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Reflecting on the Past 8 Weeks - Progress Update and Next Steps

Thursday, April 18, 2013

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, emoticon , 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 emoticon 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 emoticon 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”.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Alie so proud of you! I love this blog! You and I have so much in common and seem to be in the same place. We both lost to gain and are doing it again, but with a much different mindset! I am so glad that you ended up on the A's and we have become friends! I too am so happy with the results of what this challenge and team gave to me!
    Keep up the great work! emoticon emoticon emoticon A's!!!
    1859 days ago

    WooHoo! on meeting your goals! Congrats on the 15 pounds lost. You are doing great!

    Thank you so much your all your support and encouragement!

    Glad that you will be returning to the emoticon A's for the next challenge!

    1860 days ago
  • MINNA72
    Wow, Alie - you really have exceeded all your goals! How awesome are YOU???

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    I am so glad to see you're staying with the A's, I've enjoyed getting to know you and look forward to more of that!

    Congrats on your successes!
    1860 days ago
    Whoa-oh !! Way to go Alie you did so great!! almost lost twice as planed. So proud of you. And personally I want to thank you so much for your support thru out the challenge and your great friendship. You are doing great towards for your goal also along the way you were helping so many teammate thru your participation for the team and your individual encouragement. I can't believe our challenge is almost to the end.
    I miss this challenge already. But so glad I've leaned a lot more about healthy living.

    Since you love your freggie so much, I will recommend a book called " Eat to Live" by
    Joel Fuhrman MD. you can learn so much about what a health benefit of eating freggie and healthy living life style and recipes. I enjoyed so much and leaned a lot from this book. (*^^*) Take care and Have a nice weekend. (^O^)/
    1860 days ago
    Alie, Feels good, doesn't it???? I can tell you are pleased, as you should be!!!!! Glad you are staying with us next round. Congratulations on leaving 15 pounds behind!!!!!-Kris
    1860 days ago
    Yes, I think the 5% challenge was a big win for you and for the Amazing Awesome A's! emoticon
    1860 days ago
    1860 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.