No pain no gain…

But this is HARD!!

I’ve started the 30 Day Ab Challenge.  In fact I startled it 24 days ago, but I’m only on day 15.  It’s really hard to motivate myself to do 15 to 20 minutes of painful exercise every morning!

30 Day Ab ChallengeThe rest days I can manage, it’s just motivating myself to get back to it the next day…. And sometimes when I am working a few days in a row I simply can’t face it.

But…it is beginning to work! It is a really really long time since I have been comfortable about my stomach.

I started ‘filling out’ about 10 years ago. I needed to, I was a stick insect. I’m 5’10 and I was about 8st 7oz (European; 177cm, 54k; USA 70′ 120lb) which was ‘officially’ underweight. Now I’m a much more healthy 10 stone (63kg, 140lb) and I am generally ok with how I look.

My stomach however used to be concave. It also used to complain a lot!

Now it curves the other way. Most people who hear me complaining about my stomach laugh at me. It is still small. I still wear size 8 (EU 36, USA 4, waist 25′) so I should not feel uncomfortable with it. But should is not a word that works for me!

The reality is that I am unhappy with how that little bit of me looks. I don’t like lots of photos of me because I feel I look frumpy. I am still uncomfortable with my image in the mirror.

I know my eyes don’t process what they see in the mirror properly. Years of anorexic thinking mean that I do not see my own shape the way others do. I am perfectly capable of seeing everybody else’s bodies in a clear and unbiased light, but mine is not the same.

For years the bathroom scales in our house has been hidden. The second my daughters started weighing themselves I hid it under my bed. As a teenager I used to weigh myself hourly. The weighing scales in our bathroom made a noise, so I had to do it very quietly! When I was in America I spent 20c every morning on the huge scales in the bank on the way to work, and my target was to get below 108lb. I didn’t make it, but I certainly didn’t eat properly either!

Nowadays I don’t (usually) control my eating. I still eat in an abnormal way, no breakfast, small lunch and then a huge dinner followed by an evening of snacking until bed time.

I know that this pattern is very poor, and one of the reasons I can’t usually eat breakfast is because I am still digesting all the sweets, chocolate and ice cream that I ate the night before!

I know I need to change this, and I know all those fats in the evening are very bad for me. I recently had a cholesterol test (my dad has recently had to have stents put in due to blocked arteries) and my count was 6.75. An ideal count is below 5, so I need to do something.

I don’t however want to lose weight, but looking at my stomach the way it is in the mirror makes me want to diet. I know that is not the solution. Firstly, I will lose weight from my face, boobs and bum before my stomach and therefore will look less well, secondly, I’m still underweight for my height, I suffer from ME, am exhausted a huge amount of the time, so I need to eat properly keep my energy levels up!!

So I heard about the 30 Day Ab Challenge. Once upon a time I could do 100 sit-ups, so I thought ‘this will be a breeze!’ But then (of course) I looked at day 30!

125 sit ups

200 Crunches (what are those)

65 Leg Raises

120 Second Plank

I had to look them all up!

Then I had to stop worrying about day 30!!!

After day 1 I was very very worried about day 30. Crunches hurt & it took me about 5 minutes to do 5 leg raises!

Now on day 15 I’m doing 42 leg raises. It’s still really hard, and 95 crunches!!! But 5 would be a breeze, so I must be improving!! I’m not looking at day 30 any more, just today! That’s hard enough!! Roll on day 16!!!

Every time I take a break of longer than a day I make myself start from the day that I did last. I’ve been on day 13 for a while, but I did 13 (again) on Tuesday and 14 yesterday so I’m on 15 today.

Wilson is good at Leg Raises

Wilson is good at Leg Raises & Crunches

My stomach does already look and feel better. I am less self conscious of it in a tight fitting top or dress. I am beginning to be convinced that this might work!

The only thing I have to do with my diet is to sort out the order in which I eat things and reduce the fats! I don’t need to eat any less.

Has anyone else tried these 30 day fitness challenges? I’m going to do a leg one next to tone up my legs! No need to do my arms, we do enough lifting at work to keep them in shape!!

Already I have noticed a change…. Just gotta keep going!

About Barbara

Born in Dublin, living in London with Peter, my two daughters, Wilson our Spaniel & Woordow our Malshih (Shih Tzu-Maltese cross)
This entry was posted in Anorexia, Diet, Getting old, Keeping Fit, ME, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Ouch!!

  1. Al says:

    Good luck with this worthy endeavor. I am doing similar exercises at the gym, but for a different reason. It’s to strengthen muscles that support my back to help with back pain.

    Here’s my advice to anyone attempting this challenge. Do this program in February and then you won’t have to worry about days 29 and 30!

    Wilson is good at leg raises and crunches? Looks to me more like he is good at napping on his back!


    • Barbara says:

      I forgot that was the reason I started thinking about doing these exercises! A friend of mine had sciatica and was prescribed stomach exercises to help. I sometimes get sciatica so that started me thinking I should strengthen my stomach muscles to prevent back injury, especially in the job I do now!

      Sometimes Wilson sleeps like that, but he loves wriggling on his back, especially when other people are on the floor 🙂


    • thanks for the post! hope you enjoyed the challenge 🙂 keep it up


      • Barbara says:

        I am enjoying it, mainly the results! I’m on day 19 today but since I took an unscheduled rest day I have to repeat day 18 before I can move on to 19. It takes longer this way, but is just as painful and therefore hopefully as gainful! I’m just not always able to do the exercises on their due days


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