I completed the 2020 Challenge!

Hey everyone! Yes, it’s in the title, but I must say it again … I completed the 2020 challenge! 😂

As always, I didn’t regret it! It was pretty fun throughout the whole challenge, and I absolutely reccommend it to all of you fitness buffs! I have officially graduated! 🤣 I wonder if Chloe is going to post a 2021 Challenge …

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My Experience

It’s true that this workout program is a little more intense than the 2019 SHRED. There’s at least one extra workout video per day, sometimes two extra, so it can be difficult, but hey, that’s why they call it a ‘Challenge’!

And this one certainly was a challenge! Overall, it was great as a second step from the 2019 challenge. It included a lot more high-intensity workouts, and it really demanded that I make a concerted effort to set aside time during the day for the workouts. Some of the workouts had weights, but not to worry for those of you who don’t have them (myself included), there are also non-weight alternatives.

One thing I’d like to mention is that it took me three weeks instead of two. I took extra rest days, because of events in my life and schedule that I couldn’t have predicted. I just wanted y’all to remember that it’s okay if you have to take extra rest days because of how you’re feeling or something unexpected that comes up in your schedule. Don’t stress it – the important thing is that you work hard and don’t procrastinate!


Here’s why you should do this workout in particular …
  1. Progress! If you’ve just come down off the 2019 Challenge, or any other challenge, it’s important to ponder whether you want to continue on this specific fitness journey. If so, you need to keep up the habits you developed, otherwise you may slide back into your former state, undoing all the work you’ve done. Taking another big step will set you up for progress.
  2. Specific. There are some ways that simply running lots and throwing around hay bales cannot give you the results you may want. Although some may consider workouts to be “fake work”, (which is true!), this workout allows you to target certain parts of your body for muscle gain. (Note that I did not say weight loss. You can’t target parts of your body for weight (fat) loss, because fat spreads itself out. However, by focusing on exercises for certain parts of the body, and by repeating those exercises consistently, you can increase muscle gain.)
  3. Maintenance! During the winter months, we tend to lead more sedentary lifestyles, so this is a great indoor option to keep you ready (and prepare you!) for activities in the warmer parts of the year, when going outside is more fun, and running games are more feasible! 😉
  4. Training. This challenge provides a pretty good all-around workout for advanced fitness goals. I’m currently working towards a goal of a higher endurance level (for max performance and stamina) and more fullbody toning (which, in my case, I want for volleyball. Volleyball is a great sport because people in any fitness level can play, but it’s really only the skilled ones in top shape who become good players, which is why I want more full-body strength and co-ordination.) But regardless of which sport you play, you can study up on what ways you need to be fit in order to play that sport the best you can, then work on those.

Tips!
  • Keep yourself accountable. Push yourself. Be your own tough and mean fitness trainer! Don’t give up unless you’re about to pull something. Then, break for all you’re worth! (Keeping consistent and pushing your boundaries gives you the full experience, and it makes the breaks so much better!
  • Keep a positive attitude about the exercises. Try not to “hate” a certain exercise … ironically, if you dislike it, it’s probably the one you need to do the most! So challenge yourself to do more and go further.
  • Drink water! Actually, better yet, buy yourself an absolutely gorgous and chic water bottle (for the girls!) and a totally sleek and cool hydroflask (for the guys!) The reasoning is that you’ll drink more often (and why not feel like a boss every time you do, am I right?) 😉

Well, bye everyone! I really hope y’all are all doing well! Let’s talk in the comments about fitness, faith, and falafels! (Or not …) Anyway!

Makayla

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I’m starting the Chloe Ting 2020 SHRED Workout!

Hey y’all awesome people! I know some of you are doing the Chloe Ting 2019 challenge, so thanks for joining me! I’ve finished, and boy, was it a ride! (Click here to see my recap!)

I’ve been resting for the last few days, and I’ve decided to go officially crazy and start the 2020 SHRED! (I know, I know, I’m pushing it, for a beginner! Bring on the 🔥PRESSURE🔥 and keep me accountable!!)

I’ve passed the first rest day, and I’m now on Day #5. Directly related to the workout, I feel pretty good all over. In almost every Workout video, the exercises seem to really focus on the legs and gluteus muscle in particular. It’s important to end each workout with some deep leg stretches, or you will ache the next day! So, do yourself a favor, and don’t forget to do the optional cool-down at the end.

Compared to the 2019 SHRED, more of these workouts are standing ones, which are fun! Make sure you’re wearing runners, or you might slip or twist your ankle. I’m greatly enjoying the lack of up-and-down-planks (😂), and the abundance of combo workouts! I’m more breathless doing these workouts but hey – what’s life without doing hard things?


For this specific challenge, here are some tips to have fun, stay loose, and give you your best chance of success!

  • Begin to eat more healthily. Learn to average the correct diet percentages of protein, carbs and fat. Some people start with 20% protein, 50% carbs, and 30% fat, but depending on your activity level you can play with it a bit. This will enable you to gauge what you personally want and need, and which foods are good for your lifestyle. See this article for details.
  • Stretch every day! Focus on those areas that were the hardest to hold in place/keep going with during your workout.
  • Rub peppermint essential oil on your limbs and joints to help with flexibility. Breathing in peppermint can also assist in clearing your airway and help with blood flow.
  • As always, pay close attention to the form. I know it can be hard to determine whether you’re arching your back or not, or whether you’re going deep enough into the stretch, but for any questions you may have, be sure to do some research. You may find a video that explains it in more detail.
  • Be kind to yourself and your body! Don’t force yourself to finish a workout that will hurt you in the end. I literally, just today, fell really hard on my tailbone, and was unable to finish the Day #5 workouts!😱 But you know what? It’s okay! I did half of it already. Sometimes, you have to know when it’s merely mental block keeping you from finishing your workout, or something more serious, like an injury. I’m hoping that hot water, some essential oils, and tonight’s rest will fix me up enough to get back at it tomorrow.

Thanks for coming back to the blog! Be sure to subscribe for future content on faith, fitness, lifestyle and more!

Have a great day everyone!

Makayla

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Chloe Ting 2019 SHRED Workout Challenge – Day #5

Hey fabulous people!

I started the Chloe Ting Shred Workout Challenge! Guys, I am so excited to share this with you because I finally found a workout I like!! *cheers*

My friend SonofYHWH made a post about how he wants to complete the Chloe Ting Two-Week Ab Workout, and I’ve decided to take the plunge and begin the Challenge! He’s asking people to keep him accountable and to do it along with him, so go ahead and join us both!

(Check out SonofYHWH’s post here!)

I’ve decided to do a little more than just the Ab Workout for these next two weeks … I’m doing the whole 2019 SHRED Challenge! (Yes, I know, it’s my first workout challenge ever, but I can do it. And so can you!)

So, the Challenge includes 5 different exercises, which are paired up differently for different days, and it also includes two rest days.

You guys, rest days are really important! The rest day is when your body actually begins to build the muscle, in addition to letting you rest the parts of your body you’re working on so you don’t get burnt out. So be sure to take a break every fifth day of the program, and to take at LEAST a four day break from intense workouts after you finish the Challenge.

(Check out the Chloe Ting 2019 Shred Challenge!)

Having already gone through five days of the program, here are my tips for your best performance in the coming weeks, should you decide to join me in the Challenge.

  • Be sure to stretch before and after, even if it’s only a little. Stretching afterward is, in my opinion, one of the most important things to remember to do in tandem with your workout, because it causes your muscles (and potential muscle growth) to be relaxed and settled into their proper places, instead of leaving your workout tight and sore. Ballet dancers use and employ this technique for long, lean muscles.
  • Use a protein powder for maximum results in gaining muscle and satisfying your daily protein count without micro-managing your diet.
  • Don’t be afraid to make adjustments to the program for you personally. I’ve tinkered with it a bit, but it hasn’t changed the overall scope of the workout. You know what your body needs, and if you want to make a few small changes (swapping certain workouts, resting on different days, etc,) then go for it! Just keep in mind that too many adjustments can render the program less effective.
  • Eat as healthily as you possibly can. Most people embark on workout challenges for either fitness benefits or prestige, but healthy food is important anyway regardless of whether you actually want results or not. Just be aware of what you’re putting in your body. Think “Will this help my body function well through my physical activity for today, or will it drag me down and slow my progress?”
  • Make sure to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drinking water can get boring, but you can force yourself to get your quantity by flavoring it, keeping a bottle handy at all times, or sipping while at your desk.
  • Have fun! Don’t pressure yourself! A workout challenge can be way too stressful if you’re always pushing your body to the point of exhaustion. Take it easy – working out should never be a burden.

So people! If you want to do something awesome with 25 to 50 minutes of your day for the next two weeks, then join us! 😉 I hope you all have tons of fun with these workouts and feel awesome about your results!

Stay awesome, y’all!

Makayla

Are you going to join me in the SHRED challenge? Are you currently doing it? What are you doing differently during this challenge, and what are your best tips for staying hydrated and loose while working out?

Simplifying Lifestyle

Heyyy y’all!

Ever seem like life is just way too busy? I know I’ve felt that way sometimes! From sports and school to home life and hobbies, it can just pile up and get to be WAAAY too much! I love minimalistic lifestyles because it seems so much easier to see the beauty in the simple things and to focus on the other, more important, things.

I don’t mean to fill up the introduction with useless chatter, (because that would be cluttering up this post on simplicity) but I don’t want to oversimplify either! 😉

I’m not going to begin this in a fairy-tale manner “I can help you simplify your life!” Because simplifying your life isn’t easy. It’s hard. It’s really hard. But if you care enough about it, and your willing to work hard, then I know you can do it!!

So, without further ado, here are some tips that I know you will be able to use in your life to have more time, energy, and feel so much better about yourself and what you’re doing!

1. Get lots of sleep.

Try going to bed early, around 9:00. This will give your body time for plenty of sleep and you’ll probably wake up around 7:00, or earlier! You’ll feel more rested and have a jump start on your day.

2. Focus less on ‘doing’ and more on ‘accomplishing’

I know there are those days when you just need to “do” the laundry, your math, your violin practice, your cookie recipe, your room … but that’s a rat race you don’t want to get sucked into. Instead, congratulate yourself for everything you get done, that was worth doing.

I find it really helpful to write out a list of what I need to “do”, then as the check marks fill up along the page it restores my confidence and makes me feel like I really “accomplished” something important.

3. Take a break.

Sometimes we just need to take a break from something in your life, whether it’s an activity, your blog, school, or some other thing that occupies most of your time. Spend a few days or so in soul searching, relaxing, reprioritizing your goals, talking to God and delving into His Word. Commit yourself to change and you’ll emerge so much fresher and self-aware, and ready to dive back into your busy life again!

4. Switch it up.

Develop a new routine. Maybe you’re bored with just slapping on some tea tree and sunscreen every morning. Do something different and make it special! And if you have a really complicated routine, you know what I’m gonna say … keep it simple! Tone down a bit.

5. Cross it out.

Is there something holding you back from being PRODUCTIVE? Do you have a bad habit, spend too much time online, or are you feeling unmotivated? Conquer that mountain!!! Break that habit!! You can’t win a race wearing leg irons. Release that activity or habit, and do what you REALLY want to do, instead of what your brain says you want to do.

Don’t be afraid to stop doing things. If soccer practice is keeping you from writing quality essays, take a break. If you don’t have time for a babysitting job, don’t accept. When we have something serious going on in our family or we need to do a lot of seasonal farm work, we take a break from school, and that’s helped more than you can imagine!

6. Organize!!!!!

This is my FAVORITE ONE!!! I love to organize, clean, and design. At any given day (unless I was in a rush getting ready 🙄) you could come to my house and look at my room and it would be TOTALLY CLEAN! So if I can get passionate about cleaning, you can too! 😂

On a more serious note, I find it so much easier to be productive when I don’t have a mess distracting me. I’m sure you would find it helpful as well!

Have the best day ever! See y’all next time!

Makayla

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough!

Here is the most famous recipe in the house … the recipe to my chocolate chip cookie dough!

It’s so soft with a texture that’s a little sandy and comes out like drop cookies. They’re SUPER popular here at home. When my Dad comes home he goes straight to the fridge to pull out the dough and eat it raw! 😂 My brothers could eat it all day and my mom says it’s the best I’ve ever made.

So, with that reliable testimony, I invite you all to join me in making these delicious cookies!

One great thing about this recipe is that it’s so quick. Bake time is ten minutes (😮) so if you want to save the dough and pop it in the oven before supper it doesn’t take too long. I normally double the recipe because we have six people in our family, but every family is different so you decide! 😂

I put the recipe in a format so you could easily copy-paste-print! Have fun!

Chocolate chip cookies

  • ½ cup liquid honey
  • 1 cup softened coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. FRESH baking soda (must be fresh)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips (or more!😉)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a big bowl, combine coconut oil and honey. Mix well. Pour in egg and vanilla, and mix until well combined.
  1. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to the coconut oil mixture, mixing until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  2. Roll dough into small balls, about 1 inch thick. (You could chill the balls for ten minutes in the fridge before baking, but it isn’t necessary.)
  3. Bake cookies spread evenly apart, for about 10-11 minutes, or until slightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. (They crumble easily right after they come out, so cooling is important if you don’t want crumbs all over!)

And that’s it!

This recipe was quite a piece of work, since the original called for butter but we didn’t HAVE butter. So I just used coconut oil instead and it worked uhMAZEing! I hope you enjoy!