Monday, December 01, 2014

December Challenge and the Holiday Hold

Happy December!

With Thanksgiving behind us, and the evil black friday, it is time to get on with the Christmas season. Arisa wasted no time in decking the house out in boughs of folly. No, holly. If you ever struggle with a present for Arisa, a Christmas ornament will always be acceptable.

Per my Holiday Hold post, the goal is to maintain or lose weight through this Holiday season. I weighed in at 167 (clothes on at weigh in for the Hyland Holiday Hold) on the 24th of November. This morning I was 160.4 just before jumping into the shower, so I'm guessing 164 clothed. But I have been at this weight for the last couple of days. Which is a little frustrating. Well, just a little but perhaps more pressing because I am so close to the 150s. I've seen it a couple of times after losing water weight from a workout. But not at a legitimate weigh-in.

So I have decided to throw in another challenge. October to November I did the Engine 2 Diet 28 Day Challenge. I summarized my intention regarding diet in my Wrap Up post. Basically maintain a plantstrong-ish diet, with no dairy, no eggs, no extracted oil, and no meat-ish. It's pretty hard with extracted oils because everyone on the planet seems to think various oils are good for you. All the -ish's are for the times that I don't completely meet the Esselstyn Family's strict diet. And I'm not going to worry about it. Most Japanese don't follow that diet - they eat meat, they have tempura(deep fry), they have dairy, sweets (sugar), and eggs - sometimes raw. The balance of their diet though is 1) overwhelmingly vegetables, 2) smaller portions.

Ah so desu ka. Where was I? Oh right. December Challenge

This time around I decided to go for a physical 30 day challenge. I picked two that I think will help me attain my goal of 150 while I'm 50. The first is a squat challenge that I am hoping will help me do better at spinning. My instructor said that squats was one of the best ways to improve at spinning besides actually, well, you know, spinning. That didn't seem to be enough though. I wanted another one.

One of the results I have achieved with my dietary change is a reduction of my balloon-like belly. After the 28 Day Challenge my belly was 2.5 inches smaller than when I started. Unfortunately, I have had plenty of years to get that perfect balloon shape for which all strive so hard. So I have plenty of room to reduce it further. So I decided to focus on my core and I randomly saw a 30 Day Plank Challenge on Google+. So that's what I have decided to do as my second 30 day challenge during the month of December.

So for the Squat challenge I picked Will Owen's Squat Challenge. I'll obviously do the beginner version at least to start off with. I have been doing squats on some reps instead of steps during the Planet Fitness 30 Minute Express so I may switch it up to the intermediate level if it is not challenging enough. We'll see. For the plank challenge I am using the Former Fitness Flunky's 30 Day Plank Challenge. Her blog post has some great options to the basic elbows plank that we can use to change the difficulty/intensity. I'm interested in push up, single leg and bird dog versions. I think we'll start out with the push up plank and go from there. Worst case scenario is I'll drop down to an elbow plank.

Arisa has also decided to try the challenge as well. Not that its a competition but I will not lose! ;-) Actually, our schedules are generally the same but we may want to do them at different times during the day. So I created a Google Sheet that has worksheets for both of us:

Come back to this post as we'll both be updating our worksheets.

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