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“I planked my way into my jeans, thank you.”

This was the email I received from my 78-year-old mother, Sue Fisch. Last year we made a commitment to lose 6 pounds-I lost 7, she lost 11. But still her favorite pair of jeans wouldn’t close. I was concerned that she wanted to lose 5 more pounds for those jeans.

“Ma, you have no fat left on your body!”
“Ohhhh yes I do,” she’d say, grabbing at her belly.

I told my mother about the Planking Challenge- how it targets your abs like nothing I’ve ever done and how I saw a difference in just a month- both in my muscly stomach AND in my belief in myself. She tried it and immediately said there was no way: it was too painful, she doesn’t build muscle, etcetera etcetera! Knowing my mother for my lifetime, I had tried to convince her a few times but soon gave up, accepting that maybe planking for a 78-year-old woman with thyroid problems and osteoporosis was a ridiculous idea.

Like so many things, when you let it go, the results can be astounding. Much to my surprise, my mother kept going. A few days later she said,

“I am doing the plank position but it’s hurting my back too much.”

Shocked she was planking at all, I helped her modify the position.

A few weeks later she complained, “I can’t get past 2 minutes.”

Doubly shocked and super proud, we discussed breaking it into portions so that the total is still growing. At 2.5 minutes of planking she sent me an email entitled “I planked my way into my jeans, thank you,” approximately a month after beginning. Not only that, but she said her stomach hasn’t been this flat since she married my father 52 years ago. I mean, seriously! And she’s still working at it.

So much to glean from this tale!

#1: Joumor Principle: Maintenance is Magic. In fact, in all habit-building the most important thing is quantity not quality! Doing things a little imperfectly but regularly is far more effective than doing them perfectly every now and then.

#2: In There’s Always a Way, we talked about how no matter the obstacles, if you persist, you can find a way. Now, the outcome may not be exactly what you had in mind, but you can get to where you didn’t think you could go if you keep trying. Most importantly, tinker with your efforts so they are more you-ish, not less! Had my mother tried to do the regular plank position and followed the formula, she’d have just given up (and she almost did).

This is what Joumor’s all about:

  1. Articulate your goal
  2. Try different things to get there
  3. Ask for help
  4. Tinker with your efforts so you can move the needle just a little and make the results sustainable
  5. Impress yourself and everyone around you as you kick butt with amazing results!

Want to try the Planking Challenge? Lots of my friends and clients do it…and those who stick with it are rocking their tighter abdomens and belief in their ability to do hard things. Here’s a great article about it. Just modify the details to make it work for you.

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