This October, some of our members participated in the Fall Health Challenge. The participants were challenged to:
- attend 3 training sessions per week at the studio
- eat 3 balanced meals per day (each including a lean protein + vegetable + healthy fat + water)
- avoid added sugar and alcohol
- focus on one lifestyle habit (meditating, reading, walking, journaling, or turning screens off at 9 p.m.)
Before signing up, Coach Missy said participants seemed to get hung up on what they “couldn’t have” or what they’d be missing out on over the course of the month. But as it got started, they started to enjoy what they could have — and learned some valuable lessons.
Let’s see what some of the participants had to say!
“I’ve learned that sugar is the cause of my acid reflux! And going without sugar has also improved my sleep. No more tossing and turning — it’s a real game changer!”
While I’ve known about the –ose sugars for a long time, I have been surprised by how many other random types of sugars are hiding in things. It’s amazing how much I craved sugar the first few days, but suddenly I was fine by about 3 days in.
Every time I go to the gym now, I have to keep pulling up my pants. The scale isn’t showing a big change, but there are obviously other things going on, and I’ve gotten lots of compliments on looking healthy and happy lately!
I honestly didn’t think that this challenge was going to do much for me. I was already eating pretty healthy and didn’t think I would see much of a change. I was so wrong!! I now realize that added sugar is everywhere, and it has a huge impact on my body.
Over the past several weeks, I’ve had more energy throughout the day. I have been able to put more effort into my workouts. I wake up less throughout the night. And I have lost 4 pounds from the beginning of the challenge!! I not only felt physical changes, but my mind has been less cluttered and I have been able to relax more.
I’ll say first off that I wasn’t sure I was up for the challenge, but I’m really glad I did it. First, having a “real” breakfast makes a huge difference. My energy and focus are better. Plus, there’s a mental component. If I start the day off right, I’m motivated to make better choices throughout the day.
Second, when I eat balanced meals like this, I don’t crash in the afternoon. I might get hungry, but it’s not the 3:30 “I’m starving and need to raid the vending machine” mentality.
The fall health challenge has continued to help me fine tune how I listen to and treat my body. And really that “added sugar” is the devil!
My lifestyle change choice for this month was to meditate. I have never done that but always wanted to try it. I have really learned a lot, and it is definitely something I will continue to do. Other non-scale victories: consistent daily mood and blood sugar; no afternoon slumps or feeling like I have to have a nap; stronger every day and cheerfully working out 3x a week (which is historic and HUGE for anyone who knows me); minimal cravings; I can bend over and tie my own shoes and my strength has increased by a number I can’t measure!
Scale victories: 8-ish pounds lost, inches lost, and friends and family can see huge differences in my face and form (even when I can’t)!
The group found that establishing healthy habits wasn’t about white-knuckling your way through 28 days, but instead just trying to be a little better than you were yesterday. Here are a few tips they have for making changes that last:
1) Plan ahead.
Look at the week in advance and note where you want to have your treats — maybe it’s a birthday party or a fancy dinner out. That’s one meal of out 21 during a whole week. Have the cake/wine, enjoy it, and move on.
2) Realize you do have time.
By trying to hit the challenge goals of working out three times a week, participants realized there was time, because they made the time, not because they magically pulled an extra hour out of the sky!
3) Support is key!
It’s nice to have a group to do this with. Sharing recipes, challenges, wins — sometimes someone else’s perspective can be the light bulb for you. Or maybe they can introduce you to your very favorite way to make oats. Whatever it is, support is key!
4) You can feel better.
The main purpose of this challenge was to kickstart some healthy habits or rekindle some that the participants may have gotten away from — and, most importantly, just to feel better! And that’s the best tip of all. Eating better, working out, and being intentional with your lifestyle habits can help you feel great every day!
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If you’re ready to start feeling better, find out more about our women’s fitness studio at DFT-STL.com. Drop us a line through the contact form, and one of our awesome trainers will be in touch to learn about your personal fitness goals!