30-Day Squat Challenge: Week 2

DAY 8
REST DAY

No squats today but I missed doing the exercise so I climbed up and down twenty flights of stairs. My legs felt good.

DAY 9
100 Squats (4 x 25)
4 minutes 10 seconds

It didn't hurt to do the squats at the time, though my legs were sore at the end of the day. I'm already noticing an increase in muscle on each leg and my thighs touch again! (Full Disclosure: I was so happy about this that I cried a little bit.) Thigh gaps are huge right now – women go to extraordinary lengths to make sure their legs don't touch at the top. I have a thigh gap and I hate it. Wikipedia says it is a sign of femininity and fragility: what woman wants to appear fragile?! Maybe in the 1910s ... but this is 2014! When I look at mine it just reminds me of how sick and weak I've been – I can't wait until it's gone completely. 

DAY 10
105 Squats (4 x 20, 1 x 25)
4 minutes 15 seconds

Before I started this challenge I decided that I would try make better choices about the things I would eat throughout the thirty days – lots of smoothies and green juice, fruit, nuts, seeds, brown rice, veggies etc. I don't know if it's the exercise or the change in diet (or both), but I've certainly noticed an increase in the speed of my metabolism... (I Googled it, apparently it's a completely normal side-effect.) My main concern was that being more physically active would cause me to lose even more weight. In actuality, I've found I've gained four pounds! My appetite knows no bounds and I've been eating everything in sight...which, yes, sometimes includes pizza and potato chips. 

DAY 11
110 Squats (3 x 30, 1 x 20)
4 minutes 20 seconds

Something was a little off today and I didn't feel good. My side was giving me gyp and I considered swapping over the days to make this a rest day and do the squats tomorrow. Instead, I took it easy all day and did the squats in four goes in the evening. Mercifully, my symptoms didn't get worse. I know myself well enough to know that if I bail on even one of these days it'll be over.

DAY 12
REST DAY

The rest days are perfectly spaced throughout the month. Just when you think your legs will give way if you do even one more squat a whole day comes along when you don't have to do any. The Challenge isn't as pain-making as I thought it would be; it's tiring to do and sometimes if I don't stand quite right I feel it in my back and knees, but otherwise it's nothing more than a warm ache that radiates down the outside of each thigh. 

DAY 13
130 Squats (4 x 30, 1 x 10)
5 minutes

I have a new-found appreciation for Nicki Minaj. Today she released a video for 'Anaconda'. I believe that grown women should be able to do whatever they want without fear of recrimination; if she wants to shake her ass in Drake's face in front of the whole world then that's her business ... and if people want to get outraged about it then that's on them. I'm not thrilled about the skinny-shaming lyrics that go with it, but when I watched the video all I saw was five healthy women who must work damn hard to look so good...

DAY 14
135 Squats (4 x 30, 1 x 15)
5 minutes, 10 seconds

Each morning, when I check how many repetitions I have to do, I balk a little bit. '135?! I can't do that. How am I ever going to do 250?! This is madness', I think. Then I do my first round of thirty and it feels easy (which the first ones each day always do), the endorphins start to kick in and I feel more confident. I think that's how they get you – on the first day you think you'll never be able to do 50 – before you know it you're doing 150. I can only imagine that by the time I get to 250 100 will feel like nothing at all. That is my hope anyway, that when this is finished I'll continue to do 100 or so every day to maintain what I have gained. More on which next Friday...