Saturday, August 5, 2017

Thoughts on Health Challenges

I love to do a good health challenge!

This has been long overdue but I want to remember the things that I learned about myself and others during our health challenge at the beginning of the summer.

My husband introduced a health challenge to extended family on a Monday night and it was to start the next morning. It included things like eating 5 veggies per day, walking 6000 steps or exercising for 30 minutes, drinking half your weight in ounces of water. It also included writing down 10 things you were grateful for that day and prayer and scripture study. There was a total of 10 things.

The challenge lasted for 28 days and there was a $10 entry fee. The winners would get to split the money!

This health challenge was prompted by at least 2 of the family members that wanted to do another challenge for some help and accountability on their health goals.

As my husband was announcing the "rules" there was one rule that people did not like and that was NO SUGAR. (Well, there were 7 cheat days out of the 28-day-challenge) Boy, that was a heated discussion lol. Everyone asked questions on what is sugar and what is allowed and what isn't allowed.

So, finally with lots of hesitation we all agreed on doing another health challenge together.

Here's where it gets fun and here is what I learned:

1. Don't quit just because you made one (or two) mistakes!
Many of the family members were "out" the first day. They "messed up" and had some sugar. So, therefore they dropped out of the challenge.  These people didn't even try to keep going. It was going to be too hard. I learned that just because you mess up doesn't mean you are doomed. If you fall, get back up! You don't have to start over the next day, or the next Monday, or the next first-day-of-the-month. Pick up where you are and keep going! By the end of our challenge we only had a few people left in it. Don't be a quitter.

2. Hard is good
It is good to do hard things! Life isn't supposed to be easy. Reaching a goal is supposed to take work. I can do hard things if I put my mind to it and so can you!

3. Having people to hold you accountable is key
By doing a group challenge, it made everything so much easier! In our little family, we were all (or most of us) working towards the same goal. We were asking how many veggies we'd had and how many more we needed. We'd go on walks together. We'd encourage and help each other. Having someone to help you and do it with you helps a ton! And with a group you have an even better advantage.

4. Prioritize
We started this challenge at the beginning of summer and at a time where I was the busiest I'd been in my life. We own our own business and it has grown to the size where it is no longer in our home. I had to work full-time (which I have never done before) for about 6 weeks while I got some new staff trained. We were also planning for our son to come home from a 2-year church mission and for another son to leave on a 2-year church mission. And between those two events we were taking a week off to go to Mexico while we were all together. Talk about the worst timing. But, I knew I need to do it so I did. I would get my water out and ready. I'd walk before and after work or do a video. I'd have veggies ready to go. I'd listen to scriptures on my drive to and from work. I made my health a priority. And I noticed that after the challenge was over, I slipped. I didn't prioritize anymore and somehow I was just too busy.

5. Don't complain!
We all do this, but it doesn't seem to help. I had plenty of reasons to complain about doing this health challenge, but I decided to make the best out of it. I made it fun. I made it a challenge. By the end I felt invincible! (haha) But on the other hand, we had one member of the family that hated the whole thing. She couldn't wait for the stupid challenge to be over. I'm thinking the challenge didn't help her at all. In fact, it probably did more harm than good. At the end of the challenge we were both the winners - we both had perfect scores. I felt so good after those 28 days that it wasn't about the money after that.

6. Be grateful!
I liked this part of the challenge and it helped me not to complain. Each night I would write down 10 things that I was grateful for that day. Sometimes it took work to think about my day like that but it helped me realize that I have so much to be grateful for.

7. Don't wait until it is convenient
Life will never slow down. I know, I've been waiting for mine to. But, I have realized that it's not happening. You're going out of town, you have too much work, whatever the excuse, you can still take care of yourself.

I think it's about time we do another family health challenge sometime soon. Maybe once the kids get back to school and we all settle into a routine :)