This year, I wanted that to be different for me. Since I'm still trying to find out what type of training + nutrition program works for the goals I want to reach, I decided to jump into a month-long challenge with a local athlete training/nutrition company, Skullz and Barbells.
I've been following the company on social media all year and I love their drive, dedication to clients, and knowledge. They have a whole group of athletes that compete in shows and that is motivation for me since it's a goal of mine to do the same. I signed up for a week-long challenge not too long ago, but moving made it tough to stick to, so while I was at home for Thanksgiving I decided to sign up for their December Liftmas Challenge. (Another Black Friday gift to myself ;)
It's now day 14 of the challenge and it has been... challenging, but in a really motivating way. Since I want to keep you all updated on my fitness journey, I wanted to share some more about this challenge and how I feel so far.
The nutrition part is broken down into foods we can eat - and foods we can't. The "can't" category is huge (I miss you fruit, protein bars, and greek yogurt!) but it sure makes meal prep easier because there is a very tight category of foods I'm allowed to eat. Thankfully, avocados, peanut butter, and almond butter are still allowed!
Also, my GOSH it's been so wonderful to be back to meal prep again! Seriously, I love having a routine and knowing what I need to eat (and when) so I can get my 6 meals a day. Instead of counting macros, we have an A day and B day broken down meal-by-meal. (B days I don't eat any carbs.) I can't tell you how much easier that is than counting macros. Just the first day of the challenge I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off me!
I'm now in Phase 2 of the challenge which is 2 back-to-back days of no carbs, followed by 2 back-to-back days with carbs. (Sidenote: the second phase started Monday and of course when I can't have carbs, I walk into work and the lunchroom smells like bagels. Ugh!) If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat (kelllybelllly) you know that on days I get carbs I eat a pop tart post-workout. That's pretty much my favorite part of the nutrition plan. ;) More on that soon, too!
Even though the challenge is all of December, Christmas Eve and Christmas day we have the freedom to eat anything - no restrictions! On one hand, I'm excited to indulge but at the same time I'm afraid I'll consume ALL THE THINGS. Especially eggnog. (I'm planning to do a follow-up post, so I'll let you know how that goes.)
Before this challenge, I switched up my weekly training but was so ready to start completely new and go by a training program actually built in with nutrition.
During each of the four phases, we have different workouts to rotate through. Every other day we do the same workout and let me tell you, the first 3 days I was sooo sore! My body was definitely adjusting to the new workouts. Now that I'm in phase 2, we are doing different PLYOS as well as a push pull day. I'm loving the different workouts!
Also, this phase means I have 30 minutes of cardio a day. This whole regular cardio thing is new to me but I'm actually enjoying it... is that crazy? I do my cardio right after each workout and it's nice to just wind down and listen to music or a podcast while I walk on the treadmill or sweat up the stair master.
All. The. Carbs.
But seriously though, the no carb thing really hasn't been too difficult until I'm in a lunch meeting with rolls and pasta galore. It just means that I look forward to the days I do get carbs even more (like today) - especially since our bodies still need them.
All in all, the challenge is going so incredibly well! I'm tracking my weight once a week as usual, and have already noticed more muscle definition. Kind of crazy since I haven't been using much weight except my own body weight.
In sum, I think it's really important (especially around the holidays) to keep in mind that your health is still a priority. Maybe a month-long challenge isn't for you (and that's okay!) but I promise you'll never regret fitting in a quick workout, or eating more mindfully with a few indulgences here and there. It's never too late to start!
Happy Holidays, everyone!
This is not a sponsored post.