It's Challenge Monday

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Hi Friends!

It's...

Challenge Mondays

Last weeks challenges were hard! The workout challenge kicked my booty. I complete 5 days of the suggested workout routine, but it was harder than hard. After the 2nd round I was ready to give up, but I pushed through, and somehow I made it. This week I'm going to go a little easier in you guys, only because you deserve it.

My eating challenge wasn't too hard for me, but I got some emails from my readers about how challenging it was for them. Be proud of yourself no matter what. If you were able to eat breakfast everyday this week, or only once this week you still accomplished something. Change doesn't happen overnight, as many of us would like. Keep working at it, and change will come. It came slowly for me, but it came. Just stick with it and don't allow yourself too get too down on yourself.

The mental challenge was fun. I made sure to do something nice for someone everyday. I even left some spare change in a random spots this weekend. I know a few quarters can go a long way when you really need it.

 New Years Resolution Check up

This is the 3rd week in January

Before I get to the challenges, the first thing I want everyone to do is look at your New Year Resolutions.  A little proven fact: by the 3rd week in January most people have already given up on their New Years resolutions. 

We are evolving together. Here are some suggestions to keep you on track with your New Years resolutions:

Write it down somewhere you can see it everyday

Place reminders in your calendar that will remind you to keep working on those resolutions 

Tell your BFF or your significant other, and ask them, and allow them, to keep you accountable.

I'm going to make a resolution tree and place it somewhere that I can see it everyday. 

I need just as much help, if not more, as all of you. 

Ok let's get to our challenges

Fitness Challenge

Last week we focused on  cardio. This week we are focusing on Legs. A great pair of toned legs can do wonders for you physic. Not only will you feel stronger, and look great in heels, but while working your legs you also work: lower abs, gluteus/butt, calfs, all while challenging your cardiovascular endurance. 

I have a bubble butt that I'm pretty proud of. Most people chalk it up to my genetics, which is slightly annoying. Yes. I am a black woman, and I am blessed with a bigger backside them most people, but as I get deeper into my 30s I can't rely just on genetics anymore. I work out my booty with different variations of squats, lungs, and my favorite, the stair master. If you want a great butt you have to work for it. This weeks  fitness challenge will target your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and lower abdominals. 

I bet you know what the exercise is...
Squats


Facts about Squattin
* Your legs help form the foundation of your body and are essential for many functional movements
* Building leg strength is key to improving your athletic fitness and retaining independence as you get older
* Strengthening your legs will help you grow stronger overall
* Squats will not make your legs look bulky... I PROMISE LADIES
* Squats help to strengthen and define muscles in woman's legs without adding bulk, because women lack testosterone to expand their muscles as much as men

Now that we are educated on the benefits of squats lets talk about reps.

I've participated in a squat challenge last year, around this time. I enjoyed that challenge, it actually kicked my butt and lifted my butt at the same time. I ever thought I would be able to complete over 150 squats, but I have exceeded that number many many times. You can find squat challenges everywhere. This is the one I completed

This thing worked. It was pretty simple, just complete the number of squats on the allotted day.  It gets really hard during the 2-3 week and the fourth week is just straight up torture.

If you want to take on this squat challenge I fully support you. Shoot me an email and I'll even do it with you. This weeks challenge is a little less aggressive. evolvewithmary@gmail.com


Complete 25 squats on day 1 (Monday)
Complete 2 sets of 25 squats on day 2 (Tuesday)
Rest Day - No Squats Today - Day 3 (Wednesday)
Complete 2 sets of 25 squats on Day 4 (Thursday)
Complete 3 sets of 25 squats on Day 5 (Friday)
Rest Day - No Squats Today - Day 6 (Saturday)
Complete 4 sets of 25 squats on Day 7 (Sunday) 

If you skip a day that's ok, just make it up another day.
You don't have to change your clothes, remove your make up, or complete a 10 minute cardio warm up to do squats. I do squats everywhere, in elevators, while brushing my teeth, while cooking dinner, while texting, in the bathroom at work. There is no excuse to not complete this weeks fitness challenge. You can do it! I know you can. 

Nutrition Challenge 

Last week was all about finding time to eat breakfast. This week I want you to focus on eating one piece of fruit a day for the next 7 days.


Fruit Facts
*The amount of fruits you need depends on your age, sex, and level of physical activity

Tips to help you eat more fruit
* Keep a bowl of whole fruit on your table, counter, or in the refrigerator
** Cut up and portion out fruit for easy access
* Buy fresh fruits in season, they may be less expensive and at the peek of there flavor 
* Purchase fruits that are dried, frozen, and canned in water or 100% juice as well as fresh, so you always have a supply on hand
* Select fruits with more potassium like bananas, prunes & prune juice, dried peaches & apricots, and Orange Juice
* Keep a package of dried fruit in your desk or purse for easy access
* Set a good example for children by eating fruit daily with meals or as a snack. Remember children watching everything you do, even what you eat and when you eat it.


** I used this method while loosing weight. I cut up pineapple, a fruit that I started eating while losing weight. I cut up an entire pineapple and portioned it out for the next 10 days. I purchased an air sealer to ensure freshness. Once a day I made myself eat one package of pineapples until I craved pineapples. It really works, I'm living prof.  


Mental Challenge

If you haven't noticed I'm a firm believer in positive affirmations. They played a vital roll in my weight loss. I start every blog posting with a positive affirmation, that's how much I believe in them. 

This weeks mental challenge is to recite one positive affirmation to yourself in the mirror once a day. 

What are positive affirmations?

Short positive statements targeted at a specific subconscious set of beliefs to challenge or undermine negative beliefs, sort of like brainwashing yourself

A technique used to program the subconscious mind to affect change by respecting (or meditating) a key phrase about the desire outcome 

Every thought, every word you say us an affirmation

All of our self talk or inner dialogue is a stream of affirmation

We continually affirm subconsciously with our words and thoughts and this flow of affirmations creates our life experiences

Every affirmation we think or say is a reflect of that inner truth or beliefs

It's important to realize that many of these "inner truths" may not actually be true for us now or maybe based on inappropriate impressions we constructed as kids. 


Why Use Positive Affirmations
* Because they really work! I'm living prof
* Its hard to find any self-help program anywhere that doesn't include Positive Affirmations
* The more determined you are to make changes, the more you are prepared to accept change and let go of the past, the better Positive Affirmations can work for you
*  By choosing to think and say positive affirmations as true, the subconscious is forced into one of two reactions: Avoidance or Reappraisal
*  Continually repeating Positive Affirmation with conviction and passion will chip away at even the strongest resistance
*  Positive Affirmations actually reprogram your thigh patterns. They change the way you think and feel about things, and by replacing those negative thoughts with positive ones change comes easily and naturally. 

I think that's enough about positive affirmations. I swear by them, fake it until you make it, that my motto, and it works!

You are welcome to find your own affirmations, but I wanted to include some just in case you don't have the time and energy to find your own

Positive Affirmation for Health
- Every cell in my body vibrates with energy and health
- Loving myself heals my life, I nourish my mind, body, and soul
- My body heals quickly 

Positive Affirmation for Abundance
- I prosper wherever I turn and I know that I deserve prosperity of all kinds
- The more grateful I am, the more reasons I find to be grateful 
- I pay my bills with love as I enjoy abundance

Positive Affirmation for Love
- I know I deserve love and I accept it now
- I give out love and it is returned to me multiplied
- I rejoice in the love I encounter everyday 

Positive Affirmation for Romance
- I have a wonderful partner and we are both happy and at peace
- I release any desperation and allow love to find me
- I attract only healthy relationships 

Positive Affirmation for Weight Loss
- I am the perfect weight for me
- I choose to make positive healthy choices for myself
- I choose to workout regularly 

Positive Affirmation for Self Esteem
- When I believe in myself so do others
- I express my needs and feelings
- I am my own unique self, special, creative, and wonderful 

Positive Affirmation for Peace and Harmony
- All my relationships are loving are harmonious
- I am at Peace
- I trust in my process of life

Positive Affirmation for Joy and Happiness
- Life is a joy filled with delightful surprises
- My life is a joy filled with love, fun, and friendship
- All I need to do is stop all criticism, forgive, relax, and be open

That's all today folks
Enjoy your weekly challenge
Keep in touch with me through email, evolvewithmary@gmail.com or the comments section of my blog, I would love to hear about your weekly challenge progress

Blessings Friends 
Mary

References:


Coming soon.. 
How long does it really take to change a habit

Easy healthy trail mix recipes

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About

My name is Mary! I was obese for most of my life, around 7 years ago I decided to take control of my life and successfully lost over 150 pounds. But that's just the beginning of my journey. Join me as I evolve into the person I was born to become. I love to cook, craft, read, and make people smile. I'm happy you've stumbled on by. Let’s Evolve Together.

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