October #RuralWellnessChallenge

sweaty selfie
It’s October, which for me is the beginning of the holiday season (no matter how much Bert reminds me that this is actually not true, since I willfully ignore him) and oh, the joy.

I don’t mean Christmas lights and jingle bells, but just the general feeling of celebration and the delicious anticipation of what’s coming. We have lots of family birthdays in the fall, including Bert’s this month and mine next month, and this year is also my ten-year highschool reunion and Buster’s first Christmas! Cue allll the high-pitched squealing.

Thus, I find myself renewed each year in October. I love anticipation and surprising and giving gifts and having things up my sleeve (I’ve already started the sneaky Christmas planning and ooooooh it’s delicious), so I thrive this time of year. Okay, this quarter of the year. I love the coolness of the mornings and evenings, the crispness of the breeze, and yes, my fall wardrobe. I also love not being immediately sweaty hauling my children and all.the.stuff around because gosh these boys.

I’ve decided to take advantage of all this energy and cheer I get and set myself a little workout challenge. In the spirit of full disclosure I’m happy to tell you that yes, I am also a little motivated by aforementioned reunion and wardrobe.

So, I’ll be posting each day on IG with whatever little exercise tidbit I feel compelled to share, but let’s get real: expect a lot of terrible selfies and pictures of Gaucho, my main workout buddy. My goals are pretty simple, since following a rigid exercise and diet plan absolutely does not work for me. I have to have varied workouts (save walks, which are my favorite), and can’t stand a workout schedule which is hilarious because I enjoy a schedule like other people enjoy a good glass of wine or a massage.

I’ve lost all the baby weight but not the baby inches and I don’t feel as strong as I would like. Thus, this month’s goal is a little bit of increased activity and a lot of increased exercise that isn’t walking, haha. Because we live in such a rural area, I’ll be sharing how I stay healthy (and get healthier) without the daily exercise classes, large group of workout buddies, any sort of gym, or smoothie/health food restaurants that I relied upon when I lived in town, and also how I work exercise and wellness into routine ranch tasks!

Exercise goals:
1. 5 walks or equivalent per week. I had hip surgery oh, a decade ago, so running is not in the cards for me, and I absolutely cannot stomach jumping up and down in front of a television alone every day. I exercise best outside since it feeds my soul, too, and it’s a great option since we have a whole lotta outside round there here parts. I know walking is not the very best cardio, but I get my heart rate up to 165 pushing the double stroller up all the hills around our house, so I feel like it’s not completely worthless. I’m also committing to taking the (much) hillier route if I don’t have the boys to make myself work harder. I tend to walk for 45+ minutes when I’m with the boys, longer if I’m alone.

My “equivalent” would be a PiYo workout, or several short PopSugar workouts. Sometimes the weather is too poor for a walk or we’re just not feeling it, so that’s when I’ll get a different type of workout in. Cardio is where I most miss having a workout buddy or a class, but unless I’m going to get one of the cows to learn TurboKick, I’m alone.

2. MommaStrong D15 5x per week. These are 15-minute HIIT workouts geared towards women (particularly mothers) and whole-body wellness. Lots of planks, lunges, and bodyweight exercises. They’re different every day, and the stretch portion has a daily lesson which feeds my soul. I feel better when I do these workouts consistently. I can’t even tell you how much I love this gal and the community she’s built! Try it.

3. Squat challenge. I know there are different feelings about challenges, but I love a squat challenge. This is mostly for quick results for my own personal narcissistic benefit. Again, we’re real here, and I really like it when my hiney isn’t sad, which it always is after having a baby and sitting all the time feeding aforementioned baby and recovering from the birth of said baby and also being tired from hauling around el gordo bambino. Also, I know this challenge only works your muscles one way, but this challenge is really just a supplement to the daily HIIT workouts and all.those.hills.

Food goals:
We already eat reasonably well, so my main goal this month is less carbs, particularly of the simple variety. I don’t have anything against carbs AT ALL because bread and pasta are *just died from happiness* but I’ve noticed that I’ve been snacking on crackers and chips and other simple junk waaaaay too much and would prefer to fill that late-afternoon hangry hole with fruits and veggies and protein. My go-tos are salted cucumber slices or carrots with cheese or turkey, or an apple and peanut butter. I’d also like to find a sweet treat (maybe mini Yorks or some dark chocolate?) to have on hand when I need something sweet so I don’t a) eat a bag of chips or b) raid Wacey’s special stash of mini M&Ms.

So. More fruits, veggies, protein. Less Ritz, Wheat Thins, and Ruffles. Don’t eat Wacey’s treats. Done.

Posting goals:
Every Saturday I’d like to post about the week: things that went well, things that didn’t, and goals for the following week. I’m hoping that all this posting will help hold me accountable!

Other goals:
Because this is primarily a wellness challenge, another part of this goal is to do things that add good into the world–it does good all around. So each day I plan to send a message, share a post, or do a little something nice for a stranger because gosh, we need more good.

There it is. I’ll be using the hashtag #RuralWellnessChallenge if you want to join with your own challenge or follow along!!



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