Dot to Trot

My world is expanding as my butt is shrinking!

My March Madness – 3 Healthy Challenges

dot weight lifting

I’m undergoing 3 challenges in March, including strength training.

I hear birds chirping. Our cherry blossoms have a ton of buds ready to bloom. Temperatures topped 60 degrees for 3 days straight. That means March is here and it’s time for a new monthly challenge.

So far this year I’ve only done one challenge – 30-Day No Alcohol Challenge. I did so poorly in January I decided to give it another try in February. Needless to say, February was a bust too.

For March, yes I’m doing the alcohol challenge again, but I’m adding two more challenges, both of which should help me go alcohol free this month (yes, even on St. Patty’s Day).

Challenge 1: Strength Training
I’m starting weight training this week. I plan to hit the gym three times a week for 30-45 minutes. I don’t want to just regain the strength I lost. My goal is to be as strong as possible. Oh don’t worry, I won’t turn into this.

So while I’m starting my training with barbells March 1, this will go beyond the 30 day challenge.

I’m pretty much following the Mark Rippetoe method. Today I work on the squat, overhead press and deadlift. On Thursday it’s the squat, bench press and deadlift. Saturday I repeat the cycle. My initial focus is on getting the positions right. The last thing I want to do is injure myself right off the bat.

Besides building strength and muscle, weight training reinforces my good eating habits. When I’m purposely lifting heavy stuff, I’m much more conscious of what I eat and drink.

Which leads me to…

spider tervis cup

Kitty agrees. I’m giving up wine this month in favor of healthier options like water and unsweetened ice tea.

Challenge 2: No Alcohol – No Exceptions
I refuse to fail at the 30-Day No Alcohol Challenge. I’ve done this challenge before, easily. Yet the start of 2016 my head just wasn’t in the game. I don’t know if it was the Winter Blahs or just no motivation, but now I’m just ticked off at myself (yes, sometimes it is okay to fuel motivation with anger).

This challenges is pretty straightforward. No alcohol, period. I know people make exceptions for special occasions (anniversaries, birthdays, happy hours, watching The Walking Dead), and I’ve done that too. But isn’t that really cheating?

So I’m opting for zero exceptions. While I don’t have any proof, I’m starting to think my body isn’t digging wine as much as it use too. After 2 glasses, I’m feeling it the next day, and I’m not talking about just a headache. We’re talking sour stomach and digestive problems.

Eliminating wine is a good way to test if my hunch is correct. If I’m symptom free, I can always test what a glass of wine does to me come April 1. Then see what two glasses do. Or test the differences between red and white wines?

cooler

I’m giving up snacks this month once I noticed I was committing a low carb sin: snacking while not hungry. I’m getting back on track by giving up my snacks.

Challenge 3: No Snacking
I eat only healthy low carb high fat snacks – macadamia nuts, deviled eggs, olives, pork rinds, etc. My problem is I’m snacking. Or I should say I’m snacking when I’m not hungry.

I’ve really noticed my snacking habit this month.

I like to get up from my office chair, step away from the computer and take a 10-minute break. I find that it recharges me mentally and it stops me from sitting all day in the home office. But lately I tend to walk into the kitchen, open the fridge, and grab something to snack on.

I caught myself doing this about a week ago. It’s an old bad habit. Something I use to do out of boredom. This time around it isn’t boredom. Maybe I’m thinking it will perk me up (I’ve recently cut back on coffee), or I’m on autopilot. Either way it’s a bad habit and I’m not happy with it.

This last trip to the grocery store I didn’t buy any easy to snack on foods. No nuts, pepperoni, olives or pork rinds. Yes I picked up eggs, but I’m not making any deviled eggs. I did boil some eggs for use in salads. But those I shoved to the back of the fridge – out of sight, out of reach.

Even if I’m hungry, I’m not snacking. A glass of water or a cup of tea with cinnamon can easily zap my hunger until it’s mealtime.

As for my little 10 minute breaks each hour, that’s the perfect time to play with the dogs, talk a walk around the block, do laundry, vacuum, or clean a room. The goal of my break was to inject activity into my sedentary computer days. And walking to the fridge and looking for a morsel doesn’t count.

Question: What healthy challenges are you doing this month?

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4 thoughts on “My March Madness – 3 Healthy Challenges

  1. Pingback: Weekly Weigh-In: My Pity Party Is Over! | Dot to Trot

  2. Pingback: Weekly Weigh-In: Sore & Swollen Muscles | Dot to Trot

  3. Debbie on said:

    Hi Dot~

    So…. I love my wine, but my wine doesn’t love me! But it was soooo very hard to give up! I love you’re 3 challenges this March, super motivating!

    Anyhow, 1 thing I really enjoy in the evening in place of wine, is sparkling mineral water with frozen fruit in a wine glass!!! It’s glamorous and good for you!!! I recently froze grapefruit and it was so good with Pierre’s sparkling grapefruit mineral water!!! I often use frozen blueberries or a berry mix with the sparkling water!!!

    Of course, a nice cozy cup of hot tea is relaxing as well! When I’ve gone to outings or social events, I’ll buy iced tea in the glass bottles and enjoy that instead of wine!!!

    Best of luck in reaching your goals!!! You are worth it!

    • Thanks for the idea!! Wine is amazing. But I was thinking of inventing a family drink we can have in the evenings now that Spring finally kicked the front door open this week. I was leaning towards smoothies, but I like the idea of sparkling water instead. This weekend I can do some experimenting.

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