New Challenge & New Goals
No. more. squats. I think that right there is enough reason to set off a whole dern bunch of fireworks, y’all.
I’m sorry but squats are the debil. How unlike me to use a movie reference, that usually comes from the other team. Anybody know which movie?
Anyway, December’s challenge was really hard. I have bad knees (Patellar Femoral Syndrome) so anything that requires me to bend my knees repeatedly is hard for me to do. I’m not entirely sure I should be doing it at all, I’ll have to check into that now that the challenge is over.
Going into this challenge, I’m thankful that there are no squats involved and I’m in agreement with Beck that the lower numbers is much more encouraging and feels much more attainable.
That said, while we both complained about the entirely too high number of tasks we needed to do, we should really take a second and pat ourselves on the back for actually completing that many! Our determination was on point and we made it happen despite the obstacles that jumped in the way. YAY US!
I’m liking that we’re just focusing on the arms this month so we can give our legs a rest, they need it.
I may still throw in some additional activities on top of the challenges this month, just to continue toning and strengthening. But, I’m not going to make them mandatory for myself this month. Let me see if my motivation is on point.
My only other exercise goal for this month is to achieve 10,000 steps each and every day. I can do it, I got this. There’s money on the line. I will make it happen.
January Challenge – 2019 – Week 1
I didn’t do much of anything special to prepare for this challenge other than print my tracking sheet and watch the proper form video. I was pretty clear on what I needed to do.
I’m measuring progress on my bicep but am recording my step count and wait as well because those are for my personal goals. My personal goal is to get my Average Step Count above 10,000 and my weight down as much as I can.
- Bicep: 14.5″
- Average Step Count: 9,601
- Weight: 249.4
Day 1 – Tuesday
I woke up this morning way too early for my last day of vacation. That’s not fair. But I was excited to start the day because it’s the first new day of a new year and a new challenge with new goals. I was anxious to get started, believe it or not!
I got up and brushed my teeth, used the bathroom, and let the dogs out. Guess what…I found myself doing standing leg lifts while waiting for them to come back in. Why? Habit. I went ahead and did 25 rear standing leg lifts on each side because, let’s face it, my butt needs the work.
Next, I posted my final stats for the December Challenge. How cool that we both won this one. I kinda like when we tie the game and fight through it together. The Forget Skinny gear is kinda cool too.
New Healthy Habit
I’m trying to set a new habit that I get up and be active after each administrative task gets completed. That way I’m not sedentary for most of the day. So, after posting the final stats for December, I got up and did my 30 minute Country Heat routine. This particular routine is a bit more tough than the first two in the series. I’m having trouble with Shin Splints on this one. But I’m fighting through it and have made additional progress each day.
While catching my breath from my cardio, I set up my tracker page for this challenge and created the bare bones of this post so that I could write my journal entries directly into the post each day instead of the whole transfer process I’ve been doing. Let’s be more efficient!
Once this page was set up and ready for the week, I got up and did my challenge tasks for the day. Arm circles weren’t too bad. I must admit, the 3 pound weights are a bit heavier than I remember. I’m not sure if that’s because of yesterday’s 30 push ups or what. But, oh well. I didn’t break between tasks on this one. I went right into the arm raises, or lateral arms, and by the 10th one, I was feeling the burn. The bicep curls weren’t too bad but I definitely felt some burn in there. Again, I’m not sure if that’s because of the task or yesterday’s push ups.
All in all, the tasks weren’t terribly difficult. Feeling the burn is good, that means it will help with strengthening and toning. No pain, no gain, right? Though burning isn’t really pain, I digress. By this point, I only had 3,679 steps for the day. So, the rest of the fitness for the day involved marching, walking, and jogging to get my steps in. Unfortunately, I still came up a bit short.
Day 2 – Wednesday
I am having blood pressure issues again and am almost back at the weight I started with. My ankles are huge today. That’s not good. The good news is, I’m restarting my Keto Diet within the next few days. I’m sure that will fix it. Today’s challenge tasks were a piece of cake. I still feel the burn, but it wasn’t as hard as yesterday and the burn actually felt pretty good for a change. Challenge tasks were completed during a break from a very busy day at work. I did not do my cardio work out today simply because of the size of my ankles. I did work to get my 10,000 steps in though.
Day 3 – Thursday
I did my challenge tasks early in the day again today. I felt alright doing them. The bicep curls felt a little more difficult to do than they were the first two days. But I pushed through them. As for my workout, I did my 30 minutes of Country Heat early in the afternoon during a lunch break. My blood pressure is climbing and my ankles are swelling again. Not real happy about that.
Day 4 – Friday
I had a lot of trouble sleeping Thursday night. I went to bed late because I was super focused on website work that I was doing throughout the day. I woke up just about every hour during the night with the website on my mind because I didn’t finish my task before I went to bed. Finally, at 5:42am, I got up for the day because I wanted to get back to work and sleep wasn’t happening very well anyway. As a result, I only got 4 hours and 37 minutes of sleep. That’s not good and that’s basically a personalized invitation for insomnia to come back and make itself comfortable. No. Let’s not do that.
Since I had specific things on the brain, I got up and got to work on them. I took a break around 9am to prep breakfasts for the week. After doing a little more website work, I took another break around lunch time to go grocery shopping. When I got back, I did more website work. I took another break around 2pm to do my cardio workout. I did my usual 30 minutes of Country Heat and then got back to work. After a few more tasks, I took a break to do my challenge tasks.
Now…the first two went great. The last few arm raises were still a bit harder to do than the rest but I got them done. Next came the bicep curls. Going into this challenge, I thought the bicep curls would be the easiest to do. I was wrong. I started noticing around the sixth one that I was feeling it in my spine in my neck. That worried me. I pushed out a few more but stopped at 9 because it each one felt pretty bad on my neck. I took a few deep breathes and then pushed out the last few for the day. I will have to do some research to see if maybe my form is wrong or if my spine injuries should prevent me from this particular task. For now, today’s tasks got done.
Day 5 – Saturday
So this was the second day in a row that Insomnia tried sneaking in during the night. Four and a half hours of sleep two nights in a row. I woke up tired. But I did my cardio work out first thing in the morning. I told my parents I would come visit today, so I did that. Then I came home and did my challenge tasks. However, I have to modify the bicep curl now. I have Degenerative Disc Disease in my back meaning my spine is slowly breaking down. My neck is pretty bad and the bicep curls starting hurting my neck yesterday despite using proper form. So I am following the modification suggested by Livestrong and doing bicep curls with my elbows tucked down at my sides instead of my arms raised to shoulder level. I was able to complete the challenge without pain this way. My blood pressure has become a problem again and my left leg is now going numb from the thigh down when I’m standing for more than 30 minutes at a time which indicates something is pushing on a nerve. My ankles are huge and may prevent me from getting my steps in today, the doc wants my feet up. I’m only at 6,014 steps for the day so we’ll see.
End of week measurements:
I lost half an inch in my bicep, I’m thinking that half an inch is gone from the flab around the tricep.
- Bicep: 14
- Average Step Count: 9,924
- Weight: 250.5
I did pretty well raising my average step count, I’ve almost got it up to over 10,000 steps but I’m not quite there yet. I will continue working at it. My weight…let’s just not even go there right now.
Progress on My Goals
I really only had two personal goals going on during this week and that was to achieve 10,000 steps per day and a 30 minute cardio work out each day. But I did not achieve my personal goals this week. Tuesday my ankles started hurting more than usual and, by Wednesday, they were swollen again. I believe this is do to my blood pressure issues. Tuesday I fell about 1,300 steps short of my goal and Wednesday I didn’t work out. Despite those two things, it was a really good week. I ain’t mad at me.
Going forward, my personal goals are staying the same. I want to work out each and every day and I want to achieve 10,000 steps every single day.
Each challenge task is worth one point upon completion. The first week of tasks only included 15 items to complete and therefore was worth 15 points.
Measuring my bicep each week is worth 1 point.
Posting my stats on time (by 6pm Sunday) is also worth 1 point.
Therefore, this week there are 17 points available.
Points Earned: 17
Yay me! It’s a dern good thing we’re not counting our personal goals on this one, huh? I wouldn’t have done well. But that’s alright, I came very close to meeting those as well so I’m not going to beat myself up about it. It’s a hard week. I’m going to dust myself off and start again.
So, how did you do? Are you following a long? Let us know how your week went in the comments section at the bottom of this page. We’re here to support you on your journey too!
For now, take care and hug your loved ones!
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This article has 6 Comments
Hi this is a very inspiring blog for people who know it can be a real hard challenge to lose weight and stick to a diet plan. You are doing really great and I hope that you keep up the great work in the future. Do you have any tips for other dieters too? Thanks for sharing. Kenny
Thanks for the feedback and encouragement! My biggest tip would be to do a lot of research before hand and find the diet that would be most effective for you based on scientific data, not the opinions of non-experts. Also, always talk to your doctor before changing your diet and exercise plans. They may know something you don’t. Good luck!
Hi Ki,Awesome article, I really enjoyed the reading. I was impressed by your stats, even though you didn’t achieve all your goals, but at least, you are aware of your actions. This is what makes us reach our goals:). I also suffer from Patellar Femoral Syndrome; it’s tough for me to bend my knees. Did you recover? It’s been a few months I have knee problems, and I am quite fed up of this. Will you provide some good exercises to reduce knees pain? Anyway, I would love to get fitter for 2019, so I am going to set some goals too, and I’ll let you know how it goes.Thank you very much for this excellent post!
Thanks for the feedback and support. Holding myself accountable in this way has helped me meet my goals. My knee problems started when I was 19 years old in the military. I’m not entirely convinced it’s Patellar Femoral Syndrome, but that is what the doctor called it back then. I’ve had problems with them ever since, so no, I did not recover.
There are 8 exercises that I know of that you can do even with knee pain: Straight Leg Raises, Hamstring Curls, Prone Straight Leg Raises, Wall Squats, Calf Raises, Step Ups, Side Leg Raises, and Regular Leg Raises. I did several of these during December’s 30 Day Guns, Buns, & Abs Challenge.
Best of luck to a fitter 2019!
In today’s world where everyone is almost always busy to do some form of physical activity, I think this post gives more than enough reason why people should stay active. I never thought of staying and looking fit could be as simple as this. I shared this post to my fiancee and she loved it. Matter of fact, she started doing some as soon as she saw the post, you know, just to give it a try. We were just wondering if it’s okay to use some free weights while doing this?
Absolutely! I am using three pound weights when I do mine. I’ve had to modify a little bit due to injuries with my spine. If either of you have any medical conditions that this could impact, you’ll definitely want to consult with your doctor before trying it. Good luck!