Thursday, February 9, 2012

I LOVE challenges!

I completed two challenges this week!  Both of the challenges I completed were with the gym that I have been going to for about 3 1/2 months now.  The first challenge has been going on for 21 days.  The challenge:  to stay within my points on Weight Watchers for 21 days straight.  I had been having some days where I would start out strong and then binge.  This was resembling old habits way too much for my liking.  I knew I needed to get control before I spiraled out of control.  So, when the gym started the 21 day challenge, I decided that this would be the best goal for me.  Mission completed!  Yay!  However, you would think I would have some weight loss to show for those 21 days of being on plan....well, not so much.  The problem was that I discovered that I was doing what I did on Weight Watchers last year.  Eating too much fruit!  Once they switched over to Points Plus, and I stopped counting fruit, I started eating way too much of it.  Calories in fruit really add up.  Plus, I stopped measuring out portions of fruit and vegetables.  The amount of broccoli that I typically eat for dinner is over 100 calories.  I know that doesn't sound like much but when you add up several of those foods like that throughout the day that you are not holding yourself accountable for, it adds up quickly.  Anyway, more of that discussion later.  The point is that I did follow the plan and towards the end I did switch over to Spark People again.  I figured that this wouldn't mess up my challenge as long as I was following points or calories. 

(Box Jumps-Photo Source:

As I mentioned earlier, both challenges were with the gym I go to.  The second challenge was to complete 30 box jumps in 1 minutes without stopping.  We had to draw the challenges from a jar on Monday and we had all week to practice and complete the challenge when we decided we were ready.  I knew I could do box jumps but I normally step down after I jump up.  I knew that I would have to jump up and jump down in order to complete this challenge in enough time.  So I decided to start practicing after kickboxing on Tuesday night.  I did a few and I was feeling pretty nervous about being able to do it.  Then my favorite fitness instructor at the gym came up to me and told me that I was ready to do it.  At first I told her that I needed to practice more and wait a few more days.  When she walked away, I decided to see if I could do 30.  I didn't time myself but I just wanted to see if I could even do 30 without stopping.  To my surprise, I was able to do it without too many problems.  I didn't realize that the fitness instructor was watching me.  She said she wasn't exactly sure what my time was but she was pretty sure I did it in less than one minute.  She told me to do it again!  After taking a few minutes to catch my breath, she came back over and timed me.  I was trying to go so fast that I almost lost my balance and fell on the floor.  But I managed to get it together and finish the 30 box jumps.  Not only did I do it in under one minute, she said I completed it in 30 seconds.  I got an awesome sweatshirt for completing my challenge!  :) 

Challenges keep me focused and keep me working towards something.  I try to think of my New Year's resolutions like challenges.  I made two resolutions this year.  My first resolution is a financial one--to get our other car paid off so hopefully we can have a period of time with no car payment.  The second goal is to finally hit my 100 pounds lost milestone.  As I mentioned before on my blog, I had to update my weight loss ticker to 89 pounds lost.  I was only 4 pounds away from this milestone but now I am eleven.  Oh well, I know I can do it and I am going to work hard to achieve this goal!  I am also planning on running another 5K in April.  It's the same run I did last year and I plan to run it this year with a few friends.  That should be fun and also keep me working towards another goal. 

In other news with me this week, as I mentioned before, I have decided to go back to using Spark PeopleWeight Watchers is an EXCELLENT program but I think with my eating habits and also with being vegan, the new Points Plus program is just a little too hard for me to follow the way I should.  When I don't have to count fruit and most vegetables, I am just setting myself up to get out of control.  I was eating 3-4 bananas a day.  Yikes!  Now I am measuring them out again and eating about a half a banana in the morning and another half in the evening.  Much better!  Also, by measuring out all fruits and vegetables, there's no mystery involved with how many calories I am eating everyday.  I am accountable for each and every one of those calories.  Nothing is "free."  No excuses...I just have to do it. 

Do goals and challenges help you?  What else helps to keep you on track? 

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