Week 1 is in the books!
Last week I wrote about the 100 Day Health Challenge my wife Jonna and I were about to begin. The idea is to commit to different health related things or improvements to accomplish every day for 100 days. Here is a reminder of what I’m doing every day:
- Follow a nutrition plan – For me, I am working on increasing my protein intake every day and cutting super carb-heavy / junk foods. No desserts, no soda, no alcohol.
- One 45 minute workout per day
- Drink around 100 ounces of water per day
- Bible devotion every morning
- Read 5 pages of nonfiction, self improvement book
I’m happy to report my first week has been a success! There were a few challenging moments. Most of them came on the weekend. I didn’t find myself tempted to get off of my plan, but I found myself most disturbed by the change in routine. During the week, I’m eating, reading and working out at the same times for the most part. That ALL changes on the weekend! I’m waking up at different times, the kids are home, the dog is confused – everything gets messed up! However, I kept coming back to my “why” – meaning the reasons why I am doing this – and I was able to stay focused and get everything done.
One week in, it feels great and the motivation is still there.
I have also been blown away by how many of you responded to our idea to do this – and how many of you said you are doing your own version of the challenge! Here are some examples:
- “Playing along but not daily for cardio. Starting off with 45 minutes of cardio three days a week and 2500 calories a day. Had done that about 5 years ago and lost 85 lbs. I also learned to not go so hard so fast; I’m cautious this go around so that I don’t get hurt again. I ended up with an Achilles strain in the first few months and that took forever to heal. On track and motivated.” – Brian G.
- “I think this is a great idea! I’m going to commit to working out each day as well as walking. I also need to cut out carbs and sugar! Thank for motivation.” – Sylvia B.
- “I’m going to use my bike every night for 15 minutes or more, and cold shower at the end of a hot shower (it really works). And trying to cut back on some other things. Thanks for the kick in the butt to do something!” – Sue B.
- “I’m in! No pop, 100oz of water daily and exercise 3x a week!” – Nikki R.
- “I read this as I eat at Buona beef…” – Charles E.
The Buona Beef comment made me laugh. There was comment that came up more than a few times and I think it’s a GREAT one.
“Why in the world would you start something like this RIGHT BEFORE THE HOLIDAYS?! See you on January 2nd!”
I have a long answer for that…
Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. Before Jonna and I started our health program a few years ago, Thanksgiving was all about THE FOOD. At least it was for me. I looked forward to loading up my plate with everything. And I mean EVERY THING. Multiple times.
And don’t forget the desserts. All of them. After that course, you would make your way to the couch, watch whoever the Cowboys were playing that day and try to keep your eyes open. It was a glorious day.
HOWEVER – we would go home with containers full of second, third, even fourth Thanksgiving dinners. I would continue to eat them over the next few days. That would turn into cravings during the week for carbs and sugar. Next thing you know, the Christmas season is here with parties and drinking and cookies and more carbs and sugar.
When I was younger, this really wasn’t a problem. But once I hit my 30s or so, it became a problem. I felt like crap for most of the holiday season. By the time January hit, we found ourselves in the situation that millions of Americans do every year – vowing to try some fad thing or get back to the gym, without any kind of system that would lead to sustained success.
As mentioned, we started a health program a few years ago that taught us how to form good EVERY DAY healthy habits. That means going into a holiday event like Thanksgiving with a plan – what am I going to eat and why? Do I need to eat that? Do I want to? How much of this or that am I going to eat? And will I be able to get back on my daily routine the next day if I do? As a result, I still enjoy all of my favorite holidays, I eat some of the things that I do love, and I am still on track with my overall goals.
But back to the question – why start a 100 Day Health Challenge right before the holidays?
The answer for me is simple – a challenge like this keeps me focused and intentional this season. Even though I have a system for myself that I do follow, I get tempted like everybody else – and sometimes I just like a challenge. For example, I’m not eating any desserts during these 100 days. Can I make it through Thanksgiving without eating any pumpkin pie and not hate my life? I am 99.9% certain I can.
The point is, even though we are focused on our health journey each and every day, it’s still hard at times, especially this time of year. I enjoy the push and extra motivation from challenges like these. It also helps that my wife and I are doing this together and comparing our progress.
I encourage you to join us in this challenge, even if you didn’t start the same time we did. Is there something you can do over the next 100 days that would make you feel better? And remember, every person is different. My list will probably look a lot different than yours. But is there something you’ve been wanting to do that you keep putting off? A change you’ve wanted to make? What are you waiting for? As always, don’t forget to check with your doctor before you start any kind of big change to your health routine.
I’ll be posting random updates on my social media over the next few months. Don’t forget to follow along and let me know how things are going for you!