Friday, March 21, 2014

The 8-Week Challenge

Here's the 8-week challenge I mentioned yesterday. A friend of my niece Angela helped us get started with this more than a year ago. After that time, I've done it a couple of times on my own. I believe it started with a college P.E. class some years ago, as a challenge or competition to help motivate students to reach their weight goals, as part of an overall fitness plan. For that reason, participants earned points for each successfully completed item. This part of it didn't prove helpful or motivating for me, so I've taken it out. We modified some of the steps each time we did it, and some need to be modified again. But here's what we did last time:

Week 1: Start Keeping a Food Journal  Each day, write down what time you wake up, the time you eat, what you eat, how much you exercise, how much water you drink and what time you go to bed.

Week 2: Continue Week 1 habits. Cut out all sugar, junk food, soda pop, and fast food! This is going to be the hardest week for all of us. This is as much a mental challenge as a physical challenge. Also, you can allow yourself natural sugars like fructose just make sure that you pair them with a protein to maximize energy. So, if you eat an apple pair it with some nuts or a string cheese. Also, you can have the sugar that is in a small amount of a sauce like a dressing or BBQ sauce.

Week 3: Continue Week 2 habits. Add: Eat 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables per day.

Week 4: Continue Week 3 habits. Exercise a minimum of 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week. This can be as simple as brisk walking. The goal is to raise your hearbeat. If you're feeling a good cardio workout, working up a sweat, increased heart rate, it counts. Also, the more that you can vary your exercise routine the better. So, do cardio one day and weights another. Try different forms of exercise (i.e. an elliptical one day and swimming another). Try to establish a routine. If you must, you can split this into three 10 minute segments for a total of 30 minutes.

****For the remaining weeks, we will need to eat low glycemic, sticking to the recommended foods list and we will earn a point for each day that you do so. 

Week 5: Continue Week 4 habits. Drink at least 64 ounces of water per day.  (This is one we may consider changing, though I still find it helpful.

Week 6: Continue Week 5 habits. Take supplements each day as recommended on the packaging. (This is another one we may change, as recent studies suggest multivitamins and other OTC supplements are not necessary and are sometimes even harmful.)

Week 7: Continue Week 6 habits. Start your day with"Quiet Time" every day. This should be at least 30 minutes of meditation, and can include your own scripture study or other medication that you currently do. 

Week 8: Continue Week 7 habits. Sleep at least 7 hours each night.

So, I think the reason this helped me in the past and will help me again is that it's not just some "diet," but a set of activities to help your whole life.

Would anyone like to do this with me? --- Not as a competition but as a mutual support group? Let me know. I'd like to start this coming Sunday.


  1. This sounds great. I balked initially (am perhaps still rebelling) at some of them because I don't WANT to keep a food journal, or cut out sugar. *whinewhinewhine* But since those are the types of things on that list I'm not already doing, I suppose that means they're the things I SHOULD do. *sigh*

  2. Thanks for spelling it out. Looks like good stuff.

  3. You know that YouTube video that you posted by Jane Mc-Somebody about her concussion and the Super Better game she created to help her get through it? Well I've checked out that Super Better site and have enjoyed trying some of the challenges on there. I could get into that and would love to do those with some friends. Let me know if you're interested. In the meantime, I send my regrets that I won't be joining in on this challenge as it is a bit overwhelming to me. I'm sorry. But I will wish for you: Good Luck!! And I think you're doing wonderful things, and I also think that you're pretty awesome!!!--Love, Ellen