Rise to the Challenge:: 12 Days of Nutrition and Exercise

Remember to consult with your doctor or medical provider before starting any diet or exercise plan.

Competition is in my blood. It’s been there from the time I was a little girl. The challenge is still in me.

As a former Division I and professional athlete, I enjoyed competing. The grueling 3-hour practices, twice a day. Time spent in a hotel. The game-day routine. The smell of the fans in each significant arena. The buses and planes I’ve sat on getting us to our next match. The physical and mental strength. Time management. Proper nutrition. Proper sleep. My teammates and the ‘routines’ we had.

I loved rising to the challenge…


… so where did my instinctual fight go?

So long are the days of being an athlete, I’m a wife and mom now. And I find I have almost lost that fight because I’m drowning in crumbs, laundry, and constantly wiping butts. Yes, I have challenges, but where is my grit? How do I turn those “blood, sweat, and tears” moments of the past and apply the same tenacity in this season of life?

I can’t compete against other teams, but I can compete against an age-old opponent, myself. And guess what, you can too! I’d like to offer you a challenge this month, focusing on three different areas. During this time of monotony, don’t lose yourself. Find your fight. Find your determination and rise. 

12 consecutive days. You choose the days.

Nutrition Challenge:

(In addition to eating your standard fruits, vegetables, proteins, and carbs; implement all or pick and choose one or more)

  • No caffeine.
  • No alcohol.
  • No dairy.
  • No gluten.
  • No sugar. (unless naturally found in the food)
  • No eating after 6 pm.
  • Drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. (we should already be doing this daily)

Exercise Challenge:

  • Cardio (run, jog, walk or find a mixture) for at least 20 minutes, at least 6 x within the 12 days.
  • Set a timer to go off every hour on the hour from 10 am to 8 pm. Do 10 push-ups and 20 body-weight squats every time it goes off. (takes less than 2 minutes, but in one day that’s 100 push-ups and 200 body-weight squats. Continue to do the math for 12 days. The volume adds up, and you don’t even have to change clothes. Winning!)

Focal point:

  • As an athlete, I always had a focal point. Whether it be one word or one phrase, I encourage you to find yours. Write it out. Place this where you see it always; your mirror, your car, your shoe, your forearm, your refrigerator. Use it to focus and affirm yourself throughout this challenge.

By no means is this written from an expert. Anytime you are starting a diet plan or exercise regimen, you have to take it in moderation. Feel free to use this as is or adapt to what you are capable of.

Remember to extend yourself grace.

Your mindset should be ‘win the day.’ If we focus on ’12 days, 12 days, 12 days,’ it may become too overwhelming. We are in this with you, one day at a time.

Enjoy this free printable to keep track of your progress.

Nutrition and Exercise Challenge
Finally, I will leave you with a quote from one of my favorite artists, Andy Mineo.

“You got two choices. Make moves or make excuses.”

Cheers to your 12 days, my friends.