Last 90 Days.

They say that the average American can gain 5 pounds between October and December. If you combine the bright colored yellow an orange packaged candy on Halloween, the turkey and stuffing on Thanksgiving and the gorge fest that is the entire month of December – it really makes sense. It’s also easy to say, “I’ll start doing *insert healthy lifestyle action here* in January.” as you pound some apple pie covered in ice cream at the family holiday gathering (I’ll be the first to admit that I have done this). Why is it that we think that there is something magical about January 1st? Because there isn’t anything special about it. Yes, it’s the beginning of a another year, but why does that motivate us to start something new? Please note that I don’t think there is anything wrong with resolutions and fresh starts – I always enjoy the new year and all the possibilities that it brings. But this year I am doing something different. I am going to treat the last 90 days of the year like I do the first 30 (or 60, or whatever date people usually drop their resolutions). Rachel Hollis (I mean really, are we surprised?) started the Last 90 Days challenge a few years ago and is inviting everybody to join her. These are the rules:

1. Drink half of your body weight in ounces of water every day (so, if you weigh 100 pounds you would drink 50 oz). There is so much research done on the benefits of water – and they all say that you can only do your body good by drinking it. And yes, that means you might be using the restroom more often, but that’s what happens when your body is hydrated and healthy.

2. Give up one category of food for 30 days. After you complete the 30 days you can choose to give up the same food or move on to something else. They say that once you give something up for 30 days you are much less likely to crave/need it from that point on. Here’s the kicker – if you cheat (which is okay – no one is perfect, just don’t use it as an excuse) you have to start the 30 days all over again. It could be something simple like giving up candy for 30 days, or something a little more involved like cutting out dairy. I personally am giving up sweets (other than sweetener in my coffee) for the month of October, which will be tough for this sweet tooth of mine. BUT I’m telling you all about it to keep myself accountable. Feel free to ask me on November 1st. I’ll choose what to give up next based on how October goes.

3. End the day with writing 10 things that you are thankful for each night. And it can’t be big things like “my husband” or “my job” – it should be little things that provide moments of thankfulness. A great cup of coffee, a nice comment from a client at work or an extra hour of sleep on the weekend. If you know that you are going have to write things you’re thankful for each night, then you will start to look for things throughout your day. This causes you to develop a mindset of thankfulness in your everyday life.

4. Get your heart rate up everyday. This is actually a little bit different from what Rachel does in the challenge – she says workout for 30 minutes each day. Thanks to my disordered eating and body dysmorphia in college, I have to be really careful about not being obsessed with working out or my old habits start to creep up and I take it to an unhealthy level. So, for me, I will workout 3-5 times a week with a goal of getting in more steps on my off days. If you have the ability to workout 7 days a week? Go for it!

5. Get up one hour earlier and do something for yourself. Read a book, work on your side hustle or do a workout. Just do something that is either self care or working to achieve a goal that is life giving for you. Now, if you’re already waking up at 4:30 or your a mama who needs more sleep and not less – you can ignore this one. This aspect of the challenge is for people like me who sometimes choose sleep out of pure laziness and not necessity.

That’s it! And yes, easier said than done. But I’m doing it and I have a buddy that I got to sign up with me because accountability is key. If you want to jump on the train you can sign up here. Rachel is going to be sending out weekly emails with encouragement and tips. Let me know if you signed up so that I can check in with you to see how it’s going!

*Please note that this is not just a diet or weight loss challenge. If you lose weight? Great. But the goal of this is to be healthier by the end of 2018 so that we can jump into 2019 with new energy and healthy habits already formed.*

Happy Friday, friends! If you need me I’ll probably be eating sugar before Monday (don’t follow my example).

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