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Wisdom From @THETURTLEBEAR, “I discovered a dirty little secret about the 5% Challenge”

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Thursday, May 31, 2018

So today is Thursday, and I still have not heard from my Spark Friend who wrote the blog I was hoping to link to at the beginning of the week. She gave me permission once before so I hope I’m not wrong in assuming she won’t mind me sharing parts of it today.

Credit for the following excerpts goes to @THETURTLEBEAR written for the Summer 2011 5% Challenge.

“I discovered a dirty little secret about the 5% Challenge”

“Yesterday, I had a rude awakening. I realized that the 5% Challenge was NOT what it seemed. The notion to lose 5% of my weight was bribery to get me to enter into something completely different from what was being promised. It was cheese on the mousetrap; a worm on the fish hook; catnip to kittens.

THIS CHALLENGE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH LOSING WEIGHT. Oh sure - some of the participants lose the weight. The number of participants who hit their 5% weight loss varies from 28% to 47% by team.

I realized yesterday that the 5% Challenge tease is just a trick to deliver the real purpose of the eight-week competition - the daily Fitness and "Living the Good Life" tracking.

The 5% Challenge is all about changing old habits and instilling new, healthier strategies for our lives going forward. It takes time to break an old habit, or cement a new one. Not just time, but repetition. So each week, we are introduced to a new way to help us "Live the Good Life." We're not supposed to do it for a week or eight weeks or a year - but a lifetime. Layered onto that is the constant 56 day challenge to track fitness. Ideally we're motivated to maintain or increase our daily exercise plans to support our team. By the end of eight weeks, that repetition should be starting to STICK.

One final thought...

My last revelation is about the TITLE of these ongoing challenges. It's called the 5% Challenge. NOT the "5% weight loss challenge." I think the final secret is that the "5%" in the title isn't about the weight loss either. I've decided that it's about "THE" 5%. That group. The ones we ALL want to be. The people who committed to a lifestyle change reached a goal, and have MAINTAINED that remarkable change in their lives for years. I want to be in that group. I COMMIT to joining that group. The dirty little secret about the 5% Challenge is that it is designed to help us become "one of the 5%" who change their lives forever.” @THETURTLEBEAR, Monday, July 18, 2011.

TURTLEBEAR also listed some of the habits that were reinforced in the challenge such as tracking and measuring food, limiting salt, eating lots of “freggies”, and others.

Some of the “Living the Good Life” activities on the 5% are easy for me. For instance, I love vegetables so I eat a lot of those already. Add fruit to that word freggies, it’s a different story. If you read my blog on Sunday, you know how I get more fruit in my diet now.

I hate water. When I started these challenges my poor body was fortunate to get a single cup of water a day. After many years of having the first week’s LTGL as getting in 8 cups of water daily, I now drink 6-8 cups and sometimes more every day.

I know I feel better if I eat a good breakfast, but I was a lifelong breakfast skipper. Imagine my surprise when I learned that eating breakfast is an important part of weight loss.

I could go on and on, but I’ll stop with this. Without Spark People there would be no 5% Challenge. The Challenge has been life-changing for many people on various levels.

As the last days of the Spring Challenge are winding down, plans are already gearing up for the next season. Hope to see you there.

@THETURTLEBEAR, Thanks, Mimi for your great blog and this awesome meme!

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