First off, I must admit that I typically despise health and fitness challenges. They are circulated around social media usually around the first of the year or right before summer and try to guilt you into giving up all the yummy stuff you love to eat and workout more instead. How dare they?
I heeeeavily roll my eyes whenever I see one come across my timeline.
BUT. I had been struggling to lose weight for the past few months. I hit a plateau that had me bouncing back and forth between 167lbs and 169lbs, never going any lower. My attempts to get back into a healthy routine were failing.
So I knew what I had to do… my body needed a reset. A jump start. To get myself back in the groove of living the sort of lifestyle that would help me reach my fitness goals.
So I did what I’ve always I HATED… I put together a health and fitness challenge and circulated it through my social media.
My results post-challenge were great and it had me change my perspective towards challenges. Spoiler Alert, they really are great after all.
My 21 Day Health and Fitness Challenge Rules
1. A CHALLENGE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE RIDICULOUS – Any challenge you undertake should push you, but it doesn’t have to be crazy restrictive to be effective. It was important to me that the rules of my challenge were realistic enough that after the challenge was over, I wouldn’t completely fall off the wagon and undo all the great work. So my challenge rules did just that. And my results after just 3 weeks were incredible. AND, I never once felt hungry or deprived. In just 3 weeks, I lost 9 lbs and lost 5 inches total from my hips, waist and bust.
2. ACCOUNTABILITY – I decided to share my challenge on social media because I knew that I needed to be held accountable to someone or something. Chances were high that if I quietly did this challenge and kept it to myself that I would also quietly give up BUT by putting it on social media – I knew I had to stick to it. One, Two or maybe even 5 people could be watching 🙂 And there was no way that I want to be seen as a quitter. Social media provided positive peer pressure for me. And little did I know…
3. I found a COMMUNITY. There were so many people in the same boat as I was, wanting to kick start their own healthy lifestyles, trying to reset and do better. I gained so much encouragement from the little tribe that I inadvertently created. And what a blessing they were, cheering me on and helping me celebrate the wins. And I’ll say that it was equally as rewarding to return the favor to all of them.
The community I found became my lifeline during this challenge
4. ROUTINE – Having a checklist of tasks to complete everyday was also essential to my success. It kept me focused all throughout the day so much so that I didn’t have time for my mind to wander thinking about the French fries that I’d like to be eating instead of my veggies.
Sticking to the plan, following the rules and checking items of my list each day, kept me focused and ultimately successful.
5. RESULTS ARE MY ADDICTION – I actually started to get a little sad as I reached the end of the challenge. So by week two, I knew that I was going to continue past the 21 days because the results I saw became so addictive and exciting. Each week, I knew I was going to see some sort of change. The first week on the challenge, I began sleeping so much better through the night. And the nightly headaches I use to get, disappeared completely. Weight and inches weren’t the only thing I got rid of. And because the rules to the challenge weren’t ridiculous, it was simple to continue on the challenge. Which I currently am still on, with two small tweaks – I’m lowering my carb intake in order to make room for one cheat meal per week.
And as this month comes to a close, I’m thinking that this may just be my new lifestyle.
Question: Have you ever done a challenge? What was your experience?