nancy gets her groove back: jan recap + feb challenge

Janathon proved to be the reboot / kickstart I needed to get my lazy-ass back in gear.

Funny how announcing to the world that you’ll be working out every day will actually make you work out every day. How is this a surprise to me? It’s not like I didn’t use the exact same formula to clock 365 days of exercise in 2013. I blame this lapse on my aging brain.

While technically I DID work out every day, I did not technically earn Janathon bragging rights, because I failed to also blog or log (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) each workout.

Janathon successfully completed? Not quite.

31 days of sweat? YES! I’ll take it.


The other really important project I kicked off in January was Breaking a Trail to Prom with my niece. The program kicked off strong. We were in touch via email and text every day. She completed the programs I emailed her each day, and then sent me a text each evening to tell me how it went.

A couple of weeks ago it seemed my emails were disappearing into the ether. She wasn’t responding. I knew she was studying for mid-term exams, so I gave her a pass. I didn’t want to add to her stress.

Last weekend, while visiting with my parents, my mom told me how happy she is that I’m coaching my niece this way. She told me, Cassie is working so hard every day. She had to miss exercise 2 days in a row because of exams, but she’s back to it now.

My heart exploded with pride.

I reached out to let her know it’s okay to make the conscious choice to skip a workout because something else was a higher priority. And I reminded her that I’m not here to judge those choices, so she can be honest with me.

Then I proposed the following to her:

In order to take more responsibility for your own health, I’d like to propose a change to our approach.  Instead of me telling you what to do each day, you are going to tell me! Every day, I’d like you to tell me what healthy choice you made, whether it be exercise, food choices, or both. How does that sound?

And here’s how she responded:

I just read your email and, honestly, that sounds great! It will keep me even more accountable for what I eat and my exercise!

Um… seriously??? Who is this girl and what has she done with my niece?

I am over the moon excited for what the future holds for this young bad-ass.

So now that she’s all set for February, I need to make a plan for myself.

Here’s what I know for sure about this short month: I will be out of town for 2 of the four weeks of February. Ugh.

I will definitely need a plan to avoid last minute improvisation and scrambling in a hotel room. When in doubt, look to Neila Rey for a good monthly challenge.

I’ve picked two, one focused on core and one focused on legs. I will do at least one of the two, and ideally both, every day, while hitting a minimum of 8,000 steps (and ideally 10,000) each day.

ab-challenge-intro splits-challengeHey, February… I’m ba-ack!

Keep moving,

xoxo nancy

77 thoughts on “nancy gets her groove back: jan recap + feb challenge

  1. I think that we are both on the same sine wave. I had just posted about getting back on the wagon, so it was excellent to read your post today, Nancy! I’m doing the home gym workout with a severely underused home gym. It’s time to self challenge!

  2. What an awesome Auntie you are!!! This gave me goose bumps. You are one hell of an example for her and it is obvious she admires and looks up to you. Way to go, chica! You GOT THIS short month, I know it!

    • To be honest, it was initially a giant sense of relief I felt when she told me she was on board with driving her own plan for Feb. I’m out Monday to Friday this coming week in Vancouver and then Monday to Sunday two weeks later, in the UK. It will be hard enough for me to figure my own workouts out without having to build hers and email them to her.

      The fact that this approach also helps her take more ownership AND get savvier about building workout routines is total gravy! Win-win for us both! 🙂

      Now, to deal with two 5 hour flights this week and two 7 hour flights the week of the 16th…

  3. I would call your January a definite success! Traveling can make things difficult. Luckily, I usually always travel with my laptop and can exercise to DVDs in my hotel room if I don’t want to go to the gym (my knees won’t take running on the treadmill every day). I’m sure you’ve got plenty up your sleeves, too for those hotel workouts, as your pics show. Good luck!

      • Ha! I’m only in London Friday and Saturday. Will be meeting up with blogger, Sam, so I’m not worried about getting my workout in Saturday! 🙂

      • By the way, I was just thinking of you as I powered through a HiiT workout. I just got a new Fitbit Charge HR–the kind that measures heart rate, too. Unfortunately, that feature doesn’t work too well with a heart rate above 120. I was sweating, my heart thumping in my chest, and it was telling me my heart rate was 127. My own counting told me it was much higher than that. Bummer. I had high hopes for it. How’s your new one working out? Can’t remember the name of it.

      • Well, I love that I have the on-wrist display but I don’t love the sleep analysis or fitness tracking (non-step variety). It could be that I’m just not conversant enough in the use and analytics, and frankly haven’t looked into either at all, so I’m hopeful the capabilities are better than my current experience. Hands down the best feature is never having to charge it.
        It’s the Garmin Vivofit. Apparently I can buy the chest strap for HR monitoring, but reading the review of yours makes me wonder if I’d just be throwing money away.

      • Yeah, I kind of wish I’d just gotten another Fitbit One that clips on. The steps were more accurate with that, too. I was sitting, eating lunch and reading, and the wrist Fitbit credited me with 300 steps. I assume it was arm movement. That’s disappointing, too. I’ll have to put it in sleep mode when I’m just sitting, I guess.

      • I wanted to come back and add that I researched the extra step thing a bit. Turns out since I wear the Fitbit on my dominant arm, I had to go into settings and change it to non-dominant. That way you don’t get all those extra ‘steps’ from arm movements. Just wanted to update that in case others read this. (And I don’t want to diss Fitbit unnecessarily!) It seems to be working better since I changed that setting.

  4. Awesome plan!! And awesome January!!
    Those are excellent challenges and totally compatible with travel!! 😀
    I need to come up with a feb plan…but it may just be Insanity…

    Nancy inspires me! Snaps for Nancy
    (In honour of the fact that I am watching legally blonde 2 right now!!)

  5. Hearing your niece’s story makes me smile like an idiot, Nancy. Amazing job to both of you! I hope your Feb is as successful as your Jan and you find some time for fun in-between all that travel. 🙂

    • All I’m hoping for, Lisa, is to find a home in between all that travel! I’m not losing days at a time in my house hunt, I’m losing weeks. And I don’t have many weeks left until I’m homeless! 🙂

      • Well, that’s my preference, but hubby says, oh let’s just move in with our parents for a bit and save the money we’d spend on rent.

        I’d rather stab myself in the eye with a pen. Repeatedly.

      • Living with my parents wouldn’t be nearly as bad as they have a whole separate living quarters in their (above ground) basement – so it would be like two separate living spaces. Plus my parents are way less …clingy. Moving in with his parents, even for a week might send me into nervous breakdown territory… Don’t tell them I said that. They’re awesome people but my MIL is a little …overbearing and in your face. 🙂

  6. That’s awesome, good for you both. Any time you can set up a mutual support and motivation system, you greatly in crease your chances of success. Rock on ladies!

    • Couldn’t agree more, Norm. That’s why this blogging community has been such a great source of inspiration and accountability for me. She doesn’t have that, so I’m basically ‘it’ for her. And being absent as much as I will be this month… it could have been touch and go. I’m so glad she responded favourably to my suggestion!

  7. So glad to read the update on your niece. I’ve been wondering how she’s been doing. How great that she’s ready to take the next step toward taking full responsibility for her health choices! Tell her WAY TO GO, okay?

  8. Woohoo! Go you, go niece! I’m glad you had a productive January.
    I cannot wait to see the search engine terms that coincide with your February splits challenge 🙂 please pics! Meow.

  9. Way to go Nancy!! Way to go niece!! You guys are rockin’ it!! Hello February because here y’all come!! YAY!! Lovely post!! You’re so inspirational! Have a fabulous start to your week! XOXO

  10. Wow, those are some terrific charts. And now I’m curious to check out the link to see what other treasures are revealed.
    And I love what you’re doing with your niece. She’s one wonderfully lucky girl, and it’s clear she’s not only vested in the process, but you’ve helped her to take ownership. It’s going to mean so much more to her. Either way, you’re an awesome aunt. How bout chaperoning that dance? That would be fun to see that confidence blossom.

  11. Well done you, both for your personal success and your success as a coach! That AB challenge looks great. I did a plank challenge for January and managed to get up to 4 minutes by the end of the month, which I was seriously happy about. One challenge might be enough, though, especially if you’re away from home. If you’re away on business you want to be able to walk into a room upright, not doubled over with muscle cramps!

  12. Love the ab challenge! Love that you worked out and I love even more that you had your priorities and that documenting the workout wasn’t always on that list! I think I only missed 3 days in January, some of that was illness and some of that was life, and I’m totally okay with it! I’m going to retrain my brain, my body and break my plateau! Congratulations Nancy, that’s a lot to accomplish in one month!

    • Aw, thanks, pretty lady! Now if only I could find a house, I’d be all set!! 🙂

      And go you on retraining your mind and body! The mind bit is definitely the toughest!

  13. Good for you Nancy! I’m still working my mind as to getting my ass to the gym on a regular basis, but at least I’m firmly on the walking and hiking bandwagon…Good luck with your house search!

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