Sunday, April 27, 2008

iCing Transformation Challenge

Gala's challenge:

I wanted to let you all know about something I’m planning to kick off soon. It’s called the iCiNG Transformation Challenge, it will run for a month & it revolves around us taking control of our lives & our bodies in a concentrated way! It’s like weekly resolutions but amped up in a way that would make even Victoria Beckham exclaim, “MAJOR!”.

The iCiNG Transformation Challenge (iTC) will run from the 21st of April to the 18th of May. It would probably make more sense for it to start at the beginning of a calendar month, but that’s so far away & I am impatient!

I recently decided I wanted to commit to a month of really looking after my body, to see what kind of results I could get. I often find it hard to stick to an exercise routine, just because it feels really aimless & sometimes the thought of exercising every couple of days until the end of my life freaks me out! By giving myself a task that lasts for a month, I find that much less of a mental hurdle & far easier for me to grasp. The idea is that I will realise how great I feel when I put effort into my physical well-being, & will want to keep it up.

The reason I’m announcing it is because I also thought that if we commit to this & do it as a group, we’ll all feel like we have lots of support & love helping us achieve our goals!

27 days. Less than one month. Heck, it's less than four weeks. I can stick with anything for 27 days. I signed on. She's put together a discussion thread for everyone to post their goals, progress, setbacks and encouragement. I've been reading a bit this week, but haven't posted my update yet. There's a great group of people there. I'll be joining the discussion today; it just took me a while to put my goals together. I started the challenge on Monday, but spent the first week honing in on what I was trying to accomplish.

I wanted to make sure they were reachable, while still being a stretch out of my comfort zone. These are all challenges I'd like to continue past the 27 days, so I want this iTC time to be used for the formation of new habits.

Here's my original personal challenges, along with the tweaks I've made throughout this week:

1 - Eat at least one balanced raw food meal each day. (Became 2 full days of raw food)
I already do meet my original goal most days, with either whole fruit and flax or a homemade smoothie for breakfast. I even eat raw for lunch several times a week. To take it to the next level, I'm now eating raw foods for the entire day, two days each week. This will help me learn to plan for my nutritional needs and to fit it into my daily schedule. I'm hoping to add an extra day in another month; this should make it a smoother transition.

So far, it's going really well. By spacing the two days, I was able to make sure I had everything I needed the day before. No panic at meal prep. Since I already had the ingredients in the house, I even had a mostly raw day the day after each of my official raw food day. I could get used to this.

2 - Exercise at least 20 minutes each day. (Became at least 20 minutes of cardio)
I've been an every other day fitness person. Or three days on, two days off. If I want to increase my speed and/or endurance, I need to be more consistent. I picked 20 minutes as my minimum to give myself a kick out the door. Twenty minutes is the time it takes to run to and from the bank, or to ride my bike to the store and back. Or the time it takes to walk the dog and kids around the park. At the very least, I can do one of my regular daily errands on foot or bike for a quick burst of cardio.

This minimum requirement is working great so far. I had a 25 mile ride on Saturday, cut short by the anticipated thunderstorms; and a multi sport day on Thursday where I rode 15 miles, followed by a two mile run. A couple days of 30-minute runs, and one day where I was pressed for time & took the dog on a quick 20-minute, two mile lope (his pace), then hopped on the bike for a quick grocery trip. One of the 30 minute runs was completed while I was waiting for my bike to be serviced at the Silver Comet Depot.

There have been so many great comments on the discussion threads over at iCing, and I'm really looking forward to adding mine while catching up on the last day or so from the other participants.

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