Monday, December 1, 2014

8 Weeks to Fit

This is an invitation. A chance to take the promise of a new year with all its resolutions and ride it all the way to the end of February. Use that momentum and motivation and do something with it!

I invite you to start something new, continue on your path, pick back up where you left off. Whatever it means to you. Because that is what this challenge is about. You. I'm not going to tell you what to eat or give you a daily workout. Those are your choices. You are much better equipped to decide your fitness road than I am.

Along with my friend Ashley over at Maniac Mom, I am offering up this challenge (with prizes!!) too you.

Here are the nitty gritty details:
  • This is a two month challenge. January will focus on nutrition. February on fitness.
  • Participants set their own goals.  In January you will choose a nutrition plan that you have been interested in trying or unable to stick with in the past. It's your choice to count calories, do a sugar detox, eat clean, or try paleo.  In February you will pick a fitness goal. Things like completing your first 5K or setting a new PR. Maybe you goal is to work up to a 10 mile run. Maybe you just want to be able to run a mile! Practice yoga everyday for a month or try crossfit for the first time. The goals are yours and yours alone.
  • Prizes will be given at the end of each month. They include a $50 Academy Sports giftcard, a goody bag of running related treats valued at $40, and other things to be announced at a later date. 
  • Participants must check in by commenting on a weekly update post here on Ashley In Arkansas.
  • In order to be in the running for a prize, you must set a goal and reach that goal. You will also be judged on your level of participation on the Facebook page, the weekly blog check-ins, and you stand a better chance if you volunteer to write guest posts detailing your experience working towards your goals.  E-mail me or leave a comment if you are interested in guest blogging. Also gratuitous hashtagging on social media of #8WTF is a good thing!
Some tips on reaching your goals: 
  • Your nutrition plan should be something that is right for you. I personally feel like counting calories is the easiest way to go about it. Sparkpeople is a terrific website for this but there are many others. Check out Sarah Wilson and her I Quit Sugar program if you are most interested in kicking the sugar monster to the curb. Tosca Reno has several books on Eating Clean. Mark's Daily Apple is a great place to get started on primal and paleo plans. And of course for you hard core girls, there is always a Whole30.
  • Take it one day, one hour, one minute at a time. Fight cravings with healthy substitutes or just plain walking away. Does the donut shop always tempt you on the way to work? Drive a different route to avoid it. Know you have a problem avoiding your kids treats. Don't buy them for that month. It will be good for your kids too.
  • Drink water!!!!
  • Drink water!!!!
  • I can't say it enough...DRINK WATER!!! Sometimes you think you are hungry and you are really just thirsty.
  • Make your fitness goal attainable. If you've never run a mile in your life don't sign up for a 10K. Try a 5K instead. 
  • Make fitness a priority. You need this. It's good for your body and your brain.
  • If you can't fit it in anytime but first thing in the morning, then get your booty up and get it done. You won't have it looming over you all day and your day will most certainly go better.
  • Find a friend! Get your best girlfriend to sign up with you and spark a little healthy competition and accountability. You are less likely to skip a workout when someone is waiting on you.
  • Use our Facebook page. Everyone will be struggling through this together. You will find support and solidarity on our group's page. Use it to your advantage.
Ready to sign up?
I'm doing it!

Leave a comment on this post or on the Facebook page outlining your goals for January and February. Make sure you leave an e-mail address you can be reached at. You have until December 31st to do this. If you have a blog, please link to it as well. I will be posting a roster of all participants on January 1st. 

And...if you are one of the first 10 people to sign up you have a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card. Use it for a new cookbook, kitchen gadget, whatever you need to give yourself a leg up on the first part of the challenge. 

Make sure to Like the Facebook page, Ashley In Arkansas on Instagram, Maniac Mom on Instagram and please follow along on Pinterest for inspiration. My favorite boards are Eat All The Food, What To Do When Not Running, and Run Happy. If you are going to document any part of your challenge on social media, please use the hashtag #8WTF so we can find you. 

It's no coincidence that WTF is part of the challenge's acronym. You might be thinking WTF on Day 3 of a sugar detox, or 5 miles into your 10 mile run. Just know that you can do this. Embrace the pain, trust the process, work for that goal. And don't be scared to drop an F-bomb if it helps get you through one more rep. 

Until then...


  1. I'm game, and ready for my pony! ;) I have several goals....
    1. Work out 4 days a week. Currently doing two, but need more. Everyday is pushing it at this point!
    2. Count calories, although I have no idea where to start. Help please.
    3. Drink only water, coffee, milk or juice for those 8 weeks. I'm not a huge soda drinker, but I love my occasional Dew and I know those are a no-no.
    4. Consume 5 servings of fruits/veggies daily.
    How does that sound? Do I need more?? I'm gonna be fit!

  2. Sounds great Celeste! So nutrition wise your goals are calorie counting and cutting out soda and upping your fruit/veggie intake, and your fitness goals are to work out 4 days a week no excuses? Those are very attainable and I am really excited for you!

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  5. 1. No more sweets...No more sodas
    2. Work out more... Currently playing basketball twice a wk for an hr. Also water valley ball once a wk
    3. Start walking more (in the pass I walked 2/3 miles daily) life got busy
    4. Quick easy family meals (I'm very picky)
    5. Counting calories sounds like a good start for me?
    6. Someone/something to swat my hands when I go for a lil debbie and Pepsi

  6. Monica- Sounds like a sugar detox and calorie counting is what you are after! And exercising at least 5 times a week? I love that you are involved in team sports. So much fun!

  7. Ashley how exactly does the sugar detox work?

    1. There are many ways to go about it. One of my favorite programs is I Quit Sugar. It is an 8 week program that really eases you into it. I have the book for that one that I would gladly share with you. There is also the 21 Day Sugar Detox. Much shorter and more to the point. Lots of info on that one online. Another one I just heard of that comes from a woman that I have much respect for is the Strike Sugar Challenge by Tosca Reno. I truly believe in choices and finding what will work best for you and your lifestyle.

  8. I'm game! My blog does not focus on fitness but I post recipes at least once a week. But I do have a few goals for the new year and getting back in cruise shape for June.
    1. Clean diet 80/20
    2. Work on reducing carbs, not a specific plan yet
    3. Meet my daily step goal on fit bit as well as staying in my calorie goal
    4. I am going to do a yoga or pilates workout every day in Feb.

    1. I've added you to the list Renee!

    2. Have you sent emails? I haven't received any and I just remembered I signed up the today and I apparently forgot to like the facebook page as well, ooops. But I have been doing good on my goals and will start participating more :)
      email is renee(dot)birchfield @ gmail(dot)com

  9. I may be interested in doing a guest post.

    1. That makes me happy! Whenever you get some material you want to share just shoot me an email...

  10. I missed the 12/31 deadline by a few hours but I will share my goals anyway. During January I will be starting weight watchers again. I did it last year with success but gained back all the weight due to some medications and health issues during the late summer early fall. MyFebruary goal is going to be to workout 3 days a week. We have a home gym and I have been doing a modified cross fit program in the past. I also plan to run at least two times a week. Thanks for organizing this challenge!


Now play nice and for every comment you leave, I'll buy you a pony.