Tuesday, August 5, 2014

My Challenge-Complete Overview and Explanations

I know that I recently posted about the challenge I am doing, but I wanted to post a more compete and comprehensive listing of exactly what it is I am doing and why (in case anyone wants to try it or do it along with me).  If there are any questions or if you want any clarifications just let me know in the comments.

I created this challenge for me, structured around my weaknesses and my strengths.  I tailored it to what I feel I need the most and to what I feel will help and motivate me the most.  Therefore, not every aspect of this challenge will be what you need or will be what helps you the most.  I have also posted motivational quotes all over my house to keep me motivated, which I try to read as often as I can.  The danger lies in when I stop reading them and start ignoring them.  Here is the way I structured the challenge.
The challenge will last the full months of August, September, and October starting August 1st and ending October 31st (with Oct. 31st being the last day of the challenge) encompassing a total of 13 full weeks, or 92 days total.  The challenge will have overarching rules that must be followed every day which I have detailed below.  Each rule has a purpose and a goal that is tailored to me and my needs, which is why I created that rule.  The explanation for each rule has been given next to it in the list below.
 In addition to the general rules, I have created a weekly challenge (again customized to my needs) and I have picked out each weekly challenge before I started.  The challenges are listed below with explanations as to why I chose them.  I decided to do weekly challenges because it helps me to focus on one thing each week.  Also the challenge changes every week and so that keeps the overall challenge new and interesting.  I have a bad habit of starting challenges and then not giving my all after the first few weeks or so out of boredom, and temptation to revert to bad habits.  The weekly challenges are an attempt to keep it new, and to help me stay on track and stay engaged and motivated.
I have two reward systems in place: Monthly rewards and weekly rewards.  I have chosen ahead of time the rewards I desire to earn after successfully completing each month and each week.  The monthly rewards are larger than the weekly rewards (the weekly rewards being very small and costing no more than $1.25- the cost of a song on itunes).   This gives me something to work towards.  I chose  the rewards I wanted, which are also listed below, that I knew would motivate me.  I did not choose each weekly reward ahead of time, but as I thought of things I wrote them down since I may want a song or an app four weeks from now that I have not learned about yet.  I have written down the ones that I have already chosen and will fill in the rest as time goes on.  Choose rewards that excite you!  Here is the catch with these rewards:  If you don’t successfully earn them, you forfeit your reward….FOREVER!  That means that you will not be able to buy your reward for yourself at any time in the future (except maybe if you achieve your goal further down the road, and I suppose you could try the challenge again at a future date and choose the same reward, but the point is you can’t just go out and buy it later because you got a bonus, or it is Christmas time).  Note: If you fail a weekly challenge but still adhere to the general rules of the challenge, you can still get your monthly prize but you do not get the weekly prize for that week.
Rules of The Challenge
         1. Do not exceed your daily calorie limit: ever!- I chose this one because I have two problems with my calories. 1. I don’t eat all of them in a day and 2. I will go about 2,000 calories over for one or two days and then go back to doing number 1.  The plan for this challenge is to eat all my calories every day (1750) and to break out of my yo-yo eating cycle where I do really well for 5 days and then bomb the next two days completely ruining everything I have worked so hard for over the past 5 days, which then it takes me another 5 days to get back to where I was before my splurge and the cycle continues.  I plan on finding a healthier and more sustainable way to eat during this challenge.  Going over on calories by a little bit is okay (50 and under).
         2. Exercise at least 5 days a week: Exercise is important, and I have been doing the Turbo Fire Program which has you exercise 6 days a week.  However it is important to listen to your body and sometimes I really just need a day off, so although my goal is 6 days a week, I know that there will be times when I will need a break or will have a super busy day and won’t get it in and I wanted to allow for that.  Let’s be realistic!  We are trying to find a life sustaining plan.  Exercise means an actual exercise such as zumba, turbo fire, weight lifting, running, etc.  What does not count is: hiking with the family (unless you are climbing a 14ner), taking the kids to the park, taking the dog on a walk, etc.
         3. Get an hour of physical activity in with the kids at least 5 days a week:  This one I chose because a lot of the time I feel like I do really good getting my workout in and then I am lazy the rest of the day, this is to challenge me to get moving again and also to provide the kids physical activity as well since they are supposed to get at least an hour of physical play time anyway, I figure I can play with them.  What counts for this is: going on walks, going to the park, going on a hike, dancing around the living room, playing in the pool, jumping on the trampoline, running through the sprinklers etc.  as long as you and your kids are moving.  (my kids are 3 ½ and 1 ½ so they can’t get enough activity!)
         4. No Scale!- this one is because I have an unhealthy relationship with the scale.  I obsess over my weight and weigh myself every day.  When the scale goes up I feel bad about myself and I eat like crap.  When the scale goes down I think “wow! I am doing good, I can eat whatever I want or take a break.”   And then I still eat like crap.  It’s a lose, lose situation.  So my scale is now tucked away under the house for the next three months.  My official starting weight: 146
         5. All baking done with healthier ingredients: While I have no food restrictions, I decided to bake with only healthier ingredients: whole wheat, coconut oil, coconut/date sugar, etc.  I love baking and it is easier to stay on track with calories if I make my baked goods with healthier ingredients.  The calories are lower, and it is better for you anyway.  It is still a treat, it is still dessert, but it isn’t quite so bad.  And really, there isn’t anything wrong with baking healthier anyway.
        6. Take Pictures and Measurements once a month-and only once a month: the last time I took the scale away I turned to my tape measure.  I ended up taking my measurements every two days and became obsessive over it.  However, it is important to have some way to track your progress and this really is the best way.  So I have put away my tape measure until the end of the month not to be touched until then.  Visual progress is also very important, that way you can see the physical changes in your body side by side and know that you are making progress.
         7.Drink at least 8 oz of water a day.- Do I really need to explain this one?  We need to be drinking our water!  (and I am terrible at it, which is why it’s in here)
Weekly Challenges
        1. Eat eggs for breakfast every morning- I want to incorporate this healthy boost into my weekly breakfast cycle.  It will give me something else to add to my breakfast menu besides just oatmeal and cottage cheese.  Try omelets, scrambled with meat and veggies, skillets, poached, there are lots of ways to eat eggs.  I’m trying to make my breakfast about 450 caloires.
        2. Take my dog on a walk every day (except Sunday)- Sunday is a day of rest and many of the weekly challenges don’t apply to Sunday.  I have recently been aware of the fact that my dog is not getting enough exercise, so I want to go take him out more.  This will also fulfill the requirement of having physical activity with the kids as long as I take the kids with me too.
         3. Read scriptures 30 minutes a day- It’s a challenge for me to read my scriptures 5 minutes a day, but I really wanted to step it up for this challenge, these are supposed to be difficult but not impossible.  This will really challenge me, and hopefully really help me too.
         4. Don’t yell at the kids- need I say more?
         5. No desserts week- one week with no desserts!  I just have to be careful coming off of it that I don’t go overboard the next week, hence the stay within your calories rule
         6. 1 hour exercise every day (except Sunday) – not including stretching: this can be cardio or weight lifting, or a combo of both, must equal 60 minutes of hard work.  I chose this because many of the exercises I do are 30-50 minutes long, so a week of 60 minute workouts will be good for me, and challenging.
         7. Do a spiritual thought every day with the family.- If you aren’t religious you can do an uplifting thought, but bringing the spirit into the home and focusing on being Christ like can only help
         8. No Soda this week- my weakness.  I love love love my diet Pepsi, and I know I drink way too much of it every day.  
           9. Get in 15,000 steps every day (except Sunday)- the daily recommended is 10,000 so far my average is 12,000- 13,000ish, as I get closer if I think it will be too easy I will up it to 18,000 steps
.        10. Eat clean this week- adhere to all the eat clean rules
       11. No TV this week, even for the kids- can I survive this week?  I guess we will find out
     12.   Exercise 2x every day this week- the second to last week of the challenge, lets ramp it up and prepare to finish strong and maximize our results.  This is exercising for two hours or two separate times (morning and evening) these are real exercises, not just “I went on a walk” or “I went to the park”  so you have: cardio or weight lifting.  I will probably be doing zumba, turbo fire, and chalean extreme a lot this week!
1   13.   Finish strong and do a craft every day with the kids- I am terrible about getting craft time in for the kids (one of them is a little young) and this is the week of Halloween, so it will be a perfect time anyway.
Monthly Rewards
Month 1: Turbo Fire Advanced DVDS
Month 2: Chalean Extreme Advanced DVDs
Month 3: New Clothes! (depending on weight loss achieved and if I am at my goal: a new wardrobe or a new outfit).  If I am not happy with my end results and don't want to buy new clothes at this time, then I will get a Wii so I can play my Zumba Wii games.  If you want to know why I have Zumba Wii games and don't have  a Wii, you can read this post HERE

Weekly Rewards
1       1.Weight Loss for Women Visual Motivation App
2       2.Let it Go by Demi Lovato
3       3.Live like you believe by Jenny Phillips
     4. Sail by Awol Nation
5   5. How to talk so your children will listen and how to listen so your children will talk-kindle edition by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish


  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE! Good luck, it looks like an amazing plan! I love how each week it really is something different! Can't wait to hear updates on how you do!

  2. Just found your blog and I LOVE the challenge idea! I think I may create one for myself! One quick question...how did you determine how many calories you were going to eat?

    1. HI Brittney, thanks for your question, it spawned a whole post! Check out my newest post "calculating how many calories you should eat in a day" I love that you are going to create a challenge for yourself. The key to being successful on this is tailoring it to your needs and your strengths. You know what you need to work on and you know what motivates you! Thanks for your comment!!