Post Series: March Your Way to Fitness Challenge
Winner Announced!

We’re excited to announce the winner of the fitness tracker!

Of the 944 of you who participated, we held a random drawing and the winner is Theresa J. from Bonita, CA!

Thank you to all who participated, hopefully we can continue all the positive habits we’ve developed together for the remainder of the year and beyond!

Week 5

Congratulations, we’ve completed the March Your Way to Fitness Challenge! Thank you for joining me on this journey as we keep our commitment to ourselves to treat our bodies right.

I knew this would be the last week of the challenge so I made a pact with myself that I would try to hit at least 25,000 steps for five consecutive days and I did it! My flat feet and tendonitis have survived, and I proved to myself that I could set small goals and hit them.

Victoria End of March Your Way to Fitness Challenge - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

In the course of this month-long challenge I learned a few things:

  • I don’t consider working out a chore if I pursue things I like doing.
  • Some form of exercise daily helps me fall asleep faster and not have interrupted sleep.
  • I’m not afraid to try different workout routines so I don’t get bored.
  • I’m not always going to be perfect when it comes to eating clean but I can decide each day to make good choices, which over time will benefit me.
  • Changes don’t have to be drastic – they can be small, manageable and easily repeatable if I approach it that way.
  • I can set incremental weight goals to hit and reach them.

In fact, this month, I dropped an additional five pounds and I’m pleased with that. If I can keep the momentum going, the habits I’ve formed over the last month will just be a seamless part of my life.

I also discovered that in the process of researching new fitness products, I actually got excited to try them and challenge myself more. I wanted to share some of my findings with you so you can find and use products that might help you keep going with your own personal journey. Read Fitness Products to Try Before, During and After Workouts and Wearable Fitness Products to Enhance Your Workout Routine.

How did this month-long challenge treat you? Let us know in the comments section below!

Week 4

My habits are changing. On Saturday, I decided to get Chinese takeout, and normally, I would sit quietly on the bench scrolling through my phone during the 12-minute wait, but not this time. During my wait, I walked right out the door, kept going for 15 minutes and didn’t even look at my phone; I just enjoyed being outside in the crisp air!

Sunday afternoon, I walked around my neighborhood and logged over 25,000 steps! On Monday night, I worked late and still made it a point to go to the gym (almost 9 p.m.). Tuesday and Wednesday were good walking days for me too, logging 20,000 and 25,000 steps respectively. I earned the Serengeti badge on Fitbit, which means I’ve already walked 500 miles! On Thursday, we had treats in the office to celebrate March birthdays and I was good – I sang, I clapped, I walked away. No cookies or brownies for me, but I cracked open a bag of SkinnyPop popcorn so I wouldn’t be totally deprived of a midday snack.

Nighttime Workout - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

I’m also getting out of the familiarity zone and trying new things. Wearing Harbinger gloves to lift weights … wearing RunPhones® to avoid jumpy ear buds as I jaunt around the neighborhood … and hopping on the new Precor® Adaptive Motion Trainer at the gym. You can mimic climbing, and take short strides or long ones to work different muscles, and whoa, did I feel the burn. My goal is to increase the duration on that bad boy five minutes each time.

I’ve been drinking more water this week and eating healthy foods (apparently trying to overcompensate for last week’s food fails). However, this weekend is Easter and I will yet again be faced with eating some non-typical foods. I’m going to allow myself some Hershey chocolate eggs though – the Easter bunny would be offended if I didn’t and I can’t let a lifetime tradition fall to the wayside, now can I?

This week’s supplemental article is about fitness programs for different ages that require minimal space or equipment, so be sure to check that out!

There are six more days left in this challenge, and I’m assembling a list of products that will help make your workouts more enjoyable. I’ll be sharing those recommendations next week!

Week 3

The food struggle is real this week. Here’s how it all began. I visited my friend’s cottage over the weekend and spent quite a bit of time in the car to get there and less time moving around. And then of course, what’s the first thing we decided to do upon arrival? Eat! Where did we go — a restaurant with no available nutritional data and a menu laden with all the things I shouldn’t eat.

I tried to be good, I really did. I’m not eating meat on Fridays for Lent so I shared the crab and artichoke dip and chips with my friends and opted for the veggie wrap with roasted vegetables and goat cheese. Then, I had a Summer Shandy … 130 calories of liquid. It bothered me because I hate drinking my calories, and I spent too much of the day traveling to indulge. I caved in to peer pressure to enjoy my weekend.

Victoria eating Oreo Thin

I said to myself that Saturday would be different. I had just written about staying in shape while traveling, and I took my own advice. In my purple insulated jacket that I bought at Bass Pro Shop, I walked around the cottage neighborhood. I felt so outdoorsy walking amid the trees and seeing the frozen lake … ahhh. It was all going so well — until dinnertime. My friend’s neighbors had a feast arranged where each person would bring something, and we’d eat, drink and be merry under the stars. There were 22 people, and needless to say, the spread was amazing. Everything was on display from prime rib to pasta salad to fruit fluff. I had a little taste of a few things but when I mentally added everything up, I was convinced I ate and drank about 1300 calories in one sitting! I also had no time to offset any of it because we had a bonfire, and I wasn’t about to go walking by myself in the dark. I decided that on Sunday after driving back home, I would exercise, and I did!

Monday and Tuesday went swimmingly for me as far as food and activity. But on Wednesday I had a last-minute opportunity to attend a Cleveland Cavaliers game and I ate a hot dog and mac and cheese. Thursday was St. Patrick’s Day and my friends and I went to dinner, a concert and then celebrated with a couple of adult beverages. As you can see, I even snuck in one of those Oreo Thins (let’s just say a leprechaun made me do it).

Today, I resolve to stop feeling guilty and accept that not every day is going to be perfect. Life is gonna happen and sometimes it doesn’t involve lean protein and greens. The important thing is to not let a little speed bump derail the journey. How are things going food-wise for all of you?

Over the next couple weeks I’ll be sharing some fitness programs and product suggestions from my research, so stay tuned!

Week 2

We’re 10 days into the month! Are you noticing better habits or finding new foods to enjoy?

A habit I’ve developed over the last couple weeks is taking a 20-minute stroll in the afternoon. If the weather is bad, I walk laps in my building, and if the weather is nice, I go outside! I’ve convinced a couple of coworkers to come along and stop sitting so much during the workday, and we’ll walk around downtown Detroit to get some fresh air. I can’t wait until it’s warm enough to bike around town!

Victoria Walking Outside - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

I’m learning to allow myself a variety of foods depending on my level of activity. I ate a burger yesterday for the first time since December, and it was delish! Over the weekend, I ate mini veggie lasagna rolls; I didn’t fret about it because I walked a lot that day, and my dinner the night before consisted of cereal with blueberries so I didn’t feel guilty. I have a bit of a sweet tooth but not too crazy though. Basically my weakness is dark chocolate and any type of fruit pie. If I never have another piece of cake again, I’d be OK with it. If there was a beautiful peach pie to take its place … ahhh, I digress. So, I was thinking of what I could try as a snack that would satisfy my chocolate craving without sabotaging my hard work. Enter … Oreo Thins! If you haven’t tried them yet, I recommend it! They’re about half the size of a normal Oreo cookie and you can eat four of them for 140 calories. You still get to feel like a kid when you pull them apart too!

I’ve been reading Shape Magazine and learning some weightlifting moves I can incorporate into my routine, and I started using those basketball-sized weighted balls too.

Notice, I said routine … I started thinking ahead to warmer weather and what would happen when we’re not at work or home and we’re on vacation. What can we do to keep active when we’re out of our usual routines? In this week’s supplemental article, I found ways to keep our fitness momentum going when we’re out of town. There are some programs available via your phone, small equipment items that easily fit in your suitcase and more, so be sure to check that out.

What healthy snacks are you reaching for and how do you satisfy a sweet tooth craving without negating your efforts? What new habits have you developed since the challenge started? Let us know in the comments section below!

Week 1

We have a few days under our belts for this challenge. How’s it going so far? As for me, I’m happy to say that I survived, given some of the curveballs thrown at my schedule this week. I work out in the evenings since I go to bed late, and mornings are not really going to be a peak performance option for me. But every night this week I’ve had something scheduled after work, meaning I had to sneak in steps, take a few extra stairs and do some laps around my living room to get my hour of activity in. In fact, as I’m writing this, I’m on one of those desk treadmills here at work for the first time! I’m struggling a bit on the water front, it’s so easy to go from meeting to meeting and either not bring a drink with me or forget to fill up the water bottle. I did discover that adding a little lemon in my water at least once a day helps me feel like I’m not depriving myself of something more flavorful.

Desk Treadmill - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

This week, I wanted to explore the reasons why so many people (including me) get in the mindset for being more active, having it work for a while, but then slowly over time, we allow life and other commitments to sabotage our efforts. Do you find yourself renewing a promise to get fitter every single January? How do you get to a point where fitness is just a part of life that you don’t have toput a lot of effort into doing every day? I invite you to read this week’s article about the battle to keep fitness a priority over the long haul. In it, you’ll gain insight from experts who have spent their careers researching, encouraging or incentivizing the motivations we need to make our habits stick. There’s even a fitness questionnaire that might help you find just the right exercise, intensity level and time of day that works for you.

Good luck this weekend and don’t be a couch potato! It’s supposed to snow again here in Michigan, so I will be trying to get creative indoors. Tell me about your first few days on the challenge. Any wins or struggles?

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Join the “March Your Way to Fitness” Challenge Today! - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

We’re almost three months into 2016 and I’m curious, how are those New Year’s resolutions going? Would you like help keeping those resolutions? The Zing team has been trying to tackle common resolutions each month by turning them into fun challenges. So far, we’ve tried to save money, keep an organized house and now, we’re focusing on health.

At the beginning of the year, I decided that my top priority is to get in better shape, eat healthier and hopefully, lose a few pounds. Did you make a similar resolution? Have you been true to your commitment or seeing effort slowly fade as each week passes? If so, I invite you to join me in our next month-long challenge “March Your Way to Fitness.” See what I did there?

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The challenge runs March 1–31 and is meant to be a fun way to get fit, drink more water, eat better and look spandex in the face. If you want to light that fitness fire again join me by signing up for the challenge, where we’ll strive to get active for at least one hour each day of the week, make food choices we won’t feel guilty about and avoid unnecessary calories that try to sneak their way onto our bellies.

Do you use technology to stay fit? I asked for a fitness tracker for Christmas, strapped that baby on my wrist on January 5 and haven’t looked back. I’ve already developed some better habits and lost a few pounds and am ready to try some new things, especially as the weather warms up. I’m ready to kick off this challenge in style. I bought a couple of new workout outfits, one of those resistance-band thingies and a sparkly water bottle so my new “I don’t sweat, I sparkle” t-shirt is a legitimate claim.

This is how I look at it: Spring is around the corner (thanks, Punxsutawney Phil!), and summer is on the horizon. The month of March is going to pass whether we do something or not, so why not try to feel and look better by the end of it?

Come back to this post often, as I’ll be keeping it interesting by sharing tips, my struggles with sweatbands, to cheese-or-not-to-cheese food decisions and more. I also want to hear from you! What are your favorite workouts? What tips or snacks do you recommend? This will be a month-long conversation among friends.

And to sweeten the deal, everyone who joins the challenge will be entered for a chance to win a fitness tracker so you can keep the momentum going all year long.

What are you waiting for? Don’t throw in the towel on your goals; bring it to dry yourself off as you achieve them! Are you in? Sign up and join me, today!

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This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Great week 3 blog and Oreo pic, Victoria!

    I struggled this week, too. I worked out and ate well overall, but why did I eat the gummy rabbits that I bought to put in my 2 year old’s Easter basket? ;-).

  2. Thank you for sharing!! I’m on a similar journey – unfortunately sitting all day at work has taken it’s toll on my waistline! I lost 50 pounds in the last five years but after 7 months at my new job sitting all day I have gained 30 of it back. I have signed up for a gym near my house (opens this month), but first I started focusing on what I’m eating and getting more steps in each day. I have a shake every morning (Garden of Life – Raw meal, actually delicious) and try and eat a few small meals of healthy whole foods throughout the day.

    The MyFitnessPal app has been a great tool to track what I’m eating and help me control my portion sizes. I’m so much less likely to eat an entire bag of Reese’s eggs in one sitting if I have to track it! Feel free to find me on the app and add me as a friend for encouragement! I am also an avid fitbit user, the two pair well together to help motivate me, I make it a game to beat my steps from the day before and stay within my calorie goals!

    1. Thanks for the tips Rena, and for joining our challenge! We’re all learning new things along the way and it’s exciting!

  3. Great targeted blog and enjoy a fresh perspective on staying active. I like using technology to track my goals as it gives me a great way to track my feelings and what I did that day to see a correlation.

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