30 day challenge


Sorry everyone for dropping off the face of the earth lately! I have been busy finishing up a big order and haven't had a lot of time for blogging. Not that there really has been anything that exciting to share! Although I did make a killer loaf of (ALL) whole wheat bread that is getting eaten much too fast! You really must try it. I love the fact that you don't need white flour and it still looks and tastes amazing!

But anyway, on to the main topic of today's post... I haven't only dropped off the face of the earth, I've also slacked BIG TIME with my work-out routine. I still love Ballet Beautiful, but I think I need to switch things up every month or it gets super monotonous. Variation is the key, I really believe! At least for me! I've noticed a pattern in my life with exercise. I stick with something very diligently for 1 month and then stop. I stopped right before going on vacation with the intention of doing workouts throughout the week, but never did any of them! There are many things I think that are a drawback when we go home for vacation and there never seems to be enough time to set aside some exercise time. I know I need to change that, but I need to figure out a strategy. I'm not sure what that is yet! Anyway, so I had a lot of work to catch up on when coming home from vacation, so I decided to just get straight to work and not worry if I didn't exercise for a few days. Well, a few days turned into a full month of being rather dormant. Really annoying, because that pretty much has erased all the work I did the month before. So I am starting again. I think starting a goal or challenge for one month and sticking through it til the end would work better for me than a never ending stream of one workout video every other day or every day for however long. I still adore the whole Ballet Beautiful series, but I need new and different types of exercises to keep me motivated. 

That brings me to a little challenge that I've decided to do. Don't laugh too hard! I know some of you may scoff at me for doing this, especially since it's so far from the type of workout videos that I like. But it may be the kick in the pants that I need. Plus it's fun to make a challenge and see if I can stick with it until the end. But I'm not going to stop there. I'm going to try and make another challenge for the next month. I'll just pick a new workout DVD to challenge myself with and do the same thing as I'm going to do now. I think I need variety in my life otherwise I get bored and move on. 

So, are you ready for it? Starting tomorrow, I've decided to begin the 30 Day Shred with Jillian Michael's. YES, that one! The one that everyone is doing. It's going to be hard, I know it, but that's the only way you build muscle. And strength is my main goal for this. I'm going to take before/after pictures and measurements and we'll see what happens. I'm not expecting a drastic change. I'm guessing I'll either stay the same weight or gain weight, but that's not my concern at all. And although I'm not "overweight" I really need to work my wimpy muscles really hard and I think this workout will be a good challenge for them. Anyone is welcome to join me if they like! I would love to help inspire others to start a workout routine! I know it's really hard for me to stick to things, which is why I decided to write it here. I will try to update now and then to keep accountable. Feel free to comment if you plan to do this with me! I'm planning to start tomorrow instead of the first of August, since I know there will be probably 5 days that I won't be working out (company coming) but hope to make it up by the end of the month. If you are interested, you can start anytime you like, of course! Also, another thing I like about the workout is that it's only 25 min (with 2 min extra for stretching etc - though I'll probably spend more time than that stretching) and that is a lot easier to work into my day. I think most people can spare a half hour of their day, so there shouldn't be any excuses! Plus it's easier to do it when you have an end date and a goal to work towards. What do you think? Am I crazy?

P.S. I talked about how I had a horrible flare of eczema a few posts ago and just recently I think I came across a bit of a "cure." I had been taking a zinc supplement for my acne and ran out while on vacation, so I stopped taking it. Well, my eczema got considerably worse by the end of the trip and was terribly itchy. I didn't think anything of it, but I ordered another bottle because my acne was getting worse too. I didn't put two and two together until researching it and someone said to take zinc. So I started taking a little more and what do you know? It's actually clearing up my terrible horrible eczema! Mine is behind my knees and it was awful. Itched so bad I couldn't bare not itching it. And if you've ever had eczema you know how itching it only makes it itch more and more. Anyway, I was battling this eczema since last winter (it started 2-3 years ago and went away last summer, but came back again in the winter) and in just a week it is healing up and not itchy anymore! So I highly recommend taking zinc supplement if you have bad eczema or acne. It might help! This may seem like a lot, but I take 30mg after every meal (so 90mg total). The kind I have also has copper in it, since zinc can deplete your copper. I plan to keep this up for 2 months and then take less zinc after that. Hopefully the eczema won't flare up again! Anyway, something I thought I would pass on! Sorry this is such a lengthy post! I just had my morning coffee, can you tell? :) 

{image from the movie "the women" via screwball cinema}


  1. On the 33 odd days a year I can't get outside and play I do High Intensity Interval Workouts in my living room. HIIT training is basically the 30 day shred except you blast music, use an interval timer (I just pull one up online, like this one: http://www.online-stopwatch.com/interval-timer/), and have a written list to follow instead of a video.

    When 30 Day Shred gets boring you can always look into that! It has the same effect if you can push yourself. There are a million workouts online already posted, and I just pick whichever one I feel like doing, or come up with one on my own. I have a few workout playlists on 8tracks and honestly I prefer listening to music instead of someone speaking the same thing 80 times over :)

    Getting into the habit of working out consistently can be tough but it's worth it :)

  2. Thanks Elizabeth! That sounds great! I definitely get tired of the person talking and I usually hate their music selection. Wish I could turn their music off! So this I think could be really good. I'll look into it. Thanks!

  3. I completely understand I seem to get bored after a month of doing the same workouts so my tactic is to work out at least three times a week and every day is something different including the "30 Day Shred" which I love!!:)
    Hope you have good luck I'm right there with you on the getting off track wish you the best:)
    Katie H.

  4. Thank you, Katie! That is encouraging to hear you like 30DS! It sounds so silly, but after reviewing it, looks not as crazy as I first thought. I'm excited to try something new! Good idea to switch it up every other day!

  5. Ahh!! That's the BEST part in that whole movie! Silvia is hilarious!! And Joan Fontaine has been my favorite for a long time.
    Speaking of favorites, I know how much you love Hayley Mills (I love her too!) And I found this pattern (It's vintage, of course, and as such...out of print and unavailable.)
    But I wanted you to see it all the same! Take a look! I'm sure I've seen her wearing something similar. I wish we could make these!... http://vintagepatterns.wikia.com/wiki/McCall%27s_7052
    Thanks for the picture! It just brightened my day!
    (The Three Spinsters)

  6. I did the 30 day Shred for awhile and still do it occasionally as part of my workout routine. Jillian really bothers me so after I'd done each level a few times and knew the moves, I just muted the dvd and put on music I liked.

  7. Thanks for the eczema tip! Do you know any good creams or supplements for rosacea by any chance?? I struggle with both...
    Good luck with Jillian Michaels... :)

  8. elizabeth,

    I'm glad you found the eczema tip helpful! It has been such a struggle for me and honestly cannot believe it's actually healing now! As for rosacea, I haven't done a lot of research on that, so I'm not sure exactly what the best thing for it is. However, for my eczema and all of my dry skin, I have been using Vanicream, which is really thick and is not scented. I also like that it now comes with a pump, which is way better than dipping your hand in a pot of thick cream every time you have to use it! It is a great moisturizer, but it didn't heal my eczema. Also, I've been using Calmoseptine Ointment which is wonderful to add a protective layer over the skin while keeping moisture in. Hope that helps! Good luck with finding a cure for your rosacea!

  9. don't feel too embarrassed. i've been doing the brazilian booty workout from the infomercials and it's great. for the eczema, i get my skin care from nahla beauty. they have an organic eczema product called calendula sensitive cream that really works. i get bad eczema on my hands and face and it's helped a lot. i'll have to try the zinc supplement too. thanks for the tip!

  10. I really liked the 30 Day Shred but after my dvd stopped working I got Jillian's "Ripped in 30" which I liked a lot better - it just seemed to go by really fast (the workouts seemed shorter) and they really kicked my butt! They definitely built a ton of strength pretty quickly and I really missed working out on the days when I didn't do Ripped In 30. As soon as my baby-recovery period is up I can't wait to get back to the workouts. Good luck!

  11. Nell, thanks for the encouragement! So far so good! I'm terribly sore, but oddly enough, when I am doing the workout I don't feel very sore. It's just the rest of the day!

    Sarah Jane, thanks for commenting about your experience! I am thinking I'll try another workout of her's after this challenge is over. I will look into the ripped in 30 one. Thanks! I have noticed this workout definitely goes by fast. And it's not that bad when I'm doing it, but afterwards I feel sore in every part of my body. Seriously, it is hard to walk and I have to will myself to not think about it when I do! lol!

  12. I too have given a lot of thought to how my brain works with exercising. I realized that I need to do the majority of my workouts in classes, because if there's not a scheduled time that I have to be there, I won't do it. Luckily, my local public gym has a lot of great and cheap fitness classes throughout the week. It is more expensive than buying a DVD and exercising at home, but if that's what works for me then it's worth it. Also, I have the option to change it up there and do swimming or use the weight room. But going to classes is the only thing that worked for me long term- I'm slacking right now, but I went at least 2-3 times a week for 50 minutes religiously for a good year! For me that was an accomplishment! Best of luck finding what works for you, and thank you for getting me thinking about exercising again!

  13. I feel your pain about the acne. I even went to the doctor to get prescription strength topical gel and now it's even worse! I think I will start taking more zinc than what my daily multivitamin has.

    I love Jillian Michaels DVDs. The first level of the 30 Day Shred is the hardest, so if you can make it through you'll be golden! Good luck with your exercise endeavors!

  14. Good luck! I know it can be really difficult to keep a working out routine in the summer. I just stopped with mine. I only run but still it's a bad break :P

  15. Thank you Anna for the tip about zinc, I had never noticed you had acne but my teen daughter surely has on her forehead and we have been recommended some kind of essential oil... it could possibly work if she was regular about applying it !!! it must be tough to have both eczema and acne.

    Sorry I had to smile about the very obvious "although I'm not overweight" you're one slim lovely lady... but of course always good to keep fit & healthy by exercising a bit. one step at a time. As for me, I came to the conclusion, you can stick to some exercises much better if you pick something youtruly enjoy. I usually swim twice a week but the pool had been closed for yearly cleaning & then we went on vacation, so I'd better go back to the swimming routine now !! thanks for the reminder !!

  16. Hey Anna, your challenge reminds me of ... BGR! Go Fight Win! Sounds fantastic, by the way. I've done Jillian's DVD too, and it's an absolute killer. My advice would be to alternate between that and something else, though, to let your muscles heal between workouts.

    By the way, do you remember the excema attack I had at Wilson's Creek? It was so awful in that 105 degree humid heat and those period clothes ... ugh. When we got back, I tried some coal tar cream I bought at Target (it's available everywhere) and it worked like magic. It's very inexpensive, too. I didn't even have to use the whole jar because the rash just disappeared.

    Maybe it'll work for you.

    Hope to see you some time soon! I really miss you.



  17. Hi Anna!

    I, too, just decided to do 30 DS. I was a little embarrassed ordering it, but no more embarrassed than paying three times as much to bounce around in a zumba class in front of 30 other people, haha! I have done it 2x and incorporated it into my road bike routine and I have to say that I've been impressed. My wimpy arms are very sore but I'm hoping for good results! Good luck, I'll be checking in!