For the last four weeks, I have been participating in the Fit Girl 28 Day Jumpstart challenge. This challenge came at the perfect time for me, I was struggling to eat healthily and felt lost in this whole “getting fit” idea. Fit Girl provided a meal plan for all 28 days of the challenge, a workout guide, a fitness journal and a plethora of tips and tricks to make it work for me. I think that was what I loved most about it all, the meal plans came with options to substitute foods that I didn’t like or even replace the whole meal. Even the workout guide was optional, if you chose not to follow it they recommended working out 30 minutes every day doing whatever you want. I lost a total of 8 lbs during the challenge and I feel awesome. It taught me some very good habits, I wanted to share what I learned.
- Meal prep is your friend.
Though it’s kind of a pain in the behind, prepping your meals on Sunday night for the work week is so worth it. I am a full-time student and have a full-time job so I am quite busy during the week. Fit Girl gave instructions for meal prep for all 3 meals. I often didn’t cook my dinner completely but I would at least slice up the veggies I’d be using so they’d be ready to go. I usually spent a couple hours in the kitchen on Sunday which was tough but, not having to put a lot of thought into what I was going to eat during the week was one less thing on my plate.
- Cooking at home is best.
I enjoy cooking, but I usually don’t feel like it. I am a fan of quick meals like Lean Cuisine or Stouffers but those things are high in sodium. I don’t think I’ve ever cooked as much as I did for this challenge. I now have a favorite knife and don’t sulk whenever a recipe calls for a food to be finely diced. Cooking at home gives you control over what exactly goes into your food. Also cooking your own food gives you a sense of pride. You put a little extra love in plating it and savor it a bit more when you’re eating it.
- Treats are sweeter.
When you’re not eating junk on a regular basis when you do eat it it’s so much better. I’m not a huge sweets eater my Achilles heel is salty stuff especially french fries. Two weeks into the challenge I treated myself to some french fries and it was so good. Not just because of the taste tasted but also because I had been working hard and deserved it. If you’re a sweets person Fitgirl recommended eating a little bit of dark chocolate that was at least 85% cocoa.
- Cheat meals, not cheat days.
Like I mentioned before I allowed myself weekly treats, these treats were usually a part of a cheat meal. Fit Girl recommended cheat meals over cheat days which makes sense if you think about it. So let’s say you decide to eat a big buttery and fatty food for each meal. You could easily go over 2000 calories in a day and be in danger of putting on a pound. That’s literally the opposite of the goal. If you instead have a cheat meal, for example, you have a big breakfast, you have the rest of the day to burn some if not all of it off.
There’s a still long a road ahead for me, motivation to exercise was a constant throughout the challenge. I was always glad I did it but the actual getting up and doing it was tough. I didn’t workout every day like recommended but I averaged 3-5 times a week which for me is a feat. Going forward I plan to diversify my workouts, so I don’t get bored and want to stop. I want to try cycling, kickboxing, and add some type of dance centered workout to the mix.
I wish I could say all my bad habits are gone but my serial snacking is still an issue. Laziness and lack of self-control are also still lingering. Fitgirl has given me a good basis on which to rebuild my eating and exercising habits. So when the New Year rolls around and everyone is making their fitness resolutions I will already be a step ahead.
As I go forth into this life change I will remember this one thing:
“Fit” looks different on everyone. So there’s no point in wishing and wanting to look like someone else or coveting another woman’s body because we’re all different. We all have different body types and carry our weight in different places.
I recommend the Fit Girl 28 Jumpstart Challenge for everyone who is new to fitness and needs a place to begin. They’re starting a new challenge January 2nd here’s the link!