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It seems like challenges such as these are almost always preceded by a period of bad eating and weight gain. Late last year I decided to try a 5-day challenge. This was in response to the 10 days I spent in the Bahamas during my honeymoon. Needless to say, my eating habits were pretty damn awful.

The goal with that challenge was to lose 10 pounds in that timeframe. Little did I know just how unrealistic that was. Although, to my credit, I did lose 6.8 pounds. However, I had to really work for that.

During that time I did my normal 20-minute kettlebell workout sessions every Monday through Friday. In addition to that, each of those evenings I would jump on the exercise bike for a half-hour. I also was able to stick with intermittent fasting and mostly avoid junk foods. Overall, I still think of the result as a success.

So what happened? Why have I been stuck at the same weight for months now?

The answer is simple. There have been too many gluttonous moments when I should’ve been staying strict with my diet. Emotional eating, stress eating, giving in to temptation occurred way too much even If I didn’t think so at the time. I’ve still been on the Paleo diet for the most part, but those breaks have been a killer.

The latest splurge in bad eating happened last week. An out-of-state trip for a family emergency and then the celebration of my wife’s birthday led to a severe lack of disciplined eating. I crossed over the 200-pound mark and that’s when I knew I need to challenge myself again.

Thus Begins The 30-Day Challenge

Other than the goal of losing 20 pounds in 30 days, what else is different this time? For starters, I’ll be closely watching my calorie intake. While I did weigh out my portions during the last challenge, I didn’t calculate calories. Now, everything I drink and eat will be tracked with the help of the SparkPeople app. My daily limit I’m aiming for is around 1,250 calories consumed. It’s certainly doable and combined with exercising should allow for a solid deficit necessary to lose that weight in a short amount of time.

What gives me the most hope, however, is that I believe 30 days is the sweet spot for the duration of a weight loss challenge. Previously, the 5-day challenge made me more curious than anything. The mentality of how much and how soon was the primary motivator. The problem with that was that after it was over there was no sense of obligation. Challenge over – resume unbalanced eating habits. I’m going to try really hard not to repeat that, especially since this is more of an endurance run than a sprint.

Another factor that wasn’t present before is overwhelming support. My wife is also tracking her calories and swearing off junk food and temptation eating. That’s probably the hardest part for both of us so being on the same page is a huge boost. Finally, I joined The Caveman Inner Circle. It’s an exclusive Facebook group where you can get access to new kettlebell workouts, nutrition advice, and motivational support and encouragement. I’ve only been a part of this group for a day and already feel welcomed. Both the members and trainers have provided tips for healthy eating as well as a forum to request specific workouts to help me reach my goal.

Current Statistics and Progress Updates

I won’t be updating on a daily basis as I did with the 5-day challenge. It really doesn’t make sense to do so. I may decide to provide a weekly or a midway-point update. Of course, I’ll definitely provide full details at the very end of this challenge. Most people will probably only care about the start and the end anyway! So here is where I stand currently with measurements and statistics.

Weight: 201.3 lbs.
Beer Belly: 41 in.

Day 1 - Weight & Stomach
Hopefully I’ll say goodbye to “200” forever!

My weight and stomach are the only areas which I wish to decrease. Ideally, I would like to see my weight drop to the low 180’s. That would put me oh-so-close to my final goal of 165 – 170 lbs. I have no idea what that might equate to in losing inches of belly fat. However, I’m hoping for 3-5 inches.

There are going to be a couple of tough stretches throughout these next 30 days. Father’s day is right around the corner and in the past, I’ve gorged myself with fatty foods and soft drinks. 4th July also falls towards the end of this challenge which typically includes a wide variety of BBQ and other calorie-heavy foods. I have no problem maintaining an exercise routine but the mental toughness needed to fight off cravings will make this the ultimate test.

Ryan Faucher

I'm a web designer and kettlebell enthusiast on a quest to lose fat, build muscles and live a healthier lifestyle. I truly believe that exercising with kettlebells in conjunction with dieting is the most effective and efficient way to reach this goal. If you have the will and motivation, there is no reason you can't do the same.
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