislike of my legs being exposed), I thought it looked ok. That is until I saw the photos from the big day.

They say the camera adds 10lbs

I was mortified at the sight of myself. There’s nothing quite like seeing yourself through someone else’s eyes to give you a cold, hard dose of reality. Feeling thoroughly disgusted with myself, I got straight back on the SW site and made a menu plan and shopping list. I also joined an SW facebook group, which has been an invaluable source of encouragement and support. It was in that FB group that somebody posted a 30-day workout challenge that they found on Pinterest and were planning to do throughout August. They asked if anyone wanted to join them, and I decided to give it a go.¬†Quite a few people joined up, and we set up a group chat to help keep each other motivated.

The challenge begins

We all took note of our measurements on day one, so that we could see how much of a difference there was after completing the 30-day workout challenge. The first few days were hard going, and my body ached like crazy! But I kept at it, determined to see it through. The majority of people left the group over time, and by the end, there was only 6 of us left. It was tough, but I stuck with it for the full 30 days, and I have to admit that I enjoyed how it made me feel. In total, over the month I completed 489 push-ups, 950 lunges, 1550 crunches and 1840 squats. Looking at the numbers like this, they seem insane. But by breaking it down into daily challenges, it made it seem a lot more manageable.

What I learned by taking part in a 30-day workout challenge

Over the course of the month, I learned a few things about myself.
  1. I am the queen of procrastination! I need to exercise first thing in the morning. If I don’t get it over and done with, I end up putting it off and having to do it before bed when I’m exhausted or having to catch up the next day.
  2. Big tasks (like doing 100 crunches) are a whole lot easier for me when I break them down into smaller blocks.
  3. I am more productive when I have some accountability than when I try and do things by myself. Being a part of a group of like-minded people all cheering each other on kept me on track.
  4. I can achieve great things if I work hard and focus on the end goal.

Final thoughts

These little nuggets of truth aren’t just to do with exercise. When I think about them, I can see how they spill over into other aspects of my life – housework, my business, finances, and even parenting. It turns out that exercise isn’t just good for the body; it can be good for the mind, too. The lessons I learned from taking part have given me a sense of clarity. I have a better understanding of how my mind works, and what I can do to improve in other areas of my life. Have you taken part in a 30-day workout challenge yet? Let me know what you learned from it in the comments below.

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