I’ve been meaning to do this for almost a month. Time keeps getting wasted, spent on other things or just slips away. So today I’m making it a priority to put down my thoughts about this tool, this challenge, this inspiration called the Whole Life Challenge.
I am forever grateful that Drew recommended the game to me. I will be participating again starting in May and we would LOVE to add you to our team if you would like to be a part of a group of encouraging, hard-working, yet honest and flawed people who are striving for wholeness and health. For more information on the challenge visit this site. If you need help you could also send me a message. Our team name is Better Than Yesterday. Drew Jorgensen is our team leader.
The first few days were pretty difficult. I must admit that the hardest thing to give up was bread. I can do without milk, cheese and even sugar wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, but bread. I missed bread. I missed sandwiches and rolls with butter at dinner. I think the reason that I didn’t miss sugar was much as I thought I would was because I had already given up junk food and almost all processed food. The other reason is because I had worked so diligently to prepare meals for dinner that were WLC approved and they were so tasty. I didn’t feel deprived. Portion control wasn’t a big issue for me because it’s something I’ve worked on for years. 21-Day Fix (from Beachbody) was very helpful in reminding me of the importance of portion size. I will probably be trying to combine the two programs for the next WLC.
I loved having an accountability team. I loved that I could eat legumes (peanut butter), quinoa and lentils. I loved that it wasn’t as restrictive as Whole30. I loved that daily I had to focus on other areas of my life NOT just food as with other diets, programs, My Fitness Pal etc. Mobilization (stretching), food, water, daily reflecting and a specific area (kind acts, meditation etc,) were all part of this daily challenge. I was encouraged to see my daily totals and where I stood in terms of my team play and even worldwide accomplishments. Something else that made all the difference is this challenge was NOT about perfection. I didn’t have to start over again if I “blew it”. I could make choices. I could have bad days. I could lose points and life continued. It felt so good.
At the end of 56 days I had lost 20 pounds. At the end of 56 days I had learned that my body could function and THRIVE on less food and not need foods that I thought I had to have. 56 days later I ran a 5K faster. 56 days later I could squat deeper, stretch longer, move easier. 56 days after the challenge started I could breathe more deeply and realized the importance of silence.
Here’s the hard part of this post. I must admit to you that after the challenge ended I fell and I fell HARD. I had my 40th birthday. My son and daughter turned 11. I went on a mini-vacation. I thought I could eat pizza and a lot of it. I didn’t workout daily and I forgot the importance of accountability. Seriously almost a month has gone by and I feel fat, gross and slow. I feel guilt, shame that isn’t necessary and I am fighting discouragement. I’ve put five pounds back on and am feeling frustrated. Even into this journey almost five years I still need routine, accountability and mindfulness. I’m grateful to have been reminded of this through the tool of the Whole Life Challenge.