21 Day Challenge for Change Recap

Yesterday the 21 Day Challenge for Change at Fleet Feet Mount Pleasant ended and we concluded the challenge by taking the same timed fitness test we took on the first day, which consisted of the following:

  • 200 meter run
  • 16 squats with a weight lift (right side 8 times, left side 8 times)
  • 12 tricep push-ups
  • 12 burpees (Repeat squats, push-ups, and burpee sequence three times)
  • 200 meter run

I dropped my finish time for the fitness test by 4 minutes and 3 seconds in just 21 days. Four minutes! Crazy! I was pretty shocked at that. I also used a weight that was five pounds heavier than the first fitness test. Of course, some of it was probably just a natural occurrence as my body continues its own postpartum recovery. But for real, I could barely even do one pushup without collapsing at the start of the challenge and I was really amazed by how much easier the entire workout felt and how much better I felt afterward. I'm sure my harder workout sessions and return to running also contributed to my improvement.

The challenge wasn't just about working out, although we were supposed to work out five days a week (which I did).  It was also about eating clean. My eating habits aren't generally that terrible, but after being pregnant and having derailed a little bit from my regular eating habits (but not too horribly), this challenge helped get me back on track. Everyone who participated got a cookbook called The Feed Zone and most of what I made over the 21 days was some variation of a recipe in that book. Most of the recipes call for white pasta or rice (if those ingredients are included), so I just swapped that for whole wheat or quinoa pasta and brown rice.

We were allowed one cheat meal per week, but I still tried to only semi-cheat. So when we went out to eat a few times when we had family in town, I usually just ordered fish with vegetables. I did have some delicious gelato from The Beard Cat on Sullivans Island one day for dessert, though, and it was worth every cheating calorie. And one night we had movie night, complete with movie theater treats, but I stuck to the trail mix and avoided the soda. I may have had a few Whoppers, though, because I find those hard to resist.

Tomorrow I start officially training for the James Island Connector Run 10k and I feel ready. I ran 3 miles on Wednesday and it wasn't so terrible. I don't plan to go all crazy with the speedwork sessions during training because truthfully, I don't think my body can handle it right now, but I'm glad to have a formal training program to get me back on track and I'm excited to have some races on my fall calendar after my break over the spring and summer.