All members of the 5% Community Challenges have the same weight loss goal for each 8 week challenge - to lose 5% of our body weight. Most don't lose that much. Enough do to let us know it's possible. Most do lose something. I don't remember if I ever made my 5% goal weight in the 8 challenges I participated in 2010-2012. If I did, it wasn't my norm. I was struggling more back then than I am now.
This summer, I was only a pound short of my 5% target and easily reached that goal AFTER the challenge ended. During Fall, I had a couple very stressful weeks where I gained 5 pounds and then it took another week to get me back to where I was before, so this time I am just under 4 pounds short of my 13 pound goal. I WILL reach that goal by the end of the year, ready to take off another 5% during the Winter Challenge beginning in January. I'm not only sticking with my team for the In-Between Challenge, but am one of the leaders. Leading helps me stay on track better than anything else could. It also helps that I still do not have a life and will be alone through the holidays again. So temptation is only what I bring into the house myself. I expect that to change next year when I've moved closer to family. Then I will be happy with a maintain in-between challenges, especially during the holidays.
In the past I'd be beating myself up for that stress-week 5 pound gain and not staying focused and strict enough every single day of the challenge. But this time I am content and even able to celebrate my 9 pound loss and that I'm walking farther distances than I was able to at the start of the challenge. I have had to stop the stretching exercises I worked so hard at building up on during summer so that's a set-back. But necessary till the back pain gets under control. I hope to start at the beginning again soon to slowly build back up.
I am learning it's unrealistic to expect perfection. I am human and life is hard. It's nice when everything is running smooth and healthy lifestyle choices are easy. But a lot of the time, life is stressful, temptation is unexpected, we get sick, we have company, we go on vacation, we have injuries, we just plain get tired and are then more vulnerable to temptation. Any of those things can interfere with our best laid plans.
The questions I need to ask myself are:
1) Am I in a better place now than I was 8 weeks ago? Do I weigh less, can i exercise more often, do more reps, go farther distances, or feel less winded than 8 weeks ago? Are there healthy lifestyle choices that I make more often, or are becoming a habit now? Even if the scale isn't lower, do I have more energy, more muscles, looser fitting clothes? Am I any better at pre-planning, strategizing, or dealing with temptation and the eating events/ opportunities in my life? If the answer to any of these is yes, then the challenge was a success. If there are no yeses, then...
2) If I've not improved, have I maintained? And even if I have lost ground, would it likely have been worse if I'd not been participating in the Challenge? Did the challenge provide focus, accountability and/or support that kept me from losing even more ground? If any of the answers are yes, the challenge was a success.
3) If the challenge did nothing for me and I am in no way better off, did I actually participate in the challenge activities? Did I check in with the team? We usually get out of it what we put into it. Ask, am I committed to becoming healthier? Do I want to be well? What do I need to do differently to start seeing progress? If this challenge isn't helpful, look for something else that is. But don't expect any program or person to do it for you. You have to do it for yourself.
My formula for success: (Knowledge + Wisdom + Action) + (Mindset + Patience + Perseverance) = Success
Are you looking for a way to get fit, lose weight, and have fun along the way? Check out the Winter 5% Challenge! Team members will work towards losing 5% of their starting weight in 8 weeks by participating in team challenges that focus on exercise & healthy lifestyle habits. Let's have fun, make new friends and get in shape! Challenge starts in January. Please click on this link to join the Challenge.