Starting this week I’ll begin a series of mini-challenges. These are challenges you can do today with little or no preparation, just some guts.
Before starting the natural food challenge, I thought in order to eat natural food you had to wear Birkenstocks, live in Oregon, drive a Prius (or ride a bamboo bicycle), and listen to indie pop music.
Spoiler alert: All my assertions were proven correct during the process of this challenge.
I decided to do this challenge to “clean-up my diet”. I had participated in a 30 Day Slow Carb Challenge and had great results, so I figured I would try another eating challenge.
I didn’t want to treat this like a traditional diet. The idea wasn’t to cut weight or body fat nor was my ultimate goal to have Kitchen Made Abs. I left my tape measure in the drawer and didn’t bother to step on the scale. The objective: to eat better.
Before we started the 7 Day Natural Food Challenge, my girlfriend and I sat down on Sunday before the start of the challenge to map out what we would eat each night. This was the key to our success in completing this challenge. We borrowed several recipes from the 7 Day Real Food Challenge ebook, researched some online, and improvised with recipes we already used on our Slow-Carb diet.
The bold green letters popped off the page. “How to Lose 20 lbs. of Fat in 30 Days… Without Doing Any Exercise.” I kept reading with one skeptical eye open. I skimmed the information on the site with an aim to quickly dismiss it as some kind of huckster marketing ploy. In no time, I’d be being pitched for the latest boxed meal program, fad diet, dvd, or ebook.
My body clenched, tightly anticipating a cleverly crafted hook to come in at the end of the post. “Ok, ok, ok I’m going to be asked for my credit card or paypal account. Wait for it.”
So, I made it through the 21 Day Pull-up Challenge. Here is a link to the original challenge.
I started out like a ball of fire. I was able to knock out the early days like nothing. It was when I reached the challenge days in the teens that I began to struggle. I took short rests in the middle of sets. I even had to grab a resistance band to help with some of the late sets of the workout. No shame in that, I made it through and often did a couple extra reps with the resistance band.
During the first meeting with my personal trainer I was asked, “What’s one of your fitness goals?” I hesitantly responded, “I want to do 10 pull-ups.” The thought of committing to that kinda scared me. I could do less than 3 real overhand pull-ups at the time. Those three usually consisted a lot of grunting, groaning, and a bead or two of sweat on my brow. Seeing how little I could do then and how far I’d have to go to get there was intimidating. Only a few months later, it seems miniscule now.