I still remember how I felt when I participated in my first challenge. Though I had already started making a few changes to my lifestyle, it wasn’t enough to make a dramatic impact on my insulin resistance. Valerie had asked me to be a part of it because she knew that we were feeling similar levels of sluggishness and discord with how we were (or weren’t, more accurately) taking care of ourselves. I felt nervous, unsure of what to expect, a little overwhelmed but also hopeful and excited to have a clear path.
I will admit my first challenge point values were pretty sad. I rarely got perfect points on any given week, I struggled to stay within reasonable boundaries when it came to sweets, and failed miserably in meeting my exercise goals. Well, that’s inspiring.... But, here’s the thing, despite my imperfections I still did pretty well. My team was supportive and as I kept working at incorporating exercise and good nutrition into my life, along with the other habits, I started to feel more energetic and I wanted to continue to move more and eat better. My work on a few key areas started a domino effect in other areas of my life as well. After consistently working to improve my healthy habits, I eventually DID see those dramatic changes to my insulin resistance diagnosis that I was looking for. In fact, after a year or so of making these changes, I was insulin resistance free and continue to be so today.
Lifetime Wellness Challenge rules are pretty straightforward. You earn designated points for the healthy habits you complete within a day. The habits that are encouraged (through points) are common-sense based; personal growth, exercise, increasing consumption of fruits & vegetables, adequate hydration, not eating late, staying in contact with your support system, contributing to the Hot Topic discussion and participating in the fun weekly bonuses. Even though the rules are straightforward in what needs to be completed, sometimes we can feel at a loss as to how to implement these changes into our lives daily without going crazy. So, I’d like to share a few tips for how I got started.
It has been really important that I use my exercise time efficiently and not try to multi-task too many things and it has to be FUN for me. Racing is fun for me, so training can be great, but sometimes.... it gets a little overwhelming and monotonous, so I mix it up with some dancing because dancing is always fun. Always.
One simple tip to help me avoid choking down a cucumber at 8:59 pm is planning to have at least 2 vegetables in my menu by lunch. An example of this would be making sure to include peppers to my omelets or spinach in my smoothies along with a fruit and having a side of whatever veggie floats my boat that day at lunch. Then I only need one veg at dinner and can finish it up with another fruit or more veggies for a snack. It’s TOTALLY doable, but it might take some planning to make it happen those first few weeks of changes.
This one is SO hard for so many. I know even Valerie, to this day, struggles to drink enough water. Admittedly, drinking enough water is typically not my struggle, but what does help me is to use a quart jar to measure. If I drink one by lunch, then I have the entire rest of the day/early evening to finish off that second one. Also, using a straw and some lemon slices. I don’t know why exactly, but it helps so I go with it.
These things are just a FEW things that have worked well for me. I will address more of them next Friday so watch for that post. You may also have had some great ideas and we definitely want to hear them, so please feel free to share them in the comments. There are many readers and newbies this round that could use your help getting started.
If you’re interested in reading more tips check out these posts.