Good morning! I was reading over your comments from last night and I said to Future Husband, "Gee, it’s so funny how many other grown women are going to go to the Britney Spears concert."  And he pauses and says (in a cute British accent), "Oh. You call yourself a grown woman?"

 

🙂

 

Breakfast was a yummy whole wheat english muffin, egg, and cheese sammie with a little TWIST.

DSCN9965

Yay – more sprouts!  I just bought a box of sprouts, so you’ll be seeing a lot of these suckers over the next few days. 🙂

DSCN9961

The savory egg + cheese went so well with the crisp sprouts! Yum!

 

On the side, I had a sliced banana.

DSCN9966

It was a fun (although a little light) brekkie.

DSCN9967

Presenting…. December Challenge – Keeping Abs FUN!

 

So, you probably haven’t noticed this…. but I never, never do ab work.  Ever.  I really DETEST sit ups, crunches, planks, the Captain’s Chair…. you name it, I’ve tried it and HATE it.

 

I’ve tried to figure out why I am so repulsed by sit-ups (after all, I’ll bang out 10 push ups while watching TV and I always do arm work at the gym). I think it’s a combination of boredom with crunches, and the fact that I feel like I don’t *need* to do sit-ups. 

 

By that, I mean that since I’ve lost weight and started to run, I developed a sleek, but slightly rounded, tummy that I’m satisfied with.  When we first started to date (when I was 10 lbs. heavier), I remember Future Husband once told me I had the "womanly" stomach of a "Greek goddess." Basically, now I have a slimmed-down version! 

I’m not rocking a six-pack, but it’s not horrible, either! :) 

 

I like myself the way I am, and combined with the fact that I’m insanely lazy about ab work, I end up never doing a single crunch.

 

BUT, since it’s the end of the year, I thought I’d throw in ONE MORE personal challenge for myself. Strong abs make you a better runner, after all!

 

The December Challenge – Making Abs FUN! consists of doing a different type of ab work every other day (not intensely) until the wedding.  The wedding is in 31 days, so that’s around 15 different types of ab work!  I’ll take a picture AND provide instructions.  Sometime it will be basic stuff (like today), but hopefully it will get a little more interesting!

 

The staple non-crunch CRUNCH…. PLANKS!

 

Attempt #1 to take a picture:

DSCN9969

Attempt #2 to take a picture….

DSCN9970

OK! Finally – a real, uninterrupted plank! I did five sets of 30-second planks (hey, I’m a beginner).

DSCN9971

Here’s how to do a plank correctly:

 

  • Lie face down on mat resting on the forearms, palms flat on the floor.
  • Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows.
  • Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels.
  • Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air. 
  • Hold for 20 to 60 seconds, lower and repeat for 3-5 reps.

 

What area of fitness would you like to improve in the most, and why?

{ 34 comments }

 

  • girlrunningaround December 3, 2008, 6:27 am

    I’ve been thinking about abs lately too. It’s so much easier to think about them than to actually do them.

    Rock on with the ab workouts! I’m going to do whatever you do. Thanks for being my motivation to finally do it.

    Also, cute doggies! My cats do the same thing. They LOVE it when I’m on the floor with them.

  • jenngirl December 3, 2008, 6:33 am

    Ahh the FH is sooo cute, I love British accents! 🙂

    I definitely neglect the ab workout, I think I’m able to convince myself that running 3 miles or whatever, is enough to not need crunches…but I am trying to fit it in more and more.

    31 days til the wedding?! So exciting! Have a great wednesday!

  • VeggieGirl December 3, 2008, 6:33 am

    Fun challenge!! And cute pups, as always 😀

    Have a wonderful Wednesday!!

  • ashley (sweet and natural) December 3, 2008, 6:44 am

    Good for you with the challenge! I work my abs some every time I work out, but I end up doing the same old things. I should switch it up more. Maybe you’ll give me some ideas!

  • Mica December 3, 2008, 6:49 am

    I love the photos! You doggies are so cute!

    I hardcore need to work on my core, but I think first, I’d like to get my arms stronger. I think 100% of my strength is in my lower body, leaving me with pudge-covered popsicle sticks for arms. (Great image, right?)

    Also, I’m totally impressed that you eat such varied meals; they always look so yummy. I’m always afraid of buying too much, esp. produce, and having it go bad before I can eat it all. Props to you!

  • Mrs. LC December 3, 2008, 6:51 am

    Good challenge! If you need any ideas for ab exercises, you should ask my sister (hardship2stars.blogspot.com). She’s a college athlete, obsessed with abs, and she’s probably where I’ve learned at least 25% of the ab exercises I know.

    Have a great day!

  • just me December 3, 2008, 7:07 am

    great job w/ the planks; love the pictures…esp w/ the puppies. 😀

  • Erica December 3, 2008, 7:37 am

    hahah love those pups! That egg sammy looks awesome! Sprouts? Interesting add in- I like it!

    What do I need to work on? Shoulder strength!

  • Tami December 3, 2008, 7:37 am

    after tina posted about abs yesterday i did some at the gym this am. i think it’s my least favorite thing mainly because it takes so long to see results, i mean you work your arms for a month and see a difference…

    can we hear this sweet British accent????

  • Meg December 3, 2008, 7:42 am

    I want to do more ab work too, but like you…I find it boring sometimes! I wouldn’t mind having a 6 pack, but it seems that no matter how hard I try…the pack won’t pop! Then I get frustrated b/c I did so much ab work and I didn’t see results!

    I have the same interruptions when doing my abs!

  • Elsa December 3, 2008, 7:47 am

    Haha! Your dogs do the same thing my dog does when I am working out on the mat at home. He thinks that since I am at “his level” it is time to play!
    This month will zoom by for you… how exciting!!

  • tfh December 3, 2008, 7:52 am

    Adorable photos!

    And laughing at the “grown woman” comment.

    I admit: I love planks. I love working my abs because I can feel the results so quickly. But I do think a “womanly” belly (a little rounded) is beautiful. I would love to have stronger arms– I have muscle tone, but I care less about having muscles than about being strong, which seems to be about the same as you feel about your abs.

  • Meghann December 3, 2008, 7:58 am

    haha the same thing happens when I try to take exercise pics. 🙂

    I like the Challenge, maybe I will join you. I need new inspiration to work the belly

  • ms December 3, 2008, 8:02 am

    hey, i’m the same way about abs. it just seems so boring to get on the floor and do the required 5,000 crunches. although, planks are a favorite of mine ~ the spider plank (i think that’s what it’s called) is a good variation and it gives your arms a little work out as well.

    wow ~ forget the christmas count-down, only 31 days left until the big ‘party’, huh?

  • Jen-ucf December 3, 2008, 8:16 am

    haha I love the pictures, whenever I try to do abs my dog does the same thing. I guess because im on the ground she thinks I want to play.

    And Id say I need to work on my endurance with running. While I don’t have a six pack I do have a pretty strong core. Although my lower abs need some work.

  • Marissa December 3, 2008, 8:42 am

    Ugh, I hate doing ab work too. However, before my wedding I did them like it was my job LOL 🙂

  • RhodeyGirl/Sabrina December 3, 2008, 8:42 am

    i could never do a plank in my jeans!

    i keep thinking about how i lift a lot less now. i used to be jacked but in a sleek way, and now my arms are a bit thinner but with a LOT less muscle, and i am not sure i like that.

    love the challenge. we need a daily wedding countdown now that it’s a month away!

  • bitesoflife December 3, 2008, 8:45 am

    I definitely neglect abs now, which when I first started working out, I was religious about them. Maybe I’ll have to start doing them again coz of you!

  • ohsheglows.com December 3, 2008, 9:21 am

    I think I must be the odd ball because I looove ab work! I love planks and ab ball exercises. The best thing about abs is that you feel them getting stronger almost instantly!

    I did a post about ab exercises a while back on my blog- you should check it out.

    Goodluck! 🙂

    Angela

  • Sharney December 3, 2008, 9:33 am

    Hi Caitlin!
    Hope your Wednesday is going well 🙂 Only 1 more day and you're on your way to NYC!! You're so lucky 🙂
    I'm with you about the abs. I'm also a cardio girl. I RARELY ever do ab work. I guess it has never been a big deal to me because my abs are in pretty decent shape. I also do not have a six pack, but my stomach is pretty flat so it hasn't been a big concern of mine. I definitely feel like I could benefit from doing some strengh work & toning! So, thanks for posting ab workouts. I will definitely be trying them along with you!
    I am also going to see Britney! She isn't coming to Chicago until April 28th, but I've already got my tickets and I can't wait!!!!

    Btw, your egg & sprout sammie looks heavenly! Have a great day!

  • Halie December 3, 2008, 9:41 am

    Great challenge!

    I am with you – I definitely neglect the ab work. I’m going to try to work on that!

    But I wanted to say that the painting of the Greek Goddess is beautiful! Different standards of beauty in ancient times, and I’ve always had an appreciation for it. She’s not horrible!

  • BOBBI McCORMICK December 3, 2008, 10:18 am

    I am with you on the situps I we have a love hate relationship! When I am in class I dont mind doing them because theres others there loud music so I am all pumpped. But in the comfort of my own home I am like WHATEVER..lol I have some great ideas for you I will post them on my blog tomorrow I have been meaning to do this for all readers, it’s something I do with my AKB class, I think you might like it!

  • Aimee December 3, 2008, 10:32 am

    I have learn to love pilates which has been great for my core and I think has helped my running.

  • blueberryhil December 3, 2008, 10:55 am

    I actually like ab work, which isn’t to say that I always do it. Ab work is so easy to vary compared to other types of exercises!

    And thank you very much for pointing out that it’s okay for women’s bellies to be a little round! I really appreciate your body positivity and focus on strength rather than appearance.

  • seeleelive (for the love of peanut butter) December 3, 2008, 11:15 am

    i love how ur doggies are distracting you!! it may be annoying but it sure is cute!

  • Anne P December 3, 2008, 11:36 am

    hahaha those pictures of the doggies attacking you during the blank are SO adorable i couldn’t not comment! heart your blog 🙂

    anne p

  • Anne P December 3, 2008, 11:38 am

    plank!!

  • MacDuff December 3, 2008, 11:39 am

    Ok, I am so there with you in that picture. I do situps every morning, and my cat always tries to jump/hurdle me. It’s ridiculous. Sometimes he hits my knees and falls, then he gets really embarrassed.

    I have two ideas for you: 1. use one of those exercise balls as a chair for a day. i use one because I have back issues, but it gives me a little ab workout all day long.

    2. Do your ab workout to music videos in the morning. If you do crunches for one or two videos, that’s getting in like 350 crunches. And it goes by so quickly, you’ll be bummed you have to quit.

  • chasedaylight December 3, 2008, 11:44 am

    Ooo sprouts on a breakfast sandwich…that sounds delicious! I just bought a box too and I need to get creative with using them 🙂

    This challenge sounds great! I love love love planks.

  • Caitlin (see bride run) December 3, 2008, 11:55 am

    everyone – YAY for womanly figures!!! so wonderful to be a “real” woman!

    sharon – yayyy i love that you love britney!

  • Sarah December 3, 2008, 12:26 pm

    Hey there! Just wanted to let you know I worked planks into my workout today and it was a nice change 🙂 I only do 30 seconds each too, haha. Have a great day!

  • girlrunningaround December 3, 2008, 7:09 pm

    I just did my ab planks. Thanks again for the motivation!

  • Rosie December 5, 2008, 2:11 pm

    I think I’m going to follow along 🙂

Previous post:

Next post:

Healthy Tipping Point