Friday, April 30, 2010

the challenge

Three months can be a long time. (But not as long as a deployment.) I participated in a wellness challenge competition that ended the middle of April. The goals of this challenge were "to provide motivation to get in better shape, and to encourage good habits." Each person kept track of their own points. We got one for each daily task that we did, but we could skip one task per day and still get a point for it (only exempting the same task up to three times a week). We each paid ten dollars for extra motivation -- so that the three people with the highest scores could have a prize.


1- Exercise at least 45 minutes: Any pre-decided form of exercise that you feel confident giving yourself a point for. Time can be split into increments as long as there’s 45 minutes daily.

2- Water: Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water. No soda or alcohol.

3- Eat at least 2 servings of fruits and veggies: Fresh, frozen or dried are acceptable. Canned, V8, etc. doesn’t count.

4- No refined sugar.

5- No eating after 8 p.m.

6- Spiritual reading: At least 15 minutes.

7- Journal: Write in a personal journal or diary.

8- Gratitude: At least once, express sincere gratitude or appreciation to another. A casual “I love you” at the end of a phone call won’t cut it.

9- Spending: Track spending daily (write it down, keep receipts, etc.) and stay within a planned weekly budget.

10- Personal Goal: Any goal written down at the start of the day. (Dust house, write letter, spend an hour painting, weed yard, etc.)

#1 was a little challenging because I was used to exercising for less than 45 minutes. I had to get used to doing #7 and #10, too (well, honestly, #7 through #10). By far, the hardest were #4 and #5. I usually had refined sugar three days a week.

I'm glad that: 

  • I was capable of doing all (most) of these things. I tried to manage my time well and do first things first, but a lot of times I did the goal, reading, journal writing, and even exercising after the kids were in bed.
  • I really enjoyed getting back into writing in my journal (unfortunately I haven't since the challenge ended, but I will not let too much time go by without writing).
  • I did feel good.
  • I learned that tons of things have sugar in them. Or high-fructose corn syrup. Or both. 
  • I will at least get back the $10 I paid.  I came in third place. I don't know how many were actually doing this in the beginning, but there were only three of us who stuck with it (kept emailing their scores every week). Congratulations to my friend who got perfect points!

1 comment:

  1. I've read up on the whole "not eating after 8:00pm idea," and I hear that even though it's based on a true concept (your body is less efficient at burning calories in the evening), people blow it way out of proportion. I talked to a personal trainer about it, and she said you can eat at night, but keep about 90% of your calories in the daytime. And try to void fatty foods and refined sugars after that time. If your stomach is growling at midnight, you should definitely eat, but have something really good for you like a yogurt and/or an apple.


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