October Fitness Challenge 💪🏼

Hi Guys!

As you all know, I decided not to do a fitness challenge for September. That didn’t mean I took a break from working out, I actually worked out way more! My morning walks for the past thirty days have been three or four miles, my running miles have increased and I’ve spent a lot of time in the gym. Want to know the crazy thing? I’ve seen zero progress in the way I look and I’m not feeling as confident as I was at the beginning of the summer. I really don’t get it. It’s important for me to be honest with you guys and share the struggle right now. This is what they call a “funk.” I’m running a ton, walking a ton, eating healthy and just feel blah. I’m feeling off my game and determined to find it again. My body is just being weird this month. Maybe I’m working it too hard, or not fueling it with what it wants/needs. I’ve decided to try a new approach and slow down all the working out a bit (not cut it out.) Maybe my body is just tired. You would think that eating healthy and working out a ton would make you feel great, but that’s the opposite of what I feel like. I want to try to change up the workouts and do more walking, more yoga and workouts that are easier on the body. I think I’ll cut my five days a week of running down to three and spend maybe an hour in the gym instead of two hours. This challenge is going to be light, but still a challenge. If any of the workouts are too easy for you, you can refer back to the July Fitness Challenge or the August Fitness Challenge. There are so many great workouts available. Remember to take rest days when you need them and cut workouts that are not on the same level. Listen to your body!

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I know today is October first (and a Saturday) so I’m going to start this challenge on Monday! That gives me time to shop and restock the fridge. I’ve been out of town on a press trip this week and there is zero food in there. I’m kind of happy about that because it’s like a clean slate. I’m actually writing the fitness challenge on the plane and I cannot wait to land and head straight to the grocery store. Traveling is great, but it throws me off my routine. I’m ready to get back to my meal preps, dog walks and my comfy bed. I’ll be out of town again this weekend, so getting back to my routine on Monday will be heaven.

Fitness Challenge Instagram

The challenge can be done at home and there is no gym necessary (minus the TBA week)img_3013-1024x683
This challenge is going to include my grocery list and what I plan on eating. Just note *I am not a professional (just a blogger) and you should always talk with your doctor before you make any changes to your diet and exercise routine. 

Meal Prepping: Grilled Chicken, Brown Rice, Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Vegetables, Hard Boiled Eggs, Ground Turkey
Grocery Items: Bananas, Coffee, Water, Tea, Salads, Chopped Vegetables, Hummus, Apples, Blueberries, Blackberries, Oatmeal, Yogurt, Protein Powder, Almond Milk, Fresh Fruit
ROAD TRIP SNACKS & FOOD TRADER JOES SNACKS & GROCERIES
I’ll also be doing some recipes and sharing those throughout the challenge, so you can look out for that!

Monday, October 3rd:
Cardio for 45-60 minutes (zumba, dancing, running, swimming, etc)
10 Minutes Post-Cardio Stretching
100 Morning Sit-Ups
50 Afternoon Jump Squats
100 Evening Crunches + 30 Jump Squats

Tuesday, October 4th:
Spin Class (or other preferred fitness class)
10 Minute Stretching
300 Sit-Ups (distributed throughout the day)

Wednesday, October 5th:
4-6 Mile Walk
20 Minute Stretching
300 Crunches (distributed throughout the day)
100 Push-Ups (distributed throughout the day)
Friday Night Gym Date Friday Night Gym Date
Thursday, October 6th:
4-6 Mile Run (or other cardio)
15 Minute Stretching
400 Sit-Ups (distributed throughout the day)

Friday, October 7th:
3-6 Mile Run (or other cardio)
15 Minute Stretching
500 left/right/center Crunches (distributed throughout the day)

Saturday, October 8th:
4 Mile Walk
25 Minute Stretching or Yoga Class
IMG_1021 sweat cycle studio charlotte nc
Sunday, October 9th:
4-8 Mile run (or other cardio)
20 Minutes Deep Stretching

Monday, October 10th-16th
TBA (fitness challenge with Asics)

Monday, October 17th:
4-8 Mile Walk
1-3 Mile Run (or other cardio)
Stretching
400 Crunches left/right/center Crunches (distributed throughout the day)

Tuesday, October 18th:
2-4 Mile Walk
Circuit
50 Crunches (right/left/center)
10 Push-Ups
20 Squat + Right Side Kicks
10 Push-Ups
20 Squat + Left Side Kicks
1 Minute Wall-Sit
50 Crunches (right/left/center)
10 Burpees
10 Push-ups
50 Sit-Ups
20 Mountain Climbers
20 Dumbbell Bench Presses
50 Jumping Jacks
100 Crunches (right/left/center)
REPEAT 2X & stretch

Wednesday, October 19th:
4-8 Mile run OR walk
10-15 Minutes Deep Stretching
200 Crunches (left/right/center, alternating)

Thursday, October 20th:
1-5 Miles Walk
10 Minute Stretch
500 Crunches (left/right/center alternating)(distributed throughout the day)
200 Push-Ups (distributed throughout the day)
50 Jump-Squats (distributed throughout the day)

Friday, October 21st:
1-5 Miles Run (or other cardio)
10 Minute Stretch
500 Crunches (left/right/center alternating)(distributed throughout the day)
crowders mountain charlotte nc hiking mountain sweat
Saturday, October 22nd:
Hike!
10 Minute Stretch
Relax

Sunday, October 23rd:
4-8 Mile run (or other cardio)
20 Minutes Deep Stretching

Monday, October 24th:
2-4 Mile Walk (optional)
Circuit
:
50 Crunches (right/left/center)
10 Push-Ups
20 Squat + Right Side Kicks
10 Push-Ups
20 Squat + Left Side Kicks
1 Minute Wall-Sit
50 Crunches (right/left/center)
10 Burpees
10 Push-ups
50 Sit-Ups
20 Mountain Climbers
20 Dumbbell Bench Presses
50 Jumping Jacks
100 Crunches (right/left/center)
REPEAT 2X & stretch

Tuesday, October 25th: 
500 Crunches (left/right/center alternating)(distributed throughout the day)
copper joint copper joint
Wednesday, October 26th:
4-6 Mile Walk or 8-10 Mile Bike Ride
Stretch 15 Minutes
500 Crunches (left/right/center alternating)(distributed throughout the day)

Thursday, October 27th:
4-6 Mile Run (or other cardio class)
500 Crunches (left/right/center alternating)(distributed throughout the day)
200 Push-ups (distributed throughout the day)

Friday, October 28th:
1-4 Miles Walk
10 Minute Stretch
Relax

Saturday, October 29th:
1-4 Miles Walk
Circuit:
10 Minute Stretch
10 Jump Squats
20 Left & Right Alternating Lungest
20 Sit-ups
15 Push-Ups
20 Mountain Climbers
20 Left & Right Side Leg Raises
10 Burpees
1 Minute Wall Sit
Repeat 30 Minutes

Sunday, October 30th:
1-4 Mile Walk/Run
Yoga Class

Monday, October 31th:
Happy Halloween
Do the Monster Mash.

I’ll be posting all about the fitness challenge, updates, reposts, eats, and more on the Fitness Challenge Instagram!!! Tag me in your posts 🙂

QUESTIONS FOR YOU!

  1. Have you ever been in a rut, even though you’re doing everything right?
  2. What are your Fall Fitness Goals?

Comments

  • Jess

    Hi Taralynn!! Thank you so much for this fitness challenge!! I can relate to what you are going through I have been in a fitness and physical funk as well. It’s been tough, but thank you for sharing your experience and your advice. You are a ray of sunshine and I know with time funk will pass. Take care

    -Jess

    Reply to Jess
  • Sara

    Hi Tara! I’ve been enjoying your blog for years but never comment. When you mentioned feeling stuck/in a rut last month fitness-wise, I immediately thought about a super awesome podcast episode I listened to: it’s called The Model Health Show and just last week they were interviewing a guy named Dr. Jade Teta about this exact topic. It was about how the “eat less, exercise more” approach doesn’t work, and that it’s better to either “eat more, exercise more” (like an athlete) or “eat less, exercise less” (still with lots of low impact movement like walking – more of the European approach). It sounds like maybe you were burning so much energy in your workouts that you weren’t eating enough to keep seeing progress? Just a thought!! I don’t know your body or your diet but when you wrote that I immediately thought of that podcast episode that was really enlightening to me. You can listen to it in iTunes <3 I hope you find it interesting! Thanks for everything you share with your readers, I love your stories and photos!

    Reply to Sara
  • 1Q

    hey tara!
    1. i’ve definitely been in a rut before, but it was because i thought that i was doing everything right when i wasn’t. sometimes i have a difficult time remembering that this journey is life and it’s not a quick fix. sometimes i get impatient and slip back into old habits. sometimes i have to remind myself that this is a lifelong journey and it’s not supposed to have instant results.
    2. my fall fitness goals are to drink A LOT more water (while TRYING to cut back on the coffee, being more active outside with my pup, and working on meal prepping.
    i can’t wait for this month’s fitness challenge! 🙂
    autumn 🙂

    Reply to 1Q
  • 1Q

    Hey Tara!
    1. I’ve definitely been in a rut because i thought i was doing everything right but it turns out that i wasn’t :/ i sometimes tend to get caught up in wanting to see results fast and when I get impatient i can fall back into bad habits. I’ve gotten a lot better about it over the years
    2. My fall fitness goals are to drink a lot more water (TRY to cut back on the coffee as well), be more active outdoors with my pup, and to work on meal prepping!
    I’m so excited for this month’s fitness challenge! 🙂
    -Autumn

    Reply to 1Q
  • Laura

    Hi Tara! I love your blog. I too have dealt with an eating disorder in my past, and I think while it was a very difficult time for me to go through, it has also given me such an appreciation now for all the my body CAN do. Especially having this past, it is easy to consistently focus on results. RESULTS DO NOT HAVE TO MEAN WEIGHT LOSS OR MORE DEFINITION. This has taken me a long time to be comfortable with. Have you thought that maybe your body is just at peace with where it is? I love that you always mention to listen to your body, and that you are taking a break from all the work outs. But I think it might also be helpful to ditch a daily plan. I have always felt my healthiest (physically and mentally) when I am able to approach each day as its own, and not setting up any expectations. Its important to listen to your body, because it might be different from each day to the next. Wish you well!

    Reply to Laura
    • Emily

      Hi Tara. I like to pop in on your blog from time to time, and this post really resonated with me. I have to agree with Laura- I used to be very rigged about my schedule when fighting my eating disorder, but now I simply take it day by day and see how I feel! When I was sick I used to run 5-6 days a week a high amount of miles, but I was running my body down. When I gained the weight back but kept keeping to a rigid and fixed running schedule I was unhappy and not looking how I wanted. I would exercise for hours and felt run down with no results. I’ve finally learned within the last year or two to let go of my need for control and repetitiveness, and to change up my exercise and eating. In only running 2-3 days a week and doing HIIT, strength, cardio, or yoga no more than an hour the rest of the days, I’ve been so much happier, have gotten out of my rut, and feel great! Changing up my exercise made me excited to work out, not dread having to run run run. One fitness website I love that I highly recommend- fitnessblender. They are amazing! I also would suggest you watch Kelli’s story. I think you could really relate to it! I also stopped having a salad for lunch every day and instead incorporated wraps, sandwiches, more healthy grains and protein. I personally felt better and fuller longer!

      Please take this all with a grain of salt and remember that I don’t know you! You could be totally content with your eating and workouts and that’s great : ) I just wanted to chime in on this post about you feeling “blah,” because I felt I could relate. I wanted to respond simply because like you I struggled with anorexia and under-eating/over-exercising, and that my only intention is to help someone else in their recovery to feeling better. I hope you start to feel better. Wishing you luck as you figure out your health and fitness journey!

      P. S. Again, highly recommend fitnessblender, their workouts, and Kelli’s story!!! : )

      Reply to Emily
  • Bri Kozior

    I’ve never done a fitness challenge before so i’m very excited to try yours! I’ll be making a few moderations along the way of course but i’ve loved reading your blog for so long and i’m really excited to finally try one of these out.

    Have you ever tried Barre3? Not sure if there’s a studio near you but i am OBSESSED. it’s the first workout i’ve ever done in my life–with sports, the gym, workout videos, running, etc.–that i’ve ever actually seen my body change in as short as one month. I suddenly had definition in my arms which has never happened to me before. I would definitely recommend trying it out, you might love it and it’s so fun to add into a routine, especially if you want to do more low impact/take a break this month but still keep up with your workouts. Anyway, thanks for always posting such candid and fun blogs; hoping to one day meet you in person for a meal! I’d love to cook for you/with you one day!

    Reply to Bri Kozior
  • Pia

    Dearest Tara,
    Pia, fellow reader from Germany here!
    I’ve been reading your blog for over two years so far and this is the first time for me to publicly comment and admit: I really do love your posts! It is so great to watch you develop and grow in what you’re doing – be it fitness, dog whispering (cuddles to Grumples! <3) or photography. I certainly am a huge fan of yours – and Becca's as well! (You're doing an amazing job lady, keep going. You are perfect as you are!)

    Firstly: I know being stuck in a rut -so, so- well! For the last monts, I've been training harder than ever, eating cleanlier than ever, even going as far as restricting my calories and actually tracking them as closely as possible. As I felt I was not making any progress (actually gaining weight instead of losing any …), I became frustrated and developed a negative mindset, primarily directed against my body.
    Until a few weeks ago, when I read a very thoughtful article in a paper and realized that I was apparently on the wrong track. Instead of permanently denying myself any treats and relaxation, I started to appreciate my body just as it is. I gave myself some rest from training (I had a -daily- routine of running, lifting weights and track and field) 1-2 times per week and decided to enjoy the body that God has gifted me. Not only accepting it, but really embracing and loving every bit and piece!
    And suddenly, I saw results – my performance got better and also, I noticed the change in my body. Not in weight maybe, but certainly in looks, muscles and running.

    Maybe a little more rest could help you as well, Tara? But, more importantly: Just looking at your pictures and your running performance, I personally have the feeling that you made great and lovely progress during summer! I really admire your body and think that you look utmost adorable and in best shape.

    SO – long story short – I still hope for you to reach your personal goals and get over that rut. But for now, just receive my lots of love from Germany and try to appreciate what you already got. In my eyes, it's already perfect!

    xoxo and <3,
    Pia

    Reply to Pia
  • Sierra

    Hey Tara, thank you for sharing! I too, found that when I stopped working out so hard and stressing about what i was eating (easier said than done), I actually LOST weight (like 20 lbs, some probably muscle too, but Im still strong!). What? I have no idea. I think my body needed rest. I feel healthier than ever by not planning my meals (but having healthy things available), listening to my body for fullness and when it was too tired. I don’t know why it has been so hard to do that in the past. Anyway, good luck finding balance and thank you for sharing your journey!
    My current goals are to be strong enough for my job (CNA–lifting people) and to improve my 10k time!
    I love all things pumpkin, too!! I will have to try those spiced nuts and english muffins!!
    much love,
    S

    Reply to Sierra
  • Lorissa

    Can’t wait to get going on this! I’ve torn my knee and awaiting surgery, but I am using this month to get myself in gear for it. The healthier I can be ahead of surgery, the better my recovery will be. The past month has been a bit of wallowing in self-pity being lazy and emo-eating. But, no more! Thank you for the push! Already got my 100 situps in, and I’ll be off to the gym shortly. Modifying things slightly – ie: no running – but I’ll get cardio in 🙂

    Thanks for being such a great inspiration!

    Reply to Lorissa
  • Ashley Kohl

    Hi Tara! Working out a ton can actually have a reverse effect. you have to give your body time to rest so it can be challenged again when you go hard. if you work out too much, your body becomes accustomed to that level of activity. I work out a lot too, and sometimes i take a week long break to reset and just do some light walking to stay moving. Also, have you ever tried a vegan diet? this can give you much more energy throughout the day! I have been vegan for almost a year and feel better than I ever have my whole life. I feel like this is something you’d be great with because there are so many awesome recipes out there and it is great for the environment and animals! Check out the documentaries on Netflix 😉

    Reply to Ashley Kohl
  • Aleysha

    Hey Tara!

    I’ve been in a rut many times. Most recently, I hit a plateau because I wasn’t eating enough/correctly for fuel my body for the workouts I was trying to do/muscle I was trying to build. I think I tend to focus on being “skinny” and forget that low calories doesn’t mean the body that I want. (I lost about 30 lbs a few years ago and am terrified of putting it back on) So its a work in progress 🙂

    I have a few fall fitness goals (I’m going to the Virgin Islands in December, so I’m in bikini body prep mode)

    1. Try yoga. I’ve been wanting to get into it for years and have been too nervous because I’m uncoordinated haha.

    2. Plan workouts ahead and focus on certain areas. The last year or so I’ve gotten lazy and I kindof just show up at the gym and do whatever feels right that day, so I want to get back to planning ahead and having a work out routine.
    -looks like your challenge could help me out with this one, so thanks 🙂

    Have a good week!

    Reply to Aleysha
  • Alivia

    Love the challenge!

    Reply to Alivia
  • Brittany M.

    Hi Taralynn,

    I have definitely been in a rut before. In fact, I kind of feel like I am now. My plan is prayer! God will show us where he wants us to be and who he wants us to be if we surrender our lives to him. Surrendering is a scary word if you’re like me, a person who likes to have control, but ultimately I am at the most peace when steps align with what God wants for me.

    My fall fitness goals include

    1. To lose 15 to 20 lbs.
    2. To lose 1-2 inches from my waist and hips.
    3. To start training for a 5k to do in the spring.
    4. To exercise at least 3 times per week.

    I’ve printed your October for challenge. It’s not realistic for me to do everyday but I can definitely use it as a guide!

    Thanks for your post!

    Reply to Brittany M.
  • Ashton Jury

    I totally understand being stuck in a rut! I feel like I have been, and I’m pretty sure it’s because of my diet. I’m gaining muscle and losing inches, but my weight is just not moving. I also really need to up my water intake.
    My fall fitness goals is just to maintain a steady work out and to get my running times up. I am running the ragnar trail run here in Southern California in November. My goal is to also sign up for more small 5 & 10ks mostly just because I love the medals and sense of accomplishment I feel getting one.
    I can’t wait to read about all of your adventures in Tennessee and San Francisco! You need to come visit So Cal! I’m heading out next week to go hiking in the Sequoia National forest!

    Reply to Ashton Jury
  • Rachel

    Hi, it may be a good idea to change up your routine. Doing a push (chest, shoulders, triceps), pull (back and biceps), and leg strength split really did wonders for me. Way better than cardio all the time. Heavy weight training majorly broke me out of my plateau. I just worry because your challenge seems a little…excessive. I mean 500 crunches a day is a lot. There are some great programs to follow on bodybuilding.com (Jamie Eason for example). These programs are made by professional trainers who really know the body. Anyways, it’s worth a shot and it super helped me lose about 15 pounds incredibly fast and gain an awesome booty!

    Reply to Rachel
  • Rachel

    I got in the same kind of rut. Working out hard, eating healthy, but not seeing the results I expected. And the big thing that changed for me was only running twice a week and spending four days doing just strength training for an hour with weights. I also upped my calorie intake to around 1800 (healthy calories) a day. Some people even up it to 2000, but I just wasn’t hungry enough to eat that many calories. I also cut out protein bars. There are some that are healthy, but I realized that eating things like Larabars and Quest bars are terrible for you. They market them as healthy, but they aren’t at all. Just what I did, everyone is different though! But switching up your workout plan is a great idea! Helps your body and your mind, so you don’t get too bored. Also, you look amazing, so don’t fret too much!

    And my fall fitness goals are to get my crap together honestly. I had a problem with my hip, and my chiropractor put me off basically all exercise for 8 weeks, and I was bummed about not exercising so I was eating terribly. It has caught up. But the 8 weeks are over, so I am excited about getting back where I was.

    Reply to Rachel
  • Mackenzie

    Oh the dreaded rut! I think you are hitting it on the nail with cutting back on working out. It seems conterintuitive, but I know when I am at a plateau that is usually the best way to re-group. You probably already know all this- but muscles retain a lot of water and sodium when they are constantly overworked. Having a few days of just drinking tons of water, eating foods low in sodium, and light exercise (or no exercise) can usually do the trick for me! Everyone is so different, but I just thought I’d share. Oh- and yes, yoga too! When our bodies are overstimulated in a stress state we release catecholamines that increase our blood sugar, blood pressure, and decrease our immune system and digestion. Okay- i’ll shut up about my nursing tidbits now. Maybe one more thing- a few slices of grapefruit go a long way 😉 Now go have yourself a very restful week <3 You earned it!

    Reply to Mackenzie
  • Linda @ the Fitty

    Thanks so much for being honest with us Tara! I’m sure that what you’re doing is the right thing–to completely change things up and see how you feel. Keep us in the know about how things are going. It’s so frustrating that you’re working hard and seeing no changes! It’s weird how sometimes when we do less, the body will lose weight?

    Can you share some ideas why you’re choosing to exercise less? I’m just curious!

    Reply to Linda @ the Fitty
  • Brooklyn

    I am in a rut right now. I admit that I haven’t been working out much but that’s because of stomach cramps and pelvic pain and not wanting to over do it. But I’m thinking that maybe working out lightly could actually help with the stomach/pelvic pain, so it’s worth a shot!

    My fall fitness goals are to cook healthier meals and be more active.
    And to try to get outside more instead of allowing myself to be holed up in my apartment!

    http://www.justbeingbrooklyn.com

    Reply to Brooklyn
  • Julie

    I am so like you in that i enjoy to torture myself a bit with over exersing and cutting calories, I can tell you that I still do this, but find it odd that when I cut back on that, I feel better and lose weight, but it scares me, because I don’t want to “over relax” and risk getting “skinny fat” either. I’m still trying to find that “happy medium” at age 40+😬. I so enjoy keeping up with you, because I think you are on the right track and inspire so many people. Everybody’s body is different, and very few can pull off the “ripped to shreds” look that all of us that work our butts off every day want. Keep being you!

    Reply to Julie
  • Anonymous

    Hi Taralynn
    I know how you feel! I go through phases where I eat super healthy and workout and don’t lose any weight and then other times I literally eat what I want, but still work out, and lose weight. Its frustrating. I’m in a rut right now too.

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Julie

    Hi Tara,
    Yes I have been a rut too, it took more than 5 years for me to figure out that more than exercise and sleep–there were some real core systemic health issues I was dealing with. I found out I am allergic to gluten, soy and dairy. Once I cut these foods out–I felt much better. I also try to avoid canola oil and stick to olive oil and coconut oil for cooking(Which you seem to being doing as well:)) I have taken my diet to a different level and have cut out animal products-including all meat and I feel amazing!
    I also limit grains to 1-2 servings three times a week. No alcohol.

    Another factor that definitely has an ICk level to it is parasite cleansing, which the mainstream north american perspective views as only a third world issue, but unfortunately with import foods-people in Canada, U.S and Europe are not immune. Look up naturopathic formulas like para-way and the natural turpentine protocol. Dr. Jennifer Daniels explains it on her website.

    These measures seem extreme to most people, but they absolutely will give vitality, stamina, endurance back to a new amazing level.

    Environmental exposures, like mold, air purifying and distilled water are also other crucial factors. Dr. Klinghart writes extensively about this–(specifically for Lyme patients) but it applies to all people.

    Hope you find this useful, I know incorporating all these into my life has been completely transformative for my health. Look into essential oils as well, they are incredible energy boosters-helped me cut back my caffeine–especially frankincense essential oil. Msg me if you want to know more, thank-you for your wonderful posts!

    Reply to Julie
  • Kiki

    When you set a fit challenge for yourself what’s your ultimate goal? Feeling fit? Looking fit?

    I ask because I can relate to these feelings a lot and have found that when they come around it’s usually because I’m over stressing about trivial things like gaining a couple pounds or not having defined enough abs…stuff that in reality has no bearing on my overall fitness!

    One thing that keeps me focused and feeling great about myself is setting tangible performance goals! For instance if you love running, maybe strive and train to run a 20 minute 5k or a half-marathon! If you love weight lifting, aim for a milestone like a body weight squat or deadlift. Pursuing these goals keeps me feeling great and proud of my progress even if the scale or reflection in the mirror isn’t changing. 🙂

    Reply to Kiki
    • Melissa

      I love your suggestion of aiming to reach a milestone as a goal instead of losing weight and other goals based on appearance. What a good reminder that the point of exercise is to increase overall health, strength, and well being…. not just looking better. A reminder that we all need occasionally!

      Reply to Melissa
  • Vanessa

    Thank you for this post, the challenge looks amazing and I am very excited to get going with it! And I appreciate your honesty with talking about the difficulties you encounter. For you as such a role model to many readers, it is important to give them an idea of what the full picture looks like. So great job and I hope you’ll get over your rut soon!

    Have you ever been in a rut, even though you’re doing everything right?
    Actually, I never experienced a rut although I did everything right. For me its always the outer factors that kick me out of my routine. So that might be an illness or injury, a stressful period without time to work out or a vacation or trip. These things really mess with my habits of working out and eating healthy and it takes me a long time to get back in the swing.

    What are your Fall Fitness Goals?
    I hope to implement a much healthier diet than I am eating now. But my new flatmates all care about healthy eating and I already notice that they are a great motivation for me to do the same. Also I want to build up a better overall fitness and stamina again. Summer was crazy for me and workouts didn’t really fit into the messy lifestyle I had. So now I want to make exercise part of my habit again and also take up the opportunities my new university offers. Theres so many things to try and I am very excited for that already!

    Reply to Vanessa
  • Brooke

    Hey Tara!

    I’m a busy college student with NO time or interest for working out, but recently, I’ve started going to classes at my school’s gym and I’m OBSESSED (how did that happen?). When I started exercising, I remembered your blog and got a rush of inspiration! Now, I’m really looking forward to living a healthy lifestyle, and continuing to push towards my goals So needless to say I am super pumped for this challenge. As for the questions:

    1. Yes, yes, yes! If I’m ever in a rut, I always look to my friends and family for inspiration. Hearing from them always puts things in perspective and makes me realize “hey, I can get through this and be even stronger than before!”
    2. My Fall Fitness Goals are really to just keep moving. Also, I really would like to work on Clean Eating…which for a busy on-the-go college student isn’t always the easiest things to do. I’m going to have to change some things here and there (and say no to some slices of pizza…) but I know that the way I feel at the end of the day will be worth it!

    You’ve got this, Tara! Your readers are cheering you on! 💪🎉💕

    Reply to Brooke
  • Lauren

    Hey Taralynn!
    I’m sorry you’re in a rut! That must be so frustrating! If it helps, you look awesome and you’re so inspiring!
    1. I’ve definitely been in a rut before but unfortunately, it’s usually my own fault! Healthy eating is tough sometimes but I love working out!
    2. My goals are to slim down and tone up this year! My university has awesome fitness classes that are incredible so I’ve been doing those at least 4 times a week! It’s so much easier to work out in a group setting for me. Plus it’s fun and full of workouts I never would have thought of!

    I hope things get better and the rut goes away soon! 🙂
    http://clareascanbe.blogspot.com/

    Reply to Lauren
  • Luana Schumann

    Yaay I love your fitness chalenges! Now, about the questions:
    1- yes. Once I was strictly heavy weight lifting and some running ocasionally, and after a while I stopped seeing progress, and it starded to be boring to the point of finding several excuses to skip the gym everday. After some time feeling down about it, i just quited for a while and took some time to rest, doing things i enjoyed like walking on my city’s historical area and yoga. When I started lifting again, I took it waaaaay slowly and lightly, and now I feel like my body its beggining to feel good again.

    2- well, I from Brazil, so actually right now I am preparing for summer! Haha! So, my summer goals are to get a little stronger (I have a knee problem that requires strenght training) and to lean out for all the smaller clothes!

    Xoxo!

    Reply to Luana Schumann
  • Jenna

    Hi Tara,

    I generally don’t leave comments, but I do read here often. This particular post was extraordinary in the fact that you have such a great social platform, and are basically telling your fanbase that you are pushing yourself a little hard (maybe) and not giving yourself much needed rest. I think that’s admirable and the mark of a good blogger- just plain honesty. Thank you for being honest with us about how you’re feeling- it’s truly nice to know you care to inform us of the good, the bad, and the ugly in life instead of just the gushy stuff. 🙂

    As for the questions:

    1. I am a certified yoga instructor (absolutely love it), and I have recommended to EVERYONE to delve into meditation, even if only for 5-10 minutes a day; anything helps as long as you have that moment to dedicate to focusing on your inner/spiritual needs. Also, stating the obvious, I highly recommend finding a great yoga practice. I notice that a lot of people start to feel better with hatha yoga as beginners, so if you can, find a Yoga Alliance or Kripalu associated studio, because they can help you so much. If time is an issue, look up Rodney Yee. He’s my all time favorite. Those are my methods to help pull myself from the death grip of ruts.

    2. Because I have been so sick lately, I haven’t been running as much as I used to. Respiratory infections are horrible beasts, and I hate being stuck in the house and in bed. My goal for this month is to slowly start running again when I’m cleared by my doctor. You, generally speaking, always think you know better, but you end up having to follow the medical advice. You’d think as a medical student I’d finally just shut up and listen already. 😉

    Rest up, get a great instructor for yoga, find some nice meditation music, and get back to feeling better and getting out of that funk.

    Reply to Jenna
  • Bethany @LuluRuns

    Been there, done that! Isn’t it so frustrating to be doing everything right and still not see results? I’ve learned that my body is smarter than me and it knows what it needs better than I do sometimes 😉
    Most of the time, when I feel this way, I’ve done too much and need to rest, cut things down, and change up my routine/food intake. (Usually I’ll need to increase my calories)
    Looking forward to the challenge! You’ll be crushing your fitness goals in no time! You got this girl. 💪🏼

    Reply to Bethany @LuluRuns
  • Kat

    Working out too much can definitely halt progress. Your body needs to recover and too much stress (physically and mentally) can stall or even reverse progress.

    Reply to Kat
    • Olivia

      I SO agree with this! I used to work out 2-3 hours a day, 6-7 days a week, mainly cardio with some weights and pilates thrown in. And even though I was eating plenty of (clean) calories, I always felt SO drained and saw no progress. After seeing it all over Instagram, I started doing the Kayla Itsines guide, with yoga or jogging as my workout on non-HIIT days and barre thrown in once or twice a week . I absolutely cannot recommend HIIT-centric programs enough – I love Kayla’s BBG because it’s very straightforward and super easy to do at home, but there’s tonnes of others out there on the Internet for free. After 6 months, I’ve lost cm’s everywhere – but more importantly, I actually have muscles, I can carry groceries 10 blocks without feeling like I’m dying, and I feel strong inside and out for a change. And girl, let me tell you – doing a HIIT workout for 30 minutes and then being done for the day is a MUCH better feeling than slaving away at the gym for 2 hours!

      Also, Taralynn, do you weigh yourself often? I tossed my scale on my therapist’s recommendation a year ago and I had no idea what a weight (pun intended!) it was on me. Even if I was feeling absolutely great, seeing that number could absolutely ruin my day. Last time I went to the doc was the first time I’d been weighed in 6 months, and even though I had gone down 2 pant sizes, I had actually GAINED 3 kilos! Obviously it made me feel super panicky, but my doctor explained that that’s normal when your body gains muscle and loses fat 🙂 Try going by measurements or how your clothes fit for a couple of weeks instead of relying on the scale – it’s a MUCH more reliable way to gauge your progress/maintenance!

      Reply to Olivia
  • Brittany

    I was in a rut for MONTHS and got to the point where I was thinking “well if I feel this bloated and crappy anyways I might as well eat the Mac and cheese/pizza/candy” on a daily basis. Then in September I randomly jumped into the whole30! I only made it 19 days but it helped to break the rut and make me conscious of how badly I was actually eating. This week has been a bit of a free for all but I’m actually excited to start meal prepping again this coming week, it makes some meals much easier!
    My fall goal is simple, I am starting 12 hour midnight shifts so I want to keep eating as healthy as possible, bring healthy snacks to work, and keep walking/running at least 5 days a week so that these midnights don’t kill me!

    Reply to Brittany
  • Colleen

    Hi Tara!!

    1 – Omigosh I have SO been in a rut before. But as a nutrition major I’ve learned that your body adapts to the changes you put in place, so when you hit a “plateau” and aren’t seeing progress, the best thing to do is to change up your routine — so good for you! I think taking it a little easier is exactly what you need 🙂 Maybe for this challenge, try starting your day with a little warm water with lemon too to kickstart that metabolism in the morning (just a thought!). It also might help to have small snacks throughout the day, again to keep your metabolism going and guessing 😉

    2 – My fitness goals are pretty much to stay as consistent as possible with meal prepping and working out, try to start doing yoga at least once a week, regulate my sleep schedule (if that counts haha) and basically just make sure to fit something in every day — it can be hard when you’re still in school with a crazy class schedule and random events constantly popping up! But I’m determined to keep it consistent!

    Good luck Tara! Keep listening to your body and be kind to yourself, you’ll exceed those fit goals in no time <3 xoxo

    PS — I just caved and signed up for StitchFix! I'm SO excited for my first shipment and can't wait for your next blog post about it!

    Reply to Colleen

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