DenaApril 18, 2011

Our theme this week is: INTENSITY.

Once again, I got up as the sun was rising this morning for my A.M. Power Walk. It felt great! It was chilly, but it’s definitely Springtime. Everything is budding & blooming. There are splashes of yellow, pink, & purple in the grass & on the trees. Such a lovely time of year.

As I walked, these colourful signs of life motivated me to give it my all. I thought of the incredible amount of energy that it takes for all of the flowers & the trees to bring forth their beauty. I remembered that that same energy exists within me. The same silent, invisible energy that pushes the petals open is the same energy that pushes the blood through my veins.

“…the spirit reveals itself to everyone with the same intensity and consistency, but only warriors are consistently attuned to such revelations.” —Carlos Castaneda

This thought inspired me and I pushed myself further and harder as I moved—tighten the core, swing the arms, squeeze the glutes. Just by observing nature and staying committed to my goals, I am bringing more INTENSITY into my personal FITNESS CHALLENGE this week. We’re nearly halfway through now. No matter what challenges we are facing, let’s make Week 3 the most intense, productive, and positive week yet!

Goals for the Week
The challenge this week is going to be to find new and exciting ways to keep our energy levels up and bring more intensity into our challenge. While this goal ties all of us together, we also have our own unique individual goals. My main goal for the next 60 days is to lose 8 pounds. Each week I also share my weekly individual goals.

“Your intensity & determination to succeed lies first within your mind and then within your heart. Utilize both your mind & body to attain your goals, and you will be triumphant.”

Here are my goals for this week:

  • Five minute meditation each morning before I do anything else
  • A.M. Power Walk: Monday – Friday
  • Intermittent Daily Fasting: every day
  • No fried food (except for stir fry)
  • No eating out (I am joining my friend & fellow challenge participant, Brad, in his challenge to stop eating out so much in April)
  • Lose 2 pounds

Intermittent Daily Fasting (IDF) Update
So far my IDF experiment has been going really well! I have lost 1.5 pounds since I began late last week and I haven’t changed the foods that I’m eating or the amount of exercise that I’m doing. It has been easier than I anticipated, too.

With IDF, I eat all of my meals for the day (usually two + a snack) between 12 noon and 8:00 P.M. I do find that I am hungry in the mornings, but it’s completely tolerable and tends to fade so long as I keep busy. I’ll let you guys know how it progresses. I’m going to stick with this for awhile.

Accountability Pictures
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve embarked on plenty of fitness challenges in the past. Many of my efforts failed because of my lack of accountability. This challenge is different because I am 100% accountable to the other challenge participants and to my entire Evolution You community!

Here are my Week 1 vs. Week 3 “Accountability Pictures”.

There is no doubt about it, I am starting to see positive change! I’ve already started to notice my clothes fitting better, too. 🙂 Remember, if you want to post your own Accountability Pictures, head over to the forum and get to posting!

Call to Action

“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them—a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina. They have to be a little faster. They have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.” —Muhammad Ali

I love this Muhammad Ali quote. I love that he acknowledges that champions are not made in gyms. It is so true! Being a champion is about living with INTENSITY every second of the day: in the gym, in the kitchen, in the car, everywhere. It does not mean that we have to run ourselves ragged. It just means that we have to be present, aware, and focused about every action that we take.

Good luck this week, friends! Let me know how your personal challenge is going so far.

In love & light,

Comments (8)

  • Lou Mello

    April 18, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    You’re doing great, just be carful not to go too hard in the morning without eating a little something after the power walk. The IDF works fine, but, you may want to consider the snack part in the mid morning so your energy levels don’t fall off too much. If the body thinks it is hungry, it will store fat to protect itself.

    Love the courage you have to post photos of the week to week improvement, very neat and yes, we can see a difference. keep up the great work as you keep us on our toes and inspired as well.

    1. Dena

      April 18, 2011 at 4:26 pm

      @ Lou – Thanks so much for the feedback. I really appreciate your sharing your knowledge. 🙂 Also, YES!, I can’t believe that I’ve got the courage to post the “Accountability Pictures.” I was so incredibly nervous before I posted the first set, but it’s like pulling off a band-aid. You just gotta do it!

      Hope your week is off to a great start.

  • Kristin

    April 18, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Dena, there are some visible differences between your week 1 and week 3 photos. The fact that you look great has stayed the same, however. Congratulations for sticking to your goals so far. Keep it up!

    IDF would not work for me. I am so accustomed to eating 5-6 small meals throughout the day and honestly, I feel great doing this. I tried IDF for a few months, but had a wider window (10 hours rather than 8) and I just could not fast for that long without feeling miserable, knobby-kneed, etc. I’m glad it’s working for you, though. As far as diet selection and meal timing, it’s all about what feels best. 🙂 I need to feed myself in small amounts constantly throughout the day, but I didn’t know that until I tried A LOT of other options.

    Lovelovelove. It was good to hear your voice today, albeit briefly!

    1. Dena

      April 19, 2011 at 11:26 am

      @ Kristin – Thank you so much for taking notice of the differences. I can see them – however small – progress is progress. 🙂 I lost another 1/2 pound this morning. Yippee!

      Yes. For a long time I subscribed to 5-6 small meals per day, too. That is what Matthew does currently, too. When I was very active, it worked extremely well for me. Currently, however, my activity is minimal. Light stretching during the day + my morning power walk. So, IDF is working really well! If I pick up/increase my routine (Matthew is thinking of getting a membership at my gym) I may have to reconsider.

      I’ll keep everyone posted. It was so good to hear your voice, too. XO

  • Brad Chaffee

    April 22, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Brad checking in…finally! 🙂

    Okay so this week I have struggled a bit with discipline. I haven’t really done bad, but I definitely could have done better. Just not counting calories, and have worked out hardly at all.

    On the other hand I am getting ready to start a 90 day program called Rev Abs from Beachbody that is going to kick my ass into shape. It uses breathing techniques that causes you to fire up your abs with every move and uses a martial arts style called Capoeira that is awesome to watch in action.

    Anyway, for the first 14 days I will be on a very strict eating plan. No starchy carbs, no sugar, no soda, no dairy, low sodium etc. Lots of water and of course Shakeology which I can’t say enough good things about. 🙂

    A part of me has slacked off a bit and I think it’s because I know things are about to get real strict for 14 days. I want to maximize my results and I have a financial blogger conference to attend in Chicago in October and want to look my best. 🙂 I even bought some ice cream tonight and I LOVE LOVE LOVE milk so not having milk is going to be tough!

    This is my weekend of relaxation and Monday there’s gonna be no stopping me! 🙂

  • Brad Chaffee

    April 22, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Haha! You can tell I’m out of sorts. I went on a dairy rant right after saying I need to get in shape for the conference. LOL

    The funny thing is I haven’t had ice cream in almost 2 months so I don’t know why 14 days scares me so much. No MILK?? Aghhhhhh! LOL

  • Brad Chaffee

    April 22, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Dena – You ought to give P90X a try (or any of the other many home fitness products available). Gym memberships are so expensive and inconvenient if you ask me. I promise you that if you did 90 days of P90X you would be right where you want to be.

    P90X is 3 days of strength training (different muscle regions) and ab ripper x, plyometrics – one day, kenpo X – one day, and the hour and a half of yoga I think you would rock at! On the seventh day you can rest of do a stretch routine that really works nicely.

    P90X uses muscle confusion and variety to keep your body from hitting the plateau most people hit after a few weeks. The programs have you hitting it hard for 3 weeks and then the recovery week before hitting it again. I can’t wait to start P90X again after my shoulder heals from my injury (non P90X related). I wanted to cry when my therapist told me no more upper body workouts. LOL

    Anyway, I saw your comment about maybe joining a gym so I thought I would try yo talk you out of it. 🙂 I’ve personally spent a lot of money on gym memberships but I have never been as satisfied as I was when I was doing P90X. There’s nothing like it!

    1. Dena

      April 26, 2011 at 12:23 pm

      @ Brad – Thanks for checking in & letting me know about your progress. It sounds like you’ve had a tough week — just like me! (See today’s post.) The good news, however, is that we both obviously have the right attitude about moving forward! That’s what matters. 🙂

      As far as the gym membership goes… I already have a gym membership. Planet Fitness is the only gym I’d even consider. It is only $10 a month. My fiance, Matthew, is thinking about joining with me. If he does, I’ll keep the membership. (He is a free personal trainer for me!) But if he doesn’t, I’ll definitely cancel and stick with at-home workouts. Both work well for me. For me it’s really about JUST DOING IT whether at home or in the gym. But as far as the anti-gym mentality — when it comes to most gyms I am on the same page as you. When I hear of people spending $50+ a month on a gym membership it makes me crazy. (Even sadder, I used to be one of those people…)

      Alright, Brad. Here’s to Week 4 of this Challenge. Let’s kick some bootie! 😉

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