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My Paleo Fitness Challenge: Year 3. Keys to completing YOUR Fitness Goals and Challenges

For the last 3 years, every August I plan a complete detox and go on a strict Paleo, limited carb, no alcohol diet. It’s almost like my January 1st, although I’m not one for New Years Resolutions (save for last year where I used that excuse in every class I had to do burpees)

This year is no different. Starting the plan tomorrow (I hate the word diet), I intend to use this blog to keep you guys updated on the constant ups and downs throughout the challenge as well as providing information on why I am doing it.

 At the end of the first strict diet... with that God awful logo. Beard survived though.

At the end of the first strict diet... with that God awful logo. Beard survived though.

The food plan I will be (I hate the word diet) on is similar to the Week 1 Phase of the Booty Camp nutrition guide that our ladies go through. I’m a big believer in practising what you preach. I’ve seen the plan work for countless others through Booty Camp, Personal Training, friends and myself over the last number of years. 

Knowing the plan was coming up in August, I let myself go a bit at the start if July. I know, I know.  Us Personal Trainers are suppose to be perfect and love nothing more than clean eating and 4 hours a day in the gym. But nobody is truly like that, no matter what their social media account portrays them to be. 

After years of trying, I had final got a chance to play American Football this year. With the season wrapping up at the end of June, it was the perfect time to allow my body to rest and recuperate. Those pads are a false sense of security. Many a morning after a game, the walk up the stairs in the studio for the Sunrise Boot Camp class felt like a climb up Everest! So a rest was long overdue and July was going to be that month to relax.

 A lot of fun finally getting to play the game. This is also what tends to happen in my classes when I play The Police's Roxanne!

A lot of fun finally getting to play the game. This is also what tends to happen in my classes when I play The Police's Roxanne!

“Fitness is not owned, it’s rented. And you have to pay rent everyday”

This was a phrase I quickly relearned after a couple of weeks off training. I was still getting some form of a workout in through the classes but midway through July, I knew I had to go back. I’d say I was 3 weeks or so into my rest time when I met up with one of my friends. As she hugged me, she gave me a look as if to say “Seán, you look out of shape”. “You’re not training, Seány” she says, shaking her head. I feigned shock and called her out on it, jokingly. However, the pride had been hurt and sure enough, the next day I was back working out. Having blunt friends is not necessarily a bad thing.

And I’m glad I got the last 2-3 weeks in as I prepare for these next 30 or so days. 3 weeks was enough rest.

 The first year I had planned on keeping the food plan as strict as possible till my American Football team started their first game (an epic cheat meal was planned). Last year, my 30 days were timed to perfection as Day 31, I was on a plane to Canada for a week. Once again, I will be planning to keep myself as strict as possible till first day of American Football on TV, where a Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson style cheat day to celebrate completing the challenge will take place.

 Ok, maybe not that many Pancakes!

Ok, maybe not that many Pancakes!

Keys I’ve learned to being successful when undertaking this challenge:

1) Routine: You should know when, where and what you’re training each and every day of the challenge. Time it for when you would usually train and always stick to it. If it’s after work, don’t even think of putting on the TV before you head out!
2) End Goal: Why are you putting yourself through this? Have a list of short goals you have in your training to accomplish every week as well as the overall goal.
3) Motivation: Set the target for the final day and have a reward for when you complete your final target.
4) Realistic: There will be slip ups along the way. It’s human nature. Sometimes we can resist falling off the wagon in certain meals. I try stay of the cheap sauces during the challenge, but sometimes, the lads will put the BBQ sauce on the table I just can’t resist. It’s not the worst thing in the world to slip up as long as you don’t write off the rest of the day and you re focus yourself.
5) Accountability: My roommates know I do the challenge every year. I’m vocal about it not for bragging rights or attention. But because I know they’ll let me have it if I come home and reach for a beer or order a take away. 
6) Preparation: Absolutely vital when it comes to food. Have your meals prepped or at least know that you have the food in the house each day. This stops you going to the shop hungry and making impulse decisions. 

 Enjoy Canada and the hot tubs after completing the second year challenge! Vain pic... but it was earned :P Also, lost beard during this one.

Enjoy Canada and the hot tubs after completing the second year challenge! Vain pic... but it was earned :P Also, lost beard during this one.


One final thing to note when undertaking a challenge like this. The more you do it, the easier it is. I found it much easier to do the 30 days last year than I did the year before. I also found that the results came easier too. I developed good habits after the 30 Day Challenge the first year that made the second year easier. I also saw results much quicker the second year too. Consistency is key on these challenges.

One of the main questions I get asked on the challenge is how can I workout, teach classes and be constantly on the go with little to no carbs. That blog answer is coming up later in the week ;)

Till then, I gotta finish prep for Day 1 in the morning!

#LetsGoGetEmAgain