30 Day Challenge

GUEST POST: Sobering Moments of Commitment

 

Sobriety for any defined period of time was a foreign concept for me. I’m a single, thirty-something year old event coordinator living in the heart of Richmond City. Let’s be real. In addition to the fact that I was raised in a family of unabashed drinkers, part of my job is keeping a pulse on local talent and night life. In all fairness, slamming a few cocktails at the local hot spot while scouting the latest band could almost be considered “field research”. You know, par for the course. No really – I’m just that dedicated to my work.

When my friend, Peter, decided to hop on the wagon for 90 days, I was impressed. Impressed by his will power to resist a drink when offered, but also impressed with this idea of making a commitment to himself and seeing it through. When was the last time I fulfilled a commitment to myself? I make and keep promises to others all the time, but when did I last make a promise to myself and actually keep it? The truth is that I’m pretty bad at it. Monday’s declaration to eat healthy and work out for the week would usually end with Friday’s acknowledgement of two days at the gym while I patiently wait for the delivery guy to show up with my pie.

My neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia.

 

No alcohol. Maybe I could do this too. I considered my lifestyle. It wasn’t that I drank every night or that I felt like my drinking had become a problem, but alcohol was always an option. It didn’t always have to be a blurry night of shots and dancing. Disclaimer; those are always super fun. It could just be a glass of wine at dinner or an invitation to happy hour with a group of professionals. Why say no if you don’t have to, right? This wasn’t about depriving myself of something that I felt like I needed. It was about having a goal, defining a period of time, challenging myself and seeing it through. Three months seemed like a bit of a stretch though. (I’m a realist.) I settled on 30 days of no alcohol.

I’m not going to bore you with my own version of the blogs that we’ve all read before – “I stopped drinking alcohol and this is what happened”. Instead, I am just going to give it to you straight. After just two weeks, my skin was glowing, I was sleeping soundly through the night, I had tons of energy during the day, I was feeling svelte in my clothes and I was super focused.

I think the most difficult thing to convey is the comparison of one’s state of mind when alcohol is removed from the equation. I wasn’t an unhappy person before this experiment began, but boy was I feeling on top of the world these days! I always considered myself to be hyper aware of my surroundings, tapping into my natural intuition and easily navigating through intense social situations or conflicts at work. The sober me felt like a superhero! My senses were heightened, my instincts were sharper and finding resolution to conflicts was a walk in the park. Everything was so much clearer! Had I been living in a permanent fog before?

 

Perhaps the biggest take-away was realizing that the very “medicine” that I had used to cope with my anxiety was in fact causing my anxiety or at the very least, making it much worse. Years of suffering with waves of anxiety were often treated with alcohol. Feeling down? Have a drink. Stressed out with work? Have a drink. It’s no secret that this method only offers temporary relief and often makes the symptoms worse the following day. These feelings didn’t stop from surfacing completely, but committing to no alcohol forced me to actually process what was making me anxious and get over it, rather than drowning my feelings out with a swift tilt of a glass. I was resolving my own problems! Simply put, you don’t need alcohol to cope when there’s nothing with which to cope.

My notes from a transformation class I took earlier this year.

As the holidays approach, we are faced with over indulgence and temptation, only to be met with the idea of resolutions and the promise of a new year. We tell ourselves that we’re going to be different. That, this year we’re going to change. I’m going to work out every day. I’m going to eat salads for the next six months. I’m only going to drink on the weekends. These goals that we set for ourselves aren’t always in line with our lifestyles and are often laced with the unrealistic staples of perfection that would be difficult for anyone to attain. It lasts for a little while, but we give up pretty easily. Then, we so effortlessly slip back into the lifestyles that make us comfortable. We make excuses for ourselves so that we don’t have to be accountable. I don’t have time to go to the gym today. Only 20 minutes for lunch, so it will have to be the drive-thru. I was so stressed with work, happy hour turned into ‘last call’. We do this because we need to feel okay about letting ourselves down.

 

 

Fulfilling my 30 day commitment to not drink alcohol didn’t result in a major lifestyle change and it didn’t magically turn me into a demi-god, but it taught me some fundamental things that can translate to my day-to-day life. I can make a commitment to myself. I value myself enough to see it through. I’m worth it and I can be proud of my accomplishment. If we are culturally predisposed to a cycle of over indulgence and setting unrealistic goals that lead to lies to justify our failures – all just so that we can feel okay – I think it’s paramount to tell you that the benefits of fulfilling this small commitment to myself have made me feel so much better than just okay.

 

 

As we reflect on this year and enter into a new, let’s take a hard look at what we’re really committed to. Are we really committed to the betterment of ourselves? Or are we simply committed to being noncommittal? In this new year, let’s set realistic goals for ourselves. Let’s love ourselves enough to follow through. Let’s compare all of the major personal gains to the small sacrifice that we’ve made. Let’s challenge ourselves to be committed to commitment.

Jo-Elsa Jordan

 

New Year’s Resolutions? NAH

Happy-New-Year-2016-Wishes

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

This time of year the health business BOOMS. Gyms rely on those New Year’s Resolutions to meet their quota for the year..

I am watching the TODAY show and the guy from the Biggest Loser just did a little piece on health. I thought his suggestions were way better than what I had in mind today so here they are- I just made them even better:

30 days! It feels good to write down resolutions and share them with our partner in crime for the coming year but 365 days is a huge commitment. So much of a commitment that many of us have brain farts on a daily basis and think we have 364 more days to eat healthy or go to the gym.. 363,362, oh whatever next month. It’s a vicious cycle. We love to work with our clients on immediate goals, 3 month goals, and 6 month goals. It is realistic.

Imagine the next 30 days as a challenge and then build on that! If you can do these three things in January I promise you will be on your way to a healthier 2016. More energy, less lbs, and in your prime.

CUT OUT SUGARY DRINKS. REPLACE WITH WATER.   This is HUGE. The pumpkin, peppermint frappes that have more sugar than you should consume in an entire day is over. Put that money away, drink some coffee at home and spice it up with a touch of creamer and cinnamon, grab a green tea, drink water. Drink warm water. Drink infused water. DRINK 8 CUPS OF WATER for 30 days and tell you do not feel a difference. Want to be in the top 25%? Drink water. Then spread the love and tell the other 75% dehydrated Americans to stop drying up and drink their water.

MOVE 3 DAYS A WEEK   The guy on TODAY told us to go to soul cycle but I have seen those prices and you do not have to be rich to be in shape. Although… add up the money you spend on starbucks and you may be rich. I am a huge advocate of do whatever the hell you want. Just get that body moving. Grab a friend (someone who will kick your butt for not following through) and go on a walk, hike or the gym. I do LOVE a good cycle class so maybe try something different. A class like environment may be your thing.

Eat a vegetable 7 days a week  Seems simple. It’s amazing how many of us do not consume veggies.. we have great suggestions here on BEC or hop on Pinterest and find some simple recipes. Smoothies, delicious salads, roasted veggies.. get addicted. 7 days a week… that would be every day for the next 30 days.

We believe in you.

Happy NEW YEAR! Now go drink some champagne but remember to wake up and drink a big glass of water to rehydrate. Then brunch it with some eggs and sweet potato fries covered in hot sauce. Best hang over food ever.

LOooovvvvveeeeeee!!!!!

Mary

 

BEC 28 DAY CHALLENGE WEEK 1: no secret here

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We want YOU! The challenge is starting January 5th! Together with {amazing} Health Warrior Chia Bars, we invite you to join the #blondeseatclean28 day challenge. If you haven’t signed up…..DO IT NOW!! Our BEC Challenge is about getting a jump start to 2015. Start the year off with friends, family, co-workers or anyone and have fun! Check out the short and sweet grocery list below for week one.

5.0 from 2 reviews
BEC CHALLENGE WEEK 1: no secret here
 
Author:
Recipe type: week one shopping list
Ingredients
  • 4 gallons of purified water (unless your water from your tap tastes good)
  • Two oranges
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • Two Lemons
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Piece of fresh ginger or powdered ginger
  • *Choose your fruit of choice for Days 2 and 7
Instructions
  1. Work hard.
  2. Smile.
  3. Smile again.
  4. Get a friend to join.

Week one is designed to integrate water in your life. Water is the foundation of good health. Seems simple enough but 75% of us are currently walking around dehydrated. This is a big deal! Dehydration causes havoc on our bodies including premature aging, body aches, head aches,  weight gain etc. Educate yourself! Read our water article here.  The second part of our challenge  is movement. Nutrition and movement go hand in hand. It is a beautiful relationship. Here at BEC we want you to move the best way you know how and want you to love your workouts. We have some ideas for you… so whether you are a mover and a groover or stuck in the couch potato position, we want you to try new things! These work outs are some of our favorite and designed to achieve at home. Combine days or repeat for longer, more challenging work outs or add in a walk/run/gym time with our challenges.

Day 1: Replace one beverage today with a 2 cup glass of water + 15-20 minute walk or run + Love your Legs workout with Tone It Up

Day 2: Have an infused water with breakfast, lunch, and dinner + Plank for one minute + Move your body with Beyonce. No, seriously- follow this video. Plank for one minute when done and now that you have a hang of Beyonce’s moves- Follow one more time! (fat burner)

Day 3: Drink 8 cups of water throughout the day. Tip: fill up a 64 ounce pitcher and add your favorite fruit (mine is sliced oranges, cinnamon stick and cut ginger) and make sure it is GONE by days end. + Walk OR run 1 mile + No More muffin top video

Day 4: Drink 2 cups of BEC Tonic + Jen Ator’s 5 minute cardio blast, TWICE!

Day 5: Start your day with a metabolism boost! Try our favorite lemon/cayenne water. ( thanks Vani!) + 100 JUMPING JACKS + Wall Sit <Lean against a wall and squat down, until your knees are bent 90 degrees and your shins are vertical to the ground. Hold the position. Complete one set and hold for as long as possible.> – mens fitness magazine  + 100 MORE JUMPING JACKS

Day 6: Replace EVERY sweetened beverage with water. It will be easier if you infuse your water with yummy fruit!! Tip* you can have your coffee to avoid a headache,  just no sugar or sugar substitutes. + RUN for booty sake! Intervals : 2 mile run   *If you are new to running try the walk/run method. Run for 3 minutes, walk for 60 seconds- etc. Just get those 2 miles in.

Day 7: Concoct your own infused water or tonic and post a pic. + Jump rope for 1 minute + victoria secret booty lift to work out +Wall sit until you cant sit NO MORE! + Jump rope 1 minute (holymoly this one gets me)

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#BLONDESEATCLEAN28 CHALLENGE

BEC 28 DAY CHALLENGE NEW IMAGE

We know, we know.  It’s almost the start of another year.  Another resolution.  Another gym membership.  Another diet.  Wait what?  Quiet that noise!  We want to give you a running (jumping, springing, slamming!) start into this new year!

Together with {amazing} Health Warrior Chia Bars, we invite you to join the #blondeseatclean28 day challenge.  Pssshhh, don’t tell anyone, but it’s broken down in a way that is SIMPLE AND FUN yet EFFECTIVE.  Best part?  Minimal groceries (one short list a week), no gym membership required, and no special equipment!

Here’s how you enter:

1. Make sure you follow and like Blondes Eat Clean and Health Warrior on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
2. Save the above image and repost on your Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #blondeseatclean28

You’re almost done!

3. Shoot us a quick email at info@blondeseatclean.com with a silly selfie, your name, age and weight (we will never share this info) plus your goal for the challenge (lose weight, feel better, more energy, improve flexbility, whatevs).  Throughout the 28 days, post pics of your food, progress, selfies, any and all of your challenge activities to facebook, instagram, and/or twitter with the hashtag #blondeseatclean28

At the end of the 28 days one lucky winner will receive a pretty ridiculous package delivered right to your door from Health Warrior including a month’s supply of Chia bars, Chia seeds and Chia swag!

FAQ?  What the heck does this challenge entail???!!!

Every Sunday we will post on our IG, FB, and Twitter a short list of ingredients (nothing cray, we swear) to pick up at the grocery store.  Each day we will blast out a fun fitness challenge (think: a super fun 6 minute booty shaking video) and a nutrition challenge (think: swap your crap candy for decadent dark chocolate, swap your soda for Kombucha, roast a green veggie, etc).  Capture your progress on social media, tag us, and boom…you’re in!  There are no losers here but the winner’s bounty is AWESOME.  Trust us, we know Health Warrior and they are hooking you up!  Email any questions to info@blondeseatclean.com.

Also, you don’t have to start on DAY 1 (which is January 5).  Jump in wherever and whenever you can, skip a day when life gets in the way and come back when you’re able! The challenge ends on February 1 and the winner will be named shortly after!  Just make sure to send us an email by February 4 with your final weight, selfie, and what you learned from the challenge!  Easy!

Let’s start 2015 off with a bang, shall we?!

 

xoxo,

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