Reflections on doing an 8 week fitness and nutrition challenge

Feeling pretty good with my how my clothes are fitting.img_4240-1

 

Starting stage 2 now of my own challenge. Heading to my 3 year anniversary of a lifestyle change in September 😊

Reflections on doing a challenge:

Challenges are great. They give a start point and and ‘end’ point. It doesn’t mean you stop at the end point but it gives you a date to work towards to give focus.

I had lost my way a bit, I had become a bit complacent and committing to the challenge which was 8 weeks made refocusing, rebooting doable in my mind.

I was absolutely scared of failing myself that I couldn’t stick to the program. Once I took the leap and officially entered the challenge I then thought, how am I going to get through the 8 weeks and not fail. So I employed strategies that kept it exciting and me accountable.

I embraced the community Facebook page again which gave me support, I posted a daily video on my Instagram that gave me a place to express my feelings and progress, I photographed my meals. Everyone single one of them or at least a post that gave accountability on this Facebook page and my Instagram. I blogged about it.

These were my strategies and they worked. They gave me a reason to cook the meals and remain focused. If I didn’t have a meal to photograph I knew to myself I was slipping back, that I was shifting from the food plan and it helped me stay true to it. Photographing reminded me to stay with the menu and /or make good choices but also allow me to see how often I did eat out or chose something different. I think I’m a visual person. I know I’m a visual learner, so I guess that strategy suited me.

I found 8 weeks long enough. It took focus and commitment and it did become all consuming to stay on my game vigorously. I think 8 weeks was enough because it almost felt that was the main thing consuming my time and thoughts, my next meal, my next workout and it was starting to feel stressful the intensity. So yes 8 weeks with such commitment was enough.

But now, I don’t stop I continue to work towards my mid term goal now my short term goal is completed . I reassess and re stratesize. I now am thinking now I’m back on the wagon, now I have achieved my goal of rebooting how do I achieve my mid term goal of reaching my initial goal of 10 kg weight loss from when I first started 28, September 2016.

I went to a book signing of Sam Woods first book and he wrote in my book, ‘with consistency you will lose that 2 kg’, which at the time was what I had left to lose to reach my goal weight I had set myself. I knew way back then he was right. But what’s consistency, I have had to redefine for myself and right now it’s consistent that I never lost sight of that goal or gave up. That I have consistency kept assessing my progress, and when I know I’ve fallen off the wagon or falling behind the wagon that’s going ahead without me, that I do what I need to chase it & catch up and jump back on. In 2018 I fell off the wagon, mid 2018 I’d fallen behind the moving wagon. The challenge was my chaser, I worked really hard like running to catch the wagon I fell off, I caught up again( that was getting back to my best 28 weight) and I’ve jumped back on the wagon that’s on its way forwards still.

One day I will get to my goal. And that line Sam wrote in my book was one of many words of advice and encouragement he gave to others at their book signings. Every little encouragement helps and one day with consistency I will get to my goal like Sam said I would

If you are thinking about committing to a challenge, the next challenge, I totally encourage you to. Chase the wagon, be really focused like you are running to catch up to the wagon that you fell off and when the 8 weeks is over jump on and and keep enjoying the ride. Develop your strategies to help keep you focus. Look introspectively at your strengths and build on them. As I said I’m a visual person so vlogging I enjoyed, which also helped, and photography helped me stay accountable and writing also helped me express my feelings.

We all have to find our own key to unlock our own success. That is something I learnt from this after seeing my flesh photos. I learnt that’s not what this challenge was about to me. For me it was to feel good in myself and comfortable in my clothes not that an image against a wall. To feel good about the animated me. I achieved that during the challenge.

Don’t be afraid of failing, take the leap, sign up, develop personal strategies for success and give it your best.

As part of entering the challenge you were required to submit a before and after photo standing against a blank wall.

However for me it isn’t that picture that ultimately matters to me. Visually at a glance those photos are amazing for looking at what we can achieve and I understand the company conducting the challenge they are a good marketing tool to use to show success of people’s achievements. What this challenge was about for me was rebooting. I’ve been on the program getting on for 3 years so after my initial loss, continuing on the program has been about sustainability. 

 Sustaining that lifestyle for 3 years has been incredible for me. My pantry and refrigerator are stocked completely different to 3 years prior or my entire life prior for that fact. That in itself is one huge transformation for me. I wish the program was around when I had young children so I could of taught them better nutrition and food habits,  instead I taught them what I had been taught by my upbringing. This program has given me so much education about food and completely changed the way I eat and I love it. Over the past twelve months I had become a bit complacent and had formed, although still healthy, some not advantageous habits like too many smoothies instead of savoury breakfasts, and  although homemade snacks too many treat type to often. 

This was about refocusing and getting back to my best weight I had earlier achieved on my program, experiencing some new recipes by being prepared to step out of my comfort zone and broaden my go to meals. My meals had become a bit ‘stuck in a box’ of selections so to speak and this has encouraged me to expand that. I wanted to reassess where I was going off track, revaluate my own choices in my new lifestyle in order to maintain sustainability for another 3 years and not find myself 3 years down the track signing up to lose 20 kg, but signing up to challenges for the reasons I signed up to this one. This has been one of the successful aspect of this program,  it’s sustainability and that the program continues to evolve and improve and its staff are highly skilled in their field which promotes confidence in the program and instead of just do as I say approach educating its member as to why. I think if we understand why we do things we are more likely to apply new principles and be prepared to continue long term. 

This ongoing evaluation of oneselfs current lifestyle can be just as important as the 8 week wow transformation photo. I notice most of the ‘skin’ shot photos in the community support Facebook page are women between 20-45 years of age. 

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It’s difficult for me to articulate the new challenges menopausal and post menopausal women face. It’s not always weight issues it’s knowing your body is changing in many ways from it’s youthful reproductive years to an older form where oestrogen levels change and I feel many women become quite self conscious of their physical appearance in bathers not only because of weight but aging aspects and less comfortable with their bodies in a physical sense to display in a public forum. This is not all older women but many I know relate to this. During the peri menopausal stage I once heard a speaker say women are often emotionally dealing with the loss of their youthful bodies and can often be at a time their daughter/s are blossoming into young beautiful women. It’s not that we don’t want this for our daughters but we are confronted with our own reality of our peri menopausal bodies. So peri menopause can be such a difficult time from a personal body image aspect. I have often had to remind myself that many transformations are women in their 20-40’s with good elasticity in their skin and less resistance to weight loss by changing hormones and may have had many more kilos to lose than I thus a more impressive change. A lot of these women have young children, are at a very different time in their life than women with adult children, so also relatability is different re time and family life demands. My children are 21, 25 and 29. 

All my life I have been a size 8-10 and 50-60kg until my hormones started changing and that’s why at 50 I joined the 28bysamwood program. Weight and appearance was never an issue for me when I was raising young children. I never stopped looking after myself so to speak, I always have kept my weight in check for me primarily. I have at times used Weight Watchers or Light and Easy when I had the odd 5 kg to lose after having baby’s or in my 30’s but peri menopausal was something I was struggling to control weight gain with. I then needed guidance to navigate what felt like weight gain that was beyond my usual methods of control. Never did I expect to gain friendships or such a wealth of knowledge about exercise and nutrition and meet so many incredible people by joining a lifestyle group, which for me at that time was purely to lose weight. It became a lifestyle because I enjoyed how good it was making me feel.

Maintaining and building on a new lifestyle, with evaluation and being willing to continually step out of our comfort zones is also winning as we get older. 

And for my own challenge I felt a winner. I got back into regular exercise, got stronger again physically , now have new meals that I know I like, and reached my desired goal ( bar 400g ) of getting back to my best 28 weight.  I still managed to have a birthday and celebrate and enjoy socialising. I feel a winner in myself. 

I’m ready to start my mid term goal of loosing another 2-3 kg before my 3 year healthy lifestyle change anniversary in September 2016

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Love Lucy x

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