Pages

Monday, May 2, 2011

Pausing to evaluate


For those of you who have joined the Healthy Habits challenge, we're 3 weeks into it and may want to pause and see how you are doing with accomplishing your goals.  I know when I joined the last challenge, I had some goals for myself amidst the challenge goals.  I wanted better control of my eating.  I wanted to be more consistent with my workouts.  I wanted to make sure I didn't let go of either of those goals as we packed up our home to move.  And I wanted to lose the rest of the weight I'd gained from the move the year before. 

I felt great about how much control I had over my eating howEVER I knew in my heart that if I just went a few more steps beyond what the challenge specified (notice that there aren't any limits in portion control, how many grains/starchy vegetables we eat, how intense our workouts are, etc.) that it still is possible to get a perfect score and not lose weight.  Maybe you don't need to lose weight (or don't care if you do), but if you're like most of us, you do.  

In the last challenge, many people reported losing 10 or even 15 pounds after the first 4 weeks.  I hadn't lost an once.  I kept going on, feeling like yes, I was healthier, but wishing I had some outer results as well as inner.  So after 5 weeks, I decided to really crack down on my eating and do what I knew would help me lose weight and feel great (which for me is a very high raw diet).  I felt fantastic and lost 8 pounds and several inches in those last 3 weeks.  I felt like I'd truly reached my goals by the end.  I even stopped eating at 8:00 when we were driving in late to our new house.  My goals were in tact and I fit into my old clothes again.

With this challenge, I decided to start out the same way.  Get the control down with the goals as is and then stop to evaluate after a few weeks to see what I needed to do to truly reach my goals.  I'd hoped to pause after 2 weeks, but I did have some dark chocolate on Easter Sunday for my free day and it messed me up a bit.  I craved sugar most of last week and got off track mentally.  I finally have my mind back in place with my body and am ready to raise the bar for myself for these last 5 weeks.

Maybe you're not ready quite yet, or maybe you've struggled more than you've thought you would and don't even want to continue.  Don't give up!  It's all part of the process.  We have our ups and downs and shouldn't throw away what we once thought to be worthwhile goals.  Pause for a moment to contemplate what you really want and then continue onward.

Let me know how you're doing!  And remember, don't give up!

12 comments:

Kris and Billy said...

Okay last week was one of the hardest for me. And since I have habitually gone to food to help with my stress I didn't do very well. However, this is the first time that I have been honest enough with myself to say "I had an awful week, but I'm ready to start again!" Usually at this point I abandon whatever it is I'm working hard at. Not this time! Even though Renee is the only one I think I know. It definitely helps to see that not everyone is a perfect 70. And that gives me the boost I need to start again. I had a great start this morning already and my excitement is again helping me stay motivated.

Renee said...

Stress eating is a big one for all of us, Kris! It's tough! The only reason I keep getting 70s is that I've been doing this for several years -- about 8 actually. When I started the last challenge, a few of my friends said, "this will be easy for you because you already do this" which for the most part is true. It's the consistency that gets me, but I really go back to all the pitfalls along the way for strength and look at how far I've come. Our habits are so deep within us that it takes a lot of effort to change them, but change, we can (and will!) Good going!

justme said...

I had a great week but it wasn't easy. I volunteer at the food bank and this week it seemed that every time I was there someone had brought some type of food that I couldn't eat. All of it was stuffed with sugar and much of it was chocolate which I really like. It feels good to have made it through the week and if this week is good too I may just not have as bad of a urge to eat the chocolate at least that is what I keep telling myself. My energy level is much higher so there is great benefits to sticking to my program..

Renee said...

That's exciting that your energy is up! Sugar certainly does zap my energy. It makes me require more sleep, makes me sluggish in the mornings and afternoons and gives me headaches. I don't notice it as much when I'm eating it all the time because I keep eating the sugar to medicate myself, but it does make a difference to get away from it! Good for you for resisting the chocolate at work. Bring some healthy foods that you just love -- something as simple as strawberries and savor that when the other stuff is a temptation. Eventually you'll look at the sugar stuff and think "remember when I used to eat all of that stuff?" :)

miss honeybee said...

Well, I didn't plan on my baby who's 2 having some health issues the last 2 weeks. This has really thrown my streak off, because I was not able to eat exactly the way I wanted and have not gotten adequate sleep each night. Normally I am a very competitive person and will not rest until I have a perfect score. Over the weekend, I think my sleep deprivation set in I thought about giving up on the challenge.....I've changed my mind and am going to recommit right here and now. It doesn't' matter if we win or lose, it's how we play the game, right? Thanks all for being a part of this healthy challenge and Renee for putting it on and for being such a ray of sunshine and example for all of us to follow! You're great!

miss honeybee said...

Well, I didn't plan on my baby who's 2 having some health issues the last 2 weeks. This has really thrown my streak off, because I was not able to eat exactly the way I wanted and have not gotten adequate sleep each night. Normally I am a very competitive person and will not rest until I have a perfect score. Over the weekend, I think my sleep deprivation set in I thought about giving up on the challenge.....I've changed my mind and am going to recommit right here and now. It doesn't' matter if we win or lose, it's how we play the game, right? Thanks all for being a part of this healthy challenge and Renee for putting it on and for being such a ray of sunshine and example for all of us to follow! You're great!

k olsen said...

This has been the hardest week yet. Most things are becoming habits. The eating is killing me. We have been traveling the last 2 weeks and on the road with 4 small children is not raw food friendly. I had no idea how frequently I don't get 6 hours of sleep, I have a nursing baby. I'm hoping to do better after we get done traveling next Monday.

Renee said...

Missy! Thanks for hanging in with us! You're right -- it's not the perfect score that's the optimum, it's whether we give up or not because truly, when the challenge is over, if we give up on our goals then, we haven't gained much. So you're learning to really evaluate the purpose for better eating, exercise, etc. So sorry about your sick little one!

Renee said...

Kami -- I'm impressed that you're even doing the challenge with a nursing baby and your little ones! You're doing great! It's tough to be consistent with anything with a baby, so keep plugging along and realize that you're doing so well in coming back to square one over and over. I really wish I'd started all this when my older children were little. They learn so much from our examples and get set in the patterns we teach them. You're going to make a big difference in their lives by working on this now!

Renee said...

This is from my mom - - Dixie. She can't get her comment to publish for some reason:

Since last October, I've participated in four challenges. Writing in my journal has been the hardest part of it for me! I generally get to that point about bedtime and struggle to complete a decent entry. Yet, at this point, I can look back at pages and pages of my life, right before me.

Last night, I happened to turn to October 31, 2010. There it was. I was ecstatic that I had lost 5 pounds and that "jelly roll" around my waist, all within a month of being in that challenge.

During that challenge, I was a woman afire, so intent on getting EVERY point and not missing a THING on the challenge chart on my fridge. I worried about making a mistake and had to use every day off (Sunday) to make up for forgetting to do or not do something. I would have had a perfect score if it hadn't been for the fact that I had rationalized that some french fries were "just potatoes" and good food for me.

Well, after a week of misery, I decided I couldn't count that point. I didn't win that challenge, but I had lost 8 pounds and had attained a will of iron. When cookies, cake, ice cream, donuts, or chips (oh love 'em!) appeared in a luncheon somewhere, I could tell myself, "I can't have that!"

I was having so much fun, I convinced Renee that we should do another 5 week challenge during Christmastime. I wasn't quite so successful, a little sloppy, but it helped with gaining weight during the holidays.
THEN, in January, another 8 week challenge started and I was gung ho to do that one. Alas, I got very sick and didn't get better for 6 weeks. It was SO HARD! I had to be satisfied with 65 or so points a week.

Actually, it was a relief when I lost the first point. Then, I could work at good habits in a sane way and not be so frantic about every point.
SOON, we were into March and the last challenge had ended. I figured it was pretty special. I had all those good habits under control. I didn't even need a chart on the fridge anymore, I could remember it all and never forget anything.

Renee said...

From mom (Dixie), continued:

Well, let me tell you. It was a great surprise when I suddenly, completely fell apart; couldn't eat my veggies or fruits like before, ate whatever goodies came my way, didn't look at any reading, or journaling, or exercising. Didn't give it a thought and didn't care one whit. I figured I'd get back on track soon enough and all would be well. This was my hiatus and I deserved it.

WRONG! The worst part was I gained back my jelly roll around my waist, plus! Now, it was hanging over my pants waist. Pretty gross! Also, I got terribly lazy and could only think of sitting and eating when I got home from work. My old habit of (YUM!!) butter on crackers was my snack of choice. Sometimes, I would vary that with peanut butter on crackers. Ummm.
Glad I was when during Spring Break, my daughter-in-law Dawn and I decided we'd do a challenge together. Renee agreed to mastermind it and I figured I would be right back in high cotton. I would just pick up where I left off and get rid of all that fat.

WRONG!! Yes, I'm keeping the challenge rules. I know how to do that. But, nothing is happening. I haven't lost any weight. That dratted jelly roll is bigger than ever. Ugly thing! I exercise every day, but it's more a limp-wristed effort. I have the AWFULLEST time when I get home trying to get myself to do a more advanced method of exercise, like a FIRM video. I walk around the house wasting time, doing everything else but what I should. I sneak butter, eat more almonds and avocados than anyone has a right to eat. I drink more milk and have yummy french toast for breakfast. See what I mean? It's within the rules, but I'm cheating myself right and left.

It's a good thing Renee asked us to re-evaluate. Oh yes! You can guess what my new "self-rules" are going to be. Stay tuned next week to see the results of a renewed effort.

Crazy me! This is the end of the school year when life goes bonkers. This is probably the worst possible to step up my challenge efforts. Then again, it may be the best. Maybe this will be what will keep Mrs. Southwick sane until the last day of school.

P.S. It helps to read every else's comments with their struggles and victories. Your success helps so much.

Renee said...

This is from Mary Ann --

The main reasons for my doing this program were to learn good habits, especially in eating and sleeping which have been lifetime "bug-a-boos" for me! I was especially interested in being able to learn to live without eating sweets and I knew that a program which "makes me" or challenges me to refrain (for the most part) is the only way that I could ever accomplish it because, in the past, I could go only long without and then I would binge!

This Healthy Habits Challenge has truly helped me to do much better in all these areas!

Exercise is another "dirty word," but I had already been struggling to do that fairly regularly for about 1 1/2 years before starting the program! Doing that with a very reliable friend (meaning one who walks 6 to 7 days a week without fail) is one of the reasons why I've been able to keep it up! It is a well ingrained habit now because I've had to do it 6 days a week and I truly feel that I can finally exercise on my own if I have to!

I'm glad that I took the Healthy Habits Challenge! Thank to those who made it available and helped me to do it!

Mary Ann Smith