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.
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.
- 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.
- Big tasks (like doing 100 crunches) are a whole lot easier for me when I break them down into smaller blocks.
- 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.
- I can achieve great things if I work hard and focus on the end goal.
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.