#100DaysToSummer Fitness Challenge Complete! ~ Designing Gal
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Happy first day of summer! And just like that my #100DaysToSummer Fitness Challenge is complete! Where did the last 100 days go? I guess time flies when you working hard on getting a healthy and fit body. I get a lot of questions about how did I make it through this 100 day fitness challenge, what are my results and what did I learn. So here goes:

What I Did
-I exercised every day for a minimum of 30 minutes a day for 100 days (14 weeks). I usually worked out longer than that (45 minutes to 60 minutes) to really get the best calorie burn for my efforts. I like to burn at least 300 calories a day with fitness.

- I changed up my workouts daily with a focus on cardio one day and strength training/circuit training the next so that I didn't get exhausted and strained. My cardio was often jogs or run/walk intervals and my circuit training routines came from Tone It Up workout youtube videos & DVDs, Brooke Burke Fitness DVDs, barre, pilates and yoga workouts (in studio and on DVD). I used 2 to 5 pound hand weights and an 8 pound kettlebell

- I kept a monthly calendar on my fridge and wrote down each workout after it was completed. Every time I looked at the calendar and all my finished workouts I got a motivational boost and a sense of accomplishment.

- I kept a food & fitness journal (in addition to the monthly calendar) and I tracked everything I ate, how much water I drank and my workout details. I didn't track my calories until the last week of the challenge when I started using the My Fitness Pal app on my iPhone. I found that keeping a food journal kept me honest and accountable for what I was eating. It's important to view food as fuel and just like you wouldn't put crappy fuel in your premium car you wouldn't want to put unhealthy food in your body. That hamburger you are craving will always be there - it's not going anywhere so don't give in to every single food craving. Now with that said I definitely believe in allowing yourself a couple cheat meals a week and eating in moderation. No food should ever be considered off limits (unless you have an allergy to it) because you will only want it more. Following the 80/20 nutrition rule is the ultimate way to eat for life in my opinion: 80% of your food is healthy, fresh, lean, green, clean & unprocessed and 20% of your food are the little cheat meals that make life fun and keep you sane.

- I tracked my calories burned during my workouts with a Polar heart rate monitor. I highly recommend this watch because it helped me to know how hard my heart worked during each workout, how many calories I burned (those calorie trackers on fitness equipment, like treadmills and ellipticals, isn't not always correct) and it pushed me further (especially on my jogs).

- I planned out my all my workouts for the week in advance on the Sunday before. I kept the workout plan flexible in case my schedule changed and I needed to switch up a workout to fit my schedule. Some days a jog outside on my favourite trails just isn't feasible and I need to workout at home to save the travel time.

- I often planned out my meals for at least three days in advance. I took advantage of the delicious and healthy pre-cooked food at Whole Foods and I tried to eat clean, unprocessed foods whenever possible. I have drastically reduced alcohol in my diet to a few glasses of wine a month instead of one or two glasses a week.

- I drank at least 70 ounces of water a day to stay hydrated etc.

- In the final three weeks of the fitness challenge I started a coffee detox. I typically drink one cup of coffee in the morning and sometimes had another in the afternoon if I was near a Starbucks or needed a pick-me-up. I've read about some of the negative attributes with drinking coffee, ranging from increased cortisol levels, acidity levels to heartburn (all of which I was experiencing) so I decided to cut it out my diet completely. I replaced it with a cup of black tea or green tea in the mornings and strangely I didn't experience any of the scary withdrawal symptoms I've heard can happen. Three weeks later I am still coffee free, feeling less acidic, more calm, and my stomach is flatter. I plan to continue with the detox. 

- I started a new Instagram account dedicated to my fitness challenge here and updated it every night with my workout of the day. Announcing the challenge to the world kept me accountable. I knew if I skipped a posting I would disappoint myself and many others that found motivation & inspiration from my daily posts. To be honest there were days when I really did not want to workout out and really wanted to take a day off but knowing that people were expecting my post on Instagram gave me that extra push to just do it!

My Results
- I lost approximately 10 pounds, about 2% body fat and reduced my BMI in the 14 weeks of the fitness challenge.

- I lost one jean size and the majority of my clothes that I've bought in the last couple of years are now all too big. Shopping spree anyone? Just kidding!

- I gained much more lean muscle, especially in my legs and I really saw the shape of my body transform.

- I reduced my run time by at least 1 minute per mile.

- I increased my body confidence and I've actually learned to crave my daily workouts. Working out every day is now a habit and an important part of my life.

What's Next?
Well the 100 day fitness challenge is officially over but the healthy habits it created are long lasting. I am not going to suddenly stop my daily workouts or healthy eating. In fact I am going to keep on going with ANOTHER FITNESS CHALLENGE! So today marks Day 1 of the #MyFitSummer2016 fitness challenge! This challenge will last the entire summer (94 days) and my goals are:

- Continue to workout every day but this time around I am going to allow myself one rest day per week if I feel I need it. I likely will not take the rest day or I will make it an active rest day with an easy 30+ minute pilates, yoga, stretch routine or a casual walk outdoors. There is a lot of pressure in promising a 7 day a week fitness schedule and sometimes your body is screaming for a break or your schedule is so hectic you literally can not fit it in.

- Continue with my food journal on the My Fitness Pal app where I will keep tracking my calories and nutrition. I'll also keep my physical food journal (I love this one) and my monthly fridge calendar.

- Lose about 15% of my body weight and reduce my body fat by 6% by the end of the 94 days.

- Increase my hand weights and kettlebell to continue to build muscle.

- Actually be able to do 10 pushups off my knees. I have issues with my shoulders and a regular pushup is quite painful so hopefully the issues will be resolved soon so I can achieve this goal.

I will continue to post my daily workouts on my @FitForSummerGal Instagram account so please follow along for lots of inspiration to help your own fitness journey. Let me know how you plan to stay fit or get in shape this summer and if you will join me in this #MyFitSummer2016 challenge in the comments bar below! My motto is "Getting fit for summer, getting fit for life!" so let's do this!!

Thank you for all your support over the last 100 days. I have some of the best followers on Instagram that cheered me on every day and gave me that extra push I needed to complete this fitness challenge. And my significant other was my greatest cheerleader and never let me fail. I am so grateful for all the motivation and love. Here's to the next challenge!

Deanna xo


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