Monday, August 26, 2013

30 Day Ab Challenge

I posted on Instagram that I wanted to do a 30 day ab challenge and then never posted one. I have been on the fence, because well, as you know, you can't spot treat when it comes to your body. Not only that there is so much that comes into play when it comes to any workout challenge, especially the abs. The abs definitely start in the kitchen. It's all what you eat, or more importantly, what you DON'T eat. I've never been one for dieting. I believe in the 80/20 rule. Eat right 80% of the time, and you don't have to worry about the other 20% of the time. I know there are people out there who can eat clean 100% of the time, but I am just not one of those people. Not only that, I'm not interested in losing weight at this point. I want to tone up. So I felt like there was a story behind the whole ab challenge and I wanted to blog about it. But I barely have time to clean anymore, much less blog. But I miss blogging and I want to get back to it. So this has been my struggle for the last few weeks.

I have wanted to change up the blog and make it more "business" focused. But you know what? Cult Nails started from this blog where I blabbed about my life and fashion and makeup and nails. SO I will restart my blog the way it originally started. It will be about my life, and hopefully you guys enjoy the ride. So I come back with an ab challenge! WAHOO?

I used to work out all the time. Like a lot of people, I tend to work out in fits and then stop. Life gets in the way. It always amazes me how hard it is to get into a work out routine and how once it is established, I love it, yet it is so easy to fall out of working out every day. So I fell out of working out every day. (Or more like 4-5 times a week.) I realized I had this all or nothing attitude. If I got busy at work, I put working out aside for a day, then two then 3... I realize now that missing one day is OK. If I need to miss a day for what ever reason, it is not going to throw me off the track. More importantly I need to stop seeing working out as something I HAVE to do, but realize I love doing it. And I need to stop letting people get in my head to just miss a work out.

I stopped working out regularly about a year and a half ago and the weight started to creep on. Not in a way that I was over weight, but if I stayed on that track, I would definitely head that way. I don't want to get misunderstood. But I would look in the mirror and everything was puffing out and soft looking. Then I went to put on a pair of favorite jeans and they wouldn't zip. Then I couldn't get some jeans up my thighs. WHAT THE.... I went on the scale and realized I had gained 14 lbs in a year. WOW! That's a lot to gain in a short amount of time. Something had to be done. At the same time John was not feeling good about his weight gain. A friend of ours told us about going on The Shred Revolution diet. He said it was a reset of sorts. Again as I said before I don't believe in diets. So I was reluctant. But I looked into it. It is definitely a short term diet, with a plan on learning how to eat right. I already know how to eat right, I just wasn't doing it. But I thought, you know what, maybe this is just the jump start I need. I won't follow it 100%, but I will use it to get me back to my 80/20 ways and not the 50/50 ways mixed with laziness I had been doing. John was not happy. He wanted nothing to do with it. But I convinced him - if I was doing it, he was doing it. Needless to say we did it probably about 90% of how it was suggested. We adjusted some things that fit our lifestyle and neither of us feel that a day or more with just liquids even if they are shakes are good, so we didn't do those days. We swapped those days out for different days that actually had meals in them.

If you follow John on Instagram you know it worked. He's lost over 20 lbs on the Shred. It has been several months since Shred and he has not only kept the weight off, but reinstating our 80/20 rule he has continued to lose and has now leveled off. I think he has gone down 3 or 4 pant sizes now. I lost 6 lbs during the shred and was happy my clothes fit again even if tightly. Since then I have lost another 8lbs going back to my 80/20 rule of eating and working out. I think the key is that we not just eat well most of the time, but work out regularly. I work out for one hour 4-5 days a week and add in an extra hour of cardio 1-2 days per week if my schedule allows. My point it the Shred was a starting point, but even after the shred, we have both been continuing to see success. The key is eating well most of the time and working out.

As far as weight goes, as long as my clothes fit, I really don't care what I weigh. If you follow me, you know how much I love clothes and fashion. I have invested years in this wardrobe and damn it, I want to fit in it without going up or down a size. Maybe I'm wrong in the way I think, but it's not about the weight it's about my wardrobe. LOL. I also want to feel good about myself, I want to be strong and I want to set the right example for my family. I don't want my girls to grow up with weight issues. I don't want them worrying about what a scale says. I want them to focus on how they feel and being healthy. Being healthy comes in many sizes and looks. And for me, this is what being healthy looks like. BUT (there's always a but isn't there?) But I have a lot of stretch marks on my stomach. I have a lot of loose skin. I also have this round little donut looking group of fat around my belly button. It is the strangest looking thing. Some people have a muffin top, I have a donut belly. I see all these muscles growing on my body, but no matter how much I work out, unless I have a tummy tuck, thanks to stretch marks and loose skin, I will never have a 6 pack. In the past this has been part of my down fall. I always gave up working out because no matter what, I would never be able to get into a bikini again without plastic surgery. And not that I have anything against plastic surgery, because believe me if I could I totally would! But there are just other life goals that come into play before that is even an option. (Like owning a home!) Maybe one day I'll meet a plastic surgeon who wants to donate a surgery, or maybe I'll win the lottery. In the mean time, this is my body and so it is what it is.

But recently I noticed these little lines and muscles peeking through on my belly. And while I'll still have loose skin and stretch marks, I am starting to think there may be some hope after all. I may be able to get those elusive abs. Maybe not a six pack, but abs without the donut! So that is where the idea of the ab challenge came from. But as much as I wanted it, I wasn't ready. I finally feel like I am ready.

Here's the thing, abs don't like certain foods like sugar, alcohol, or bloaty foods like salt or bread. UM HELLO! I don't want to diet to get abs! BUT here I was contemplating doing a 30 day challenge without these items in my life. No occasional cookie, no glass of wine, no bread dipped in olive oil with salt and pepper. So instead here is the challenge.

I am going to reduce these things from my life. I will eat anything that has natural sugar like fruits. I will keep other forms of sugar to a minimum as a special treat. I will have the occasional glass of wine, but no more than once or twice each week. Not every night with dinner. Bread I can probably give up easily since I already don't really eat a lot of that normally. So really very few adjustments just taking my 80/20 rule and making it more of a 90/10 rule. 90% good and 10% whatever I want. And I will add in a 30 day ab workout challenge added to my normal workout routine. Not in place of.

If you want to join me, I ask that you look at what you eat and see what small changes you can make to make it better. It is different for each of us. So do what works for you. Do you work out? Yes? Add this ab challenge in to your daily work outs. No? Then try it out and see how you feel, maybe add walking nightly to your new routine and see where it takes you. Let's all just set a small goal for improvement and see what happens.

I found this challenge on a website I figured why reinvent the wheel when someone already came up with the idea. So let's get started shall we?

Yes all that to get to this! LOL! Have you guys missed my endless babble or should I have just let the blog die? Are you going to join me on this challenge? Let's see how we all feel come Sept 26th. 


  1. I'm joining you! I used to go to the gym everyday in college. I just graduated and started working 3 months ago and haven't been going to the gym because it's not convienent but I'm printing out this caldendar and starting tonight! :)

  2. I am new to the blogging game as of this year so I haven't read your blog, but I think it's a wonderful idea that would want to start blogging again. I think it's fun to read about other people's experiences :) So are you starting this challenge in September or waiting until October? I think it would be fun to join in....albeit painful haha!

  3. I am new to the blogging game as of this year so I haven't read your blog, but I think it's a great idea that you want to get back into blogging. I love to read about other people's experiences :) So are you starting this in September or waiting until October? I would love to join in, not sure how well I will do seeing as how I saw pictures of myself from last weekend and cringed, but it sounds fun.

  4. thanks for the post!

  5. I'm with you! Gonna do today's exercise before I go to work. I like little tasks...easy to do!

  6. I would love it if you would blog more. I can't be bothered with facebook, twitter, instagram - too much volume, and I've really missed your blogs, so yay!

    Also, want to thank you so much for Just Because. It is an amazing polish. My mani lasted for 9 days, and was outstandingly beautiful. I did only 2 coats, and I did an accent nail with one coat over Nevermore, which is incredible looking!

  7. Blog more I say!

    I'm going to do the 30 day squat challenge, starting tonight :) A bit scared though, the first day is 50 squats but I'll be lucky to do half that! Oh well, I have to start somewhere. Thanks for sharing! I was looking for something I could do inside and these workouts are perfect!

  8. Anyone have before and after results? I'm a man and I'm on day 6... I have a gut so I don't expect to see a difference but definitely feel better aboht myself.

    1. I didn't take before and after pics. There's just no way I'm showing my belly on here! LOL! I do have to say though that I did the challenge and it took until the last week before I saw any results. I did my regular working out and eating right the entire time and in the end I only lost about 2 inches off my stomach, but I did notice more muscles peeking through. Good luck!