Tuesday, December 11, 2012

a long long post about my continuing fitness journey, followed by an invitation

As is often the case, this post ran away from me, and it's pretty long.  So, before I lose you--here's the invitation:  Do you want to do a fitness challenge with me?  Read on to get the back story and details.

So, you might remember that towards the beginning of 2012, I had set two goals for myself, one to be more consistent in my scripture study, and the other to exercise more consistently and eat better.

I wasn't all that concerned with the scripture study goal, to be honest.  I mean, I knew I could pull that one off, it was just a matter of scheduling and time management, and the fact is, I'm pretty good at setting aside/finding time for those things that are real priorities in my life.

The physical health one was a little more daunting to me.  I've found that over the past few years, my sweet tooth (always an issue with me) has become a more and more present part of my life, and although I don't care to admit it, the fact is that I find myself thinking about food, and specifically higher-calorie/less nutritious food far more often than used to be the case in my slightly younger years.

So, I was daunted.  Fortunately, through some thought, some counsel, some prayer, and some answers  to prayer, I eventually came to a plan of sorts, which was simply that I would:

1) Be open to trying new things (though nothing along the lines of take this magic medicine for three weeks and all your troubles will be over with no work on your part at all!)
2) Reward myself for accomplishments, both big and small
3) Keep Heavenly Father (my very best coach and cheerleader) a part of it all through prayer--and not just prayer when everything is peaches and roses.

And so it was that, at the beginning of the summer, when Heidi invited me to join her in a fitness challenge hosted by one of her friends, that I signed up (even though I never do that kind of thing).  It was $10, eight weeks, and pretty closely followed the guidelines here, where you give yourself so many points for things like drinking lots of water and eating vegetables and food journaling and not eating late in the evening and pounds lost and (and this was the kicker for me) only eating sugary sweets one time a week.  At the end of the challenge whoever has the most points gets all the money.  I did it gung-ho in the beginning, and half-heartedly towards the end, and had some marginally successful results.

Then, about a month after the first eight-week challenge, Heidi organized another one, one which was also very similar to the first, with a few modifications.  This time I joined again, and I decided that I was going to be in it to WIN it!  I figured that I could endure anything for eight weeks, and that I wanted to really try it out and see what kind of results I'd see if I really dedicated myself to change.  As it turned out, I came in second place (by a nose), but more importantly, I lost twelve pounds!  Woo-hoo!

Soooo, all that background brings me to this:  After Heidi's challenge was over, I had a harder time sticking with my new habits than I had planned on, and I gained back five of those twelve pounds (I've since lost three of them, but more on that later).  A few weeks ago I decided that I would do a challenge of sorts, but that I would modify the original one considerably, my goal being something that I felt like I could reasonably do for the rest of my life.  Such a challenge would need to be something that was easy for me to remember, doable, and effective.  This is what I came up with:

(I call this my "wedge 9" plan (or WWEJ9 plan)--just because it's easier for me to remember them all that way)

5 points for Weighing myself once per week and ONLY once per week
5 points for only buying or making surgary treats once per Week - (but I can eat them when I want--with the knowledge that I'm going to need to be moderate about that if I want to have the health that I say that I want to have.)
5 points per day for Exercising for 45 minutes or more -- 5 days per week
5 points per day for keeping a food Journal -- 6 days per week (I use My Fitness Pal, and love it.)
5 points per day for not eating anything after 9 p.m.--7 days per week

I've been living this for two weeks (I have it all in a spreadsheet of course), and so far, I'm feeling good about it all.

However, the most important motivational aspect of all of this for me is the reward.  See, I went through all the points that are possible (there are 125 per week), and determined that if I can amass 1,600 points by March 3 (which is just 25 points shy of a perfect score), then I am going to reward myself by taking $200 and spending it on new clothes just for me.  (I've started saving for this already--I figure if I don't meet the goal, I'll take the money and put it in Heather's college fund, or pay down our mortgage or something boring and responsible like that.)

If I don't meet my goal by the 3rd of March, then I can still get the money, but for every day that it takes me to get to 1,600 I'll lose either $5-10 (I haven't decided the exact number yet.)  I'm hoping that this will keep me from completely throwing in the towel if I find that I have a bad week somewhere along the line.

So anyway, so far this is working for me.  I've lost three pounds, I feel more in control, and for the moment, I'm pleased with how it's all going. In light of that, it occurs to me that just as I was helped by being able to join with Heidi's friends at the beginning of the summer, so might there be others who would be helped by being able to join with me now.

Hence . . .

Here's the invitation:  Would you like to join me in this method?  Would you be interested in a little friendly competition along these lines?  Are you struggling fitness-wise and wanting a little extra motivation?  If so, e-mail me, facebook me, comment here, call me, or run me down in real life and say so, and I'll tweak this into something that we can play at for a bit.  I'm thinking six to eight weeks, $5 to $10, winner takes the cash.  We'd do it on-line, probably via e-mail and google docs, so if you aren't in Cache Valley, don't let that stop you.

Let me know, will ya?  In the meantime, I'm over here sitting pretty at 120 points (I had a practice week before I started keeping track in earnest), and feeling pretty good about myself.  It's a nice feeling, one I could get used to, truth be told.

image courtesy of KP_Sonny


highdeekay said...

I'm so in! Are we starting now or after Christmas? My plan has been to try to maintain until the new year and then get earnest about losing again so that's kinda what I've been thinking but if we start sooner, I'm still in.

Robin (my neighbor) has been asking me when we might start again. Can I extend and invite to her?


Robert said...

I may be interested, but I have a question. I must be missing something because I'm having a tough time coming up with the 125 points possible I get 105 points possible when I add it up. Could you spell that out a little more?

One final question do you need a "banker" for this competition :)

Jamie Younker said...

I want to join you if you do another round after this baby is born! This pregnancy has been tricky because my doctor has said NO exercising except walking... and when do I have time to get out and go walking without my children? Never. And if I take them with me we move at a snail pace and I think I'd be better off just running up and down my stairs at home. LoL. I REALLY do need to be better about eating right, even right now... but sometimes I just have to eat the only thing that sounds good to to me... and that's usually white bread or ice cream. LoL. I applaud you for your amazing efforts! I've been thinking you are looking amazing!

Okay this is a REALLY long message and most of if is just rambling. My point is- you look awesome. I love the idea of doing a healthy challenge and I'm TOTALLY in... starting at the end of March. :)

thompsonmania said...

I just read that last paragraph as "sitting pretty at 120 POUNDS!" And I was like, dang girl what do need this challenge for? This ssounds great! I'm not going to join this time though. After challenging for 6 months I am tired of keeping track, and the aspects that helped me got pretty well cemented. It took that long! But I think I finally gained some nutritional sense. Speaking of, I'm trying to line up a dietician to come and speak to our RS in January. We're having a wellness night. You are welcome to come with Heidi if she can come. Or even if she can't! ;) Good luck with the wedge 9. I love it!

Charlotte said...

I think it's the sugary treats once a week thing that might be messing you up. You get 5 points for every day that you DON'T make or buy sugary treats, to a maximum of 6 days. So, it breaks out like this:

5 points for weighing once per week
30 points for not buying or making treats, except for once per week (5x6)
25 points for exercising 5 days (5x5)
30 points for keeping a food journal 6 days a week (5x6)
35 points for not eating after 9:00 p.m. (5x7)


And, I think I've got the Banker slot covered this time around, thank you very much!

Michelle said...

I would like to join in!

Charlotte said...

Awesome! Which Michelle are you? (I can't get to your blogger profile)

Jeri said...

i assume ya'll have started? I am starting back on my fitness pal tomorrow if you want to friend me there. (jeripickle is user name)
the good news for me last year ist hat I lost 30 lbs. the bad news is that it was the same 10 lbs, 3 times in s a row! (and now I have that same 10 to lose again, plus 3 more!!! SO SO DISCOURAGING!

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