The 30-Day Challenge

by Holly on May 3, 2011

in challenge,vegan,workouts

On this bright and sunny Tuesday, my shoulders ache. Bad.

My abs refuse to contract and suck in.

My flat pancake of a butt is screeching at me in searing DOMS pain.

Welcome to the Monkey Bar 30-Day Challenge, me thinks? Honestly, I am not sure what I was thinking when I signed up for this. I think it was something along the lines of, “Well, if I have 8 weddings to attend this year where a plethora of photos will most likely be taken, I might as well be in kick a$$ shape.” I am only on day three and already doubting my naive, optimistic logic.

Regardless, here’s what I have officially gotten myself into…

  • The Day of Transformation (a.k.a. this past Sunday morning): Body fat calculation, before pictures and fitness testing. Yes, I haven’t even done an actual workout, and I am sore.
  • 3-Day Juice Fast: This Friday through Sunday, I will be a crabby, hungry blogger dreaming of faraway lands of cheeseburgers, yogurt and baked goods. I am warning you now.
  • Two-Week Cleanse: Starting May 9th and continuing through May 22nd, I will essentially be eating vegan. However, because I am an Everythingtarian and don’t like being told what to do, I am going to go by the Mark Bittman rule: two meals a day vegan, one meal my choice.
  • Sunday Challenger Workouts: Every Sunday, we have a team workout from 9 to 10:30am at the gym. I have a feeling this isn’t the only day where I won’t be able to walk.
  • Other Workouts: Not including the challenger workout, it is recommended that we attend 7 classes per week – 3 Body Power (a combination of plyometrics, strength + body weight training), 2 Boot Camp and 2 yoga classes. I am aiming for 5 classes per week. Just sayin’.

On Sunday, May 29th, after a month of grueling, health-focused fervor, I will let you know my hopefully marked fitness improvement as well as post my before + after photos.

Warning: I may just be the next Irina Shaykh.

Until then, I leave you with my new kitchen art, courtesy of BuildASign + Easy Canvas Prints

If you want a personal picture turned into a canvas, go here.

It’s high-quality work.

It’s decorative fun.

It’s seriously adorable.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an ice bath, Ibuprofen and stretching to do.


Wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas May 3, 2011 at 7:58 pm

I need to do something like this. You might think that chasing a toddler would be enough to keep in some semblance of shape, but no. I am in serious need of a reset button for my health.

I look forward to seeing your progress, and I do think new wall art is a plus for your health, too. Go you!

carin May 3, 2011 at 8:05 pm

whoa, juice fast. that’s intense. anytime i try to fast from anything, i last about 30 minutes and then binge. major fasting fail.

Jessica May 3, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Good luck!! I wish I could do this too, but I think driving up from Beloit everyday would be tiring. Let me know how the juice cleanse goes. I’ve been thinking of doing one for awhile now.

my little celebration May 3, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Well, well. The month of May looks like it will be a transformational one for you. I’ll be rooting you on and perhaps trying to eat more vegan myself in the next few weeks. Thanks for the inspiration, as always. You have a way of doing that fairly consistently.

Hugs friend,

VeggieGirl May 3, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Eek, good luck!

megan @ the oatmeal diaries May 3, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Wow, this sounds so intense! Soo… no more photos of beer and cheeseburgers on your blog this month? I’m kind of sad. Haha but also super exciting to see how this goes! Tell us all the details!

megan @ the oatmeal diaries May 3, 2011 at 8:21 pm

oops, i meant excited**

kathleen May 3, 2011 at 8:22 pm

You’ll do great!

Emma (Namaste Everyday) May 3, 2011 at 8:28 pm

can’t wait to hear your commentary! You are brave and have already inspired me :)

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) May 3, 2011 at 8:33 pm

love your canvas!

just got done working w/ buildasign on some labels for a future use, to be blogged about.

and your challenge, you go Girl. Or shall i say Irina. :)

janetha @ meals and moves May 3, 2011 at 8:47 pm

oh boy. this is gonna be a doozy–good for you, shitlef. can’t wait to follow.

Lauren May 3, 2011 at 8:55 pm

OMG! Good luck, my dear… I had a fleeting thought to do this challenge with you but then I continued to read all of the rules. The vegan thing would be really hard for me, I love cheese :)

Your kitchen looks very clean, btw!

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table May 3, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Sounds like a fun one! Good luck! Can’t wait to hear about your progress. I did a cleanse in November where I had to be vegan – check out my recipes age if you need ideas!

That picture is fabulous – so cool that you took it!

Christy May 3, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Good luck! I wish my gym (the YMCA) did something like this. I love challenges.

Mama Pea May 3, 2011 at 9:14 pm

3 Day Juice Fast? Oh, Sister. I hurt for you.

Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing May 3, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Day-um. Well, I hope it ends up hurting so good!

….You know, as opposed to hurting so bad. Or something.

Angharad May 3, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Good lord. Does juice fast mean no cupcakes? Ok then I’m out…

I am excited for you though, you determined and inspirational lady. I can only look on in a sugar-induced coma… in awe. You rock.

sofia May 3, 2011 at 10:12 pm

holy wisconsin cow, you is crazy girl. i wish you luck. and lack of hunger during the juice fasting period. and wonderful glam shots at those weddings for all this dedication. oy vey.

Erica May 3, 2011 at 11:17 pm

This sounds pretty kick butt! I can’t wait to read more. Good luck chicky

Katie May 4, 2011 at 4:23 am

7 classes a week?? Hardcore. Even 5 classes a week is pretty hardcore.

Aaaand I love that canvas sign, I will be getting one of those.

Special K May 4, 2011 at 4:27 am

I want those shelfs! SUPER CUTE!

ANd I like the Mark Bittmann rule….and you tailoring this challenge…but can I ask WHY? Are you feeling underchalleneged and want to spice stuff up a bit?

Little Bookworm May 4, 2011 at 5:50 am

Good luck!

Lauren May 4, 2011 at 5:54 am

Woah, this sounds intense!!! Good for you for taking on this challenge! :)

Katie May 4, 2011 at 5:54 am

Dear Lord, the juice fast : p I will be saying prayers for ya, BUT I know you will get through it girl! STAY STRONG this weekend!

LOVE the canvas art! Maybe one of my wedding pics I can get turned into a canvas!

Sarah@The Flying ONION May 4, 2011 at 6:32 am

You just gave me an idea of what to give for my sister and brother in law’s anniversary. The canvas is adorable and I love how personalized it can be. :D

Madeline - Greens and Jeans May 4, 2011 at 7:01 am

Holy bejesus. This sounds insane. And I’m excited for you! I can’t wait to hear how the juice fast goes, I’ve always been kind of curious about doing one.

Gretchen May 4, 2011 at 7:25 am

Your kitchen (at least that small glimpse) looks so comfortable and adorable!

Meister @ The Nervous Cook May 4, 2011 at 7:55 am

Well, this sure does sound like a challenge! But almost… fun, in a painful way. I do love a good challenge.

Best of luck to you — you’re going to nail it!

Mellissa May 4, 2011 at 8:25 am

Go kick some butt on this challenge, you can do it!

brandi May 4, 2011 at 8:30 am

i can’t wait to hear how you like the challenge!

and i LOVE the picture! it looks great.

Andrea@WellnessNotes May 4, 2011 at 9:24 am

Good luck with the challenge! Sounds a bit too intense for me… But I’m old… :)

Tamar May 4, 2011 at 10:43 am

So impressed and excited for you! I can’t wait to hear the recaps and hope you get picked for the SI cover in July! (Kidding.)

Marci May 4, 2011 at 11:38 am

wow that is intense! no chocolate? no cookies? i look forward to reading how it goes. i think i’d be hungry and crabby.

Michelle @ A Voracious Appetite May 4, 2011 at 12:15 pm

This sounds tough! Good for you for giving it a try. I can’t wait to hear about it as the month goes on.

emily (a nutritionist eats) May 4, 2011 at 12:38 pm

I can’t wait to hear how everything goes!
Let me know if you have some amazing juices – I’m looking for recipes! :)

Frances May 4, 2011 at 2:17 pm

I always get freaked out when people say they’re going on any sort of fast- juice, veggie, lemon-water…just because it’s a rude kick in the pants that reminds me of my ugly relationship with self-image and the point of eating in the first place. I’d love to reach a point where a juice fast is a healthy piece of a long-term goal. Right now I need to avoid that sort of thing.

The rest of the challenge sounds awesome, though. I’m vegan, and while I don’t think it works for everyone, I definitely encourage everyone to try out eating that way! Plus, how cool to have a big group to support you in some neat fitness goals (even if the goal is just to make it through the next class without passing out)

Gillian Young May 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Warnings with 3 day juice fast: You will really miss chewing, you will be crabby, you will not want to socialize, take hot baths, rest up, and enjoy riding the virtuous juice high! Did this for an article I wrote ( and had crazzy mixed feelings about it!

Otherwise- kick some boooty, can’t wait to hear all about this!

glidingcalm May 5, 2011 at 10:28 am

dang mama!!! you are inspiring me to get more fit!!!

love you so!

Courtney May 9, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Good luck!

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