August Challenge: Healthy Habits and Routines

August Challenge: Healthy Habits and Routines

August Challenge

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As summer draws to an end, many of our followers are thinking about back to school time being just around the corner and getting back into those familiar routines. While routines and schedules may not seem like a lot of fun after the freedom of summer trips to the beach, afternoons in the park, and long nights relaxing in the backyard, healthy habits and routines can make the difference between floundering and flourishing when life gets busy.

This month's challenge is intended to look at building healthy routines that are sure to help you succeed in your fitness journey. You will be challenged daily to take small steps that yield great rewards.By building these small challenges into your weekly routines, you will likely discover that a little bit of planning and advance preparation go a long way at eliminating the stress of sticking to a healthy lifestyle.

This month you will be challenged to plan for success in the following areas:

Healthy Habits - Reading

Plan time to Relax

Rest and recovery are just as essential to your success as remaining consistent with your fitness and nutrition. Make sure that you take at least one, and preferably two days per week to rest from your intense workouts. These challenges will encourage you to unplug, rest, relax, and pamper yourself. Enjoy this time, guilt-free, knowing that you have earned this time!

Healthy Habits - No scale

Plan to take a break from the scale

At EM2WL, we recommend not measuring your progress solely by the number on the scale. While the scale does give some data that may be helpful in assessing your progress, for many women obsessing over this number can do more to hinder progress than to keep you moving forward. These challenges give you a once-weekly break from weighing yourself and encourage you to look for other, more valuable markers of progress.

Healthy Habits - Be active

Plan to be active

An essential part of your EM2WL lifestyle is remaining active and making progress in regard to your fitness performance. These challenges will encourage you to plan ahead for success in the gym, push a little harder, squeeze in some extra activity, and in general become a more awesome version of yourself. Enjoy your active lifestyle !

Plan to make healthy substitutions

Making very small changes to the foods that you eat can make a big difference. Simple changes to a recipe may increase the protein or fiber of a recipe, cut down on the calories, or bump up the nutrient value. Try experimenting with some healthy substitutions with some of your family favorites!

Healthy Habits - Read labels

Plan to eat for success

Planning your meals in advance can be a huge lifesaver when remaining consistent with your healthy lifestyle. Taking simple steps like prepping a few dinners or breakfasts, planning your meals and cutting down on your grocery trips can save you time in the kitchen so you can spend more time doing the things you love!

Healthy Habits - Indulge mindfully

Plan to indulge mindfully

Planning for occasional indulgences should be part of any healthy lifestyle. Choose to treat yourself to a decadent dessert, enjoy a date night out with your honey, or catch up with a good friend at your favorite lunch spot without any guilt. Eat mindfully and without remorse, paying attention to your hunger and fullness cues. One off-plan meal will not derail your goals! Indulging in moderation will help you to see that all foods can and should be part of your healthy lifestyle!

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Plan to make fitness fun

While your scheduled gym workouts and strength training sessions are key to your success, remember to think outside the box in regard to your fitness. Invite your friends and family to join you in these fun fitness challenges.

Photo credit: John Kasawa, stockimages,  phasinphoto, Ambro of www.freedigitalphotos.net

 

Becca is a busy wife and homeschooling mother to five children ages 5 to 13. About three years ago, she embarked on a journey to health and fitness that resulted in the loss of approximately 100 pounds. Today, she is a competitive powerlifter and strongwoman who loves ice cream and deadlifts.  As an ISSA certified personal trainer, she is passionate about helping women to get started on a lifestyle of strength and fitness.

July Freedom Challenge

July Freedom Challenge

We at EM2WL hope you are enjoying your summer!

We're so excited about our July Challenge: Freedom. Making lifestyle changes can be hard sometimes! Its important to remember that you make your own rules and are free to personalize a plan that works for you. A healthy lifestyle can be tremendously freeing as you own your choices, learn from your mistakes, and keep pushing forward to achieve your goals. We have a number of unique challenges for you in the following areas:

Relax with a book

Freedom to Relax – Taking time to rest and recover is an important part of your roadmap to success. Many of us are busy with families, careers, and the busyness of life. It's important to pause and take a moment or two to unwind and recover.

Freedom to Eat Intuitively – Tracking calories and macros can be a very important part of winning the fat loss (or muscle-building) game! However, too often, we can get sucked into the numbers game and forget that we really can trust our bodies to make good choices! These challenges will help you get in tune with listening to your body and give your mind a break from the numbers as well.

Freedom from the Gym – The summer is a great time for you to take your workouts outdoors and mix things up for a little variety. Outdoor workouts provide a chance to increase your vitamin D levels, reduce stress, and are lots of fun. These challenges will give you a bit of a break from the monotony of the gym. Enjoy them by yourself, or with friends and family!

Run in the park

Freedom from routine – Let's face it, the same routine, day in and day out can be pretty boring and unmotivating. Changing things up a bit can be refreshing! Give yourself the freedom to take an unplanned rest day now and then. It will be okay! You're sure to find that you can come back to your normal routine with a renewed sense of energy and purpose.

Freedom from the Scale – We encourage you this month to take a break from weighing yourself. This can be a source of frustration for many, and really gives a severely limited picture of progress. In fact, in many cases, the scale can do more to hinder progress than to help it. Focus instead on the way you feel. How is your energy level? Are you killing your workouts? How are your clothes fitting? Do you feel confident and strong? Are you making positive choices in your life? Focus on these marks of success this month. We promise you, the scale will still be there next month!

Freedom to Make Healthy Choices – When you feel your very best, you are more likely to reward yourself with healthy choices. Instead of viewing lifestyle changes as a punishment, look at them as they really are-a way for you to look and feel your absolute best. You are absolutely worth fueling yourself with wholesome, delicious food, taking time to rest, building a strong support system and rewarding yourself with activity.

Indulge!

Freedom to Indulge – Planning for small indulgences along the way will help to keep you motivated and on track. Whether its a piece of decadent chocolate or a shopping date with your girlfriends, there are lots of ways to treat yourself for all the hard work you put in.

We love hearing about how you are personalizing these challenges for yourself! Use the hashtag #em2wlfreedom on instagram, facebook, or twitter and let us know how you are doing on this challenge!

July Freedom Challenge

Photo credit: Sira Anamwong/freedigitalphotos.net

BeccaBecca is a busy wife and homeschooling mother to five children ages 5 to 13. About three years ago, she embarked on a journey to health and fitness that resulted in the loss of approximately 100 pounds. Today, she is a competitive powerlifter and strongwoman who loves ice cream and deadlifts.  As an ISSA certified personal trainer, she is passionate about helping women to get started on a lifestyle of strength and fitness.

June 2014 Challenge-Take it outside!

June 2014 Challenge-Take it outside!

flower

Welcome to Spring! After this extra long Wisconsin winter that I was sure would never end, I know I sure am glad to see the sun here to stay. One of my favorite parts of Spring is the flexibility to take some of my workouts outside. Some of my favorite things that I associate with Spring/Summer: coming home from the local farmer's market with bags overflowing with fresh, local produce, flipping heavy tires, farmers walks, hill sprints with my kids at the park and baseball games.

Getting in some extra sunshine most definitely lifts my spirits. There's much to be said about the numerous benefits of getting in some sunshine!

cartwheel

Our challenge this month encourages you to take some of your workouts outdoors. Many of our challenges are meant to be done as a kind of mini-burst to kick up your metabolism and can most definitely replace your cardio! If you have kids, you might bring them to the park and sneak in a quick workout while they are busy on the jungle gym.

We've included a few ideas but feel free to make this your own. If one type of activity isn't your thing, feel free to substitute and make it work for you!

Outdoor fitness

Pretty much the perfect outdoor workout, if you ask me…but to each their own!

We've also added some food challenges to encourage you to take advantage of all the great, yummy fresh fruits and vegetables available to you at this time of year. Whenever possible, support your local farmers and community by buying local. You will be amazed at the difference!

veggies on the grill

We'd love to hear how you rock out this month's challenge! Do you have a favorite Spring/Summer recipe to share? Send them to success@em2wl.com and we may just feature your recipe on the site!

EM2WL_June_challengeBeccaBecca is a busy wife and homeschooling mother to five children ages 5 to 13. About three years ago, she embarked on a journey to health and fitness that resulted in the loss of approximately 100 pounds. Today, she is a competitive powerlifter and strongwoman who loves ice cream and deadlifts.  As an ISSA certified personal trainer, she is passionate about helping women to get started on a lifestyle of strength and fitness.

April 2014 Challenge – Positive Thinking!

April 2014 Challenge – Positive Thinking!

EM2WL.com April 2014 Calendar

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Spring is finally here!  After a long winter of being cooped up indoors, most of us are ready to take some of our workouts outdoors, get out the shorts and tanks, and work in our gardens.

Often, the warmer weather means that we are inundated with a whole new wave of messages telling us to resort to quick fixes that are sure to get us into bikini-ready shape in no time at all!

We're here to combat the quick-fix mentality by encouraging you to incorporate more positive thinking this month. You've been working hard on your goals all year.  Rather than resort to crash diets and quick fixes, continue to stay the course and trust the process.  Consistency always wins, and when everyone else is regaining the weight they've lost from quick-fix diets, you'll be celebrating your success.

You may consider looking at the messages that you're allowing to come into your life regarding fitness and nutrition.  Do you subscribe to a lot of diet and exercise advice on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram?  Too much information and a million different opinions about the best course of action to guarantee results can literally drive you crazy.  It may be worth it to evaluate if the messages you're getting are encouraging you or causing negativity and confusion to creep in.  Surround yourself with people and messages that encourage you to be consistent, nurture yourself, and celebrate the successes you experience along the way.  Do you honestly need to be constantly surrounded with messages telling you to eat clean, kill your workouts, and think of nothing else but nutrition and fitness?  Especially if you're already stressed about — or doubting — the process?  You'll likely discover that thinking about your fitness goals a little less can go a long way in helping you to enjoy the journey and let go of some of the stress that can be more of a hindrance than a help to your success.

We look forward to hearing about how you personalize this month's #bestyearyet challenge and make it work for you!

BeccaBecca is a busy wife and homeschooling mother to five children ages 5 to 13. About three years ago, she embarked on a journey to health and fitness that resulted in the loss of approximately 100 pounds. Today, she is a competitive powerlifter and strongwoman who loves ice cream and deadlifts.  As an ISSA certified personal trainer, she is passionate about helping women to get started on a lifestyle of strength and fitness.

 

 

March 2014 Menu Planning Challenge – Eat More 2 Weigh Less

menu planning

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Can you believe we are already two months into the new year?

How are you progressing in making this your best year yet? It's always a great idea to go back over your goals and to see where things may need to be tweaked.

For the month of March, we are focusing on something that is so important to your long-term success: menu planning. In our busy fast-paced lives, it can be hard to make sure you are staying on top of your nutrition game. It can be so easy to skip meals, grab fast food, or rely upon convenience foods full of unpronounceable ingredients if you don't have a plan. You can see how these habits may not exactly be conducive to your health and fitness goals!

Menu planning and food preparation can be a bit overwhelming, so we've attempted to break it down for you into small, manageable chunks that you can fit in, even on your busiest days!

For this month, we will be tackling a number of daily challenges that will encourage you to think ahead, have a plan, and even do some advance food prep. This will ensure that even when you are busy and pressed for time, you can have some easy, wholesome convenient foods to turn to. We are looking forward to hearing how you personalize this challenge to make it work for you. Have fun in the kitchen!

BeccaBecca is a busy wife and homeschooling mother to five children ages 5 to 13. About three years ago, she embarked on a journey to health and fitness that resulted in the loss of approximately 100 pounds. Today, she is a competitive powerlifter and strongwoman who loves ice cream and deadlifts.  As an ISSA certified personal trainer, she is passionate about helping women to get started on a lifestyle of strength and fitness.

February Challenge Calendar

challenge calendar

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Are you still committing to making this your best year yet?

In January, the EM2WL team enjoyed hearing about your 2014 goals. We are celebrating with you when we hear victories of overcoming obstacles. Many of our readers are experiencing the joy of living life while accomplishing their fitness goals.

In the month of February, we will continue working towards our goals in five main areas:

Goal setting

It is worthwhile to reflect upon your short term goals frequently. Remember to continue to frame those goals in a way that is positive and behaviorally-based, rather than results based. Are you making the choices and lifestyle changes that are necessary to see the results you desire?

Reflection

As you work towards your goals, it is important to enjoy the journey. Many valuable life lessons are missed if we are solely focused upon a long-term goal. Reflection challenges will help you to appreciate the mini-victories along the way.

Intuitive Eating

While EM2WL does encourage the use of tracking food and workouts as a way to gauge whether or not you are meeting your unique nutritional goals, this is meant to be an educational tool, not a crutch that you will need to depend upon for the rest of your life. Your ultimate goal should be to learn to eat an appropriate amount of food while listening to your body! Intuitive eating challenges will help you to focus away from the numbers and learn to trust your instincts.

Eat to Fuel

Food is fuel! At EM2WL, we are passionate about using food to fuel our workouts and daily activities to keep those metabolic fires burning! However, we believe you should enjoy this part of your lifestyle. Trying new foods and recipes that fit into your goals can help you to ward off boredom and remain consistent. Who wants to eat chicken, brown rice and broccoli every day? Learning a few new recipes will help you stick to your plan without feeling like you are missing a thing!

Fitness

Fitness challenges are meant to take you out of your comfort zone and teach you some new strategies to have fun, be more efficient, recover better, and maximize your workouts. We believe fitness should be fun!

Are you ready for your best year yet? Join us in the month of February in coming one step closer to our goals!

BeccaBecca is a busy wife and homeschooling mother to five children ages 5 to 13. About three years ago, she embarked on a journey to health and fitness that resulted in the loss of approximately 100 pounds. Today, she is a competitive powerlifter and strongwoman who loves ice cream and deadlifts.  As an ISSA certified personal trainer, she is passionate about helping women to get started on a lifestyle of strength and fitness.

 

 

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