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Push Up Challenges and Diets

June 23, 2008

Today at boot camp, one of the other women came up to me to tell me how much she admires my on-the-toes push ups. It was such an unexpected and sweet compliment! I am sure that I would not have pushed myself quite so hard if she hadn’t said that to me. The positive comments and encouragement really work wonders in not only making us fee great but also getting us to see if we can go beyond our limits and really challenge ourselves.

Like so many of you other bloggers, I have signed up for the 100 Push Ups Challenge. The idea of it, for those of you who haven’t heard of it, is to undergo a 6-week training program to build up your strength so that by the end of the 6 weeks, you should be able to perform 100 consecutive push ups! I am currently on my second week but already my arms are strengthening up. It’s tough work but it’ll definitely be worth it. Anyone can sign up, regardless of whether or not you have a blog, and we can all use a little extra upper body strength so I really encourage you to join if you’re at all interested! It only takes up a few minutes of your day, 3 days a week, and you’ll be ridiculously toned and strong in a few weeks. I absolutely cannot wait until I’m able to get down on my yoga mat and pull off 100 of those push ups. It’s going to be great!

If you’re doing the 100 push ups challenge, let me know how its going for you. And if anyone knows of any other challenges similar to this, do leave me a comment! I would be very interested to know of all the different little challenges that there are to keep us fit and healthy.

While scouting the Internet, I came across this article in which Marion Nestle talks about fats vs carbs. This is an interesting topic and I like her perspective on it, but what really drove home for me is what she says about “the calorie question”. She points out that people don’t generally gain weight if they overeat by 50 or 100 calories a day because of the way that the body will compensate for these small amounts. Rather, people overeat by hundreds or even thousands of calories, and this is how they gain the weight. It is so nice to have a nutrition expert comment on this because of the amount of diets suggesting you eat a rigid 1200 calories per day or strictly between 1300 and 1400 calories… and I can’t imagine how many people have probably gone over that amount by just a few calories and then felt badly about themselves for having “strayed” from their diet plan. Yes, the little things can add up and make a difference- but you’re not going to gain 50 pounds overnight simply because you had a couple hundred extra calories. When that happens, you’ve got to just relax and enjoy yourself. I hate the idea that so many people might be beating themselves up for such a small and insignificant thing.

43 comments

  1. I’m doing the challenge, and start week 2 today. I think we should take pics of how toned our biceps and triceps will be in 6 weeks.

    I’m so glad to hear you are still enjoying bootcamp, and inspiring others along the way. Keep up the great job. 🙂


  2. Well said. I like pushups because not only does it work the arms but also the core if you do it on your toes. Great job!


  3. Good luck on the challenge!

    And, um 1200 calories a day? Yikes! I’d be so hungry I’d eat my running shoes. I think some of these diets are awfully tough to follow for the long haul.


  4. I have read about the challenge on several blogs, and I really feel like I need to get started.
    I agree with crabby – some diets are sooo tough to stay on! I usually each well 6 days a week, with Friday being my “bad” day. It keeps me sane!


  5. Push up challenge? I’m going to try it, Sagan!

    My only problem with push-ups is that I have a weak left wrist from an old gymnastics injury. When I do push-ups, I usually do them on a pair of dumbbells to take the pressure off my wrists.

    Anyone else have wrist issues?


  6. I’m going strong with the push up challenge! I actually look forward to doing them! I am looking forward to doing my 100 at the end of july. 🙂


  7. Running Knitter- ooh I like your idea about photographing our progress!

    Mark- I LOVE the core work. It’s my favourite:)

    Crabby- Totally agree with you. I was so hungry from boot camp that I’d eaten about 1000 calories by 11:00 this morning. 1200 in one day would just about kill me!

    Missicat- That seems to be the way with fad diets… they’re all sneaky and make things super complicated and hard to follow. Hence why I avoid them like the plague:)

    Dara- sorry, can’t help you with the wrist injury. All you personal trainers/doctoring types reading this- any advice?


  8. Workout Mommy- I look forward to them too! Such an accomplishment:)


  9. I signed up for the challenge, and I’m going to start it as soon as my back gets well. I don’t know what I did to it, but I’ve been out of commission for a week and going stir crazy not being able to work out!

    Okay, sorry. Just had to let off a little steam! I’ll just live vicariously through you and everyone else until I get all healed up!


  10. I’m on the push-up challenge too! Yippee!

    I love the Marion Nestle article! She is just so… reasonable sounding. Love it.

    Dara – I’m an ex-gymnast myself! And yeah I totally have joint issues and the wrists are the worst. Pull-ups, push-ups etc. all aggravate them. I make sure and do all my wrist stretches before and after working out. Also, have you tried body rows (where you hang under the bar)? Same sort of muscle work as push ups but without your body weight on top of your wrists.


  11. Gena- I hope your back gets better! Rest up and soon you’ll be doing push ups again with the rest of us:)

    Charlotte- I like Marion Nestle too. She always sounds so practical and she’s great at taking information and making it easy for other people to understand!


  12. Awesome job on the push-ups in boot camp, and for doing the challenge. A sincere compliment or words of encouragement are powerful… in a good way! 🙂


  13. i am so freaking jealous of all of you 100 PushUp club members. With my neck injury, I’m not even allowed to pick up a freaking can of soup. A month ago, I would SO have done this. Next summer maybe?


  14. I’m plugging along on the pushups, not following the schedule exactly, but escalating bit by bit. 🙂

    Loved the comments about the calories. When I first started being mindful of calories, I used sparkpeople to log my intake. They wisely give a range of calories for each day and I stayed within the range nicely. And then came the day I went over–32 WHOLE calories. I was despondent. For about two minutes, and then I had to laugh. I told myself to quit worrying about 32 calories and instead, to keep an eye out for 3200 calories because THAT would be something to worry about. 🙂


  15. Im with crabby on the eating my Nike Air Rifts (and I LOVE EM!) after only 1200 a day.

    and Im still pushing onward as well.

    this thing/challenge is HARD!

    Miz.


  16. The article was a very interesting read and sorta backs up my personal method of weight loss (after years of trying every diet that came along) — eat everything in MODERATION!! If you reduce the input and increase the output, you’ll lose weight. It’s simple.
    Good for you for doing the challenge. Me? Back troubles, but I’m doing great with the wall push-ups (in between gardening and fixing fence and the multitude of other physical activities required of me!)


  17. the 50- 100 calorie thing is so true. people freak out if they go over their “calorie allowance” (what the hell kind of term is that, anyway?) and so they think, “well, i screwed up, i might as well enjoy it.” thats where the problems come in.


  18. the 50- 100 calorie thing is so true. people freak out if they go over their “calorie allowance” (what the hell kind of term is that, anyway?) and so they think, “well, i screwed up, i might as well enjoy it.” thats where the problems come in.


  19. the 50- 100 calorie thing is so true. people freak out if they go over their “calorie allowance” (what the hell kind of term is that, anyway?) and so they think, “well, i screwed up, i might as well enjoy it.” thats where the problems come in.


  20. the 50- 100 calorie thing is so true. people freak out if they go over their “calorie allowance” (what the hell kind of term is that, anyway?) and so they think, “well, i screwed up, i might as well enjoy it.” thats where the problems come in.


  21. the 50- 100 calorie thing is so true. people freak out if they go over their “calorie allowance” (what the hell kind of term is that, anyway?) and so they think, “well, i screwed up, i might as well enjoy it.” thats where the problems come in.


  22. the 50- 100 calorie thing is so true. people freak out if they go over their “calorie allowance” (what the hell kind of term is that, anyway?) and so they think, “well, i screwed up, i might as well enjoy it.” thats where the problems come in.


  23. the 50- 100 calorie thing is so true. people freak out if they go over their “calorie allowance” (what the hell kind of term is that, anyway?) and so they think, “well, i screwed up, i might as well enjoy it.” thats where the problems come in.


  24. the 50- 100 calorie thing is so true. people freak out if they go over their “calorie allowance” (what the hell kind of term is that, anyway?) and so they think, “well, i screwed up, i might as well enjoy it.” thats where the problems come in.


  25. the 50- 100 calorie thing is so true. people freak out if they go over their “calorie allowance” (what the hell kind of term is that, anyway?) and so they think, “well, i screwed up, i might as well enjoy it.” thats where the problems come in.


  26. the 50- 100 calorie thing is so true. people freak out if they go over their “calorie allowance” (what the hell kind of term is that, anyway?) and so they think, “well, i screwed up, i might as well enjoy it.” thats where the problems come in.


  27. the 50- 100 calorie thing is so true. people freak out if they go over their “calorie allowance” (what the hell kind of term is that, anyway?) and so they think, “well, i screwed up, i might as well enjoy it.” thats where the problems come in.


  28. the 50- 100 calorie thing is so true. people freak out if they go over their “calorie allowance” (what the hell kind of term is that, anyway?) and so they think, “well, i screwed up, i might as well enjoy it.” thats where the problems come in.


  29. the 50- 100 calorie thing is so true. people freak out if they go over their “calorie allowance” (what the hell kind of term is that, anyway?) and so they think, “well, i screwed up, i might as well enjoy it.” thats where the problems come in.


  30. the 50- 100 calorie thing is so true. people freak out if they go over their “calorie allowance” (what the hell kind of term is that, anyway?) and so they think, “well, i screwed up, i might as well enjoy it.” thats where the problems come in.


  31. the 50- 100 calorie thing is so true. people freak out if they go over their “calorie allowance” (what the hell kind of term is that, anyway?) and so they think, “well, i screwed up, i might as well enjoy it.” thats where the problems come in.


  32. the 50- 100 calorie thing is so true. people freak out if they go over their “calorie allowance” (what the hell kind of term is that, anyway?) and so they think, “well, i screwed up, i might as well enjoy it.” thats where the problems come in.


  33. the 50- 100 calorie thing is so true. people freak out if they go over their “calorie allowance” (what the hell kind of term is that, anyway?) and so they think, “well, i screwed up, i might as well enjoy it.” thats where the problems come in.


  34. the 50- 100 calorie thing is so true. people freak out if they go over their “calorie allowance” (what the hell kind of term is that, anyway?) and so they think, “well, i screwed up, i might as well enjoy it.” thats where the problems come in.


  35. the 50- 100 calorie thing is so true. people freak out if they go over their “calorie allowance” (what the hell kind of term is that, anyway?) and so they think, “well, i screwed up, i might as well enjoy it.” thats where the problems come in.


  36. the 50- 100 calorie thing is so true. people freak out if they go over their “calorie allowance” (what the hell kind of term is that, anyway?) and so they think, “well, i screwed up, i might as well enjoy it.” thats where the problems come in.


  37. the 50- 100 calorie thing is so true. people freak out if they go over their “calorie allowance” (what the hell kind of term is that, anyway?) and so they think, “well, i screwed up, i might as well enjoy it.” thats where the problems come in.


  38. the 50- 100 calorie thing is so true. people freak out if they go over their “calorie allowance” (what the hell kind of term is that, anyway?) and so they think, “well, i screwed up, i might as well enjoy it.” thats where the problems come in.


  39. the 50- 100 calorie thing is so true. people freak out if they go over their “calorie allowance” (what the hell kind of term is that, anyway?) and so they think, “well, i screwed up, i might as well enjoy it.” thats where the problems come in.


  40. the 50- 100 calorie thing is so true. people freak out if they go over their “calorie allowance” (what the hell kind of term is that, anyway?) and so they think, “well, i screwed up, i might as well enjoy it.” thats where the problems come in.


  41. the 50- 100 calorie thing is so true. people freak out if they go over their “calorie allowance” (what the hell kind of term is that, anyway?) and so they think, “well, i screwed up, i might as well enjoy it.” thats where the problems come in.


  42. Susan- Thanks:)

    Leslie- Aw that’s really too bad about your neck. But next summer you will definitely be doing it!

    Cammy- I used to log my calories and all that too and something similar happened to me (this was a long time ago now). Its easy to get caught up and lose sight of the big picture!

    MizFit- yeah, even those would start to look tasty! And man is it ever tough. I LOVE it.

    Bag Lady- love your thoughts on moderation. And your physical activities are something I’m jealous of because its all so productive- you’re doing something that needs to get done and getting in exercise at the same time! That beats lifting weights (really, the concept IS a silly one when you start thinking about it) any day:)

    Kelly- that’s EXACTLY where the problems come in. We all just need to relax and enjoy ourselves a bit more.


  43. I’m doing push-ups, too! We’ll all have some fine-looking arms by the time we’re done.

    I’d freak out on 1200 calories a day. I don’t know about eating my Asics, but I think I’d tackle someone for their lunch!



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