Who doesn't want to lose a few pounds and/or get healthier, right?
My fabulous friend Jess found this great plan for an "8 week weight loss challenge" online, and gathered together a group willing to take on this challenge, myself included. In a nutshell, everyone who's in on it pitches in some agreed upon amount of money. Each week you earn points for doing various healthy behaviors (ie. drinking 64 oz of water per day, exercising 30 minutes a day, keeping a food journal, eating 3 servings of veggies, etc...). At the end of the 8 weeks there are 2 winners, one for the highest points earned, and one for the highest percentage weight loss. Those two winners split the pot.
I gravitated toward the idea because I knew that the accountability alone would help me, along with having a clear plan printed out to look at each day and blanks to fill in with points. So far so good...while I haven't earned every point possible every day yet, I feel like I'm making some great strides in taking on some good, healthy behaviors on a regular basis!
Looking at a daily list of guidelines has brought me back to when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes (GD) in my last 10 weeks of pregnancy with my 2nd baby. For those 10 weeks I stuck to my GD diet to a tee. I counted every carb in ever meal and snack, wrote down every single thing I ate, had my scheduled amount of carbs every 2-3 hours, and checked my blood sugar and ketones religiously. To give you a little background, needles have been known to make me pass out. Yet I somehow pricked myself with a needle twice a day without hesitation.
So why is it such a challenge to follow this much much simpler 8 week plan?
Why do I struggle to push my workouts from my usual 10 minutes a day to 30? I don't have to count carbs or calories, and I don't have to make myself bleed every day. The difference is that with GD, I was doing it all for my baby boy. And if you're a mom, you totally get it...you'd do ANYTHING for your baby. I would eat nothing but pigs' feet and anchovies and stab my fingers with a needle 10 times a day for 10 weeks if that's what it took to ensure my baby was healthy.
I have discovered so far, in week 1 of this challenge, that my greatest challenge is convincing myself that I am worth the time. I am worth taking a half hour out of my precious few hours of the boys' nap times to work out. I can tell myself I'm doing this to look better for my husband, or to have more energy for my kids, but in the end I really need to find myself worth the time in order to make the time. There are SO many things that I need to pack into that short nap time every day being a small business(es) owner, not to mention keeping up the house and taking care of daily family upkeep, that it's very hard for me to put myself even ON my list, let alone at the top of it!
So far in this 8 week challenge I have made myself immediately do my workout as soon as the boys go down for naps, because I know if I start doing something else I'll get too into it and will lose track of time, and before I know it, they'll be awake and ready for supper.
The other day I was doing my workout in my living room (I love my kick boxing DVD's!). During my warm-up I was doing some push-ups and here was my view...
GROSS! The floor is seriously covered with crumbs from the boys' snacks. (Yeah, snack traps don't trap everything.) Every time I lowered my face to the floor I was met with a close-up view of crunched up whole wheat Chex. With every push-up I had to remind myself that my health is more important than having a freshly vacuumed floor all the time. While the lady on the workout DVD was saying "one, two, three, four" I was saying, "it can wait, it can wait, it can wait, it can wait."
And guess what...it did wait. It was all still there when I was done, and I was still able to vacuum it up. And the boys didn't get seriously injured or die from the crumbs. And my house doesn't look like it will be featured on "Hoarders." Go figure? Life still goes on even if I take a little time for myself. And I lost 3 pounds in week 1! Win-win!