April’s 30 Day Challenge!

April’s 30 Day Challenge!

Hey, guys… guess what? I love spring! I love the idea of new life. This happy warm weather we’ve been having lately is giving me all sorts of good energy. I know I say this every year, but I am always amazed at how energized I feel in March.

So with all these good vibes, I’m feeling like it’s time for a challenge! I love setting goals and trying to progress on this journey to real health. And I find it’s even better when I have support and inspiration from the people around me.

That’s where you guys come in!

This April I am planning a 30 day challenge and I want all of you to join in the fun! Because, let’s be honest, isn’t it easier when we have someone to “check in” with and be responsible to? Yes! So I am officially inviting each of you to join me in this challenge. And the best part is that you can tailor it to match your own goals.

30 Day Challenge: April 2012

  • This challenge will begin on April 1st (that’a Sunday, y’all.)
  • Everyone who wants to sign up simply needs to leave a comment below.
  • You can choose to participate in one of the three April challenges (posted below) OR you can create your own healthy challenge.
  • Each week, on Friday, I will feature a “how’s it going?” post where all participants can “check in” with their progress. This is your chance to talk about what’s working, what changes you are noticing, what’s difficult, and what setbacks you might have experienced.

The purpose is not necessarily to obtain “perfection,” rather it’s about committing to a challenge and seeking support to do your personal best.

After the month is over I will feature the inspiring stories from you guys!

Choose your challenge:

If you want to make some changes regarding your health, but aren’t sure where to start (or just need some inspiration), here are three choices for you to consider for the month of April. I suggest really focusing on one of them although you may find that some of the other ones just naturally happen as you begin making healthier choices.

Challenge 1: Knock out processed foods

image by misterbisson, Flickr

This is a great challenge for anyone who finds themselves living the Standard American Diet. If you are really new to eating real whole foods, start with the beginner level. Gradual changes usually last the longest.

The challenge:

Beginner Level:

- Look through your pantry and kitchen and read the ingredients of the foods you already own.
- Throw out at least half of the products that have more than five ingredients or any ingredients that you can’t pronounce or don’t know what they are.
- Upgrade at least one meal each day so that it only has foods that are whole and real (meaning, no wrappers or bar codes). Yes, this means you’ll need to cook.
- Avoid processed crackers, cookies, and sodas.

Advanced Level:

- Look through your pantry and kitchen and read the ingredients of the foods you already own.
- Throw out at least 80% of the products that have more than five ingredients or any ingredients that you can’t pronounce or don’t know what they are.
- Upgrade at least two meals each day so that it only has foods that are whole and real (meaning, no wrappers or bar codes). Yes, this means you’ll need to cook.
- Avoid processed crackers, cookies, and sodas.

Challenge 2: Beat the sugar cravings

image by Chantel Baggley, Flickr

So this is my personal challenge. I’m not a candy fan (at all). I don’t drink soda (ever). BUT I love (looooove) making cookies. And even though my cookies are often quite “healthy” I know that it is far too easy for me to consume waaay too much sugar (even the “good” sugar).

The challenge:

Beginner Level:

- No “junk food” sweets, period (ex: candy, processed cookies, etc.).
- Only high quality real food sweets on the weekends (ex: homemade with real ingredients)
- Start looking at labels to find places of hidden sugar (condiments, breads, sauces, etc.) and cut those out of your diet and replace them with whole foods.
- Allow yourself two “cheat” sweets of any kind (in addition to your weekends).

Advanced Level:

- No processed white sugar, period.
- No desserts for the whole month.
- Watch out for hidden sugar and cut those out, too.
- If you must, allow yourself two “cheat” sweets (single serving each time).

Challenge 3: Move more

Image by Thomas Hawk, Flickr

If you find yourself having a hard time getting yourself active throughout the week this may be the challenge for you!

The challenge:

Beginner Level:

- Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise 4 days a week.
- Mix up your workouts to include some cardio, some strength training, and some range of motion (stretching/flexibility) into your week.
- Avoid sitting for more than an hour without taking a quick little movement break.
- Listen to your body and avoid extremes.

Advanced Level:

- Try to get at least 45 minutes of exercise 5 days a week.
- Mix up your workouts to include some cardio, some strength training, and some range of motion (stretching/flexibility) into your week.
- No sitting for more than an hour without taking a quick little movement break.
- Listen to your body and avoid extremes.

Challenge: You decide

As mentioned above, you can choose to create your own unique challenge. This may be something that you’ve been thinking about doing but needed the support to really dive in. Maybe you want to train for a race. Maybe you want to improve your cooking skills so that you can provide real meals to your family. All I ask is that you don’t use any of the following (or anything similar) as your challenge:

- Don’t try and lose an unrealistic amount of weight in 30 days. Weight loss should be about healthy changes. Focus on the habits instead of numbers and I promise you will come out on top in the long run.

- Don’t do something that your body can’t handle. Keep your goals realistic and gradual.

- Don’t  do fad diets or extreme exercise plans. I want to support YOU in your challenges, but I can’t support unhealthy practices.

 So… Who’s in?

  • Leave a comment below and tell me what your challenge is for April and why you are joining.
  • Check back in each Friday to tell us how you are doing, even if you didn’t do as well as you hoped. Remember this is NOT about perfection!  :)
  • Support those who have joined the challenge. Reply to their comments and offer suggestions, motivation, or tips.

You can always refer to the sidebar button for a reminder to the “rules” for the current month’s challenges.

NOTE: Due to an never-ending cesspool of spam, I have made the tough decision to close comments 14 days after the original posting of all posts. If you have a burning question or are looking for support in your journey to healthy living, please join the Thank Your Body Friends facebook page here.


STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note, I only ever endorse products that are in alignment with Thank Your Body's ideals and I believe would be of value to my readers. You may read my full disclosure statements here.

About the author

Hi! I'm and I’m passionate about healthy living: feeling nourished, having energy, getting good sleep, and feeling strong. I believe healthy living does not have to be complicated or stressful. I’m a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist (RSMT) and a Certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst (CLMA). I’m also an avid researcher and love to read about nutrition, the body, and toxic-free living. Learn more.

View all articles by Robin Konie

39 comments

  1. Heather Maggay

    I chose I will try the cut the sugars….My dads diabetic and he can do it so I will see what its like. I also want to try this new “Detox” Its call the 30 day spending detox. Itswhere you spend NO extra money on frivilous items: take out food, Movies, etc. Just on bills and groceries. We run through money fast. I want to challenge myself to see just how much I can save.

    1. robin

      Thanks for joining in the fun, Heather!

      I totally understand what you mean by “running through money fast.” It’s funny because I just told my husband yesterday that we are going on a spending freeze in April. :)

  2. Jennifer

    Love this! I am going to take on the advanced fitness challenge! I am also going to try to focus on only drinking water (keeping my coffee on the weekend and my tea throughout the day), throwing in some sparkling water or some lemon when I want a twist.

  3. Rachel K.

    I’m excited to join in this challenge! I have found that the hardest thing for me to do lately is to be active…especially being pregnant. So I will be doing both the beginner movement challenge as well as my own green smoothie challenge. I made green smoothies daily before becoming pregnant, and I noticed such an improvement in all areas of my life. I need the extra nutrient boost in back in my day! So here’s to a month of more movement and green smoothies!

    1. robin

      Love it, Rachel! I still have a hard time getting more movement in my day since C was born. I can only imagine being pregnant on top of it all!

      (And I love green smoothies. Sounds good right about now.)

  4. Emily

    Thanks for doing this Robin! I’d like to do the beginner fitness challenge. My biggest weakness though is all mental. The belief that I can actually lose weight and change for good. I definitely need support, so I’m excited!

  5. Camille Spence

    Hi, my name is Camille, and I am a sugar addict. It’s a habit I’ve been wanting to kick, so now I have somewhere to be accountable. Lets do a May challenge too so I can work on the processed foods as well :). I’m not as bad about processed foods, but I still use them fairly often, and would like to move away from that. But for this month…sugar addiction, you are going down!

  6. Katie

    Perfect timing!

    I am in my second pregnancy and had preeclampsia in my first. My blood pressure is already high and I have 5 more months to go. My grandmother always had high bp in all of her pregnancies too. She said she noticed processed foods always spiked it so she gave them up. I wanted to do this for myself, baby, and family but now I’m even more motivated!!

    I will do the advanced challenge! I commit to cooking a lot in the kitchen to make this happen.

    PS Also let’s say, “PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION.” I joke that I’m a recovering perfectionist. But really, getting over being a perfectionist makes life soooo much more ejoyable!!

    1. robin

      Are you kidding me? You’re the inspiring one. Grad school, mom, pregnant. Wow! Good luck these last couple of weeks. Let me know if you need anything! :)

    1. robin

      Thanks for joining!

      As far as protein powders, I personally always prefer getting nutrition from real food. There are so many different types of protein powders out there… some way better than others, but most of them are still overly processed and often full of questionable stuff like GMOs.

      With that said, though, the whole point of this challenge is to work toward a healthy YOU. Do what feels right for your body and we’ll support you the best we can. :)

  7. Crystal Nilsson

    I’m so in! Its more fitness and movement for me, please! The advanced version. My fitness movement habits teeter-totter: I do well for two weeks, and then one stack of major grading, and a laundry pile-up later, and my fitness motivation and routine goes out the window. I want to challenge myself to make the movement and fitness as high of a priority as other things because I ALWAYS feel better when I move! And also,
    (I’m secretly already working towards defeating the sugar monster!) You’re the best, Robin!

    1. robin

      Yay! I love it when my friends from far away come and play in our little internet challenge. It makes me feel like we are not so far after all. :)

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  9. Tamara

    I’m in. Activity Challenge and No processed foods. Looking forward to fine tuning my healthy lifestyle. Love your blog! So nice to see people who believe as I do about health, food, and fitness.

  10. cassia

    april is my favorite month, what better excuse than to make it even more awesome than to become healthier? i have the biggest sweet tooth, and i have been trying to cut out the excess sugars for a few weeks now… and i always fall back to the old habits. i’m going to focus on this. here’s to everybody trying to be healthier!

  11. Chandra

    Okay, I’m in. I am going to work on moving more! I have a … let’s call it “sporadic” history of exercise. I feel SO much better when I move around more, but I find it so very easy to get sidetracked and fall right back into full-time couch dwelling. I do better with accountability partners, so finding this now is great timing!

  12. Sara Mann

    I am a late commer (its the 3rd) but I think I need take on the advanced move more challenge. I just feel better physically emotionally mentally and spiritually when I move and with the beautiful spring weather I can get outside and get some good old vitamin D. With my little Elizabeth I find excuses not to move which just makes my stress levels go up… not helpful, so i need to get moving.


    1. Post author
      robin

      Better late than ever! I totally understand how a baby makes it harder to find time to move (or easier to make excuses). Glad to have you in our challenge community! :)

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  14. Keisha

    I picked move more, why I picked this challenge is because I used to work out 5 times a day and I ran on the treadmill for a hour and 20 minutes. once I had my son (5) years ago I was not able to bring my weight back down I’ve gain 25 pounds and never have I been more than 130lb. I am totally over weight and need to get back in shape. I am so glad I found this 30 day challenge. better late than never. I am starting my way of moving more eating more healthy and living s healthy lifestyle I will keep you all posted! Good luck to all.

    1. robin

      So glad you found us, Keisha. It’s definitely not too late to join.

      I totally understand your story. I used to work out 1 1/2 hours a day and then once my daughter was born I was lucky if I could squeeze in a ten minute yoga session. I don’t think you need to do an hour and half to be healthy, but consistency is definitely a key. Good luck!

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