Today was the first day of the 30-Day Challenge aimed at improving our physical and spiritual well-being and it went very well! First and foremost, thank you to all my friends and family (including my wonderful hubby) who have been enthusiastic in supporting me through this and also to those who have agreed to take on the challenge for themselves. There is strength in numbers and just knowing that someone else is working hard at this just like you can give you the motivation you need to keep going and be consistent!
Here’s how today went:
- Fitness: I broke a serious sweat doing this cardio and abs workout for 30 minutes. This workout basically involves intervals and alternating between cardio and abs exercises. I had to do a few modifications for the sections that had high impact exercise because of my previous knee injury, however it still got my heart and breathing rate up and burned about 400 calories (I am not aiming for weight loss but I still need to keep track of calories so that I do not lose weight). I felt great afterwards! If you are just joining the challenge, you should try it!
- Nutrition: In my preliminary use of MyFitness Pal, I calculated that I should aim for about 2200 calories of food per day to maintain my current weight (I have a hard time gaining weight). However, when I put in what I actually ate today, it came to 2600 calories! At first I thought I must have made a mistake in my calculations but now I am realizing that this is what I need if I am going to be burning 400 calories while exercising and also since I am still breastfeeding my 16 month old twice-a-day. I decided to increase my lunch time pasta portion (since I was ravenous after the workout) and to add a snack of almonds in order to add some healthy fat. I had no idea it would end up with 400 extra calories than I originally planned but this is the reason why it’s important to track calories (at least initially) to know what’s really being ingested. I managed to steer clear of chips for the whole day. I didn’t even have the desire, probably because of the thought of being held accountable! 2600 calories seems like quite a lot, given that most nutritional labels are calculated on a 2000 calorie diet. I will monitor my weight but would not mind gaining a few pounds given that my BMI is on the lower side of normal. I also realized from monitoring my food intake in MyFitness Pal that I consume A LOT of bread. It’s one of my favorite foods and if I had it my way, this is all I would eat in whatever shape or form. But I am realizing that variety is the spice of life and I must try to vary what I am eating a bit more. My sugar intake was over the limit today without consuming much processed food. It mostly came from fruits and milk (another favorite of mine). All other nutrients were within the ball-park of my target goals or slightly under the recommended limit so I’m happy about that!
- Spiritual: I started off with some vibrant praise and worship at the piano followed by some prayer time. During my prayer time, I was reminded that there is nothing too small or insignificant for God. Sometimes I envision God so high on a pedestal that I wonder if I should really “bother” him with my little details. But I was reminded that he cares about us in our entirety. He is like a father who just wants to be there for us, to comfort us in everything, not just the big things. He longs to draw close to us and be intimate with us and my spirit feels rejuvenated when I feel I have made that connection with God. My devotional reading time consisted of reading from “Praise in the Presence of God” by Jack Hayford. I also love reading directly from the Bible which has so much good advice for daily living. Today I read a few chapters of Philippians and in this book, Paul’s passion for the church is so tangible. He also reminds us to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but consider others better than yourselves” (Phil 2:3). It reminded me that even though we may have noble goals and dreams, it’s important to make time for those we cherish and to value the people we encounter along the way. Our goals are never more important than the people we love or the people we meet.
Day 1 of the 30-Day Challenge completed. On to Day 2…….