As we are nearly through the final week of the 8 week Winter into Spring 5% Challenge, I have been reflecting on my progress and lessons learned.
So, first some statistics…my goal for the eight week 5% challenge was to lose 9 pounds. As of the 7th week, I’ve managed to lose 15 pounds. So,
, right? Yes and then some, but the weight loss wasn’t the big win for me in this challenge. I want to explore the "big win" some more in a bit, but first, let’s look at the rest of the list of goals I had at the beginning of the challenge. The goals (or commitments) I made at that time were: to continue tracking everything I consumed, staying in the recommended ranges of my SP diet, complete the 8 week training plan (3 days per week) for the 5K Running for Rookies program, complete an official 5K race at the end of it, continue with Zumba 2 days a week, complete the February Bootcamp challenge, and after the end of the 28 days, incorporate those or other strength training exercises into my fitness schedule at least 2 days per week. Somehow, I’ve managed all of this, so
and at this point, a lot of it is routine or automatic. So, then what’s the "big win"?
In the “My Journey so Far...” blog of February 16th, I talked about what I was going to do differently this time around, which in a nutshell is to make some permanent changes toward a healthier lifestyle, and not just temporarily make changes to meet a weight loss goal. In this 5% challenge, aside from tracking fitness minutes and weight loss, each week we were given a different healthy habit or activity to focus on to earn points for our team. Some of these were easier for me than others because they were things I was already focusing on, but I found that even for those, specifically tracking them for a week was a great check up on how well I was really doing. In week 2, we were supposed to blog each day about one specific healthy habit that we wanted to develop. Just blogging every day was a bit out of my comfort zone, but it did really get me to think through ways to better focus on the one habit…I chose freggies for the one to look at during that week. Interestingly in the last week of the challenge, our LTGL points were for freggies! And I found in week 8, (as I started counting them up each day to record the points) that I was getting more than 5 each day, and normally between 7 and 10 servings. Wow, so the freggie habit had become a true habit, and all my meal planning and shopping patterns had changed to support this without any specific effort.
Success! This is an example of a healthy behavior that is becoming a habit…exactly what I was missing before.
I truly believe that the way for me to meet my goals to be at a healthy weight and to be fitter, is to change my habits in a way that will automatically achieve and support those goals, and in that way, I’ll be prepared to enter the land of “maintenance” once I’m at goal weight.
The freggie habit is just an example. In general, I think the 8 week 5% challenge has in many ways propelled me towards my ultimate goal…a healthy lifestyle, and the support and advice of my team-mates on the Awesome A team has been wonderful.
So, now what’s next? Well, I plan to continue with my program (reinforcing the healthy habits), and have signed up for the next 5% Challenge on the same
A team. I know I can do this, so I’ll keep pushing along as we head into summer, toward goal weight and into the land of “maintenance”.