Monday, September 6, 2010

The Primal Blueprint 30 Day Challenge Begins

The official PB Challenge starts tomorrow as they have lined it up with the American Labour Day Holiday. Hubby & I thought we’d get a head start though, so we’re prepped and ready to go today! The main reason for this is that it’s much easier to get into the right headspace on a Monday, when you are at the start of your week, and you can set up your habits for the remainder of the week.
Mondays are hard! I’ve always found this with our current work-out schedule. You go to bed on Sunday night with great intentions of dragging your ass out of bed before 6:00am to get in some exercise, but 9 times out of 10, the alarm gets snoozed til you MUST get up or be late for work! The winter just adds another deterring element to the situation... Now that it’s spring though, I’ve figured that time for excuses is over.
I think the Monday-itis has a lot to do with the weekend hangover. Think about it, you’re more relaxed with your sleep patterns over the weekend, which means when Monday hits, you have to reprogram your body for that earlier start. Going from an 8:30am wake up on Sunday to attempting a 5:30am wake up on Monday is near impossible! That could have been the equation facing me this morning...
Instead, last night, I thought about what I could reasonably manage. Going to the gym adds an extra 20 mins onto my time needed in the morning, so that was out. I could go for a walk through the park, but Canberra mornings are still quite chilly, so my motivation for that was not high. I settled on an easy 30 min body weight and stretching session to get my heart pumping and my muscles limber.
I’ll let you in on a little secret now... I still snoozed the alarm this morning! It was set for 6:00am, but I didn’t get out of bed til 6:30am. That’s the beauty of giving yourself plenty of time though. I knew I didn’t need to start getting ready for the day until 7:00am, so I had factored in some snooze time.

Here’s a breakdown of what I did for those first 30 minutes of my morning...

Start with a glass of water + lemon juice – it freshens your breath and provides a good kick start to the day (my mum also says it’s great for me too, so I usually listen!)
I did 3 sets of body weight exercises:-
10 x burpees (these are the bane of my existence, but I know they are good for me!)
10 x push ups (I did as many as I could on my toes (4) and then went to knees for the rest)
60 sec wall squat (a killer in the morning)
10 x tricep dips (I use the dining chair to do these as they are a good height)
60 sec plank (again, another killer, but overall the best core exercise you can do)
These took me approximately 20 minutes – I could usually do this in less time, but it’s still pretty hard to go flat strap first thing so I recommend easing yourself into it!
I finished with 10 minutes of stretching which is without doubt my favourite thing to do in the morning. You really work all those tight muscles and it can even help relieve tension from sleeping incorrectly the night before.

By 7:00am, I was ready to make a start on our breakfast smoothie (banana & strawberry with coconut milk) and prepare our lunch (roast pork & apple waldorf salad). A busy, but productive morning, and I’m going to be feeling good for the rest of the day.
Honestly, the biggest tip I can give anyone starting out their journey is to plan! That might sound a bit “teacher-like” but it is certainly the best way forward. Last night, I planned in my head what I was going to do, how much time I needed, and factored in extra time that I knew I would most likely need on a Monday morning. I plan daily and weekly as it helps me to have a process determined in my mind, which makes me less likely to falter. For example, today I’ve covered off my body weight session, I’ve planned a walk at lunch time (weather permitting), and will do yoga tonight (Wii Fit might have its faults, but I have come to rely on these bi-weekly sessions!).
An even greater level of planning goes into our weekly food plan (80% of body composition comes from what you eat!). I plan on a Friday, as we shop at the Farmers Markets on Saturday, and this allows me to get everything we need for the week. Buying the food according to a plan also raises my awareness of what food we have in the fridge. All too often, when you don’t have food in the house or an idea of what to cook, you can get caught in “I’ll just have take-away tonight” mode. There is also an awareness that fresh food has a used by date and therefore we don’t want to waste it! I’ll do some more in-depth food plan posts at a later date.
Let the 30 day challenge begin!

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