Eat, Drink, and Still Shrink: 23 Days to Get Fit

The time has come to set a goal.

I realized this as I enjoyed one of four family Christmas gatherings last weekend.

The reality is this: At this rate, no way, no how will I be able to get through the holidays AND be fit for my beach vacation a few weeks after.

Beach vacation = bikini = worst timing of the year.

Yes, that’s right. In January, I’m going on a beach vacation with Mr. Right. This is our first big couples vacation in four years – we are very excited! It’s also the first big vacation we paid for without going into debt – double exciting.

When we booked the trip, both of us were committed to staying in reasonable shape through the months of November and December.

The problem is, instead of progress, I’m heading in the opposite direction. The love handles are getting more handly. The stomach pooch, more poochy. These are physical reminders that I’m not taking the best care of myself.

None of this is happening because I’m eating healthy foods and exercising. On the other hand, this post isn’t about depriving yourself to get skinny. Like Tammy said, being thin is not the only way to be accepted in society.

I could tell you the obvious, like:

  • avoid eating 10 Christmas cookies in a row
  • say “no” to that second glass of Merlot and
  • give away that tempting bag of Halloween candy.

But that doesn’t work for me.

So like I said, I’m setting a goal.

Before I go on, did you hear? I just wrote 50,000 words of my novel in 30 days. Which is why I’m using the same NaNoWriMo goal philosophy to get in shape. That kind of motivation really worked for me.

So here’s my goal – and a challenge to my readers.

Join me.

Starting Tuesday, December 14, 2010.

For 23 days and nights.

700 minutes of fitness.

That’s just 30.5 minutes a day. Or 60 minutes one day, skip the next. Or however you want to add it up.

Until January 5, 2011.

How this challenge works

First, become a fan of this blog on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. I’ll post a fitness tip each day of the week and record my progress. (No tips on weekends – I unplug.)

Use the hash #23fitness to see how others are doing on Twitter and brag about your minutes.

Update your Facebook status with your minutes each day so others can “like” it and cheer you on.

Reach your 700 minute goal however you chose – there are no rules. Just make every minute count – get your heart pumping, even if it’s just a little bit.

Ways to spend your minutes

  • walking
  • running
  • jumping jacks
  • yoga
  • swimming
  • sledding
  • ice skating
  • pilates
  • kickboxing
  • zumba
  • squats
  • jogging in place
  • dancing
  • you name it
  • you get to decide

How to fit in fitness

Yes, I realize there’s a lot to do this time of year. Here are some ways to make time for 30 minutes of fitness each day.

  • wake up earlier
  • go to bed later
  • lunch break
  • don’t watch TV
  • quit playing Facebook games
  • before heading home from work
  • when the kids go to bed
  • break up the time into 10 minute increments.
  • ask for help. Don’t try to do it all.

How to make fitness fun

  • Join this challenge. If nothing else, I will be your personal cheerleader!
  • Workout with your girlfriends.
  • Workout with your spouse.
  • Get a sibling or parent on board and talk about your progress everyday.
  • Feel empowered while everyone is complaining about the dreaded holiday bulge.
  • Read about 5 things that make fitness enjoyable.

What’s in it for you?

  • Besides a healthier mind and body during the holidays?
  • Besides a challenge where you will literally see the results?
  • Besides being able to kill the guilt for having a sugar cookie?

A certificate of completion.

Anyone who completes this 23 day fitness challenge will be able to download a printable certificate at the end of the challenge. Kinda corny, I know, but I can’t wait to print mine and stick it to the fridge. 🙂

Are you ready to kick butt for the next 23 days and nights?

Join me!

Please spread the word, sign up, and remember – you just have to make it through one minute. Then one more, and keep going until you reach your goal.

Photo by gtall1

Check out Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk, coming January 2016 from Delacorte Press/Random House. Visit her author site here.


1 Eric December 13, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Hi Melissa!

Great time of year for this! I’m already in a few of these, but I can certainly add to your challenge. Do you allow men to play in your reindeer games?

I also put a lot of nutrition information on my blog and facebook (weekly food fibbers) that you’re more than welcome to share with the participants.

Looking forward to hearing about your progress!


2 Melissa December 13, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Cool, thanks for cluing me in to your fitness info. I’ll definitely share it!

I’m looking forward to the momentum during the next 23 days.

3 Kristi December 13, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Wonderful! Can’t wait to see your FB posts. I’ve been exercising at 5:30 every morning, and watching what I eat (a la Weight Watchers) and I’m shrinking! So I’ll continue right along with you =o)

4 Melissa December 13, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Excellent, Kristi! That is very ambitious of you and I’m proud. How do you feel? Have you noticed any other benefits – besides the shrinking?

5 Jessica December 13, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Bring it!!! I’m ready!!!

6 Melissa December 14, 2010 at 10:08 am

Alright! We are going to be some healthy mamas on the beach. WOO!

7 Katie December 14, 2010 at 9:05 am

I’m in! Starting today. This is the perfect time of year to do this – before the indulging begins, not after. Funnily enough, I’m taking a February beach holiday with my hubbie (alone) too. It’s the first time since before we were married – 22 years ago so an incredible shrinking body would be perfecto. Thanks Melissa.

8 Melissa December 14, 2010 at 10:10 am

Great, Katie! 22 years, wow – glad you two are taking the time together. I think more than anything, people could benefit from the mental health that exercise provides during the holidays. I always feel centered and – surprisingly – have more energy when I workout on a regular basis.
Welcome to the challenge!

9 stef December 14, 2010 at 10:15 am

Love this idea! You can officially count me in! I have a dress fitting coming up that I am trying to get ready for 😉 16 lbs GONE and on my way to my first major goal… This will help keep me on track.

10 Melissa December 14, 2010 at 10:29 am

Awesome! Be sure to update your FB status with your minutes so I can cheer you on. 😉

11 Alison Norris December 14, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Just what I needed! I started to hopefully be vigilant in exercising yesterday..been feeling kinda puny..then I saw your post when I got home from the gym. So excited to work towards a goal.
I did 65 minutes today!

12 Melissa December 14, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Wow! 65 minutes! I think you’re the fitness superstar today. Too bad we aren’t still neighbors … we could workout together. ;-( Miss you guys. The kids do, too. Tell your boys and Vic the Gorzelanczyks say, “Hi!”

13 Sara Z December 15, 2010 at 10:57 am

Well…I would love to join you for the fitness minutes, but I definately won’t be shrinking as I am 5 1/2 months pregnant! 🙂 Great idea Melissa…got to love extra motivation like this!

You can DO IT! 🙂 (PS – I am sure you’ll look great in your bikini no matter what!)

14 Melissa December 15, 2010 at 1:52 pm

I almost forgot! (see, it’s been too long since our last visit!) I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. It’s always more magical with kids.
xoxo Melissa

15 DeAnna Kennedy December 15, 2010 at 3:44 pm

I like this pre-holiday proactive approach!!! The awareness factor is half the battle …it’s so easy to just pop those cookies and holiday treats in without thinking! I’m in!

16 soan December 19, 2010 at 2:49 am

Am I too late for this challenge? I have been looking for something to help me stay on track during the holidays! That’s exactly what I need! After a few calculations, I’ve set a goal of 600 minutes (approx. 33 minutes a day for 18 days)
Thank you!

17 Melissa December 20, 2010 at 10:41 am

Definitely not too late! Join in! And keep my updated on your progress.

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