Today is the first day of the eagerly awaited 30 Day Challenge! I woke up feeling ready to go, and I hope that attitude will stay with me throughout the challenge. I’m under no illusions that it will though. We all know how difficult it is to find the time and energy to exercise every day, but I’m determined to do this, and I’m going to share whatever I use to motivate myself to motivate you too. Starting with finding the time…yes of course I would rather sit on the sofa than work my butt off, but where would that get me? If you don’t already have a regular workout routine then it is hard to get started, but trust me, once you have done a few days of this you will be raring to go for the next day. Exercise is addictive and the feeling you get after a workout is far better than the feeling you get after eating a chocolate cake. Exercising isn’t just great for your outside, but also for your inside, and the first example of this you will see is how it boosts your mood. The endorphins released from exercising put you in a fantastic mood and make you feel on top of the world. It’s worth doing a workout just for that feeling. But the reason the majority of us are doing this challenge is to lose weight or tone up. I’m doing it to tone up and lose some body fat. I don’t have a large amount to lose as I have been Bodyrocking for about a year, but there are still areas I would very much like to improve. I’m going to be working hard to tighten up my thighs, ‘bingo wings’, stomach and bum. I want to lose my 'muffin top' so that my clothes look more streamline, and although my arms aren't big, I want to tone them up a lot. I am also aiming to get my centre abs line down my stomach back. I had it for a few months last summer, then it disappeared. But it will be making a comeback, I will make sure of that. My thighs are one of the main parts of me that seem to gain weight so I will also be working particularly hard to tighten them up. I had my ‘before’ photos taken this morning, and then I took my measurements so that even if I don’t see a difference in the photos I can measure myself to look for any changes. I strongly recommend that you do this too as I have failed to see any improvement in photos before but once I’ve checked my measurements have realised that I’ve lost inches. Here are my ‘before’ photos and measurements… Chest: 34” Waist: 25.75” Hips: 36.75" Thighs: 21.75" 22" Upper arms (biceps): 10.25" 10.5" I also weighed myself but that is purely so that I can hopefully prove that the number on the scales means nothing at the end of the challenge. Too many people focus on the scales and let it get to them. Muscle weighs more than fat so your weight isn’t an accurate way of noting progress on a workout challenge. One of the main reasons I’m doing this challenge is because I’ve been ill for a few months so haven’t done a workout for a long time, and all of the hard work I had put in before seems to have come undone in my time off. So I’m doing this challenge to tighten up and lose the body fat I’ve gained while I’ve been ill, and I’m going to give it all I can. I already eat very healthily and ‘clean’ so don’t have to make any huge adjustments to my diet, apart from chocolate. I am a total chocoholic so I’m going to find it hard to cut that out completely, but when I’m struggling I will just think about why I’m doing this in the first place. Although I already eat well I will be substituting some of my usual meals for some from the Nutrition guide in order to make sure that I am eating as well as possible. As many people notice when they first start working out, it’s the clean eating part that’s the hard part, but it is important to stick at it. You can do it. I’m going to be posting daily updates about how I’m getting on with the challenge, and there will be the occasional selfie to show my progress. Competing this challenge is going to be a real test for me as I haven’t exercised for so long, but I know I will be able to do it. I don’t doubt that it will be hard to keep myself motivated at times during this, but I’m going to be posting things to keep all of you motivated, so in doing that I am sure that it will also help me to keep going. Your first challenge (before the actual challenge itself) is to get started. I went for it and completed the workout for Day 1 and all I can say is wow! After a few months off that was hard, but it was so worth it. I feel great now and can’t wait for tomorrow already. I particularly liked the forward/backward lunges, my butt didn't like them though. I'm amazed that I managed to complete the full workout after my time off due to illness, but that's what determination can do for you. You will understand this once you have completed Day 1…I honestly never thought that I would look forward to doing a plank, until today. I've always hated them...until now. The only piece of equipment I used was a sandbag for the lunges, but I am planning to add more weights as I go through the challenge to push myself harder. Day 1 was hard but a great start to the challenge because it worked my whole body and I’m ready for more tomorrow. I ate well today...porridge for breakfast, soup for lunch and chicken stir-fry for dinner. I had a snack of a fruit smoothie after lunch, and have just made the 'Green vitality' smoothie from the nutrition guide for tomorrow's breakfast. I feel good about my food choices today, but I know that after a few days I will be craving chocolate. I 'm so excited to be doing this challenge, and can't wait for more tomorrow. If you are reading this wondering whether to join in please do, or a year from now you’ll wish you had started today.