40 Day Fitness Challenge! Join Me!

Anyone else feeling rather pudgy, lazy and gross recently?

Tell me it’s not just me.

I’d post some pictures to demonstrate my p0int, but I think you’d all just leave. I recently announced I’m about ten weeks pregnant (after quite the dramatic year). Therefore, I feel especially lazy and gross, because, oh, I am. I told my husband I’m probably the fattest ten-week-pregnant person there ever was. He did not argue with me. Should I be more concerned about that?

I’m doing this cool trick with my pants…The one where you can’t button them, so you wrap a ponytail-holder through the button hole for a make-shift elastic waist? Anyone else try that? :)

 Even though I’m tempted to play the “pregnant card” and opt out of the New Year’s exercise resolutions, I’m not going to. In fact, I’m more motivated than ever to exercise during this winter, and this pregnancy.

Y’all, January and February are dismal months. There are studies that prove that, but just ask any old stay-at-home mom how she’s feeling around January 23 when no one’s  left the house in a week and everyone’s sick from the Norovirus. As any old mom can tell you, winter is hard.

I know I feel much better when I exercise. Don’t you?

If you’re looking for a workout buddy to hold you accountable for your workout goals for 2014, you’re in luck!

If you’ve been debating setting some exercise goals, join me in my 40 day challenge! The 40-Day challenge will begin January 6, and end on Valentine’s Day! So who’s in?!?!

Here’s what I’m doing:

  1. Set a reasonable and specific goal. For my 10-week pregnant self, it’s  a measly 20 minutes of exercise 5 days a week. Don’t laugh and spit your coffee all over the computer. YOU set your goal, whether it’s a beginner goal, like mine, or an advanced goal, like other people who annoy inspire me. I think it’s also important to decide the means to your goal. I’m either going to do a workout video at home, or  take a brisk walk outside.
  2. Choose a reward. Eye on the prize, folks. If I meet my personal goal, my reward is that I get to go shopping on a Saturday morning and purchase one item I’d like to have. Fortunately, I’m deathly frugal, so it will probably be nail polish or something lame. But still, thank you, Todd, for making this reward possible. :)
  3. Decide how to track my progress. I’m going to use some smiley-face stickers on my refrigerator calendar. Easy peasy.

If you’re joining me, I’d love to know you are! Share with me some of your answers. What’s your goal, and what’s your reward?

Be sure to subscribe to this blog so you can receive my weekly check-ins and encouragement! And good luck!


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  1. I’ll join but I really need to decide what my goal is and how I’m going to make it happen! I’ll also decide upon an amazing reward!! Probably a yummy date night (dairy free, if course!)

  2. OK, OK. I’ll do it too.
    My goal is really really lame, But It’s at least a start.
    I will take a 30 minute walk every day, and my reward will be that I’ll feel better!
    It’s really cold today……I’ll start tomorrow:)

  3. I need some help to be motivated, so I am going to join you. My goal is 30 minutes, 5 days a week. My reward will be feeling better about myself, being more motivated and I liked your idea of a morning out shopping by myself. Thanks for getting us going!

  4. I will join too. My goal is 15-20 minutes a day dependent upon what exercise I choose. I don’t know my reward yet. It can’t be something I can just get on my own or I would not workout and just get it anyway, so I will have to think on that one. Any suggestions?

    • I know what you mean. For me, I came to the conclusion that a) working out consistently is very hard work and b) a reward will help motivate me. For this reason, I had to choose something that had a little value, that I wouldn’t get otherwise. Is there a “splurge” item or event you wouldn’t normally do? I think it’s important to choose something with some appeal! :)

  5. Popping over from Stacy’s today!! Congrats on being pregnant:-) I’ll be joining you! And now on to my REALISTIC goal, even though I should say 6 days, I’m going to say 5 days a week of 30 minute brisk walking or a walking DVD/or Jillian DVD! My reward will be a pedicure:-), I’ve subscribed and look forward to the accountability!! Thanks!

  6. Hi!! Loved your honesty!! I’m also “popping over” from Stacy’s today as well. And I could use some encouragement and accountability too. So – my goal – 30 minutes/5 times a week! Reward: a purse I’ve had my eye on awhile. And yes, I’m frugal too but I’ll save as I go too! I’ll fit in my clothes better, feel better, and have a new purse to boot! Win/win if you ask me. Thanks for the 40 day challenge.

  7. I’m in. So glad I found your blog. My goal is 30 min a day walking or biking and to do one video workout with my daughter each day. My reward is going to be a shopping trip for one new article of clothing. For years I have worn the same thing, I can easily buy for my kids but not for myself. My husband is encouraging me to update the closet. Feel guilty doing so when I am not taking proper care of myself.

  8. I’m in!! My goal is to walk 25 minutes a day as quickly as possible. My reward will be to look great for my valentine dinner date! :-)

  9. Beth Cooper says:

    Oh Jessica!! You are my hero! First of all, praise the Lord and congratulations on your pregnancy! I’ve followed your story and am thrilled to hear of this new blessing! I, too, am pregnant (8 weeks), and at almost 42 I desperately need to focus on being in top shape for the upcoming delivery and to keep up with my 2-year-old. In May, I began a food elimination diet to determine which foods I am intolerant to, and after 6 months of no gluten, dairy or soy, I lost 30 pounds and felt great! However, I didn’t exercise during that time and was just beginning to research the best way to build muscle and tone my body when we found out that we’re expecting. This is a huge answer to prayer (it took 3 1/2 years to get pregnant with son #1), but I’ve been feeling pudgy, lazy, gross and worn out plus nauseated all day long for the last 4 weeks and getting off my couch to exercise has been at the very bottom of my to-do list. I’ve still been very interested in finding a work-out routine but had no idea where I could find support for pregnant women wanting to get in shape, so I’m so thankful for your challenge! I’m thinking a 20-minute walk 5 days a week is a great place for me and my little one to start. And I think 30 minutes of time to read in the evenings (something I rarely allow myself) will be a satisfying reward for me. Praying for you in this 40-day challenge. Thanks for your great idea and for providing a source of encouragement and inspiration to me!

    • Thank you for your sweet comments, Beth! Congrats to you, too! I didn’t mention in either of the posts, but a huge motivation for me is to stay in shape and have a healthy delivery. I’m planning to do an unmedicated birth this time, and I want to be ready! So glad you said hi, and blessings to you this year!

  10. I found you from your post on Stacy’s today and appreciate your sense of humor! You are so right about young children and exercise videos. Mine like to choose Wii Fit routines for me to do and then cheer for me. I could use the encouragement to start the new year off well. My goal is 30 minutes of something, 5 days a week with pedicure reward.

  11. I found your post from Stacy makes cents. I’m a leader of TOPS Take off pounds sensibly.
    and I have lost my mojo. So I’ll join with you, I’ll do a video or go walking 3 times a week to start again. I REALLY NEED TO HAVE MOTIVATION, by someone other than my sweet hubbers. Let’s have fun girls and meet our goals. Thanks for you blog about this it has opened my eye’s .

  12. I plan on joining in your 40 day fitness challenge. I plan on walking or doing the Wii Fit for 15 minutes a day for 5 days. I may even increase my minutes per day after I get started. My reward will be a pedicure on day 41. Also, I plan on changing my eating habits by eating right and every 10 pounds I lose, I plan on buying something for myself. This is going to be MY YEAR TO A BETTER ME!!

  13. I’m in for the challenge. I plan on doing resistance training for 10 minutes and aerobics for 15, for 5 days a week. My reward will be to buy new clothes because hopefully l will lose 10 pounds.

  14. Hi, I am following from Stacy’s I REALLY need to get motivated to exercise I will be 60 this year and have a job where I sit most of the day…..I plan to find at least 20 hopefully 30 minutes a day to either walk briskly or do a DVD…rewards not sure but just having more energy and knowing I am improving my overall health will do for a start.

  15. This post has been stuck in my mind since yesterday. I’ve been wanting to get in better shape but hesitant to commit. Your challenge seemed made to order. I’m an accountant and with tax season coming up, I have less time but more need to get moving. I’m going to commit to walk for 20 minutes or do an exercise dvd 3 times a week. My reward will be a magazine subscription or new book because I love to read but have a hard time spending money on new material when we’re trying to save up for big home repair projects. Thank you for writing honestly and for the encouragement. I’ll subscribe so I can stay on track. (no pun intended)

  16. I will also be joining. I will be doing 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week. This will be walks outside (with or without the dogs) and going the gym for yoga/pilates/dance aerobics. The reward will be me being able to wear some of the clothes are that are too tight/small for me currently.

  17. I’m going to join in too. I’ve been considered overweight since I was in JR High, my parents even call me fat. I’ve never felt worse in my life and just can’t keep up with my very active 13 month old. A realistic goal for me would be walking 15-20 minutes a day 5 times a week. My reward will be more energy and the laughter when we play chase.

  18. I love the idea of the 40 day challenge! My goal isn’t going to be exercise related, but it’s still goes with the same healthy principles. My goal is to get to bed before 10pm at least three nights a week. I’ve really been bad about staying up too late and not getting enough sleep. (Sleep is so important for your health too!) I’ll also be walking for at least 30 minutes 5 days a week. Thanks for the inspiration!

  19. Funniest part of this is that we’re (family of 7 household, I am the grandma) all sick with a horrid (noro?) virus right now – I know, not so funny! One baby has 2 ear infections and we’re all hacking away. I bet my daughter wishes she weren’t the one who escaped it, she is running ragged!! Crying, coughing kids, fevers, doctors, bounce-walking the wee-est one in the Ergo while making dinner that half of us won’t touch.
    But yes, the goal thing. I had set my goals, and this is going to help me to finalize it in a more specific way. Rewards, for one thing!
    Thanks! Stacy Makes Cents post got me here… nice to meet you. A new baby on the way… oh us grammas like that :) Baby addicts we are.
    Ok so walking 3-5x/wk and yoga daily will now be 20 min of exercise 5 days/week (copycat) in those two forms. Rewards, besides smiley stickers — if I get thru 5 in a week, I get to….?? I’ll come up with something!
    Sorry for the book. On we go… get over flu, and onto fitness!!

  20. Thank you for the challenge. It’s just what I needed.
    I am going to commit to walking for 30 minutes at least
    four times a week. My reward will be the satisfaction of
    sticking with it!

  21. Hi
    Love your blog and Congratulations on being pregnant !!
    I want to join too – I just had a baby 3 months back and need to get rid of my
    Baby belly.
    I am a busy working mom of 3 and not sure how to squeeze in exercise
    I wake up at 4 in the morning and still struggle to get out the door at 7.30.
    Any suggestions?
    How do I join – let me know please…

  22. I’m joining, starting Jan 6th. My goal is to exercise at least 20 mins a day/5 days a week… we just bought a rowing machine so I should be able to work out at home if I can’t make it to the gym at work. I also will be striving to eat healthier, less meat & little to no dairy. My reward will hopefully be feeling better & having a toned body. I have a 3 year old who constantly wants me to chase him, so I need to keep up!

  23. I’ll b joining you. I just had shoulder surgery so weight training is out for awhile so this will help me work on my cardio – which I HATE. I’m going to shoot for 45 – 60 minutes four days a week. My reward will be a pedicure.

  24. Amanda C. says:

    Yay Im so in! Jan 6 is perfect! :) My goal is to work out (whether its a walk in the park or at the gym) for at least 20 minutes 5 days a week. In 40 days, I’ll stay home while my kids head to my moms for the afternoon and DO NOTHING…not clean, not laundry, not work out….just lay on the couch and watch reality TV…

  25. I wanna play too! I’mma commit to your numbers, Jessica: 20 minutes of activity, 5 days per week. I’ll start on Monday January 6 and finish in time to look mah-velous for my V-Day date. My uber-reward will be a day on the slopes!! It’s been sooo long and I have a difficult time giving myself “permission” to part with the price of a lift ticket. I dislike exercise and see a day skiing as a great way to recognise my commitment to -ugh- physical activity. Cheers, y’all!

  26. I found your blog via Stacey Makes Cents. I am starting today with the 40 day challenge. Before the holidays, I had lost 40 lbs and have quickly gained back 23 lbs. :( I was feeling so much better about myself and then just lost it with 4 family birthdays in Sept/Oct and then had the “it’s the holidays I can’t start back now” mentality. Boy am I regretting that. But on to a new year and a new start. Thanks for the challenge. I will be subscribing so I can follow along.

  27. I’ll join! But, 20 minutes is not measly, especially if you are preggo! We moms are already active, chasing kids around and doing household chores near constantly! To me exercise is one of those “second” priorities. If I can get it in, great because it is good for me. But, there are so many other things that are more important that if exercise doesn’t happen for a season, I am not going to feel guilty about it! My goal will be the same as yours: (and I’m not preggo, so that should make you feel less lame :) 20 minutes brisk walk or a pilates video; 5 times a week. My reward will be getting to cook a fancy Valentine’s Day dinner – maybe pan seared scallops or pepper crusted duck breast with poached peaches…. something that wouldn’t normally fit in our everyday grocery budget :)

  28. I also found your blog through Stacy Makes Cents. My goal is to T-Tapp 5 days a week. My reward is to purchase a new outfit. Thanks for this challenge!

  29. Rita Murphy says:

    I’m in! My goal is 10,000 steps a day 5 times a week. ( I got a fit bit recently) my reward will be a day to myself! ( my girls are 19 & 24yrs so I don’t have little ones anymore but I still run like crazy keeping up with family that loves to spend time with me! ) ( I know this is a good problem but I crave time ALONE… Empty nest Ha! )

  30. I’m joining too! I have been walking each day since I read this at SMC.
    My goal is 6 days a week for 30 minutes and the reward will be a new pair of shoes!

  31. Thanks for posting this challenge! I found you from SMC today, so I’m a late joiner, but better than never joining! I have recently lost my motivation to workout. I was really getting into it last year this time, and even ran my first 5K in Raleigh. I loved the adrenaline rush from crossing that finish line! The very next week, I discovered a lump and was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer (only 34 at the time). Needless to say, I had to refocus my priorities, and working out fell by the wayside. Now the doctors are saying that they can’t put me back together exactly the way I was before my bilateral mastectomy, so I HAVE to lose weight in order to have a feminine figure again! Oh, did I mention that chemo made me gain 15 pounds alone! Not to mention the fact that I was suddenly very inactive, which increased that weight gain even more! So my goal is a walk/run combination for at least 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week. My reward? Having a decent figure for my permanent implants in June (hopefully). I’ve already signed up for another 5K in May, and am considering one in April, so it’s a win-win for me! Thanks again and good luck to everyone!

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