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November Challenge

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

My status today reads "JCORYCMA says I'm ready to take on a November Challenge" and I've already gotten several inquires about it.
I lead and co-lead two Spark teams -- The official Spark Des Moines team and the Poker Lovers team. Each month I try to come up with a challenge for the team that is do-able but at the same time challenging. Some months it can be challenging for me to just come up with a challenge, but this month it seemed to come to me very crystal clear: a challenge that I NEED perhaps more for myself than any other challenge I've proposed before.
Something to jumpstart tackling the Halloween through New Years eatathon. I guess I figure that if I need it -- others may need it too.

So I am going to officially make this challenge to all of Sparkworld (or at least those faithful folk who always so nicely read my blogs).

Here it is:
How many of you look at a Holiday as a “free pass” when it comes to eating? I know I always have. Come on! I tell myself, it’s only one day…
For me the trouble is that it isn’t just one day. It starts with Halloween and the whole “To heck with it” attitude gets in motion and lasts until January 2 of the new year when I’m standing on the scale facing the music, thinking Great – now I’m stuck with 10 pounds more to lose!
Why do we do this to ourselves? Are the holidays that much more enjoyable feeling bloated, guilty, out of control?
NO!! They are not. That “sliver” of brownie pie your co-worker brought to work trying out a new recipe for Thanksgiving, or that “only once a year” pumpkin latte you swung by Starbucks for are so not worth it.
Thin looks AND feels better than those calorie laden treats taste, trust me. Yet I’m guilty of the same mentality year after year.
Not this year. We are going to short circuit that thinking right here and now. Our November challenge is a CHALLENGE. I want each one of us to start right now, right today and plan our Thanksgiving day eating. I don’t care that Thanksgiving isn’t for another 22 days. By now, most of us know where we will be eating Thanksgiving dinner and chances are it’s not a new venue for us. Analyze the meals that have been served when you’ve been there before. Are you doing the cooking? Do you go to your aunts and the whole family potlucks? Do you always go to a certain restaurant?
Next I want everyone to make a plan for how they are going to stay within their weight loss calorie range. Write it out and go to the icon on your page for starting a new blog and publicize it to the Spark world. Make yourself accountable not just to you but to all of us. Even if you have never blogged before now is the time to start. You don’t have to write a bunch of flowing sentences. A simple outline of your eating with no explanation will do the trick. Write out a copy to stick in a prominent place like your closet door or fridge. Every day look at that plan either online on your blog, or in your home. Ingrain it in your brain. Tell yourself daily this is what I am going to eat because I am in control and I don’t want to be FAT – any longer.
When THE big day comes – you will be more inclined to put your plan into action because it will be second nature – you’ll be on auto pilot. You can tell your sister-in-law that looks great but it’s not on my plan this year…
When it works for you -- AND IT WILL – you can pat yourself on the back and head into December planning for that next big dinner hurdle knowing that you can survive the holidays sans weight gain with a little planning and accountability!
I am going to be looking for everyone’s pre-Thanksgiving dinner blog. I’m anxious to pick up any tips that I can to help inspire me to stick with my own plan. Just title your blog NOVEMBER CHALLENGE. Good luck!

Let's do it friends! Let LAST year be the last year that we spent January mourning our poor holiday months eating choices.

This year we are going to enjoy family and friends first and foremost. The food isn't the focus.


This year we gonna be skinny (er)

Joanne emoticon emoticon emoticon

PS - I'll be posting my Thanksgiving day plans within the next few days -- stay tuned for part II
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon Wish we had a cheerleader emoticon!

    Thanks for the pep talk! Even though I'm reading this a week or two late!
    2754 days ago
    I love this challenge. I'm going to have to do some research with recipes and such to figure calorie counts and come up with a menu. We can do this!
    2756 days ago
    I'm hosting Thanksgiving this year, and so I can stay in control of what is served more than usual. D.i.l. can't have sugar, so that helps -- we always plan to have some things she can eat, too. Last year I relied on portion control -- and that worked! I think I'm actually getting into the HABIT of smaller quantities! And I like some Spark-ers (sorry, I don't remember who it was) 3-bite rule -- the first 3 taste so good; after that you're not 'enjoying it' as much as you are 'finishing it'.
    2757 days ago
    Good blog, Joanne! Glad to see you back! It's not the dinners themselves that get me, it's the overall stress of the season. There is one relative who always stirs up trouble...

    Good plans and a good goal!
    2757 days ago
    This "holiday season" is easier for me, as we only celebrate Thanksgiving. The "holiday season" that always gets me is earlier in the fall, when we have 6 days where it seems like all we do is pray, eat and sleep. There are also some fast days thrown in there. Toss in the time preparing for the holidays and you have a month of lots of food and very little time for exercising.

    I am taking on your Thanksgiving challenge though. I will figure out my quantity of turkey, cranberry sauce (that my husband makes from scratch), stuffing and roasted sweet potatoes (all natural and SO GOOD). I'll likely skip the pumpkin pie. I like the filling but not the crust (also made by my husband).
    2757 days ago
    I like the challenge but I'm going to have to whine about it for a while first!
    2757 days ago
    Treacherous waters lie in wait! No doubt about THAT! :-)

    Great suggestion to gear up and get ready with lots of strategies, plans and support so that we can enjoy holidays that are TRULY worth CELEBRATING!

    2757 days ago
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